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Author Topic: Orthodoxy's view on contraception?  (Read 25785 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #225 on: June 11, 2010, 09:21:07 PM »

Justifiable like whether I am justifiably not present for a liturgy?

"allows [nonabortive contraception] when it is for grave and justifiable reasons" I am trying to think of any time that would be the case.

I am also curious to know what was trevor72694's priest's view.

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« Reply #226 on: June 11, 2010, 09:27:32 PM »

Justifiable like whether I am justifiably not present for a liturgy?

"allows [nonabortive contraception] when it is for grave and justifiable reasons" I am trying to think of any time that would be the case.



Two examples from my own experience....

1.  Husband and wife are homeless and living on the streets

2.  Wife has already had five children and the gynecologist judges that carrying and birthing another one could be a serious threat to her life.
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« Reply #227 on: June 11, 2010, 09:32:10 PM »

A video clip of comments by Metropolitan Jonah on contraception

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thIzxgBw2xM&feature=youtube_gdata

I cannot see it because dial-up is too slow.

What is he saying?
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« Reply #228 on: June 11, 2010, 09:52:18 PM »

Justifiable like whether I am justifiably not present for a liturgy?

"allows [nonabortive contraception] when it is for grave and justifiable reasons" I am trying to think of any time that would be the case

Two examples from my own experience....

1.  Husband and wife are homeless and living on the streets

2.  Wife has already had five children and the gynecologist judges that carrying and birthing another one could be a serious threat to her life.

I.e. you can only have sex with contraceptives if it becomes life threatening or you have no financial means to raise kids.

If you are healthy and have financial means and want to have sex, you are going to make babies, 5, 6 .........

This is the caricature painted of the Catholic church, minus 2 tiny exceptions.
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« Reply #229 on: June 11, 2010, 09:53:51 PM »

A video clip of comments by Metropolitan Jonah on contraception

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thIzxgBw2xM&feature=youtube_gdata

I cannot see it because dial-up is too slow.

What is he saying?


I thought it was very good. He said very clearly that the Fathers were consistent in opposing birth control and contraception. He said that the Orthodox teaching on contraception is the same as the Catholic teaching, except that in extremely rare circumstances a married couple's spiritual father may permit the use of non-abortifacient forms of birth control. He said that married couples should welcome life and embrace children. Marriage is supposed to help us conquer selfishness, and having children is a great way to do that. He also rhetorically asked when birth control is ever an unselfish act. (I know that some people can make arguments for the use of contraception as unselfish, but in general it is mostly used for selfish purposes.) I liked what he said very much.


Selam

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« Reply #230 on: June 11, 2010, 10:05:28 PM »

The interview says:

Quote
We need to stand up for marriage between a man and a woman. We need to build families. The teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding contraception IS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. That is applied by a spiritual father in each specific situation it is not a blanket thing. The ideal for Orthodx is to have as many children as God opens us to. Every aspect of spiritual life is based on this one thing overcoming selfishness. Having kids is one excellent way to overcome selfishness. Contraception is wrong. However the Orthodox church doesn't have the same discipline as the Roman Catholic Church regarding it. It is up to the spiritual father. Normally the couple should be TOTALLY OPEN to the gift of receiving children. If you have already had 5 and you can't deal with more, then talk to your spiritual father and ask. Sex is the highest mode of communion between a husband and a wife. In other words, if contraception is going to be used, how can it be used unselfishly. [The voice intonation to me was not an agitated rhetorical question but a soft-ending statement that the main concern is how to use contraception unselfishly.] Morning after pill the church does not accept.

The statement suggested to me both absolutism where we should have as many kids as we practically can, and more reasonable and flexible, where a spiritual father can at least allow me and my wife to have sex using contraceptives if he chooses, and that having 5 or more kids already would be a good reason.

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« Reply #231 on: June 11, 2010, 10:31:27 PM »


He said that the Orthodox teaching on contraception is the same as the Catholic teaching,



Oh, I do hope he is wrong about that (**See below).  The Catholic teaching is a piece of esoterica which is quite ignored in the lives of the Catholic faithful.    It places them in a position of moral hypocrisy and of the possibility of damnation (since the teaching is that using contraception is per se an intrinsic evil and a mortal sin.)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reveals that it estimates that 97% of Catholic marrieds simply ignore the teaching and use forms of birth control considered gravely sinful by their Church.  A mere 2-3% are believed to use the Natural Family Planning method approved by the Catholic Church.

