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Author Topic: Orthodoxy and Abortion: Particularly for Father Ambrose, NZ  (Read 11009 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« on: January 26, 2011, 01:18:03 PM »

This is for you Father Ambrose.  We can haul this out each time you get on your hobby horse about the bad Catholic woman who suggests that there's a problem in Orthodoxy.  Now you don't need me to suggest it. 

Fact of the matter is however that this is an excellent and insightful piece of writing from a very courageous Orthodox priest.  I hope there are Catholic priests who see it and put it to work in their pastoral lives.

http://www.aoiusa.org/2010/04/barbarians-among-us/

The Rejection of Tradition

On a post on my blog Koinoia (“An Editorial: Orthodoxy & the Public Square“), I wrote that whether or not I like Frank Schaeffer’s politics or his moral theology, or whether or not his support of abortion and gay rights are compatible with the tradition of the Church, the reality is that he is well within the mainstream of current Orthodox opinion in America. According to the PEW survey, the majority of Orthodox laity agree that abortion and gay marriage should be legal.  It may surprise you, then, that the problem isn’t Schaeffer – it’s us; specifically, it’s the clergy.  For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, we clergy are not effectively communicating the moral tradition of the Church to the laity.  Or, if we are, the laity aren’t listening –- which would imply that the clergy are willing to tolerate the laity ignoring the Gospel.

We see the same prevalence of pro-choice, pro-gay marriage positions among Orthodox politicians.  This kind of a consistent pattern of belief does not just happen.  As in the Catholic Church, we see in the Orthodox Church evidence of a significant pastoral failing.  This appears to be more than just a widespread lack of sound moral education for the faithful.  It appears to be an embrace of, or at least resignation to, the influence of secularism in our parishes.

This is a very serious problem.  This isn’t a debate about the practices of potentially faithful followers – as can be the case when addressing, say, Old Calendar or New Calendar, or the issue of women wearing headscarves, or whether priests should have beards and wear cassocks, or whether we have pews or not, or whether to use an organ to lead the choir.  This goes much deeper – to the heart of Christian discipleship.  It seems that we have simply lost sight of the beauty and power of Christian virtue; perhaps worse, it seems that we have given over leadership to moral barbarians.

I know that sounds like a harsh judgment, but what else can one call it?  A barbarian isn’t a bad person. A barbarian isn’t likely to love his wife and children any less than you or I.  He isn’t necessarily an atheist or polytheist.  In fact, many barbarians believed –- and believe — in Christ, though for the same reason that they believed in the old gods: to secure power for their people.

John Courtney Murray writes in his introduction to The Civilization of the Pluralist Society that “the barbarian need not appear in bearskins with a club in hand,”  Instead he:

    …may wear a Brooks Brothers suit and carry a ball-point pen with which to write his advertising copy. In fact, even beneath the academic gown there may lurk a child of the wilderness, untutored in the high tradition of civility, who goes busily and happily about his work, a domesticated and law-abiding man, engaged in the construction of a philosophy to put an end to all philosophy, and thus put an end to the possibility of a vital consensus and to civility itself....continued at link above
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 01:29:36 PM »

Great article. Alot of his reasoning reminds me of that of John Paul II of blessed memory. I especially appreciated his description of "Moral Barbarians". It's important that we as Christians (Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodoxy) remember not to lose our saltiness.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 02:01:09 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be legal. And the only thing I can think about the gay marriage thing is that those people are probably thinking along the lines of "seperation of church and state" under the impression that legal recognition won't affect church life.

Our Hierarchs are most definitely against both. Here is something written by Met Jonah last year for the OCA. Also, there are a number of our clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration which, while not any kind of official statement of any one hierarch or church and is not even limited to any particular Christian tradition, is still a sign of where our clergy and laity stand on these issues.

An Orthodox prayer taken from the OCA web site posted below Met Jonah's letter.
Quote
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, Who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish, and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 02:22:03 PM by Melodist » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 02:09:45 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal. And the only thing I can think about the gay marriage thing is that those people are probably thinking along the lines of "seperation of church and state" under the impression that legal recognition won't affect church life.

Our Hierarchs are most definitely against both. Here is something written by Met Jonah last year for the OCA. Also, there are a number of our clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration which, while not any kind of official statement of any one hierarch or church and is not even limited to any particular Christian tradition, is still a sign of where our clergy and laity stand on these issues.

An Orthodox prayer taken from the OCA web site posted below Met Jonah's letter.
Quote
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, Who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish, and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.



