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Author Topic: Orthodoxy and Abortion  (Read 55007 times) Average Rating: 1
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« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2008, 04:13:33 AM »

With all due respects, Father, citing your own posts on other fora isn't proper evidence to support your claim that Patriarch Bartholomew is pro-choice.  You really need to post a link to the news article you quoted in those posts so we can cross-reference your citation.

In addition (putting on my moderator's hat here), many of our posters honor Patriarch Bartholomew as His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.  I will permit you on the Faith board to accuse him of being pro-choice, even if you can't back this up with proper evidence, but to call him evil is an ad hominem that I, the moderator of this section, cannot tolerate.

- PeterTheAleut

Dear Peter,

I believe that anybody who supports pro-choice is evil and this is backed up by the sacred canons which speak of abortion as murder and lay down the same penalties for it as for any homicide.

I appreciate the shock this must be for those who do not have an awareness of the Patriarch's views on abortion.  When I discovered his words I was almost physically sick and still hate to read them.  If you think of the US senators who have been honoured by him, those not censured by him for promoting abortion, those whom he has chosen to honour as archons of the ecumenical throne, etc., then you begin to see how it merges in with his attitude.

I have the article but was reluctant to post it;  I am aware of how dreadful this is.   I'll post it here plus a commentary from one of his own US clergy if you give permission?


EDIT:  Modified the text in my quote and nothing more  - PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 11:00:59 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2008, 04:31:22 AM »

I believe that anybody who supports pro-choice is evil and this is backed up by the sacred canons which speak of abortion as murder and lay down the same penalties for it as for any homicide.

Then you can call him His All Holiness the 'evil patriarch'. Roll Eyes

Quote
I appreciate the shock this must be for those who do not have an awareness of the Patriarch's views on abortion.  When I discovered his words I was almost physically sick and still hate to read them.  If you think of the US senators who have been honoured by him, those not censured by him for promoting abortion, those whom he has chosen to honour as archons of the ecumenical throne, etc., then you begin to see how it merges in with his attitude.

Good try, but it takes a bit more than that to shock me.

Quote
I have the article but was reluctant to post it;  I am aware of how dreadful this is.   I'll post it here plus a commentary from one of his own US clergy if you give permission?

He already asked that you post it, are you waiting for someone to beg you or something? As far as the commentary goes, I can personally do without the propaganda spiel, but if you wish go for it.
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« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2008, 04:35:25 AM »

Seeing as you stated elsewhere that you were a Priest (ROCOR, I believe? Which last I checked was in communion with Moscow which is in communion with Constantinople), I don't think that it would be too much to expect you to refer to our Lord and Patriarch who is ranked First amongst the Bishops of the Christian Church, His All-Holiness Bartholomew the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, by the proper honorific: 'His All-Holiness'. I am certain that you were simply unaware of this and thus decided to call him the 'evil Patriarch', for lack of a better term, but I presume, now that this has been clarified, that in the future His All-Holiness will be refered to by his proper title.to me, it seems to be a non-partisan pastoral approach to a pro-life position.
If you check through my posts you will see that I use his correct honorrific which is, btw, not the shortened English form of "His All-Holiness" but "His Most Divine All-Holiness."
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« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2008, 04:40:14 AM »

He already asked that you post it, are you waiting for someone to beg you or something?
The San Francisco Chronicle
JULY 20, 1990, FRIDAY, FINAL EDITION
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A1

SF Shows Off Its Ecumenical Spirit
Church leaders welcome head of Orthodox Christianity

Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer


Pope Leo IX (1048-54) and Patriarch Michael I (1043-58) would be shocked.


There was Roman Catholic Archbishop John Quinn kneeling down to kiss the ring of Orthodox Patriarch Dimitrios I -- only 936 years after leaders of the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople excommunicated each other in the Great Schism of 1054.


Quinn, the archbishop of San Francisco, made his gesture yesterday at an extraordinary ecumenical meeting between Dimitrios, the archbishop of Constantinople and world leader of Orthodox Christianity, and a dozen Bay Area religious leaders.


Actually, the 11th century ecclesiastical curses that flew between Rome and Constantinople, which refused to acknowledge the primacy of the Roman pope, were formally lifted in 1965.


Nevertheless, the two largest and most ancient branches of Christianity remain separate -- a division religious leaders in San Francisco are trying to heal in their own small way.


Quinn said it is ''quite extraordinary'' that the Orthodox Patriarchate has invited him to preach with Dimitrios at a 10 a.m. worship service tomorrow at Davies Symphony Hall.


''His Holiness' visit heightens the consciousness of all of us to pursue the road of deeper Christian unity,'' Quinn said in an interview.


