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Author Topic: Abortion again?  (Read 30184 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« on: August 04, 2007, 03:16:14 PM »

This topic was split off from the discussion "Childfree Orthodox Christians" - http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12395.0.html.  Cleveland, GM

In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 06:49:47 AM by cleveland » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 04:10:32 PM »

In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.

Interesting that you should mention that.  (Also interesting that you fail to mention any Roman Catholic Countries where the same phenomenon is occurring. But, hey, you're not biased  Wink).  There was a story from about a week or two ago in Russia about a festival catered for young couples to get married and then proceed to designated tents to begin procreating.  The article can be found here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=471324&in_page_id=1770
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 05:48:11 PM »

Scamandrius, I'm sad to report that those countries I mentioned are soundly defeating even western Europe in the race to the bottom. Even Sweden has more than three times the number of live births as abortions. Can you imagine? In Greece and the rest, more children are murdered every year than born.

And I haven't made comparisons here until you brought it up. I would mention the (admittedly less grim but still terrible) statistics in western Europe to any married German or French Catholic who chooses to be "childfree" because of "overpopulation."
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 05:49:32 PM by lubeltri » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 05:54:20 PM »

Yes, the new Greek zeal to be more European is sad indeed.
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 06:47:17 PM »

Guys, as a person who grew up in the former USSR I can assure you that the sad frequency of abortions in Eastern Europe is a heritage that has a lot more to do with these countries belonging to the totalitarian anti-theist Soviet empire than with these countries being traditionally Orthodox. As for Greece, I am no authority there, I just don't know, but I do know about my native Ukraine as well as Russia and Belarus. It's Soviet legacy.
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 08:56:49 AM »

being 17 I do not see myself fit to participate in the discussion as I do not have the slightest bit of authority but I thought some posters might find this Orthodox icon of interest. It shows the tragedy of abortion.

http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/abortion3.html
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 01:01:28 PM »

Scamandrius, I'm sad to report that those countries I mentioned are soundly defeating even western Europe in the race to the bottom. Even Sweden has more than three times the number of live births as abortions. Can you imagine? In Greece and the rest, more children are murdered every year than born.

Sounds to me like we need to work on spreading the use of birth control in Orthodox countries, condoms are more cost effective and safer than abortion as a means of birth control...not that you Latins are being any help on that matter.
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007, 03:28:39 PM »

Baiting again? You can't be that bored, can you?
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 09:59:45 PM »

Baiting again? You can't be that bored, can you?

Well, I figured that were we going to play the blame game, we might as well get to the heart of the matter Wink
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2007, 10:06:43 PM »

Chuckle...
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 09:38:55 PM »

Quote
In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.

Iubitri,

You make a good point. I have asked this question several times without a good response.

It is time for the Orthodox church to be proactive on this issue. I think in recent times the church has been way too permissive with immorality amongst the faithful. When behavior like this gets swept under the rug, it sends a message to all that it is ok. It is like a cancer that spreads. The clergy need to step up.
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2007, 09:44:14 PM »

Guys, as a person who grew up in the former USSR I can assure you that the sad frequency of abortions in Eastern Europe is a heritage that has a lot more to do with these countries belonging to the totalitarian anti-theist Soviet empire than with these countries being traditionally Orthodox. As for Greece, I am no authority there, I just don't know, but I do know about my native Ukraine as well as Russia and Belarus. It's Soviet legacy.
George,

I always assumed this to be the case too from reports I have heard. Orthodoxy is not what causes women to have abortions. These appalling abortion rates are the continuing hangover of the communist era.

We need to realize the eastern European countries and Russia still need to be evangelized.

In Greece the problem may have to do with the church being subsidized by the government. Perhaps these subsidies lead to poor pastoring by unmotivated priests? Some friends of mine who grew up in Thessoloniki indicated something to that effect. They told me the Orthodox Christians they had met in the United States were more devout than the average Greek in Greece.
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2007, 10:10:15 PM »

Tamara, yes, that's exactly right. I remember very well how we all were brainwashed that fetus before its 4th month of life is not really a living thing. People used to believe it... you know, the way people believe that something is true because "the newspaper wrote about it," or that atoms are spherical and painted in red and blue colors because a chemistry textbook shows them that way.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 10:36:20 PM »

"It must be true.  I read it in a book." Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2007, 01:16:23 AM »

yes! lets compare the poverty stricken, former communist nations' abortion rates to  the wealthy, politically stable countries of west europe.
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 02:33:11 AM »

"It must be true.  I read it in a book." Cheesy

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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 03:14:48 AM »

Quote
In reflecting on this question, I cannot help thinking of countries like Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Greece, where there are more abortions than live births.

