More Pithy Thoughts From the Protodeacon

THE PROTODEACON ERIC WHEELERThere is something unseemly about men who claim authority for their specious arguments because they studied under great teachers. They believe that because they were dutiful students that their ideas carry a weight that in fact they do not have. It’s self-indulgent, rooted in the belief that pedigree elevates them as spokesmen and as leaders. Call it the Paris Hilton Syndrome. It’s narcissism on steroids.

Below, The Protodeacon Eric Wheeler spills out his disdain at Metropolitan Joseph’s recent directive on same-sex marriage. Wheeler, as you may know, is the brother-in-law of OCA Chancellor Fr John Jillions. With his missive (written to a closed Orthodox group), he has emerged as another charter member of the Episcopalian wing of the Orthodox Church alongside Fr Robert Arida.

What is it about these men that they think the rest of us should be awed because they studied under good teachers (and obviously learned nothing)? They are weak on moral theology (let’s face it, their focus is almost exclusively on the prohibitions against sodomy) and arrogantly rebel against teachings that their instructors would never countenance. I dare say that their teachers would rebuke them were they around today.

Like his cohort Arida, Wheeler attempts to use the authority of the tradition in order to subvert it although he does not have the mind to manipulate language in the way that Arida does. Instead, he is reduced to appeals to authority and sentiment.

See some earlier Pithy Thoughts From the Protodeacon. Paris Hilton would approve.

At any rate, because he lives in the Syosset Bubble, his wild ravings won’t be disciplined. This is what happens when a central administration believes their own press clippings. That being said, Wheeler’s rant furthers the divide between Orthodox Traditionalism and those on board with the spirit of the age.

To be sure, if Metropolitan Joseph’s earlier encyclical against the Episcopal Assembly made administrative unity unlikely for the foreseeable future, idiocy like Wheeler’s make it all but impossible. Repentance of course is possible but unless the OCA (and the GOA for that matter) comes up with Joseph-like directives on its own, then the best we can hope for is benign neglect towards the entire unification project.

And as long as we have jokers like Wheeler and other Orthodox Episcopalians spouting such divisive nonsense, disunity may be a good thing, all things being equal.

His post follows. Chalk up another one for The Memory Hole.

Posted on a closed Orthodox group on Yahoo

Eric A Wheeler
Today at 1:53 AM

OK, so I have been Orthodox from birth, and entered seminary at age 17 and spent 16 years at seminary in study and work, and had the distinct privilege to study under Schmemann, Meyendorff, Verhovskoy, Kesich,(et. al, since is does represent the 70’s ) and I would now add to that Lazor, Hopko, Drillock, Allen and Tarasar. So, from that perspective, I emphatically state that this is not an Orthodox pastoral approach in dealing with the LGBT community as we ask them to come to know the true faith and welcome them into our community. Seems to me that Jesus said “Come and See” and not “Are Your Gay”. How can we welcome the LBGT members into our church and ask them to begin understand what the True Faith teaches if we end up responding with defensive condemnation.

OK so let’s take a look at the encyclical: on the one hand it states “we remind our pastoral clergy that we all have a calling to reconcile all men to Christ. Therefore, all persons who come to us must be treated with respect and dignity. Pastoral communications in personal contact with persons who profess to be homosexual must be positive and compassionate.” At the same time in speaking of homosexuals and same sex marriage the encyclical says “so-called “same-sex marriage,” is a forgery and death-dealing sterile and doomed to frustration and the ruin of body and soul of its participants”. OK, so I am not making this up – but even the most conservative Orthodox Christian has to look at this and just say WTF! So this response will call all to the True faith?”

I attended my god daughters marriage (she is Orthodox) of few years ago and after over three years of a wonderful marriage, I do not see much difference between the Orthodox understanding of love as living totally for the other an even giving one life for the other from our teachings of loves. Is it perfect, no. But who among us can stand forth and say that, hey, our marriage if one of perfection. At the same time, I am not advocating that the Orthodox Church in any way change its teaching or theological position with regard to its position on homosexuality. But, we seem to have lost our understanding of what the mission of the church is. So, am I to be excommunicated for attending my goddaughter wedding?

We have lost sight of what we all sign our correspondence with “With love in Christ”. While I do not want to begin naming specific names, I would really wonder if Metropolitan Joseph’s PR staff has not been hijacked by the vocal Ten Party members who have lately joined our faith and seemed to have risen to popularity solely based upon our nation’s political drift. It is really interesting, that while I may be attacked as being a liberal, and the hijackers or Metropolitan’s PR staff now seem to now be of a conservative bent, I truly have never had an idea of the political affiliation of the any of the above mention professors. I did however never doubt that they were Orthodox!

-Deacon Eric

Comments

  1. Repentance, metanoia, implies a change. If homosexuality—or indeed, anything that a person happens to feel strongly about—is not sin, then no change is needed.

    A Christianity that does not preach repentance is not Christian; it is diabolic. Perhaps Deacon Eric should make sure he’s doing the work of Christ, rather than the work of Satan, the next time he offers his opinion.

    And what a pity that his opinion is so malformed, given his unparalleled scholastic pedigree and the saints he has had the privilege to study under. I am sure they are gravely disappointed that it was such a waste.

    Now, some might say the aforesaid is harsh. In my view, this has completely gone off the rails and we are beyond the point of meekly holding hands with the homosexual lobby and hoping they will just come to their gosh-darn senses.

    The messiahs of Satan who are leading the homosexual lobby in the Church are more dangerous to souls than the most bloodthirsty ISIS terrorist, for at least the martyrs are emboldened to say the name of Christ when they face the enemy. But the wolves—those in business suits and cassocks alike—sow confusion among the laity, and the worst of them truly believe that sodomy is an act of love and the homosexual death cult is a means of salvation akin to marriage.

    No, the new Ariuses must be called out and fought. Thank God Met. Joseph is making a first step towards that, and not giving in like the Anglicans have done, and the Latins are on the verge of doing, and certain Orthodox jurisdictions in this country are wavering on.

    Woe to the deceivers! And woe to Deacon Eric himself if he has contributed to the confusion of his goddaughter, who it would seem has cut herself off from the Church and from Christ Himself by her actions. Lord have mercy.

  2. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    Well it looks like the Apostasy in the Orthodox Church is also proceeding quite nicely. 2 Thess. Ch. 2 is definitely coming more and more into focus.

    Lord have Mercy we are in the midst of it.

    Peter

  3. Former OCA says:

    Wheeler’s brother is gay. His god-daughter is Arida’s lesbian daughter. These are real life burdens he has to live with and apparently he has taken the wide path of total acceptance rather than the narrow path of loving the sinner but not the sin. Wheeler is to be pitied for he is a dying breed of insignificant clerics spawned by SVS at a particular time but an era passed into the misty past aging recollections.

    • Thomas Barker says:

      Your statement that “His god-daughter is Arida’s lesbian daughter,” and Wheeler’s “I attended my god daughters marriage (she is Orthodox) ” leave one wondering if the marriage was a same-sex union performed by an Orthodox priest. Say it isn’t so.

    • Rymlianin says:

      Years ago , the standing joke was that the OCA (Metropolia) was the Eastern Rite of the Episcopal Church. If you really want to see where the craving for “relevance” will lead the Orthodox Church, just take a look at the relevant Episcopal Church which in the last two years has shuttered over 60 parishes and lost over 50,000 members. Is this the kind of “relevance” that we wish to inflict upon the Body of Christ?

    • Daniel E Fall says:

      I gotta say, I don’t think Jesus would have excommed his disciples for attending the wedding of a Gentile. He was more likely to dress down a Jewish high priest touting dogma.

      Until Metropolitan Joseph forbade priests from attending, I would have thought a priest would simply say I cannot bless such a union. It sort of flows…

      Now, the Metropolitan has me thinking Jesus would rebuke him (the Metropolitan).

      Jesus usually did not deliver the answers hoped for, especially on dogma.

      Sorry, but I think Jesus got left out of that part of the directive.

      In fact, Paul was left ou as well. Acts 24:16.

      Consider the sin of wrath or extreme anger. It is the only reason to really remove a priest. A bishop’s extreme anger.

      There is nothing about homosexuality et al that is worthy of wrath. With my apologies to all the gays in the world, “soo not worth it”. Homosexuality is for many of us a twisted, gnarly perversion. Even celebrated, most of us find it at odds with our bodies and minds. But it is definetely not worthy of our wrath.

      If the religion needs to be defended against homosexuality, then what was it to start? Nothing.

      The Metropolitan’s dogma is an error on the excomm point, because it laud’s homosexuality and diminishes the faith.

      I’m very sorry to pop the bubble.

      Thanks for the post. I believe even more firmly that Christ would have found this unworthy of his disciples effort.

      • ” I don’t think Jesus would have…”

        Opinion discarded.

        “If the religion needs to be defended against homosexuality, then what was it to start? Nothing.”

        It’s not defense against homosexuality, it’s defense against the socio-political homosexual lobby that I guarantee will attack the church directly as soon as it possibly can—an anti-Christian dogma that the vast majority of homosexuals believe in, and are virtually all sympathetic towards. A dogma that is brainwashing Christian children in schools nationwide.

        Children need to learn what is important by what their parents and church teach them. If little Johnny doesn’t want to go to church, and his parents let him stay home, they have just taught him worshipping God isn’t important. If Johnny grows up and wants to marry Billy, and his priest says that’s fine, he has just taught him that the scriptures and Church have no authority and that sin doesn’t exist.

        What does your imaginary, non-confrontational Jesus say about those who cause others to stumble?

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          When you start by saying opinion discarded; likewise.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            I read your response. It is too bad you are so nasty. Some of your points I agree with..of course you are more eager to offend than read my post.

            I don’t agree with you fully, but I do agree the schools are teaching about homosexuality incorrectly. They should teach that it defies the design of the body and that it is not well understood. They should teach that it is okay for you and me to find it ugly and for others to find it otherwise. They should not allow a trannie use the mos pisser.

            And you should note, I only disagreed with really one point.

            How many other instances is a priest told his attendance results in excommunication?

            Priests and bishops have done many worse things without excommunication.

            You are making gay bigger than it is…

            I think Christ would have downplayed it. I don’t think he would have found it worthy of contempt or hatred.

            But if a priest blessed a gay union; he is really not meeting the conscience bit from Acts. My lines are not so far from yours-lose the tone pal.

      • “I gotta say, I don’t think Jesus would have excommed his disciples for attending the wedding of a Gentile.”

        Being a Gentile is not an objectively disordered act condemned by God. Yours is a poor argument.

        • Steven:

          Being a Gentile is not an objectively disordered act condemned by God. Yours is a poor argument.

          Been reading the CATHOLIC catechism, Steven?

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          It is not the entire argument.

          Name a similar situation where if a priest attends; he is excommed.

          There is none.

          It makes homosexuality into something more meaningful than it is…

          • Rdr Thomas says:

            Mr. Fall,

            Actually, there are canons which prohibit the attendance of clergy at places like pubs, dances, etc. I don’t have them in front of me, but a little bit of Googling would bring them to the fore.

            These are from the Ecumenical councils, too. Not “minor” local councils.

            • Nicholas Chiazza says:

              “Actually, there are canons which prohibit the attendance of clergy at places like pubs, dances, etc. I don’t have them in front of me, but a little bit of Googling would bring them to the fore.

              These are from the Ecumenical councils, too. Not “minor” local councils.”

              Well, Reader Thomas, if we followed those canons, we wouldn’t be able to have any fundraisers for the Church. Had a chance to visit a Ukrainian Festival for St. Andrew’s Church in Los Angeles. I must say, they’ve got a mean wet bar. 😉

          • “Name a similar situation where if a priest attends; he is excommed.”

            I repeat — there is no canon of any kind that I am aware of that allows for excommunication of a member of the clergy, and it should be embarrassing for a theologian of Dcn Wheeler’s stature, with 16 years of seminary, to make such an embarrassing assertion.

            The maximum punishment that can be meted out to a clergyman is deposition — and nowhere does Metr. Joseph mention deposition as a consequence for ignoring his directives. In practice, suspending a clergyman’s right to perform priestly functions is an intermediate serious step that a bishop will use to convey the seriousness of an action. Deposition tends to be reserved for suspended clergy who persist in refusing to comply with their bishop’s directives while on suspension.

            Metr. Joseph’s only mention of excommunication is to say that anyone who enters into any kind of marriage outside the Church has automatically excommunicated themselves. This is a completely unremarkable statement of fact.

            • Daniel E Fall says:

              Thanks for the clarification.

              I mistook rhetoric for fact, but it does forbid clergy from attending, with punishment an uncertain knife. I still don’t agree. My disagreement is only because it seems playground. And it would be much better to tell them they are not allowed to bless. Attendance is not a blessing. Imagine a gay couple asking for a blessing and a priest saying no. It seems wiser to me to go that way.

              For those of you arguing for, consider I only disagreed with this one piece.

              Attendance = tacit approval? No.

              • I think the issue arises because Orthodox priests are normally expected to wear clerical garb at all times. I realize that not all do, but it strictly speaking, the “street wear” of an Orthodox priest looks like what non-Orthodox clerics might wear when officiating at a service.

                To the uninitiated (i.e. almost everyone), an Orthodox priest standing present at a same sex wedding, wearing riassa and pectoral cross, is going to look like he is participating in a religious manner and that he is approving. I suppose that there could be an instruction not to wear clerical garb — but should a bishop give his blessing for one of his priests to be in a place or situation that he cannot wear his clerical clothing?

                I think that this was not haphazard or playground. It is carefully thought through in a way that clergy often have to think through these sorts of things, but that laymen don’t need to think about.

          • “It makes homosexuality into something more meaningful than it is…”

            It was meaningful enough for God to destroy two cities for it in the OT as well as it being addressed in very specific passages of Scripture including Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1.

            • Daniel E Fall says:

              Was it for homosexuality or many other things as well?

              I think you are scapegoating bigtime.

            • Christophertheugly says:

              God loved them – it was their lack of repentance which destroyed them 😉

              (and I’m only a St. Stephen’s educated deacon)

      • Jesus would have attended the “wedding,” spoke His Truth and then said, “Go and sin no more.”

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          Precisely my argument. A priest should attend and say he cannot bless such a union.

          • If he attends and sits in silence, that is implied assent to the events taking place.

            If he tells the individual he cannot get gay-married but then attends, that is a mixed message. You see, our culture has the concept that you attend something you assent to, but you don’t attend if you do not.

            If he stands up and proclaims the truth to everyone present, that’s something else.

            • Daniel E Fall says:

              No way! How many people have gone to their in-laws Christmas gathering? Doesn’t mean they like it. If they ask him to bless and he says no; it is much better than saying I am not allowed to attend. Good heavens it could be his own child. Not blessing is a far greater statement than I’ll be fishing.

              Look Ages, I only took exception to this one point. I thought long and hard about it and won’t be moved. He erred here.

              You want him to stand up, but he can’t! He is not there!

              • He’s not blessing it in either case, I’m not sure what the distinction is.

              • Daniel-

                Again your analogy leaves a bit to be desired. You have to show a comparable moral equivalency between the evil of your In-Laws Christmas party and a gathering to celebrate an objective evil. Attendance at either implies consent to what is occurring. In the same way attendance at a Protestant church would imply that you are either a Protestant or that you in some other way agree with what is being done or said.

                Also I don’t see why you think that a priest who doesn’t attend such a “wedding” would necessarily lie as to why he wasn’t attending. Clearly expressing Church teaching regarding homosexuality and then stating that he cannot attend is sufficient.

                • Daniel E Fall says:

                  Steven-you have to prove that a gay wedding is an objective evil first. For me, corny yes, evil no.

                  I appreciate the analogy leaving something to be desired, though.

                  And plenty of people have attended an event without consent.

                  How about the passion gospels, for example? Okay, hopefully you can find some humor. That is a long service!

                  I plainly don’t see how a priest attending is tacit approval. I also see no reason to make such a big deal over the gays.

                  Of course this offends the reactionaries more than the gays.

                  • “Steven-you have to prove that a gay wedding is an objective evil first. For me, corny yes, evil no.”

                    So simulating a Sacrament to bless a “union” which is “an abomination before the LORD” only rises to the level of corniness in your opinion? Do you think GOD would waste His time repeatedly condemning this vice in Scripture if it was only “corny” and not evil?

                    You seem to have become dulled to just how abominable homosexual acts are in the sight of GOD.

                    But perhaps I’m just being “reactionary.”

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

                    Evil is never “objective.” It has no ontological substance. Evil is the deconstruction of the good into something that is offered as a good but is in fact a lie.

                    Thus to ask if a gay wedding is an “objective evil” asks a question that fundamentally makes no sense.

                    What needs to be asked is what does two men or two women marrying really mean? Since gay “marriage” is a cultural event that redefines natural marriage, it also cannot be confined solely to questions of sacramental marriage in the church either given that the church sacraments elevates the natural, it never negates the natural. That’s why Met. Joseph includes both the natural and sacramental dimensions of marriage in his encyclical.

                    Further, given that the Church is to witness to higher things in the larger culture he also prohibits his priests from attending homosexual “marriages” because he understands the missionary power of the priesthood — the public witness of the priest. Priestly attendance in effect affirms something not natural (not found in nature) as natural.

                    Put another way, Met. Joseph understands the relationship between the natural and sacramental and does not accept the notion implicit in your question that an unbridgeable chasm exists between Church and culture.

                    He has the heart of a pastor in other words and a stronger grasp of Orthodox theology and mission than you do.

                    • “Evil is never “objective.” It has no ontological substance. Evil is the deconstruction of the good into something that is offered as a good but is in fact a lie.”

                      Father-

                      An act or thought can be objectively evil in and of itself. Murder is evil ipso facto. Sodomy is evil ipso facto. It doesn’t matter that ontologically speaking “evil” is the negation of “good.” An act has existence and is “real.” Therefore the act can be evil objectively speaking.

                      As for the rest of your post I think I understand and agree. I’m not sure what point of mine you were trying to address in writing it, however.

                      I also thank you for pointing out the obvious fact that +JOSEPH knows more about Orthodoxy than I do. I’m certainly in agreement with that.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

                      Steven, my response was to Daniel Fall. I will answer more completely later.

                    • Daniel E Fall says:

                      Ah, a classic Fr Hans post, with the classic pearls of wisdom, not m.s. Noo.

                      To think a Metropolitan would have a better grasp on Orthodox theology..

                      Imagine the absurdity that a Metropolitan’s wisdom would have the slightest error. Oh good heavens!

                      I look at a priest as a disciple. I state a disciple would not attend a gay wedding. I suggest that if he does, it should only be to say he cannot bless such a union.

                      I also did not first bring up ‘objective evil’, and then you wonder why the op responds.

                      Fr Hans-I only took a small exception to that one issue. If my judgement of Orthodox priests is that they do not know right from wrong on their own is in error, what can I say?

                      I found it unneeded as much as your response to me.

                      Perhaps Dn Wheeler proves your argument for you though.

                      Still much ado..

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      I would refer you to Fr. Florovsky’s essay, The Darkness of Night, where he explores the “paradox” of evil as removed from the “plane of philosophy/ethics” or the plane of “natural morality,” but

                      a radical opposition to God, a revolt, a disobedience, a resistance. The unique source of evil, in the strict sense of the term, is sin, the opposition to God and the tragic separation from Him. Speculation about the freedom of choice is always barren and ambiguous.

                      The entire vocation of the first man, according to St. Athanasius, was simply to love God and serve Him as the prophet, priest, and king of the new creation provided for him, yet he chose to love himself in what Florovsky describes as “a kind of delirium, a self-erotic obsession, a spiritual narcissism” that began an “infidelity of love, the insane separation from the Only One Who is worthy of affection and love. This infidelity is the main source of the negative character of evil. It was a primordial negation and it was fatal.” And most interesting is Athanasius’ observation (in Against the Heathen) that

                      Evil comes from above, not from below; from the created spirit and not from matter. It is more profound than a false choice of direction, more profound even than a choice between an inferior and a superior good… There is nothing morbid or sinister in the “natural imperfection” of created nature except what is penetrated “‘from above” after the consummated fall. In pre-fallen nature, one can perhaps speak of lack and flaws. But in the fallen world there is something more — perversion, revolt, vertiginous blasphemy, violence. It is the domain of usurpation. The dark tide of this perverted love envelops all creatures and the entire cosmos.

                      Florovsky continues the thought that evil exists only in persons or in their acts and creations, explaining why evil can have both power and be active in this fallen world, the hope being to “depersonalize.” In this sense, it would be more proper to say that marriage is not “re-defined,” but “de-characterized” or depersonalized, because “Separated from God, personality vanishes; it is stricken with spiritual sterility. The isolated personality, which encloses itself within itself, often loses itself. In the state of sin there is always tension between the two internal solicitations: the “I,” and something impersonal, represented by the instincts, or rather by passions.”

                      Florovsky makes further interesting observations that “evil is introduced in the creature by sin. All creation suffers. There is a cosmic suffering. The entire world is poisoned by evil and malevolent energies, and the entire world suffers because of it (cf. Rom. 8:20-22), and even finds a “sinister appeal” in “”ideal of Sodom.” The abyss — it has a sinister appeal. Sometimes one loves ambiguous choices. One can be enchanted by them. It is easier to do evil than to do good. Everyone can discover in himself this “subterranean” darkness, the subconscious full of malignant seeds, full of cruelty and deceit.” Yet, amazingly

                      He who has descended voluntarily into the abyss of evil cannot reascend from there by himself. His energies are exhausted. Without doubt, even in the demoniac depths, the creature remains the work of God and the traits of Divine design are never effaced. The image of God, obscured by the infidelity of sin, is nevertheless preserved intact, and that is why there is always, even in the abyss, an ontological receptacle for Divine appeal, for the Grace of God. This is true even for those who obstinately shut themselves off from the appeal of the Cross, who have always rendered themselves incapable of receiving the vivifying gifts of this Divine Love, the gifts of the Paraclete. Metaphysical identity is not destroyed even among the demons. Demons are still, according to a phrase by St. Gregory of Nyssa, angels by nature, and angelic dignity is not completely abolished in them.

                      which led me earlier to say, how may we forget that as long as one is capable of drawing breath, one is capable of change and of repentance? At once, Florovsky’s words are frightening and challenging to the Orthodox Christian,

                      Evil is an ontological danger. Universal harmony, willed and established by God, is truly decomposed. The world is fallen. The entire world is surrounded by a dismal twilight of nothingness. No longer is it that world conceived and created by God. There are morbid innovations, new existences — existences which are false, but real. Evil adds something to what is created by God, it has a “miraculous” force of imitating creation — indeed, evil is productive in its destructions.

                      And so Florovsky concludes: “The paradox of evil resides precisely in this split of human existence and in the entire cosmic structure; it resides in the dynamic splitting of life in two, a split which resulted from the separation from God. It is as though there were two souls within each person. Good and evil are strangely mixed. But no synthesis is possible. “Natural” Good is too weak to resist evil. And evil exists only through the Good. Human unity is seriously compromised, if not lost. The Grace of God alone can surmount this human impasse.”

                    • M. Stankovich post .. “And evil exists only through the (G)ood.” This is one of Florovsky’s assertions or conclusions which I think is wrong. Maybe needs to be retooled a bit. Of course there is only “One Who is Good” and “evil” has no part in Him. Likewise, evil does not come “from” good or a step further down, “through” good. Let me try a simple analogy I think up on my own see if it works. Take a food, say milk for example, it spoils. Goes from “good” to “bad.” Sure, milk inherently has the capacity to spoil, but if you refrigerate it, drink it, and especially if its raw/organic you have all the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and probiotics, all good. If you leave it out, in open container for a couple days or longer and bugs and dust get into it and so on it “spoils” and goes “bad.” It oxidizes. Oxidation causes it to go bad. “Through” oxidation. So the spoiled bad milk did not come “through” the “good” milk, naaw, however through an “outside” process. Otherwise some interesting intellectual insights with Florovsky’s essay there however I always watch for that stuff when I see conclusions that do not sound right to me.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                    Well this is interesting:http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/09/exclusive-gay-man-explains-his-petition-to-drop-the-t-in-lgbt/

                    The in-fighting has begun.

