The Greek Orthodox Church in Australia has called upon its faithful to sign a petition voicing their opposition to the introduction of same sex marriage legislation. His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, issued an Encyclical emphasising that the Orthodox Church is opposed to the proposed bill, ‘as this will assail the sacredness 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.’  He has called upon Orthodox Christians to, firstly, pray to God and to beseech the Holy Theotokos, especially during the August Fast for the Dormition of our Lady, to ‘protect the people from such an aberration, and, secondly, ‘to protest by gathering signatures, requesting the defeat of such legislation.’ Over one hundred parishes and the monasteries in response to the call of His Eminence will be distributing a petition to the  Senate collecting over the next coming weeks. Read the Archbishop’s Encyclical in full.      Sign the petition online - here Consequences of redefining marriage It will impact on freedom of religion : In countries where marriage has been redefined faith communities have been attacked for continuing to teach: that marriage is the union between one man  and one woman. It will impact on education : If civil marriage is redefined to include same sex marriage, then that is what schools are going to have to teach and affirm to our children. It will deprive children of a mother or a father : If the definition of civil marriage is changed to include same sex marriage, this sends the message that it is acceptable for children to be raised without the presence of a mother or a father. It's time we have a fair, open debate on the consequences of same sex marriage and how will Australia avoid the overseas experience with same sex marriage. Until we have the answers, how can we possibly have a vote?
Orthodox Marriage The institution of Marriage and the Orthodox Christian family is foremost a course of love, secondly a course of common spirit and common exercise, thirdly a course of creativity, common creativity and continuation of life, and, fourthly a common course toward heaven, toward the heavenly kingdom. It is a calling of God, it is a joining of diversity that leads to perfection, and, therefore, the spouses become also joint heirs of the grace of  life (1 Peter 3: 7).  His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Our Orthodox view is contrary, not because we have hostile feelings towards our fellow citizens who think or decide differently, but because the proposed alteration to the traditional form of marriage, (between a man and a woman) is diametrically against the sacredness of marriage and of the family, as taught by the Christian faith and Greek Orthodox Tradition. His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos Our purpose is not that government legislation should become a ‘tool’ to impose Christian ethics upon fellow citizens who do not share our beliefs. This of course would not be legitimate, given that we respect the free will of all. Rather, our concern is that the very institution of marriage, which has a Christian tradition of two entire millennia, should remain as it is, and not be confused with the political debate concerning the legal status of same-sex unions. However, marriage is much more than a legal convention or social tradition. Episcopal Assembly of Oceania
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