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18 May, 2021 14:05

‘Legal contradictions’: It’s hypocritical to allow abortion & euthanasia while banning death penalty, says head of Russian Church

‘Legal contradictions’: It’s hypocritical to allow abortion & euthanasia while banning death penalty, says head of Russian Church

It is hypocritical for capital punishment to be banned but for abortion and euthanasia to be legal, because they all destroy human life. That’s according to Patriarch Kirill, the most senior figure in the Russian Orthodox Church.

Speaking on Monday, the Bishop of Moscow said that modern society is driving itself into a “trap of legal contradictions.” In Russia, abortion is permitted, but euthanasia and the death penalty are not.

“If we refuse the death penalty because we recognize the inviolability of life, then why are abortion and euthanasia considered acceptable, because both are destroying human life?” he asked.

In 1920, Soviet Russia became the world’s first country to legalize the voluntary termination of pregnancy. In the years since then, it has been banned and then re-introduced.

The Patriarch has long been an opponent of abortion. In recent times, the church’s official stance has not been to campaign for a complete ban, but to take a “softer and more flexible” stance on the issue. Last year, church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda revealed that it advocates simply for the termination of pregnancies to be removed from Compulsory Medical Insurance, a taxpayer-funded state program that guarantees the provision of free medical care for a wide range of illnesses.

Last week, Patriarch Kirill urged women who are not ready to raise children to give their child to the church, rather than have an abortion.

“If you cannot raise a child, but you have had or are ready to have a child, do not kill the child,” he said. “Give birth and give it to us, the church, and we will do everything we can to raise your child.”

The death penalty has not been in practice in Russia since 1996, when Moscow joined the Council of Europe, which has a ban on capital punishment.

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