"Of course not. Perhaps it was a poor example of the need for 'authority', rules for living, etc."
NYer, Orthodoxy has preserved the "rules for living" of the ancient Church, many of which rules which the Latin Church has made at best optional. One of the most obvious examples is our fasting rule, another is the practice of seeking forgiveness from those we have offended before going to communion, but there is a whole litany of "rules" which govern our day to day lives and actually make us look at life differently from those who do not have an Orthodox phronema. And we do these things because we want to do them, not because we are ordered to do them. We live our lives according to the ancient teachings of The Church as best we can because we want to become "like God", not because we are afraid God will send us to hell.
"Thank God we have a voice that can speak with authority in such matters."
So do we. They are called spiritual fathers.
Dear friend, you skim, skip and avoid all of the direct points I make and revert to spirituality. How can spirituality be lived out in a world intent on destroying it! I have the utmost regard for my Orthodox brothers and sisters but I fail to comprehend how you can assuage your consciences by avering that "the bishop said it was okay to practice artificial birth control", when, in your hearts, you know it is not. Taking hormonal pills that interfere with the woman's natural cycle, works against the Divine plan. It is far more convenient than NFP but totally against the laws of nature. And, who set those laws in motion?
48 years ago, Pope Paul VI "got it right" and some catholics left the church, because its policy on birth control, "wasn't convenient". Those hormonal treatments have lasting effects; you and I both know it. Yet, today, medical science stands by its commitment to provide women with a dangerous cocktail of artificial hormones in order that she and her partner ( I have now dropped the word husband since, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, "a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman". )
One of the most obvious examples is our fasting rule,
The Catholic Church has addressed the "rules of fasting" from the perspective of non enforcement. Abiding by such 'rules' must come from the heart, or they are meaningless.
another is the practice of seeking forgiveness from those we have offended before going to communion,
K, you are not up on catholic liturgy. The Sign of Peace which we celebrate before communion, is our mutual affirmation of forgiveness to each other for errors and sins. It is a treasure we celebrate each and every week at Mass.
but there is a whole litany of "rules" which govern our day to day lives and actually make us look at life differently from those who do not have an Orthodox phronema.
What are your rules on IVF and stem cell research using pre-borm human embryos? And who established these rules? Are these consistent throughout Orthodoxy, and valid for ALL bishops in ALL branches of Orthodoxy?
I have posed this question several times and not one of the Orthodox members of this forum has give me a direct response.
Where are the Patriarchs on Islam? Today, Pope Benedict delivered a scathing address to the Muslims. In November, he will risk his life to enter Turkey, a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, and where the topic of the #1 selling book is the assassination of the pope. He goes there at the invitation of the Turkish president and to honor those catholics whose lives have been sacrificed by radical Muslims.
We live our lives according to the ancient teachings of The Church
So do we but, guided by the successor of St. Peter. We continue to evolve in our response to modern society, addressing scientific advances that challenge the "ancient teachings".
As I understand it, K, pope Benedict XVI and the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Churches, are working together to "join their voices" and speak out against abortion, euthanasia and the rapid decline of western society. When we speak together, our voices are louder and carry greater weight.