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Greek Orthodox Church’s Encyclical on marriage

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 Contents - Aug 2015AD2000 August 2015
Pope Francis’ rallying call for the poor
Obituary: Fr Greg Jordan: an exemplary Jesuit - AD2000 Report
Confraternity of Christ the Priest’s Diamond Jubilee - Fr Thomas Casanova
Marriage: We must stand up for marriage and the family: Archbishop Fisher - Archbishop Anthony Fisher
5: Greek Orthodox Church’s Encyclical on marriage - AD2000 Report
Africa: Nigerian bishops decry “propagation of the homosexual lifestyle”
Abortion: Pervasive effects of abortion on women and society - Anne Lastman
The Holy Land: Believers in Israel - Andrew Scholl
Letters: Help Myanmar flood victims - Brother Michael Lynch
Letters: The death sentence cannot be justified - Anne Lastman
Letters: “Same-sex marriage”: how much support? - Arnold Jago
Letters: Don’t watch the ABC News! - Dr Tim Coyle
Letters: Helping children with gender identity issues - Gillian Gonzalez
Letters: Planned Parenthood scandal - Peter Callinan
Books: THE EAR OF THE HEART: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows - Michael E Daniel (reviewer)
Books: THE 33 DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH, by Fr Christopher Rengers - Paul Simmons (reviewer)
Reflection: The doctrine of the Assumption - Pope Pius XII

The Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, Archbishop Stylianos, has issued an encyclical supporting the universal definition of marriage, in response to the push for “same-sex marriage” in Federal Parliament. The encyclical was read at the conclusion of the Holy Liturgy on successive Sundays, from 26 July to 9 August 2015.

The encyclical, while obviously addressed principally to members of the Orthodox Church, is addressed to clergy and the administrative committees of parish communities of the archdiocese.

He wrote, “Further to our Encyclical of 28 May 2013, in relation to a law which the state proposes to vote upon with regard to Marriage between persons of the same gender, we write to you once again because the Federal Parliament is expected very soon to deal with redefinition of the concept of Marriage.

“You might appreciate then, should such an Act be legalised, what destructive consequences this will have on the institution of Marriage, but also on the institution of the Family more generally.

“As Orthodox Christians, therefore, we are obliged once again to express in the strongest possible terms, our objection to the enactment of such legislation, as this will assail the sacredness of the Sacrament of Marriage and the Family, as has been taught to us through the Ages by our Holy Faith and by the Fathers of the Church.

“In the first instance, of course, our reaction must be through prayer to God. That is why the period of the August Fast for the Dormition of our Lady [the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary], which is about to commence, is the most appropriate time to beseech the Theotokos, of whom we ask, as ‘a fervent advocate and invincible battlement, fountain of mercy and sheltering retreat for the world’, to protect the people from such an aberration.

“We are also called upon to protest by gathering signatures, requesting the defeat of the proposed legislation. Our protest may be expressed by signing the relevant petitions or via the online internet page of the Archdiocese ( You shall receive detailed instruction from our reverend clergy.”

Archbishop Stylianos concluded, “Hopeful that none of us will show indifference to such an important issue, I thank you for your co-operation in this matter and pray that the abundant blessings of God be upon you all during the blessed period of the sacred August fast. With fervent fatherly prayers.”

The statement comes as leaders of many faith communities have spoken out in defence of marriage, and urging no change to the current law.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 28 No 7 (August 2015), p. 4

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