Priest: the Church does not support the refusal of parents to treat their children

© RIA Novosti / said to Carnaveral in fotobankaPriest: the Church does not support the refusal of parents to treat their children© RIA Novosti / said to Carnaveral the image Bank

The Russian Orthodox Church does not support the parent’s refusal of treatment for their children, and the corresponding position recorded in the official documents of the Church, told RIA Novosti the head of the coordination centre for combating drug addiction and alcoholism St. Petersburg diocese, Archpriest Maxim Pletnev, commenting on the story of the deaths of terminally sick girl in St. Petersburg.

Earlier it became known that in the Northern capital, died a child with HIV, whose parents, according to media reports, refused to give him antiretroviral therapy for religious reasons. Some publications also claim that the girl’s father was an Orthodox priest.

«The Church refers to such things clearly negative. Life is given to us by God, is a gift of God, it should be appreciated. The Lord has blessed and medicine, and doctors, this is stated in the Scriptures,» — said Pletnev.

According to him, was previously adopted «Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church’s participation in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS and working with people living with HIV/AIDS», which refers to how to help people with human immunodeficiency virus and what to do to prevent diseases. «Of course, these people need our love that believers should have,» said the priest.

At the same time, he added, there is another problem – the so-called HIV-dissidents when people force their beliefs deny the need for HIV treatment. «It’s not even just denial of a specific diagnosis, and in principle the denial of HIV as such. This perspective on this issue does not concern religious beliefs. We meet the situation where these views are subject to the followers of different religions, and people are not religious. And even I can say that maybe most of the «HIV dissidents» with whom I spoke, had to do with medicine,» — said the Agency interlocutor.

Commenting on the recent case in St. Petersburg, Pletnev remarked that, «if such a thing happened, it is likely that this generally does not apply to the sphere of religion», and maybe the priest is «just some human beliefs.»

«Of course, the death of a child in the family is grief. And I would like people to get into this tragic situation. Parents whose child died from HIV, are now in serious condition. Death, especially the death of a child, should not be hot news,» concluded the head of the coordination centre.