August 30, 2014

OCALaity Urges OCA to Adopt “Sanctity of Marriage Sunday” Urges OCA to Adopt “Sanctity of Marriage Sunday”

St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA)

St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA)

From OCALaity:

“St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC has sent five resolutions to the OCA’s Resolution Committee for consideration at the upcoming 16th All American Council. The resolutions can be found at www.OCALaity.com. The resolutions deal with marriage, our OCA youth, monasteries, child sexual abuse, and a deaf outreach.

Of particular interest to most Orthodox Christians is the resolution calling for an annual Sanctity of Marriage Sunday. All are well aware of the continued assault on traditional marriage due to fornication, adultery, divorce, and same-sex unions. Presently six states and DC have passed same-sex marriage laws, and more states plan on taking up the issue. This resolution will hopefully encourage the Faithful to proclaim Holy Tradition’s teaching on sexuality and marriage, both in the church and in the public square.

We hope you view the site (www.OCALaity.com) so an early discussion on the merits of each resolutions can be made before the AAC. Please talk with your priest and parish council concerning your support for particular resolutions.”

The Resolutions

WHEREAS the Orthodox Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality, firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, 2000 years of Church tradition, and canon law, holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of one man and one woman, and that authentic marriage is blessed by God as a sacrament of the Church; and Whereas neither Scripture nor Holy Tradition blesses or sanctions adultery, fornication, or a union between persons of the same sex;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the Sixteenth All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America strongly commends the efforts of Orthodox bishops, clergy, and laity to bear witness to the sanctity of marriage in the public arena; commits the Orthodox Church in America to continued witness and defense of the authentic marriage of one man and one woman; strongly reaffirms the Orthodox Church’s opposition to same sex marriage, and that it does so on theological and moral grounds; and stresses God’s will that marriage be a lifelong commitment, monogamous, and heterosexual;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Sunday in September falling on or after the Feast of the Conception of St. John the Baptist will be called Sanctity of Marriage Sunday and on this Sunday: an annual letter from our Metropolitan will be read in all OCA Parishes during the Divine Liturgy affirming the Orthodox understanding of marriage; and each parish priest will declare his availability to counsel individuals or couples desiring to be married or already married; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Orthodox Church stresses that all persons tempted to act contrary to the Orthodox Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, and all those who succumb to such temptations, are to be offered pastoral guidance and cared for with the same mercy and love that is bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ upon all of humanity and that all persons are called by God to grow spiritually and morally toward holiness.

Comments

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    anon says:

    First of all, is this true?

    Tradition “holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of one man and one woman”

    I would have thought that marriage consisted of the Sacramental union of a man and woman as an icon of the mystical union of Christ and His Church? As far as I am aware, our Tradition blesses Sacramental marriages lived in continence as long as both partners agree to abstain from sex.

    Second, it is patently untrue that Orthodox tradition precludes same-sex unions – we know that there were liturgical rites of “brother making,” which is some cases included co-habitation and even child rearing. These are unambiguously forms of “union”. I am not suggesting this is the same as marriage or that the Church has ever blessed same-sex sex, however, the language of this resolution is inaccurate and certainly needs to be modified.

    What bothers me about this resolution is not fact that folks want the Church to clearly articulate its teachings on marriage and sexuality (btw the OCA has already done so repeatedly), but the fact that folks so focused on homosexual behavior don’t seem to really understand what the Church actually teaches about marriage and has actually practiced historically.

    I am also concerned that this fails to deal with the more fundamental and pervasive sins of pornography and masturbation that are directly at play in many, many marriages today. I am glad to see St. Vlad’s recent conference on this topic – that’s a small start, but we need a serious, concerted and permanent effort in this area. But it’s also clear there is a selective indignation and self-righteousness in the Church today that clearly needs pastoral intervention.

    • Back to Recent Comments list  Back to top
      D N says:

      @anon who says:

      § 1&2 ‘is this true? Tradition “holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of one man and one woman”’
      In Genesis, God willing, you will find out if it is true.

      § 3 ‘As far as I am aware, our Tradition blesses Sacramental marriages lived in continence as long as both partners agree to abstain from sex.’
      This is true.

      § #4 in its entirety:

      Refences please.

      § 4: ‘however, the language of this resolution is inaccurate and certainly needs to be modified.’

      Maybe the writers of this resolution had trusted the common sense and discernment of the readers too much?

      § 5 ‘folks [...] don’t seem to really understand what the Church actually teaches about marriage and has actually practiced historically.’

      Therefore, anon, in the name of Jesus Christ, please explain to us the Word of God on human marriage.

      § 6:

      anon, please tell us by what means have you found such mores ‘in many, many marriages today’ ? In other words: references please.

      ✝May God Preserve the Sanctity of Human Marriage according to His Word, now and always, in Purity Eternal, in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.✝

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