Author Topic: Service Dogs  (Read 3525 times)

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Offline TinyDancer

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Service Dogs
« on: August 30, 2012, 11:23:33 AM »
A friend from another forum (who is also Orthodox) was recently banned from her church because the priest refused to let her attend with her service dog.  Legally, churches are the only places of business that CAN prevent people from entering with their service dogs, but I'm shocked that they WOULD.  (Pets, I understand, but service dogs are not pets.)  Is this Orthodox-wide practice?  She is considering leaving Orthodoxy entirely over this, which saddens me greatly.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 11:24:52 AM »
I don't know about the general practice, but I'm also surprised by this...  :-\

Offline LBK

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 11:27:06 AM »
I'm appalled! This is disgraceful!! >:( >:( >:(
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 11:27:50 AM by LBK »
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Offline Pan Michał

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 11:27:32 AM »
Animal is an animal, so small wonder he made objections. I'm not so surprised by forbidding service dog enter a parish, as I am by banning your friend from her church. And, moreover, where where couple of dozens of other people in church, that should take role of a sui generis "service dog" during a time of the Liturgy?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 11:28:02 AM by Pan Michał »

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 11:27:42 AM »
I'm sorry to hear that.

As I understand it, animals are canonically forbidden from entering the Church, and dogs are specifically a no-no- a priest told me that, if a dog were to enter the sanctuary, the altar would have to be re-consecrated. I don't know where the canons regarding this are specifically to be found.

Obviously, this information won't help your friend. I would agree that some leniency with regard to service dogs is warranted... if there are other Orthodox churches in your friend's area, perhaps she can find a more agreeable priest.

Offline LBK

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2012, 11:30:37 AM »
Quote
As I understand it, animals are canonically forbidden from entering the Church,

Not quite. Cats are the only critters allowed. As for a dog entering the altar area, that's hardly likely to happen with a properly-trained service dog. Let's also remember that service dogs did not exist at the time the canon(s) were written.
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Offline Pan Michał

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 11:32:39 AM »
Let's also remember that service dogs did not exist at the time the canon(s) were written.

There's a saying, "good for us, that Church Fathers didn't live long enough to comment on all of human inventions".
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 11:34:07 AM by Pan Michał »

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 11:48:39 AM »
Neither are horses for the duration of a day at a time or so, so get a service pony.
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 11:49:30 AM »
A friend from another forum (who is also Orthodox) was recently banned from her church because the priest refused to let her attend with her service dog.  Legally, churches are the only places of business that CAN prevent people from entering with their service dogs, but I'm shocked that they WOULD.  (Pets, I understand, but service dogs are not pets.)  Is this Orthodox-wide practice?  She is considering leaving Orthodoxy entirely over this, which saddens me greatly.

In many of the cultures where the Orthodox Church comes from dogs are one of the lowest animals to ever exist. Even Scripture does not think kindly of dogs.

With that said, I love dogs and dogs love me. They are some of the most loyal animals around. I have been around several people with service animals, and I do not see any reason why they would need the use of their service animal in any service. They are not pets but work animals, yet many of the people who use them do create a bond with them that causes problems.

There is a compromise, the dog could stay in the hall or perhaps a Sunday School room while the service is going on. In one such case I know, the service animal was dropped off at the church rectory. The dog had his "time off" during the services.
Joseph

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 11:56:08 AM »
Hereabouts, I have seen seeing eye dogs in the Liturgy in both OCA and GOA parishes.

Once the dog was sound asleep and snoring and the priest joked during his sermon that he hoped it wasn't one of us!
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Offline TinyDancer

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 12:18:05 PM »
It is an odd situation- I don't know what parish she belongs to, but I understand there isn't another one anywhere nearby.

Funny about the cats- they are pretty common around here, actually, especially in home based mission churches and sketes!  Too bad I'm severely allergic- but that's my problem!

