Preaching Another Gospel

trojan-horseHitting a Nerve

On more than a few occasions, we have used this cliche when it was deemed appropriate. We do a lot of that at Monomakhos. It’s not always intentional but we are not shy from proclaiming the truth as we see it.

Taking this position will inevitably strike the proverbial nerve. As the Arabs say, “He who speaks the truth must have one foot in the stirrup.”

Anyway, we’ve done it again.

Rather than blame Your’s Truly it would be better to commend the commentariat as a whole for their vigorous response to Fr. Robert Arida’s shocking essay and Fr. Hans Jacobse’s courageous response to it. Speaking for myself and the rest of our editorial staff, it has been most edifying.

We are in fact elated with the commentary, which is overwhelmingly supportive of Jacobse’s critique. The level of erudition and clarity is most gratifying.

Stopping the Train

What Jacobse did was nothing less than stop the pro-gay acceptance train in the Orthodox Church in its tracks. Even better, the overwhelmingly positive response to his essay derailed it.

This is astonishing. The homosexual juggernaut has overtaken every other avenue of Western civilization: academia, entertainment, politics, the judiciary, even religion. It owns the commanding heights of culture in almost every aspect. Most mainline Protestant confessions have succumbed to it.

Even the Roman Catholic Church is unable to mount a clear response based on the present pope’s ambiguous pronouncements. That leaves only the Orthodox Church as the sole, remaining bulwark willing to uphold that which was always viewed as morally normative.

Before the publication of Jacobse’s polemic, the re-imagining of gay “marriage” has been proceeding apace in all the politically correct Orthodox circles. More than one bishop has in a public forum called for it. Another bishop has counseled those seeking a civil union that the Orthodox Church moves at a “glacial pace” in these matters. By all indications the major seminaries are aloof but sympathetic. Frankly, most Orthodox synods won’t even touch this topic with a ten foot pole. And we know why. We’ve always known why.

But since Jacobse’s essay, the reticence to speak the truth has been cast resolutely aside.

Although no bishop has chosen to respond in this venue (or any other we know of), the number of priests who spoke out is heartening. So far, one entire inter-Orthodox clerical conference has chosen to challenge Arida’s pro-secular and conformist stance. Their response is clear and tremendously encouraging. We hear that other clerical conferences are planning their own responses as well. The dam has burst and it is good that it has.

Being Conformed to the World

The world has changed. Arida’s apologetic represents the old order. It is now counter-cultural — even revolutionary — to uphold Tradition. Think of it, the Establishment view (especially on the East and West Coasts) is that homosexual “marriage” is normal and no different than marriage as traditionally defined. Even conservative luminaries and activists see no differences between the two.

In this sense, senior Orthodox bishops and clerics now share the commanding heights of culture with their secular counterparts. In their role as elder ecclesiastics, they vest gay “marriage” in theological garb. Why have controversy after all? Won’t we reach more people this way?

Make no mistake, the sexual revolution has won so much so fast that simple restraint is viewed as a mental disorder. Thanks to Freud and cultural Marxism in general, morality is treated with the same opprobrium as Nazism.

Arida for example, is merely mimicking the secularist intellectual culture and filtering it through Orthodox language. He writes in tones that echo the erudition of the late Fr. Alexander Schmemann and by this ruse obfuscates the sordid reality that makes ups the underside of homosexual culture to make it appear respectable.

Unfortunately, subterfuges like Arida’s often work. Most laymen, if not impressed with academic jargon are sufficiently intimidated by it not to raise a protest. When the apologia is uttered by high-placed clerics who have a reputation for preaching and pastoral outreach, the impact increases.

It is one thing for a lay blogger to condemn gay “marriage.” It is quite another for the Dean of a cathedral to commune homosexuals who have openly contracted a civil union. Devolution is the new norm, and it is sanctified.

This is a scandal. The Church honors the natural; it never contradicts it. That’s why marriage is a sacrament: It sanctifies the monogamous union of man and woman. The Church is not anti-natural, it is supernatural. It is not anti-material, it spiritualizes matter.

A homosexual civil union is not a natural marriage. It makes a mockery of the natural and the Church cannot sanctify it. Let me offer an analogy: Suppose a layman went into the altar and vested himself as a priest. He would look like a priest. He would chant like a priest. He would even swing the censor like a priest. But he is still not a priest.

If another priest was present and instead of throwing the false priest out of the altar decided to concelebrate with him, then the scandal would only be magnified. It’s the same with gay “marriage.” It’s a caricature of natural marriage and any acceptance of it in the Church whether theological or liturgical compounds the error and scandalizes the faithful.

Arida is in fact preaching another Gospel. Men don’t marry men. The Orthodox Church does not sanctify civil unions even if the State arrogantly but erroneously declares that such unions are morally valid. That he operates with the Bishop’s silence implies a consent from the hierachy as well. This is not good.

Nihilism: The End-Game

The blow-back to this other gospel has been overwhelming. This should not surprise us. The informed know, and the less-informed intuitively understand, that there is no core — no ontological rationale — to homoerotic unions. They are biologically sterile, but the biological sterility points a deeper hollowness, a nihilism where the central Christian precept that one finds himself in the other is inverted. Instead of man finding himself in communion with a woman, he turns in on himself by sharing communion with someone in the image of himself.

It is time to reread Romans 1. The Apostle Paul declares that homosexuality leads to the worship of the created, not the Creator. In this sense alone, the homosexual enterprise is futile. Nothing endures; nothing remains. In the end there is only death.

There is no homosexual “culture.” There is no feminist “civilization.” There is only culture, there is only civilization. The millions of fallen men and women that are scattered throughout the world constitute civilization and create culture despite their brokenness. And only one man and one woman create new life and propagate civilization.

The ferocity of the response to the other gospel has been alarming to Arida, his partisans and fellow-travelers. It’s comical in some ways. Stung by the erudition, logic and plain-spoken responses on this blog, their only retreat is a kind of scolding pietism. We hear, “You don’t know what Fr. Bob has said to those who are under his care,” or “how do you know that this gay couple isn’t repentant,” or some variation thereof over and over again.

They are balancing on the edge of a cliff but don’t know it. Their scoldings presuppose that Arida is leading these people to repentance. But when you listen to activists in homosexualist circles (pace Killian Sprecher), they tell us that the sin of same-sex behavior is normal and needs no repentance.

This is illogical. So what is really going on? The supporters say one thing and their leaders do another.

But take it a step further. Ask yourself: Why was Arida’s essay posted on the Wonder Blog? If same-sex attraction is normal and same-sex behavior is not sinful, then what was the purpose for posting it? Was it to propagandize our youth? Can anyone name any other reason?

The tables have turned. The “Orthodox Episcopalians” (as Jacobse puts it) have to answer in terms of the moral tradition. This makes the contradictions clear. In stating that Arida is merely “counselling” gay-married couples or leading active homosexuals into “repentance,” his defenders are tacitly accepting the fact that there is something wrong with homosexuality. Yet they argue that homosexuality is not a sin in their next sentence. Which is it?

Make no mistake. Neither Arida or his partisans believe homosexual behavior is a sin. If they did they would dissolve the illicit and illogical unions and approach the Chalice with fear and trembling. There is no record that they have. In fact, the opposite is true.

Moreover, from the writings of Fr. John Jillions, the Chancellor of the OCA, there is every indication that the celebration and propagation of homosexual ideology reaches far beyond the walls of Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Syosset Under Siege

Arida’s essay has created another impasse. The cause of same-sex “marriage” is accepted overwhelmingly by the cultural elite and thus has become uncontroversial in leading OCA circles. Fr. Arida was not speaking out of turn in this respect and neither are we. We saw it with the Facebook “attaboys” that were showered on Killian Sprecher when he contracted a civil union. In the OCA homosexuality, at least in the national leadership, is normative.

The blow-back they received mirrors the case of Ward Churchill. Churchill was an academic who said horrible things about America, especially toward the people who died in the World Trade Center attack. He didn’t expect the obloquy that was poured upon his head. Why? Because his opinions were normative in many academic circles. Arida, like Churchill, lives in an echo chamber, a constrained box that has nothing to do with the people who make up the larger Church. This cleavage between elite and hoi polloi is growing wider by the day.

The isolation around Arida’s Boston Cathedral extends to Syosset as well. Syosset does not comprehend this which is why they keep making such damaging mistakes. Even though they are told, they just don’t hear it. We should expect the self-inflicted woundings to continue.

Here, too, we see why Syosset and the Synod went after Metropolitan Jonah. Jonah was simply incompatible with their triumphalist liberal world-view. His defenestration was inevitable.

+Jonah was a man of a different stock, temperament, and experience. At his monastery he learned of the damage that icentiousness ideology caused in young men. At Syosset he would have none of it but he could not overturn an institution that had grown arrogant and moribund. This latest controversy gives us an even clearer picture of the slog that animates the Syosset regime and confirms what many have long believed: +Jonah was expelled because he challenged the prevailing elite and their ideas.

In the end Syosset won but as Talleyrand said of the Bourbons of France, “they forgot nothing and learned nothing.” Yet the falls and scandals that have attended the OCA since Jonah’s ouster keep on coming. Arida’s latest missive has only intensified the crisis.

But why hunker down? Why do they always play the hedgehog? Why don’t they respond?

Maybe the answer is that the “new and alien spirit” that so troubled Arida may in fact be inhabiting Syosset. Maybe +Jonah represented the corrective, the traditionalist antidote who could restore the new normal back to the old normal. Maybe he exposed what new leaders, who love to quote the old leaders, really believe.

Time will tell. The truth will prevail as this story continues to unfold.

Comments

  1. Salemlemko says:

    Bravo. Thank you!

    • Sue Simpson says:

      Christian Unity Cannot Be Built on Lies

      NOVEMBER 17, 2014 1 COMMENT

      Pope Francis meets with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of ecumenical relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, during a private meeting at the Vatican Nov. 12, 2013. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano vi a Reuters)
      Pope Francis meets with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of ecumenical relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, during a private meeting at the Vatican Nov. 12, 2013. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano vi a Reuters)
      Source: The Catholic World Report
      The Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev not only misrepresents Catholic practice and history, he also misrepresents Orthodox practice and history.
      by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille

      Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the “foreign affairs minister” of the Russian Orthodox Church, is, as George Weigel observed recently in First Things, a talented man, “charming and witty.” However, the gifted Hilarion, Weigel rightly noted, “does not always speak the truth.” Hilarion is rather like the Energizer Bunny: he goes on and on and on repeating tirelessly whatever pernicious propaganda the Russians want to spread. He has three channels to choose from: tired and outright lies about Ukrainian Catholics, repeated ad nauseam for over a decade now; useful if rather vague calls for Christians to co-operate in addressing the social ills of our time (same-sex marriage, divorce, abortion); and tendentious distortions of his own Orthodox tradition, particularly her ecclesiology. It is the third I wish to address.

      Earlier this month, the metropolitan gave a speech at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, about primacy in the Orthodox Church and in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. Since I’ve written the most wide-ranging, up-to-date, and comprehensive survey on both topics—Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy (University of Notre Dame Press 2011)—I was vexed at the ignorance and distortions on display in the metropolitan’s essay. It is absurd, frankly, that he cannot even relay his own Orthodox tradition faithfully and that it fell to me, lowest of the low (for I am a Ukrainian Catholic—one of those horrible old “Uniates” that Alfeyev is forever denouncing), to more faithfully represent and adequately describe the Orthodox tradition than he himself has.

      Now, to be sure, I do not suffer from delusions of grandeur and imagine that everyone has eagerly devoured my book, treating it like some Delphic oracle revealing the way to Christian unity. But it has been lauded by many Orthodox for its faithful, wide-ranging, and comprehensive survey of Orthodox positions in all their diversity. For the Orthodox do not speak with one voice on these matters, and they do not speak in one place, either. I gathered dozens of articles and books, most from very obscure places, and put them into one sweeping chapter, which had never been done before. As Fr. John Jillions, a scholar and the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church of America, said to me quite sincerely and gratefully, “At the very least your book will be useful for telling us Orthodox what we say and think!”
      Had Hilarion read the book, he could have saved himself the embarrassment of uttering such howlers in New York as this:

      … we are dealing with two very different models of church administration: one centralized and based on the perception of papal universal jurisdiction; the other decentralized and based on the notion of the communion of autocephalous local Churches.

      This is the old mythology, never accurate in the first place, that sees the West as all papal and monarchical, and the East as all patriarchal and synodical. Like all stereotypes, it distorts. For the plain facts are that there is a long history of robust synodality in the Church of Rome going back to the earliest centuries of her history, and there is a long history of Eastern Churches attempting to be heavily centralized and run not in a synodal manner but in a manner that some Orthodox themselves have confessed to be “quasi-papal.” The clearest recent example of a super-centralized Orthodox church run on quasi-papal lines is Alfeyev’s own Russian Church, whose 1945 statutes gave the patriarch of Moscow (for political reasons insisted upon by Stalin) powers that popes of Rome could only dream about. I document all this in great detail in my book. For Alfeyev not to acknowledge any of this makes it clear that his treatment of primacy is grossly tendentious and thus must be dismissed as inaccurate and unreliable.

      But it gets worse. Referring rather sweepingly and positively to “Orthodox….polemics,” the metropolitan sums these up as arguing that “in the Universal Church there can be no visible head because Christ Himself is the Head of the Body of the Church.” He recognizes that some Orthodox do not subscribe to such a view, naming the (safely dead) Fr. Alexander Schmemann, former dean of St. Vladimir’s. Tellingly, the metropolitan fails to mention the most important Greek Orthodox theologian alive today, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, who is Orthodox co-chair of the international Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and has argued in favor of universal primacy—as the majority of modern Orthodox theologians also do—exercised in a synodal manner. Zizioulas, moreover, has rightly insisted that universal primacy requires universal synodality, and one cannot speak intelligently about one without the other. Alfeyev’s failure to even mention Zizioulas strikes the reader as thin-skinned and perhaps even motivated by envy—there can be only oneprima donna in this town, and c’est moi.
      Hilarion next makes another spurious claim:

      The notion that a supreme hierarch for the Universal Church is a necessity has been approached from different angles over the last fifty years, but invariably the consensus among the Orthodox is that primacy as expressed in the Western tradition was and remains alien to the East. In other words, the Orthodox are not prepared to have a pope.

      Current modes of exercising the papacy may indeed remain “alien to the East” in broad measure, but the second sentence here is, as my book’s survey of twenty-four Orthodox scholars shows, completely bogus. Again and again, modern Orthodox thinkers have recognized that there is a role for the papacy, that they are prepared to have a pope under certain circumstances, and that the papacy, when exercised properly, is a gift and a blessing for all Christians, including the Orthodox! Indeed, the late Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Vsevolod of Chicago bluntly stated, in a 1997 address at Catholic University of America, “the Church needs the Roman primacy.”
      There is more tiresome nonsense: Hilarion ties up his piece by referring to the statement of the Rusian Church about primacy, adopted on December 26, 2013 (which I debunkedin this CWR piece), where it is claimed that“primacy in the Universal Orthodox Church…is the primacy of honor by its very nature rather than that of power.” There are few phrases more vexatious to me than “primacy of honor.” More than twenty years ago now, the widely respected historian Fr. Brian E. Daley, SJ, in an article—““Position and Patronage in the Early Church: The Original Meaning of ‘Primacy of Honour’”—published in Journal of Theological Studies, one of the most prestigious theological journals in the anglophone world, showed that the notion of “primacy of honor” in the early Church did not mean an absence of authority. Such primacy, in fact, was honored precisely because it was authoritative, and the one exercising that primacy could and did call people to account, where necessary coercing and compelling obedience in various circumstances. The primate of “honor,” then, clearly is not a useless avuncular fellow—able to smile and wave and nothing more. He had real teeth—or, to use Alfeyev’s word, “power”.

      Why, then, such a shoddy speech? Was Metropolian Hilarion Alfeyev just being lazy in not reading widely recognized landmark scholarship such as Daley’s article (to say nothing of my book)? Or was he setting out to distort the record and ignore evidence that does not fit his (and broadly Russian) prejudices? The inescapable conclusion is that he cannot even be relied upon to faithfully, truthfully, and accurately represent his owntradition. If he repeatedly tells lies about Catholics in Ukraine, and is now caught out uttering distortions about his own Orthodox tradition, how can this man be called upon to reliably discuss anything?

      If all his invitations to various conferences—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox—do not now dry up, then the fault is not with him but with us for our willingness to indulge duplicity. We have made ourselves accomplices in this man’s self-destructive utterances by regularly giving him a platform from which to lie. As Christians, we must surely recognize that it is itself a sin to aid and abet another in actions we ourselves know to be sin. Out of genuine charity for Metropolitan Hilarion, it is time that we no longer seek him out or listen to him. Let him never again be given an invitation to a Vatican event of any kind; let no more honorary doctorates be conferred on him; let him be denied all future speaking engagements and photo ops with Billy Graham, the pope, or the archbishop of Canterbury. Let us pray that, being young enough, perhaps he may yet amend his ways so that truth and honesty might light the difficult but vital path of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.

      Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille is Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Theology-Philosophy, University of Saint Francis (Fort Wayne, IN) and author ofOrthodoxy and the Roman Papacy (University of Notre Dame, 2011).

      • Christopher says:

        I have to admit to being perplexed. This uniate propaganda piece has what, exactly, to do with your rejection of the normative moral Tradition?

        • Michael Bauman says:

          Academics love to obfuscate and proclaim themselves the knowers of the unknown. Gnosticism is still with us. Personally, I trust no “theologian” who proclaims that their views are “ground breaking”. Or “revealing new ideas”

          • Michael,

            The conflict between academia and Tradition boils down to two main things: 1. Academics are always in search of novel ideas. That is the function of the academy. Orthodoxy simply proclaims what has always been believed by all everywhere (the “Vincentian canon”). 2. The academy applies a different standard than Orthodoxy for determining “What is truth?” This, of course is related to the first point.

            There is never anything new in Orthodoxy, really. Yet it is so vast and deep that you never tire of it. It is also comforting that the content of your faith and morality can’t possibly be dependent on the latest fads, research or theories about first century Christianity.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            As the old Portuguese saying goes, “May no new thing arise”…..

      • Duh!, well of course the Roman Catholics don’t agree with Orthodoxy. You don’t need nearly as many words (dealing in vagaries) to demonstrate that. Granted, it’s not the type of thing you would get from someone trained at the Pontifical Institute, but that’s just the point.

      • “Normative” is operative word. Keep on “truckin,” George.

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says:

        The angry ad hominem screed by Dr. DeVries that purports to be a theological reflection on the oeuvre of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk is an embarrassment to the author and the person who posted it on this message board. As a cringeworthy self-promoting theologian, Dr. DeVries makes an excellent publicist. His gratuitous vitriol and desperate use of the term “lies” to dismiss Metropolitan Hilarion’s scholarly and ecclesial contentions have no place in polite conversation or even this sometimes hyperactive message board. Unfortunately, his supercharged rhetoric is not unique among Roman Catholic or “Byzantine” Catholic commentators on the crisis in Ukraine.

        What truly surprised me in the article was this sentence:

        ‘As Fr. John Jillions, a scholar and the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church of America, said to me quite sincerely and gratefully, “At the very least your book will be useful for telling us Orthodox what we say and think!”’

        I’m inclined to discount the accuracy of that quotation in view of the author’s dubious agenda. If the words are, however, truly Fr. John Jillions’ and he requires the assistance of a Uniate theologian / historian–indeed, a former student of his at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in Ottawa, Canada–to explain Orthodox ecclesiology to him, then that sentiment, prima facie, reflects rather poorly on the OCA Chancellor. Perhaps Archpriest John will clarify or disavow the quoted remark.

        • “Let us pray that, being young enough, perhaps (+Hilarion) may yet amend his ways so that truth and honesty might light the difficult but vital path of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.” — Dr. DeVille

          As if Catholic-Orthodox dialogue should be the chief concern of +Hilarion or any other Orthodox bishop. Rather, their job is to preach and teach the Orthodox faith. +Hilarion is a remarkable man who is doing that in ways that are quite astonishing.

          The truth of the matter is that Catholics are used to dealing with “dialogue partners” who are either not their intellectual/academic/political equals or who are mushy in their Orthodoxy (or both). I am reading the first volume of +Hilarion’s planned 7 volume overview of the Orthodox Church (I believe 5 have been written, and 2 translated into English), and it is a fine work. In fact, the first chapter is something I would recommend as reading material for any intelligent college student who is questioning his Christian faith after hearing it savaged. In all that I have read so far, +Hilarion presents Orthodoxy without apology, evasion, or ambiguity.

