In an announcement, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America reaffirmed the sanctity of life based on the firm conviction that life begins at the moment of conception. The Assembly stated: “All humans, whether in the womb or in the world, are made in the image and likeness of God, possessing God-given beauty and dignity. Therefore, we can never condone the willful and elective taking of a human life.”
The Assembly also stressed: “At the same time, Christ is the only ruler of the world and judge of all. Therefore, rather than ascend His Judgement Seat and condemn those who find themselves contemplating abortion, we care called to minister to all and to provide alternate options. Indeed, many times women feel trapped and even forced to make this heart-wrenching decision due to financial hardship, family or communal rejection, or other difficult life circumstances. When the burden is too heavy, we, the Church, must be there to lift the burden and open the door to other, more perfect solutions. Otherwise, we too are missing the mark.”
With this mission, the Assembly of Bishops’ Affiliate Ministry Zoe For Life! “affirmed the value of all life by helping women in a confidential manner during and after crisis pregnancies.” In the announcement, the Assembly encouraged any woman in need of refuge and support to reach out to Zoe For Life! “You remain very much in our paternal concern, and we are ready to help you,” concluded the Assembly.
The Assembly of Bishops, comprised of the 51 canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States of America, is the premier and official forum for Orthodox Christian Unity in the United States of America. Its purpose is to preserve and contribute to the unity of the Orthodox Church by helping to further her spiritual, theological, ecclesiological, canonical, educational, missionary and philanthropic aims.