Not very impressive. (Actually, the AOI blog article on Abp. Demetrios’ awkward praise of Pres. Obama ranks first in Google, but that’s beside the point.) It got me to thinking.
If there is ever a need for Orthodox unity, the time is now. The authority of the Orthodox moral tradition far exceeds our numbers, but that authority has to be exercised. As long as we remain disunited our voice is muted and the culture does not receive the direction it needs. The Catholic Bishops understand this, just as they understand that the life issues are a matter of not only personal life and death, but cultural life and death. That is why they are ready to use their authority to clarify these issues and, if necessary, offer moral resistance. It is time for us to step up too.
Apart from the GOA, the Orthodox jurisdictions are consistent in their defense of life. We certainly could — and need — to do more, but there is really no confusion about what the tradition teaches. Met. Jonah, like all the OCA primates before him is a leader at the March for Life. The AOA published a stellar essay in The Word (Orthodoxy and the Unborn Child .pdf), a few months back with clear teaching on abortion. The cover featured an icon of the Virgin Mary and Elizabeth with Jesus and John the Forerunner in-utero. Powerful stuff. I have to assume all the other jurisdictions teach the same thing although they don’t have the public prominence of the “Big 3.” The GOA, as we know, stays silent on these issues for fear of offending the liberal politicians they need to cultivate; an odorous off-shoot of the Hellenism-Orthodoxy confusion that afflicts the leadership.
Imagine if we had a functioning synod of Bishops who understood the workings of American culture and who could speak to these issues with the clarity that the Orthodox moral tradition provides. We might actually make a difference. We certainly would be lighting a candle for those looking for light.