          It also strikes a pitch-perfect note in that it is neither too academic nor too lightweight. It reminds me lot of Sir Steven Runciman’s 3 volume history of the Crusades in that regard, and also in the way that only a single author can digest and integrate a complex subject. Hilarion’s books will sell and be discussed among intelligent laity as well as clergy to an extent that DeVille can only dream about.

          +Hilarion is not only a polyglot, he also that rarer breed — a polymath. DeVille knows he could never compose something like this, or this. Call it pianist envy, or whatever you want… rest assured that DeVille has a bad case of it.

          The most disturbing thing about DeVille’s piece was the way that he embraces the modern academic techniques of shunning and banning people because of their traditional views. I know the word gets over-used, but it just has a trace of the stench that surrounded fascist or Stalinist purges — his tone was beyond angry, and was outright menacing and threatening: if anyone dares to be seen with +Hilarion, he and like-minded RC’s will retaliate against them in any way possible.

          Quite simply, DeVille doesn’t like what Hilarion is saying and is determined to shout or tear him down by any means necessary, even if it means the academic equivalent of violence. He wants to go back to the nice comfortable world of having the “spiritual leader of 400 million Orthodox Christians worldwide” sell the Orthodox Church down the Tiber.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Edward. you raise an excellent point. It is possible that we Orthodox have been “played” all these years by our Catholic interlocutors in the various Orthodox-Catholic dialogues. I now believe that our job was to give them enough rope to hang us with, either by using bishops who were the intellectual inferiors of their Catholic counterparts or men who were already on board with Uniatism.

            In a way, we should thank DeVille for letting his Romano-triumphalist slip showing. Hilarion is the real deal and we can all thank him for being the intellectual equal (at the least) of the RC’s he has to go up against, thus exposing the ecumenist shell-game.

            • Ladder of Divine Ascent says:

              It is possible that we Orthodox have been “played” all these years by our Catholic interlocutors in the various Orthodox-Catholic dialogues. I now believe that our job was to give them enough rope to hang us with, either by using bishops who were the intellectual inferiors of their Catholic counterparts or men who were already on board with Uniatism.

              All false “Ecumenical” discussions are a trap. The only valid discourse is:

              Heterodox: Come to [insert event] and eat, drink, and make merry under pretense of talking theology with all the most “Ecumenical” types (modernist heretic) on the dime of the lowly parishioners!
              Orthodox: If you* are interested in Orthodoxy, the One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church, you* as an individual, must convert to Orthodoxy.
              Heterodox: But, [insert excuses/bribes].
              Orthodox: [hangs up phone, walks away, blocks email address, as case may be]

              *Excepting only groups with membership in mere hundreds or a few thousands, small enough to have a realistic possibility of converting over as an entire group.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                Oh you mean the Greek Orthodox Old Calendarists and the ROCOR were right all along about the Pan-Heresy of Ecumenism? Duh!

                The only difference between us and GOCOC and ROCOR is they had the guts to walk to walk and stay committed to Orthodoxy. Id the MP and ROCOR can unite I hope and pray the EP and the GOCOC can also reunite.

                I care more about that reunion than with the RCC and the Unia.

                Its definitely way overdue for us to wake up and get out of the NCCC and the WCC and the whole Ecumenical Movement. The EP won’t do it unless the laity in the GOAA forced him to get us out OR Pope Francis REALLY does welcome in LGBT people WITHOUT repentance, which I suspect is what Cardinal Kasper wants.

                Let’s hope the RCC does our work for us.

                Peter

                • I hope for that, too. But the Greek OC’s in general (even the so-called moderate Etna types — who are little different in practice from the extremists they deplore), have set up hurdles of abject repentance that the GOC or EP will never realistically be able to meet. As more than one ROCOR priest told me over the years, the ROCOR was never a Russian version of the Greek OC’s. And they were never comfortable with what the Greek OC’s brought into the ROCOR. This does not in any way diminish your main point, which is that it is shameful for the EP to play footsie continually with the pope while completely ignoring the most important and immediate ecumenism they should be paying attention tom

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                    I agree as to the obstacles but that’s because of their unique historical development and the violence shown towards them by their fellow Greeks. Yet, these can be overcome through rapprochement only at the highest levels. If we can do it with other Christians confessions we can do it withe Greek OC, which are currently growing and for the Greek Church always right outside its door.

                    Peter

                  • Yes, as Edward has remarked, the relationship between ROCOR and the rest of the Russian Church was a bit different than the relationship between the Greek OC’s and the main body of the Greek church.

                    First of all, both ROCOR and the MP have always been on the Church (Julian) calendar. It is true that ROCOR was in communion with some of the Greek OC’s, and the fact that the Greek OC’s decided to break communion after the reunion is unfortunate. But it does make sense given their ecclesiology. There was an acerbic and canonical “loose cannon” element of the Greek OC’s that had a temporary and superficial effect on some of the unofficial publications and rhetoric within ROCOR and this is lamentable. But really, if you look at the history of how the calendar question was handled within the GOC, OC bitterness and extremism is understandable, if not defensible.

                    If my bishop were to say to me (and he has not) that it is ok to commune at a Greek OC parish, I would not hesitate to do so if they were amenable.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                  “Let’s hope the RCC does our work for us.” I fervently pray that it does not, if it is your wish that they do what you suggest they will.

                  Why would we hope for terrible damage to other Christian groups?

                  We live in a society here, still, along with our children and grandchildren. It needs all the help it can get, as do they, and further harm to the Roman Catholic Church will not help it, or them. Exactly the contrary. We aren’t going to get much help on a society-wide level from the tiny Orthodox Church in this country.

                  Nobody in North America gives a rip about the Orthodox. The big enemy of the “progressive” forces is the RCC. I think Pope Francis is going to surprise and bitterly disappoint them. This, at least, is my hope and prayer.

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    Right now Pope Francis seems intent on establishing a “world religion”. I think your hope for the man will be disappointed.

          • Yes, normally when someone starts writing or speaking as if there were an “Orthodox-Catholic” faith, I tune out immediately since I have no interest in Uniatism. The two are mutually exclusive and unless Roman Catholics renounce the Roman Catholic faith and instead embrace the Orthodox faith, there is not much to talk about. Jeremias II of Constantinople established the template of how Orthodox are to interact with inquisitive heterodox, of whatever confession. Allow several exchanges of correspondences or dialogue to clarify the Faith to the interested group. If they are interested and can accept, receive them. If not, bid them adieu and cease correspondence on matters of substance.

            That is the Orthodoxy Way. Never argue with the devil.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              I wonder how many have been received in this way.

              One shouldn’t argue with the devil. As for people, though, argument with them can sometimes prove fruitful.

              • I have actually never witnessed anyone convinced by argument outside of a courtroom. People are either ready to lay aside their previous beliefs or not. The point with the Lutherans and Pat. Jeremias was that they repeatedly demonstrated that they were not willing to lay aside their heresies.

                The same is true with the Orthodox-Catholic ecumenical endeavors. Nothing but evil can come from them. However, I do admit that some cooperation (while acknowledging that we practice different faiths) on moral issues might be prudent. I doubt it, but it is possible. That seems to be the road the ROC has trodden to date.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                  St. Paul was arguing much of the time!

                  • As are we here.

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    What St. Paul did was not argument it was largely discursive teaching to be accepted or rejected.
                    He warn us against getting into arguments.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                      I must hasten to add, as a man who has earned his living for 41 years as a professional advocate, that I do not regard the word “argument” as having any negative connotation in itself.

                      I think that often people use the word “argument” to mean personal bickering or shouted, emotional contention. In the courtroom, that sort of “argument” is almost always a loser, just as it usually is anywhere else.

                      In the Scriptural context the term is often appropriate. As an example, the commentary in the New Oxford Annotated Bible (Revised Standard Version) calls the Epistle to the Hebrews “the longest sustained argument of any book in the Bible”. I think this is an apt description, and I used the term in that sense (not, however, referring to that epistle…).

    • Jim of Olym says:

      Please someone tell me why Fr. Hans’ response was ‘corageous’? I must have limited understanding of ‘courage’. Was he in any danger for his forthright stand on the issues? Did his bishop threaten him with censure, or other noxious stuff? Did his family flee from his presence?
      Please tell.

    • Survey Monkey says:

      Complete Survey to Vote whether to Defrock Fr. Arida.

      https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FRQLGZ2

      • Who are you? Who made this survey and what do you intend to do with it when you are finished collecting your data?

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

        Who is behind this survey? Are there any in-person activities being done? It is all very well to talk about this on the internet, but this also causes people to talk past each other and miss facial and body clues.

      • I’m not sure a survey or petition is necessarily the way to go. I recall telling the OCL folks several years ago that creating an organization like OCL might very well be a cure that is worse than the disease being battled. Encouraging the peanut gallery to vote – a gallery generally less morally grounded than the episcopacy (and that is really saying something) – is probably not helpful.

        The present age is best conceived as an “Age of Apostasy” in which the Church’s main mission is to preserve the faith unaltered by the contemporary passions of Enlightenment based philosophy. Once Enlightenment Liberalism is dead and defeated, gone the way of Marxist-Leninism and Nazism, then we can look at the early Church, and the Byzantine Church and the Church of Old Russia, etc. to see if some detours might have taken place. However, the detours may also have been the work of the Holy Spirit, which has never left the Church and acts within it. This is the myopia of those who wish to reform according to some imagined example of what the early Church did.

        But now is not really the time even for that conversation, given the dangers of the Manichean like modernism that vexes us. Now is the time to simply repeat what is in the old catechisms and works of doctrinal theology, without alteration. Keep saying it until the challenges dissipate.

      • Survey Monkey says:

        The results could be posted here, if our gracious host allows. The results will surprise you! Keep voting!

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

          I would very, very, very STRONGLY suggest that you set up a separate website, rather than post it here. That way, you have 100% control, cut down the signal noise ratio, and maintain credibility as an independent source.

        • Perhaps he’ll let you, if he knows who you are!

      • Jesse Cone says:

        I for one will take no part in this survey. While I wish to voice my displeasure and disagreement with Fr. Arida I find it an appalling disregard for the good order of the Church pretend to take the place of a priest’s bishop or a spiritual court.

        • Survey Monkey says:

          Survey Results.

          1.Should Fr. Robert Arida be defrocked?
          NO. 56%

          2. Should the Bishop of Fr. Robert Arida be reprimanded?
          YES. 56%

          3. Should Fr. John Jillions be removed as Chancellor?
          YES. 61%

          4. Should Fr. Eric Tosi be removed as Secretary?
          YES. 55%

          5. Should Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky be removed from his position in External Affairs?
          YES. 58%

          6. Should the topic of homosexual union, communion, intercourse, and marriage be voted on at AAC 18?
          NO. 64%

          7. Should all clergy who believe in communing unrepentant homosexuals be anathematized at AAC 18, and cast out of the Holy Orthodox Church?
          50/50 TIE.

          8. Should Andrew Boyd, who has a sister who is a Gay Rights Activist, be removed from his position as Editor of the OCA Wonder Blog for Youth?
          NO. 68%

          9. Overall, is the Holy Synod doing a good job?
          NO. 73%

          10. Instead of the current 98% of OCA dues being spent on exorbitant salaries & benefits for a handful of insiders and a luxury mansion, my $92 should go to:
          (Select as many as you wish)
          1. My diocese and/or my deanery and/or my parish priest. 67%
          2. Helping the Poor. 37%
          3. Widows & Orphans. 37%
          4. Establishing Orthodox primary and secondary schools. 30%
          5. Establishing an Orthodox home-school course approved in all 50 states. 30%
          6. Establishing a fund for clergy health, retreats, education, and sabbaticals. 26%
          7. Funding the Monasteries. 19%
          8. Funding the Seminaries. 11%

          • Salemlemko says:

            Defrock, suspend, remove and retire every rat bastard one of them! We need genuine bishops and priests, practical pastors, bishops that care, bishops that respond to need. Educated, tried and true clergy of the old school ready for the new world.

          • We still dont know who you are Survey Monkey!

            Are you going to tell us?

            • Larry H. Puttgrass says:

              He/she is a rather silly person of the highest caliber. I figured it out – and if I can, anybody can. The link gave them away.

          • Larry H. Puttgrass says:

            How many people voted, and how long was the survey up?

            What safeguards existed to make sure that individuals where not able to spam the site and vote multiple times?

            Are you aware that the wording in several of the questions in the survey are problematic, leading to possible “false” responses? In other words, they are worded in such a way so as to try to solicit an expected response rather than being objective.

            To be a truly objective survey it needed to be made known on multiple websites (or possibly throughout the entire Church in the USA) so that every person who so desired could have the opportunity to respond in the time permitted.

            Did the survey request information such as: Male/female, age, married/single/divorced/in a relationship/other, approximate geographic location, jurisdiction, how often they go to church, how active they perceive their own parish participation.

            Perhaps a question such as:

            The following best describes me (choose the one that best applies):

            – I find my life in the Church very spiritually fulfilling
            – I find my life in the Church somewhat spiritually fulfilling
            – I find my life in the Church somewhat spiritually lacking
            – I find my life in the Church very spiritually lacking
            – the Church is not about spirituality for me, it is more social
            -none of the above

            etc.

            Did you allow people to post a comment in response to your questionnaire?

            Question 1. You by pass all canonical procedure, all legal proceedings, all due process and take on the authority of a canonically appointed court? Even the Prophet, King David did not dare to lift up his hand against the anointed of God, his predecessor, King Saul who persecuted him without cause even though he was justified to do so. As the Archangel Michael said to Lucifer as they argued over the body of Moses “God will rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9-10)

            Not that I’m a big fan of how the persons in questions 3, 4, 5 have handled themselves professionally in recent years but you can’t get any more obvious that you are grinding a personal axe. You can at least try to be a little discreet about your blatant contempt for these individuals.

            Why does an issue like number 6 need to be voted on? Isn’t it obvious? If it isn’t obvious we have serious problems folks.

            For question 7, does the AAC have the spiritual authority to “anathematize” anybody? Just asking out of curiosity. I can’t seem to find anything in guidelines that put that in the power of the AAC. I would like somebody to point out the article of the AAC where it is in their “spiritual authority.”

            For number 8. Seriously? And St. Paul (when he was still Saul), was the most rabid anti- Christian person out there and look what happened to him! You need to do better than just have a relative to imply that you are personally morally compromised. Provide something solid that Andrew Boyd himself has actually done which is morally compromising or leave the innuendo to the side. The responsibility is that of the Bishop. I dislike innuendo stupidity.

            For number 9. Again a no brainer. However again, “a good job” has variable definitions. Not appropriate for a survey. You needed to provide a brief summary as to what the purpose and function of the Holy Synod is supposed to be. How it is “defined”. Something short and concise then ask something like, “According to this definition (taken from x source) and your personal observations and experiences, is the Holy Synod doing what it was meant to?” Now THAT would be a damning statement.

            • Survey Monkey says:

              Mr. Puttgrass,

              42 people have taken the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FRQLGZ2

              For those who voted multiple times, only their first submission was counted. Responses came from Florida, Boston, Kansas, Colorado, New York, Baltimore, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Northern and Southern California, Texas, New Mexico, the United Kingdom, etc. It is a decent geographical dispersion.

              Agreed, some of the questions are “loaded.” It is not a scientific poll…just a survey on a blog. So please get down from your high horse, nobody is claiming to be King David or King Saul or the Holy Synod or Lucifer…it’s just a survey on a blog.

              There is no survey bias, no personal axe to grind against persons in questions 3, 4, 5. It’s a straightforward, yes or no question. In fact, given what those people have accomplished the last few years, it’s surprising to see that a majority or participants voted Yes to remove them from their posts.

              Regarding Number 6…as you wisely said, “…isn’t it obvious we have serious problems folks?”

              For question 7, you ask, “does the AAC have the spiritual authority to “anathematize” anybody?” I doubt it, and I doubt we could have someone slap a heretic in the face like St. Nicholas so righteously did. The larger point is, that we have clergy who agree with Fr. Arida. If it’s true that it’s heresy they preach, and if the bishops refuse to act, what rights and obligations does the body of Christ have to expel them?

              The purpose of Question 8, is to prompt people to ask whom is in charge of the public web presence of the OCA, what are their backgrounds, their biases, etc? For example, How in the hell did a statement about the joys of homosexual sex get posted on the official OCA Youth Blog?

              Number 9 could have been asked in myriad ways, but it is intentionally left to the subjective option of the respondent. Regardless of the yardstick used, the overwhelming answer was No. It could be that people view the HS like Congress, and often just give it low marks. You’re free to create and distribute your own survey to probe more deeply.

              SM

              • Larry H. Puttgrass says:

                Mr./Ms. Survey Monkey,

                “For question 7, you ask, “does the AAC have the spiritual authority to “anathematize” anybody?” I doubt it, and I doubt we could have someone slap a heretic in the face like St. Nicholas so righteously did. The larger point is, that we have clergy who agree with Fr. Arida. If it’s true that it’s heresy they preach, and if the bishops refuse to act, what rights and obligations does the body of Christ have to expel them?”

                Am I to understand, you wish to know how to go about doing the above task? There is a method.

                Find the corresponding canons of the Church that the offending priest has violated. Research and find the offending rules and guidelines of your local Church that the priest has violated. If your particular priest is unwilling or unable to assist you in your research I recommend that you try to contact professors of Canon Law (Dr. Lewis Patsavos comes to mind) for resources for understanding Canon Law and it’s application. Draw up a formal complaint, submit to your local bishop being sure to cc all Hierarchs on the Synod so it doesn’t get *ahem* “lost”. Inform them in this complaint that you expect their response on your complaint within a certain time frame or you will take your complaint to civil authorities and inform the civil authorities that they are not upholding the laws of their own church. The benefits of this? The risk of losing tax exempt status and other fun little perks the hierarchy get for their “official recognition” from the state.

                Crying and moaning and 42 people taking a survey is hardly significant. Real legal trouble and hassles? Priceless.

                • This is yet another way to make an actual difference. I have mentioned another a couple of times. These boys are playing hardball with the faithful, gambling (with justification) that OCA members will roll over and play dead. The only thing they will respond to is hardball. And the the faithful have an advantage — the Church of ages past is on their side.

                  There just has to be lay leadership (priests can’t do this — there are just too many ways for the apparatchiks to hurt them).

              • Larry H. Puttgrass says:

                BTW, St. Nicholas was thrown in prison for slapping Arias upside the head. He was released only after a HOLY SYNOD found Arias was against the teaching of the Church.

                Prisons where a much less nice place then they are now (although, I am sure someone like Dr. Stankovich can tell us from his professional experience they still aren’t that great).

                While some of the better known personalities of that council are St. Nicholas, St. Spyridon and St. Constantine the Great there are many Bishops and Priests that were mutilated and died in prisons for bearing witness to the true Orthodox faith. This would have happened to St. Nicholas also had not the Holy Theotokos appeared and told his captors not to touch him.

                So, my dear Survey Monkey, slap away. May our most Holy Theotokos intercede for us all.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  St. Nicholas was also, if memory serves, defrocked for a time. But, also do to the intercessions of the Theotokos, restored to his priesthood and his episcopate.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  Saint Nicholas was DEPOSED for his unChristian condict, and his Omophorion was only returned by the Theotokos’s intercesssion, forgiving him for that SIN of striking his brother. That he was forgiven does not make his conduct admirable or exemplary in any way.
                  So much shallow silliness!!!!

                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    Thank you your Grace for reminding me of the proper order of things. There is a big difference between being defrocked and being deposed. I just can’t ever seem to remember the correct word. Maybe this time I will. Genuinely appreciate it.

                  • Larry H. Puttgrass says:

                    Thanks for the correction your Grace. Always good to have the story straight. Especially when drawing on the lives of the Saints and Holy tradition to justify our own actions.

            • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

              This is why I suggested that survey monkey set up a website. So he/she/they could respond clearly and straightforward rather than in comments buried deep down on the page in several blog posts, thus making it difficult to follow.

  2. Sue Simpson says:

    “What Jacobse did with his response was nothing less than stopping the pro-gay acceptance train in the Orthodox Church in its tracks.”

    What a crock! The Orthodox Church hasn’t and certainly not today have a “pro-gay acceptance train” within its ranks. Maybe in your alternative universe or imagination or maybe within the GOA, but no where else.

    “It is written in tones that imitate the academic erudition of the late Alexander Schmemann and by this clever ruse obfuscates the underlying, sordid reality.”

