It’s Called “Failing Up”

There are several tell-tale signs which all decaying civilizations and organizations display. Blatant corruption and ineptitude are but two. Others include a lack of transparency and little or no accountability. These defects become obvious when we see bad actors from the past arise to the forefront of the organization in question.

And when these bad actors do arise to take over some high-level position, they do so in a blatant, “what me worry?” fashion. Invariably there is a priestly class of journalistic sycophants who play along and not ask any tough questions. The reason, of course, is because our kakistocracy is an inbred class of “elites” who literally know no other way. Call it a bubble, call it insularity or isolation. Call it incestuous if you must. But don’t call it viable or sustainable.

Whenever you see people like Bob Mueller and James Comey trade places at the FBI or Walter Mondale or Frank Lautenberg dragooned into running for the Senate again because there’s no other qualified replacement to step in at the last minute, you basically know that we are ruled by a mandarinate. Same thing in a church, especially if the church in question has globalist pretensions. The world exists for the mandarin class and its hangers-on (in this case the Corporate Media).

This can’t be stressed enough: mandarins exist for themselves. Thus they see and do things with their self-interest constantly in mind. That’s why you can have secret cabals in the FBI who act with impunity and see absolutely nothing wrong with trying to overthrow the duly-elected president of the United States.

When it becomes obvious to the majority that corruption has set in, then you know that whatever takes place on the surface is the mere re-arranging of deck chairs on the Titanic. The people in charge can’t –or won’t–see it though. The establishment of said institutions is too hidebound, too incestuous. A harsh word I know but there you have it.

I want to concentrate today on two spheres which display such endemic –and irreversible–corruption. In the secular sphere, we have seen that there was no punishment meted out to the State Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and our intelligence agencies for their corrupt and criminal maladministration and naked violation of the Constitution during the Obama Administration. Thanks to the ministrations of his Secretary of State, Libya, the freest and most prosperous nation in Africa has been utterly destroyed. As if that’s not bad enough, Africans are being sold as slaves in the open-air markets, usually, after they are castrated. When a fall guy was needed to deflect attention from the State Department and the National Security Advisor, some poor Egyptian schmuck who made a never-seen video was apprehended and thrown in jail for a year.

Of course, this insanity preceded Obama. Bush 43 was duped by the neocons into believing that the average Arab man-in-the-street wanted democracy and that all would be peachy-keen once Saddam was toppled from power. The influx of displaced Middle-Easterners under 43 and Africans under Obama is now overwhelming Europe, essentially destroying that once proud continent.

In Britain, Tony Blair lives is in luxury and is feted as an eminence grise. Still, he is a traitor and lives in abject fear for his life. This is because he listened to his masters in the banking elite and allowed his country to be overwhelmed by people who will never assimilate. Thanks to his Whiggish, egalitarian beliefs, London is now the murder capital of Europe. What’s that you say? Don’t they have strict gun control laws over there? Silly you! the new “English” are murdering each other with knives and machetes. I imagine that Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron will soon be joining Blair in his gilded cage.

Except for Scooter Libby, nobody has suffered any consequences for their actions. Nobody. In fact, quite the opposite: some have been promoted, others lionized. And like Blair, all have made out like bandits. If you or I did what Hillary Clinton did, we’d never see the light of day.

The above are all examples of what I mean when I say that we live in a society in which those who are scandalous, inept or incompetent, are not punished. Instead, they “fail up”.

Things aren’t any better in the religious sphere either. The Catholic Church has been morally compromised because of the pederasty scandal. Permanently, in my opinion. (And yes, it’s almost 100% man-on-boy sex.) They could possibly crawl out of this morass if they had another manly pope like John Paul II at the helm, but instead, they got this goofy, go-along-to-get-along type sitting on the Throne of Peter who could give Mr. Rogers a run for his money.

The Orthodox Church could easily fill this cultural void. (Us or Islam anyway.) Unfortunately, the present Patriarch of Constantinople has made sure that as far as his patriarchate is concerned, the Globalists have nothing to fear. His placement of the new archbishops of Great Britain and Australia for example, do not bode well for the future. That is if you’re looking for civilizational renewal. If you want to establish a nice, go-along/get-along church that accedes to the Zeitgeist in all things, then any of the eparchies run by Istanbul is the place you ought to be.

As for America, the placement of Elpidophorus Lambrianides as Archbishop of the GOA has caused some to question Patriarch bona fides regarding inter-Orthodox unity (to say the very least). To be sure, the new archbishop is very enthusiastic and has many other sterling qualities. Perhaps left to his own devices, he could shine as a beacon of Orthodox ministry. Unfortunately, his heterodox teachings regarding the office of the Patriarch of Constantinople places Orthodoxy on a collision path with schism. Regardless, the DNA of the Phanar makes it unlikely that it will be able to revitalize itself in any realistic way.

Simply put, the rot is too deep and widespread. The Phanariotes are just an ecclesial mandarinate, nothing more. They make themselves sound important by calling themselves “archimandrites/metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne”. This impresses low-level protocol flunkies at some foreign ministry but at the end of the day, it’s all show. Mike Pompeo will play along for as long as it takes to serve NATO’s interests but at the end of the day, “Constantinople” is a wasting asset. Once the green curtain is pulled back and it’s obvious that there isn’t really a “Constantinople” (and it is in no ways a “New Rome”), then the State Department will stop returning Bartholomew’s calls.

But I digress. One only needs to look at the photo that accompanies this essay. The Rev Fr Alex Karloutsos has now been promoted to “Archiepiscopal Vicar”, an exalted title that should probably be held only by a titular bishop. I won’t go into why Fr Alex received these new powers except to say that he knows where a lot of the bodies are buried. Significant in its own way but that is only part of the reason.

Instead, I would like to draw your attention to the St Nicholas Shrine, an example of the New Brutalist school of architecture. Its assassination of aesthetic norms is bad enough but the fact that it’s an eyesore that has cost tens of millions of dollars with no end in sight is more than enough reason hand Fr Alex a gold watch. In the business world, CEOs are fired for this type of incompetence.

Let us think of the unbelievable myopia involved here. So far, St Nicholas has cost over $40 million. And this doesn’t include the bankruptcy of the clergy pension fund. Or the missing 17 million dollars. How many missions could have been started with that money? All that matters to the ruling class of the GOA is where the next Archon/L100 conference going to be. Important things like, will there be adequate golf facilities?

See what I mean by no consequences? The Archon/L100s don’t care but why should they? The point man for St Nicholas is now “Archiepiscopal Vicar”. He has a more powerful position than ever before. In the business world, any CEO who presided over such a failure would have been unceremoniously shown the door. See how the game is played? As long as the rubes in the hinterland keep holding their annual Greekfests and the money keeps rolling into NYC, then it’s all good.

According to several sources, the new archbishop was late for his first liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral the day after his enthronement. The reason? Because he was leaned on to appear on John Catsimatides’ radio program “The Cat’s Roundtable”. In case you didn’t know, Catsimatides is a billionaire and popular cultural figure in New York City. He is also an Archon. I personally got nothing against the guy as I think we both lean to the right politically but c’mon, Lambrianides should have said, “John, you’ve got a great gig here. You know what? I got one too. Lemme get to church on time and then we’ll talk.”

That should tell you all you need to know as to the new pecking order. Lambrianides did as he was told. Catsimatides represents the establishment and the new archbishop bent the knee. Basically, Karloutsos is Lambrianides’ “handler”.

It is also an example of what I meant above when I wrote that some of the hallmarks of a moribund organization are that despite all the hoopla of dinners, fetes, and receptions, all the talk about “a new day” is really just window dressing. If things return to the way they are after all the dust settles –and it looks like they will–then you really haven’t solved anything.

And the reason you haven’t solved anything because you can’t. This is what I mean by “failing up”.


  1. Greatly Saddened says

    GM … what can I say, other than, so beautifully and accurately stated.
    I too was perhaps hopeful with the new Archbishop. But with this appointment, I too must admit I have little hope of any worthwhile change.
    I am truly saddened by all this. Sad to say, as long as the sycophants have control, nothing will change.
    Unfortunately the general laity is too apathetic to unite and demand change. So then, business as usual. Continue with the lavish luncheons and dinners honoring each other, stay at and have meetings at high end venues. Spend as if there isn’t a care or a worry in the world how these bills will be paid. Let us also not forget the costs involved for traveling. First or Business class! That’s fiscal management at its best!
    Oh yes, and allow the Ecumenical Patriarchate to do as it pleases and avoid the so called “charter.” Plus send one million dollars annually, so six hierarchs in a foreign far off land can continue to live in their accustomed way of life, where there is “no” religious freedom!
    It’s do as I say and Pay, Pray and Obey at its best!
    Unfortunately, when dealing with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the word “HUMILITY” is foreign and non existent!
    God help us and have mercy on us all!

  2. GM & GS,
    God help us and have mercy on us all indeed. George’s well thought out and written essay, strengthens my belief that our leaders, either religious or secular though they proclaim they believe in God, hardly show it in their actions. This of course goes for all of us. 
    It seems we have more faith in His Mercy, than believe God even exists, as our Church has taught. As Mr. Stankovich states from The Book, one mustard seed of faith, to do great things, nearly all lack. Imagine how we would truly live our lives if we truly believed in God existence and that He sees and watches all, even knows every hair on our head.

    Now imagine the great test, God puts on our spiritual fathers, and leaders, even leaders of governments of little faith, less than ours, if that is measurable. We stand here and criticize these leaders because they are to be held to a higher standard, but in realty I believe they should held at an even lower one. Why? Because they are no different than us in faith or belief in spirit, yet they are thrown everything this world of Satan has to throw at them. Why do we believe we could or would behave any different than they do, should, or would. Lip service cost us nothing behind our keyboards, yet we speak as if saints.
    Please don’t read my comments as finger waving, or holier than thou type post. I struggle with my faith on a daily basis, and most of my posts are really thrown out to see if others feel as I do, or am I the same as most wretched of souls. Wretched among men and women who know better than I do in the struggle, we call our path to salvation.

    I believe we should get on our knees and pray for our leaders, and thank God in the Highest, we are not in their shoes.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      How, exactly, do we pray for these leaders, Dino? I’m not trying to be my usual snarky self, I honestly want to know. Do we pray that they will one day “wake up” and see that everything they’ve devoted themselves to and everything they want to accomplish in the future is frankly evil? Because there are seemingly points in history where individuals have gone so far south that only judgment awaits them. In other words, if Elijah prayed for the Prophets of Baal there is no evidence of it. He killed them.

      The only prayers I can muster is for God to protect His Church and I pray this with every fiber of my being. Lord have mercy.

      • I’m with you, Gail. One of my daily prayers is very similar to yours.  Ocassionally, I add more detail and ask God to protect His holy Church from the heresiarch Bartholomew and his minions.

        • Gail George. Et all.   We are sat here in Park having dinner in a beautiful cooling evening. Having just venerated the relics of St Ivan Rilsky in Cathedral that have been brought to city from Rila monastery.  
          I  read George’s  posting as did the others and we all agree totally with it. 
          The photo says it all. I leave out karloutsos wife and the geezer in the snappy pins as they say out East in London (uk! ?)  but as for K and L. If ever i become atheist i will show that photo.  It’s people like Bishop Anthony Bloom, fr Alexander Men and mother Maria of Paris, fr Paval Ansimov etc .. Oh. AND CHRIST, who so far keep me in… And my wife!! 
          And fr STAVROS, the priest in Tampa Bay who at this moment is running diocese summer youth camp in Virginia, and has with no assistant. 1000 plus Tampa Bay Parish.and does the daily very good prayer Team blogg. Yes he and I differ on some things…   Organs, is clean shaven( but far more honest than a day’s  stubble!!) and seems not to know any Orthodox experience out of greek archdiocese, or anything re Russia etc.  BUT he is a decent hard working, devoted priest who has been expanding his Parish in 20 yrs and worked hard to engage young.  It is clergy such as Fr STAVROS who are abused and let down by these.. These. ..  SCUM. God help me.

          Re Loulias in Uk. I’m sure he will do well with the Bayswater  shipping St Sophia set, who attend Church as a cultural  duty now and again. But wait til he visits the natives in the parishes!!!  

      • Gail dear sister.
        Have you heard the one about  Saul of Tarsus becoming Paul the Apostle? Would it have been better someone had killed Saul before he assisted in killing Stephen, and other disciples?

        How do we pray, for such? Actually your last sentence to me is your answer.

  3. Gail Sheppard says

    The GOA has crossed the Rubicon and now it’s plain for all to see. The “gray eminence of the Archdiocese of Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. “The Machiavel who functions as a sort of papal legate within the GOA. In reality, he is the man who really runs the show.

    If, in fact, “. . . Karloutsos controlled the majority of the funds that come from the United States to Constantinople and thus controlled the hierarchy,” this move shouldn’t have come as a surprise.  (Remember when we were talking about this in conjunction with Crete?  See Crete and the Globalist Agenda 07/04/16.)

  4. DayofReckoning says

    George is right! The corruption has become institutionalized and widespread in the GOA. Signs are all around us. It has become so bad that GOA Presbytera Marilisse (Mari Iakovou Mars) wife of GOA priest Fr. Christos P. Mars openly celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month while adorning her Profile picture with the LGBTQ rainbow colors. And not one priest or bishop or metropolitan in the Greek Church is scandalized… Silence gives assent.

    Mari Iakovou Mars (Presbytera Marilisse) – Pride Month June 2019

    “Breaking my hiatus just long enough to say HAPPY PRIDE!!!!!!!!

    To my LGBT+ friends, it takes a remarkable amount of courage and strength to move through the world every day saddled with the struggle you endure – the fight for your rights, the objectifying “discourse” (especially in religious circles), the threats of physical violence, the shaming, the isolation, the shunning, the hiding, the forced silence, the forced celibacy, the lack of control over your bodies and your lives, the lack of choices…

    I admire you. Deeply. I honor your courage and strength. I respect your autonomy. I hope with you. I fight with you. I listen with no judgment. And I love you – with no conditions or expectations, no gate-keeping, no requirements to pass. Just love.

