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Father Oleg Molenko Answers Questions

Aleksey, Astrakhan, Russia

Dear Father Oleg,
1. I don’t know how harmful the horoscope hobby is, but I know for a fact that it’s one of the catchiest. It’s been a long time since I read horoscopes purposefully, but every time I hear someone’s date of birth, I subconsciously start associating it with a Zodiac sign. Or, if I know someone who is of a certain sign, I (again, subconsciously) start ascribing certain characteristics to that person according to what sign he is.
How can I get rid of these harmful obsessions? Will you agree that they are against nature and destructive for an orthodox person?
2. My sister’s husband is, like all of us, orthodox and he says that to kill spiders is a sin and never kills any. On the contrary, I can’t stand spiders and often kill them. I’ve never come across anything on spiders in the orthodox literature.
Maybe you know? Is it a sin to kill spiders or not?

  Father Oleg's Answer

1. I totally agree that going after horoscopes and astrological signs is sinful and destructive for an orthodox believer. You should resist this harmful habit the same way you do any other lust: by prayer, confession and repentance, asking for God’s help, by exercising your will, by watchful life, controlling it in all its movements.

2. The question is posed incorrectly. It would be equal to ask, “Is it a sin to kill a fish or a chicken?”
There is only one answer: if there is a need or necessity for it, then it’s not a sin. If there is no need for it, then it’s a sin to deprive of life any God’s creature.

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Fr. Oleg Molenko