    Another cheap shot filled with lies usually found within ROCOR convert circles (Whiteford). What Schmemann did was bring True Orthodox Praxis to American Orthodoxy that was practicing sacramentally, Uniatism. (Infrequent Holy Communion) Read his works and judge for yourself.

    George, your entire forum here is filled with lies, distortions and pushing your own twisted ROCOR based agenda.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

      Sue just in case you don’t know George is NOT part of the GOAA. George is OCA and has been for many years. As for your hatred of the so-called “Converts” and Fr. Whiteford those are your issues that I assume Fr. Arida has properly cultivated in you. Further no one on this site has used disparaging language for LGBT people or their Pro-Gay supporters like Fr. Arida. Yet, you have called people “Fools,” called them “Liars,” and and have disparaged ROCOR and “Converts” as if they are not Orthodox. You it seems are filled with so much hatred and venom it is truly astonishing. During this Blessed Season of Advent I truly pray you repent of your sins.

      Further, many have called upon Fr. Arida to clarify his position so as to put an end this debate. However to date he has not done so. Only one person can clear this mess up, and it truly is a mess a la Pope Francis style, and that’s Fr. Arida OR the OCA Synod. The ball, as always, has been in their court. Its way passed time for a statement from either one of them or both. Are they going to remain Orthodox or not? Its as simple as that.

      Peter

      • Sue Simpson says:

        “Further, many have called upon Fr. Arida to clarify his position so as to put an end this debate.”

        Fr. Robt doesn’t have to “clarify his position.” This cyber LYNCH MOB has decided that this well-respected Orthodox priest has taken a position which hasn’t been shown nor PROVEN anywhere. It is a cyber lynch mob based on lies and hearsay. And again, whatever Fr. Robt does “pastorally” is between himself and his bishop; not a right-wing, paranoid, convert ROCOR cyber lynch mob.

        George does not espouse any brand of OCA respectability; like some of those who dwell within the DOS Cathedral.

        • Sue,

          You speak of “OCA respectability”. Please explain.

        • Dear Ms. Simpson:

          It would be kind of you to get your language in order before posting such venomous comments. Lead by example. Your conduct on this blog is making you look very bad indeed, likely undeservedly so. Think before you post!

          • Salemlemko says:

            Cut her some slack. My posts probably dont read any better.

            Anyone in Aridahell is terribly confused. Let her vent.

            We can take it.

            • Michael Bauman says:

              If she were venting that would be one thing, but it appears to me she is proclaiming her own church and everybody else who disagrees should be silent. That is the essence of some forms of Protestantism.

              Ironic.

              • Yes, and this is part of the Arida pathology. His followers are terribly damaged and needy people. Answer back yes, but let her and them, vent. In biblical time their ideas will die out, if we are faithful.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  I understand the mercy of what you are saying and I deeply understand the damage that heretical teaching does to the souls of those who hear it and accept it–it can literally kill because it often robs fragile people of hope and leads them to despair. I have seen that happen to people for whom I cared deeply.

                  Bitterness, anger, confusion are also sown.

                  Pastoral abuse and manipulation always follows as well.

                  I am deeply saddened when I see such deception and lies being taught in the Orthodox Church, although I should not be surprised. Even St. Paul faced such things.

        • Just One Guy's Opinion says:

          Sue,

          Father Robert posted his essay to provoke debate and discussion. Sorry if you don’t like the direction it has taken but neither Father nor his supporters get to control the conversation.

        • You, Miss Simpson, are one of the few who express true humane feelings on this blog. Thank you.

    • Steve Knowlton says:

      “Another cheap shot filled with lies usually found within ROCOR convert circles (Whiteford).”

      I believe George merely observed that the “liberals” are imitating the academic style of Schmeman. I didn’t read his commentary to say that Fr. Alexander was responsible for any of this.

      • Regardless of who is or was responsible for its presence in the Orthodox Church, the important thing is recognizing what kind of discourse is appropriate where. The type of discourse that is standard for modern academic theology is appropriate in its own sphere of peer-reviewed academic journals. In such journals, one must be careful not to overstate ones points, must insert the appropriate qualifiers, must express tentativeness and the need for further investigation, etc. The net effect looks hazy and ambiguous or impenetrable to non-specialists, but to those who are likewise experts in the field in question, the author’s intent is usually quite clear.

        What is important to remember is that academic writing is intended to be a dialogue — an article that advances a new idea can expect to have rebutting letters or perhaps rebutting articles published in a later issue of the journal or in another journal. It may become the topic of discussion at an academic conference, where things can get pretty brutal — and sometimes over things that would make an outsider ask, “What?”

        At least that is how it is supposed to work — modern academia in some fields is not so open to debate on certain subjects (like this one). In the context of academic dialogue, it is easy to see how tentative and ambiguous writing can be encouraged, since it gives an opposing academic less to hang onto when writing an opposing article. But even then, true ambiguity should be weeded out by good editors, and if it makes it into print, any relevant ambiguities will be called out by opposing academics. Again, this is the way it is supposed to work.

        Some of the problems with this way of talking and writing started in academia, with the trend of making it difficult, if not impossible, for certain individuals or those who hold certain views to be published at all. In the setting where dialogue become monologue — or where dialogue only takes place between those who agree with each other, ambiguous and hazy writing is toxic to real investigation and thinking.

        Now, when one takes that kind of writing and removes it from the academic context entirely, and puts it into the setting of pastoral writings, parish lectures, and sermons, etc., it is confusing at best, and capable of being greatly abused at its worst.

    • Ah, Ms. Simpson, you are back.

      My questions still stands from the other thread. Please consider the content of the address by Metropolitan HILARION and the essay by Father Arida. How do you see these two points of view standing in the same Tradition? Also, do you see Metropolitan HILARION as part of the foreign element that must be expelled from the Church today?

      Both full texts can be found — via URLs — at the following link.

      Please respond or say that you have no intention of responding.

      • Sue Simpson says:

        tmatt:

        It doesn’t matter what + Hilarion thinks. It is a shame he is on the Board of SVS. He is a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church that is STILL, after emerging from Communism in 1991, trying to get its Orthodox Theology correct. Emerging, they reverted to all their texts and teachings from 1917 that were CORRUPTED by Peter Moghila and the RC’s. Instead of looking back to the original Orthodox Praxis of Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople and the Fathers, they reverted to corrupt Orthodox theology of 1917. Again, HOMOSEXUALITY is not NEW in the Orthodox Church. In fact, I am certain that many monks considered “holy” were non-practicing homosexuals. The main issue here on this forum is the CYBER-LYNCH MOB from right-wing ROCOR types (many having no Orthodox Theological Education) and Fr. Hans who was kicked out of the GOA for his right-wing philosophies incorporated in Orthodox thought, are reprehensible.

        • Your comments about Fr. Jacobse are reprehensible and out of place in decent discourse. Shame on you.

        • Salemlemko says:

          Wowwwwww amazing that you, Sister Sue, have been given the theological chops to discern the grace, and intellectual capacity of one of the most senior churchmen in all contemporary Orthodoxy, as well as Good Father Hans. Bravo there Sue! Wish i had the brains! What cave do you reside in Eldress?

          How long have you been in the Church there Sue? Have you experienced any other parishes or priests other then Holy Arida Orthodox Cathedral and Hothouse? XXXX! Your freakin me out Sista Sue! Aridadoulos Aridadoulos Aridadoulos, lets all sing the angelic Boston hymn as we march in the gay pride parade down Bolyston!

          Where can one get all this grace to discern? Anyone know? Does it come in a can like Prince Albert? Can you buy it on Amazon? Damn, im jealous!

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          Relax BarBara. Your bona fides are showing.

          Peter

        • Right-Wing ROCOR Type says:

          “It doesn’t matter what + Hilarion thinks.”
          Everyone knows he is just in cahoots with ROCOR, which also has a fixation on pre-1917 RC tainted Russian Orthodoxy. What a bunch of yokels. Have they never read Fr Schmemann?

          “In fact, I am certain that many monks considered “holy” were non-practicing homosexuals.”
          You mean like Seraphim of Platina? Oh wait…he was ROCOR. Doesn’t count in your books, eh?

        • Wait a minute. Is there someone on this blog who doubts that people who struggle with sexual orientation issues can, under the guidance of their spiritual fathers and the teachings of the Church, strive for holiness and that when they struggle their sins are no worse than anyone else in the Body of Christ?

          It seems, rather, that the question on the table is whether sex outside of marriage is still sin, something that should be taken to Confession like all other sins. As opposed to being blessed.

          Did I miss something? Did someone here say that sexual orientation and temptation is itself a sin?

          So the presence of monks who strive for holiness while living lives of celibacy and defending the teachings of the Church — while struggling with temptations of all kinds — should not be a shock or an issue to anyone. Right?

          • Michael Bauman says:

            It seems that the apologists for the normalization don’t believe any of the reality you cite.

            That is what is so disturbing. They want to change the Church while not having the slightest idea what the practice of the Church is.

          • Normally I would light into someone defaming ROCOR in such a manner. However, I just can’t seem to take her seriously at all. Waste of time.

          • Terry, you are correct on every point. A couple of comments have (incorrectly) suggested that “being gay” or having such an orientation is sinful, but they have been very rare and are usually corrected immediately by others.

            For us as Orthodox Christians with even minimal spiritual formation, we have been taught that there is a suggestion, which is not a sin. There is a mental accepting of the suggestion and enjoying thinking about it, which is sinful (as Christ made clear) and injures us, and there is committing the sin, which is sinful and does additional and more serious kinds of damage to us (not least of all, making it harder to fight thinking about the suggestion the next time it comes along).

            This general principle has been described in various ways, sometimes with multiple intermediate steps, etc., but common to any discussion in the Fathers is that the suggestion itself is not a sin, nor is the fact that for whatever reason, temptations towards particular sins are stronger in some than in others. By understanding the process, we learn that the most successful path is one that turns away and rejects the suggestions immediately, and failing that, uproots sinful thoughts before they become habitual.

            The above way of thinking is (or at least should be) as natural to us as Orthodox Christians as breathing. But it is completely foreign to the cultural ocean in which we swim, where orientation equals action, and where broaching the idea of a mental or interior sin would be met with blank and uncomprehending stares. It is not surprising, then, that even Orthodox Christians who mean well might get confused and say things that are not only not helpful in the debate, but are wrong.

          • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

            Terry, you might want to rephrase your question. You ask if anyone believes “when they struggle their sins are no worse than anyone else in the Body of Christ.” Do you mean (a) their sins are no worse than anyone else’s sins, or (b) they are no worse than anyone else who struggles?

            If (a), the answer is yes, inasmuch as the sin is sodomy, because some sins, including sodomy, are worse than other sins. Some sins are mortal and others are venial — we’ve already had that argument on this site. The Orthodox don’t make as much of this distinction as Latins do, but it is part of our tradition.

            If (b), we need more information to answer the question: We need to know how much one struggles and how successfully one struggles, and who can know such things? Only God.

            Furthermore, many people here will declare that same-sex attraction (what you call “sexual orientation and temptation”) is not in itself sin, thinking of sin as only what the Latins call “actual sin” — sin consciously chosen and willfully committed — as opposed to original sin, which is our fallen state, with its blindness and consequent weakness and disorder.

            But this raises the question: If SSA is not sin, is there then nothing wrong with it? Some here will insist quite vehemently that there is indeed nothing wrong with it, that it is no different from OSA except that it can’t be consummated, and therefore that it is nothing to be ashamed of or to be counted in any way differently from OSA (when, for instance, choosing men for ordination).

            Others here (including me) will argue that though SSA need not result in actual sin, it is itself what the Latins call an “objective disorder” — a flawed, and in that sense sinful, mode of being, which OSA per se is not. As such, SSA cannot be treated as natural, normal, wholesome, or otherwise on par with OSA. It must be treated as a serious flaw warranting special counseling and handling.

            • Christopher says:

              Others here (including me) will argue that though SSA need not result in actual sin, it is itself what the Latins call an “objective disorder” — a flawed, and in that sense sinful, mode of being, which OSA per se is not. As such, SSA cannot be treated as natural, normal, wholesome, or otherwise on par with OSA. It must be treated as a serious flaw warranting special counseling and handling.

              I think this is a very important point – one that many who otherwise fully support the normative moral Tradition will recoil at a bit. I understand, given our modern way of thinking and “being”. Part of the argument against it comes from the “fluidity” of SSA (though this of course is one of the points of contention: the source of SSA and it’s permanence or lack there of). Still, when considering ordination one would hope that it is considered…

          • M. Stankovich says:

            I personally would have bet money that Mr, Mattingly was being sarcastic/ironic in his statement,

            “Is there someone on this blog who doubts that people who struggle with sexual orientation issues can, under the guidance of their spiritual fathers and the teachings of the Church, strive for holiness and that when they struggle their sins are no worse than anyone else in the Body of Christ?

            because he knew what was coming. And lo and behold…

            The Incarnate Word of God railed against the scribes and pharisees for their hypocrisy, sense of self-importance, and the corruption of the innocent; he warned that those who refused the common charity of feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, protecting the orphans & widows, clothing the naked, and visiting those imprisoned would be separated and cast into darkness; and clearly indicated that those who were ashamed of Him, who feared witnessing of Him before men, He likewise would not not witness before the Father. And while he often spoke of “purity” of mind, body, and spirit, He said not one word about same sex attraction. Nothing.

            And further, there is no Patristic or Canonical Father who has written that same-sex attraction, in and of itself, is, as Mr. Mattingly states, “worse than anyone else in the Body of Christ” when they struggle [with] their sins. Not one. We do not even possess the language and terminology to distinguish same-sex attraction from the similar struggles of “anyone else in the Body of Christ,” and what is proffered here are western scholastic concepts that are foreign to our thinking. To say same-sex attraction “must be treated as a serious flaw warranting special counseling and handling” is as dumb as Fr. Lawrence Farley’s assertion, in his essay posted on Fr. Han’s site, that the “urges” of male heterosexual orientation (“Come on, fess up guys”) is to sleep with as many women as possible. Perhaps it would be well to remember that our Tradition is to join with the Fathers before us, rather than being half-wit theologians on our own.

        • #adhominem

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

          Why, Sue Simpson, you are a CAUTION!!! Ever hear of Father George Florovsky? I bet you have, but maybe you’ve never read him..He’s the theologian towards whom many jerk their knees when pompously complaining that the Russian Church is tainted with Roman Catholicism while illogically crying that the ancient Patriarchates were not! Father George, whose excellence, scholarship, and wisdom can not be denied ended up at Princeton after difficulties at SVS and then Holy Cross. He taught Church History at Holy Cross and got in trouble when complaints reached Archbishop Iakovos that he was telling his classes: “The Russian Church received EVERYTHING from the Greeksl Too bad that the Greeks didn’t retain more of it!!”
          All during the time the Sultan was in charge of the EP (appointing and firing its patriarchs and ALL members of the EP’s Holy Synod), Greek men with aspirations for the Priesthood, if allowed ANY education at all. were sent off to Western Europe, mainly Germany to attend either aGerman Catholic seminary or a German Evangelical (Lutheran an Calvinist) one. Walk into most Greek Churches (including those in Greece, due to wealthy donors from abroad, mostly the USA.) and you can see the OUTWARD manifestations of that inner Babylonian or Turkish Captivity: the pews, electric vigil lamps, and the harmonia or electronic organs, “clean-cut” clergy in black business suits who, when vested, like to have a little bit of french cuff peeking out at their wrists, while depending on “Pew books” to instruct the Faithful (apparently AT SEA without the same) things like “Now all kneel at this the most holy moment in our Liturgy”…(Presumably, they can rest their behinds at most other times). In the other ancient Patriarchates, the process started earlier and affected more than just the clergy. While in Russia ALL education was in the purview of the Church/parish clergy, in the Patriarchate of Antioch, for example, education was in the hands of Protestant and Roman Catholic charities and missionaries and their orders and schools which formed and educated generations of Arab Christians in the Bible, morals and doctrine/spirituality. Only a few escaped that paradigm amongst the Antiochenes–most famously, Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, who got his theological education in your “tainted” Russia and was ordained there, and made a Bishop of the RUSSIAN Church. I suppose the main reason the EP NEVER comes out and actually CONDEMNS abortion (while counter=intuitively “affirming” life) is that such outright condemnations by the Russians must be “Papal/Frankish” influenced authoritarianism!

          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            The GOC of which I am a member has pews, but no harmonium/organ, no electric vigil lamps, and most of the service is standing, although there is sitting during the epistle reading, the sermon, and a couple of the litanies. Our priest wears a cassock at all times outside the services; indeed, I have never seen him in “mufti” at any time; certainly never suit and collar.

            It did have a harmonium until about 35 years ago; but then, that was, well, 35 years ago.

            Although I have been to countless services at OCA, Russian, and Antiochian churches (the “countless” ones being OCA, the others I can count) I have never actually ever been to a service at another Greek church! So I can only speak about my own parish church.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

              Tim, the good bishop hates Greeks, the EP and the GOAA for whatever reason. I guess you can comb through this site and other sites and piece his bigotry towards Greeks and the GOAA, but it’s best to simply love him, pray for him and bid him piece. It’s actually those that Hate you that you have to love more and pray for more. It’s better for you and even much better for those like the good bishop because you are calling upon the Holy Spirit to cause a true and abiding converting of his heart by flooding him with the Love of God.

              God’s love breaks even the hardest of hearts and helps them let go of things that poison the soul. Remember, faith, hope and love are the three that abide, and the greatest of these is love.

              Peter

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                Hi Pete! You gave Sue a pass when she made these ignorant and hateful remarks about the Russia Church:

                “It doesn’t matter what + Hilarion thinks. It is a shame he is on the Board of SVS. He is a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church that is STILL, after emerging from Communism in 1991, trying to get its Orthodox Theology correct. Emerging, they reverted to all their texts and teachings from 1917 that were CORRUPTED by Peter Moghila and the RC’s. Instead of looking back to the original Orthodox Praxis of Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople and the Fathers, they reverted to corrupt Orthodox theology of 1917. ”

                Because I opposed her ignorance about both the Greek and Russian Orthodox and their Churches, you accused me of HATRED and then made some smarmy and moralizing remarks relative to the FACTS, posing as a pietist of some kind. I find your remarks to be wholly insincere and motivated by a totally impotent pique. You know me not at all; nevertheless you have made up your mind about me and my thoughta.

                i love Greece. In college in Detroit, two of my main “squeezes” were Greek-American girls. I took both classical and Modern Greek at Wayne State. Kazantzakis, Cavafy, Seferis have a prominent place on my bookshelves. Grecian-American ORTHODOXY, however has been mostly a big disappointment from almost the first days of my membership in the Church starting in 1960.
                Please, if you are honestly concerned with my salvation or the TRUTH, point out any errors in what I wrote responding to Sue S.’s posting. Say just WHAT words showed hatred of the EP or the GOA!

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                  I gave neither you or sue a pass as I have been praying for both of you. It is now in the Holy Spirit’s hands to do as he likes. Please take care of yourself, and have a blessed advent.

                  Peter

                • Good gravy! An OCA bishop that dated women! Wooooooow MASTER BLESS!

                  • You are aware that some of the OCA bishops are widowers? Bp. Michael, Bp. David, Abp. Nikon…

                    • IDIOT! I thought we all agreed that if Syosset found out, they would be fired like Jonah…… Sheesh Hyperbole, hand in your super secret straight decoder ring and go sit in the corner.

              • Peter, you didn’t seriously think that we would be treated by Sue to a hysterical discourse on how Westernized the Russian Church is — and how we need to change to be like Constantinople, and not get a response from someone in the Russian tradition here in America who has had a chance to observe the practices of the GOA? If someone lobs a softball like that across the middle of the plate, don’t be surprised that someone takes a hard swing at it and knocks it over the fence. Consider yourself caught unintentionally by “friendly fire.”

                Bp. Tikhon may have drifted into a bit of sarcasm in his post (and was there anything incorrect, even in those spots?) but I have read and re-read his post and don’t see any hatred or bigotry in it. Those are serious accusations that should be used with great care, IMHO…

                The truth of the matter is that every single Orthodox jurisdiction in America has western barnacles that could use scraping from the hull. Some are the same, and some are different. Even the little “True Orthodox” groups are westernized in their own way — in their case they embrace schism in hopes of finally getting one’s group down to those who are really, truly pure. Until recently, that phenomenon was the sole purview of Protestants, and like in Protestantism, that attitude makes such groups susceptible to the particular eccentricities of their leaders.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                  I disagree Edward, but that’s why I turned it over to the Holy Spirit. It is between them now.