Episcopal Bishop William Swing, in formal remarks yesterday to Dimitrios at the Greek Orthodox Diocesan House in St. Francis Wood, said he hopes the patriarch will ''feel the ecumenical spirit that abides in the Bay Area.''


United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert of San Francisco, a leading force in the National Council of Churches, said the presence of the Orthodox churches in that group helps provide ''balance'' to the ecumenical movement. The Roman Catholic Church does not belong to the National Council of Churches.


KEY DIFFERENCES


Talbert said Orthodox and Protestant leaders ''struggle over the role of women in the church,'' but he said working together is a way to ''learn how to get along with other people in the world.'' Most Protestant denominations, unlike the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, allow the ordination of women.


Dimitrios said his visit has helped him understand the unique ''social and spiritual environment in which you are called to do your work.''


''But at the same time it must be confessed that contemporary societies, with their material comforts and advanced technology, also offer, unfortunately, the means of greater barrenness and erosion of the spirit,'' said Dimitrios, speaking through a translator at the breakfast meeting. ''This explains why the occupations of psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and the like are flourishing.''


Dimitrios, 75, has given no news conferences or media interviews since his July 2 arrival in the United States, although the man described by church sources as his ''heir apparent'' did meet the press yesterday.


'NO HYPOCRISY'


''His All Holiness has been impressed with the simplicity and openness of the American people and with their deep Christian faith,'' said Metropolitan Bartholomais of Chalcedon, the patriarch's closest aide. ''There is no hypocrisy. There is a sincereness and simplicity that must be proper to all Christians.''


Asked the Orthodox church's position on abortion, Bartholomais described a stand more liberal than that of the Roman Catholic Church, which condemns abortion in all cases and whose clergy have, in some cities, excommunicated leading pro-choice Catholics.


Although the Orthodox church believes the soul enters the body at conception and, ''generally speaking, respects human life and the continuation of pregnancy,'' Bartholomais said, the church also ''respects the liberty and freedom of all human persons and all Christian couples.''


''We are not allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian couples,'' he said. ''We cannot generalize. There are many reasons for a couple to go toward abortion.''


Also joining Dimitrios at yesterday's ecumenical gathering were Bishop Lyle Miller of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rabbi Malcolm Sparer, president of the Northern California Board of Rabbis; and officials representing the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Society of Friends, San Francisco Evangelical Association, the Reform Church of America, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.


After the meeting, Dimitrios, who is considered the ''first among equals''
of Orthodox Patriarchs representing 200 million Orthodox Christians
worldwide, headed for Stockton for a parish visit.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 04:41:16 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2008, 04:48:12 AM »

Orthodox Patriarchs "Wink" at Abortion
Fr Edward Pehanich
(ACROD)
http://www.oclife.org/vnine.pdf


In the years since the fall of Communism across Eastern Europe the Orthodox faithful of those lands have had the task of facing the unpleasant history of the subjugation of their Church to the Communist regimes. With many clergy and hierarchs compromising the Faith by unequivocally supporting the policies of the atheistic state, the Church lost its prophetic voice in society.There is hardly any room for us in the West to sit in judgment or criticism, we who were safely and comfortably living in the religious freedom of the West. What is most disturbing to me, however, is to see evidence of such a trend continuing, even here where the voice of the Church was never silenced by persecution.

..... Twice in the past few years we in America have witnessed visiting Orthodox shepherds from abroad "wink" at the prevailing public sentiment on abortion rather than loudly and clearly challenge us with the voice of truth proclaimed by Scriptures, and echoed by the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church.

Patriarchs Speak

Recently, Armenian Christians in America welcomed into their midst His Holiness, Patriarch Karekin I of Etchmiadzin in Armenia who came on a pastoral visit to his flock. During a stop at St. Mary's Church in Washington, D.C. the patriarch was questioned on the Church's position on
abortion.-

"We don't issue dogmatic statements and impose
dogmatic principles. That is intervening and
invading on the freedom of the conscience of the
people. When a person is Christianity nurtured
and his conscience is shaped by Christian
principles, that person should have the freedom
to manifest his or her attitude toward specific
problems such as abortion or the forms of
abortion. The church does not get involved in
that kind of detail. Jesus never, never imposed
anything upon his followers. If you want to
inherit the Kingdom of God, do this, do not do
this. if you want, that is the greatest characteristic
feature of Christianity. (The Washington Post -
1/20/96 p. B6)

Nearly identical in tone and spirit, and lack of any clear, prophetic teaching are statements made by His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople when he visited San Francisco in 1990 as the metropolitan of Chalcedon as part of the entourage of the then Patriarch Dimitrios of blessed memory. The San Francisco Chronicle recorded this exchange-

