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Aleksandra
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« on: February 01, 2008, 06:13:37 AM »

how do marriages among orthodox function?is the divorce rate as high as one  among other religious groups or they function better?
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2008, 04:23:25 PM »

Hey Alek!


Welcome to the Boards! I asked a similar question in my disobedience post today. I'll let you know if I get any bites! Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 05:42:00 PM »

I do not know the answer to Alexandra's question; however, I suspect it is nearly as high, among Orthodox in America, if "mixed marriages" are included.  A mixed marriage is a marriage between an Orthodox Christian and a Christian, who had been baptized with water, in the Name of the Holy Trinity, by a Christian clergyman, who is attached to a denomination which confesses the Holy Trinity. 

I am going to refer you to possible resources to assist with your inquiry.  Go to the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, goarch.org.  There is a department of church and family services (I don't recall the exact name).  I recall an article in the "Orthodox Observer," by the priest who is the director of this department, published a number of years ago.  In it, he analyzed the national divorce rate and explained that it isn't as high as is commonly interpreted.  He indicated that when the 50% rate was first publicised, probably -30- years ago, the analyst who promoted this rate, simply took the number of divorces for that year, which were half of the number of marriages for the same year, and used that number to determin the 50% rate.  This is an erroneous method, because it assumed that half of those who were married that year were divorced, using divorce statistics, that in actuality, were from marriages from various prior years.  Again, as I recall, he computed about a 30% real divorce rate, not that that is anything to be happy with.  The Yearbook of the Holy Archdiocese is also published on this website.  In a chart compiled by the department of Vital Statistics, the annual figures of the Marriages and divorces (through Spiritual Courts) are reported, dating back quite a few years.
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 08:19:12 PM »

If you look at the stats for Europe, between Orthodox, RC and Protestant majority nations, there is no real consensus.  Greece appears to have a lower rate, while Russia's is quite high.  On the RC end, Belgiums is high, while Italy's is very low.  And for Protestants, Sweden's is very high, while Denmark's is lower.
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 10:10:53 PM »

If you look at the stats for Europe, between Orthodox, RC and Protestant majority nations, there is no real consensus.  Greece appears to have a lower rate, while Russia's is quite high.  On the RC end, Belgiums is high, while Italy's is very low.  And for Protestants, Sweden's is very high, while Denmark's is lower.

Another thing to consider is cohabitation without marriage.  A high or low rate of that could affect divorce rate. 
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 10:43:07 PM »

how do marriages among orthodox function?is the divorce rate as high as one  among other religious groups or they function better?
I was married with my wife one month after we became orthodox and have found that our marriage functions well when we are practicing our orthodox faith.  There have been times that I dont think the marriage would have survived without the orthodox faith.  We both come from divorced families and modern American culture, so there are many things that have affected our psyche that I believe put us at a disadvantage.  The orthodox faith, the power of God, has helped us to work through these things.  A blessing.  By the mercy of God, so far we are doing better than our parents into the 14th year and are still married.  In the combined lives of both of our parents there were 9 marriages.  We are very worldly people, and have caused each other much pain and sadness.  In my experience, the key is to practice the faith and not just obtain the label.  This cannot really be measured statistically.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 12:33:50 AM »

Another thing to consider is cohabitation without marriage.  A high or low rate of that could affect divorce rate. 

Which could explain why Greece has a lower divorce rate; since the cohabitation rate is quite high people have a better idea of whether or not they want to stay together before getting married. This is probably a more significant factor than religion, as friul's analysis demonstrates that religion doesn't really change anything.
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2008, 12:57:10 AM »

Good cohabitation is essential.
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 01:17:17 AM »

Which could explain why Greece has a lower divorce rate; since the cohabitation rate is quite high people have a better idea of whether or not they want to stay together before getting married. This is probably a more significant factor than religion, as friul's analysis demonstrates that religion doesn't really change anything.

For all practical purposes a couple that cohabitates for several years and possibly even has kids is a marriage.  When they split up and go their separate ways, it doesn't "count" as a divorce as far as statistics go, but pretty much has the same effect on the parties involved.  And IIRC, couples that cohabitate tend to have a higher divorce rate (at least in the US). 
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2008, 01:21:52 AM »

For all practical purposes a couple that cohabitates for several years and possibly even has kids is a marriage.  When they split up and go their separate ways, it doesn't "count" as a divorce as far as statistics go, but pretty much has the same effect on the parties involved.  And IIRC, couples that cohabitate tend to have a higher divorce rate (at least in the US). 

