Patriarch Kirill Suggests Measures to Decrease Abortions

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

Patriarch Kirill suggests measures to decrease abortions, back up orphans and families with many Children | Source: Interfax

Moscow, January 17, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent Russian authorities suggestions how to improve national policy on family and childhood.

As to opposing abortions, the Patriarch urged to accept departmental instruction of the Ministry of Health and Social Development “that makes preservation of pregnancy a priority task for the doctor and bans medical initiatives on its interruption,” official website of the Moscow Patriarchate reports.

The Primate urged to introduce in medical practice a compulsory two-week period of waiting after “informed consent” – a document that woman signs before an abortion as this period exists in developed countries.

Patriarch Kirill also spoke for establishing a network of orphanages for lonely mothers in difficult life situation and centers of crisis pregnancy with physiologists and representatives of traditional religions in every maternity hospital.

The Patriarch suggested to take out operation on pregnancy interruption (except cases of direct threat to mother’s life) from the system of medical insurance, to exclude abortions from tax payers fund, to explain in schools how a child develops in mother’s womb, to provide state support to the media campaign condemning abortions and promoting maternity.

Patriarch Kirill believes it necessary to legally secure a family’s priority to independently settle questions regarding its inner life, to set up additional guarantees of parents’ right to bring up their children including formation of their world outlook and life style, guarding them from dangerous and immoral deeds, regulating their day regimen, performing religious rules, communicating with the opposite sex.

The Patriarch urged to strictly minimize and clearly put down in the legislation conditions that make possible to take children from family without court decision.


  1. Did His Holiness get permission from His All Holiness to speak so boldly?

  2. This Patriarch is speaking and acting like the mirror of Christ that all clergy must be. He is a voice of truth and proper Christian discernment in the world, a real shepherd to the people. May God bless him and protect him!

    Shame on so many Orthodox bishops in America who are still silent on this issue. Some even find a way to confuse and mislead others further by refusing to speak with moral clarity and stand behind the Orthodox Moral Tradition that categorically condemns abortion as the murder of a child and an unspeakable abomination. I am especially scandalized by one particular Greek Orthodox bishop, Bishop Savas Zembillas. Several times when Bishop Savas has been asked publicly about his stance on abortion and why he does not condemn abortion in the public arena, he has replied with this quote and nothing more:

    “Given the demographics of abortion – which shows a terrible over-representation of young, single, urban, low-income African-American women—I do not understand how a pro-life agenda can be divorced from a social justice agenda. It is impossible for a Christian to acquiesce in policies that allow doctors to suck the life out of a fetus – yet it is deplorably common for Christians to eagerly encourage “conservative” policies that perpetuate poverty, substandard education, and inadequate healthcare for these littlest ones, once they have left the womb.”

    One wonders why?

    • How could you disagree with the Archbishop? DO you have no sympathy for the poor? Does the mention of demographic facts upset you? ‘Facts is facts’ as the saying goes and Savas does not undercut his Episcopal Prophetic Authority by citing the evil of abortion as part of a broad syndrome of social evils afflicting us.

      Your argument flies in the face of the broad historical Christian tradition, which includes Chrysostom, whose life as forfeited essentially for his uncompromising support of the poor. Remember, he was finally exiled to die in Komana for ripping up and selling the new marble floor of Haghia Sophia, to distribute the Church’s treasure to the poor of C’ple.

      Another important Greek prelate marched with MLK. Does that count against him? The latter was assassinated only after his preaching began to link the evils of his time in a comprehensive way: war, poverty and racism.

      You stand on very shaky epistemological ground when you want to isolate sinners from their social situation. We are all implicated in the evil of abortion insofar as we do not seek to ameliorate the factors which make it an attractive solution to a perceived problem. If you have a point, I concede that you might well criticize Savas for merely pointing out a social syndrome, and then doing little to help heal the ill described.

