True ecumenism implies common action
committed to upholding the Gospels
From a speech from last November 2014 that does have very serious ecumenical implications vis-a-vis the upcoming Synod of the Family next month. One aspect of surrendering to the homosexualist movement would be a very strong response from the Orthodox world.Though he does not make any specific references to the chaotic meeting last October, in which a number of homosexualist churchmen strove to insert propaganda in favour of homosexuality into the official Church text, it is obvious what the Orthodox Metropolitan is implying.
From Metropolitan Hilarion:
Liberal Christians have often maintained that society needs to preserve stability. However, what stability can be preserved by 'blessing' a sin? The Church has always been called to proclaim the truth of Christ and condemn sin, even in defiance of the demands of the society and 'the powers that be'. Did Christ try to adapt His message to the standards of this world? Did He promise the apostles stability and comfort? Did he promise them that their preaching would be a success? Let us listen to what He says to the apostles, when he sends them out to preach: 'I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved'. (Mt. 10:16-22)
How little does this resemble the discourse of today's liberal Christians who seek to adapt the Church to the standards of this world, to make it tolerant, not towards people, not towards sinners, but towards sin. Sin is elevated to the dignity of a norm and to this end even the words of Jesus and His apostles are rewritten and re-interpreted.We do not at all insist that the Church should refuse to help sinners. Christians are obliged to pray for all sinners and to wish them salvation. The Church should treat any individual with pastoral responsibility regardless of his or her sexual orientation. But the Church cannot bless a vice. She cannot reform the norm of faith as sealed in the holy Gospel and the letters of the apostles.
Another important problem, which needs a consolidated Christian witness, is the legalization of abortion. Today, we see an increasing number of pretexts offered to justify the killing of babies in the mother's womb. The motivation varies, but it all lies on the practical plane and considers the needs of potential parents alone, ignoring the right of a child to be born. To struggle with this evil, churches should testify for all to hear that abortion is killing, that a human life has value since the moment of its conception to the moment of its natural death. It is necessary to maintain more active cooperation with the legislature to avoid the adoption of such laws. It is extremely important to carry out educational work by explaining to young couples elementary notions of the responsibility of spouses for their marital union.
This problem lies in the context of a broader problem of the correlation between human rights and a person's responsibility for his or her actions before his neighbours and the whole of society. Today a special accent is placed on the rights and freedoms of the individual, without taking into account the interests of society. Priority is given to various minorities, which often behave very aggressively and defiantly towards the absolute majority.
In our day numerous gay parades have swept over European cities. We are dealing not merely with the propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation. We are rather dealing with its proud demonstration, its showing off and imposition on society. The states that seek to enter the European Union are required today to hold gay parades as a permit for obtaining the status of candidate. What kind of society do we live in? What kind of society will we leave to our posterity?
Today we, Christians of various confessions, should unite around the very simple common human values which are subjected to mockery and profanation against the background of wild manifestation of all kinds of 'non-traditional' models of behaviour: to defend marriage as union of a man and a woman, to defend the right of a child to be born, to defend the right of the aged to die a natural death rather than from a lethal injection administered by a doctor, to defend the right of doctors to refuse to administer abortion or euthanasia for moral considerations. The sphere of morality is a wide field for common action for the Christian confessions which remain committed to the teaching of Christ expressed in Holy Scripture. Our common pastoral task is to advocate the Christian identity of man.
The complete speech may be read here.
The complete speech may be read here.