If this really is the case, it truly is troubling. It tells us that the Church has effectively lost its voice to be the culture changing institution that it’s supposed to be. I guess the Church for most people these days is a nice place to go to on Sunday for cultural events and good food after the liturgy. The clergy should do much more to discourage such evils from becoming common place and acceptable in society. Maybe these evils are taking place because they never care to really talk about such issues. I applaud the Roman Catholic Church for taking the issue head on and letting people know where they stand.   
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 09:21:37 AM »

If this really is the case, it truly is troubling. It tells us that the Church has effectively lost its voice to be the culture changing institution that it’s supposed to be. I guess the Church for most people these days is a nice place to go to on Sunday for cultural events and good food after the liturgy. The clergy should do much more to discourage such evils from becoming common place and acceptable in society. Maybe these evils are taking place because they never care to really talk about such issues. I applaud the Roman Catholic Church for taking the issue head on and letting people know where they stand.   


For the overwhelming majority of modern urban Ukrainians (especially in the so-called Velyka Ukrayina, which is all Ukraine minus Galicia/"Halychyna" and the Carpathians), the Church is not even that, but, rather, something to blast and curse for its dirty politicking, corruption and stupid obscurantism...
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 10:03:08 PM »

I have said for quite some time that the Church needs to maker herself relevant, and everyone accuses me of somehow being anti-christian and betraying the faith...and now everyone complains because no one listens to the Church...go figure Roll Eyes
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 11:31:01 PM »

"yes! lets compare the poverty stricken, former communist nations' abortion rates to  the wealthy, politically stable countries of west europe."

Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also former Communist nations. In Poland abortion is all but outlawed and the rates of the others are comparible to Western Europe. I agree with Tamara this is part of the hangover from Communism but I also believe it is also a part of the hangover from Sergianism.  It also points to the success of a pro-active stance against abortion.  The Orthodox Church in formerly-Communist Europe needs to step it up.

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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2007, 12:02:51 AM »

"yes! lets compare the poverty stricken, former communist nations' abortion rates to  the wealthy, politically stable countries of west europe."

Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also former Communist nations. In Poland abortion is all but outlawed and the rates of the others are comparible to Western Europe. I agree with Tamara this is part of the hangover from Communism but I also believe it is also a part of the hangover from Sergianism.  It also points to the success of a pro-active stance against abortion.  The Orthodox Church in formerly-Communist Europe needs to step it up.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Part of the difference, though, between those Orthodox nations invaded by the Communists and their Catholic counterparts is that the RC Church has a unified institutional structure and single human authority that transcends the local churches in the countries where they find themselves.  Regardless of what we Orthodox have to say about Roman Catholic doctrinal deviations and the canonicity of the territorial model of rule practiced by the Orthodox, we have to admit that as regards their stand against abortion, the RC churches in formerly Communist countries have a decided advantage in their ability to draw upon the guidance and strength of an ecclesiastical authority that stood largely outside the Communist bloc and did not feel the weight of its oppressive hand.

The Orthodox churches behind the Iron Curtain, localized as they were in their authority, didn't have this super-national bulwark.  They now have to recover from a situation where even their highest human authorities were beaten down and oppressed and almost squashed into oblivion.  How does a local church recover from such persecution when even the local Patriarchate has to struggle to reforge his identity and regain his spiritual authority?  To whom can the local primate turn for edification and wisdom when he has no human authority higher than himself to shepherd him?
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2007, 01:58:31 AM »

It is time for the Orthodox church to be proactive on this issue. I think in recent times the church has been way too permissive with immorality amongst the faithful. When behavior like this gets swept under the rug, it sends a message to all that it is ok. It is like a cancer that spreads. The clergy need to step up.
I agree 100%. As one who personally knows the horror of abortion, It's sickening to hear that countries who have been traditionally Orthodox have slipped into this demonic way of life. The blame can lie no where else but on the fat clergymen riding around in their mercedes, enjoying the best cigars and wines. Synogogues of Satan? How about the Churches of Satan!
 I understand that when a priest councels one who is confessing a sin, sometimes gentleness is more effective than sterness, but when your flock falls into error en masse, it's time to lay down the Law of God!
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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2007, 02:14:56 AM »

I agree 100%. As one who personally knows the horror of abortion, It's sickening to hear that countries who have been traditionally Orthodox have slipped into this demonic way of life. The blame can lie no where else but on the fat clergymen riding around in their mercedes, enjoying the best cigars and wines. Synogogues of Satan? How about the Churches of Satan!
Have you not been reading the replies on this thread to recognize just how simplistic and wrong your judgment is on this?  Do you not recognize just how successful Communism was at secularizing the countries where it was practiced?  How do you intend to help these nations recover their moral footing by pointing your finger at these "fat clergyman of the Churches of Satan"?

Quote
I understand that when a priest councels one who is confessing a sin, sometimes gentleness is more effective than sterness, but when your flock falls into error en masse, it's time to lay down the Law of God!
Is Your Grace going to take it upon yourself to go to these priests and tell them how to shepherd their flocks? Roll Eyes

Don't let yourself be so angered by mass abortions that you can't see straight.
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2007, 02:23:11 AM »

Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia are also former Communist nations. In Poland abortion is all but outlawed and the rates of the others are comparible to Western Europe. I agree with Tamara this is part of the hangover from Communism but I also believe it is also a part of the hangover from Sergianism.  It also points to the success of a pro-active stance against abortion.  The Orthodox Church in formerly-Communist Europe needs to step it up.

