Orthodox Pastors, Theologians Gather In Amsterdam To Discuss Their Views On Issues Of Sexuality

Source: Orthodox Christianity

Amsterdam Conference

From June 7 to 9, an international group of Orthodox pastors and theologians gathered in Amsterdam to discuss matters of sexuality and pastoral care, reports the Amsterdam Centre for Orthodox Theology (ACOT) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which hosted the event.

Participants reflected “on a wide range of matters concerning human sexuality as addressed by science and natural law, theological anthropology, legal issues, psychology, and pastoral care.” The event was reportedly conducted in a harmonious atmosphere, with those gathered discussing “how the Orthodox Churches might consider and respond to current pastoral questions while remaining faithful to Christ, the Gospel and Orthodox Christian Tradition.”

The event was unpublicized beforehand, although a statement will be forthcoming, according to participant Edith M. Humphrey, author of the A Lamp for Today blog.

Humphrey writes: “The group was not monolithic in views, and discussed many different aspects of pastoral care and sexual matters. It did not meet to strategize or to make plans for the Church, but simply was a group of academics and clergy whose writings or pastoral concerns have touched upon these topics.”

That the group would not be monolithic in views is evident from the list of participants (full list given below). One participant, Fr. Philip LeMasters, for instance, ably gave voice to an Orthodox conscience on troubling matters of modern “sexuality,” when he wrote in a homily, “It is not yet clear how far the agenda of deconstructing maleness and femaleness will go, but to make gender identity simply a matter of subjective self-definition should deeply trouble us all, and especially advocates of the rights and equality of women.”

However, concerns have been raised about several well-known participants who give voice to views outside the bounds of Holy Orthodoxy. The blog Monomakhos notes that attendee Aristotle Papanikolaou is the co-founder, along with George Demacopoulos, of Fordham University’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center, which publishes the blog Public Orthodoxy, which has proved to be quite controversial in its short existence. The blog recently hosted the article “Conjugal Friendship” by Giacomo Sanfilippo, a defrocked Orthodox priest and publicly-known practicing homosexual, in which the author attempts to justify homosexuality, stating that “Holy Tradition possesses in germinal form everything necessary to articulate, thoughtfully and cautiously, an Orthodox theology and spirituality of what we now call same-sex love, adequate to the pastoral needs of the 21st century and fully consistent with the ascetical ethos of Orthodox life for all.”

Orthodox responses to Sanfilippo’s unorthodox article have appeared from Fr. Lawrence Farley, and a notable Russian scholar.

Public Orthodoxy has also recently published an article from Mark Arey, who gave up his Orthodox priesthood after 30 years and “married the love of his life,” as his biography states.

Another participant, Gayle Woloschak serves on the advisory board of the online journal The Wheel, which also includes Fr. Robert M. Arida, who argued in favor of homosexuality on the OCA’s Wonder blog, aimed especially at youth. The Brotherhood of the Orthodox Clergy Association of Houston and Southeast Texas released a statement responding to Arida, saying in part, “Fr. Robert Arida’s recent and past statements on the issue of homosexuality are a scandal to the faithful. They also present those who are sincerely struggling against homosexual temptations with additional temptations, and misdirection.”

The Wheel’s editorial board includes Gregory Tucker, a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Seminary and PhD student of Fordham University, who is involved in a homosexual “marriage” with a former hieromonk who gave up his priesthood and broke his monastic vows to live with Tucker. He has also contributed to Public Orthodoxy. Also on the board is Inga Leonova, an architect, writer, and educator, who is the founder of a pro-homosexuality group on Facebook, who has also contributed to Public Orthodoxy.

The participants were: Bishop Maxim (Vasiljevic) of Western America (Serbian Orthodox Church), Nikolaos Asproulis (Volos Academy), Fr. Michael Bakker (ACOT), Fr. John Behr (St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, ACOT), Brandon Gallaher (University of Exeter), Edith Humphrey (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), Fr. John Jillions (SVOTS), Pantelis Kalaitzidis, (Volos Academy), Fr. Philip LeMasters (McMurry University, SVOTS), Fr. Joan Lena (ACOT), Fr. Andrew Louth (Emeritus Durham University, ACOT), Fr. Nicolae Mosoiu (Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu), Aristotle Papanikolaou (Fordham University), Fr. Vasileios Thermos (University of Athens), Gayle Woloschak (Northwestern University, SVOTS).

Comments

  1. And now we have Serbia’s president proposing the country be led, at least politically, by an openly homosexual woman as, in part, a means of drawing closer to the European Union: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/serbias-president-formally-nominates-countrys-first-openly-gay/.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      …and the Southern Baptists are seriously looking at an “inclusive language” translation of the Bible. That leads to neo-paganism.

      • Monk James says:

        Michael Bauman (June 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm)says:

        …and the Southern Baptists are seriously looking at an “inclusive language” translation of the Bible. That leads to neo-paganism.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Non sequitur.

        In any event, there are many errors of inclusion and of exclusion in our English-language translations. In the New Testament, when St Paul, for instance, uses the word adelphoi, he usually doesn’t mean only ‘brothers’, but ‘brothers and sisters’, the feminine cognate adelphai being implied. But sometimes the word is indeed exclusive, and context must tell us which forms are appropriate to express in translation. BTW: Although it’s been said that ‘brethren’ includes both sexes, that’s just not true. ‘Brethren’ is merely an old form of ‘brothers’ and it completely excludes the ‘susteren’.

        At the end of the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy, we respond with kai pantOn kai pasOn, often translated as ‘and all mankind’. But this is inappropriately inclusive, since the Greek forms are clearly masculine followed by feminine, and, to be accurate, must be rendered ‘both all men and all women’.

        Incidentally, this is one of those points where the Church Slavonic is unhelpful, since i vsȁkh” i vsya has the masculine form followed by a neuter form.

        Altogether, our sacred texts are in need of correction, and the proper use of inclusive and exclusive forms is a large part of that.

        • There is nothing wrong with our sacred texts.

          Mankind = all men and women.
          Brethren = brothers and sisters.
          Etc.

          When the uniate Byzantine Catholics decide to promulgate a gender neutral Liturgy back in 2007, it caused much pain and controversy. I knew many people who left because of it. Gender neutral games will only lead to more political correctness on steriods and the feeding of a radical feminist demon that is insatiable.

          • Monk James says:

            Mikail (June 19, 2017 at 11:25 am) says:

            There is nothing wrong with our sacred texts.
            Oh, yes there is. Consider ‘Our Father”, which truly says nothing about ‘daily bread, or ‘trespasses’ or asking God to ‘lead us not into temptation.

            Or consider the words of the priest just before the Epiklesis of the Divine Liturgy, when most translations have him say something like ‘on behalf of all and for all’ when the Greek’s meaning is clearly ‘in every place and at all times’.

            Mankind = all men and women.
            That’s lexicographically true, but it’s not what the text of the Liturgy says.

            Brethren = brothers and sisters.
            No. That’s a common misunderstanding, easily corrected by a little research.

            • You are moving the goalposts on the issue at hand. The inclusive language others are talking about isn’t the non-issue of whether or not adelphoi means “brothers” or “brothers and sisters.” For the record adelphoi doesn’t mean both, no matter the implication, and if this is an issue then it is one concerning the shortcomings of the original language. Translating it merely as brethren is perfectly correct.

              But all that aside, the inclusive language issue at hand is one that is very much an issue and does lead to paganism. Just look at the inclusive language and gender-queer Jesus nonsense of the ELCA and the ECUSA.

              As an aside what you are talking about with translations is actually a matter of accuracy, not one of inclusivity.

              • Monk James says:

                Vergil (June 21, 2017 at 9:36 am) says:

                You are moving the goalposts on the issue at hand.
                I’m not moving anything, merely adducing different examples of scriptural and liturgical language, calling attention to their inclusive or exclusive forms in Greek and their (mis)rendereings into English.

                The inclusive language others are talking about isn’t the non-issue of whether or not adelphoi means “brothers” or “brothers and sisters.”
                Yes, it is, because adephoi cane mean ‘brothers’ or ‘brothers and sisters’ depending on context.

