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Author Topic: What is the genuine Orthodox position on Artificial Birth Control?  (Read 4534 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #90 on: November 16, 2012, 02:10:03 PM »

This is precisely one of the examples I have with Orthodoxy, there seems to be no absolute authoritative ruling on the issue.

Just a whole lot of "opinions" or some priest's private interpretations of Church Doctrine.

There even seems to be a lot of that secular "stay out of our bedroom" drama we here from the pro-abort and homosexual camps.

A whole lot of confusion if you ask me.

What's confusing about "it is a pastoral issue." Seems pretty clear to me.

It's only a "pastoral issue" in the sense that our Priests and spiritual fathers are there to guide us in conformity to truth, not to provide a subjective and private imprimatur on unorthodox behaviors or ideas. The Orthodox view of sexuality is that it is a divine gift that is only blessed within the confines of marriage. And the gift of sexuality is to be understood in its holistic context. God designed sex for intimacy, pleasure, and procreation. Attempts to artificially restrict and reduce the sexual act to one of these aspects alone will inevitably result in the crippling of all aspects. The Orthodox pastoral counsel should simply be: "If you do not wish to have children or cannot afford children at this time, then struggle to abstain from sexual intimacy during those times when pregnancy is likely to occur. And if you do conceive anyway, recognize that conception as a blessing from God. This may not be easy, but it is the Orthodox approach."

There is no evidence from Scripture, the apostles, or the Church fathers that supports the use of artificial birth control.


Selam

The need of pastoral concern is to ascertain and make sure that the couple are not avoiding children, as the Russian statements put it, "for egotistical reasons."


I agree in theory, but that leaves too much grey area.
Much of life is lived in "grey area."  If the path was marked in black and white, it wouldn't be so narrow and less traveled.

There are millionaires in the world who commit abortion because they claim that it would be egotistical and selfish to bring children into the world.

There are poor who claim the same thing, especially if someone else is paying for it.  Money, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with it.

And since our spiritual fathers cannot judge our hearts, then they should simply affirm and instruct married couples on the purpose of sexuality and affirm the unequivocal Orthodox principles of Life affirmation.
If there was a magic book of answers like the Muslims have
http://books.google.com/books?id=54TYAAAAMAAJ&q=A+Clarification+of+questions&dq=A+Clarification+of+questions&cd=1
we wouldn't have any need for useless (as you describe them) spiritual fathers.

Now don't create a straw man here brother. Where have I said that there is no need for economy or for personal guidance from our spiritual fathers? My point is that spiritual advice regarding birth control should be commensurate with Church Teaching and apostolic Tradition. Why do we suddenly take a Protestant approach when it comes to the issue of artificial birth control, elevating individual opinions above the clear indications of apostolic truth?
Why do you take the equally Protestant approach of elevating your personal opinions to the level of apostolic truth?
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« Reply #91 on: November 16, 2012, 02:41:35 PM »

I believe the principle that supports what the Fathers have to say about it is that sex, to be whole, must have the whole of the each of the two persons involved.

By whole it means heart, imagination, attention, presence, feelings, desire, past, present and future.

The several forms of sexual sins basically involving not engaging one or many of the parts of the whole of us. We deny our partner our past, we deny them our future, we deny them the fullness of our desire, sharing it with other people, we deny the fullness of our imagination and feelings by commiting adultery in mind and in practice.

Also, we tend to see the partner as just part and not a whole. Fetishes, "consensual unchastity" - which is the norm today, seeing the other as just "a very intimate friend" with whom you share a pleasure not fundamentally different from sharing a intimate conversation, just more fun. Because this is  wrong vision that debase human dignity, it is also sinful.

Plus, spiritually, we become one flesh with everybody with have sex with- at least that's how I understand the biblical teaching to be, and the ultimate reason why sex outside marriage is a sin - and that is a reason even stronger than the problem of dignity and why it is a sin of the flash. If we fornicators - and 99% of us modern people are, were or will be - could see ourselves spiritually, we would see a mass of flash from deformed bodies grotesquely united. Only repetance, baptism and confession can heal us into health individuality or to the proper union with a spouse.

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« Reply #92 on: November 16, 2012, 04:41:59 PM »

What might be the problem here is that RCs may be missing the point on the whole "talk to your priest" thing.
What better way to educate, inform and inspire a couple to strive for the fullness of the Orthodox understanding of marriage, including our beliefs and teachings about having children. After all, which is more likely to bear fruit - to lay down laws that most will disregard or to attempt to help a couple understand?
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« Reply #93 on: November 16, 2012, 04:56:41 PM »

That assumes that the Fathers never knew of artificial birth control, a charge I find rather preposterous, since means to prevent the conception of a child are much easier to use than creating a nuclear bomb and have likely been used for centuries before Jesus walked the earth.

Actually it's not preposterous. People discovered how fertilisation works no sooner than in the XVIIIth century (or thee XIXth). Before that view that sperm contains miniature human beings and women are just incubators were fairly common. People did not know what is the difference between abortion and contraception.
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« Reply #94 on: November 16, 2012, 09:28:20 PM »

"as we have discussed here
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.0.html
"Natural Law" is an invention of your "Magisterium," and hence anything it doesn't explain not only is not "painfully obvious," but non-existent as well." -ialmisry



So now the Magisterium "invented" the laws of nature which govern the activities of the material universe? Huh

Whatever.

Oh wait they don't exist at all.

Uhh, right.

And no, I'm not reading 12 more pages of this nonsense from another thread, I've had quite my fill of your "logic" on this one already.

"He spoke plainly in "Unam Sanctam" as well, and in Dictatae Papae, and....in a lot of other documents which you all disown now. Who is twisting or changing to suit their "feelings" or "conscience" on "Unam Sanctam" etc
"


 What are you talking about? nobody's "disowned" anything, they're still in effect, nothing's changed.

