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drewmeister2
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« on: August 31, 2005, 08:42:37 PM »

Someone told me abortion is supported by the Coptic Church if the mother will die.  Is this true?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2005, 10:42:12 PM »

Don't most churches allow abortion if it is pretty certain the mother will die?
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2005, 05:30:35 AM »

If the mother dies and the child is born, she will die as a martyr and she will enter the kingdom of God. This is a mother that has sacrificied herself on the altar of the family!
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2005, 07:26:06 AM »

If the mother dies and the child is born, she will die as a martyr and she will enter the kingdom of God. This is a mother that has sacrificied herself on the altar of the family!


True.. but there's a difference between a mother chosing to give up her life for her child and the church forcing her to.  Medical procedures which are necessary to save a mother's life but cause the lose of the child are not forbidden. 
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2005, 08:54:10 AM »

Another point to consider is if the mother has already other children and who will be taking care of them if she dies in order to save the unborn child.       
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2005, 03:39:28 PM »

There are also cases (for example ectopic pregnancies where the child is developing in the fallopian tube rather then the uterus or outside of the uterus/tube entirely.  rare but it does happen) where without intervention *both* mother and child will die.

Ebor
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2005, 01:18:09 PM »

What Ebor describes is the principle of double effect, not a direct abortion.  Performing surgery on a fallopian tube pregnancy situation that results in the death of a baby is not the same thing as going in and killing it because there is a chance the mother will not survive.  The church allows intervention when abortion is an unintended double effect, but not when it is the direct act.

Anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2005, 02:14:02 PM »

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III states in his book The Ten Commandments , Volume III, page 25:

Quote
Abortion:

Abortion is a form of murdering a living creature which,
although not yet born, has a soul that we do not have the
authority to dispose of. There are two kinds of abortion:
intentional, and unintentional. Intentional abortion is performed
when a woman or her family or friends decide to get rid of the
foetus by medical methods. The doctor who does it, is partially
responsible for it and is deemed an essential partner in this
incidence of killing. Abortion may also be executed by other
methods very well known to women. In this case the
responsibility falls very clearly on the woman who does it. Yet,
the aim behind abortion determines the weight of responsibility,
for it may be considered a crime committed to hide another
crime.

Those helping in the performance of abortion may think they
have done something proper, such as preventing a scandal, but
actually they just participate in a crime of murder. A woman
may have an abortion because she is not willing to give birth to
children, but this does not make her innocent of the crime of
murder. Abortion may also be done to protect the mother if
delivery threatens her life. Doctors may kill the foetus to rescue
the mother, and they excuse themselves for doing so by saying
that they sacrifice one soul to save another. Thus, the question
here is being discussed to show how great the responsibility
may be.

An unintentional miscarriage may happen when a mother is so
negligent that she loses her baby through exhausting herself.
An employer may make a pregnant employee work so much
that she ends up having a miscarriage. Such an employer will
be responsible and will have violated the Sixth Commandment
in this respect. A husband may bear this same responsibility if
he does not care about the health of his pregnant wife thus
causing her to miscarry.

Peace.
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2005, 10:41:24 PM »

What Ebor describes is the principle of double effect, not a direct abortion.ÂÂ  Performing surgery on a fallopian tube pregnancy situation that results in the death of a baby is not the same thing as going in and killing it because there is a chance the mother will not survive.ÂÂ  The church allows intervention when abortion is an unintended double effect, but not when it is the direct act.

Anastasios

I am curious, why doesn't the Coptic Church recommend this? 
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2005, 11:20:14 PM »

Drewmeister2,

I believe His Holiness Pope Shenouda III did in fact condemn the conscious and voluntary act of killing the fetus for the purpose of saving the mothers life, per my above quotation of him.

Although I have not read the quote in its original Arabic, and although the translation itself has resulted in pretty dodgy English, I think we can clearly see that the examples presented by His Holiness in the second paragraph, are introduced by him as examples pertaining to those who in “helping in the performance of abortion” think “they have done something proper”, have actually just “participated in the crime of murder.” Amongst the following examples manifesting this principle, he lists the act of doctors murdering the fetus in order to save the life of the mother. The word “may” that he employs in the sentence “doctors may kill the fetus” is used to express possibility of occurrence as opposed to expressing permission - the context proves that he clearly condemns it.

Peace.
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2005, 11:22:29 PM »



 The word “may” that he employs in the sentence “doctors may kill the fetus” is used to express possibility of occurrence as opposed to expressing permission - the context proves that he clearly condemns it.

Peace.


So abortion is never allowed, even in ectopic pregnancies?
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2005, 11:35:51 PM »

Now that I read into it more, it makes sense.

But, on this website: http://www.lacopts.org/index.php/lacopts/entry/abortion/, it says: "How can a mother, a physician, or anyone agree to participate in ending the life of a living being by having an abortion?  From the religious perspective, this can not be accepted unless the continuation of pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, and the only solution is “therapeutic abortion”."  Seems to contradict what HH said. 
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2005, 11:55:32 PM »

He may be meaning an abortion that is caused indirectly as a result of surgery to save a mother's life, what Catholics call "double effect."
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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2005, 12:05:15 AM »

drewmeister,

Quote
So abortion is never allowed, even in ectopic pregnancies?