First, I think you meant 'legal' rather than 'illegal'.

Second, I really don't understand the undercurrent in the tone of the OP and the constant back and forth between several posters across this forum that seems to be personal and goes on and on, distracting most of us from a more hearty and honest exchange of ideas.

For anyone to suggest that the Orthodox Church holds to the contrary is wrong and, as always given certain points of view, taking old statements out of context and understanding.

Not only is the OCA active in seeking to reduce and eliminate abortion in American, ACROD has been working with the OCA hierarchs for years on this. http://www.acrod.org/news/releases/2011-march You will find similar links and teachings on all Orthodox jurisdictional weblinks, including, but not limited to GOARCH and the UOC-USA.

Orthodox Christians throughout America are asked to prayerfully remember the victims of abortion, and to educate themselves about and support life-affirming, Church-related agencies and organizations, such as Zoe for Life,  Orthodox Christians for Life, and The Tree House
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 02:11:36 PM »

To be fair, half of my family are Catholic, and they support Planned Parenthood, abortion, gay marriage and the like. And they think it's perfectly within their rights as Catholics. This is a problem everywhere, well expect in Evangelical Protestant circles from what I can tell. The mainline Protestants tend to be even worse than this.
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 02:15:47 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal.
You don't know why Christians should be agains legal murder? REEEEEEALLy?
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 02:20:40 PM »

First, I think you meant 'legal' rather than 'illegal'.

That is what I meant. Sorry for the typo. I hope the rest of the post clarified what I really meant to say.

I did something similar to a different question my priest asked me during my conversion process of being received into the Church, I thought he asked the opposite of what he did and gave quite an embarrassing response to a yes/no question. I caught my mistake as soon as I said it and immediately corrected myself.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 02:25:33 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal.
You don't know why Christians should be agains legal murder? REEEEEEALLy?

That was clearly uncalled for and wrong. If you read Melodist's post you would have realized there was a TYPO.
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 02:32:35 PM »

Are you saying Father Gregory's article is inaccurate?

The Ecumenical Patriarch, regardless of the fact that he does not speak for ALL the various Orthodox churches, does indeed speak publicly about the fact that abortion is acceptable under some circumstances.


I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal. And the only thing I can think about the gay marriage thing is that those people are probably thinking along the lines of "seperation of church and state" under the impression that legal recognition won't affect church life.

Our Hierarchs are most definitely against both. Here is something written by Met Jonah last year for the OCA. Also, there are a number of our clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration which, while not any kind of official statement of any one hierarch or church and is not even limited to any particular Christian tradition, is still a sign of where our clergy and laity stand on these issues.

An Orthodox prayer taken from the OCA web site posted below Met Jonah's letter.
Quote
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, Who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish, and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 02:37:17 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal.
You don't know why Christians should be agains legal murder? REEEEEEALLy?

That was clearly uncalled for and wrong. If you read Melodist's post you would have realized there was a TYPO.
I just did. I am mistaken. Please forgive me Melodist.
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 02:37:42 PM »

Are you saying Father Gregory's article is inaccurate?

The Ecumenical Patriarch, regardless of the fact that he does not speak for ALL the various Orthodox churches, does indeed speak publicly about the fact that abortion is acceptable under some circumstances.


I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal. And the only thing I can think about the gay marriage thing is that those people are probably thinking along the lines of "seperation of church and state" under the impression that legal recognition won't affect church life.

Our Hierarchs are most definitely against both. Here is something written by Met Jonah last year for the OCA. Also, there are a number of our clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration which, while not any kind of official statement of any one hierarch or church and is not even limited to any particular Christian tradition, is still a sign of where our clergy and laity stand on these issues.

An Orthodox prayer taken from the OCA web site posted below Met Jonah's letter.
Quote
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, Who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish, and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Mary, can you provide a quote?
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 02:39:34 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal.
You don't know why Christians should be agains legal murder? REEEEEEALLy?

That was clearly uncalled for and wrong. If you read Melodist's post you would have realized there was a TYPO.
I just did. I am mistaken. Please forgive me Melodist.
I was hoping it would be a case of "internet sarcasm" but it's ok as long as you see I modified my typo and understand what I meant.
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2011, 03:07:30 PM »

Are you saying Father Gregory's article is inaccurate?

The Ecumenical Patriarch, regardless of the fact that he does not speak for ALL the various Orthodox churches, does indeed speak publicly about the fact that abortion is acceptable under some circumstances.