    I wish you a Happy Pride filled with peace, tranquility, joy, and love.” — Mari Iakovou Mars (wife of Fr. Christos P. Mars) on her FB wall.

    • DayofReckoning
      Well congrats! I’m sure you will be rewarded for defending our church against such heathens. You must know this women’s heart well  to publicly scandalize her. A priest’s wife for some reason is in your sights. You could not find any other examples of corruption in the GOA?  I smell something personal here. 

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Well, Dino, she kind of scandalized herself by putting on this on her Facebook page. We can’t blame DayofReckoning for reacting to it.

        • I’m curious what about her post was so scandalous. I see nowhere that she contradicted Church teaching. I’m actually familiar with some of her work, and she’s never spoken against Church teachings in anything I’ve seen. But she has a lot to say about dialogue being respectful and compassionate and treating lgbt people as human beings with love and non judgment and empathy (those are words she uses a lot). I think she also talks a lot about how lgbt people need to be talked TO in conversations, not talked ABOUT (that’s what I think she’s referring to as objectifying). Anyway, I think what she said was nice, that she sees their struggle and pain and loves them. How is that scandalous or unOrthodox again? 

          • Fr Christopher says

            ….how can you say her post is orthodox? It’s blatantly celebrating sodom, for which God rained down brimstone. There are priests disgusted.  Jesus told people if your hand offends you cut it off. That is in dire contrast to that melodrama and virtue signalling.  So I suppose Jesus was not compassionate? A true orthodox teaching empathetically tells the patient you are cancerous, and you have medicine of repentance and energy  of God to heal your nature. Condoning sin, which she does as I have talked her,  is telling a cancer patient, no its not cancer. CELEBRATE  your cancer it’s Gods design. And by the way there are other just as bad spiritual cancers which we struggle with.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            It was scandalous because a woman, married to a priest in our Church, either knows next to nothing about the Orthodox Faith or has chosen to speak against it. That she is “nice” is immaterial. A lot of people are “nice.” But a Presbytera, at the very minimum, should be able and willing to support the Chruch.

            It is NOT Church teaching:

            1) To define people by their struggle. One person’s struggle does not take more or less courage and strength than another’s.

            2) To be concerned with a person’s rights. We are taught to respect our civil authorities in all things, regardless of whether or not our “rights” are impinged upon.

            3) To be concerned with objectifying “discourse.” We are taught that like Christ, we will be humiliated, spit upon and called all manner of things. There are people in other parts of the world who are dying for the Faith. The words of this matushka should be reserved for them. Not people who choose to live a non-Christian lifestyle and flaunt it in a parade.

            4) To argue against celibacy when it concerns sex outside of marriage.

            5) To say that people should have complete control of their bodies. The Church teaches us that God created us man and woman and we are to honor that.

            6) To indicate we should have choices over the way we live. To be a Christian, there is but one choice: to accept and struggle toward leading a Christian lifestyle.

            7) To suggest one should have autonomy. We are taught when we enter the Church, we lose our autonomy to become part of the Body of Christ. Because our sin negatively impacts our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are expected to live our lives in a way that honors and serves others, not ourselves.

            8) To say there are no conditions, expectations or requirements. To live a sacramental life in the Church, there are many of both.

            • I appreciate your reply. Thank you for that. Please allow me to respond. 
              1. She hasn’t defined anyone. It is straight people who put LGBT people in boxes. Something I’ve learned from my own experience, is that LGBT people more often than not prefer NOT to be labeled but end up self identifying because straight people force them to do so out of our own discomfort with not knowing “what they are.” 
              2. The statement from the Council of Crete in 2016, in keeping with countless statements from many jurisdictions over and over states clearly that we SHOULD be concerned with human rights and civil rights. Need I remind everyone of the time magazine photo of +Iakovos and MLK jr that everyone loves to trot out on MLK jr day? Of course we are supposed to be concerned with rights. The problem is, we are supposed to be concerned with ALL rights, not just the ones we like. She seems to be faithful to that principle.
              3. I’m wondering if you are aware of the numbers of LGBT people dying in the Church by suicide because of the Church’s attitudes, inflicted in the persons of the clergy and some laypeople, and in the Orthosphere. Judging by some of her other work, I would guess that her post was at least partly geared toward people who suffer in that way. You don’t have to go to other parts of the world to find people like that. They are here. They suffer here every day. They are spit upon in our parishes. They are kicked out (even when they are celibate, lest you think otherwise), they are publicly humiliated, scorned, derided, denounced, degraded, denigrated, and treated in otherwise terrible ways. And I don’t believe she’s made any mention of parades. Oh, but speaking of that, are you aware of the history of Pride? You realize that Pride started as a massacre? The stonewall riot wherein a number of gay people were murdered for being gay? 
              4. I didn’t see her arguing against celibacy. Is or is not celibacy compelled by the church for LGBT people should they wish to be in communion with the Church? Her post simply recognized that directly and said, “I see that, I see you, I see your struggle.” Maybe I missed what’s wrong with that. If the Church thinks it’s bad to call that out directly and recognize how much LGBT people struggle with that and offer them compassion, then maybe the Church SHOULD think about changing it? 
              5. Did I miss something? What kind of warped thinking is this??? Since when is it okay to not have control over our own bodies? We’re supposed to have control over our bodies so that we can offer them to God!!!! If we don’t have control, then we can’t freely offer them!! The Church is supposed to GUIDE us in what to do with our bodies, not compel or coerce us. Forcing and coercing are not okay. People should be free to choose so that they may freely give their bodies in sacrifice to God. 
              6. Acceptance should be a choice. Struggle should be a choice. If they are not, then this is not free will and it is not love and not what Christ wants from us. It is slavery. See above. 
              7. This is a complete misunderstanding of Orthodox anthropology. We do not lose our autonomy or our individuality. We are not robots. And we are responsible for our own choices. You are just picking her apart with semantics for the sake of picking her apart to defend yourself. 
              8. Re: conditions, expectations, requirements: Presvytera Mari (she does have a name, you know- you all keep calling her “the Presvytera,” and then try to argue that you aren’t objectifying her. Ha!) is not a priest. She is not responsible for holding anyone to anything sacramentally. I took her meaning to be that SHE loves her LGBT brothers and sisters without expectations, conditions, or requirements. What does that have to do with the sacraments? If you love someone conditionally, that’s not love. I hope and pray that you love your spouse/children/friends without condition for their sakes and for hours. I can’t imagine how painful it would be for them and for you to be loved with conditions. 
              You know, the more I engage this discussion, the more I want to hang out with her and pick her brain. Maybe you should, too, instead of just judging her based on this one post taken out of context (I feel like I keep repeating myself somehow). 

              • Gail Sheppard says


                1) She used derivatives of the words courageous and strong to define those who participate in Pride parades. That is defining them.

                2) Because 2/3s of the Church didn’t attend Crete, nothing that came out of it has any validity.

                3) Please enlighten me with respect to the number of LGBT people dying in the Church by suicide because of the Church’s attitudes. Please state your sources.

                4) It was the Presbytera who spoke about “forced celibacy.” Given the context, I assumed she was talking about having to abstain from sex because same-sex partners are unable to marry in the Church. This forces them to either remain celibate or have sex outside of marriage.

                5) It was the Presbytera who suggested the Pride people didn’t have control over their own bodies. I think what she was talking about is the frustration they have with not being able to determine their gender. Or maybe she was just mirroring Castros frustration that transgender women don’t have the right to abortion! (So stupid!) Regardless of what she meant, God made man male and female and we do not have control over that.

                6) You can choose whether or not to enter the Church, but if you choose to enter, acceptance and struggle are givens, not choices. One must accept the teachings and one must struggle to live a sacramental life within them. This is what we signed up for.

                7) No one said we were robots. What I said was that when we enter the Church, we become part of the Body of Christ and with that, comes responsibility, because our sins impact the entire Body. We obviously have a personal responsibility not to sin and to confess our sins when we do. I would suggest you contact your priest so he can further elaborate. Or get my contact information from George and I’ll try to send you some information. I am not using semantics, though. The impact of sin on the Body of Christ is so significant that we even have processes in place to remove it before a person can come into the Church. The prayers of exorcism on baptism are an example.

                8) I’m aware the Presbytera has a name but why cause her further embarrassment by mentioning her name in my comments? A Presbyter’s role is not an insignificant one. (Not suggesting you said it was, BTW.) It, too, comes with responsibilities. You can’t support efforts in the secular world that undermine the teachings of the Chruch when you’re a priest’s wife. That’s where all the controversy is coming from. If she were just another layperson, people wouldn’t be commenting.

                We are supposed to judge people in the Church, Steven. If I didn’t judge, I wouldn’t be able to tell you the truth and then where would you be? (Yes, it matters to me where you are with respect to the Church.) 1 Corinthians 5:12

                • Gail:”If I didn’t judge, I wouldn’t be able to tell you the truth and then where would you be?” Oh, Gail, this should be your banner!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Not only did nothing come out of Crete, but it’s an absolute nullity. It doesn’t even comport with Bartholomew’s declarations regarding Ukraine. You know, Crete stated that all autocephalous churches were equal. Ukraine’s devotees in the Phanar state that some autocephalous churches are more equal than others. The exact wording is that the validity of all post-Conciliar churches is “conditional”.

                  And I for one will never use the word “pride” except in the Homeric or Aristoteleian sense, that is as a virtue, not as a catch-all for “gay pride”. That’s how we lost the debate way back when, when we used the words “gay marriage” when we should have stuck with “civil unions”.

                  To paraphrase Abe Lincoln, just because you call a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

            • Thank you Gail for your response! I was pondering a response myself, but you articulated my sentiments to the tee and then some.
              I feel better now… couldn’t let that one slide.

        • George Michalopulos says


          There are many reasons why I dropped my Fakebook account but one of them was that I’m not in the grips of Kardashian syndrome. But even if I wasn’t an attention whore and simply put something out that may be politically charged, I would only do so after careful consideration and be proud of it.

          On the other hand, the priest’s wife in question wanted the easy way out: put something out there that was outre and hence, “courageous”. And be the darling of the local coffee klatsch circuit/local glitterati. However when somebody told her that it didn’t comport with Orthodoxy (or more likely that it threatened her hubby’s job), then she hurriedly took it down.

          Why? She should have stuck to her guns. Yet she didn’t. That should tell you all you need to know. Anyway, it’s getting harder and harder to get your average Joe Blow GOA volunteer to show up and provide free labor for the annual Greek festival. Don’t want to give any malingerers out there another excuse to not show up.

          To all: if some darn fool puts something out there on social media that is scandalous and it’s sent to me, I’m gonna publish it. And don’t give me any gruff about “going to your brother first”. When Jesus uttered those words, there was no electronic media available to capture a brother’s sentiments in digital form. It was necessary to go to the source because there was no independent corroboration.

          It’s one thing to publish a story for which there is no corroborating evidence; say “Bob, I heard that you voted for Gus Hall in 1980”. That would require you to go to the source (i.e. Bob and ask him directly). If on the other hand an Orthodox Christian marches in a gay pride parade in in the NAMBLA contingent while holding the hand of a little boy, and there’s a photograph or video of it, well, that would be the corroborating evidence, thus obviating the need to go to Bob and ask him what the hell was he thinking. And if you’re going to be a complete dumbass and put it on your personal social media page so you can show the whole world what an idiot you are, then that’s on you.

          Mind you, you still should go to your brother but don’t expect him to accept any reproof.

          • And yet, her post is still there and still public. If she is aware of the dribbling gossip on this page, she clearly isn’t afraid of it. So I’m not sure why you are trying to say she took it down. And by the way, I’m actually friends with her on FB (which neither you nor Gail, who originally posted the comment under a pseudonym, how brave of you Gail…) and she’s only posted a few times in the last year (the hiatus she referred to). The other couple of posts were about birthdays in her family, not even about her. She doesn’t appear to me to be one for the spotlight. So again I say, have you actually bothered to talk to her before you gossip about her, or do you prefer to just judge her instead? 

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I never post under a pseudonym, Steven. I simply reacted to what was posted here and I did so under my own name.

              • Ohhhhh so you didn’t swipe her post off of Facebook and post it as DayofReckoning even though George said you did? Just askin. 

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Yeah, I so didn’t. Even my worst detractors will tell you I always post under my own name. Stick around. You’ll get to know me.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Stephen, Gail is one of the few people I know who has always insisted on using her real name.  Even when in the past I have asked her not to.

          • You know, I just reread your comment. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you just called a Presvytera of our Church an attention WHORE. Really, George? That’s a new low, even for you. 

            • George Michalopulos says

              Actually, I didn’t. I called the Kardashians and people like them who feel they have to post every diet coke they drink on social media “attention whores”. And when they do so to pat themselves on the back for a “courageous stand” it’s grating to me.

              Seriously? Courageous? Just try wearing a MAGA hat in Portland. Or telling the San Francisco City Council that they should close down gay bathhouses. That would be “courageous” in this day and age.

              Folks, we’ve totally lost the culture. I believe it was Glenn Greenwald (himself a homosexual) who said that right now, the only job for SJWs is to shoot the wounded.

              • Oh, okay. Then I guess “darn fool,” “complete dumbass,” and “idiot” will have to suffice for your descriptions of this Presvytera who never did a thing to you (or maybe she did and you haven’t told us that this is a personal vendetta for you and Gail?). 
                And what she posted, expressing love and compassion toward people who suffer and struggle, is hardly the same as walking in a pedophilia parade with a picture of a child (which, by the way, is a DISGUSTING and disingenuous myth of which there is NO evidence linking pedophilia to homosexuality and you know it). 
                If you know anything about journalism, then you know that one of the first rules is that you don’t take things out of context, which this post clearly is. And the second rule is that you reach out to the person you’ve accused for a comment, which you’ve admitted that you haven’t.
                And if I’m understanding you correctly, then by saying, “don’t give me any of this reach out to bob stuff…” you’re also saying that your “journalism,” which I think we just established in the last paragraph isn’t going too well for you, is apparently more important to you than your faith. Or at least it’s more important to you than actually LIVING your faith and living by Christ’s commandment to go to your sister (bc I imagine you tell yourself that you’re somehow defending your faith, as if the Church needs any of us to defend Her). Am I understanding you correctly? 