      Patr. Kirill points toward a solution when he leads the Church in Russia to serve this end supporting mothers so that they do not choose abortion. Savas should ‘put his money where his mouth is’ and lead his Metropolis to the same kind of charity. But for any of us to censure him merely for going beyond moralistic judgement of individual acts of abortion is simply prejudicial.

      I discern the cant of discourse here on the blog is prejudicial against any European liberal tendencies. The quality of argument therefore suffers, lacking catholicity.

      • Speaking of European Liberal Tendencies. How is the abortion rate in Greece these days with its history of generous social welfare programs? How about the birthrate in Greece? What are the demographics of those who seek out abortion in Greece?

      • William Harrington :

        Father John, what does the European Liberal Tendencies (why the capitalization) have to do with poverty in America? Wouldn’t it be better to look at American history to understand the problem and find a working solution? Europe has enough problems of its own with its European Liberal Tendencies that developed in a European context. Borrowing their solutions does not seem workable when they seem to have caused serious problems in Europe what with violence in the streets in France, Greece, and the UK.

        You are right that we should be helping the poor, but giving that responsibility to the government which promptly eats a huge chunk of our forcibly collected alms to support itself has certainly not alleviated the social problems of poverty (though the poor can now afford some pretty nifty electronic entertainment systems). In fact, considering the disintegration of the family amongst the poor that accompanied the War on Poverty, a liberal program under a democratic president, we can be pretty sure that government involvement has made poverty worse (not in terms of money, but in terms of its social effects). We might be better off to stop petitioning our government for social government and help the people who need help all around us. Which sounds more like Christs teaching? Let the government do it, or use our own money and our own time to help those around us. We really do need a radical change in this country (and others). The one thing we should realize is that Social Justice and government programs haven’t helped. This isn’t about catholicity so much as about what works.

    • William Harrington :

      An abysmal misunderstanding of the political sources of this poverty for one. It does not have its origins in conservative policies but in the great society and the war on poverty in Johnson’s time. These policies destroyed many families that lived in poverty (blacks were hit disproportionately hard) then made these people dependent on government handouts. The second step was to make these newly dependent people scared of the very source of action and initiative. That’s how you create a captive voting block.

      It’s a shame Bishop Savas Zembillas has fallen for this. He’s right that we should have sympathy for the poor and help them, but that’s us, not our government. Before talking to me about social justice which sees only groups to throw money at, talk to me about charity which helps individuals who need help. In my experience, if you need help, go to the salvation army, not the government. Too bad we Orthodox do not have their reputation for helping. We help, but not nearly enough so that someone in need of help will think, I’ll go to St. seraphim’s across town, they’ll help me.

    • Michael Bauman :

      I disagree with the Archbishop because he is wrong.

      BTW any one who says ‘facts are facts’ is being a sophist. Facts never have, never will speak for themselves. They require a matrix, i.e, a context within which they are interpreted. The context makes all the difference. The assumptions and beliefs that shape the context always determine the interpretation of the facts. If that context is corrupted by power, money and hedonism combined with an unwavering personal expediency– facts don’t mean anything at all.

      • Wow, you’re sounding downright post-modern to me! 😉

        • Michael Bauman :

          I’m not sure what you mean by ‘post-modern’. Some facts about facts:

          1. We never have them all
          2. Anyone who is attempting to communicate ideas in a fact based manner selects the facts that are important to his/her argument and arranges the selected facts in accordance with a value hierarchy that supports his/her idea (further limiting access to the set of ‘facts’)
          3. Traditionally facts have been interpreted (given meaning) within a social/cultural narrative or mythos that goes far beyond meer logic
          4. If one changes the narrative, then the interpretation of the facts changes, just as if one changes the assumptions underlying any logical argument, the outcome of the logic is likely to change.
          5. If the mythos is one founded upon the revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ the facts will be given an entirely different meaning and value that when they are interpreted within a scientistic/materialist mythos or the mythos generated by a particular polticial ideology.
          6.The data that are considered facts by differing narratives will tend to be different, even radically different. For instance, for Orthodox the facts of the lives of the saints are of great import. For the scientistic materialist, the saints are not even real and hence not facts at all.