I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal. And the only thing I can think about the gay marriage thing is that those people are probably thinking along the lines of "seperation of church and state" under the impression that legal recognition won't affect church life.

Our Hierarchs are most definitely against both. Here is something written by Met Jonah last year for the OCA. Also, there are a number of our clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration which, while not any kind of official statement of any one hierarch or church and is not even limited to any particular Christian tradition, is still a sign of where our clergy and laity stand on these issues.

An Orthodox prayer taken from the OCA web site posted below Met Jonah's letter.
Quote
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, Who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish, and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Mary, can you provide a quote?

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/10/27/a-not-so-pro-life-patriarch/

My question is where is the universal Orthodox statement concerning the ABSOLUTE and UNMITIGATED evil that each and every abortion, regardless of the trimester, regardless of the circumstances.

M.
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 03:09:41 PM »

My question is where is the universal Orthodox statement concerning the ABSOLUTE and UNMITIGATED evil that each and every abortion, regardless of the trimester, regardless of the circumstances.

M.

Yes, there is:

Quote from: Exodus 20, 13
You shall not kill.
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 03:19:13 PM »

Saying Exodus 20:13 is an "Orthodox quote" condemning abortion is a little disingenuous, don't you think?  Not to mention a tad non-specific.
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 03:22:44 PM »

Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council:

Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the penalty of murder.
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 03:27:02 PM »

Cool. Can you provide any kind of official statement today that is binding on all Orthodox throughout the world?
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 03:32:08 PM »

Cool. Can you provide any kind of official statement today that is binding on all Orthodox throughout the world?

There is no such modern-day statement on any issue, as you well know. There are precious few, if any, that are "binding" on Roman Catholics, for that matter, depending on what you mean by "binding."
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 03:38:43 PM »

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/10/27/a-not-so-pro-life-patriarch/

My question is where is the universal Orthodox statement concerning the ABSOLUTE and UNMITIGATED evil that each and every abortion, regardless of the trimester, regardless of the circumstances.

M.

I will say three things.

1. Do you have a link to the statement the article is quoting?

2. This is an example of why we don't believe in any hierarch possessing infallibility based solely on his office in the Church, even though I get the impression that he was not EP when he wrote that (not that it matters from an Orthodox POV, but the RC view of infallibility based on the office and not the person is why i say this).

3. The words I bolded. They are ridiculous. A hypothetical could be a situation where both lives are in danger and only one can be saved or both will die. But then again "mitigating circumstances" should be viewed on a case by case basis, and even then if something is wrong is done it should be confessed and the confessor should be free to discern circumstances and deal with them as lovingly as possible (excommunication can be love if it would be harmful to the individual to commune, but economy should not be disregarded if it may lead to spiritual healing). The aversion to strict legalism is one of the things I love most about Orthodox practice and reflects Christ's condescension to us in our sinful state.
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 03:48:07 PM »

I don't know why there would be Orthodox thinking that abortion should be illegal. And the only thing I can think about the gay marriage thing is that those people are probably thinking along the lines of "seperation of church and state" under the impression that legal recognition won't affect church life.

Our Hierarchs are most definitely against both. Here is something written by Met Jonah last year for the OCA. Also, there are a number of our clergy who signed the Manhattan Declaration which, while not any kind of official statement of any one hierarch or church and is not even limited to any particular Christian tradition, is still a sign of where our clergy and laity stand on these issues.

An Orthodox prayer taken from the OCA web site posted below Met Jonah's letter.
Quote
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, Who are in the bosom of the Father, True God, source of life and immortality, Light of Light, Who came into the world to enlighten it: You were pleased to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary for the salvation of our souls by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit. O Master, Who came that we might have life more abundantly, we ask You to enlighten the minds and hearts of those blinded to the truth that life begins at conception and that the unborn in the womb are already adorned with Your image and likeness; enable us to guard, cherish, and protect the lives of all those who are unable to care for themselves. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with divine and infinite love. Be merciful, O Lord, to those who, through ignorance or willfulness, affront Your divine goodness and providence through the evil act of abortion. May they, and all of us, come to the life of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.



First, I think you meant 'legal' rather than 'illegal'.

Second, I really don't understand the undercurrent in the tone of the OP and the constant back and forth between several posters across this forum that seems to be personal and goes on and on, distracting most of us from a more hearty and honest exchange of ideas.

For anyone to suggest that the Orthodox Church holds to the contrary is wrong and, as always given certain points of view, taking old statements out of context and understanding.