Following the manner in which Ebor and Anastasios have described the nature and purpose of the surgery performed with respect to ectopic pregnancies (assuming for the sake of my own laziness that they are correct), I would say that the performance of such surgery clearly does not fall under the condemnation made by His Holiness in the above quote; that is not to say it is definitely allowed — I simply do not know. All that is known is that what His Holiness seems to specifically condemn, is the conscious, intentional and voluntary act of killing the fetus, and not the conscious, intentional and voluntary act of performing a surgery for the prevention of the death of both mother and child, which may or may not (?) eventuate in the death of the fetus.

The Coptic Orthodox Church (like all other Orthodox Church’s?) does not have some sort of an official book laying down some set of strict legislation on moral issues — we do not approach morality in a strictly theoretical framework that is then blindly applied to practical life. We recognize the fluidity of Christian morality that is most appropriately determined by the practical context of a situation, which is why, according to the reality of the Orthodox experience, these things are looked at on a case by case basis (regardless of any general statements made by certain Bishops), where persons facing such circumstances consult their spiritual adviser or even the local Bishop for advice and ruling on such matters according to the context of situation itself. 

Peace.
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2005, 12:12:07 AM »

Anastasios,

Quote
He may be meaning an abortion that is caused indirectly as a result of surgery to save a mother's life, what Catholics call "double effect."

Well, His Grace Bishop Serapion seems to explicitly be condoning “therapeutic abortion”, which specifically refers to direct abortion for the purpose of saving the mothers life which is at risk by virtue of the very existence of the fetus. There does seem to be a contradiction therefore, between His Holiness and His Grace on the matter, however this doesn't necessarily present a problem for the Orthodox believer seeking a practical solution (in light of my brief explanation of the practical approach of the Orthodox believer who is ultimately lead by the Holy Spirit), only for those attempting to reduce morality to a static object of strictly theoretical investigation.

Peace.
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2005, 12:15:21 AM »

drewmeister,

Following the manner in which Ebor and Anastasios have described the nature and purpose of the surgery performed with respect to ectopic pregnancies (assuming for the sake of my own laziness that they are correct), I would say that the performance of such surgery clearly does not fall under the condemnation made by His Holiness in the above quote; that is not to say it is definitely allowed — I simply do not know. All that is known is that what His Holiness seems to specifically condemn, is the conscious, intentional and voluntary act of killing the fetus, and not the conscious, intentional and voluntary act of performing a surgery for the prevention of the death of both mother and child, which may or may not (?) eventuate in the death of the fetus.

The Coptic Orthodox Church (like all other Orthodox Church’s?) does not have some sort of an official book laying down some set of strict legislation on moral issues — we do not approach morality in a strictly theoretical framework that is then blindly applied to practical life. We recognize the fluidity of Christian morality that is most appropriately determined by the practical context of a situation, which is why, according to the reality of the Orthodox experience, these things are looked at on a case by case basis (regardless of any general statements made by certain Bishops), where persons facing such circumstances consult their spiritual adviser or even the local Bishop for advice and ruling on such matters according to the context of situation itself.ÂÂ  

Peace.

But I'm sure there is some standard of morals in the Coptic Church (ie, a woman can't have an abortion just because she is too lazy to raise it, or because she doesn't like the fact that the baby is a boy, instead of a girl, which she wanted)?
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2005, 12:32:30 AM »

Quote
But I'm sure there is some standard of morals in the Coptic Church (ie, a woman can't have an abortion just because she is too lazy to raise it)?

I’m not saying there is no general standard — which is often determined by consensus of opinion (of which there is in the case of the prohibition of abortion where the woman is simply “too lazy” to raise the child — not a very morally complicated scenario) — I am simply saying that there’s always the possibility that a particular case has some relevant and essential contextual factor which may call for special consideration (especially when moral issues get as complicated as they do in the situations we are discussing), and which cannot simply be ignored in the face of some general theoretical ruling on the general subject to which the case relates. The Church is not arbitrary in recognising the fluidity of Christian morality, it is simply being practical - there is nonetheless general standards.

If a believer is confronted with such unfortunate circumstances which call for a complex moral decision to be made, they can rest assured that by confronting their spiritual adviser and local Bishop, and subjecting their own conscious and opinions to the discretion of that spiritual adviser and/or bishop, that they will ultimately be lead by the Holy Spirit who guides the Church as a whole into all truth, not only through Her heirarchs, but also the believers who constitute the body of the Church.

Peace.
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« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2005, 01:15:13 AM »

Anastasios,

Well, His Grace Bishop Serapion seems to explicitly be condoning “therapeutic abortion”, which specifically refers to direct abortion for the purpose of saving the mothers life which is at risk by virtue of the very existence of the fetus. There does seem to be a contradiction therefore, between His Holiness and His Grace on the matter, however this doesn't necessarily present a problem for the Orthodox believer seeking a practical solution (in light of my brief explanation of the practical approach of the Orthodox believer who is ultimately lead by the Holy Spirit), only for those attempting to reduce morality to a static object of strictly theoretical investigation.

Peace.

