Moscow, November 18, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk has called for legislative protection of the child's right to life and development since the moment of conception.
"I think human life needs legislative protection from the very moment of conception, because from the church's standpoint, and from the standpoint of very many health specialists and scientists, an embryo is a human, an embryo is an individual, an individual at a certain initial stage of its development," Metropolitan Hilarion said on the Church and the World program on Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television.
"Unfortunately, there is still this attitude towards unborn children, that an embryo is some kind of part of the mother's body, and just like we can have our hair cut off or cut off our nails, so can the woman rid herself of an embryo," the hierarch said.
"From the church's point of view, that is not so, it is already a different human being," the metropolitan said.
The Church considers abortion to be a sin, accepting it only on medical indications, he said. He said that he knew of the cases where women would give birth to healthy children and themselves remained alive and well after rejecting a doctor's advice to terminate problematic pregnancy.
Even if a woman was a victim of violence, the child she would bear, deliver and bring up could make her happy, the hierarch said.
As for the wave of "coming out" from violence, he noted that everyone involved in the public discussion of this problem, voluntarily or involuntarily, are engaged in the propaganda of sin. Such publicity is akin to the practice of public confession which was practiced by the early Christian Church, he said.
"Very soon the Church discontinued that, and confession became private, because it is no good for people to hear about other people's sins," Metropolitan Hilarion said, suggesting that victims of violence and attackers, rather than coming out on social media, should come for confession and contact law-enforcement authorities.