This might be an issue where the EO and OO are at odds.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š The EO Church teaches that there is no instance--at all--where a direct abortion can occur, and that the Church has competence in this realm since abortion is murder plain and simple.
I wouldn’t go this far in my conclusions, as to say that we are definitely at odds, for two reasons:
a) Because I am really only presenting my own personal interpretation of the apparent inconsistency of opinion between His Grace Bishop Serapion and His Holiness Pope Shenouda III on the matter (though it is one that I stand by). Some (indeed, the Patriarch himself even) may simply interpret it more strictly i.e. they may hold that H. G. Bishop Serapion has simply erred in his statement (Bishops are not infallible in the OO Church — if they are considered as such in the EO Church, then we may be at odds here at least). I therefore wouldn’t go as far as making open blanket statements about our being at odds over this issue; we can at most only be at odds according to my own personal interpretation of the inconsistency - but this is assuming that your statement regarding the EOC’s position is accurate in the first place, which brings me to my next pointÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦
b) Because the EO Church seems inconsistent on the matter herself. Take this excerpt from the goarch.org website
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.
This seems to be clearly condoning ‘therapeutic abortion’ - a procedure by which the fetus is aborted for the sake of the mothers life, as opposed to a procedure by which the fetus dies as an unintended consequence. This implication is made clear by the words “unless
the embryo or fetus is aborted”, which suggest that the procedure carried out for the preservation of the mothers life necessarily
results in the abortion of the fetus (hence the element of intention
), and not simply possibly
resulting in the abortion of the fetus.
There is also this from the OCA website
As to abortion, the Church very clearly and absolutely condemns it as an act of murder in every case. If a woman is with child, she must allow it to be born. In regard to all of the very difficult cases, such as a young girl being raped or a mother who is certain to die, the consensus of Orthodox opinion would be that a decision for abortion might possibly be made, but that it can in no way be easily justified as morally righteous, and that persons making such a decision must repent of it and count on the mercy of God.
This quote is in itself problematic, for not only does it acknowledge the possibility of allowing for abortion in certain circumstances,ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š but it is condoning the possibility of certain acts that are nonetheless considered morally incorrect.
Furthermore, here is an explicit statement from Bishop John (Kallos) of Thermon of the EO Church
, condoning therapeutic abortion, as an exception to the general rule against abortion:
The Orthodox Church does not condone abortion for she holds human life as sacred. Only in the case of therapeutic abortion when the life of the mother is endangered can the possibility of abortion be considered
Nothing different in this comment than that of Bishop Serapion.
BTW, I do intend to get back to your earlier post, but you kind of wore me out logically speaking and I still need to recover
I do my bestÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š