This might be an issue where the EO and OO are at odds.  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 am concerned that you are reducing the church's ability to stand against immorality by reducing things as black and white as abortion to moral fluidity; I think we can have economy in the way we treat a woman who has had an abortion (show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can after she has done the deed) but the Church can't ever condone an abortion before it has happened under any circumstance, from an EO point of view.

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 Smiley

Anastasios
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2005, 02:18:55 AM »

Quote
This might be an issue where the EO and OO are at odds.ÂÂ  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 point…

b) Because the EO Church seems inconsistent on the matter herself. Take this excerpt from the goarch.org website for example:

Quote
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:

Quote
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,ÂÂ  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:

Quote
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.

Quote
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 bestÂÂ  Wink

Peace.
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2005, 08:25:14 AM »

I have a different question on the subject of abortion.

I read a news story about current Russian statistics on abortion.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000085&sid=a_b.qA0CYFx0&refer=europe

Acording to this,  the (official) number of abortions exceeded the number of live births in Russia last year.    I'm not trying to point my finger and say that the Russians are bad or Americans are good, etc.  I'm just genuinely confused and schocked and ignorant about this.  Don't they have contraception?  How likely is it that a Russian woman has had an abortion?  Also, how does the Church handle that in Russia?  Any answers or comments would be appreciated.  Thank you.
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2005, 10:45:34 AM »



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 point…

b) Because the EO Church seems inconsistent on the matter herself. Take this excerpt from the goarch.org website for example:

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:

This quote is in itself problematic, for not only does it acknowledge the possibility of allowing for abortion in certain circumstances,ÂÂ  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:

Nothing different in this comment than that of Bishop Serapion.


Wow!  This is interesting.  I didn't know the EOC taught this.  Seems to be the same teaching as the Copts.

EA: But I assume, 99% of the time the COC condemns abortion?  Only in the one percent (maybe slightly more or less) is abortion possibly allowed?

Thanks Smiley

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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2005, 07:08:55 PM »

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EA: But I assume, 99% of the time the COC condemns abortion?ÂÂ  Only in the one percent (maybe slightly more or less) is abortion possibly allowed?

I don't think it'd be wise to reduce this to statistics...

The only instance that I know of in which an exception to the general prohibition against abortion is made, is when the life of the mother is at stake - furthermore, this exception condoning therapeutic abortion, is one that has only been made (as far as I know anyway) by two Bishops (His Grace Bishop Youssef makes a very general and ambiguous statement regarding the matter, which need not necessarily be interpreted as an approval of 'therapeutic abortion' specifically). All other proposed exceptions to the general prohibition against abortion (e.g. as a means of birth control or family planning, to prevent financial/economic hardship, when the woman has conceived from an act of adultery or rape etc.), seem to be unanimously rejected by the Church; She is apparently very strict on such matters.

Peace.
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2005, 03:44:02 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Sorry to resurrect an ended topic, but I'm not sure if a real conclusion was drawn. I would like to emphasise that our Church does teach that the only time where abortion is permitted (not encouraged) is in the case where a mother's life is at stake. Even His Holiness Pope Shenouda III teaches this, there is no odds between him and the Bishops on this matter. He was speaking of those who choose to end the life a fetus simply because the person doesn't want to be discomforted by having a baby.

I was taught the Double Effect jazz at a Catholic Seminary, and I really don't like it...but that's beside the point. I think a better way to rationalise why we would allow such a thing is by considering that the Church allowed her men to fight wars in the early days. A person who killed in war was not seen as a murderer, and yet they had killed.

I think it's the same case for a woman who is going to die as a result of pregnancy. The unborn fetus, who (like the enemy in war) may not even want to be there, is there nonetheless. This other human being is an aggressor, and the woman has no choice but to face her foe. She must  choose to strike or be struck. We would all admire the person who was willing to take the sword, but we also would not expect of her to give the life either. I know it sounds terrible to call an unborn baby an aggressor, I'm just trying to put it into context. Obviously we would never want to have to do something like that; it's an exceptional circumstance.

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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2005, 09:34:01 AM »

I think it's the same case for a woman who is going to die as a result of pregnancy. The unborn fetus, who (like the enemy in war) may not even want to be there, is there nonetheless. This other human being is an aggressor, and the woman has no choice but to face her foe. She must  choose to strike or be struck. We would all admire the person who was willing to take the sword, but we also would not expect of her to give the life either. I know it sounds terrible to call an unborn baby an aggressor, I'm just trying to put it into context. Obviously we would never want to have to do something like that; it's an exceptional circumstance.

OK, but how is this supposed to be a better model than double effect? 
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2005, 05:50:36 PM »

OK, but how is this supposed to be a better model than double effect? 

+Irini nem ehmot

I don't like Double Effect, because it makes it seem like the reason why these exceptions are okay is become of some kind of technicality that doesn't have a Church basis. In this model we acknowledge straight up that something wrong has happened, but we don't need to dance around the words and say that we only did it indirectly. Our Church will allow the direct abortion in the case where the mother is going to die (no dancing) - while still acknowledging that something terrible has happened and that this should never be allowed under any other circumstance. She exalts those that lay their lives down without forcing them to, but does not say that some kind of technical physically indirect act permits the decision to be made to choose to save one's own life...