                    If you click on the tweeter feed where Mr. Yiannopoulos supports the removal of the Transgenders from the LGBT movement something very interesting occurs. Read the comments. The Homosexuals are calling transgenderism a “Mental Disorder!” The LGB part of the movement wants the so-called “T” out and started a petition to do so. Wow!

                    Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder up until the 1970s’. Trans gendered people want their condition UNlisted as a mental disorder as well. Let’s see if political correctness wins again. This is a very interesting fight between two progressive sexual ideologies. Can’t wait to see the aftermath.

                    Peter

          • Christophertheugly says:

            Perhaps he should stand up in the midst of the ceremony like Norma Rae and hold up a sign saying, “Repent”?

        • Seriously doubt Jesus would attend a “gay wedding” any more than He would visit a gay bath house. “Go and sin no more” He said when He saved a woman from getting stoned with rocks to death however, after only giving a Teaching I cannot recollect that upon conclusion He would then give this command. Of course the notion of a “gay wedding” in His time was nowhere to be found on the radar of the whole entire universe the idea of something as such would be like for NASA to plan a manned flight to Beetlejuice.

          Jesus upon beginning His ministry attended the wedding at Cana between a Man and a Woman and by His attendance and then the miracle of converting the water into wine sanctified the matrimony and marriage between Man and Woman became a Christian Sacrament. Its just that simple. Anything else comes from you know who, that ancient enemy of mankind.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            You skipped around my point.

            • Well you have a bunch of them, maybe you should state more specifically which point .. is .. your point ??

              • Daniel E Fall says:

                I messed up responding because you were responding to Philippa It seems.

                And no I had one point really.

            • Christophertheugly says:

              Christ sitting with sinners is irrelevant to your point. There were no gay weddings at that time as far as I know. He did attend a pretty straight wedding and even got a little tipsy. It’s pretty famous.

              I doubt if His Grace would have a problem with a priest sitting and having coffee with someone who suffers from same-sex attraction, espeically if there is a possibility for pastoral care.

        • Philippa:

          Jesus would have attended the “wedding,” spoke His Truth and then said, “Go and sin no more.”

          Philippa, when did you start speaking for Jesus?

      • lexcaritas says:

        Daniel, your thinking shows a misunderstanding of the wrath we feel and incur by reason of sin. It is the inevitable consequence of refusing the grace of God and following the way of Life. It has nothing to do with His anger. He does not change, but our own consciences rightfully condemn us and call us to return to Him.

        I fear you do not have a comprehensive understanding of Who Christ is, but an almost Marcionite, antinomian weakened picture of Him conditioned by modernity. While He is meek and lowly of heart and came call all to repentance, He is also the Lord Who came not to destroy the Torah or the Prophets but to fulfill and Who said that whoever breaks the least of these mitsvot and teaches men so to do shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. He is the Lord Who says that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees, not fall short of it. They were, of course, proud and in some ways poseurs; we ware to humble and authentic, but this does not necessarily mean lenient and tolerant. Judge not, lest ye be judged does not man never to judge, but to judge oneself first so as to be able, having removed the beam from one’s own eye, he may then help his brother removed the speck of dust from his–not leave it there till it causes him irritation, pain and eventual blindness. This is the same Lord, Who counseled to warn a sinning brother of his sin and if he hear you, you have won your brother.

        We all must repent and humbly ask forgiveness, but notwithstanding Deacon Eric’s suggestion above, none of us have ever asked someone if he was homosexual or she was lesbian and conditioned their admission to communion with us on their answer. On the other hand, we have been from time to time confronted with those who have insisted on declaring to us their sexual orientation and demanding we accept and affirm it. Is the Deacon suggesting that under those circumstances, our Lord would have been compelled to accept them as they are? And so, had Photini at the well said, “Yes, I’m an adultress and proud if it, He would have absolved her and said fine, no need to change?

        lexcaritas

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          There is no other circumstance I can think of where a priests attendance results in excommunication.

          This is not about the behavior of the lesbian.

          It is about the behavior of the priest.

          He should be allowed to say he cannot bless such a union and follow Paul’s letter in Acts.

          I’d like concrete examples of other sins where this is the case.

          For a fat man on a Feast Day, does the priest say sin no more? Is he excommed for eating with the fat man?

          I just don’t believe homosexuality is worthy of such a grandiose response. I also don’t believe Christ would have excommed his disciples for the same. And his disciples would not have wanted to attend either, so I am not supporting Wheeler either. What did Judas do? Did Christ throw him out of the group? Would he have?

          My point is an opinion that the Metropolitan erred on this one point. He did not consider how Christ would react. It is my opinion and I thought it out for a long time before posting.

          • “I just don’t believe homosexuality is worthy of such a grandiose response.”

            It doesn’t, left to itself. But you don’t see gluttons demanding the church debase sacraments and say it’s not a sin. The response is necessary because of how grandiose the sinners are, and how passionately they want to convince others they do not sin.

            • M. Stankovich says:

              Ages,

              And again we return to an undeniable point: the Lord never mentions homosexuality, not once.

              The response is necessary because of how grandiose the sinners are, and how passionately they want to convince others they do not sin.

              Are you kidding me? Have you read the Scripture and the Holy Fathers, for heaven’s sake? Grandiosity, passion, and denial are the nature of sin! What is so exceptional about homosexuality that you should devote post after post? The Lord railed against the pride & arrogance of the Pharisees & Scribes, and condemned those who ignored the poor, the orphans and widows, the hungry, the sick, and those in prison. Look around you! We literally drown in the indifference to humanity the Lord describes in Matthew 25, and again you would have me believe that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church – the Spotless Bride of our Lord and the Pure Icon of Christian Marriage – will be “overthrown” by homosexuality?

              I recommend you stop writing about this issue – as if there is more for you to say – and start singing the Pascha Canon to yourself through your day, as did our Blessed Father Seraphim of Sarov. Go read stories to sick children at a Chilren’s Hospital. Give yourself a timeout.

              • “the Lord never mentions homosexuality, not once.”

                So what? Do you honestly think that an argument from silence is valid? Will an unrepentant homosexual go to hell any less than an unrepentant adulterer? My lord, use some common sense.

                “and start singing the Pascha Canon to yourself through your day, as did our Blessed Father Seraphim of Sarov. Go read stories to sick children at a Chilren’s Hospital.”

                Who’s to say I don’t? But I certainly don’t trumpet my litany of good deeds to the world on this blog, unlike some others.

            • Daniel E Fall says:

              I don’t agree. Gluttony is simply overlooked. The same could be true for homosexuality.

              Haven’t seen the protest to which you refer.

              • You might refer to the angst-filled essay at the top of this page, and know there are hundreds like it written by others. If you have eyes to see you can easily see it.

              • I pretty much gather that you do not think that “homosexuality” is so “big of a deal” and then you really really think you really really know where Jesus would land on the issue namely, “not so big of a deal.”
                Previous post in reply to you pointed out two OT cities God destroyed, because of homosexuality clearly and you call that “scapegoating,” its in the Bible. Were there other evils? Of course, with homosexuality there comes along a whole long list off ills and evils, which is why, and you appear to have no clue in this regard, that “homosexuality” is not a “no big deal thing.” One Roman pontiff actually got this right when he called it an “intrinsic evil.” In society and culture and especially in most recent days the whole “gay scene” is permeating and saturating everything. Media, School, Education, Workplace, Courts and on and on the gay agenda is being rammed at society from all directions, by the activists and the politicians and those in particular who are at war with God. When you look behind the curtain of how the media portrays “gays,” mainly as a couple of old harmless lesbians who have been together for over 40 years and pay their taxes and just wish to be treated “fairly, equally” or just a bunch folk who like to dress funny and parade around, there are realities there that are the real reasons why homosexuality is that ‘intrinsic evil’ that the mainstream media never reports. Apart from all the myriads of illnesses and particularly the std’s and all their social ills, drug abuse and suicides and whole entire families broken and on and on, what is really the most frighteningly worse thing about the “gay agenda” is that they really are at war with God. You can see it more and more, its becoming ever more widespread, vile sacrilege against the Christian Faith. I do not want to get into any specifics on that however things like for example the Folsom street fair where their poster which initially had Miller Lite corporate sponsorship featured their rendition of “The Last Supper” and I will not say anymore than that. Nancy Pelosi, a catholic, said oh, nothing offensive there, Charlie Hebdo, apart from their Muslim commentary which I do not care about, their depiction of the Holy Trinity, pornography. So this is what you have going on with the radical “gay agenda” now being promoted globally by the deep pockets of the NWO and the elite structures, attacks of the most vile kind, ever more increasingly with more openness all around, and now, with the SCOTUS in their hip pocket, they are gonna move towards where there are greater challenges, that could be a church near you. For the devil in his war on the Faith no doubt “homosexuaility’ is one of his heavy artillery. No, its not a “granny” thing, and there are many people who are gay and law abiding and otherwise have jobs and do helpful things, thats beside the point, there is an agenda there, and ultimately it has to do with destroying souls. Scripture has a passage regarding those that “kill the body, and those that destroy the soul” and the gay agenda without a doubt is the latter.

                • Daniel E Fall says:

                  Well Cy, lotsa ground you covered. I’m going to stick with the Sodom bit.

                  I’m a numbers guy Cy.

                  If 3% of the population is gay, I don’t see how their behavior would result in the destruction of a city. In fact, read Ezekiel 16:49-50. That ain’t about men.

                  I’d say things were far worse in Sodom.

                  Read the first chapter of Isaiah, read it twice.

                  I’m not a homosexual apologist, no sir. Just ask Nicholas, I never cut them much slack at all.

                  I just don’t find them worth so much time.

                  In fact, I have spent far too much here on this topic, believe me.

                  I agree with everything the Metropolitan said except I think he left the churches open for litigation with the rental bit and I don’t think priests need to be told to not attend a gay wedding. They ought not first (see my Acts citation), and then if they do, they ought to be told it was wrong unless they went and told the person they would not bless the union.

                  Edward pointed out the clerical garb matter and that is an issue I honestly have not been able to reconcile well.

                  The real problem with reactionaries is they want all or nothing. I just didn’t agree with the total directive. I expressed my views long before Wheeler.

                  Gotta go

                  • Uh, go the gay wedding to tell them you are “not blessing it” HUHH !! Thats pretty ridiculous. Why go, you can shoot them an e-mail .. NOOOOT blessed !! .. like as if that ought be such a surprise ..

                    Go, go, please go (not gay wedding though) ..

                    • Daniel E Fall says:

                      Look Cy, it is my opinion that clergy need to hold themselves to a standard. A standard that would meet Paul’s citation from Acts.

                      I see no reason why there must be a written rule against attending.

                      First course should be to not attend.

                      If it is a child or god daughter, you would attend to bear witness to Orthodoxy and tell them the union cannot be blessed.

                      If my child wanted to have a gay marriage, I would be torn between saying no and the wishes of my conservative I’ll add wife. At a minimum, he/she would be told it did not have my blessing.

                      That is my point.

                      You attend to tell them it is an unnatural union and cannot be blessed.

                      My point of difference is very minor. Easily goes either way. As Edward pointed out, the garb may be seen as a blessing by all. As others point out you abandon the sin, not the sinner. If your child gets married and gay way-you certainly don’t abandon them because they embraced homosexuality. It is not as simple as if they get married they embrace sin so goodbye. You would still be able to tell them to change if you don’t (abandon them).

                      My little boy said boys can marry boys. I told him it wasn’t the best with explanations that would make Fr Hans proud.

  4. Several points:

    1. The Pdn shows his theological sloppiness in the first sentence by claiming to be “Orthodox from birth.” Newsflash for the man with 16 years at seminary: he became Orthodox in the same way that everyone else does — through the grace of Holy Baptism.

    2. I’m sorry, but using abbreviations doesn’t make foul language any less of a sign of poor command of the English language.

    3. I would have more confidence that the Pdn was actually being honest in saying that he is “not advocating that the Orthodox Church in any way change its teaching” if he didn’t take pains to make a gobbledygook “I do not see much difference between the Orthodox understanding of love…” sentence first. While it was (perhaps intentionally) garbled, it was still clear which sentence embraced his passion, so to speak.

    4. His sentence with the rhetorical question about excommunication needs significant unpacking.

    a. Punishments for clergy do not include excommunication, by definition. The ultimate penalty for clergy comes when are deposed. Laymen are excommunicated as their ultimate penalty. He should know this after 16 years of seminary.
    b. Metropolitan Joseph does not specify a punishment for his clergy that I recall. He simply assumes that as a bishop, his clergy will follow his directives as long as they are not contrary to the Orthodox faith. This is a difficult concept for some OCA clergy to grasp, I do understand, so the Pdn should probably be cut some slack on this one.
    c. The Pdn is perhaps unaware that Metr. Joseph is head of the Antiochian Archdiocese, of which he is not a part, so no, Metr. Joseph will not be disciplining him. And in any event…
    d. There is no indication that Metr. Joseph is planning to make his directive retroactive. Even in the fever swamps of liberal paranoia, that would be pretty severe to punish clergy for “breaking” a rule that didn’t exist.

    5. I know I have said this before about the Pdn and his bedfellows, but he again completely gives up the game when he cites “Tea Party,” “political drift,” “conservative bent,” and “political affiliation.” This is, for starters, an arrogant insult to anyone who holds principled views on homosexuality and its detritus based on the overwhelming witness of Holy Tradition. The Pdn assumes that one couldn’t possibly arrive at such conclusions unless they were the result of some sort of secular political brainwashing? Seriously?

    The Pdn rather demonstrates that a major motivating factor for his venom is the (real or imagined) political affiliations of those he despises. The source of his passion is shown to be fundamentally not theological or moral, but rather to be stemming from his own secular political allegiances. (I believe I pointed this out as the only reasonable explanation for the exuberance of his “Yes! Yes! Yes! Way to go SCOTUS!” post.)

    I would further point out that it again is a sign of liberal fever swamp paranoia that the Pdn imagines that “our nation’s political drift” would explain a rise to popularity of the clerics he disdains. Only an out-of-touch political liberal could look at the current political landscape and conclude that political social conservatism (especially as it might interact with the subject of gay marriage) is somehow in the ascendency!

    And as a final side-note, only mental gymnastics learned from modern leftist secular politics could explain labeling those who wish to preserve the tenets of an organization as “hijackers?” While those who are wanting to radically change it, protestations to the contrary, are what? The innocent victims of those ruthless hijackers? And yes, it is inescapable that based on the surrounding evidence in this entire post, the Pdn does want to radically change the Church, if in no other way than implicitly demanding that its prophetic and moral voice be gutted and by essentially demanding that it be meekly silent and acquiescent before secular social trends — well, liberal ones anyway.

    6. George is right about one thing, if nothing else. Based on the ongoing evidence, the Pdn will not be reined in, no matter what he writes. As someone insightful once said, “it’s good to be king” — and being related to him is usually almost as good. Or as someone even more insightful wrote, some are “more equal than others.”

    • “As someone insightful once said, ‘it’s good to be king'”.

      That was Mel Brooks in History of the World, Part I.

      • Ha! I was wondering when someone would comment on that! Hey, in this crazy time, sometimes comedy is the most insightful philosophy.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      Protodeacon Wheeler may pride himself on one accomplishment: “Oh, I’m the one who saw to it that Protopresbyter Rodion S Kondratick was fired, disgraced, and deposed.” His otherworldly patron is Caiaphas. This recent publication shows that he has not progressed beyond gpng after someone. God be with him. It’s the Ashley Nevins Syndrome we may have observed in the movie, “The Road Warrior,’ in which a similar figure with his cohorts is summed up in three words, “Attack! Attack! Attack!”

      • Daniel E Fall says:

        Oh, you mean the guy with the open ended compensation plan tacitly agreed to by a bunch of old fools?

        Wheeler didn’t stop that. Was a gay guy.

  5. Father Deacon Wheeler speaks for the silent majority in the OCA.

    • Former OCA says:

      OOM,

      He does not speak for the majority of Orthodox Church clerics in the USA or in the world. As for the “silent majority” in the OCA, you may have a point when it comes to a majority of bishops on the OCA Synod.

    • Protodeacon Eric Wheeler does not speak for any Orthodox Christians.

      • Peter Millman says:

        Why don’t the ” Orthodox Episcopalians” go all the way and become Episcopalians, then, we could say,” good riddance to bad rubbish.”

    • That’s the tragic part of it.

    • Carl Kraeff says:

      OOM–Why would you say that? I know that this site does not mind drive-by shootings from anonymous yahoos, as long as they are aimed at the preferred bêtes noires, but please back it up.

    • Christopher says:

      I voted thumbs up on this one, because unfortionatly OOM is right. It’s actually more complex, in that there are regional differences. Certainly in the NE you are in the minority of you do not (consciously or unconsciously) reject the Tradition’s teaching on sexuality and homosexualism. In the South you would be in the minority. Don’t know what the actual numbers are, but it is at least a significant minority of Orthodox in NA who are de facto apostates. OOM could be right, in that it is a majority. The clergy is more firmly grounded, however not all (as Wheeler, Arida, and the bishops who protect/nurture them clearly show).

      I saw Met. Josephs directives yesterday, and I cringed when I read #7 (before I came here). Rightly so, as sure as the sun comes up the Orthodox Episcopalians have latched onto it and subverted it (as Wheeler clearly does).

      I wish ALL of our clergy would stop answering the question that is not asked, as Met. Joseph does with #7. There is NOT (repeat, NOT) a wave of irrational and unloving “response” to homosexualism (such as “hate”, etc.). There IS a massive confusion of and rejection of the Tradition around anthropology, sexuality, and homosexualism. STOP preaching to the wrong problem!!!! We KNOW ALREADY that we are “treat with respect and dignity” the sinner (no matter what the sin). What a significant number of your flock (perhaps even a “silent majority”) DOES NOT KNOW is what a human being is, and how he is to relate to his sexuality (whether it is perverted or not). STOP being duped by the spirit of the age into believing the wrong thing, and preaching to the wrong problem. START being wiser than the spirit of the age, and subverting those who would subvert the Tradition by preaching the Truth of God to the real problem which is so obviously OOM’s “silent majority”.

      • Christopher:

        OOM could be right, in that it is a majority.

        I take it back. It’s not a majority of the OCA. It’s a majority of American Orthodox.

        • Yes. All 186 that were polled with a +/- margin of error of 9.2.

          Give it up OOM.

          • Christopher (the first) says:

            Thing is, I am afraid that poll (I know it does not rise to a base level of statistical rigor) is more right than wrong. It is about what I would expect based on my personal experience in discussion with the “man standing next to me” these last 20 years or so. Others confirm my experience, and others deny it.

            I know one thing fer sur, many inquirers have come through our little mission church. Most of them depart with the explicit reason being that they don’t agree with the Church on the modern anthropological issues (abortion, homosexualism, marriage/divorce, death and dying, etc.). May the Lord have mercy on them and us while we struggle to follow Him…

          • Nicholas:

            Yes. All 186 that were polled with a +/- margin of error of 9.2.

            Give it up OOM.

            Nicholas is right to point out the small sample size and margin of error. He omits the FINDING. 54% of American Orthodox polled favor or strongly favor same sex marriage. 41% oppose or strongly oppose it. Can Nicholas or anyone with better data prove the finding to be wrong or misleading?

            • The sample includes self-identified “Orthodox” who DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD. Of those who favor gay marriage, a majority don’t attend church more often than once or twice per month, don’t pray more than once per week, and the VAST majority of those who favor it don’t participate in any scripture study or religious education.

              And even still, your so-called “majority” is thin.

              What we have here is not a majority of Orthodox who favor same-sex “marriage”. As Ages wrote below, “100% of Orthodox Christians oppose gay marriage, by definition.”

              What we actually have from this survey is a faction of people who identify themselves as Orthodox, but their practice is minimal, who don’t care to educate themselves on church teaching, and have therefore been caught up in the ways of the world, effectively abandoning the Orthodox Church despite their self-designation. Big surprise!

              The priests who read this blog should take these survey results into consideration when planning parish activities and ministering to people who attend infrequently.

              • Helga:

                What we have here is not a majority of Orthodox who favor same-sex “marriage”. As Ages wrote below, “100% of Orthodox Christians oppose gay marriage, by definition.”

                Belonging to the church depends on one’s views on a single topic? What a contemptible view of their faith Ages and Helga have!

                Helga:

                What we actually have from this survey is a faction of people who identify themselves as Orthodox

                Helga belongs to a “faction” that identifies itself as Orthodox, too. On the issue of same-sex marriage and I’m sure on many others, it’s in the MINORITY.

                Helga:

                but their practice is minimal

                Helga reduces practicing one’s Christianity to attending church. When the church’s priests start to practice the loving acceptance and tolerance that Protodeacon Wheeler preaches, attendance will increase.

                Helga:

                who don’t care to educate themselves on church teaching

                We are aware of the teaching. We disagree with how Helga’s MINORITY faction uses the teaching to divide families and congregations, and to attempt to exclude BAPTIZED CHRISTIANS from their own church.

                Helga:

                and have therefore been caught up in the ways of the world, effectively abandoning the Orthodox Church despite their self-designation.

                So, Helga decides “who’s in” and “who’s out” of the church? I THINK NOT.

                • When the church’s priests start to practice the loving acceptance and tolerance that Protodeacon Wheeler preaches, attendance will increase.

                  How’s that working out for the other Episcopalians?

                • OOM writes, “Belonging to the church depends on one’s views on a single topic? What a contemptible view of their faith Ages and Helga have!”

                  Consciously rejecting the Orthodox faith puts anyone outside the Orthodox Church, no matter who your parents are or how long you have been in the Church before.

                  “Helga reduces practicing one’s Christianity to attending church. When the church’s priests start to practice the loving acceptance and tolerance that Protodeacon Wheeler preaches, attendance will increase.”

                  No, I didn’t say that. The survey found that the so-called Orthodox who favor gay ‘marriage’ tend not to pray more than once per week, read the Scriptures, or participate in religious education. What an amazing coincidence, that people who don’t follow Orthodox teaching also don’t practice the religion very much. It’s like they call themselves Orthodox, but aren’t really Orthodox.

                  “We are aware of the teaching. We disagree with how Helga’s MINORITY faction uses the teaching to divide families and congregations, and to attempt to exclude BAPTIZED CHRISTIANS from their own church.”

                  I am NOT a minority in the Church, I am an Orthodox Christian. The Orthodox Church is bigger than a handful of Greek bishops and poofter-parishes in the OCA, and nominal “Orthodox” like you are not in any sense a majority IN the Church.

                  Orthodox Christians learn to understand and obey Orthodox teachings, and when we fall into immoral practices, we repent and amend our lives. You actively despise and subvert Orthodox teaching, and encourage sin and delusion. Being raised in the church doesn’t mean you represent Orthodoxy, or get to define what that means. The CHURCH defines what that means, and that definition has always, and will always, exclude people who believe and act as you do. You have taken yourselves out of the Church by your choice to adhere to heresy instead of Orthodox teaching, and have no one but yourselves to blame.

                  Be honest with yourself, and repent and return to the Orthodox faith. If you’re not willing to do that, then it would be more honest to just join the Episcopalians. As Edward pointed out, there’s plenty of room for you there.

                • OOM, why do you want homosexuals to go to hell? Don’t you want them to be saved?

          • Christopher (the first) says:

            Let’s try again – stuck in the moderation hold:

            Thing is, I am afraid that poll (I know it does not rise to a base level of statistical rigor) is more right than wrong. It is about what I would expect based on my personal experience in discussion with the “man standing next to me” these last 20 years or so. Others confirm my experience, and others deny it.

            I know one thing fer sur, many inquirers have come through our little mission church. Most of them depart with the explicit reason being that they don’t agree with the Church on the modern anthropological issues (abortion, homosexualism, marriage/divorce, death and dying, etc.). May the Lord have mercy on them and us while we struggle to follow Him…

            • Daniel E Fall says:

              I posted a great response, then looked at the hyperlink one more time and lost it all. I’ll try again, but its a second effort.