** The 2000 Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement on church life and morals and contemporary problems which includes a section on birth control.  Essentially is allows it under the conditions I outlined earlier.
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« Reply #232 on: June 11, 2010, 10:45:52 PM »

How seriously do we take this?




Interview with Michelle Duggar

http://www.lilsugar.com/Interview-Michelle-Duggar-Mother-18-Children-Part-I-2725840

Quote
The mom and dad took time away from their family to chat with me via phone about their new book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting!, and the topics — marriage, raising children, conservative values, financial freedom, and faith. After suffering a miscarriage, Michelle and Jim Bob, who are religious, chose to forgo the birth control they had been using and leave it up to God to decide how many children they would have. Aside from helping build the home they live in, the Duggar kids have been taught everything from plumbing to tile work and learned about politics while sitting in on committee meetings when their father was a state legislator in Arkansas.

The family has alot of money, a huge house, and alot of kids.
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« Reply #233 on: June 11, 2010, 11:23:54 PM »

I haven't followed this (or other "sexual") threads for a considerable time... Tonight, I glanced at this thread, and again, I saw this, "when it is for GRAVE (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) reasons..."

Ahhhh. YOU - whoever you are, - will judge, whether MY and MY WIFE'S reasons are "grave?HuhHuh?"

And who the... mmmm... you think you are?

Bishops? MONKS?HuhHuh

This will bury us (the Church), if we don't stop this.

Time to do something about this madness.



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« Reply #234 on: June 11, 2010, 11:37:57 PM »

I haven't followed this (or other "sexual") threads for a considerable time... Tonight, I glanced at this thread, and again, I saw this, "when it is for GRAVE (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) reasons..."

Ahhhh. YOU - whoever you are, - will judge, whether MY and MY WIFE'S reasons are "grave?HuhHuh?"

And who the... mmmm... you think you are?

Bishops? MONKS?HuhHuh

This will bury us (the Church), if we don't stop this.

Time to do something about this madness.

Please go back and read my post (post 224.)  I made it very clear that people are not obliged to consult their parish priest. I would say that most don't.  They make their own decisions.
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« Reply #235 on: June 12, 2010, 12:13:50 AM »

Please go back and read my post (post 224.)  I made it very clear that people are not obliged to consult their parish priest.

Your Post 224 says:
Quote
The above Orthodox Churches allow contraception when
2.  it is for grave and justifiable reasons [(you described this as extreme financial or life-threatening situations)]
4  it is used with the blessing of the parish priest or spiritual father or mother
.........(although this is not strictly necessary)

Fr Ambrose, You said the "The 2000 Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church statement on birth control" allows contraceptives under these conditions, but where does it say the parish priest's blessing for you to use contraceptives isn't necessary?

The OCA says:
"married people practicing birth control are not necessarily deprived of Holy Communion, if in conscience before God and with the blessing of their spiritual father, they are convinced that their motives are not entirely unworthy."
http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=147&SID=3


Metropolitan Jonah said "The ideal for Orthodx is to have as many children as God opens us to." What if I feel that God only opens me up to having 2 or 3 kids?

It sounds like I might be wrong: "If you have already had 5 and you can't deal with more, then talk to your spiritual father and ask."

This is the Dugan family model, where a strong, healthy, wealthy, homeschooling family believes they should have as many kids as possible because they can deal with them. And yes they are so able to deal with them that they can even homeschool them all.


http://blog.beliefnet.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/duggar/duggars3.jpg

Ahhhh. YOU - whoever you are, - will judge, whether MY and MY WIFE'S reasons are "grave?HuhHuh?"

And who the... mmmm... you think you are?

Bishops? MONKS?HuhHuh

This will bury us (the Church), if we don't stop this.

Time to do something about this madness.


Yes I am trying to emphasize the more extreme parts, but it does sound this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47P59ha9k9s

Please tell me this is very inaccurate.
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« Reply #236 on: June 12, 2010, 12:25:38 AM »

There is a consensus among the Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian and Antiochian Churches (I cannot speak for the other Churches since I have never had the opportunity to become acquainted with their teaching on this matter.)

