Christianity bioethics in

The Eastern Orthodox church considers itself identical with the Church established by Jesus Christ and believes itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, continuing that ecclesial reality into the present age as an organic historical, theological, liturgical continuity and unity with the apostolic Church of the first century. Historically, it sees itself as identical with the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" that suffered the "Great Schism" in 1054 that led to the division of Christendom into Eastern and Western Christianity.

The Orthodox church is organized hierarchically, with an ordained clergy and bishops. A number of national and ethnic Orthodox churches, under the leadership of patriarchs, are united by tradition, doctrine, and spirit rather than by authority, although the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is accorded a primacy of honor. The church's identity is rooted in the experience of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of its life and in a doctrinal perspective that serves as a matrix for its ethical teachings (Ware; Pelikan). In the sphere of bioethics, this theological matrix forms a coherent source of values for bioethical decision making. At its center is the view that life is a gift of God that should be protected, transmitted, cultivated, cared for, fulfilled in God, and considered a sacred reality. Consequently, there is a high regard for the concerns usually identified with the field of bioethics.

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