                  Peter

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  Many who know little, if anything, about St. Peter (Mogila), one of the early Russian/Ukrainian clerics who tried, often successfully, to oppose the Unia intellectually as well as dogmatically in fact OPPOSED some Latinizing usages that are widely accepted today by those who laud their own freedom from “Western/Roman influence. For instance, when asked about so-called “General” Confession, he answered that he had heard tales of it being practiced ” “amongst the Uniates somewhere”, but that it was plain that the Trebnik specified at the very beginning of the service of the Mystery of Penance, that the Spiritual Father leads A person, and NOT MANY, before the Icon of Christ-Not-Made-by-Hands and begins…..”
                  I remember my first and only attempt to go to Confession in a GOA Church. It was in Shreveport and I, 1st Lieutenant newly arrived there, 1962, asked the Priest at the end of the Liturgy when I could go to Confession. He told me to call and make an appointment. I did so. The appointment was on a Saturday afternoon. I arrived at the Church and Father Arthur Pappas led me to his office just off the vestibule in the west end of the Church. Entering, I looked around for an Icon—there were none in his office. He took a seat behind his desk and gestured for me to take a seat in front of it. After I sat down, he asked, ‘Now tell me of your problems.” My guardian angel must have been guiding me, because I came prepared with my sins written down in a little notebook. I pulled it out and read them off. He said, “Is that IT?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Kneel down.” I did. H opened his attache case and whipped out an epitrakhelion and donned it over his elegant black clergy SUIT placed the end of it over my head with his hand and read something in Greek, which I assumed to be an Absolution (one of course that did not allow the Priest to add his OWN forgiveness to that of the Lord’s—that would be BAD Russian Latinity—) and that was that! No Gospel book, no hand cross, and no Icon….Before going out of the Church I asked, “Father, you have made so many adjustments to America here, like those electric vigil lights, the Hammond organ, pews, and so on, but you don’t use a word of our language.” He answered, “The thinking is more and more that the Greek language is part of the HOLY (emphasis his) Tradition.” From then on I drove the four-hour drive to Dallas Texas to join and attend the St . Seraphim Church there, V.Rev.Dmitri Royster, Rector.

                  PS I forgot to mention that, while the Holy Doors were always open at that Shreveport Church, it had a heavy, solid quasi-Curtain that was powered by electricity, and it rolled closed on wheels at the time of the Priest’sCommunion. There was a huge icofn Christ seated in majesty painted on it. AS that curtain rolled along, the organist played that old Lutheran standby, “Beautiful Saviour” (Schoenster Herr Jesu) or “Fairest Lord Jesus, which everybody knows—the melody is actually called “The Crusaders’ Hymn.” I found that to be somewhat piquant, no?
                  PPS There WAS a signed photo of Archbishop Iakovos hanging on the office wall.

                  • Carl Kraeff says:

                    I just love your sense of humor and your mastery of satire. 🙂

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                    Right before my wedding my wife and I went to my then spiritual father, Fr. Nicholas Jonas of Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church where we asked him if we could have confession prior to our marriage. He obviously agreed. We went into the Church and my wife and I took turns with Fr. Jonas. Fr. Jonas was fully vested while wearing his black Rasso underneath as was his ordinary custom.

                    Fr. Jonas took us not only before the Icon of Christ in the main Church building but counseled each of us on our sins and transgressions no matter how small and took time with each of us during confession. We were obviously placed far away from each other and took turns so we could not hear each others confession. At the conclusion of our confession we were absolved and then we were further counseled on the beauty of Holy Matrimony in the Orthodox Church with not only scriptural references, but also by giving us a full explanation of the Wedding Service we were to perform.

                    Afterwards we went to his office, talked a little bit, said our good-byes and left.

                    PS there was a picture of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Metropolitan Iakovos hanging in his office although these were not signed.

                    Years later I went to confession with my local priest, Fr. Andrew Georganas, who always wears a Rasso and conducted a very full and through confession that impressed me very much, counseled me well within the mind and teaching of the Orthodox Church, absolved me, and I thank him for it. I am ashamed to say that its been awhile since I have been back to see him as I should. We went back to his office, caught up a little bit and wouldn’t you know it he has a SIGNED picture of himself WITH the Ecumenical Patriarch in his office with a little written comment during the time he stayed at the Phanar. I though that was very nice.

                    I have to say I and my family are blessed with a wonderful priest, who even took the time during a recent Service in our side chapel to the Holy Mercenaries to accommodate our son and the children of many of our other parishioners with special needs that I was actually able to sit with my son in church during a service.

                    PPS No signed pictures in the chapel to the Holy Mercenaries, but definitely a lot of happy parents with their special needs children that greatly appreciated the accommodation. So Fr. Andrew may not have a long flowing beard or long hair curled up in a little ball, but he definitely has it were it counts – in his heart and in his soul. Thank you Father.

                    Peter

                  • Christopher says:

                    Very interesting! “The Crusaders” hymn…I am laughing but I know I should not be…;)

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                    Well, it was 52 years ago! 😉

                    With further reference to my home parish, years ago all of the icons were of the “western-influenced” or Italianate style. Within the last couple of decades, these have been replaced with traditional icon painting of the wall of the church above the altar (I can’t find the terminology for this) and the dome. The portable icons around the nave walls are now all of traditional style. The iconostasis still has the “Italianate” icons, though.

        • Michael J. Kinsey 1380805 says:

          There is more joy in heaven by the angels, when one fallen repents,) including homosexuality) than the 99 sheep who were not lost. Christianity does not prohibit authentic repentance. Fr. Seraphim Rose was revealed as gay in a biography about him, done by his niece.His asceticism and his writings, which always focused on Truth, and nothing but Truth reveal a Christ minded fervent servant of God. He shows genuine repentance with serving God alone. His monastery touts him as a saint. They do not hype him as a repentant gay. I loved his writings, which helped me sift through what the New Age HOOM taught. He loved Truth. If he is ever named a saint, it should be Patron Saint of repentant gays. I doubt the present set of monastics. excepting those who fled Manton, would approve of this. Gays can repent , coming out of the great whore, becoming as God made them , natural male and female. He was given the Blessing of St John Maximovitch to start his monastery, Perhaps we should require the Blessing of an authentic elder for tonsure or especially priest. It was not the case with Gleb. Abbot Herman. He kicked me out in 1988, saying I was not one of his people. He did get that right. I was again driven out in 2008. This blog is dealing with the problem some of these monks presented. If the Abbot is gay it is a hopeless endeavor. Reproducing the writing of genuine Saints doesn’t make you one.

          • Michael, I am sorry for your experiences of being kicked out, for I think it is unjust given the reasons. As for the monastic life, candidates should be made fully aware of what they are getting into. It does not matter whether you are gay or straight: VOWS ARE VOWS. If you cannot keep them, then one shouldn’t take the veil. There are gay people who feel they are called to celibacy when they serve in that capacity.

            As far as “repenting,” too many times I see people equate homosexuality with promiscuity or worse, pedophilia. I wonder how many of those who post such negative and misleading comments actually KNOW a gay person.

    • Salemlemko says:

      Is it true that somesort of gay wedding or blessing ceremony takes place in an apartment off or on Kilmarnock Street down the road from the cathedral in Boston?

    • Unless you are a boy named Sue…

      But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

      The Latins and uniates that united with them are still in heresy. It has much more to do than papal supremacy. Read the Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895 for a brief introduction to the Roman innovations. It is enough to explain away everything they have changed and it has only become worse since that time.

  3. ChristineFevronia says:

    The most extraordinary, historic conference has been taking place right now, November 17-19, at the Vatican. “Humanum: An Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman” was chosen as the theme by the Pope, and he personally invited 15 leaders from within Catholicism and the world’s religions, including the Mormon Presidency, various Christian denominations, the Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, as well as scientists, to a conference centered entirely on preserving traditional marriage between one man and one woman. (No Orthodox invited as speakers but in the livestreaming feed I did see several Orthodox clergy in the audience.)

    I have been watching each Humanum session with tears in my eyes and with hope. Over this past week while we have been engaged in debating this very topic within the OCA, the Humanum Colloquium has been a beam of Light in the world. The negative press has started coming in. (You just have to google “Humanum” and you’ll see the backlash starting now within western media.)

    Brothers and sisters, I highly encourage you to watch excerpts from “Humanum: An Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman.” The lectures and the films will lift your spirits.

    The Link is here: http://humanum.it.en

    • George Michalopulos says:

      CF, Lord Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of England brought down the house at this conference with his eloquent speech defending traditional marriage.

      • ChristineFevronia says:

        George, that was an incredible speech! I hung on Rabbi Sachs’ every word, and it was truly eloquent!

        Did you watch Dr. Jacqueline Rivers’ speech? Check it out. Phenomenal.

  4. Peter A. Papoutsis says:

    The recent statement of Ecumenical Patriarch:

    The following is an excerpt from the Message of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the 42nd Clergy-Laity Congress in Philadelphia, delivered July 7, 2014

    Our Lord, through His first miracle in Canaan, Galilee, blessed the holy sacrament of marriage, in which two persons of different sexes come together to unite into one body: and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is a profound one and I’m saying that it refers to Christ and the Church (Eph. 5: 31-33).

    Through this union of the two persons male and female in Christ the family becomes a dwelling of Christ, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named (Eph. 3: 15-16); every family, i.e. every genealogical origin and presence on earth of which the family is the cell from Adam and Eve, through which life goes on, the earth is inherited, and the heavenly kingdom granted to the man who has been created in the image and likeness of God.

    Human life is certainly a serious matter, a spiritual battle and a course toward a goal that is heaven. Marriage is the most critical and most important vehicle of this course; the marriage in Christ and the marital bond, the undefiled marriage (Heb. 13, 4), the profound sacrament (Eph. 5, 32). It has also been shown that the success or failure, the progress or destruction in spiritual life begins with the marriage.

    We all realize that in the society we live, the God-sanctified institution of the family suffers serious blows from the prevalent climate of contemporary blissfulness, which does not favor the total offering of one spouse to the other and of both to the children, but nurtures fleeting, personal relationships aiming at the release from the duties of the communion of the marriage and the egotistical self-gratification of man, rendering man essentially empty, miserable and isolated, deprived of the blessing of God.

    The institution of Marriage and the Orthodox Christian family is foremost a course of love, secondly a course of common spirit and common exercise, thirdly a course of creativity, common creativity and continuation of life, and, fourthly a common course toward heaven, toward the heavenly kingdom. It is a calling of God, it is a joining of diversity that leads to perfection, and, therefore, the spouses become also joint heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3, 7).

    Taking into account the Patristic saying according to which nothing holds together life as the love between man and woman, the living together of people of the same sex as couples is not an accepted practice within the bosom of our Orthodox Church, which preserves undefiled the wholesomeness of the evangelical truth. It is irreconcilable with the commandments of God and contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. As deacons of the Church and her salvific work, we ought to keep always a clear and unambiguous stance on this subject that resurfaces constantly, because only where there is husband and wife and children and concord and people connected by the bonds of virtue there, in their midst, is Christ, says St. John Chrysostom (On Genesis, Homily 6, P.G. 54, 616).

    Mother Church who is always affectionate toward all her children accepts and calls everyone to salvation, the devout and the sinners, the healthy and the sick, the strong and the weak. Not only does she accept everyone but also gives everyone the opportunity at a moment of time to repent and be saved. The Church, regardless of the passing of so many centuries, condemns and reproaches sin and does not change her stance against it, as against something allegedly natural but only slightly different.

    Sacrament, then of the Church and norm of the presence of God is the marriage at which man and woman come together and become one. If the two do not become one they cannot produce many … The child is a bridge (St. John Chrysostom, Memorandum to the Letter to the Colossians, Homily 12, P.G. 62, 386-387).

    It is necessary, at all costs, the struggle for the preservation of the traditional Orthodox institution of family with the cultivation of marital fidelity, the treating of one spouse by the other as a person created in the image and likeness of God, the togetherness and the unity, the following of the same path by showing obedience preferably to the same spiritual father, and mostly the constant self-denial and sacrifice, without which sanctification and spiritual progress of the family will be unattainable.

    We know, brothers, sisters and children, that you live in a materialistic society that is continually distancing itself from the Orthodox morals and traditions and not favoring the traditional life; a society where faith and devotion to the principles of our Orthodox tradition often seems or is deemed by some as something anachronistic and foreign to the demands of the modern social life. It is here where the responsibility of both the shepherd and the flock lies. You, our spiritual children in America, on free will and choice and after much toil you possess the treasure of the genuine apostolic faith and tradition, of the truth and genuineness in the Grace of the sacraments, the treasure of tradition and family, despite environmental and societal limitations, as pure as the Mother Church of Constantinople has preserved it throughout the centuries. Thus, by lifting the cross of life may you offer witness of the truth of Christ, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

    We, therefore, urge all of you brotherly and paternally from the Mother Church: Continue, brothers, sisters and children, Orthodox faithful of the Holy Archdiocese of America, to always be sanctified and remain vigilant, as your tireless spiritual father, Archbishop Demetrios of America, does and teaches; the shepherds in their pastoral ministry to you, the priests in their priestly vocation, the preachers in the preaching of the divine words, the lay people in the diakonia, the spouses toward their families, the ladies of the Philoptochos Society in God-loving philanthropy, everyone where his calling is. Rest assured always that our Modesty, your Patriarch keeps you close to his heart and prays continuously for your illumination, well being, success and salvation, and also for the stability and progress of the Holy Archdiocese of America, for which we take pride in the Lord.

    The Patriarch of Moscow:

    Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, has spoken out against countries that have approved same-sex marriage – which he has termed as “dangerous signs of the Apocalypse” – and warns about the risk of dictatorship of free will.

    On the occasion of the liturgy held on 21 July in Kazan Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced the presence of colossal forces which aim to “convince us all that the only real value is free will, and that no-one has the right to violate this value, even when a person chooses evil or a socially dangerous behavior”. “Everything goes as long as it does not violate the rules of the civil law,” he added, recognizing how these norms “easily fool.”

    “In recent times, in a number of countries the choice of sin has been approved and justified by the law, and those who in good conscience, fight these laws imposed by a minority, are repressed”, denounced the Patriarch. This, he said, is “a dangerous sign of the apocalypse and we must do everything to ensure that in the area of ​​Holy Rus this sin is never justified by the law, because that would mean that the nation has embarked on the path of’ self-destruction”.

    Kirill reaffirmed his approval of the law “against gay propaganda”, recently signed by President Vladimir Putin. The new law, criticized by human rights defenders, punishes any act of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations in front of minors”, with fines and terms of imprisonment.

    However, the Patriarch has admitted that laws alone are not enough. “We know that any law, even the most perfect, can not eradicate crime, corruption, evil, lies. These can be eradicated only by the person who freely chooses good,” he concluded.

    In Russia, homosexuality was considered a crime until 1993, and as a mental illness until 1999. Homophobia is widespread and recently there has been an increase in cases of murder and homophobic violence throughout the country.

    I guess the EP and the MP are representatives of this “New and Alien Spirit” that has come into the Church. Even though its plain to to that its Fr. Arida’s acceptance of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage that is the “New and Alien Spirit.”
    ______________________

    Where does the OCA stand on this issue? Shall it stand with its brothers and sisters and remain Orthodox, or shall it embrace the Spirit of the Age, instead of the Holy Spirit, and and leave?

    When all this nonsense is said and done we who remain true to the Gospel will be picking up the pieces of the broken lives of LGBT men and women. The Church as a hospital needs to be there for them when their brokenness becomes too much for them to handle. That is the pastoral care nobody talks about but that the Church always exercised and had.

    Love and compassion was always there. An ability to hear, forgive and love was always there BUT never acceptance of sin. So again I ask – What pastoral care are we talking about?

    Let’s be pastoral the way we have always been from the 1st century to today. We always had Homosexuality in every century, and we always loved and accepted the sinner in every century in true pastoral terms. Why is it different today? Answer its not! The pastoral concern is a trojan horse of acceptance and NOT true healing for the LGBT individual. If it were that no one would be having a problem and no one would be writing an article about the never changing Christ but seeking to change Him and His teachings.

    Have a Blessed Advent and a Most Holy Fest of the Nativity.

    Peter

  5. Make no mistake, the sexual revolution has won so much so fast that simple restraint is viewed as a mental disorder.

    The only thing that gives me hope is that the pendulum often swings back. We can pray for a course correction. We are seeing it in the Church; I mean in the culture as well.

    • Ages:

      The only thing that gives me hope is that the pendulum often swings back. We can pray for a course correction. We are seeing it in the Church; I mean in the culture as well.

      Just what is the evidence that the pendulum is swinging back (whatever that actually means)? The fact that a priest posts something on the Internet? The fact that a few priests publish a “statement”? Pshaw!

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Ages, I hope for a correction as well. Thank you for your comments and insight and may God continue to strengthen you in your spiritual warfare. Your perseverance is a hope to me even though my sins and passions are different.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      Ages, I think homosexualism might weaken. Below is something I posted on another site:

      The romance with homosexualism can only last for so long — five years tops and we are in year one. In another two years public doubts will start to surface. In year four those doubts will start shaping into a consensus. In year five the waters of this tsunami will start to recede.

      Why do I say this? Because nothing in the life-style is life affirming. All the energy of homosexuality comes from and is directed toward a void, an absence in the person that is also being projected into the social and institutional structures that are being formulated around it but remain to be built.

      More simply, “Modern Family” is an illusion plain and simple. It cannot and will not be built. This is a personal and cultural impossibility.

      I’ve known a good number of guys with the struggle. None of them want it. I know other men who came to Christ and continued in the lifestyle until increasing maturity enabled them to hear the voice of God more clearly. He always told them to withdraw from the lifestyle. It’s a difficult struggle but once it is named as such, real fellowship can develop between men and healing begins.

      This is an important point: Nothing in the lifestyle is life-affirming. It contains within itself a longing that cannot be filled, an anti-energy that will cause negation and collapse — a kind of self-immolation of interior and thus cultural structures. That’s the way voids and absences work. This cannot and will not last.

      So don’t think this will last forever. Many people will be injured in this tsunami and some will drown. Our job is to bring the willing to higher ground, beat back those who would weaken the retaining walls, and strengthen the faltering. Then, when the waters start to abate, we will bring healing to the wounded.

      The evil (yes, evil) of the Wonder Blog posting is that it steals hope by positing a new anthropology — that passions are the ground of self-identity. This robs men, especially younger men, who struggle with same-sex attraction and other passions of the hope that their struggle can be dealt with rationally. When hope dies so does faith and love.

      The rock-bottom minimum we owe our youth is clear teaching about the moral tradition. Fr. Arida’s piece, particularly with its studied ambiguity, leaves only one message for our young: Nothing is certain; you are what you feel.

      Critics charge that moral clarity is not compassionate. To them I say: Don’t confuse sentimental impulses with compassion, don’t read your own failings as inevitable for others, don’t substitute sophistry for truth. One can only heal others when a correct diagnosis is employed.

      You have affirmed this in your posts (I appreciate your posts very much, BTW), and your affirmations have particular authority because you write as one with intimate knowledge of the struggle. You show the relationship between clear teaching and hope in your own experience. Thank you for this.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

        The romance with homosexualism can only last for so long — five years tops and we are in year one. In another two years public doubts will start to surface. In year four those doubts will start shaping into a consensus. In year five the waters of this tsunami will start to recede.

        Since Fr. Hans can predict the future, maybe he can enlighten the rest of us at to when the Lord is coming back.

        • Tim R Mortiss says:

          I don’t know when He’s coming back, but I do know we will each face Him in a few years time.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

          OOM, the first prediction is the way I see it. Time will tell if I am correct.

          As for Christ coming back, I can’t help you with that. Sorry.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Oom, Fr Hans’ predictions aren’t all that astounding. Look at all the predictions that we and others like us (e.g. OCAT) made regarding the OCA’s mishandling of Jonah. They’ve pretty much all come true, haven’t they? We said that the OCA would lose its luster to American Orthodoxy and its usefulness to Russia, among other things. That it would continue to make missteps and engage in scandals, etc. All true.

          Think of it: an autocephalous church that has had five vacant dioceses for months and years at one time. Outside of an actively persecuted/subjugated national church, this is unprecedented. And we could go on.

      • Steve Knowlton says:

        It will weaken but be replaced with new waves of the same thing. There’s actually a LONG way to go before we arrive in Gomorrah. We’re already seeing a kind of agnosticism about gender, as though gender itself is yet another oppressive societal construct. In many other domains, gender simply does not matter (to society), it doesn’t matter because they don’t want it to matter. Any gender differences that do emerge (or stubbornly persist) thrugh the endless “studies” are rigorously interrogated for sources of gender discrimination.

