Ethics

Orthodox Social Thought: A Primer

by Nicholas Sooy

samaritanicon

Two Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Reince Priebus and George Gigicos, are in high ranking positions in the Trump administration, meaning that Orthodox Social Thought (OST) is as relevant now as it has ever been. I offer here a brief look at OST with special attention to issues relevant to American political discourse.

The most authoritative contemporary conciliar source for OST is the Mission document from the 2016 council in Crete. This document was crafted by the 14 autocephalous churches prior to the council, and though not all were present to approve its final form, none of the non-attending churches critiqued the substance of the document. The second source is the Basis of the Social Concept (BSC), which is less authoritative, and has only been adopted by the Russian Church. I will also reference Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s views where possible. Continue Reading…

Speak Up for the Trees

by Crina Gschwandtner

forest

Melted glaciers. Bleached coral reefs. Slashed forests. Drained wetlands. Burning oil fields. Smog. – Environmental destruction all around us.

Why ought Orthodox Christians advocate for flora and fauna? Why should we care when environmental protections are dismantled, polluting industries reinvigorated, ecological dangers ignored or denied? Why must we speak up for all of creation—two-legged, four-legged, finned, winged, and rooted?

The patristic literature on creation and the genesis of the universe stresses its beauty, harmony, and order. Continue Reading…

Pro-Life Means Pro-Social Justice

by Fr. James Martin, SJ

life

I am pro-life.

That means that I’m also pro-social justice.

That means that I am not only for the dignity of the human being from the moment of conception, but also for the dignity of the human being until the natural end of life. For life does not end with birth. A person who is truly pro-life is pro-all life, pro-every stage of life, pro-every stage of life for every person. For all life is sacred, because all life is created by God.

That means that I support anything that helps a person live a full, healthy and satisfying life, in every part of the world. Continue Reading…