The Orthodox Church and same sex unions

Does anyone know of any certain priests or bishops in the Orthodox Church who are obsessed as some of the Roman Catholic Clergy are with same sex unions and their acceptance in the church? I never hear to much from the Orthodox, which in these trying times seems like a good thing. God does not change, ever. Thanks for any input.

Most Eastern Catholic and Orthodox bishops that hold this opinion will keep it to themselves, unless in like company, since most Easterners (priest, bishop or and especially older laymen and women) won’t hesitate to let the bishop or priest know how off base he is. There’s still much constraination regarding female altar assistants, EMHCs (among Eastern Catholics), facing the people during Divine Liturgy, and more - pretty much any discussion even hinting to same sex anything is dead in the water before it gets off the lips of the speaker.

Thanks for the input. That used to be the Roman Catholic position. I hope for an end to all of this back and forth in October. This is not good for the Church, in my humble opinion.

I’m not trying to be a troll here, or to hurt feelings. Feel free do delete this post if it’s hurtful, but…

The Catholic and Orthodox churches have pretty much the same moral theology, but it seems to me that the Orthodox leadership is more than willing to let the Catholic leadership do the speaking out, then stand by quietly while the Catholic Church suffers the slings and arrows from the popular culture.

I’ve even seen the allegation that the Orthodox are so much NICER than the Catholics.


Thanks for the input. Your post was not hurtful at all. I find it somewhat confusing though that some catholic cardinals are pushing the same sex union thing. There was a private meeting in Rome of German clergy with an agenda to write a separate pastoral letter to the pope regarding this October’s synod on the family. They want the pope to accept gay unions.

Is this a gay union separate and distinct from gay marriage?

The Orthodox have made their views on the matter abundantly clear but here in the west they are minority Churches and the media is not so interested in their outlooks

The Orthodox clergy don’t have as loud a voice because there aren’t as many of them and they aren’t as visible. There is a large portion of the population that isn’t aware that they even exist and most of the rest think they are just fancy Catholics. The fact that the media don’t rush to get the Orthodox priests’ input on everything religious and political like the do the arch-bishop and cardinals is due to the fact that they have a relatively small congregation, not that they have nothing to say. I was just recently at a tour of our local Greek Orthodox church and when the visitors asked questions about what they believed about marriage and birth control and altar girls, Father certainly did not beat around the bush!

I think the matter shouldn’t even be open for discussion. We are to love the sinner, but hate the sin. I may be visiting the Divine liturgy this weekend.

It is Catholic teaching…the problems arise when there are priests and bishops who do not obey. The Church’s teaching remains the same.

First time I’ve heard this view, often the Orthodox are slammed as been intolerant towards homosexuals or caricatured as gay bashers. Believe me the Orthodox can be very, very blunt about the evils of a homosexual lifestyle and very firm if neccesary. They hold generally that been homosexual is itself is not sinful but that an actively homosexual life is gravely wrong. The Russian Orthodox Church in particular gets serious flak about been bigoted towards gay people.

Do you think a joint Catholic-Orthodox statement (co-written by bishops of each respective archdiocese) would have an impact?

Maybe by fighting this evil together, we’ll be drawn closer…?

Only after these liberal cardinals are weeded out and removed. Years ago the Catholic Church held the same attitude as the Orthodox in regards to anything homosexual which comes from the Bible. God calls it an abomination and so should all clergy.

I thought the Orthodox in the past had prayers for blessing same gender friendships - or is that a modern myth?

An image for Mary’s month - Mother of Sheshan

Any Orthodox bishop that floated the idea of blessing homosexual unions would be quickly dealt with by his synod. Thankfully you won’t see anything like the shenanigans going on with many bishops and cardinals before the October synod happen in the Orthodox Church.

That is still the view of the Catholic Church.