                For the record adelphoi doesn’t mean both, no matter the implication,
                You’re ignoring context. The word can certainly mean both.

                and if this is an issue then it is one concerning the shortcomings of the original language.
                But we’re discussing original languages only insofar as THEY use inclusive and exclusive forms, and if those usages are accurately reflected in English. I’f already written that our source texts are not a problem unless they’ve been transmitted innccurately.

                Translating it merely as brethren is perfectly correct.
                No, it is not — unless we’re translating a few centuries ago and mean only ‘brothers’ Brethren is merely an archaic plural form of ‘brother’, no sisters in sight. As I wrote earlier, you could easily look this up. Doesn’t anyone around here do his homework before writing?

                But all that aside, the inclusive language issue at hand is one that is very much an issue and does lead to paganism. Just look at the inclusive language and gender-queer Jesus nonsense of the ELCA and the ECUSA.

                As an aside what you are talking about with translations is actually a matter of accuracy, not one of inclusivity.
                Correst. I am NOT an inclusive-language feminist gender-neutral political type. I’m just a student of language working toward representing our sacred texts more accurately, and sometimes that involves correcting mistaken inclusivity and exclusivity in translation

                I trust that I’ve made myself clear enough and laid your concerns to rest, at least as far as they involve me and my work.

                • “Correst. I am NOT an inclusive-language feminist gender-neutral political type. I’m just a student of language working toward representing our sacred texts more accurately, and sometimes that involves correcting mistaken inclusivity and exclusivity in translation”

                  Then this should have been the focus of your responses from the beginning, not accuracy of translations when it was quite clear that what the others were talking about was politically charged inclusive language.

                  Also Greek has the ability to use plurals for brotherhood and sisterhood therefore the exclusion of the feminine plural is either an oversight or a weakness in the original language. Either way brethren as it relates to any societal or religious meeting is appropriate in this scenario. It would be adding to the text if we were to add sisters to English translation.

                  For the record I would not consider the addition of sistren to brethren as a form of political correctness, just overly translated.

                  • Monk James says:

                    Okay, ‘Vergil’. You don’t seem to have studied the history of the word ‘brethren’

                    Archaic English does indeed have a word cognate to Germanic suesteren, but nobody — least of all myself — is advocating a revival of any form of that word. Let it remain in history along with its masculine counterpart.

                    In Greek, were I to introduce you to my parents, I might describe them as hoi pateres mou. Clearly, I can’t naturally have two male parents, and pateres includes both my mother and my father in a way which pater in the singular can’t, exclusively masculine as it is.

                    The same phenomenon occurs with adelphoi.

                    Got it?

            • Oh….I stand corrected. St Paul literally means brethren.

              I will not continue to argue with you. I have seen the damage that inclusive gender-neutral translations have done to the faithful. I think that your defense of such a thing is unfortunate.

        • Michael Bauman says:

          Monk James, the inclusive language the gentleman I heard interviewed meant was the gender bender crap that neuters God, Jesus Christ and elimnates the essential hierarchical difference between men and women.

          Frankly your type of response is irrelevant and only contributes to the problem of modern ideologies being transported into he Scripture to promote anti-Christian agendas. If you can’t understand that then silence is your best option.

          Knowing Greek is important but I will never have that knowledge and if my faith is dependent on that knowledge – I am lost.

          Thankfully, I know that my salvation is wholly independent of Greek anything.

          God is merciful and God judges. Glory be to God.

          • http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/06/uncovering-truth-head-coverings-and.html

            Our sacred texts in their original form are in no need of correction. If they have been translated with modernist license into English, that is another question.

            But the real correction needed is of the variety offered in Fr. John’s commentary on some shenanigans over at Public Orthodoxy. That is where the rubber meets the road.

            • Monk James says:

              Misha s(June 20, 2017 at 8:09 am) ays:

              SNIP
              Our sacred texts in their original form are in no need of correction. If they have been translated with modernist license into English, that is another question.
              SNIP

              Yes, as originally composed, our sacred texts are generally not in need of correction. Occasionally, though, we find errors in transmission, even ancient errors, which cause us to revise what we at first thought was an/the authentic Urtext.

              In English, most of the mistranslations I’ve identified are NOT due to ‘modernist license’, but have been in place for centuries, as in the King James (‘Authorised’) Version of the Bible and in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

              • Monk James,

                The problem is the politics. Before, “brothers” included sisters, it was understood. The weaker sex, the dependent sex, was assumed in the masculine, just like when a man and woman are married they became one legal person – the man. I recall occasionally mail was addressed to my grandmother as Mrs. Chas. E. Ingram. Her name was “Frances”. Often it was Mr. and Mrs Chas. E. Ingram, she being understood to be included in him.

                Vestiges of coverture. It was the way that Christians in the West conducted family life before the Feminist Borg corrupted us all into heathenism.

                https://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/wes/collections/women_law/

                http://michiganlawreview.org/the-return-of-coverture/

                What they are projecting as fear (largely baseless since most males in America are decidedly beta and unwilling to break their chains) is actually the only prescription that could save America and prepare us for the war with Islam.

          • Monk James says:

            Michael Bauman: I don’t think that my response to your assertion that ‘an “inclusive language” translation of the Bible. That leads to neo-paganism.’ is irrelevant at all.

            The few (of very many) corrections which I identified earlier in the matter of inclusive/exclusive language are not at all likely to ‘ lead to neo-paganism’ — they serve merely to repair mistranslations.

            People should not be daunted by the prospect of learning to read the New Testament, at least, in Greek. There are so many courses available, interlinear texts, aids to grammatical analysis, and a vocabulary of only 2300 or so words.

            But, having no personal access to the Greek leaves us, as always, at the mercy of the translators. Clearly, some of them are better at their task than others, but for us Orthodox Christians there’s the safeguard of The Tradition. When a rendering is compared to the use of the same liturgical or theological phrases in several of the Fathers of the Church, we can gain a better appreciation of its real intended meaning.

            In my own efforts, I make extensive use of those patristic works, in addition to comparing (especially scriptural texts) the Greek to Latin and Church Slavonic translations, so I’m generally pretty confident in my renderings, but everyone needs an editor.

            Also, people don’t like to be dislodged from their comfort zones, truth be damned. So, when, in ‘Our Father,’ I accurately affirm that trespasses’ is wrong and ‘debts’ is right, and people are used to ‘trespasses’ but can’t read the original text, they (not unexpectedly) demand to know ‘Are you lying to us now or has the (English-speaking, at least) Church been lying to us all these centuries?’

            That’s the wrong question.

          • Thank you Michael Bauman.
            Your response was better than mine. : )

            Inclusive/gender neutral language is a scourge.

            • Monk James says:

              Mikail (June 20, 2017 at 9:53 am) says:

              SNIP
              Inclusive/gender neutral language is a scourge.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              This is true only when the original text is misrepresented. When the source language is inclusive, that must be reflected in an accurate translation. The same is true when the source language is clearly gender-specific.

              Consider the common mistranslation of Matthew 5:11, starting (for our purposes) with the King James (‘Authorised’) Version, where the subject of the sentence is rendered as ‘men’. The Greek source text has pseudomenoi (‘liars’) as the subject of the sentence, which then is correctly translated as ‘Blessed are you when liars insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you because of Me.’

              Some inclusive-language versions have replaced ‘men ‘with ‘they’ or ‘people’, but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem, which is a failure to understand the grammar of the Greek.

              • https://publicorthodoxy.org/2017/06/19/women-and-the-creed-for-us-humans-and-for-our-salvation/

                Monk James,

                What we need to see is that those who push for inclusive language are, and always have been, part of the evil feminist Borg. The third person singular”he/him/his” is inclusive in the hypothetical, usually. That has been standard English as long as there has been an English language and has parallels in other languages (Spanish, Russian, etc.). It is only during the Age of Apostasy when Feminism has been replacing the Patriarchy as the social construct that this abominable travesty has evolved.

                Pure politics, motivated by the evil one.

