Statement from the Diocesan Chancery on the Contemporary Question of Homosexual Marriage to the Clergy and Flock of the Diocese


Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that homosexual marriage is a constitutional right in the United States of America. Given the ubiquitous coverage the news media is providing on this issue it is important that our clergymen and parishioners fully understand the position of the Church in this regard.

Living in a free society as we do, we should first be thankful that we have the opportunity to practice our Orthodox Faith without inordinate interference from the government. In recent history this was not the case in Russia, and is still not the case in many countries throughout the world. In a free society all views can be shared in the public arena – both views we agree with as Orthodox Christians and those we disagree with. We call upon our flock to be guided first and foremost by the Holy Tradition of the Church in discerning whether any contemporary question is something that is compatible to the Orthodox faith. If an Orthodox Christian chooses to engage in public political discourse this should be done with moderation and with a firm intention and watchfulness not to fall into extremism. Extremism is not conducive to softening hearts or bringing others to the faith. Laymen who choose to engage in political speech should not state that they speak on behalf of the Church. Strictly speaking such an authoritative statement can be made only by a bishop or with a bishop’s specific blessing.

It should also be made clear that living a homosexual or any other sinful lifestyle is not compatible with Christianity and this has always been the teaching of the Church. That being stated, it is also crucial to state that the Church is a Spiritual Hospital and all those wishing to receive the healing freely offered by God through their repentance and God’s Grace are fully welcome. This includes those who have participated in immoral or unnatural acts of any kind as well as those who are tempted by such sins. The Church is empathetic to those who suffer in such a way and offers them support, healing, and Christian love. Those actively engaging in any immoral or unnatural pursuits cannot live a full sacramental life within the Church. However, this does not mean that we seek to drive away or ostracize those who have transgressed in such a way. Rather, we must make all efforts to draw those in such an unfortunate situation back to chastity and the opportunity to again partake in the Life-Giving Mysteries of the Church and to engage the struggle for their salvation within the parish community.

Today's Supreme Court ruling makes homosexual marriage legal in the United States. It should be made clear that under no circumstances will the Church recognize homosexual marriage, accord it the status of traditional marriage, or bless such unions. However, this is not to state that those who have entered into such a union have stepped beyond a line from which they cannot return. The Church has always strongly condemned heresies (such as Novatianism, Montanism, and Donatism) which deny the possibility of repentance for those having committed certain sins. It is crucial that our clergymen not shy away from the position of the Church as regards the sinfulness of homosexuality and other unnatural expressions of the God-given gift of human sexuality – but it is also crucial that such statements be made with love and with a corresponding invitation to repentance and reconciliation with the Church.

We call upon all to pray for our land – that the Lord will forgive us our collective societal sins as well as our personal sins and provide us a safe haven which allows us to work out our salvation in peace.

Violet7/2/2015 2:48 am
How awesome is that! for it is written! All is correct. Amen
Man...they do not know what they do.
It would tip scales way out of balance in this world. Yet they understand nothing. I think they should be re reformed at registers office if such things to occurs. For government to change our culture, our belief and our religion to take away our rights. We are not intended to hurt guy people but sorry it is not for us or our church social benefit or community benefit. We shall not be bullied into such acts. The courts are meant to abide by Gods laws yet they r trying to change all bibles around the world and their practices is wrong. I would rather go to jail for God than to change and upheaval millions of orthodox members of society. God is with you all keep strong. We have the strength of God if you need prayers I am sending them shortly to those who need it. Amen
Ambrose6/29/2015 5:50 am
I greatly appreciate the RCA's statement on this matter. It is firm in identifying the sin, but also doing so without condemning the sinner. Most gay people think that the Church hates them. We can't combat sin with hate, it must be done in love.
Sally Iloff6/29/2015 1:18 am
How easy is to fall down on the slippery road and start talking about homosexuals in terms of sexual tolerance. As we know God the Most Highest hates the sin of homosexuality, but He loves the sinner. We should look to those people as children of God that need prayer for repentance, but we should not close eyes before the sin!
struggler6/28/2015 1:42 pm
What a weak statement from the church abroad. I am disappointed but not surprised, it is coming from those living in the west, infected by all the immoral and politically correct thinking that is totally opposed to the Orthodox faith.Comfortably numb is all I have to say!There seems an immense reluctance (embarrasment?)to even have to say anything.Don't worry no one could take offence at that weak statement, a total cop out in my opinion. No doubt my view will be judged as one of those terrible extremist views that cant be tolerated,one of the worst sins,worse than homosexuality it seems.By the way I'm from the west and I'd be proud to be accused of being extreme Orthodox christian!
george hetschinof6/28/2015 4:24 am
what this all means is that the end tmes are coming soon, How much longer will God take everything that goes on in the world. I find it disheartening that individuals have turned to homsexuality and have no fear of God or the after life, and unless those individuals repent or come back to their Church they will be judged by God in the end and there will be no judges no lawyers to fight for their rights to get into heaven. Then it will be too late to see that the lifestyle they choose would finish up in badly in the eyes of God.

Mary6/28/2015 4:24 am
Thank you for making things come into focus for us. While our emotions are running wild at this time, it is good to bring them under the monitor of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your firm stance on the truth and foundation of God.
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required