Orthodox Church in America

From Christian BioWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Official website: http://oca.org/

Beginning of Life

The position of The Orthodox Church in America emphasizes the dignity of all human beings:

“As the crown of God’s good creation, redeemed by Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, all men, women and children—young and old, sick and healthy, rich and poor, powerful and weak, educated and uneducated, born and unborn—are eternally precious in God’s sight.” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under Introduction Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[1]

Abortion

“There is no moral, religious or scientific rationale which can justify making a distinction between the humanity of the newly-conceived and that of the newly-born.” (“The 40th Anniversary of Re v. Wade” issued by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, 2013)[2]
“God creates human beings in His own image and likeness, male and female. He declares human life, with all that He makes, to be “very good” (Genesis 1:27-31).” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under The Mystery of Marriage Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[3]
“Abortion is an act of murder for which those involved, voluntarily and involuntarily, will answer to God.” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under Abortion Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[4]
“Orthodox Christians are to contribute to legislative processes according to their knowledge, competence, ability and influence so that laws may be enacted and enforced which protect and defend the lives of unborn children while being sensitive to the complexities and tragedies of life in contemporary society.” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under Abortion Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[5]
“The Church recognizes the existence of certain extreme cases in which difficult moral decisions must be made in view of saving human life, and fully sympathizes with those who must make such decisions. Such an extreme circumstance is the definitely diagnosed danger to the life of the mother at childbirth. The mother must decide whether to lay down her own life for that of her unborn child.” (Appendix to “Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage”) [6]

Contraception

“Married couples may express their love in sexual union without always intending the conception of a child, but only those means of controlling conception within marriage are acceptable which do not harm a fetus already conceived. Married couples may use medical means to enhance conception of their common children, but the use of semen or ova other than that of the married couple who both take responsibility for their offspring is forbidden.” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under The Procreation of Children Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[7]
“The greatest miracle and blessing of the divinely sanctified love of marriage is the procreation of children, and to avoid this by the practice of birth control (or, more accurately, the prevention of conception) is against God’s will for marriage. Conception control of any sort motivated by selfishness or lack of trust in God’s providential care certainly cannot be condoned. “ (Appendix to “Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage”)[8]
“Preoccupation with statistics can depersonalize us and our co-creativity with God in the begetting of children. The goal of the Christian life is the accomplishment of God’s will, which may involve the begetting of children.” (Appendix to “Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage”) [9]

Infertility & Reproduction

Reproductive Technology

“Married couples may express their love in sexual union without always intending the conception of a child, but only those means of controlling conception within marriage are acceptable which do not harm a fetus already conceived. Married couples may use medical means to enhance conception of their common children, but the use of semen or ova other than that of the married couple who both take responsibility for their offspring is forbidden.” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under The Procreation of Children Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[10]
“The greatest miracle and blessing of the divinely sanctified love of marriage is the procreation of children, and to avoid this by the practice of birth control (or, more accurately, the prevention of conception) is against God’s will for marriage. Conception control of any sort motivated by selfishness or lack of trust in God’s providential care certainly cannot be condoned. “ (Appendix to “Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage”)[11]

Science and Technology

Biotechnology

Human Cloning

The Orthodox Church in America is against the cloning of human embryos:

“…we must affirm that—scientifically and biologically—all human cellular life is by definition human life.” (“Cloning of Human Embryos” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2002)[12]
“Any living organism is characterized by growth and change. Thus it possesses both actual and potential aspects. The fact that much in the life of an embryo is potential does not alter its nature as a human being. Because the DNA or genetic code is fully present from fertilization (or, we must specify today, from the onset of embryonic growth), unique and individually differentiated human life is fully present, even though it has not been expressed as specific organs or capacities, and even though it may twin to produce multiple offspring.” (“Cloning of Human Embryos” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2002)[13]
“The two techniques used by ACT to produce cloned embryos—nuclear transfer and parthenogenesis —should be legally banned because they are inherently immoral. We may not use evil means to achieve good ends; therefore we may not kill human embryos, even to make possible life-saving or life-enhancing therapies. Every effort should be made to perfect the harvesting of stem cells from adult tissue and from the blood of umbilical cords. These cells have proven to be as potentially useful for therapeutic purposes as embryonic cells. Research on such cells should therefore be supported with public (government) funding.” (“Cloning of Human Embryos” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2002)[14]

