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Author Topic: Orthodoxy and Abortion  (Read 53947 times) Average Rating: 1
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« Reply #720 on: March 09, 2010, 03:45:22 AM »

My comments in red:

Free speech plus Roe v. Wade have allowed this "fringe" element to harass women coming and going into abortion clinics under the guises of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion.

You preach incessantly about how we are supposed to be non-judgmental, and yet you continue to stereotype Pro-Life activists in a very judgmental manner.

Where's the judgment?  Oh, one man's "fringe" is another man's "mainstream" or one man's "harass" is another man's "informing?"

It is making out that the Orthodox Church Fathers and our modern Orthodox are involved in judgment and condemnation of sinners.   Nobody with a nodding acquaintance with the Orthodox would think that.   The compassion of Orthodox for sinners is immense, all-embracing.

Tell that to the scandalizers.[/color]

Again: You preach incessantly about how we are supposed to be non-judgmental, and yet you continue to stereotype Pro-Life activists in a very judgmental manner.

I've been a scandalizer many a times.  I've spoken on how I was asked to leave a Patriarchal Banquet because I didn't have a ticket and I was deemed a threat.  Not the happiest day of my life; however, I know how it feels to be a scandalizer, not that I'm proud of being one.   Cry
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« Reply #721 on: March 09, 2010, 03:45:32 AM »


You conveniently forgot about Nathan the Prophet, who judged David's actions and severely rebuked him. It was this firm rebuke that spurred David to repentance. But I guess Nathan would be called self righteous and judgmental by many people today.

The Prophet Nathan was inspired by God to rebuke King David for his sins.  We don't have that luxury.


So rebuking sin is a "luxury" that we do not have? Yeah, I agree. It isn't a "luxury;" it's a command: II Timothy 4:2; Jude 22-23.


Selam

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« Reply #722 on: March 09, 2010, 03:49:15 AM »

My comments in red:

Free speech plus Roe v. Wade have allowed this "fringe" element to harass women coming and going into abortion clinics under the guises of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion.

You preach incessantly about how we are supposed to be non-judgmental, and yet you continue to stereotype Pro-Life activists in a very judgmental manner.

Where's the judgment?  Oh, one man's "fringe" is another man's "mainstream" or one man's "harass" is another man's "informing?"

It is making out that the Orthodox Church Fathers and our modern Orthodox are involved in judgment and condemnation of sinners.   Nobody with a nodding acquaintance with the Orthodox would think that.   The compassion of Orthodox for sinners is immense, all-embracing.

Tell that to the scandalizers.[/color]

Again: You preach incessantly about how we are supposed to be non-judgmental, and yet you continue to stereotype Pro-Life activists in a very judgmental manner.

I've been a scandalizer many a times.  I've spoken on how I was asked to leave a Patriarchal Banquet because I didn't have a ticket and I was deemed a threat.  Not the happiest day of my life; however, I know how it feels to be a scandalizer, not that I'm proud of being one.   Cry

Well, then focus on the beam in your own eye and stop stereotyping Pro-Life activists in such a judgmental manner. What you have been consistently doing on this thread is "scandalizing" Pro-Life activists. Do you not see the hypocrisy here my brother?


Selam
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« Reply #723 on: March 09, 2010, 03:52:05 AM »


You conveniently forgot about Nathan the Prophet, who judged David's actions and severely rebuked him. It was this firm rebuke that spurred David to repentance. But I guess Nathan would be called self righteous and judgmental by many people today.

The Prophet Nathan was inspired by God to rebuke King David for his sins.  We don't have that luxury.


So rebuking sin is a "luxury" that we do not have? Yeah, I agree. It isn't a "luxury;" it's a command: II Timothy 4:2; Jude 22-23.

Perhaps luxury was a poor choice of words.  I meant "divine discernment." 
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« Reply #724 on: March 09, 2010, 03:56:52 AM »

My comments in red:

Free speech plus Roe v. Wade have allowed this "fringe" element to harass women coming and going into abortion clinics under the guises of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion.

You preach incessantly about how we are supposed to be non-judgmental, and yet you continue to stereotype Pro-Life activists in a very judgmental manner.

Where's the judgment?  Oh, one man's "fringe" is another man's "mainstream" or one man's "harass" is another man's "informing?"

It is making out that the Orthodox Church Fathers and our modern Orthodox are involved in judgment and condemnation of sinners.   Nobody with a nodding acquaintance with the Orthodox would think that.   The compassion of Orthodox for sinners is immense, all-embracing.

Tell that to the scandalizers.[/color]

Again: You preach incessantly about how we are supposed to be non-judgmental, and yet you continue to stereotype Pro-Life activists in a very judgmental manner.

I've been a scandalizer many a times.  I've spoken on how I was asked to leave a Patriarchal Banquet because I didn't have a ticket and I was deemed a threat.  Not the happiest day of my life; however, I know how it feels to be a scandalizer, not that I'm proud of being one.   Cry

Well, then focus on the beam in your own eye and stop stereotyping Pro-Life activists in such a judgmental manner. What you have been consistently doing on this thread is "scandalizing" Pro-Life activists. Do you not see the hypocrisy here my brother?

Eh, I haven't passed Judgment on those Pro-Life activists who harass women entering and exiting abortion clinics for their actions speak for themselves.  I liked how you quoted Jude 22 and Jude 23 in a previous post which are verses used by people to convince others to leave JW's and Mormonism among other sects.   Wink
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« Reply #725 on: March 09, 2010, 04:15:47 AM »


You conveniently forgot about Nathan the Prophet, who judged David's actions and severely rebuked him. It was this firm rebuke that spurred David to repentance. But I guess Nathan would be called self righteous and judgmental by many people today.

