Are You Ready for World War Gay?

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot

The Cultural Marxists, not content with destroying Christian culture in the West, now want nothing less than a shooting war with a nuclear power. The issue of course is not over anything as trivial as national security or to safeguard our access to scarce natural resources. No, our Betters want to force the open homosexuality on Russia. Nothing less than open celebration of homosexuality will be tolerated. These are our conditions. Russia must accept them unconditionally.

To be sure, there are hidden agendas at play, on both sides. Russia snagged the Winter Olympics which is a major coup. Mega-tourist dollars and immense cultural prestige are always at stake for the host country. As for the US, harping on “human rights” is another useful arrow in our quiver in any future international negotiations. Sometimes there’s nothing more than that.

Having said that, for True Believers, the retreat of Russia into its Christian roots in not a good thing. I suppose we must give them credit for at least having the courage of their convictions (no matter how misguided those convictions are). As for Russia, it’s a big country, I have a feeling that they can take care of themselves in this silly and unnecessary pissing match.

As for myself, I’m more worried about the loss of our own moral fortitude. It’s sad to see the Christian remnant that is allowed to exist in our nation no longer has the fire in the belly to take our globalist masters to task on something so fundamental. I mean, really: do we want to go on globalist crusades to make the world safe for sodomy? Do our bishops have no opinion in this matter?

Thus the real question for me however is where are the Orthodox bishops of the United States on this issue? The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese always likes to remind people about Russia’s Orthodox heritage when it comes to giving useless medals to has-beens like Mikhail Gorbachev or when its bishops get invited to consecrations at newly-built Orthodox cathedrals (always as representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch mind you). How many times have the press releases that emanate from the Phanar reminded people that the Patriarch of Constantinople is the “spiritual leader of 300,000,000 Christians”?

But where is ROCOR on this issue, or Moscow’s patriarchal jurisdiction? Where is Syosset? Where is the Episcopal Assembly? Like the deafening silence they have exhibited regarding the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East, we have yet to hear anything from this body regarding our nation’s condemnation of Russia for their wanting to adhere to traditional Christian morality. Their inactivity regarding DOMA four weeks ago saddened me not simply because they said nothing but because I feared what it portended for the future. And now my fears are realized. Our bishops have thrown in the towel.

Lord have mercy.

Anyway, please take the time to read Pat Buchanan’s wonderful editorial. He hits yet another one out of the ballpark. If our bishops can’t be roused, perhaps the ordinary Joe Blows who fill our military’s ranks will rise up and say “Enough! No more useless foreign interventions!” Certainly not one to enforce sodomy on those cultures that don’t want it.

Source: Taki Magazine | Pat Buchanan

The culture war has gone global.

And the divisions are not only between, but within nations.

“Suddenly, homosexuality is against the law,” wailed Jay Leno. “I mean, this seems like Germany. Let’s round up the Jews. Let’s round up the gays. … I mean, it starts like that.”

Leno was speaking of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Obama eagerly agreed:

“I have no patience for countries that treat gays or lesbians … in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them. … Nobody is more offended than me by some of the antigay and lesbian legislation that you’ve been seeing in Russia.”

Leno and Obama were referring to a new Russian law prohibiting “homosexual propaganda.” Moscow is also warning foreigners, including visitors to the winter Olympics in Sochi, that propagandizing for gay rights can get them two weeks in detention. No kiss-ins allowed.

“Medieval,” howled The Washington Post. “Mr. Putin’s war” on gays and lesbians is “part and parcel of his lapse into xenophobia, religious chauvinism and general intolerance.”

Monday’s New York Times has a front-page story—“Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West”—featuring photos of roughed-up protesters.

Our moral and cultural elites have put Putin on notice: Get in step with us on homosexual rights—or we may just boycott your Sochi games.

What this reveals is the distance America has traveled, morally and culturally, in a few short years, and our amnesia about who we Americans once were, and what it is we once believed.

Only yesterday, homosexual sodomy, which Thomas Jefferson said should be treated like rape, was outlawed in many states and same-sex marriage was regarded as an absurdity.

Was that America we grew up in really like Nazi Germany?

In the Catholic schools this writer attended, pornography—let alone homosexual propaganda—would get one expelled.

Was this really just like Kristallnacht?

As Father Regis Scanlon writes in Crisis magazine, in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated Catholic doctrine that homosexuality is a “strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” an “objective disorder.” That homosexual acts are unnatural and immoral remains Catholic teaching.

Thus, if we seek to build a Good Society by traditional Catholic and Christian standards, why should not homosexual propaganda be treated the same as racist or anti-Semitic propaganda?

We can no longer even agree on what is good and evil.

When Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” he was saying that a sexual orientation is something over which an individual may have no control, dating to birth or infancy. Hence homosexuals ought not to be condemned, but welcomed into the community.

As for homosexual propaganda and acts, that is another matter.

What, one wonders, is the view of those Evangelical Christians who sustain the Republican Party on homosexual propaganda in the public square? Do they agree with the Post? Or do they agree with Putin?

When the Socialist regime of Francois Hollande enacted a law endorsing same-sex marriage, a million Frenchmen marched in protest in Paris. Is America on Hollande’s side, or the side of the protesters?

When the ultra-Orthodox haredim of Jerusalem denounce the annual gay pride parade in the Holy City, whose side is America on?

The Post weeps for the “young women of the persecuted rock band Pussy Riot,” who engaged in half-naked obscene acts on the high altar of Moscow’s most sacred cathedral.

Had these women crayoned swastikas on the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., would the Post have been so sympathetic?

Putin suggested the ladies try the same stunt in Mecca.

In our late Mideast wars, America has fought for secularist democracy. Yet Christians have suffered horribly, with the murder of priests, the burning of churches, terrorism and wholesale flight.

According to LifeSiteNews, Putin, meeting with Orthodox Christian leaders, urged the world to come together to stop these violent persecutions.

“Especially in the Middle East and North Africa … the rights of religious minorities are infringed, especially Christians and Orthodox Christians. … This pressing problem should be a subject of close attention for the entire international community.”

Urging America and the West to join with Russia in saving Syria’s Christians, Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said their expulsion from Syria would be a “catastrophe” for civilization.

Has Obama ever spoken out so forcefully for international action to save Christians? Has The New York Times ever exhibited a fraction of the concern for persecuted Christians it daily exhibits for harassed homosexuals?

What did the Post mean by “religious chauvinism”?

Putin is trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation it had been for 1,000 years before Russia fell captive to the atheistic and pagan ideology of Marxism.

“The adoption of Christianity,” declared Putin, “became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped turn it into one of the largest world powers.”

Anyone ever heard anything like that from the Post, the Times or Barack Hussein Obama?


  1. I searched “Russia” on google news a few hours ago. Almost nothing but stories on Russia’s “anti-gay” law. Fascinating. Ten years ago, sodomy was a criminal offense in the United States (Texas and 13 other states) and the Supreme Court struck down such laws (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003). Seventeen years earlier it had upheld the constitutionality of such laws (Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986). The Russian law does not even criminalize private sexual conduct.

    Whatever your feelings regarding the underlying issue, the morality of homosexuality, it is hard to get around the obvious fact that this is cultural imperialism. I mean, we were more “discriminatory” ten short years ago. Now we’re arrogant enough to dictate morality?

    We’ve really gotten far too big for our britches and need to be put down a few notches.

  2. Thomas Jones says

    If Russia really were interested in preserving Orthodoxy in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc., Russia would not be supporting Assad and radical Muslims. Regarding gays, it’s good someone is stating that gay activity & marriage is not normal nor acceptable.

    • Fr Joseph Huneycutt says

      Russia has a vested interest in supporting Assad — and a stalwart commitment to the Church in Syria. Radical Muslims? No. Their support is elsewhere …

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Russia’s “stalwart commitment to the Church in Syria” is most likely to play out like the Tsarist “stalwart commitments” or “special protection” to the Christians of the Ottoman Empire did a century and more ago. Not too good a record… say the least.

    • Assad is better than the alternative. It is the radical Muslims who want to overthrow him who are killing Christians and destroying churches. That is the irony, America is supporting forces that are destroying Christianity there. Russia is supporting Assad whose family has always protected Christians.

      • Thomas Jones says


        The truth is that Assad has CAUSED the murder of thousands of innocent Syrians. He IS a mass murderer. Whether he pretends to protect Christians or not, HE IS A MASS MURDERER!

      • Anonymus per Scorilo says

        It may appear from the links above that Russia is supporting Assad because Assad is the best protection of the Orthodox Christians in Syria. This is clearly the position Kremlin wants to project and is mirrored in many friendly websites. However, the two things have almost nothing to do with each other. As in all things having to do with politicians it is oftentimes better to follow the money and the power game and to avoid such idealizations.

        In my opinion the whole Syria issue has much more to do with the Qatar huge natural gas resources and the will of western European countries to get a pipeline from there to Europe in order to save them from their full dependence on Russia. As one can see on a map, such a pipeline can either go via Iraq and the Kurdish region of Turkey (where the PKK can blow it any minute), or through Syria. Now Russia has a clear interest that such a pipeline will never be built, on one hand in order to keep its political power over Europe, on the other hand to set the gas price to whatever it wants. It therefore supports Assad fully. Conversely, Qatar and the Europeans want the pipeline built, and encourage and finance the anti-Assad rebels. It is an “investment” that if successful will break Russia’s monopoly over European gas and result in huge profits for Qatar on one hand and western European countries on the other.

        A site that gives a for more details is for example:

        Incidentally, Russia is an expert at undermining European alternatives to its gas. The huge post-Fukushima anti-nuclear hysteria that resulted in Germany and Italy giving up nuclear power (an therefore surrendering even more of their energetic independence to Russia) was chiefly instigated by Russian-friendly green parties.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          That may be so. However, it is clear that Syrian Christians are being persecuted by Assad’s enemies. At this point, I do not care if Putin is lying about his reasons for supporting Syrian Christians. I think that the West is myopic at best when it comes to Islam and Islamists. I think that Obama and most of his supporters at best tolerate Christians, here and abroad, as long as they do not object to their militant secularism. We are in the midst of more than a culture war; we are fighting for the soul of the West.

        • Russophobia – looking for any reason to poo-poo Russia from a sense of lingering Cold-war nostalgia or animus.

          Despite the fact that we are supporting Muslim fanatics who are murdering and kidnapping Christians, destroying Christian churches, connected with al-Qaida, etc., nonetheless, since someone has been able to find an economic benefit for Russia, they must be supporting Assad because of unsavory motives. The unstated assumption being that the jihadists who are attempting to take over Syria would be more favorable to a pipeline to help Europe (!?). And if it were built, whence goeth the revenues? At least partially to murderous fanatics.

          Now, admittedly, Russia will pursue its own economic interests. What else would you expect from a sovereign state?

          In reality, you need not look so deep into conspiracy theory to appreciate what is going on here. Russia and the Assad family have been long time allies. Syria is a client state for Russian arms. Also, of late, Russia has made common cause with Orthodox Christians everywhere due to its own Orthodox revival. Russia has always supported Assad even before it became clear to us that the forces opposed to him were radical. The reason is that the toppling of friendly though non-democratic regimes is troubling to it. There has been perpetual unrest in the “stan’s” to Russia’s south and the creation of the Kosovo state is seen by most Orthodox Slavs as a senseless tragedy. New sources of funding for Chechnyan and Dagestanani terrorists are unwelcome to them, and should be to us, especially to the residents of, say, Boston?

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      Thomas Jones says:

      “If Russia really were interested in preserving Orthodoxy in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc., Russia would not be supporting Assad and radical Muslims”

      Wow, complete opposite of the truth:

      Russia is backing the good guys (lesser evils), Obama and the Democratic party and thus the USA are backing the “radicals” (mainstream Islam which needs a strongman or military rule to moderate) who are killing Christians (or as Putin put it, why are you supporting people who are cutting out people’s hearts and eating them?). Obama’s foreign policy is treasonous, to the genuine national interests of the USA and, to Western Civilization as a whole.

      “The delayed decision to arm the rebels will result in a more severe backlash against U.S. national and security interests. The reason is that currently the jihadists, Islamists and Al-Qaeda-linked groups are the most dominant, aggressive, and successful forces among the rebel forces throughout Syria. These groups are sworn to turn Syria, Lebanon and Iraq into an uncompromisingly Islamic state, ruled by Islamic and Sharia law. In addition, there is no command-and-control system between other rebel groups. As a result, arming the rebels equates to directly or indirectly financing and arming these terrorist groups who are implementing atrocious practices like beheading and mass execution and other inhumane behaviors.”

      “That policy of rapid elections had led to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood the first time around as any foreign policy expert had known it would after the earlier victories by Hamas; the Muslim Brotherhood’s arm in Gaza.

      “This was part of a pattern that would begin playing out across the region.

      “In Syria, Obama had made the decision to arm the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Free Syrian Army while disregarding its blatant ties to Al Qaeda.

      “In Libya, an Islamist militia linked to the Muslim Brotherhood had been paid to protect the Benghazi mission, which had been deprived of more conventional security and assistance.

      “While the protests against the Brotherhood were mounting in Egypt, in Libya the Muslim Brotherhood was orchestrating a wave of protests against the government. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood insisted on its right to power because it was the democratically elected government, while in Libya it was trying to overthrow a democratically elected government.

      “Libya, Egypt and Syria formed a triangle of conflicts, with Libyan weapons moving on to Syria and Egyptian Jihadists involving themselves in both conflicts. A former Egyptian intelligence officer has recently alleged that the killer of Ambassador Stevens can be found with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. There are other allegations that the Benghazi attackers shouted, ‘Dr. Morsi sent us.’

      “A translated Libyan government memo reportedly stated that the captured Benghazi attackers were Egyptians with backing from the Muslim Brotherhood.

      “In a region as clouded with claims and counter-claims, with conspiracy theories and real conspiracies, it can be hard to know what the truth is, but there is little doubt that whatever pallid denials Obama may offer before embarking on another round of golf, his administration chose to get deep into bed with an international terrorist organization.”

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Thomas Jones writes, “If Russia really were interested in preserving Orthodoxy in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc., Russia would not be supporting Assad and radical Muslims.”