The above Orthodox Churches allow contraception when

1.  it is non-abortive

2.  it is for grave and justifiable reasons

3.  it is for a limited time
.........(although health consideration may influence this)

4  it is used with the blessing of the parish priest or spiritual father or mother
.........(although this is not strictly necessary)

Fr Ambrose
Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad)


I'm curious to see where this information has been posted on an official Web site of one of these churches.
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« Reply #237 on: June 12, 2010, 12:39:17 AM »

There is a consensus among the Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian and Antiochian Churches (I cannot speak for the other Churches since I have never had the opportunity to become acquainted with their teaching on this matter.)

The above Orthodox Churches allow contraception when

1.  it is non-abortive

2.  it is for grave and justifiable reasons

3.  it is for a limited time
.........(although health consideration may influence this)

4  it is used with the blessing of the parish priest or spiritual father or mother
.........(although this is not strictly necessary)

Fr Ambrose
Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad)


I'm curious to see where this information has been posted on an official Web site of one of these churches.

Dear Peter,

As I have shared, this is what I know from personal acquaintance with brother priests of the Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian  and Antiochian Churches.  I have not looked for it on websites but I would also like to see what is on the Net. For example, although Metropolitan Jonah commences with a confusing statement that Orthodox teaching is the same as Catholicism, he then proceeds to nuance it by saying the "discipline" for the Orthodox is different and he appears to end up with what I have written.   But if people are in doubt about what I have written, and how to understand the Metropolotan, and if it impacts their conjugal life they really must check it out with their priest or their bishop.
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« Reply #238 on: June 12, 2010, 12:50:42 AM »

Fr. Ambrose:

Thank you for pointing to the Millenial Synod Statement.

It goes a long way to give the priest discretion, especially where some people don't have the demands of continence. But I am confused about the difference between egoistical and nonegoistical refusal of childbirth? I assume this means sex with the person where there is no love.

Quote
The deliberate refusal of childbirth on egoistic grounds devalues marriage and is a definite sin. At the same time, spouses are responsible before God for the comprehensive upbringing of their children. One of the ways to be responsible for their birth is to restrain themselves from sexual relations for a time. However, Christian spouses should remember the words of St. Paul addressed to them: «Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency» (1 Cor. 7:5). Clearly, spouses should make such decisions mutually on the counsel of their spiritual father. The latter should take into account, with pastoral prudence, the concrete living conditions of the couple, their age, health, degree of spiritual maturity and many other circumstances. In doing so, he should distinguish those who can hold the high demands of continence from those to whom it is not given (Mt. 19:11), taking care above all of the preservation and consolidation of the family.
http://www.mospat.ru/en/documents/social-concepts/xii/

It sounds like the magic number 5 is Metr. Jonah's personal advice, the wiki source you cited sounds good, Fr. Ambrose.
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« Reply #239 on: June 12, 2010, 12:54:14 AM »

There is a consensus among the Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian and Antiochian Churches (I cannot speak for the other Churches since I have never had the opportunity to become acquainted with their teaching on this matter.)

The above Orthodox Churches allow contraception when

1.  it is non-abortive

2.  it is for grave and justifiable reasons

3.  it is for a limited time
.........(although health consideration may influence this)

4  it is used with the blessing of the parish priest or spiritual father or mother
.........(although this is not strictly necessary)

Fr Ambrose
Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad)


I'm curious to see where this information has been posted on an official Web site of one of these churches.

From orthodoxwiki

"There are those who teach that non-abortifacient contraception is acceptable if it is used with the blessing of one's spiritual father, and if it is not used simply to avoid having children for purely selfish reasons. The statement on marriage and family from the 10th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America follows along these lines, as does "The Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church," section XII. 3, which was approved by the 2000 Council of the Russian Orthodox Church"

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« Reply #240 on: June 12, 2010, 12:58:12 AM »

Please go back and read my post (post 224.)  I made it very clear that people are not obliged to consult their parish priest.

Your Post 224 says:
Quote
The above Orthodox Churches allow contraception when
2.  it is for grave and justifiable reasons [(you described this as extreme financial or life-threatening situations)]
4  it is used with the blessing of the parish priest or spiritual father or mother
.........(although this is not strictly necessary)

Fr Ambrose, You said the "The 2000 Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church statement on birth control" allows contraceptives under these conditions, but where does it say the parish priest's blessing for you to use contraceptives isn't necessary?