The Prophet Nathan was inspired by God to rebuke King David for his sins.  We don't have that luxury.


So rebuking sin is a "luxury" that we do not have? Yeah, I agree. It isn't a "luxury;" it's a command: II Timothy 4:2; Jude 22-23.

Perhaps luxury was a poor choice of words.  I meant "divine discernment." 

We may not have the gift of prophecy, but it doesn't take much discernment to know that people going in and out of an abortion clinic need to hear the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy, and rebuke.

Selam
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« Reply #726 on: March 09, 2010, 04:31:55 AM »

We may not have the gift of prophecy, but it doesn't take much discernment to know that people going in and out of an abortion clinic need to hear the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy, and rebuke.

If a man or a woman works at a strip club or in the San Fernando Valley (home of the adult movie industry), where are the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy and rebuke?

If no one rebukes an employee of a strip club or an adult film studio, why rebuke a woman who gets an abortion?  As I said earlier, all sin is the same to me.  Is it enough to rebuke myself for my sins or do I need to rebuke the woman who had an abortion, the stripper or the adult film studio employee?

Perhaps the following reflection is suitable for this thread:

Quote
To be teachable doesn't mean that I attend class to learn some new and interesting facts about the Babylonians. It means that I begin to have a profound distrust in my own understanding. It means that I realize that without the perspective of others, I will walk blindly into the pit. I begin to understand the full scope of my ego and how it makes me "wise in my own eyes." I come to appreciate those who love me enough to speak a word of caution to me knowing that they risk losing me. I believe that "open rebuke is better than hidden love." I realize that even the humblest of God's servants can be my teacher. I quit defending my position and I stop my self-justification. Basically, I shut up and listen, even if it hurts.

If we are unwilling or unable to be instructed, why do we need elders? What would they do with their time? I think this may be why God has sent us so very few, if any.

What's the cure? The crucifixion of my pride.

And that my dear friend is the problem starting with the EP's silence on abortion and working our way down to us - no one wants to crucify their pride and open themselves up to rebuke.  My family warned me to not become involved with my ex-wife.  Did I listen?  No?  Did I suffer?  Yes?  Am I still suffering, Yes? 

I am no different than the woman who obtains an abortion or even the person who harasses the woman at an abortion clinic under the guise of "rescue."  May the Lord have mercy on me, a sinner and forgive my sins and transgressions.   Cry

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« Reply #727 on: March 09, 2010, 04:50:27 AM »

We may not have the gift of prophecy, but it doesn't take much discernment to know that people going in and out of an abortion clinic need to hear the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy, and rebuke.

If a man or a woman works at a strip club or in the San Fernando Valley (home of the adult movie industry), where are the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy and rebuke?

If no one rebukes an employee of a strip club or an adult film studio, why rebuke a woman who gets an abortion?  As I said earlier, all sin is the same to me.  Is it enough to rebuke myself for my sins or do I need to rebuke the woman who had an abortion, the stripper or the adult film studio employee?
Let's put aside this concept of "sin" for a minute, since that's probably not the right concept for this debate I see you having with Gebre.  Abortion is the taking of a human life.  Why should we try to dissuade Gebre from doing what he can to stop this?
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« Reply #728 on: March 09, 2010, 09:56:06 AM »

The Orthodox Churches don't tend to put out statements such as the Vatican does -papal encyclicals, bulls, curial statements, etc
Then why do you, Gebre, ialmisry et al demand that the Oecumenical Patriarchate do so on the issue of abortion?
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« Reply #729 on: March 09, 2010, 11:47:09 AM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.
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« Reply #730 on: March 09, 2010, 11:57:10 AM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

Maybe when people die we should harvest all the usable organs (regardless of their wishes, because we wouldn't want it to go to waste)—even the skin and hair could be useful—then toss the leftovers in the trash. That's basically what is done with embryos.
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« Reply #731 on: March 09, 2010, 12:00:40 PM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

We do! I have a special spot in my drivers' licence, indicating that I agree that my organs, in the case of my accidental death, should be used for transplantation. I don't see any non-sanctity in helping other human beings.
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« Reply #732 on: March 09, 2010, 12:05:22 PM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

We do! I have a special spot in my drivers' licence, indicating that I agree that my organs, in the case of my accidental death, should be used for transplantation. I don't see any non-sanctity in helping other human beings.

That is your choice; an embryo cannot consent to that. Furthermore, they are bought and sold like commodities, so they have no legal guardian like a postnatal infant does, thus no one to give permission.

That raises another question in my mind: do they at least conduct funerals for these embryos after they are stripped of anything of value like so many used cars on the way to the junkyard?
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« Reply #733 on: March 09, 2010, 12:07:45 PM »

The Orthodox Churches don't tend to put out statements such as the Vatican does -papal encyclicals, bulls, curial statements, etc
Then why do you, Gebre, ialmisry et al demand that the Oecumenical Patriarchate do so on the issue of abortion?

We would rather that he didn't. But when he does so anyway, he should at least reflect the position of our Church.
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« Reply #734 on: March 09, 2010, 12:10:00 PM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

We do! I have a special spot in my drivers' licence, indicating that I agree that my organs, in the case of my accidental death, should be used for transplantation. I don't see any non-sanctity in helping other human beings.