              Another survey suggests 2/3rds of Orthodox want like mindeds in their parish.

              http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/orthodoxnews.html (number 6)

              Are you sure it isn’t your parish causing them to leave?

              You and I have gone around a few times about whether the churches views ought to be the world views if I recall correctly-it was about abortion (please avoid the trap). And I don’t think our dialogue was very friendly-a slight digress-or not.

              Maybe your reactionary style and that of like mindeds in the parish is the bigger cause of the come and go. Coffee hour reactionary discussions?

              I don’t really care what gays do outside the church and while I am definitely a fail on the attendance for reasons too many, I would reject any notion Orthodoxy marry gays ever. The point here is I find it perfectly allright to have a different set of rules for society and church. Already is the case for Communion the other way(something my wife is not pleased about (I also have no problem with the churches view there)).

              I have a survey question for you.

              Can you be a liberal and be Orthodox? I’m guessing about 80% of Monomakhos voters would say no.

              But of course, you know it isn’t really true at all.

              It really comes down to whether you think the world ought to reflect your views. I don’t care. My 30,000 days? isn’t enough to accomplish that feat.

              I really doubt people leaving the mission church are going to say, we can’t stand your reactionary group; they’ll sugar coat it for you and give you something you’ll enjoy.

        • This was exactly my point about GOARCH and the OCA. The PAOI survey tended to bury the phenomenon and not directly address it. However, there was this question: ‘Even if homosexuality is wrong, the civil rights of gays and lesbians – including legal status for ‘same-sex couples’ – should still be protected.’ Just under 50% agreed or were unsure.

          And we should never forget that American Orthodox is a tiny little unrepresentative sample of world Orthodoxy. I do not think the Russians or Syrian Orthodoxy feel this way. Neither Russian nor Arab culture is conducive toward the acceptance of homosexuality as normal. American Orthodoxy, through its two major jurisdictions, is quickly morphing into something resembling the Finnish Orthodox Church.

          This is a testament to the abject failure of our clergy to pastor their faithful and to the project of ecumenism.

          This is the effect of western, Enlightenment based democracy upon the Church. It is why a united American Orthodox Church is not desirable at this time. And it is why emigration from the United States is the most sensible answer to its present trajectory. I doubt if many American Orthodox have the fortitude or will to reject the emerging American culture. The survey numbers seem to indicate the opposite. It’s a matter of the salvation of your souls.

        • Heretics are not part of the church, by definition. 100% of Orthodox Christians oppose gay marriage, by definition.

      • I voted thumbs up on this one, because unfortionatly OOM is right. It’s actually more complex, in that there are regional differences. Certainly in the NE you are in the minority of you do not (consciously or unconsciously) reject the Tradition’s teaching on sexuality and homosexualism. In the South you would be in the minority. >>

        QUESTION: Does this have anything to do with the widowed Diocese of the South still waiting for the approval of its choice for bishop?

        tmatt

        • Christopher (the first) says:

          ” Does this have anything to do with the widowed Diocese of the South still waiting for the approval of its choice for bishop?”

          That’s the gorilla in the room I think. What DOES an institution like the OCA do when it is so obviously of “two minds” on human sexuality and the Tradition? Well, I think it acts in otherwise very inexplicable ways. The bishops are only human, and they clearly do not know the way forward – or rather they are allowing the issue to “work itself out”, secretly hoping for from-the-bottom/organic REFORM, because they know the Tradition does not really allow them to do it themselves. I used to think it was simple incompetence. No longer. The South is a problem because it is not very far along the road to REFORM.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            Oh that is bs.

            With all the errors the Synod has made elevating bishops; you guys are crediting the lavender mafia for a go slow?

            Hilarious.

            It is like half of them last 40 years there have been problems..

            Maybe they actually want to get it right for the DoS.

    • May they remain silent and come to knowledge of the truth.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      OOM! How would YOU know what any SILENT group wants to say?

    • Rymlianin says:

      He speaks for those who are on the edge of losing their faith.

    • Estonian Slovak says:

      If the majority of the OCA really does feel that way, it’s in trouble.

      • Rymlianin says:

        So, it turns out that the goddaughter is Fr. Arida’s daughter and that this is all a matter of the “higher-ups” having privileges that the rest of us hoi polloi should learn our place and accept the decisions of our “betters.”

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      The Protodeacon Eros Wheeler speaks for no majority, silent or otherwise. Never did; never will.

  6. Tony Toms says:

    Much ado about nothing! All of you act & post as if homosexuality is new and never existed in the Church. Fools. Apparently, you’re back to attacking Arida and Wheeler here – ridiculous. Those of you “holier than thou” types here are no different than the Pharisees and other hypocrites of old. No different than Putin and Hitler tactics to single out the “unholy” and incite the people to your cause. Next, “Kristallnacht!” Get all the unholy and burn them at the stake or ship them out to the nearest camp.

    • The real hypocrites are those who claim to be Orthodox (not to mention clergy), and yet, rebuke the Church’s ancient and unchangeable teaching of divinely-revealed truth.

      To such people: Leave us and go build temples to yourselves, for that is who you really worship anyway.

    • beastililty has been around for a long time too so should the church now say its OK??
      and how about two brothers getting married?? and a father and his daughter?

      Those of you “holier than thou” types here are no different than the Pharisees and other hypocrites of old.?

      Our church Fathers warned us about clergy like Arida and Wheeler

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        OH WHY!! ON WHOM DID CAIN AND ABEL BEGET OFFSPRING? THEIR MOTHER OR THIS OR THAT SISTER?

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          Oh, for pete’s sake Bishop Tikhon. The Bible has been shown to be only partially true about the beginnings of man.

          Even the Bible does not absolutely say Cain had sex with his sister.

          In fact, it says Cain left Eden and went to Nod.

          It also says anyone who kills Cain would be hurt 7 times over. Was God saying Eve or Adam or a sister would be hurt and why would Cain need a mark to protect him for those few?

          The strict interpretation of the Bible as factual in all things is problematic.

          I don’t profess to have answers, but there are issues.

          • DF:

            Oh, for pete’s sake Bishop Tikhon. The Bible has been shown to be only partially true about the beginnings of man….The strict interpretation of the Bible as factual in all things is problematic.

            That’s his point.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

            Are you saying, Daniel, that there were more people in the world already when Adam and Eve came along? (for pete’s sake, that is.) The people of Nod were related HOW to Cain’s parents? As for knowing answers, I think you’ll find many people here, mostly anonymous or pseudonymous, who claim they DO have all the answers— “not Steve?”

          • Genetics has also shown that physically modern humans arose from a group, not from a single individual or a couple. That could have implications to the way we read Genesis, whether wholly allegorical and typological or with some admixture of ‘historical’, as well.

            For instance, one could assume Adam and Eve were two of a group of physical (or near to) homo sapiens to be be given spirits, they had children after their childlike Fall, and their children interbred with the other physical (or near to) homo sapiens rather than a sibling. COnsidering modern humans have genetic traces of Neanderthals, Denisovans (discovered in Russia, so must be a good thing), and/or possibly other archaic humans.

            • M. Stankovich says:

              Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide the Genetic & Patristic source(s) of your assertion that render the reading and interpretation of the Book of Genesis problematic. My sorry ass is on the edge of my seat. Venerable Holy Fathers & Teachers Pray to God for us!

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                Michael, “Genetic”sources? “Generic”? Not much better. Just saying.

              • M. Stankovich:

                Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide the Genetic & Patristic source(s) of your assertion that render the reading and interpretation of the Book of Genesis problematic.

                Does M. Stankovich believe, along with many of the contributors here, that Genesis is literal-factual HISTORY?

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  OOM, not all of us here accept Genesis as a mere journalistic enterprise.

                  • GM, so where do you stand on +Tikhon’s oft-repeated and very cogent questions about how Cain, Abel, and Seth begat? Was it with EVE or their SISTERS? Is INCEST OKAY since it’s biblical?

                    • What follows should not be construed to imply that the Scriptures can or should be read in a ‘literal’ manner as, say, a Fundamentalist would read them. There is infinitely more to the Scriptures than a ‘face value’ literal, historical reading can offer.

                      However, much of the ridicule that comes in form of questions such as, “Where did Cain get his wife?” is the result of a caricatured reading of the narrative, rather than a reading of what the narrative actually says. This is true even if it is taken merely at face value. Whether one chooses to believe what the narrative actually says, or whether it is necessary to believe the narrative as historical is another question altogether – a question with which this post is unconcerned. The only point to what follows is to show that some of the things we assume to be ridiculous are not quite so ridiculous if the text is simply taken as it reads rather than what we assume it says.

                      If, again, the text is taken at face value, people lived a very long time in those days. It is common, for example, to assume that Cain and Abel were young men when their sacrifices were offered, but the text itself says nothing whatsoever about their age. Likewise, while the text mentions Cain, Abel, and Seth by name, it also clearly states that Adam lived 130 years before begetting Seth. It further states that Adam lived a total of 930 years and “had [other] sons and daughters.”

                      Adam’s living 130 years before the birth of Seth or his total lifespan of 930 years may be interesting (or seemingly absurd), but it is generally glossed over with little comprehension of the implications it has for just how many offspring (as well their offspring, and their offspring, and their offspring…) could have been generated in such a lifespan. In order to understand what this may have meant it helps to give it a context. For example, at the time Jacob blessed Pharaoh upon his arrival in Egypt he was 130 years old, and his family consisted of 70 persons. When this same family left Egypt approximately 400 years later (compared to Adam’s 930 years), it consisted of “about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.” If one looks at one’s own family tree, one will find similar results – even in an age of birth control. My grandparents, for example, were married in the 1920’s. They didn’t start bearing children until the 1930’s, yet their direct descendants number over 160 persons, many of whom don’t even know each other – and this in less than 100 years.

                      There is, of course, also the question of incest. Did Cain (or Seth or any of Adam’s other sons) marry his sister or perhaps his niece or his great niece? We are not told, but the text provides no reason whatsoever to assume he didn’t. Nor is there any reason to conclude that there were few, or no, women living at the time who were descendents of Adam. Nor does it give us reason to believe that such an arrangement would be in any way considered unusual or sinful at that time. Incest was not forbidden, even to the Israelites, until the time of Moses. No less a pillar of godliness and faith than Abraham married his sister Sarah, the daughter of his father, without any Scriptural apology or divine censure whatsoever.

                      One can read this and still conclude that the whole story, as told, is ridiculous. After all, “it is impossible for anyone to live that long.” But if such a conclusion is drawn, it is not because the story itself makes no sense; it is because we have superimposed our own current experience of human lifespan upon it and concluded that it therefore cannot be true.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      OOM, I think they are dying to defend themselves with something “situational.” but it might cause them to choke/

                    • Monk James says:

                      We should not expect the Bible to be more than it is, but we should also not try to make it less than it is.

                      Let’s begin by understanding what the Bible is not. The Bible is not a textbook of any sort, neither for history nor for the hard or soft sciences, not for physics or mathematics, not for medicine or politics.

                      Still, the Bible teaches us how the Lord intends for us to behave as we study and apply all these disciplines, not usually — yet still occasionally — by direct command, yet always by inference and analogy. The Lord is paying us a great compliment here, respecting His own image in us and expecting that we will make sense of what He reveals.

                      When, as in the case of Genesis’s wide gaps in describing the expansion of the human race after a few lines about our first ancestors, it appears that the only way for our kind to have ‘increased and multiplied’ must have involved incest — which is severely proscribed in the Bible — we must (even with a certain amount of frustration) then admit that there are details which were simply not recorded or passed down. Since we know that incest is not an option, we might comfortably assume that such details as would relieve such a thought were not only unimportant for the story, but unhelpful and unnecessary for future generations of readers.

                      Let’s not demand more of the text than it offers and just acknowledge that everything recorded in the scriptures happened in accordance with the will of God. That’s why these events appear in The Bible, and they are intended to be instructive.

                      It’s useful, I think, to regard especially the Torah (the first five books of The Bible) as do most schools of rabbinic exegesis: these events are all to be understood as happening NOW rather than in any sort of historical sequence. The implications of this school of thought are grist for another mill, but it’s helpful to be aware of it. This is, after all, a jewish book.

                      Then, as the current dean of St Vladimir Seminary, Fr John Behr, notes in his recently published books, we Christians must redefine our categories of sacred scripture.

                      First, we have to acknowledge that the Bible, strictly so called and referenced in the New Testament as The Scriptures, is a thoroughly jewish document. Now, though, the Jews (followed by the Protestants and not a few Catholics) regard only texts originally composed in Hebrew to be legitimate parts of The Bible.

                      But we orthodox Christians accept several ‘intertestamental’ (the Protestants call them ‘apocryphal’) books originally composed in Greek as belonging in the Bible.

                      Altogether, though, Fr John Behr rightly reminds us that The Bible (hebrew and greek), jewish as it is, presents an array of prophecies, predictions, and standards by which we should recognize the Savior, the Messiah foretold since the beginning of human time (Adam and Eve in Genesis).

                      Fr John Behr then demonstrates that the Gospels explain how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all those prophecies. The Acts and letters of the apostles go on to tell us how to actuate the meaning of all this divine revelation in our lives.

                      So, then, there are three aspects of the scriptures: the predictions, the fulfilment of the predictions, and the application of their meaning.

                      At no point in any traditional orthodox christian exegesis of The Bible does ANYONE insist on a rigorously literal understanding of the text at the same time as no traditional orthodox christian exegesis of The Bible excludes a rigorously literal interpretation of the text when everyone agrees that such literalism is self-evidently the burden of its meaning.

                      But no seriously qualified orthodox christian exegete has ever worried out loud and in print about the familial relationships of the first human beings described in Genesis. This means that the authentically orthodox catholic christian Tradition is satisfied not to have these details.

                      And there we must leave it.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      Most of what Brian wrote is commendable. I asked the question about incest in Genesis, for some here and elsewhere use the Genesis narrative as a dogmatic basis for THEIR definition of marriage and as a club against those Christians and non-Christians who disagree with them about “same-sex marriage. With all the subtlety of Alley Oop’s club one presbyter even facetiously (but stupidly) uttered the oft-heard rabble-rousing cry: “It was EVE not STEVE.” as if to say that Genesis is what you have demonstrated it is not! The Jews amongst the learned Babylonians had to come up with their OWN written creation narrative to counter other older such narratives, So we got our Genesis in which everything came into existence in a week. If asked about 2nd & 3rd marriagesm however, Adam and Eve are never cited at all. Marriage as being “one man/one woman” is not even whispered when Christians are married twice, three times, or eight times (Byzantine Basileus) or Twelve times (Tsar Ivan Vasilievich “the Terrible”).
                      In our Orthodox world we have marriage as one man: one, two, or three women marriages and one woman: one, two, or three men marriages. While the most authoritative voice of all in Holy Scripture tells us remarriage of a person who divorced for any reason but adultery, IS ADULTERY. How many Priests or Bishops have blessed marrying those divorced for incompatibility? For “mental cruelty?’ ET CETERA!

                    • Monk James:

                      Then, as the current dean of St Vladimir Seminary, Fr John Behr, notes in his recently published books… Altogether, though, Fr John Behr rightly reminds us that The Bible (hebrew and greek), jewish as it is, presents an array of prophecies, predictions, and standards by which we should recognize the Savior… Fr John Behr then demonstrates that the Gospels explain how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all those prophecies…The Acts and letters of the apostles go on to tell us how to actuate the meaning of all this divine revelation in our lives.

                      Did Reverend Behr come up with anything ORIGINAL in his publications? All this the church has taught since it started…

                    • I suspect I am not alone in rejoicing over teachers of the Faith who don’t find it necessary to be “original,” who faithfully teach what the Church has taught from the beginning.

                      For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you…”

                    • Monk James says:

                      OOM (December 15, 2015 at 4:03 pm) says:

                      (
                      (quoting me)
                      Then, as the current dean of St Vladimir Seminary, Fr John Behr, notes in his recently published books… Altogether, though, Fr John Behr rightly reminds us that The Bible (hebrew and greek), jewish as it is, presents an array of prophecies, predictions, and standards by which we should recognize the Savior… Fr John Behr then demonstrates that the Gospels explain how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all those prophecies…The Acts and letters of the apostles go on to tell us how to actuate the meaning of all this divine revelation in our lives.

                      (then writing)
                      Did Reverend Behr come up with anything ORIGINAL in his publications? All this the church has taught since it started…

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      Perhaps ‘ OOM’ needs better eyeglasses, since he actually quoted what I wrote ‘Fr John Behr RIGHTLY reminds us….’ yet missed the clear meaning of my words.

                      Or perhaps ‘OOM’ has theological expectations not shared by us orthodox.

                      But no one expected anything theologically ‘original’ from FrJB, at least insofar as such ‘originality’ might contradict the authentically orthodox catholic christian Tradition. His students and his readership are grateful for his faithful and accurate re-presentation of the Tradition, even if he (once in a while) approaches the Tradition from his own angle and with his own voice. He is not to be condemned for that.

            • aka:

              COnsidering modern humans have genetic traces of Neanderthals, Denisovans (discovered in Russia, so must be a good thing), and/or possibly other archaic humans.

              Maybe Putin is a Denisovan?

              • Michael Warren says:

                Petty and caddy, expressing the essence of the Russophobia of wilting McCivilization.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Although I am not a fan of Vova Putin, I object to Mr Warren calling him “petty and caddy (sic)” Did he mean “caddish” or “like a cad?”

                  • Michael Warren says:

                    A prime example of why retired (sic!) Orthodox Bishops should either be true to their monastic calling or laicized.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      ‘laicized?” Someone tell that repulsive guy that proper monks are laymen, unless or until they are ordained to the Diaconate, etc. You can even have a lay igumen or lay archimandrite. An archimandrite who has been ordained is called in Russian Church Slavoniuc a “Sviashchenno-arkhimandrit.”
                      The ideal monastery is ALL laymen, although a Priest might be appointed to live there to serve Liturgy. Modern monasteries,alas, are sometimes FULL of the ordained, and “Igumen” and “archimandrite” have become honorifics, titles to mark “career (sic) advancement!!!

                      You may even hear some people speak of a monastic “career”

                      Whatever else may be said of our Monk James, he has remained true to the original founding ideal of monasticism–a member of the LAITY who has fled society. (He didn’t flee any such thing–on the contrary!)

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      Monastics are tonsured, live by an ustav, are treated differently from laymen in the Orthodox Church, ie different burials, different prayers, etc.

                      In other words, McMonasticism for a McOrthodoxy meaning nothing more than Renovationist revisionism is the standard of some people who have been consecrated to the episcopacy.

                      I used to question why our OCA was retiring so many Bishops, but we need look no further.

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      Please someone find this Renovationist, Russophobic Bishop an Orthodox monastic ustav and ask him to find where internet discussion groups are part of Orthodox monastic obedience, during fast periods no less… Then perhaps someone can explain how political liberalism with its gay crusade and narco sensualism can in any way be reconciled with the Orthodox monastic mindset. Indeed, instead of the Spiritual Meadow of St. John Moschos, the McOrthodox offer the less than spiritual, liberal ghetto.

                  • +Tikhon:

                    Although I am not a fan of Vova Putin, I object to Mr Warren calling him “petty and caddy (sic)” Did he mean “caddish” or “like a cad?”

                    Maybe he was a caddie before his later career as a second-rate spy? BTW, what particular mental condition causes one to respond to “Maybe Putin was a Denisovan” with hyperbolic non-sequitur like “expressing the essence of the Russophobia of wilting McCivilization” ???

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      Referring to the leader of the Russian Federation as an atavised hominid isn’t Russophobic and racist?

                      You just sound smaller and pettier with your cynical attempts at saving face.

                      Stick to what you know or think you know like the incompetent occupying the oval office.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      I know of atavism and atavist(ic), but does anyone know what “atavised” is? That Warren guy used it. You know, the troll who apparently wants desperately to be stalked, rather than corrected.

                    • MW:

                      Referring to the leader of the Russian Federation as an atavised hominid isn’t Russophobic and racist?

                      No, it’s not. To question the genetic makeup of a single man is different than doing so for an entire nation/race. Is MW Russian? Maybe that’s why he can’t understand the difference. (Russophobism alert).

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      I think you may have indeed legitimized the point of questioning whether or not there are atavized hominids among us.

                      Russophobia in the Orthodox Church is a sign of someone not serious about being Orthodox.

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      Pokrov.org needs to look into atavized and unmonastic retired Bishops of McOrthodoxy cyber stalking faithful Orthodox Christians and report to the powers that be that when these liberal hierarchs have their atavized Renovationist ideas and atavized Cold War Russophobia challenged they become sociopathatic, abusive, unmonastic tranforming into the types of people MoveOn gets to heckle and troll people it disagrees with. Latent, maniacal tendencies and all that. Wonder if Madame Sakoda will find schrift for cyber stalking OCA retired and atavized liberal Bishops…

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      Renovationism, Russophobia, a lack of monastic sobriety and retirement have only one legitimate corrective: self-criticism and repentance in the hopes of the choice to freely return to an Orthodox standard. The Renovationist and liberal stands corrected by the Holy Fathers, the Holy Canons, the Holy Scripture expressing the Mind of CHRIST, and not putting Renovationism above it to assert a failed, Renovationist agenda.

                      Some ersatz and retired physicians truly need to heal themselves first.

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      As far as I am concerned Russophobes and Renovationists are irrelevant, definitely are incompetent in addressing questions of russkost or political terminology when they are both retired and simply incapable of even respecting themselves when they consistently can’t even understand the English language. They are retired for a reason and as such have as their primary concern their convalescence.

                      When one entertains an elderly fellow suffering from Alzheimer’s by playing chess with him and when said fellow says a bishop moves like a knight and he has never heard of a pawn having the capability of becoming a queen, one simply avoids such an unwell fellow because it is pointless to argue with an ill person who clearly cannot appreciate reality as it is.

                      Retirement is often a necessary fantasy land where retired people choose to be angry with the world and how it doesn’t align its horizons with their failed ambitions, hopes, dreams and thoughts. These times we must pity failures, perhaps leave them alone, smile when they toss pureed food on the floor, because twilight may indeed be upon them and at such times prayers and patience and simply allowing them their fantasies are necessary. Because their delusions are all they have left in their sadness.

                      So in terms of reality, we entrusted with its care are called to clean up the floor, ignore the circle of life ebbing easing its passing, and maintain the real world in which we, the active, cannot be convalescent or atavized.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      OOM! The “Church Lady,” M. Warren, coughed up five messages in a row commenting on your post!
                      It occurs to me that it’s time to quote that good old writer, Mark Twain:

                      “Noise proves nothing. Often a hen, after laying an egg, will cackle as if she had laid an asteroid!”

                    • Michael Warren says:

                      I am thankful that Syosset has retired unfit Russophobes and Renovationists as acting hierarchs in the American local church. I pray that Syosset go all the way with such people and laicize them so that Pokrov.org doesn’t have to add another scandal to its menagerie.

                    • +Tikhon:

                      The “Church Lady,” M. Warren, coughed up five messages in a row commenting…

                      Monomakhos is his vanity press. Scroll wheel to the rescue!

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      And when they have done all that, they will realize they were wrong and ask God for forgiveness. History repeats itself.

    • Such a violation of Godwin’s Law and the transposition of Christians and pharisees lead one to believe that you have very little to contribute to the discussion.

    • Homosexuality new? No but neither is murder or theft.
      Referring to sexual immorality the Apostle says: Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. I Thess. 4,8

  7. Gregory Manning says:

    Poor thing. Should’ve stopped after the first scotch.

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      Snarky.

      • Carl Kraeff says:

        Not really; to be truly snarky, he should not have chosen scotch. Scotch, like all whiskeys, brings to mind men like William Wallace or, better yet, Daniel Boon, who presumably favored bourbon. Now, his point would have been better made by the use of a cocktail, such as the Manhattan or the execrably sweet concoctions of the Caribbean, such as Pina Colada.

  8. Patrick Henry Reardon says:

    The Proto-Deacon speaks of “the vocal Ten Party members who have lately joined our faith.”