I'm a little bit out of it, so I hope that made sense.

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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2010, 08:43:00 PM »

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III states in his book The Ten Commandments , Volume III, page 25:

Quote
Abortion:

Abortion is a form of murdering a living creature which,
although not yet born, has a soul that we do not have the
authority to dispose of. There are two kinds of abortion:
intentional, and unintentional. Intentional abortion is performed
when a woman or her family or friends decide to get rid of the
foetus by medical methods. The doctor who does it, is partially
responsible for it and is deemed an essential partner in this
incidence of killing. Abortion may also be executed by other
methods very well known to women. In this case the
responsibility falls very clearly on the woman who does it. Yet,
the aim behind abortion determines the weight of responsibility,
for it may be considered a crime committed to hide another
crime.

Those helping in the performance of abortion may think they
have done something proper, such as preventing a scandal, but
actually they just participate in a crime of murder. A woman
may have an abortion because she is not willing to give birth to
children, but this does not make her innocent of the crime of
murder. Abortion may also be done to protect the mother if
delivery threatens her life. Doctors may kill the foetus to rescue
the mother, and they excuse themselves for doing so by saying
that they sacrifice one soul to save another. Thus, the question
here is being discussed to show how great the responsibility
may be.

An unintentional miscarriage may happen when a mother is so
negligent that she loses her baby through exhausting herself.
An employer may make a pregnant employee work so much
that she ends up having a miscarriage. Such an employer will
be responsible and will have violated the Sixth Commandment
in this respect. A husband may bear this same responsibility if
he does not care about the health of his pregnant wife thus
causing her to miscarry.

Peace.

Thanks be to God for the clear teachings of His Holiness Pope Shenoudah III!


selam

Edited to correct spelling of His Holiness' title.
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« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2010, 09:05:26 PM »

^ Any particular reason you chose to revive this thread, when we already have so many about abortion, without anything meaningful to contribute?
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2010, 09:22:48 PM »

Another point to consider is if the mother has already other children and who will be taking care of them if she dies in order to save the unborn child.       

I would hope the Parish would rally around and help.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2010, 09:40:41 PM »

Anastasios,

Well, His Grace Bishop Serapion seems to explicitly be condoning “therapeutic abortion”, which specifically refers to direct abortion for the purpose of saving the mothers life which is at risk by virtue of the very existence of the fetus. There does seem to be a contradiction therefore, between His Holiness and His Grace on the matter, however this doesn't necessarily present a problem for the Orthodox believer seeking a practical solution (in light of my brief explanation of the practical approach of the Orthodox believer who is ultimately lead by the Holy Spirit), only for those attempting to reduce morality to a static object of strictly theoretical investigation.

Peace.

This might be an issue where the EO and OO are at odds.  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 am concerned that you are reducing the church's ability to stand against immorality by reducing things as black and white as abortion to moral fluidity; I think we can have economy in the way we treat a woman who has had an abortion (show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can after she has done the deed) but the Church can't ever condone an abortion before it has happened under any circumstance, from an EO point of view.

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 Smiley

Anastasios

You say show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can....  I agree, but don't forget the other half of the equation, the men who are involved.

Part of my story:  When I was 20 years old I had relations with a gal I worked with for a period of time.  One day she just up'ed and disappeared.  A year later I received a letter, I had gotten her pregnant, she told me that she had an abortion, that she was feeling like a murderess, and she did it to protect my future as I was in college.  The very core of my soul was severly wounded that day I read that letter, a numbness i wish to never experience again, anger, guilt, shame, etc.  Satan had a field day with me.  I won't go into the sordid details but i punished myself and tried to destroy myself for 18 years, keeping it hidden within, wishing to die and for many of those years exceptionally angry with God.  Then one day I could not handle it anymore, my life was in complete termoil, I couldn't be angry at God for what I had done and someone else.  I just wanted healing being so utterly broken inside so I turned to our Lord and a real battle started within myself which brings me up to the 18th year of my struggle.    Today I am so dependent on the Lord, I fear losing Him, it would be like riping my skeleton out of my flesh and me crumpling into a pile of goo.

Lord have mercy on me.

Jim
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2010, 10:07:16 PM »

^ Any particular reason you chose to revive this thread, when we already have so many about abortion, without anything meaningful to contribute?

Any time is a good time to thank God for His Holiness.   Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2010, 10:08:53 PM »

Anastasios,

Well, His Grace Bishop Serapion seems to explicitly be condoning “therapeutic abortion”, which specifically refers to direct abortion for the purpose of saving the mothers life which is at risk by virtue of the very existence of the fetus. There does seem to be a contradiction therefore, between His Holiness and His Grace on the matter, however this doesn't necessarily present a problem for the Orthodox believer seeking a practical solution (in light of my brief explanation of the practical approach of the Orthodox believer who is ultimately lead by the Holy Spirit), only for those attempting to reduce morality to a static object of strictly theoretical investigation.

Peace.

This might be an issue where the EO and OO are at odds.  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 am concerned that you are reducing the church's ability to stand against immorality by reducing things as black and white as abortion to moral fluidity; I think we can have economy in the way we treat a woman who has had an abortion (show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can after she has done the deed) but the Church can't ever condone an abortion before it has happened under any circumstance, from an EO point of view.