      • Christopher says:

        Fr. Hans,

        I am not clear if when you say “homosexualism might weaken”, if you mean in the general cultural or in the as a movement in the Orthodox Church (or both). In any case it made me think of Rod Dreher post from a few days ago:

        http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-stone-butch-communist/

        It is a difficult post because of it’s subject matter, but about half way down he talks about “The Nations” prediction for homosexualism in our country 21 years ago, and RC Fr. Richard Neuhaus’ response. Like Dreher says, the Nation was more right than Neuhaus was. I have to say that it is my belief that homosexualism as a movement has more staying power in either the Orthodox Church or the general cultural than what you seem to imply here. This is simply due to the sentimental nature of our culturals morality, and I don’t see any force that is changing that. Indeed, I don’t think it has even peaked as a way of life let alone “run it’s course”. Perhaps I am not seeing certain counter forces that you are seeing?

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

          Christopher,

          Sorry for this late reply.

          Regarding the dominant culture: Since homosexuality has been effectively normalized, the fact that it has a hollow center will become apparent I think, largely through the social harm it will cause (homosexual couplings are not stable, abuse and addictions rates among homosexuals, pedophilia is predominantly homosexual, etc.). The illusions surrounding it will shatter.

          Dreher is right (Nation yes, Neuhaus no) but those ideas were in play when homosexuality was still a Fire Island – Key West – San Francisco phenomena. (See: Midge Dector, The Boys on the Beach.)

          Homosexual “culture” is a misnomer. It doesn’t exist except as a parody of the natural order. It can only mimic what it sees but it won’t be able to reproduce it. This is not merely an observation about biology (homosexual couplings are sterile). Biology also models deeper structures, and at the center of the deep structure of homosexuality is a vacuum (the absence of structure). The vacuum however contains an energy that is *always* deconstructive.

          Homosexuality is directed toward extinction and it must deconstruct the culture built on the natural order for it to get there.

          Homosexuals, in order to maintain a viable self-identity as homosexual, need a vigorous natural culture surrounding them. If the dominant culture begins to see homosexuality as a morally viable ‘second way’ within the natural order, it shows the dominant culture is weakening but it will also reveal the vacuum (the ‘nothingness’) at the center of homosexuality and the deconstructive energy it contains.

          Gay INC has achieved a remarkable propaganda victory in the last decade. It consisted of convincing the elites that homosexual pairings are indeed a morally viable ‘second way’ but the idea of viable culture structures built around those pairings is still only a promise. The propaganda war is relentless (“Modern Family,” “Will and Grace,” Andrew Sullivan, etc.) and has been largely won. However, the attempt to subjugate the conquered ground will fail, I think. Again, the illusions (the ideas about normative family and culture structures projected into homosexual populations) will be revealed for what they are — illusions. The worst thing for Gay INC may be normalization.

          So my prediction is based on the belief that the natural order will prevail in the end. This remains to be seen of course. If I am wrong, then it means we must prepare for cultural collapse.

          Regarding the the efforts to normalize homosexuality in some parts of the Church, again the Episcopal Church experience is all we really need to know. Liberal Christians have been trailing the dominant culture by at least a decade for the last forty years. They call their lagging statements “prophetic” and other sorts of self-congratulatory nonsense, but only to quell their unease about not being taken seriously. They are being used to provide a religious imprimatur to Gay INC — a vestige of their former authority that still exists as part of the cultural memory but will disappear in short order — because they prefer the intoxication of acclaim over the sobriety of truth.

          The language I hear by the enablers of Fr. Arida (as well as his own) is nothing more than the tired polemics of the last four decades that has been retooled for an Orthodox audience. There is no need to put up with it. Surreptitious attempts to subvert the moral tradition need to be exposed and stopped. On the other hand, if Fr. Arida’s ideas prevail, then the OCA will collapse.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

            Very good post. Summarizes this subject very well. Thank you Fr. Hans. Any word on any action taken or will be taken in regards to this Fr. Arida episode by the OCA or the Other Jurisdictions?

            Peter

          • M. Stankovich says:

            Fr. Hans,

            To accept this theory you propose, “homosexuality has been effectively normalized,” is to assume that “the dominant culture begins to see homosexuality as a morally viable ‘second way’ within the natural order.” I find this to be a fascinating rhetorical argument – if one is approaching the world and society as a “culturist” or sociologist – but it is neither the approach of assessment or the “diagnosis” of one who views the interactions of culture and the Church as an Orthodox theologian. I would argue that you, personally, cannot distinguish the source of homosexuals to have “vigorous natural culture surrounding them in order to maintain a viable self-identity as homosexual,” as derived from societal indifference, rather than “normalization.” And if you were to see indifference as the moral bankruptcy and source of destruction that it is, you would not not make predictions that this “step” in the corruption and degradation of our societal morality will pass, but is a “cosmic” event predicted by our Lord Himself: “All these things will they do to you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” (Jn. 15:21) “Yes, the time comes, that whoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (Jn. 16:1-2)

            Further, the Lord’s makes an epic point in this account in the Gospel of Luke:

            The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying to him, ‘Get you out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill you.’ And he said to them, ‘Go you, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. 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: and truly I say to you, You shall not see me, until the time come when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Lk. 13:31-35)

            Society does not stand to “heal” and rejuvenate, particularly at our hand – and while I know this disturbs you – Fr. Georges Florovsky has time and again noted that the Church’s attempts to be the “key to the Kingdom” for society has failed miserably. And so what is the answer? The Church is the haven and instrument of salvation, and only in the Church are we saved.

            The phrase, “We are in the world, but not of the world” has become so trite as to be meaningless, unless we actively pursue the Patristic foundation of such a concept and there receive our direction. And in my mind, it is obvious that we alone have been selected and prepared by our Lord as witnesses, sufferers, and martyrs for the the Eternal Truth entrusted to us. And I believe our enemy is manifested, not as homosexuality – which has assumed itself in the internet mind as the issue which will undermine the integrity of the Church – but indifference as the antithesis of the moral voice.

            All of your social theories are interesting, but they are neither an instruction nor a guidance to the faithful as – to borrow the title of the writings of St. Innocent of Alaska – The Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven. Your entire response to Christopher does not include a single reference to the Scripture, the Fathers, or our Holy Tradition. These we draw by “joining the Holy Fathers before us,” not simply in “mind,” but in “spirit” as well.

          • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says:

            A tour de force analysis: thanks, Father Hans!

          • There is no basis in your claim that pedophilia is predominantly homosexual.

            It is a false statement.

            Dangerous waters for a man of God.

            • George Michalopulos says:

              Actually, homosexuals are ten times as likely as heterosexuals to be pedophiles. According to the Guttmacher Institute, homosexuals (who comprise 3% of the population) account for 36% of adult-on-minor sexual acts. While the majority (64%) of adult-on-minor acts are performed by heterosexuals we need to keep in mind that heterosexuals constitute 97% of the population. Even if we accepted the mythical Kinsey figures of 10% homosexual segment of the population, that would still mean that homosexuals engage in a higher proportion of sex acts with minors.

              • Conflating adults who are sexually attracted to children with adults who are sexually attracted to other adults is utterly improper. It is not ten times more.because it is not a pool from people attracted to the same sex, it is a pool of the total population who are attracted to children.

                • If you ignore that it is male to male, despite age you are not being honest or scientific. We must look at the whole picture to have real understanding.

                  • M. Stankovich says:

                    You make an excellent point, colette, that we need to look at the whole picture, being “honest & scientific.” This same moronic point arises approximately every six-months, supported by the identical “Google-derived” expert scholarship Mr. Michaelopulos so dutifully proposes, which is, in fact from the the mid-1990’s and from half-assed sources with a “mission.” The same data was quoted by Michelle Bachman a little more than a week ago with the same intent: to convince us that – as Fr. Hans again claims – “pedophilia is predominantly homosexual.” This is a contention, however, that is neither honest nor scientific.

                    I will again provide citation to what is considered to be the best scholarship to date by one of the foremost researchers on the topic since 2002, Michael C. Seto, of the Integrated Forensic Program, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group in Brockville, Ontario, Canada:

                    Abstract

                    In this article, I address the question of whether pedophilia in men can be construed as a male sexual orientation, and the implications for thinking of it in this way for scientific research, clinical practice, and public policy. I begin by defining pedophilia and sexual orientation, and then compare pedophilia (as a potential sexual orientation with regard to age) to sexual orientations with regard to gender (heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality), on the bases of age of onset, correlations with sexual and romantic behavior, and stability over time. I conclude with comments about the potential social and legal implications of conceptualizing pedophilia as a type of sexual orientation in males.

                    Seto, MC. “Is pedophilia a sexual orientation?” Archives of Sexual Behavior, published online, 05 January, 2012. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 2012.

                    What does Dr. Seto conclude? First, he affirms that pedophilia in males is not another form of sexual orientation, but as categorized in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the ICD-10 of the World Health Organization, it is a “paraphilia,” or deviance of human sexual behaviour (and note that while the DSM usually requires “distress & impairment” as part of the diagnostic criteria, the ICD-10 “considers the sexual attraction to prepubescent children to be sufficient”).

                    Secondly, four major studies over a period of more than 15 years draw the same conclusion: “Sexual age and gender orientation can be viewed as dissociable in men.” What does this mean? “Whether someone is sexually attracted to children or to adults is partially independent of whether he is sexually attracted to males or females.” Those attracted to children distinguish less between boys & girls than do those attracted to men or women, and this is thought to be related to secondary adult sexual characteristics: in the “ideal sexual situation,” homosexual men prefer men, heterosexual men prefer women, and pedophiles prefer children. Interestingly, Seto reports a succession of studies (including his own in 2011) where pedophiles “(in particular, those who select unrelated boys) score higher on measures of emotional congruence with children than other sexual offenders,” which can include, “the degree to which someone prefers the company of children, enjoys child-oriented activities, and feels his emotional and intimacy needs can be met by children.” The point he is making is that to conclude that a male pedophile who “prefers” male children is necessarily homosexual is a misconception in that the individual is incapable of forming an emotional, intimate relationship with an adult.

                    Finally, I also again refer to the study, The Lifetime Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Assessed in Late Adolescence, from the University of New Hampshire that I cited here in the spring. As the study notes, lifetime experience with sexual abuse & assault of 17-year old girls was 26.6%, and for boys 5.1%. The most significant finding was that more than 50% of all sexual abuse/assault was perpetrated by an adolescent peer, known to the victim, but not necessarily significant to the victim (i.e. not a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, nor generally even a “friend” relationship). [Finkelhor, D. et al. “The lifetime prevalence of child sexual abuse and sexual assault assessed in late adolescence.” Journal of Adolescent Health 55 (2014) 329-333.]

                    Hang on to these references. You can recycle them again in six months or so when the issue of “homosexual predominance of pedophilia” arises again. And excellent job, Mr. Pappas, proving my point that “Google scholars” are but one rung above those who contrive data, and how anecdotal information (did you actually refer to this criminal as one of “Dan and Nate’s champions?”) killed the cat. Or something like that…

                    • If a person defiles a minor of the opposite sex, I would not say they are homosexual. But if they are going after someone of the same sex, then there is a homosexual element that can not be ignored.

                    • Yes, collete. To rationalize away the sexual attraction of the perpetrator is to simply willfully protect the abuser for political purposes. The political objective being to avoid “smearing” the gay community, even though it was those with homosexual inclinations who abused pubescent males. Someone without those inclinations would not be tempted. What seems to be postulated is a magical situational homosexual abusive syndrome induced by power relationships in the gay and straight clergy alike vis a vis minors – sexual attraction not being the preferred focus. But did they beat them? Steal from them? Defraud them? Start gangs with them? Feed them too many sweets?

                      No, they sexually molested them.

                      That’s quite a backflip to do in service of the gay lobby. No one is fooled, of course.

                      For the most part, it was gay priests preying on pubescent teenage boys – – gay statutory rape.

                    • Christopher says:

                      Yes colette, M. Stankovich is simply regurgitating the ” Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) ” which was taken over long ago by the gay lobby (and other political concerns). Don’t let his scientism overwhelm the truth…

                    • You all gloss over another reality. Girls are more protected by family from time alone with men. I remember going to my adult cousins house one time (she had two teen daughters) and the girls were home alone or didn’t answer and I was essentially uninvited from making unannounced stops there. Of course, interaction with my cousins was so far from my thoughts (ew!), it took me some time to understand the meaning.

                      Catholic parents trusted their boys to be alone with the priests. Very rarely were girls entrusted or engaged to the care of clergymen. And, of course, the Catholic churches doctrine on priests marrying encodes its own set of applicants. Men that either have a problem to start with and try to dive into the church to cope with it, or men that fail to recognize their own biological needs until it overtakes them, etc.

                      And the church is sort of the epitome of how boys get abused more.

                      I don’t think any of the studies done thus far have adequately measured sexual preference and pedophilia (I know this will really get Stankovich-sorry). The notion that you are either a normal heterosexual, or normal homosexual, or child predator seems disingenuous to me because not all child predators are exclusive to children or one sex or the other. Maybe I’m wrong, but studies fail to account for opportunistic behavior and that bugs me.

                      I think the thing to recognize is the pedophilia argument is thrown out when the anti-gay crowd is losing.

                • John Pappas says:

                  Nate, for you it is all gay all the time except when boys are sexually abused. Then you want us to ignore that the abusers are homosexual.

                  Homosexual abuse of young boys happens at ten times(!) the rate of heterosexual abuse of young girls.

                  One of your champions proves the point. Did you see it?

                  Lane County grand jury indicts prominent gay rights activist Terrence Bean in 2013 case involving a 15-year-old boy

                • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                  “Pedophilia” is used overbroadly in most discussions. Those who are attracted to post-pubertal under-18 persons are not “pedophiles”. Their attraction is not to children, but to sexually mature males or females of youthful years, who are legally unable to consent to sexual relations with adults, and who are very often vulnerable to sexual manipulation. If one is talking about them, one is not “conflating” the subjects.

                  I assume, though I don’t know, that George is using the term in the “overbroad” sense.

                  By the way, there are many “pedagogical” forms this manipulation can take place. One of the age-old ones is to advance examples from classical Greece and Rome. Another would be to speak to youth or write for youth publications, undermining traditional moral strictures with casuistic and ambiguous arguments.

                  • That is true. Most of the cases of RCC “pedophile priests” were not pedophiles at all. But you can’t call them by the more accurate name “gay statutory rapists” due to political correctness.

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Holt, K, and Massey, C. “Sexual preference or opportunity: an examination of situational factors by gender of victims of clergy abuse.” Sex Abuse. 2013, Dec 25(6):606-21.

                      “The overwhelming number of male victims of clergy sexual abuse led to assumptions
                      regarding sexual preference of clergy offenders. The present study examined 9,540
                      records (incidents) of alleged cleric sexual abuse in the United States between
                      1950 and 1999 to explore situational factors of the abuse by victim gender. No
                      evidence was found to suggest that male victims were purposefully targeted more
                      than female victims; rather, the abuse appeared to be more a function of
                      opportunity. These findings support a situational framework of sexual abuse for
                      the majority of clergy abuse and the assertion that abuse in church can be
                      understood as not a crisis regarding homosexuality but as a social problem that
                      must be examined in its context.”

                      Author information:

                      John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY,
                      USA.

                      PMID: 23264544 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

                    • That’s hilarious. It means you’ve rationalized away the fact that these clergy were attracted to young pubescent members of the same sex. Eventually the politics will cool down and real scientists will look for the dispassionate truth. But not before the “movement” has become very old news.

                    • sorry Michael, I just read down the page …

                • Thank you for refuting effectively George’s wild statement.

            • John Pappas says:

              Dan and Nate,

              For you it is all gay all the time except when boys are sexually abused. Then you want us to ignore that the abusers are homosexual.

              Homosexual abuse of young boys happens at ten times(!) the rate of heterosexual abuse of young girls.

              One of your champions proves the point. Did you see it?

              Lane County grand jury indicts prominent gay rights activist Terrence Bean in 2013 case involving a 15-year-old boy

              • Your statistics are wrong, your understanding likely comes from passed-down retellings of flawed papers (see here for analysis of the FRC paper everybody seems to crib from even if they don’t know it), and your beliefs about human sexual attractions are contradicted by clinical studies.

                But by all means, keep proclaiming that the married priest with a wife he isn’t sexually attracted to who molests boys is exactly the same as a gay male couple who look like Mr. Michalopulos, and would in fact find him a sexy sexy bear. These two things are not like the other, proclaiming they are to a world that knows otherwise is such a tremendous witness to your faith!

              • The problem is that these stats often conflate post-pubescent minors with pre-pubescent minors. Post-pubescent and peri-pubescent definitely counts as standard homosexual attraction. Both are equally illegal, but pre-pubescent attraction may be a separate phenomenon. One would have to know whether the abuser had ever engaged in non-child same-sex activity. My guess is that researchers would prefer not to know those answers.

                Gays like to cite ancient Greece and Rome to demonstrate the normality of the activity. A whole lot of that was with young boys who were started at a peri-pubescent or adolescent age with older men. Can’t have it both ways.

                I am also told that stories of “initiating” teenagers is a not uncommon theme in gay pornographic literature, although I have never confirmed that.

                In short, the case cited above of a 15 year old is definitely relevant. Something involving a 5 year old may not be.

              • Reality Check! says:

                End the Media Blackout on Gay Rapists
                http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/11/end_the_media_blackout_on_gay_rapists.html
                November 28, 2014

                Rape is a hideous crime.

                Besides the physical and emotional violence inflicted, depriving the victim of their basic human dignity is unconscionable. The charge of rape itself is worthy of our full attention; and if proven, the crime should demand the harshest punishment we can muster. But thanks to a corrupt media, that’s just not the way things work in America these days.

                For instance, while decades old rape accusations against a black TV star named Bill are given front page headlines, more credible rape allegations against a Southern white President of the United States named Bill are ignored and the victims are savaged in the press.

                Liberal politics, not people, matter to our evil media.

                That’s precisely why they rush to their cameras, microphones and keyboards when news breaks about a pedophile Catholic priest having his way with altar boys. Not because they care about the altar boys, but because they want to discredit the Catholic Church. If you doubt that fact, ask yourself why you haven’t heard much from the Mainstream Media about the recent arrest of 66 year-old Terrence Bean, charged with raping a 15-year old boy.

                The answer is because Terrence isn’t a Catholic priest. Instead, he’s the co-founder and on the board of directors of the homosexual organization ironically called the “Human Rights Campaign.” The confused souls you see who adorn their car bumpers with the yellow equal sign emblazoned on a blue sticker are flying Bean’s flag…with pride, no doubt.

                Bean is also a very wealthy man who gives lavishly to the Democratic Party and has been wined and dined regularly by President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama. Yet, despite his public notoriety, the fact this near 70-year old gay hero and his 25-year old boyfriend Kiah Lawson were charged with two counts of sodomizing a 15-year old victim just last year doesn’t seem to warrant a mention in the mainstream press. Why?

                Because abused 15-year olds aren’t as important as advancing a liberal political agenda. And this isn’t an anomaly; this is a sick pattern.

                While the media obsessed and exploited the death of a 21-year old gay man from Wyoming named Matthew Shepard, they almost completely shunned the ghastly and gruesome slaughter of a 13-year old in Arkansas named Jesse Dirkhising around the same time. Not only did the media perpetuate the lie that Matthew Shepard was killed by homophobes who hated him for being gay (when in fact he was killed by one of his gay lovers over drug money), they repeated it so loudly and so often that Congress was shamed into passing the absurdly named “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Law.”

                Meanwhile, when two homosexual predators named Davis Carpenter (38) and Joshua Brown (22) bound, drugged, gagged, sexually tortured and brutally sodomized Dirkhising throughout the night, ending in death by asphyxiation, the media was uninterested. Responding police found the 7th grade boy lying naked on the gay men’s floor, nearly unresponsive. “His face was blue, there was blood in his mouth, and his body was smeared with feces,” they confirmed. When Dirkhising died later that night, the media blackout began.

                Lying about a 21-year old man’s death did more to help the all-important “gay crusade” than telling the truth about a tortured boy, after all.