          Some conclusions:

          Empiricism assumes a uniformity in the material world that simply does not exist. Facts can, when properly used and when bias is properly considered, bolster the legitimacy of a particular idea and even prove it within the constraints of logic, but they never ‘speak for themselves’ .

          God is the only one who speaks for Himself, the only one whose existence is not contingent and therefore unchangeable. Since He has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ, it behooves us to subjugate our own will, biases and ideologies to the Truth. Anything else is irrational and illogical.

  3. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    I know your question is rhetorical Chris but I will answer it anyway. The statement is a rhetorical dodge, a way of appearing on the right side of the abortion question without having to take any stand that proves it either way. It creates an appearance of being above the fray and avoids risking the ire of your listener. It’s particularly effective with the ignorant and immature.

    It is also, as an article just published called it, a “lazy slander.” Readers can find it here: The Lazy Slander of the Pro-Life Cause.

    Still, you wonder how a Bishop in the GOA can actually come out and call abortion the moral calamity that it is when his Bishop has effectively distorted the tradition to where it is unrecognizable (see: A patriarch who ‘generally speaking, respects human life’). Standing in the tradition puts him into direct conflict with his hierarch. In that case it is probably better to say nothing at all than create rhetorical dodges to try and shift the moral onus away from the compromiser and onto the critic.

    • Your last sentence says it all. You will not tolerate any discussion which goes beyond laying individual moral culpability. To describe our collective sin and commonweal elicits here an automatic response, coded in anti-Greek rhetoric. The bishop HAS spoken plainly, but you can’t bear to listen because he points blame at a system you seem to support, furthering the cause of a rugged individualism which has so well dissolved the bonds of love in our broken society, benefiting the powerful at the expense of the weak. There is nothing Orthodox in this position.

      • This is yet another transparent deflection of the discussion from the real issue: “abortion is MURDER of a child.” It’s much easier to blame America and our freedoms, than deal with the real source and factors that enable this evil:

        points blame at a system you seem to support, furthering the cause of a rugged individualism which has so well dissolved the bonds of love in our broken society

        Several problems with this attempt at covering up the truth and further fudging of the issues.

        (1) No mention that it is primarily socialist welfare policies perpetuated by the Democrat party that has lead to an explosion in abortion rates and greatly contributed to the current mess.

        (2) It completely glosses over the Godless liberal and progressive policies over the last few decades, of removing God and moral instruction from our public schools and other institutions, which is a key reason why the “bonds of love in our broken society” have dissolved so quickly.

        (3) The fact that communist societies in Eastern Europe (which lack the “rugged individualism” of the US) had even higher abortion rates than America is ignored.

        (4) No mention of the very high abortion rates in countries like Greece and other socialist states in Europe with also severely limit the “rugged individualism” that is to be despised here in the US.

        (5) Out of wedlock pregnancies happen not because insufficient social programs, too much freedom, or America’s free-market system. They happen mostly because of the lack of moral guidance, lack of parental discipline, and/or irresponsible behavior by two individuals (or a combination of all 3 factors). Ignorance of the moral dimensions of these individual choices is dishonest and reckless. Until this truth is spoken and addressed real help is hard.

        No folks, this is not really about the defense of innocence or standing up and speaking with moral clarity and courage about the evils of abortion, but just another excuse to attack America and our liberties, while completely ignoring the chief causes and enabling factors of abortion.

        Compare how Bp. Savas and Fr. John approach abortion and the convoluted and hypocritical dance they do around it with how some real Orthodox Christian shepherds have approached this abomination over the history of the Orthodox Church:

        From the Letter of Barnabus:
        “You shall not destroy your conceptions before they are brought forth; nor kill them after they are born.”