Yet abortion rates in traditionally protestant European countries are even lower than in Catholic ones (if Poland is excluded, since Abortion is illegal there and the statistics, which rely on documented legal, would be skewed based on their oppressive laws...if Poland were included, Abortion rates in Protestant and Catholic Countries would be comprable. I left countries such as Spain in my calculations, despite the fact that these statistics date from times when they too had rather oppressive laws relating to abortion (though not as bad as Poland's)). This topic peaked my interest so I ran some calculations, here is the break down of European Birth Control rates and Abortion Rates by traditional religion:

ReligionBirth Control RateAbortion Rate
Protestant7918
Catholic6820
Orthodox6245

They come out as inversely proportional; of course, the relationship is not linear, as the difference between Catholic and Orthodox Abortion Rates differs by more than one sees in the Birth control rates. However, the statistics do make a degree of sense in some other ways, approximately twice as many Orthodox potentially need Abortions (due to lack of Birth control) than Protestants, and thus the difference in Abortion Rate: approximately twice as much. Another factor that must be kept in mind looking at the data is marriage rate, the Birth Control penetration is calculated from Women who are either Married or living like they are Married; however, the Abortion rate has no such qualifier. The fact that the Catholic countries have the highest marriage rate and Orthodox countries the lowest (sorry, couldn't find enough data on this to calculate statistics) can be seen slightly skewing the statistics.

Now, of course, there is an overall governing factor behind this all, wealth. Protestant countries are more wealthy than Catholic countries are more wealthy than Orthodox countries; this, more so than any other single factor, is indicative of Birth Control Rates and as a result will govern Abortion rates (at least in countries that do not have oppressive laws in this regard).

I hate to burst everybody's bubble, but in the end it looks like the majority of the people really don't listen to the Church or care what it says, no matter what Church we're talking about.
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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2007, 02:26:45 AM »

I understand that when a priest councels one who is confessing a sin, sometimes gentleness is more effective than sterness, but when your flock falls into error en masse, it's time to lay down the Law of God!

Wonderful plan, we'll drive all young women who have abortions out of the Church and sit by and watch their disgusted families follow. Any other great plans? Perhaps we can also bolster our PR by resurrecting animal sacrifices? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2007, 02:42:13 AM »

Yet abortion rates in traditionally protestant European countries are even lower than in Catholic ones (if Poland is excluded, since Abortion is illegal there and the statistics, which rely on documented legal, would be skewed based on their oppressive laws...if Poland were included, Abortion rates in Protestant and Catholic Countries would be comprable. I left countries such as Spain in my calculations, despite the fact that these statistics date from times when they too had rather oppressive laws relating to abortion (though not as bad as Poland's)). This topic peaked my interest so I ran some calculations, here is the break down of European Birth Control rates and Abortion Rates by traditional religion:

ReligionBirth Control RateAbortion Rate
Protestant7918
Catholic6820
Orthodox6245

They come out as inversely proportional; of course, the relationship is not linear, as the difference between Catholic and Orthodox Abortion Rates differs by more than one sees in the Birth control rates. However, the statistics do make a degree of sense in some other ways, approximately twice as many Orthodox potentially need Abortions (due to lack of Birth control) than Protestants, and thus the difference in Abortion Rate: approximately twice as much. Another factor that must be kept in mind looking at the data is marriage rate, the Birth Control penetration is calculated from Women who are either Married or living like they are Married; however, the Abortion rate has no such qualifier. The fact that the Catholic countries have the highest marriage rate and Orthodox countries the lowest (sorry, couldn't find enough data on this to calculate statistics) can be seen slightly skewing the statistics.

Now, of course, there is an overall governing factor behind this all, wealth. Protestant countries are more wealthy than Catholic countries are more wealthy than Orthodox countries; this, more so than any other single factor, is indicative of Birth Control Rates and as a result will govern Abortion rates (at least in countries that do not have oppressive laws in this regard).

I hate to burst everybody's bubble, but in the end it looks like the majority of the people really don't listen to the Church or care what it says, no matter what Church we're talking about.
Where did you get your numbers, GiC?  You certainly didn't just pull them out of thin air, did you?
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2007, 08:22:30 PM »

Where did you get your numbers, GiC?  You certainly didn't just pull them out of thin air, did you?

I got the Contraception use data off a WHO website (tried to find it again, but I can't seem to right now) which provided an excel spreadsheet, which gave me the idea to run a few calculations, I found abortion rates from http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/wrjp333pd2.html and got abortion rates from there. Used flags to mark countrties on the spreadsheet as protestant, catholic, or orthodox based on the traditional religious affiliation of said country, I had to do a bit of extra research to get viable data on greece and russia, which were not included in the WHO data for some reason, then I calculated the weighted averages for abortion and contraception use based on population. Pretty simple mathematical exercise if you already have the data in a spreadsheet.

However, as a word of warning, something I noticed in the spreadsheet, I used the 'total' percent who used some method of birth control, this included 'traditional methods' (rhythm, withdrawal, etc) which are not very prevalent in protestant and catholic countries, but quite common (especially the withdrawal method) in the poorer orthodox countries. This would bring the data spread, as well as the ordering, into line between the two, if I have time I'll redo the calcs later.