The majority of Orthodox couples do not discuss contraception with their parish priest nor ask his blessing.  It is just a fact of parish life.
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« Reply #241 on: June 12, 2010, 01:04:06 AM »

Those who oppose life oppose themselves. Some rejoice in material things, but I rejoice in my offspring. Every time we've been pregnant, certain people cast their negativity and discouragement against us. But God has the last laugh. It ain't easy, but I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the world. So go ahead and enslave yourselves to prophylactics, poisons, and pills. It's your choice; and I'm sure you can always find a Priest to give you his "blessing." But we reap what we sow, and you won't reap fruit if you don't sow seeds. Waste away in your barren desert if you so choose. But I'm telling you, these garden delights sure are sweet. Glory to God! More Life!


Selam
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« Reply #242 on: June 12, 2010, 01:09:23 AM »

Those who oppose life oppose themselves. Some rejoice in material things, but I rejoice in my offspring. Every time we've been pregnant, certain people cast their negativity and discouragement against us. But God has the last laugh. It ain't easy, but I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the world. So go ahead and enslave yourselves to profalactics, poisons, and pills. It's your choice; and I'm sure you can always find a Priest to give you his "blessing." But we reap what we sow, and you won't reap fruit if you don't sow seeds. Waste away in your barren desert if you so choose. But I'm telling you, these garden delights sure are sweet. Glory to God! More Life!


Selam

May your children outnumber the Duggars! 

Imagine if all our Orthodox families could be like them.  In no time we would loose our anxiety in Western Europe and Eastern Europe about being outbred by Muslims and in no time at all we would be buying up all the empty Catholic churches throughout the land.
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« Reply #243 on: June 12, 2010, 01:17:20 AM »

Those who oppose life oppose themselves. Some rejoice in material things, but I rejoice in my offspring. Every time we've been pregnant, certain people cast their negativity and discouragement against us. But God has the last laugh. It ain't easy, but I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the world. So go ahead and enslave yourselves to profalactics, poisons, and pills. It's your choice; and I'm sure you can always find a Priest to give you his "blessing." But we reap what we sow, and you won't reap fruit if you don't sow seeds. Waste away in your barren desert if you so choose. But I'm telling you, these garden delights sure are sweet. Glory to God! More Life!


Selam

May your children outnumber the Duggars! 

Imagine if all our Orthodox families could be like them.  In no time we would loose our anxiety in Western Europe and Eastern Europe about being outbred by Muslims and in no time at all we would be buying up all the empty Catholic churches throughout the land.

Thank you brother!


Selam
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« Reply #244 on: June 12, 2010, 01:24:25 AM »

In practical terms it would be good for some communities. But I don't like setting 5 or more kids as an absolute rule for everyone everywhere. I think some places in Africa probably have overbreeding problems, with all due respect, in the sense that people are starving because they are very poor and don't have much food. An Ethiopian girl told me this was just propaganda by the Ethiopian government to get money, but I think there is probably some truth to it from the pictures I saw.

And if not, then I still admit the possibility that overbreeding could happen. Rabbits in Australia overbreed.


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« Reply #245 on: June 12, 2010, 01:29:59 AM »

In practical terms it would be good for some communities. But I don't like setting 5 or more kids as an absolute rule for everyone everywhere. I think some places in Asia and Africa do have overbreeding problems, with all due respect.

Yeah, I would never say anyone has to have a certain amount of children. But I just fight down the demonic philosophies and practices that oppose, negate, or prevent life. I also have to respectfully say that I don't subscribe to the "overpopulation" and "overbreeding" propaganda. Humanbeings are not vermin that must be controlled, in spite of Margaret Sanger's tragically effective efforts to convince society otherwise.


Selam
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« Reply #246 on: June 19, 2010, 02:23:20 AM »

May you have a happy family!