    There are more than ten, I think.

    Another correspondent tells us to prepare for “Kristallnacht!”

    My, if the expression would not be construed as sexist, we might call this reaction an example of hysteria.

    • Fr. Gregory Hogg says:

      I thought the “Ten Party” might refer to those ten righteous men Abraham was negotiating with God about, just before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      • Nicholas Chiazza says:

        Nope, I’m sure he meant “Tea Party.” You know, whacky people who think they’re protecting something.

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      I think the good deacon meant, “Tea Party” Members.

    • “Kristallnacht?” References to the Nazis are the last recourse of the scoundrel.

      • Michael Bauman says:

        Which unfortunately gives genuine modern fascists a free pass.There are some folks that deserve the comparison.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        I thought that was patriotism, “Rimlianin!” “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” is the quotation you’re misquoting..

        • Vladyko, Patriotism is the last refuge, but arguably, reference to Nazis is the last recourse , as in an argument. I tip my hat to Samuel Johnson for his famous quote but my reference was different.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

            Rimlyanin, what I find poignant is how those who inveigh most forcefully against “libtards”, or “pinkos” or Democrats, or the ACLU or Quakers, etc., for establishing and advocating “PC STANDARDS for language are the first to demand PC CORRECTNESS when anyone compares them to, e.g., Nazis!!!
            If you re a fan of Dr Johnson, I’m sure you’ll agree with this eminently topical (for this blog) quote:
            “Censure is willingly indulged because it always implies some superiority. Men please themselves with imaginings that they have made a deeper search or wider survey than others, and detected faults and follies which escape vulgar observation.”

  9. Texan Orthodox says:

    Deacon Eric seems to be quivering in his pants that someday he may have to publicly choose between serving Christ’s church as a protodeacon and his allegiance to same-sex couples. Being in the OCA among one of its “first families” has given him cover for a long time.

    But he’s already publicly come out against the Church. He calls his goddaughter’s lesbian relationship a “marriage,” in clear contradiction to what the Church has always taught marriage is. His freak-out “So, am I to be excommunicated for attending my goddaughter wedding?” represents real fear. Why doesn’t he just quit being a protodeacon?

    Maybe he has deep, unaddressed guilt that his “goddaughter” left the church? But then again, he clearly speaks against church teachings. He says that his goddaughter “is Orthodox” — not that she used to be Orthodox, or that she was Orthodox but then got “married” to another woman.

    Deacon Eric’s statements betray his apparent belief that he sees no problem with someone being Orthodox Christian and also being in a same-sex “marriage.” He should be required to publicly clarify where he stands, and if these beliefs are true then he must be made to publicly recant them. If unrepentant, for the health of the Church, he needs to be deposed. End of story.

    Yet none of us is holding our breath that the current OCA leadership (his ruling bishop) will do anything. Heck, he will probably be invited post-haste to the next Syosset wine and cheese.

    And yes, all those venerable teachers whom he mentions — “Schmemann, Meyendorff, Verhovskoy, Kesich” — would likely be demanding he turn back in his diploma if they heard his rants.

    It’s hard when someone close to us voluntarily leaves the Church. Yet it happens. The answer is not to change the Church’s approach to these matters. As Met. Joseph clearly states, we must always pray for, be loving toward, and treat with dignity the person who left.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      Texan Orthodox! “serving Christ’s church as a protodeacon” is just the man’s SIDELINE” He’s a businessman.

  10. Michalopulos:

    Posted on a closed Orthodox group on Yahoo

    Hmmm… Copyright issues in reproducing the Deacon’s thoughts here? Ethical or moral issues?

    • A copyright claim would require the “Deacon” to own his statement. Would he do that?

      • lexcaritas says:

        Copyright?? Was any claimed? Check the laws.

        lxc, JD

        • But neither copyright not Yahoo’s TOS are self-enforcing. Dn Eric would have to claim his rights were violated in posting this here, which would confirm he said it and that he doesn’t want people to know it.

          We’re in a whistleblower situation here. As for ethics, it is a human construct when it comes to matters like this. The greater good demands that the faithful identify the wolves among us.

    • Ever heard of “Fair Use”?

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      Since I was the founder of Orthodox-Forum along with two other men many moons ago, I can speak to this. In fact I personally moved the group from a private list-serv to Yahoo Groups.

      “Closed group” only means that the posting is not visible unless you join the group. The group itself is public. Dn. Wheeler’s posting was to a public group open to everyone yet requires moderator approval for membership. Moderator approval is merely a way of banning people you don’t want on the group. Most Yahoo groups work that way.

      • Who to blame says:

        While the Group may be “public”, it is a violation of the Yahoo Groups terms of agreement concerning re-posting content without getting permission:

        “Re-posting messages without the explicit permission of the person that posted them is a violation of the Yahoo Groups Guidelines and the Yahoo Terms.” https://help.yahoo.com/kb/group-messages-appearing-third-party-sites-sln2481.html.

        So while it may not be illegal, it is not ethical in that the person responsible broke the terms he/she had agreed to when becoming a member of a Yahoo Group.

        • “. . . it is not ethical in that the person responsible broke the terms he/she had agreed to when becoming a member of a Yahoo Group.”

          I was unaware that Yahoo is a source of moral authority. Or that clicking “agree” is in any way legally or morally binding. It’s more like agreeing that you can be banned for doing X.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

          You could make that argument I suppose but I don’t know how binding on the conscience the Yahoo terms of service actually are. Sure, violating them can get you kicked off of Yahoo, but is this an ethical concern or merely a procedural one? My hunch is that it is procedural. YMMV of course and I respect that but the measure to which terms of service are ethically binding rises no higher than an individual concern, ISTM.

          Maybe we should apply some common sense instead. When you post on the internet in a public forum, crying foul when your words are reprinted means you did not understand the nature of the internet very well. Better to remember that everything on a public forum or even in an email is out of your hands as soon as you post or send it. Don’t put anything in a post or email you don’t want the whole world to know.

          • Clergyman Jacobse:

            You could make that argument I suppose but I don’t know how binding on the conscience the Yahoo terms of service actually are. Sure, violating them can get you kicked off of Yahoo, but is this an ethical concern or merely a procedural one? My hunch is that it is procedural. YMMV of course and I respect that but the measure to which terms of service are ethically binding rises no higher than an individual concern, ISTM.

            “Your mileage may vary.” What a voice of moral clarity, that Clergyman Jacobse.

            Clergyman Jacobse:

            Better to remember that everything on a public forum or even in an email is out of your hands as soon as you post or send it. Don’t put anything in a post or email you don’t want the whole world to know.

            Well, +Mark Maymon and that paragon of “Your mileage may vary”-ism himself, Mark Stokoe, would CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THAT!

            • Rymlianin says:

              Fr. Hans is priest and your reference to him as “clergyman Jacobse” either means that you are not Orthodox or that you have decided to be willfully disrespectful of his priesthood. Which is it?

              • Rynlianin:

                Fr. Hans is priest and your reference to him as “clergyman Jacobse” either means that you are not Orthodox or that you have decided to be willfully disrespectful of his priesthood. Which is it?

                Metropolitan Joseph uses the term in his latest encyclical. Take it up with him. FYI: “Fr.” is not a title or a style, despite the fact that some vulgarians use it in those ways in their written remarks. It is a form of (affectionate) address. Reminds me of the time when I introduced myself with my Christian name at church to a woman who identified herself as “Matushka Lastname,” as if “Matushka” were some sort of title of nobility.

              • Rymlianin:

                you have decided to be willfully disrespectful of his priesthood

                When he flippantly refers to holy Scripture with inanities about Adam and Steve, he mocks his own priesthood. When he uses sophistry to introduce a false distinction between ethical and procedural concern in the matter of reproducing Reverend Wheeler’s remarks here, he mocks his own priesthood. But hey, YMMV, right?

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Does “OOM” really imagine that Protodeacon Eros Wheeler wouldn’t be PLEASED that anything he wrote on that “forum” was widely disseminated?

          • lexcaritas says:

            There are very few legally binding rules protecting confidentiality to conversations to which one is a party. Some of these are attorney-client, doctor-patient, confessor-penitent. I have never heard it suggested that comments made on internet groups, however private, are confidential. /Without the reasonable expectation of confidential or an implicit or explicit promise by a person given access to information to keep it confidential how cold their be either a legal or ethical violation.

            Weren’t the comments written and published int the first place to influence opinion. How then is it wrong to spread the word?

            Puzzled . . .

            lxc

          • I think Wheeler fully expected and wanted his “thoughts” to have a wider audience than the Yahoo group. All this talk about copyrights, terms of use, etc. are a distraction. His words speak for themselves and that is what the focus should be.

  11. Anyone who uses “holier than thou” with seriousness should be immediately banned from all communication.

  12. Jesse Cone says:

    Having read the Pdn’s remarks I was struck by one question, what does he mean by “Orthodox”? He uses this term to describe his teachers, his goddaughter, and some “teaching of loves” that is apparently not at odds with voluntary actions prohibited by the Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Joseph, however, is called into question (along with the authorship of his directive) as being partisan; he and his directive are noticeably not described as “Orthodox”. Whatever the Pdn means by Orthodox is not what I mean.

    Part of me very much appreciates the Pdn’s attempt to harmonize his love of his goddaughter and the teachings of the Church, and I too would affirm the good things in sinful situation. But if we substitute “marrying a member of the same sex” as the subject at hand with, “taking communion outside the Church” the Pdn’s remarks seem deeply off. Most of us can image (or remember) having to awkwardly removing oneself from a situation because our membership in the Church precluded us from participation. Is the love of a Catholic at the chalice so different from that of an Orthodox? And yet, to commune from their chalice removes us from the Church, requiring repentance and confession. Why would entering into the sacrament of marriage be different?

    I would think that his given his spiritual responsibilities for his goddaughter–and her identification as “Orthodox”–the Pdn would be least likely to countenance her voluntary separation from the Church with his attendance. Instead, he has difficulty comprehending a world where Met. Joseph’s directive is “Orthodox”.

    Let us all have compassion for the real-world suffering, awkwardness, and confusion of those coping with these situations. But God help us, let us be bold, firm, and obedient!

  13. His writing style seems to be on par with that of a fifteen year old in the midst of puberty! Shameful! If he represents the silent majority, then the OCA will soon find themselves united with the Episcopalians.

  14. Pdn cites: “How can we welcome the LBGT members into our church and ask them to begin understand what the True Faith teaches if we end up responding with defensive condemnation.” Well it also should maybe include the “QIA” at the trail end of the LGBT to be all inclusive. I think the “transgender” intrigues me. There are “lesbian bishop(s?)” I have heard of in some protestant denomination(s?) however the transgender one I have not yet heard about just as of yet. And how would that work? Can a female become a transgender male and then go into the clergy priesthood? Or a male become a transgender female then a nun, like the ‘sisters’? Maybe not too far from here there will be more encyclicals to figure this stuff out. Or even a male become a transgender female and then, then becoming a “bishop”? All sounds too crazy? Just go back not even to the 1960’s and mention “gay marriage” and you would get weird looks from anyone, even the hippies I bet, not to mention anytime anyplace anywhere before that for the past 5 thousand 10 thousand however many years and say “gay marriage” they would think you are a nut. Now look today, people are acting like all this L and GB, Q, T, IA stuff has “always been around” and so its all “normal” and if we see any of the “denominations” with their “bishops” in any of the parades then alright, we know that time has to be near.

  15. Estonian Slovak says:

    That’s right,when all else fails,use the Hitler fix.

  16. shame on you for judging Putin and Hitler …..

  17. One cannot help but wonder about the confusion at work in a mind of one who writes these two sentences in the same paragraph.

    “I attended my [lesbian] god daughter’s marriage (she is Orthodox) …”

    “At the same time, I am not advocating that the Orthodox Church in any way change its teaching or theological position with regard to its position on homosexuality. But, we seem to have lost our understanding of what the mission of the church is.”

    So the god daughter is ‘Orthodox;’ is she? What, precisely, does being an Orthodox Christian mean to the protodeacon? And what value, precisely, does he ascribe to “the teaching or theological position of the Church?” What, exactly, is the mission of this church that he is so fond of insisting upon as the possession (“our Orthodox Church”) of those who share his confusion?

    And, most importantly, how have his (so-called) compassion, understanding, empathy, tolerance, and support served her in bringing her to repentance in accordance with “the teaching or theological position of the Church? So she is still ‘Orthodox.’ Pray tell, what does this mean?

    I speak from hard experience, having faced similar situations in my own family and having received similar foolish, worldly advice from well-meaning and otherwise respectable Orthodox Christians: “You should love and support them. You must accept them. Otherwise, they will never come back.” This is nonsense! Utter and complete nonsense!

    One never stops loving; but one cannot support, condone, enable, or in any way encourage sin in those whom they truly love. Every time – and I do mean every time – I have witnessed those around me follow the advice of these well-meaning, otherwise respectable Orthodox Christians concerning family members who stray from the clear moral tradition of the Church there has been no repentance and no return to the wholeness of the Faith of Jesus Christ – only further heartache and pain, both for them and for those of their families whom they had been convinced to ‘love’ by supporting, enabling, and showing the compassion (so-called) of this world.

    The world – and unfortunately the Church – is full of people who confuse the love of godly, faithful resolve with harshness and hate. And indeed many of those who by their sinful choices have faced the loving resolve of the faithful will initially perceive it as such. It can be terribly painful to be resolute in love toward those we love. But our loved ones who stray are fully aware that they are sinning against God, and thus our godly resolve plays a large part in their eventual repentance. They may appear to hate us for our resolve, but this hatred is merely an expression of the insecurity they feel within themselves, knowing they are in rebellion against God in spite of their objections to the contrary. Apart from the steadfast resolve of the faithful, our loved ones who stray morally become convinced that the Faith itself is meaningless, for by our ‘compassionate support’ and misguided notions of what ‘love’ is, we tacitly admit that the Faith has no bearing on how we are called to live. However, with loving, faithful resolve miracles of repentance occur to which I, and countless others, bear witness.

    As my wife who is wise in the faith well beyond the glorious seminary education of the protodeacon told our once morally straying child now returned to miraculous renewal of life through repentance, “I can believe you or I can believe God. I will never stop loving you and praying for you, but I have no choice but to believe God, and I can neither give my blessing nor can I participate in what you have chosen.”

    This is the Tradition going back to the days of the Apostles. It is astonishing that the protodeacon’s vast education seems to have failed him in this regard.

    And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you… Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

    • Chris Banescu says:

      “Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

      “If your proclamation of the Christian Faith is not deemed to be a danger to the social norms of the fallen world… Then examine your Christian Faith and pray for the courage to go all the way. To preach love without discipline is to tell a lie. To preach of heaven without the consequences of hell is to cheat people of the truth. To sugarcoat sin is to be found complicit in its acceptance.” ~ Fr. Benedict Simpson

      “Sin is not to be tolerated and condoned, but repented of. Some clergy have the gravely mistaken notion that by accepting practicing, unrepentant homosexuals at the chalice is the only way to hopefully one day bring them to repentance. This is a novel idea. The Church has always set those who are actively engaged in grossly sinful behavior apart from the chalice until they repent. To allow them to receive at the chalice is to give approbation to their behavior. What’s more it is seen this way by the homosexual activists.” ~ Fr. John Guy Winfrey (http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2015/03/deeply-disturbing-concerns-homosexual-militancy-threatening-the-orthodox-church/)

      “It is not loving to affirm a person in their sin.

      It is not loving to affirm a person in their rebellion against both God and His created, natural order—not “supernatural,” or “unnatural,” but the way nature was always intended to be, revealed most perfectly in Jesus Christ and the Mother of God and all the Saints.

      It is not loving to affirm a person in their beliefs or perspectives that run contrary to the blessings offered us in both Christ and His one, holy Church.

      It is not compassionate to ignore truth in order to affirm a person in lies.

      It is not compassionate to let people live a life contrary to the author of Life.

      It is not compassionate to revise, ignore, or trample under foot the essential truths of our Church in order to curry favor with public opinion, the winds and waves of doctrine, cultural trends, the fools—for the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God—of the Academy, and those with the largest checkbooks.

      It is not loving, nor is it compassionate, to only say things and believe things that you know will receive a favorable response. This is called being a coward and even a charlatan. We should not be ashamed of the Gospel. This applies doubly to our clergy, but no less to us laity.” ~ Gabe Martini

      http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2014/08/orthodox-truth-in-an-age-of-relativism/

      The duty of true and faithful shepherds is to preserve and defend the Christian faith. “We are to defend Christianity itself–the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers.” wrote C.S. Lewis. We cannot add or subtract from the teachings of Christianity based on individual opinions regarding God or man or other timeless tenets of the faith that we may consider difficult or objectionable.

      There are certain lines that Christians, especially priests and Christian leaders, cannot cross and still remain a Christian. In his book, God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis cautioned that clear boundaries of Christian doctrines must be established and maintained by all who preach Christianity. If such limits are forsaken by pastors, the only honorable solution is for them to change their professions.

      “But I insist that wherever you draw the lines, bounding lines must exist, beyond which your doctrine will cease to be Anglican or to be Christian: and I suggest also that the lines come a great deal sooner than many modern priest think. I think it is your duty to fix the lines clearly in your own minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession.”

      http://orthodoxnet.com/blog/2011/08/the-non-christian-christians-of-the-netherlands/

      • Daniel E Fall says:

        So how is not attending per rule not abandonment of the sinner Chris?

        It is.

        The Metropolitan got that one wrong.

        No matter how I slice it.

        • Christ and the apostles command us to abandon sinners who refuse to change their ways.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            So the fat man is abandoned?

            • Estonian Slovak says:

              Again with the fat people, Mr. Fall? What about the fat WOMAN? I know one Orthodox woman who is obese, probably due to having given birth to seven children. I know another Orthodox woman who is morbidly obese. In her case, she really does overeat, but then you find out she is on strong medications because of manic depression.
              What about the thin person who is a glutton? Actually in the case of woman one above, I think most lefties would be more upset about her having borne seven children than about the obesity itself.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                What were the “Seven Mortal Sins?” Anybody? Isn’t Gluttony one of them? Are there no more gluttons, “Estonian Slovak?”Let’s name the other six. Is one of them homosexuality?

                How many kids does Mrs. Trump have? How many kids does Mrs Carson have? How many kids does V Putin’s first wife have? And so on.

                Is that woman’s manic (sic) depression caused by her fattiness? Uncontrolled APPETITE is the main cause of fatness. That’s why gluttony is classified as a sin, rather than an affliction, Might as well rationalize homosexuality away, too, eh, Estonian Slovak? May we, without betraying your important identity, assume you are a woman of a certain age yourself?

                • Estonian Slovak says:

                  Your Grace:
                  First of all, I’m a male aged 63. I NEVER said gluttony wasn’t a sin. The woman I mentioned I’ve known for years. As a teen, she was brainwashed by fanatical Pentecostals against Orthodox teachings on fasting, the Mother of God, etc. It was a bout this time she began having episodes. Was this the cause? I can’t say, but I think many more schooled in the faith than I might think it at least a factor.
                  I was responding to Mr. Fall, who always brings up the fat man. Well, what about the drunk, the smoker, the dope-addict? These, along with any engaging in unrestricted sex, are engaging in far riskier behavior than the fat person. Drunk driving, second-hand smoke, and sexually transmitted disease all have the potential to harm others. Unless the fat person falls on top of some smaller person and squashes them to death, their gluttony hurts only themselves.
                  Finally, everyone, thin or fat, has to eat to live. Tobacco, alcohol, dope, or sex are not necessary to sustain life, though the latter is needed for continuation of humanity.

                  • Daniel E Fall says:

                    The point is rather simple, but ES, you fail to grasp it.

                    The focus on homosexuality by Arida and Jonah and even now the good Antiochian Metropolitan addresses what portion of society? That portion of gays that will marry. Let’s be kind and say 1% of the world (it is probably less).

                    Meanwhile the government and Michelle Obama are talking about a pressing problem affecting a larger percentage-gluttony.

                    While the righteous here blow their horns of together against the one percent; Michelle Obama is a better preacher. That should make all you horn blowers uneasy and get me lots of negative votes.

                    Moral clarity about homosexuality is straightforward and simple. Even the liberal Dan Fall gets it and supports the church.

                    Meanwhile even I could lose a few pounds, but crickets. Fasting, by the way, is not a good solution to weight issues as you tend to overcompensate.

                    Gluttony is so taboo the mention of it upsets you.

                    Talk about perversion.

              • Estonian Slovak:

                I know one Orthodox woman who is obese, probably due to having given birth to seven children. I know another Orthodox woman who is morbidly obese. In her case, she really does overeat, but then you find out she is on strong medications because of manic depression.

                A priest I know blows up like a balloon during the Great Fast. Many other Orthodox I know GAIN WEIGHT DURING CHURCH FASTS. They blame it on all the “pasta” and “bread” they’re forced to eat in lieu of their normal diet.

        • Try slicing it like this.

          Attendance at weddings is to be a witness. It is to support and affirm the commitment which is being made. In fact, I just heard a short sermon at a recent Orthodox wedding to that effect. So attending a gay wedding is to be a witness and a support, as well. While not a theologian, I would see the attendance of a clergyman in the clothing of his office to be a statement of support.

          I find your idea of showing up and someone’s nuptuals, gay or straight, to announce that you do not bless it, to be extreme gauchery (if there is such a word). I would hope that one had first had that discussion in private, then with a companion, before making a public display.

          At the root, this is more of the weasel wording half truths that have the world in its present condition.

          • Carl Kraeff says:

            Daniel–I agree with “really?” above. I suppose that an Orthodox layman may attend if he/she is related and cannot avoid attending this so called marriage ceremony without causing great offense to the rest of the family. However, the presence of a deacon, priest or bishop definitely is wrong as it gives the appearance of approval by the Church of a sinful act. Just substitute a more common sin, such as whoring. Do you think that a deacon. priest or bishop should join the sinner in his visits to the local whore house, strip joint, or pick up joint?

            • Respectfully, Carl, not even a lay person should attend – not if he/she takes their faith seriously and expects to maintain a Christian witness. There is no distinction between clergy and laity in this regard, although the scandal of clergy is greater. The same holds for the recent fad of ‘house-warmings’ for unmarried heterosexual couples who invite friends and relatives to ‘celebrate’ the fact that they are moving in together. It also holds also for not allowing unmarried overnight guest couples to sleep together in one’s home.

              The list of somewhat awkward and potentially offensive situations is growing by the day, but there can be no compromise or accommodation. This is the resolve that must be maintained. Although there may be initial offense, a certain respect, if not agreement, of those we may offend is the long-term result. And when they fall into despair (as they eventually do), they know to whom they can turn in matters of Truth. I have seen it over and over. But it must be done with gentleness and great love.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              I agree that a layperson is no different than a priest in this regard (as in many). He or she should not attend a same-sex wedding, whether of friend or family member. I have stayed away from two involving friends, and have attended none involving more distant connections. My son-in-law refused to attend one involving his sister, at the cost of much criticism in his family, although they came to respect (or at least accept) his decision.

              This is becoming an everyday occurrence, and we are all going to be called upon to testify to our faith by non-attendance. In fact, this issue will give many of us the first opportunity to take a stand for our faith that may actually cost us something!

            • Daniel E Fall says:

              Your rationale that a priest attending a gay wedding is attending to watch sin is missing my simple point.

              A priest should attend to tell the person it is wrong.

              Of course, few gays would appreciate such an event.

              But consider if Arida himself told his daughter he could not bless such a union. Isn’t that a more powerful and accurate reflection of Orthodoxy?

              A hard pill to swallow…harder than absence.

              • Daniel,

                It may surprise you to learn that I agree with you on one point. That is if – and only if – the attendance of a clergyman (or a lay person for that matter) was for the express purpose of publicly denouncing the ‘marriage’ and calling a lapsed Christian (again publicly) to repentance – a sort of last chance, as it were, to bring the person to his/her senses. Being that it is difficult, although not impossible, to imagine this being done in a purely loving and gracious manner, devoid of the passion of anger or vindictiveness, this would be an extreme exception to the rule, one requiring an exceptional measure of courage and grace that is lacking in most of us. Apart from such a grace all Orthodox Christians should refrain from attendance, as their presence serves no redeeming purpose.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            The only weasel is you. Really.