When looking for the data again, I also came across this rather interesting article:
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/4/gr060407.html
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2007, 12:04:47 AM »

Quote
Wonderful plan, we'll drive all young women who have abortions out of the Church and sit by and watch their disgusted families follow. Any other great plans? Perhaps we can also bolster our PR by resurrecting animal sacrifices? Roll Eyes


I guess the church should have no moral standards and allow a libertine lifestyle amongst the faithful (pretty much adopt the unitarians belief system).

Abortion is a very serious sin and cannot be swept under the rug. The church needs to step up on this issue.
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2007, 12:30:54 AM »

I guess the church should have no moral standards and allow a libertine lifestyle amongst the faithful (pretty much adopt the unitarians belief system).

I do not suggest the Church have no moral standards, merely that she reevaluate and reconsider that which is and is not moral in the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization.

Quote
Abortion is a very serious sin and cannot be swept under the rug. The church needs to step up on this issue.

We all have differing opinions on this manner, but to attempt to dogmatize a pastoral issue is simply irresponsible. Whether or not it is a 'sin', per se, is not the issue...the real issues relate to psychological impacts and the most pastoral manner in which they are addressed.
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2007, 12:40:42 AM »

Abortion is a very serious sin and cannot be swept under the rug. The church needs to step up on this issue.
No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2007, 04:36:40 AM »

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I do not suggest the Church have no moral standards, merely that she reevaluate and reconsider that which is and is not moral in the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization.

How about in the context of traditional Christian moral theology? What do you mean by the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization? That sounds like a horrible way to find some kind of consesus or resolution to certain moral problems. That doesn't sound like the decision making of an apostolic church, but that of the United Methodist or ECUSA.

Quote
No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?

I don't think most of us are really saying that. What most of us are thinking is that there is a problem in the Church when they avoid or sweep certain moral issues (like abortion or fornication for example) under the rug. If the Church had a strong voice and it's members actually knew where it stood on these things, then maybe it would help encourage change for the better. I noticed the Roman Catholic Church has no problem doing this, why do our bishops and priest avoid such issues? 



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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2007, 11:47:14 AM »

You all, I grew up in the church and I can't recall any of my Orthodox girlfriends having abortions. Very few had sex outside of marriage except for those who were only loosely connected to church life. The women I met over the years who have had abortions have had no connections to any church and were very wild. I met most of these women at work and a few at school.
No priest ever had to lay the law down to me for me to understand that abortion was evil. This form of evil is so obvious one would have to be very ignorant or rebellious to believe abortion is benign. But many of our priests did speak to us about avoiding premarital sex and keeping our bodies holy. We had sessions on friendship, dating, and marriage that lasted a whole year in our parish. He included a discussion on abortion in these sessions. Other sessions were devoted to developing our relationship with God. By educating young people to have a prayer life and real relationship with our Lord the priest knew it would make it much harder for the teen to slip into sexual sin. The ones who did not listen were the ones who did not attend church or these sessions.

If an inquirer was new and had a sexually sinful history (including abortions) how would that person ever work up the courage to continue to attend church if the priest was always laying the law down on premarital sex and abortion? The church is a hospital and the priest is like a specialized surgeon. He must very carefully tailor and excise out the sin in each person's life through holy confession. At the general level, he can offer classes to the youth in his parish on how to conduct Christian relationships with one another but I don't see how laying the law down will curb evil behavior. Did fiery protestant preaching ever have an effect on curbing heavy drinking and alcoholism in the south? I believe that abortion rates are the highest among women of Roman Catholic background. But no one knows how active these women are in church. Many may be Roman Catholic in name only.


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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2007, 12:45:15 PM »

How about in the context of traditional Christian moral theology? What do you mean by the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization? That sounds like a horrible way to find some kind of consesus or resolution to certain moral problems. That doesn't sound like the decision making of an apostolic church, but that of the United Methodist or ECUSA.

Perhaps it is 'a horrible way', but considering the high abortion rate, commonplace fornication, gross alcoholism, and rampant corruption along with terrible poverty and low standard of living in Eastern Europe, we're going to have to say that your moral system has failed it's encounter with modern civilization...another must be considered. Continued stubbornness is not going to benifit anyone in the long run.

I don't think most of us are really saying that. What most of us are thinking is that there is a problem in the Church when they avoid or sweep certain moral issues (like abortion or fornication for example) under the rug. If the Church had a strong voice and it's members actually knew where it stood on these things, then maybe it would help encourage change for the better. I noticed the Roman Catholic Church has no problem doing this, why do our bishops and priest avoid such issues? 

Considering Catholic European Countries, on the whole, tend to be poorer and have higher abortion rates (by my calculations, at least, you are free to do your own, I'd be interested to see what you came up with) than Protestant ones, if we really want to improve things it would seem that we should emulate the manner in which the mainline European Protestants, not the Latins, address this issue, as they seem to be better at getting real results than the smoke and mirrors of the Vatican.
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« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2007, 01:37:00 PM »

I like what the Catholics are doing with Project Rachel and Project Gabriel. Also sorority houses for pregnant college girls where childcare duties are shared so they can stay in school, things like that. When I was Byzantine Catholic our priest was involved in that sort of stuff with good results.
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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2007, 02:59:18 PM »

Quote
I do not suggest the Church have no moral standards, merely that she reevaluate and reconsider that which is and is not moral in the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization.

