Fr. Dmitry Smirnov is a prominent and adored Moscow priest. He is the most vocal priest about family affairs in Russia, one who never beats around the bush. Though he is very well educated, he willingly and directly responds to all questions, practical and seemingly trite (such as ‘will I go to hell if I wear a miniskirt?) with serious, powerful answers.
He often exhibits a glaring lack of political correctness, unabashedly and confidently saying things at which other people only hint, with the calmest possible expression.
Yet, at the same time, few priests radiate such warmth, kindness and sincerity. Unlike many other senior Church personalities, who can be a little bit dry or hard or to intellectual or cerebral, Smirnov is very down-to-earth and warm and friendly and people love it.
He very heatedly and frequently speaks out against abortion. In the following article, translated by Pravoslavie.ru, he explains how he convinces women to not have an abortion:
—If she came to a priest, we should understand that she doesn’t want to do it, even if unconsciously. This chord in her soul is why she called upon the Church, and we must find it in her soul.
In such situations, I say:
“Why do you want to kill your baby? Give him to me. I’ll raise him and feed him. And moreover, I’ll take him at any moment, as soon as you say ‘I’ll give him to you.’ Just don’t kill him.”
I have just one rule:
You give birth, but don’t tell anyone you’re giving the child up. You breastfeed him in the hospital, and then we’ll quietly come for you in a car and take your child. Here’s my telephone number. If you change your mind we’ll bring him back, even to Vladivostok if you go there, so you won’t have to waste money on a ticket. If I deceive you, you can always “narc” on me: “This priest messed with my head. Here’s his number and address.”
You don’t need anything. I’ll give you money so you can recover!
So explain to me: why kill your baby? What’s the point here? You will have a sin on your conscience. You don’t know how old women (who had abortions in their youth) come and weep. Stand here, wait, here comes one now.
I’ll call you over—you listen to what she says, how she suffers now. And you’ll be suffering your whole life.
But here you’ll have a clean conscience. They used to bring them and throw them into monasteries, giving them over to be raised, or to childless women who never married. Just don’t kill your baby!
And as practice shows, once she breastfeeds, all calls stop.