Asked the Orthodox Church's position on abortion, Bartholomew described a stand more liberal than that of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Although the Orthodox Church believes the soul
enters the body at conception and, generally
speaking, respects human life and the continuation
of the pregnancy," Barthlomew said, the church
also "respects the liberty and freedom of all human
persons and all Christian couples. . . .We are not
allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian
couples," he also said. "We cannot generalize.
There are many reasons for a couple to go toward
abortion." (San Francisco Chronicle-7/20/90
p.A22)

For the rest of the article go to:

http://www.oclife.org/vnine.pdf

I have written to Fr Edward Pehanich on the matter in 2005 and did not receive a reply. Since Fr Edward is in the Greek Archdiocese (ACROD) it must have required some courage to write the article reporting on the Patriarch's position on abortion.


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« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2008, 08:12:51 AM »

"Although the Orthodox Church believes the soul
enters the body at conception and, generally
speaking, respects human life and the continuation
of the pregnancy," Barthlomew said, the church
also "respects the liberty and freedom of all human
persons and all Christian couples. . . .We are not
allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian
couples," he also said. "We cannot generalize.
There are many reasons for a couple to go toward
abortion." (San Francisco Chronicle-7/20/90
p.A22)

Thank God for the sanity of the Oecumenical Patriarch. Thank God there is at least one clergyman who will have the courage to stand up and say: "We are not allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian couples", instead of like so many others, trying to control society by controlling sex, and who acknowledges that "There are many reasons for a couple to go toward abortion."
Some people just shouldn't have children. And I should know, I'm about to foster the 5 year old child of a drug addict until she is 18.
If anyone adamantly makes prescriptive statements that abortion is never to be used in any case, and is childless themselves, and refuses to take on the foster care of neglected children, I now just laugh at them and think their opinion is about as valid as bald barber trying to sell hair restorer.
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« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2008, 08:31:00 AM »

If it can be demonstrated that he did so in defence of his life, liberty, or property then by all means I would argue that he did have such a right and related statues are on the books in every state.

I don't care what every state says.  Rome said you had to eat meat that was sacrificed to idols but the saints did not.  If they had then they wouldn't be saints.  The state is not the truth.

It is liberty.  Why shouldn't he have the right to choose to manifest his conscience as he sees fit?  For you to say that Daumer did not have the right to kill those women is a limitation on his freedom.  That is like what the 'sane' patriarch said.  Law is meaningless and so is any sense of truth.  All we have is some fluffy idea of love which is no more than a feeling.

I find it amazing that abortion is considered to be a matter of the bedroom.  It has nothing to do with the bedroom.  God gave a child to a couple.  They have no right to kill it.  It is a matter of life, not a matter of sexuality.

If you want to speak of rights then very basic right is the right to life.  Abortion is a violation of this foundational right.
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« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2008, 08:34:28 AM »

I find it amazing that abortion is considered to be a matter of the bedroom.  It has nothing to do with the bedroom.  God gave a child to a couple.  They have no right to kill it.  It is a matter of life, not a matter of sexuality.

Let me explain to you where babies come from......
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« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2008, 08:34:38 AM »

Jesus did not command us to do anything to inherit salvation?  He commanded us to love our neighbor and to love God.  Abortion is a violation of both.  It is a denial of divine providence and it is the killing of a human child.
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« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2008, 08:36:48 AM »

Let me explain to you where babies come from......

Do you think I do not know biology?  I spent my college career studying biology since that was my major.  I know the biology of it.  But the problem is that you turn it into pure biology.  You turn man into simply a peice of matter that is expendible.  You have also turned Christianity into deism.  God created the world and He has left it and now He is no longer acting.  We are simply a product of evolution and that is all.  This is heresy in every sense of the word.  We might as well be atheists if we are going to be deists.

With abortion, the child is already concieved.  Any abortion has nothing to do with sexuality and everything to do with killing what is already alive.  The US allows abortions for all nine months of pregnancy.  Why not follow the suggestion of Peter singer and allow it for the first three years of life as well?  That child is a burden on the parents freedom. 
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« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2008, 08:39:54 AM »

Jesus did not command us to do anything to inherit salvation?  He commanded us to love our neighbor and to love God.  Abortion is a violation of both.  It is a denial of divine providence and it is the killing of a human child. 

Do you think there is ever a case when murder, although heinous in and of itself, is justified?  I'm not trying to draw a parallel between this question and Abortion, but I'm just seeking background information.  Is there a time when killing someone, say in self-defense, or in the defense of others, is less serious than other cases?
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« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2008, 08:46:34 AM »

Do you think there is ever a case when murder, although heinous in and of itself, is justified?  I'm not trying to draw a parallel between this question and Abortion, but I'm just seeking background information.  Is there a time when killing someone, say in self-defense, or in the defense of others, is less serious than other cases?