How about in the context of traditional Christian moral theology? What do you mean by the context of the enlightenment and the progress of western civilization? That sounds like a horrible way to find some kind of consesus or resolution to certain moral problems. That doesn't sound like the decision making of an apostolic church, but that of the United Methodist or ECUSA.

Quote
No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?

I don't think most of us are really saying that. What most of us are thinking is that there is a problem in the Church when they avoid or sweep certain moral issues (like abortion or fornication for example) under the rug. If the Church had a strong voice and it's members actually knew where it stood on these things, then maybe it would help encourage change for the better. I noticed the Roman Catholic Church has no problem doing this, why do our bishops and priest avoid such issues?



First of all, I want to say: Nacho, that is the most awesome avatar I have seen in a long, long time! I absolutely love it. Scott Hall is just too sweeeeeetttt!

I agree with you that re evaluating morality based on the enlightenment is a horrible idea. It is heresy quite frankly. That kind of rational does not sound like the decision making of an Apostolic church, but more like a unitarian church.

Thomas,

The problem the Orthodox church is running into, especially in "Orthodox" countries, is that this type of immorality which is so destructive to the soul, is running rampant. As Jibrahil pointed out, it is one thing when the priest is dealing with an individual here or there, but when the masses are engaging in these kinds of behaviors, the church must deal with it because it has become like a cancer that has grown out of control and spreads. If it is swept under the rug and not dealt with, everyone will think it is ok. I do not think dealing with this issue will cause greater harm or drive women away. On the contrary, it will bring about the salvation of more people.

Quote
If an inquirer was new and had a sexually sinful history (including abortions) how would that person ever work up the courage to continue to attend church if the priest was always laying the law down on premarital sex and abortion? The church is a hospital and the priest is like a specialized surgeon. He must very carefully tailor and excise out the sin in each person's life through holy confession. At the general level, he can offer classes to the youth in his parish on how to conduct Christian relationships with one another but I don't see how laying the law down will curb evil behavior. Did fiery protestant preaching ever have an effect on curbing heavy drinking and alcoholism in the south? I believe that abortion rates are the highest among women of Roman Catholic background. But no one knows how active these women are in church. Many may be Roman Catholic in name only.

Tamara,

There is a time and place for everything. The clergy must use discretion when addressing these issues. The point is that it needs to be addressed more; especially in many of these Orthodox countries (like Romania for example which has more babies being aborted than being born). If nearly 90% of the population is "Orthodox", then it stands to reason the majority of the Orthodox women are engaging in abortion. Something must be done because whatever the church is currently doing is not working. I know you said you were taught that it was wrong growing up in the church; however, most of the ethnic Orthodox I have met (particularly romanians) have had a pre-catechumanent level of understanding about the faith (and these have been people who have grown up in the church!). The faithful must constantly be instructed in the ways of God (all the ways of God). The truth cannot be masked because it makes some people feel uncomfortable (heck, I feel uncomfortable quite often because of my sinfulness). 

Moreover, when clergy address these issues, it can be done in a way that is gentle and brings about repentance. I would expect that it would be done in this manner most of the time. Elder Cleopa of Romania said that there are some people, though, that a confessor has to be harder on because unless they are stern with some people, these people will not turn away from their sins.

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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2007, 03:01:48 PM »

ROMANIA HAS 70% ABORTION RATE

BUCHAREST, February 10, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A devastating abortion rate of 70% has, during the past 12 years, claimed the lives of the equivalent of one-third of Romania's stagnant population of 24 million people.

In 2002, there were 700,000 abortions accounting for well over two-thirds of the one million pregnancies recorded, both within marriage and extramarital. Canada's abortion casualty rate is closer to one-third.

Even in light of the staggering figures, Glasgow's Sunday-Herald spoke for Western media when the paper commented, "The transition for women from baby-producers to individuals in charge of their own bodies has been difficult. But now that the population fails to renew itself, the self-appointed guardians of the nation have swung into action," a dismissive reference to Romania's tiny pro-life movement.


Here is a link to the site

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/feb/03021005.html
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« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2007, 03:35:08 PM »

I agree with you that re evaluating morality based on the enlightenment is a horrible idea. It is heresy quite frankly. That kind of rational does not sound like the decision making of an Apostolic church, but more like a unitarian church.

Heresy? Could you please provide me with the Location, Date, and President or at least Patriarchal representatives present at this Synod? And I do presume you're at least refering to a synod of Imperial or Endimousa authority?

Different is not always heretical; the failure to recognize this by much of the hierarchy throughout history has perhaps been the greatest impediment to the growth and expansion of the Christian Faith.