-Hal
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« Reply #247 on: June 21, 2010, 11:41:50 AM »

A friend of mind who is a pious Greek and  well acquainted with the ancient and modern fathers says that, in Greece, at least, those who use birth control are only allowed to commune at most four times a year--Christmas, Pascha, Dormition, and one other feast I don't remember which.
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« Reply #248 on: June 21, 2010, 11:51:09 AM »

What if an Orthodox couple decide to have 1 or 2 children, and then remain celibate, all without using birth-control?
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« Reply #249 on: June 21, 2010, 12:05:15 PM »

There's no law against abstention, as long as both parties agree.
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« Reply #250 on: June 21, 2010, 12:40:00 PM »

The more traditional Orthodox-i.e. uninfected by modern or Protestant ideas- classify contraception as a sin. I'm thinking of Fr. Cleopa, for instance.
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« Reply #251 on: June 21, 2010, 12:50:01 PM »

But soon there won't be enough food to feed everyone.  Millions will starve to death.  Could someone please point to me how such an action is "life-affirming"?

Not to mention that it would be cruel and foolish to try to raise eight children on 8 bucks an hour (yes, I know there's a lot of socio-economic elitism in the Orthodox Church, but some of us actually DO work for a living.)
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« Reply #252 on: June 21, 2010, 12:56:48 PM »

I know there's a lot of socio-economic elitism in the Orthodox Church....
There is?
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« Reply #253 on: June 21, 2010, 01:00:05 PM »

Big time.  I've noticed that if you're not a doctor or a lawyer, then you're pretty much viewed as a scumbag.  At least the Orthodox Churches around where I live.
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« Reply #254 on: June 21, 2010, 01:02:08 PM »

Big time.  I've noticed that if you're not a doctor or a lawyer, then you're pretty much viewed as a scumbag.  At least the Orthodox Churches around where I live.
Must be an immigrant thing.
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« Reply #255 on: June 21, 2010, 01:05:27 PM »

I better give forums a rest for a couple days.  I'm starting to het onery. Huh
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« Reply #256 on: June 21, 2010, 01:06:56 PM »

Big time.  I've noticed that if you're not a doctor or a lawyer, then you're pretty much viewed as a scumbag.  At least the Orthodox Churches around where I live.
Must be an immigrant thing.
So, you think most immigrants are lawyers and doctors? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #257 on: June 21, 2010, 01:22:08 PM »

Big time.  I've noticed that if you're not a doctor or a lawyer, then you're pretty much viewed as a scumbag.  At least the Orthodox Churches around where I live.
Must be an immigrant thing.
So, you think most immigrants are lawyers and doctors? Roll Eyes
Only if they've gone to law or med school. Wink
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« Reply #258 on: June 21, 2010, 01:57:21 PM »

A friend of mind who is a pious Greek and  well acquainted with the ancient and modern fathers says that, in Greece, at least, those who use birth control are only allowed to commune at most four times a year--Christmas, Pascha, Dormition, and one other feast I don't remember which.

Why would they advertise their use of birth control? I think that's silly.
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« Reply #259 on: June 21, 2010, 01:58:50 PM »

In practical terms it would be good for some communities. But I don't like setting 5 or more kids as an absolute rule for everyone everywhere. I think some places in Africa probably have overbreeding problems, with all due respect, in the sense that people are starving because they are very poor and don't have much food. An Ethiopian girl told me this was just propaganda by the Ethiopian government to get money, but I think there is probably some truth to it from the pictures I saw.

And if not, then I still admit the possibility that overbreeding could happen. Rabbits in Australia overbreed.




I think I am less concerned about overbreeding than about the members of the couple who has many children not realizing their talents because of the heavy burden of supporting their children.
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« Reply #260 on: June 21, 2010, 02:00:58 PM »

I think we've got a lot of misperceptions going on. As for the Malthusian overpopulation craze, that idea is on the wane. The birth rates of industrialized nations are in decline and more recent stats show that countries with large populations have stabilized. While there have been local famines and shortages, globally more food is produced than can be consumed. There are many factors at work, here--subsidies, unforeseen consequences of regional and global trade agreements, education, rise in the standard of living globally, etc.

I think what is the key issue here, with contraception, is that the primary purpose of sex is the creation of children. There's no law against sexual abstinence, but it is a matter of grave concern if a couple wants to have the sex without having the children. And there are many reasons to have children, and as many as God gives.