      This hypothesis makes no sense at all.

      The government chiefly protecting Orthodox Christians in the Middle East from radical Muslins is that of President Assad.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        One must remember that the Assad family is a member of the Alawite movement, considered heretics by most Muslims, especially the Sunni Muslims. As a result, they have always protected the rights of religious minorities including Orthodox Christians. In order to do so, he has had to stand up to the Islamic radicals who wish to establish a Muslim state in Syria complete with Sharia law which guarantees Christians permanent second class status and constant persecution. Majority rule only works if the majority respects the basic human rights including freedom of religion. Radical Muslims do not respect these rights. Therefore majority rule does not work in the Muslim world. As bad as Assad may be, he is a lot better for Orthodox Christians than a Sunni Islamic government would be. Look what is happening to the Copts in Egypt because of the Muslim brotherhood. Here is an account of a radical Muslim attack on an Orthodox monastery in Syria. As an American Orthodox Christian, I am infuriated that our government is sending arms and money to the people who are attacking Orthodox Christians in Syria.

  3. Michael Kinsey says

    Just tell the Russian men that they will be expected to let somebody preform sodomy on them. You will have a nuclear war, for sure.Obama in criminally insane, time will prove this, but not before he causes incredible human suffering.In history, these man men do seems to appear. We Americans are coming to the stark realization that we are not the good guys, and have not been so for most of our tragically violent history. I can look at St. Constantine, who freed Christianity, outlawed, abortion and slavery. What a Blessing he was to millions..

  4. Nate Trost says

    There is perhaps no more misused or overused term in the course of headed debate than ‘strawman argument’. But, sometimes, it is the most precise terminology to use for a particular piece of unfortunate verbiage.

    Suggesting that an unspecified Them want to get into a literal shooting war with a nuclear power over said powers enactment of laws prohibiting personal expression that can be construed as expressing positive sentiment towards homosexuality isn’t just a strawman argument, it’s a strawman argument wearing hot pants.

    By all means, let us know which influential public figures or governmental officials are beating a war drum for World War Gay. Surely there must be names to be named, essays to be linked, videos of talking head show diatribes to be watched. Otherwise, this seems to be handwringing over a threat nobody has remotely proposed, leading to such hilariously overwrought passages such as:

    If our bishops can’t be roused, perhaps the ordinary Joe Blows who fill our military’s ranks will rise up and say “Enough! No more useless foreign interventions!” Certainly not one to enforce sodomy on those cultures that don’t want it.

    Savor the nonsense. Savor it.

    The United States isn’t even going to boycott the Sochi Olympics over Russia’s laws, much less go to war.

    The Cultural Marxists, not content with destroying Christian culture in the West

    There are labels much, much more appropriate than Marxists that you could have used here. Cultural Pansexualists, or even Cultural Pagans would have been apt. Cultural Marxists tends to suggest that Marxist has become a catch-all pejorative in your lexicon utterly divorced from any historical contextual meaning of the word. Because, you know, the Marxist derived regimes of the 20th Century and the Old Left were not actually down with the whole gay thing. It’s only slightly less absurd than if you had used the label Cultural Taliban as an expression of pro-homosexual advocacy. At this point, I’m a little skeptical you could write a Yelp review of a new local diner without including references to Marxism and sodomy.

    It’s sad to see the Christian remnant that is allowed to exist in our nation no longer has the fire in the belly to take our globalist masters to task on something so fundamental.

    Yes, the “Christian remnant that is allowed to exist”, own that sense of persecuted martyrdom! Own it! And remind me, of the 535 voting members of Congress, how many do NOT identify as Christian?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mr Trost, the only reason the US won’t go to war is because Russia is so powerful that it’d be suicidal for us to do so. That doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t make life miserable for Russia. The completely unnecessary Georgian conflict which was started by the President of Georgia at the instigation of the Neocons is a case in point.

      • Nate Trost says

        The only reason? Please. By your “logic”, if the US went to war with countries it could easily beat based on their views towards homosexuality, we’d have rolled up Saudi Arabia long ago. You appear to be literally stating that the only reason the US isn’t going to war with Russia over homosexuality is Russia has nukes, without actually providing any proof the US wants to go to war in the first place.

  5. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    This is what we are fighting against.

    Also, think of this: The world economy and those of the various Nation-States and all of a sudden we are now supporting Homosexuality, especially same-sex unions, which we dare call marriages. These “Marriages” have a lot, and I mean ALOT of money. Men and women who are strictly homosexual in their sexual expression have a lot of money because they do not have kids, schooling for kids, etc. A lot of disposable cash.

    Acceptance of this lifestyle so fast means that governments and business need their money and fast. This is why our governments and corporations have accepted Homosexuality so fast. WE NEED THE MONEY!

    As always our government supports certain moral beliefs if there is an economic benefit to the State and/ or Corporation.

    Lord have mercy. Things are now bad and will get worse for us.


    • George Michalopulos says

      Excellent point, Peter: “follow the money.” Perhaps a lot of the political pandering to homosexuals is their hugely disproportionate giving to political parties, which they are able to do because they have more disposable income, on average than real families.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        I think that the apparent victory of the gay lobby is a direct result of the victory of feminism in American society. I well remember when I was teaching at a small university near Austin, that feminism swept through the academic world like a tidal wave in the 70s The radical feminists supported Lesbianism because their slogan was “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” That is why virtually Protestant denomination that has yielded to the pressure to accept woman’s ordination has also eventually fallen victim to the gay rights movement.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Yeah, we Orthodox and Catholics screwed up when we might have come to the aid of ECUSA in 1976 when they made their decision to ordain women as priestesses.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Just what do you think that we or the RCs could have done? I know that during ecumenical dialogues with the Anglicans that the Orthodox delegates told them that ordaining women would end any possibility of a successful outcome of the discussions between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy. I am sure that the RCs did the same. They did not listen to us or care what we thought. I was in the Episcopal Church at the time. I did not understand the theological problems with women’s ordination, but I left because I objected to the way that it was done. The decision came about as the result of a well organized and persistent political campaign complete with acts of disobedience to the authorities of their church and a great deal of pressure placed on theologically uneducated laity who did not realize the consequences of the decision. Matters of doctrine should not be decided by who can organize the best political campaign, but on the basis of prayerful consideration of the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition of the Church, both of which were cast away with the decision to ordain women in the Episcopal Church.

          • Monk James says

            Abp Dmitri Royster was invited to address the ECUSA’s House of Bishops at that time, and he admonished them in most explicit terms, precisely identifying the kinds of problems, the utter chaos which would ensue should they decide to ordain priestesses. They didn’t listen to him. Like Kassandra, everything AbpD predicted came to pass, but no one believed his warning.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Thank you for bringing this out. His Eminence told many of during a visit to Dallas what he relayed to them. It was eloquent and loudly applauded. Still the traditionalists lost. I’m more of the opinion that had others joined Dmitri, indeed other jurisdictions even entire episcopates, could have, speaking loudly and clearly may have caused ECUSA to reconsider its suicidal course.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                I do not think that the winning side cared what the Orthodox think about anything. They were “in your face” radical feminists who were willing to use any means to win the battle against traditionalists. You do not understand the Episcopal Church, despite a few Catholic like trappings, the Episcopal Church is still a Protestant Church with no real respect for Holy Tradition. It has no core doctrine, but goes with the trends of the times. The few traditionalists where a minority that were overwhelmed by the tidal wave of non-traditionalists rushing off of the cliff of relevance because feminism was sweeping through the society, and the Episcopal Church, as all Anglicans, let the waves sweep them along with them.

              • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                “I’m more of the opinion that had others joined Dmitri, indeed other jurisdictions even entire episcopates, could have, speaking loudly and clearly may have caused ECUSA to reconsider its suicidal course.”

                Remaining in any form of Protestantism or Roman Catholicism is spiritual suicide. Orthodox shouldn’t be in the business of encouraging Heterodox to be more “traditionalist,” but always advocating the conversion of the more “orthodox” Heterodox to orthodox Orthodoxy, as all truth within Heterodoxy comes from Orthodoxy and ultimately loyalty to it demands return to the fullness of Orthodoxy.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Ladder of Divine Ascent,

                  Let it never be said that I am moved, for or against, based on a perceived personality or previous interaction: I salute you and your observation as absolutely correct.

                  I am continuously perplexed at this notion that were it not for the issues of feminism and homosexuality, well… these heterodox and schismatic faiths would be anything other than heterodox and schismatic. It leads me to conclude that 1) on the Church’s own celebration of its Orthodoxy – the first Sunday of Great Lent – either no one is reading the prescribed anathemas according to the Ordo/Ustav, which conclude:

                  To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ’s Church is divided into so‑called “branches” which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all “branches” or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and Eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, ANATHEMA.

                  This is followed by the Bishop’s proclamation, “This the Faith of the Fathers. This is the Orthodox Faith!” and the chanting of “Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God that does wonders!” (Ps. 76:13-14). 2) No one is really listening, or 3) no one cares.

                  In many places – science being one – there is renewed caution as to the phrase, “natural history.” Nevertheless, in this case, and in every case of heresy & schism, the natural history is disaster. It is inevitable, it is predictable, it is unsalvageable without abandonment.

                  I object to this patently ridiculous logic that feminism & homosexuality will destroy the Orthodox Church as it did whichever apostatized, schizmatic, heterodox faith you should wish to plug in. Why? This syllogism presupposes the fullness of Christ’s Church among the heretics. Am I somehow suggesting, “Don’t worry, it will all work out because we’re Orthodox?” Certainly not. But as Fr. Florovsky wrote:

                  Christ Himself belongs to this community, as its Head, not only as its Lord or Master. Christ is not above or outside of the Church. The Church is in Him. The Church is not merely a community of those who believe in Christ and walk in His steps or in His commandments. She is a community of those who abide and dwell in Him, and in whom He Himself is abiding and dwelling by the Spirit. Christians are set apart, “born anew” and re-created, they are given not only a new pattern of life, but rather a new principle: the new Life in the Lord by the Spirit. They are a “peculiar People,” “the People of God’s own possession.”

                  Collected Works, Vol. I, “The Church: Her Nature & Task,” P. 60-61)

                  While this is certainly an assurance and comfort, it is the greatest of all of our “calls to action” to teach them that, as you say, “all truth within Heterodoxy comes from Orthodoxy and ultimately loyalty to it demands return to the fullness of Orthodoxy.”

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                The Presbyterians have followed in parallel with the Episcopalians for the last several decades and I have been in these battles amongst the Presbys. I can assure you that there is nothing on earth that would have caused either of them to reconsider their suicidal courses.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has followed the same path. The only think keeping the United Methodist from following them is that they allow delegates from the mission field in Latin America and Africa who still believe to participate in their national convention. If it were up to the North American Methodists, they would follow the lead of the other mainline Protestant denominations.
                  I agree with Ladder of Divine Ascent. The Protestant denominations are so infected with modernism that the only hope is for those Protestants who believe in traditional Christianity to convert to Orthodoxy. I thought for a time that there was some hope for continuing Anglicans, but radical Calvinists have rushed in to fill the void left when the Episcopal Church rejected traditional Christianity.

        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

          Amen, Fr. John. Feminism and sodomy go hand in hand for the simple reason that they both deny the same two fundamental realities: the difference of male and female and the subjection of man to God. St. John Chrysostom understood this:

          O ye subverters of all decency, who use men as if they were women, and lead out women to war as if they were men! This is the work of the devil, to subvert and confound all things, to overlap the boundaries that have been appointed from the beginning, and remove those which God has set to nature. For God assigned to woman the care of the house only, to the man the conduct of public affairs. But you reduce the head to the feet, and raise the feet to the head. You suffer women to bear arms, and are not ashamed.

          • M. Stankovich says

            You manipulate not only Blessed Chrysostom, but St. Paul’s comments to Titus! You would frame this as if St. Chrysostom is himself confronting someone. In fact, he has “manufactured” the instruction of St. Paul to Titus – his commentary – so it could be understood. And the fact is that he was not instructing anyone regarding males & females or “sodomy,” but rather the need for Christ to come and heal the world:

            For nothing was worse than the brutality of mankind before the coming of Christ. They were all affected towards each other as if enemies and at war. Fathers slew their own sons, and mothers were mad against their children. There was no order settled, no natural, no written law; everything was subverted.

            They were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that Pædrasty, as well as anointing for wrestling, should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. Then their dramas were replete with adultery, lewdness, and corruption of every sort. In their indecent nocturnal assemblies, women were admitted to the spectacle. There was seen the abomination of a virgin sitting in the theater during the night, amidst a drunken multitude of young men madly reveling.

            The greater part of you probably know the story. The son of the murdered man killed the adulterer, and after him his mother, then he himself became mad, and was haunted by furies. After this the madman himself slew another man, and took his wife. What can be worse than such calamities as these? But I mention these instances taken from the Heathens, with this view, that I may convince the Gentiles, what evils then prevailed in the world.

            Therefore we ought to be thus to all, to be gently disposed. For he who was formerly in such a state, and has been delivered from it, ought not to reproach others, but to pray, to be thankful to Him who has granted both to him and them deliverance from such evils. Let no one boast; for all have sinned. If then, doing well yourself, you are inclined to revile others, consider your own former life, and the uncertainty of the future, and restrain your anger.

            Homily V on Titus

            Nothing, nothing, nothing is worse than your out-of-context attempts to manipulate arguments with disinformation. How many times can I say it?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Dr Stankovich, one thing we never have to worry about Chrysostom is over-exegesis. He was a fire-breathing preacher of the first magnitude. There was never any misunderstanding of his words. His “context” was the Gospel and the Gospel is only necessary because we are broken beings living in a fallen world. His sermons can be read anywhere and in anytime and they are enduring and changeless.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Mr. Michalopulos,

                You know me well enough by now. Please don’t patronize me. Look it up yourself. It is a very short homily. I wouldn’t allow an undergrad psych major to do such a thing. I’m not being “contentious” here because of the author. In context, it does not support the contention. Make your point if you can, but don’t manipulate and misrepresent the Fathers to do so.

