Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

St Basil on Wealth and Social Justice

Saint Basil the Great's central message regarding wealth, is that every pound we earn, and each possession that we own is not ours to keep for ourselves. Everything we gain, own, or possess, are gifts from God, given to us in order to share with our fellow human beings; distributing our wealth fairly, making sure people around us do not suffer, starve or lack their essential needs. 

The rich will always exist, in every age and context, but they have been given these material gifts in order to willingly and freely share their fortune with the less well off members of society.

In Matthew 19, we read the parable of the rich young man, approaching Christ asking 'what good deed must I do to have eternal life?' The Lord tells him that he should keep to His commandments: 'You shall not kill, you shall not bear false witness, you shall love your neighbour as yourself.' The young man assures Christ that 'all these I have observed; what do I lack?' Jesus states that he should then 'sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come follow me.' After hearing these words, the rich man abandoned the Lord sorrowfully, as his possessions meant far too much to him. Even to the extent that he would give up eternal life for them. Christ then concludes that ''it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.'

Following on from these somewhat harsh, yet moving words of the Lord, Saint Basil emphasises that this young man was in fact a liar; by claiming he loved his neighbours as himself, while allowing others around him to suffer and starve due to their lack of money and essentials. His life was centred around his own wealth, and wellbeing; rather than the importance of sharing these gifts to assist people in poorer conditions and situations. For this reason, Saint Basil argues that the more rich one becomes, the less able they are to love their neighbours. 

As Christians living within a society centred on consumerism and materialism, we are called to live a life of self-sacrifice. Life in Christ is not in any way compatible with a life of self-interest, self-centredness, gain and greed. As Christ sacrificed Himself for us, we should freely and lovingly sacrifice our own time and possessions, sharing our wealth and resources with people less fortunate:

'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee? And the King will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it for me.' (Matthew 25:37-40)

 - Guidance from Fr Vassilios Papavassiliou's discussion on St Basil the Great's 'On Social Justice,' a selection of homilies on the subject of wealth and poverty delivered in the fourth century. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

St Justin Popovic on The Church

'I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.'
- Nicene Creed, the Symbol of Faith

These characteristics of the Church: unity, holiness, conciliarity and apostolicity, derive from the very nature of the Church and its purpose.

The Church is One and unique, in that it is founded by, and in, Christ the Theanthropos, Who is both One, and unique.  The unity of the Church inevitably follows from Christ's theanthropic unity in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not divided in any sense, as it is one unique theanthropic organism and organisation.

Everything in the Church is in fact theanthropic; its nature, faith and love, its holy Eucharist, baptism, and all the mysteries and virtues, as well as its teaching and organisation. Everything within the Church links together by grace, under one Head; our Lord and Theanthropos Christ. Every person within Christ's body is united through its holy mysteries, constituting one body, confessing the one Orthodox Faith.

This uniqueness and unity which is described by St Justin Popovic, is also proclaimed by St Paul:
'for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' (1 Cor 3:11)

By nature, and as a unique organisation, the Church is 'in fact, a theanthropic workshop for the sanctification of men and, through them, of all creation.' The Church is Holy as it is indeed the body of Christ, of whom the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the immortal Head, and the Holy and Life-Giving Spirit is the immortal soul. For this reason, its teaching, its blessings, its sacraments, its virtues, its powers, and all that it provides and fulfils, are all Holy.

Because the Church consists of sinners, does it become less Holy?
St Justin states that by no means does the fact sinners make up the body of Christ mean its Holiness is somehow decreased; because the Lord Jesus is its Head, and the Holy Spirit its soul. In them, the Church's divine sacraments, teaching and virtues are unalterably Holy. The vineyard of Christ protects and teaches sinners, in order to move them in repentance towards spiritual healing, transfiguration and salvation.

Archimandrite Dr Justin Popovic, The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism (Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 2000) 47-49.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Accepting or Discriminating?