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I agree. All we have are her words. Just that. And you have our responses. Just that. And yet you have ascribed all sorts of messages to both POVs that are simply not there.

                  For example, I have never called this woman names and she HAS wronged me and her other brothers and sisters in Christ by going on a public forum and expounding sentiments that fly in the face of what the Church teaches.

                  And NO ONE criticized her for being unloving or incompassionate.

                  “But other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

                  • I’m sorry, my comment was directed at George. He used all of those words. 
                    But since you mention it…
                    The reason the only thing you have are those words is, again, because you haven’t actually talked to her, have you? You’ve taken that post and read all kinds of implications and assumptions into it. 

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I don’t have to talk with her. She writes well. She is clear about her sentiments. I may, however, contact her husband.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Why should Gail (or anybody) have to respond to the person in question when their words and photos are plain to see?

                      However, I could see your point and perhaps we are wrong to not confront the lady in question. Having said that, if you saw a photo of an Orthodox Christian at an alt-right parade, would you contact him to get his perspective? Or would you –like most liberals in Orthodoxy–immediately go after him and call him Hitler?

                      Just askin’.

                    • I’m not interested in going after people on the internet the way y’all do. I haven’t ever commented on your blog before, though I read it occasionally, because I’m not one that cares to jump into the fray. I happened to catch this thread and jumped into the fray because it’s about someone I am familiar with and respect and felt that you unrighteously attacked without good reason. So no, I wouldn’t be posting the picture and calling them Hitler. That’s just not my style. Nor do I identify as a liberal. Again, lots of assumptions when you know literally nothing about me. I’m noticing a pattern here… 

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Oh, but Steven, you DO go after people! You bash the people who disagree with you and when we don’t bend to your will, you resort to spreading untruths like you just did about me. I told you I did not write that post of DayofReckonning. George told you I didn’t write it, but you won’t let it go and unfortunately, I suspect HE is going to let YOU go because he doesn’t like his platform being used for libel.

                      So, Steven, consider what I told you about the teachings of the Church. Everything I said to you was true.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I don’t believe I directed those words to her but to those who make spectacles of themselves.  If I did direct those words to her then I was wrong and would ask for forgiveness.

                • Antiochene Son says

                  Steven, the gay pride movement is demonic. If presbytera doesn’t see that, she is a fool, or maybe just simple. But given her education, I doubt it. She knows what she is doing and doesn’t care.
                  There is no space for “being nice” to a demonic ideology that is sending people to hell. But I guess even some Orthodox are happy to wield Satan’s pitchfork and push those unhappy souls into the fire, if only to get likes on social media. 

                  • Please see my comment above to Gail where I mention the history of the Pride movement. Have you ever been to any of the Pride events? The parades are ornate and flashy, but a lot of the other events are somber and solemn, because they are rooted in deep pain, trauma, and loss. There are tears and prayers and mourning. 
                    So we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that one. ?
                    (Sorry, couldn’t help but poke a little good natured fun with the emoji)

                    • Antiochene Son says

                      No, I’ve never been to one. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” 
                      Do they hold vigil for those dead of AIDS before or after the piss pools? Are assless chaps mandatory? 

                    • TheFutureOfTheChurch says

                      Orthodox Christians should not attend Gay Pride events. I’m sure many have seen photos of the parades, etc. They always look like debaucherous, pagan, orgies. Why would any serious Christian support such things by being in attendance?

                    • Michelle says

                      It seems that you do not understand the concern some of us have with the Pride movement.  
                      I see no reason why I, or anyone else, should support homosexuality.  It is not a fixed, inborn trait.  Others’ opinions about homosexuality do not cause homosexuals to become suicidal or depressed.  Gay sexual activity is incredibly risky and gay men are especially promiscuous.  Gay “marriage” with children *always* deprives the child of one or both of its parents, and surrogacy is more abominable than prostitution.  It is an absurd religious belief that a brain can have a gender while a penis does not, that people can be born in the wrong body, and that synthetic hormones of the opposite sex and genital mutilation can make a man more authentically himself.  Worse yet, the LGBT lobby permanently sterilizes children as young as 9 years old with hormone blockers, preventing pubertal body and brain development.
                      I do not know much about the historical relationship between homosexuality/pederasty, except how it developed in ancient Greece and in the modern Catholic Church.  It’s easy to find NAMBLA vying for their place in the “everything sexual is permitted” movement from the 1970s to this very day.  The same people who tell me that “transwomen are women” also tell me that there is no link between pedophilia and homosexuality.  Frankly, I don’t believe it.
                      I hope that I have more experience with the LGBT+ movement than anyone here.  Without going into any details, I fully repent of my sins, and my very young, innocent daughter and I will be suffering the consequences of my past mistakes for a very long time.
                      I pray for compassionate understanding.
                      I pray that homosexual behavior be discouraged from now on by every man and woman who reads my words.
                      I pray that all homosexuals know that there is a better way of life.
                      Mostly, I pray fervently for the children.

                    • Dear Steven:
                      Orthodoxy as found in the Tradition and writings of the Holy Fathers has the most beautiful and uplifting view of the human person as God created and loves us.  This holistic and holy understanding also happens to fit beautifully with the medical model and the one I was taught in a RC medical school.  Just as I would grieve and mourn for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol and would not celebrate with them in a parade or activity glorifying (misrepresenting) the addiction and its terrible effects on them, I simply grieve and pray for those so misled by the present culture.  The same goes for abortion which is also now lauded and celebrated rather than mourned as we do for the Holy Innocents. In my my office I have seen the effects of abortion and active homosexuality and the damaging effects on soul and psyche are grievous.  There is no more beautiful understanding of the human person and family than in our Tradition, however many Orthodox in the US are apparently unaware of/dismissive of the writings of the Holy Fathers interpreting the vision of God for us and His most fervent desire for us to live and move and have our being, male and female, in Him, as He hoped from the beginning due to His ineffable love.  Once anyone becomes acquainted with His vision, the deception and lies of the secular culture are shown to be as ugly and damaging as they truly are. Panagia is the prototype for females just as Christ the Son as man is the prototype for males.  No more beautiful and full of love examples exist on the planet in any religion or philosophy. I grieve for the women and men whose good intentions and love have been subverted by the evil one into such demeaning and damning directions.  And I have seen the beauty of those who struggle against their passions just as a heroin or meth addict must struggle against his or her addiction and are helped by God and supportive Christians with compassion and wisdom. We can see physically the damage to the heroin or meth addiction.  If only the soul and psyche damage were as easy to see by secular man!  All I pray is that the Orthodox person especially will find Christ through reading the Holy Fathers under the direction of a loving and wise spiritual father.  And come home to the realization of what is life and what is death temporally as well as eternally.  May God open all eyes to His beauty and love and His help as well as Panagia’s in the struggle to recognize and throw off our painful shackles and live in Him.  Healing is always ours for the asking but we must first recognize the illness.  The Presbytera, Sister Vassa and others do not seem to recognize the illness which the Holy Fathers and Tradition have always seen clearly.  I pray that their loving intentions will be transformed through the wisdom of the Holy Fathers into true expressions of love and healing, so they are agents of healing and support for strugglers and not the unwitting cause of greater confusion and pain, which truly lead to despair in the addicted. May St. John of San Francisco help us all.

                    • Steven J. M. says

                      Steven, we have the same name and post under the same name. So as to distinguish myself from you from hereon, I’ll now post under Steven J. M.

              • george. , yes the kardashians, (not to mention Ivanka trump) would turn a  photo of a dying child in to a publicity and financial opportunity if it came  their way.
                Because they are the Bubble living dechristianised  elite. OH  sure Kardashians  will prostitute their Armenian name even for photo ops. I am sure to be seen attending the regular Sunday Paratag ( Liturgy) in Armenian Church.

          • M. Stankovich says

            As I have attempted to point out recently, there is a profound commitment in following the instruction of the Lord – “If your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother.” (Matt. 18:15) It inherently presupposes the intention of correction and reconciliation, that by “speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” (Eph. 4:15) And St. Paul emphasizes the “we” in this dynamic [αὐξήσωμεν – “we should grow up/increase/become greater”], as we are not saved alone. I would also point out that the words of the Lord, “Go and tell him his fault between you and him alone,” seem to be interpreted as a suggestion, rather than a command (cf. Matt. 18:15, “ὕπαγε [go] ἔλεγξον [bring to the light/reprove/discipline] αὐτὸν [him]” and Matt. 4:10, “τότε [then] λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς [Jesus said to him]: Ὕπαγε [go/depart], Σατανᾶ [Satan!]”). In my estimation, obeying this instruction of the Lord takes courage.

            Consider further the inherent danger of “bringing to the light” the sins of another. As I have emphasized in regard to the thoughts of St. John Climacus,

            “I have heard people condemning, and I have rebuked them. And these doers of evil replied in self-defence that they were doing so “out of love and care” for the person whom they were condemning. I said to them: ‘Stop that kind of love, otherwise you will be condemning as a liar Him who said: “Him who secretly speaks/babbles [καταλαλοῦντα] against his neighbour, him I have driven away from me. (Ps. 100:5, LXX) ”If you say you love, then pray secretly, and do not mock the man. For this is the kind of love that is acceptable to the Lord. But I will not hide this from you (and of course think about it, and do not judge the offender): Judas was in the company of Christ’s disciples, and the Robber was in the company of murderers. And what a reversal when the crisis came!’ Ladder of Divine Ascent, 10,4

            And add the desert Father Dorotheus of Gaza:

            “The mind begins to ignore its [own] sins and notices the sins of a neighbor. And from this, then comes condemnation, slander, demeaning, and finally, we fall into the very thing that we condemn. Because from the fact that a person does not care about his sins and does not ‘mourn,’ as the fathers said, his ‘dead person’, he cannot succeed in anything good, and he always pays attention to the affairs of his neighbor. And nothing so angers God, nothing exposes a person as slander, or condemnation, or humiliation of his neighbor.” [emphasis mine]

            Finally, I would offer a very recent study of internet trolls and anonymous bullies:

            “Times have changed. In the digital age, there is a vast, invisible stage for bullying. Cyberbullying has reached epidemic proportions. Nearly half of all Internet users report being the target of some type of online mistreatment. The anonymous theater of the Internet guarantees that the Internet troll will see no signs of the terror he inflicts. [emphasis mine]

            “The science of empathy reveals that nonverbal communications play a dominant role in signaling distress, pain, sadness, and other negative emotions. These signals are mapped onto the brains of observers through mirror mechanisms for pain, touch, and emotions. For example, simply observing someone get a hand slammed in a car door makes us flinch, even though nothing has touched us.

            The seven keys to empathy are eye contact; facial expressions; postures; tone of voice; naming the emotions of others; appreciating others as whole people who have a past, present, and future; and our physiologic responses to others. Our heartbeats and physiologic responses, as measured by the galvanic skin response, all vary in response to what other people are feeling, and we can learn to become attuned to these signals, naming the emotions of others. [emphasis mine]
            “In face-to-face communication, shared experiences enhance our understanding of others. These important cues vanish when we converse through digital devices. Without actually being with others, interactions lack emotional context and richness, and our empathic capacity becomes blunted… When attacks are hurled online, seeing the consequences of attack is not activated in the attacker’s brain. Studies show that trolls do not tend to view their victims as real people. They dehumanize others, which means the person on the other end of the attack is considered to be an object and less like a feeling person. Even though their harassment can ruin lives and even drive their targets to suicide, Internet bullies do not seem to care. Bullying tends to confer an immediate sense of power to the powerless.” [emphasis mine]

            “Our society cannot afford to sit in judgment without seeking solutions for unintended consequences of the digital age. The Internet has made it very easy for bullies to attack and hide. At our own peril, do we fail to identify the marginalized, isolated, and forgotten members of our digital and actual communities and find solutions to help them? We all benefit from an increased dose of empathy. The Psychology of Internet Trolls and the Empathy Deficit, Helen Riess, MD (On Medscape, 12.13.2018)
            It seems to me that if one intends to bring the sins and errors of another “to the light” publicly, it not be done in a cowardly, anonymous manner, but rather in the spirit of love, with the express purpose of turning someone away from their error, and to repent. The idea of “hanging someone out to dry,” is the loss of the ability to see one’s own shortcomings, we will be judged accordingly, and it truly is a repulsive idea to people of faith and good will. I would also suggest that, rather than impede anyone from following the instruction of the Lord, “Go and tell him his fault between you and him alone,” the internet and email enhances the ability to do so.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              The Presbytera brought her own words to light on a public forum. If she didn’t want anyone discussing them, she chose the wrong venue.

              George allows anonymous posters. If you don’t like it, take it up with him. Don’t call someone a “coward” for following his rules.

              BTW, Michael, how often are YOU not guilty of “bringing the sins and errors of another to light?” Would you say more than not? Go back and read your posts! Every time you launch a vicious attack, even on our poor anonymous poster here, you weaken your witness to the Saints and the other edifying material you post which is a shame because I don’t believe that is your intent. “Physician, heal thyself.”

              • M. Stankovich says

                If I have not quoted the Holy Scripture or the Holy Fathers correctly; or if what I have said above is contrary to the dogmatic theology of the Orthodox Church; or is uncharitable or a “vicious attack,”; or if I have misrepresented research published by a reputable writer and offered on a reputable medical source, I invite you to correct me as to substance. Otherwise, I ignore the remainder of your “scoldings.”

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I can’t because when you quote Holy Scripture or the Holy Fathers, you are perfectly on point. It’s just that I think more people would read what you write if you weren’t so caustic in other posts. Making an observation. Not scolding.