            • lexcaritas says

              Thank you, Michael S. for this longer quotation from St. John’s Homily 5 on Titus and for the citation to read the whole thing–which I will do again. However, at this point having skimmed the part you quoted and that quoted by Fr. Dcn. Brian Patrick, I fail to see how his excerpt in any way misrepresents what St. John was saying or detracts from Dcn. Brian Patrick’s point.

              More shocking still is how our modern culture is rushing to ressemble the pre-Chrisitan pagan world described and deplored by St. John.


              • M. Stankovich says


                What pervades this site is the assertion that there is a causal relationship between “feminism” and homosexuality – such that, first you ordain women, then you are, necessarily. overrun by “sodomists (-ites?).” [I am amused to this day that, in my first “exchange” with Fr. Hans & Deacon Mitchell on the AOI site, I happened to use the colloquial shorthand “s/he,” to which the Deacon responded, “People who use “s/he” are invariably feminists, and feminism is an ideology. Ergo . . .”] I will, again, heartily support ladder of divine ascent in more than adequately demonstrating the foolishness of this assertion but among the heretics, the heterodox, & the schizmatics.

                As we continuously & cyclically sing, until that “day without evening,” from the Resurrection Octoechos for Great Vespers in the Theotokion of Tone One: “Courage, courage, O people of God! For Christ will destroy our enemies, as He is all-powerful!”

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  Women’s ordination does lead to the acceptance of the gay agenda, because it inevitably leads to feminist theology which is based on radical feminism. Radical feminism is built on the idea of denying the differences between men and women. Some radical feminists support lesbianism to show that they do not need a man in their life. When my wife taught a course in women’s history at a Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne, she taught though the history department. The committee on women’s studies asked to meet with her and criticized her because she did not display a pro-lesbian attitude. As a result of the infiltration of the women’s rights movement by lesbianism they support the gay rights movement. It is no accident that Carter Heywood one of the first woman ordained in the Episcopal Church was a radical gay rights supporter. The dean of the Episcopal seminary in Cambridge, Mass. is a lesbian who was “married” to her partner by the local Episcopal bishop in the Episcopal Cathedral in Boston.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Thank you, Fr. John, for demonstrating my point: “Women’s ordination does lead to the acceptance of the gay agenda, because it inevitably leads to feminist theology which is based on radical feminism,” as I noted, “among the heretics, the heterodox, & the schizmatics.” Secondly, “The committee on women’s studies asked to meet with [your wife] and criticized her because she did not display a pro-lesbian attitude” specifically because they are “heretics, heterodox, & schizmatics.” And finally, I could not agree more that “It is no accident that Carter Heywood one of the first woman ordained in the Episcopal Church was a radical gay rights supporter,” – and you know where I’m going – she is unquestionably a “”heretic, heterodox, & a schizmatic.” As near as I can tell, Fr. John, that’s three pitches, no swings, ladder of divine ascent is sound asleep in the bullpen, both of our orthopaedic surgeons are delighted at the outcomes of our individual arthoplasties, and we can call it a night!

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Bravo Mr. Stankovich for exposing the tautology used by the saviors of Orthodoxy from the feminist and homosexual cabals. As I said elsewhere, such unwise prosecutions of the nefarious feminist and homosexual Fifth Columns in our midst will inevitable desentisize folks to the real dangers.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I don’t know much anymore, but I do know that “s/he” is not “colloquial” — “shorthand” or anything else.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Mr. Mortiss,

                    It would appear you would know even less than you imagined. We are instructed to employ the shorthand “s/he” pursuant to the “inclusive language policy” when the gender of the subject is unknown or indeterminate (e.g. “Pt. will be transported from the OP clinic by taxi, and the driver will be instructed that s/he will not make stops, but come directly to the ER”) Hot off the colloquial press for your enjoyment:

                    Inclusive language in electronic systems and printed forms:

                    The medical center modified its admitting and registration systems to be more welcoming to LGBT patients and to gather helpful information about them. For example, the electronic admitting and registration system allows patients to indicate that they are in a “registered domestic partnership.” (In California and five other states, same-sex couples who register their domestic partnership or civil union with the state receive virtually all of the rights and responsibilities conferred by marriage.) The system also allows transgender patients to identify themselves as such and uses the designation “parent/guardian” instead of “mother” and “father” so that same-sex parents can readily identify themselves as such. All of these options are also available on printed medical history forms completed by patients themselves.

                    New verbal communication protocols:

                    The medical center developed and instituted protocols for verbal communication that demonstrate respect for and sensitivity to LGBT patients and their families. For example, the protocols suggest the following substitutions:

                    “Do you have a spouse or registered domestic partner?” instead of “Are you married?”
                    “Are you the parent or guardian?” instead of “Are you the mother or father?”
                    “Please let us know your gender” rather than “Are you male or female?”

                    Targeted training on use of welcoming, inclusive language:

                    Key staff participate in a targeted training program to ensure they can incorporate LGBT-inclusive systems and protocols into their daily routines, including welcoming language and sensitive responses to those patients who self-identify as LGBT. Participants include employees involved in admitting, registration, billing, and reception, as well as nurses, practice managers, and allied health professionals. The training covers LGBT-related policies and procedures and also provides background information about particular concerns of LGBT patients.

                    Step outside some time. Read a book. Eat an apple. Look before you leap. And you thought I was just quacking, didn’t you?

                    • Yup.

                      Language regulations from California. ‘Nuff said.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I stepped outside, apple in hand, and engaged in some casual discussions with my neighbors. This consisted of informal conversation, and employed several everyday idioms. Indeed, it was colloquial speech!

                      I had never thought of bureaucrat-mandated non-words such as “s/he” as colloquial before, and I remain very unconvinced still!

            • Carl Kraeff says

              I may be wrong, but it seems to me that many folks here, acting perhaps out of concern for the Church and our civilization, do not act in consonance with the concluding paragraph of Saint John’s homily that Mr. Stankovich cited above:

              “Therefore we ought to be thus to all, to be gently disposed. For he who was formerly in such a state, and has been delivered from it, ought not to reproach others, but to pray, to be thankful to Him who has granted both to him and them deliverance from such evils. Let no one boast; for all have sinned. If then, doing well yourself, you are inclined to revile others, consider your own former life, and the uncertainty of the future, and restrain your anger.”

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I think you’re right, Carl. We are not as “gently disposed” toward homosexuality as we are to, let’s say, adultery. Last I looked, around 70% of married men and 50% to 60% of married women admitted to it. That’s an alarming number, especially in comparison to the less than 1% of American households who claimed to be homosexual in 2000. The Family Research Report says “around 2-3% of men, and 2% of women, are homosexual or bisexual,” but even if the number is as high as 25%, it is still a relatively small number compared to the 95% who have had per-marital sex or the 50% to 70% who have been unfaithful to their spouse. Where is the indignation over this faction of the population . . . OUR population? Are some sins more palatable to God or is it easier to draw attention to the sins of others than to our own?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Excellent point, Gail. Adultery is one reason we Conservatives say our culture’s goose is cooked. But to get to the causes of adultery we have to address feminism and how it took the wife and made her a wage slave like her husband. Simply put, the throwing together of millions of women and men into the same workplace caused all those pheromones to kick in. Homosexual liberation is simply the logical end product of female “liberation.”

                  There’s no way to put the genie back in the bottle.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    There is no way to put the genie back in the bottle for the culture to be sure and while I’d hate to see the Church concentrate too much on “morality” per se, we need to do a better job of living a Christian life and passing that on to our children and grandchildren.

                    It is really simple to state: Chastity and celibacy before marriage; chastity and faithfulness after marriage. The whats and whys are a bit more of a challenge but that is exactly what takes it out of simple morality and imbeds it in the greater spiritual life of the Church.

                    I have a heavy heart when I think of all the stuff I agreed with and participated in in the 60’s. The spirit of licentiousness, rebellion and hedonism in that time set the stage. While I was not even Christian during that time, it bothers still.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    This is a very excellent point, indeed.

                    It’s well to recall La Rochefoucauld’s maxim about hypocrisy, though. At least there does not yet seem to be a movement among adulterous men to bring their concubines or mistresses into the sanctuary and ask the blessing of the congregation upon their “relationship”!

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      You should read your history, especially of Orthodox nations and their rulers/worthies.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      I am responding to the negative votes.

                      I admire the determination to focus on the great and imminent danger of homosexuals. However, in the words of our esteemed host and savior of heterosexuality, they are a minority in society and thus in our Church. On August 23rd he responded to Mr Richardson by saying:

                      “Mr Richardson, your description of nearly every Orthodox parish you’ve attended having as many gays as your describe is rather astounding. Though there are homosexuals and Lesbians in most every Orthodox congregation, what you describe are numbers that are simply astounding. Maybe you are situated in some major metropolitan area on one of the Coasts, that might be more imaginable.

                      Having said that, I too am aware that homosexuals –even couples–are found in Orthodox congregations. That’s always been the case. What I don’t find (and have never found) though is the aggressive attitude of entitlement that would be found in congregations in Boston or Washington (the parishes of Leonova’s Coven and Bradley’s Bunch respectively). There seems to be a significant sodomite chorus in certain GOA parishes in Chicago as well where they have found a significant pastoral safe haven. I firmly believe that these are outliers and not par for the course..” My emphasis.

                      So, all this hue and cry is about “outliers.” ???!!!???

                      Now, if one thinks that adulterers are also outliers, please get your head out of the sand or wherever you have buried it.

                • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

                  Gail, your challenge may be misdirected. His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah’s pastoral letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Washington (OCA) on July 28, 2011, specified fornication, homosexual activity, and adultery equally as “sins against authentic Christian marriage” that required repentance before receiving the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ. That document may still, I presume, be accessed on the OCA website.

                • Carl,
                  I don’t see political groups forming and infiltrating our schools and media that say adultry is no longer a sin. I don’t see it in the Church either. The sin of homosexuality, however has been pushed by some to say just that.

                  I also don’t think anyone here thinks they are not sinners to be pointing fingers at anyone else’s sin. But rather people are keeping the faith in tact. And if you were obeying that very homily, you wouldn’t be pointing your finger at “others” on this site.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Dear Colette–I think the issue has been about the right pastoral approach to homosexuality. On one side, there have been priests and commentators, such as Stankovich and myself, who have taken the “hate the sin but love the sinner” approach. On the other side, have been folks who have been so alarmed by the apparent success of the homosexual agenda in ECUSA and ELCA, that they seem to reject any pastoral approach to homosexuals. They have argued that there is an Orthodox homosexual lobby that may succeed a la the Episcopalian and Lutheran lobbies in changing our Church’s Holy Tradition. I don’t want to speak for Stankovich but my position from the start had been: no Orthodox church will ever commune or ordain active homosexuals, unless the Lord Himself comes back and directs us to do so. There is no reason in the deposit of faith to justify such a radical departure from the Word of God. I have also maintained in the past that this issue had been a red herring used to distract other issues (I am not going to squeeze this turnip) and that folks like George, you and others were needlessly alarmist.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, that’s entirely obtuse. No one on this site is hostile to homosexuals or doesn’t believe in a “pastoral approach” to be taken by those who are afflicted with same-sex attractions. I certainly don’t.

                      What we object to is the normalization of sodomy in society as well as in our churches. Probably as well the whole idea of a person identifying themselves by their sin as well.

                      As for your assertion that “no Orthodox church will ever commune or ordain active homosexuals,” well, that’s a mighty bold assertion. One which is wrong on both counts.

                    • Carl,

                      I just had a conversation with a priest who told me almost in tears of a gay parishoner in his parish. He accepted the person into the church, they were active in prayer and donating, but it was understood that as long as they lived this life style they were not to commune. And so they didn’t, but they were loved and accepted in the Church. On their death bed they said they had never felt so close to God as they did in that Church. No one misled them, they were told the truth in love and they were filled with love. What you and Stankovich offer is something much less. God is the judge, but why play dice with someone else’s life? To say anyone who wants others to know truth and love are haters is speaking out of ignorance.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Carl, you understand neither the issues nor the manner in which George, myself and others are attempting to respond. Certainly, the Church will not fail, but the candle stand of some local manifestations of it can and will be taken if our faith grows cold and blends with the world.

                      The pastoral approach is always the same in the Church, nothing new needs to be done, we just need to recognize sin, call it sin and invite folks for healing. When we are wishy-washy, that just leads people to perdition.

                      “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”

                      I repeat: “Chastity and celibacy before marriage; chastity and faithfulness after marriage”

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Dear George–You do indeed believe in: “What we object to is the normalization of sodomy in society as well as in our churches.” I simply do not see how a church can remain Orthodox if sodomy is normalized within herself. I suppose you see normalization in our Orthodox church on the basis of a few exceptional examples, whereas I do not. Look; there is no question that we have homosexual laity as well as clergy; just as in society, they are a minority. Unlike homosexuals outside the Church, however, ours are by and large trying not to sin by engaging ion homosexual activity. Are they always successful? No. But, that proves nothing but the fact that they are trying, just like any other sinner–that is, just like any one of us. Glory be to God!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, I believe Michael Baumann answered this question better than I could.

                      To all: we must remember that the Orthodox Church never taught or enforced Iconoclasm. The Church of Constantinople however did. We know that the Church of Rome never upheld it, does anybody have any ideas whether Alexandria or Antioch or Georgia did?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Michael Bauman writes “The pastoral approach is always the same in the Church, nothing new needs to be done, we just need to recognize sin, call it sin and invite folks for healing. When we are wishy-washy, that just leads people to perdition.”

                      Certainly a commendable approach; one that Saint John Chrysostom lived by and was, in effect, killed for by the Orthodox Caesar. I agree with you. However, many of the folks that have been criticized by the homophobe or hyper-Orthodox cabal on this site are not wishy-washy. I continue to believe that many uber-Orthodox folks on this site are over-reacting and are simply alarmist. Perhaps their writings were influenced by a desire to defend a retired Metropolitan? I have had that nagging feeling for a long time; it has come and gone and, after George’s “outlier” verdict, I am going back to my original analysis. I really hope that I am wrong, but as a signatory to the Manhattan Declaration, I think that extremism in opposition to homosexuality does not serve our cause well. Especially if it was undertaken to support ONE person.