The ruling body of the national church of Scotland have 'opened the doors' (as the Guardian put it) to ministers in same-sex relationships this week, at the annual general assembly.

The assembly voted in favour of allowing the appointment of ministers in a same-sex marriage, following their decision to approve clergy who are in civil partnerships. I don't plan on discussing the church of Scotland's position in detail, or even same-sex marriage itself; but rather question the nature of such debates - whether they do in fact promote acceptance and love, or whether they completely miss the point.

I'd strongly argue that such debates and decisions can only support the common misconception of Christianity's understanding of homosexuality. The Christian Church, from its very foundation has highlighted that we, as human beings created in the image of God, are 'all one in Christ Jesus.' (Gal 3:28) We are all children of God; and as relational, personal beings, all have the same purpose of learning to love one another (John 13:34-35) and God, our Father.

Unfortunately, Christianity is constantly accused of discriminating against, or hating, homosexuals. Perhaps for this reason, several groups such as the church of Scotland, have been forced to carry out drastic measures to appear politically correct and accepting. For me, this is an unacceptable and unsatisfying approach; not simply because, as the policy itself states, it is an 'opt out of traditional church teaching' or because it goes against the very essence of Christian marriage, but mainly because it completely misses the point; in undermining and pointing the finger at homosexuals, as if they, as equally holy and worthy images of God are the problem. The issue is in fact the difference between 'homosexuals' and the 'practice of homosexuality.'

It is one thing to have a sexual desire, passionate thought, or inclination; and another to act upon it. Not one Scriptural reference, or teaching of the Church states that an individual who has certain thoughts or inclinations has committed a sin. However, if we accept any lustful, jealous, self-centred thought and act upon it, then we do fall into sin. Christ Himself, our very Lord and sinless Saviour, was attacked by several strange and dreadful thoughts in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) but through rejection of these temptations He did not fall. We, as disciples and followers of Christ, strive to do the same; to fight off all unnecessary, unholy thoughts when they inevitably come to us, without acting upon them. For this reason, the Church of Scotland's latest policy, fails to recognise that as Christians we are asked to constantly struggle against thoughts that may lead to sinful acts - and that goes for every person, regardless of inclinations, and personal passions.

Everyone is unworthy and sinful before God - and so by undermining and discriminating against people who struggle with certain temptations would be an abomination, and undoubtedly contradictory to the Christian life and teaching of the Church - that we must not judge (Matthew 7:1) as 'there is only one lawgiver and judge, He Who is able to save..' (James 4:12). In other words, as Christians we all struggle together, each of us with our own personal temptations, and are in no position whatsoever to judge; but on the other hand, in a position to help each other grow, fighting the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12) as brother and sisters in Christ.

Christianity, through its Holy Scriptures and Tradition, teaches that homosexual acts are sinful; just as heterosexual acts are, out-with the blessing of God in marriage. Again, it is not a matter of discrimination against a particular person or group; but simply an emphasis on the fact that a way of life without God and His blessing, is a life which will undoubtedly lead to confusion, lack of love, and sin.

Homosexuals are no different to any other human being, with their personal struggles, as well as their great worth and gifts; but such debates simply separate them.  They should be treated with the same love, respect, and care as any other person; but by giving in to the pressure and misconceptions of society, the Church of Scotland, as well as many other groups, assume that the only answer is to accept same-sex marriages and relationships (in this case, also as clergyman). This is not the answer. The answer is to reinstate the Christian position; that every human being, as a child and image of God should be guided by the original Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, with its tradition and Scripture in order to struggle against and overcome temptations.

