Letter to the Editor
New Oxford Review
1069 Kains Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94706
The article "Looking Eastward" by Charles A. Columbe was
interesting for noting the need to know both the Eastern
Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox better if the long-hoped
for reunion between the Catholic Church and our separated
Eastern brethren is to take place.
There were a few mistakes, however:
The sack of Constantinople took place in 1204, not 1203.
It is "Palamism", not "Palamasism" that gave rise to a
bitter controversy among Byzantines in the 14th
It is not true that all the Eastern Orthodox churches
condemn contraception as a sin.
The well-known theologian John Meyendorff wrote that:
"Straight condemnation of birth control... has never been
endorsed by the Orthodox Church (sic) as a whole, even if, at
times, local Church authorities may have issued statements on
the matter identical to that of the Pope... The question of
birth control... can only be solved by individual Christian
Fr. Stanley Harakas, Professor of Orthodox Ethics at Holy
Cross Seminary in Brookline, Mass., has also declared:
"Many Orthodox theologians believe that Birth Control methods
may be used by Orthodox Christian couples when the other
purposes of marriage are also respected".
Interestingly, both of the above theologians are quoted
approvingly in Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris' volume
"Introducing the Orthodox Church", which is
"a handbook designed for those desiring to embrace Eastern
— James Likoudis,
Montour Falls, NY 14865