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 12:42:12 PM »
It is ridiculous. If my priest banned a parishioner, and refused a service dog, I'd go to another parish.

Obedience to canon is understandable, but not when it compromises the Great Commission.

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Offline LBK

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 12:44:38 PM »
It is ridiculous. If my priest banned a parishioner, and refused a service dog, I'd go to another parish.

Obedience to canon is understandable, but not when it compromises the Great Commission.

PP

This. Definitely this.
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Offline Schultz

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 01:04:26 PM »
It is ridiculous. If my priest banned a parishioner, and refused a service dog, I'd go to another parish.

Obedience to canon is understandable, but not when it compromises the Great Commission.

PP

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 01:07:53 PM »
As I understand it, animals are canonically forbidden from entering the Church
There are also canonical exceptions. Letting a seeing eye dog in would be in the spirit of some of these exceptions.

and dogs are specifically a no-no- a priest told me that, if a dog were to enter the sanctuary, the altar would have to be re-consecrated.
Sounds like a muslim or general semitic taboo rather than something significant for a Christian.

If God's Divine Grace can't overcome dog dander, we have bigger problems on our hands.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 01:09:25 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline KBN1

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2012, 01:09:12 PM »
It is ridiculous. If my priest banned a parishioner, and refused a service dog, I'd go to another parish.

Obedience to canon is understandable, but not when it compromises the Great Commission.

PP

I'd write to the bishop, first.

Good call. 

Offline arimethea

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2012, 04:37:47 PM »
Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 04:38:09 PM by arimethea »
Joseph

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2012, 05:00:15 PM »
Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.

Exactly what i was going to say while quoating your previous responce.

Place the dog in another area to relax...a vacant classroom, in an area in the reception hall or an office, on an on.
Im sure they can find an appropriate place for the dogie!
And yes then a parishoner take the disabled persons hand and guide them as needed thorouhgt the liturgy.

Whats the problem. Il tell you what the problem is (rant comming on)---evertyone and there mothers think they have the right to this and that and the other. those are just words, laws, ordinences, from the state, county, goverment.
Thats not our law our law is from and abt God.

Dont get me wrong i am very much so an animal lover in particular dogs, one (100lb dog) is by my feet (always) as i type this.
Im just tired of everyone and there rights, sick of it actually.
I dont want to be in church with a dog by me, im distracted enough by people.

Yours,
politically incorrect


Offline Tallitot

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2012, 05:23:29 PM »
A friend from another forum (who is also Orthodox) was recently banned from her church because the priest refused to let her attend with her service dog.  Legally, churches are the only places of business that CAN prevent people from entering with their service dogs, but I'm shocked that they WOULD.  (Pets, I understand, but service dogs are not pets.)  Is this Orthodox-wide practice?  She is considering leaving Orthodoxy entirely over this, which saddens me greatly.
She can join my synagogue. We have one member who uses a service dog and two families that raise and train them. They bring the dogs to services all the time and there is never a problem. These animals work harder than some people I know.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2012, 05:24:39 PM »
Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.

That would be great alternative. However, we must realize that often there is a great attachment between the service dog and his master, and parting may be quite difficult. Also, it seems to me that the disabled person must develop a special relationship with a specific parishioner before he would/could separate from the service dog. Finally, even if there is only an emotional attachment between the service dog and the disabled person, forbidding their presence in the church because of a canon is, God forgive me for saying this, pharisaic.

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2012, 05:32:31 PM »
Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.

That would be great alternative. However, we must realize that often there is a great attachment between the service dog and his master, and parting may be quite difficult. Also, it seems to me that the disabled person must develop a special relationship with a specific parishioner before he would/could separate from the service dog. Finally, even if there is only an emotional attachment between the service dog and the disabled person, forbidding their presence in the church because of a canon is, God forgive me for saying this, pharisaic.