Are you trying to imply that there are actually couples in the US who do not cohabitate before marriage? I would assume that most who fall into this category tend to be of the fundamentalist religious type, which would probably skew statistics. It's like comparing people who go to church a few times a year (probably a good representation of the population) with those who go several times a week (very specific group)...there are psychological factors beyond cohabitating or church attendance to consider...psychological factors that come with substantial negatives as well as a few (potential) positives.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2008, 01:27:16 AM »

Are you trying to imply that there are actually couples in the US who do not cohabitate before marriage? I would assume that most who fall into this category tend to be of the fundamentalist religious type, which would probably skew statistics. It's like comparing people who go to church a few times a year (probably a good representation of the population) with those who go several times a week (very specific group)...there are psychological factors beyond cohabitating or church attendance to consider...psychological factors that come with substantial negatives as well as a few (potential) positives.

Are you calling me a fundy?   Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2008, 01:30:38 AM »

Are you trying to imply that there are actually couples in the US who do not cohabitate before marriage? I would assume that most who fall into this category tend to be of the fundamentalist religious type, which would probably skew statistics. It's like comparing people who go to church a few times a year (probably a good representation of the population) with those who go several times a week (very specific group)...there are psychological factors beyond cohabitating or church attendance to consider...psychological factors that come with substantial negatives as well as a few (potential) positives.

I know a few here and there.  Even ones that aren't religious nutters.  Sometimes there is some happiness to be found in the old bourgeois morality  Wink 
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2008, 01:34:13 AM »

Are you calling me a fundy?   Tongue

I didn't call anyone a fundy, I said 'tend to be of the funda...' But, seeing how you're taking it as such, perhaps I should respond with the words of our Lord, though hast said. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2008, 01:37:00 AM »

I know a few here and there.  Even ones that aren't religious nutters.  Sometimes there is some happiness to be found in the old bourgeois morality  Wink 

By 'old bourgeois morality' I presume you mean keeping your fornication secret except amongst your friends, your adultery secret except from your best friend, and your homosexual behaviour secret except from your lover? Or perhaps this is just from the inherent confusion between bourgeois and aristocracy in America? Wink
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2008, 01:38:18 AM »

By 'old bourgeois morality' I presume you mean keeping your fornication secret except amongst your friends, your adultery secret except from your best friend, and your homosexual behaviour secret except from your lover? Or perhaps this is just from the inherent confusion between bourgeois and aristocracy in America? Wink

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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2008, 01:40:45 AM »

I didn't call anyone a fundy, I said 'tend to be of the funda...' But, seeing how you're taking it as such, perhaps I should respond with the words of our Lord, though hast said. Wink

LoL!  Touche.

I never knew cohabition was so common in the US.  Besides in Quebec (~30%) up here, it is still relatively low (~10%) in the other provinces.
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2008, 01:50:58 AM »

LoL!  Touche.

I never knew cohabition was so common in the US.  Besides in Quebec (~30%) up here, it is still relatively low (~10%) in the other provinces.

Well, in all seriousness, the rate's higher than that, but by no means is it universal...last time I heard a statistic for the US, about 60 percent cohabitate before their first marriage.
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2008, 06:52:10 AM »

one friend of mine was married,not orthodox wedding and now she is divorced.her man found someone else.she wishes to marry again,she would like to be married to an orthodox priest, but he could not be priest anymore if he would marry woman that was already divorced???or her ex marriage is not counted as marriage because it was not done in the church????how is it to be married to an orthodox priest at all?
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2008, 08:12:00 AM »

one friend of mine was married,not orthodox wedding and now she is divorced.her man found someone else.she wishes to marry again,she would like to be married to an orthodox priest, but he could not be priest anymore if he would marry woman that was already divorced???or her ex marriage is not counted as marriage because it was not done in the church????how is it to be married to an orthodox priest at all?

Hi Alexandra,

Here is some info about Orthodox clergy and their marriage:

http://www.holy-trinity.org/morality/synod-marriageandpriest.html

It does not actually say that a priest cannot marry a woman who has been divorced. It says only that the priest himself cannot divorce his wife except for the Scriptural reason of adultery, and that in the case his wife commits adultery and is making her offence known to the public (i.e. if it's not merely rumors), he MUST divorce her or else cannot remain a priest.

