Thursday, May 28, 2009

Orthodox Priest Candidate Suspended from Clerical Duties

This article with the title above normally signals men behaving badly .. however, in this case, the Finnish Orthodox Church took a courageous and strong stand to divide Church and politics.

The story reports how the Finnish Orthodox Church's Council of Bishops has ruled that Mitro Repo may not serve as a priest while he is running for the European Parliament or if he wins a seat. The bishops explained that participation in political activity violates the tradition of the Orthodox Church canon. They added that a Member of the European Parliament wearing priestly attire would place the Finnish church into a questionable position internationally.

Especially as politics and religion in America, India and elsewhere grow uncomfortably more and more entwined, the Finnish Orthodox stance and explanation that points back to the original Church teachings (Matthew 22:18-22) is wonderful. It's clear in the Holy Scripture and the early Church teachings that Christ was neither a politician nor a power-monger, and it's time for all Christians to understand this point.

But arguably the most thought-provoking point from the article was Mitro Repo's acceptance of the ruling and his statement that "the council had made a wise decision".

1 comment:

street theologian said...

Two Questions:

1) Is he officially defrocked or is he still a priest who is requested not to practice or vest?

2) Will he continue to be "Orthodox" as a member of Parliament? Meaning, will he fight for causes of life and "justice?"