                And let’s not forget, just two years ago another iconic figure in the “gay rights” movement, Larry Brinkin, escaped media scrutiny despite horrific crimes. Brinkin, the man who originated the phrase “domestic partnership” to help advance the gay agenda and who the media adored to the point of declaring “Larry Brinkin Week” when he retired in 2010, was arrested after police found, “images of year-old infants subjected to sodomy and oral sex” on his computer.

                As if that weren’t appalling enough, the gathered evidence included this racist email sent by Brinkin to his kiddie porn supplier that is enough to make a sane person vomit: “I loved especially the 2 year old n—– getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond b—- is going to get.”

                The media’s silence on that barbaric depravity sent a clear message: sodomized babies are expendable if it means protecting a left-wing cause.

                Though we’ve only scratched the surface, this much seems sadly apparent: when it comes to homosexuality in the culture, our media has a story to tell. And they aren’t about to let victims, justice or truth get in their way.

                Pete Heck is a teacher and radio host in Indiana. Email peter@peterheck.com, follow @peterheck on Twitter, or like him on Facebook.

              • First of all, not one single study that is credible has ever shown your stat.

                Secondly, I never heard of Terrence Bean unrtil I saw this court issue, so to suggest he is my champion is a lie.

                Funny how many lies have been getting floated around this issue. What bothers me and should bother everyone is the willingness of people who are less than gay friendly to lie to support their less than gay friendly ideals. At some point John, credibility dissolves like salt in water, leaving only the sour taste and nothing of substance for anyone who questions all the agendas.

                Did Arida lie in his essay?

                • Totally agree, Dan. Too many fabrications to support flimsy suppositions. I think it’s to create a frenzy around the issue.

          • Christopher says:

            “…the fact that it has a hollow center will become apparent I think, largely through the social harm it will cause…Homosexual “culture” is a misnomer. It doesn’t exist except as a parody of the natural order….If the dominant culture begins to see homosexuality as a morally viable ‘second way’ within the natural order…So my prediction is based on the belief that the natural order will prevail in the end. This remains to be seen of course. If I am wrong, then it means we must prepare for cultural collapse….”

            Fr. Hans,

            I see the your logic and agree up to a point but then I think of other “cultures” within the dominate culture that are being carried along (tangent: here we must admit that we are stretching the definition of the word “culture” because the only “culture” modernism has seems to be an unquestioned consumerism). For example, are the single parent family’s of the black and white underclass natural? Not really, and if it was not for our exceptional wealth they would quite literally starve to death in any other age. What about the various “party” culture’s of young (and not so young) people, who spend an inordinate number of years in college or under employed living quite pointless lives anesthetized to reality? It seems our modern, consumerist culture is able to carry quite a bit of “unnatural” dead weight – again IMO due to it’s unprecedented wealth. Can it last? I don’t think so, and perhaps I agree with you in the end in that some sort of real collapse is bound to happen (actually I think it has already begun)….

    • Ages, the Sexual Revolution was the result of sexual restriction and prudery. It was an explosion, but we can now look back on it and realize that the only thing SR proved is that human beings were sexual beings. Big discovery. As I read these posts I get the impression that some people think there’s an orgy going on every ten minutes. Sex does have its place no matter what a person’s sexual orientation is.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says:

        “Sexual restriction and prudery” cannot be the cause of the “sexual revolution”; they are its target. They are what it is “revolting” against.

        There are many components to the SR. Two world wars, the automobile, the contraceptive pill; many other factors, no doubt, not the least of which was steep decline in religious faith.

        • Michael Bauman says:

          Timor…I would add the failure of Christian leadership to articulate, practice and discipline in accord with the Christian moral/spiritual norm on matters of proper marriage, divorce, adultery and fornication.

        • Tim, You seem to think that sexual activity is the result of a “decline in faith.” Why is it that people always think that sexuality is the enemy of spirituality? There are people who do make too much of sex, who do form their lives around sex, but for all of that sex is not the only thing, nor the most important thing. It is simply the physical expression of love between two people who love each other.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            No, I said nothing that could be interpreted as “sexuality being the enemy of spirituality”, and your suggestion that “people always think that” is an extraordinary statement in itself.

            In true wonderment I search my short post to locate any suggestion that “sexual activity is the result of the decline in faith”– but can’t find it at all!

            The subject was the sources of the “sexual revolution”– a broad term, but one which most of us of the postwar generation understand well enough. Certainly the decline in faith, which includes a decline in acceptance of Christian sexual morality (a sexual morality which is common to most faiths), is one of the sources of the “revolution”.

  6. Michalopulos:

    The homosexual juggernaut has overtaken every other avenue of Western civilization: academia, entertainment, politics, the judiciary and even religion. It is overwhelming in that owns the commanding heights of culture in almost every aspect. Most mainline Protestant confessions have succumbed to it. Even the Roman Catholic Church is unable to mount a clear response based on the present pope’s ambiguous pronouncements. That leaves only the Orthodox Church as the sole, remaining bulwark willing to uphold that which was always viewed as morally normative…
    This type of isolation is as true of Syosset as it is of Arida’s Boston cathedral.

    Get your facts and logic straight. In the United States, about half of all Orthodox believe homosexuality should be accepted. (The Pew Research organization is respected and careful). If half the church is tolerant of and accepting of homosexuality, then it is not accurate to claim that “Syosset” and “Arida’s Boston” are isolated, marginal, or fringe. If half the church is tolerant of and accepting of homosexuality, it is not warranted to view Orthodoxy as the ” sole, remaining bulwark” against acceptance. It is more accurate to say that the Orthodox church is DIVIDED by the issue. Homosexuality is accepted at all levels of the Orthodox church: from the gay bishops, to the gay monastics and priests, to the gay-friendly parishes, to the many Orthodox families who love and accept their gay brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

    • Steve Knowlton says:

      No, the Pew study asks whether homosexuality should be “accepted by society.” That’s a rather different question. Of course, the kinds of Orthodox that answered “yes” to this question might not recognize the distinction.

      • M. Stankovich says:

        I don’t know exactly what you mean by “kinds of Orthodox,” or to whom you refer. If your suggestion is that it is a “sub-group” of nominal, indifferent, uneducated (and indifferent to their lack of knowledge) Orthodox, I would say “half” is a low estimate. Around the time of the vote over “Prop 8” (that intended to ban same-sex marriage) here in California – which constituted one of the cases considered by the Supreme Court in their decision this past spring – I casually asked a lot of people in a lot of parishes their opinion. While I realize this is purely anecdotal, my overall impression of the response was “live and let live.” And with the largest turnout of voters in CA history (84%), Prop 8 passed by a margin of less than 2% of the vote.

        I disagree with OOM that “It is more accurate to say that the Orthodox church is DIVIDED by the issue.” The internet is a playground sandbox that does not reflect the reality of the Church. Every time there has been an “eruption” in the forums, I try to ask people in the parishes their opinion, and I am never surprised that they are completely unaware or are indifferent.

        I would offer that it is more accurate to say that the majority of Orthodox in America (+/- 5% margin of error) are indifferent, and that the reality is that if we applied the “traitionalist” urge to excommunicate and/or place under penance those who believe heresy – simply using the Nicene Creed as the criterion – more people would be outside the building in the generalized class of “penitent doorkeepers” than inside. By a wide margin. Fr. John Meyendorff – who had an incredible ability to teach Church History as if he had been there – described the situation in Constantinople at the height of the Iconoclastic controversy: “The debate was occurring at every level of society. One could hear loud argument at even the most mundane shop or market, and walking up to the scene, invariably what was being debated was the theology of the Holy Images.” Gone are the days. The internet is the new “teapot” for tempests, while in reality, indifference reigns.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

          I agree Michael. However. I know the Bishops listen to blogs like this and even if this is a tempest in a tea pot it does provide a needed check on clergy that would otherwise ignore the concerns of the laity. As a lawyer I like the concept of checks and balances. Well off to Church. Time to move Patton’s 3rd Army (I.ever my kids). E Agona Arhenie.

        • M. Stankovich:

          I disagree with OOM that “It is more accurate to say that the Orthodox church is DIVIDED by the issue.” The internet is a playground sandbox that does not reflect the reality of the Church. Every time there has been an “eruption” in the forums, I try to ask people in the parishes their opinion, and I am never surprised that they are completely unaware or are indifferent.

          it is true that only a very small proportion of the faithful have any idea of the mountains that Fr. Hans, Mr. Michalopulos, and this that and the other clergy brotherhood are creating out of a few molehills like the blog posts authored by Fr. Arida, and earlier by Mr. Pappas, the gay man denied communion. The point is that when the specific social or political question is put to them, the average Orthodox is moderate to liberal. In this respect, the Orthodox stance clusters with Catholicism and mainline Protestantism, like Episcopalian. This is precisely why the OCA (Bishop Nikon) will take no punitive action of the sort demanded here – censorship, reprimand, etc. That would be creating a problem where none exists.

          It’s also interesting to note that the “hardline” position against communing gays clusters quite nicely with the conservative position taken by most Mormons and Jehovah’s witness, according to the Pew data.
          To ask Fr. Robert Arida why he doesn’t join the Episcopal Church is inapt. Fr. Robert is not the outlier in the American Orthodox church. Fr. Hans is the outlier, although he might not like to admit that fact. The real question people might want to ask Fr. Hans is “Why don’t you become a Jehovah’s Witness?”

          • Fr. John Whiteford says:

            Why would you ask Fr. Hans if he wants to become a Jehovah’s Witness, when Fr. Hans affirms the teachings of the Church? It is Fr. Robert who by communing those who are openly living in homosexual relationships and by posting his intentionally ambiguous musings which suggest that the Church’s position on homosexual sex needs to be reconsidered, who has placed himself at odds with the Tradition of the Church.

            And I don’t think Fr. Hans is the outlier here. Every active member of the Orthodox Houston Clergy Association signed our statement, and if you look at the last names, it is clear that most of them are not converts: http://orthodoxhouston.blogspot.com/2014/11/statement-on-comments-of-fr-robert.html

            • Fr. John:

              Why would you ask Fr. Hans if he wants to become a Jehovah’s Witness, when Fr. Hans affirms the teachings of the Church?

              The mindset behind that question is that belonging to the Orthodox church is tantamount to subscribing to or affirming a list of beliefs and teachings, and their interpretations, in all particulars, as defined by YOU. Scripture, the Fathers, tradition do not unambiguously condemn communing gay people, even “unrepentant” (by your standards) gay people. The practice of the church is to leave the decision in the hands of the individual priest to decide whom he will or will not commune. That isn’t going to change, just because you, the clergy association, and Fr. Hans don’t like it. Anyone who is uncomfortable with that fact ought to consider the Mormons or JH’s.

              • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                The difference being that the Scriptures, Canons, Fathers and Saints of the Church do agree that homosexual sex is inherently sinful, and I can cite actual evidence, rather than merely sneer at those on the other side, as is the case for those taking your position.

                http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2011/07/bible-church-and-homosexuality.html

                • Well Father, I happen to know several gay men and women and they in fact DO repent. They do not go to parties or even a movie after going to Vespers or Vigil and they receive the Holy Gifts the next morning at Divine Liturgy with all reverence and awe. They use the Prayer of the Publican (a very good starting point) as a guide for their repentance. The reason they do not repent their sexuality is because they do not see it as a sin. You can be celibate and still be gay. I have known some gay men who have tried to “cure” their homosexuality by marrying a woman which just makes things worse. One gay man had been married and divorced twice and was about to try it again. As for Scripture, it condemns homosexual rape; and gays by large (just as straight people by large) are not rapists. They are neither pagan temple prostitutes. And as for cannon law, I do agree there are canons against homosexuality, but there are also canons against eating with the unbaptized and carrying on commerce with a Jew. You carry on commerce with a Jew every time you go to a movie.

                  • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                    Please cite the specific canons that you wish to offer as evidence that it doesn’t matter what the canons say.

                    The fact that they do not believe homosexual sex to be a sin is evidence that they have bought into the heresy that Fr. Robert and others are promoting. You may choose to deny the laws of gravity, but if you jump off of a building, the laws of gravity are going to win the argument.

                    St. Paul says that those who engage in homosexual sex will not inherit the Kingdom of God. That is a law more true than the laws of gravity.

                    http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/amvon/the_inconvenient_truth_about_homosexual_marriage

                    • It seems Father, that you have great respect for the laws of gravity which is a scientific fact. It is a pity you do not wish to consider other facts. Science says that gay people can be perfectly happy the way they are. The only way they can be unhappy is when people condemn them and twist Scripture to back it up. This has resulted in true mental disorders and suicide for many gay people. And then self-proclaimed expects state, “You see? That’s proof it’s a terrible ‘lifestyle.'” By the way, since you have chosen to use the word, “heresy” I once knew an Orthodox priest who was up for heresy. The charge: using English in the Divine Liturgy. Dear, dear, dear! As for Paul, the original word he used was “arsenokoitai” which means “temple prostitutes.” I know of no gay men who engage in fertility rights other than gardening.
                      And since you have brought up Paul, I ask this question: who is the head and founder of the Church? Paul or Christ? Examine the credentials of each one, you should have no difficulty discovering who.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                      Pilgrim says:

                      “Science says that gay people can be perfectly happy the way they are. The only way they can be unhappy is when people condemn them and twist Scripture to back it up.”

                      Extraordinary assertions, indeed! Where to start?

                      What does “Science” say about the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the existence of God? It says nay to them all, and much more of the Faith besides.

                      “The only way they can be unhappy”? My friend, there are many ways for them and all of us to be unhappy…..

                      And, as an aside, even the most single-minded proponents of homosexuality as an acceptable practice in the context of the Christian faith recognize that every reference to the practice in Scripture is extremely negative.

                    • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                      Pilgrim, could you please explain how science can tell us that homosexual sex is not a sin?

                      If you don’t believe in God, then we need discuss this on a very different level. If you do believe in God, and claim to be an Orthodox Christian, then you should know that God defines what sin is, and we know this from Scripture and Tradition.

                    • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                      Also, where in the Fathers do you find any justification for setting the Epistles of St. Paul in opposition to Christ?

                    • Pilgrim,

                      Speaking as a homosexually-inclined person, I can tell you that “happiness” is hardly the standard of a Christian who has taken up his cross and followed Christ.

                      As for Paul, the original word he used was “arsenokoitai” which means “temple prostitutes.” I know of no gay men who engage in fertility rights other than gardening.

                      This is bull.

                    • Pilgrim, my Greek isn’t what it used to be. Which part of “arsenokoitai” means “temple” and which part means “prostitute?” Does “arseno” mean temple and “koitai” mean prostitute, or is it the other way around?

                      By the way, that is sarcasm. ἄρσενος κοίτην is the phrase in the LXX of Lev. 20:13 (in Lev 18:22 the two words are separated a bit –ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην), in a long list of things men aren’t supposed to do, like have sex with their close female relatives or with animals — nothing about temples or prostitution anywhere in that context. St. Paul evidently stuck the two words together, and his readers, many of whom would have studied the LXX — the only Bible they had, would know exactly what he was talking about — a man lying with a man as with a woman.

                      And by the way, that verse in Leviticus refers to that particular thing as βδέλυγμα — usually translated as abomination. Probably why +Philip, no slouch when it came to knowing the Bible, chose that word. I would point out that in both Lev 18 and 20, that is the only thing specifically called an abomination.

                      Please feel free to say that the Bible is wrong, or that Christian tradition is wrong, or that you think Christianity should change its stance. That is an honest argument.

                      But trying to somehow go back and revise what the Old Testament, the New Testament, the early Church, the Church (East and West) of the first millennium, and the Orthodox Church of the 2nd millennium (and all other Christian bodies until extremely recently) have consistently taught — that is intellectually dishonest and hence immoral.

                      The truly honest thing for people who disagree with Christian teaching is to form their own church. Fr. Arida can be a priest and Lazar Puhalo can be the bishop. But that isn’t how modernism works. Like the proverbial cuckoo bird, the modus operandi is to lay eggs in nests built by others. To reap what someone else has sown. In short, to steal churches. As I said, immoral.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                      As for Paul, the original word he used was “arsenokoitai” which means “temple prostitutes.” I know of no gay men who engage in fertility rights other than gardening.

                      That is incorrect. St. Paul was using this word which came directly out of Leviticus. I suggest you pit down the Hebrew version of the Old Testament and pick up the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, and you will see where this word came from and what it actually means. In fact, here it is in Greek

                      22 καὶ μετά ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικείαν, βέλυγμα γάρ ἐστι. Leviticus 18:22 (LXX).

                      St. Paul was looking to the LXX not the Hebrew and in the LXX you can see where he obtained the word for Homosexuality. It has nothing to do with Temple Prostitution in the entire context of Leviticus 18. It has to do with what the Pagans were doing and what the people of God should not do. Big difference.

              • Scripture, the Fathers, tradition do not unambiguously condemn communing gay people, even “unrepentant” (by your standards) gay people.

                There are people who actually believe this.

            • Fr. John:

              And I don’t think Fr. Hans is the outlier here. Every active member of the Orthodox Houston Clergy Association signed our statement, and if you look at the last names, it is clear that most of them are not converts

              It is certainly not normative or traditional in the Orthodox church for one priest to call another priest out publicly, as Fr. Hans did when he posed the following questions and supplied the answer in a public Internet posting to his blog:

              And what should we do about Arida and his enablers? Here’s an idea. Why not let those who want to Episcopalianize the Orthodox Church become Episcopalian? That way the liberals remain happy and the Orthodox don’t have to fight the culture wars that the liberals want to drag into the Church.

              Nor was it necessary for your clergy association to glom on to Fr. Hans’s error in judgment, convert or not. It’s airing dirty laundry, it’s unseemly, it accomplishes nothing, and in the long run many of you may come to regret it.

              • And what should we do about Jacobse and his enablers? Here’s an idea. Why not let those who want to Jehova Witnessize the Orthodox Church become Jehovah’s Witnesses? That way the conservatives remain happy and the Orthodox don’t have to fight the culture wars that the conservatives want to drag into the Church.
                Not nice, is it?

              • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                Have you read 1st Corinthians chapters 5 and 6? Dirty laundry aired in the most widely published text in the history of the word.

                • You would compare yourself to the apostle?

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                    The Apostles were not human, then?

                    I often compare myself to St. Paul, especially when I think I have it tough. Danger from rivers, from wild beasts, from bandits, from his own people; countless cold nights with no food, exposed to the elements; hanging onto a piece of ship-wrack in the sea for a day and a night…..

                    I usually come off poorly in the comparison, though!

                  • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                    I compared the situation St. Paul addressed, and the way he addressed, because it is comparable.

                    • Funny how liberal theology works. Fr. Arida gets compared to Christ with Judas or eating with sinners, but let a traditionalist compare a situation he encounters to that even of an Apostle, and he is said to be putting on grandiose airs.

                    • St, Paul’s letter was directed to the church in Corinth. It was not intended for public consumption. The idea of publishing something Internet fashion would be anachronistic if applied to Paul’s generation. Later generations of Christians copied and disseminated his letter and ultimately added it to the canon; it is only the circumstance of history that led that letter to be so well-published, far in the future from when it was written. Future generations will remember Fr. Hans’s and the clergy association’s communications with chagrin, not approbation.

                      The letter itself admonishes the Corinthians not to divide the church according to leadership (Apollos and Paul). In keeping with the spirit of the letter, it would have been better for Fr. Hans and he association to take their grievance directly to Fr. Robert, his bishop, and the OCA leadership, since the offending article was published under the auspices of the OCA.

                    • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                      That’s nonsense. Of course St. Paul intended his letters to be read by the whole Church, not just the local ones he directly addressed. He says so specifically in his letter to the Colossians: “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the [epistle] from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16).

                    • Right-Wing ROCOR Type says:

                      St, Paul’s letter was directed to the church in Corinth. It was not intended for public consumption.

                      The early church clearly thought otherwise.

                    • Heracleides says:

                      OMM said: “… take their grievance directly to Fr. Robert, his bishop, and the OCA leadership…”

                      You mean this OCA Leadership: Empty Chair

            • Sue Simpson says:

              Whiteford,

              You and every cleric that signed this document should be DEFROCKED! Apparently, you don’t know Orthodox Canon Law. A priest cannot interfere with a parish nor another priest. A bishop cannot interfere with what another bishop does in his diocese. ALL of you signing have condemned yourselves in the eyes of the Church. Furthermore, since NO WHERE in Fr. Arida’s writings does it state that he is an advocate for homosexuality, you and your cronies should not only be defrocked and condemned, but taken to Spiritual Court for libel and slander. I will personally write to all of your bishops to take this action!