Stem Cell Research

“Human life is sacred from its very beginning, since from conception it is ensouled existence.” (“Embryonic Stem Cell research in the Perspective of Orthodox Christianity” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2001)[15]
“Unless moral persuasion can reverse the trend [including embryonic stem cell research], the slope will lead to a tragic devaluation of human life.” (“Embryonic Stem Cell research in the Perspective of Orthodox Christianity” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2001)[16]
“…ever since the Holocaust the principle has been universally accepted by the scientific community that no experimentation should be undertaken on human subjects without the subject’s informed consent. Obviously, such consent cannot be granted by an embryo (nor, by the way, by a two-year old). Neither the mother nor anyone else has “proxy” rights in this regard over the life and well-being of a Child in utero or in vitro .” (“Embryonic Stem Cell research in the Perspective of Orthodox Christianity” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2001)[17]
“…we firmly reject any and all manipulation of human embryos for research purposes as inherently immoral and a fundamental violation of human life.” (“Embryonic Stem Cell research in the Perspective of Orthodox Christianity” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2001)[18]
“The two techniques used by ACT to produce cloned embryos—nuclear transfer and parthenogenesis —should be legally banned because they are inherently immoral. We may not use evil means to achieve good ends; therefore we may not kill human embryos, even to make possible life-saving or life-enhancing therapies. Every effort should be made to perfect the harvesting of stem cells from adult tissue and from the blood of umbilical cords. These cells have proven to be as potentially useful for therapeutic purposes as embryonic cells. Research on such cells should therefore be supported with public (government) funding.” (“Cloning of Human Embryos” Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 2002)[19]

End of Life

Extraordinary Measures

“Extreme caution is to be exercised in decisions involving medical treatment, especially in the face of death. Extreme care is always in order to find the “royal path” between providing all necessary healing measures and merely prolonging the biological functioning of organs when human life is no longer possible, or even present. Scientific research and experimentation are to be undertaken with extreme caution in order not to bring greater evils and sufferings to humankind in place of intended blessings. (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under Sickness, Suffering, and Death Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[20]

Withholding and Withdrawing Treatment

“All efforts to heal physical and spiritual sickness, to alleviate physical and spiritual suffering, and to prevent physical and spiritual death are to be supported and defended. Adequate health care is to be made available for all men, women and children regardless of their, race, religion, social status, or financial condition. Great care must be taken so that healing services are not restricted to the affluent or the apparently “deserving.” (“Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life” under Sickness, Suffering, and Death Official Statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops, 1992)[21]

Notes

  1. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  2. http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2013/jan-22-roe-vs-wade-anniversary
  3. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  4. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  5. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  6. http://oca.org/holy-synod/encyclicals/on-marriage
  7. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  8. http://oca.org/holy-synod/encyclicals/on-marriage
  9. http://oca.org/holy-synod/encyclicals/on-marriage
  10. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  11. http://oca.org/holy-synod/encyclicals/on-marriage
  12. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/the-cloning-of-human-embryos
  13. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/the-cloning-of-human-embryos
  14. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/the-cloning-of-human-embryos
  15. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/embryonic-stem-cell-research-in-the-perspective-of-orthodox-christianity
  16. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/embryonic-stem-cell-research-in-the-perspective-of-orthodox-christianity
  17. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/embryonic-stem-cell-research-in-the-perspective-of-orthodox-christianity
  18. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/embryonic-stem-cell-research-in-the-perspective-of-orthodox-christianity
  19. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/the-cloning-of-human-embryos
  20. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
  21. http://oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/synodal-affirmations-on-marriage-family-sexuality-and-the-sanctity-of-life
Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Christian BioWiki
Tools