In recent months, Orthodox bishops around the world have spoken openly and through the media on a number of significant moral issues which confront the world today:
- In light of skyrocketing sex-selection abortions, Patriarch Ilya of Georgia has called for his country to ban the practice, as well as nearly all abortions;
- In the wake of anti-Christian attacks by the vulgar FEMEN protest group, Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow has preached on a near-daily basis about the serious spiritual consequences of radicalized feminism and its attacks on the formation of a Christian conscience in adults and young people alike;
- Several hierarchs in the Church of Greece have tried to refocus the discussion about their nation's financial collapse, placing the spotlight on the rampant materialism and financial dishonesty among the "faithful" of one of the world's most demographically "Orthodox" (98%) nations;
Despite the heroic spiritual efforts of many Orthodox Christians over the last few weeks in Great Lent, one cannot easily miss the cultural spiral of anti-humanism, materialism, and coldness of heart that is sweeping western societies on so many levels. In each case, secular solutions continue to be offered, such as financial bailouts across Europe and America, western-style "democratization" in former Soviet republics, or pagan fascism in places such as Greece and Italy.
Yet for the Orthodox Church, these confusions are nothing new: Christ's Church has already faced pagan Rome, Islam, Communism, and fascism, and the contemporary enemies of Christ - materialism, rationalism, and secularism in its many forms - are simply the new faces of tired old rebellion.
Let us never forget this when we feel besieged by the events of the world, but rather recall the trials faced by the saints - along with their glorious outcome.