I recently sent the following letter to a pro-life friend of mine in Romania on the debate in his country over a constitutional amendment affirming the legal definition of marriage as a “union between a man and a woman.” Croatia is considering similar legal protections. The movement to protect marriage which caught fire in France is spreading. The redefinition of marriage is far from “inevitable.”
This is a critical time for Romania and all of Eastern Europe to act for the protection of life and family in the face of a looming demographic crisis. As we saw with Hungary’s Easter Constitution and the victories for life and family in Poland, Europe’s “progress” towards further embracing the culture of death can be stalled, and with God’s help, reversed:
To: Mr. Bogdan Stanciu
President, Asociatia Provita Bucuresti
Congratulations to you and your gifted colleagues for the pro-life events you organized throughout Romania. We are inspired to see that so many cities joined the movement for life, including thousands of Hungarian minorities living in Romania. I do think that this is a fruitful and blessed cooperation between our nations for defending the basic values of mankind, i.e. the goodness of life which is our common heritage given to us by God, the Creator, and by our ancestors to be protected and to “go forth and multiply.”
The protection of life is a universal mission given to all of us men and women by God, although in the natural law many non-believers also recognize a basic right to and goodness of life. It is a basic instinct carved into the natural behavior of both sexes: men and women. Indeed, it is how we all came to be.
Yet this basic truth seems to be strange and unacceptable for Romania’s president, Victor Ponta. In his televised June 7 speech, he denounced the definition of family accepted by the special committee that has been charged with creating a text for a Romanian Constitutional referendum. In the speech, he said: “It is important for me that Romania should be seen as a country which is getting nearer to the European trend, so we should not turn back, since we are not a fundamentalist republic.”
He says this with such absolute moral confidence, as if European trends had never led in very destructive directions. Further, he added that there was no need to do define the terms of marriage and family, because “this is a definition that has been copied from the Hungarian constitution. This is the same constitution which is was enacted in January 2012 and is extremely discussed in Europe. (…) It seems to me that we would give a conservative signal in vain.” (Agerpress, Romania)
Thankfully your committee was wise enough to repeat in the proposed text of the new constitution, that the family “is a marriage between a man and a woman.” We cannot yet say with President Ponta whether a “signal” on the definition of the marriage between “a man and a woman” was really “in vain.” (I am convinced that the unifying act of love between man and woman creating children, families, nations and human race is not in vain!) I just want to say, that this “conservative” term of marriage was not “cut-and-pasted” into the text from Hungary’s constitution, and it is not a dangerous Trojan horse full of harmful ideas and legislative plague ready to destroy the Romanian legal system! It seems more obvious that this was imported for our Romanian sisters and brothers from the universal constitution of biology, which is written into all human beings since their were first human beings.
I also do not think that the citizens of Croatia were in great need of foreign wisdom for using the same language “copied” from the the Hungarian constitution, when they expressed their clear “conservative” will regarding definition of the marriage.
You may know that over the last few weeks, Croatians have collected more than 710,000 signatures to request that the Croatian Parliament hold a referendum which would define the terms of marriage and family. As the support from more than 10% of voters in Croatia has been gathered, their parliament must hold the requested referendum which is expected to be held in the Autumn. The Croatian Constitution may also be changed then to permanently protect marriage as a union between one woman and one man.
It is interesting that professor Stephen Bartulica, adviser of the president of the Croatian Republic expressed his view on the supposed “copy-paste” of the Polish definition of marriage: “We are of the opinion that Croatia should follow the example of Poland and other eastern countries, rather than the ones of France and UK.”
I admit, that right now the Hungarian Fundamental Law is currently under analysis and study in four European instances: Council of Europe, European Parliament, European Commission and the European Council. Indeed, Hungary is under attack for standing up for marriage and the natural family in its new constitution, where in its Fourth Amendment it states:
Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage, understood to be the conjugal union of a man and a woman based on their independent consent; Hungary shall also protect the institution of the family, which it recognizes as the basis for survival of the nation. Marriage and the parent-child relationships are the basis of the family.
We are glad to see that we Hungarians and our government are not alone. All people of good will that recognize the basic value and meaning of marriage are supporting our efforts to build a culture of life, and to counter the culture of death by codifying the understanding of marriage as being between a woman and a man, based on and supported by natural law.
In Human Life International’s documentary Central and Eastern Europe: A Return to Life, we find that the challenges for defending the future of our nations are very similar in both Poland and Hungary; but the same could be said for Croatia, Slovakia, Austria, Ukraine, Romania, etc. These are all among the nations whose fertility rates are far below the replacement total fertility rate of 2.1 child per family. We must agree that all consequences of this “Demographic Winter” are due to the corruption that has become so common in the “Brave, New World” – one in which individual happiness is defined as the ability to satisfy desires, and society progress is equated merely with economic growth and prosperity. In other words: we are making so much progress that we are dying out.
And all of this occurs in a continent named after the fertility goddess Europa. From Spain, another nation suffering greatly from falling fertility rates, we hear that 66 Worldwide Organizations have joined the Declaration in Support of Hungarian Constitution.
There is no doubt that both Mr. Ponta and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán want their nations to flourish. The question for these modern Hamlets is, who can recognize and admit frankly that the “time is out of joint,” and who of us was “born to set it right?” Who can reverse the European trend toward demographic collapse, and build structures that preserve marriage between one man and one woman?
How I wish all the political leaders of the world saw the necessity of doing so. If the current trends continue, we all lose; since there is no victory against the Lord of the Time and Creation. There is no shame in “copying and pasting” the first command given to the first husband and wife: “Go forth and multiply!”
Yours in Domino and Domina,
Imre Téglásy, Ph.D.
President, Alpha Alliance for Life, Hungary
Director of HLI Hungary