Again, it should be made clear that homosexual orientation is not sinful in itself; neither is it a 'mental disorder' or deadly disease (of course these points are obvious, but unfortunately they must be reinstated due to misunderstandings and misconceptions of the Christian view)

However, just as is the case with many heterosexual inclinations and thoughts, they must not be acted upon:

'Do you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not sexual perverts, not thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God.' (1 Corinthians 6:9)

Therefore all Christians, all equal, all images of God, should struggle against several temptations and carnal desires. Clergy, who serve the Lord and His people should be an example of this struggle; yes, as sinners, but as sinners who 'fight the good fight of faith' taking 'hold of the eternal life' (1 Timothy 6:12) to which we are all called.

The Christian Church has historically never accepted same-sex relationships, for the same reason it has not accepted other relationships not blessed by Christ and His Church. 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.' (Leviticus 18:22) By nature however, they do not have any less value or worth in the eyes of God; but in a way have been given a task, like all of us have; to struggle for the good, for self-sacrifice, and for the holy. As this post has been emphasising; the focus is on the sinfulness of the behaviour, not the person. We are all called to live according to God's commandments, and whether our self-centred desires disagree with this or not, the Church can never turn away from our true calling and purpose; of holiness, self-sacrifice, and fundamentally, love. Each of our temptations can become a pathway to holiness and eternal life. Homosexuals are therefore not called to act upon their desires; but to turn them into gifts far greater than the passions of the body. They are called to self-sacrificially love God and our fellow human beings; love that has no boundaries, no self-gain; and a love that brings true freedom, offering and consequently, holiness.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Ascension

'Thou hast ascended in glory O Christ our God, granting joy to Thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Through the blessing they were assured that Thou art the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.' 
- Troparion

The Ascension of our Lord, like all feasts of the Church, is not simply a celebration of a particular event, but rather a celebration of an eternal reality.  Today we celebrate the reality of Christ's glorification, and receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, assuring us that the Lord's presence is indeed with us. Christ ascends into Heaven to be glorified with God the Father; consequently granting us our own glorification with Him. By sacrificing Himself for us, our Lord ascends in glory to 'prepare a place,' for His faithful people, as 'that where I am you may be also' (John 14:3). 

'While He blessed them, He parted from them, and was carried up into Heaven. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.' (Luke 24:51-52)

Christ's ascension is His final physical departure from this world, forty days after His glorious Resurrection. It is the completion of His ministry on earth, as our Saviour and Messiah; once again reassuring His disciples that He is indeed the living God and Messiah, having trampled down upon death, granting us His life. 

'To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days..' (Acts 1:3)

The icon of the ascension, depicts heaven and earth. The top (heaven) is in order, emphasising God's perfect, eternal home, prepared for us; and the bottom (earth) in confusion. There is however an exception - Christ's Mother, who is not confused. Rather, she represents the whole Church. Christ is shown blessing His Church, with His disciples and faithful waiting for the descent of the Holy and Life Giving Spirit on Pentecost. 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Eternal Life

'I await the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. Amen.'
- The Nicene Creed, proclaimed at the first Ecumenical Council, 325AD

'If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.' 
- 1 Cor 15

We, as Christians, do not simply believe in the immortality of the soul and the ultimate salvation on a solely spiritual level. Following the Holy Scriptures, we believe in the holiness of the body (1 Cor 6:19-20) and of all God's creation. The human body is a direct creation of God according to the Bible, and is in cooperation with the human soul. Without the body, the soul cannot fulfil the mission that our Almighty God and Father Has planned for us. The holiness, worth and importance of the body is evident through Jesus Christ's physical resurrection from the dead.

For this reason, our faith in resurrection and eternal life is not some abstract idea, with the need to look to another world for salvation and hope. This faith is a lived experience on earth - in this world loved, renewed, resurrected and glorified by God. A world which is filled with His divine presence.

We live our earthly life as a foretaste of this eternal and joyful Kingdom yet to come. Everlasting life does not in any way mean that this life has no meaning or worth. On the contrary - eternal life for a Christian, begins with this life here on earth. Our eternal, living God is the very substance, source, cause and giver of all life. Our human conscience very often points to the truth of our eternal purpose, and the hope of things to come.

