Divorce and Birth Control in Orthodoxy

Can any Orthodox here answer a question? Why does Orthodoxy accept 3 marriages and birth control, in light of Scripture and the Church Fathers speaking against these things? I’ve heard about something involving St. Basil for the divorce thing, but I’ve never been given an actual source, like the actual document. Thank you for your time.

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Should've asked this in the Orthodox general, now this will become a shitshow when Catholics come in.
I'm not touching this with a ten-foot pole.

These are issues to be dealt with, but note that our issues are not nearly as bad as yours and will be resolved more easily.

Now this crap again.
Read this, it's written by eastern catholics.


This says nothing about the practice of contraception in Orthodoxy.

because they are a false
you forgot abortion

Of course they weren't excommunicated or anything.
When you have no Pope you are totally at the whims of the feeling of the moment and giving in to every depravity.

Yeah, its about divorce.
Any comments?

They haven’t cited any Church Fathers on these claims.

I've never heard about this from any priest or layperson, I've heard the opposite actually.

The possible exception to the above affirmation of continuity of teaching is the view of the Orthodox Church on the issue of contraception. Because of the lack of a full understanding of the implications of the biology of reproduction, earlier writers tended to identify abortion with contraception. However, of late a new view has taken hold among Orthodox writers and thinkers on this topic, which permits the use of certain contraceptive practices within marriage for the purpose of spacing children, enhancing the expression of marital love, and protecting health.

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

and how is that working out

Ok, I'm a retard: I associated contraception with condoms. How is it connected to abortion?

there are abortiofacent contraceptives that end up killing many babies after soon after contraception

because of this a generous calculation of the life expectancy of russia is 7 years old because they kill so many children

The sacraments are not magic. Their effect on us depends of our disposition to them.
The sacrament of marriage unites a man and a woman to become two consubstantial hypostases, in the image of the Trinity. But the couple only grows in that direction if they are recepetive to the sacrament and have faith.
What happens if they move in the opposite direction? They commit a grave sin - they destroy the marriage, they blaspheme the sacrament. What then happens? Either the Church preserves a legal fiction, therefore permitting them to blaspheme the sacrament further, with the hope that they are reconciled to one another soon, or the Church takes away the sacrament, that is, permits a divorce, which is an offense, as we are not to tear apart what the Lord has bound together. Both are cases of economy, and it is up to the spiritual father of the couple to figure out what is best, and it is up to the bishop to give permission or not to this or that use of economy.

Remarriage is only allowed if a party got the short end of the stick, so to say. If a husband or wife was abused or cheated on by their partner, and this is what led to the divorce, should they be therefore condemned to celibacy for life when the sin was not their will to begin with? What if they have children who need two parents, too? In this case the Church may permit a remarriage, a second try at it, even though the first one ended catastrophically.

A third marriage is extremely rare, in fact service books usually don't have the service for it.
Note also that remarriage comes with a penance of not taking communion for a while, that is, excommunication.
Remember, finally, that unlike in Catholicism where the sacrament is given by the husband and wife to one another with the priest or deacon blessing the union in the name of the Church, in Orthodoxy the sacrament is given by the Church. In Catholicism, nothing can take back the sacrament, except the death of a spouse, and the sacrament can be invalidated if the two parties didn't have the right intent when it was given. But in Orthodoxy, the Church can take back the sacrament it gave, and for it to be invalidated it would take something very extreme and unusual (such as the priest who gave the sacrament not actually having been a priest at the time the sacrament was given).

Birth control is not permitted. In recent years, a less rigorist approach has been introduced, according to which non-abortifacient birth control may be allowed, by economy, for a couple for which having a child right now would be very spiritually damaging and dangerous, and abstinence is too difficult for the people involved or is simply not possible for one reason or another.
We basically don't condemn birth control as being a sin equivalent to murder, so in very specific cases it might be permitted as a temporary solution. Abortifacient contraceptives are equivalent to murder, or more simply the same as murder, however.

I forgot where the canons on divorce and remarriage are, and I'm busy now. I might look into it later.
Also, Catholics on this board seem to compare permitting contraception by economy to Arianism, or at least to ordaining female priests. Your priorities are not right. Permitting divorce may be more properly compared to permitting female priests, as it is a difference in the understanding of a sacrament, at least. But whether X is a sin is rather low in the list of priorities one should have, compared to theological issues about who Jesus is, or what the sacraments mean.


Are you a Catholic? If so, you already know this rule. It is called dispensation, and it has likely been used on you many times in your life already.

We don't have anything that permits grave immoral things, that is incorrect.

Neither do we.
What is grave and immoral is to destroy one's marriage, thus blaspheming the sacrament. Divorce is a solution to this, by taking away the sacrament. But the burden of divorce is on the divorcees, hence they also receive the penance of excommunication for a period of time.

9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

What are you, a Protestant? If you're going to start quoting Bible verses without your own commentary, while I bother to actually word myself, I'm not going to bother further. I know what you mean to imply, but what you're doing is rude.

Man tears asunder his own marriage by not being receptive to the grace of God, by not loving his wife, by not having faith, by blaspheming the sacrament. Then the Church has a choice: to let the marriage continue, with the hope that the issues are resolved and the parties at fault ultimately accept God's grace; or to give a definitive end to the marriage, by taking back the sacrament. The former option means letting the sacrament be blasphemed temporarily, with the hope that in the end things resolve themselves and the couple reaches its potential. The latter option means ending the union for good, but at the same time, the party or parties at fault for damaging the union are pretty much condemned to never marrying again.

The idea that divorce itself is an ontological impossibility is nonsense. Jesus says:
Therefore there is an exception for sexual immorality. And Jesus also says:
"Let not man separate". Not "man cannot separate", but "let not man separate". Man -can- separate it, and it is a sin to do so, but nowhere does Jesus say that divorce is an outright impossibility.

9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

yeah because what is context?

Oh has Chaos Frank made it really more easier to be Christian? Give it a rest Novus Ordo.

My take is that the Church fathers condemn abortion and contraception in all forms. Just because a modern scholar or bishop is exploring a new theory, that doesn’t mean the church automatically accepts it.

My grandmother had no access to birth control, she had ten children and lived to a ripe old age too. I find it ridiculous that people today have two children and then insist on contraception for the rest of their marriage, rejecting the fact that God may intend for them to have more children.

What did Christ mean by this

Thread over, everyone go home.

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