Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church

Father Bernard

The V. Rev. Father Bernard Kinnick, Pastor
St. Nicholas Western Rite Orthodox Church





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Draft Statement (Draft) on “Same-Sex Marriage” was adopted by the Diocese of Los Angelas
and the West and by the Diocese of Eagle River and the Pacific Northwest.

INTRODUCTION
In light of the recent tragic decisions made by the highest court in the land,
as well as the increasingly vocal movements in broader American society with
regard to so-called ‘same-sex marriages’, we, who with gratitude live in a culture
where the free expression of our beliefs is not to be diminished are compelled by
God and by our archpastoral love of the flock of Christ to speak clearly the truth
of our faith on the subject of marriage, and so issue the following statement to
the faithful with regard to these matters.

We proclaim now, as we have always proclaimed and will always proclaim, that man
is a creature of his God, Who has fashioned him uniquely and preciously for a
course and way of life that is harmonious with that creation and the divine design
of redemption; and, while always maintaining the deepest lovefor those who suffer
with such afflictions, and ever announcing to them the great hope of new life, we
proclaim without equivocation that relationships of a homosexual nature are contrary
to the clear teaching of God in His Church and to the nature of the human creature
He has fashioned for glory; and that marriage has always been and will always be, in
its true form, a sacrament of the Church administered according to the loving will
of God for the common salvation of a man and woman and their progeny. That which
purports to be called ‘marriage’ yet which defies this basic God-ordained pattern
of creation is in fact no marriage, and will neither now or at any point be recognized
as such by those of an Orthodox Christian faith, whether such views are supported by
any social group, law, state or nation.

A SEMINAL MOMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY

We cannot fail to recognize the seminal moment at which we have arrived in American history.
A choice faces the people of our nation that has no less momentous consequences for the
common vision of human life than was faced in the early 1970s, when the sorrowful slaughter
of the innocents was rendered acceptable through the legalization of abortion. In the face
of such trials, it is therefore of the highest import that the Church and her hierarchy,
entrusted with the moral enlightenment of the faithful and the nation, speak forth the mind
and will of God clearly.

BACKGROUND

The rise of the demand for permission to marry by those of America’s population who identify
themselves as homosexuals has been a surprising and rapid development over the past decade.
In previous decades, indeed since the rise of “homosexual activism” and literature (beginning
in the late 1960s), marriage had been consistently belittled and criticized in such contexts
as a patriarchal and religious imposition upon the “free expression” of sexuality. In the last
decade, however, this movement has made a dramatic reversal, in its public face, and has actively
sought to promote “same-sex marriage”, enacted in law, as something to be desired by persons
identifying themselves as homosexual. In the process of seeking such legal legitimization,
proponents of homosexual lifestyles (including organized movements) have sought to label
traditional religious and moral teaching on marriage as at the very least outmoded and
irrelevant; but with increasing regularity as “hate speech,” castigating believers in
traditional faith and morals as intolerable bigots. Within this push for legitimization,
proponents of “same-sex marriage” are, in fact, demanding not only an eschewing of old customs,
but that society embrace opinions on the human family -- the fundamental cornerstone of human
culture -- that have never been supported in law by any mainstream civilization or religion in
the history of mankind. It is, rather, a common teaching of the vast majority of the world’s
religions that homosexual acts and thefostering of homosexual passions is both unnatural and
immoral, a degradation to the human person. This is without any question the clear and unequivocal
teaching of the Orthodox Christian faith, once for all delivered by Jesus Christ to His Church,
and preserved whole and unpolluted by our Holy Fathers for the last two millennia; and any who
deny this teaching under the influence of modern social trends and justifications place themselves
outside this universal witness of Christ’s Church. “Same-sex marriage,” seen in this context, is
radically iconoclastic, both culturally and religiously; and its proponents, whether knowingly or
unknowingly, make war against God in His Church.

THE UNIQUENESS OF MALE AND FEMALE AS FATHER AND MOTHER

The presupposition that the love and union of two members of the same sex is the equivalent of
that of a man and woman, is wrought with fallacies. Such a presupposition negates the fundamental
witness of divine creation, that God has fashioned the human creature in His image as male and
female. The complementarity of the sexes is a universal teaching of the Church, and the uniqueness
of each sex, male and female, is cherished as part ofthe beauty of creation.

It is, in this world of God’s fashioning, only in the coming together of these two unique sexes,
that children are born into this world according to His design. And just as children are the fruit
only of this male-female union which the Lord has blessed, so marriage is the context which the Lord
God has blessed for such children to be nourished and formed. In a marriage, the male is father and
the female mother, and such children as God grants are provided with each so long as He deigns. The
nurturing received from a father is different than that of a mother, the two together being the will
of God for the child. The untenable assumption of “same-sex marriage” and the associated adoption of
children, by same-sex couples, is that the two sexes and their roles in parenting are interchangeable
and indistinct. This is a denial of the beauty and ordering of God’s creation, as well as a recondit-
ioning of “marriage” into something aimed chiefly at the emotional gratification of a couple’s desires,
rather than a relationship that brings to fruition the will of God and provides the potential for the
rearing of children in the manner He has deemed appropriate.

