Pastoral Message from the February Beacon
My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For the most part, politics and religion should remain separate. There is no need for the two to intersect except when sanctity of life is infringed upon, i.e., issues as in capital punishment, abortion, certain scientific practices (like embryonic stem cell research), or fringe medical practices (like euthanasia). In November and December we were reminded of this issue with the string of federal executions; this past week, we were again reminded by the executive order rescinding the Mexico City policy. The Mexico City policy requires foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” using funds from any source (U.S. and non-U.S.), if they are to be eligible to receive any U.S. government funding for family planning. As Orthodox Christians, it is important that we understand our faith and the truths it proclaims. The faith is for the protection of life in all cases – from conception to natural death.
Thus, according to the faith:
¨ Life begins at conception: “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)
¨ Abortion is not a healthcare decision or contraception, it is the termination of a life. There are times when economia (pastoral compassion and sensitivity) must be extended (as in an ectopic pregnancy when there is obvious peril to the mother’s life).
¨ The premature ending of a life (capital punishment/euthanasia) takes away time from a person. Time in which a person could have discovered a relationship with God resulting in salvation.
May we always be “Icons of Christ” in our love for one another - those who are alike in belief and those who are not. But may we also know and express the truths of our faith. For it is by our love, humility, and integrity that the Church can truly effect a change on the hearts and minds of our community. (John 13:35)
With love and respect, I remain in Service of our Lord who took on carnal flesh that we may achieve salvation,