This may have been discussed on the OO forum before but I have been having difficulty finding it. A large number of EO Fathers and saints have basically stated that sex came into being after the fall and was not originally intended by God for humanity.
In this posting on Monachos are included many of these statements:http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?5710-Sex-and-Orthodox-anthropology
This is one of many such statements:
"What is the starting point of our coming into the world? Is it not almost the same as for irrational animals? Actually it is worse, because the procreation of animals did not originate from sin, whereas in our case it was disobedience that brought in marriage. That is why we receive regeneration through holy baptism, which cuts away the veil which covers us from our conception. For although marriage, as a concession from God, is blameless, yet our nature still bears the tokens of blameworthy events. For that reason one of our holy theologians calls human procreation, "nocturnal, servile, and subject to passion", and before him David said, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me"
- St. Gregory Palamas
"When he was created, Adam remained in paradise, and there was no question of marriage. He needed a helper and a helper was provided for him. But even then marriage did not seem to be necessary... Desire for sexual intercourse and conception and the pangs and childbirth and every form of corruption were alien to their soul."
-St. John Chrysostom (to me this begs the question, "why was the "helper" female?)
Some of these saints/Fathers I assume are considered such by the OO as well (?)
Also, Serbian Bishop Artemije is quoted as saying, on Orthodoxinfo.com:
"The Church condescends to our weaknesses even further and also tolerates relations within marriage that result from "lack of self-control" (in accordance with I Cor. 7:5-9), when such relations do not have procreation as their immediate purpose, but rather serve as medicine against immorality or adultery (that is, extramarital relations). When such is the case, one ought to realize and acknowledge his lack of self-control and to humble himself before the Lord. He should not expect to receive crowns for his weakness, but rather should hope that God will have mercy on him because of his humility."
This statement to me implies that sex between a husband and wife for pleasure and not procreation is basically sinful.
Do the OO Churches concur with these opinions? Many modern EO writers do not address sex as being sinful in origin, but it is obvious that many (if not most) of the Fathers did. What is the traditional
OO teaching in this regard? The same?
Thank you for any assistance in understanding the OO position.