        From St. Clement:
        “Those who use abortifacients commit homicide.”

        From Tertullian:
        “The mold in the womb may not be destroyed.”

        From St. Basil the Great:
        “The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us.”

        From St. Augustine:
        “Sometimes their sadistic licentiousness goes so far that they procure poison to produce infertility, and when this is of no avail, they find one means or another to destroy the unborn and flush it from the mother’s womb. For they desire to see their offspring perish before it is alive or, if it has already been granted life, they seek to kill it within the mother’s body before it is born.”

        From St. John Chrysostom:
        “Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit? Where there are medicines of sterility? Where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. Indeed, it is something worse than murder and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gifts of God, and fight with His laws? What is a curse you seek as though it were a blessing. Do you make the anteroom of slaughter? Do you teach the women who are given to you for a procreation of offspring to perpetuate killing?”

        Canon XCI:
        As for women who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortions, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to penalty for murderers.

        Canon II:
        “A woman who aborts deliberately is liable to trial as a murderess. This is not a precise assertion of some figurative and inexpressible conception that passes current among us. For here there is involved the queston of providing for the infants to be born, but also for the woman who has plotted against her own self. For in most cases the women die in the course of such operations, But besides this there is to be noted the fact that the destruction of the embryo constitutes another murder…. It behooves us, however, not to extend their confessions to the extreme limit of death, but to admit them at the end of the moderate period of ten years, without specifying a definite time, but adjusting the cure to the manner of penitence.”

        Canon XXI:
        “Regarding women who become prostitutes and kill their babies, and who make it their business to concoct abortives, the former rule barred them for life from communion, and they are left without resource. But having found a more philanthropic alternative, we have fixed the penalty at ten years, in accordance with the fixed degrees. …”

        “As for women who destroy embryos professionally, and those (non-prostitutes) who give or take poisons with the object of aborting babies and dropping them prematurely, we prescribe the rule that they, by economy, be treated up to five years at most.”

        The differences are striking!

        • Who took “the Bible” out of U.S. public schools? U.S. Catholic bishops, in a lawsuit almost a century ago. Why? Because the religion being taught in these Protestant-run school systems, they believed, threatened the faith of Catholic children attending public schools. (In fact the Bibles in question were Protestant, not Catholic — nor Orthodox.) Today their basic position remains unchanged: to obtain government funding for Catholic schools, although Catholic “liberal Democrats” lately have started to realize that, whatever problems public schools might have, de-funding them could be worse. [Personally I’d like to see a state or school district propose to fund ALL elementary and secondary education within its borders, irrespective of religious or nonreligious sponsorship, ISTM potentially meeting the Constitutional difficulty with “establishing religion”!] Should U.S. Catholic bishops reconsider their position? Which way should Orthodox go, given recent highly-publicized Hierarchical ‘moral’-political alliances with “conservative” religious and political forces in Western Europe and the USA — and why? ISTM most Orthodox public spokespersons have been short on explicit o/Orthodox justification for their punditry, leaving some of us confused and concerned … especially when they attack explicit Orthodox justification for opposing viewpoints.

      • Michael Bauman :

        Fr. John, the advent of the Great Society under LBJ has arguably done more to decimate the black family than any other economic or social policy in the recent past. Prior to the Great Society and the associate government poverty programs, the black family was largely intact. After 50 years, the black family is largely extinct. Combined with the ideological racism of the Planned Parenthood’s founders there is a lot of blame to go around don’t you think? Of course, family is being attacked by all sorts of liberal progressive polices as well as the social darwinsim of many so-called libertarianism. Political ideology of all stripes has become a means to destroy the family, pervert the very idea of what it means to be human and use bastardized versions of Christian, Jewish and even Islamic moral understanding against those who are attempting to practice their faith in as full a manner as possible.