Not only is the OCA active in seeking to reduce and eliminate abortion in American, ACROD has been working with the OCA hierarchs for years on this. http://www.acrod.org/news/releases/2011-march You will find similar links and teachings on all Orthodox jurisdictional weblinks, including, but not limited to GOARCH and the UOC-USA.

Orthodox Christians throughout America are asked to prayerfully remember the victims of abortion, and to educate themselves about and support life-affirming, Church-related agencies and organizations, such as Zoe for Life,  Orthodox Christians for Life, and The Tree House

THe problem is not with our dogma but with its application. I thought that Father Gregory's article was insightful and very much in the tradition of Saint John Crysostom. Take for example the following:

"Painful though it is to acknowledge, many American Orthodox Christians find ourselves in the same position as traditional and observant Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews or other religious believers.  We are being attacked not only from the outside but we are increasingly being undermined from within.  Part of this occurs as a result of our own efforts to “kick down the barricades.”  It may be that this is done in the name of our specific concerns as Orthodox Christians, but it effectively serves the agenda of a pervasive and destructive barbarism that is beyond our ability to control or direct.  In the end, I fear that we will find that our anti-Western Christian rhetoric is simply self-defeating." How many times have we ended up scratching our heads when our leaders go overboard in  practicing economia when confronted with unrepentant powerful politicians or filthy rich people?

"Our alliance with barbarism has happened because we have rejected the Christian roots of Western culture in a misguided effort to (1) keep the Church “Greek” (or “Russian,” or “Arab,” or “Serbian”) or (2) to distinguish “True Orthodoxy” from “false Catholicism” or (3) because, like Frank Schaeffer, we are simply cultural-despisers who have found that the Orthodox tradition is a convenient cudgel with which to continue waging our political or cultural battles." I have seen this in my lifetime and certainly on this forum.

He concludes by this important question: "The use of the vernacular –- a gift that the West has borrowed from the East –- must mean more than serving Liturgy in the spoken language of the marketplace.  It also means learning to faithfully express the meaning of the Gospel in the cultural life of our country.  While not without risk, it will – when done successfully (and we have Christ’s promise that we will be successful) – not only grow the Church, but transform the culture.

The spiritual genius of the Orthodox Church has always been the ability of the Church to take on and transform the dominate culture.  This means that just as Jesus was the authentic Jew among Jews, the Church has been – in turn – authentically Greek among the Greeks, and authentically Russian among the Russians, so too we must be authentically American among the Americans.  While have rarely done this perfectly, we have largely done this without sacrificing the Gospel or the communion of the various local or ethnic churches."
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 03:52:32 PM »

Once again, the dead horse has been trotted out for its annual beating. Here is the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Orthodox Church as succinctly stated by Fr. Stanley Harakas. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7101

The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.
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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 04:03:10 PM »

I would encourage any Orthodox who struggle on whether or not abortion should be illegal to consider the works of H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.

While it is true that the laity among evangelical Christians tend to be more anti-abortion (which is not true of mainstream Protestants, many of whom teach abortion is a blessing), in the "upper-echelons" of Christianity, it seems there is a strong consensus that abortion is the intentional taking of an innocent human life (murder) and should be outlawed.

To be honest, the issue of abortion is near and dear to my heart, so it gladdens me to see the Orthodoxy Church's leaders have taken a stance against it and recognize the problem with the laity holding the views that they do. But let me say, without defaming anyone, that were the Church to begin teaching that anti-abortion is the stance any true Christian should take, you would lose Franky.
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« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 04:05:58 PM »

Once again, the dead horse has been trotted out for its annual beating. Here is the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Orthodox Church as succinctly stated by Fr. Stanley Harakas. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7101

The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.

I would add that in the full article Fr. Stanley notes that this position was so stated at the 1976 Clergy Laity Conference of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America so that there would be no confusion about any impact of Roe v. Wade on the Orthodox faithful.
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« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2011, 04:11:26 PM »

Once again, the dead horse has been trotted out for its annual beating. Here is the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Orthodox Church as succinctly stated by Fr. Stanley Harakas. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7101

The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.