            A priest who has a gay child has a duty to tell them he cannot bless such a union.

            I said the first response is to not attend, but you weaseled over that and my citation of Paul.

            Take your anonymous debauchery somewhere else.

            I won’t tolerate it.

            I also don’t tolerate posers.

            Thank God we have Metropolitan Joseph to provide moral clarity Orthodox priests don’t understand.

            The numbers of priests must be staggering.

          • The attendance of the Protodeacon at his god-daughter’s gay wedding is the core of the issue. What is also at the core of the issue is his support for such a marriage. There is no doubt of his support no matter how he might parse and nuance his words by saying that he is not in support of the Church changing it’s position on gay marriage. He would be the first to rejoice and raise the Rainbow Flag if the OCA embraced gay marriage.

            The only thing that is more noisome is that he really thinks that people actually care what he thinks. He has lived in that bubble of arrogance his entire Church life.

            He abdicated his responsibilities as a deacon when he attended the wedding. He went to make a statement, to send a signal that unrepentant homosexuals are welcome in the OCA. The only thing didn’t count on was the fact that while he carries his political agenda first and foremost he speaks for no one but himself. The Protodeacon Eric Wheeler train left the station years ago and him trying to live off his press clippings of days gone means precious little today.

            • George Michalopulos says:

              Bingo. Based on your analysis, it’s clear to me that his coterie are waiting in the wings, ready for when the right moment comes to hoist the rainbow flag on the Mt Suribachi of their febrile imaginings.

            • Ichabod Crane says:

              Well Nicholas, you and George are just full of it. What business is it of yours or George’s what Wheeler does or goes in his personal life? It’s none of your business and you nuts only show how hypocritical and PHARISAICAL you are. Did not Christ talk with the Samaritan woman? Did he not go to the house of the tax collector to eat? Did not Christ go to the fallen, the sinners and those thought to be lost to God? You fools! Continually harping on Arida, Wheeler and others while being blessed by BT. “O you brood of vipers! You white-washed tombs filled with rot and corruption!” May God judge you quickly!

              • Ichabod Crane,

                When Protodeacon Wheeler allowed hands to be laid upon him and made him a deacon of Christ’s Church he gave up his right to speak and act against the teachings of the Church unless he wishes to give up his ordination to the diaconate and become, as it were, a “private citizen.”

                You apparently are not an ordained person and if you are, you should no better. But if not, let me point out that Wheeler is acting like the hypocrite. Indeed the Lord spoke with the Samaritan woman, tax collectors and a prostitute. He said to them to sin no more. He did so because He is the Son of God. Wheeler isn’t so he should decide which agenda he wishes to follow. The Lord’s or his own. He apparently would have acted much differently because he would say, “you can go on sinning.”

                The Lord said clearly, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” There is no middle ground although Protodeacon Wheeler would seem to like it both ways. I would refer you to the reaction of our Lord in the Book of Revelations when he spoke to the Church in Laodicea. And the same goes for Fr. Arida.

                Both he and Fr. Arida are ordained soldiers in God’s Army, not mercenaries in their own social army.

                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Nicholas,

                  I do not recall reading in any service of the ordination that a candidate loses his right to his opinion or his right to challenge and/or question the motivations and actions of the church in determining what, exactly, are proper and appropriate.

                  I have not read once where Protodeacon Wheeler has contradicted the Church’s teachings as to the nature of Christian Marriage. I have read considerable conjecture and speculation as to the point of his writing. I fault Protodeacon Wheeler directly with this outcome. Nevertheless, in speaking with him directly, he has satisfied me that he believes that Christian Marriage is between one man and one woman – and he emphasized to me, forever – and that same-sex relationships cannot be sanctified by the church, nor sexual activity outside Christian marriage. If you are not confident at my attribution, I suggest you contact him directly, a matter that seems too cowardly for the most prominent of commentators on this forum.

                  As I understand it from our ongoing dialog, his concern – as has been mine since coming to this forum five years ago – is how do we, given the nature of the Tradition of the Church; the complexity of homosexuality; and the extreme and harsh historical relationship between the church, society, the world, and the church that continues to exist, that continues to discourage many but the courageous and persistent to reveal themselves and seek refuge in the church is addressed. The level of anger and rage that the topic of LGBT issues provokes every time it is raised on this forum seems to me evidence enough that we have not begun to address the church as a true “home” for those who would openly identify themselves in repentance and not feel ashamed, feel themselves a “danger” to children, or the “worst” sinners of them all. And the absurdity is there are homosexuals among us, at the chalice with us, with our children, but they are closeted, in terrible fear of being “outed” and outcast in a parish community where they are otherwise accepted. And while you may claim, “not to my knowledge,” you are fooling yourselves.” I have spoken to homosexuals who are living lives of chastity and repentance across the country, and we have not begun to address this issue. Perhaps Protodeacon Wheeler lacks the words to fully express his frustration, but they are summed up in eight words: we have not begun to address this issue.

                  • “We have not begun to address this issue?”

                    If you are referring to your long-time friend of 40 years pro-gay support, you are fooling yourself.

                    You can post many words but they boil down to this, unrepentant homosexuals have no right to commune. If you don’t agree with this point, then you and your friend are living in prelest.

                    Yet, unrepentant homosexuals do commune in your friend’s jurisdiction. A defrocked OCA priest who married an SVS seminarian who he “married” is now permitted to commune. Did you know that? Did you know that his bishop now says it is ok?

                    Homosexuals who are living chaste lives are not the issue and never have been. They never have been nor ever will be because they recognize that their sexual orientation is sinful. Please stop trying to confuse the issue.

                    Your friend attended a gay wedding. He can side-step the issue by saying it wasn’t an Orthodox wedding, but he attended and thereby, even in a tacit way, gave his blessing, his consent. Did he tell the bride and bride that he objected to their relationship? He did not. Was he to weak to proclaim the Words of His Lord?

                    Protodeacon Wheeler not only lacks the words to fully express his frustration because he is frustrated that his views are not the Orthodox Churches views. That is his frustration, which is of his own making.

                    The Church has NO frustration on this matter.

                    Thus to conclude it, Eric Wheeler’s stance can be summed up in these nine words: the issue has been addressed but he doesn’t agree.

                    You may be satisfied but until Wheeler speaks and ACTS in a consistent manner, your satisfaction is hallow and quite meaningless.

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      I am in the hospital, which makes it difficult to respond to you in a timely fashion, but let me say emphatically: you have no business “schooling” me as I am well aware of the teaching of the Holy Scripture, the Fathers, and our Holy Tradition as to the nature, dynamic, and ultimate consequence of homosexuality. You are too busy speaking and not listening, so let me try this again. I am not Pdn. Wheeler’s lawyer, PR agent, or concerned in the least with what you thought of my statement, nor most certainly was it my intention to “convince” you of Pdn. Eric Wheeler’s acceptance of the Church’s teachings for you to conclude I am either an idiot or or a liar; who exactly are you to to me? My specific point was that I tire of long-winded cafone who are constitutionally incapable of following the Patristic Tradition of affording a man the opportunity of stating his position outright by asking directly. I personally find this shameful “case-building” that goes in lieu of the simple dignity cowardly and self-righteous. You asked previously, “Did you learn anything at SVS?” and while this is bold talk indeed, you cannot seem to include your full name. My tendency is to yawn.

                      And finally, I have not suggested, like some simpleton, that the Church has frustration regarding these matters, my suggestion is that the “problem” is, in fact, modeled in people in the Church, such as yourself: when the disciples searched for the Lord when He was missing, where could He always be found? Among the rejected, the despised, the loathed, and the despicable of our society. Apparently the answer was not as you would have me believe, as He clearly pursued the salvation of the most broken, the most unclean, and the worst of sinners; all those who will enter the kingdom of God before us. And for some reason, the disciples were always seemingly annoyed with Him. Now, why do you imagine that could be, Nicholas? It might explain something about yourself.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Get better!

                  • lexcaritas says:

                    Not convinced, Michael, nor will many be. You are to be commended for speaking with Dcn. Eric and seeking clarification. Nevertheless, his thinking as expressed remains confused by sentiment and unhelpful language and categories of thought which are prevalent today.

                    First, he sought to challenge Metropolitan Joseph’s letter on the basis that he, (Dcn. Eric) has been Orthodox since birth and has been around the seminary for 33 years. Are we to assume that this alone makes his “opinion” superior to Met. Jospeh’s? Was he not born Orthodox also? Is his experience and training and ministry any less formative in Orthodoxy? Is Dcn Eric qualified to say what is an Orthodox pastoral approach, and +Joseph is not??

                    Second, the use of the term LGBT community is, frankly, not helpful. In the same way that so called same sex unions demean the term marriage, this use of community demeans that term. There is no such community–not in any real sense of the term; merely an alliance for political influence and, as we all know, there is a continuing attempt to bring in ever more “identities” into the “community” — each one more deviant than the last.

                    It is also Dcn. Eric who, despite your assurances of his devotion to Christian Marriage, referred to the marriage of his goddaughter (which, from the context, we discern is a “marriage” with another woman).

                    All this effort at identifying oneself by one’s sexual orientation is nothing but diabolic delusion. Sexuality is ordered to reproduction–and among human beings to procreation. Hard cases make bad law, and we should not be forming our thinking based on exceptions to the rule. One’s sex is established by one’s chromosomes and DNA from the time of fertilization. The principal purpose of marriage is to insure the continuation of the family and Christian Marriage sanctifies it to the formation of saints and, if necessary, martyrs. These concepts of heterosexualtiy, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, etc. are distractions from the model which is Christ.

                    It is on Him and our Lady the Theotokos and the saints who followed Him that we should all keep our sights–you, me, Dcn. Eric, his goddaughter–all of us. Anything less is off the mark and the cost of missing the mark is exile, death and the weeping and gnashing of teeth. We are all the worst of sinners (to use your phrase) and we all ought to repent now and at every possible moment.

                    Christ is in our midst,
                    lxc+

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      lexcaritas, don’t forget how he BRAGGED on Stokoe’s accountability (?) website that he had attended Mark and Steve’s anniversary celebration with joy! I’m not sure if Michael S. took that into consideration…

                  • Those Orthodox who bear this cross should not be outed, any more than any other sinner should be. If an Orthodox person is living a faithful life, their private temptations are irrelevant.

                    The problem lies in those who do not bear their crosses silently, but proclaim them to the world, and deny that they are crosses at all.

                    The problem also lies in people like Pdn. Eric, who speak cleverly, with plausible deniability. All this rubbish about “being welcoming” is tripe that converts have heard elsewhere before. It sounds nice, but it’s a Trojan horse for blessing homosexuality.

                    Maybe the Pdn. has good intentions, but if that’s all, he is absurdly naive and should speak no longer on the subject. His words are a dog whistle that sound awfully familiar—to people on both sides of the debate.

                    Incidentally, it’s not a complicated issue. X is a sin; don’t do X.

                    “I do not recall reading in any service of the ordination that a candidate loses his right to his opinion…”

                    He can have his private ideas, but he is obliged to say publicly only that which the church teaches and not speculate inanely or wring his hands. Do that in private, with his bishop and among his brother clergy. We need only look to Pope Francis to see what damage and confusion can result from a cleric’s idle speech.

              • “Pharisaical”

                You said it yourself, the Pharisees were whitewashed tombs. They were full of sin, yet pretended they were blameless. They looked for every opportunity to subvert the divine law while appearing to be righteous.

                Which is precisely what Pdn. Eric and all those who support homosexuality are doing. Those revolutionaries in the church who disregard Saint Paul’s divine teaching for the salvation of souls—THEY are the Pharisees. And they lead many astray to their souls’ destruction.

                • Daniel E Fall says:

                  Suggesting Wheeler supports homosexuality is really an interesting concept.

                  If so, how so?

                  Did Wheeler make contributions to gay activism?
                  Did he march in gay parades?
                  Did he attend his nieces non-Orthodox gay wedding-probably at the behest of the aunt?
                  Did he question whether such attendance is worthy of discipline?

                  I’d say you have a log in your eye Ages.

                  I’ll take bets he wishes she was straight more than he wishes the church marry gays all day.

                  Your statement is perverted.

                  Necessary to be anonymous for sure.

                  • I don’t understand this taboo on anonymity. The Internet’s (bygone) golden age was all about anonymity. Our country’s founders engaged in public debate via anonymous newspaper columns, so I’m in good company.

                    I believe in what I say, and facts are facts. Let arguments stand on their merits, not on personalities. Who I am matters not.

                    But if you think I’m just a troll, that’s fine.

                    • Daniel E Fall says:

                      You are just changing the subject.

                      The point about anonymity is you are clearly willing to say false things about Wheeler.

                      When did Wheeler support homosexuality?

                      I asked, you dodged.

  18. gail sheppard says:

    RE: ” I would really wonder if Metropolitan Joseph’s PR staff has not been hijacked by the vocal Ten Party members who have lately joined our faith and seemed to have risen to popularity solely based upon our nation’s political drift.”

    The only position that has “hijacked” Metropolitan Joseph is the position of the Church.

  19. Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

    Mark 1: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…” Then, a few verses later, the first words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” What is unclear that the BEGINNING of the Gospel has REPENT? A prerequisite of baptism is that all REPENT. A prerequisite of confession is that all REPENT. Right before His Ascension, Christ “said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'” What is unclear about this?

    • Former OCA says:

      Fr. Harry,

      There is nothing wrong with repentance except if a person, like Wheeler doesn’t think there is anything wrong with LGBTQ folks, then they have nothing to repent. Hence, he can attend his god-daughter’s lesbian wedding, and do it with a clean conscience. He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with gay marriage, thus, it is OUR problem because WE don’t get it.

      And let’s just inject another litmus test of his Orthodox sincerity. He states with his typical arrogance, “…. I am not advocating that the Orthodox Church in any way change its teaching or theological position with regard to its position on homosexuality“. Oh, really? Well would he have any real problem if the Orthodox Church did change its teaching? Would he not rejoice with all of his team members? Of course he would.

  20. “How can we welcome the LBGT members into our church and ask them to begin understand what the True Faith teaches if we end up responding with defensive condemnation.”

    We offer them a new life, just as we do for every other sinner. And that includes condemning the sin, identifying it and rooting it out.

    Now, if people don’t know it’s a sin, they need to be taught. And if they don’t accept its a sin, the Holy Spirit has more work to do. If they wholly refuse, they are free to live in the hell they desire. (See “The Great Divorce.”)

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      “We offer them a new life, just as we do for every other sinner. And that includes condemning the sin, identifying it and rooting it out.”

      According to Scripture, Children can be killed for disobeying their parents, daughters can be sold into slavery, we can make slaves of the people around us, we can kill a person for working on the Sabbath and anyone with a defect in vision is forbidden to approach the altar of God.

      According to canon law, it’s a sin to go to the theatre, a sin to carry on commerce with a Jew and a sin to sit down and eat with the unbaptized.

      Start rooting.

      • Daniel E Fall says:

        Funny and right.

        • That’s perfectly right. I was wondering when someone would say that.

          • Nicholas Chiazza says:

            Thanks. This one will really floor you. I only just discovered it today. If a woman has a miscarriage, under canon law it’s viewed as if she had an abortion and she must do penance. If not, excommunicated.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

              The Greeks, right up into modern times, avoided canonical censure by exposing girl babies on the mountainsides or “losing” them.

        • Nicholas Chiazza says:

          Don’t look now, Dan, but I think they hate us.

      • That’s a YouTube Atheist -tier argument, frankly.

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          Atheists and ultra conservative reactionaries have one thing in common.

          The ardent and steadfast belief they are right without proof of all their arguments.

          God did not appear, there is no God.
          God does not need to appear, there is a God.

          Please don’t defend Orthodoxy with atheism.

          • You completely miss my point.

          • Nicholas Chiazza says:

            You know, Dan I like the idea put forth by certain science fiction writers who assume that because the cosmos is so big, there can be no God. In this case, size has nothing to do with it.

            I went to an atheist meeting once–it was very interesting.

            It took them three hours to make up their minds what they didn’t believe in.

            Even then, there were some dissenters.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Nicholas is right in his extracts of moral teaching from the Bible. Many will dismiss those extracts as “not what we actually DO.” Why do those same people search the Qor’an, come up with the same stuff and claim it shows ‘Islam’s inferiority? If our Faith depends on such “defenders,” we may be in serious trouble.

        • You cannot be serious.

          Christ Himself did away with the old law. But the ban on homosexuality is still in full force, regardless of what some fallen pastors “actually DO.”

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

            Ages, You KNOW that Christ, while doing away with the old law, did NOT do away with all the old LAWS. Think of the Ten Commandments. Did Christ “do away” with them? Nicholas referred to some other specific laws as well, like demanding disobedient children be executed. I think he might have been demonstrating that Jews and Christians ignore various laws in our Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament. and it’s not clear where the official list of such is to be found.
            A tangential point of interest: we do not admit that not all Muslims obey or approve some of the injunctions from the Qor’an Many of us think Muslims are more law-abiding than we Christians!

  21. Fr. Stephen Mack says:

    I’ve known Protodeacon Eric for 40 years and I have a great deal of respect for him, but I totally disagree with his opinions. I know, for example, that I recently offended a gay couple who attended Liturgy one Sunday this past summer by speaking out against Gay Marriage; I read the official statement from our Archbishop Michael and stated the Church’s historic and traditional Canons and practices. I spoke to them personally after Liturgy, expressed my love for them, but also defended our teachings.

    Here’s something to think about when even addressing the subject: a young man in our parish asked me recently what I thought our parish family thought about gay marriage. My reply: most of them, being full grown adults including many elderly, never gave it a thought in their entire lives. The thought of gay marriage, for the most part, was never a thought or consideration.

    Protodeacon Eric speaks of studying under some of our greatest Orthodox minds of the 20th century. I specifically recall Fr. Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory giving a talk at St. Tikhon’s and stating sexual relations were ONLY for the purpose of procreation.

    Three final comments:
    1). OOM (whoever he/she is) writes, “… Wheeler speaks for the silent majority in the OCA”. As an OCA priest I can guarantee you he speaks for less than one percent of OCA members I speak to.
    2). While I appreciate this site, I don’t believe the poster helps anything by given this article the title, “More pithy thoughts”
    3). I will never post any comments anonymously like OOM. Have the courage and decency to put your name to your comments.

  22. Sean Richardson says:

    Two brief comments:
    If Pdn. Wheeler should not be judged positively for those he learned from/associated with, then neither should he be judged negatively for those he’s related to (“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives”).
    Secondly, although many often offer criticism against homosexuality, in every sizable Orthodox Church I’ve ever been a member of, or attended regularly (OCA, Antiochian, ROCOR), chiefly on the West Coast, there have always been known homosexuals who were active communicants. I’ve asked the pastors about this, and they uniformly answered, in one way or another, that there were “pastoral considerations” and I humbly left it at that, withholding my judgement.
    I would be fascinated to see what the laity, and even the clergy, of the various Orthodox groups in America really feel about this subject. I know there are loud voices on both sides of the issue, but I also wonder what those who choose not to voice their opinions would say.

    • “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives.”

      True, but no one is questioning his judgment for being related to a homosexual, but rather his choice to countenance her apostasy and support her sham marriage. By attending–not only attending, but defending the whole business–he commits heresy and leads the faithful astray, endangering his goddaughter’s and his own soul.

      His bishop should ban him from his deaconal duties until he repents publicly for this public scandal.

    • Fr. Philip says:

      Dear Sean,

      “Pastoral considerations” usually means “Listen: I’m the one hearing this guy’s confessions; and in my best prudential discernment, he is genuinely repentant and actively engaged in ascetic struggle.” So why in the world would the priest not commune such a person, just as he communes every other repentant sinner?

      Concerning homosexuality, the OCA’s 10th All-American Council said this:

      “Created to know God’s divinity and power through creation, human beings have refused to acknowledge God, to honor and thank Him, and to obey his divine teachings. Through their rebellion “they became futile in their thinking and their senseless hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21). Therefore, as the apostle Paul continues to teach, “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27).

      Homosexual acts, like adulterous and incestuous behavior, are condemned in the law of Moses. Those who do these things, both men and women, are, according to God’s law of the old covenant, to be put to death (Leviticus 18:6-23; 20:10-21).

      According to the apostle Paul, those engaging in homosexual acts, with fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers and robbers, will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Christians come from all these categories of evil doers who have, voluntarily and involuntarily, been caught up in the sin of the world. They are those who through their personal repentance and faith in Christ, their baptism and chrismation, and their participation in Holy Communion, have been “washed…sanctified…and made righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Orthodox Baptism and Chrismation Service).

      Jesus teaches mercy and forgiveness for all sinners, but the Lord does not justify sin. When the Son of God pronounces divine pardon to those caught in evil he always charges the forgiven sinner to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

      Convinced of these God-revealed truths, we offer the following affirmations and admonitions for the guidance of the faithful:

      Homosexuality is to be approached as the result of humanity’s rebellion against God, and so against its own nature and well-being. It is not to be taken as a way of living and acting for men and women made in God’s image and likeness.

      Men and women with homosexual feelings and emotions are to be treated with the understanding, acceptance, love, justice and mercy due to all human beings.

      People with homosexual tendencies are to be helped to admit these feelings to themselves and to others who will not reject or harm them. They are to seek assistance in discovering the specific causes of their homosexual orientation, and to work toward overcoming its harmful effects in their lives.

      Persons struggling with homosexuality who accept the Orthodox faith and strive to fulfill the Orthodox way of life may be communicants of the Church with everyone else who believes and struggles. Those instructed and counseled in Orthodox Christian doctrine and ascetical life who still want to justify their behavior may not participate in the Church’s sacramental mysteries, since to do so would not help, but harm them.

      Assistance is to be given to those who deal with persons of homosexual orientation in order to help them with their thoughts, feelings and actions in regard to homosexuality. Such assistance is especially necessary for parents, relatives and friends of persons with homosexual tendencies and feelings. It is certainly necessary for pastors and church workers.”

      And all of the foregoing is simply a repeat of the Church’s teaching. Seems pretty (you should pardon the expression) straight-forward.

      • Christopher (the first) says:

        The key is repentance. A person who not only identifies himself as “homosexual” (problematic but we know what he means) and affirms this as “who I am” and then declares this sin to NOT be a sin and it is the Church to REFORM, can not be communicated by any normal understanding of Tradition.

        The distinction that seems to be lost (not saying you are missing the distinction Fr. Phillip) is exactly this – repentance. Folks keep bringing up other named sins (prostitution, drunkenness, etc). Those sins don’t have constituencies who are trying to REFORM the Church, declaring the sin not a sin and the real sin being the Church (or St. Paul, etc.) wrongly judging them for it. That is what it means for a person to affirm the LBGT label – it is more than a sin, it is a good to be affirmed.

        Pdn. Wheeler, Fr. Arida, and others and the bishops that support them (and clearly agree with them by not censoring them – protecting them instead) do not “get” this. It is not (for some) “straight-forward”.

        Thus, whatever they “OCA” says on this issue is to “be taken with a grain of salt”, because they are without a doubt “of two minds” and therefore not to be trusted. Salvation is a gravely serious business – the bishops of the OCA are simply not up to the task…

        • “Those sins don’t have constituencies who are trying to REFORM the Church.”

          Bravo. Exactly right.

    • Sean Richardson said:

      Secondly, although many often offer criticism against homosexuality, in every sizable Orthodox Church I’ve ever been a member of, or attended regularly (OCA, Antiochian, ROCOR), chiefly on the West Coast, there have always been known homosexuals who were active communicants. I’ve asked the pastors about this, and they uniformly answered, in one way or another, that there were “pastoral considerations” and I humbly left it at that, withholding my judgement.

      Are these homosexuals known to be practicing sodomites and/or in a so-called gay “marriage”? If so, what are the names of the pastors who are communing them?