I don't know.  I have struggled with that issue.  But no matter which way it falls you can't compare self defense or defense of others to abortion.  The child is innocent and is not attacking the mother.  In self defense the person who is potentially dead was going to kill you.
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« Reply #57 on: January 15, 2008, 08:46:55 AM »

I spent my college career studying biology since that was my major. 
Perhaps, but you don't know the Orthodox Christian view.
Neither your soul, nor you body were created "ex nihilo". Both your soul and your body came to be through generativity, not creation. Like your DNA, your soul came from part of your mother's soul and part of your father's soul. Of course, the original Gifts of Life and Existence were given to Adam and Eve, but it is they and their descendants who have passed them on.

You turn man into simply a peice of matter that is expendible.
Is it I who make man expendable, or you who insist that drug addicts must see their pregnancies through and their children born into squalor, abuse and neglect?

I repeat:
If anyone adamantly makes prescriptive statements that abortion is never to be used in any case, and is childless themselves, and refuses to take on the foster care of neglected children, I now just laugh at them and think their opinion is about as valid as bald barber trying to sell hair restorer.
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« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2008, 08:51:08 AM »

I don't know.  I have struggled with that issue.  But no matter which way it falls you can't compare self defense or defense of others to abortion.  The child is innocent and is not attacking the mother.  In self defense the person who is potentially dead was going to kill you.

Like I said, I wasn't trying to compare the two situations, as they may or may not be compatible.  However, while the situations are not analogous, there are times when the presence of the baby or the process of giving birth does threaten the life of the mother and itself, so one could draw a parallel, even though it would be the weakest of ones to be sure.

Personally (and I do fall into the potentially hypocritical category of the single and childless) at the moment I find myself unable to support abortion in any case.  However, I have left open the possibility that I am wrong.
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« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2008, 08:51:38 AM »

Perhaps, but you don't know the Orthodox Christian view.
Neither your soul, nor you body were created "ex nihilo". Both your soul and your body came to be through generativity, not creation. Like your DNA, your soul came from part of your mother's soul and part of your father's soul. Of course, the original Gifts of Life and Existence were given to Adam and Eve, but it is they and their descendants who have passed them on.
Is it I who make man expendable, or you who insist that drug addicts must see their pregnancies through and their children born into squalor, abuse and neglect?

I repeat:

I did not know that was the Orthodox perspective so I will not respond to it right now.  I will allow myself some time to think my response through.
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« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2008, 08:53:17 AM »

If anyone adamantly makes prescriptive statements that abortion is never to be used in any case,
There is a very small number of exceptions such as an ectopic pregnancy but otherwise abortion is forbidden by the canons of the Church and treated as homicide.

Quote
the  and is childless themselves, and refuses to take on the foster care of neglected children, I now just laugh at them and think their opinion is about as valid
For the past 19 years I have given shelter to solvent abusers in my own home next to the church.  One in particular has stuck around and is like an adopted child.  Now that I have been hit with a cardiac problem I have to say that it is becoming much harder to deal with erratic and aggressive behaviour.  
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« Reply #61 on: January 15, 2008, 09:01:20 AM »

Like I said, I wasn't trying to compare the two situations, as they may or may not be compatible.  However, while the situations are not analogous, there are times when the presence of the baby or the process of giving birth does threaten the life of the mother and itself, so one could draw a parallel, even though it would be the weakest of ones to be sure.

Personally (and I do fall into the potentially hypocritical category of the single and childless) at the moment I find myself unable to support abortion in any case.  However, I have left open the possibility that I am wrong.

cleveland, I fall into the same category as you.  I am single but hold to my position.  I could be wrong like I have been on many things I have felt very firm on.  My principle is that if anyone has had an abortion then you should only show love and not condemn them or their actions.  They have done what they have done and God will judge each man in His own way.  But in a discussion like this where it is a discussion of doctrine or truth then I think it is good to defend the truth as you see it.  

I have to go.
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« Reply #62 on: January 15, 2008, 09:07:37 AM »

There is a very small number of exceptions such as an ectopic pregnancy but otherwise abortion is forbidden by the canons of the Church and treated as homicide.
Yeah, I know, and killing an enemy in war isn't homicide...... yet requires penance....
The Canons are guidelines, not prescriptions.