Of course the strongest affirmation of everlasting life is drawn from our faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His preaching throughout the Scriptures is centred around the presupposition of the living God granting us eternal life. We read the young man asking Christ 'what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' (Lk 10:25), highlighting the importance of our belief in God's everlasting life, as well as our struggle and desire to inherit it. Christ gives us the answer to how we inherit it: 'I give unto them eternal life' (John 10:28) He proclaims.  The Apostle Paul emphasises to the Corinthians that they have everlasting potential, just as we all do, as images of our Creator (Gen 1:27) : 'this mortal must put on immortality.' (1 Cor 15:53)

The human soul is immortal. By virtue of Jesus Christ, through our faith and obedience to Him, our soul is enlisted in His eternal Kingdom. The nature of the soul, as pure spirit, is to live forever. It is therefore our aim in this life, with God's grace, to build a loving relationship, a communion with our Lord so we are prepared to greet 'the King of Glory' (Ps 24:8), 'our Father in Heaven' (Matthew 6:9-13) 'Who is Love.' (1 John 4:8)

'Death is a great mystery... It is the birth of the human person from transient life into eternity.' 
- St Ignaty Brianchaninov

Christianity does not consider death as an end. Death is the beginning of a new life, for which earthly life is merely a preparation.

The very mystery of life and of man is explained through the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. His glorious defeat of evil and death demonstrates that man is indeed an eternal being, bound to God. It is for this reason that Jesus, the Son of God came to this world; granting us a place in His Heavenly Kingdom. We should therefore live our lives knowing that by following the path of the Lord; a path of repentance, humility, and struggle, we will live eternally with Him among all His saints and righteous servants, for 'whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.' (John 11:26)

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself will be with them; He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:1-5)

 - Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, The Mystery of Faith (New York: SVS, 2011)
 - Sergius Bulgakov, The Orthodox Church (New York, SVS, 1988) 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

I am not a Christian. I aim to be one.

This rather moving and thought-provoking statement, proclaimed by the well known Bishop Nikolaos of Greece, of course is not to be taken literally. It does however highlight a very important message.

St John Climacus writes ῾χριστιανός ἐστι μίμημα Χριστοῦ κατά τό δυνατόν ἀνθρώποις..,' meaning that a Christian is a manifestation, and an example of Christ Himself, in this world ( as far as it is humanly possible). This is our aim, our end - not our starting point. Of course we are Christians, if baptised into the body of Christ, in the name of the Holy Trinity - however this statement highlights that we (or at least I) am unworthy of the title, as all Christians should be a true image and manifestation of our Lord. Christians should live solely for Him, and be a beacon of His light, through our every choice, deed and word. Therefore, the Metropolitan Nikolaos (who said this in a recent interview) means that the life in Christ is a constant struggle - with the goal being in communion with God, having complete faith and trust in Him,  bearing and sharing His boundless love to those around us. This is who a Christian should be; our very goal.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Human Person as the Foundation of our Global Society

Our society,  through cinema, music videos, and adverts, likes to emphasise the fact that evil can in fact be fought and taken over by goodness. We, as human beings are drawn to the joy and hope of things working out, to the light at the end of the tunnel and the defeat of evil. Blockbuster and action movies can be many things - but one recurring theme within them, is the essentially good nature of mankind, standing up and fighting for what is right, just, kind and self-sacrificial.

It is easy to criticise the values of contemporary european society, but surely a society which upholds sticking up for one another through difficulties, a society which loves, cherishes and protects its children and most vulnerable members, seeking to promote mutual respect and freedom is a society we should be content with; if not proud of. 

Recent events in the Middle East have opened our eyes to evil atrocities, with ISIS, the islamist extremist terrorist group, slaughtering children and aid workers; savagely executing innocent and devout Christians; stoning couples they suspect to be homosexual - all part of their demonic and delusional plan of 'ethnic cleansing,' and their desire to destroy the great, yet humble presence of the holy Christian faith within the region.