This is all misleading. The article that the OP has posted is not at all about Orthodox teaching but about Orthodox practice. While the same situation exists in other churches, I must say that some Roman Catholic hierarchs and Protstant pastors have acted more courageously toward putative Roman Catholic pro-abortion politicians than Orhtodox hierarchs who have found themselves confronting the same problem. But, forget about the hierarchy for a moment, isn't it scandalous that "According to the PEW survey, the majority of Orthodox laity agree that abortion and gay marriage should be legal" ?
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2011, 04:15:07 PM »

While I certainly hold abortion to be a form of murder, I am not really opposed to the so-called "gay marriage", as long as churches have the right to refuse from blessing it, if it is against their practice. I wonder where I fall.
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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2011, 04:18:43 PM »

While I certainly hold abortion to be a form of murder, I am not really opposed to the so-called "gay marriage", as long as churches have the right to refuse from blessing it, if it is against their practice. I wonder where I fall.

That's not an uncommon perspective around here.
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2011, 04:24:00 PM »

While I certainly hold abortion to be a form of murder, I am not really opposed to the so-called "gay marriage", as long as churches have the right to refuse from blessing it, if it is against their practice. I wonder where I fall.

That's not an uncommon perspective around here.
Yeah, but do we count as "libruls"?
That's the question.
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2011, 04:24:41 PM »

Cool. Can you provide any kind of official statement today that is binding on all Orthodox throughout the world?


http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/abrtpryr.html
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2011, 04:27:52 PM »

While I certainly hold abortion to be a form of murder, I am not really opposed to the so-called "gay marriage", as long as churches have the right to refuse from blessing it, if it is against their practice. I wonder where I fall.

That's not an uncommon perspective around here.
Yeah, but do we count as "libruls"?
That's the question.

Who cares?

My political opinions are mixed enough that I stopped trying to label myself as "liberal" or "conservative" a long time ago.
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« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2011, 04:30:15 PM »

While I certainly hold abortion to be a form of murder, I am not really opposed to the so-called "gay marriage", as long as churches have the right to refuse from blessing it, if it is against their practice. I wonder where I fall.

That's not an uncommon perspective around here.
Yeah, but do we count as "libruls"?
That's the question.

Who cares?

My political opinions are mixed enough that I stopped trying to label myself as "liberal" or "conservative" a long time ago.
Well, maybe the question should be asked: is it opinion or Orthodoxy that is the most important?

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2011, 04:35:35 PM »

^Re: my last post:  The rule of prayer is the rule of faith, binding upon all Orthodox.  Of course, the canons of the Orthodox Church are unanimous on the subject, (canon 91 of the 6th as already mentioned, but also the canons of Ancyra, Canons 2 and 8 of St. Basil).  
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« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2011, 05:05:11 PM »

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/10/27/a-not-so-pro-life-patriarch/

My question is where is the universal Orthodox statement concerning the ABSOLUTE and UNMITIGATED evil that each and every abortion, regardless of the trimester, regardless of the circumstances.

M.

I will say three things.

1. Do you have a link to the statement the article is quoting?

2. This is an example of why we don't believe in any hierarch possessing infallibility based solely on his office in the Church, even though I get the impression that he was not EP when he wrote that (not that it matters from an Orthodox POV, but the RC view of infallibility based on the office and not the person is why i say this).

3. The words I bolded. They are ridiculous. A hypothetical could be a situation where both lives are in danger and only one can be saved or both will die. But then again "mitigating circumstances" should be viewed on a case by case basis, and even then if something is wrong is done it should be confessed and the confessor should be free to discern circumstances and deal with them as lovingly as possible (excommunication can be love if it would be harmful to the individual to commune, but economy should not be disregarded if it may lead to spiritual healing). The aversion to strict legalism is one of the things I love most about Orthodox practice and reflects Christ's condescension to us in our sinful state.

Well then the Catholics who have approached and reproached Father Ambrose on other venues have a point, don't they? 

Orthodoxy does not have a strong statement that says that abortion is an intrinsic evil no matter what the circumstances...and so you have nothing to turn to, and therefore you make up what circumstances suit you and draw the line there.  Every person has a different line.

Catholics want to know where the universal Orthodox line is.

As far as I can tell there isn't one.
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« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2011, 05:05:11 PM »

Once again, the dead horse has been trotted out for its annual beating. Here is the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Orthodox Church as succinctly stated by Fr. Stanley Harakas. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7101

The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.

This is not Catholic teaching.  I know you are not suggesting that it is.  However when Catholics point this out to Orthodox believers, somehow we are being insulting.

Orthodoxy formally makes exceptions for something which the Catholic Church makes no exceptions and does so in such a way that it leaves the message with the Orthodox believer that it is all right to choose to kill the in-utero child, under certain circumstances.