For the past 19 years I have given shelter to solvent abusers in my own home next to the church.  One in particular has stuck around and is like an adopted child.  Now that I have been hit with a cardiac problem I have to say that it is becoming much harder to deal with erratic and aggressive behaviour. 
Well I'll try not to be erratic and aggressive then. Wink
What I buck against is the idea that having an abortion or not is somehow always a clear-cut decision. Contraception fails sometimes, and some people know they will not be good parents and the child will suffer tremendously (which is why they used contraception). Orthodoxy is not prescriptive about actions, but rather, the agent, and recognises that in a fallen world, allowances sometimes have to be made- such as allowing up to two divorces, the use of economia in receiving the heterodox into the Church, permitting war as a lesser of two evils....etc...

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« Reply #63 on: January 15, 2008, 09:13:39 AM »

Perhaps, but you don't know the Orthodox Christian view.
Neither your soul, nor you body were created "ex nihilo". Both your soul and your body came to be through generativity, not creation. Like your DNA, your soul came from part of your mother's soul and part of your father's soul.
*
From the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...

"In the view of some of the Church Fathers, (Clement of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Ephraim the Syrian and others) each soul is created separately by God......

"In the view of other teachers and fathers of the Church (Tertulian, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Macarius of Egypt and others), both substances soul and body receive their beginning and are perfected simultaneously: The soul is created from the souls of the parents, just as the body is created from the bodies of the father and mother."

See
http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/abortion2.htm
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« Reply #64 on: January 15, 2008, 09:15:33 AM »

permitting war as a lesser of two evils....etc... 

That's a big statement coming from the resident peacenik!

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« Reply #65 on: January 15, 2008, 09:19:35 AM »

Orthodoxy is not prescriptive about actions, but rather, the agent, and recognises that in a fallen world, allowances sometimes have to be made-
*
I honestly know of no Orthodox Church which allows abortion (excepting such things as ectopic pregnancies, cervical cancer), so I do not believe your words are well-founded.  Even His Most Divine All-Holiness has not repeated his pro-choice words from 17 years ago, but he has not withdrawn them either.
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« Reply #66 on: January 15, 2008, 09:21:43 AM »

*
From the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia...

"In the view of some of the Church Fathers, (Clement of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Ephraim the Syrian and others) each soul is created separately by God......
"....moreover, some of them time its joining with the body to coincide with the 40th day of the formation of the body." (From the same article http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/abortion2.htm ) So is abortion before 40 days acceptable?

"In the view of other teachers and fathers of the Church (Tertulian, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Macarius of Egypt and others), both substances soul and body receive their beginning and are perfected simultaneously: The soul is created from the souls of the parents, just as the body is created from the bodies of the father and mother."
Makes a lot more sense, don't you think?

That's a big statement coming from the resident peacenik!
Ah, I chose my words carefully. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Wink
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« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2008, 09:29:29 AM »

Ah, I chose my words carefully. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Wink 

Which is essentially the same argument you seem to be making about abortion - that it is generally the least desirable way of handling some cases, but every once and awhile it is better than the alternative.  Do I have it right?
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« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2008, 09:35:13 AM »

Do I have it right?
Spot on.
I think the mistake people make is thinking that the compassion and understanding which the Church shows to human frailty equates to the condoning of evil. We can still see sin as sin, yet have compassion towards those who fall into it, or choose it due to pressures beyond their control. The article from our Archdiocese website (which Fr. Ambrose quoted from) concludes with the statement:
"Finally, it is with special compassion that the Church regards the mother already after having an abortion, frequently performed under pressure from family, society, poverty, etc. Such unfortunates should not be beaten further, but compassionately supported and saved. To this end the woman must consult with her Father Confessor." http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/abortion2.htm
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« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2008, 09:42:16 AM »

"Today's holocaust: Abortion the indescribable calamity!"

His Grace Bishop Joseph (Harkiolakis) of Arianzos (New Zealand)

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/BpJosephAbortion.shtml

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« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2008, 09:53:42 AM »

"....moreover, some of them time its joining with the body to coincide with the 40th day of the formation of the body." (From the same article http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/abortion2.htm ) So is abortion before 40 days acceptable?
 
No.  The Eastern Fathers knew of the theory, popular among the Western Fathers, that ensoulment took place around the 40th day for a male and around the 90th day for a female.  However, they refused to allow this to be a basis for abortion and called it murder from the very moment of conception.

Saont Basil the Great says:
"The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us". 
By 'formed' and 'unformed' he is referring to the Western theories concerning the time of ensoulment/animation/quickening which was thought to take place weeks after conception.


In the West the controversy about the time of ensoulment raged up until a few centuries ago.  Abortion of an un-animated foetus was considered less than a mortal sin.  I was banned from CAF for a couple of weeks for discussing this and allowed back only when I promised never to discuss the history of early abortion in the Latin Church!   