The fact that a significant number of Americans and many of our civil leaders accept the tenets of
“same-sex marriage” is a commentary upon the moral darkness that is encapsulating our nation at this
time, like the deep darkness that plagued the whole of Egypt in the days of the God-seer Moses. In
the midst of this deepening darkness, Orthodox Christians lovingly and courageously hold forth the
Light of Christ, “which enlighteneth all” (from the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts); knowing
that none of us has the right to sin against this Light, no matter how much pressure is placed upon us
to do so.The Shame of Persecution by Secularists against Religious Believers; and the Visible
Consequences of the Legalization of “Same-Sex Marriage”

In seeking to fulfill this high calling of the True Light, we raise our voices against the tidal
wave of cultural and legal persecution of traditional believers in our country by proponents of
“same-sex marriage.” Recent years have witnessed unceasing threats, not only against the faithful
of our Church but against many traditional believers; the intimidation of believers in the workplace
by employers and other proponents of “same-sex marriage”; the compromise of religious freedom, free
exercise of conscience and freedom of speech; internet crusades against businesses owned by supporters
of true marriage; high-level civic invitations withdrawn because it is “discovered” that the invited
maintain traditional morals; pro-homosexual litmus tests administered by universities to potential
faculty members for employment and to student groups for university endorsement; the intimidation and
even arrest of parents who objected to the homosexual indoctrination of their children in public schools;
and all of this in the context of grotesque media propaganda. The lack of civility in the public debate
on “same-sex marriage” by its proponents is particularly censurable.

Nevertheless, we note that the cultural changes attending the legalization of “same-sex marriage” in
those western nations that have enacted such legislation, are significant and worthy of due note to
the faithful citizens of our own. We beholdrestrictions that have arisen on the rights of free speech,
parental rights in education and the autonomy of the rights of religious institutions. The idea that
such legislation affects only those who identify as homosexual is clearly negated by such visible
consequences. Additionally, as the homosexual agenda has advanced aggressively over the last decade,
the Church’s pastors have witnessed significantly increased prevalence of unnatural sexual practices
and perversity, causing tremendous personal wounds especially to the young. Pastoral love and
responsibility demand that we labor for God’s Will for traditional marriage, and against an agenda
wreaking havoc and destruction upon the young.

THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE DESIRE OF THE CHURCH

The Orthodox Church proclaims the love of God for every man, woman and child whom He has fashioned
“with His own two hands.” It is this love, universally extended to all people, that compels the
Church to speak the truth and seek the welfare of all, including those who are aggressively propa-
gating as “truths” teachings that are diametrically opposed to the Christian faith, which degrade
the heavenly beauty of the human person. To these especially we hold forth the invitation of our
Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, to “come unto Me, and learn from Me, and I will give you rest”
(cf. Matthew 11:28, 29). The door of the Church is expressly open to those who struggle with homo-
sexual temptations and passions, whom Christ beckons to come exactly as all children of God come
to His Church: as ill and suffering creatures, crippled by sin, seeking the cure of the ills of
their soul and body at the hand of the heavenly Physician.

The spiritual illness of homosexual temptation, disposition and passion is neither unknown or unfamiliar
to the spiritual hospital of Christ’s Church. Within her embrace, every believer wages an interior war
for purity of heart, soul and body, and for conformity to the Will of God -- knowing that the Almighty
Lord honors our struggles and grants divine strength in man’s efforts against temptation.

This is the Will of God, and this is the desire of His Church! Love demands that Orthodox Christians
fight vigorously against all sin, including this. Love which calls falsehood truth, or deems right
that which God calls wrong, is not love. The hating of iniquity, rather, gives us the wisdom to love
in truth, calling all those who desire repentance towards the fullness of the Life in Christ.

The Orthodox Church dissents vigorously from the recent decisions of the Supreme Court to validate
“same-sex marriage.” Such legitimization is immoral. In these days of moral darkness, we share
the light; in these days of falsehood, we proclaim the truth; in these days of moral relativism and
self-gratifying ideologies, we proclaim the absolute Truth of God as the sovereign Ruler of All,
whose Will for His creatures is not subject to any human interpretation or modification. We stand
firmly and without apology upon the sure rock of our salvation, which is Christ’s Church; and we
call upon all faithful Orthodox Christians to do the same. We proclaim to the rulers and activists
of our lands that there is no “principality or power” (Rom. 8:38), or law, or state or nation to
which we will yield in proclaiming the truth of marriage and rejection of distortions of it. We
all upon our civil leaders, upon the faithful of the nation, and upon all peoples, to depart from
falsehood and seek truth, that the glory of God may be manifest in this land and the American peoples
lifted into the brightness of a new and heavenly life.



The following link will take you to the statement on Same Sex Marriage that was subsequently adopted
by the Antiochian Christian Orthodox Archdioces of North America at their Archdiocesan Convention in
Houston in the General Assembley Meeting held on July 26, 2013.

The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Home Page

Then click on:

"Resolution to Oppose the Recent United States Supreme Court Decision That Held the "Defense of Marriage
Act" Unconstitutional.



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