You know on the flip side of what i said before, there are also service dogs that are just companions. I worked at a apt comlex and the older man had a huge wolf looking dog living in a no pets apt comlex. we had to explain to them that its a service dog. we later found out its an companion serv dog helping an unstable or depressed person live life. it performed not regular tasks other then giving love and companionship to the man.

there are also other typs of service dogs that you would not see them doing anything out of the ordinary. for example, some are there to alert the person and family members that the person is abt to have an epilptic fit and the dog then lyes on the the person keeping him from hurting himself during the episode.

so withthe bove in mind it makes it more problematic to say that you cant bring the dog into church???

FYI: did you know that you can bring your cattle into the curch with no problem.........during war time/invasion?

« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 05:33:13 PM by Nikolaostheservant »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2012, 05:36:15 PM »
What's ridiculous is that your friend would need a service dog in church- the parishoners are supposed to be brothers and sisters and, ergo, help one another.

But it's understandable as to why a dog, even a service-dog, would not be allowed in church; cynophobia, allergies, etc...
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2012, 05:58:44 PM »
If a parish is going to forbid service dogs to help the disabled/visually impaired, maybe they should publicize this fact so the users of service animals don't get surprised when they arrive? That would be fair. In my hometown there's a section where churches can list  special announcements for free .
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Offline William

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2012, 06:09:02 PM »
Neither are horses for the duration of a day at a time or so, so get a service pony.

Serious question, wouldn't they 'go' during that time?
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Offline nichole.boz

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2012, 06:11:48 PM »
My home parish had a blind parishioner who brought her dog to liturgy every week...it never bothered anyone, and immediately went to sleep under her section of the pew upon arrival.  She often was helped up to receive Holy Communion by a friend, and often her dog remained invisible for the entirety of the service.  

I agree with the "there are exceptions to the canons for the good of each individual Christian" camp on this one.....unless it negatively affects another, or disturbs the service in any way, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Offline Gamliel

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2012, 07:42:01 PM »
I would double check how legal it is for a Church to forbid a service dog.  You and/or your friend may want to conslut with an attorney.  If you cannot afford one, check the statutes and administrative rules of your state.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2012, 08:07:21 PM »

Oh come on!  An attorney?  Really?

We are encouraging someone to take a church to court?

Perhaps this person was a bit stubborn????  Perhaps they could have left the dog in a classroom, or the church hall, and their friend could have "led" them in to the church?

In a church filled with people, there had to be someone willing to extend an elbow to assist them.

Before looking for an attorney, how about contacting this eparchy's bishop, and see what he says.  Perhaps he would allow it, or perhaps he could better explain why it's not permitted and suggest another way for this person to attend Liturgy without their dog in tow.

Getting the "law" involved in church affairs simply doesn't sit well with me.  That should be a last resort, only if the hierarchs have for some reason failed to follow through, and if a criminal act had taken place.

....and if this person is ready to "leave" Orthodoxy simply because their dog was not allowed to enter the church, then they never really knew Orthodoxy. 

How can you turn your back on Christ because your pet wasn't allowed to join you in church.  Really?

What happened to loving God more than anything else? 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37

I can only assume that he that loveth dog more than God is also not worthy of Him.



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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2012, 08:14:11 PM »
I would double check how legal it is for a Church to forbid a service dog.  You and/or your friend may want to conslut with an attorney.  If you cannot afford one, check the statutes and administrative rules of your state.

You'll lose.  The Priest and parishoners will prove that they provided ample accomodations for him/her as well as sound reasoning for their decision.  Providing, of course, one could find an attorney dumb enough to take the case.  Wait, ok, one will find plenty of dumb attorney's.  Still, you'll lose.  :)
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2012, 08:20:51 PM »
I'd like to hear a bit more about the circumstances. Why does this woman require a service dog? If this had always been the woman's church (OP says "banned from her church"), then what changed? Was the woman perfectly able one Sunday, and the next came marching in with a service dog? I don't think we've got the whole story here.

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2012, 10:36:36 PM »

Oh come on!  An attorney?  Really?

