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[quote:3v46v1hz]This obviously allows contraceptive measures, and does not condemn them in the least.[/quote:3v46v1hz]

You’re confusing matters. The document is not a “carde blanche” permission regarding contraceptives, let alone an endorsement. Rather, it represents a considered view of hierarchs, which in it’s conclusion happens to contradict the considered view ultimatly endorsed by Pope Paul VI.

What many Roman Catholics do not comprehend regarding the land mark [i:3v46v1hz]Humanae Vitae[/i:3v46v1hz] (which basically settled this question for Roman Catholics, at least those who feel obliged to a priori obey the Pope, or at least happen to agree with the reasoning involved in this document), is that it was the conclusion of a debate which had been ongoing.

There were opinons to the left [i:3v46v1hz]and to the right[/i:3v46v1hz] of what [i:3v46v1hz]Humanae Vitae[/i:3v46v1hz] ended up prescribing. For example, in many of the moral theological guides of the pre-Vatican II era (such as Fr.Heribert Jone’s famouse [i:3v46v1hz]Moral Theology[/i:3v46v1hz], which you can still get from TAN Books), there were “theological opinions” expressed by credible “moralists” which basically opined that any attempt by married couples to enjoy marital relations without at least the implied intent of conceiving a child, were at least sinning “venially”. Also expressed (sorry if this offends the more bashful here, but the example illustrates a point) was the view that for couples to in conscience believe they were even using “positions” which they believed were less inclined to result in conception (though did not involve actual “coitus interuptus”), this was possibly a “mortal” sin.

Those stricter views, reflect a prevelent view in the west during the Middle Ages (largely an outgrowth of St.Augustine’s view on this topic, which tends to be more rigorous than most Fathers who address the topic) that the conception of children was the only time “marital relations” were virtuous…and to the degree one fell short of that, one was in some wise sinning.

In other words, Humanae Vitae’s position (the “official” Roman Catholic position now) is not a “perennial understanding” on this topic, not even within the Latin tradition (indeed, it tends to be somewhat more liberal in many ways – which is precisely why certain Latin “schism” groups like the Society of St.Pius X do not think very highly of [i:3v46v1hz]Humanae Vitae[/i:3v46v1hz], and modern Catholicism’s permissivness of so called “Natural Family Planning” – all of which they view as a contraceptive ethos.)

The Orthodox position is not that contraceptive use is not morally neutral, and is tolerated by the Church to extent that those married couples using them do so for reasons in conscience they think are importance, with the assumption that they have normal Church life and thus are in consultation with a confessor. As the OCA document on the subject says, it’s not “evangelical perfection”, because in some wise it does “miss the mark” – but it is not such, in the situations I’ve mentioned, so as to exclude Christians from the Chalice, which is really the ultimate concern here.

Of course, part of the difference here involves the difference Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics have in their understanding of sin, it’s significance, why it is “sin”, and God (and the Church’s) interaction with sinners…and beyond that, just what it is to be in the struggle for salvation, etc.

An important note – most of the Patristic references cited as being “against contraception” equate the use of “contraception” (very tellingly) with “abortion.” This is because in the Roman milieu these Fathers wrote in one of two things could be said…

a) They were very often speaking of the taking of potions, the constricting of a woman’s lower abdomen, etc… in other words, not actual “contraception” as we now understand it, but rather abortion (properly speaking.)

b) It seems likely that certain of the Patristic views on this subject were formed by the pre-scientific understanding that the “male seed” was the main constituint of new life, and that the woman’s contribution was only nutritive and in terms of providing a place for this “seed to grow.” Thus, why there would be the opinion, again, that the unnecessary “shedding of seed” would be akin to murder as well.

[quote:3v46v1hz]I don’t mean to go off topic but this is only to show that your stauch Orthodox Church has been silent and I do not see her combatting heresy for the last 800 years or so[/quote:3v46v1hz]

No, I think what you should be saying is that the Orthodox Church felt no need to combat [i:3v46v1hz]your Church’s heresies.[/i:3v46v1hz]

OTOH, the few (certainly compared to the Reformation!) relatively minor problems that have occured in the Orthodox milieu were answered by the Shepherds of the Church.