      • Sean Richardson says:

        None of the homosexuals that I have been acquainted with in these parishes were married, as the legal ruling allowing same-gender marriage has only been in place a short time.
        And, I would think it completely inappropriate to name someone in a forum such as this. I’d think the appropriate thing to do would be to go to their bishop. I will rest on their judgement, not on mine (or yours).

        • If a priest is communing an openly gay practicing sodomite, the bishop should be informed. If you are going to use the example on a forum to prove a point, then you should name the pastors so that the laity can either inform the bishop (if he is not aware) or be cognizant of the bishops who have approved such a thing.

          Otherwise, don’t post it.

          • Nicholas Chiazza says:

            “If a priest is communing an openly gay practicing sodomite, the bishop should be informed.”

            Well, Misha, I do know of one such case: Peter Illich Tchaikovsky. He continued receiving the sacraments between ballets and symphonies. When the bishop found out, he threw a fit–how dare an Orthodox Christian receive communion after writing music about sugar plum fairies! (I’m sure there was a canon against it.)

            However, judging from the size of the mourners at Tchaikovsky’s funeral: the clergy, the laity and the tsar, I can only conclude that the good bishop’s opinion didn’t matter much.

            Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to enjoy good ol’ Pete’s Divine Liturgy music. Do svedanya!

            • Just for the record, “Mikail” and “Misha” are two different people. I always sign my posts “Misha”.

        • But what if the bishops are heretics too? It is very much in the laity’s interest to know who are the public heretics in their midst. St Paul demands that such people be cut off, even bishops.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Sean, whether the “majority” of Orthodox believers have accepted the modern narrative on homosexuality or not, that does not change the truth which the Church teaches. Last I checked, the Church is not a democracy, nor should it be.

      We are in the world but are commanded not to be conformed to the ways of the world. When we do conform to them, in whatever way we conform to them, we are to confess our departure from the narrow way and climb back on.

      It is only secondarily a moral issue for all morality is the result of a culturally held understanding of what is necessary and proper for the benefit of the whole community. That in turn is based upon a shared understanding of the divine and our interrelationship with the divine (if any).

      For an Orthodox Christian to accept homosexual behavior as right and proper is, in fact, a grave error in understanding of how we are created and who Jesus Christ is. To teach such acceptance is even more in error. Either require deep repentance and as much amends as possible.

      • Sean Richardson says:

        Michael, thank you for your comments. I do not seek a vote on this. I too do not believe that the Church is a democracy. I’m just curious where the laity, and the clergy for that matter, stand on this issue. If we know they are actively supporting one side of the argument or the other, perhaps it might change pastoral approaches and education.

        • Daniel E Fall says:

          I think plenty of people don’t care, would rather not talk about it, expect the church to hold its values, and free society to do what it will.

          Ask me, it gets way too much pen.

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      Sadly Sean, there are those who would like to see the people they dislike suffering in hell.

      Equally sadly, there are those who would like to see the people they deem unworthy excommunicated–

      With unholy glee.

      • Sean Richardson says:

        Amen.
        Thank you Nicholas.

      • It’s not about “like” or “dislike.”
        Love the sinner. Hate the sin.
        LGBT activists are not on a path to repentance.

        • Estonian Slovak says:

          I don’t want to see ANYBODY suffering in hell.Do you really think we get brownie points with God by exposing gays? I am 63 years old and know that I am a sinner. I pray for the people that I scandalized or led astray through the course of my life.

          • Estonian Slovak says:

            To the negative voters, do you think I SHOULDN’T pray for those whom I scandalized or do you really think I wish hell on people?

        • Nicholas Chiazza says:

          “LGBT activists are not on a path to repentance.”

          Well, here’s hoping they may benefit by your pius example.

        • Nicholas Chiazza says:

          Your “love” does not come through.

          And that is a very, very, VERY tired cliche.

      • You, Nicholas, would rather see homosexuals in hell than proclaim the gospel of repentance to them. Because…I don’t know why. Feelings?

        The ones who care about homosexuals are those who don’t want them to end up in hell.

        • Nicholas Chiazza says:

          You Ages, are full self-righteous baloney.

          “The ones who care about homosexuals are those who don’t want them to end up in hell.”

          And how do you know they are destined for hell? I don’t get any “caring” from your postings.

          One thing I do believe in: GOD is bigger than anyone on these boards.

          And HE has the final word.

          Feeling the heat?

          • Fr. Herman Schick says:

            You are quite right, Nicholas, God DOES have the final word: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9). Read the passage through to the end at verse 11 and you will see its relevance. Then again, I doubt that the teachings of the divinely inspired Apostles carry much weight with you.

            If “Ages” is feeling any “heat”, it is probably coming from the warm of his/her loving desire to see that ALL (homosexuals included) “turn from their iniquity and live”!

            • Nicholas Chiazza says:

              Fr. Schick, I have MEMORIZED that over-quoted passage from First Corinthians. Please do not tell me to read it or tell me about its “relevance.” There are other passages in the holy apostle Paul’s letters that I have read. I find them them beautiful, but the teachings I hold above all are those of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know who is the Founder of my Church. And he didn’t teach anything about destroying the spirituality of gay Christians: Orthodox or otherwise.

              As for your accusation “that you doubt that the teachings of the divinely inspired Apostles carry much weight with me.” I can only say that you are presumptuous. If gays need to be saved from anything, it’s from the cruel and ignorant piety of priests like you. Holy Scripture is not a weapon. I give it more weight than you will ever know.

          • Saint Paul said homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom. I realize that Christ’s hand-chosen apostle to the Gentiles might not be as nuanced as you might like, but them’s the facts.

            God’s bigness has nothing to do with anything. His revealed truth is that unrepentant homosexuals will not enter the kingdom. He said it, not me. If that grieves you, then preach the gospel of repentance like the Forerunner, Saint Paul, and Christ himself. May every homosexual find the truth and be saved.

            My care is displayed by my desire for people not to be damned by their sinful desires, but find repentance and salvation in Christ. You, on the other hand, want them to stay in their damnable state. Basically the worst kind of permissiveness. Some kind of love that is!

            I am hardly righteous, I only repeat the righteous words of others.

            • Nicholas Chiazza says:

              “I am hardly righteous, I only repeat the righteous words of others.”

              Well somehow it loses something in the translation.

      • Nicholas Chiazza says:

        The fact that I got 17 “dislikes” proves my point.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      It does not matter what anyone thinks or feels. Discussing anything of importance on that level is simply giving into the spirit of the age.

  23. Patrick Henry Reardon says:

    He inquires, “How can we welcome the LBGT members into our church and ask them to begin understand what the True Faith teaches if we end up responding with defensive condemnation.”

    Very logical.

    Ergo, we should NOT “welcome the LBGT members into our church .”

    I don’t know why that is not clear and obvious.

    Why would any Orthodox pastor want LBGT members in the congregation for which he is responsible?

    Why is this even a matter for discussion?

    • Good point, father. This speaks to the very serious problem of people making their sinful tendencies into their personal identity.

      “This is who I am.” No, it isn’t. That is what the devil has told you.

      • Nicholas Chiazza says:

        “‘This is who I am.’ No it isn’t. That is what the devil has told you.”

        Well, anyone who believes that nonsense would also believe the devil causes schizophrenia and therefore should be exorcized by a priest.

        • That is plainly the case in some circumstances, but that aside, you missed my point. I did not say the devil causes the homosexual attraction, but the devil does convince the person God made them to be that way.

    • Fr. Philip says:

      Dear Father,

      The Christ presented in the New Testament welcomes all who heed His call to “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk.1:15). Indeed, in John 6:37 He specifically promises that “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” So are you being merely ironic? Is this some expression of the higher critical school of Bible-mangling?Forgive me; but I’ve got a literal streak about five miles wide (comes from being raised in Wheaton, Ill., aka, evangelical heaven). So please explain what appears to be an assertion that God does not accept repentance for this particular sin.

      • Christopher (the first) says:

        ” “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” “

        That’s just it, a person who “owns” the LBGT label is NOT (repeat: is NOT) “coming” to Him. A person who consciously, explicitly identifies themselves with a anti-Christian ideology/philosophy/religion is not “coming” to Christ – he is “coming” to REFORM you and your parish.

        Yes yes, God does accept “repentance for this particular sin”, but a person who explicitly “owns” the LBGT identification and ideology, is in no way “repenting” – they are affirming their sin as a good and are in open rebellion.

        I have my own persistent sins and “thorns in my side”, but I don’t come to God and His Church saying “I am an Angry Man, and this can not be helped – it is God’s will that made me this way and He loooovvvveesssss me as I am – it’s the Church (and Her theology and members) that has to REFORM and learn to accept me as I am and not condemn me and integrate and affirm my Anger into its life”.

        Fr. Patrick asks “why is this even a matter for discussion”?

        The reason is because many Orthodox (I would with OOM even say a likely majority), even clergy, are deeply confused as to what a person who is LGBT actually is all about. Yes yes, that person is a sinner, a child of God, a person in need of the Church, etc. etc. etc. BUT (and this is where the confusion lies) that person is also in explicit and persistent REBELLION and openly denies the basic tenets of Christ and His Church. They need the Church, but they can in on way be “members” or “faithful” or even “Christian” – they have consciously rejected the need for repentance.

        Fr. Patrick (as in so many things) is simply stating the obvious. The fact that the obvious causes confusion is a clear sign-of-the-times. Ours is an age that needs MORAL CLARITY. We don’t need more modern and vapid sentimentalism masquerading as Christianity saying “It’s OK, God lllooooovvvvessss you, can’t we all just get along, what exactly is sin anyways, God accepts all sinners” and all such nonsense. We come to God on the narrow way.

        I say all this with the knowledge that pastors need to pastor and only they know (well, they have an idea – only God knows) “where a person is at” and the like with their affirmation of “I AM LGBT”, but there is a rather obvious degree where such persons are not and can not be integrated into the Church “as members”

        All are welcome, but not really “as we are”. Nope, the Body can not function with a cancer so obviously eating it up. The Head (through His right believing Hierarchs, clergy, and faithful members) must apply the proper medicine and keep the “community” alive and healthy. If we are not living a life of repentance, then we are simply “playing church” and not really members…

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

        Father Philip asks, “So please explain what appears to be an assertion that God does not accept repentance for this particular sin.”

        If I appear to assert that “God does not accept repentance for this particular sin,” I would like some explanation how anyone can infer that from what I wrote.

        Like just about everybody, I understand “LBGT members” to be those who are not repentant, those who defend their LBGT preference, those who identify themselves as lesbian, as bisexuals, as “gays,” or as transsexuals. Those who pursue these sins are, by definition, unrepentant.

        I would not have such people near my children or grandchildren, and I will answer to Christ the Judge if I permit them even to enter the nave of the church for which I responsible.

        If I am to take 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 seriously, these people should not even be welcome at the coffee hour.

        • M. Stankovich says:

          I am unsure exactly how to interpret this comment. Are we to now assign individuals at the door of our parishes to administer a survey of “predominant” sin and a scale of “willingness to repent?” Is it worse that “one of those people” who struggles with their sexual identity – who is genuinely confused with the morality of their behaviour as they see it accepted in our society and legal system – who attempts to enter your nave, or one of those who “omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith?” (Matt. 23:23). In the latter case, I read the angry words of the Lord, “Woe to you, hypocrites!” Or what of those who cheat widows, but took a weekend “house flipping” workshop that taught them these new “business techniques” that are perfectly lawful? I read the angry words of the Lord, “Woe to you, hypocrites!” What about all those who ignore the poor, the hungry, the unclothed, the sick, those in prison? I hear the Lord say, “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment.” (Matt. 25:45) Would you tell the Judge they belong at your coffee hour?

          If “these people” cannot approach you, Fr. Patrick – even unrepentant – who should they turn to? When the disciples looked for the Lord and were troubled when they could not find him, where was He? Among the poor, among the sick, among the needy, among the rejected, among the despicable, leaving the ninty-nine to attempt find the one lost. Why is it that you always leave up to people like me to take their hands, to wash their faces, and to try and bring them back? As long as a sinner is capable of drawing breath, they are capable of change & repentance. How can you forget that?

          • Jesse Cone says:

            M. Stankovich,

            Perhaps you would care to interpret Fr. Pat’s scriptural reference (1 Corinthians 5:9-11), and in so doing, disabuse him of his concern?

            As for interpreting his comment, I’m reminded of St. Mary of Egypt who was stopped at the door of the Church–not by Fr. Pat to be sure!–on account of her life’s pursuit of sexual sins. Surely there is something to Fr. Pat’s recognition that the nave of the Church is a place where, by its definition, some do not belong.

            I appreciate Fr. Pat’s comments, not because it offers a way to enforce a principle, but because it acknowledges the principle discord with those who try to make the Ark hospitable to those who insist on swimming.

            • M. Stankovich says:

              Mr. Cone,

              I would direct you to St. Chrysostom’s “Homily 16” of his Commentary on 1 Corinthians if you need an interpretation, but suffice it to say the reality of life is summarized in his question, “For how is it possible, says he [St. Paul], for a man having care of a house and children, and engaged in the affairs of the city, or who is an artisan or a soldier, (the greater part of mankind being Greeks,) to avoid the unclean who are to be found every where?… it would be necessary to seek another world.”

              I have quoted elsewhere an article by Fr. Georges Florovsky, The Dark of Night, where he examines the paradox of evil according to the Fathers – Sts. Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Maximos the Confessor – and what they are all in indisputable agreement is that despite the impact of evil in any individual life, it is impossible to remove the image & likeness of God by and in which we are all created. Impossible. Everyone – should they so desire – belongs in that nave, Mr. Cone. It was not Mary of Egypt’s sins that stopped her from entering that church; it was her conscience. And secondly, the Shepherd makes the Ark hospitable first to the rejected, the defeated, the objectionable, even the despicable: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you, That none of those men which were invited shall taste of my supper.” (Lk. 14:23). And as the Lord said to Zaccheus, “Today salvation has come to this house… For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Lk. 19:9-10)

              I am certainly not Mother Teresa, Mr. Cone, but I have earned the right to my comments twice-over. And I will resent to my last breath getting people back to the nave, only to have them told they “smell” or “would be better off” here or there, or simply “don’t belong.” How can you not hear the words of the Lord: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kill the prophets, and stone them that are sent to you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate.” (Lk. 13:34-35)

              • I am not claiming–and I don’t think anyone is–the image of God is destroyed by sin and sinful people (like us) become incapable of redemption. I appreciate your references both to St. John Chrysostom and Fr. Florovsky of blessed memory.

                I’m afraid the point of commonality you offer serves to obfuscate the issue at hand: redemption is offered to those who repent. Removing repentance from the equation is not mercy but hopelessness. Therefore I repeat: Let us stop pretending we can welcome into the Ark those who insist on swimming. The sorrow that comes from this acknowledgement does not belie a fault of the Ark.

                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Mr. Cone,

                  What drives a Mary of Egypt to the entrance of the church? Vanity? She was among her “rowdy” friends, who easily entered. Curiosity? Had she planned to dishonour? To scorn? Or worse, being a prostitute, to tempt? The outcome would suggest the Holy Spirit. How would one know? What do you make of Romans 9:14-18:

                  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. For the scripture said to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens.

                  What brings a homosexual, for example, to an Orthodox parish? Curiosity? Vanity? Anger? Scorn? Perhaps they do not even know. And perhaps it is the Holy Spirit. Perhaps ignorantly and foolishly they “insist” on swimming because they have no faith the Ark will accept them – and I do not refer to their sinful behaviour – will not teach them, is abhorred by them, as if this site alone is not evidence alone. Even in the report of the young rich man in the Synoptic Gospels, the Lord “knew his heart,” “and loving him” offered Him a choice he knew he could not make at the time, “for he was very rich.” This is not to say he could not or did not change his mind later, and perhaps to his own salvation. How do we know?

                  Abp. Benjamin was referred two transgendered individuals. one post-surgical, wishing to return to the church, making it a very difficult, very complicated pastoral situation. When they disobeyed his very strict directives for obedience, discipline and repentance, he cut them off. His interaction has been the source of great gossip on the internet, but when I spoke with him, he said, “Many have criticized me for speaking with these people, but if they cannot come to a bishop of the church, to whom shall they turn?” These situations will increasingly present themselves, and personally, I see no sorrow whatsoever.

                  • Jesse Cone says:

                    M. Stankovich asks,

                    What brings a homosexual, for example, to an Orthodox parish?

                    Probably depends on the person. I do know, however, that many people are drawn to liturgical churches for rather shallow (perhaps “vain” as you use it?) reasons, either cultural, aesthetic, or seeking Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. And I dare say each of us often comes to The Church with our motivations lacking– I know I do. And we’re called to repent. God help us.

                    As for Archbishop Benjamin’s actions: I applaud his mercy and his fortitude, as I understand the situation. I certainly applaud the sentiment he shared with you.

                    There is a spirit trying the change the teachings of the Church on sexuality and marriage. It has affected the Synod, the MC, and (for a time) the primary source of information for laypeople on the internet–and it has been sheltered and ignored. This spirit is not the spirit of repentance you keep throwing out as a red-herring. Seeking acceptance is the same as seeking license, and is not the same as seeking God’s mercy and lovingkindness.

                    How to minister to the lost? How to keep the teachings and examples of the Church in place? These are two different, but worthy questions.

                    • Daniel E Fall says:

                      The spirit you speak of Jesse is but a whispher in the wind. The battle is not.

                      It is an easy thing for a politician in the church to win an argument against homosexuality.

                      Homosexuality has no defensible position in Orthodoxy.

                      The battle is a facade.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

            M.S. inquires, “If “these people” cannot approach you, Fr. Patrick – even unrepentant – who should they turn to?”

            I have been a priest over 50 years. I have been approached by more sinners, of all kinds—including sexual perverts and serial murderers—than M. S. is ever likely to see.

            Nor do I sit around waiting for sinners to approach me. I search them out.

            Until M. S. has spent some time receiving Confessions and pastoring a congregation, he would best leave off this kind of comment.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            Easy to forget when it doesn’t agree with reactionary response.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          In other words, if they refuse to QUIT their jobs as publicans we must not eat with them! Somebody DOESN’T GET IT!

    • It is possible for a person to 1) identify themselves by a perversion from which they suffer, hence “LGBT”. It is also possible for a person who suffers from a perversion to 2) keep this malady private, as one would keep private inclinations to pedophilia or bestiality, and work to remain chaste and celibate with a spiritual advisor.

      If someone self identifies as LGBT, no, we should not be welcoming, anymore than we would welcome an unrepentant self-proclaimed pedophile. Yet if a person has an evil inclination lurking in their hearts and is not interested in normalizing the activity to which it tempts them, then they should not be advertising this sickness to the world on a banner, but working quietly to combat it. Group 1 is not welcome, group 2 is. And the difference between the two groups is purely a matter of personal choice.

      Leave the banner outside and you are welcome inside. Keep the banner and you make yourself an enemy of the Church. It’s not any more complicated than that.

      • Gregory Manning says:

        I agree Misha. I was taught early on not to speak of my sins to others as those were none of their business. Likewise, do not listen to others speak of their sins as those are none of my business.

        I think it says in the Talmud that one should be careful when speaking of sins because it doesn’t matter whether you stir filth to the right or to the left, it’s still filth.

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Thank you, Dr. Misha, on break from the Google School of Psychiatry. I know you are aware that it is possible to selectively breed “perversity” in the same family of mice by genetic means without inducing any “evil inclination” lurking in their hearts whatsoever. Wouldn’t you just know that the science that revealed this phenomenon recently appeared in familial forms of human obesity (several forms having to do with psychotropic medications for psychotic disorders). Some members of the same family develop a psychotic disorder; some members take a medication to reduce symptoms and gain no weight.; a third member develops the psychotic disorder, takes the same medication, eats the same amount of food as everyone in the family, yet gains a tremendous amount of weight. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and bring you in on a consultation, and without Google or my presentation, I’ll bet you’d have concluded the 2nd patient suffers from the “perversity” of gluttony; the malady of the desire to eat “lurking in his heart,”; has no desire to “normalize activity that tempts him; and most importantly, the difference between the two is purely a matter of personal choice.

        Likewise, your little dismissive sounds a whole lot like, “Sure, you can be LGBT, a “pervert,” disabled, a person of color, poor, mentally impaired, whatever… just stand over there away from me, don’t talk to me, and oh, DO NOT leave that filthy shopping cart in our parking lot.”

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          We must be and are commandedicated to me loving and welcoming to all sinners who are repented and seek to know God. Yes hard core LGBT people will never darken the doorway of our temples, but our doors must always be open and we must always proclaim the Gospel.

          Fr. Reardon and Michael are saying the same thing, but emphasize different aspects. BTW happy name’s day Michael.

          Peter

  24. M. Stankovich says:

    I believe it is equally unseemly to lick your lips and wag your heads as you associate some of my most beloved teachers and mentors with words and expressions which you know they would never condone – and in particular my beloved Professor of Dogmatic Theology & Ethics, SS Verhovskoy, who would not hesitate to call out this abomination for exactly what it is. You offend me to my heart with this cheap convention, Mr. Michalopulos, when you purposely utilize the light of the fathers of our generation to illuminate filth. If you intend to respond to me, wash your hands and your face.

    Secondly, from whatever place of delusion and divisiveness these comments source – you note a “private Yahoo group” – it is not your prerogative to breach even the confidentiality of “filth.” It is as if your pride is so overblown that you do not trust that the Just Judge, the Seer of all things, both good and evil, will not reveal all things to all men on that day “And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:28) Shame on you.

    And I say to my dear friend, Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, you have continuously spoken out about those who taught you, and railed against and those who have turned “your church” into a “museum” and a powerful car “stuck in the fast lane” by converts, poseurs and those who will render “us” a second “Episcopal” being. With the 40 years of love I have for you, my brother, you simply are unqualified, and far too ignorant to be arguing these questions you “champion.” You need to to shut the F**K up.

    • But perhaps the Lord has allowed what was whispered in the shadows to be shouted from the rooftops to bring Dn Eric to his senses and shame before he faces the last judgment.

      After closely following the Latins’ Synod on the Family, and the scandalous beliefs of some of their clergy, I can confidently say it does no good to let these rats conspire in the darkness as the Kasperite bishops have. Shine the light on them and make them scatter.

    • Agreed. Pdn Eric, “You need to shut the F**K up.”

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Nicholas,

        You will pardon my presumption if I am incorrect, but I am assuming you do not personally know Protodeacon Eric Wheeler. I have known and loved Eric Wheeler like my own brother for more than 40 years, and my comment was not intended as a schoolyard “slur” against my own Jonathon, but an expression of my disappointment, frustration, and hurt. Sincerely, humbly, and from my heart I express my apology to him for my vulgar outburst, to Mr. Michalopolus, and to the members of this forum. Secondly, it was not my intention to set a course of prejudiced, pejorative “thinking” against Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, the man. The man, Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, is an honest man of great integrity, who would defend and support you, even as he personally suffered a greater consequence in doing so. He is a follower, not a leader, and I believe that is at the core of the issue. I am only his friend, and I always pray for him.

        I will say again that I strongly oppose this “drive-by” form revealing private information despite the fact that it is savoury chum & fodder – and information that is third-party “outing” of discussant’s children or siblings that have no relationship to the discussion, other than their sexuality – is shameful. Add this to the list of why those seeking the Orthodox Church might be concerned their homosexual son might be “outed.” You accept the Scripture and believe that our God is a Just Judge or you do not.

        • I believe Dn Eric is the one who brought up his goddaughter. And he is using her as a human shield, making appeals to emotion to deflect criticism of his heretical arguments.

        • Wheeler is no expert on this topic. All he offers is his opinion. Yes, I know him and he is a left-wing elitist snob who wants the Church to reform on this topic. His words that he doesn’t want the Church to change is a lie. He would like nothing better. His two-faced thinking is killing the OCA and turning it into a double-minded hideout for people of his political ilk.

  25. Chris Banescu says:

    Lest we forget, the right teaching of the very bishops who blessed the work of Frs. “Schmemann, Meyendorff, Verhovskoy, Kesich” (as well as Lazor, Hopko, etc.) would be deemed “defensive condemnation” and “intolerant” according to Wheeler’s own distorted judgment.