                    • Carl,
                      What people disagree with you and Stankovich on is the interpretation of the word “pastoral”. And indeed there is, maybe was a movement to “normalize” by ignoring- sodomy in the Church. It is/was not just in the 2 Churches you mentioned. There are stories all over the country, you just conveniently ignore them.
                      I say “is/was” because I do think/hope people have woken up and realized where the Church was headed and had many not spoken up it would continue to sleep walk in that direction-although it still could . . .. I also think the OCA received pressure from other Jurisdicitions by way of pulling back and my guess also by some of it’s own priest and laiety who didn’t want to go in that direction.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      No one misled them, they were told the truth in love and they were filled with love. What you and Stankovich offer is something much less. God is the judge, but why play dice with someone else’s life? To say anyone who wants others to know truth and love are haters is speaking out of ignorance.

                      You have been nothing but vague when I ask you to be specific, and this is a primary example.What am I offering. What dice am I playing? Explain the final sentence as I have no clue.

                    • Rodney Buchschotte says

                      Sodomy was already normalized in the OCA but in secret. Met. Theodosios was an active homosexual but all the leadership hid it. Lies corrupt. Institutional lies corrupt institutions. That’s one reason why the OCA has such trouble with sodomites and their sympathizers today.

                      The Greeks are going to discover this too. They’ve got big problems with some of their bishops.

                      The Antiochians avoided it because Met. Philip dealt with homosexuals in the way that leaders are supposed to.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Rodney Buchschotte–You wrote “Sodomy was already normalized in the OCA but in secret. Met. Theodosios was an active homosexual but all the leadership hid it. Lies corrupt. Institutional lies corrupt institutions.”

                      Please consider the following.

                      Definition of NORMALIZE
                      1: to make conform to or reduce to a norm or standard
                      2: to make normal (as by a transformation of variables)
                      3: to bring or restore (as relations between countries) to a normal condition

                      You apparently do not mean any of the above definitions because (1) homosexual metropolitans, bishops, priests or laity have not been the norm in the OCA, (2) homosexual conduct has never been considered normal in the OCA (if it were, it would have been hidden as you pointed out); and (3) Metropolitan Theodesios alleged homosexual conduct is not a restoration of the practice of the previous (or succeeding) OCA primates.

                      So, what do you really mean? Are you arguing that the previous leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and her daughter church have been guilty of sodomy? Are you saying, I am picking a few names here, Saints Innocent, Raphael and Tikhon were homosexual? Are you also saying that Metropolitans Herman, Jonah and Tikhon are also active homosexuals? I know what I am saying is scandalous, but by saying that “Sodomy was already normalized in the OCA but in secret. Met. Theodosios was an active homosexual,” you are implying that all the primates before and after +Theodesios were also homosexual because you did not say simply that he was a homosexual but that it was the norm, the standard, the custom, part of our Orthopraxis.

                      In short, your allegation is a foolish one and you should repent of your vile accusation..

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Buchschotte,

                      Your aimless, pointless, foolish pursuit of “truth or dare” is shameful. If everything you allege is true, then what? Wherever there are humans gathered, there is sin, deceit, immorality, lack of integrity, disingenuousness, lack of remorse, lack of charity, dishonesty, you name it. The Church has endured for centuries among its ranks of clergy the most impious, the most scandalous, the most unrepentant, and the most vile. And yet the Church survives despite us. I have said this before and I will repeat it again: you know nothing of the actual history, and it isn’t for a lack of trying. Our God is a Just Judge, a Righteous Judge, and a Jealous God who will not tolerate injustice and wrongdoing against the righteous. How many times will you hear it if you listen in Holy Week:

                      Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him that treads in the winefat? I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in my anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled on my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

                      How shallow is the faith that fears being overrun by the civil courts and the “gay agenda!” Imagine! Homosexuality has been “normalized” in the jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church. Imagine! Rather than begging for the intercession of the Saints and glorious Martyrs of America, some search their writings for prognostication of further doom for America. Imagine!

                      If as much time were invested in studying the Holy Fathers, in pursuing solutions to conflict, as Blessed St. Basil directs us, “always looking backward to the way of the Fathers before us,” rather than Fox News, the Christian Right, and the opinions of the other assorted heretics, heterodox, and schizmatics, we would not be wasting our time now with retrospective witch-hunts from which we will learn nothing.

                    • Rodney Buchschotte says

                      “If everything you allege is true, then what?”

                      It is true. It means sodomy was tolerated and hid at the top. It should have been challenged. It never was. That’s what we call normalization.

                      This kind of institutional corruption is a factor in the OCA’s precipitous decline in membership. That’s what.

                      The men who hid it and oversaw the decline are still in charge.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Rodney–If I were your priest, I would not commune you for you stubbornly hold onto defamation of character, to bearing false witness.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, I’m glad to see that you take the Ninth Commandment so seriously. I do as well. It’s a pity that Syosset and our bishops don’t.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Rodney Buchschnotte! You wrote this:
                      ” Met. Theodosios was an active homosexual. ” Please prove that: it’s never been done. Why don’t you give it a try since you’re so interested in it?

                    • Trudge at SmartVote says

                      Bishop Tikhon,

                      Your approach to Rodney demonstrates that modern Orthodoxy has reverted to the condition of the Pharisees of old, where spiritual authority seeks to assert itself by position, not by virtue, and by a litigious mentality.

                      Saul became Paul when he gave up his priesthood of position to take up the priesthood demonstrated by virtue. We do not take Paul’s warnings in the Epistle to the Romans on the necessity of virtue as the substance of religion as applying to ourselves.

                      Paul’s instruction to Bishop Titus on the qualities of a bishop:

                      A man who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

                      And further on the opposite of these virtues, which of course should not be bishops:

                      To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

                      And Paul to Bishop Timothy: “Let your progress (in virtue) be evident to all.”

                      Only the authorities in the OCA seek to deny the moral corruption of their hierarchs. Among other jurisdictions these corruptions are common knowledge among the priests I have spoken to about it. Indeed a priest confided to me that he was propositioned by this hierarch.

                      How is the former metropolitan living now?

                    • Well here is another feather for you Carl-

                      “Regarding our Cathedral, the Church in Russia, and the Russian Government

                      The NYC Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, a parish of the autocephalous (self-governed) Orthodox Church in America, is completely independent from the Church in Russia (Moscow Patriarchate), its political actions and statements, and its inquisition-like persecutions and xenophobia in concert with the Russian government’s promulgation of draconian laws limiting freedom of speech and civil rights of its citizens.
                      Archimandrite Christopher Calin, Dean 08/28/13”

                      But please read further what it has on it’s front page about tolerance—


                      So-Pandering? Why even go on about anything else after clarifying the cathedral is part of the OCA-which he should have said and stopped at. Exactly what civil right is he discussing? Gay “marriage”??

                      3. He gives no support for his vague accusations. And then he makes them against his mother Church–does he wish to start a feud?
                      –Exactly what Xenophobia? Political actions? Statements? Inquisition-like persecutions? Paranoia? (basically, where is the proof that this is church sponsored and not just acts of individuals or small groups?)

                      4. He brings in politics to the Church by discussing the Russian government and its alleged promulgation of draconian laws limiting freedom of speech and civil right to its citizens. Isn’t this one of the very accusations that was thrown at +Jonah?

                      Come on Carl-it’s not everywhere . . . . sure it ain’t.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      “Trudge at Smart Vote” or whatever….I asked Mr. Buchschnotter if he had evidence of Metropolitan Theodosius being an active homosexual, and you come out with what is know in literate circles as a “strawman.’ Did you perhaps mean to address Mr. Stankovich, rather than me?
                      Incidentally, there are clergy alive today who were seminarians in the 1960s during the incumbencies of Metropolitan Leonty and Metropolitan ireney who can testify to their own personal experience of moral and mostly (but not only) homosexual improprieties OFTEN observed in the clergy of the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral. The place didn’t really get “cleaned up” until the Romanian priest, Fr. Christopher Calin was appointed to be the Dean there by Archbishop Peter. A famous and flamboyant Protodeacon was notorious for “goosing” a rather plump hieromonk (a canonical expert) during the Liturgy in the altar when the Metropolitan was not paying attention or doddering. Some seminarians were beckoned from this or that corner by a perennial Igumen who held a bottle of Scotch out as a lure—“Come over, I’ve got some Scotch!” Then there was the celibate Archpriest from France who liked to invite the occasional seminarian to come up to his place and have a drink or two and then invite him to take advantage of his real bathtub while he was there (there are no bathtubs in the seminaries) One told me “I was completely skunked;: I remember a kind of haze as i sat in the tube—every once or while this or that priest or whoever would suddenly appear and take a look and then go out again…
                      The Cathedral really become anglophone and American since Fr. Christopher was appointed there. I feel there is a note of impatience in his letter that has caused such a flutter here. Everytime President Putin or Patriarch Kyrill breaks wind, it would seem, the media call or drop in to see what the staff of the “Russian” Catheral in New York have to say. How many times has he had to say, ‘We’re not Russians here. I am of Romanian descent: Go call somebody else: there are two Really Russian Cathedrals in this town.’ Probably he hopes his letter might stop at least ONE media person from calling him up or visiting. Good for him! Chechnya!!! I note that one newly consecrated bishop in Russia, an older man, has made a public statement decrying the prosecution of the Pussy Riot. It doesn’t mean he approves of the Pussy Riot. Father Christopher’s letter expresses no judgment either was on homosexuality or anything LGBT: it’s being used as a strawman here.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Your Grace, the idea of “proving” a man’s homosexuality is indecent. Nobody I know wants to hide under a cleric’s or hierarch’s bed or take incriminating photographs. That is not the issue nor is it the hallmark of “blamelessness.” Paul’s exhortation to the Church was that in order for a man to be a presbyter he should be “blameless” meant simply that rumor and innuendo didn’t attach themselves to his name. Where there’s smoke there’s almost always fire. For a man to be a bishop there shouldn’t be any smoke.

                    • Trudge at SmartVote says

                      Bishop Tikhon,

                      I do not think you can easily dismiss the decline of priests, bishops and deacons in virtue and in function over the course of history in comparison to what we see of the Apostles and Fathers.

                      Modern Orthodox bishops and priests now function primarily as curators of the services, or as deacons, rather than as apostles of the teachings of the Gospel.

                      Bishops and priests in this country, like the laity of every form of Christianity we see, tend to live for their own peace and popularity, rather than as ascetics and proponents of the Gospel outside the Church through evangelism, with the violence required for this, instead preaching only those aspects of the Gospel that are most appealing and acceptable to the modern mentality.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Dear Colette–I have never cited one church where normalization allegedly took place. The reason is quite simple: I have never been in such a church. On the other hand, I did quote George mentioning two churches and calling them outliers. Please check the record and you will see that I am telling the truth.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, you’re completely missing the point. Sodomy and feminazism were outliers in ECUSA at one time as well. Now they’re par for the course. I suspect I know a few more Lutherans, Methodists, and Episcopalians than most (possibly you as well?). Trust me, it was they who pointed out to me and other Orthodox that “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” are one-way streets.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George–It is one thing to say that “although homosexual clergy and laity are outliers at this point, Orthodox should be wary of pastoral approaches that stress “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” in crafting a pastoral approach to homosexuals. As the ELCA and ECUSA examples show, these approaches may bring our church to the same deplorable condition as theirs.”

                      It is an entirely different thing to beat the drums to warn us about an impending takeover by the homosexual lobby. I need not hunt for examples for you know what you have done, particularly during your scorched earth attack on Metropolitan Jonah’s real or perceived enemies. You have wrongly tarred and feathered many of our brothers and sisters. You need to ask for their forgiveness.

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

                      Carl Kraeff opines above, “Rodney–If I were your priest, I would not commune you for you stubbornly hold onto defamation of character, to bearing false witness.”

                      That is the same Carl Kraeff who recently declared, “I fail to see how ‘protect’ turns into ‘deny.’ I always thought that the oath was to protect from physical desecration by pagans and Muslim Turks . . . Stankovich is right; we do not need to protect the Lord or His Body.”

                      Kraeff’s pastoral fantasy reminds me of the memorable exchange between Winston Churchill and one of his conversational nemeses, Lady Astor.

                      After one particularly exasperating exchange, Lady Astor finally said, “Winston, if I were your wife I’d put poison in your coffee.”

                      “Nancy,” Mr. Churchill retorted, “if I were your husband I’d drink it.”

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Fr. Alexander,

                      I wrote you an extended response to your comment to me, “Let’s settle this issue once and for all…” in regard to the notion of “protecting the Eucharist,” where you claimed, despite my “education and degrees,” I was ignorant of the theology of the Church contained in the Service for the Ordination of a Priest. As I recall, the sheer “authority” of your statement even drew the comment of an SVS graduate who was “embarrassed” by my application of my seminary education. My response to you was drawn from the Scripture, the Fathers, and our Tradition: there is no precedent. As always, I asked for correction as to substance. What is it they say about silence, Fr. Alexander?

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

                      To echo the refrain of the UK’s prime minister during “Prime Minister’s Questions” when another MP in the House of Commons asks a question to which he has already provided a sufficient answer (see the half hour broadcast each Sunday at 9pm [ET] on C-SPAN),

                      “I refer the Right Honorable Gentleman to my previous remarks”:

                      Let’s put the issue of “protecting” the Eucharist to rest once and for all, Dr. S.

                      I submit that every man who has been ordained as an Orthodox priest knows the truth of the matter. Perhaps as a layman, notwithstanding your SVOTS education and degree, you are unaware that the ordaining bishop, as he places the Holy Body of Christ into the hands of the newly ordained priest for the first time, instructs the priest in no uncertain terms regarding the awesome significance of his new obligation concerning the Holy Mysteries.

                      For example, below are excerpts from two easily accessible official Orthodox websites.

                      First, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:

                      After the consecration of the Eucharist, the bishop places the body of Christ into the new priest’s hands with the following admonition:

                      Bishop: Receive this Divine Trust, and guard it until the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, at which time He will demand It from you.


