“Gay Friendly Churches”



  1. Ronda Wintheiser says

    I’m curious what the definition of “gay-friendly” might be.

  2. Priest Seraphim Holland says

    We live in such a benighted and entitled age. Anytime a person puts an adjective regarding lifestyle in front of “Orthodox Church”, they are not looking for the true church. They are looking for someone who enables their lifestyle choices. They consider “unfriendly” those who disagree with them.

    • Fr Seraphim Holland writes,

      We live in such a benighted and entitled age. Anytime a person puts an adjective regarding lifestyle in front of “Orthodox Church”, they are not looking for the true church. They are looking for someone who enables their lifestyle choices. They consider “unfriendly” those who disagree with them.

      You speak rightly as always, Fr. Seraphim.

  3. Fr Seraphim Holland writes,

    We live in such a benighted and entitled age. Anytime a person puts an adjective regarding lifestyle in front of “Orthodox Church”, they are not looking for the true church. They are looking for someone who enables their lifestyle choices. They consider “unfriendly” those who disagree with them.

    You speak rightly as always, Fr. Seraphim.

    • That’s strange. I accidentally posted this, deleted it, and rewrote it to reply to Fr. Seraphim’s post. Now both posts are up. Whoops! 🙂

  4. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Is Mary McDowell for real? all of those Orthodox Churches are “Gay-Friendly” as in affirming the Gay Lifestyle without any calls for repentance or the aesthetic life? Really? If true the Bishops are asleep at the wheel. Let’s pray Mrs. McDowell is flat out wrong.


    • Carl Kraeff says

      I cannot say for sure, but having read a few of McDowell’s essays, I suspect that she means that some Orthodox Churches welcome homosexuals who try to be celibate, just as they would welcome any other sinner, while others cannot countenance any but straight sinners. That does not eliminate the possibility that there may be a church or two that welcomes homosexuals who are sexually active. This category may be further broken down to churches that have homosexuals who are struggling not to engage in homosexual activity, and churches who have homosexuals who do not, and openly flaunt their sinful life style.

      • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

        No, Carl, she means churches that don’t preach against homosexuality and overlook gay behavior — the kind of behavior gays themselves look for in others to see if they would fit in. That’s how DC’s St. Nicholas Cathedral got into trouble.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          If the only criterion is to preach against homosexuality, most if not all Orthodox Churches could be termed as soft on gays. After all, the preaching is usually based on the appointed Gospel and/or Epistle reading of the day. You surely know how often the subject comes up, specially on a Sunday.

          However, you did add another criterion, that of overlooking gay behavior. That makes sense if you are talking about Washington, DC, Boston or Miami, but how are we to know that gay behavior is overlooked in the rest of the country? More than 99.99999% of us are not witnesses to confessions, even fewer are able to be flies on bedroom walls, and we do not have morality police squads or mutaween (thank God).

          • Carl, if you really know anything about Maria McDowell, the self-styled “Orthodox theologian and ethicist”, it is very obvious that her pro-gay Orthodox parishes are exactly what Deacon Patrick said that they are.

            • Helga, I have a hard time believing that all of the churches mentioned in Ms. McDowell’s post have the same approach. For example, St Mary’s Antiochian in Cambridge is pastored by Archpriest Anthony Hughes, a very respected priest. Now, it is true that St Mary’s describes itself as “…an intriguing and complex religious institution. The community is characterized by an acceptance of diversity and eclecticism, an emphasis on the notion of the congregation as a family, and a deep commitment to the act of devotion. Its religious tradition is of the Antiochian strand of Eastern Orthodoxy, but it is a pan-Orthodox church with an English language liturgy and a congregation comprised of Syrians, Lebanese, Greeks, Russians, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Koreans, Chinese, Latinos, and American-born converts.” Do you think that the above description is in itself problematic or indicative of being gay-friendly?

              BTW, I will reiterate that, if we are a hospital and are selective of the diseases that we treat, we would not be accredited by the Joint Commission. Similarly, I would think that we should be gay-friendly if we are to fulfill our mission, the same as we are adulterer-friendly, liar-friendly, addicted-friendly, wife-beater friendly, fornicator-friendly, thief-friendly, etc…

              • Michael Bauman says

                Carl, for a hospital to be effective the person has to want treatment. If some one come just to spread disease, they are not welcome.

                I do find the description of St. Mary’s troubling especially this part: “The community is characterized by an acceptance of diversity and eclecticism,”

                That can mean just about anything. Without asking, we will never know.

              • Carl, it should go without saying that the Orthodox Church is open and welcoming to all who desire to turn from their wickedness and live.

                But this is not about people who recognize the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. This is about people who engage in homosexual behavior, and wish their sinful lifestyle to be treated as if it were healthy and worthy of approval, as if it were blessed rather than forcefully condemned by God Himself. This is about clergy who enable and secretly approve of homosexual relationships and treat their participants as if they are in good standing with the Church, and bishops who condone and enable that allowance by calling it “pastoral” instead of the abuse it really is, and calling the philosophical underpinning for it “theologumenon” instead of the Satanic delusion it really is.

                The screenshot in question is of a Facebook discussion that came to light months ago on Rod Dreher’s blog. It came from an explicitly sodomite pseudo-Orthodox Facebook group. It is the same place where Michael Berrigan Clark bragged (in comments now deleted) about how Fr. Robert Arida allows him and another man to commune freely, despite knowing about their homosexual behavior. Pro-gay there means living an open and actively homosexual lifestyle with priests and parishioners who have no problem with it.

                McDowell herself had an Episcopal priest perform an Orthodox crowning over her and another woman.