What the Catholic Church does say is that in those EXTREMELY RARE MEDICAL CIRCUMSTANCES where it is A CLEAR CHOICE....most of the time the choice is not at all that clear....if the effort to save the mother results in the death of the child then there has been no sin...BUT IF...the choice is made to kill the child to save the mother then there has been a murder committed.   Meaning that you just cannot go in and abort the baby and hope to save the mother once the baby is out of the way, which is what happens in fact in most of those instances.

What we must do is try everything humanly possible to save both.

So again, when we talk about joining together to present moral teaching in the world...It cannot be done because we do not teach the same thing.

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« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 05:11:52 PM »

While I certainly hold abortion to be a form of murder, I am not really opposed to the so-called "gay marriage", as long as churches have the right to refuse from blessing it, if it is against their practice. I wonder where I fall.

That's not an uncommon perspective around here.
Yeah, but do we count as "libruls"?
That's the question.

Who cares?

My political opinions are mixed enough that I stopped trying to label myself as "liberal" or "conservative" a long time ago.
Well, maybe the question should be asked: is it opinion or Orthodoxy that is the most important?

In Christ,
Andrew

Orthodoxy: the opinions are informed by it; precisely why they do not fit neatly into either of the abominable modernist movements of liberalism or conservatism.
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« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 05:13:10 PM »

The poor, dead horse is looking rather mangy. All the beatings it has received have caused split hairs.
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« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2011, 05:48:05 PM »

Once again, the dead horse has been trotted out for its annual beating. Here is the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Orthodox Church as succinctly stated by Fr. Stanley Harakas. http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7101

The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder; that is, as a premeditated termination of the life of a human being. The only time the Orthodox Church will reluctantly acquiesce to abortion is when the preponderance of medical opinion determines that unless the embryo or fetus is aborted, the mother will die. Decisions of the Supreme Court and State legislatures by which abortion, with or without restrictions, is allowed should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life.

This is not Catholic teaching.  I know you are not suggesting that it is.  However when Catholics point this out to Orthodox believers, somehow we are being insulting.

Orthodoxy formally makes exceptions for something which the Catholic Church makes no exceptions and does so in such a way that it leaves the message with the Orthodox believer that it is all right to choose to kill the in-utero child, under certain circumstances.

What the Catholic Church does say is that in those EXTREMELY RARE MEDICAL CIRCUMSTANCES where it is A CLEAR CHOICE....most of the time the choice is not at all that clear....if the effort to save the mother results in the death of the child then there has been no sin...BUT IF...the choice is made to kill the child to save the mother then there has been a murder committed.   Meaning that you just cannot go in and abort the baby and hope to save the mother once the baby is out of the way, which is what happens in fact in most of those instances.

What we must do is try everything humanly possible to save both.

So again, when we talk about joining together to present moral teaching in the world...It cannot be done because we do not teach the same thing.



That's actually exactly the traditional position in Orthodoxy. In fact, that doesn't even go far enough. The Church has penitential prayers and penances even for women who miscarry. Those who abort, or aid and abet the abortion, no matter the circumstance, receive a hefty excommunication, according to the manuals for confessors.

The difference between our Churches is that Rome does a good job of publishing books and making statements about official policies (which most everyone ignores), and we do none of that, instead covering these things in training for priests/confessors (whose presence most everyone ignores). Either way, it's a remnant.
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« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2011, 06:11:33 PM »

The poor, dead horse is looking rather mangy. All the beatings it has received have caused split hairs.

Well why don't you write and tell Father Gregory and Father Hans Jacobse who also must have thought the article had sufficient merit to have Father Gregory do a reprise of his first article.

You might want to mute the discussion though, eh? 

You fit right into what Father Gregory has said about Orthodox laity and clergy.

M.
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« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2011, 06:13:43 PM »

If, following the Catholic position propounded in this thread, abortion is made illegal under all and any circumstances whatsoever, then what form of punishment does the Catholic position propose should be meted out? Should the doctor, or the woman, or both be punished? If so, what sort of punishment? Should the woman be imprisoned, and for how long? Should any man who approves of his wife/partner's abortion also be punished as an accomplice? What if the man denies any involvement, but the woman has an audio-tape of him affirming his support? Or would it only be the woman's fault, regardless of the man's involvement (which might include pressuring her to get an abortion)?