                      Second, from the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America:

                      Following the consecration of the Holy Gifts, the Bishop will call the new Priest to the front of the Altar and hand him the consecrated Lamb saying:

                      Receive thou this pledge, and preserve it whole and unharmed until thy last breath, because thou shalt be held to an accounting therefore in the Second and Awesome Coming of our Great Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.

                      The new Priest takes consecrated Lamb and kisses the Bishop’s right hand. He then walks to the back of the Altar and holds the Lamb, facing West, until the Bishop calls him back to the front. The new priest will bring the Lamb back to the Bishop immediately before, Attend. Holy things are for the Holy.


                      » Posted By Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD On August 13, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

                      [To which I would add only that the phrases “guard it” in the GOARCH translation and “preserve it whole and unharmed until thy last breath” in the AOCNA version of this fundamental component of Orthodox Tradition should be clear to any sensible reader and require neither parsing nor special interpretation.]

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD writes:

                      [This] fundamental component of Orthodox Tradition should be clear to any sensible reader and require neither parsing nor special interpretation.

                      So, suffer an insensibly inferior reader, if you would:

                      Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, sympathize, be courteous… and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Pet. 3:8 ff)

                      I asked you a simple, clarifying question: From what are you protecting the Eucharist? If you tell me “from my own sinfulness,” this would seem reasonable to me, in a precedent drawn from the prayer following the Anaphora in the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great::

                      Remember O Lord, my unworthiness according to the multitude of Your mercies; forgive my every transgression, both voluntary and involuntary. Do not take away the grace of Your Holy Spirit from these gifts presented because of my sins.

                      If you tell me it is your responsibility as a pastor acting, as Fr. Florovsky notes, “in persona Christi… representative of Christ Himself, not of believers, the Head of the Body, the only High Priest of the New Covenant, performing, continuing and accomplishing His eternal pastoral and priestly office, and

                      the unity of every local congregation springs from the unity in the Eucharistic meal. And it is as the celebrant of the Eucharist that the priest is the minister and the builder of Church unity. (Collected Works: Vol i, “The Church: Her Nature & Task”, pp.65-55)

                      In “guarding” & “preserving” this “unity” that is the Eucharist meal, you must remove or separate individuals who would “rend the garment of the Master,” here is precedent. Likewise, if you tell me that to “guard” and “uphold” is to unwaveringly guide your flock on the path of the Eschaton which is the Eucharist Banquet, always celebrated at the table of the Master in His Kingdom which is to come, I say:

                      The Ninth Ode of the Canon Of Great & Holy Thursday and The Pre-Feast of the Nativity of the Lord

                      Come, O Faithful, Let Us Enjoy The Master’s Hospitality,
                      The Banquet Of Immortality!
                      In The Upper Chamber With Uplifted Minds,
                      Let Us Receive The Exalted Words Of The Word,
                      Whom We Magnify!

                      you have precedent.

                      If you have nothing more than agreement, you have no reason to scold Mr. Kraeff and we have, indeed, settled this, once and for all.

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD disapproves of my statement: “I fail to see how ‘protect’ turns into ‘deny.’ I always thought that the oath was to protect from physical desecration by pagans and Muslim Turks . . . Stankovich is right; we do not need to protect the Lord or His Body.” He even tries Churchillian witticism to make fun of my “fantasy.” He is of course free to write anything that he pleases. I just wished that he would direct his borrowed witticisms to what I wrote instead of assuming that I meant something that I had not. Since the dear Father is a military man, he knows the old saying about assuming: “If you assume, you will make and ass of you and me.” Try again and answer me if the Lord of all needs to be protected from unrepentant sinners, or is it your charge to protect the unrepentant sinners from communing unworthily?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, I’m curious, are you –like Fr Alexander–a professional man?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George–I am at a loss on how to answer you, primarily because this is an odd question in context.

                      Father Alexander is an Orthodox archpriest and was a Military Chaplain. His biography is very impressive: “Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster holds a B.A. degree in history (Summa cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in history and education from Columbia University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University Divinity School, a Graduate Certificate in International Security Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in religion/social ethics from the University of Pittsburgh.” (From The Virtue of War that Fr. Alexander co-authored). Also, “Father Alexander F.C. Webster, an archpriest in the Orthodox Church in America, retired in June 2010 as an Army Reserve chaplain at the rank of colonel after more than 24 years of military service. He is the author or co-author of four books on topics of social ethics, including “The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West.” (From “End of DADT paves way for new discrimination” guest column that he wrote for Stars and Stripes, Sep 22, 2011).

                      There are some parallels between us. Like Father Alexander, I also graduated summa cum laude (B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Business Administration); have served in the military (10 years as an enlisted air traffic controller and 15 additional years as an intelligence officer); have been in public service (directed a state-wide victim assistance AmeriCorps project and am now a planner/manager in the realm of behavioral health); I am even published in a small way, even though I do not have a terminal degree that Fr Alexander has.

                      So, you decide if I am a professional man, as there are a number of definitions. I myself lean towards the following definition in Wiki: “In some cultures, the term is used as shorthand to describe a particular social stratum of well-educated workers who enjoy considerable work autonomy and are commonly engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work.”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I’ll take that as a “no.” The reason I asked is that professionals invariably have licenses granted to them by a state-sanctioned governing body. Part of the licensure process is that the licensee will practice a code of ethics and maintain something called “standards.” Should he violate these parameters, he can be sanctioned –up to and including the loss of his license to practice his profession.

                      Simple logic (as well as the rubrics of the Rite of Ordination) answers in the affirmative the question as to whether clergymen have the right to safeguard the Eucharist. Indeed, they have the duty and obligation to do so. Otherwise, we would practice open Communion and any laymen could serve as priest. It’s really that simple.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George–All of this to make your point again? I will spend just a bit of my energy on your idea of professionalism. Do you really think that I did not have to “practice a code of ethics and maintain something called “standards” in any of my functions just because I do not have formal certification or licensure? You must live in a cocoon my friend.

                      At issue has not been the right, duty or obligation of clergymen to safeguard the Eucharist. Also at issue has not been a cockamammie “open communion” idea. If we are talking about safeguarding of the Eucharist from malicious and/or careless handling or desecration, it is indeed the duty and obligation of all Orthodox Christians to do so, particularly for priests who have taken solemn oaths to do so. If we are talking about refusing communion to unrepentant sinners, the grounds for that action is the oath to safeguard the Eucharist; it is done out of pastoral concern for the unrepentant sinner, to preclude him from taking communion to his condemnation. (1 Corinthians 12:27: ” Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”)

                      If your contention is that a priest breaks his oath if an active, unrepentant sinner partakes of the Body and Blood of our Lord, you are mistaken. The responsibility for the priest is to make sure that communicants are told to prepare themselves by fasting, prayer and a recent confession. Of those, the priest can be sure of only one thing; whether the confession was recent and that he gave absolution to the penitent. The priest does not even know if the penitent has freely confessed all sins, whether the repentance is genuine or not, and whether the penitent will not revert back to sin between his absolution and Holy Communion. Therefore, Saint Paul in the verse above is not talking to the priests but to the communicants, who are ultimately responsible.

                      Once again, to contend that the Lord needs to be protected from desecration by folks who are communing unworthily is a ridiculous proposition. OTOH, I can understand if the argument is that the laos as a whole should be protected against actions of a few that causes scandal and brings disrepute on the entire congregation. That job is rightly given to the pastor and arch-pastor of that congregation; it is not given to Internet posters, most of whom do not have the courage of their convictions to come forth as real human beings. It is also the job of the priest to protect an unrepentant sinner by withholding the Holy Chalice from him. The Lord can and WILL take care of Himself. What a presumptuous and preposterous idea that the priest withholds the Cup to protect the Lord!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      So, there are standards which professionals are bound to uphold?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George–You keep saying that it is the duty of a priest not to commune a repentant sinner. I keep saying the same thing (whether or not a priest is a professional). The only point of disagreement is why a priest must withhold the Cup from an unrepentant sinner. You think that the why is to protect the Lord; I think that it is to protect the unrepentant sinner (whether or not he is a professional). I think the “why” of it is important for two reasons because your idea that the Lord needs protection is downright stupid. Second, if the Church is like a hospital, if the Lord has come to save sinners of whom I am first, then who can gainsay the Lord and start to exclude homosexuals from Him? The operative verses are by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “9 Don’t you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t delude yourselves — people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality, 10 who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob — none of them will share in the Kingdom of God.” It goes without saying that homosexuality is not condemned but sexual acts by catamites and sodomites are condemned. However, they are not read out and discarded as hopeless cases, for if people “who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse,…who steal, who are greedy, who get drunk, who assail people with contemptuous language, who rob” are all eligible to be saved, surely catamites and sodomites can also be saved. Fortunately for all of us, none of these folks sins are like contagious diseases. You will not become a homosexual if one is worshiping right by you–even if you touch him!

                • I think it is possible to turn oneself into a doormat by focusing exclusively on ones own sins and it is certainly possible to turn the Church into a doormat through such an exclusive focus. The fact is the culture is self destructing. Hiding our heads in the sand of our own sins won’t have much affect on that. Better to exercise discipline within the Church and stand as a beacon.

                  Yes, adultery is bad. Homosexual sexual activity is far worse – – an abomination in and of itself. Adultery is in essence a sin because of the status of the parties. An otherwise normal heterosexual attraction is indulged beyond the bounds of marriage. The difference with homosexual sexual activity is that it is a sin regardless of the status of the parties, but rather because of their essential biological identity. Bestiality is thus the more comparable sin.

                  Criminalization of homosexual activity is probably the only way back from the abyss. Russia lacks the same legal tradition of freedom of expression as we do here in America, so perhaps outlawing public expression tending toward the acceptance and normalization of homosexuality (or any other perversion or sexual deviance) might be sufficient. Time will tell.

                  However, sympathy, understanding and general pastoral disposition will not stop or hinder the gay-train. Tolerance gives it a foothold. Only revulsion and some measured intolerance would deter it and I think we’re past that point in America. Writing on the wall.

                  George is right though, theological liberalism gave birth to feminism which resulted in normalization of homosexual conduct. Restoring the patriarchy would solve all of the above, including our demographic problems here and in Europe. Don’t hold your breath though.

                  Western progressive liberalism is twisted and suicidal. That is both the bad news and the good news. It would be tragic if this type of society could persevere indefinitely, would it not? In utter defiance of the law of God?

                  Good news! It can’t. Now the task, as I see it, is to influence what succeeds our little Babylon. Because there are really only two choices: Fundamentalist Islam or a reinvigorated, patriarchal Christianity. I would prefer the latter but the former is also entirely possible. In fact, that is likely in Western Europe.

                  How does one accomplish the re-invigoration and ascent of patriarchal Christianity? From within the Church. Playing footsie with a sick culture will not do it. Re-committment to old-world, patriarchal Orthodoxy will. That requires bishops pronouncing clear teachings on these subjects and willing to exercise eucharistic discipline in pursuit of them. It will mean a smaller Church, at least in the West, in the short term. It will mean a change in revenue as well. The faithful will have to attempt to make up the difference in giving resulting from the flight of the dead weight who never believed in the first place.

                  Now, do I expect Christianity in general or Orthodoxy in particular to save the Western world from Islam?


                  I see the future of Christianity in the Eastern world, specifically, Eastern Europe. The Western frog is boiling, the heat having been turned up gradually until it became too weak to escape. Western sensibilities have been deranged to the point that we engage in revulsion of the morality of our ancestors who built great civilizations. Our assumed self-righteous moral superiority is not at all hard won. We just sign on to progressive liberalism, selectively or wholeheartedly, and thus acquire the right to judge all men in all times by standards written in the clouds with unicorn farts – – the feelings of an elitist clique, nothing more. And we impose it on the world as if it were self-evident, not contrived propaganda.

                  My personal answer is simply to practice traditional Orthodoxy as best I can manage it. Serve the Church of the Ages (not just the deeply flawed Church of this age), do what good I can manage in peace, and wait on the Lord to execute His judgment which appears to be unfolding in our times.

                  But woe will come in droves to those who follow a multitude to do evil.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    Misha, this is an excellent essay.

                    Let me expand on a point:

                    How does one accomplish the re-invigoration and ascent of patriarchal Christianity? From within the Church.

                    Yes, but even here people have fuzzy ideas. It begins with faithful prayer to God, adopting the discipline of morning and evening prayers for example, walking as a disciple of Jesus Christ in obedience to the living voice of God that is heard in the events of everyday life.

                    That’s how the Saints lived. That is what the Scriptures instruct. Forms such as the daily prayers, when prayed with full awareness and a heart that struggles against those things that would thwart the prayer, is what is called for. Nothing less. That’s our only hope.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Going to Vespers regularly is a very good step in this direction. The church I am joining has very good, very regular vespers services.

                      The puzzling thing is the low turnouts to these splendid services. I have evangelized some of the members about their own church’s vespers, with some success– it’s not only the Presbyterian catechumens and the choir and a remnant who should be going to them!

                      Besides being beautiful and succinct, they are very scriptural, something I like especially.

                    • Thank you, Father. Yes, the power of prayer is vastly underestimated. Amen.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    How does one accomplish the re-invigoration and ascent of patriarchal Christianity? From within the Church.

                    Hmm. Apparently it also include cowardice, censorship, and a fundamental lack of charity. Where will you find the Lord? Among sinners. Who is the pastor? The one who acts as the Master would HIMSELF.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  I think that your figures on adultery are a bit high. As far as I know there are no Adulterers Pride parades of Unfaithful husbands month. That is why we have to respond to the pro-gay propaganda. It has become overwhelming in our society. We cannot hide in our Churches while our young people are being taught by the secular culture and in some schools that our moral values are wrong or ignore it when our president openly supports immorality.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Father John, case in point: My brother is an Orthodox priest in Indiana, one day he and his deacon were thinking out loud in the presence of some parishioners about the need to be more proactive on the Church’s teaching about homosexuality. A young lady of the parish spoke up exclaiming how much she agreed because she had homosexual friends that suffered terribly under society’s oppression and unfairness. This is in a small, mostly convert parish, but also largely self-catechized.

                    My brother is still a bit in shock. Obviously the deacon was right, much more needs to be done.

                    We assume too easily that “everybody knows” the Church’s teachings. We assume too easily that we actually do have a common belief. ‘Taint so.