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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2008, 10:07:04 AM »

one friend of mine was married,not orthodox wedding and now she is divorced.her man found someone else.she wishes to marry again,she would like to be married to an orthodox priest, but he could not be priest anymore if he would marry woman that was already divorced???or her ex marriage is not counted as marriage because it was not done in the church????how is it to be married to an orthodox priest at all?

Heorhij had some very good info for you.  Additionally, an Orthodox priest or deacon may not marry after his ordination.  His no longer being a priest would have nothing to do with her being divorced and everything to do with him marrying after ordination.
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2008, 12:59:04 PM »

I know from several recent articles I have read, adultery and fornication are extremely high in many Orthodox countries. From a sociological perspective, it wouldn't surprise me to see a correlation of a high divorce rate in these countries as the "symbol" of marriage changes from a means of survival to the fulfillment of emotional needs (especially if a spouse can't remain faithful).
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2008, 01:34:40 PM »

one friend of mine was married,not orthodox wedding and now she is divorced.her man found someone else.she wishes to marry again,she would like to be married to an orthodox priest, but he could not be priest anymore if he would marry woman that was already divorced???or her ex marriage is not counted as marriage because it was not done in the church????how is it to be married to an orthodox priest at all?

There is a canon prohibiting a priest or his wife from being twice married, I can't recall which one off the top of my head and don't have my references on me at the moment...perhaps I'll look up the exact canon this evening if I remember. However, your friend has an out from this perspective; as the first marriage was outside the church it does not count as a previous marriage so this impediment is nullified. Of course, she would have to marry someone who has not yet been ordained but will be ordained after the wedding; while I know of a handful of exceptions were a priest was allowed to marry after ordination and retain his orders, they are rather rare and probably a trouble not worth pursuing.
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2008, 12:04:05 AM »

There is a canon prohibiting a priest or his wife from being twice married, I can't recall which one off the top of my head and don't have my references on me at the moment...perhaps I'll look up the exact canon this evening if I remember. However, your friend has an out from this perspective; as the first marriage was outside the church it does not count as a previous marriage so this impediment is nullified. Of course, she would have to marry someone who has not yet been ordained but will be ordained after the wedding; while I know of a handful of exceptions were a priest was allowed to marry after ordination and retain his orders, they are rather rare and probably a trouble not worth pursuing.
From the Apostolic Canons

Canon XVII

He who has been twice married after baptism, or who has had a concubine, cannot become a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the sacerdotal list.


Canon XVIII

He who married a widow, or a divorced woman, or an harlot, or a servant-maid, or an actress, cannot be a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the sacerdotal list.


Canon XXVI  (XXVII)

Of those who have been admitted to the clergy unmarried, we ordain, that the readers and singers only may, if they will, marry.


Source: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xvii.iv.html
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2008, 09:07:26 AM »

i think that everything is possible everywhere,wherever human beings are involved.just,everything  seems to be more difficult and complicated once one is entangled in some religious institution.religious institution could offer social life, a feeling of acceptance,being alive, giving something to identify with,...but once you think different, or just try to think loud, nothing is anymore the same...
core need for almost every individual is to be loved, just different people search for it on different places.and to find nowadays someone that is really human and loving, no matter where he is,or what he does is  really rare.there is no guarantee that marrying someone who wants to become priest would bring loving spiritual marriage...
sometimes we would all like to say out loud:where do good men/women hide? laugh
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« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2008, 07:38:40 PM »

So, having seen all this talk about cohabitation, does the Orthodox Church teach that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is a sin?  Over at CAF, where I used to post quite regularly, there were always many posters ready to jump in and defend the traditional moral teachings of the Church.  Dissenters were present, but it was quite obvious that their position on the issues was against that of the Church.  Over here on this forum..... Huh
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« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2008, 07:50:33 PM »

Despite the best efforts of some to obfuscate and confuse...yes, fornication is a sin.
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« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2008, 07:56:39 PM »

Despite the best efforts of some to obfuscate and confuse...yes, fornication is a sin.
Thank you, Father.  Very good to hear.  Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2008, 08:42:49 PM »

Over here on this forum..... Huh 

We've got plenty who hold the Orthodox view... but we do get fatigued from running in the same circle over and over again.

