Brussels, 4th December 2018

Today, December 4th 2018, at the invitation of the European Commission, CROCEU participated in the High Level Event on Violence Against Women 2018, held under the auspice of Her Excellency, Mrs. Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

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Prof. Dr. Maria Kioseva, Legal Advisor of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, represented CROCEU. Dr. Kioseva was accompanied by His Eminence, Metropolitan Daniil of Vidin of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, the Very Rev. Archimandrite, Fr Aimilianos Bogiannou, Moderator of CROCEU, the Very Rev. Archimandrite Fr. Nektarios Ioannou, Secretary Executive of CROCEU and the Rev. Dr. Dobromir Dimitrov, member of CROCEU. In her presentation Dr. Kioseva underline the position of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, a position also shared and supported by CROCEU; focusing on the impact of the loose use of the term “Gender” in the Istanbul Convention which is in contradiction of the social and legal order and of original moral principles.

As she rightly underlined in her intervention “A unifying factor of the European society i.e. of all these nations living geographically on the European Continent is Christianity. And in our view, the view of the orthodox Christians, a supreme goal of the European Society should be the protection of the Christian principles. Christianity is a unifying factor, which has existed on the European Continent long before economic and political unifications”.

Her Excellency Mrs. Jarova, who underscored in her introduction the need to overcome violence against women with a series of actions and commented the Istanbul Convention, opened the event. Various interventions from a diversity of participants, from both political and advocating entities, were expressed during the daylong conference. Special attention was given to the Daphne program that began originally in 1997, as a reaction to the affaire Dutroux, as well as a number of other programs that combat violence against women, such as WeGo!, Mujeres, Actionaid etc.

As we approach the feast of Nativity of our Lord and Savior CROCEU expresses once again its wish and increasing prayer to see an end to any form of violence not only against women but against any person for we are all created in the image and likeness of God.

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The Committee of the Representatives of the Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU) was established in 2010 and consists of: the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the Patriarchate of Romania, the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, the Church of Cyprus and the Church of Greece.

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