I'm all for decreasing and eliminating the need for abortion. Whether the American criminal justice system is the way to go about it, is a different question.
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« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2011, 06:51:14 PM »

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/10/27/a-not-so-pro-life-patriarch/

My question is where is the universal Orthodox statement concerning the ABSOLUTE and UNMITIGATED evil that each and every abortion, regardless of the trimester, regardless of the circumstances.

M.

I will say three things.

1. Do you have a link to the statement the article is quoting?

2. This is an example of why we don't believe in any hierarch possessing infallibility based solely on his office in the Church, even though I get the impression that he was not EP when he wrote that (not that it matters from an Orthodox POV, but the RC view of infallibility based on the office and not the person is why i say this).

3. The words I bolded. They are ridiculous. A hypothetical could be a situation where both lives are in danger and only one can be saved or both will die. But then again "mitigating circumstances" should be viewed on a case by case basis, and even then if something is wrong is done it should be confessed and the confessor should be free to discern circumstances and deal with them as lovingly as possible (excommunication can be love if it would be harmful to the individual to commune, but economy should not be disregarded if it may lead to spiritual healing). The aversion to strict legalism is one of the things I love most about Orthodox practice and reflects Christ's condescension to us in our sinful state.

Well then the Catholics who have approached and reproached Father Ambrose on other venues have a point, don't they? 

Orthodoxy does not have a strong statement that says that abortion is an intrinsic evil no matter what the circumstances...and so you have nothing to turn to, and therefore you make up what circumstances suit you and draw the line there.  Every person has a different line.

Catholics want to know where the universal Orthodox line is.

As far as I can tell there isn't one.

As far as I nkow, it's not universal condemnation regardless of circumstances. And as "black and white" as Rome claims this issue to be, it goes against your teaching on what is required for a mortal sin. For any sin to be a mortal sin, you need grievous matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will. The act of abortion itself is "grievous matter" to use the language of your Church. As far as reflection and consent of will, you don't know that in the case of every single abortion that occurs. The biggest difference between Orhtodoxy and Catholicism is that Orthodoxy doesn't formally define the differences between venial and mortal sin or establish formal criteria for determining mortal sin. It's easy for you to say "x" is intrinsically evil and only be talking about the "grievous matter" aspect (which I hope is the case), while that position may seem extreme to someone who does not make those distinctions. That's probably why you're having such a hard time finding the "line" you're looking for in Orthodoxy. The flip side to not having a clear line is to focus solely on what you would consider one aspect of mortal sin and ignore the other two to the point of over legalism in dealing with the problem on a personal basis.
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« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2011, 06:53:53 PM »

If, following the Catholic position propounded in this thread, abortion is made illegal under all and any circumstances whatsoever, then what form of punishment does the Catholic position propose should be meted out? Should the doctor, or the woman, or both be punished? If so, what sort of punishment? Should the woman be imprisoned, and for how long? Should any man who approves of his wife/partner's abortion also be punished as an accomplice? What if the man denies any involvement, but the woman has an audio-tape of him affirming his support? Or would it only be the woman's fault, regardless of the man's involvement (which might include pressuring her to get an abortion)?

I'm all for decreasing and eliminating the need for abortion. Whether the American criminal justice system is the way to go about it, is a different question.

Don't forget the woman who may be in the hospital for something else, loses consciousness, her husband signs all the paperwork, and the next time she wakes up it's over and done with and she had no part in it.
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« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2011, 06:56:20 PM »

The poor, dead horse is looking rather mangy. All the beatings it has received have caused split hairs.

Well why don't you write and tell Father Gregory and Father Hans Jacobse who also must have thought the article had sufficient merit to have Father Gregory do a reprise of his first article.

You might want to mute the discussion though, eh? 

You fit right into what Father Gregory has said about Orthodox laity and clergy.

M.

I do know that this has been beaten as Shianghaski said, here and elsewhere, e.g.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26264.0.html

where those of who have taken the EP to task for this, and those who defend him, have battled this out.

Quote
The Vatican is now acknowledging allegations first reported in the Catholic press. (CBS)

The Vatican acknowledged Tuesday a report alleging that some priests and missionaries were forcing nuns to have sex with them and in some cases forced their rape victims to have abortions.

Other nuns were forced to take birth control pills, according to the report cited in the Rome daily newspaper la Repubblica.

The Vatican said the issue was restricted to a certain geographical area, but the report cited cases in 23 countries, including the United States, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Ireland and Italy.

