New York, January 28, 2022
Given the remarks of Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., last week and the comments retweeted by the GOARCH press office, Orthodox Christians Pro-Life issued a statement yesterday on the Orthodox Church’s stance against abortion.
The pro-life society has been holding regular prayer services outside abortion clinics in New York City for a year now. It also donates to pregnant women in need. For example, a donation was made to an Albanian family that was expecting a child, a baby carriage was bought for a pregnant women who lost almost everything in a fire, and support was provided for EMC Pregnancy Centers in New York which are having a difficult time now.
In its statement, Orthodox Christians Pro-Life expresses its support for the Orthodox Church in America, “which continues to maintain the pro-life position,” and calls for GOARCH clergy to clarify the issue.
In view of the situation, regarding
• the ambiguous message of the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros to the 2022 March for Life (“At the same time, we also affirm our respect for the autonomy of women. It is they who bring forth life into the world.”),
• and the pro-choice statement supported by the GOARCH Press Office (“A hierarch who defends a woman’s right to decide for herself, even if she chooses abortion. So rare in the Church that it ends up being touching.”),
Orthodox Christians Pro-Life express their concern and declare the following:
1. Based on the Holy Scripture (For example, “Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” – See Isaiah 49:1; “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb…” – See Luke 1:41) and the Holy Tradition (Canon 91 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council [691 A.D.], decreed that people “who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortion, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to the penalty prescribed for murderers.”), we reaffirm that abortion cannot be justified, and then the Orthodox Church can never support the pro-choice position that a mother has the right to kill her unborn child.
2. According to the words of Saint Paisios of Mt. Athos (“When a man disobeys one commandment of the Gospel, he alone is responsible. When, however, something that clashes with the commandments of the Gospel becomes the law of the land, then the wrath of God falls upon the whole nation, that it may be chastened.”), Orthodox Christians cannot support the legality of abortion. As Hieromartyr Daniel Sysoev witnessed, those who justify the legality of abortion just pretend that they are Orthodox Christians.
3. We offer our encouragement to the clergy and laity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese who share the Orthodox teaching on this matter and call them to clarify this question on the official level to avoid such temptations in the future.
4. We express our support for the Orthodox Church in America which continues to maintain the pro-life position, according to the Orthodox Christian teaching. Likewise, we express our support for all the canonical jurisdictions in the USA when they work for protection of the unborn.
5. Based on the above, we contend that politicians who support legality of abortion don’t represent the Orthodox Church. For example, New York State senator Andrew Gounardes who continues to claim that he is an Orthodox Christian. Unless he publicly repents in supporting baby genocide, he is a disgrace to the Church. The same applies to all who voted for pro-abortion bills and continue to call themselves Orthodox.