              • Centurion says

                Gail you are right. Stankovich has done much worse. Here’s what Fr. Johannes Jacobse wrote to him when Stankovich reveal private information not disclosed anywhere online. He did it and kept doing it:

                Fr. Johannes Jacobse (May 8, 2017 at 10:13 AM)
                “What is the point of providing Peter (Giacomo) Sanfilippo’s history and why are you, as a licensed counselor, making it public? That Sanfilippo is a defrocked Orthodox priest is germane to the discussion and that his piece is pro-homosexual is obvious. He publicly self-identifies as homosexual, as a former Orthodox priest, and as an advocate working to reconstitute the Orthodox teachings about homosexuality. Nothing more needs to be said than that, which also are the only things that John P. mentioned.” — Fr. Johannes Jacobse

                Fr. Johannes Jacobse (May 9, 2017 at 3:11 PM)
                “How could you possibly know this? By reading accounts on the internet? Whether true or not, it is highly unethical for you, as a licensed counselor, to make such an assertion about Peter J. Sanfilippo (Giacomo Sanfilippo). This is strike two. The first is when you repeated confidential information (you say it is well known — maybe it is, maybe it isn’t — but that still does not give you license to repeat it), and the second is proffering a psychological evaluation of a man with whom you had no professional interaction (if you did, you would be subject to professional censure).

                I disagree strongly with Sanfilippo’s assertions but I’ll defend him against the Google inspired evaluations you are proffering on my blog. There will be no strike three. Consider this your CEASE AND DESIST order.” — Fr. Johannes Jacobse

                You can view the entire exchange here:

                • M. Stankovich says

                  My first thought was to provide links to our last two “encounters,” to let everyone see the sort of person you are. Since then, I’ve reconsidered for the simple reason that you waste my time and are not worth my effort. If someone would like to believe I willfully violated patient confidentiality, blah, blah, blah, do so with my blessing. Next?

          • George, you and Gail both do this thing where you decide where the other person is coming from and what they are thinking. You wrote, “On the other hand, the priest’s wife in question wanted the easy way out: put something out there that was outre and hence, “courageous”. And be the darling of the local coffee klatsch circuit/local glitterati. However when somebody told her that it didn’t comport with Orthodoxy (or more likely that it threatened her hubby’s job), then she hurriedly took it down.” You don’t know that at all. 

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I took her words at face value. Why don’t you read what I wrote and then comment if you have a problem with it?

          • Check out her Facebbook page, the post is still there and love is in her eyes. 

      • C’mon Dino,
        the bad action was DayofReckoning’s for criticizing presbytera’s LGBT action
        the good action was presbytera’s action for showing more love for the  LGBT than God Himself,


        • Ioannis,
          While presbyters’s action might have been worded better, I believe she is coming from a position of love toward the sinner, and sin. How can we bring sinners to our Church(hospital) if we reject and push them away from us. Yes there is a fine line supporting the sinner and not sin, but it is impossible to attract homosexuals, if  shame and rejection is point “A”.
          IMHO, DayofReckoning did not come from a place of love for either God nor fellow sinners, who happen to sin in a different manner. “Singing to the Choir” and “circling the wagons” is not in any way the love we witnessed from Christ, amongst the worst of sinners, outcast and unattractive.
          With respect I understand your point of view, and appreciate that you are trying to protect our Church from issues such as gay marriage acceptance,  but isn’t our Church in deep need of opening it’s doors to all sinners, not just sinners we associate with?

          • Antiochene Son says

            Its not the hospital’s job, nor the church’s job, to make the treatment palatable–because it may not be. It may be very painful. Like Chemo, it may bring you to the brink of death. Indeed, Christ requires us to die to our sins.
            No dressing up the Church is going to change that. If you’re not ready to die, there is no place in the kingdom for you. 
            I know a man who came to Orthodoxy and had to die to homosexuality. It was the only way. You will not find a fiercer opponent to gay rights either. 

            • This is such an Evangelical, fire and brimstone mindset and so foreign to Orthodoxy. I’m so tired of seeing this mindset infecting our parishes. This is the mindset that drives people to suicide. Even if it were true, this black and white, rigid way of thinking, it is not doing any good, it is not working, it is doing nothing but driving people out of the church and driving people to their deaths. How is that bearing good fruit? And the next response is always that it is their own fault for not struggling hard enough. Try walking a mile in their shoes before you judge that they aren’t trying hard enough. You will NEVER know their struggle and their pain. You get to make these declarations from your armchair on the internet and put your phone down and go on with your day. They have to live with the consequences every moment of every day. And it’s not like you’ll ever lift a finger to help them. You have the luxury of walking away, having devastated their lives with this unforgiving (and by that I mean ultra hard and cold) dribble. They are left in your wake to pick up the pieces. 
              I pray that one day you are able to recognize the struggle of your brothers and sisters and feel some empathy in that hardened heart you seem to have. 

              • George Michalopulos says

                Steven, please. There is nobody here or in the Church that I know of who is all “Evangelical fire and brimstone”. I’m not certainly. The question regarding this particular sin (and yes, all are equal, I get it) is that it opens up the door to criminality and bankruptcy.

                Exhibit A: the American Catholic Church.

                Let me tell you a story. My elder son went to a fine Catholic Benedictine college, quite old and storied here in the Sooner State. Luckily, he graduated in 2011. Anyway, in mid-October of 2017, an announcement was made on a Friday, that that particular university would be closed immediately. That there would be no classes the following Monday. To say that there was a shock would be an understatement.

                The students had absolutely no idea. Luckily a nearby Baptist University agreed to absorb most of the students but still the trauma was palpable to them and their parents. Some of these students had athletic scholarships. I rather doubt that they had the resources to pay for the tuition (that is if they got accepted in the first place).

                As for the faculty and administration, I imagine that they felt royally screwed as well.

                Later we found out that the college tried to get funding from the USDA by unincorporating themselves from the city in which they were located and becoming a testing ground for agriculture, etc. They were turned down.

                Now the question is this: if the Catholic Church is the world’s largest Christian body (1.2 billion) and it has a lot of resources (ever been to the Vatican? I have), then why couldn’t they have gotten a bridge loan to at least tide them over till the end of term or better yet till the end the school year? Wouldn’t that have been better for the students and faculty and their respective families?

                Yes, yes it would.

                Do you want to guess why the local Catholic diocese couldn’t come up with the money? Here’s a hint: go to Netflix and watch the movie Spotlight.

              • Antiochene Son says

                I stand on scripture, the liturgy, and the fathers. What do you stand on?

                There have been several homosexual posters on this blog over the years who have said much the same as I have. Those who actually struggle with this sin say you’re wrong.
                You see, I actually believe that Christ will judge us by our actions. When the church gives even a tacit blessing to sin, then we put their souls in danger. Go to church next year for the Last Judgment Sunday to learn more. 
                Making sin comfortable is the furthest thing from love. 

            • Yes Antiochene Son,
              The medicine is difficult to swallow and the road steep and narrow. More reason to offer more forgiveness than judgement. Not that I am accusing you of such. As I am sure you know, we will be judged as we judge, if that does not give one fright, nothing will.  For our own selfish reasons, better to forgive than judge. The weights of our sins, will be judged by only One. 

            • Solitary Priest says

              My late spiritual father was a Greek American. He also struggled with being a homosexual. When his wife left him, he became a monk. Whether he had any falls after that, I cannot say. I pray every day for the Priestmonk Kallistos who suffered greatly. He reposed in 1992.

    • Aren’t there any nice episcopal churches where she lives?  The sign says The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.  There’s an arrow pointing to the building location and everything.   They really mean it.  So do I.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Sounds like there’s a priest in Georgia who needs to get control of his wife.

      • That’s disgusting. Boy I’d never want to be married to you if I were a woman. Is that how you treat your wife? Also do you carry a club and drag her around behind you by her hair? What century is this for heaven’s sake? 

        • Brute from bygone ages says

          So, priest doesn’t have religious authority over his family?

        • Michael Bauman says

          Steven, what the priest needs to do is teach his wife, but perhaps he agrees. If I were a parishioner of his, I would want to know.

        • Antiochene Son says

          LOL, literally “it’s the current year!”

          Steven, based on this post you sound weak and effeminate. The man is the head of his wife. I practice loving headship and she, loving submission. It’s how God made it. 

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Well, Steven, speaking for women who have been or are wives, we DO look to our husband’s to help us in these matters. A husband worth his salt will protect his wife from criticism, preferring instead that she be seen as holy and without fault.

          This woman should have (perhaps did) reviewed this message with her husband before she put it out there for the world to see and he should have (perhaps did) suggested to her that it would not serve her well. If the stir on this blog is any indication, she’s probably facing a firestorm of controversy around this.

    • DayofReckoning – “Silence gives assent.” You know, the silence of our church “leaders” is shameful, disappointing, and unethical…but not in the case you’ve pointed out.  Take out your own bias and read Presvytera Mari’s words.  They are words that echo the words of Jesus Christ to the marginalized of His day – the prostitutes and tax collectors.  You know, the ones He said would enter heaven before the “righteous”. So, pal, don’t be surprised when a bunch of gay guys, lesbians, trans, enter heaven and your judgement keeps you out.

      • George Michalopulos says

        But aren’t you judging your brother Day of Reckoning?

        • No, I’m responding to him and pointing out his discrepancy.  That’s not judgmental.  His works and behavior judge themselves.

      • Koukla, you are right when you write: “Take out your own bias and read Presvytera Mari’s words. They are words that echo the words of Jesus Christ to the marginalized of His day – the prostitutes and tax collectors. You know, the ones He said would enter heaven before the “righteous.”

        • George Michalopulos says

          Beryl, I worry only about my own salvation.

          But let’s play this game shall we? What would you do if this same presbytera (or another) spoke at the American Psychological Assoc in favor of relisting homosexuality as mental disorder? And let’s assume that she was a PhD in psychology or a psychiatrist? And she posted it on Fakebook? What do you think would happen to her?

          • George, I would ask why it should be listed as a disease. My nephew Mark is gay, has been married for years and years, and is very happy. I am sure he does not think he has a disease, and I am sure that he did not choose to be gay. He loves the Orthodox Church but doesn’t belong to it for a variety of reasons. I am not in the least concerned about his salvation.

            • Antiochene Son says

              He’s happy? Oh well, everything is fine then. 
              – Joel Osteen

            • George Michalopulos says

              Because according to the APsA, it was listed as a disease up until 1974.   Don’t blame me, blame Freud.

              • So? I was thinking my reply should be to ask Michael Stankovich to reply, and I see he has answered. There you go, George.

            • Estonian Slovak says

              Ah, now we come to the truth. Change the rules because of your nephew. I have news for you. My three grandchildren aren’t baptized because of you. Yes, I will protest.

              • Estonian Slovak says

                Sorry, I need to rephrase that. I should have written,” because of people like you.” My son’s best friend, whom he has known since seventh grade, came out of the closet ten or twelve years ago, after being married to a woman briefly. I have nothing against him as a person, but my son cannot accept the fact that our church is not “inclusive.” 
                      Almost forty years ago, my father died. He hadn’t received the Sacrements in years. Furthermore, he decided to be cremated. It hurt me that I couldn’t give him a church funeral. But I couldn’t justify bending the rules because he was my father.

            • “My nephew Mark is gay, has been married for years and years, and is very happy….I am not in the least concerned about his salvation.”


              I am for compassion, and I am not interested in judging anyone.  But we are faced with a choice in such matters.  We can believe you (or your nephew, or anyone else – it really doesn’t matter) or we can believe the apostles of Christ who explicitly warned us that those who persist in any number of sins, this one included, will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

              As for being “happy,” I believe it was C.S. Lewis who remarked, “Only to the damned could hell seem tolerable.” 

              • Brian, I now have two reasons to avoid heaven: 1)My wonderful nephew Mark will not be there; and 2) I don’t want to hang out for eternity with people who think they know where he will or will not be. 

          • M. Stankovich says

            I, for one, would protest the fact that it does not meet the established criteria for a mental disorder. To qualify as a mental disorder, it must impair an individual in their ability to function in either their profession (e.g. generally considered the ability to adequately support one’s self independently), school, social life (e.g. the ability to form and sustain a supportive social network – family, friends, associates), and preserve and maintain their health & well-being (e.g. to sense and protect themselves from danger, conduct activities of daily living – hygiene, dress, maintain a living space, etc.). Homosexuality simply does not meet the criteria for a “mental illness,” which is why the committee that oversees the content of Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders removed it. Do some homosexuals have mental disorders that impair them? Certainly. But there is no impairment in functioning simply because one is homosexual. It is logical and appropriate to protest the inclusion of homosexuality in the list of known mental disorders. Isn’t it time to end this ridiculous, dead-end discussion?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Whether you, me or the fellow behind the tree believes it to be a “mental disorder” is immaterial. For generations it was listed as such. And yes, I realize that the best medical science believed in the humoral theory of medicine at one time. Given that leeches are being used again in some surgical settings, we could make a case that the “what is old is new again”.

              Do I personally want to see homosexuality placed back on the psychological compendium? No, not necessarily. However that’s why they call it the “practice” of medicine.

      • Ah the accusations of “bias”.  Another red herring bandied about by the progressives.  Yes I am biased, biased for the Truth.  Your biased as well, biased to accept sin as normative.

    • I’m curious, DayofReckoning, have you actually shared your concerns with your sister in Christ and asked her what her beliefs are, since it seems to me from her post and from the other work I have read of hers and having heard her speak at events in the past that she advocates for empathy and compassion and doesn’t speak against the Church in any way? Have you called her, emailed her, had a cup of coffee with her? Are we not told multiple times in Scripture that we are supposed to go directly to our brother (or sister, in this case) to discuss matters just such as this? I don’t think it says anywhere that we’re supposed to disparage them (especially a Presvytera, frankly, nor her husband, a worthy priest by all accounts), on the internet because of a Facebook post we’ve taken out of context. 
      You really should try talking to her. She’s actually a really warm and welcoming person and quite interesting to talk to. 