        Political libertarianism is not Orthodox as it does promote the individual at the expense of the commuity but neither is it Orthodox to give over to secular government control our God-given freedom. Demogougery of any type is not Orthodox, putting ideology over the Christian faith is not Orthodox. Lapsing into the type of mind set that equates the willful murder of a child with econonmic and social policies that are almost always ideologically driven with the primary objective being to gain and/or maintain political power is not Orthodox either. Attempting to shift our Christian reponsibility to feed the poor and care for one another onto a power hungry political system and then turning against our brothers and sisters who rightly object is not Orthodox. There is no salvation in any poltical ideology or in any social policy.

        The fact of the matter is that the best way to get out of poverty and stay out is 1. Stay in school; 2. Remain chaste until marriage; 3. Get married and have a family; 4. Keep the family intact. Number 4 requires the full spiritual resources of the Church and a deep committment to God and to one another that the secular progressive approach does not recognize, refuses to recognize and actively works against. That is not Orthodox.

        Personally, I don’t see any of our bishops doing anything worthy of praise. They are too busy playing ecclesial power politics and turning into wolves rather than working at being shepards. Right now the GOA is providing the worst examples, but they are far from alone in their moral fuzziness, sexual perversion and other forms of corruption.

        As long as we put up with such behavior in ourselves and in our leaders, we will have no effective witness to Christ in this country and we will continue to produce stunted and desicated fruit.

        You want corporate responsibility: The Orthodox episcopate in this country has failed in its duty to rightly divide the word of truth, to be good and loving shepards for their flocks (if they even have any) and have consistently perverted the Church and the Gospel to their own unholy ends. The rest of us have encouraged them, enabled them and profited by their sins and transgressions. We will have to change or our candlestick may be removed.

        Equivocating on abortion is just one of the many instances of lukewarmness with which we are infected. Where are the GOA or any Orthodox sponsored orphanages, hospitals, shelters, non-ethnic schools. A few small ones exist here and there, the fruit of the laity often having to work agains the hierarchy to do as God commands.

        The hierachy of the Orthodox Church and many clergy and lay members have steadfastly refused to love this country, to take up the moral and spiritual challenge of evangelizing this country because of ethno-centric or theolgocial triumphalism and the concommitant belief that we Americans are just not worthy.

        We have been too long complicit.

        • Actually IIUC gay people and couples are said to be more likely to not be poor or not to stay poor than straight couples and their children! This mathematical irony is, however, unrelated to the fact, I believe, that “the nuclear family” is NOT “the bedrock of civilization,” but rather the bedrock of true civilization is the Orthodox Church, ITS families and monasteries. Again I ask what explicit o/Orthodox justification there is for us to ally ourselves with the reactionary political-cultural worship of the nuclear family (a recent invention itself), of the last 40-some years? Its main U.S. proponents use it as cover for the Republican Party, and Fundamentalist Protestantism ie heresy. Again, what explicit o/Orthodox justification? I’d like to learn if there is any, sincerely, because I haven’t seen much. Thank you.

          • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

            Gays are by and large wealthier. No one to take care of except themselves. The same would hold true for heterosexual singles, but they tend to get married, gays don’t. (I don’t expect many long-term or committed relationships to develop among gays. We’ll see.) Their wealth is more a function demographics than anything else.

            As for families and civilizations, scripture reveals the family predating even Abraham. Remember Adam and Eve? Sounds very foundational at least in my version of it. Jesus blessed the wedding at Cana, that predates the Church too. Nuclear families are a cultural development but only because time and distance dissolved the larger extended bonds that defined it before that. The notion of family however — mom, dad, kids, uncles, aunts, cousins — is still preserved. None of this spontaneously generated 40 years ago.

            So your request for justifications can’t really be met, not at least until we get some of the elementary facts in order.