We are encouraging someone to take a church to court?

Perhaps this person was a bit stubborn????  Perhaps they could have left the dog in a classroom, or the church hall, and their friend could have "led" them in to the church?

This.

It's unfortunate that the situation wasn't handled better (unless it was handled better than we've been led to believe), but this all seems a bit much.  And that's coming from a dog person. 

Banned from the Church?  The person wasn't actually banned.  We may or may not disagree with the priest's reported decision, but without better information, I think we should calm down and not try to lend our advice or feed the litigious monster against our Church.

No offense to the OP (I don't mean to imply that you are misleading us or passing along bad information), but people shouldn't get so worked up over internet hearsay.
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Offline Gamliel

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2012, 11:52:45 PM »
I didn't say, "litigate."  I said, "Check with an attorney."  I know attorneys have a bad reputation for wanting to litigate everything, but there are plenty of good ones who will advise a client without wanting to rush to court.  An attorney can advise a client if he/she has any legal rights.  If the Church has the right to refuse a service animal, an attorney, even a "dumb attorney," can try to negotiate an accommodation for this person.

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2012, 12:08:35 AM »
I didn't say, "litigate."  I said, "Check with an attorney."  I know attorneys have a bad reputation for wanting to litigate everything, but there are plenty of good ones who will advise a client without wanting to rush to court.  An attorney can advise a client if he/she has any legal rights.  If the Church has the right to refuse a service animal, an attorney, even a "dumb attorney," can try to negotiate an accommodation for this person.

Point taken, Gamliel.  I still think it's better to sort the issue within the parish or with the bishop though.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2012, 02:21:55 AM »
A friend from another forum (who is also Orthodox) was recently banned from her church because the priest refused to let her attend with her service dog.  Legally, churches are the only places of business that CAN prevent people from entering with their service dogs, but I'm shocked that they WOULD.  (Pets, I understand, but service dogs are not pets.)  Is this Orthodox-wide practice?  She is considering leaving Orthodoxy entirely over this, which saddens me greatly.
She can join my synagogue. We have one member who uses a service dog and two families that raise and train them. They bring the dogs to services all the time and there is never a problem. These animals work harder than some people I know.

Would that be allowed in an Orthodox synagogue?

Offline JamesR

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2012, 02:36:12 AM »
From what I know it is really not that widespread. My Priest specifically said to the congregation before that service dogs are the only animals allowed in the Church, the reason being that there were a couple people who were bringing their toy-sized dogs to Church. Likewise, I still see people's normal pets that are not even service dogs roaming around the Church offices after Liturgy.

EDIT: Doesn't the local Bishop decide when and where Canon laws apply and can overrule certain Canons for his flock if he deems it fit? In theory, can't her Bishop overrule this Canon? I think that mine did, which is why service dogs are allowed.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 02:37:47 AM by JamesR »
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2012, 12:24:35 PM »
I know one Polish Orthodox bishop who is against animals' presence not only in church (as it has to be reconsecrated), but also in priest's home, if he lives in a rectory. This bishop claims that it can be dangerous for the purity of liturgical objects and liturgical actions of the priest, as animals have own physiology. However, he stressed that it is his personal view on the issue.

I think that with service dogs is a bit different situation. It stills to be an animal, but it's helper for the people who needs it. I agree with arimethea, that the best option would be to leave the dog for the time of Liturgy in a room/building close to the church.
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2012, 12:43:17 PM »
A friend from another forum (who is also Orthodox) was recently banned from her church because the priest refused to let her attend with her service dog.  Legally, churches are the only places of business that CAN prevent people from entering with their service dogs, but I'm shocked that they WOULD.  (Pets, I understand, but service dogs are not pets.)  Is this Orthodox-wide practice?  She is considering leaving Orthodoxy entirely over this, which saddens me greatly.
She can join my synagogue. We have one member who uses a service dog and two families that raise and train them. They bring the dogs to services all the time and there is never a problem. These animals work harder than some people I know.

