Eastern Orthodox/Pre Marital Sex

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Question
Hi Chrysostomos Robert Geis,

Just wanted to ask what the Orthodox Church's stance is towards pre marital sex?
I mean it in terms of you having a long term partner (5 plus years) and only have sex with her prior to marrying each other?
Not in the general sense of having sex with whoever you like.

Regards,

Nikola

Answer
The simple and straightforward answer is that for the Holy Orthodox Church in all cases the conjugal act outside the sacramental bond between a man and woman in marriage is objectively morally wrong. There is the issue of the moral state of the participant in such an act, i.e., the knowledge and willfulness and intent of the participant who engages in such an act, and what degree of moral culpability therefore the individual has. That is the subjective aspect of the act. And it is what the individual who has engaged in such an act must settle in his/her conscience with God-- and often times with the help of a priest knowledgeable of the Church's teachings on, and reasons for such teaching. So: objectively such acts are always objectively wrong; subjectively the issue and degree of moral culpability has to be addressed as a matter of a conscience with the elements I noted above.  

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Chrysostomos Robert Geis

Expertise

I am academically and canonically qualified to answer all questions on ethics, ritual, and questions of philosophy as it regards Eastern Orthodoxy. I see that some questions answered here in the site on Eastern Orthodoxy are given a black and white tone. My approach is more [pastoral, which would acknowledge that the human situation does not always come in answers of black and white.

Experience

I am a Prelate Protosyncellus in the Eastern Church, and oversee a community of Priests in the Society of Saint Basil, an autocephalous congregation established and approved under Russian Orthodox Primate in the US in 1917.

Publications
I have published thirteen books on Philosophy and Theology (see Robert Geis at Barnesandnoble.com or Amazon.com) and have published in scholarly journals

Education/Credentials
BA, MA, and PhD, as well as DD

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