      • George Michalopulos says

        May I say something here? If the Presbytera’s words are reflective of Christ’s message to the downtrodden (and that’s an arguable point), then she has nothing to be ashamed of.

        Yet she herself has taken down this FB posting. That should tell you all you need to know.

        As far as Gail posting it, I’m sorry, but once you post something on social media, it’s public. If I come across something in social media which is newsworthy, then I’ll post it, especially if it’s from an Orthodox source.

        • Ummmmmm no she hasn’t. It’s still there. 

        • “As far as Gail posting it…” Soooooo… she did post it or she didn’t? Interesting that DayofReckoning hasn’t joined us again after dropping their bomb and leaving… 

          • George Michalopulos says

            She did not post it. And she uses her real name. You don’t. She is courageous, you are not.

        • I just looked up her post, it’s still up. I don’t know her, never heard of her till now. Had I read it not knowing she’s a priest’s wife, I would have assumed she is a typical secular pro-LGBT liberal who fully supports the lifestyle. Knowing she is a priest’s wife, I am scandalized by what she wrote.

          I also came across another statement of hers further down that comes across very saccharine sweet toward transexuals. I wonder if she realizes how many high school and college women are now being deprived of sports opportunities and scholarships because of biological males allowed onto high school and college women’s teams and outperforming them. One high school woman just filed a federal complaint about it:

          Or the numbers of parents having young elementary school-aged daughters come home expressing fear and confusion about their own gender after being taught in school – a increasingly widespread curriculum – that she’s not really a girl because there isn’t any such thing as boys and girls. And how gay conversion therapy bans are also being used to ban any help for such gender-confused children.

          Or if she is aware of parents getting in trouble with Child Protective Services because they won’t affirm their “gender choice” if different from their biological sex. 

          Or the growing transgender medical practices aimed at children, and the small but growing number of states who want to remove all age limits on sex reassignment surgery. Btw, a massive boondock for the pharmaceutical industry, as trans people must be on hormones and such for life.

          Or the small but also growing number of people who went through sex-change at a young age, only to deeply regret it later.

          Read some parents’ own words on these experiences with these children:

          I have no sympathy for this priest’s wife. The whole gay/trans thing is diabolical, and this woman is, inadvertantly or not, feeding the monster by her lack of clarity on the moral implications of her public comments. As a priests wife, she IS responsible for this. In counseling this population, I can only hope she is actually trying to get the root of their problems so they can heal and change. But her public comments would indicate otherwise, or at the very least incidate incredible ignorance and naivete, and I find them reprehensible.

          Here’s a good organization of parents working on the trans movement and dangers it represents to children, if anyone here wants to learn more:   Twitter: @CoalitionKelsey

          • M. Stankovich says

            I would like to comment on your post, as Mr. Michalopulos has identified it as “speaking for most of us.” First, I will again repeat that I was dismissed from my position at a psychiatry clinic because I refused to refer to patients by other than their birth gender, or to write case notes describing them in other than their birth gender. I would note that was not a moral decision, but rather a scientific decision: there are no known genetic, physiological, neurological, or endocrinological differences that would account for transgender. I completely agree that Gender Dysphoria (i.e. a state where there is conflict – ego-dystonia – between what I “perceive,” I am, and who & what I am as a person) belongs in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, of the American Psychiatric Association. As you might imagine, I am intimately familiar with the research literature, and I have provided my summary and recommendations to several Bishops in several jurisdictions for their clergy to utilize.
            First, you present “scenarios” that are impossible to prove and to quantify. For example, when you say, “the numbers of parents having elementary school-aged daughters come home expressing fear and confusion about their own gender after being taught in school…” how many parents – quantitatively –  would you imagine suggest this is a realistic concern? 100? 1,000? 10,000? I suspect this is anecdotal, which is the call to research, not policy. Again, you say, “gay conversion therapy bans are also being used to ban any help for such gender-confused children.” I will tell you that here in CA, all healthcare providers violate the law if they attempt to “counsel” anyone below the age of 18 regarding gender confusion, unless the therapy is “gender affirming,” of the gender “by choice.” But the corollary to this is the fact that the research indicates that the overwhelming majority of children and adolescents who experience conflict regarding gender will spontaneously resolve to their birth gender without any intervention whatsoever.
            As to the issue of “growing transgender medical practices aimed at children,” I would refer you to an excellent overview of the topic by Paul W. Hruz, Lawrence S. Mayer, and Paul R. McHugh in Growing Pains and FAQ About Growing Pains in the New Atlantis magazine. The entire issue, Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences can be downloaded for free. Another frequently cited article is by Milrod, C. How young is too young. The author notes that World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care provides an ethical statement to which practitioners of gender dysphoria/transgender subscribe, and it forbids surgical gender reassignment in anyone younger than 18. Obviously, the world is what it is, and one author notes, “Despite the minimum age of 18 as eligibility to undergo irreversible procedures, anecdotal reports show that vaginoplasties [male-to-female reassignment] of female‐affirmed patients under 18 have been performed by surgeons, thereby contravening the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care.” Sweden has the most researched protocol for the treatment of children, yet they do not condone surgery. I have no idea what you mean by, “small but growing number of states who want to remove all age limits on sex reassignment surgery,” but I have never heard this, and I do not believe it would be ethically tolerated by any surgical board certifications. There is no official condoning of surgical reassignment anywhere in the world. “Massive boondock” for big pharma? The prevalence of transgendered individuals in the US is estimated at .3%, or, according to the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, approximately 1.4 million individuals (and another interesting estimate by thw Williams Institute is that there are approximately 150,000 youth in US who report being transgender – interesting in that we have changed bathroom policies in nearly the entire US in response to a very small cohort). I will conclude with several “opinions” to consider:
            “What then is one to do? For if you deal too gently with him who needs a severe application of the knife, and do not strike deep into one who requires such treatment, you remove one part of the sore but leave the other: and if on the other hand you make the requisite incision unsparingly, the patient, driven to desperation by his sufferings, will often fling everything away at once, both the remedy and the bandage, and throw himself down headlong, “breaking the yoke and bursting the band.” I could tell of many who have run into extreme evils because the due penalty of their sins was exacted. For we ought not, in applying punishment, merely to proportion it to the scale of the offense, but rather to keep in view the disposition of the sinner, lest while wishing to mend what is torn, you make the rent worse, and in your zealous endeavors to restore what is fallen, you make the ruin greater. For weak and careless characters, addicted for the most part to the pleasures of the world, and having occasion to be proud on account of birth and position, may yet, if gently and gradually brought to repent of their errors, be delivered, partially at least, if not perfectly, from the evils by which they are possessed: but if any one were to inflict the discipline all at once, he would deprive them of this slight chance of amendment.” (St. John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, II, 4)
            “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11) I personally believe this is the meaning of what Met. Anthony (Khrapovitsky) meant when he said to priest confessors when they consider “epitimia,” assigning some activity of “recompense,”: “Always bear in mind that we are far removed from the time of Grace.”
            The point is, St. John, St. Paul, and Met. Anthony are emphasizing that we must stop and consider the spiritual state – the spiritual maturity – of the person before us. Too often I read and hear “solutions” that are ridiculously naive (one that stands out was cop I dismissed from the psych ER because I heard him say to a trans person, “Why don’t you just knock this shit off?”). Your comment, “I can only hope she is actually trying to get the root of their problems so they can heal and change,” is equally naive, and I hope I have impressed on you the depth of this disorder. People can’t stop smoking – even when told that it is a primary risk factor in stroke and lung cancers – yet we barely blink. I suggest that managing gender dysphoria is infinitely more complex.
            I disagree that Presvitera suffers from “incredible ignorance and naivete,” but as a clinician is building trust and accepting patients at their level of maturity. For myself, I am not a priest, I do not begin and end sessions with prayer, nor do I discuss my religious beliefs with patients. I do however commit myself to a relationship of consistent and predictable morality, non-judgment, and a voice of reason. By doing so, my best hope is that I have prepared them to turn toward a manner of thinking that would make them amenable to seeking the church. A wise bishop once said to me, “If they cannot come to us, then who can they turn to?”

            • Michelle says

              M. Stankovich,
              You present yourself as an expert on the subject, yet you fail to mention the elephant in the room: transgenderism is almost always a cover for men who cannot control their autogynephilia.
              It is absolutely terrifying that men who cannot control their sexual fetishes — men whose sexuality reduces “woman” to a sex fantasy that they can embody — have such a powerful campaign of false information, which you are unfortunately contributing to.
              Your words are beautifully written to hide a horrifying truth.
              I believe you made a mistake when you dismissed the police officer from the room.

  5. John Sakelaris says

    This blog has moved clearly in the direction of encouraging members of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese parishes to leave those parishes and join with the OCA or ROCOR.     There are, however, problems in all organizations, not just the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.   A brief cruise around the internet can reveal this; yes, some of your favorite places have had problems also.    I could post some articles, but that would be getting on the level that I want us to avoid.  
    Any big exodus of people from a church (which, remember, is what most of you on here appear to want) is a very messy thing.   Emotions can be heightened. Families and marriages can even be split up.   I have seen this happen.  
    My contrasting advice is for Orthodox in the US to remain where they are and work within their existing communities for improvements.   I believe that is the best way to make a Christian witness and serve our Lord.  

    • George Michalopulos says

      Lots of wisdom there, John. I for one encourage caution and prudence (believe it or not). That being said, unless Istanbul rights it and its eparchies really quick, then schism is inevitable and that would be an uglier thing.

      My recommendation? If you’re in the OCA call your bishop or Syosset and tell them your displeasure. If your in the GOA I don’t know what you can do.

      • John Sakelaris says

        For Greek Orthodox Archdiocese parishioners, the answer, as I stated above, is to remain with the Greek Orthodox parishes and work for improvements.   One should not assume that the grass is greener with the OCA parishes.

        • George Michalopulos says

          True, John. The grass is never greener in other pastures. That should not be the criterion. The question is one of schism and/or heresy.

          While I am chary to declare Elpidophoros’ novel teaching as heretical, the warning blast of schism approaching was sounded by none other than Arb Anastasios of Albania himself. And he is a Greek.

          This warning applies to all American jurisdictions BTW, not just those in the GOA.

          • John Sakelaris says

            “Blessed are the peacemakers….”   
            I hope to see more peacemaking going on, including in the posts on this site. 

  6. Agreed she did Gail. Just wonder why out of all the scandals, our friend picked that one. Hopefully she will have a come to Jesus moment. I believe the page or link has been removed. We all need a little redirection every now and then. Hope she sees her actions are not proper. I imagine once  their Metropolitan is aware of the post, future ones will cease. If not then we have a real problem with the Metropolitan, priest, and presbytera.  

    • Nope! It’s still there! I invite you to read what she wrote again, carefully, and see that it actually says nothing against the Church’s teachings, which is consistent with the other work of hers that I’m familiar with. 

      • According to a November 2018 article, she is an intimacy and sexuality counselor.
        Interesting to say the least

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Oh dear!

        • M. Stankovich says

          You did not read her credential correctly. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), which is a nationally recognized license comparable to an MSW or a graduate degree in marital & family counseling. In that capacity, she apparently works with victims of trauma – which nearly always involves adults who have survived childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual abuse and/or rape, and may include individuals struggling with sexual orientation & gender dysphoria. The struggle with “intimacy and sexuality” is inherent in both men and women who have experienced trauma. I have long done the same work as her, if only because is so shockingly prevalent.
          I am presuming that neither of you have ever been responsible for the care of a sexual trauma survivor – better, “victim,” as it is treatment that transforms “victims” into “survivors.  Your implication(s) – “Interesting to say the least,” and “Oh dear!” – is that there is something nefarious – perhaps sinful – at work. Or at the very least, inappropriate for the wife of a priest. I find this very offensive in that trauma survivors are frequently desperate for answers and direction; they often do not understand their feelings and emotions; why they fail at relationships and intimacy – not sexuality, intimacy; and why they constantly feel ashamed. In the case of sexual trauma, shame forced upon a victim is the common manipulative tool of predators (e.g. “I know where you live if you try to tell anyone about this,” “I’ll hurt your family,” “Nobody will believe you”); paradoxically, the victim feels the shame of the perpetrator. Given this entire complex dynamic, to whom would refer a victim? Your parish priest? Not me.
          God bless this brave priest’s wife to use her expertise to attempt to end suffering, and to restore a shattered human being to wholeness. Then maybe this survivor would seek out their priest on their own. She deserves Orthodox Christians who respect her enough to speak with her directly, not those who cannot find it in their hearts to speak with another living, breathing human being, but rather are satisfied & self-righteous in childishly judging her. She is educated, experienced, articulate, and possesses a skill and gift from God to heal. Perhaps that is exactly the reason for your implications and disinterest in contacting her.    

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Don’t presume, Michael.  She specializes in trauma AND sex therapy.  Here, I’ll let her tell you:  “Think of sex therapy like the difference between going to a general practitioner and a cardiologist when having heart issues. You could probably go to a general practitioner in a pinch, but you will get more specialized, focused, expert attention from a cardiologist.  –  Sex therapy is much the same- specialized, specific, and particular to your needs and circumstances, with attentiveness to your overall wellbeing.”

            • CS Louis says

              In her bio online:
              A little more about Mari:  I graduated valedictorian from Hellenic College in Brookline, MA with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies…  I am an active advocate for sexual minorities.

              • Oh.  A graduate of HC.  One of innumerable reasons to close that place.  The money saved can be used to raze the quarter-built money pit at ground zero.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I’ve heard tell that the GOA could raise perhaps $20 million by selling HC/HC being that it’s on prime real estate out of Boston. At this point, it would be the best possible thing.

                  • If they sell hchc it will encourage the EP to whine ever more annoyingly to re-open Halki.  And its giant monastery, now orphaned because of the new archbishop being unanimously elected to be here.

              • Michael Bauman says

                “I am an active advocate for sexual minorities” What in the world does that mean? Sounds like SJW crap for “all the rules have to be changed to accommodate whatever is desired.”