Would that be allowed in an Orthodox synagogue?
I dunno. I have a friend who belongs to an Orthodox shul I'll ask him.
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2012, 07:17:48 PM »
Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.

Can you detect blood sugar levels, if a seizure or a stroke is near?  Can you calm an autisitic child?  Service dogs do these besides guding the blind. It is not for anyone else to decide they can serve the person better than their dog, which in many cases they can't even perform the function.   
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2012, 07:26:51 PM »
How can you turn your back on Christ because your pet wasn't allowed to join you in church.  Really?

A service dog is not a pet, legally.  It is no different than a wheelchair or a crutch or an oxygen mask.  Do you think Christ would turn disabled people and their service dogs away, really?  If you do I think perhaps you don't know Christ as well you would like to think.
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2012, 07:44:18 PM »
And really to all of you who think it is acceptable to refuse admission to the service dog, Do you think an outdated canon with no meaning for today should carry force while we ignore others?  Do you think Our Lord who deigned to be born in a stable and layed in a manager objects to a servie dog? 
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2012, 07:48:16 PM »
How can you turn your back on Christ because your pet wasn't allowed to join you in church.  Really?

A service dog is not a pet, legally.  It is no different than a wheelchair or a crutch or an oxygen mask.  Do you think Christ would turn disabled people and their service dogs away, really?  If you do I think perhaps you don't know Christ as well you would like to think.

I suggested that they speak to the priest and bishop, who may allow a service dog.

However, taking the church to court over it is overstepping.  This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Would Christ reject the dog...no.  Afterall, God made all creatures. 

...and perhaps I do not know Christ as well as you seem to think you do.

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2012, 08:06:07 PM »
And really to all of you who think it is acceptable to refuse admission to the service dog, Do you think an outdated canon with no meaning for today should carry force while we ignore others?  Do you think Our Lord who deigned to be born in a stable and layed in a manager objects to a servie dog? 

I never considered the canon; I just don't think animals belong in church which, btw, aint' the same thing as a manger.  However, it ain't up to me but the priest and bishop.

Plus, to those who want to visit an attorney, consider the consequences if you won:  It'll make it that much easier for homosexuals to win similar lawsuits.  Think it through people.  Think it through. 
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2012, 08:29:49 PM »
If Christ did not want you to bring service animals in Church then He would have temporarily healed you of your ailment upon entering the Church so that you would not need them.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2012, 08:38:05 PM »
This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.  Another point seemingly lost on many here.
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2012, 09:03:10 PM »
This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.

Same goes for you. 
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2012, 10:01:59 PM »
This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.

Same goes for you. 

No it doesn't as I am not the one telling disabled persons what accomodation they should find acceptable.
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2012, 10:07:05 PM »
This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.  Another point seemingly lost on many here.

I have not made any decision here, as I am not in a position to make any decision concerning service animals.  I have merely voiced an opinion.

If you don't like it, that's just too bad for you.

I suggest, yet again, that this person speak to the priest or their bishop.

However, you also missed the major point that this individual is contemplating leaving the Orthodox Church all-together because of this incident.

You should be more upset about this point, then the dog.

How is that someone can so easily walk away from the True Church?  That is the most important point in this discussion.



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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2012, 10:16:48 PM »
One could just as easily ask why a priest of the True Church would treat a daughter of that same Church so callously. I think that's at least an equally important question as the one you've rightly raised, Liza.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 10:20:35 PM by dzheremi »

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2012, 10:25:48 PM »
This was not a service dog who senses seizures, low glucose, etc...but, a seeing-eye dog.  That person could have easily been led in to the church without that dog in tow.

Not for you to decide.  Another point seemingly lost on many here.

I have not made any decision here, as I am not in a position to make any decision concerning service animals.  I have merely voiced an opinion.

If you don't like it, that's just too bad for you.