Can we create a "Hamster Forum" where we can stick those issues that keep getting brought up over and over again, in which we keep running in circles?
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« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2008, 05:24:02 AM »

Canon XVII

He who has been twice married after baptism, or who has had a concubine, cannot become a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the sacerdotal list.


Canon XVIII

He who married a widow, or a divorced woman, or an harlot, or a servant-maid, or an actress, cannot be a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any other of the sacerdotal list.

Since a man that has engaged in pre-marital relations cannot be ordained a priest, does this mean that his wife must also have remained a virgin until the marriage in order for him to be accepted to the priesthood?
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2008, 07:02:44 PM »

Just a thought, but has it been considered that, when discussing divorce rates in Orthodox countries, we are discussing those who are active in their Orthodox faith as well as those who are not?  It doesn't surprise me that the divorce rate is just as high in Orthodox countries, because there are just as many people in those countries who do not actively participate in their faith nor do they take advantage of the Church by actively participating in Her life?  I would venture to guess that, if you were to look only at people who actively participate in their Orthodox faith and in the church, the rates would be lower.  That's just a guess on my part, and probably a naive one, but has anyone seen statistics to that effect (or to the contrary, for that matter)? 

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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2008, 07:08:09 PM »

Since a man that has engaged in pre-marital relations cannot be ordained a priest, does this mean that his wife must also have remained a virgin until the marriage in order for him to be accepted to the priesthood?

Personally, I have no knowledge regarding this question, except to say that, when my husband and I married, we sought the blessings of our hierarchs, who knew of my husband's intent to seek ordination.  None of them ever questioned whether or not my virtue was still intact, so to speak.  I've never heard of a hierarch inquiring as to the wife's virginity before allowing a priest's ordination... has anyone else?

I am familiar with the canons posted above, regarding a man intent on the priesthood marrying a divorced woman, though. 
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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2008, 02:15:23 PM »

I was under the impression that a future priest may only marry a virgin. I have heard this many times, but unfortunately, have no sources to cite as evidence. I also do not feel there should be a double standard between clergy and laity in this matter. Sexual purity is surely expected of all who call themselves christians. I did not know that cohabitation is permitted by the Church. All priests with whom I have discussed this matter advocate only a biblical standard of sexual purity before marriage. This has nothing to do with "fundyism", but with obedience to Christ and the Church. If we love God, we will joyfully keep His commandments.
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2008, 02:36:58 PM »

I did not know that cohabitation is permitted by the Church.

It isn't.
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2008, 02:52:56 PM »

My husband and I dated for three years before we wed without fornicating or cohabitating. And we aren't fundies Smiley We both come from broken marriages and were terrified of having one ourselves. And I can honestly say that with the cloud of sex that dating relationship wouldn't have lasted more than a year or two. This coming New Years eve we will be wed 12 years and together 15 years. An even more astounding fact is that we didn't divorce after he return from a year long deployment. The divorce rate for Army or National guard soldiers is astounding.
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2008, 03:06:16 PM »

My husband and I dated for three years before we wed without fornicating or cohabitating. And we aren't fundies Smiley We both come from broken marriages and were terrified of having one ourselves. And I can honestly say that with the cloud of sex that dating relationship wouldn't have lasted more than a year or two. This coming New Years eve we will be wed 12 years and together 15 years. An even more astounding fact is that we didn't divorce after he return from a year long deployment. The divorce rate for Army or National guard soldiers is astounding.

Glory be to God! So many people do themselves a huge disservice by allowing themselves to become physically involved before marriage. It gets in the way of true discernment, blinding the parties involved to the very character and combatilility issues to which they should be alert.  This causes so many scars, not to speak of disrespect. Love can always wait to give, lust can never wait to get, as the saying goes.
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« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2008, 09:54:07 AM »

Glory be to God! So many people do themselves a huge disservice by allowing themselves to become physically involved before marriage. It gets in the way of true discernment, blinding the parties involved to the very character and combatilility issues to which they should be alert.  This causes so many scars, not to speak of disrespect. Love can always wait to give, lust can never wait to get, as the saying goes.