That is your choice; an embryo cannot consent to that. Furthermore, they are bought and sold like commodities, so they have no legal guardian like a postnatal infant does, thus no one to give permission.

Do they conduct funerals for these embryos after they are stripped of anything of value like so many used cars on the way to the junkyard?

Well, I think organs should be used for transplantation when they can be used. In fact, I believe the Orthodox Church will some day voice Herself in this issue, affirning this, because actually to oppose it means to doubt God's power in resurrection of the body.Smiley

As for "junkyard," these freezers where the embryos are kept, they already are junkyards.
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« Reply #735 on: March 09, 2010, 12:26:09 PM »

these embryos.......  Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.


Here is the official voice of the Russian Orthodox Church.   No "ifs..." or "implies..."  


2. Since the ancient time the Church has viewed deliberate abortion as a grave sin. The canons equate abortion with murder. This assessment is based on the conviction that the conception of a human being is a gift of God. Therefore, from the moment of conception any encroachment on the life of a future human being is criminal.

http://incommunion.org/articles/the-orthodox-church-and-society/xii

"The Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church"

Document Adopted by the Jubilee Bishops’ Council
of the Russian Orthodox Church,
in August 2000, Moscow, Russia



Here is the Greek Bishop Joseph Harkiolakis:

"Human life begins from the moment of conception and fertilisation. The Church believes this, and so does contemporary medicine (Panhellenic Medical Conference 1985). Furthermore the science of embryology, with the assistance of ultrasound and of other admirable technological means which are available, proved that the unborn baby is "certainly a new human being, a new member of human society, inseparable from each and every one of us in any way" (Dr Bernard Nathanson). Therefore, from the moment of conception, the violation of life at whatever stage is murder! As much as the killing of an adult or an adolescent is murder, so much so is the killing of a foetus by abortion at any stage of pregnancy. It is the cowardly murder of an innocent and completely unprotected human being, which has no possibility whatsoever to defend or protect itself."

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« Reply #736 on: March 09, 2010, 12:40:05 PM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

We do! I have a special spot in my drivers' licence, indicating that I agree that my organs, in the case of my accidental death, should be used for transplantation. I don't see any non-sanctity in helping other human beings.

That is your choice; an embryo cannot consent to that. Furthermore, they are bought and sold like commodities, so they have no legal guardian like a postnatal infant does, thus no one to give permission.

Do they conduct funerals for these embryos after they are stripped of anything of value like so many used cars on the way to the junkyard?

Well, I think organs should be used for transplantation when they can be used. In fact, I believe the Orthodox Church will some day voice Herself in this issue, affirning this, because actually to oppose it means to doubt God's power in resurrection of the body.Smiley

As for "junkyard," these freezers where the embryos are kept, they already are junkyards.

...Because the prenatal infants were already murdered. Any positive outcome from embryonic stem cell research is invalidated by the fact murder was committed to make it possible.

It's like the film Soylent Green. "Soylent Green is people!!!" Sure, people need to eat, even when there is a famine. But we don't kill people and make them into food, no matter how many people are starving.
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« Reply #737 on: March 09, 2010, 12:50:13 PM »

The Orthodox Churches don't tend to put out statements such as the Vatican does -papal encyclicals, bulls, curial statements, etc
Then why do you, Gebre, ialmisry et al demand that the Oecumenical Patriarchate do so on the issue of abortion?

We would rather that he didn't. But when he does so anyway, he should at least reflect the position of our Church.
Did His All Holiness ever make an official statement on abortion?  Soundbites from a news article that doesn't reveal the whole interview don't count.
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« Reply #738 on: March 09, 2010, 12:51:32 PM »

I have never seen an official decree or document from the Church that says that Abortion is OK.

However, just as the treatment of those guilty of killing an adult is different based on circumstance (i.e. premeditated vs. accidental vs. self-defense vs. in war), it is likewise treated circumstantially with abortion (i.e. convenience vs. saving the mother's life).  Just as the Church does not say that killing in war or self-defense is OK, she does not say that abortion is OK; however, just as she also doesn't say that killing in self-defense is the same as killing from hatred, so she will also not equate convenience abortion with saving-the-mother abortion.
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« Reply #739 on: March 09, 2010, 12:55:18 PM »

Has there ever been a case in modern medicine where the mother would have died if her infant was not aborted? That scenario is trotted out so often that it sounds like it's actually a viable scenario, but I find it a little hard to believe.
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« Reply #740 on: March 09, 2010, 12:58:32 PM »

The Orthodox Churches don't tend to put out statements such as the Vatican does -papal encyclicals, bulls, curial statements, etc
Then why do you, Gebre, ialmisry et al demand that the Oecumenical Patriarchate do so on the issue of abortion?

We would rather that he didn't. But when he does so anyway, he should at least reflect the position of our Church.
Did His All Holiness ever make an official statement on abortion?  Soundbites from a news article that doesn't reveal the whole interview don't count.

Yes, he did. The Phanar, by its silence, assents to the plain interpretation of his statements.
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« Reply #741 on: March 09, 2010, 01:00:03 PM »

Has there ever been a case in modern medicine where the mother would have died if her infant was not aborted? That scenario is trotted out so often that it sounds like it's actually a viable scenario, but I find it a little hard to believe.