          • I suspect any study of the financial assets of those who are actively homosexual as compared to the married would look like the letter ‘U’. Those who are ill, and disproportionately many are at a younger age seriously and chronically ill, must spend on medical care. Those who have their health have spending timing and amount discretion the married with kids only can dream about.

  4. When I read Bishop Savas’ comment and ponder it, I’m reminded of Adam Smith’s comment: “On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.” Also Albert Camus’ comment: “That’s wonderful; but I don’t know what it means.” Finally, Benjamin Franklin’s comment: “You speak clearly Mr. Fogg; you explain English by Greek.”

  5. Of the three major branches of Christianity — Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism — only the Catholic Church has taken a consistently firm stand against abortion. The Orthodox and Protestant churches have tended to be silent or wishy-washy on this issue. It is time for the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Archbishop of Canterbury to periodically come out with statements that condemn abortion, as the Pope has done many times.

    Patriarch Kirill’s suggestions are a good start for the Orthodox Church, in that they clearly indicate a need to decrease abortions; however, the Orthodox Church needs to be more emphatic in its rejection of abortion and state what abortion really is — the murder of an unborn child!

  6. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    I discern the cant of discourse here on the blog is prejudicial against any European liberal tendencies. The quality of argument therefore suffers, lacking catholicity.

    Whew! Poverty, abortion and European Socialism (American Liberalism/Progressivism) all tied together under the rubric of “catholicity.”

    Some facts:

    This double-sided attack on New York’s welfare reform lacks all empirical basis. Since 1995, the city’s welfare rolls have dropped nearly 70 percent, from 1.1 million to 350,000. Rather than increasing, as opponents of welfare reform warned, the child poverty rate in New York City dropped 34 percent during the same period, compared with a 5 percent drop nationwide. In 2008, New York City had the lowest child poverty rate—26.5 percent—and the lowest total poverty rate—18.2 percent—of the country’s eight largest cities.

    Work, even at minimum wage, remains the best route out of poverty. When tax credits and medical and housing benefits are included, an average single mother of two with an $8.25-an-hour job in New York City receives a $63,000 annual income. On welfare alone, that same mother would pull in $43,000 a year—a whopping amount for non-work, to be sure, but still less than work provides.

    Source: Championing Dependency: The poverty industry renews its attack on welfare reform.

    More facts:

    The schools with the highest failure rates are located exclusively in the inner cities of Democratically controlled cities.

    Planned Parenthood does demographic studies before building new abortuaries (they are abortion retailers). Most of them are located near poor, black areas. Black activists, particularly black ministers, fight against this assault on black culture but the mainstream media, disoriented by the toxicity of false compassion, refuse to report this story (see: Fighting to restore a culture of life, Dr. Alveda King picking up where uncle left off.)

    Bp. Zembellis’ criticism of pro-lifers promotes (unwittingly perhaps) the culture of dependency that keeps abortion behemoths like Planned Parenthood in business. For all the talk about compassion and the evils of capitalism, Liberals are silent about such bloody work that hauls in cash by the truckload (see: Planned Parenthood Abortion Business Makes $1 Billion Income for First Time). Since the desperation fostered by the dependency culture is good for business, why give people a constructive way out? Why not tell them instead that the real cure for poverty is to eliminate the poor?

    Your approach does the same thing Fr. John. You exhortation about caring for the poor is true, as far as it goes. But your assumption that American Liberal ideology (European Socialism) actually reduces poverty reveals that you are carried away by “compassion” rhetoric and ignorant of the facts on the ground. Thus, when you say:

    You stand on very shaky epistemological ground when you want to isolate sinners from their social situation. We are all implicated in the evil of abortion insofar as we do not seek to ameliorate the factors which make it an attractive solution to a perceived problem. If you have a point, I concede that you might well criticize Savas for merely pointing out a social syndrome, and then doing little to help heal the ill described.

    . . .your tone has a superficial congruency with the moral tradition, but the finger-wagging behind it implicitly affirms the ideas that exacerbate rather than eliminate poverty. “Epistemological” responsibility cuts both ways.