                McDowell should have been excommunicated years ago just on the grounds of her open promotion of female “ordination”. But even contracting a legal “marriage” with another woman did not get McDowell excommunicated from the Orthodox Church. She had to leave of her own volition, along with a divorced ex-presbytera, so that they could have a Satanic parody of the Orthodox crowning performed by an Episcopal priest.

                Refusal to accept the reality of the situation will not make it go away, Carl. These are the consequences of tolerating aberrant teaching and immoral behavior.

                • Helga, Michael, and Pdn Brian;

                  So, it turns out that we all agree on the main, but differ in our understanding of each others’ motives.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Don’t think so

                  • Carl, if that was a joke, I didn’t get it.

                    You seem determined to confuse the discussion. Nobody here is against giving pastoral guidance to people who suffer same-sex attraction. However, there are people who actively defy Orthodox teaching, and they have helpfully identified parishes dominated by people who agree with them. Do you really think that unrepentant homosexuals would label parishes that counsel repentance as ‘gay friendly’?!

                    Will any of the bishops act on this information? It has been nearly a year. Fr. Robert Arida is still in his parish, and still publishing against Orthodox teaching, with no trouble at all from the OCA episcopacy.

                    • Why won’t anyone speak out? Because they’re not against it. Anti Orthodox priests and bishops are throughout. They are the modern day Pharisees. Corrupt to the core.

                    • Estonian Slovak says

                      Agree with you,Helga.Hit dislike by mistak.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      And why won’t you put your last name (presuming “Shaun” is your actual first)? Clergy fear embarrassment. Fear of repercussion. Scorn from brother clergy. Legitimately fear of loss of income to support their families. Why don’t cops or firefighters or others do the same? Consequences. Is it correct or ethical? Certainly not. But they have car payments, in some cases mortgages, child school tuition, health insurance payments, pensions, etc. like everyone else. Do you plan to step up and support clergy families banished to some half-alive parish where they cannot support themselves and their children above the poverty line? Then please, call for an appointment for a fitting for a Pharisee robe yourself. And Woe to you, hypocrite.

                    • Helga–You just proved my point. Am I wrong to think that we both believe that homosexual activity is a sin? That same-sex marriages cannot be blessed by the Church–blessing in this instance to include allowing a party to such a marriage to take communion? Yet, you obviously think that I have an agenda; to confuse the situation. That is, you are questioning my motive, obviously based on my reluctance to buy hook line and sinker the accusations against all of the churches mentioned in Maria McDowell’s post cited above.

                      Perhaps, you think that I have an ulterior motive because I advocate for not pushing away homosexuals with strident homophobia? Is it perhaps because I have always believed (and still do) that Mark Stokoe’s sexual orientation/practice was/is a red herring designed to draw attention from his reporting of Metropolitan Jonah’s misdeeds? Please enlighten me.

                • Helga, Well said.

                  Carl -what?

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says
                  • I think that many posters here, especially those who went from OCA to greener pastures, are using this issue to (a) help their product differentiation and (b) excuse their change of pastures.

                    • Estonian Slovak says

                      I don’t know you personally, except for what you have written about yourself. BUT I think you have it backwards. Metropolitan Jonah’s alleged misdeeds were the red herring designed to draw attention away from the real activities of the gay-libbers within the OCA.
                      Don’t believe me? I guess it depends on whom you want to believe. I choose to believe Protodeacon Mitchell’s version of what was going on in the DC Cathedral. Of course, the Protodeacon was there; I wasn’t. Since I believe Fr. Mitchell, I also believe that same-sex couples there were communed who had had some sort of “marriage ceremony” performed over them, since at least the one woman announced that she and her partner had been joined together in the “sacrament” of marriage.
                      You know, I’ll grant you this, Carl. The Metropolitan WAS guilty of misdeeds. One misdeed was not having Fr. Deacon Mitchell’s back .Another misdeed was resigning. His brother bishops met behind his back to depose him. He should have demanded a Canonical Trial. This is the opinion of a Serbian cleric I know, who had degrees both from Belgrade and St. Vladimir’s.
                      I suspect, however, that the Metropolitan was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. I imagine just about every Orthodox priest has been in this position at one time or another. Since, I believe, your father was a priest, you probably know this better than most of us.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Can we please stop telling the truth. It hurts: http://frjohnpeck.com/bad-news-for-supporters-of-women-in-combat/

                    The next thing you’ll tell me is that Caitlin Jenner is really a man! Come on!!!


  5. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Oh Wait I just saw Holy Trinity in Boston. Is that Fr. Arida’s Church? Please tell me its not otherwise we got problems. I am so glad the Bishops and Metropolitan Tikhon have handled the whole Fr. Arida situation so wonderfully – NOT!


  6. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Read this little article as you can see how the LAME-stream media thinks about religion and Abortion. To them the murder of babies trumps belief in God. Instead of YOU changing before God, God must change before YOU. Like I have said before: “Welcome to Babylon.”


    While you are reading this have Exodus 20:3 in your mind.

    “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (RSV).


    • These (author of the article you linked) are exactly the types of people Francis’ reforms are “attracting back” to the Church.

      Take special note of her enthusiasm that “a religion is evolving to serve its people”.

  7. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Truly refreshing as this bs has been around for a long time. Thank you Fr. Whiteford for, again, setting the record straight. Do the “Occupy Democrats” actually think we never heard this before or have never responsed to this garbage? Old recycled crap is still crap. BTW Martin Sheen should have known better, but I guess not.

    Thank God the West Wing is no longer on TV. Couldn’t watch it then and definitely can’s watch it now.