Russian Orthodox Church cancels Lutheran dialogue over gay rights

Source: Yle
Natalya Mihailova | 12 September 2014
The Russian Orthodox Church has cancelled an official doctrinal dialogue with the Finnish Lutheran Church over the Lutheran stance on homosexuality. The Orthodox side wanted to pre-approve a communique before the meeting, but talks broke down over the Finns’ refusal to condemn homosexuality.

Finnish and Russian attitudes to gay rights are poles apart, and that’s helping to derail doctrinal dialogues between the two countries’ largest religions. Archbishop Kari Mäkinen says that he was forced to cancel planned ecumenical dialogues when he met the Russia Patriarch Kiril in Moscow.

The Russian Orthodox Church wanted to agree a statement in advance, as the meeting was scheduled to discuss anthropology—an area where sexuality was bound to come up.

”Our church’s line, which doesn’t directly condemn homosexuality, is such that from their point of view they don’t want to continue official ecumenical discussions,” said Mäkinen.

Mäkinen said that the Russian side wanted to agree a negative statement on homosexuality, but that the Lutheran church takes a different tack. In his opinion the end result of the talks should not be dictated in advance.

”Discussions are discussions,” said Mäkinen.

When it became clear that an agreement in advance wasn’t possible, the patriarch indicated that the discussions could not go ahead. Mäkinen says that ecumenical work will continue despite the setback.

”Doctrinal discussions are cancelled, but co-operation will certainly continue in other forms,” said Mäkinen.

The Lutheran Church is the national religion of Finland, with more than 70 percent of the population registered as members and paying ’church tax’ to fund its activities.

Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible -,, and Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 euros a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 euros a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.

Related articles
The Homosexual Person in Light of…

My heart goes out to homosexual men and women who face a life of rejection and…

Talking About Sexual Immorality

St. Gregory Palamas in his homily to the people of Thessaloniki on the day of  Pentecost…

The Homosexual Person in Light of…

My heart goes out to homosexual men and women who face a life of discrimination and…