                Women were not created to be equal to men. It is that simple. They were not created thus and, in fact, are not equal to men.

                Period.

                We are larger, more aggressive and naturally dominate unless some alien philosophy is imposed from above upon us by force. We need not argue about it, that is the record of most of human history. It is not only the natural law, but God’s Law as revealed in Scripture and Tradition.

                Feminism is the ideology of the devil himself. “Devil” comes from “diabolos”, “he who walks two ways” or “he who strives against himself”. That is the precise definition of what feminism prescribes for society, that men and women are equal and therefore there can never be any peace in society or the home.

                The devil has done his work quite well. Most of you have cooperated with him. I too have done so in the past. But no more.

                I call them as I see them and that is simply the objective truth of the situation as seen from a Christian perspective. I, for one, will not relent on this point.

                It is high time to call a spade a spade. I will defend the Holy Orthodox Faith on this point against all attackers to the best of my ability and I dare one and all to bring it on.

                Here is the sight of feminists eating each other over their differences:

                https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/opinion/kamala-harris-islamism-senate-hearing.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&mtrref=www.realclearworld.com&gwh=FD655B7F488C02980453B3B7942D2BE1&gwt=pay&assetType=opinion

                You can get an idea from the descriptions of the Muslim women that Christian patriarchy (essentially giving the man the same authority over women as over children) is quite different from what the Muslims have in store for homo sapiens femina.

                How do any of them sleep?

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Misha, I agree with you up to this statement: “Women are not created to be equal to men.” The devil is in the details of the adjective equal. Clearly the first mention of the creation of our species as stated in Genesis indicates their fundamental equality. Men and women are equal to each other, they are not equivalent or the same. They each have a specific ministry in the created order, one which is complementary.

                  • “‘But I suffer not a woman to teach.’ ‘I do not suffer,’ he says. What place has this command here? The fittest. He was speaking of quietness, of propriety, of modesty, so having said that he wished them not to speak in the church, to cut off all occasion of conversation, he says, let them not teach, but occupy the station of learners. For thus they will show submission by their silence. For the sex is naturally somewhat talkative: and for this reason he restrains them on all sides. ‘For Adam,’ says he, ‘was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.’

                    If it be asked, what has this to do with women of the present day? it shows that the male sex enjoyed the higher honor. Man was first formed; and elsewhere he shows their superiority. ‘Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.’ (1 Cor. xi. 9.) Why then does he say this? He wishes the man to have the preeminence in every way; both for the reason given above, he means, let him have precedence, and on account of what occurred afterwards. For the woman taught the man once, and made him guilty of disobedience, and wrought our ruin. Therefore because she made a bad use of her power over the man, or rather her equality with him, God made her subject to her husband. ‘Thy desire shall be to thy husband?’ (Gen. iii. 16.) This had not been said to her before. ‘”

                    – St. John Chrysostomos, Homily 9 on 1st Timothy

                    Actually the saint goes farther than I would by employing the word “equality” describe something that Eve was stripped of after the Fall. He is only speaking of equality of freedom, not equality of authority for women never, ever enjoyed equality of authority with men. It is just that before the Fall, there being no evil or sin, she was free to serve the man as she willed since that was appropriate in a sinless, non-fallen world. But that was not equlity, but rather voluntary servitude. The servitude became involuntary after the fall as she was cursed to be ruled over by man:

                    Genesis 3:16 – “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

                    There was never any hint of equality whatsoever involved before the Fall and certainly not after it, nor will such a thing be “restored” after the General Resurrection since we see the purpose for which man was created clearly explained before the Fall. Adam was to glorify God and walk humbly with Him; Eve was to serve man as a worthy helper, and they were meant to be fruitful and multiply, though the exact means of reproduction may have been a bit different before the Fall and after the General Resurrection given that the curse of the pain of childbirth shall be lifted. But men and women were equipped for physical reproduction from the very first and doubtless that will be so in the life to come. Marriage will no longer be necessary since there will be no shortage of resources, nor mates, nor will there be any jealousy.

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    George, quite right. The heresy of egalitaianism is intrinsic to feminism and many other modern philosophies that are anti-Christian.

                    The Theotokos is not equal to her Son, and was commended to John’s care while in this world yet she is far above us all.

                    Equal is a word that needs to be used carefully.

                    Ultimately it has little meaning outside mathematics.

                    I lead my wife in the faith yet I learn from her at the same time. She is my superior in kindness. There have been times when the natural and logical consequences of her not listening to me have made things difficult for her. But it would be a betrayal of her trust in me a betrayal of my manhood were I ever to hit her.

                    It is my job to lift her up to God in prayer, in care and in Thanksgiving. To guide her, care for her and love her. Physical brutality has no place in that. NONE. Any man who holds otherwise is a weak and cowardly man.

                • Please Monk James…..don’t be part of the evil feminist borg.

                  • Monk James says:

                    Mikail (June 23, 2017 at 10:27 pm) says:
                    Please Monk James…..don’t be part of the evil feminist borg.
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    Please, dear Mikail, have you not understood anything I’ve written here?

                    I am NOT in favor of inclusive language for its own sake, but for accuracy in translation. When source languages use gender- inclusive forms, they must be rendered by gender- inclusive forms in English translation, and when source languages use gender-exclusive forms, they in turn must be rendered by gender-exclusive forms in English translation.

                    I don’t do politics, especially not in my work as a translator. I trust that these few statements make my position clear enough.

                    • Monk James said:
                      “I don’t do politics, especially not in my work as a translator. I trust that these few statements make my position clear enough.”

                      And yet…..nobody seems to understand the “clarity” of your position. I am not a language expert…..and I am not a translator. I have one simple point to make. I have lived through the chaos that ensues when zealous “translators” attempt to correct language for the sake of “accuracy.” In this politically-correct society in in which we live, the radical feminists are always trying to twist “translations” so as to meet their deranged narrative. It seems to me, that you are playing into their hands. But that is only my opinion.

              • M. Stankovich says:

                Pardon me, but you have confused the grammar of the Greek text of Matt. 5:11, which reads:

                Μακάριοί [Blessed] ἐστε [are you] ὅταν [when] ὀνειδίσωσιν [they (3rd-person plural) shall insult] ὑμᾶς [you] καὶ [and] διώξωσι [persecute you] καὶ [and] εἴπωσι [shall say] πᾶν [covering all points, in every way] πονηρὸν [evil] καθ᾿ [against] ὑμῶν [you], ψευδόμενοι [lying] ἕνεκεν [on account] ἐμοῦ [of me].

                The fact of the matter is that the subject of the text is a 3rd-person plural, “they,” which one could reasonably conclude paralleled Luke 6:22, which reads, “μακάριοί [blessed] ἐστε [are] ὅταν [you] μισήσωσιν [when shall hate] ὑμᾶς [you] οἱ ἄνθρωποι [men].” In fact, in some manuscripts, it does just that. In any case, seeing that ψευδόμενοι (lying) was a verb, and not a noun, should have been a tip off that it was not the subject, making the OCA’s translation, “saying all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake” a reasonable translation.

                Personally, when there is no theological issue that is clouded, or looses its essential dogmatic distinction & clarity by making the language inclusive, I fail to see what possible difference it makes.

                • Monk James says:

                  M. Stankovich (June 25, 2017 at 4:11 am) says:

                  Pardon me, but you have confused the grammar of the Greek text of Matt. 5:11, which reads:

                  Μακάριοί [Blessed] ἐστε [are you] ὅταν [when] ὀνειδίσωσιν [they (3rd-person plural) shall insult] ὑμᾶς [you] καὶ [and] διώξωσι [persecute you] καὶ [and] εἴπωσι [shall say] πᾶν [covering all points, in every way] πονηρὸν [evil] καθ᾿ [against] ὑμῶν [you], ψευδόμενοι [lying] ἕνεκεν [on account] ἐμοῦ [of me].
                  SNIP

                  Pardon granted, of course.

                  Here, pseudomenoi is a masculine plural nominative present participle, functioning in substantive mode, as participles and adjectives often do, basically acting as nouns As such a noun/substantive participle, it is the subject of all the verbs preceding it in the sentence.