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 Smiley

Anastasios

You say show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can....  I agree, but don't forget the other half of the equation, the men who are involved.

Part of my story:  When I was 20 years old I had relations with a gal I worked with for a period of time.  One day she just up'ed and disappeared.  A year later I received a letter, I had gotten her pregnant, she told me that she had an abortion, that she was feeling like a murderess, and she did it to protect my future as I was in college.  The very core of my soul was severly wounded that day I read that letter, a numbness i wish to never experience again, anger, guilt, shame, etc.  Satan had a field day with me.  I won't go into the sordid details but i punished myself and tried to destroy myself for 18 years, keeping it hidden within, wishing to die and for many of those years exceptionally angry with God.  Then one day I could not handle it anymore, my life was in complete termoil, I couldn't be angry at God for what I had done and someone else.  I just wanted healing being so utterly broken inside so I turned to our Lord and a real battle started within myself which brings me up to the 18th year of my struggle.    Today I am so dependent on the Lord, I fear losing Him, it would be like riping my skeleton out of my flesh and me crumpling into a pile of goo.

Lord have mercy on me.

Jim

Thank you for sharing your story.  I think we often do forget how this issue affects the men involved.
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2010, 10:12:10 PM »

Anastasios,

Well, His Grace Bishop Serapion seems to explicitly be condoning “therapeutic abortion”, which specifically refers to direct abortion for the purpose of saving the mothers life which is at risk by virtue of the very existence of the fetus. There does seem to be a contradiction therefore, between His Holiness and His Grace on the matter, however this doesn't necessarily present a problem for the Orthodox believer seeking a practical solution (in light of my brief explanation of the practical approach of the Orthodox believer who is ultimately lead by the Holy Spirit), only for those attempting to reduce morality to a static object of strictly theoretical investigation.

Peace.

This might be an issue where the EO and OO are at odds.  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 am concerned that you are reducing the church's ability to stand against immorality by reducing things as black and white as abortion to moral fluidity; I think we can have economy in the way we treat a woman who has had an abortion (show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can after she has done the deed) but the Church can't ever condone an abortion before it has happened under any circumstance, from an EO point of view.

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 Smiley

Anastasios

You say show the maximum amount of mercy towards her and help her in any way we can....  I agree, but don't forget the other half of the equation, the men who are involved.

Part of my story:  When I was 20 years old I had relations with a gal I worked with for a period of time.  One day she just up'ed and disappeared.  A year later I received a letter, I had gotten her pregnant, she told me that she had an abortion, that she was feeling like a murderess, and she did it to protect my future as I was in college.  The very core of my soul was severly wounded that day I read that letter, a numbness i wish to never experience again, anger, guilt, shame, etc.  Satan had a field day with me.  I won't go into the sordid details but i punished myself and tried to destroy myself for 18 years, keeping it hidden within, wishing to die and for many of those years exceptionally angry with God.  Then one day I could not handle it anymore, my life was in complete termoil, I couldn't be angry at God for what I had done and someone else.  I just wanted healing being so utterly broken inside so I turned to our Lord and a real battle started within myself which brings me up to the 18th year of my struggle.    Today I am so dependent on the Lord, I fear losing Him, it would be like riping my skeleton out of my flesh and me crumpling into a pile of goo.

Lord have mercy on me.

Jim

Thank you for sharing your story.  I think we often do forget how this issue affects the men involved.
Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2010, 10:15:47 PM »

Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

I'm glad he meets your approval.
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2010, 10:30:58 PM »

Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.
I'm glad he meets your approval.
What's that supposed to mean?
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« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2010, 10:33:49 PM »

Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

I'm glad he meets your approval.

If you believe I was grandstanding or something, I am sorry, not my intent. 

Please don't forget the power of personal testimony of where a person came from to where they are going, you can look at the lives of Saints and their past to see that power.
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« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2010, 10:38:01 PM »

Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

I'm glad he meets your approval.

If you believe I was grandstanding or something, I am sorry, not my intent. 

Please don't forget the power of personal testimony of where a person came from to where they are going, you can look at the lives of Saints and their past to see that power.
Not at all! Your post was quite the antithesis of grandstanding.
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« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2010, 11:05:35 PM »


Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

Grandstanding?  I think not...

An Orthodox View of Abortion
The Amicus Curiae Submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States by the Orthodox Church

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/abortion.aspx

Grandstanding friom the Fathers and the Ecumenical Fathers?

Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council (691 A.D.), decreed:  "those who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortion, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to the penalty prescribed for murderers."
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2010, 11:12:01 PM »

Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

I'm glad he meets your approval.

If you believe I was grandstanding or something, I am sorry, not my intent. 

Please don't forget the power of personal testimony of where a person came from to where they are going, you can look at the lives of Saints and their past to see that power.
Not at all! Your post was quite the antithesis of grandstanding.
I'll take this rare opportunity to agree and second Mr. Y's post.
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2010, 11:14:20 PM »


Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

Grandstanding?  I think not...

An Orthodox View of Abortion
The Amicus Curiae Submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States by the Orthodox Church

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/abortion.aspx

Grandstanding friom the Fathers and the Ecumenical Fathers?

Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council (691 A.D.), decreed:  "those who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortion, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to the penalty prescribed for murderers."

You see, this sort of thing is exactly the problem with abortion discussions: Citations from canons, from laws, from this or that authority--there's no heart in the discussion, no compassion. I liked the genuine, honest story for its candor, and its concern more for the people involved in abortions than for the theory behind it. I'm sorry that offended you.
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2010, 11:46:58 PM »


Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

Grandstanding?  I think not...

An Orthodox View of Abortion
The Amicus Curiae Submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States by the Orthodox Church

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/abortion.aspx

Grandstanding friom the Fathers and the Ecumenical Fathers?

Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council (691 A.D.), decreed:  "those who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortion, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to the penalty prescribed for murderers."

You see, this sort of thing is exactly the problem with abortion discussions: Citations from canons, from laws, from this or that authority--there's no heart in the discussion, no compassion. I liked the genuine, honest story for its candor, and its concern more for the people involved in abortions than for the theory behind it. I'm sorry that offended you.

Yeah, those Fathers had no heart and no compassion. They just decided to condemn abortion because they were a bunch of callous misogygenists. Or, then again, maybe they were guided by the Holy Spirit, thus their hearts were full of compassion for the innocent child in the womb.


Selam
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« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2010, 11:49:51 PM »

I think the canons and church laws are concerned about the people involved...not the least of which the infant who is about to be torn limb from limb and tossed into a trash can...
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« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2010, 11:54:27 PM »


Indeed. This story is quite a refreshing departure from the usual grandstanding on this issue.

Grandstanding?  I think not...

An Orthodox View of Abortion
The Amicus Curiae Submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States by the Orthodox Church

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/abortion.aspx

Grandstanding friom the Fathers and the Ecumenical Fathers?

Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council (691 A.D.), decreed:  "those who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortion, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to the penalty prescribed for murderers."

You see, this sort of thing is exactly the problem with abortion discussions: Citations from canons, from laws, from this or that authority--there's no heart in the discussion, no compassion. I liked the genuine, honest story for its candor, and its concern more for the people involved in abortions than for the theory behind it. I'm sorry that offended you.

Yeah, those Fathers had no heart and no compassion. They just decided to condemn abortion because they were a bunch of callous misogygenists. Or, then again, maybe they were guided by the Holy Spirit, thus their hearts were full of compassion for the innocent child in the womb.
Are you actually saying that what is posted on OC.net is guided by the Holy Spirit?
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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2010, 11:56:44 PM »

Yeah, those Fathers had no heart and no compassion. They just decided to condemn abortion because they were a bunch of callous misogygenists. Or, then again, maybe they were guided by the Holy Spirit, thus their hearts were full of compassion for the innocent child in the womb.

I think the canons and church laws are concerned about the people involved...not the least of which the infant who is about to be torn limb from limb and tossed into a trash can...

I think you're both barking up the wrong tree.  I don't think Mr. Y was talking about what the Fathers themselves had to say.  ISTM he was talking about how people on this forum use the Fathers in a way that is crassly insensitive.
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« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2010, 12:06:36 AM »

Yeah, those Fathers had no heart and no compassion. They just decided to condemn abortion because they were a bunch of callous misogygenists. Or, then again, maybe they were guided by the Holy Spirit, thus their hearts were full of compassion for the innocent child in the womb.
Are you actually saying that what is posted on OC.net is guided by the Holy Spirit?

I hope not.  I think he was referring to the Church Fathers.
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« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2010, 12:06:54 AM »

Yeah, those Fathers had no heart and no compassion. They just decided to condemn abortion because they were a bunch of callous misogygenists. Or, then again, maybe they were guided by the Holy Spirit, thus their hearts were full of compassion for the innocent child in the womb.

I think the canons and church laws are concerned about the people involved...not the least of which the infant who is about to be torn limb from limb and tossed into a trash can...

I think you're both barking up the wrong tree.  I don't think Mr. Y was talking about what the Fathers themselves had to say.  ISTM he was talking about how people on this forum use the Fathers in a way that is crassly insensitive.

What is insensitive about the way the Fathers are being used?

I think Christians in general have developed such a high tolerance for sin that we can't handle the moral clarity of the Fathers when they speak so bluntly on these issues. I mean, St. Basil calls those who procure abortions murderers, in the same paragraph as axe-murderers and highway robbers (First Canonical Letter, Canon 8 ). On the subject of abortion there is no gray to be found with the Fathers.
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« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2010, 12:25:26 AM »

Someone told me abortion is supported by the Coptic Church if the mother will die.  Is this true?

Thanks!

Just to remind everyone, this was the original post of the thread.  Let's please keep this on topic.  For clarification, that means posters should be addressing the position of the Coptic Church on abortion.  What is not on topic would include trying to put words into other posters' mouths, discussing whether Church Fathers or canons were insensitive, and how people use the Church Fathers.  If anyone does not want to address the topic of the Coptic Church's beliefs on abortion, they can post in another thread.  There are many abortion threads out there.  Thank you.
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« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2010, 03:10:20 AM »

I do have a question about an abortion to save the life of the mother.