The problem the Orthodox church is running into, especially in "Orthodox" countries, is that this type of immorality which is so destructive to the soul, is running rampant. As Jibrahil pointed out, it is one thing when the priest is dealing with an individual here or there, but when the masses are engaging in these kinds of behaviors, the church must deal with it because it has become like a cancer that has grown out of control and spreads. If it is swept under the rug and not dealt with, everyone will think it is ok. I do not think dealing with this issue will cause greater harm or drive women away. On the contrary, it will bring about the salvation of more people.

Cancer is perhaps a bad analogy, AIDS might be better; the kind of behaviour you mention does not merely attack society with the Church sitting outside of society like some external medicine. Rather, the Church is closer to the immune system, to expand on our disease analogy, and this behaviour attacks the immune system itself. The choices? Either fundamentally alter the immune system so that it becomes immune to the attacks of the 'virus' of this behaviour, or watch the immune system collapse in on itself attempting to fight off this virus.

ROMANIA HAS 70% ABORTION RATE

BUCHAREST, February 10, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A devastating abortion rate of 70% has, during the past 12 years, claimed the lives of the equivalent of one-third of Romania's stagnant population of 24 million people.

In 2002, there were 700,000 abortions accounting for well over two-thirds of the one million pregnancies recorded, both within marriage and extramarital. Canada's abortion casualty rate is closer to one-third.

Even in light of the staggering figures, Glasgow's Sunday-Herald spoke for Western media when the paper commented, "The transition for women from baby-producers to individuals in charge of their own bodies has been difficult. But now that the population fails to renew itself, the self-appointed guardians of the nation have swung into action," a dismissive reference to Romania's tiny pro-life movement.

Sounds like there were 700,000 unwanted pregnancies, the solution? CONTRACEPTION!!! If the Church wants to help the situation the solution isn't to start preaching, condemning, and dogmatizing, the American fundamentalists have been doing this for years and are nothing but the laughing stock of the world, the Church should start advocating the use of birth control, help women get the pill, provide condoms free of charge. If the Church took the initiative on this she would be hailed as a progressive, enlightened, and responsible institution and would have a real impact on the world around her.
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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2007, 03:59:48 PM »

Quote
Heresy? Could you please provide me with the Location, Date, and President or at least Patriarchal representatives present at this Synod? And I do presume you're at least refering to a synod of Imperial or Endimousa authority?

Different is not always heretical; the failure to recognize this by much of the hierarchy throughout history has perhaps been the greatest impediment to the growth and expansion of the Christian Faith.

The enlightenment is not the cannon or measuring stick used in determining morality for the church. That would be the unitarian church. If maintaining the true faith and holding on to Christian morality limits the expansion of the Christian faith, then so be it. If you want the church to change its morality and doctrine, then you would be better suited in an eastern rite episcopal church, united methodist church or even a unitarian church.


Quote
Cancer is perhaps a bad analogy, AIDS might be better; the kind of behaviour you mention does not merely attack society with the Church sitting outside of society like some external medicine. Rather, the Church is closer to the immune system, to expand on our disease analogy, and this behaviour attacks the immune system itself. The choices? Either fundamentally alter the immune system so that it becomes immune to the attacks of the 'virus' of this behaviour, or watch the immune system collapse in on itself attempting to fight off this virus.

Cancer is an excellent metaphor because it spreads, grows and kills. AIDS is a guaranteed death sentence. There is no cure. The Church is the hospital, and the patients must do what the Doctor prescribes in order to be healed. The church has prescribed the same treatment for 2000 years, and is not going to change. The problem we have right now is the patients won't listen or do what the doctors tell them to do and the doctors are not making clear and informing the patients of what their treatment is in many hospitals. The church doesn't need to change (although the clergy need to step up), the people do.

 
Quote
Sounds like there were 700,000 unwanted pregnancies, the solution? CONTRACEPTION!!! If the Church wants to help the situation the solution isn't to start preaching, condemning, and dogmatizing, the American fundamentalists have been doing this for years and are nothing but the laughing stock of the world, the Church should start advocating the use of birth control, help women get the pill, provide condoms free of charge. If the Church took the initiative on this she would be hailed as a progressive, enlightened, and responsible institution and would have a real impact on the world around her.


Since when did the church care if it was the laughing stock of the world?? From what I understand, Christians look foolish to world and the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. The church is also not Planned Parenthood. It is not in the business of handing out condoms, IUDs and birth control pills last time I checked. The church needs to continually teach the faithful how to live out a life of Patience, chastity, virtue and love. When the faithful live out the Christian way, then society is truly impacted. Salvation is in Jesus and no other. The more the faithful are in union with God, the more society will see the character of God. The prayers of a righteous man avails much.   


[edited name=Orthodox Bagpiper date=1186862494][/edited]
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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2007, 04:15:40 PM »


Tamara,

There is a time and place for everything. The clergy must use discretion when addressing these issues. The point is that it needs to be addressed more; especially in many of these Orthodox countries (like Romania for example which has more babies being aborted than being born). If nearly 90% of the population is "Orthodox", then it stands to reason the majority of the Orthodox women are engaging in abortion. Something must be done because whatever the church is currently doing is not working. I know you said you were taught that it was wrong growing up in the church; however, most of the ethnic Orthodox I have met (particularly romanians) have had a pre-catechumanent level of understanding about the faith (and these have been people who have grown up in the church!). The faithful must constantly be instructed in the ways of God (all the ways of God). The truth cannot be masked because it makes some people feel uncomfortable (heck, I feel uncomfortable quite often because of my sinfulness). 

