Orthodox, Protestant delegates address Synod
October 16, 2015
The Vatican has released summaries of the messages from “fraternal delegates” of Orthodox and Protestant denominations to the Synod of Bishops. Among them:
- Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Iosif reminded the synod: “The divine greatness of marriage resides in the fact that in marriage we find a living representation of the union of the Word with human nature.”
- Anglican Bishop Timothy Thornton gave his opinion that the Synod’s working document is “too focused on the negative aspects of family life,” and said that the Synod message should emphasize how much there is to celebrate in families.
- Estonian Orthodox Metropolitan Stephanos, speaking on new government policies regarding the recognition of marriage, said: “The law confirms, without doubt, a new social situation but for the Church, the sacrament of marriage, it is hoped, is not revealed as a mere institution but first and foremost, it is hoped, as a mystery of life.”
- Coptic Orthodox Metropolitan Bishoy said that regarding pastoral care for people with same-sex attraction, the Church should “explain in a tender, tolerant and convincing way that homosexuality is a great sin forbidden by God according to the Holy Scriptures.”
- Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley of the Baptist World Alliance observed that “There is no perfect family and no perfect marriage.” He said that Baptists focus on Jesus, “who invites sinners to sit at his table.”
- Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yostinos Boulos Safar said that the Church centers on the Eucharist, which has healing power, and “should not be withheld as part of the norms of punishment.”
- Tim Macquiban, who directs the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome, said that the Synod had spoken primarily of “one form of family, of parents and children.” He suggested that single people, childless couples, and unmarried partners “can easily feel excluded.”
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