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« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2008, 10:00:58 AM »

And how many nappies did these Fathers change and school lunches did they cut, and school uniforms did they wash and iron? How many sleepless nights did they have nursing colic? How many jobs did they have to work to support their kids?
Oh please!
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« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2008, 10:05:13 AM »

Here is the post which got me temporarily banned from CAF.  It is of Irish interest.....

Quote
Originally Posted by rjs1
Dear Fr Ambrose,
Again I am amazed at your allegation that the Catholic Church has somehow had a less definite stand regarding abortion than the Orthodox Church.

Well, given the strict stance of today I can well understand your amazement. But the teaching has changed.

Let me paste in something I was discussing in another thread. You will find it odd and even a liitle unbelievable.

I like to take an interest in the Lives of the old Irish Saints and one of the very curious things one encounters is their strange attitude to abortion. Four of the Saints have Lives in which they are responsible for some sort of abortions: Saint Brigid, Saint Kieran of Saigir, Saint Aed of Killarien, and Saint Kenneth of Aghaboe.


In the case of Saint Kieran of Saigir, a local king named Dima abducted Bruinnech, a vowed virgin, from Kieran's monastery.

"Sanctus quoque Keranus, tanti facinoris immanitatem detestans ac remedium apponere cupiens, ad domum sacrilegi, quesiturus ab eo puellam, accessit. . . . Reverente vero vir Dei cum puella ad monasterium, confessa est puella se conceptum habere in utero. Tunc vir Dei, zelo iustitie ductus, viperium semen animari nolens, impresso venri eius signo crucis, fecit illud exinaniri."


Translation:
"St. Kieran, despising the enormity of such a crime and wishing to apply a cure, went to the house of sacrilege to seek the girl from there. . . . When the man of God returned to the monastery with the girl, she confessed that she was pregnant. Then the man of God, led by the zeal of justice, not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken, pressed down on her womb with the sign of the cross and forced her womb empty."

Notice a very interesting detail because it bears out what I posted earlier about the early Western (Catholic) theory of the distinction between a quickened (animated) and unquickened (not yet animated and therefore abortable) foetus -- Not wishing the serpent's seed to quicken -viperium semen animari nolens -

Saint Kieran did not believe he was causing the abortion of a live foetus. It had not yet "quickened" in his eyes and so it was not a sin for the Saint to bring about an abortion.


Bruinnech then resumes her previous status in the community until Dima returns to the monastery to abduct her again. The very sight of the king causes her to die, and in response Dima threatens Kieran with exile for killing his "wife." Kieran's holy power then causes two of Dima's sons to die, which thus removes Dima's threat to Bruinnech and Kieran's community. Kieran then restores the sons and Bruinnech back to life, and neither she nor Dima is mentioned again.

---
The two women who received such abortion services from Saint Aed of Killarien and Saint Kenneth of Aghaboe are not named, nor are the exact circumstances leading to the pregnancy detailed; they appear in the vitae exclusively as the occasion for
the saints to perform such a "miracle" upon them.

Saint Aed noticed that the womb of one of the consecrated virgins serving him

"grew quickly without food, as if it might flee from that place. Then the virgin confessed before all that she had sinned secretly and she did penance. St. Aed blessed her womb, and at once the baby in her womb disappeared as if it did not exist."


The Latin text for the above:
"...cito surrexit ille sine cibo, ut ab isto fugeret. Tunc illa coram omnibus confessa est quod occulte peccasset et penitentiam egit. Sanctus autem Aidus benedixit uterum eius, et statim infans in utero eius evanuit quasi non esset."

The virgin in Saint Kenneth's vita had "fornicated secretly," became pregnant, and asked Kenneth to bless her womb. When he did so, "at once the baby in her womb vanished without a trace."

"...occulte fornicavit . statim infans in utero eius non apparens evanuit."

There is not a hint in the hagiographies that the monk scribes found anything reprehensible in these saintly abortions. Indeed they are used as evidence of the miraculous powers of the Saints.
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« Reply #73 on: January 15, 2008, 10:15:53 AM »

And how many nappies did these Fathers change and school lunches did they cut, and school uniforms did they wash and iron? How many sleepless nights did they have nursing colic? How many jobs did they have to work to support their kids?
Oh please!
*
They were married.  We tend to forget that. A celibate episcopate was not mandatory until the 6th or 7th century.
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« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2008, 10:20:41 AM »

They were married.  We tend to forget that. A celibate episcopate was not mandatory until the 6th or 7th century.
You didn't answer my questions:
And how many nappies did these Fathers change and school lunches did they cut, and school uniforms did they wash and iron? How many sleepless nights did they have nursing colic? How many jobs did they have to work to support their kids?
This ain't the fifth century Father, nor 19th century Europe, and there's no use pretending it still is.
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« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2008, 10:27:26 AM »

*
They were married.  We tend to forget that. A celibate episcopate was not mandatory until the 6th or 7th century.