              • George Michalopulos says:

                Miss Simpson, you need to get your talking points straight. The Synod of the OCA did everything within their power to interfere in another bishop’s diocese. Your hero, Mark Stokoe rained so much obloquy on His Beatitude simply because he had the audacity (gasp!) to tonsure a dying woman into the Great Schema.

              • Fr. John Whiteford says:

                Can you point me to the canon that says that a priest may not comment on the public errors of another priest? St. Maximus the Confessor was not even a priest… and he made one or two public comments in his day.

              • No one is “interfering”. They are calling feces what it is. There’s no canon against that.

              • Michael Bauman says:

                Miss Simpson, the disparaging and arrogant manner with which you address priest of the Church says volumes about you. I do not agree with Fr. Robert but I would never dream of calling him Arida. He is a priest and should be treated with the respect and, yes, deference, that any man in that office should be treated–especially when one does not agree with them.

                Whether you want to or not you come across as vulgar, crude, and ill-mannered.

                I am sure that such an attitude will get you nowhere if you actually do write Fr. John’s bishop as you threaten. They are priests and bishops–you are not.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                As for myself, I think the lady doth protest way, way too much!

              • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                Ms. Simpson,
                When you write to Bishop Peter of Cleveland, who is Fr. John Whiteford’s bishop, please be sure to complain about me as well. I didn’t sign the letter because I don’t live in Houston. But I associate myself with Fr. John’s opinion.
                Since Bishop Peter is my bishop also, maybe you can “get” both of us at the same time.

              • A Boston Cathedral Survivor says:

                Miss Simpson,

                I encourage you to keep writing here, please. Your attitudes well represent how open the dialogue is at Holy Trinity Cathedral. Attack, belittle and accuse. Marginalize anyone who does not agree with Fr. Arida. Make them the object of your scorn and then, shun them until they leave.

                The Boston Cathedral is not interested in preaching the Gospel to all people. No, they are interested in preaching the Gospel to certain people.

                So, again, please, Miss Simpson, dear Alice Carter too, keep posting here. You do more to give people a true picture of what is going on in Boston. You are providing an invaluable service.

                • Salemlemko says:

                  God bless you and much love BC Survivor! If ever you need support……

                  Where do you suppose are all the other Aridadouls? I understand why Sue and Alice are here, but where are the others…. Where is Inga, Walter, Oleg, Chris, Alex, Wanda, Rob, Lisa….. and on and on….. Where are the other elect? Could it be, could it, that the USS ARIDA has sprung a leak, are the rats fleeing the ship, or is the mind control so great that only a few of the truly loyal and trusted have been ordered to take the point?

                  A blessed and happy holiday to you and all here!

              • Salemlemko says:

                This is yet another feature of Arida Infestation Syndrome (AIS), the conviction on the part the infected that they are the repository of truth, knowlege, life and innovation. They are The New Living Church of the New Order. Unknown to them are the teahings of Jesus Christ and His Church, they rely on secondary sources, third party indoctrination and their own twisted hand me down canon law licked up off the floor and dropped by the Elder Arida.

          • What interesting thinking-so you think Orthodoxy should believe whatever the present population believes, change with the wind? What do you do with the multiple contradictions would then run into with Scripture, the Fathers, the Councils and Creeds-what do you base your faith on? It seems not much.

          • Ladder of Divine Ascent says:

            It’s also interesting to note that the “hardline” position against communing gays clusters quite nicely with the conservative position taken by most Mormons and Jehovah’s witness, according to the Pew data.

            Mormons and JWs aren’t even Heterodox, being rather very recent Post-Christian sects, as they don’t worship the Trinity. Moreover, those sects don’t believe in partaking of the Divine Mysteries. Therefore, your linking of real Orthodox with these two unpopular sects, is less fair than saying heretical beliefs [“OCA respectability”?] about sodomy among nominal Orthodox “clusters quite nicely” with [insert name] New Age cults guilty of [insert crimes].

            Please don’t contribute to the ongoing ruination of the word “gay” by association with sodomy. Since, you like Pew like data, then you should know that Sodomites aren’t happy people living happy lives.

            https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gays-are-deeply-unhappy-russian-orthodox-priest-warns-of-dangers-of-homosex

            Father Vsevolod Chaplin, recently said of homosexuals, in an interview with newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, “Such people are deeply unhappy”.

            “I know it from confessions and numerous life stories. It’s not by chance that they die earlier and there’re more suicides, drug addicts and alcoholics among them,” he said.

            Fr. Chaplin’s comments are backed by research, widely accepted by the homosexual community, showing that homosexuals suffer from higher than average rates, not only of sexually transmitted diseases, but of psychological disorders, drug addiction and suicide.

            • “Fr. Chaplin’s comments are backed by research, widely accepted by the homosexual community, showing that homosexuals suffer from higher than average rates, not only of sexually transmitted diseases, but of psychological disorders, drug addiction and suicide.”

              Oh, really? I imagine in Russia this is the case–where gay people are persecuted, harassed, fired from their jobs, beaten and murdered.

              Fr. Chaplin’s so-called research is not objective nor scientifically sound. It is the one-sided statement of a smug and ignorant man .

        • M Stankovich:

          Around the time of the vote over “Prop 8” (that intended to ban same-sex marriage) here in California – which constituted one of the cases considered by the Supreme Court in their decision this past spring – I casually asked a lot of people in a lot of parishes their opinion. While I realize this is purely anecdotal, my overall impression of the response was “live and let live.”

          The week after President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage, in the 2012 campaign season, I attended divine liturgy at an OCA parish in the New York state. The priest in his sermon said that those who opposed gay marriage did so because they were insecure in their faith. He told the parish how proud he was that they were accepting of gays in their midst. No doubt this sort of thing would never occur in Fr. Hans’s parish; but maybe, just maybe, Fr. Hans is out of touch with the rest of us.

          • Would that be your father’s opinion, too, OOM?

          • Or maybe the priest is glad to see more and more people march into hell unhindered.

            As one who suffers this passion, nothing could be more cruel than this post.

          • Fr. John Whiteford says:

            Which priest? If he has the courage to say such a thing publicly in his parish, surely he would not object to you naming him here.

        • Steve Knowlton says:

          Indifference reigns on this subject because the supporters of gay marriage have very effectively made any kind of dissent to look like a kind of treason, an absurd form of anti-Americanism not unlike McCarthyism.

          Most people who don’t buy the party line have decided, perhaps subconsciously, to ignore the issue. This is not indifference, exactly. It’s just a form of maintaining one’s sanity, under the guise of Fr. Hans’ thinking that eventually this will go away.

        • RE: “Live and let live . . .”

          I would rather “miss the mark,” than not have a mark.

    • Good thing the Church isn’t a democracy, then. Right?

    • Christopher says:

      Homosexuality is accepted at all levels of the Orthodox church

      There is some truth here, but only in the sense that these laity and clergy who accept it our accepting sin and heresy, Such is the temptation of many in the Church throughout many ages. Thus, “so many wolves within, so many sheep without” is a true statement…

    • ” If half the church is tolerant of and accepting of homosexuality, then it is not accurate to claim that “Syosset” and “Arida’s Boston” are isolated, marginal, or fringe.”

      Let’s assume for a moment that half of the GOA in America and half of the OCA are “accepting of homosexuality”. Even at the hyper-inflated numbers that these jurisdictions have claimed in the past (2 million and 1 million, respectively), you still come up with a number of 1.5 million Orthodox whom we know share this view. This represents a fraction of 1% of the Church at large (250-300 million worldwide). So, really, given that the Church is not centered in the Western world, these attitudes really are “isolated, marginal and fringe.” They are vehemently rejected in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

  7. Michael J. Kinsey 1380805 says:

    This blog is so well thought with right thinking honest christian address of the situation. I have nothing to say but Amen, or whatever is even more emphatic agreement. Don’t forget to extend this right thinking all the way into the clergy themselves,.all the way into the seminaries. I care not one whit for the clerical careers of professed gay wanna be priest.s. Sack them all.

  8. Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

    Ages, I think it might. Below is something I posted on another site:

    The romance with homosexualism can only last for so long — five years tops and we are in year one. In another two years public doubts will start to surface. In year four those doubts will start shaping into a consensus. In year five the waters of this tsunami will start to abate.

    Why do I say this? Because nothing in the life-style is life affirming. All the energy of homosexuality comes from and is directed toward a void, an absence in the person that is also being projected into the social and institutional structures that are being formulated around it but remain to be built.

    More simply, “Modern Family” is an illusion plain and simple. It cannot and will not be built. This is a personal and cultural impossibility.

    I’ve known a good number of guys with the struggle. None of them want it. I know other men who came to Christ and continued in the lifestyle until increasing maturity enabled them to hear the voice of God more clearly. He always told them to withdraw from the lifestyle. It’s a difficult struggle but once it is named as such, real fellowship can develop between men and healing begins.

    This is an important point: Nothing in the lifestyle is life-affirming. It contains within itself a longing that cannot be filled, an anti-energy that will cause negation and collapse — a kind of self-immolation of interior and thus cultural structures. That’s the way voids and absences work. This cannot and will not last.

    So don’t think this will last forever. Many people will be injured in this tsunami and some will drown. Our job is to bring the willing to higher ground, beat back those who would weaken the retaining walls, and strengthen the faltering. Then, when the waters abate, we will bring healing to the wounded.

    The evil (yes, evil) of the Wonder Blog posting is that it steals hope by positing a new anthropology — that passions are the ground of self-identity. This robs men, especially younger men, who struggle with same-sex attraction and other passions of the hope that their struggle can be dealt with rationally. When hope dies so does faith and love.

    The rock-bottom minimum we owe our youth is clear teaching about the moral tradition. Fr. Arida’s piece, particularly with its studied ambiguity, would leave only one message for our young: Nothing is certain; you are what you feel.

    Critics charge that clarity is not compassionate. To them I say: Don’t confuse sympathy with compassion, don’t read your own failings as inevitable for others, don’t substitute sentiment for truth. One can only heal others when the diagnosis is correct.

    You have affirmed this in your posts (I appreciate your posts very much, BTW), and your affirmations have particular authority because you write as one with intimate knowledge of the struggle. You show the relationship between clear teaching and hope in your own experience. Thank you for this.

  9. Salemlemko says:

    Thank you Fr. Hans!

  10. my worry is that some of these gay “orthodox” will stage protests with the help of their gay “shock troops” and start to “make out” in front of Orthodox churches in support of gay marriage ….

    • I don’t think they’re going to do that. Your comment is silly. They’re are no “shock troops.”

  11. Meanwhile in ROCOR says:

    Meanwhile in ROCOR…

    • Ah… now that’s better. Thank you!

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

        I agree, Edward! What a beautiful and uplifting witness, Where can one find or procure the service in its entirety?Honored guest, Metropolitan Jonah (commemorated, correctly, as “Very Most Reverend”), and (now) ROCOR Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) and so many other Hierarchs and a true Multitude of Priests and Deacons, and a superb choir singing equally beautifully in Russian and English in a beautiful and canonically designed and appointed Temple. How in the WORLD could any Orthodox Christian BELIEVER give it a”Dislike?”

        • Bishop Tikhon FItzgerald:

          a superb choir singing equally beautifully in Russian

          What are they, a bunch of revisionists?

          • OOM, I assume your snark refers to Vladyka Tikhon using the word “Russian” rather than “Slavonic.” His Grace is simply demonstrating that he is familiar with Russian-American colloquialisms. The first time I read the Prokeimenon and Alleluia verses in Slavonic when doing the Epistle at my current ROCOR parish, I was complimented on my “Russian.”

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

            Point well taken, OOM! I make a depressing amount of such mistakes in my old age. That’s one mistake I particularly diske. Sorry. (I realize there’s really no NEED to apologize since my mistake was obviously, pleasing to you,OOM.) I see that five (5) persons indicated their dislike for an Orthodox Divine Liturgy served in a beautiful temple by a multitude. I try to rationalize that by assuming that some people wish only to express their antipathy for the person who POSTED the item, not the Liturgy. Perhaps George should offer FOUR choices for each posting: Dislike this message/Like this message, and Like this person/Dislike this person.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald:

              I see that five (5) persons indicated their dislike for an Orthodox Divine Liturgy served in a beautiful temple by a multitude.

              I know the church well, it IS wonderful to see the last tsar and his family when one walks into the nave, looking down from heaven as it were. Rasputin, so near and dear to that family and especially to the tsaritsa, is all the rage in Russia these days, is ROCOR on board with his sainthood? Maybe the monks can come back and “photoshop” his icon in with the rest of that very holy family if the canonization takes place. And of course the liturgy was very impressive, all the mitres everywhere, maybe the OCA can start mitering priests again and give their deacons some singing lessons, to keep up. The clincher was those Cossacks, or whatever, at the front of the procession. Talk about AUTHENTIC!

              • OOM, so much snide hate. Not sure what the ROCOR (or the Russian Church in general — after all they commemorate the Royal Martyrs in Moscow) ever did to you. Must be rough to be you, seriously. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  OOM refuses to recognize the Divine Liturgy in order to belittle the Faithful. He might consider comparing his dreams of Rasputin with the real wall frescoes at the OCA’a Novel Skete:

                  • I still am in a state of wonderment about why those Novus Sketus guys wanted to be in the OCA, why the OCA took them, and why they have never been guided into any semblace of Orthodox praxis.

                • Edward:

                  OOM, so much snide hate. Not sure what the ROCOR (or the Russian Church in general — after all they commemorate the Royal Martyrs in Moscow) ever did to you. Must be rough to be you, seriously. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

                  I still am in a state of wonderment about why those Novus Sketus guys wanted to be in the OCA

                  Meanwhile in ROCOR posted a youtube video COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT TO THE THREAD, you approved, and Vladyka winged and whined about the lack of thumbs ups. Isn’t one allowed to make irrelevant comments about an irrelevant post? Now, down to brass tacks. Were those, or were those not, COSSACKS in Howell, NJ? And btw, the OCA celebrates the feast of the royal passionbearers, too. Take that ROCOR, with all your mitered-up liturgies!!!!

                • Edward:

                  Not sure what the ROCOR (or the Russian Church in general — after all they commemorate the Royal Martyrs in Moscow) ever did to you.

                  Edward seems perceptive, but he can’t wrap his mind around the idea that it’s not ROCOR that’s the problem, it’s the attitude that awesome spectacular liturgies makes ROCOR somehow holier than the rest of us…

                  • OOM: …it’s the attitude that awesome spectacular liturgies makes ROCOR somehow holier than the rest of us… Sigh. As Vladyka Tikhon can testify, you do not need to be in the ROCOR to serve liturgically according to the precepts of the Typikon and with humility before the best traditions that have been handed down. But you probably do need to be in the ROCOR to have a situation where all the bishops and clergy have that attitude – which is what you need for those kinds of services.

                    You are deeply mistaken if you believe that those in the ROCOR (or the Russian Church in general – just check out YouTube videos of major services in Russia) think that we are “more holy” than others because of our attention to liturgical practices. Do you really think that anyone in those services – clergy or laity — is standing there thinking about the OCA, or any other jurisdiction, or anyone besides God, his most pure Mother, the assembly of angels, and the cloud of witnesses of the saints of ages past that are there with us? Trust me, at those moments, even the most petty among us are swept up in the wonder of it all.

                    When the ROCOR bishops and clergy gathered for that service that you found irrelevant and off-putting, the remarkable part of it is not that it was “spectacular” — it is precisely that it isn’t spectacular at all, in the literal sense of the word — they weren’t putting on a show or a “spectacle.” That’s just how things are done, day in and day out, year in and year out, and they don’t need to rehearse and extensively plan the services.

                    I’ve been to an OCA AAC, and the reason that they have trouble “pulling off” big services like that is that too many of the bishops and clergy are doing their own liturgical thing, often desultorily, on the other 364 days a year. So when they get together for a big gathering, they really do have to “put on a show” because it isn’t how so many of the clergy do things every day. Our beloved Dcn. Eric Wheeler has bragged in print about how he can “pull off” an hour and a quarter Liturgy, and how that’s just what America needs. If that is the mindset of many of the clergy during the rest of the year, how are they going to effortlessly “pull off” a grand service on a big occasion?

                    In short, it isn’t that the ROCOR puts some big effort into putting on specially choreographed “spectacular services.” Those services simply reflect an ordinary, everyday attention to detail and perfection in the services that you can see on any given Sunday – writ very, very large by the most liturgically astute among a generally liturgically astute group.

                    Such attention is hardly unique to the ROCOR. There are many wonderful liturgists in every jurisdiction. What is perhaps unique is that the attitude so permeates the entire jurisdiction that you can throw together virtually any combination of cathedral clergy and choir directors/members from anywhere in the world and in short notice they will produce something that a similar thrown together combination in other jurisdictions might not be able to without a fair amount of preparation.

                    And by the way, I will leave it to you to reconcile this sarcastic statement: …it IS wonderful to see the last tsar and his family when one walks into the nave, looking down from heaven as it were…

                    With this nasty one: And btw, the OCA celebrates the feast of the royal passionbearers, too. Take that ROCOR, with all your mitered-up liturgies!!!!

                    As I said, your responses drip with anger and hate. The fact that you have such a chip on your shoulder says more about you than it does about the ROCOR.

                  • Salemlemko says:

                    It may not do that, but the allure is that once you start making liturgical changes, additions and reforms like Arida has done at HTOC, where does it end? Homosexual weddings?

                    The catalog of Arida’s innovations is truly amazing. Given the play-church that goes on in Boston, i dont mind rocor’s moldy oldy, better that than Arida’s Liturgical Tupperware Parties.

                    • It doesn’t surprise me to learn that Fr. Arida also plays a bit fast and loose with liturgics. There are notable exceptions, but attitudes towards liturgics often reflect attitudes towards the rest of tradition as well.

        • How in the WORLD could any Orthodox Christian BELIEVER give it a”Dislike?”

          Vladyka, there are always haters… And yes, it is beautiful and uplifting. There is nothing quite like these services. I will never forget my first time to experience something like that. I flew to San Francisco when the “Reigning” Icon of the Mother of God was brought to America by Metropolitan Onuphry and delegation (along with the magnificent Sretensky Monastery choir), in celebration of the reunification.

          I stood in awe as the assembled hierarchs and clergy from Russia and the ROCOR served a Moleben before the icon, and not one book was anywhere to be seen. I watched, and every member of the clergy from Metropolitan down to readers (and the altar boys) were singing the entire service from memory. Both Vigil and Liturgy were sung with antiphonal choirs (the Cathedral Choir and the Sretensky Choir alternating). Not one moment of confusion about what anyone was supposed to do. The delegation had just flown in that day or the day before, so there was no time for “rehearsal.”

          The point is not that the ROCOR is great — the point is what is possible when everyone is obedient to their Church’s local traditions and the Typikon and has absorbed it deeply through long immersion in the services. If I may be so bold, that is a big part of what you spent your entire ministry as a bishop trying to convey to your clergy and faithful. Some were willing to receive it, some weren’t. The OCA as a whole certainly wasn’t. Forgive me if I have said too much.

          • Reader Daniel Kowalcheck says:

            Agree with +Tikhon and Edward, the witness is incredible. It’s obvious that these events are taken seriously in ROCOR, done with such precision, beauty and splendor…fitting for worshiping GOD! We’ve lost so much of this in the OCA, either lost or perhaps intentionally forgotten. The number of mitered priests, and so many deacons is a sight to see. Deacons are certainly not downplayed like they are here in the OCA…when at an AAC (a much larger gathering) we only have a few serve at a hierarchical liturgy. Moreover, with the departure of Archdeacon Vsevolod Borzakovsky and the elevation to the priesthood of Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko, the OCA has lost two great deacons that we won’t be hearing at upcoming AACs. (The elevation to the holy priesthood is a glorious thing, Axios!, but losing one of our great traditional Protodeacons is sad.)

            The combined choir under the direction of Alexandra Roschko sang reverently, but with power and beauty…I think something that Vladimir Gorbik is trying to implant in us here, if we are humble enough to receive it. The First Antiphon, Beatitudes and part of the Trisagion (in this video) were in English, (something that’s common here in the South), but it’s interesting that this is Northeast ROCOR!

            Your liturgical commentary is always welcomed Vladyka Tikhon. I wish you could stay on as a liturgical consultant to the OCA.

  12. Like CNN, George, you are trying to get a few extra miles out of nothing by beating the same drum.

    I was hoping you’d be after Obama for stealing the 2016 election, but the gay banter continues.

  13. George,

    What is your take on the recent deposition of I believe was nine clerics of the OCA?