In view of these atrocious events, we witness the majority of our global society coming together in denouncing such acts against humanity. The freedom of religion, expression, speech and the great worth of every human being, are things which should not be taken for granted; but continuously fought for in our constant battle against evil. A battle which will always be won by putting our neighbour first; a battle which proves and reinforces that the human being, as an image of God is fundamentally good. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The New Covenant - Jeremiah 31

According to the biblical scholar Bernhard Duhm, the New Covenant, mentioned in Jeremiah 31, offers no new Law or understanding of religion, and promises the individual no more than Deuteronomy does, however most scholars reject this approach. The New Covenant does conform to a series of covenant renewals found in the Deuteronomic history (comes at a crisis, and ushers in a new era in Yahweh’s relationship with his people), but now the ability to observe the Law is placed in the heart of man. This is what makes the Covenant ‘new’. There is an argument that this passage is the oldest text to refer to the New Covenant and that other texts follow it thematically. The law is no longer mediated by scribes and the elite, but is intended for everyone.

Bernard P. Robinson argues that this New Covenant has to come from Jeremiah's writing, as no other author would attempt such a bold revision of the covenant within the Hebrew Bible. There are ‘new’ images to be found in the Book of Consolation – for example Israel portrayed as a new Miriam dancing and playing drums.

Yahweh is now revealed, and portrayed by Jeremiah as a parent to His people. “I will write it on their hearts” confirming this; the fatherly relationship God Has with His children. The New Covenant introduces an innate and fuller knowledge of God, in the heart of the human being, highlighting Yahweh's true nature, able to renew, give new life and meaning; offering forgiveness of our many iniquities.
The Christian interpretation highlights that when the passage mentions ‘after those days’ , it is of course referring to after the incarnation of the Word - the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

' And they shall be my people, and I will be their God...that I will not turn away from doing good to them..' 

The Lord, through this passage of Jeremiah, ensures His faithful followers that He will not abandon His people ( even though they have transgressed, breaking His commandments), but forgive us and through the New Covenant, through our Saviour Jesus Christ, will bring them new and eternal life.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bioethics - Gamete Donation

“Married couples may use medical means to enhance conception of their common children, but the use of semen or ova other than that of the married couple who both take responsibility for their offspring is forbidden.”
1992 OCA Synod of Bishops’ Affirmations, “On Marriage, Family, Sexuality and the Sanctity of Life”—The Procreation of Children

‘Although the desire of fertile couples to have children is seriously fading, the need of infertile couples to have children becomes psychologically and socially imperative.’
- Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki

For this reason, the Church has the responsibility of carefully and compassionately understanding the decisions that couples are faced with today. While childbearing is certainly one of the greatest gifts of life within marriage, infertility should not, and does not, degrade or harm marital relationships. It could be said, that in some cases, infertility acts as natures way of protecting couples, who would face great difficulties in raising children. For this reason, the Church urges couples to firstly discern the will of God, before persisting to overcome sterility.

Modern technology, while a blessing by God, can at times give man the opportunity of opposing His good will. Every person originates from human will; but also God’s will. Throughout our lives, we are constantly faced with decisions which enable us to either accept the Lord’s will, or insist on following our own ambitions and desires. The conception of every human being should constitute an asserted expression of God’s will, and should not exclusively be the result of man’s desire. In other words, the existence of every person should be the consequence of the free compliance of a couple’s will, with the will of God. Free will is the greatest gift of God to man; while man’s own will is his most dangerous threat.

The beginning of life is sacred; and in fact, physiologically speaking, the exact moment is unknown to man. As a holy moment, the event is a mystery; reflecting the expression of love between spouses. The sexual act is the only autonomous function of the human body; being the psychosomatic unity par excellence, requiring the participation of both male and female. 