                  This is not an issue of inclusive language, except that older translations inaccurately make the subject ‘men’. This is perceived now as exclusively masculine, and is variously replaced by ‘they’ or ‘people’ in a mistaken attempt to be inclusive, but that’s not the problem, as I mentioned earlier.

    • Estonian Slovak says:

      One would think with all the Serbs have suffered for the Orthodox Faith that they would realize the West does not care for them. Yet, while cozying up to the West, they want Russia to fight their battles.
      Russia did that once before and lost her Orthodox Kingdom. One has to ask, where are the Serbs of the spiritual caliber of Sts. Nicholai Velimirovic or Justin Popovic?

  2. “Chickens coming home to roost.” That is the phrase that came to me when looking into this unpleasant business.

    Spiritual Liberalism = feminism = perversion

    It is time to demand a recanting of the Enlightenment.

    Man is not the measure of all things.

    God is.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Nice bumper sticker Misha, but God is a lot more than that. Mercy does not measure anything.

      • “Nice bumper sticker Misha, but God is a lot more than that. Mercy does not measure anything.”

        Michael,

        Bumper stickers and sound bites are the currency of the day. Be all things to all men. God gave many measurements in Scripture, for the temple, for the ark, etc. The most significant measure for us was in the parable of the Last Judgment where He says the measure He will take is according to how each of us treats “the least of these” in this world. The souls of sixty million aborted babies (since Roe) cry out to the Lord for vengeance, Michael. That’s just America, not the rest of the world.

        That’s not counting all the social disruption and disgrace from marriages destroyed by feminism and lives destroyed by perversion and promiscuity, the psychological damage, culture of drug dependence and gang counter cultures formed to resist it.

        The Liberal Borg and the Islamic Grendal must be destroyed.

        Yet, after all, this is my preferred way of destroying the enemy:

        http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/62200.htm

        And there is hope for every last one of us.

  3. M. Stankovich says:

    Round two of the piloerections, and I would return to the sentiments expressed by Fr. Patrick in round one: out of respect, I will accept his endorsement of Dr. Humphrey as I am completely ignorant, and I have read several book from Fr. Andrew Louth (notably in regard to St. Maximus the Confessor) and he is a true scholar.

    With all due respect – and in all sincerity, without the intention of personal mockery or defamation – I have always imagined Arius, that arch-heretic, to be a robust, vigorous, boisterous man; loud and aggressive in foisting his error upon the Church, and so much so that it is told that our Father Nicholas of Mira rose in anger to slap him. Then I looked at the picture heading this post, and the resolution to this entire silly “conflict”, it seems to me, hearkens back many years ago to when I was a 1st year resident in lower Manhattan, sent down to the ER very early one morning. There was a slightly intoxicated patient whom everyone believed was sneaking off to the bathroom to a hidden bottle, and who was increasing unruly and unmanageable. One of the few African American psychiatrists around said to me, “Come with me,” and the nurse and I followed. He quickly drew back the curtain, and there was the guy standing in a gown. “Hi, what’s your name?” “Ken.” “Hi, Ken, I’m Dr. X. Now sit your ass down, Ken, and shut up because everyone is tired of listening to you. Got it?” And that’s all it took. “Your pretension, your imposition, your entitlement, and your opinion is all well and good, but not in this house.”

    This continuous granting of free “airtime” – and the insistence of the author of this piece to, again, dredge up distortions such as “Fr. Robert Arida argued in favor of homosexuality on the OCA’s Wonder blog, aimed especially at youth,” when not one of these simpletons is intellectually competent to carry books for Priest Robert Arida – is self-defeating. Worse yet is this gloating of the “taking down” of Giacomo Sanfilippo AKA Peter San Filipo, who I personally knew at SVS. He was not a noteworthy student, let alone a scholar, and is a very sick person. Why in heaven’s name anyone – including the priests who shamefully dishonor the name of Fr. John Meyendorff, of blessed memory, at Fordahm University – is responding to this man Giacomo as if he deserves standing is really quite astonishing to me. People responded to me on the AOI site that I apparently don’t appreciate how “deadly serious” the Public Orthodoxy site is and just how influential Giacomo might be. Madonna Mia! My response to you is very simple: “Sit your ass down, and shut up because everyone is tired of listening to you. Got it?” Get off the internet and help humanity. I’ve started taking my lunch in the nursery at the hospital across the street from my job, feeding & rocking babies receiving sub-q Buprenorphine (you can explain it, Mr. M.) because they were born addicted to opiates, and for which the angels in heaven weep. Your heart will be filled with joy. The bed is full of monkeys.

    • Dr Stankovich, Episcopalians in Amsterdam? receives 119 comments, the article two days before about Russia making an effort to reduce babies being aborted received 19 comments. Sex and slander sell. Enough said about that, but I do admire the fact that you always seem to be the first to defend the slandered.

      Your advice is well taken. Nothing much more noble than the care of babies, the sick and the elderly. May The Holy Trinity bless you, and keep you many years in our Lord and Savior’s service!

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Michael S. Dear one. Neither ability nor academic qualifications have anything to do with the debate. In fact their seems to be an inverse ratio between the academic approach and both truth and reality. I have zero trust in any conclusions coming from such a source.

      Arida is intelligent maybe even gifted but he is wrong. Anyone who seeks or does not object to any compromise with the world on this is wrong. That is the first step. Put a stop to the nonesense.
      I have personally heard Louth say that the Fathers must be reinterpreted in the light of modern knowledge. So, scholar though he is, I don’t trust his conclusions at all.

      Scholarship is not required: We are created male and female to be in union with one another in Christ. Sin disrupts and corrupts that. Adultery, fornication, perversion both in thought and practice is either outright sin or partakes of sin. Repentance and confession are essential.

      At least that is what my priest preached yesterday.

      Anytone that tries to change or modify that cosmic and spiritual reality is an idiot and probably a liar even if in the Halls of Academe he is a considered a saint.

      God is merciful and God judges each of us. Glory be to God.

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Please allow me follow-up here, as apparently my commentary above was misunderstood. It was not my intention to defend academics, scholars, nor Priest Robert Arida.

        In the first place, the jamoke who wrote this piece identifies Priest Robert Arida as, “Fr. Robert M. Arida, who argued in favor of homosexuality on the OCA’s Wonder blog, aimed especially at youth.” In the second place, Fr. Hans Jacobse states in another thread, “Fr. Robert Arida’s essay “Never Changing Gospel, Ever Changing Culture” a few years back on the OCA youth blog that made a (laborious) case for sanctioning sodomy. ” This is, in fact, what Priest Robert Arida wrote on the OCA’s Wonderblog:

        Among the most controversial of these issues are those related to human sexuality, the configuration of the family, the beginning and ending of human life, the economy and the care and utilization of the environment including the care, dignity and quality of all human life. If the unchanging Gospel is to be offered to the culture then the Church, in and through the Holy Spirit will have to expand the understanding of itself and the world it is called to save.

        This constitutes a “laborious” case for sanctioning sodomy? This is an argument in favor of homosexuality? I sat down and wept when I remembered Zion! (cf. Ps 136:1) And if not despicable enough, both attempt to rhetorically hang the rock of “corrupting the youth” with sodomy/homosexuality around Priest Robert Arida’s neck. Shame on both of them. And my point, Michael Bauman, was that they resort to such tactics because they are intellectually inferior to Priest Robert Arida. I have known Robert Arida for nearly 45-years as a man of great piety & humility, and I would like to believe that he is incapable of holding beliefs contrary to the dogmatic teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. I honestly am not certain. Fr. Hans, however, who knows absolutely nothing about this Orthodox Priest, sets about in his astonishing arrogance, based on nothing more than innuendo and a bucket full of cheap guesses and showboating, to judge him. Am I finger-wagging? You’re damn right I’m finger wagging.

        I conclude by, again, expressing my admiration for the one man who attempted to address this matter pursuant to the order of the Scripture and according to the Tradition of the Holy Fathers: Archpriest Alexander Webster, Dean of Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville (ROCOR). He picked up the phone and attempted to reach his brother priest, to speak with him, and correct him as necessary. He was unsuccessful, but he was courageous and he acted in love. I suspect this is why he is the Dean of a traditional Orthodox seminary.