That's not our concern.  If it comes up, then it is dealt with, and if it does not, then it isn't used.  If someone claims that they had an abortion to save her life, but she is lying, then the lie sits before God's throne, not yours or mine.
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« Reply #742 on: March 09, 2010, 01:02:37 PM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

We do! I have a special spot in my drivers' licence, indicating that I agree that my organs, in the case of my accidental death, should be used for transplantation. I don't see any non-sanctity in helping other human beings.

That is your choice; an embryo cannot consent to that. Furthermore, they are bought and sold like commodities, so they have no legal guardian like a postnatal infant does, thus no one to give permission.

Do they conduct funerals for these embryos after they are stripped of anything of value like so many used cars on the way to the junkyard?

Well, I think organs should be used for transplantation when they can be used. In fact, I believe the Orthodox Church will some day voice Herself in this issue, affirning this, because actually to oppose it means to doubt God's power in resurrection of the body.Smiley

As for "junkyard," these freezers where the embryos are kept, they already are junkyards.

...Because the prenatal infants were already murdered. Any positive outcome from embryonic stem cell research is invalidated by the fact murder was committed to make it possible.

It's like the film Soylent Green. "Soylent Green is people!!!" Sure, people need to eat, even when there is a famine. But we don't kill people and make them into food, no matter how many people are starving.

I disagree about invalidation. Again, if someone murders me and my kidneys happen to match the MHC type of someone who has kidney failure, me being murdered does not "invalidate" the saving of that person's life by transplanting my kidney to him/her.
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« Reply #743 on: March 09, 2010, 01:03:55 PM »

I've done my best to stay out of the latest round of EP-bashing (because (a) I don't believe he supports abortion, and (b) I think that statements of his that are ambiguous shouldn't have been made in the first place), but:

Yes, he did. The Phanar, by its silence, assents to the plain interpretation of his statements.

That's like saying that the Church is complicit in every misinterpretation of scripture made by one of its priests or bishops because direct refutations aren't made.  The logic doesn't follow.
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« Reply #744 on: March 09, 2010, 01:07:36 PM »

these embryos.......  Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.


Here is the official voice of the Russian Orthodox Church.   No "ifs..." or "implies..."  


2. Since the ancient time the Church has viewed deliberate abortion as a grave sin. The canons equate abortion with murder. This assessment is based on the conviction that the conception of a human being is a gift of God. Therefore, from the moment of conception any encroachment on the life of a future human being is criminal.

http://incommunion.org/articles/the-orthodox-church-and-society/xii

"The Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church"

Document Adopted by the Jubilee Bishops’ Council
of the Russian Orthodox Church,
in August 2000, Moscow, Russia



Here is the Greek Bishop Joseph Harkiolakis:

"Human life begins from the moment of conception and fertilisation. The Church believes this, and so does contemporary medicine (Panhellenic Medical Conference 1985). Furthermore the science of embryology, with the assistance of ultrasound and of other admirable technological means which are available, proved that the unborn baby is "certainly a new human being, a new member of human society, inseparable from each and every one of us in any way" (Dr Bernard Nathanson). Therefore, from the moment of conception, the violation of life at whatever stage is murder! As much as the killing of an adult or an adolescent is murder, so much so is the killing of a foetus by abortion at any stage of pregnancy. It is the cowardly murder of an innocent and completely unprotected human being, which has no possibility whatsoever to defend or protect itself."



Father, I don't dispute that the Orthodox teaches that the human life begins at conception. I know it. Forgive me if I expressed myself clumsily, saying "implies."

Still, that EP concurs with deliberate abortion is a bold-face lie, and that stem cell research cannot be performed because somebody aborted a baby is absurd (again, whether or not I will be murdered, does not matter one bit to a person whose life will be saved by my transplanted kidney, liver, or pancreas).
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« Reply #745 on: March 09, 2010, 01:23:01 PM »


Still, that EP concurs with deliberate abortion is a bold-face lie,


It is as he has been reported, and as we have seen, there are senior clergy etc. who understand him that way.  I am sure they are not being frivilous. 

His Divine All-Holiness has done nothing to correct the confusion which his reported words have caused in the souls of the faithful,  Is it, or is it not correct to believe that abortion is a decision left to the discretion of the couple? 
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« Reply #746 on: March 09, 2010, 01:31:33 PM »

I've done my best to stay out of the latest round of EP-bashing (because (a) I don't believe he supports abortion, and (b) I think that statements of his that are ambiguous shouldn't have been made in the first place), but:

Yes, he did. The Phanar, by its silence, assents to the plain interpretation of his statements.

That's like saying that the Church is complicit in every misinterpretation of scripture made by one of its priests or bishops because direct refutations aren't made.  The logic doesn't follow.

Father,

This is a very substantial matter.  His Divine All-Holiness is not attending to his obligation to teach the flock but has introduced confusion by his reported words in one of the most important moral issues facing us today.  If the Pope of Rome can speak out, if the Patriarch of Moscow and the Russian Synod can speak out, if His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion can speak out.....  By not speaking out, His Divine All-Holiness unfortunately relegates himself to the moral sidelines.  Others must step in and assume the mantle of authority which should be his.  How blessed the Church would be to hear an unequivocal word from the Primate of the First See.
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« Reply #747 on: March 09, 2010, 01:32:59 PM »


Still, that EP concurs with deliberate abortion is a bold-face lie,


It is as he has been reported, and as we have seen, there are senior clergy etc. who understand him that way.  I am sure they are not being frivilous. 

