Sunday, March 9, 2014

Orthodoxy and Political Ideologies

By Protopresbyter Fr. John Romanides

When we look at the teaching about purification, illumination and theosis, we are looking at a science. But can we give this science a political character? Can we Orthodox Christians claim, for example, that only leftists are able to acquire noetic prayer or that someone who possesses noetic prayer is obligated to be on the Left or on the Right? Of course, we cannot make such a claim.

So the science, which we call "Orthodoxy", should never be associated with politics, because someone who loves his neighbor cares for every human being, no matter who he is and no matter what convictions he might hold. When it comes to questions of ideology, Orthodox Christians are primarily concerned about whether the Church has the freedom to carry out Her work, which is to heal the sick in Her care. The Church must have this freedom.

So if an ideology hinders the Church from carrying out Her work, it is immaterial as far as the Church is concerned whether it is called "atheistic Marxism" or "right-wing Masonry". For the Church, they are both the same - hostile forces from whom She is equally obligated to defend Herself....

So based on what we have just said, is the Church obliged to support any specific ideology? Of course not. Medical science ought to support whatever political party is interested in public health. A doctor exercising his medical profession is under an obligation to use medical criteria in this case.

From Patristic Theology, pp. 184-185.