                    • Trudge at SmartVote says

                      There is a moral vacuum in the preaching all across what is presently called Christianity, including, and perhaps especially, modern Orthodoxy.

                      This case of the young parish woman assuming the pro-gay interest of Michael Bauman’s brother-priest is to be expected in a moral vacuum.

                      But from what I have seen on this site and the 2000 or so sermons I have witnessed in my lifetime, there is as much chance of a priest or bishop repenting of his banal and irrelevant sermons, personal vices, and neglect of evangelism, as there is for a life-long heretic to repent of his heresies, or a leftist of his nihilism.

                      Christian morality in general, the moral teachings of Christ and the Apostles and Fathers has simply vanished from the pulpits.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Trudge at Smart Vote
                      Obviously you have not heard Metropolitan Philip or Bishop Antoun speak on these matters. I have no doubt that Bishop Basil and our other Antiochian Bishops are just as specific on moral issues. They are quite specific and sometimes blunt on the subject of homosexuality. The resolution passed by our Archdiocesan Convention last month was hardly soft on the subject. You have also not heard me preach. I know that I preach the Gospel and about the position of our Church on moral issues.

                    • Trudge at SmartVote says

                      Father John,

                      I have seen your posts on the American Baptist Press site, so I acknowledge that you are exerting yourself more than most, but constrained within modern standards. There is also ample opportunity for you to preach virtue and expose vice and error on Monomakhos, but I have not seen that yet in the months I have been following.

                      However, what we are missing is that preaching is essentially a confrontation that must be done in person, not from a distance with a keyboard. The primary models of Christian preaching are the Son of Man, John the Baptist, St. Paul, St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr, St. Peter, and what we see of preaching in their epistles and the epistles of their disciples, the Church Fathers, and the prophets before them. In Paul we see the variety of means in which he was able to seize on and employ preaching even in conversation with his captors and judges.

                      There is nothing that can substitute for the dynamic of preaching in person supplemented with personal letters. Have you written personal letters to your youth? That is what the Apostles and Fathers did with their disciples.

                      The problem with modern Orthodox is that these models and the Scriptures themselves are not seen any longer as inspirational nor as a guide on preaching. Our Orthodox forebears certainly did and will condemn us for this lack on the Day of Judgement.

                      I mentioned that modern preaching is a vacuum of “morality in general,” not specifically about homosexuality, nor just about sexual morality, but morality in general in the full scope of the teaching of the Christ and the Apostles as it concerns the relationship of soul and body, and the teachings on the specific areas of morality – the distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil and how this conflict rages as part of the human condition.

                      Preaching: What about going to the devil’s strongholds and preaching there? Are you embarrassed before God because of your generation? Do you count your generation’s sins as your own?

                      Signs of preaching: Are you preaching to the Episcopalians, the OCA, the sexual anarchists, entertainers and government officials? Are you being persecuted for your preaching, both from some in your parish and from the anti-Christs? Are you being protested? Are the young and old leaving your sermons hungry to study the Scriptures, Fathers and the Philokalia in order to obtain spiritual knowledge and virtue for themselves? Are you showing them how to obtain nourishment from the Scriptures and the Fathers?

                      Those would be signs that you are truly preaching. Do you see signs that your parish is becoming more holy and are willing to be martyrs for the faith of Jesus Christ? That chastity is flourishing and the young people are fleeing the youthful passions of this wicked generation? Are some of the youth devoting themselves to God rather than pursuing each other in order to obtain the kingdom of heaven as a monastic or anchorite? Are you snatching the youth from fire and from the jaws of the adversary? Are their parents snatching them from the entertainers, the anti-Christ teachers and professors? Are you teaching them about the nature of evil and their adversary’s tricks. Are the breasts of the youth filled with desire to build churches and monasteries, and schools that truly educate, and beautiful and challenging works of art and literature and film, to be creators rather than mere consumers of culture, and to make of themselves “living stones?”

                      Does your parish hear powerful exhortations from the Scriptures? How women are suppose to be? How men are supposed to be. Keeping ourselves unspotted from the world? The virtues of chastity and self-control? Recognizing and facing down temptation? Ridding ourselves of hypocrisy? Fearing God? Hating evil? Laboring for good and the acquisition of the virtues? Are they weeping because their sins and the glorious judgment of God has become real to them?

                      If this is happening I want to be there. I will come there and hope to learn and with your help bring it back to where we live. I would be willing to die for that. We are tired of being around self-satisfied spiritual dullards who think they are Orthodox because they go to Church one or a few times a week and fast a little here and there and have Orthodox opinions – that there is nothing more and can be nothing more to it.

                      The bishops you mentioned and their sermons. Where are they to be found? Why do we have the Epistles, the sermons of the New Testament? Because they were memorable and the laity took an active part in them to preserve and transmit them, because they were like gold in their hands. Instead, they are not being beamed out as from the city on the hill, but whatever is there is being kept under a bushel basket. We don’t have them because we have lost the Orthodox tradition of powerful sermons delivered out of spiritual virtue and the Orthodox tradition of encycling.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Trudge at Smart Vote

                      I have preached and the teachings of our Church in every parish that I have served and have never had any problem or anyone object. The people have all agreed with the moral teachings of our Church. I may be incredibly naive, and sheltered under our Antiochian Bishops, but I have never seen any evidence of a homosexual lobby in our Church. I know that we teach our young people what we believe about morality in Sunday School and at our church camps. I find it hard to believe that it is not different in other Orthodox jurisdictions in this country and know for certain that the rest of world Orthodoxy is quite firm in defending the moral teachings of our Church.

    • Here is a video of the so called “gay kiss” – as you can see the whole story is an outright lie

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Wait! This is the protest? Were they protesting or congratulating each other? Andrei May have a point. Can we get clarification on this?


        • M. Stankovich says

          Mr. Papoutsis, et al,,

          I sit possible that none of the “ethnics”-first-generation types ever experienced immigrant men and/or women greeting each other by kissing the same gender directly on the lips? Mr. Michalopulos, your grandfather, in some moment of great exuberance never kissed you on the mouth? Mr. Papoutsis, you never saw your grandfather kiss your father at a moment of great joy, the birth of your sibling perhaps, kiss him on the mouth? When I was child my father always kissed me & my brother on the mouth! My godfather kissed me as a child on the mouth as well as the priest who baptized me! Should I have some suspicion they were all gay? Follow the money to all the $!0 and $20 bills you got shoved in your packets (“Don’t tell your father!”) and the attention and love you received and quite talking like idiots.

          • geo michalopulos says

            Not at all! I found the kissing of the women athletes to be wholesome! It’s the Western Media Complex which has bent over backwards to try to find some display of Russian Defiance Against the Evil Putin.TM

            As for my own fond rememberances, I vividly remember getting kissed and tickled by my beloved grandfather. Isn’t it regrettable that ordinary displays of affection between people of the same sex have become cudgels by the Cultural Marxists in their never-ending desire to destroy Tradition?

          • M. Stankovich says


            My comment was “tongue-in-cheek.”

            Mr. Michalopulos is absolutely correct: who doesn’t recall how the press perverted the situation of the Saudi prince (I can’t recall his name) who kissed George W. Bush on the mouth and held his hand as they walked, or Obama kissing Hugo Chavez or Hu Jintao, previous Leader of the People’s Republic of China on the mouth. We have perverted male affection into a “terror” of our own making.

          • It wasn’t a protest of any sort. They’re both married to men and they kissed out of euphoria. Later one of them clarified and was upset that it was taken as some type of protest.

  6. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    Face reality, American foreign policy in the Middle East is always controlled by the pro-Zionist lobby. Whenever we deal with Middle East even American leaders place our nationalist interests are second to the Zionist cause.

    • Will Harrington says

      Riiiigghhhttt. This is why our administration has been inclined to support the Muslim Brotherhood and condemn the Egyptian Army. The Brotherhood is such a staunch supporter of Israel’s right to exist. I am afraid that you have not faced reality. Of course there is a pro-Israel policy but do you honestly think they have any more influence that the oil producers of the mid-east?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Will, it’s much more complex. None of the Arab regimes and populations support the right of the Jews to have an ethno-state in their midst. Even those that signed peace treaties with them (Egypt, Jordan), or those who have no personal animus towards Jews as a people (Syrians, Lebanese). The Israelis and their Amen Corner here in the States have made a calculated decision that the best possible outcome is to destabilize all of their immediate neighbors. It’s not necessarily immoral on their part since most of those nations are inherently unstable anyway.

        There is also a confluence of interests between the Saudis and other Gulf Arab states to tacitly support Israel and the Egyptian Army. Israel has no existential disputes with the Gulf Arabs and it gives them some “strategic depth” vis-à-vis their concerns about Iran (which is an Indo-European nation and not a Semitic one).

        It’s know for example that the Saudis have given a “stand down” order to their anti-aircraft missiles when and if the Israeli Air Force decides to bomb the Iranian nuclear program. (And will allow American over-flight rights so the Israeli jets can be refueled.)

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          You are right, the Israelis are very Machiavellian. Chaos in the Arab world serves their interests of divide and conquer. For example, the Zionists supported the organization of Hamas as a challenge to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

        • Monk James says

          As an aside, and just to help keep our political apprehensions in order, let’s please note that indo-european and semitic are linguistic categories, and may not (or should not) be misused as political or ethnic descriptors. Such a manipulation of meaning can have serious, if not consciously intended, consequences.

          The same sort of confusion is at work when north african countries from Algeria to Egypt are described as ‘arabic’. They’re largely Arabic-speaking, of course, but their people aren’t Arabs.

          Of course, this fact hasn’t prevented the media from referring to Egypt as ‘the largest arab country’. This error is analogous to calling the peoples of Australia and New Zealand, Canada and America ‘british’ because they all speak English as a national language. The mistake is much more obvious in the case of ‘british’ and ‘English’, but it’s the same problem with regard to ‘arab’ and ‘Arabic’.

          So, while ‘indo-european’ includes Armenian, Farsi and Polish, it does not include Armenians and Persians and Poles; ‘semitic’ decribes Hebrew, Ge’ez, Maltese, and Arabic, but it really doesn’t include Jews, Abyssinians, Arabs or the people of Malta and Jordan except by a rather weak metonymy.

          • George Michalopulos says

            While it is true that language may not define an ethny, in the overwhelming majority of instances, languages arise from within an ethnic group and usually define it for the entirety of its existence. There are exceptions of course. The Israelites lost knowledge of Hebrew during the Babylonian Exile and took up Aramaic. During the second, Roman exile, they fabricated pidgin languages like Jevanic (a mixture of Attic Greek and Aramaic), Yiddish (a mixture of German, Arabic, and Aramaic,) and Ladino (Castillian and Aramaic). However even here the exception proves the rule as DNA analysis has proved that the various dispersed Jewish populations share a high affinity of genes with each other, more so in fact than they do with their host population.

            Other exceptions are the Bulgars, who were a Turkic population which took up Slavonic as their primary language. likewise the Gaels of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland lost their Gaelic language in short order but this overlooks the fact that in Scotland at least, the propensity towards intermarriage with Anglo-Saxons was already well underway. The same thing happened in Ireland as well only much later.

            As for Egypt, it is overwhelmingly Arab, the indigenous Coptic population has been reduced to 10 percent.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Muslim Egyptians are “Arabic” by language, religion, and culture. They are just as Egyptian in their genes (most of them) as the Copts.

              It’s a complex cultural question. Christian Egyptians do not consider themselves Arabs; Christian Syrians and Lebanese do.

              I think that, in fact, it is quite correct to refer to Muslim Egyptians as Arabs, as well as most North Africans, apart from the Berbers. Sometimes the ethnicity is subsumed in the language and culture, sometimes not.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Mr Mortiss, I’d actually like to seem some information on that. The Copts that I know are most vociferous in their claim that the majority are predominantly Arab and not native (I.e. Copts). Having met many Copts I can physiognomic differences from Gulf Arabs (especially) as well as others.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I am certainly not an expert. I have not gone back to look anything up. Yet I have read histories of the area and the Arab conquests for many years. Arabia never supplied a high number of people. Indeed, this fact presented problems for the Arabs from the beginning.

                  Egypt was of course always highly populated, especially by ancient standards. Egypt remained majority Christian until probably the 12th century or thereabouts. The strength of the Christian faith under very adverse circumstances was miraculous. But the social and especially the legal and financial pressures of the dhimmi system were relentless. Even so, they took many centuries to make the ultimate inroads they did.

                  I could be proved wrong, but I think it virtually certain that the vast majority of non-Copts in Egypt are predominantly Egyptian in ancestry. It could hardly be otherwise– peninsular Arabs could not account for 9/10 of the Egyptian modern population!

                  It is easily forgotten that it took many centuries after the conquests for most present “Arab” countries to become majority Muslim, and also a long time, though probably not as long, for them to become primarily Arabic-speaking.

                  “Ethnicity” is, in fact, more than genetics. I would argue that indeed it is mostly linguistic/cultural. I think that in the case of the “Arabs” especially it has usually been so regarded.

          • “Arab” refers to someone whose native language is Arabic. It is not meant to be an indication of race. Sometimes one hears references to “peninsular Arabs”, but even that is not really an ethnicity due to many centuries of intermarriage with other groups.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Misha, the Arabs as a conquering race were very unracist when it came to intermarriage (unlike say the Greeks under Alexander) but from all the history I’ve read, it’s clear that there was a dominant Arab ethnicity which overpowered even native populations or even hybrid ethnicities (such as the Moors of Spain who were primarily descended from Arab soldiers and Celt-Iberian women).

              • Dear George,

                Consider that dominant Arab mishmash when considering the Selcuk period of domination in Egypt or the favored Circassian wives of many ruling peoples of Islam or ….

                Misha is right. Nationality and ethnicity are 18-19th century constructs that even persist today. Wanna discuss the Hellenicor Greek peoples? Not even the Sami or Udmurt are pure anymore?

