The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America plans to leave the National Council of Churches, saying it is unhappy with policies and statements some member denominations have made supporting gay and lesbian church members.
Metropolitan Philip Saliba, the denomination’s top bishop, was reportedly outspoken during the archdiocesan convention in Dearborn, Michigan, in urging the church to withdraw from the NCC. According to the online Orthodox News, published by Orthodox Christian Laity, both clergy and lay delegates approved the step unanimously July 28.
“It got to be too much,” said Antiochian spokesman Thomas Zain. “There was no more reason to be part of it.” The New York–based NCC has “lost its goal of Christian unity on a doctrinal basis. The goal seems to be including everybody and [promoting] niceties.”
Chris Herlinger, former senior writer for Church World Service, is a contributing writer for National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report. He is the coauthor, with Paul Jeffrey, of books on Haiti and Darfur, published by Seabury. A third book, Food Fight: Struggling for Justice in a Hungry World, has just been released.