You see, my sister is a miracle child. When my mother was pregnant with my sister (in 1982), my mother knew it was an unusual pregnancy, but didn't know how unusual. The entire pregnancy my mother had difficulty eating, sleeping, and breathing. Although she was due to deliver on Aug 5, a week before she was due the doctors induced her because the baby's heartbeat was difficult to hear.

The doctors induced my mother for 24 hours before doing an ultra sound. For 24 hours my mother waited for a baby to come, and no baby came. Finally, after doing the ultra sound (remember, this is 1982 fuzzy ultra sound technology here!), the doctor's said the baby was breach and that a Cesarean section would be necessary.

When the doctors opened my mother up, her uterus was flapping like crazy from the drugs used to induce her, but there was no baby. My sister was lying asleep in my mother's abdomonShocked  Shocked  Shocked

My sister was an abdominal pregnancy. The doctors said the chance of both the mother and child surviving are literally one in one million.

To make the story even more amazing, the exact same thing happened in the exact same hospital 10 days earlier.  Shocked (The story actually made National Headlines; my mother has a book with all of the clippings. Here is one of them. Fittingly, my parents named my sister Gloria. Smiley )

Here's the thing. The doctor's said they would have recommended an abortion if they had known my mother was carrying my sister in her abdomen. An abdominal pregnancy is a form of an ectopic pregnancy, and can be deadly for both mother and child. 

I was three when all of this happened. Thanks be to God, my mother and sister are fine. However, circumstances could have turned out very differently. If my mother had died, she would have left a husband and daughter behind.

I understand what the canons say about abortion and all of that. However, how is a mother to decide what to do? Sacrifice the life of her and the child, or sacrifice the life of the child to keep her own? Also, what measures of discipline would the church take with the mother in such a circumstance?

My point in posting this is two-fold: a) to show that not all abortions are committed by Liberal bra-burning feminists who hate God. b) to find out what kind of discipline (in this particular part of the forum) the Coptic or Oriental Orthodox Church's would take with the mother.
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« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2010, 03:11:45 AM »

Are you actually saying that what is posted on OC.net is guided by the Holy Spirit?

Occasionally, yes.  It seems like usually it's purple demons at work this time of year.
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« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2010, 03:56:22 AM »

I do have a question about an abortion to save the life of the mother.

You see, my sister is a miracle child. When my mother was pregnant with my sister (in 1982), my mother knew it was an unusual pregnancy, but didn't know how unusual. The entire pregnancy my mother had difficulty eating, sleeping, and breathing. Although she was due to deliver on Aug 5, a week before she was due the doctors induced her because the baby's heartbeat was difficult to hear.

The doctors induced my mother for 24 hours before doing an ultra sound. For 24 hours my mother waited for a baby to come, and no baby came. Finally, after doing the ultra sound (remember, this is 1982 fuzzy ultra sound technology here!), the doctor's said the baby was breach and that a Cesarean section would be necessary.

When the doctors opened my mother up, her uterus was flapping like crazy from the drugs used to induce her, but there was no baby. My sister was lying asleep in my mother's abdomon.  Shocked  Shocked  Shocked

My sister was an abdominal pregnancy. The doctors said the chance of both the mother and child surviving are literally one in one million.

To make the story even more amazing, the exact same thing happened in the exact same hospital 10 days earlier.  Shocked (The story actually made National Headlines; my mother has a book with all of the clippings. Here is one of them. Fittingly, my parents named my sister Gloria. Smiley )

Here's the thing. The doctor's said they would have recommended an abortion if they had known my mother was carrying my sister in her abdomen. An abdominal pregnancy is a form of an ectopic pregnancy, and can be deadly for both mother and child.  

I was three when all of this happened. Thanks be to God, my mother and sister are fine. However, circumstances could have turned out very differently. If my mother had died, she would have left a husband and daughter behind.

I understand what the canons say about abortion and all of that. However, how is a mother to decide what to do? Sacrifice the life of her and the child, or sacrifice the life of the child to keep her own? Also, what measures of discipline would the church take with the mother in such a circumstance?

My point in posting this is two-fold: a) to show that not all abortions are committed by Liberal bra-burning feminists who hate God. b) to find out what kind of discipline (in this particular part of the forum) the Coptic or Oriental Orthodox Church's would take with the mother.


First, as a man, I will never really understand the difficulties a woman has to face when she is told that it is either her life or her child's. But your story above is evidence of God's grace and mercy. We are Orthodox, and therefore we should acknowledge more than anyone the fact that God's ways are not ours. Whenever we analyze situations from our own finite vantage point, then we tend to make the wrong choices. It is our human tendency to attempt to ensure that we are in control of our circumstances, and we panic when situations arise that are beyond our control. Thus we try to rectify the situation in our own way, and often we end up creating more problems for ourselves and others in the long run.