        • Christopher says:

          M. Stankovich,

          You can take your anger out on Fr. Hans all you want but it won’t change the reality of the intention of Priest Robert Arida in writing this essay, nor its subversive message, nor any of the background to this whole story. I could go on and on about these facts. For example, the sentence you failed to quote that comes soon after what you do:

          “That there are Orthodox Christians who misuse the never changing. Christ to promote a particular political agenda and ideology or as license to verbally and physically assault those they perceive as immoral along with those who would question the status quo of the Church impose on the Church a “new and alien spirit.”

          The background to this sentence is the scandal of his own daughter being “gay” and “married” to another women. How does Priest Robert Arida react? He writes a this essay saying that the Holy Revelation that the Church holds to is “politics”, and that those who uphold this Tradition actually commit “violence” by verbally and physically “assaulting” those whom they only “perceive” (as if their perception is in error) to be rejecting the church’s teaching.

          Fact is, for personal/familial reasons the Priest Robert Arida has decided that the Church’s anthropology is wrong, and even violent. When he did not get the support for his views he wanted among some of his fellow priests, he wrote this essay. I don’t recall the numbers, but I think it was more than a dozen priests who responded on the blog because they knew exactly what the Priest Robert Arida was up to and took this personal insult and false allegation, well personally.

          Again, I can go on and on about this but it would do no good because it has already been done here and elsewhere and you continue to deny the most basic facts about this essay and the events surrounding it. In other words you will continue to finger wag in vain…

          • M. Stankovich says:

            Christopher,

            The fact that you are so arrogant and bold as to reveal the personal matters of a man’s own daughter – let alone an Orthodox priest – and then continue on to presume to ascribe to him motivations you could not possibly know without his direct revelation is at once pretentious as it is fabrication. And to top it off, your public moral “ass whooping” of Fr. Arida is dealt as a complete coward, safely without revealing who exactly you might be.

            I will say this this to you quite emphatically: I was communicating with Fr. Robert at the time this article was published specifically in reaction by those of us fortunate to have been the last generations to have been blessed by our God to have been taught in the chapel and the classrooms and to have associations and relationships with Fr. Georges Florovsky; Fr. Schmemann & Meyendorff; Profs. SS Verhovskoy and Veselin Kesich, and so on. He was writing about those of us who felt under siege by internet Orthodox converts with a few years in the church, Google-prepared to teach, absolutely unprepared to listen. Those who had no boundary, even extending their presumptuous “authority” to critique individual pastoral decision, contrary to the Gospel itself. You will instruct me as to the background and motivation of my first roommate at SVS and friend of 45-years? You are a pretentious imbecile. I suggest you take your dumb ass over to Fr. Hans’ site and read my contemporaneous comments to him when he wrote his ridiculous insult suggesting Fr. Robert become an Episcopalian. As here, I am consistent, I object to undeserved trashing, and despise murderous gossip.

            You could go “on and on” but will not because I am in denial of “facts?” Let me conclude by saying to you that I will defend no one who teaches anything that is contrary to the Holy Scripture, the teachings of the Patristric Fathers, the Holy Canons, and our Holy Tradition. Let me repeat myself: I will defend no one. First, you provide me with truth, then we will discuss denial.

            • If Fr. Robert Arida did not intend to suggest that the church embrace and commune those who engage in homosexual sex, why has he consistently refused to clarify his thoughts and say that he agrees that homosexual sex is inherently sinful and incompatible with the Christian life?

              • M. Stankovich says:

                Are you actually inviting conjecture and speculation, Fr. John, or are you using that old parlor trick of making a statement in the form of a question? Personally, I find both disingenuous and unworthy of an Orthodox priest.

                If you have factual accusations to make against your brother priest, then follow the instruction of the Holy Scripture:

                Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be to you as an heathen man and a publican. (Matt. 18:15ff)

                Should I instruct you Fr. John, or does your email signature not quote St. Chrysostom scolding us that we should not attempt to wage war without knowledge of the Holy Scripture? Does your brother Priest Robert not deserve that much respect before you submit his “motivation” to the scrutiny of the internet? My personal, contemporaneous response to Fr. Hans will eventually appear – you and Fr. Hans are on the “Fast Track” to be posted without “moderation – but I will suggest that your comment is pure antagonism.

                • Michael, Fr. Robert did not respond to attempts to discuss this privately. The members of the Orthodox Clergy Association addressed him publicly and appealed to his bishops. This was about 3 years ago, and we have yet to get any response from any of them. I know other clergy in the OCA likewise attempted to address this directly, and then through their bishops, and got nowhere.

                  http://orthodoxhouston.org/arida_response.html

                  Why do you suppose he wont respond, and why do you suppose the bishops of the OCA have not responded?

          • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

            Christopher wrote:

            He [Fr. Robert Arida] writes a this essay saying that the Holy Revelation that the Church holds to is “politics”, and that those who uphold this Tradition actually commit “violence” by verbally and physically “assaulting” those whom they only “perceive” (as if their perception is in error) to be rejecting the church’s teaching.

            Fr. Arida reasons using identity politics. Because some homosexuals have suffered the reasoning goes, anyone who criticizes homosexual behavior is morally culpable for the suffering. This is how he justifies using vituperative language (“violence” and “assaulting,” etc.) against his critics. It also attempts to cut off discussion before it begins by declaring that those who raise objections to his ideas have no moral standing to make them.

            This is how liberal Episcopalians reason about homosexuality which is why I suggested he would feel more at home in the Episcopal Church.

            • M. Stankovich says:

              http://www.aoiusa.org/the-new-gnosticism-of-the-homosexual-movement/#comment-208540

              M. Stankovich:

              I have known Fr. Robert Arida for more than forty years – he was one of my first roommates at seminary – and I can assure you that, while his is a brilliant mind, his is not the calculating mind of which you accuse. Personally, I am angry and disappointed that he has written in vague terms and refuses to respond or expand to his critics, but you have developed an impression and the accompanying jingoism of which those on the Right are so fond on the flimsiest of actual statements. I would note that you have previously mocked those who “quote the bigshots” like Fr. Georges Florovsky, but I have not seen you critique Fr. Florovsky’s statements in regard to “Living Tradition,” which he so beautifully delineates and crafts in at least five separate articles in English of which I am aware. And only one of these articles was ever criticized, I believe (my computer is being repaired and I can’t plug the thunderbolt cable into my older laptop to check) by ArchBp. Averky of Jordanville, originally titled “Thoughts About the Limits of the Church,” which Fr. Georges amended before publishing. The point being that Fr. Florovsky took the concept of “Living Tradition” much further than Robert Arida, yet you do not group him among the “Gnostics.” The reason? You are fixated on a “theology contra-homosexuality.” That was my argument with you on Monomakhos, that you would turn the mystery of Christian Marriage into the “antidote” for homosexuality. The only difference between the arguments of Fr. George Florovsky and Fr. Robert Arida are exactly two words: “human sexuality.” The remainder of your argument is complete conjecture. If you are comfortable and confident referring to Robert Arida as a “Gnostic” based only on what he has actually written, than you have no choice but to also refer as well to Georges Florovsky.

              Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

              So what do you think Fr. Arida is saying? What is his thesis? And why did he write in such “vague terms?”

              M. Stankovich :

              I believe you can read his “thesis” as well as I can: the church, in the context of the “public square,” must address the issues “related to human sexuality, the configuration of the family, the beginning and ending of human life, the economy and the care and utilization of the environment including the care, dignity and quality of all human life.” It seems fairly obvious to me that by not doing so, by not providing a voice of moral authority, we are complicit with the indifference that has allowed the courts of this country to determine these issues for us. Now, had I written these same words, I do not believe you would have any comment whatsoever. But Fr. Arida had 1) previously written a short commentary regarding homosexuality and the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in his home state, and 2) Fr. Arida is not Fr. Georges Florovsky. It is only when people like you pounced on the two words that distinguish the two author’s (and I might add Met. Kallistos (Ware), as well) thoughts on “Living Tradition” – human sexuality – then in my mind, his essay becomes “vague.” And I am very disappointed & angry that he has not addressed and clarified the issue directly (and addressed Fr. Alexander Webster, whom I have commended for taking the high road in attempting to contact him directly). I believe no one in a position of educating the faithful has the right to cloud the “public square” with vague “theolegumena.”