Moreover, when clergy address these issues, it can be done in a way that is gentle and brings about repentance. I would expect that it would be done in this manner most of the time. Elder Cleopa of Romania said that there are some people, though, that a confessor has to be harder on because unless they are stern with some people, these people will not turn away from their sins.



I guess the point I was trying to make is that people need to be educated while they are young on issues of morality. I know the abortion rates are high in Romania and the other formerly communist countries. We have no idea how many Romanians are active Orthodox Christians who attend church. But I think you might be expecting too much from the churches in those countries. Think of the Orthodox church as crippled and still healing from communism and then I think you will begin to understand why the problems they have are so deep. Did you know we send missionaries and Orthodox priests from the United States over to Romania to help that church get back on its feet so that it can serve its people again? I would say if you are feeling deeply distressed about the sin happening in Romania you might want to open up your wallet and support our missionaries who work there or email Fr. Aris Metrakos. He is a Greek-American Orthodox priest who travels annually to Romania to help the Romanian Orthodox Church establish ministries for Romanian youth. You can contact Fr. Aris at FrMetrakos@orthodoxytoday.org.
I am sure he might have some ideas of how you could help out. He may even need you to join him on one of his annual trips if God is leading you that direction.
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2007, 04:30:12 PM »

The enlightenment is not the cannon or measuring stick used in determining morality for the church. That would be the unitarian church. If maintaining the true faith and holding on to Christian morality limits the expansion of the Christian faith, then so be it. If you want the church to change its morality and doctrine, then you would be better suited in an eastern rite episcopal church, united methodist church or even a unitarian church.

Your eastern rite episcopal church sounds interesting...unfortunately I do not know where to find one, so I'll just have to stick with the Greek Church. Wink

Quote
Cancer is an excellent metaphor because it spreads, grows and kills. AIDS is a guaranteed death sentence. There is no cure. The Church is the hospital, and the patients must do what the Doctor prescribes in order to be healed. The church has prescribed the same treatment for 2000 years, and is not going to change. The problem we have right now is the patients won't listen or do what the doctors tell them to do and the doctors are not making clear and informing the patients of what their treatment is in many hospitals. The church doesn't need to change (although the clergy need to step up), the people do.

AIDS is only a guaranteed death sentence until we can learn to genetically engineer a cure, we will have to create a means to alter the very genetics of the cells (or at least effectively cut genetic information out of a cell, and good progress is being made on this front: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2648728,00.html ). A similar method must be created for the Church to deal with the new realities of the world, we must learn to alter our very genome, our very dna, our very essence to adapt. Failure to do so is, as you said, a guaranteed death sentence.
 
Quote
Since when did the church care if it was the laughing stock of the world?? From what I understand, Christians look foolish to world and the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. The church is also not Planned Parenthood. It is not in the business of handing out condoms, IUDs and birth control pills last time I checked. The church needs to continually teach the faithful how to live out a life of Patience, chastity, virtue and love. When the faithful live out the Christian way, then society is truly impacted. Salvation is in Jesus and no other. The more the faithful are in union with God, the more society will see the character of God. The prayers of a righteous man avails much.   

I know very well that the Church IS not in the aforementioned business, but what I'm saying is that that is part of the problem, the Church needs to be in that business for her own good and for the good of the faithful. I am giving suggestions to help the world (and the Church) in real and tangible ways, you are giving suggestions that would drive the Church deeper and deeper into irrelevance and, for all intents and purposes, kill her.
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2007, 04:31:43 PM »

Tell it like it is, Tamara. You go, girl!
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2007, 04:52:43 PM »

I guess the point I was trying to make is that people need to be educated while they are young on issues of morality. I know the abortion rates are high in Romania and the other formerly communist countries. We have no idea how many Romanians are active Orthodox Christians who attend church. But I think you might be expecting too much from the churches in those countries. Think of the Orthodox church as crippled and still healing from communism and then I think you will begin to understand why the problems they have are so deep. Did you know we send missionaries and Orthodox priests from the United States over to Romania to help that church get back on its feet so that it can serve its people again? I would say if you are feeling deeply distressed about the sin happening in Romania you might want to open up your wallet and support our missionaries who work there or email Fr. Aris Metrakos. He is a Greek-American Orthodox priest who travels annually to Romania to help the Romanian Orthodox Church establish ministries for Romanian youth. You can contact Fr. Aris at FrMetrakos@orthodoxytoday.org.
I am sure he might have some ideas of how you could help out. He may even need you to join him on one of his annual trips if God is leading you that direction.