                After that phrase in particular comes the advocacy for women’s ordination, homoerotic normalization, abortion and support for all manner of activity that flies in the face of Orthodox teaching and legitimate Incarnational anthropology.

                Of course, we people in the Church continue to shoot ourselves in both feet and our heads because we have tolerated fornication and adultery and divorce without applying the teaching and the practices of the Church to encourage, support and allow for healing through repentance and forgiveness and a strengthening of the will against sin and the practice of virtue. Laxity is the other side of legalism.

                Note I say nothing about simple condemnation and rejection. The hypocrisy of that stinks and blinds everyone from the truth.

                People who engage in pornography, fornication, serial marriage, abortion and homoerotic activity are deeply unwell emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. They reflect quite well the confused and deeply sinful state of our nihilistic culture that masquerades as progress, compassion and understanding. All the while preparing the path to hell strewn with the fake rose petals of societal praise.

                So the only “dialogue” that would be meaningful is to begin to find a way for the Church (hierarchs, clergy and laity) can begin to honestly face the deep sinfulness in which we all share regarding our humanity and our sexuality.

                All of us have fallen short of the glory of God in these areas, and me worst of all.

                Lord have mercy.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I’d like to ask her if polygamists are “sexual minorities”? If memory serves, I asked Fr John Jillions the same thing a few years back.

                  I didn’t get a response. I rather doubt the priest’s wife in question will give us a response as well.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Presuming what? As I stated, when you are treating patients with the issue of trauma, you will invariably be seeing patients with sexual trauma. The converse is true as well, that when you deal with patients who present with sexual/intimacy problems, you invariably will be seeing a significant number of patients who experienced trauma. And further, when you are seeing patients presenting with depression or anxiety, you will invariably be seeing patients with sexual trauma. As matter of fact, an experienced clinician knows to at least inquire if a patient has experienced physical, emotional, or sexual trauma, regardless of what they say is the reason for seeking help.

    • Gail,
      After sleeping over it, I disagree. She did not scandalize herself, the post just came off that way. I don’t believe she wants to change our religion to accept gay marriage, she is just trying to open the door to them by accepting them as individual sinners. Sinners like the rest of us. Anyway please read my response to Ioannis as well.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Dino, we can’t know what she wants; we only have her words as her testimony and her words do not line up with the Church’s teachings. I don’t necessarily think she wants to usher in gay marriage either. Please read my response, as well.

        • Hi! Broken record here! Why. Don’t. You. Talk. To. Her. Instead. Of. Talking. About. Her.? 

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I don’t need to talk to her!he is extremely articulate. I understand her points, perfectly. I am talking to YOU because you’re talking to me here on this blog. If she didn’t want either of us talking about her, she wouldn’t have written what she did on her FB page.

            • You have read ONE post of hers and made assumptions which I know to be incorrect because I have personally read her work, heard her speak, spoken with her, and know people who also know her. But you don’t care about that do you? Her positions are careful and nuanced. They cannot be summed up in a Facebook post. She’s written volumes and spoken at conferences. She gets asked to speak at things by people on both sides of the discussion all the time because of her nuanced, careful, thoughtful positions and because she clearly cares so much about the people you all so clearly deride, and because she cares so much about people like you, believe it or not, and because she cares so much about the Church. But you don’t care about that either, do you? You just want to destroy her and anyone like her who challenges your belief system and challenges you to face your own preconceived notions. 
              And Mary is correct. She is an intimacy and sexuality counselor. She specializes with LGBT people. That’s why she gets asked to speak all the time. And she does so, from my understanding, with the blessings of her Metropolitan, her spiritual father, her husband, and the majority of the people who know her. Because they know that she is careful and considerate and nuanced in her work. But yeah, you know everything from the assumptions you make by her one Facebook post. Right.
              OR… Maybe you should actually talk to her………. 

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Invite her on the blog!

              • Antiochene Son says

                If you know her, you should let her know that was one epic fail of a post and she had better disavow the sodomite lifestyle publicly. 
                I won’t hold my breath.

                She is an intimacy and sexuality counselor. She specializes with LGBT people.

                That’s fine. Does her counseling begin and end with a call to repentance and belief in Christ to heal her patients’ brokenness?

                Or is it just a secular and demonic-enabling hand-holding session to make sinners comfortable on their sin? Since you work with her, you can tell us.

                • Wow. Your words are more and more unbelievably harsh and cold with each posting. By the way, the word “sodomite” is an unnecessary  epithet. Grow up.
                  It never ceases to amaze me how straight people always think so obsessively about gay sex. The objectifying emphasis on it clearly reveals that you think about it. Soooooo… ?
                  To you and Gail and whomever else: It is not my job to invite her here. I speak for myself only. You all are the ones making the accusations and I am not your messenger boy. Grow some courage and do it yourselves.
                  But again, I don’t think you’re the least bit interested in a word she has to say, are you? You are perfectly happy to criticize her ONE intentionally misinterpreted Facebook post and condemn her to your heart’s content. Because at the end of the day, you don’t want to be faced with someone who might challenge you to confront your own biases with a well thought out and nuanced response. You don’t want to talk to someone whose answers to your questions (or accusations) actually forces you to be INTROSPECTIVE when you can just blame her and be on your way. Why think about your own stuff when you can just point the finger at her and convict her and go on about your day? So much easier, isn’t it? 
                  She doesn’t need to disavow anything to satisfy your petty wishes nor your ridiculous expectations nor your assumptions of what she does nor your ideas of what Orthodoxy is. And she would lose her license if she “began and ended with a call to repentance.” That’s not even legal, nevermind ethical, in mental health professions. You so clearly have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
                  Oh, and yes, to clarify bc I looked it up, her work focuses on trauma mostly, with sexual assault victims and trauma with LGBT people, specifically with LGBT people who have deep spiritual wounds (and it looks like she specifies that she supports them in maintaining their faith OR leaving it, whichever they choose as right for themselves). I also read that she works with couples and individuals. 
                  And I don’t work with her, I just am interested in her work because unlike other people, I like to actually consider other people’s perspectives and learn new things. 
                  Guess what, maybe you would too… wait for it……… if you talked to her. 

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Stephen, the word sodomite is in the Bible.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,
                      The description of a “talking ass,” “καὶ λέγει ἡ ὄνος τῷ Βαλαάμ,” is in the Bible as well (Num. 22:30). It was predated by Aristotle’s expression, ὄνος ἐν μύρῳ – a colloquial expression meaning “a clown’s feast.” And pardon me, but that, ὄνος ἐν μύρῳ, is what you have allowed in the now two-day trashing of this woman. And the longer this goes on, the more of a Pharisee’s ὄνος ἐν μύρῳ it has become.
                      And, seriously, your responses seem to be seat-of-your-pants, aimless. One moment you declare, “Dialogue corresponds to dialectic,” which pushes the needle (whatever that means) “further to the left,” which apparently marks the end of western civilization (You have actually read Aristotle?). Further, you have the circling Pharisees declaring “there is no dialog!” Madonna Mia! how is it possible that you taunt this woman multiple times: “I would be willing to dialog… but would she?” WAT! Which is it? Dialectic? Dialog? No, ὄνος ἐν μύρῳ. And what sort of hypocrisy allows you to scold me for referring to Mr. Trump as an unashamedly immoral serial philanderer and liar, for whom it is impossible to lead this country to a “moral state?” You emphatically confronted me with, “How do you know he has not repented?” Yet, from the outset, you find it acceptable to cynically and judgmentally state, “If the Presbytera’s words are reflective of Christ’s message to the downtrodden (and that’s an arguable point), then she has nothing to be ashamed of.” Is it possible to attribute your lack of “accommodation” for Presvitera to the fact that she is an intelligent, educated, skilled, and talented woman? Heavens no, as I feel the visceral response of the circling Pharisees: “Traditrice! She betrays the Orthodox Faith!” 

                      “Sometimes we not only condemn, but also humiliate our neighbor. As I have said, to condemn and to humiliate, the dejection is that when a person not only condemns the other, but despises him – that is, abhorring his neighbor and turning away from him, as from some kind of abomination – it is worse than condemnation and much more pernicious. Those who save themselves do not pay attention to the shortcomings of their neighbors, but always look at their own and succeed. Such was the one who, seeing that his brother had sinned, sighed and said: “Woe is me! as he sinned today, so I sin also tomorrow.” St. Dorotheus of Gaza

                      Finally, I have been ordered by Gail to bring the issue of anonymity to you. In my estimation, you are not “protecting” individuals you have described as “subject to significant consequences if their identity was known,” but rather are enabling anonymous cowards to gorge themselves on the feast of judgment, but guaranteeing that their “good name” is not associated with this mean-spirited take-down. That’s not “free speech,” nor does it insure the “safety” of the poster, but it is simply allowing irresponsible bullies to shirk responsibility for their own words. 

                      I would suggest that this topic has been more than exhausted. Seriously, is there anything more to say about this “sinful woman?”   

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Please read Theo’s response above. He speaks for most of us I believe.

                    • Michael Stankovich, 
                      I have realized this blog is above my mental, spiritual, judgmental pay scale. Until I have anything of substance to contribute, in that it helps others in their salvation, what is the point? This attack on a women is why a coward as myself has been anonymous, but now feel ashamed that a women no better nor worse than me is being shamed. A women who never contributed to this site. Few like her try and make a life’s work to help others. Most like myself have made it a pastime to past judgement on the world, all the way down to a young priest’s wife. Meanwhile we feel no shame of our hidden sins that only God and our heart knows. Forget the concept that our feeble minds not even understands and truly believe God exists, in that how we behave in public let alone in private sinful ways. Yet we have time to judge others, yet do not fear our own judgment set by our own bar of justice. Please continue to lay out wisdom. I need a break. God bless bro.
                      Hopefully always in Christ,
                      Dino Tsortanidis

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Tsortanidis,
                      Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your works, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For to you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. (Phil. 1:27ff)

                      You are a brave man, and you have my respect.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Steven, what should be the response to sexual sin?  The words used to describe any such activity are considered harsh by today’s standards.  Fornicator, adulterer, home wrecker, predator.   You do realize that people are still charged with the crime of sodomy?  If one commits sodomy does that not make such a sodomite?  Maybe sodomist?   
                    Of course there are many sexually perverse folks who are sodomites with folks of the opposite sex.  
                    Not knowing the lady or how to contact her suspecting I would not get to talk to her anyway, do you believe there are such things as “sexual minorities”?  If so please explain to me who they are and why they need to be singled out for help that is different than what the Church teaches: Repent and sin more. If the sin reoccurs repent again.

                    • Spot on, Michael, as usual.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Michael Bauman,
                      I appreciate the intent of your comment, but let’s be honest here: the term “sodomite” is being weaponized on this site to specifically and purposely offend and demean, while hypocritically defended as a word being “in the Bible.” Should we tolerate the mentally retarded being referred to as “imbeciles” because that is the expression used “in the Bible?”

                    • Michael, you say: “You do realize that people are still charged with the crime of sodomy?” Not here in the US. And I have to admit, in recent years I have begun to regret that anti-sodomy laws were overturned here, in much the same way I have begun to regret strict divorce laws were overturned. It might have been done for reasons of compassion for those suffering in difficult conditions, but those changes led directly, in ways no one foresaw at the time, to so much of the cultural mess we’re in now, destruction of families, harm to children, and the ruination of souls.
                      We can’t turn back the clock. But we are responsible for what we say and do as Christians, cannot condone or give the impression of condoning sin, though we must love the person in a way they actually feel our love. I speak as someone with a brother who got swept up in the burgeoning gay movement while in high school, and later died of AIDS. I loved him deeply, helped care for him while he was sick, and was with him when he died. I could not condone his lifestyle, and he knew where I stood on that. But he felt my love for him, and in the end it led to his spiritual good, as he asked for a priest to come, and died in a much better spiritual state as a result.
                      But I would never, ever go in public and make a statement like the priest’s wife did out of some misguided compassion. Better to remain silent, than to say something like that.

                    • I find the inner condemnation and unloving disapproval of  those who think themselves “in the know” far more offensive than the actions of  those who don’t even know they are sinning (hamartia – bent, off the mark).

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      “In the know,” Beryl? Do you mean people in the Church who know what the Church teaches? How come you’re not “in the know?”

                    • I suppose I’m clueless, Gail.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I don’t know that you’re “clueless,” Beryl, but there is seemingly a strong need in you to take a contrary position to whatever people try to share with you. That people respond to you at all shows you that you have true friends on this site (yes, even me) and it would be refreshing if just once, you could find something in what we say that you could agree with.

                    • Michelle says

                      Theo, I am very sorry to hear about your brother. Thank you for sharing.

                    • Gail: “I don’t know that you’re “clueless,” Beryl, but there is seemingly a strong need in you to take a contrary position to whatever people try to share with you.”
                      Gail, I know myself better than you do, and there is, I assure you, no “strong need” in me to “take a contrary position to whatever people try to share with me.” Never has been, never will be.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      And another contrary post! “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

                    • Oh, Gail! You GOT ME!!

                • M. Stankovich says

                  This surely is one of the most uninformed, pretentious comments in this entire thread and beyond. I take by your denouncement of Steven, that he sounds, “weak and effeminate,” that you are modeling a real man’s approach to faggotry?

