Archdiocese Criticizes Separation of Children from Parents

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. (Photo by TNH/Costas Bej)

NE YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America released a statement on June 18 in defense of children and families, criticizing the use of a Bible passage to justify the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. southern border crossing, and expressing the hope for “a swift and just solution to this unfortunate and very painful situation.”

Follows the announcement:

In recent days, the words of St. Paul in the 13th chapter of his Epistle to the Romans have been circulating in the news. We are concerned and alarmed at the use of this biblical quote being used out of context to justify the strict application of a policy occurring at our southern border, which is detrimental to family life.

The numerous challenges of today’s world weaken the already strained bonds of every modern family. Family—a divine institution (cf. Ephesians 3:14)—is something that we as Orthodox Christians cherish and hold as sacred. Furthermore, when our Lord came into this world as a human being, he entered it as a child and part of a family. As a special creation of God the Father, no family deserves to be separated. The institution of the family is found from the beginning of the Book of Genesis (chapter 2). In love and harmony, the family finds joy, each member in the other. Reflecting this joy, the Psalmist proclaims, your children will be like olive trees around your table (Psalm 127/128:3b). Let us bear in mind that the branch of an olive tree is a universal symbol of peace, not something to be torn apart and broken.

It is for peace and for a dignified and humane solution to this unfortunate situation that we, together with people of good faith across our great nation, urgently entreat. Children should not, under any circumstances, be punished for things that are beyond their control. Our hearts go out to those suffering under these terrible conditions. We pray for them, that their families soon be restored, and pray that the proper authorities find a swift and just solution to this unfortunate and very painful situation.


  1. Please GOA stay out of politics and reacting to trumped up fake news (these policies go back to both Bush and Obama), Your bleeding money and people this is only going to make it worse. I come to church for a retreat from the crazy politics and world.

    1. Agreed. Our church leaders are not nearly bright enough to understand the underlying legal issues and they just make fools of themselves in political pandering. Illegal immigration is destroying many communities and must be stopped. Children are only being separated from parents because the parents are deemed a threat to America or a threat of not showing up for a legal hearing and we detain them but we don’t detain children. Easy solution, don’t enter America illegally with children if these is any chance you will be deemed a credible threat to America.


      No one wants to hear from you, you speak with no moral authority, you are all liars and cheaters and enablers. You separated priests from their own money, you stressed their families, you stressed and separated our families from the church. How dare you read from Joe Biden and Hillary HamRod Clinton’s talking points to us.


  2. If politicians start using Biblical references to justify state policies, it is entirely within the realm of the religious leaders to respond with their own ethical judgements. I am glad that our Church has taken a stance on this cruel and inhuman practice. Bravo!

  3. This is at least as much a moral issue as a legal one. The policy is immoral, plain and simple. The Bush and Obama administrations did not do this except on rare occasions when parentage was questioned and child trafficking was suspected. There never was such a law. This policy was created by John Kelly and that fellow from the dark side, Stephen Miller. As an Orthodox Christian I take exception to using immoral acts cloaked in patriotism. Threat to America? Ridiculous. Illegal immigration has been down for several years. Over one million illegal immigrants were deported during the Obama administration. And, no, I’m not a Hillary supporter. Besides, who will pick the fruit and vegetables and do all those other lower than menial jobs Americans would not consider doing. It is not a matter of intelligence. It is a matter of conscience. And protesting against immorality is always to be praised and supported, regardless of who the protester is.

    1. It’s immoral to break the law. How about the personal responsibility of the parents to not put their children in the situation? The church leaders said nothing when this was happening under Obama and it was. They are only speaking now because they are anti-Trump.

  4. Yes Find a Greek Diner see if Greeks are Doing the Cooking, Dishes, Busing, Good Luck…As for our church they do know how to separate money from St. Nicholas, the Archdiocese, Holy Cross, and the books and make it disappear permanently, hopefully the separated families don’t vanish like the Archdiocese money….

    1. The number of people on disability soared under Obama and the work force participation rate fell. Americans have gotten lazy and too proud to do the jobs we did when we came over from Greece. Cut the gravy train and there will be plenty of Americans ready to do these jobs. I want an America back full of hard workers and entrepreneurs not lazy people on the dole.

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