    Personally, I am actually encouraged that the OCA finally stepped up to the plate and finally did something. I’ve been as critical as anyone of the OCA, but in this case it appears that they finally got something right.

    I suspect that what has happened is that some of those who were deposed were practicing homosexuality. Hopefully, Ms. Simpson has read the October report and will reflect on the fact that her views are far from mainstream Orthodoxy. The number one reason for deposition is sexual impropriety and the OCA has just deposed nine. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the Fr. Arida’s of the world.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Nick, a mixed bag. First of all, I know at least one of the men who was suspended was a known homosexual predator of many years’ standing. His deposition was long overdue and in this sense, Syosset is to be commended.

      On the other hand, there are still priest and deacons of long-standing ill-report who –because they are protected by the powers-that-be–continue to remain in their vocations. Some in fact serve on high committees within the OCA. Other’s have contracted gay “marriages” with their partners and have even purchased homes together.

      This leads me to wonder that if the first man I spoke about had still had a protector whether he’d have been deposed in the first place.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

        Can you name names? This is a serious allegation, that some have contracted gay “marriages” and bought homes together. Should we know who they are? Otherwise, people may accuse you of hallucinating. I know your heart is in the right place, but you need to be careful not to let others manipulate you by what you say on the internet.

        • Nick:

          I suspect that what has happened is that some of those who were deposed were practicing homosexuality.

          Wishful thinking and speculation. That dreaded homosexuality!
          What a tragedy for Orthodoxy in America that nine clerics were deposed recently by just the OCA alone. Isn’t it worth asking why the American Orthodox priesthood and episcopacy is rife with all kinds of impropriety? It’s not just about sex, you know…

      • Indeed, the path to discipline or not in the OCA is determined solely by the publicity attendant to your sin and the company you keep. You can marry your partner, come back, and still serve if the marriage hasn’t been featured on CNN and you have the right friends in the chancellery and synod.

        You can harass seminarians so long as you aren’t sued or written about in newspapers, and stay around as long as you have the right friends.

        In contrast, if you transgress a little and aren’t in with the in crowd, you might get deposed or put in limbo for life. It’s who you know, who knows you did it, and who likes you that rules the day with OCA discipline.

    • I know at least some of thosee depositions happened a few years ago. I wonder who they think they’re fooling by playing games with the deposition announcements?

  14. Yes it does Matter what Metropolitan Hilarion thinks because he is a bishop of the Church Sue!!!

    Please take your hypocrital rantings elsewhere, thank you!

  15. “On the other hand, there are still priest and deacons of long-standing ill-report who –because they are protected by the powers-that-be–continue to remain in their vocations. Some in fact serve on high committees within the OCA. Other’s have contracted gay “marriages” with their partners and have even purchased homes together.”

    George, this is a serious accusation, not that I don’t believe you, but such serious claims need hard core evidence. Please provide with a list of names and evidence of marriage certificates and deeds of home purchases, which I believe are public records.

    Thank you

    • Sue Simpson says:

      Everyone knows there are more actively practicing homosexuals among the clerical ranks of the GOA, ROC and ROCOR than anywhere else. People here like to throw stones at glass houses. So George, are you and Whiteford really an item?

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Since you seemed to be so exercised about Fr John’s and my sexual proclivities, may I ask if you think homosexuality is a sin? (For the record, I hope to meet Fr Whiteford whenever I go to Houston again.)

  16. Wait a minute. Is there someone on this blog who doubts that people who struggle with sexual orientation issues can, under the guidance of their spiritual fathers and the teachings of the Church, strive for holiness and that when they struggle their sins are no worse than anyone else in the Body of Christ?

    It seems, rather, that the question on the table is whether sex outside of marriage is still sin, something that should be taken to Confession like all other sins. As opposed to being blessed.

    Did I miss something? Did someone here say that sexual orientation and temptation is itself a sin?

    So the presence of monks who strive for holiness while living lives of celibacy and defending the teachings of the Church — while struggling with temptations of all kinds — should not be a shock or an issue to anyone. Right?

  17. Gregory Manning says:

    As a repentant and repenting homosexual I would like to point something out which no one seems to grasp: homosexuality is a sin because IT DOESN’T WORK! Pass all the laws you want. Make all the speeches you want. It won’t matter because homosexuality DOESN’T WORK! That’s the basic, functional reason it’s a sin. Indeed that’s why all sins are thus called; they miss the mark; they DON’T WORK! A lot of folks need to get in touch with reality. Not the world’s idea of reality. Real reality! Divine reality. The kind that doesn’t turn to dust or is eaten by moths.

    It is a mistake to look at the laws of God as merely compelling laws. They are more than that; they are descriptive laws; they describe reality. The laws of God and, by extension the laws of the church which tell us what it is to sin, serve to tell us what works and what doesn’t work. The Ten Commandments might rightly be called The Ten Warnings. If you ignore these warnings you will miss the mark; you will not hit the target; YOU WILL FAIL.

    Homosexuality is a genuine “brokenness”. It is not the result of our collective misunderstanding. It’s way more than simple same-sex attraction. It’s about the need for completion as a man and the otherwise normal desire for intimate affection. If you are homosexual you need to see that no mere mortal can complete you. It’s too late for that. You and I should have gotten what we needed in our formative years but we didn’t. Only Christ can do that now. Don’t you see? We waste our time going from one man to another; one fantasy to another; looking for that “something” no one can give us. It’s too late now. Seeking intimate affection from another man is also a waste of time. The affection is short-lived and we must go looking for it again and again. Being gay is like being in a room full of men, all of whom have a glass of water that is half full. Everybody in that room quite naturally wants their glass filled; they seek completion. But no one has any to spare because they’re looking for it too. If your heart is lonely and broken you must turn to Christ. Everything and everyone else is folly! All these straight people who argue in your behalf don’t know what they’re talking about. The remedies they offer are ignorant and dangerous. If you follow them you will discover that, at best, you are only comfortable in your misery.

    The struggle against same-sex attraction is not as daunting as it seems. It is possible to get a handle on it but you have to come to see the thing in itself; see it for what it actually is. (Alas, from what I’ve been reading on the various blogs, no one does. Some come very close but they’re missing some crucial pieces of the puzzle.) Once you do this you will discover that the struggle changes course. You will not be free of struggle per se, but the time spent fighting same-sex attraction diminishes radically. You will reach a point when you are not so much fighting against the attraction itself but, rather, fighting to come to know Christ, at which point you can engage in the same struggle all Orthodox Christians must engage in, namely, the struggle against the self. This struggle, the ascetic struggle the church teaches us about, will consume all your time. You cannot engage this struggle if you spend all your time fighting the attraction. If you stay stuck trying to battle the attraction you won’t have the strength to battle the self. Do not attempt to fight two enemies on two fronts. It will wear you down and you will become discouraged and, God forbid, fall into despair.

    I commend the priests for standing up as they have. They are right. Listen to them. Don’t wait for the hierarchs who shamelessly hide behind their desks. The homosexual bishops, priests, and monastics who are behind all this will come away from all this empty-handed. When all is said and done they will still be broken and lonely. Do not follow them! The path they preach or allow to be preached leads to spiritual death, theirs and yours. All the straight people who support them have become unwitting enablers. Their good intentions will cost them on that day.

    Since homosexuality doesn’t work homosexual marriage won’t work either.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Gregory, thank you.

    • RE: “It is not the result of our collective misunderstanding.”

      Your words ring so true, Gregory. I applaud your courage.

    • It is not a choice to be gay. I don’t think that has been represented here at all in these messages. Why would any man or woman want to choose to be gay with all the discrimination and lack of rghts that this sexual orientation presents? And those who believe gay people can :pray the gay away, a la Michelle Bachmann and her ilk are deluded, as well.

      • Gregory Manning says:

        I agree with Timothy. This is not a choice. It is ludicrous to reduce it to so simplistic a proposition. On the other hand one can choose to abandon that life. We frequently stumble here when we fail to replace the old life with a new and better one. Too often we kick a sin out of our life then leave the space it once occupied in our hearts vacant. Failure is a certainty. When we are next tempted or lonely or stressed we don’t so much as fall back into our old sin as go out and get it and bring it back, re-placing it on that throne it once occupied in our hearts. But that throne rightly belongs to Christ.
        As an Orthodox Christian, I know and believe that all things are possible through Christ and prayer is our only means of asking for His help. If we don’t see that St. Paul’s admonition that we “pray without ceasing” applies perfectly to this situation then perhaps we might want to re-examine our individual beliefs about those very words. Either he and they mean exactly what they say or it’s just some sort of spiritual/contemplative mantra singular to folks calling themselves “Orthodox Christians”. Each of us must choose. If we have doubts about prayer we’re not going to get far, if at all. Surely, in this case, the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by the force of unceasing prayer.
        I’m not sure what Ms. Bachman means when she uses the word prayer. The word seems to get tossed around with such frequency in the Protestant world that unbelievers mock it as some sort of cliche. When it is used by politicians I dare say many of us cringe.

  18. Gregory,

    Thank you for your eloquent message. May I suggest you email it to Fr. Robert Arida with cc. to Frs Ted Bobosh, John Jillions, Archbishop Nikon, Metropolitan Tikhon, Pdn. Eric Wheeler, Fr. Vinogradov and maybe submit it to the Wonderblog for their next issue.

  19. Ashey Nevins says:

    After all of the debate it really boils down to one issue for the jurisdictions. There must be moral and ethical consistency in the jurisdictions to have a moral and ethical platform to speak into moral and ethical issues in our nation. There is no perfect church, however the church leadership must be moral and ethical. A moral and ethical inventory of jurisdiction leadership would be helpful to discern if the leadership of your jurisdiction has the moral and ethical character to make a moral and ethical stand.

    Can you honestly and objectively say the bishop and/or metropolitan leadership of your jurisdiction is:

    1. Church management competent.

    2. Safe, healthy, open and approachable on moral and ethical issues.

    3. Consistent in enforcing moral and ethical policies.

    4. Supporting of those who want moral and ethical policies enforced.

    5. Can be held transparent and accountable.

    I would say you start with the patriarch’s of your church.

    It is difficult for a church to hold its leadership transparent and accountable when leadership is based on top down centralized power and control and where the system of the church is closed, isolated and subjective. The more power and control centered is the structure of authority and the more closed the system of the church and the more an unhealthy dependency is formed towards that authority structure and system. That dependency is unhealthy religious codependency that enables and supports immoral and unethical behavior of church leadership. The religious codependent is powerless, is easily manipulated and intimidated and is an idolator of the leadership and its structure and system of rule.

    The ruler centered church is not the people of God centered church. Top down authoritarian closed system is not bottom up open system Jesus Christ in the Gospels. Top down pushes down and bottom raises up. Top down molds by the push down whereas Christ raises up and transforms. What is closed system is not open system transparent. There is simply no way around these practical real world realities and their impact on the transparency and accountability of church leadership around moral and ethical issues.

    The top down LORDED over church that is a closed system and is authoritarian by structure is not a safe and healthy church. It is not conciliatory but is spiritually abusive. The healing, recovery and support model of church would offer ministry to those who have been sexually and spiritually abused, but the top down authoritarian closed system will not do that for what that would require of them that lead it to become spiritually mature, open transparent and accountable, competent, healing and safe and healthy. It requires them to come down from their thrones to top down power and control in humility and come under the church to raise it up. They will have to become like Jesus in Philippians 2. They will have to become more like the character of Jesus, the structure and system of Jesus rule and His humility. The character of Jesus is love, mercy, grace and truth. Jesus was not a top down authoritarian ruler who ruled inside of a closed system that was exclusive. Christ is inclusive and not exclusive. He was safe and healthy and He held corruption transparent and accountable. He is healing and not abusive. He was no enabling and powerless religious codependent.

    I would say that the Orthodox jurisdictions have deeper issues to deal with than they realize. If they do not face them and deal with them they will continue to die a slow, ugly and painful death in America that tortures the church in that dying process and that torture is the hierarchical spiritual abuse of the church. This is not an easy message to deliver and because I know what the ramifications and consequences are if the issues are not addressed.

    Have any of those reading this experienced and felt the torture of their hierarch’s spiritually abusing their jurisdiction?

    Do any of those reading this have a concern for the future of their jurisdiction and Orthodoxy itself in America?

    Do any of those reading this know of any corruption inside the hierarchy of their jurisdiction that is not being dealt with?

    Do any of those reading this feel powerless to stop the corruption and demise of their jurisdiction?

    Have any of those reading tried to make change in their jurisdiction to only meet a wall of hierarchy power and control that will not allow the system of the church to open so that it can change?

    Are any of those reading this concerned about the direction their jurisdiction is going?

    Difficult questions that require open, honest and transparent answers. I honestly wish you the best in your church. However, I am a real world practical Christian realist that understands what can destroy a church and how it can destroy it. Homosexuality can undermine if not destroy a church, but there are deeper issues causing the demise of Orthodoxy in America and they go directly to the structure and system of rule and the thinking and attitude in that rule that results in the behavior of that rule.

    From the outside looking in I see the Orthodox Christian being pushed down and not being raised up by the hierarchical leadership structure and system. The only thing I really see being raised up is those who push the church down. That is a hierarchical centered church that is not a people of God centered church. The higher and steeper the hierarchy and the more centralized in power and control that results in the greater the push down of the church. The laity focus is up at the hierarchy and the hierarchy focus is not down to the laity, but it is instead upon itself. I believe such a focus leads to idolatry of hierarchy and idolatry renders the church powerless and because the object of worship is not Jesus who is the power of Christ. The degree of your powerlessness is the degree of your idolatry of what renders you powerless without the power of Christ.

    Are any of you feeling like you and/or your jurisdiction is pushed down or do you feel you and it are being raised up?

    The leadership of my church is focused on Christ and it comes under us to raise us up in transformation and Christ up by three priorities of Worship Jesus, Live for Jesus and Rescue Like Jesus. It is other centered inclusive like Jesus. It is Jesus centered and not hierarchy centered. It is the people of God centered and not hierarchy centered. It is humility centered and not power and control centered. It is not corrupt and corruption would not be tolerated and because the laity is not powerless, pushed down or religious codependent enabling. It also does not have a superior exclusive viewpoint of itself that cannot be wrong about itself. There are no blogs complaining about it, but there is much talk of how people are excited and encouraged to be involved with it and they can see the positive direction it is going. The theme of this church is to become more like Jesus and that means not more like religion. It is a church that the Orthodox say is heresy practicing apostasies, but of course the state of Orthodoxy in America is not that in the Orthodox Mind. Any Orthodox that believes that it is heresy practicing apostasies should visit it on a Rescue Like Jesus Sunday (baptism and testimony Sunday). Come with your bishop or metropolitan to see a rescue, healing, recovery and support model of a Jesus Christ centered church that is ALIVE, dynamic, relevant and growing and then walk out thinking how wrong it is in comparison to Gods only true church, the EOC.

    Orthodox, it is all about Jesus and not all about the Orthodox religion. Religion is dead and circular without solution to its dead state, but Jesus is alive and goes in a positive living for Jesus direction that worships Jesus and Rescues for Jesus.

    Orthodox Christian, how many have you rescued for Jesus this week, this month and this past year? If the focus is on your religion and not Jesus your church will not rescue like Jesus. What is Jesus Christ alive grows and what is religion dead dies. That is the practical real world spiritual reality of it.

    How a church thinks determines its real world outcome. If it thinks its religion and not Jesus the outcome of that church is highly predictable and that outcome will show itself. It will place religion over Christ and go powerless without Jesus as the focus. If the outcome and the reason for its dying state is denied then that church will surely continue to die over time and remain powerless going in circles with itself without the power of Jesus to change its dying course. What is dead does not have power, but Jesus alive is power that leads to church relevancy and growth in the society and generation that church is found in. The dead church of religion cannot relevancy attract people to it like the living church of Jesus can. It cannot find renewal, restoration and revival in a dead state. Jesus cannot transform it and so it goes into a death spiral. Religion does not transform. It molds you into what it is and religion is dead. A Christ centered church transforms you into what He is and He is ALIVE! You become more like Jesus in the living church of Jesus and in the dead church of religion you become more like its deadness.

    It is encouraging and exciting to be a part of the living church of the living Jesus that has its priorities right and when the #1 priority is the people of Jesus and not a dead religion and its dead rulers. Who and what a church focuses on as its God determines its real world outcome. Jesus is God and not a religion. Homosexuality is a serious issue, but the Orthodox are facing a more serious issue in America, their survival here.

    What is Christ alive can see right through what is religion dead. The living Jesus saw right through the religion dead. When what is religion dead says what is Christ alive is heresy practicing apostasies that is hypocrisy and hypocrisy is no solution to the state of those who are religion dead.

    Jesus, in affect, told the religion dead to go be right and go be well in your religion dead state.

  20. George, where are the names of the clergy you are accusing of marrying and purchasing homes? You are going to lose credibility especially in the eyes of those supporting the idea the Church needs to change its teachings if you don’t provide them!!

  21. As much as I dislike asking people to go to the OCA website in general and in particular to read the daily musings of that jurisdiction’s chancellor, I suggest that if there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that Fr Jillions is clearly in lockstep with his brother-in-law Pdn. Eric Wheeler and Fr. Robert Arida on the subject of “converts’ and “Traditionalists” his offering of November 25, 2014 should cast aside any doubt.

    Conservatives, converts and the new boogyman Orthodox TRADITIONALISTS, as opposed to what, himself as an orthodox REVISIONIST? are on display.

    His not so clever jabs, using the martyrdom of St. Stephen as his foil, shows to what depths twisting the Scriptures to make a “liberal” point these charlatans stoop. To the casual reader, his real object might be lost, but to those who have been sensitized to what the real agenda is, his pokes are unmistakable.

    This man is dangerous IMO and the sooner the OCA wakes up to his using his blog to infect others with his “teachings” the better. He should be sent to a Pennsylvania Carpatho-Russian parish and try and spreading his new theology. Those salt of the earth folk would tell him where to put his orthodoxy! 😉

    • James, I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve written here. Yes, the Chancellor IS dangerous. What he does on his blog is no less covert than what Fr. Arida did with his essay.

  22. http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/75313.htm

    Sergei Khudiev on the question

  23. Michael Bauman says:

    OOM says above:

    St, Paul’s letter was directed to the church in Corinth. It was not intended for public consumption. The idea of publishing something Internet fashion would be anachronistic if applied to Paul’s generation. Later generations of Christians copied and disseminated his letter and ultimately added it to the canon; it is only the circumstance of history that led that letter to be so well-published, far in the future from when it was written. Future generations will remember Fr. Hans’s and the clergy association’s communications with chagrin, not approbation.

    The letter itself admonishes the Corinthians not to divide the church according to leadership (Apollos and Paul). In keeping with the spirit of the letter, it would have been better for Fr. Hans and he association to take their grievance directly to Fr. Robert, his bishop, and the OCA leadership, since the offending article was published under the auspices of the OCA.

    The idea of ‘history’ here is simply a ideological device used to invalidate anything “in the past”. It is a the attitude of someone caught up in the myth of progress. Indeed the false assumption that we are better now and know more than we did “in the past” is a cultural dilemma that puts enormous pressure on the Church and on believers. It is also an egregious misuse of history. St. Paul’s writing were clearly meant for the whole Church but the supporters of Fr. Arida on this blog don’t really seem to have any idea that the Church is a whole and the fullness of the Truth. Each parish is meant to be fully expressive of that wholeness but that is only possible because of the connection to all of the others and to Jesus Christ through the sacraments. Thus when the sacraments are defiled and/or misused, it affects everybody.

    Secular and technological advancement has no bearing on the eschatological hope of the Church in Christ. It is not even remotely similar. God is “everywhere present and fills all things.”

    On the face of it, OOM’s suggestion that the people who disagree with Fr. Arida should talk to him first before they go public seems plausible. However, given the public pronouncement and the attitude of Fr. Arida’s supporters on this site, it seems less that appropriate. Add to that the testimony of some who have tried to do that in Fr. Arida’s congregation and been rebuffed, it is obvious that the next step is to take it to the Church as a whole especially since Fr. Arida addressed the Church as a whole.

    You cannot throw slap someone in the face with a glove and then excuse yourself from the duel by attempting to retreat to your castle and say “leave me alone” that glove and the slap is none of your business.

  24. Heracleides says:

    The Reason for The Rug. After the publication of his trash-article, questions arose regarding Fr. Arida’s use of a rat-hat…er, rug…. er, toupee. I was as mystified as the next person until I stumbled upon the image below and now it makes sense on so many levels.

    Decide for yourself: Sans Toupee