As for socio-economic elitism in Orthodoxy, this is utterly ridiculous. There's no more of it in Orthodoxy than anywhere else in America. Perhaps it is an American problem, but I think that view would be less than accurate and certainly not generous.
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« Reply #261 on: June 21, 2010, 02:03:18 PM »

A friend of mind who is a pious Greek and  well acquainted with the ancient and modern fathers says that, in Greece, at least, those who use birth control are only allowed to commune at most four times a year--Christmas, Pascha, Dormition, and one other feast I don't remember which.

Why would they advertise their use of birth control? I think that's silly.

They confess this to their spiritual father. The rule is pretty standard and traditional there, at least.
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« Reply #262 on: June 21, 2010, 03:11:55 PM »

There's no law against sexual abstinence, but it is a matter of grave concern if a couple wants to have the sex without having the children.

Why? Whose concern?

And there are many reasons to have children, and as many as God gives.

Does God give children?

Aren't there much more compelling reasons to have few children (1-2), and provide for them well, and also - very importantly - develop your own talents, for both the man and the woman, rather than spending all your time on the children and yet failing to really provide for them at the end?
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« Reply #263 on: June 21, 2010, 03:13:58 PM »

A friend of mind who is a pious Greek and  well acquainted with the ancient and modern fathers says that, in Greece, at least, those who use birth control are only allowed to commune at most four times a year--Christmas, Pascha, Dormition, and one other feast I don't remember which.

Why would they advertise their use of birth control? I think that's silly.

They confess this to their spiritual father. The rule is pretty standard and traditional there, at least.

What else do they confess?

If I had concerns about using contraceptives, I would ask Fr. Chris's blessing. But I DO NOT have any concerns. So I would consider it utterly stupid and inhumane to load him with "problems" like my use of this and that in the bedroom...
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« Reply #264 on: June 21, 2010, 03:18:51 PM »

There's no law against sexual abstinence, but it is a matter of grave concern if a couple wants to have the sex without having the children.

Why? Whose concern?

And there are many reasons to have children, and as many as God gives.

Does God give children?

Aren't there much more compelling reasons to have few children (1-2), and provide for them well, and also - very importantly - develop your own talents, for both the man and the woman, rather than spending all your time on the children and yet failing to really provide for them at the end?


The concern is pastoral, and a concern of the Church.

The Scriptures say that children are a gift of God.
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« Reply #265 on: June 21, 2010, 03:21:05 PM »

A friend of mind who is a pious Greek and  well acquainted with the ancient and modern fathers says that, in Greece, at least, those who use birth control are only allowed to commune at most four times a year--Christmas, Pascha, Dormition, and one other feast I don't remember which.

Why would they advertise their use of birth control? I think that's silly.

They confess this to their spiritual father. The rule is pretty standard and traditional there, at least.

What else do they confess?

If I had concerns about using contraceptives, I would ask Fr. Chris's blessing. But I DO NOT have any concerns. So I would consider it utterly stupid and inhumane to load him with "problems" like my use of this and that in the bedroom...

It's a matter of conscience. Maybe their spiritual fathers ask them. I don't know. As for what you do, personally, that's for your conscience. As I see it, the thread is about the teaching of the Church, not about what individuals do.
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« Reply #266 on: June 21, 2010, 03:34:50 PM »

I think we've got a lot of misperceptions going on. As for the Malthusian overpopulation craze, that idea is on the wane. The birth rates of industrialized nations are in decline and more recent stats show that countries with large populations have stabilized. While there have been local famines and shortages, globally more food is produced than can be consumed. There are many factors at work, here--subsidies, unforeseen consequences of regional and global trade agreements, education, rise in the standard of living globally, etc.

I think what is the key issue here, with contraception, is that the primary purpose of sex is the creation of children. There's no law against sexual abstinence, but it is a matter of grave concern if a couple wants to have the sex without having the children. And there are many reasons to have children, and as many as God gives.

As for socio-economic elitism in Orthodoxy, this is utterly ridiculous. There's no more of it in Orthodoxy than anywhere else in America. Perhaps it is an American problem, but I think that view would be less than accurate and certainly not generous.

I doubt that your use of words like "Malthusianism" is going to garner as high as an opinion of you as you have of your own self.
 

