Church wants "higher birth rate, not gay parade"

BELGRADE -- Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej has said the SPC is against the holding of the Belgrade Pride Parade.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

The Church and government "have to do something" in order to increase the birth rate and help the spiritual and moral renewal of the Serbian people, he also said.

In his interview for the weekly Nedeljnik, the patriarch condemned the parade and the attempt of the LGBT population to appear in public in Belgrade.

"Fools take pride in what smart people are ashamed of," Irinej stated, refusing to say whether the authorities had consulted the SPC concerning the parade and whether he expected violence in Belgrade should the parade be held.

"Nothing is under such a threat as marriage and family in our tragic times. Both marriage and family are being undermined in a planned fashion, especially with the gay parade," he noted.

"That plague is the final thing needed for the Serbian people to disappear off the face of the earth," the patriarch claims.

"The family is the basic cell of the society and people and a healthy family is the foundation of a healthy society, healthy people, healthy education and healthy culture," he stated, adding it was high time for the SPC and the government to do something to improve the birth rate and bring a spiritual and moral renewal of the Serbian people.

The Pride Parade is scheduled for September 28, but the police have not yet decided whether it would be safe to hold it.