I suggest, yet again, that this person speak to the priest or their bishop.

However, you also missed the major point that this individual is contemplating leaving the Orthodox Church all-together because of this incident.

You should be more upset about this point, then the dog.

How is that someone can so easily walk away from the True Church?  That is the most important point in this discussion.

No the major point is the insensitivity of a priest that is causing a person to contemplate leaving.  I've seen to many of these incidents in both Orthodox and Catholic parishes.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2012, 10:51:33 PM »

You are making a decision here about the insensitivity of the priest.  You don't know the whole story.  Perhaps he gave numerous other options that the individual simply didn't want to accept.

...and even if the priest were insensitive, that's still no reason to leave Orthodoxy.

I've met many insensitive individuals, but, one must learn to differentiate between the Church and her not so perfect followers.
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2012, 11:24:41 PM »

You are making a decision here about the insensitivity of the priest.  You don't know the whole story.  Perhaps he gave numerous other options that the individual simply didn't want to accept.

...and even if the priest were insensitive, that's still no reason to leave Orthodoxy.

I've met many insensitive individuals, but, one must learn to differentiate between the Church and her not so perfect followers.

I don't need to know the whole story.  She should have been allowed to bring the dog, period.  If arcane canons are more important than parishioners we deserves to lose them. The Church is judged by the actions of her followers.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2012, 07:36:51 AM »
I'm still waiting for the OP to give a few more details. I want to know why the woman with the dog attended church regularly (OP said it was her church) and suddenly without warning was made unwelcome.

We still don't know what disability required the use of a service dog - too many people are bickering about the unknowns.

If TinyDancer wants any responsible discussion (and to maintain his/her credibility), he/she is going to have to supply a few more details.

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2012, 11:16:20 AM »
Can someone explain why a service dog must be present for the disabled person while they are in church? Is is not our job as their fellow Christians to minister to them better then a dog would minister to them? We are horrible Christians if we can not take our brother's or sister's hand and lead them to the icons to kiss, or the chalice to receive the body and blood.

Service dogs are not just used for sight - they are also used as alerts (for epilepsy, severe asthma, etc)  balance, hearing, to alert others that an 'event' is about to take place.  They can sense things that we humans can't.  It depends on the disability and what the person needs.  The PERSON who has a service dog often associates the dog as an extension of themselves - and the dog is often defined as that by the legal system.  I can lead someone who is blind.  I don't think I can, as a Christian, without the help of the Holy Spirit, warn of an impending epileptic attack.  But maybe, that's where I need to be. . .available to the Holy Spirit.  :-/ 
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2012, 07:53:53 PM »

I have nothing against service dogs.  They are certainly a blessing to their owners.

However, perhaps the individual with the dog should contact the priest before simply showing up with one.  Perhaps if he wasn't so surprised he may have simply asked they stand in the back, etc.

Who knows what the true story is here?  It truly is interesting that they showed up with the dog and the dog was refused entrance....where was this person attending church before?

Too many unanswered questions.

However, before everyone jumps on this priest and the Church, they really should get more information on this particular situation.  Calling a lawyer to litigate against a church is never a good thing.

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Offline TinyDancer

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2012, 04:45:16 PM »
Hi everyone, sorry I haven't been back to check this thread, I don't have time to check this forum every day.

From what I know, this is the church that my friend was baptized in and attended all her life.  She developed a degenerative disease and has had extreme difficulty attending church in recent years.  The service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues. 

She actually contacted the priest before attending to give him a heads up, and the priest forbade her to attend with the dog.  She feels no longer welcome there, as her issues prevent her from attending without her dog.

Legally, places of worship are the ONLY places that can ban service dogs- any other place of business is required to admit certified service dogs.  Phobias and allergies are not legitimate excuses for public buildings under the law. 

As I said in the beginning, I don't know the whole story here, and I don't recommend suing a priest or a church- I was just shocked that it happened and was wondering what the norm was.   I know at my own church a few of the strapping young men carry wheelchair bound folks up the stairs as our church is not accessible, which makes me very proud of our teenagers. 