But you do have to understand the history of why and when and what the context was of when the those popes wrote them.




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« Reply #95 on: December 05, 2012, 01:01:54 PM »


"He spoke plainly in "Unam Sanctam" as well, and in Dictatae Papae, and....in a lot of other documents which you all disown now. Who is twisting or changing to suit their "feelings" or "conscience" on "Unam Sanctam" etc
"


 What are you talking about? nobody's "disowned" anything, they're still in effect, nothing's changed.

But you do have to understand the history of why and when and what the context was of when the those popes wrote them.


To contextualize its meaning away?
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« Reply #96 on: December 05, 2012, 01:40:39 PM »


"He spoke plainly in "Unam Sanctam" as well, and in Dictatae Papae, and....in a lot of other documents which you all disown now. Who is twisting or changing to suit their "feelings" or "conscience" on "Unam Sanctam" etc
"


 What are you talking about? nobody's "disowned" anything, they're still in effect, nothing's changed.

But you do have to understand the history of why and when and what the context was of when the those popes wrote them.


To contextualize its meaning away?

I don't think so.  Rather, to more fully understand what was meant.  Context, after all can be critical.


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« Reply #97 on: December 05, 2012, 01:44:57 PM »

What might be the problem here is that RCs may be missing the point on the whole "talk to your priest" thing.
What better way to educate, inform and inspire a couple to strive for the fullness of the Orthodox understanding of marriage, including our beliefs and teachings about having children. After all, which is more likely to bear fruit - to lay down laws that most will disregard or to attempt to help a couple understand?

I actually think that sounds like a great idea, but here's my question (and believe it or not, I don't mean it to be polemic!  Shocked ) - does that actually happen in Orthodoxy? Do couples really talk to their priest before deciding to use contraception? I'm just curious about how Orthodox interact with their priests in general - is it really such a more intimate relationship than it is in the RC?
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« Reply #98 on: December 05, 2012, 02:23:34 PM »

What might be the problem here is that RCs may be missing the point on the whole "talk to your priest" thing.
What better way to educate, inform and inspire a couple to strive for the fullness of the Orthodox understanding of marriage, including our beliefs and teachings about having children. After all, which is more likely to bear fruit - to lay down laws that most will disregard or to attempt to help a couple understand?

I actually think that sounds like a great idea, but here's my question (and believe it or not, I don't mean it to be polemic!  Shocked ) - does that actually happen in Orthodoxy? Do couples really talk to their priest before deciding to use contraception? I'm just curious about how Orthodox interact with their priests in general - is it really such a more intimate relationship than it is in the RC?

This is probably going to drive you a little crazy, but, like a lot of other things in Orthodoxy - it depends. Naturally it depends on the priest and the parishioners - some people are more approachable than others. But yes, anecdotally and generally speaking, from my observation, Orthodox have a closer relationship with their priests.  For one thing, the parishes are smaller!
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« Reply #99 on: December 05, 2012, 02:32:44 PM »

What might be the problem here is that RCs may be missing the point on the whole "talk to your priest" thing.
What better way to educate, inform and inspire a couple to strive for the fullness of the Orthodox understanding of marriage, including our beliefs and teachings about having children. After all, which is more likely to bear fruit - to lay down laws that most will disregard or to attempt to help a couple understand?

I actually think that sounds like a great idea, but here's my question (and believe it or not, I don't mean it to be polemic!  Shocked ) - does that actually happen in Orthodoxy? Do couples really talk to their priest before deciding to use contraception? I'm just curious about how Orthodox interact with their priests in general - is it really such a more intimate relationship than it is in the RC?

Depends on the priest, how good a pastor he is.  I've had an Orthodox priest spend more time with me than any Catholic priest, and I have not converted yet at this point.  It is telling.  And I try.  I'm saddened by this.  It would have made a huge difference for me is there was a priest who would sit down with me, teach me, give me direction, etc.  Given that the priest who has given me the time and direction is an Orthodox priest, it pretty much makes that decision for me.
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« Reply #100 on: December 05, 2012, 02:38:39 PM »

What might be the problem here is that RCs may be missing the point on the whole "talk to your priest" thing.
What better way to educate, inform and inspire a couple to strive for the fullness of the Orthodox understanding of marriage, including our beliefs and teachings about having children. After all, which is more likely to bear fruit - to lay down laws that most will disregard or to attempt to help a couple understand?

I actually think that sounds like a great idea, but here's my question (and believe it or not, I don't mean it to be polemic!  Shocked ) - does that actually happen in Orthodoxy? Do couples really talk to their priest before deciding to use contraception? I'm just curious about how Orthodox interact with their priests in general - is it really such a more intimate relationship than it is in the RC?

Depends on the priest, how good a pastor he is.  I've had an Orthodox priest spend more time with me than any Catholic priest, and I have not converted yet at this point.  It is telling.  And I try.  I'm saddened by this.  It would have made a huge difference for me is there was a priest who would sit down with me, teach me, give me direction, etc.  Given that the priest who has given me the time and direction is an Orthodox priest, it pretty much makes that decision for me.

I'd just add, speaking from experience--depends on the priest, how good a pastor he thinks he is.  They all have their own quirks, strong points, and uh.....weak points.
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« Reply #101 on: December 06, 2012, 12:43:13 PM »

"as we have discussed here
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.0.html
"Natural Law" is an invention of your "Magisterium," and hence anything it doesn't explain not only is not "painfully obvious," but non-existent as well." -ialmisry



So now the Magisterium "invented" the laws of nature which govern the activities of the material universe? Huh
So Sir Isaac Newton is equal-to-the-apostles.
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