Metropolitan John’s Statement on Race, Politics, and the Church

A Statement by His Beatitude, Metropolitan John, on the Question of Race, Politics, and the Church

As Orthodox Christians, we respect the diversity of political opinions among our brethren on all matters other than the permissibility of endorsing the practice of any form of abortion, or other views contrary to the long standing teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church, but we do not believe in the exclusion of any person of any race or mixed racial heritage (or of former religious affiliations who chose to fully become Orthodox Christians) from the communities of any of our churches or the participation in any of the Mysteries in any of our Churches on the basis of said racial or mixed racial/ethnic heritage. We further affirm the decision of the 1872 Council of Constantinople which ruled against phyletism as in any manner acceptable in the Orthodox Church of Christ, namely, the following statement: “We censure, condemn, and declare contrary to the teachings of the Gospel and the sacred canons of the holy Fathers the doctrine of phyletism, or the difference of races and national diversity in the bosom of the Church of Christ.”

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