                  What do possibly make of the words of St. Chrysostom:
                  “What then is one to do? For if you deal too gently with him who needs a severe application of the knife, and do not strike deep into one who requires such treatment, you remove one part of the sore but leave the other: and if on the other hand you make the requisite incision unsparingly, the patient, driven to desperation by his sufferings, will often fling everything away at once, both the remedy and the bandage, and throw himself down headlong, “breaking the yoke and bursting the band.” I could tell of many who have run into extreme evils because the due penalty of their sins was exacted. For we ought not, in applying punishment, merely to proportion it to the scale of the offense, but rather to keep in view the disposition of the sinner, lest while wishing to mend what is torn, you make the rent worse, and in your zealous endeavors to restore what is fallen, you make the ruin greater. For weak and careless characters, addicted for the most part to the pleasures of the world, and having occasion to be proud on account of birth and position, may yet, if gently and gradually brought to repent of their errors, be delivered, partially at least, if not perfectly, from the evils by which they are possessed: but if any one were to inflict the discipline all at once, he would deprive them of this slight chance of amendment. For when once the soul has been forced to put off shame it lapses into a callous condition, and neither yields to kindly words nor bends to threats, nor is susceptible of gratitude, but becomes far worse than that city which the prophet reproached, saying, “you had the face of a harlot, refusing to be ashamed before all men.” Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the pastor has need of much discretion, and of a myriad eyes to observe on every side the habit of the soul. For as many are uplifted to pride, and then sink into despair of their salvation, from inability to endure severe remedies, so are there some, who from paying no penalty equivalent to their sins, fall into negligence, and become far worse, and are impelled to greater sins. It behooves the priest therefore to leave none of these things unexamined, but, after a thorough inquiry into all of them, to apply such remedies as he has appositely to each case, lest his zeal prove to be in vain.” On the Priesthood, II, 4. 

                  Or perhaps St. Paul when he writes: “”When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11)
                  Or perhaps as St. Paul also wrote:
                  If any have caused grief, he has not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment (ἐπιτιμία), which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Why I beseech you that you would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether you be obedient in all things. To whom you forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2Cor. 2:6-11)
                  Or finally, perhaps Met. Anthony (Khrapovitsky), where in his book Confession, he addresses priest confessors regarding the assignment of a specific task to serve as “recompense” – as St. Paul indicates above, ἐπιτιμία: “When assigning an act to serve as [ἐπιτιμία], we must bear in mind that we are far removed from the Time of Grace.”
                  I would suggest that when you insist, “I stand on scripture, the liturgy, and the fathers,” you are mistaken. You have obviously mistakenly considered assessing the spiritual maturity – the capacity for repentance and change – in order to prevent discouragement and despair as some form of “coddling” sinners; making them “comfortable” in their sin, and making their repentance “painless.” This is simply not consistent with the instructions of St. Paul, nor the Holy Fathers. You may well need to read St. Chrysostom On the Priesthood to discover that a real pastor is wise and discerning in bringing about repentance in sinners.
                  As for your emphatic “command” as to how Presvitera – and by implication, me – should be going about our business? Stay out of my house, bro’. 

  7. Check out the photo of AB Elpi and Karloutsos and notice the other character Bill Drossos. Why he was in the photo and at Elpi’s side during his enthronement/coronation concerns me. I pray Elpi is not considering Bill as a bishop or for some other position at the Archdiocese. Unless Bill has had a radical conversion, a Pauline experience, he is not fit to serve. I am more concerned about Bill than I am about Karloutsos. If Elpi is considering Bill for a position in the GOA, I am deeply concerned with Elpi’s judgement.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Jk, I can’t find anything on him. Do you have specific concerns you can name? It’s odd he is in this picture.

  8. Gail,
    Bingo!! You’ve got that right.  Elpidophoros has simply given Karloutsos a title for doing what he has for far too long, i.e. being the Phanar’s point man in the GOA, a would be papal nuncio if you will. Distasteful as the gesture may appear, it’s a smart move on the part of the archbishop who hopes to find the money to finish St. Nicholas shrine. Elpidophoros was not Karloutsos’ first choice as AB, a fact that not only adds interest to their current relationship, but also hints at the possibility of change. Tomorrow could be different story if His Eminence were to emerge as  his own man.  Now that’s really something to pray for!!

  9. Casta Diva says

    I personally looked to see if this FB post is still up (it is). I don’t see anything contrary to the Faith. I am glad that Orthodox Christians are open to dialoguing with the LGBTQ community. 

    • George Michalopulos says

      “Dialogue”, that’s how the Lutherans, Presbyterians and Episcopalians lost their churches. It took awhile, about 3 decades but lose them they did.

    • “Dialogue”?  Dialogue about what, exactly?
      In this context to agree to engage in dialogue is to accept the proposition that your position might not be correct and that therefore there might be some room for compromise.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Dialogue corresponds to dialectic. In all such rhetorical debates, the needle is pushed further to the left.

        You see it all around you: when once, just 10 years ago nobody was arguing for gay “marriage” now we have Drag Queen Reading Hour at the public library. Sometimes the orator in question is dressed as Baphomet, other times, it’s worse (if you can imagine that).

        How the heck did that happen? It’s called dialectic.

        • That’s my point.  Any time you agree to negotiate, you are signaling that you are willing to give up something.  In some situations it makes sense to negotiate. 
          In others, it is foolish, as when basic principles (of morality, of science, of truth) are involved.  There has been an increasing amount of foolishness lately.  

    • Brute from bygone ages says

      With all due respect, that would mean, your understanding of Orthodox faith is lacking. First, she sends her greeting to “LGBT” community to pride event.
      Problems are further, “LGBT” “community” is collective term, which groups people on their behavioural patterns, and groups all those people in “community” with joint identity. All those behavioural patterns are considered sinful by Our Church. In short, she recognises identity, which is based on selfidentification with sin. Orthodox Church is not rejecting any person, but here we speak about identity which is founded on sin, and talks about sin… What kind of “Dialogue” it is.
      Further, all “Pride” events contain more or less, obscene messages, acts, and promotion of behaviour Our Church finds morally wrong. Why would wife of one priest, send greetings on such occasion?
      Second we have few insinuations about how Church is wrong in relations with such people. Fore example, objectification, which is quite lame excuse. Any academical discourse is kind of objectification. “Forced celibacy”? Seriously, this woman seems to ignore a lot things. Any sexual relations outside of marriage Church finds as moraly wrong. And of course, by definition marriage is communion of man and woman… I digress here.
      It’s rather hard to find such short writing with that much of wrong things.
      By the way, there is no such thing as “Orthodox Christians” in dialogue with somebody. Either they represent themslves, or Church.She doesn’t represent Church. And, single Orthodox Christian is none. [b]Unnus Christianus nullus Christianus[/b].
      May Lord have mercy on her, and on all of us.

  10. I read some of Presvetera Marilisse’s Facebook, and it’s clear that she’s a person who is very open about her strong positions on politics, social issues and religious attitudes. She hides nothing. Politically, she’s a leftist progressive. She has a lot to say about white mistreatment of blacks, she’s pro-Palestinian, she speaks a lot about figures like David Hogg.   On sexual issues. her views are similar to those of “The Wheel”. She takes a few swipes at St. Paul for his views on homosexuality and on women. She attacks Church traditionalists, in one instance by posting an article by Katherine Keleidis. The video she posted for Pascha was a shocker. The bottom line is that Presvetra is very open with her views, and it’s fair game for a blog like Monomakhos to comment on her views. I would venture a guess that Presvetera would enjoy engaging with George in a discussion on her views. In any event, what is all the fuss about? Presvetera is a politcial and church liberal. Monamakos represents conservative politics and traditional Orthodoxy. They are opposites and controversy is to be expected.

  11. Mel Parinas says

    Dubya was right.  Iraq was a modern state 1933-1958. 
    Nazi war criminals hid in Arab and Latin lands.
    Remember the 1970s terrorists?

    • Mel Parinas: “Dubya was right. Iraq was a modern state 1933-1958.”
      One can say the same about Cuba, that it was a modern state
      until 1959 (when Batista had to flee the country), or Libya until 1969 (when King Idris ruled).

      • George Michalopulos says

        Indeed. One could also say that Libya was a modernizing state until Ss Obama and Blair overthrew Ghadafi.

  12. Bella Karitas says

    How can you call for Athonite Monasticism and
    oppose homsexuality  in the same breath? Hypocites!

  13. Zupas Macrihupas says

    Kinross  said   Murad  demanded Notaras’ son for molestation. Perhaps you need to suspect Athonite homsexuals left the (apropo!) back door of Constantinople open for the Turks to enter!

  14. Fonas Craxas says

    Five times that!
    21.47 acr * 2.6 mln (285 goddard on /.57 acr
    = 100 mln

  15. Stavros Pappas says

    Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves. If Jesus were reading this now, he would overturn the tables. The same Jesus who aligned himself with thieves, prostitutes, and liars. You, George, who claims responsibility for this blog; you are by no means a journalist. You are a drama starter, a time-waster, and the epitome of the ill effects of vanity. I see no monomakhos here. I see cowards behind a keyboard. It takes true warrior courage to stand up on behalf of the voiceless. Beatitudes, anyone?
    The power of love wins every time, you will one day realize, when you most-likely die alone, that you were put on this earth to SERVE… not to bully. It’s people like you who cause parishioners, including kids, to be shunned from the church with your callous untruths. When those parishioners and kids commit suicide because of your actions, it is YOUR fault. Envision yourself answering to that one on Judgement Day… Look at you weep. 
    May God have mercy on us. Especially on those of us that do not love as He commanded.  

    • George Michalopulos says

      Who says I don’t love?

    • Brute from bygone ages says

      Stavros, when they brought adulterous woman to Christ, our Lord didn’t spoke about double standards, patriarchal moral, neither about forced celibacy… 
      “Go and sin no more!”…

      • M. Stankovich says

        You seem to have misplaced the first words of our Lord to this adulterous woman (which I might add, were very significant for the Holy Fathers):
        “And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you [go, and sin no more]. (Jn. 8:11)

        • Brute from bygone ages says

          I have misplaced nothing.   Οὐδὲ ἐγώ σε κατακρίνω:   “Neither do I condemn you” as in “I don’t pass the sentence, here death penalty against you”, not as “I do not criticize you”)…
          Christ is not condemning her to death penalty. He warns her to stop sining in next part of sentence.
          Honestly, I don’t understand what you were trying to prove here, but this is Internet after all.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Pardon me. I withdraw my comment. That’s all.

            • Yr comment was quite pertinent given Christ is God and as a human being, in this case a man. He said, ‘neither do i condem’ you.Actually is not so much condem as critise you, as there is another verb relating to the words judge and court that specifically mean to judge in legal terms. And He is taking the action out of the legal level of a crime to that of the spiritual. Go and sin no more, said all. You must remember the stoning followed on from the then Jewish legal system.

    • Way to signal that virtue, Stavros.

    • Telling people that they are the cause of others’ suicides seems to be the big thing these days. Maybe a new shock tactic – just going straight for that emotional jugular!

    • John Pappas says

      Professional progressive shamer. They like to wag their finger — incessantly. They think shouting ‘Hater!’ is discourse. 

    • Michael Bauman says

      Stavros, as someone who suffered for years (prior to my Chrismation at age 39) from suicidal ideation, suicide is a self-nurtured; self-consuming demonic suggestion built on the belief that one’s own will and desires are being thwarted. It is a submersion into a false world where you are the center of all existence. It is the inversion of the will to power. It can and does have certain mental/spiritual health precursors, but as important as it is for suffers to identify and deal with those, the basic temptation always comes from the evil one sounding so rational, reasonable and right.

      The antidote is the grace of the Holy Spirit and the joy only He brings but that only comes from repentance and obedience (or at least some attempt at it) to God’s order. An initial step in that direction is the conscious attempt to help others before oneself. To get to that point though one has to recognize the lie in the suggestion. Many people do not do that. It is deeply sad and I grieve for all of them.

      Mine was not related to homosexuality but everything I have read on the subject and heard from others so afflicted tells me that my experience is not that unique.

      Blaming others, even the evil one, misses the point. Sure, environmental pressures and existential problems have an impact, but it always lies with the person to accept or reject the lie. That is the fundamental reality of our personhood in communion with God. It is also the nature of our first sin: preferring our own desires leading to death over our obedience to God and His love, mercy and grace.

      It is a hard lesson to learn and one I am still not very good at.

  16. It’s remarkable how changing a word changes ones perception. Pro abortion is elevated to pro-choice ( shift from the act to personal rights). Man is God’s creation so man is in a state of being vs man is a product of evolution and is in a state of becoming. So when does a fertilized egg become a person? Fornication becomes fooling around. (The first is a grave sin and the second is, well, you know, just foolin’ around, you know, nothing serious). Sodomy becomes what? An expression of love between 2 consenting adults? Words are important! Remember St Simeon, one of the Seventy translating the Holy Scripture? How he was about to change virgin to maiden and the angel appeared and told him the word is virgin and how he would not die until he saw it fulfilled? Who are we to judge God’s words and change them? A sin is still a sin no matter what you call it. The difference is is if you catch me lying and call me a liar, bells go off in my head and I realize I have sinned. If on the other hand you smile and call me a little fibber, well, maybe it was not so bad, certainly nothing to run to confession over. Love me enough to speak the truth without “mincing” words! Words are important!

  17. The standard by which Our Lord will judge us is that we love the sinner and hate the sin. I see no way that George or Gail would have a problem with that standard. As for the Presvetera, read her facebook. She not only loves the sinners, but she endorses and approves of their sins. She’s doing what is predicted in Revelation, where it is said that in the last times they will call good evil and evil good. You people who have been so harsh on George and Gail don’t seem to make the distinction between sin and sinner. You need to read Presvetera’s Facebook postings. It’s clear that she is part of the group that seeks to harm the Church by sneaking in the LGBT agenda. So, though she seems to be a very likeable person, our love for the Church and its teachings come first. We already have the example of the destruction of the Anglican, various Lutheran churches as well as many other Protestant churches. Let’s wake up, put all sentimentality aside and defend the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. That’s our responsibility and duty. That’s what we’ll be judged on, not some misguided understanding of love.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Peter, AMEN!