    Those OCA bishops’ public witness on marriage, sexuality, morality, and the teaching of Christ and the Church are no different than Metropolitan Joseph’s. They are only separated by several decades. It is not them, or Metropolitan Joseph, or the conservative Orthodox Christians priests, deacons, nuns, monks, writers, and laymen who have changed their preaching.

    It is Wheeler and many other false teachers who have distorted and perverted the teaching of the Church and are now attempting to “hijack” the narrative and attack the faithful servants and messengers of the Lord. They are the ones who have voluntarily separated themselves from the rational and faithful flock and placed themselves outside the Moral Tradition of the entire Holy Orthodox Church. It is our duty to speak and defend the truth and challenge their falsehoods, thus truly loving them in a Christ-like manner.

    True love, Christian love, sacrificial love, means being truthful with the one you want to help and support even when it’s uncomfortable and hard, even when it exacts a price, even when the “world” calls it foolishness, judgment, and intolerance. Christ-like love of neighbor means desiring their salvation and helping them find real, Godly, and lasting wisdom, peace, and joy in their lives. Simply embracing and enabling their sin and confusion is not love, but egotism and delusion. It’s a non-sacrificial love and requires nothing meaningful from us. Worldly “love” does nothing to help those in real need of light, truth, and eternal salvation!

    Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage
    http://orthodoxnet.com/blog/2013/07/when-orthodox-bishops-spoke-boldly-clear-teaching-on-marriage-and-family/
    We find it imperative to address you on an issue of crucial importance for the Christian life. An increasingly secularized world tends more and more to neglect the traditional biblical understanding of marriage and family. Misunderstanding freedom and proclaiming the progress of a humanity supposedly too mature, sophisticated and scientific to follow Christ’s Gospel, many have abandoned its moral demands. The consequences are plain for all to see: the family is disintegrating, legalized abortion is killing millions of unborn children, corrupt sexual behavior is rampant. The moral foundations of society are collapsing.

    We, the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, therefore proclaim anew to you, the flock entrusted to our care, the great and holy vision of marriage that is gloriously preserved and manifested in the doctrine, liturgy and canonical tradition of the Church. We do not make this proclamation in the name of an outdated conservatism or because we consider our present society intrinsically more corrupt than the past generations.

    We speak because we are concerned for the welfare and salvation both of you, the members of our flock, and of all men. We speak of “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes … concerning the word of life” (John 1:1). We speak because we know the Truth of the Gospel of Christ to be the eternal Truth, the one needful thing, the good portion (Luke 10:42) for all men, in all times and places.

    From the Old Testament Scriptures we learn that God created man “in His own image,” “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27), and, since that beginning, “a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Man and woman are mutually complementary, and this complementarity, expressed in their union and common activity, reflects the very image and likeness of God. This spiritual basis of marriage clearly transcends, without suppressing, the fleshly union of the bodies. Fleshly relations when separated from spiritual ones are depraved; they must be woven into the pure and total love between a man and a woman united in marriage.

    The Christian ideal of marriage and family, manhood and womanhood, is incomparably more exalted, balanced and fulfilling than those broken, one-sided or totally erroneous ideologies of today’s world which reduce the meaning of human life to the satisfaction of sexual appetites, material security, or to other such limited functions and desires. In Christ man is revealed as son and friend of God. He is able to become a member of Christ in soul and body. In the Christian marriage, he is able to achieve an eternal, unique and total union in love.

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      “The Christian ideal of marriage and family, manhood and womanhood, is incomparably more exalted, balanced and fulfilling than those broken, one-sided or totally erroneous ideologies of today’s world which reduce the meaning of human life to the satisfaction of sexual appetites, material security, or to other such limited functions and desires. In Christ man is revealed as son and friend of God. He is able to become a member of Christ in soul and body. In the Christian marriage, he is able to achieve an eternal, unique and total union in love.”

      With all do respect to this august body, the conclusion that gays are incapable of love or simply have relationships to reduce life to the satisfaction of sexual appetites, functions and desires, is completely inaccurate and does more harm than good.

      Do the holy bishops believe that marriage between a man and woman extinguishes the above shortcomings? I do not think so. These things persist even in wedlock. Once again, the facts are ignored. And the beat goes on . . .

  26. M. Stankovich says:

    Might there be a non-professional theologian in the house who has read the liturgical text of the Orthodox Service of Marriage for some insight into this question? “He, Who by His presence in Cana of Galilee declared marriage to be honorable…” [cf. Jn. 2ff] This would seem to reasonably support Met. Joseph’s directive that no clergyman may “stand present in any so-called “same-sex marriage” ceremony even as a non-participating guest.” The presence of an Orthodox Priest – even as a non-participating “guest” – changes “so-called” water into “so-called” wine.

    • Tony Toms says:

      …Did you learn nothing at SVS? When Jesus had gone to the Wedding at Cana, he had not begun His ministry. He was only known as the son of Mary & Joseph. It was only when they ran out of wine that Mary asked Him to help. And as we know, turning water into wine was his 1st miracle that the Gospels speak of. So, yes His presence was a “seal of approval,” but He had not revealed to all who He was. Now, Met. Joseph has a point. One of his priests appearing at a “same-sex” union may give others the idea that the AOCA approves of such unions.

    • That’s an interesting take. I do like that.

      Which reminds me, I have wondered what the lost soul who tries to compose a homosexual marriage service would choose for the readings. Probably Ruth and Naomi or David and Jonathan, knowing the sickness of these minds and souls.

      • Nicholas Chiazza says:

        You strike me, Ages, as someone who would pour salt on people’s wounds. You never miss a chance to be nasty to people who are different. To me, THAT is sick.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          Different? Is that what you are calling sinful behavior? Nicholas, what exactly do you want the Orthodox to do? Accept sin? Then what pray tell did Christ die for? To Give US good manners?

          All people are welcomed in Christ’s church, but sinful behavior is sinful behavior. That can never be accepted. There is no hatred in this, only an acceptance of what is right and what is wrong.

          You have given us every progressive talking point in the left’s playbook, but never the Gospel. You have seen hatred where none exists only because you and others cannot submit to the will of God. It is not us that has the problem Nicholas, it is you.

          You have my prayers.

          Peter

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            Actually, Chiazza has a point Peter.

            Ages anonymity has afforded him the latitude to be a real jackass at times to even a person expressing a slight degree of differing opinion.

            Direct prayers appropriately.

            • Please point out what I have said that is not factually true.

              And as I’ve said, I do not place much value in using my real name. It is meaningless. If anything, we have too many people in these comment sections who rest upon their titles and well-known personas, rather than their arguments. Whether you post as Daniel or as Anonymous1005 should not make a difference. If anonymous public debate was good enough for the founders of our country, it’s good enough for me.

              If your case, Daniel, I feel you are often unclear in your statements. I did not realize you and I had similar opinions until you came out and said so. I don’t intend to cause offense; I call things as I see it. As I see it, the capacity of offense depends on the disposition of the hearer, not the speaker.

              I don’t think offense has a place in debate anyway. If some homosexual comes on here and calls me a mean hater, I don’t get offended, I simply respond with truth. I can’t account for people’s feelings in that calculation, and one major why reason we are in this position vis-a-vis homosexuality is because everyone is afraid of offending everyone else. Walking gingerly only sows confusion.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

              Well I didn’t direct Ages’ rude response only Nicholas’ Subject matter. Can we all be nicer on this blog? Yes, absolutely. But that was not the point of my post. As for prayer, yes I will pray for Ages and you.

              Peter

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

              Daniel, “Ages” chooses the cowardly ANONYMITY to afford him just that!
              Facebook doesn’t allow pseudonyms, etc., making it more ethical than denizens of Monomakhos who often fight alone, but anonymously and pseudonymously–cowards of various degrees of “CYA” ETHICS.

        • If only homosexuals viewed themselves as wounded and broken, then there would be hope for them. They do not.

          Yet the sting of the salt reveals how true the salt is—and how great the need for healing.

          Nicholas, you strike me as one who would watch someone choke to death because the Heimlich maneuver might hurt them. That is the most charitable interpretation I can offer. (Hopefully you are only afraid, and you don’t WANT people to go to hell, as St Paul said would happen to those who do not repent of these sins.)

    • Daniel E Fall says:

      I would have appreciated the discernment coming from anyone. But instead nastiness. The Metropolitan himself could have reflected on it as well.

  27. Chris Banescu says:

    Included below are some relevant insights and wisdom from a man who repented of this sin, found Christ, and is now helping others to fight against and escape this spiritual delusion and darkness. Joseph Sciambra’s (http://www.josephsciambra.com/) own testimony and counsel reflect what many of us have been saying is the true Christ-like way to love, witness to, support, and help those prodigal sons and daughters who have lost their way. Compare his “salt and light” advice and teaching, with the lukewarm stuff that Dcn. Wheeler peddles.

    http://www.josephsciambra.com/2015/11/he-was-lost-and-is-found-advice-for.html
    Therefore, the best thing to do is to rededicate your life to your children – praying for them unceasingly, embracing all suffering, offering up the pain for their safety and for their conversion; in addition, regularly fasting for their sake, and asking others in the family to do the same. In that way, you become the father of “the prodigal son:” a lone sentry at home – praying, waiting, and expecting any day the return of your wayward child.

    When, and if, they do return, you will be ready for them: to greet them, to bind their wounds, and to accept them back into the family. For the most part, your son or daughter will come back to you as a broken, beaten, and perhaps dying man or woman; they will not only need your love, but also your strength. Without it – they will be truly lost.

    While, this “advice” may seem rather defeatist or even pessimistic, speaking from experience, once someone has already made up their mind about their own sexuality, about their own destiny, as did “the prodigal son,” it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to dissuade them from something that they have their mind firmly set upon; therefore, as a parent, you will either give-in, and indulge them, or stand firm and bless them on their way; the father of “the prodigal,” should not be confused with the former, even though he gave away what was technically due to his son, because, after all, the boy did not bring harlots into the home – he didn’t start seriously whoring until he left the house of his father. At least, he knew that the home was still a place of sanity and semi-sacredness. Your home must remain that way as well. This is important, because, if – while your son or daughter is entrenched in the “gay” lifestyle, and, consequently, your home also becomes a haven of collusion and decadence, then – when things become difficult and desperate, when, they are literally sleeping with the pigs, your home will not be a bastion of hope and safety, but merely an anti-chamber of the same “gay” horror-house.

    With that in mind, contact with your “gay” son or daughter will be strained, limited or entirely non-existent while they are in the “life.” Overall, this will be a great part of the suffering you will be required to endure in order to eventually save the one you love. But, always remember, the rewards will be great: for, one day, your tears will be transformed into shouts of joy – “for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.”

    http://www.josephsciambra.com/2015_10_01_archive.html
    In my experience, those whom I knew, that had the most accepting and oftentimes silent families, with regards to their homosexuality, were always those who never got out of the lifestyle; repeatedly, they were also the ones who most quickly died of AIDS. Why? Because homosexuality became incredibly comfortable and then they became complacent; there was no reason to ever question the status quo. Conversely, those, like myself, who had disapproving or, at least non-supportive families, were the only guys that I later met who had survived the “gay’ horror show of the 1990s and were still alive, and, many times, out of the “gay” scene. Again: Why? Because, those of us who got into homosexuality as young and stupid boys, often after a wasted childhood in Catholic parochial schools, emerged into adulthood without an even partially informed conscience.

    During those years, for the most part, our families were our conscience: telling us to get out of the house when we showed up back home with our freaky boyfriends; inviting us, but not our significant others over for a visit; and, always giving us a hug when we left, but also telling us how worried and saddened they were with our choices. Only, most of us put up with this sort of treatment for a short while; at the time, it didn’t make sense to put up with being reprimanded when we had an entire community back in the gayborhood who unquestioningly supported our every move; hence, sooner rather than later, we lashed out, and then dumped those who did not completely get onboard the “gay” train; typically, refusing to speak with our parents was their punishment for not accepting us.

    Sometimes, it would work, and, in order to maintain “peace,” or to reestablish contact – parents and family members would respect their child’s relationships – marked by the all-important duel invitation for Thanksgiving or Christmas, that also included a place at the dinner table for the boyfriend. At that point, I never once witnessed a “gay” person waking up to the reality of their situation while inside such a silent and or tolerant family. Because, there is no reason to do so. For the most part, reality is on check. On the other hand, a family or friend who constantly pushes back – they become our only links with sanity. For, in the “gay” world, even in the midst of AIDS, it’s always business as usual. Our disapproving families were our only route out. Because, who did we return to after waking up to discover that we were sleeping with pigs? To our family.

    http://www.josephsciambra.com/2015/10/a-call-for-even-harsher-language-on_20.html
    Suddenly, out of nowhere, I met a newly ordained priest, not that much older than me: he was considerate and thoughtful, but he was fearless and brash, and he had something to say and I needed to hear it; up till that point, on my own, mostly by reading the works of Fr. John Harvey and Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, I had come to understand that my swerve into homosexuality truly emerged out of a highly confused, traumatized, and yes “disordered,” mind; only, this priest, told me that there was another aspect to all of this – the spiritual or the demonic. He said I very much needed a tri-fold healing: of the body, the mind, and the spirit; the various surgeries I had to endure in order to repair the damage of homosexuality was taking care of the body, albeit painfully; with a good Catholic therapist – I was taking care of the mind; now – it was time to heal the spirit.

    First off, telling someone you just met, as Father did with me – that you are under demonic influence, would go against every “pastoral” theory put forth by the “gay” Catholic league and their supporters in the Church; only, it was exactly what I indeed to know. Because, I was like some wandering pathetic sick person constantly searching out a cure: one doctor tells me to embrace the disease and accept it, another tells me to just endure it, while, finally, the third one offers a treatment.

    I will always be thankful to that priest – because, he was not afraid. Some would argue that he was about as un-pastoral as you can get: he named the sin, told me where it came from (the devil and hell itself) and then went about casting it out. It sounds harsh, but sometimes the most invasive forms of cancer require the most severe forms of therapy. St. Josemaria Escriva said: “To heal a wound, the first thing to do is to clean it well, including a wide area around it. The surgeon knows that the cleaning hurts, but he also knows that there will be worse pain later if it is not done.” He was talking about sin. The much maligned word “disordered” works in sort of the same way, though I think even harsher language should be used, as we need peroxide poured on your wounds…something that will burn and sting our ears…and our complacency.

    And, continuing upon this analogy, if you went to a physician with a serious life-threatening illness, would you want him to tell you the truth about your condition, as unpleasant as it may be, or would you want him to play mind games with you? No! You would want to know: what do I have; and what do I need to do in order to survive this? That’s what this priest did for me…He respected and loved me enough – to tell the Truth.

  28. Michael Kinsey says:

    Come and see, are you gay? The are you gay question, is superbly valid, because we are fighting a homosexual agenda that seeks to destroy authentic Christianity. You cannot become gay, after being created either male or female by the Only Holy One, in the image and likeness of God, unless you do not Love and serve God alone, and do not live by the Word of God, but live for bread alone.Admission of homosexuality is a declaration of utter disregard for the Holy Word and and the Holy Father in Heaven, as if being gay is something natural and common to humanity. It is not natural, as St. Paul squarely informs us. The Holy Scripture call homosexuality, abomination that the Only Holy One hates. and so do I.
    Repentance of homosexuality requires admission, confession, of sin. It is overtly obvious that gay marriage is not an attempt to repent of the abomination. Let them declare themselves deceived and twisted by their carnal lusts and seek a method to free themselves from their bondage to death. Perhaps, all the compassion and understanding and sympathy they seek could be righteously extended to them.
    To not require confession of sin is to abandon the Truth, to, can’t we just all get along, the captive phrase of a crack -head. THE TWIT CHIMPS who favor letting them come and see, and get drunk on the Blood of the Saints, have to reckon with the fact that there is enough room in the eternal hell fire for them. They won”t be able to lie their way out of that. This is not funny, it is deadly serious. It can eternally damn you. They will find their pedigree quite flammable.

    • Nicholas Chiazza says:

      “because we are fighting a homosexual agenda that seeks to destroy authentic Christianity.”

      There is no more a “homosexual agenda” than there is a “Protocol of the Elders of Zion.”

      Gay people are not trying to “destroy” anything.

      As for “authentic Christianity,” I pray that you will some day find it.

  29. M. Stankovich says:

    The words of Fr. Seraphim Holland on the Orthodox Forum are the simplest, most succinct, and honest response I have read in reaction to this recurring foolishness. The only simpler response would have been the sad, subdued, three word acknowledgement of beloved Professor SS Verhovskoy, Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Ethics at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and its distinguished Provost in Crestwood for nearly a quarter century: “This is heresy.” Anyone who studied Dogmatic Theology under Dr. Verhovskoy, and would make the claim that the “Living Tradition” of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church could somehow include an “evolutuional behaviour” of human anthropology, apparently claimed to be at the very Hand of the Creator Himself that we now only begin to understand – described then by Verhovskoy as “an abomination before God and man,” – now preach and teach the heresy that is “an abomination before God and man.”

    Anyone who was taught by the faculty brought to attention by the comments of ProtoDeacon Wheeler knows the reaction to his statement: Fr. Alexander Schmemann would have shouted and put the ProtoDeacon and his cohort in their place – no questions, no discussions, no debate. Fr. John Meyendorff would be stunned; he would wish to engage and discuss, to correct, but his patience was short. But Verhovskoy would be heartbroken; he would meet them eye-to-eye, man-to-to-man, and do what he always accused us of avoiding: confronting the sinner directly and demanding they repent before the Church. And short of that repentance, he would ask them to refrain from serving in the Church and producing more harm by their self-righteous unwillingness to resolve these matters within and before the Church. This is what I am calling on my friend, ProtoDeacon Eric Wheeler, to do today. Take these issues directly to the Church as a man, as a Christian, and as an ordained Deacon, or remove yourself from causing more harm.

    • M. Stankovich uses every conceivable opportunity to name-drop Schmemann, Meyendorff, and Verhovskoy. Isn’t it rather presumptuous to claim to know how DEAD MEN would react to a contemporary debate?

      • Daniel E Fall says:

        Presumption?

        You cannot wake up in the morning and hope your children are gay and wish to attend their gay wedding ceremony and disassociate homosexual sex acts from their relationship.

        There is nothing to debate.

        The church cannot embrace such a thing.

        Stankovich will express it more eloquently.

        The debate is really imaginery and a ploy to get people to accept homosexuality as normal. It will mever be normal; it doesn’t have the percentages even.

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Let’s see, OOM: you are suggesting that my objecting to the inappropriate appeal of authority to DEAD MEN is “name dropping” – ordinarily considered a cheap aggrandizement of myself. Secondly, you would refer to to the teachings and commentary of these DEAD MEN – whom many consider fathers of our generation – regarding the Orthodox anthropology and the nature of mankind “as it was in the beginning” to be “contemporary debate?” OOM, I knew if I didn’t make my bed before going to school, my grandmother would make me stay in after dinner and read. Rather presumptuous to claim to know how she would react? One of us is sitting in the giant fish tank at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, struggling with logic because of the salt water. I am reasonably certain it is not me.

      • Because OOM,

        Unlike you, he was taught by these men and just might have a bit of a better insight into their thinking. Besides he has probably read and understood more of what these men wrote than you.

        I may not always agree with Mr. Michael, but he is a much better mind than you have demonstrated on this blog.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        Prd Wheeler? Is that you? I thought your were Stan. Oh well.

        Peter

      • M. Stankovich uses every conceivable opportunity to name-drop

        It’s not name-dropping if you were really there, really heard what you heard, and if the story is relevant to the subject at hand — which this one seems to be.

        As to knowing how dead men would react, it all depends. If MS made bold to claim what Winston Churchill would do, he having presumably never been around the man, it would deserve little credence. On the other hand, when I think back to my most influential teachers and mentors, I had heard them hold forth so many times on so many subjects that it would be rather disingenuous for me to obsequiously say “I really don’t know what they’d say.” More often than not, I know pretty much word for word what they’d probably have said at the time that I knew them and was around them (which is all that someone can claim to know).

        As far as I am concerned, the elephant in the room about Schmemann, et al is that they had a particular, soimetimes fuzzy, often iconoclastic and always reform minded way of “doing theology.” I remember an SVS grad who studied under Schmemann say to me that the problem with Schmemann’s liturgical theology was that most of his students left seminary convinced that they were personally qualified to re-write and rework the services and liturgics of the Church. Why is anyone surprised that some of his proteges feel qualified to “reform” the moral code of the Orthodox Church, and are citing the Schmemann/Meyendorff way while in the process of doing so?

        My question for MS is not why he quotes his mentors — had I gone to SVS under them, I would also quote what I heard them say left and right (although not necessarily always approvingly, in my case). My question is whether he would be able to admit that there was a particular flavor of “doing theology” under l’ancien regime that makes it unsurprising that this it is specifically some of these protoges that are probing and pushing boundaries on moral issues, seemingly laying the muddy intellectual and theological groundwork for revising the Orthodox Church’s moral code. Put differently, while every jurisdiction has its immoral bishops and clergy, and while every jurisdiction has its administrators who prefer to sweep such problems under the rug, and while every jurisdiction’s seminaries and institutions carry human flaws and imperfections — can you really imagine that graduates of, say, Jordanville or Libertyville (or even Holy Cross), would be laying the groundwork for accepting homosexuality, and citing their mentors at seminary as part of the supporting cast (as Wheeler does)?

        • M. Stankovich says:

          Edward,

          As near as I can tell, I have no vested interest in defending anyone in American Orthodoxy who, quite apart and independent of my unworthy opinion, is not recognized for what they are: fathers and teachers of their generation. Further, I have no need for replacement “parental” figures, heroes, or a need to place individuals on pedestals of my own accord. Again further, whomever indicated to you “that most of his [Fr. Alexander’s] students left seminary convinced that they were personally qualified to re-write and rework the services and liturgics of the Church” is amusingly, yet categorically mistaken. I know of two such persons I could identify as having been so convinced – in both cases it certainly had nothing to do with Fr. Alexander, and they both left the Orthodox Church in their own pridefulness. I have seen many who reasoned along with Fr. Alexander and numerous Synods of the ROC that recommended removing non-nonsensical repetition of petitions from the liturgical services – which is pretty much the entirety of his “renovationist” liturgical reform, but I will witness that I never heard him once promote “Parisian atrocities” that contradict the explicit Liturgical formation that is according to our Holy Tradition. Never, not once; and let the brothers and sisters who were in class & chapel with me serve as witness. I didn’t read about it, I was there until he died.

          Finally, my “shock” at my brothers citing my same beloved fathers & teachers in seeming to promote what is heresy is not “naiveté” or an “elephant in the living room,” but true shock. To ascribe this apparent contradiction to the vageuness or imprécision of “Schmemann/Meyendorff” is akin to blaming a woman for her own rape. If OOM will allow me one further self-serving “name-drop,” I am shocked because I am absolutely certain what these DEAD MEN would say. Why? A man cannot be your confessor, teacher, and in a crowded chapter you be but feet away from him delivering his sermon for years and imagine it “presumptuous” to know what he is thinking. We speak of heresy and you ask if I can imagine a seminary graduate laying the groundwork for his heresy and citing his mentors at seminary? Duh.

          • M. Stankovich:

            I didn’t read about it, I was there until he died.


            M. Stankovich:

            Why? A man cannot be your confessor, teacher, and in a crowded chapter you be but feet away from him delivering his sermon for years and imagine it “presumptuous” to know what he is thinking.

            ..
            M.Stankovich:

            Finally, my “shock” at my brothers citing my same beloved fathers & teachers in seeming to promote what is heresy is not “naiveté” or an “elephant in the living room,” but true shock.

            The real “elephant in the room,” the $64,000 question if you will, is whether outside the charmed circle to which M. Stankovich lays claim to charter membership, anybody really CARES what Schmemann thinks/thought/would think if he hadn’t smoked his way into an early grave.

