Terry Mattingly — Antioch Exits the NCC: “Summer is the season for church conventions that talk about hot issues.

Last week’s 47th convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America passed a resolution that addressed both sexuality and the Iraqi war. But this time the lofty words led to an historic change.

The assembly voted to oppose ‘divisive and dangerous’ positions taken by ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ groups. To be specific, it rejected ‘support for same-sex marriage, support for abortion, support for ordination of women to Holy Orders, support for the concept of war that is ‘pre-emptive’ or ‘justifiable’ and the labeling of other faiths and their leaders with hateful terminology.’

The archdiocese — a blend of Arab-Americans and many converts — vowed to avoid groups that ‘promulgate these extreme positions’ and renewed its commitment to seek Orthodox unity in North America.

Then the delegates cheered as Metropolitan Philip Saliba announced his decision to withdraw from the National Council of Churches USA.”