The Constitution’s directives that there is no state religion in Lithuania and that no one can be privileged in the state for their religious beliefs have always been at risk. This risk has lately increased, Vytautas Bruveris writes in Lrtyas.lt .
Perhaps the greatest threat to these elements is President Gitanas Nausėda, who, hand on the Constitution, swore to be equally fair to all.
Having somewhat unsuccessfully flirted with the Family March, the head of state now appears to have made a compact with the Bishops’ Conference. The Catholic Church hierarchs are stepping into politics ever more confidently, even releasing the special Šiluva Declaration, which essentially aims at the main goal of that march – opposing the legalisation of the gender-neutral partnership institute.
The conferences held at the Presidential Palace have the exact same goal, with the most important speakers in them being the president and Catholic leaders.
G. Nausėda himself recently conceded that he would definitely not have signed the law that the Seimas rejected in spring with a difference of just two votes.
That said, the head of state now explains to the ruling bloc and primarily the Freedom Party, who are preparing to present a new iteration, that he is “discussing” and “listening to all sides.”
However, to put it lightly, these words are unconvincing. For example, solely because the president announced he had already spoken to both the Freedom Party and the Catholic hierarchy. Take it that it’s both equal stakeholders with an equal right of decision making in this process.
It is rather odd that the head of state thusly seemingly equated a political party and a religious group. On the other hand, why was that specific denomination given a say over a law, which pertains to exclusively secular matters and the rights and interests of one group of society? As some members of Seimas quipped, this situation is as if the president would have decided to consult the Regions Party Seimas group and the Romuva community regarding Lithuania ratifying a treaty with the Holy See.
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