Why the Strong Anti-Western Bias Among Orthodox?
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This article on Patheos about the subject has some interesting points. Apparently, Patriarch Athenagoras agreed with Pope Paul VI's HV in 1968: "We assure you that we remain close to you, above all in these recent days when you have taken the good step of publishing the encyclical Humanae Vitae. We are in total agreement with you, and wish you all God’s help to continue your mission in the world."

From: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstr...omise.html

But sadly, as also mentioned in the article, Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware's views on the subject seemed to change every passing decade.

"In the first edition, first printing (1963) of The Orthodox Church, Met. Kallistos Ware states (page 302):

Artificial methods of birth control are forbidden in the Orthodox Church."

The revised 1984 version of The Orthodox Church, however (New York: Penguin Books, page 302), states (emphasis added):

The use of contraceptives and other devices for birth control is on the whole strongly discouraged in the Orthodox Church. Some bishops and theologians altogether condemn the employment of such methods. Others, however, have recently begun to adopt a less strict position, and urge that the question is best left to the discretion of each individual couple, in consultation with the spiritual father.

The revised 1993 version of The Orthodox Church reveals even further change in Orthodox teaching and practice, away from previously universal Christian tradition (page 296; emphasis added):

Concerning contraceptives and other forms of birth control, differing opinions exist within the Orthodox Church. In the past birth control was in general strongly condemned, but today a less strict view is coming to prevail, not only in the west but in traditional Orthodox countries. Many Orthodox theologians and spiritual fathers consider that the responsible use of contraception within marriage is not in itself sinful. In their view, the question of how many children a couple should have, and at what intervals, is best decided by the partners themselves, according to the guidance of their own consciences."

Still, some other Orthodox Bishops and Theologians have expressed agreement with and appreciation for the position of the Papacy and of the Catholic Church. 

"Metropolitan Chrysostom of Athens: “While I am by no means a lover of the papacy, I feel the need to commend the papal encyclical.” (G. E. M. Anscombe, “Contraception and Chastity” in Janet Smith, ed., Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993; 132)

Romanian Orthodox priest, Father Virgil Gheorghiu: “We Christians know that it is not the mouth of the pope that has spoken in forbidding the use of contraceptives. It is God who has spoken through the mouth of the pope—and through the mouth of the ecumenical patriarch.” (Ekklisia, November 1/15 1968, quoted in Edgecumbe, 305)

Dr. C. T. Eapen, Theologian of the Syrian Orthodox Church of South India: “The pope deserves the support of all Christians for the stern stand he took on the birth control issue in his recent encyclical on the subject, in spite of the opposition both within and without the Roman Catholic Church. Only one could wish that the Lambeth Conference also could have found its way to support the pope’s lead. We are sure that the Eastern Orthodox Churches will give all moral support to the position taken by the pope.” (La Figaro Littéraire, August 19, 1968, quoted in Edgecumbe, 305)

It seems to be an undecided or unresolved question yet within the Orthodox Church, or at least there is not universal agreement about it.

Catholic and Orthodox Bishops and Theologians, engaging in dialogue based on Scripture and Tradition, should try to come to consensus.

Patristic Tradition is clear. There are quotes in the article from Saints Augustine, Chrysostom, Hippolytus and Caesarius among others.
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RE: Why the Strong Anti-Western Bias Among Orthodox? - by XavierSem - 02-26-2021, 08:03 AM



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