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            I make a small correction to Monk James’s remarks on language vs ethnicity. His message is in Englishi , and while Germans call their language “Deutsch”, we NEVER do. While the Norwegians call their language “Norski”, we NEVER do. For some reason though, in spite of published resolutions by Persian language scholars, many Americans have developed a rather affected penchant (look what I know?) for speaking of the language of Iran as “Farsi”. People who would never dream of asking someone, ‘Do you speak Deutsch,” or “Do you speak Elleniki ” thoughtlessly ask, for example, me, ‘Oh, so you’re studying Farsi? Yes, Iranians, when speaking in their native language, call it ‘Farsi,” just as Germans when speaking in their native language call it Deutsch. Persian is spoken in Afghanistan as well, and the Afghan Persian speakers refer to it as Dari (Court language).
            However James’s point is a good one, linguistic niceties aside. We should not confuse language with ethnicity.

            • Bishop Tikhon,
              Haleh Shoma chetori (hast)?

            • nit picker says


              I’ve missed you Bishop Tikhon!!

            • Welcome Back! says

              Welcome back, Vladika,

              We could have used your wisdom in your absence.

              I find your use of the word Persian for the modern day language spoken in Iran in error, at least by consensus. That ever politically correct series of textbooks, now available online for free, printed up by our State Department calls it Farsi and when asking whether or not one speaks the language, the question, transliterated, is bi-Farsi bi goo-id?

              Classical Persian is another kettle of fish altogether


              So, you are right and you are wrong.

              btw, when Greek refer to Ellenika, what historic layer of language do you think they usually mean?

              Ha ha.:) I have to ask you how recent is the trend for calling Farsi as Persian? How politically correct? And when did the American penchant for calling it Persian get changed for a number of decades into Farsi? Colleges these days are calling it as Persian


              But the terms are interchangeable


              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                .Dear “Welcome Back! Says;”
                You say I am in error. But you are not an authority on me or lexicography, and I am not in error. Here is a paragraph entitled ‘NAMING THE LANGUAGE”, in the Preface to Mehdi Marashi’s ‘Proficiency in Persian (Book One); Manoucher Amiri, Debby Paton, Ziba Marashi, and Cody Eldridge, Eds. 1st edition 1991:
                “In the past few years, the word “Farsi” has often been used in English rather than the better-known and more correct word “Persian.” The use of the word “Farsi” has caused some confusion and should be avoided. A few years ago, the Society of Iranian Studies issued a resolution against the use of this word in English that reads as follows: ‘The Society for Iranian Studies, which is the professional organization of teachers and students in the field, would like to draw your attention to the correct English term for the language spoken by most Iranians, which is Persian. In recent years some English speakers referring to the Persian language have used the word “Farsi.” This is confusing and has no basis in the history of the English language. The English word is “Persian.” “Farsi” is the Persian word for that language as “Francais” is the French word for the language spoken in France and “Deutsch” is the German word for the language spoken in Germany. We are not sure where this usage of “Farsi” arose, but the Society urges English speakers to use the word “Persian” when referring to the language in question.”

                But that’s all right. Most Americans are ignorant of EVERYTHING about Iran, not just its language. (By the way, Persian is the official language in Iran; one of two official languages in Afghanistan, and in Tajikistan. In Iran its called “Farsi” (pronounced Fawr-SEE); In Afghanistan it’s called “Dari” (pronounced ‘Daw-REE’) and in Tajikistan it’s called “Tajiki” (pronounced ta-jee-KEE) and written in Cyrilic. I think that the process that caused the sudden use of ‘the word “Farsi”, instead of the word ‘Persian” is an example of what is called “reinventing the wheel.” There are different schools of thought about the creation/introduction of new words in language. These schools of thought are mostly cultural-anthropological and linguistic scientific (used to be called Philology). Some believe in a kind of cultural evolutionary process; some in cultural diffusionary process and so on.
                Most of the political correctness to which you allude in Persian has to do with the naming of public entities, such as streets and monuments.
                You ask about something called a “historical layer of language.’ I have no idea what that would be, although I am by no means a stranger to foreign languages or to linguistic science. I therefore am unable to answer your question. Modern Greeks mostly speak demotic Greek, called in Greek ‘demotiki’ and try desperately to speak in public and to write in purist (artificial) Greek, called in Greek ‘katharevousa.”
                I know a few ways to ask if someone speaks Persia, but I’ve never heard or seen anything like what you gave “bi-Farsi bi goo id?’ By the way, there are not capital letters in Persian: they use the Perso-Arabic alphabet. “bi Farsi” would mean something like “without Persian!” More frequent would be something like “shoma farsi baladid” or just “Farsi (fawrSEE) baladin?”
                Is there some place where “historic layers” of this or that language are studied?
                There are three historic periods in the development of Persian: Ancient Persian, Middle-Persian, or “Pahlavi”, and Modern or New Persian, which dates from around the time after the Arabic conquest and has changed very little since then.
                Wikipedia is not reliable unless you have nothing else.

                • IMHO and from my experience, Persian is preferred over Farsi among native speakers. I respectfully use Persian as it carries much history and culture. Now, if you wish to study the language using the word Farsi will get you there but, once in class you’ll rarely use it unless your instructor is Western or just thinks it makes you happy.

  7. Thomas Jones, my friend, Assad for all his sins has always been a supporter of the Christian communities in Syria and the Christian communities in Syria have always supported him.

    Furthermore as as Misha’s comment above relates google Russia or Putin in the news and the “gay” issue dominates and what will not appear is Vladimir Putin’s strong calls for the international community to work for the protection of Christians across the Middle East (and North Africa) – such statements being of little to no interest to the English speaking meda

    • George Michalopulos says

      Andrei, you are right: as much as I hate to admit it, Assad has been a protector of the Christian indigenes. (As was Saddam Hussein of Iraq.) Perhaps part of the animus against Russia –particularly the anti-gay slant–by the Neocons/Neoliberals is due to the fact that Putin has turned the tide of the war in Assad’s favor? And that Russia is a champion of Christian minorities?

      • Nate Trost says

        When I see this:

        the fact that Putin has turned the tide of the war in Assad’s favor?

        I can’t help but wonder, when exactly did Putin take over leadership of Hezbollah?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Hezbollah’s not that effective a fighting force. The Syrian rebels are as well armed by the Gulf Arabs and represent a larger slice of the population.

          • Nate Trost says

            Utterly wrong. Hezbollah’s core fighters are for all practical intents and purposes an extremely capable and effective infantry force with decades of institutional training and experience.

            Sending military hardware to improv rebel groups doesn’t make them an elite fighting force. It makes them a well-armed Keystone Kops. Now, Syrian rebel groups have been getting better over the past 18 months, because well, if you survive your mistakes you get better. Or you die. But there is still a ton of fragmentation, wildly varying competence, hodge-podge of equipment (and ability to effectively use it), etc. etc. Every week there is still tons of eye-roll inducing video footage of “combat” operations posted to the internet from Syria. One of the saving graces for the rebels was that the actual Syrian Army (by design) wasn’t all that hot either. I think I’ve lost count of how many Syrian tank commanders I’ve seen getting themselves killed through stupidity. Of course, that experience-through-defeat cuts both ways.

            To be perfectly clear: The Assad regime has retaken al-Qusayr and and is retaking Homs because Hezbollah threw at least the equivalent of a couple battalions of their core fighters in with loyalist forces to get things done. No, various Syrian rebel groups are not in fact going to do well when facing off against units that successfully slugged it out against the IDF.

    • Thomas Jones says

      The facts speak for themselves. Russia supports the activities of Iran. Iran and Syria are close allies. Assad did keep peace by supporting moderate Muslims & Christians. However, Assad is also a mass murderer killing thousands of his own innocent citizens who opposed him; men, women & children. AND, it continues. Assad is no better than Hitler, Stalin, Saddam or Quadafi. If Russia were serious about supporting the Orthodox and other Christians in the Mideast, it would put a stop to Assad; Iran’s activities and radical Muslim activity. Russia will not.Russia is directly responsible for the mass murders of thousands of Syrians and therefore, the ROC. Easily Russia could have sided with the U.N. to stop Assad’s mass killing, but decided to veto any U.N. action. The unintended or planned consequences of Assad’s actions is the rise of more radical Muslim activity in Syria and the Mideast.

  8. cynthia curran says

    I searched “Russia” on google news a few hours ago. Almost nothing but stories on Russia’s “anti-gay” law. Fascinating. Ten years ago, sodomy was a criminal offense in the United States (Texas and 13 other states) and the Supreme Court struck down such laws (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003). Seventeen years earlier it had upheld the constitutionality of such laws (Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986). The Russian law does not even criminalize private sexual conduct.
    Both the Justinian Code and the Common Law code criminalize it, and your right the Russian Law is not even the same as the Uganda Law which could have put homosexuals to death.

  9. Steve Finnell says

    Defenders of “FAITH ONLY SALVATION” face a quandary when trying to explain Saul’s (the apostle Paul’s) Damascus road conversion. How do you get Saul’s sins forgiven and keep him dry?

    QUANDARY: Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

    The “faith only” advocates proposal is this; Saul was baptized so his sins could be forgiven, however, it was spiritual baptism.

    The dilemma is, how can spiritual baptism be commanded? You cannot order someone to be spiritually baptized anymore than you can command a person to become tall or intelligent.

    You can command repentance and immersion in water, as Peter did on the day of Pentecost(Acts 2:38). The results being, forgiveness of sins and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit!

    You can command that men believe in Jesus. (John 3:16)
    You can command that men repent. (Act 2:38)
    You can command that men confess. (Romans 10:10-9, Acts 8:37)
    You can command that men be baptized in water.(Acts 2:38)


    To say water baptism is important, but not essential to salvation is like saying fuel for your automobile is important but not essential to operate your car.


  10. M. Stankovich says


    I hope you are still following along here, because amidst so much hoo-hah, I wanted to tell you that, I have betrayed my longstanding better judgment of reading literature described as having driven someone trusted to a state of ennui. But alas, I have completed Pan by Knut Hamsun. One other time in my life have I actually awoken feeling that I personally was actively engaged in tragedy – the first being Richard Wright’s Black Boy – and now Pan. I don’t know whether to label you a genius or a temptress, but I thank you.


    • ChristineFevronia says

      Dear Michael,

      I have just discovered your note here, as I have indeed dipped back into the hoo-hah. Watching the footage of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “political activists” (as NPR calls them) throwing Orthodox Christians and Catholics off of the rooftops of buildings, and cutting their livers out and drinking their blood–well, it sent me here to see what the buzz was from my online comrades. I am so glad you were open to reading that book, and I thank YOU. Me a genius? Temptress? No. I’m just a soul tangled in the notes of Gorecki’s Symphony 3, Opus 36, third movement. Nothing more, nothing less. Take care, and be well.


      • M. Stankovich says


        NO, NO, no… I am not going to embark upon a manic internet search for Gorecki’s Symphony 3, Opus 36, third movement. I’m not. I hope. I’ll try… Aye!


        • ChristineFevronia says

          Never would I want you to waste your time in such a thing. Here you go.



  11. cynthia curran says

    The facts speak for themselves. Russia supports the activities of Iran. Iran and Syria are close allies. Assad did keep peace by supporting moderate Muslims & Christians. However, Assad is also a mass murderer killing thousands of his own innocent citizens who opposed him; men, women & children. AND, it continues. Assad is no better than Hitler, Stalin, Saddam or Quadafi. If Russia were serious about supporting the Orthodox and other Christians in the Mideast, it would put a stop to Assad; Iran’s activities and radical Muslim activity. Russia will not.Russia is directly responsible for the mass murders of thousands of Syrians and therefore, the ROC. Easily Russia could have sided with the U.N. to stop Assad’s mass killing, but decided to veto any U.N. action. The unintended or planned consequences of Assad’s actions is the rise of more radical Muslim activity in Syria and the Mideast.
    Assad was like the emperor Commodious but worst, he was better with Christians but bad to his own people, not debating whether he should have been overthrown or not.

    • Assad wasn’t killing anyone (to speak of) until a rebellion arose. And why did this rebellion arise? Well, you can see what has happened in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa – – “Arab Spring”, copyright to the West. Assad was just peachy keen as far as we were concerned until this false “freedom” movement arose. Assad is doing one thing and one thing only – – remaining in power against attacks from fundamentalist Muslim groups. May God keep him in power and protect the Orthodox under his care and defeat the evil vermin who are attempting to overthrow him.

      Democracy is not on the table (thank God, you see how that’s turned out in Egypt where the “democrats” are murdering and kidnapping Christians, attempting to set nuns on fire, etc.). There are only two forces, neither of which are savory to Western sensibilities. Only one of these forces is fundamentalist Muslim and is persecuting Christians mercilessly. That tells me what I need to know. I mean, come on, who kidnapped the Orthodox and Syrian bishops? Should we support their kidnappers?

      As to Iran, Moscow has had long, long ties with Iran going back centuries. Many are not convinced that Iran is interested in pursuing nuclear weapons, only nuclear power (see about half of what Pat Buchanan has written over the last several years). Russia sells them materials to accomplish this. They do not seem concerned with Iran’s intentions in this regard and probably trust that if there is a genuine problem, or even an imagined one, that the US or Israel will strike. If it is a genuine problem, then it would thus be solved. If it is an imagined problem, well . . . Russia can sell them replacement equipment for whatever we destroy. No down side.

      If Russian intelligence really believed there was a threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, and sharing them with terrorists, they would not be enabling them. They have enough problems to their south.

  12. cynthia curran says

    I mean Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius.

  13. cynthia curran says

    John Chrysostom could be hard on people and pretty frank, he lived in an age where he saw people with several servants and large houses and other people blinding their children so they could be more effective to beg for food, and they even had a small welfare state if you lived in the big cities like Constantinople and Antioch;.

  14. Million Muslim March....yikes!! says
  15. New English Sermons and Talks says

    08.16.13. Orthodoxy as a Spiritual Discipline. Talk #10 Led by Metropolitan Jonah

    08.18.13. Feeding of 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Sermon by Priest John Johnson

    08.18.13. Feeding of 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Sermon by Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)

    08.19.13. Holy Transfiguration of the Lord. Sermon by Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)

  16. Trudge at SmartVote says

    The scarcity of intellectual capital among Conservatives is the problem we face in combat with the Left according to Donald Devine’s Path to Conservative Victory.