    As for the implication that Martin Luther King and the Liberal agenda are synonymous, his niece Alveda King would strongly disagree. I can’t see MLK championing the destruction of the unborn (predominantly black children) in the same way that poverty professionals do. Many modern Liberals (particularly Progressives) are lot like the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW claims to stand in the tradition of the early feminists but their ideological mother is actually eugenicist Margaret Sanger. Early feminists were strongly pro-life. NOW is little more than a shill for the abortion industry. Their claims to the rich traditions of benevolence in American culture are false.

  7. And, to dispel the Bp. Savas’ notion that somehow abject poverty and abortion are related and one should concentrate on the former to minimize the latter (which is a fair read of what he says), I should point out that, according to recent studies, Serbia has the HIGHEST abortion rate in Europe and it is primarily centered with the middle and upper middle classes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why? Because the Church spends more time focusing on regaining Kosovo and restablishing Greater Serbia than on the soul’s of the Serbs. No need to worry about their souls. St. Lazarus made a deal over 600 years ago that has guaranteed them “election”. That is the Serbian Church’s mentality! And, I venture, Greece is not much different. The may not have St. Lazarus to make a pact, but they have St. Hellas the Philosopher.

    • By the way, this is what happens when the Church is the mistress of the State and the State is married to the Almighty EU:

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

        What does all of this say about us Nick? This is a mess.

        • Maybe the answer can be found here: Take a look at the ratio of priests to bishops? 1,000 to 1? Something like 8,000 priests and 80-ish working bishops? Not sure of that stat, I saw it posted on another list and didn’t confirm it. I don’t think even Brigham Young was ‘Spiritual Father’ to so many. That kind of ratio has got to distort the Gospel intention beyond all recognition.

          • Geo Michalopulos :

            Harry, I hear you brother. If we’re going to have monk-bishops, then there isn’t a city in America with more than six parishes that couldn’t afford to establish a diocese. The ratio of bishops to priests should be somewhere in the ratio of 1:12. (This would include parishes which have more than one priest, which in my opinion is the ideal.)

  8. Looking at the discussions here, I am reminded of St. Ambrose’s warning: “Not only for every idle word must man give an account, but for every idle silence.”

    • I love that quote, Chris. Thanks for sharing. That quote pretty much sums up how I feel about the Orthodox Church’s response (or unanimous lack thereof) to the worldwide abortion epidemic.

  9. Nick, imagine a world without government subsidized Orthodoxy. I think you can make the argument -especially in the last 100 years- that government subsidies have hurt the Church’s mission more than helped it.

    • Amen to that Andrew. And, when the Church got really tight with the Empire, the bishops adopted the fashion of the Emperors rather than the simple deacon’s dalmatic. They no longer remained part of the people but evolved apart from the people. They even denied us the right to hear the anaphora, including the anamnesis, so we could not longer remember what it is all about. Then they instituted the silliest of rubrics and started teaching those rather than teaching Christ.

      • Nick, this is why the future of American Orthodoxy is so important. Its really a question of freedom to answer the call of Christ and the responsibility that comes with it. That article you put up is tragic. It says nothing about vocations but only clergy as “state workers”. I have come to believe more and more that we should pull the plug on state subsidies for Orthodox Churches and make the church free to live its faith. Making Orthodox Christians responsible for everything from their Church building to building up vocations is a good thing.

        Many of the great heroes of the faith after all were successful because of their fidelity not because they received government subsidies. St. Paul did not get checks from the Greek ministry of culture to preach the Gospel.

        • You are right, Andrew. And it is not an issue of a friendly or unfriendly government. The Church has a lot of baggage to discard which it has accumulated since the Edict of Milan.

  10. Michael Bauman :

    Anyone else see this yet:

    What’s that canard about making abortion legal will make it safe? Greed and homicidal intent always produces butchers.


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