OCA Bishop of N.Y. and N.J. Affirms Sanctity of Marriage

His Grace Bishop Michael of New York and New JerseyNEW YORK, NY – On June 24, the same day public officials redefined the meaning of marriage to include unions between same-gendered persons, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey issued a statement on the sanctity of marriage.

Repeating the affirmations of marriage, family, sexuality, and the sanctity of life adopted by the Orthodox Church in America’s (OCA) Holy Synod of Bishops in 1992 and echoed by all the canonical bishops of North America (SCOBA) in 2003, his archpastoral letter states, “As children of God, we are called to conform our sexual behavior to the commandments of Christ. As Christians, whether single or married, we are called to a life of chastity, pleasing to the Lord. This means struggling against those passions that incline us to “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)—fornication, homosexual activity, or adultery…

“No matter what the prevailing pressure of the culture or the legislation of the state may proclaim, the timeless teaching of the Church echoes the rule of marriage revealed to us by the Lord, written in the Scripture, and re-affirmed by the wisdom and examples of the Saints. Gay marriage or any other unblessed sexual activity is not the love that the Lord extols…

“Let us bear witness to the truth taught by Our Lord and lived by His Saints, in our daily conversations with our families, our fellow Christians, our neighbors and co-workers. Let us teach the Orthodox Christian vision of marriage, as a path to salvation shared by husband and wife… Let us join in prayer that the people of faith across the states of New York and New Jersey will continue to stand fast in the divinely revealed truth of what marriage means. And let us by our example witness to the life of chastity to which every human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is called.”

You can view the full text of His Grace’s letter here.