You're absolutely wrong that elitism is no more of a problem in Orthodoxy than anywhere else.  I have been attending churches of all shapes and sizes since I was a zygote.  And I have NEVER encountered ANY elitism of ANY sort until I walked into an Orthodox Church.  But my guess is that you yourself are a wealthy professional (judging by your readily apparent pomp and pretense) and therefore wouldn't notice.

And, per
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« Reply #267 on: June 21, 2010, 03:42:48 PM »

Again, the misperceptions.
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« Reply #268 on: June 21, 2010, 03:49:37 PM »

I think we've got a lot of misperceptions going on. As for the Malthusian overpopulation craze, that idea is on the wane. The birth rates of industrialized nations are in decline and more recent stats show that countries with large populations have stabilized. While there have been local famines and shortages, globally more food is produced than can be consumed. There are many factors at work, here--subsidies, unforeseen consequences of regional and global trade agreements, education, rise in the standard of living globally, etc.

Yes, food can be pretty readily produced with modern agriculture, food shortages are only a concern in the third world; but it's hardly the only resource of concern. The one of most concern that pops into my mind is energy. We can barely keep up with the energy demands of modern society and more people use more energy resources as readily as they use more food. In fact, starvation in the third world can probably be attributed more to energy shortages than food shortages. We produce enough food to feed the world, but the cost of transporting it from, say, the United States, the number one exporter of agricultural products, to Africa is prohibitive, especially when people in Africa can't afford to pay for the food. Recently, when oil went up to nearly $150 a barrel, an estimated million people starved to death because the UN had to reduce food shipments due to budgetary concerns.

Instability in the petroleum market has hardly helped things, it may lead to the development of renewable energy, but those forms of energy are even more expensive. We can talk about reducing energy usage, but any meaningful restrictions would stifle the economy and lead to even greater problems. The fact is that energy is a limited resource that our society relies upon and it being stretched to the limit because there are too many people: overpopulation.

Families that have too many kids may have to rely on the government to help support them, thus causing economic injury to the rest of society. Kids may be denied educational opportunities because their parents have too many children and cannot afford to help them; this reduces their overall earning potential and reduces their potential contribution to our economy. Jobs are also limited, some may expand with the population, but jobs such as mining, farming, fishing, and most jobs that deal with the acquisition of raw materials (which, with the exception of farming, tend to be some of the better blue collared jobs) are limited not by the overall population but by the availability of a specific resource. And many industrial jobs can also be limited by the availability of these resources.

Combine this with the increasing automation of many industries, the demand for labour itself, the demand for extra people, is greatly diminishing (consider how many people today are required to farm ten thousand acres of corn compared to farming the same amount 150 years ago). In some fields, a couple people today can do the work that would require thousands two hundred years ago.

At the end of the day, there are many limited resources, not just food, and they all must be taken into account in considering a sustainable population. And despite the problems with decreasing a population (disproportionate costs to care for the elderly, restructuring economies to work more efficiently), in some instances it's more than worth the temporary difficulties. The United States may be sustainable with 300 million people, though we'd probably all have a higher standard of living if the population were half that, and I question if it's sustainable with 600 million people. Countries like China are not sustainable with their current population, in a country with some of the most fertile land on earth, they still struggle to fight off starvation in some of the poorer regions. The Netherlands has reclaimed a quarter of their country from the Sea, but land is still a scarce resource causing cramped and overpriced living conditions, their current population is barely sustainable, population growth would not be.

Quote
I think what is the key issue here, with contraception, is that the primary purpose of sex is the creation of children. There's no law against sexual abstinence, but it is a matter of grave concern if a couple wants to have the sex without having the children. And there are many reasons to have children, and as many as God gives.

As for socio-economic elitism in Orthodoxy, this is utterly ridiculous. There's no more of it in Orthodoxy than anywhere else in America. Perhaps it is an American problem, but I think that view would be less than accurate and certainly not generous.

Why does this make a certain song from Monte Python's The Meaning of Life pop into my head? Now I'm stuck with it...thanks a lot...Wink
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« Reply #269 on: June 21, 2010, 04:20:57 PM »

The concern is pastoral, and a concern of the Church.

Does it mean that every priest must actively ask his spiritual children, do they use contraceptives or not?

The Scriptures say that children are a gift of God.

So is food, but it is still up to you how much of it to eat. Smiley
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