This sounds great, except some people, like yours truly, are deep neurotics since early childhood, neurotics in everything including (or maybe beginning with) sexual matters. My wife and I did have intimate relationships before me married, and - sorry, I know it sounds very heretical etc., - I think I in fact do not regret that we did. She had to get used to me. Again, at the age of 25, when we started dating, I was profoundly neurotic, I was what some learned people call "paraphilic." She discovered it before we married, and she still decided, very firmly, to marry me. I believe that spared her a terrible tragedy of being sorely disappointed AFTER the wedding. So, our cohabitation before the official tying of the knot actually strengthened our mutual commitment.
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« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2008, 10:51:43 AM »

This sounds great, except some people, like yours truly, are deep neurotics since early childhood, neurotics in everything including (or maybe beginning with) sexual matters. My wife and I did have intimate relationships before me married, and - sorry, I know it sounds very heretical etc., - I think I in fact do not regret that we did. She had to get used to me. Again, at the age of 25, when we started dating, I was profoundly neurotic, I was what some learned people call "paraphilic." She discovered it before we married, and she still decided, very firmly, to marry me. I believe that spared her a terrible tragedy of being sorely disappointed AFTER the wedding. So, our cohabitation before the official tying of the knot actually strengthened our mutual commitment.

I should probably correct myself: I do regret about what we did, but I believe that at the circumstances it was a "lesser evil."
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« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2008, 12:54:30 PM »

George, it is not in my place to judge, especially as, if I have correctly understood your posts in general, you and your wife were not committed Christians at the time ( if I am wrong, please forgive me). 

However, if a young person has committed his life entirely to following Christ and His precepts, then I believe he will do all he can to maintain purity in all his relationships. (I am only referring to relationships prior to marriage; I believe within marriage it is good and proper to fully care for each other's physical needs).

My priest has told me that the Church in no way approves of pre-marital sex, and the Bible calls fornication a sin-this is what I am going by.

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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2008, 01:12:35 PM »

George, it is not in my place to judge, especially as, if I have correctly understood your posts in general, you and your wife were not committed Christians at the time ( if I am wrong, please forgive me). 

However, if a young person has committed his life entirely to following Christ and His precepts, then I believe he will do all he can to maintain purity in all his relationships. (I am only referring to relationships prior to marriage; I believe within marriage it is good and proper to fully care for each other's physical needs).

My priest has told me that the Church in no way approves of pre-marital sex, and the Bible calls fornication a sin-this is what I am going by.



Of course, your priest is absolutely correct, and may God bless you on the good path that you have chosen. I just wanted to share my experience, without embellishing or reverting to slogans... Yes, we weren't committed Christians, and even now we aren't married in Church, so we are still co-habitating, although I want us to be wed in Church some day. If I were an Orthodox Christian back then, when I was 25... I don't know how my life would turn out to be. With my sexuality, I never fitted into a conventional scheme... I might have ended becoming a monk (and maybe a lousy one, burning with passion and wasting my life). As things stand now, I am absolutely happy with my mariage, my family life, except I feel bad about not having the Church marriage.
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2008, 01:29:23 PM »

Quote
... I might have ended becoming a monk (and maybe a lousy one, burning with passion and wasting my life)

Could you please clarify (unless it is too personal-in that case ignore this request!) what you mean by this? St. Paul says it is better to marry than to burn, so why would one become a monk if he did not have the gift of celibacy? Undecided To this day, I must admit, I am unable to understand the extreme demarcation held by some in the Church between monasticism and life "in the world". Surely it is possible to live a pure and holy life in "the world", in a happy marriage with a family?

Perhaps I differ from others, but I do not consider a couple married by the state to be merely "co-habiting". May God bless your marriage and family!
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2008, 01:57:01 PM »

Could you please clarify (unless it is too personal-in that case ignore this request!) what you mean by this? St. Paul says it is better to marry than to burn, so why would one become a monk if he did not have the gift of celibacy? Undecided To this day, I must admit, I am unable to understand the extreme demarcation held by some in the Church between monasticism and life "in the world". Surely it is possible to live a pure and holy life in "the world", in a happy marriage with a family?

Perhaps I differ from others, but I do not consider a couple married by the state to be merely "co-habiting". May God bless your marriage and family!


Thank you! These words (in your last paragraph) are a healing ointment on my wounded soul, and I am not exaggerating...