Don't you think it's a bit weird that the man who wrote a monastic rule should himself be married?

Saont Basil the Great says:
"The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us". 
By 'formed' and 'unformed' he is referring to the Western theories concerning the time of ensoulment/animation/quickening which was thought to take place weeks after conception.
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« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2008, 10:31:34 AM »

You didn't answer my questions:

And how many nappies did these Fathers change and school lunches did they cut, and school uniforms did they wash and iron? How many sleepless nights did they have nursing colic? How many jobs did they have to work to support their kids?pretending it still is.
*
If such lack of personal participation somehow invalidates the Fathers' teaching, then we can ask similar questions about their teaching on war and personal participation...

How many enemy soldiers did the Fathers kill?   How many heads did they lop off?  How many entrails did they spill on the ground? 
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« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2008, 10:35:51 AM »

Don't you think it's a bit weird that the man who wrote a monastic rule should himself be married?
Saint Basil chose a life of celibacy for himself.  I don't think he was ever married.
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« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2008, 10:37:37 AM »

If such lack of personal participation somehow invalidates the Fathers' teaching, then we can ask similar questions about their teaching on war and personal participation...
That's right.

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« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2008, 10:42:28 AM »

Saint Basil chose a life of celibacy for himself.  I don't think he was ever married.

And St. John Chysostom? St. Ephaim the Syrian?...in fact, all the Fathers you appeal to? Which of them was married with children?
So I think you'll find your comment about the early Fathers being married somewhat redundant in this debate. Wink
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« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2008, 10:48:12 AM »

And St. John Chysostom? St. Ephaim the Syrian?...in fact, all the Fathers you appeal to? Which of them was married with children?
So I think you'll find your comment about the early Fathers being married somewhat redundant in this debate. Wink
Yes, you're right.  Although a great number of bishops were married up until the 6th century the ones whom we count as Church Fathers are the unmarried ones in the main.  You'll have to forgive me for being sloppy.  It's 3:40 in the morning in Wellington and I shouldn't be playing pingpong with you when I can hardly keep my eyes open.
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« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2008, 10:56:38 AM »

Yes, you're right.  Although a great number of bishops were married up until the 6th century the ones whom we count as Church Fathers are the unmarried ones in the main.  You'll have to forgive me for being sloppy.  It's 3:40 in the morning in Wellington and I shouldn't be playing pingpong with you when I can hardly keep my eyes open.


OK, I'll let you go then Father.
Good to exchange views with you.
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« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2008, 11:08:57 AM »

OK, I'll let you go then Father.
Good to exchange views with you.
Ditto.  Night,night! 
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« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2008, 11:57:11 AM »

And there are many reasons why Jeffry Daumer should have killed all those women.  What you call pastoral sounds like relativism to me.  A mother can determine whether her child is to live.  God gave the parents a child and they kill it.   

Beg pardon, but I think you're confusing things.  Jeffrey Dahmer was accused of killing 17 young men and doing other atrocious things to the bodies.  He was tried on 15 counts, found guilty, imprisoned and killed while incarcerated.

I'm sorry, but I do not follow nor understand how the deeds of a serial killer apply in this subject.

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« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2008, 01:02:52 PM »

Just for the record, my reading of the quote from His All-Holiness is NOT condoning abortion.  He says that there are cases where it is understandable that a couple would choose abortion (as Fr. Ambrose pointed out with ectopic pregnancy and cervical cancer).  Rather, what he is saying is that it is not the business of the Church to get involved in the politics of legislating it.  God gave us the free will to choose whatever might save or condemn us.  He commanded that murder is a sin (which the Fathers-married or not- interpreted to also include abortion), but He did not put anyone in the position of not being able to choose to sin.

My own personal feelings, being a married woman who may one day, God-willing, have children, is that abortion is an absolute abomination.  I can't judge someone else for choosing abortion, as I don't know their particular circumstances, but for myself, given the terrible situation that being pregnant would endanger my own life or worse, my life AND the baby's, I would personally choose to have the baby no matter what the risk, rather than voluntarily kill it, even if it meant that I knew for sure that I would not survive.  And while I don't want to air my personal circumstances publicly on the internet, it suffices to say that this is something that my husband and I have given a great deal of thought and prayer to, and for good reason, in discussing starting a family.  And of course, God forbid I was ever raped- I would have the baby. 

Where ozgeorge's argument fails is in not recognizing the alternatives to abortion.  There is always another way.  I don't believe God would ever put us in the position of having to choose to murder another human being.  The alternative choice may be sacrificing our own life, but that is a choice, and I would rather sacrifice my own life that a baby might live.