I pass no judgment at all on women who consent to abortions in order to save their own lives, especially if they have other children who would be left motherless if they died giving birth. But I have great respect for women who value the Life of their unborn child even over their own life. By placing faith in God and sacrificially offering their own lives so that their unborn child is not killed, they demonstrate the epitome of Christian Faith. They fulfill the words of Our Lord, Who said, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." [St. John 15:13]

And, we should trust that God will always reward our acts of Faith. The Saints and Martyrs were divinely and eternally rewarded for living out their Faith, even when they knew it would result in torture and death. But sometimes they were spared, like Daniel in the Lion's den and the three children spared from Babylon's fiery furnace. So by choosing to preserve the lives of their unborn children even at risk of their own deaths, these righteous mothers preserve their own souls; and perhaps they will miraculaously be spared their own physical lives as well. It comes down to Faith in God, the Lord of Life and the Rewarder of those who choose Life.  

Selam
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« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2010, 06:28:44 AM »

One difficulty with this issue is that many people adopt an non-orthodox view of "rules". The Church certainly does discourage mothers from aborting their children but it also makes possible an abortion under exceptional pastoral situations - not just the risk to the mother's life but also taking into account whether she has other children and the likely effect on them if she dies. The difference between the Orthodox and Roman view is that if an Orthodox bishop does give permission for a child to be aborted he is not setting a precedent, there is no "legal" structure which then takes that decision as the basis for others. Each request to the bishop for such an awful thing is considered on its own merit and the decision is in no way influenced by other decisions.
This is how it was explained to me from a Greek perspective. I hope I haven't muddied the waters at all.
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« Reply #50 on: May 08, 2010, 07:16:15 AM »

One difficulty with this issue is that many people adopt an non-orthodox view of "rules". The Church certainly does discourage mothers from aborting their children but it also makes possible an abortion under exceptional pastoral situations - not just the risk to the mother's life but also taking into account whether she has other children and the likely effect on them if she dies. The difference between the Orthodox and Roman view is that if an Orthodox bishop does give permission for a child to be aborted he is not setting a precedent, there is no "legal" structure which then takes that decision as the basis for others. Each request to the bishop for such an awful thing is considered on its own merit and the decision is in no way influenced by other decisions.
This is how it was explained to me from a Greek perspective. I hope I haven't muddied the waters at all.

The Patriarch of the Ecumenical Throne His all-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has expressed a stance on abortion which would appear to go far beyond "exceptional pastoral conditions" and to allow abortion at the decision of the couple, without reference to their parish priests whom he prefers should stay out of the bedroom.  This apparent pro choice teaching places him in opposition to the other Orthodox Churches (certainly to the Russian and the Serbian with which I am familiar.)

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

If this is indeed the teaching of the current Patriarch my disillusionment is profound.  My heart aches just to have to report that a Patriarch may even possibly hold a pro-choice position.
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« Reply #51 on: May 08, 2010, 07:26:26 AM »


The difference between the Orthodox and Roman view is that if an Orthodox bishop does give permission for a child to be aborted he is not setting a precedent, there is no "legal" structure which then takes that decision as the basis for others. Each request to the bishop for such an awful thing is considered on its own merit and the decision is in no way influenced by other decisions.
This is how it was explained to me from a Greek perspective. I hope I haven't muddied the waters at all.


I believe you need to substantiate this.  You are painting with a very broad brush and may be misinforming the readers of the Forum.  Are you in fact aware in your experiences of Christians who have approached their bishops and sought his blessing for an abortion?  I imagine this includes both married couples and unmarried mothers; probably the majority of requests would be from unmarried mothers since the impact of a baby on their lives could be even greater than a married couple.

I would also imagine that you are not speaking of such anomalies as ectopic pregnancies but of healthy babies in the womb.
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« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2010, 07:46:45 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.
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« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2010, 07:52:30 AM »

The Teaching and Tradition of the Orthodox Church has been thoroughly and consistently clear that abortion is a great sin and evil. The Apostles were unambiguous in their condemnation of abortion in the Didache and the Didascalia. Anyone who tries to water down apostolic Teaching on this issue according subjective nuance is not in accordance with Church Teaching. The Orthodox Church has no doctrine of "Bishop Infallibility." So if a Bishop is saying such horrible things, then pray for his soul and heed the clear apostolic Teachings of the Church.

The issue of abortion is not a private matter between a woman, her doctor, and her Priest. Once a child is conceived, it possesses the same inherent dignity as all human beings who are created in the image of God. Therefore, it should not be treated as expendable or less valuable than its mother. If in the process of saving the mother's life the unborn child dies, then this is not murder. But to premeditatively decide that the unborn child should be aborted because of the possiblity that the mother may die giving birth is a great sin and evil. Our Lord said there is no greater love than to lay one's life down for their friend. Killing an unborn child for self preservation is an act contrary to the teachings and example of Christ, Who died for our salvation.


Selam
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« Reply #54 on: May 08, 2010, 10:58:31 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.

Thank you, Father.   Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: May 09, 2010, 12:12:37 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.
You mean "We should choose..."?  Wink
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« Reply #56 on: May 09, 2010, 01:25:00 AM »

I have just noticed message 45 from a moderator saying this thread should be restricted to the Coptic Church and abortion.  You should choose another abortion thread to pursue this.  Click on the tag "abortion" at the bottom of the page and it will bring up alternative abortion threads.
You mean "We should choose..."?  Wink

No, I mean "You should choose..." because I have no real interest in pursuing this thread and have no intention of taking it to another existing thread.  I am happy if it dies here and now.  If Stephen wants to pursue it he should choose another abortion thread. Wink
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