    This comes in an excellent interview with Devine by Matthew Sheffield.

    I see the afflictions of modern Orthodoxy and conservative-oriented Christianity as an exact parallel.

  17. Francis Frost says

    The Russain government is supporting the Assad regime for three reasons, none of which involves the faith.

    1. Assad is Russia’s very last allay in the Arab / Sunni Muslim world.
    2. The port of Tartus is the very last port that will allow the Russian navy access in the entire Mediterranean region.
    3. Additional routes for oil and natural gas export from the Middle East threaten to lower the price of oil. The Russian government is completely dependent on the current artificially elevated price of oil to support its budget. Indeed the 2008 invasion of Georgia was carried out to decapitate the democratically elected Georgian government and to install a puppet regime that would cut the flow of oil and natural gas from Azerbaidjan to turkey and Europe. On the evening of august 9, 2008 ITAR/TASS reported that President Saakashvili “had chosen suicide” and nam,ed his replacement. When the invasion forces were stopped at Holy Mtskheta this report was promptly withdrawn. The fact that they were stopped even after the Georgian military had collapsed is a miracle that will be revealed in time.

    The Putin regime uses its Orthodoxy as a fig leaf to cover its human right abuses and crimes against humanity. We can assess the Putin regime’s allegiance to the Gospel by its treatment of its Orthodox Christian neighbors. That record is abysmal and horrifying.

    Your web-blog describes the Putin regime as the “hope of persecuted Christians”.

    Perhaps, dear sir, you are unaware of the entirety of the Russian government’s behavior towards other Christians in the so called “near abroad”.

    The fact is that the Russian government has organized, funded and supported Islamic militias in the North Caucasus – militias that were then used to attack Orthodox Christians in the now occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazeti and Samechablo. These militias engaged in horrifying acts of unprecedented barbarity and especially targeted Orthodox clergy, churches and shrines. In July 1992, the Abkhaz militias tortured and then murdered Hieromonk Andrea Kurashvili and Subdeacon Giorgi Adua, the restorers of the Shrine of the Repose of St John Chrysostom in Komana. You may read the life and martyrdom of these modern day saints the mystagogy web-site: (BTW: The Holy Synod of the Gerogian Patriarchate opened the process of their canonization on December 25th last year.–-abbot-gavril/

    The Russian government never purged itself of its atheistic communist leaders; rather those leaders simply adopted an Orthodox identity to cover their continued crimes. They are indeed wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    After the 1992-93 invasion of Abkhazia, the Russian Orthodox Church created a schismatic “Abkhaz Orthodox Eparchy” on the ruins of the legitimate Orthodox Diocese of Tskhumi and all Abkhazia. The “leader” of this schismatic church is the de-frocked Archimandrite Vissarion Apliaa. Despite the obvious schismatic, un-canonical nature of this so-called “Eparchy”; the Moscow Patriarchate has ordained and assigned clergy to this diocese, and has funded its work. Recent;y the MP has renounced the Abkhaz clergy, not out of conscience; but because the Abkhaz clergy are in open revolt against their Russian masters: the Abkhaz want to serve in Apsua, not in Slavonic.

    Following the 2008 invasion of Georgia, this same Vissarion Apliaa led the forces that expelled the last legitimate Orthodox clergy from the newly occupied Gali and Kodori districts in eastern Abkhazia in April 2009. Vissarion Apliaa has been received into the ranks of the clergy by the Moscow Patriarchate, and Patriarch Kirill has personally con-celebrated with this renegade monk in violation of the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church. Reports of the persecution of the legitimate Georgian Orthodox church by the schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” and its sponsors may be read at the Forum 18 Religious Freedom web-site:

The Human Rights Watch Organization has posted updated reports on the on-going persecution of the Georgian Orthodox faithful in occupied Abkhazia

    In August 2008, the Russian bishops, Panteleimon of Kabardino-Adyghe and Feofan of Saratov (since transferred to Machkhala) accompanied the invasion forces and publicly “blessed” the weapons used to attack civilian populations. These “blessings” were televised first in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video with your own eyes as it is included in the “Orthodox Occupation” video on You Tube. These infernal “blessings” are also included in Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons) which debunks the Russian government’s propaganda campaign of justification for its invasion of Georgia. Mr.Nekrasov’s documentary is also available on You Tube in 12 segments, some with English sub-titles for those who do not understand the Russian language. Additional documentation of the truth behind the 2008 invasion can be read articles by Svante Cornell and Yulia Latyinina.

    On August 8, 2008, the missiles “blessed” by Bishop Feofan were used attack the ancient Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikazi. On August 9th, the Russian military and their Ossetian allies looted, desecrated and burned this ancient House of God. These weapons were used in bombing raids and missile attacks on civilian populations throughout Georgia, including areas well outside the so-called “zone of conflict”.

    The 2008 documentary “Orthodox Occupation” has been re-released and posted on You Tube at the following url:

    Portions of this documentary plus additional footage are now available with English voice over, titled “Orthodox Occupancy Part 1 and Part 2” at the following urls:

    A television documentary on the destruction of Ghvertaeba and the work of reconstruction carried out by Metropolitan Isaiah may be viewed at:

    By their own actions, the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate have violated the most ancient Apostolic Canons, and they have spurned the Lord’s commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. They have specifically violated the Apostolic Canons 11-16, and 30 -35. The prescribed penalty for any one of these crimes against the church is deposition and or excommunication, both for the offender and any who continue to commune with him!

    Through their infernal “blessing” of military weapons of mass destruction the Russian bishops have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, since through their actions they have invoked the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life in the cause of murder mayhem and destruction. Without profound repentance, this sin will not be forgiven; not in this world nor in the next.

    Francis Frost

  18. Here’s a general rebuttal of Frost’s line of thinking.

    It’s not worth going into again.

  19. Francis Frost says

    You might be interested to know that Chechens from Russia comprise one of the larger contingents of rebel combatants in Syria. It has even been reported that the kidnapped bishops were taken by the Chechens who hoped to use them as leverage against the Putin government.

    Since the 1990’s the Chechen militias first organized by the Russian military and used as proxy militias in the genocidal campaign against the Orthodox Christians in Abkhazeti and Samechablo, have morphed into Jihadist mercenaries fighting in many conflicts. For more information you might want to read the following article from the Jamestown foundation web-site:

    Beware the law of unintended consequences. Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.

    The problem is that our contemporary leaders have debased the coin of our faith, substituting a geopolitical ideology in place of faith in Jesus Christ. The tragedy of our times is that we have chosen to serve a master who is not Christ. Our people have forgotten God. 

    Look at what the Lord says: 

    “I, the Lord you God, am a jealous God … you shall have no other gods besides Me.” 

    “One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen”

    “Put not your trust in rulers, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation. His breath shall go out of him; and he shall return to his earth; on that very day all his thoughts shall perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord, his God.”

    While out modern day propagandists prattle on about a “resurgent Russia”,  Blessed Makaria of Temkino,  the last of the pillars of prayer over the Russian land, warned her spiritual children of an internal apostasy and renewed persecution of believers. Twice she warned Metropolitan Nikodim: “Russia will be turned to salt” – like Lot’s wife.

    Indeed this is what is happening before our eyes. Having fled the Sodom of militant, materialist atheism, the Russian nation and its leaders are turning backwards towards militarism, imperialism and criminality. They have replaced the Cross of Christ with the “power vertical”. And despite all the accumulated evidence, our Orthodox people here in the West can think of nothing better than to cheer them along as they drive off the cliff.

    Lord have mercy!

    If you can find it, you should read the life of Blessed Makaria, “Beloved Sufferer” by Gennadi Durasov. I don’t know if it is still in print. 

    Above all, please remember, there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ. Study the scriptures and the teachings of the Holy Fathers.

    “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not trust in the Holy One of Israel, nor seek God.”

    “ Woe to those who write evil things, for when they write such things, they turn aside judgment from the poor, and rob judgment from the needy of My people, that the widow may be their prey, and the orphan a spoil. What will they do in the day of visitation? For affliction will come to you from afar,and to whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your glory, so as to not fall into captivity? For all this, His anger is not turned away; but His hand is still uplifted.”

    “Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you…As you did it not to these the least of My brethren, so you did it not to Me.” 

    If you understand nothing else, understand this: It is Jesus Christ, Himself, who has appeared to us in the person of these afflicted people: the orphaned Dito Ramzadze, his murdered parents and unborn sibling, not to mention all the other victims of cruelty and violence, in occupied Georgia, Syria, Egypt and all over the world. It is Jesus Christ who was slain in the person of Father Fadi Nasr. (to learn more about the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Syria, you should look for Father Toma Bitar’s web-site: “Arab Orthodoxy” It is the most reliable source.) It is in serving the cause of these sufferers, that we serve the Lord. 

    “Let us serve the Lord with mercy like Mary at the supper, and not be choked with worldly ambitions like Judas” Orthros of Holy Friday

    “Go and learn what it means, ‘It is mercy, not sacrifice that wins favor with Me , says the Lord your God”

    Orthodoxy is not an ideology, it is the life of the Spirit.

    Pray for repentance. This is our only hope in these perilous times. Without out repentance we are lost and nothing else will succeed. 

    Francis Frost

  20. Francis Frost says

    The BBC today reports that a Syrian government attack with Sarin gas has killed around a thousand residents of Damascus suburb. Text and video on the BBC:

  21. Francis Frost says

    More from the London Telegraph:

    Syrian ‘poison gas attack’ would be worst use of nerve gas in 25 years
    The bodies of scores of children, apparently gassed in the night, lie motionless on the floor. Some appear to be dead, others have oxygen masks attached to tiny faces.

  22. Michael Bauman says

    Trudge: the young parishioner is exposed to what thousands of hours every year of official and peer delivered propaganda in our government schools plus the constant drum beat in the media. Even the best sermons would do little to counter that if the faith is not taught and lived at home. Sermons rarely change anyone’s mind. They reinforce and encourage and convict but the big lie will often win any way.

    How long do you hold a sermon in your mind, let alone in your heart?

  23. Trudge at SmartVote says


    I agree with you there – I do not remember sermons if they are of the usual pedestrian sort – but I do remember a number of very bad sermons, opinions, illogic or silliness expressed by priests that are not supported by the Scriptures and Fathers, and that happens too often. And they and the parish appear unaware there is anything wrong with it. The typical sermon is forgettable, generic, canned, safe and lacking punch. I am pleased and do remember it when I get a sliver of meat, and I probably overestimate its value because I never get a full steak, and am again dismayed when I become aware of the spiritually emaciated condition of my fellow parishioners, especially the young.

    It is not a matter of time but of quality. Christ spent a short time preaching relative to the time available of those that heard him, having had their minds filled with the teachings of the Pharisees, the news and the pagan philosophies. Yet in a short time the pagan thinking had its comeuppance as did the heresies of the Pharisees.

    One weakness of the modern Orthodox approach is restricting the sermon to the passage of the day, bypassing the exhortative/moral content of the Scriptures much of the time. This was not how the Christ nor the Apostles preached. Look at the sermons of St. John Chrysostom – he taught largely the entire New Testament linking it with the Old using an expository method and relating it to the conditions of his generation.

    Another limitation is limiting preaching to inside the Church building. This was not so in Christianity in its strength. Chrysostom had his processions to combat Arianism. He was constantly exposing his people’s moral weaknesses – not just Christians in their vices and disobedience to God but that of the entire city – and exhorting them to virtue. Even the pagans flocked to hear him because he dared to talk about these things in a compelling way.

    Your point is that the Sirens of the Evil One are allotted many more hours than the time for the sermon. All the more that the sermon should be purposed to refute these voices and the exhortations of the Scriptures preached for the parishioners to tear themselves away from these lying temptations and set about saving their souls and renewing their minds with good things.

    Again, if all is well in Orthodox sermon-land, why did the OCA issue the encyclical on preaching in the late ’80’s? I have pointed to this several times on this site but no one seems interested in reading it.

    We think the problem is out there. Those Protestants! Those leftists! Those judges! Those weak bishops! But the problem is us and our assumed Orthodoxy and our lack of virtue, and it is from virtue which our spiritual authority and power must derive.

    The Apostles were observers of life and outsiders to spiritual matters until the Son of Man, the Holy One, came and taught them and gave them light and life. Then they became participants and shapers of the age to come. They were opposed in this by the Pharisees, those that held spiritual authority by position, not by virtue. Now, modern Orthodoxy has reverted again to authority by position, not by virtue, and are again observers, not shapers of life.

    Like the Pharisees of old, we see our Orthodoxy as a matter of position, not as a matter of virtue. Saul became Paul when he gave up his priesthood of position to take up the priesthood demonstrated by virtue. We do not take Paul’s warnings in the Epistle to the Romans on the necessity of virtue as the substance of religion as applying to ourselves.

    We lack the spiritual violence of Christ and the Apostles and Fathers. We no longer understand the necessity of violence in attaining the Kingdom of Heaven for ourselves.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Trudge, the best sermons I have heard I can barely remember at all: they are the ones that lift me up out of this world, implant something in my heart to be nourished later. I remember one in particular that my Bp. Basil gave at a mid-week service about the humanity of Mary that left everybody in joyful tears. What he said exactly, I have no idea. It was unplanned and delivered entirely extemporaneously. All I remember is the transcendent beauty he communicated about this young mother. The travails she endured and the triumph she was given by God’s grace.

      I remember the occasional stinker too. Those seem indelibly implanted somehow. Perhaps because they roused me to a passionate NO.

      Our current assistant pastor has a penchant for long sermons as he is still learning the art. Yet, I have gained a great deal from him. Most recently as he talked about Peter’s faith/lack of faith in getting out of the boat. It touched my heart in a very personal, pragmatic way.

      I am blessed to have good priests who take things seriously and try to instruct in their homilies.

      Yet we must consider too, the artificially shortened attention span of many folks, particularly the younger ones. We are beginning to loose the art of listening.

      The Old Testament and much of the New existed as oral tradition before it was written down. What was spoken was valued and men were trained to speak in properly with sobriety and rhythm to make remembering easier .

      How much we loose when we rely on the written word, how much more when we rely on digital representations.