              Let me repeat myself: In some of my last communications with Fr. Robert shortly before the Wonderblog article appeared, we were discussing the siege by internet, Google-fueled Orthodox cowards who hide behind the anonymity of the internet to judge the hierarchs, the ordained clergy, and even the fathers of our generation. The information regarding his personal matters – which were certainly not a secret to those who knew him – were only shamelessly posted to internet much later. These post-fact attempt to impose “motivation,” to Priest Robert Arida, or to suggest that Priest Robert Arida “reasons like an Episcopal liberal,” are the production of creeps and/or inferior intellects who, if actually faced off with Priest Robert Arida without access to Google, would have their hats handed to them for their internet arrogance. I vehemently disagree with his choice not to respond to his critics, but I do not consider this license to ascribe any and every motivation that happens to support my particular agenda. It is a cheap manipulation, and to date, his claim that the Church must address these emergent issues related to human sexuality are as relevant today as when he posted them on the Wonderblog. I say again, this is neither an “apologia” nor a defense of any man, in particular; my objection is to this false ascription achieved by innuendo, conjecture, or “reading between the lines.” The Fathers condemn this – even if it, in the end, proves itself to be true – because it is the inability to see one’s own sins; and those comfortable entering into the sanctity of the house of his brother should search out St. Chrysostom’s, “Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren.”

              • Christopher says:

                I respect you M. Stankovich for standing by your friend. Your simplistic insulting of those who see through your friends rhetoric however is just that – insult and error on your part.

                Ironic that you point us to a sermon by St. Chrysostom titled “Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren.” You do realize that the errors of the Priest Robert Arida (the original essay in question and subsequent follow ups) are as of today still published by him on his Cathedral website don’t you? This under the nose of his Bishop? Errors seem to cluster around the Priest Robert Arida and his friends…

                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Christopher,

                  You may well be correct. However, on the day you identify yourself and own your conjecture before God and this forum is the day I address you again. You are a coward and a punk who enjoys the anonymity of the internet to throw the stones of conjecture and “suggestion.” I suggest you read our Father Climacus on the Step of Gossip, and the error he personally made, and heed his personal warning. Both are much more significant than anything I might or might not know.

  4. Fr. George Washburn says:

    Congratulations to George for posting something far more factual and mature than his first attempt. The issues involved are worthy of the kind of careful reporting, consideration and debate to which George and the more vigorous participants here clearly aspire, and just as clearly often fail to attain.

    Next, in my opinion, George ought to apologize briefly for the first piece, in particular for a) naming and publicly calling out one or more who were not even invited or in attendance, and b) smearing *all* in attendance with the clear implication they were deliberate, united and clandestine saboteurs of the moral teaching of the Church. It looks like some perhaps were, but carelessly criminalizing all serves no good purpose, and in fact serves a different but very effective and well known strategy by which the Evil One sows discord among brethren. As we know from Proverbs, that is one of the things God hates too!

    Love,

    Fr. George

    • Gail Sheppard says:

      Father George, you are the king of backhanded compliments, I’ll give you that!

      You made it easy for me today.

      When someone prefaces an article saying, “Word on the street…,” they are telling you that the details have not been verified. The people George named are public figures who have “thrust themselves to the forefront of this particular controversy in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved” so it would hardly qualify as “smearing.” In addition, “street information” is not necessarily inclusive of the precise details about who was and was not invited/included in a given meeting. I’m not sure even *you* would know who was invited (unless you were, too, or someone told you, which you have not volunteered) which means you are unable to hold George accountable in this regard. We don’t know that George erred so no apology is required.

      They were *deliberate* in that they consciously and intentionally met. They were “united” in that they joined together for a specific purpose. They were “clandestine” in that they met in secret to discuss “pastoral concerns.” Many (perhaps all; we shall see) are “saboteurs” to the degree that they have advocated for the weakening of the Church’s position on sex outside of marriage, as defined as a union between a man and a woman.

      George wasn’t criminalizing anyone, as he never suggested their position (as defined by those who have previously spoken) was illegal; just immoral and troubling. I think that’s fair. I’m “troubled.” – What am I missing???

      I think you owe George an apology and perhaps the rest of us, too. We all aspire and fail to varying degrees, Father, even you. A condescending attitude has been known to sow a great deal of discord, particularly on a list or a blog. It’s created a wedge between us, unfortunately, and that makes me very sad.

      If you seek to defend those who met, why not do it based on the merits of their position, as you see them. Why make everything you say about bashing George. I love him to death, but he really isn’t all that important when it comes to some of these other matters.

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Dear Gail,

        Here’s my thought. Let’s play “State the obvious.” When you post an “infinite” hot-topic (keywords on Monomakhos: homosexuality, Jillions, SVS, unannounced/clandestine/ suspicious, sex, Episcopal) adorned with a rainbow graphic, dear Gail what is the implication and/or insinuation without proceeding one word further? Be honest. And secondly, without a single word further, what would you guess as to how the litany of responses might be themed? As a generalization, I am programmed to hear the voice of Fr. Alexander Schmemann saying theologians are not self-appointed or titled, and his question would be, “So who are you?” to the unearned. That’s me. But if, perchance, upon their release of the papers presented at this conference, to a person, they ascribed to, in every sense and to every degree, our Orthodoxy Tradition, our Patristic Tradition, our Dogmatic Tradition, and the Holy Scripture, will every jackass in these threads who put them to scorn retract their stupidity, apologize, and repent of their error? I agree with Fr. George. They were mocked & scorned for whom they are believed to be, without any evidence. And even if it proves to be true, we are all entitled to first be heard before we are judged.

        • Gail Sheppard says:

          Micahel,

          There is a saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck. . .” Fr. Alexander Schmemann may not have characterized anything this way, but he probably wouldn’t disagree with it, either.

          If this group comes out with a narrative that excludes heterosexuals who are in the same predicament, i.e. unmarried and therefore precluded from having sex, then we’ll know the “mocking and scorning,” as you see it, was justified.

          Please don’t tell me that because a homosexual can never marry, s/he should be a “pastoral concern.” The chances of me marrying again are equally abysmal. I’m not quite this age, but “for a woman over 65, there is a 10,000 to one chance of marriage.” (Professor Sara Arber, co-director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender at the University of Surrey)

          The desire to love and be loved does not go away, dear friend, nor do the opportunities, interestingly. If I were to habitually partake in these opportunities to feel “loved,” no priest would give me a pass, end of story.

          Unmarried, heterosexual people, young and old, struggle with the same temptations that homosexuals do and unless you want to make the argument that the frontal lobe of a homosexual is somehow deficient, the same pastoral guidelines should apply. Sex outside of marriage is a sin. That’s what the Church teaches. If a priest were to mitigate this fact on my behalf, especially out of concern or sympathy for me, it would be more about him than about me. *I* need to hear the truth. My very salvation depends on it. Forgoing temptations makes me spiritually stronger. It’s called “a cross” and as Orthodox Christians, we are expected to bear them.

          Notice how I just said all that without bashing George. One CAN make an argument without making it about George.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Gail: spot on. Only a minor quibble, that is your assertion that gays “cannot marry”. Those who have been in the grips of same-sex attraction have always had the opportunity to marry and throughout history have actually married. And produced children and had fulfilling lives. Famous homosexuals such as King Ferdinand of Bulgaria and Eleanor Roosevelt spring to mind.

            Permit me to go a little further down this rabbit hole. One of the reasons for the push for so-called gay marriage has been so that homosexual partners can adopt and provide for children. The genetic drive for procreation is not annulled by homoerotic desire, at least in some (many?) people. While there are homosexuals of the gnostic variety who engage in this practice because of their contempt for the created order, that’s not true of all.