His Divine All-Holiness has done nothing to correct the confusion which his reported words have caused in the souls of the faithful,  Is it, or is it not correct to believe that abortion is a decision left to the discretion of the couple? 

I think it is impossible to deprive humans of their free will. Everything is somebody's decision, not someone else's decision. So yes, if a couple chooses to abort their baby, it's their decision. Did HAH say that he, or the Church, would greet the decision to abort a baby with phanphares?
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« Reply #748 on: March 09, 2010, 02:15:09 PM »

Did I hear correctly that the EP is indirectly via his archon funding stem cell research which depends upon aborted babies?  Shocked

I am pretty sure that His All Holiness does not fund stem cell research, directly or indirectly. Also, to say that stem cell research "depends on aborted babies" is extremely misleading. First of all, the vast majority of embryos used as donors of stem cells are results of SPONTANEOUS abortions, not deliberate abortions. Second, regardless of what was the reason for a particular embryo or fetus to be placed in the freezer - be it deliberate abortion or spontaneous one, - these embryos are D-E-A-D. One can either discard them totally, or use them in a way that can benefit humanity. Of course, if they were truly human beings (as the teaching of the Orthodox Church implies), they all will be resurrected some day, regardless.

Funny we don't treat the bodies of reposed adults in such a utilitarian way. Nothing is sacred.

We do! I have a special spot in my drivers' licence, indicating that I agree that my organs, in the case of my accidental death, should be used for transplantation. I don't see any non-sanctity in helping other human beings.

That is your choice; an embryo cannot consent to that. Furthermore, they are bought and sold like commodities, so they have no legal guardian like a postnatal infant does, thus no one to give permission.

Do they conduct funerals for these embryos after they are stripped of anything of value like so many used cars on the way to the junkyard?

Well, I think organs should be used for transplantation when they can be used. In fact, I believe the Orthodox Church will some day voice Herself in this issue, affirning this, because actually to oppose it means to doubt God's power in resurrection of the body.Smiley

As for "junkyard," these freezers where the embryos are kept, they already are junkyards.

...Because the prenatal infants were already murdered. Any positive outcome from embryonic stem cell research is invalidated by the fact murder was committed to make it possible.

It's like the film Soylent Green. "Soylent Green is people!!!" Sure, people need to eat, even when there is a famine. But we don't kill people and make them into food, no matter how many people are starving.

I disagree about invalidation. Again, if someone murders me and my kidneys happen to match the MHC type of someone who has kidney failure, me being murdered does not "invalidate" the saving of that person's life by transplanting my kidney to him/her.

If you were killed for your kidney, it would invalidate it. The infants are killed for their stem cells, or at least allowed to die. They are not preserved or given the opportunity to live, at any rate.

The systemic nature of it is particularly disturbing.
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« Reply #749 on: March 09, 2010, 02:16:32 PM »

Has there ever been a case in modern medicine where the mother would have died if her infant was not aborted? That scenario is trotted out so often that it sounds like it's actually a viable scenario, but I find it a little hard to believe.

That's not our concern.  If it comes up, then it is dealt with, and if it does not, then it isn't used.  If someone claims that they had an abortion to save her life, but she is lying, then the lie sits before God's throne, not yours or mine.

With all due respect, when actual human lives are at stake, I feel it is everyone's business, not just the parents'. This is a societal sin, not just isolated incidents.
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« Reply #750 on: March 09, 2010, 02:23:18 PM »

If you were killed for your kidney, it would invalidate it. The infants are killed for their stem cells,

How so? Was there an ad in newspapers, "moms, abort your embryos, we need their stem cells?" Smiley

or at least allowed to die. They are not preserved or given the opportunity to live, at any rate.

Are there known methods to preserve an aborted embryo alive? I have no idea. A suspension of cells can be preserved alive it is is being frozen in a thick plastic container with the speed of one degree per minute (very low), and even at this regime, you have to add preservatives like DMSO, otherwise the walls of cells will crack when the temperature passes the freezing point. To preserve a whole human being in a freezer - that's only in movies like "Austin Powers." Smiley
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« Reply #751 on: March 09, 2010, 02:25:13 PM »

Has there ever been a case in modern medicine where the mother would have died if her infant was not aborted? That scenario is trotted out so often that it sounds like it's actually a viable scenario, but I find it a little hard to believe.

That's not our concern.  If it comes up, then it is dealt with, and if it does not, then it isn't used.  If someone claims that they had an abortion to save her life, but she is lying, then the lie sits before God's throne, not yours or mine.

With all due respect, when actual human lives are at stake, I feel it is everyone's business, not just the parents'. This is a societal sin, not just isolated incidents.

But that's the whole point. Then you have to say that unbelief in God is a societal sin, or divorce for reasons other than adultery, or non-attending the Orthodox Divine Liturgy three or more times. It CANNOT be "scientifically" proven that an embryo is a human being, it can be only BELIEVED.
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« Reply #752 on: March 09, 2010, 02:53:46 PM »

I have never seen an official decree or document from the Church that says that Abortion is OK.

However, just as the treatment of those guilty of killing an adult is different based on circumstance (i.e. premeditated vs. accidental vs. self-defense vs. in war), it is likewise treated circumstantially with abortion (i.e. convenience vs. saving the mother's life).  Just as the Church does not say that killing in war or self-defense is OK, she does not say that abortion is OK; however, just as she also doesn't say that killing in self-defense is the same as killing from hatred, so she will also not equate convenience abortion with saving-the-mother abortion.

