Fr Caleb Abetti
This question of what is “natural” is at the heart of the dilemma, the theological way forward. I was careful not to use the word “natural” in my post (some posts down); we use natural every time there seems to be a logical consequence or the mirror is strong outside in nature, human or otherwise. What is natural is debated; what isn’t debated is that the inner sense of what is natural is important and bound up with human and metaphysical truth. So what is natural? This has been discussed here. To me the central part of our question abides in what man and woman are to each other, their creation, how that creation has changed since breaking with a higher order intended for them. Presently, de facto, they are not natural with each other. Natural, in its core, may have been as some have described male and female as separate but at the same time one whole, their spacial relationship different, their nakedness covered in divine light, their love complete without intercourse, their communion with God so intense that the sense of a “private couple” an oxymoron. I don’t know and it is hard to carry on the tradition of the midrash and haggadah of the Rabbis or the Church Fathers. But they tried and perhaps succeeded in many ways with their exegesis. Varying interpretations has always been Traditional.
Fr. Josiah Trenham
American Orthodox Christians find themselves at the beginning of the 21st century encompassed by a cultural milieu that is post-Christian, secular, and foreign to the mind of the Church. Nowhere is this reality more evident than in the area of human sexuality. Sex has been violently torn from its proper context, and, isolated from the wisdom and blessing of the Church, contemporary man is adrift in sexual confusion. On the one hand we know more about the practice and mechanics of sex than ever before, yet on the other hand we know very little about the purpose, meaning, and control of sex in God’s grand design.
Forum talk by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh MAN AND WOMAN
9 May, 1989
The subject of man and woman has become more and more essential in the course of the last decades, not only because a number of people have been very vocal about the situation of women both in the Church and in society, but because more and more, the Christian vision has ripened, deepened, and problems which did not exist a century ago have come to the fore – not only forced upon the Christian consciousness by circumstances, but coming from within the Christian consciousness. A variety of groups of people have taken up the subject in the secular world, and also in the Churches.
Commonweal | 475 (see at http://commonwealmagazine.org/homosexuality-church-1)
Luke Timothy Johnson | Eve Tushnet