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2012, 05:09:28 PM »

If this is more than a "seeing eye" dog, than perhaps instead of leaving the Church, this person needs to notify the bishop and explain her situation and get a special dispensation for Fido.

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2012, 05:30:18 PM »
As a PK, I hate to say this but I think that the problem here is the priest. Of course, we only know one side of the story, but, based on has been related so far, we see the following:

- Long time parishioner
- Degenerative disease
- Extreme difficulty attending church in recent years
- Service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues
- The priest forbade her to attend with the dog

Even if the priest's reaction is not accurately portrayed, the fact is that the parishioner perceived it to be a flat, insensitive no. If the priest had any  tact, he could have made the "medicine go down with some sugar."   

Offline Ebor

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #56 on: September 04, 2012, 06:37:56 PM »
I recall a thread on this topic many years ago on either GENie or .religion.eo.  So I've read of this sort of situation before.

One question for those who have said that the person with the disabilities should leave her service dog and other people will help her 1) do they know the correct way to offer help to a person who is blind?  Do they know how to direct/warn them them about things that a sighted person most likely doesn't think much about like a step and is it up or down?  For a person with a degenerative disease there are more complications such as the limit of their ability to move that another person might not think of.

As a side note: Why would the mere presence of a dog in a consecrated space de-consecrate it?  The blessing of the Creator of All Things can't stand up to the presence of one of His creatures?   ???
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #57 on: September 04, 2012, 06:44:01 PM »
I still think if a house of worship is going to forbid service animals, they should announce this publically so those who use them will know not to bring them.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2012, 06:47:43 PM »
Service dogs were, I should think, unknown when the canon in question was made. I find it hard to believe that such lack of compassion exists now or would have existed then.

What we need far more than a ban on service dogs is a ban on cell phones and other electronic devices! I'd vote for that.

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2012, 06:53:59 PM »
Service dogs were, I should think, unknown when the canon in question was made. I find it hard to believe that such lack of compassion exists now or would have existed then.

What we need far more than a ban on service dogs is a ban on cell phones and other electronic devices! I'd vote for that.

I second that. Almost every week, at least one phone goes off during the Great Entrance.
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Offline choy

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2012, 07:06:11 PM »
One issue is that some parishioners may be allergic to dogs.

And on a personal note, my kid developed a phobia of big dogs, he keeps saying the dog will eat him (I do not know where it came from).  But given this issue, I agree with the people who posted that other parishioners should step up.  I would personally step up given I am the one with an issue.

Offline OrthoNoob

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2012, 07:09:50 PM »
Service dogs were, I should think, unknown when the canon in question was made. I find it hard to believe that such lack of compassion exists now or would have existed then.

What we need far more than a ban on service dogs is a ban on cell phones and other electronic devices! I'd vote for that.

I second that. Almost every week, at least one phone goes off during the Great Entrance.

My church does have such a ban.
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2012, 07:24:35 PM »
This is why we should use service monkeys.
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2012, 07:57:34 PM »
This is why we should use service monkeys.
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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2012, 08:18:39 PM »
Joseph

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2012, 08:22:09 PM »


^ Helper monkeys need to go to church, too.

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Re: Service Dogs
« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2012, 09:21:10 PM »
As a PK, I hate to say this but I think that the problem here is the priest. Of course, we only know one side of the story, but, based on has been related so far, we see the following:

- Long time parishioner
- Degenerative disease
- Extreme difficulty attending church in recent years
- Service dog helps with her mobility as well as with vision issues
- The priest forbade her to attend with the dog

Even if the priest's reaction is not accurately portrayed, the fact is that the parishioner perceived it to be a flat, insensitive no. If the priest had any  tact, he could have made the "medicine go down with some sugar."   


Also as a PK, I agree with Carl.