A Vatican statement said "in relation to the news of cases of sexual abuse against nuns committed by priests and missionaries…the problem is known about and is restricted to a certain geographical area. The Holy See is dealing with the issue in collaboration with bishops, the Union of Superiors General (grouping of heads of male religious orders) and the International Union of Superiors General (heads of female religious orders)."

While the Vatican did not name the geographical area, the report said most incidents of sexual abuse against nuns occurred in Africa where the nuns were identified as "safe" following the onset of the HIV and AIDS viruses devastating the continent.

Charges made in the report, signed with names and surnames, were made known to Church authorities on several occasions throughout the 1990s, according to the article by Marco Politi, la Repubblica's Vatican correspondent.

The author of the report was nun and physician Maura O'Donohue, who presented it to the head of the Vatican's Congregation for Holy Orders, Cardinal Martinez Somalo, in February 1995
http://www.aegis.com/news/re/2001/RE010336.html
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/sex_scandal.htm

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« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2011, 06:58:40 PM »

isn't it scandalous that "According to the PEW survey, the majority of Orthodox laity agree that abortion and gay marriage should be legal" ?

I agree.
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« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2011, 07:14:10 PM »


The Ecumenical Patriarch, regardless of the fact that he does not speak for ALL the various Orthodox churches, does indeed speak publicly about the fact that abortion is acceptable under some circumstances.

To the everlasting shame of Orthodoxy the Ecumenical Patriarch appears to allow abortion in *any* circumstances decided by the husband and wife.  But, glory to God, there are articles on the Net from other Bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which teach the authentic Orthodox teaching.

We know some of the earliest patristic writings and canons of the Church and more recently, in 2000, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has formally re-affirmed that position ~abortion is a sin equated with murder.

However, Orthodox Christians for Life has an article which inform us that the Ecumenical Patriarch does not have such a position and leaves questions of abortion to the decision of the husband and wife.  Presumably this means he would adopt the samed laissez-faire position with regard to the Pill.

I have to confess that when the Patriarch visited this country I found myself unable to take a blessing and kiss his hand because of this.


"Orthodox Patriarchs 'Wink' at Abortion"
(written by a priest under the Ecumenical Throne)
http://web.archive.org/web/20040407123705/http://www.oclife.org/vnine.pdf


Here are his words:

"Although the Orthodox Church believes the soul
enters the body at conception and, generally
speaking, respects human life and the continuation
of the pregnancy," Bartholomew 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."


I understand that Fr Dr Edward Pehanich (ACROD, founder of Orthodox
Christians For Life) who reported all this in an article in oclife.org
<http://www.oclife.org/vnine.pdf > has sought clarification or retraction
from His Divine All-Holiness.  There has been no response.

As for those who doubt that the Patriarch was honestly reported, why would
Fr Edward Pehanich who holds a prominent position in ACROD highlight these
remarks in the Orthodox Christians for Life magazine if they were
unreliable, thereby antagonising his supreme spiritual authority in the
Phanar. I'd say he's a brave and honest priest.

If you'd like to contact Fr Edward and ask for up to date information his
contact details are:

Very Rev. Dr. Edward Pehanich
10062 Firethorn Dr.
N. Huntingdon, PA 15642
Phone: (724) 863-3741
---

And Fr Anthony Nelson, a prominent ROCA priest in the Right to Life
Movement, has written:

"We at Oklahoma Orthodox Christians for Life also wrote both to the
Patriarchate and the GOA requesting comments/clarification of the comments
at the time. Our requests went unanswered."

Protopriest Anthony Nelson
St. Benedict Russian Orthodox Church
Oklahoma City, OK USA 405-672-1441
Source:
https://listserv.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/wa-iub.exe?A2=ind0701D&L=ORTHODOX&D=0&m=99815&P=6149

____________________________
If the Patriarch were wrongly reported it seems to me that he has a strong moral responsibility as the guide and father of his spiritual flock to correct the statement and publicly support the moral teaching of the Church.  Why has he not done so?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 07:34:32 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
Irish Hermit
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2011, 07:25:34 PM »

Orthodoxy does not have a strong statement that says that abortion is an intrinsic evil no matter what the circumstances...and so you have nothing to turn to, and therefore you make up what circumstances suit you and draw the line there.  Every person has a different line.


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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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2011, 07:27:53 PM »

Cool. Can you provide any kind of official statement today that is binding on all Orthodox throughout the world?


Theistgirl.

You have not understood.  This is our canon law.  For us it is as binding today as the first moment it was formulated.


Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council:

Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the penalty of murder.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 07:35:31 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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