Thank you, Father.
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« Reply #753 on: March 09, 2010, 03:17:31 PM »

Has there ever been a case in modern medicine where the mother would have died if her infant was not aborted? That scenario is trotted out so often that it sounds like it's actually a viable scenario, but I find it a little hard to believe.
That's not our concern.  If it comes up, then it is dealt with, and if it does not, then it isn't used.  If someone claims that they had an abortion to save her life, but she is lying, then the lie sits before God's throne, not yours or mine.
With all due respect, when actual human lives are at stake, I feel it is everyone's business, not just the parents'. This is a societal sin, not just isolated incidents.

1. Cases where the mother's life is legitimately at risk if she were to go to term with her child are essentially isolated incidents, and should be treated differently than other cases (broadly categorized as "convenience abortions").  With the sophistication of modern c-section delivery, and our advanced ability to sustain pre-term children, it has indeed become less advised than ever before.

2. Only a doctor can pronounce whether an abortion would be necessary to save the mother's life, not "everyone."

3. If either the mother lies, or the doctor does, claiming that the abortion was necessary to save her life when it really wasn't, then the lie stands before God, not you or I or "everyone."

4. If, however, the abortion was really the only way to possibly save the woman's life, then how should we treat it?  Like cold, premeditated murder, or like self-defense?  Should we treat it like a casualty of war, or like an accidental death?  This specific decision lies on the shoulders of the spiritual father or bishop over the person (if she confesses it) or on Christ's (if she does not), not "everyone."

In short - no one seems to be debating the straw man of whether or not abortion is OK.  No one has come out and said abortion is OK.  This is a thread about abortion from a religious standpoint: Abortion isn't OK.  There is no reason to continue providing references why abortion should be or should not be OK. 

ISTM, the Patriarch's statements (that have been, IMO, misinterpreted, but as I stated earlier a man in his position should probably not make statements that can be misinterpreted) speak more to point #4 above than to whether or not abortion is OK in an absolute sense.  Just as the spiritual father is directed to treat those who have killed in war, in self-defense, and in anger differently, so, too, I think he (His All Holiness) advocates the same approach for those who have abortions.
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« Reply #754 on: March 09, 2010, 03:40:47 PM »

I am not a practicing physician, but I have a diploma summa cum laude from Kyiv Medical University, and I can absolutely understand, for example, this:

*******
A friend told me that Bill O’Reilly said on his radio show that abortion is never needed to save a woman’s life.  Is that true?  Is abortion ever really necessary to save a woman’s life?
Yes. There are a variety of health conditions in which abortion may become critical to protect a woman's life. There is, for example, a form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure that can be life threatening. The medical term for it is preeclampsia. It occurs in seven percent of pregnant women. If it is untreated or doesn't respond to treatment, it can lead to convulsions, failure of various organ systems, coma, or death. Abortion may be the only way to save the woman's life.

Certain other conditions, such as severe diabetes, heart disease, or trauma from car accidents, may also require abortion to save a woman's life. Termination of pregnancy is also essential to save the life of a woman with an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/ask-dr-cullins/cullins-ab-5508.htm

****************************
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« Reply #755 on: March 09, 2010, 03:51:46 PM »

We may not have the gift of prophecy, but it doesn't take much discernment to know that people going in and out of an abortion clinic need to hear the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy, and rebuke.

If a man or a woman works at a strip club or in the San Fernando Valley (home of the adult movie industry), where are the voices of conviction, compassion, mercy and rebuke?

If no one rebukes an employee of a strip club or an adult film studio, why rebuke a woman who gets an abortion?  As I said earlier, all sin is the same to me.  Is it enough to rebuke myself for my sins or do I need to rebuke the woman who had an abortion, the stripper or the adult film studio employee?
Let's put aside this concept of "sin" for a minute, since that's probably not the right concept for this debate I see you having with Gebre.  Abortion is the taking of a human life.  Why should we try to dissuade Gebre from doing what he can to stop this?

Gebre brought up the story of how the prophet Nathan rebuked King David for sending Uriah to die in the front lines.

It is clear to me that the genocides of the last 100 years have resulted in an increased focus on the genocide of the unborn.  The temptation is how do we address these extreme situations given that we are not allowed to add or subtract from the Gospel preached by Jesus Christ.  We have a Nestorian telling us that the story of the adulterous woman, described in the first 11 verses of John 8, is not present in Syriac Scriptures which sounds to me like a subtraction from the Gospel.  We have others who quickly quote from Papal Encyclicals and Encyclicals from other Orthodox Hierarchs regarding abortion as they demand the same thing from the EP.  We have others who try to say that different sins merit different responses even though such a thing has never been taught in the Gospel nor communicated by the Holy Fathers.

Why we waste our breath discussing abortion when other sins are ignored or shoved under the rug?  The brain of man has made him able to decide who lives ... who dies ... and who can marry and we've expounded more posts on abortion and topics (some are under moratorium) than on other sins.

If Gebre feels like rebuking women who have abortions is his path to salvation, then so be it.  If he's willing to take the verbal abuse, the arrests and the harassment, I respect him for standing up for his beliefs.  However, his path to a non-guaranteed salvation is not the same as mine, nor anyone else's on this forum.
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« Reply #756 on: March 09, 2010, 04:10:59 PM »

Why we waste our breath discussing abortion when other sins are ignored or shoved under the rug?

