Of the Big 3, the OCA and Antiochian jurisdictions stand solidly within the moral tradition and are clear on its teaching. The GOA, by its silence, equivocates.
January 17, 2010, is the Sunday that precedes the 35th anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court Decision of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. This Supreme Court decision overturned all moral and logical reasoning that most citizens of our society held and practiced. Since 1973, over 43 million lives have been aborted. Approximately 93% of the women who have had abortions cited they did so for social reasons (i.e. unready for responsibility, can’t afford the baby, concern over how baby would change her life, etc) as opposed to issues regarding the mother’s health, the baby’s health, rape or incest. These few facts are very alarming for us as Orthodox Christians who hold all life as sacred and holy.
The teens of our archdiocese are very concerned about this issue and desire to do whatever is in their ability to help bring about change that leads to godliness and holiness. The members of the North American Council (NAC) of SOYO, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, are leading our Archdiocese in observing Sunday, January 20, 2008, as the “Sacred Gift of Life Sunday: Protecting the Life of the Unborn”. Our teens, as part of the celebration of January as Orthodox Education Month, are furthering their education, understanding and commitment regarding the Orthodox Church’s teaching on the sacred gift of life and abortion. In turn, they are helping to bring a greater awareness to the faithful of our parishes and throughout their local communities.
The teens are mailing to every Antiochian Archdiocese parish a packet of resource materials including a bulletin insert, an article written by Christopher Shadid, the NAC SOYO President, that is a synopsis of related issues discussed in Fr. John Breck’s book, God With Us: Critical Issues in Christian Life and Faith, and a Feedback Form. The article by Chris Shadid will provide our teens with a starting point for discussion on these important issues. There are a number of other resources which have links to them below.
Local Teen SOYO chapters and High School Christian Education classes are encouraged to check out our resources page for materials. Some of the materials include a case study on abortion and the sacred gift of life that was developed by Dr. H. Tristram Engelhardt, an Orthodox Christian and leading Bio-Ethicist. The teens, under the leadership of the pastors and advisors, will have the material necessary to have discussions and further their belief and commitment to the sacred gift of life.
Please join our teens as we recognized the sacred gift of life on Sunday, January 17, 2010 throughout the parishes of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Get more resources on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.