Btw. I’m wondering how much you’ve actually read on this topic, since your statement entirely ignores the [i:3v46v1hz]Barlaamite heresy[/i:3v46v1hz] which erupted, thanks to Roman Catholic influence over the Italian emigre to “Byzantium” (I use quotes, because the title is artificial – they were Romans, nothing less, and were recognized as such even by their eventual Muhammedan conquerers) Barlaam of Calibrea. He was refuted by St.Gregory Palamas, and condemned by the “Palamite Synods” which are for all practical purposes the “9th Council” (and have been explicitly called such by many authorities, old and new – though the title is immaterial, as the conclusions are universally accepted.)

[quote:3v46v1hz]…. no councils condeming sola fide… [/quote:3v46v1hz]

That’s because the categories within the Orthodox would rightly even discuss this subject, are ultimatly different than either that used by the Roman Catholics or the Protestants. And again – that was your Church’s mess, not the Orthodox Church’s.

[quote:3v46v1hz]nothing about the enlightenment and any of the heretical philosophies (nihlism, positivism etc) that have arisen.[/quote:3v46v1hz]

Ah, and surprise surprise – more western European ideological problems, which frankly were resultant from the corruption and rationalism of the post-schism Latin Church (which resulted in a cynical attitude amongst intelligent westerners toward religion in general, or even claims to trancendent truth – basically, the same progressive “throwing the baby out with the bath water” that started when the Protestants over-reacted to the grotesque corruption of western Christendom.)

[quote:3v46v1hz] Is there any difinitive agreement on these New Age ways of thinking in the OC?[/quote:3v46v1hz]

Oh goodness, as if there’s a “papally infallible definition” on absolutely everything under the sun in Catholicism! This is cartoonish, and implies that save for autocratic displays of authority, truth can never be discerned or accepted.

[quote:3v46v1hz]This is only part of what I found. It seems there is also exceptions for Abortion and Patriach Kalistos has a bit to say about contraceptives.[/quote:3v46v1hz]

Yes, if the mother’s life is in serious, clear and mortal danger, she will not likely be excommunicated (at least not for the same length of time the normal guidelines would recommend for a penitent who has had an abortion – keep in mind what ex[b:3v46v1hz]commun[/b:3v46v1hz]icate means; not that one is “out of the Church”, but that one is not allowed to receive Holy Communion; and this is a medicinal measure for their benefit) if she has an abortion, though everything I’ve read on this topic (indeed, surprisingly uniform given the lack of dictatorial ecclessiology on ou rpart) says this is still a sin (again, understood as the Scriptures understand “sin” – [i:3v46v1hz]amartia[/i:3v46v1hz], which includes far far more than I think westerners are comfortable with), and is of serious spiritual consequence for the mother.

And frankly, I’m baffeled that anyone cannot see that the situation of a woman trying to save her life (however unheroic that may be), or perhaps even avoiding a situation where both she and her baby would likely die… and the situation of a woman having an abortion where there is a lack of such a grave situation, ought to be regarded or treated the same way. I’m curious, do you believe serial killers and those who kill in self defence ought to be treated the same? Goodness…

Also, I wonder how closely you read – Kallistos of Diokleia is not the “patriarch” of anything, but a [i:3v46v1hz]Bishop[/i:3v46v1hz] (and quite a well known author, scholar, and speaker to boot.)

[quote:3v46v1hz]Quite frankly if I wanted to become Orthodox, I would be confused. Is this your stauch Orthodox Church Ted?[/quote:3v46v1hz]

No, you just wouldn’t agree with the Roman Catholic Church on these topics. Which isn’t such a horrible thing in and of itself, unless one is determined to believe that this is, from the get-go.