            Having said that, the rejiggering of our civilization to accommodate perversion will not make anybody happy in the end.

            Anyway, my 2c.

            BTW, thank you for your heart-felt arguments. If I may, I think we should all pray for each other and help lighten each others’ burdens.

        • M. Stankovich, “….will every jackass in these threads who put them to scorn retract their stupidity , apologize, and repent of their error?”

          Nope! Just move on to the next story. Again I applaud you M. Stankovich, you are spot on. We must be more careful with the reputations of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please forgive my ignorance and rude behavior to you in the past. You’re a better man than I.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says:

          You meant to say “will every DONKEY” in these threads . . .

          • M. Stankovich says:

            Actually, it is always my intention to refer to the species which is a cross-bred derivative resulting in what the Mexicans in this part of extreme SoCal refer to as a burro. It is not a donkey because it cannot reproduce; it is traditionally considered a “work” animal rather than a “travel” animal because it is notoriously dumb and notoriously stubborn. On the US side of the border, there appears to be a Mexican tradition of decorating a burro with a traditional hat (through which its ears protrude) and dressing your young son as a “ranchero” or your young daughter as a “princess” to be photographed atop the burro. My advice: if you need to run in to Walmart for, say, batteries, between 0800 and 1200 on Saturday in Bonita (1.5 miles from the US-Mexican border), move on. The burro rules.

            Finally, even though I have made this point twice previously, I say again that “jackass” is not a euphemism or code word for “asshole.” This is not the school yard or the prison yard. I mix every day of the week with felony parolees and know the language of the “street.” I choose my words carefully.

  5. Truth is Truth, Absolute. The alternative voice of the lbgt agenda seeks to change the Truth to suit there decadent fancy to pure lies. We seek acquisition of the Holy Spirit and certainly do not seek to sin against the Holy Spirit, which never has forgiveness. The battle lines lead to either Eternal Life or eternal damnation. The arrogant cannot win this game, but will lose their opportunity to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. If anyone favors the lbgt agenda their eternal toast. They appear to not have any fear of God or man, but they will. This is not a threat. Gravity does not threaten someone who wants to jump off a cliff, but the jumper will regret it when he hits the bottom.Gravity is just gravity, as Truth is Truth. It just IS

  6. Anonymouse says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4612762/Church-England-chief-backs-christenings.html

    Maybe they can discuss this too.

    At what point is the Orthodox Church (some jurisdictions thereof, anyway) going to stop pretending that Protestant ecclesial communities confer a valid baptism?

  7. http://www.christiandomesticdiscipline.com/home.html

    I found this interesting and encouraging, if we are going to discuss sexuality and gender roles, that is. Basically it advocates the notion of “wife-spanking” or “Christian domestic discipline”” where the husband has the right and obligation to use physical force to impose order in the home in a similar manner to the way he might discipline children.

    Not that it is anything new. It is, essentially, the Christian Patriarchy of the Church Fathers expressed in early 21st century politically incorrect terms.

    * * *

    St. John Chrysostom, Homily 20, On Ephesians:

    “Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband.”

    For indeed, in very deed, a mystery it is, yea, a great mystery, that a man should leave him that gave him being, him that begot him, and that brought him up, and her that travailed with him and had sorrow, those that have bestowed upon him so many and great benefits, those with whom he has been in familiar intercourse, and be joined to one who was never even seen by him and who has nothing in common with him, and should honor her before all others. A mystery it is indeed. And yet are parents not distressed when these events take place, but rather, when they do not take place; and are delighted when their wealth is spent and lavished upon it.— A great mystery indeed! And one that contains some hidden wisdom. Such Moses prophetically showed it to be from the very first; such now also Paul proclaims it, where he says, “concerning Christ and the Church.”

    However not for the husband’s sake alone it is thus said, but for the wife’s sake also, that “he cherish her as his own flesh, as Christ also the Church,” and, “that the wife fear her husband.” He is no longer setting down the duties of love only, but what? “That she fear her husband.” The wife is a second authority; let not her then demand equality, for she is under the head; nor let him despise her as being in subjection, for she is the body; and if the head despise the body, it will itself also perish. But let him bring in love on his part as a counterpoise to obedience on her part. For example, let the hands and the feet, and all the rest of the members be given up for service to the head, but let the head provide for the body, seeing it contains every sense in itself. Nothing can be better than this union.

    And yet how can there ever be love, one may say, where there is fear? It will exist there, I say, preëminently. For she that fears and reverences, loves also; and she that loves, fears and reverences him as being the head, and loves him as being a member, since the head itself is a member of the body at large. Hence he places the one in subjection, and the other in authority, that there may be peace; for where there is equal authority there can never be peace; neither where a house is a democracy, nor where all are rulers; but the ruling power must of necessity be one. And this is universally the case with matters referring to the body, inasmuch as when men are spiritual, there will be peace.

    * * *

    • Gail Sheppard says:

      Misha, I have no intention of reading your article because you’re clearly not coming from a Godly position. Men are to treat their wives as Christ treats the Church. They are to honor their wives and treat the bodies of their wives as they would their own. When you can demonstrate that Christ “spanked” the Church or that you would “spank” yourself, I will go down this rabbit hole with you, but we both know you can’t. You have a very distorted view of the relationship God envisioned for a man and woman so your opinion is of no importance. I suspect your father confessor would be quite captivated by your ridiculous ideas, though, as there is much fruit for discussion. Talk to him. Don’t express your POV, here, where other people read this crap. – Your need to demonize women borders on the pathological. “Fear” used in the context of what St. John Chrysostom’s is saying, is another name for reverence and love; not the variety you’re familiar with.

      Come on, men! Set him straight for once and for all. That shouldn’t be my job. Lots of people read this blog. Do you want them to think there is ANY legitimacy to what he is saying, because they *will* associate his POV with the Church’s teachings. If they’re considering the Church as their home, they may choose a different path just because they find Misha’s opinions abhorrent, as I do. We *are* our bother’s keeper to the degree that we do not mislead others by turning a blind eye to the maniacal (sinful) within our midst.

      • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says:

        I’m a male and a priest, though probably not a very good one. I’m not a theologian, though I would put myself in the Traditionalist camp.
        I tend to agree with Gale here. We are called to love our wives. My wife really was my better half. She respected me, she respected my priesthood, she was a fine mother and wife.
        I may be as dumb as they come, but I think that Misha’s extremist statements put him in such a light that it takes away from the good things he does have to say. I speak from experience. In my forty years as a priest , I have tried to stand for what is right. Sadly, I often expressed myself in ways which drove people away, and for this I repent.
        I think I said this at least once here, I’m walking proof of the Canons which state that no man under 30 should be ordained a presbyter. Of course, forty years after the fact, it’s a moot point.
        Many of us have blamed feminism for the state of the American male. I submit that Hollywood is largely to blame. Like many, I used to watch “Archie Bunker” and snicker over him as the ignorant buffoon. Then came Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, and that obnoxious “Family Guy”, just to name a few. So the young people watch this and are indoctrinated with the idea that the head of the house is an overgrown child. That’s one reason I’ve practically eliminated television from my life.

      • Gail, All that you said, is all that needs to said! Best advice at this point just ignore, I’m sure at some point he will repent. I remember a few months back he made a public apology on Monomakhos, perhaps another is forthcoming, after a few visits with his spiritual father. Thanks for manning up for us men!

      • Gail is correct.

        Misha sounds like a quasi-Orthodox version of a Men’s Rights Activist who’s had trouble finding a wife (I’m shocked!), and decides that women are the root of all the evil in the modern world.

      • Michael Bauman says:

        Gail, just read Mischa’s obscene comments. George ought to take them down.. This man at least admonishes him. He takes the obvious disorder of the male-female interactions and takes it even further from what it ought to be.

        • Michael,

          I just repeat the Holy Orthodox Faith. Nothing more, nothing less Orthodox Christianity is a thoroughly patriarchal religion. I have quoted extensively to demonstrate this and it should be common sense to anyone who reflects on male-female relations in the Church over the ages, yet you prefer the modern heterodox phronema to that of the Fathers.