Tamara, that's great, but in Romania they at least have one Orthodox Church. I my native Ukraine it's worse because there are THREE, and they are all at each other's throats. To which one would you send money and missionaries?.. (Note that the only "canonical" one is, actually, a department of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, and the latter is, as one saying goes, a Religion Department of the Kremlin Cabinet of Putin.)
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« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2007, 09:18:24 PM »

Don't feel too bad, Heorhij - we've way many more than 3 Ukrainian churches in North America.
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« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2007, 01:24:49 AM »

No doubt she does.  I agree, though, with GiC that the issue of abortion is not merely a dogmatic issue where all we need to do is "lay down the Law of God," as Gabriel said earlier.  Abortion also causes great psychological issues that need to be addressed for the salvation of those involved.  We will only cause greater harm, possibly even drive women away from the medicine they so desperately need, if we do nothing more than punish them for the sin of murdering their unborn children.  Would you extend to them the cold backhand of strict legalism and condemnation when what they need most is tender mercy?
Brothers and sisters,
 First, I apologize for my strong wording earlier. When we feel so strongly about an issue, sometimes we can get a little militant. At least I can. When I said 'lay down the Law of God', I didn't mean punish the girls and women who are having abortions. I meant that the Church, through the local priests, must must must address this issue more vocally albeit in a loving manner. Education is key, and not simply Christian education, but secular as well. An unplanned pregnancy can be devastating, but young women and their parents need to know that it's not the end of the world. Local churches need to step up and provide help, not judgements, for these young women. 
 Listen, I know the psychological pain of having an abortion. I've seen first hand what it does to a young woman. Myself and ex-wife had one in 1996. It grieves me to no end to think of my little boy or girl who would've been 11 yrs old now. When my brother had his last child (a few years after our abortion and just before I became Orthodox), I thought my eyes would wash out for all of the crying I did. I almost literally lived in the Catholic church that was connected to the hospital. When I aborted (killed) my child, I killed a little piece of me as well. Brothers and sisters, I don't want to sound as if the women should be punished. Believe me, they're going through their own personal hell. When I say, "lay down the Law of God' I mean that more education needs to take place instead of judgements and turning blind eyes. The Law of God is more than commandments. The Law of God is more than admonishing us sinners. The Law of God is the medicine all of us must partake of in the spiritual hospital called the Orthodox Church. 
 As Christians, we have a responsibility to respond to this heinous practice with tough love. In America, we do this with our voice and our vote. As Christians, we tell people that we love them but that we cannot tolerate this practice. You cannot tell someone that you love them and remain silent when millions of babies are being slaughtered. Personally, I would like it if everyone liked me and thought well of me. But as long as abortion is legal, I'm going to be vocal about it and I don't give a flip if someone likes me or not because of my anti-abortion views. As long as the majority of people look at abortion as an alternative, I wonder how effective we're being?

 If Romania truly has a 70% abortion rate, then the Church has failed Romania. Period. What good are the priests? What good is any of the clergy? It's been almost 20 years since the fall of communism and the abortion rate is 70% Did you know that abortion was illegal during Ceausescu's time? And now it's 70%? 70%!!!Time to shape up, you fat roly-poly priests riding around in your nice cars on the way home to your big houses! These are priests who administer the blessed body and blood of our savior and they do nothing? I heard a Romanian priest in a documentary say about the orphans running wild in the streets "Oh well. They choose to live like that." Excommunicate that man! Run him into the Black Sea! He's the shepherd of souls and his attitude is as complacent as it can be! Throw them out! Romania must rid herself of these do nothing, rotten, no good posers!!!! An adult, much less a priest, has no right to make such a callous statement. Seriously people, for a country that's well over 90% Orthodox, a 70% abortion rate speaks volumes about the clergy and it ain't good news. I don't mean to offend anyone, but we gotta wake up here. This cannot become the norm. 
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2007, 01:56:51 AM »

Have you not been reading the replies on this thread to recognize just how simplistic and wrong your judgment is on this?  Do you not recognize just how successful Communism was at secularizing the countries where it was practiced?  How do you intend to help these nations recover their moral footing by pointing your finger at these "fat clergyman of the Churches of Satan"?
Is Your Grace going to take it upon yourself to go to these priests and tell them how to shepherd their flocks? Roll Eyes
First, I'm dissapointed by your sarcasm. Calling me names does little, if anything, in bringing me to your side of the topic. Not to mention that it goes against being a Christian.

Secondly, I made an educated observation and not a judgement. I have heard first hand, from Romanians, how the priests are corrupt. No doubt, not all priests are, and I realize that the communists 're-education' techniques were quite successful. But that was almost twenty years ago. AND, even during communist times in Romania, abortion was illegal. NOW, given those facts, I wonder what your take on the situation is? In a country that boasts of a 90% Orthodox and yet has a 70% abortion rate, that to me seems a bit contradicting, does it not? No, I can't tell the 'priests' how to shepherd their flocks, if that's what you call what they're doing. But the bishops can. At least they're supposed to. But at a 70% rate, someone's failing. And it's looking like it's the Church. I will obey the priests and bishops as long as it is prudent to do so and providing that they're giving me proper Christian education and counseling. Islamic clerics get blind obedience. We're not bound to follow a fool. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 02:00:19 AM by Jibrail Almuhajir » Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

"Yes, you are a white supremacist, ..."  ~Iconodule
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