My hypothesis:

1. Because we all are involved in the grave sin of usury (even if we do not directly participate in the horrible, anti-Christian, un-godly practice of lending and borrowing with interest, we at least do not openly object against others doing it, and happily live in a social system BASED on usury). So, we - or some of us - are trying to distract our own and other people's attention to other sins, appeasing our wounded conscience.

2. Wars. The US, NATO are waging senseless wars pretty much all the time. Mass media sells us the myth that this is a kind of saving the world from "hostiles" ("Avatar"). We gladly buy it. So again, wounded conscience.

3. Habit. It's easy to repeat what all these "good," "godly" conservative people say, as opposed to the bunch of hippies and godless college professors.  laugh
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« Reply #757 on: March 09, 2010, 04:35:24 PM »

We have others who try to say that different sins merit different responses even though such a thing has never been taught in the Gospel nor communicated by the Holy Fathers.  

Not quite:
Canon 20 of St. John the Faster stipulates 5 years for voluntary murder, 3 years for involuntary murder, for those who follow through with the penance of not eating during the day, and only eating "dry foods" in the evening, and doing 300 prostrations daily; for those who do not follow that penance, then he directs them to Canon 56 of St Basil which says 20 years for voluntary and 10 for involuntary.

In the footnote, I also see noted the following (which I am summarizing, and will indicate V = voluntary, and I = Involuntary, and all numbers are years out of communion):
Canon 5 of St. Gregory of Nyssa: V 27, I 9
Canon 22 of Ancyra: V Life, Canon 23: I 7 or 5

Only for clergymen is the penance the same (deposition) regardless of intent.

Canon 21 of St. John the Faster gives 2 different prescriptions for women taking herbs to commit abortions: 5 or 3 years, and in the footnote it establishes a hierarchy of severity (listed lesser to worse) - those who take them monthly to prevent pregnancy, those who take them early or late in pregnancy, and those who are frequently pregnant and take them (it says monthly).

In another footnote to the same canon, it says that Canons 91 of Trullo, 21 of Ancyra, and 2 & 8 of St. Basil the Great call women who commit abortions on others (i.e. giving the herbs or potions) "voluntary murderers" but do not give them the same penance (life w/o communion), rather indicating 10 years w/o communion.

Heck, even in the Old Testament (Ex. 21 & 22) there are three punishments for killers: death for those who commit premeditated murder, "I will appoint for you a place where he may flee" for those who kill someone that "God delivered into his hand," and nothing for those who kill a thief during the break-in (if he pursues him and kills him, then he is treated as a premeditated murderer).
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« Reply #758 on: March 09, 2010, 04:55:00 PM »

Why we waste our breath discussing abortion when other sins are ignored or shoved under the rug?

For the same reason we love to talk about homosexuality, fornication, and adultery. Ever since the sexual "liberation" a few decades ago, all of these things—which previously were considered shocking and unacceptable—have become commonplace and normal. That, I think, is why Christians seem to be obsessed with sex—we aren't, it is a reaction to our culture which is obsessed with sex, and our refusal to go along with it.

Nobody is arguing that genocide, rape, or burglary are acceptable for Christians (I think most Christians would even grudgingly agree that usury is a sin). If they were, we would talk about those things instead. But since homosexuality, fornication, adultery, and abortion have become "mainstream" even within Orthodox Christianity, they are the things the Church is up against.
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« Reply #759 on: March 09, 2010, 05:01:40 PM »

I am not a practicing physician, but I have a diploma summa cum laude from Kyiv Medical University, and I can absolutely understand, for example, this:

*******
A friend told me that Bill O’Reilly said on his radio show that abortion is never needed to save a woman’s life.  Is that true?  Is abortion ever really necessary to save a woman’s life?
Yes. There are a variety of health conditions in which abortion may become critical to protect a woman's life. There is, for example, a form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure that can be life threatening. The medical term for it is preeclampsia. It occurs in seven percent of pregnant women. If it is untreated or doesn't respond to treatment, it can lead to convulsions, failure of various organ systems, coma, or death. Abortion may be the only way to save the woman's life.

Certain other conditions, such as severe diabetes, heart disease, or trauma from car accidents, may also require abortion to save a woman's life. Termination of pregnancy is also essential to save the life of a woman with an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/ask-dr-cullins/cullins-ab-5508.htm

****************************

I am not a physician, but I am a licensed health care provider, can practice independently, and can prescribe the same medications a physician prescribes including class II narcotics....so I also understand this topic.

Preeclampsia/eclampsia occurs after 20+ weeks gestation. With appropriate medical intervention, it infrequently progresses to the life-threatening stage. Abortion is NOT required.  There is no health benefit to the mother to kill the infant prior to labor induction or c-section.   Infants have a 7-13% survival rate at 24 weeks gestational age and survival increases thereafter.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC28258/

The vast majority (75-90%) of ectopic pregnancies resolve spontaneously not requiring surgical intervention.
http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/Military_OBGYN/Textbook/PregnancyProblems/ectopic_pregnancy.htm

There is ZERO medical literature that prescribes abortion as life-saving intervention for diabetic women.  Planned parenthood and prochoice organizations push this idea because there is a higher risk for insulin dependent females to deliver a infant with congenital malformations. Search the medical literature yourself on this topic.

In the US, only 2% of all abortions are labeled as medically necessary to save the life of the mother and some fall into this category because the mother was......d e p r e s s e d. Cry
http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:fpxS6JJl4RMJ:www.mdivs.edu/Abortion_101.rtf+heart+disease+abortion+required+site:.edu&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari
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« Reply #760 on: March 09, 2010, 05:27:17 PM »

Why we waste our breath discussing abortion when other sins are ignored or shoved under the rug?