        • Fr. Thomas Hopko would, earlier in his life, probably have been horrified at the thought of normailizing homosexuality in American society. Yet in the end he added to the problem by endorsing same sex civil unions. Who knows what Schmemann and Meyendorff might have become had they lived a bit longer in the acid of Western liberalism?

          • Misha,

            Your first mistake is to equate the theological and academic abilities of Frs Schmemann and Meyendorff with that of Fr. Hopko. Both Frs. Alexander and John were head and shoulders more insightful and intellectual than Hopko. Hopko’s fall in no way can be connected to his father-in-law or Fr. Meyendorff.

            • Nicholas,

              a. I didn’t equate the theological or academic abilities of Schmemann and Meyendorff with Hopko and I will not comment on their respective abilities insofar as neo-Patristicism is not my cup of tea. But all were deeply involved with SVS and part of its neo-Orthodox culture.

              b. I didn’t realize that Hopko was Schmemann’s son-in-law . . . and I’ll resist the temptation to comment on that.

              c. Didn’t Hopko write the Rainbow Series, used to catechize in the OCA?

              • Misha,

                c. Yes

                b. You are not that knowledgable as you think you are. But, that is ok.

                a. Hopko was not involved when Fr. Alexander and Fr. John were in charge. He was only in charge when he was the Dean of SVS, and ask most people “in the know” and he was a total disaster. He was pushed out as Dean after trying to turn it into a certified branch of ACOA.

                Again, putting him in the same sentence with the above mentioned is a disservice to them and to SVS, IMO.

          • M. Stankovich says:

            Mishinka, you made my day.

            • Fair enough, Stankovich. And it’s nice to hear from someone who knows how to make a respectable diminutive (“Mishinka”).

      • Is sodomy something new?

        • Nicholas Chiazza says:

          “Is sodomy something new.”

          No, but gomorrahitits is. Your drug store may offer free shots.

      • OOM, you have completely (and no doubt knowingly) misrepresented the purpose and intent of M. Stankovich’s reply. If you feel a need to take issue with “name dropping” in this case, I suggest you go directly to the source: ProtoDeacon Eric Wheeler. Clearly, MS felt compelled to set the record straight regarding the actual positions of Schmemann, Meyendorff and Verhovskoy on this topic.

        Further, the Stonewall riots date from 1969, and the gay liberation movement was well underway by the early 1970’s. The “contemporary debate,” to use your words, was certainly active during the lifetime of these three esteemed teachers of our faith.

        Those who have read the published journals of Fr. Alexander Schmemann (SVS Press, 2000) already have access to his thoughts on this topic, however. There are seven entries touching upon the subject of homosexuality dating from 1974 to 1980, and not one can be construed as an endorsement of same-sex relationships.

        Here is an excerpt from the journal entry for April 17, 1980:

        “In Time magazine last week, an article about a new attack by sexologists against the last taboo – incest! Supposedly, there is nothing wrong if within families there is closeness, contacts, etc. On the contrary, one must welcome it as one more liberation, as a broadening of rights….I am tired of repeating it: putrid decay of our civilization. Abortion, homosexuality, and now incest. Our civilization cannot survive that, but anything opposed to that decay is considered literally funny!”
        Fr. Alexander Schmemann

      • OOM, you have completely (and no doubt knowingly) misrepresented the purpose and intent of M. Stankovich’s reply. If you feel a need to take issue with “name dropping” in this case, I suggest you go directly to the source: ProtoDeacon Eric Wheeler. Clearly, MS felt compelled to set the record straight regarding the actual positions of Schmemann, Meyendorff and Verhovskoy on this topic.

        Further, the Stonewall riots date from 1969, and the gay liberation movement was well underway by the early 1970’s. The “contemporary debate,” to use your words, was certainly active during the lifetime of these three esteemed teachers of our faith.

        Those who have read the published journals of Fr. Alexander Schmemann (SVS Press, 2000) already have access to his thoughts on this topic, however. There are seven entries touching upon the subject of homosexuality dating from 1974 to 1980, and not one can be construed as an endorsement of same-sex relationships.

        Here is an excerpt from the journal entry for April 17, 1980:

        “In Time magazine last week, an article about a new attack by sexologists against the last taboo – incest! Supposedly, there is nothing wrong if within families there is closeness, contacts, etc. On the contrary, one must welcome it as one more liberation, as a broadening of rights….I am tired of repeating it: putrid decay of our civilization. Abortion, homosexuality, and now incest. Our civilization cannot survive that, but anything opposed to that decay is considered literally funny!”
        Fr. Alexander Schmemann

        • OOM has previously stated :”Does anybody really care what Schmemann … wrote? I think you misunderstand OOM. Orthodox theology does not really matter to him as much as satisfying the lusts of the flesh.

          • What I have always found puzzling is the fact that the lusts of the flesh may be satisfied almost anywhere. What compels these folks to insist that the Orthodox Church must alter her Tradition?

            I smoke a pipe, enjoy an occasional cocktail, and (rarely) dance with my wife. Certain Christian sects find such behaviors sinful, but I don’t expect them to change in order to accommodate my vices. It is easy enough to avoid their gatherings and to keep my behavior out of their faces on occasions when I cannot (funerals, etc.). Nor do I feel compelled to frequent their web sites in order to convince them to alter their traditions.

            Given the countless social groups and religions that are more than excepting of his/her views, perhaps OOM or those who agree with him/her can explain just what it is that bothers them so about our quaint, oh-so-antiquated Tradition? Why not simply avoid us altogether? Why is it so important for you to have the stamp of approval from the Orthodox Church?

            • Brian:

              Given the countless social groups and religions that are more than excepting of his/her views

              Brian I wouldn’t dream of joining a religion that EXCEPTS my views.

              • I humbly accept your correction, but you did not answer the question.

              • OOM writes, “I wouldn’t dream of joining a religion that EXCEPTS my views.” Yet you spend a great deal of time trolling here, attacking Orthodox Christians because Orthodox Christianity “excepts” a lot of what you profess. Put your money where your mouth is and accept the Orthodox faith, or join a religion that is more agreeable to you.

              • Daniel E Fall says:

                OOM.

                Any religion that agrees with you in totality or doesn’t except anything you say is not a religion at all.

                I can think of a ton of examples, but it seems like a wasted effort.

                I am usually on your side to a degree now and then, but not here.

                If you never have a divergent view without walking away; you will need lots of shoes.

                And a religion would not be a religion if every person’s views were adopted or even heard, for that matter. They’d be praying for boats if I had my way.

                I rarely side with Helga, because he usually has an agenda, but Helga’s response to you is pretty fair and it might be better for your own spirit.

                • Daniel:

                  Any religion that agrees with you in totality or doesn’t except anything you say is not a religion at all.

                  Don’t misquote me or deliberately misconstrue my words. The suggestion was that I LEAVE Orthodoxy. I didn’t say I was SEEKING a religion that “agrees with [me] in totality.” I’m perfectly happy as an Orthodox Christian and would never leave this wonderful faith.
                  I do not objectify my “religion” in the way that Helga, Brian, and clergyman J. do. Religion to me is not a checklist of beliefs. To subscribe to that view of one’s faith is very modern, very Protestant, and completely UN-Orthodox. It’s rigid and ideological; it may be what the Westboro Baptists do, but it’s childish and betrays insecurity.

                  • Father Herman Schick says:

                    OOM: “Religion to me is not a checklist of beliefs”.

                    Ever heard of the Nicene Creed? Orthodox Christians “subscribe to that view of one’s faith” at every Divine Liturgy. But I guess that’s all “very modern, very Protestant, and completely UN-Orthodox”, as you say.

                  • Daniel E Fall says:

                    Okay, I misunderstood I guess.

                    What I interpreted was you wouldn’t want a religion that didn’t appreciate YOUR views.

                    “Brian I wouldn’t dream of joining a religion that EXCEPTS my views.”

                    Just what did you mean then?

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

              Good one, Brian! Do you use Dragon Naturally Speaking or Mac Dictate? This could cause Except to be printed instead of Accept….of course, that allowed your intellectual inferiors to rejoice in what they hastily perceived to be a “gotcha”

              • I can’t blame voice recognition, Your Grace. I hope OOM is gratified to have ‘gotten’ me.

                I do wonder, though, if the question will ever be answered with the same degree of intellectual acuity or if the ‘gotcha’ is all we will get. We shall see.

              • Helga:

                …put your money where your mouth is and accept the Orthodox faith, or join a religion that is more agreeable to you.

                I ACCEPT the Orthodox faith. Capisce?

                Brian:

                I smoke a pipe… perhaps OOM or those who agree with him/her can explain just what it is that bothers them so about our quaint, oh-so-antiquated Tradition? Why not simply avoid us altogether? Why is it so important for you to have the stamp of approval from the Orthodox Church?

                What in God’s name causes Brian to PRESUME that ANYTHING bothers me about our quaint, oh-so-antiquated TRADITION? Now, some of the PEOPLE and some of the wacky ideas they have about what it actually means to be an Orthodox Christian? That’s a different story. I mean, since when is it part of the Orthodox tradition to suggest, as Brian, Helga, and Clergyman Jacobse do, that anyone should LEAVE the fullness of the faith in the Orthodox church?

                I DO NOT ACCEPT that in the Orthodox faith, there is no place for sinners like me and like gay people – including those who happen to have been married outside the church. SO MAYBE BRIAN CAN PUT THAT IN HIS PIPE AND SMOKE IT!

                • Father Herman Schick says:

                  OOM: “I ACCEPT the Orthodox faith”. But you do NOT seem to accept that all sinners, including LGBTQXYZetc… are called to a life of repentance, which in the case of ALL people, INCLUDING the aforementioned group, means struggling with and abandoning all sexual sins, which includes homosexual (etc.) thoughts and acts, gay “marriage” not excepted (or accepted either!).

                  In reality, anonymous OOM, you do not accept Orthodox faith and life. There is no true Orthodoxy without repentance.

                • “For thy glorious splendor cannot be borne, and the wrath of thy threat to sinners is irresistible; yet immeasurable and unsearchable is thy promised mercy, for thou art the Lord Most High, of great compassion, long-suffering, and very merciful, and repentest over the evils of men. Thou, O Lord, according to thy great goodness hast promised repentance and forgiveness to those who have sinned against thee; and in the multitude of thy mercies thou hast appointed repentance for sinners, that they may be saved. Therefore thou, O Lord, God of the righteous, hast not appointed repentance for the righteous, for Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, who did not sin against thee, but thou hast appointed repentance for me, who am a sinner. For the sins I have committed are more in number than the sand of the sea; my transgressions are multiplied, O Lord, they are multiplied! I am unworthy to look up and see the height of heaven because of the multitude of my iniquities. I am weighted down with many an iron fetter, so that I am rejected because of my sins, and I have no relief; for I have provoked thy wrath and have done what is evil in thy sight, setting up abominations and multiplying offenses. And now I bend the knee of my heart, beseeching thee for thy kindness. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I know my transgressions. I earnestly beseech thee, forgive me, O Lord, forgive me! Do not destroy me with my transgressions! Do not be angry with me for ever or lay up evil for me; do not condemn me to the depths of the earth. For thou, O Lord, art the God of those who repent.”

                  -Prayer of Manasseh

                  You, OOM, know very well that the gift of repentance is freely offered to all and that all who live a life of repentance are welcome.

                  “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”

                  I urge you not to bet your soul on your obstinate opinion. Could it be that our merciful Lord is using even your obstinacy in order to draw you here for the sake of your salvation?

                  In your heart of hearts you know the truth. And the abyss of the mercy of our great God knows no limits save the heart of a man. He is the God of those who repent.

                • Excommunication has always existed. And if you were married outside the church, you are in such a state.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  OOM, being married outside the Church once you have been Baptised and Chrismated has long been a cause for excommunication.Depending on the circumstance and the discretion of the Bishp it can be life long.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                    There’s a CHOIR DIRECTOR here who, after being received into the Orthodox Church, married a Jewish man. He finally died and not long after she married ANOTHER Jewish man. She’s directed the choir through all that and partakes of the Mysteries. Needless to say. these marriages took place outside the Church….. Just sayin’.

                  • MB:

                    OOM, being married outside the Church once you have been Baptised and Chrismated has long been a cause for excommunication.

                    Wake up and smell the coffee. Many priests turn a blind eye to marriage outside the church, whether to Jews, Catholics, Muslims, or whatever. I haven’t seen any encyclicals by Met. Joe about THAT phenomenon.

                    • Michael Bauman says:

                      Sir or madam OOM or do you identify as one of the 56 other “genders”,

                      I have never ascribed to the tactic of using one failure/sin to rationalize another. As the Blessed Seraphim Rose said, “I do not have to defend sin.” Your intellectually dishonest approach fails to move me even if I did want coffee.

                      Perfectionism is a often a spiritual disease. More often it is simply a lazy way to accommodate all sin. Either is dangerous.

                      That some bishops allow for such marriages without repentance or a movement toward the Church is sad IMO. Not that my opinion matters.

                      Of course the real problem with the marriages you recount is not the same as the obscenity of homosexual faux marriage.

                      You are correct in this, however, the Church needs to tighten up her approach to such matters. It would not surprise me if that occurred in response to the challenge of homosexual egalitarianism.

                    • I think that typically falls under the heading of “easier to ask forgiveness than permission”. Technically, a marriage outside of the Church puts that person outside of the Church (excommunicated), but since we don’t force those entering the Church to divorce their un-Orthodox spouses, they are received. It would be interesting to understand more about what makes a marriage like that ‘excuseable’ while other sins and states (e.g., gay marriage) might need to be rectified first, before reception (back) into the Church. Is the difference merely cultural, or is the idea that we accept people where they are so they can begin (slowly) realizing and addressing their sins within the context and with the help of the Church? That is, should we be stricter with the penitent who married outside of the Church, or should we be as lenient with the married gay man seeking to return to the Church?

  30. Lola J. Lee Beno says:

    Rhetorical question: You, as a priest, have been forbidden by your bishop from attending any gay wedding. You get invited to a birthday party, or a wine tasting party, whatever, that turns out instead to be a surprise gay wedding as you find out when you arrive at said location. What do you do, then?

    • According to Dan Fall, you make a public point of saying that you don’t approve and cannot bless this, but stay. In fact, if I understand him correctly, he says that unless a priest is there, he cannot witness to Church teaching. He should therefore accept an invitation to a known gay wedding and use the opportunity to state that he doesn’t approve and cannot bless it.

      As for me, I think it is more appropriate and polite not to accept the invitation in the first place and let them have their day in peace. As to the “surprise wedding,” the priest would be forced to say something under either philosophy (although not, I suspect, under Pdn Wheeler’s philosophy).

      I think it would be most polite to excuse oneself, explaining that ones church discipline doesn’t allow participation or presence, thank the host warmly for the invitation, and leave the birthday gift and card one brought. At least I think that’s more or less how my mother taught me to extract myself from high school parties that turned out not to be “as billed.”

      The invitation was either a setup or was in good faith. If a setup, the host deserves any embarrassment that he might feel (although likely none would be felt). If it is in good faith, a polite host would be mortified at having put a guest into an awkward position and would apologize profusely, and it would be incumbent on the priest to reassure the host that he couldn’t possibly be expected to know Orthodox clergy guidelines, thank him again for the invitation, and wish him and the guests of honor a pleasant evening, then leave.

      There is no solution to such socially awkward situations that will leave everyone feeling good, but anyone who has read Miss Manners or the like would know how to make the best of things.

      • Daniel E Fall says:

        Since my name gets used, according to the rules, I get to speak!

        Ha!

        Lola, your rhetorical, hypothetical is a bit false. Pretty unlikley Orthodox priests get invited to surprise gay weddings. What would Ms Manner’s say? Heaven forbid we offend her.

        On the off chance, the priest walks up and tells them he cannot bless the union. If he is asked to speak, he could do so publicly and explain that homosexuality is considered a sin and that it is not best.

        A parent seeing their child eat too much candy tells them no.
        A parent seeing their child jump off the couch tells them no.
        A parent seeing their child planning a gay wedding walks away disgusted, aghast, and ashamed? No. They tell them it is not best.

        A parent and a priest have lots in common, but a priest works with adults more.

        I detect some cynicism Edward, if I’m incorrect, forgive me.

        A father must teach his children. He can’t if he leaves the room. If he is in the room and doesn’t teach, there is another issue.

        • Dan, what you are suggesting is quite reasonable on its face. It is, however, quite frankly a sort of social martyrdom, and our tradition is quite clear that martyrdom must always be accepted when we are faced with it (as in the hypothetical “surprise wedding”), but need not be sought out, although some have done so, if one reads the lives of saints.

          If Metr. Joseph was asked by one of his clergy if he could do what you suggest — be allowed to attend a gay wedding to which he was invited, with the purpose of using his presence to speak out against same sex marriage and make clear to all present (perhaps a short speech at a toast at the reception?) — who knows, maybe he would bless that. Although I still have to admit that such an action would offend my inner “Miss Manners,” since one is invited to a wedding to share joy, not to offend the principals. Maybe I’m just a timid guy.

          If it is cynicism to believe that the vast majority of clergy who would choose to attend such an affair would not use the opportunity to publicly announce that what is happening is wrong or nonsensical and cannot be blessed or approved by the Church, and would instead remain politely silent (or even act pleasantly happy), well, guilty as charged.

          In my opinion, Metr. Joseph’s guidelines are a help to clergy and faithful, protecting faithful clergy from situations they might otherwise have difficulty avoiding, and protecting the Church and it’s faithful from the scandal and confusion of having an unfaithful or misguided clergyman give the impression of fully approving such a union. If you’ve ever had teenagers, you have had the experience of saying no to something, having them act all angry about it, and then see the relief in their eyes because they really didn’t want to go to the party or whatever but couldn’t themselves yet summon the courage to say no to their friends on their own.

          You are right that a father must teach his children, and protect them from harm. And the ultimate father in the Orthodox Church here on earth is ones bishop, who should be a loving, wise, and firm father to his clergy and faithful. I say good for him. Not every hierarch needs to make such statements, if he knows his clergy and faithful and knows they already know what to do. Other hierarchs might choose to give their directives by private communication or in a clergy conference.

          • Daniel E Fall says:

            The priest would only speak publicly if asked by them.

            He would speak to the person face to face if asked to attend. This is going to be rare. If it is a priest’s child, like Arida, he should be telling them he cannot bless.

            The real problem is the situation is going to be very rare; perhaps rare enough the directive is meant for a different audience.

            The Metropolitan is really making mountains out of molehills, and making people happy over such things.

            And I have a problem with that type of glee as well.

            But clubhouse high fives!

            I’m no homosexual advocacy group-just ask Chiazza.

            It is always easy to say things your friends on the playground like.

    • lexcaritas says:

      What did John the Forerunner do when confronted with Herod Antipas and Herodias?

      What was Ezechiel told to do in the face of the apostasy of Judah’s false shepherds?

      What did Sts. Basil and Ambrose do when confronted with misbehaving emperors?

      lxc

      • Nicholas Chiazza says:

        Gee, I dunno. Lexie, suppose you tell us.

        (YAWN!!)

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          Nicholas! You posted seven or eight messages on the same topic within the space of less than one hour. Now no one can see to whom you are replying or who is replying to you. If you put all those posts into one posting we could see the context and the other interlocutors. We have to read them now as just one message as it is.

          • Nicholas Chiazza says:

            (head bowed in humility). Gee, sorry, Vladika. Thanks for the heads-up, will try to avoid in the future.

  31. M. Stankovich says:

    Joy of the Feast to all who bear the names of the Archangels, Angels, and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven!

    Troparion, Tone Four

    O Commanders of the heavenly hosts, /
    we who are unworthy beseech you, /
    by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory, /
    and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: /
    “Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!”

  32. “Having read the Pdn’s remarks I was struck by one question, what does he mean by “Orthodox”?

    We don’t know, have you asked him? In fact, has anyone here asked him or confronted him? Or are all of you just preaching to the choir? Again I ask, What Is Being Done????

    A surprise gay wedding? The image of that made me lol! A surprise for who? the people getting married? or the guest? Surprise! You’re getting married today! Lol!

  33. Michael Bauman says:

    With the feds now requiring health insurers to pay for sexual reassignment surgery or face a discrimination lawsuit Katy bar the door.

    BTW in Kansas the ACA premiums doubled this year. Even folks on subsidies cannot afford it. Plus the out of pocket costs increased too. In addition for those buying on the marketplace only HMO plans are available with extreamly limited coverage outside the state of Kansas. In Iowa with some carriers it is county by county.

    The premiums are now on a par with the state sponsored high risk pool we had before ACA with arguably worse coverage.

  34. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    They are not even hiding it any more boys and girls.

    Jennifer Lawrence Attacks Christians: ‘People Holding Their Crucifixes, Which May As Well Be Pitchforks’
    By Mark Judge | November 13, 2015 | 12:21 PM EST
    Jennifer Lawrence (AP)

    Actress Jennifer Lawrence, star of “The Hunger Games” and the highest paid actress in the world, has harshly criticized Christians.

    In an interview for the December edition of Vogue, the subject of Kim Davis came up. Davis is the Kentucky county cleark who went to jail for refusing to sign wedding licenses for gay couples.

    Lawrence’s reaction is described by Vogue writer Jonathan Van Meter:

    The day I am at Lawrence’s house also happens to be the day after the infamous county clerk Kim Davis gets out of jail, where she had been sent for defying a court order requiring her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Lawrence brings it up, calling her that “lady who makes me embarrassed to be from Kentucky.” Kim Davis? “Don’t even say her name in this house,” she shoots back, and then goes into a rant about “all those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight. I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are.”

    There is a rabble-rousing spirit in Lawrence that gets stirred up when certain subjects are broached. “I was raised a Republican,” she says, “but I just can’t imagine supporting a party that doesn’t support women’s basic rights. It’s 2015 and gay people can get married and we think that we’ve come so far, so, yay! But have we? I don’t want to stay quiet about that stuff.” It is not that big of a stretch to imagine her becoming a modern-day Jane Fonda, whom she deeply admires.

    Lawrence’s new film “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” will be released November 20.

    Now go out and support her by seeing the Hunger Games, Mockingjay, part 2…NOT!!!

    Peter

  35. lexcaritas says:

    And where is God in the Hunger Games? Wouldn’t waste my time or money. Much else to do.

    lxc

  36. Jannie kozak says:

    The question is, are there any rules, anymore? Were our forefathers wrong? What would Patriarch Nikon say? What would St. Sergius say? Would he allow sodomy at the Lavra? What would St. Herman of Alaska say? What would Fr. Hillary Madison say? Wait! Do not answer that! See the lineage of these people…..
    Wheeler and the heretic Arida, should have been unfrocked long ago. When a superior Orthodox primatial bishop exhorts his flock to righteousness, how and why does Wheeler respond, with sin, can death be far behind. Protodeacon keep your dirty nose in your own dung hill.

    Sincerely,

    Jannie Kozak

    • Daniel E Fall says:

      This is not a healthy response.

      Wheeler questioned one portion of the directive.

      For me the audience of the directive was not the sinner, but the righteous.

      And this response from you is a precision picture of my concern.

      Where did you buy the horn?

  37. Michael Bauman says:

    aka re marriage: there is a vast difference between two people who are married even outside the Church before being received; two people one of whom is Orthodox and a homosexual who entered into a state recognized contract called “marriage”.
    The three states should not be confused.

    The first instance is not even under discussion.

    Homosexual unions are not part of the Church and never can be, they are sinful. So if a person wishes to be received by the Church or return to her that person as part of the repentance will have to eschew the “union”

    If a person who is already Orthodox marries outside the Church one way it is handled is for the Orthodox person not to approach the cup until their spouse becomes Orthodox. During the intervening time the Orthodox partner may be granted the grace to receive confession and unction at the discretion of the bishop.

    However if the Orthodox person leaves the Church as a result of the marriage the excommunication is self imposed and would require a different path of healing to return.

    The Rudder mentions periods of excommunication of 5 years to life.

    The act of marrying outside the Church is willful disobedience.
    Something has to be done to heal the rift it causes.

    I do not speak theoretically.