As for the clarification... You see, there are these boundaries, created God knows by whom and God knows for what reason, between heterosexuals and homosexuals. When I was a teenager, I was NEITHER. It's funny: when I was already a mature man and lived in the US, I heard one "liberal" American say, oh, it's so clear, it's so obvious, when you are growing up, when you are a teen, at some point, when someone asks you, would you rather see a bunch of naked girls or a bunch of naked boys (or, would you rather be in a room full of naked girls, or in a room filled with naked boys), what will you choose? And if you anser, "girls," you are a heterosexual, and if you answer, "boys," you are a homosexual, and that's what determines the rest of your life, and both paths are OK! I listened to that, and very vividly recalled myself when I was 14, 15, 16, 17... and on... and, in all honesty, I would say, right away, I don't want to be in either of these two rooms! I want to be in an entirely different, "third" room, the one you probably do not even imagine, do not even mentally conceive. And not because I am "righteous," but because what turns me on, erotically, is neither a female body, per se, nor a male body, per se... It's, actually, something entirely different, a product of my weird dreams that began to fill me when I was 4, and never left me over the course of my entire life.
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« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2008, 05:36:58 PM »

I wouldn't worry too much about not having had a 'Church Marriage', we didn't even have a service for marriage until the 9th century, previously it had been an entirely civil affair with the Church giving its blessing to the couple. Then, Leo VI gave the Church legal responsibility over marriage and a service was developed to fulfill legal obligations. Even today it's considered uncanonical to remarry an already married couple in the Church, regarless of the circumstances around their wedding, though it is done in the Greek Archdioceses in America, via economia, for certain practical reasons.
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« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2008, 06:02:41 PM »

I wouldn't worry too much about not having had a 'Church Marriage', we didn't even have a service for marriage until the 9th century, previously it had been an entirely civil affair with the Church giving its blessing to the couple. Then, Leo VI gave the Church legal responsibility over marriage and a service was developed to fulfill legal obligations. Even today it's considered uncanonical to remarry an already married couple in the Church, regarless of the circumstances around their wedding, though it is done in the Greek Archdioceses in America, via economia, for certain practical reasons.

That's very interesting information. Lately I have been studying the Jewish and EO betrothal/wedding rites, and am quite stuck by their similarity. I wonder if we borrowed some elements from the Jewish ceremony? It would be an interesting topic to study.

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« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2008, 06:09:47 PM »

Thank you! These words (in your last paragraph) are a healing ointment on my wounded soul, and I am not exaggerating...

As for the clarification... You see, there are these boundaries, created God knows by whom and God knows for what reason, between heterosexuals and homosexuals. When I was a teenager, I was NEITHER. It's funny: when I was already a mature man and lived in the US, I heard one "liberal" American say, oh, it's so clear, it's so obvious, when you are growing up, when you are a teen, at some point, when someone asks you, would you rather see a bunch of naked girls or a bunch of naked boys (or, would you rather be in a room full of naked girls, or in a room filled with naked boys), what will you choose? And if you anser, "girls," you are a heterosexual, and if you answer, "boys," you are a homosexual, and that's what determines the rest of your life, and both paths are OK! I listened to that, and very vividly recalled myself when I was 14, 15, 16, 17... and on... and, in all honesty, I would say, right away, I don't want to be in either of these two rooms! I want to be in an entirely different, "third" room, the one you probably do not even imagine, do not even mentally conceive. And not because I am "righteous," but because what turns me on, erotically, is neither a female body, per se, nor a male body, per se... It's, actually, something entirely different, a product of my weird dreams that began to fill me when I was 4, and never left me over the course of my entire life.

George, thank you for sharing that. I apologize for putting you in such an uncomfortable spot-please forgive me!  Truly, we as humans are very complex. I am so sorry to hear of your pain-but you know, lately I read somewhere an old saying: "The only truly whole heart is the one that is broken."  It's so paradoxical, but I believe there is a certain element of truth to it.
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2008, 08:20:13 PM »

Since there has been talk of fornication on this board, I thought I would include one of the Epistle readings for today regarding the subject


1 Corinthians 6:12-20  (Epistle)

12    All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
13    Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
14    And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
15    Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16    Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh."
17    But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18    Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

19    Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20    For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2008, 08:21:07 PM by Orthodox Bagpiper » Logged

Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!
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