My hypothesis:

1. Because we all are involved in the grave sin of usury (even if we do not directly participate in the horrible, anti-Christian, un-godly practice of lending and borrowing with interest, we at least do not openly object against others doing it, and happily live in a social system BASED on usury). So, we - or some of us - are trying to distract our own and other people's attention to other sins, appeasing our wounded conscience.

2. Wars. The US, NATO are waging senseless wars pretty much all the time. Mass media sells us the myth that this is a kind of saving the world from "hostiles" ("Avatar"). We gladly buy it. So again, wounded conscience.

3. Habit. It's easy to repeat what all these "good," "godly" conservative people say, as opposed to the bunch of hippies and godless college professors.  laugh


You mean the ones who shoot up the campus when denied tenure?
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« Reply #761 on: March 09, 2010, 05:48:02 PM »

Why we waste our breath discussing abortion when other sins are ignored or shoved under the rug?

For the same reason we love to talk about homosexuality, fornication, and adultery. Ever since the sexual "liberation" a few decades ago, all of these things—which previously were considered shocking and unacceptable—have become commonplace and normal. That, I think, is why Christians seem to be obsessed with sex—we aren't, it is a reaction to our culture which is obsessed with sex, and our refusal to go along with it.

Nobody is arguing that genocide, rape, or burglary are acceptable for Christians (I think most Christians would even grudgingly agree that usury is a sin). If they were, we would talk about those things instead. But since homosexuality, fornication, adultery, and abortion have become "mainstream" even within Orthodox Christianity, they are the things the Church is up against.

An excellent answer! You are exactly right. Thanks for stating this so clearly.


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« Reply #762 on: March 09, 2010, 05:57:14 PM »


If Gebre feels like rebuking women who have abortions is his path to salvation, then so be it.  If he's willing to take the verbal abuse, the arrests and the harassment, I respect him for standing up for his beliefs.  However, his path to a non-guaranteed salvation is not the same as mine, nor anyone else's on this forum.

Brother, I respectfully ask you to stop misreresenting my views and deliberately distorting my Orthodox beliefs. When have I ever said that "my path to salvation is guaranteed" or that "I feel like rebuking women?"

I have repeatedly said that all those involved in abortion need to be addressed with love, compassion, mercy, and rebuke. I know it's more convenient for you to make a caricature of my position, but it's neither honest nor productive to the conversation.

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« Reply #763 on: March 09, 2010, 06:06:23 PM »

For the same reason we love to talk about homosexuality, fornication, and adultery. Ever since the sexual "liberation" a few decades ago, all of these things—which previously were considered shocking and unacceptable—have become commonplace and normal. That, I think, is why Christians seem to be obsessed with sex—we aren't, it is a reaction to our culture which is obsessed with sex, and our refusal to go along with it.

I don't share your hypothesis.  The statement "homosexuality, fornication, and adultery ... which previously were considered shocking and unacceptable" is painting with far too broad a brush to be historically accurate - humanity has gone through cycles of promoting, merely accepting and openly deriding these activities.  While the Church has unequivocally branded them as sins, the people around it have not always taken such a consistent position.  Likewise, we are hardly facing "new" sins or "new" problems, just new magnitude.  We have always had abortion, murder, theft, adultery/fornication/pedophilia/incest, megalomania, greed, blasphemy, contempt for obedience, and the like.  Each passion has continued to exist uninterruptedly, in one form or another, since sin came into the world ("and through sin, death"), even if the manifestation has changed (the Babylonians didn't have Nuclear weapons, but still knew how to kill many people in a short period of time).  The unique challenges to our world are simply (a) the sheer number of human beings, and (b) communication (which is no longer a "gap," but a "bridge" connecting everyone).

We talk about them because we are creatures riddled with passions - passions that must be conquered by God's grace and our submission to His will.  We discuss these things because people still look for answers in good faith, or justifications to continue what they're doing, or "weaknesses" in the Church's position to exploit to her detriment.  We talk about these ones in particular because they are issues near and dear to people - issues of sexuality (which they believe to be issues of identity - which is a mistake to the Orthodox POV.

Oh, and your statement, "nobody is arguing that genocide, rape, or burglary are acceptable for Christians," is also untrue.  There are plenty of people who think we should behave in such ways towards Muslims, 3rd world countries, the elderly, infirm, genetically deficient, etc.  They may not be labeled as clearly as you have labeled them, but this does not mean they are not discussed and advocated, either by Orthodox, or other "Christians."
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« Reply #764 on: March 09, 2010, 06:12:12 PM »

The Orthodox Churches don't tend to put out statements such as the Vatican does -papal encyclicals, bulls, curial statements, etc
Then why do you, Gebre, ialmisry et al demand that the Oecumenical Patriarchate do so on the issue of abortion?

We would rather that he didn't. But when he does so anyway, he should at least reflect the position of our Church.
Did His All Holiness ever make an official statement on abortion?  Soundbites from a news article that doesn't reveal the whole interview don't count.

Yes, he did. The Phanar, by its silence, assents to the plain interpretation of his statements.
I'm not sure such an argument from silence works in this case, though.  Such an argument requires either an excellent knowledge of how His All Holiness thinks, or else a big dollop of projection of your own presuppositions into his mind.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 06:23:43 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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