The Episcopal Church's election of a gay bishop has done what the Cold War could not do: sever ties between ECUSA and the Russian Orthodox Church. In a statement released yesterday the Orthodox church said, "The 'consecration' of a gay priest has made any communications with him and with those who consecrated him impossible. We shall not be able to cooperate with these people not only in the theological dialogue, but also in the humanitarian and religious and public spheres. We have no right to allow even a particle of agreement with their position, which we consider to be profoundly antichristian and blasphemous."

The statement also said the church desires to maintain contact "with those members of the Episcopal Church in the USA who clearly declared their loyalty to the moral teaching of the Holy Gospel and the Ancient Undivided Church."

It also noted the friendly relations between the churches in the past, even during the Cold War, "when Christians had mutual understanding and supported one another in the world divided into the confronting military blocs." In the 1990s, particularly warm relations were established "when a Joint Coordinating Committee for Cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Episcopal Church in the USA was set up. The Committee prepared and carried out three theological conversations, successfully implemented common social and educational projects and arranged visits to one another."

The Russian Orthodox Church referenced the many verses in Scripture forbidding homosexual behavior, and it disagreed with "liberal" interpretations saying such verses should not be taken literally. "The biblical texts about the condemnation of homosexualism are clear and unequivocal. … The negation of the direct ...

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