          The Fathers rejected the idea of independent women across the board. That is the one consistent thread that runs throughout their teaching on male female relations which they received from the Lord and His Apostles. They disapproved of adultery because it was one man stealing another mans wife. They disapproved of fornication/harlotry because it left women sexually independent of men with no support for the children that might issue, no stable home or family, etc.

          They always infallibly taught that women should obey their husbands and be in subjection to them. St. Paul, for example, refused to place any woman over any man in authority. Both the Scriptures and Church Tradition are an unwavering witness to this incontrovertible fact. The Church Fathers taught the imposition of Christian Patriarchy. Case Closed.

          Moreover, they were not prudes in the least. One can see from their pastoral comments that they found no problem with men having sex with their single female servants and some passages even indicate that they only disapproved in a man having sex with another man’s female servant if the owner did not approve. These passages clearly and unequivocally point to a worldview profoundly at odds with not only the modern liberal worldview, but the modern pseudo-conservative worldview found in touchy feely Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy-lite.

          To be specific in the indictment, the Church Fathers would have probably characterized most post-pubescent single women over the age of 16 or so as in a class similar to harlots due to their sexual proclivities. Their boyfriends would also be in the category of fornicators unless they financially supported their paramours.

          That’s just the way they saw the world and for the Orthodox, the way they saw the world is known as The Law of God.

          I know. That is unspeakably strong medicine for most all of you. But that is how God sees the situation – apart from the way man sees it.

          So you can see, far from encouraging promiscuity, I am calling it by its right name and setting the record of Western Civilization straight for all to see. That is what we have become. “How the mighty have fallen!”

          As a reward for this Great Apostasy, we have the plagues of AIDS, widespread venereal diseases, high divorce rates and broken homes, latch key kids, boys and girls without adult role models, the scourge of abortion, cycles of poverty and the gangsta culture which is a primitive reaction of the black community to the unholy evil of modern feminist society.

          On top of all that, many try to escape the hellish dystopia through drugs, video games, gang life . . . whatever, to take their minds off the Horrific Feminist Borg which rules American and Western European society – Babylon, the Mother of All Whores.

          And it will all come crashing down like a house of cards soon enough because it is not written in the fabric of reality, material reality or biological reality, for things to operate this way – thus all the dissonance and misery.

          Society and the economy will simply collapse from the disfunction of the evil ideology. The last election was a stark warning, as are the terrorist attacks and all the gender confusion in society.

          God is mad as hell and He does not intend to let it go on too much longer.

          Mark my words.

          And that is the unvarnished, “Gospel Truth”.

          So don’t wonder that your society is so screwed up or that Orthodoxy has not taken hold here. If you do not practice true Orthodoxy, no one will know what it is and few will be interested in what you do have to offer – a false gospel.

      • Gail, Thank goodness there is someone else willing to point this out!

      • M. Stankovich says:

        Come on Gail! I quit taking the bait.

    • You are a prime example of a new type of “Fundamentalist Orthodox” Christian. A lay person who feels THEY, not their priest or bishop, but they themselves can wade through the Teachings and the Canons and somehow come out with a Godly and applicable interpretation of them. You, who certainly should never have the opportunity to be the head of a wife or family for you would surely abuse your position. You, who speak of women as sewers…who advocates for the idea of “wife-spanking”… or, let’s just call both what they truly are: mental and physical abuse of woman. For if you are half the Godly man you lay claim to be, you would need neither methods for your wife to love, cherish and respect your headship.

      • Saunca. Please see my post to Gail above, in regards to Misha. Perhaps his zeal to be the perfect Christian gets the better of him.

        Through trial and error, and many trips to my spiritual father, I have discovered that true Godly Love for one’s spouse is all that is needed. Everything else will fall in place. Not a day goes by I don’t worry, pray, and care for my wife’s needs before mine. Naturally, and spiritually by doing so, it is not hard for her to reciprocate that care, attention, and love back to me. Again thanks to you and Gail, for manning up for us men!

      • saunca,

        Meanwile, in relevant news, rather than the quixotic campaign of the Left to redefine orifices, the party that is “the focus of evil in the modern world” has had a bad, bad week:

        http://nypost.com/2017/06/21/good-riddance-to-the-russia-myth-and-blame-team-obama-for-promoting-it/

        Orthodox Christians in particular, and other Christians as well, really need to take aim dead on feminism with an eye toward destroying the myth of equality:

        * * *

        Yet how strange! For how then is it, that it is said elsewhere, “If one bid not farewell both to wife and to husband, he cannot follow me”? Luke 14:26 For if it is their duty to be in subjection “as unto the Lord,” how says He that they must depart from them for the Lord’s sake? Yet their duty indeed it is, their bounden duty. But the word “as” is not necessarily and universally expressive of exact equality. He either means this, “‘as’ knowing that you are servants to the Lord”; (which, by the way, is what he says elsewhere, that, even though they do it not for the husband’s sake, yet must they primarily for the Lord’s sake;) or else he means, “when you obey your husband, do so as serving the Lord.” For if he who resists these external authorities, those of governments, I mean, “withstands the ordinance of God” Romans 13:2, much more does she who submits not herself to her husband. Such was God’s will from the beginning.

        Let us take as our fundamental position then that the husband occupies the place of the “head,” and the wife the place of the “body.”

        Ver. 23, 24. Then, he proceeds with arguments and says that “the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church, being Himself the Saviour of the body. But as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.”
        – St. John Chyrsostom’s Homily 20 on Ephesians, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230120.htm

        * * *

        There is no question that parents love their children as their own bodies yet that the Scriptures posit corporal punishment as not only a right but sometimes as an obligation for parents:

        “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Proverbs 13:24

        Same with women and wives who in a Christian patriarchy should always be subject to either their fathers, husbands or eldest sons.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Obscene. There is no such right or duty for a husband. Quite the opposite. Way off base Misha.

  8. There is a long list of people baptized, tonsured, and ordained by both defrocked Abbot Herman of Platina and Met. Pangratious. Both of them were/are gay. The OCA did seek to correct this as well as it could, but all Abbot Herman tonsures, but and ordinations have corrected. Even now some still claim the monastic rank, like Abbot Herman did, and have been accepted as valid. The Platina Monastery is full of them. Abbot Damacene was ordained by the Moscow Church, but his monks are almost all bogus. And it shows.

    • Anonymouse says:

      When you say “gay,” do you mean actively engaging in sodomic relations, or tempted by same-sex attraction? Because in my view, if a man struggling with temptation feels called to monasticism as the only way he can be saved, why should he be barred?

      The problem isn’t repentant SSA clergy or monks, for all human sexuality is distorted to some degree; more so it is those who aren’t repentant, or just as bad, “allies” who teach others to go and do likewise. (In their “compassion” of course.)

      • Anonymouse,

        Exactly. Fr. Seraphim Rose, for example, was a notorious homosexual on the West Coast scene (as Eugene Rose) before finding Christ in the Church and giving his life to God. Though I have read very little of his writings, they have inspired many to the Orthodox Faith and he is revered by many as a strong voice for traditional Orthodoxy.

        He saw the Truth, looked at himself and saw the damage, repented, and God glorified him to be a beacon to others. If one cannot be rehabilitated through reparative therapy, celibacy and possibly monasticism are godly choices. Persisting in sodomy never is.

      • Michael Bauman says:

        I was talking with a local monk and he said, “There are impediments to becoming a priest but there are no impediments to being a monk”. It is about repentance. Period!

    • M. Stankovich says:

      Michael Kinsey,

      And before our Lord and Savior I openly confess to you that, undoubtedly, every one of those bogus, homosexual monks against whom you rail will enter the kingdom of God before me, a hypocrite and a sinner.

  9. The thread on Trump Unbound is closed so I didn’t know where to post this:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-donald-trump-tweet-london-van-attack-20170619-story.html

    The author doesn’t get the joke, the punch line. Trump hasn’t condemned the London thing today because he’s not sorry that Christians are fighting back.

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