I suspect the reason you don’t hear as much on any issue regarding the Orthodox is that they are a smaller demographic globally, and where they are the principal faith is outside of the main focus of the Western press, so you aren’t going to hear much, while you will hear even minor rumblings in Catholic quarters. As a result, anything going on in Orthodox circles tends to be very under reported, and anything going on in Catholic circles is grossly over reported, and always reported as a crisis irrespective of whether it is or not.

Regarding this particular topic, an Orthodox Priest who is a columnist in the Midwest has refused to sign marriage licenses for marriages he performs on the basis that his state’s same gender union law falls outside of the moral definition of marriage. That’s a pretty good example, and I suspect we’ll hear of Catholic Priests doing likewise, but it has gotten very little press.

And, as otherwise noted, the Russian Orthodox Church has been blunt about its views, and that’s part of the reason that Putin, who is generally allied with the Russian Orthodox Church, has taken the positions he has. I think that aspect of this story has been missed.

Otherwise, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church (my apologies, I’ve forgotten his title) has made environmental statements quite frequently that are quite “green”, but that doesn’t seem to be widely remembered in the west, while the mere thought that the Pope will be doing so here shortly is a controversial story.

Finally, while not really exactly on point, one of the long running disagreements in practice between the Catholics and the Orthodox is that the Orthodox do allow divorce and remarriage, while the Catholic church never has. A person would logically think that the suggestion that that the Catholic church might follow the Orthodox in this direction (which it will not) would be presented in that fashion, but it hasn’t been and won’t be.

A person must always keep in mind that the Press is alive to any sort of controversy and will focus on that, but it’s generally ignorant on the tenants of any one religion.

It’s true that there aren’t as many Orthodox in the U.S., and they do seem to fly under the radar.

What prompted my own post on this issue was I had a friend who converted from Protestantism (of a very loosy-goosy sort–parents joined the nearest church to them growing up, sent the kids to Sunday school on a sporadic basis, went to church Christmas and Easter) to Greek Orthodox to marry her husband. She spoke warmly about the experience, she really liked her priest who “didn’t go around telling people what to do”. According to her, yes, the Orthodox believed the same as the Catholics about birth control and stuff but didn’t make you do it, or even talk about it.

Just before I lost contact with her, she was seriously considering converting to Wiccan, but she moved and I never found out what happened. She still spoke warmly about the Greek Orthodox.

My second source was from a secular Internet forum where people could say what they loved about their religion. Like an idiot I clicked onto it, and the post was somebody going on and on about how the Greeks never persecuted anybody or ever had controversies and scandals, unlike SOME religions they could mention!

Admittedly, I’ve known so few orthodox, and religion pretty much didn’t come up in the conversations we had, so I figured my takeaway (Orthodox are the get-along gang, Catholics are the big meanies all up in people’s business) was the conventional wisdom.

When you have time look up the article in the National catholic register on Cardinal Marx and some German bishops. It’s pretty scary.

GiveTheTruth #13
Years ago the Catholic Church held the same attitude as the Orthodox in regards to anything homosexual which comes from the Bible.

As the Catholic Church does not teach by “attitudes” but by dogma and doctrine, the reality is that in CCC 2357 She teaches that “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

2358 “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

There have always been dissenters and doubters from the time of Christ, and the Church does not change Her dogma nor doctrine. Whatever the Orthodox “attitudes” are, they do not have the fullness of Christ’s Truth.

The Church in Germany apparently has more than Her fair share of dissenters in Her leadership.

Daisymaed and Abu,

Thanks for weighing in. I’ve calmed down now. Just needed to vent after hearing some nonsense. During my lifetime I have gone through the wringer. For me, their is no church outside the Catholic Church. I have been a very content revert up until all this drama with the upcoming synod on the family. My gut tells me in the end it will all work out. As far as I’m concerned the only alternative to the Catholic Church is solo Christianity, which I did for a number of years and wouldn’t recommend to anyone. One thing is for definitely sure … I would never-ever have Anything To do with evangelical/protestantism again, just pray for them and love them.

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