The situation ozgeorge presents, of a woman unable to care for her child, disregards the possibility of putting the child up for adoption.  As one in favor of adoption, and praying to one day adopt at least one child, I would personally be more than happy to take that child off the mother's hands.  There are thousands upon thousands of couples out there who desire nothing more than to adopt a baby- this is why babies are so difficult to adopt.  All the woman has to do is tell the nurse at the hospital that she wants to give the baby up for adoption, and social services does all the work.  Besides that, other than in the case of rape, sex is a choice that two people make, knowing full well what the consequences are.  I don't believe that abortion is an acceptable form of birth control.  They should be willing to accept the consequences when they make the choice. 

As I said, these are my own personal feelings, and I am not in a position to judge others for whatever they may choose.  I do, however, believe that we have a responsibility as Christians to protect those who cannot protect themselves.  This is why I am pro-life, but believe in a law that allows exceptions for cases of danger to the mother's health and rape- similar to the way the law outlaws the use of marijuana except in medical cases such as glaucoma (I don't want to start a debate on that one, though.  I'm just using it as an example...).  I may not choose abortion in those cases, but I certainly cannot condemn someone else for choosing it.  But I do believe in legislating against murder, which is what abortion is tantamount to, as the Church has always witnessed.
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« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2008, 01:16:20 PM »

My own personal feelings, being a married woman who may one day, God-willing, have children, is that abortion is an absolute abomination.  I can't judge someone else for choosing abortion, as I don't know their particular circumstances, but for myself, given the terrible situation that being pregnant would endanger my own life or worse, my life AND the baby's, I would personally choose to have the baby no matter what the risk, rather than voluntarily kill it, even if it meant that I knew for sure that I would not survive.  And while I don't want to air my personal circumstances publicly on the internet, it suffices to say that this is something that my husband and I have given a great deal of thought and prayer to, and for good reason, in discussing starting a family.  And of course, God forbid I was ever raped- I would have the baby. 

And what if you already had two young children and a pregnancy endangered your life and the fetus? Would you force the pain and hardship of your death (which would likely result in the death of the fetus as well) for an ideological stand? Is this ideology really important enough to stand by at the expense of inflicting untold pain and suffering on not merely your neighbour but on your own Children...what would anybody gain but hardship? As ozgeorge said the right choice, the moral choice, is often the lesser of two evils.
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« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2008, 01:30:15 PM »

Although I personally would want yo choose my child life over my own in the case of a pregnancy that would kill me. My husband has already made it perfectly clear to me that given that situation if he was the one in charge of my care (i.e. I was incapacitated) he would choose my life over that of our child in utero.
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« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2008, 05:46:13 PM »

You have certainly sparked my interest, unfortunately the website only has articles going back to 1995. You wouldn't happen to have a copy of the article that you could either post or scan and e-mail to me?

If not I may see if I can find one of the research firms in the city to find it on microfilm and send me a copy, I could possibly get it $30 or so. If the article started on A1 do you know if that was the entirety of the article or if it was continued on another page?

I got the article via the Lexis-Nexis database (I work at a university):

''His All Holiness has been impressed with the simplicity and openness of the American people and with their deep Christian faith,'' said Metropolitan Bartholomais of Chalcedon, the patriarch's closest aide. ''There is no hypocrisy. There is a sincereness and simplicity that must be proper to all Christians.''

Asked the Orthodox church's position on abortion, Bartholomais described a stand more liberal than that of the Roman Catholic Church, which condemns abortion in all cases and whose clergy have, in some cities, excommunicated leading pro-choice Catholics.

Although the Orthodox church believes the soul enters the body at conception and, ''generally speaking, respects human life and the continuation of pregnancy,'' Bartholomais said, the church also ''respects the liberty and freedom of all human persons and all Christian couples.''

''We are not allowed to enter the bedrooms of the Christian couples,'' he said. ''We cannot generalize. There are many reasons for a couple to go toward abortion.''


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(MTA: Just noticed that IrishHermit has already posted it.)
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« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2008, 06:06:19 PM »

Perhaps, but you don't know the Orthodox Christian view.

If it is the Orthodox Christian view to justify the killing of the innocent, then praise God I am not Orthodox. The consequences of this "Orthodox Christian view" are being borne out tragically in Eastern Europe.
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« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2008, 06:16:44 PM »

There is a very small number of exceptions such as an ectopic pregnancy but otherwise abortion is forbidden by the canons of the Church and treated as homicide.

And that isn't even an abortion. The removal of a section of Fallopian tube is not an abortion though it results in the death of a child. The child's death was a "side effect," if you will, but not the purpose of the operation.

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