Modern technology can replace this unique and unknown moment with an accurate knowledge of the sacred beginning of life. The parents are not together, and the human being may be produced in a test tube, perhaps using the genetic material of donors, rather than the couples'. 

One of modern technology’s main methods in assisting childless couples, is known as in-vitro fertilisation. This involves the fertilisation of both the egg and the sperm, in an environmentally controlled Petri dish. The resulting embryos develop to the stage just before uterine implantation. Three to five embryos are placed in the wife’s uterus, with the hope of implantation and the birth of their child. This method of course involves orgasm, and spermatozoa being obtained, out-with the couple’s sexual intercourse - which in a way, insults the sacredness of the reproductive function. However, the Orthodox Church highlights that when the aim is childbearing, it cannot be considered a sinful act of sperm loss (as long as it is not performed in ways that disgrace human dignity and worth). This certainly requires careful sensitivity, pastoral attention, and above all, understanding. 

While the Orthodox Church recognises the benefits that may derive from a childless couple using a fertility clinic, reservations are kept for several reasons. The conception of man through modern techniques can be asexual, in the sense that it lacks the sacredness, safety and reassurance of sexual intercourse - with the human being manufactured artificially.  The method also offers vast possibilities of preimplantation genetic processing and intervention, bearing serious consequences. 

'Extra' Embryos
An immediate consequence of IVF is the creation of ‘surplus embryos.’ The Orthodox Church can only reject this term as She simply cannot accept that there are ‘extra’ human beings, with their fates determined by third parties. Each embryo possesses uniqueness and personhood, with the sacredness of God’s image. If the Orthodox Church is to uphold a certain ethical message or principle, it would certainly be the cherishing and preservation of life. Each and every embryo should have the same right to life - but unfortunately many of them are used for experimentation, and some even destroyed. Orthodox Christian anthropology and theology cannot possibly justify the existence of embryos that are not given the right to life; as each embryo constitutes the very image of God, and should have the chance to be in communion with Him. John Breck writes: In-vitro fertilisation cannot be considered morally acceptable if it creates extra embryos that are destroyed, or used for medical experimentation or commercial exploitation... as human life - with all the conditions of personhood - exists from conception.'

Gamete Donation
Today, the donation of sperm and egg, as well as the reproductive potential of surrogate mothers are options for infertile couples. Such methods however, may lead to confusions, and weaker or unequal relationships between parents and children. One parent may be natural, while the other may be a stepmother or stepfather. There could be brothers or sisters unknown to each other; unknown incestuous relationships, and several other practical, family issues which may unfold. Sperm and egg donations can degrade the natural concept of motherhood and fatherhood; with the requirement of a third person’s intervention in the couples’ fertility process, making it impossible for the Orthodox Church to accept such a method.

According to Roman Catholic moral theology, (based upon Natural law theory) only natural means may be used to induce pregnancy. For the Orthodox Church, these issues must of course be resolved from the Tradition and teaching of the Church, but also the particular circumstances of the couple. Each case must be taken uniquely, with pastoral care, understanding and compassion. The Orthodox Tradition affirms that sexuality is in essence good, and that within marriage, couples should live with ‘the enjoyment of the blessing of children.’ With this in mind, couples, along with their spiritual father, should come together in discerning the will of God. While this short article has outlined the Orthodox Church’s ideals (which are there to guide and to be followed when possible by the faithful) it is most important to remember that the bond between parent and child depends far less on genetic make-up, than on shared love, affection, experience and spiritual bondage. The Orthodox Church must always speak from a specific theological and anthropological perspective that recognises God to be our Creator and Lord of all life, whilst being able to work out the best, fairest, most understanding agreement and plan, for the good of the faithful couple.

  • Symposium - The Greek Orthodox position on the ethics of human reproduction - Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, 26-29.
  • John Breck, The Sacred Gift of Life (New York: SVS, 1998) 176-180.

- Written for Michal Pruski's bioethics paper, regarding gamete donation.