    • M. Stankovich says

      You will pardon me, Peter, but if you intend to identify a “group that seeks to harm the Church,” I would refer you to Problems of Orthodoxy In America by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. For heaven’s sake you speak as if homosexuality – or any sexuality, for that matter – is the sine qua non of what threatens the integrity of the Church, while generalized indifference and the compartmentalization of faith, as Fr. Alexander describes, is ingrained in the “new phronema” and reigns in Orthodoxy in America. Fr. Alexander wrote these essays in 1965, and they were prophetic. While there is the suggestion that homosexual bishops are responsible for the implosion of the GOA, no one seems to consider the impact of indifference and the compartmentalization of faith. The old Russian saying is, “You get the bishop you deserve,” and how stark is the contrast in America. Likewise, you refer to “examples of destruction” as a warning, while not acknowledging that “the Anglican, various Lutheran churches as well as many other Protestant churches” self-destructed because of a century plus of heresy in defiance of “our love for the Church and its teachings.” Wasn’t their destruction predictable? What is the natural history of heresy but destruction?
      I have to say again, what more can possibly be said about this “sinful woman?” She has received the $5 smack-down in a textbook example of what Helen Andrews described in The New Yorker as an anonymous “shame storm.” Holy Cow! By evening there will nothing left to do but go down to GA and string her up, and let her swing for a few days so everyone learns the lesson of “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Michael, I don’t recall anyone saying this woman is “sinful” (not that it means anything because we’re all sinful). It is her words, that she put on an open Facebook page, the same page where she posts pictures of her husband, her child, her family, and her friends, some of whom are probably in the Church, that convict her because they belie the Church’s teaching. – Even you don’t do that, Michael. You’re not a priest but you take your responsibility as an Orthodox Christian very seriously. You stick closely to what the Church teaches and you certainly don’t celebrate the brokenness of your clients, as she has done. If you’re guilty of anything it’s that you’re too compassionate and will go to extraordinary lengths to protect those whom you perceive are being wounded. There was a time when I was on that side of the fence and you even defended me. But, my friend, you’re not reckless when it comes to the tenets of the Church, and if I had to put a label on her, that’s the one I would use. She is reckless and guilty of bringing her professional life into her private life, which includes the life of the Church, where it doesn’t belong.

        The question for all is this: What are you first? Are you Orthodox first or are you . . . Fill in the dots with your profession, your race, your nationality or anything else you might identify with. It’s an important question because when our competing loyalties intersect, how are you going to present yourself? If you’re married to a priest one would hope you’d present yourself as a Presbytera. Unfortunately, this woman didn’t and it’s disappointing.

    • Peter!
      Very wisely put!

  18. Dr. Stankovich, in the Orthodox Study Bible, the commentary  on John:7-11, states the following: “Christ’s answer confounds the Pharisees, for He upholds a great principle of the Law-that the wages of sin is death(Gen 2:17;  Rom 6:23)-without neglecting its greater aspect of mercy(Dt 13:17, Ps116:2,117:4This mercy is offered freely to all REPENTANT(my emphasis) sinners. In order for us to receive this gift, we must in turn flee from sin. (v.11)”

  19. Michael Bauman says

    Michael S, I appreciate your comment on the use of the word sodomite. You make a point worth considering. However, any word can become weaponized–that does not mean we stop using it. Plus, part of the difficulty of addressing these types of issues in any kind of semblance of actual communication is the meaning of the very words themselves.

    Like it or not being a sodomite is a real thing. However, it should not be limited to just homosexuals. In fact it is arguable that the majority of sodomites are not homosexual. Pushing for the proper understanding and use of the word is important. That alone would bring up a lot of unpleasant heterosexual behavior the Church does not countenance either. (Sarcasm on) Can’t do that, no, no, no. Only the homosexuals have sex contrary to the revealed truth of the Church. Everybody know that. (Sarcasm off)

    One of the insidious things that the anti-Christians have done is steal the language. Among many other things the word “gay” used to mean happy, carefree and joyful. It does not mean that any more. Co-opting the rainbow and the word “marriage” has lost its real meaning as well. Although to be fair that started before the homosexual lobby got a hold of it.

    Of course the best way for the Church to witness to the truth is live it. That means among other things far fewer divorces than the society at large, far fewer children conceived out of wedlock than society at large, far fewer abortions, far less fornication and adultery. We ought to be doing that long before we start being concerned about “sexual minorities” It also means having a strong foundation in the sexual virtues that allows us to actually minister to all those who transgress into sexual sin. Michael S, you are correct that singling out those who engage in homoerotic behavior for condemnation while ignoring the vast array of other sexual sins is hypocritical, but so is making homosexual sin a special category that is beyond the reach of the Church.

    The real sexual minorities are the chaste and the faithful. Where is the push to create programs and special events for them? Where are the “Pride Parades” for them, each dressed in white and proclaiming their joy while calling those who don’t agree to change their ways. Hasn’t virginity been declared a social disease that one must be cured of as soon as possible? Popular culture would certainly make one think so especially when Teen Vogue has a recent article promoting “sex work”, aka prostitution as a legitimate career path for female teens (not males however–how sexist).

    I would still like to have defined for me by Steven or anyone else to whom sexual minorities are important, what is meant by that term. That and why should the Church have a special category to address their spiritual and emotional health while ignoring everyone else. Do we need “sexual minority” affirmative action? The rhetoric in the society at large would seem to suggest that, indeed, such “affirmative action” is exactly what is being demanded.

    The Church does a bad job in spiritual formation in the virtues (chastity and faithfulness and sacrifice of fatherhood/motherhood) that should surround sex and give sex its meaning both existentially and spiritually. The virtue and discipline that allows for God’s fecund grace to manifest, not just for the husband and wife but for all of the “olive shoots round about their table”. Yet at the same time people are held accountable for the lack of those virtues, or perceived lack, which we have failed to inculcate even in our own people.

    The call to repentance in matters sexual should be born most heavily on those society considers “normal”. Once we do that, a dialogue might be useful. In the meantime all we can hope to do is keep the barbarians who so “compassionately” (another word which has lost its meaning) want to open up the gates to the destruction we have witnessed in other Christian fellowships by the even more degraded sexual barbarians that rule this world. We have let in enough already.

    Repent and sin no more can also mean to not increase the scope of sin as well as cessation of current sin.

  20. California says

    It’s interesting how the homosexual/LGBTQWERTY++–** threads always generate the most amount of comments in a short time span. Evidence that this issue is on a short fuse for most people. Our culture is not anywhere close to a stable position on these issues, despite what the cultural elite want to have us think.

    From my own experience, as a man who struggled a lot with SSA in the past, I can say a few things:

    1. Never did I think that God “made me that way.” It’s my opinion (from my experience and knowledge of myself and many others) that many men who follow this route — who identify with the cultural/political context and claim the “gay” identity — do so because they feel they have no other choice, or because they think that this route is the only option. This is what listening to the mainstream newsmedia and to the cultural elite gets you.

    2. The Church was the ONLY thing for MANY, MANY weeks, months, and years that helped me continually work to unearth my “true self,” to learn who is the man whom God designed me to be. I’m a firm believer that without the Church, I would have embraced the gay identity years ago. Without the Church and that inexpressible force (which is Christ Himself telling me to work every day to discover the man whom God designed me to be), I’d now be dead, a serious drug abuser, a porn addict, or something along those lines.

    3. For me and for many men, SSA is a form of sex addiction. It’s the best way to think about it. Just like most of us wouldn’t tell an alcoholic to “just get over it and stop drinking,” telling a sex addict or SSA-afflicted man to “just stop” doesn’t work. Like all addicts, we are using SSA and the emotional high we feel from it to deal with painful, unaddressed, deep emotional problems. For more than 95% of SSA men, the root of SSA lies in trauma related to not effectively attaching or bonding with the dads or the primary male role model in our/their lives. More than 75% of men who suffer from SSA were sexually abused by other men as children. Myself included. In a counterintuitive way, SSA is a way to try to conquer this prior sexual abuse — to try to recreate the same-sex sexual encounter in order to be the victor this time, not to remain the suffering child who can’t get away. Problem is, this path does not work. This reality of a history of sexual abuse being intimately tied to male SSA that the mainstream elites do not want people to know.

    4. Because of #1 through #3 above, SSA is not a casual choice akin to “what color shirt will I wear today?” It is also certainly not inborn and innate, like skin color or eye color. It is a compulsion — often an unwelcome compulsion — that most SSA afflicted people don’t even know where to begin to try to heal from it. Because of this, men struggling with SSA need compassion and understanding (something that very few in our society have or are willing to give), but they also need guidance on where to go for healing. At least with alcoholism, it’s now culturally acceptable to go to AA meetings to try to heal. It is not culturally acceptable to try to heal from unwanted SSA.

    5. My SSA was intimately tied to my codependency and shame issues. Many other men whom I know who struggle(d) with SSA have the same experience. My healing from the compulsive attraction to the SSA life began when I began healing from codependency and shame.

    6. I have never met a man who is SSA afflicted but who has a strong, solid, loving bond with his dad or with the primary male role model from his life when he was a child. This fact is not an accident or merely coincidental. The SSA drive is a misdirected means to try to repair the nonexistent father bond.

    7. While I will be eternally grateful to Christ and His Church for pushing me to work to be the man whom God designed (since it’s obvious that I would never have gotten that message from our current culture), the Church offered no tools as to how to exactly begin the healing process. Most people in the Church have no idea how to do it. Regular involvement in the sacraments (including confession) is vital, but deep-rooted problems of SSA are usually not the kind of thing that confession alone can heal. It is tremendously harmful if there are unhealed gay-identified clergy and bishops leading our church who have not confronted and dealt with this issue in their own lives.

    8. SSA is at heart an emotional problem. Men who suffer with unwanted SSA are searching to heal themselves, to find their true selves, to be the men whom Christ designed them to be. Virtually all of the time, lack of attachment, lack of affirmation, a tremendous amount of shame, and sexual abuse from either dad or the male caregiver/rolemodel are at the root of SSA. These issues must be addressed and dealt with through the help of support groups and a caring therapist for the man to find healing.

    9. The Church needs to offer these men a path toward healing. It’s not enough to tell suffering men “don’t do it.” The sacraments and confession help, but this is not something that serial confession can magically heal for most people. SSA cannot be a topic that priests and bishops are afraid to touch, but that’s where we are: most priests/bishops are too afraid to even talk about it.

    10. This ridiculous, maybe well-meaning “presvytera” that is discussed in the above comments is emblematic of the problem in our cultural elite — they think they are helping, but in reality they do so much harm in enabling behavior that is a dead end. This “presvytera” knows nothing about the deep emotional problems of SSA, and she knows nothing about how to heal them. As Fr Seraphim Rose stated, this path advocated by the cultural elite and by this presvytera is “loaded with the thousands of rotting corpses who have tried it before.”

    Besides, for men to heal from the emotional turmoil that is at the root of SSA, they need to be guided primarily by other men, not by women. This presvytera’s husband should step up to the plate — but if he’s cool with his wife enabling dysfunctional lifestyles, then he has no business counseling people about sexual identity issues either.

    11. I have thought about writing in a more public Church forum about my experiences and healing, in order to begin to fill the vacuum on this important topic that most in our Church are afraid to talk about. I’m not sure where I will go with it. At this point, it’s depressing that too many in the Church have either adopted society’s wrong opinion that “God must have just made some people with different sexual preferences and all are OK” and thereby invent a new Christ and new Christian teachings, or they are so afraid of this topic that they cannot touch it or discuss it in a caring manner, without being cruel or vindictive.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Well, California, you do our Church proud with your proclamation. Thank you for your honesty and for your willingness to share. We all fall down and the only thing the Church requires of us is that we try to get back up, even if we have to confess the same thing a thousand times. It’s the struggle that defines us as Orthodox Christians, not the degree to which we have been successful. But somewhere in the midst of all this struggle, often real change is possible even if it flies in the face of everything we believe we know about ourselves. The Church can change you in unimaginable ways. Praise be to God that you have done (and presumably are doing) the necessary work and with your particular circumstances, you speaking out could very well be pivotal in helping not only other men who struggle with the same issue but our clergy who undoubtedly would benefit from the insight you can provide. I hope you’ll consider it. If you contact George offline, I’m sure he can put you in touch with the right people. – Again, thank you.

    • M. Stankovich says


      Blessed is our God who delivered you, and many like you, by whatever means He chose to effect healing.

      What you suggest – “Virtually all of the time, lack of attachment, lack of affirmation, a tremendous amount of shame, and sexual abuse from either dad or the male caregiver/rolemodel are at the root of SSA. These issues must be addressed and dealt with through the help of support groups and a caring therapist for the man to find healing” – is exactly what Joseph Nicolosi, one of the co-founders of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), taught all over the US. Then Dr. Nicolosi and his wife decided to expand their outreach and went to London. On the first evening of their outreach, Dr. Nicolosi came face-to-face with an auditorium full of fathers and their gay sons. They shouted him down until he agreed to hear their stories. Father & son after father & son stood up to tell him of their loving relationship; some fathers actually openly wept in describing how they had changed their “pre-father” lives – fast paced business careers that kept them away from the family – and arranged their lives to work from home in order to properly attend to their sons. Other fathers were enraged at the implication that they were at “fault.” These fathers, also describing the nurturing & loving relationships they had with their sons. It ended by them literally driving Nicolosi and his wife away.

      Am I offering this to suggest that your interpretation of what you experienced is incorrect? Certainly not. Nor am I suggesting there is something “healthy” about fathers who support their son’s active homosexual lifestyle. I point this out because a world renowned author and lecturer was handed his hat because he insisted he – and NARTH – had the answer to the “cause” of homosexuality; and of course, he also had the “cure.” I have no clue as to where you got the statistics that 95% of men with SSA experienced “father trauma,” and 75% were abused by other men as children, but there is no legitimate research that supports this. None. In fact, apart from, for example a known genetic error – the idea that the result of any human trauma, notably child sexual abuse as physical or sexual abuse, will necessarily result in any behaviour, let alone SSA, at a confidence level of 95%, is absurd.

      I have worked in forensics – in prisons, parole out-patient clinics, and most recently at a longterm residential rehab for parolees with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness. I have been asked a million times if I was “surprised” by anything I had encountered, and I will tell you that the single most surprising thing I discovered was the number of men who had been sexually abused as children. It is staggering, and I continue to be shocked at the numbers of men I interviewed who admitted this. The phenomenon of male-on-male sexual activity in prisons is well-documented, but what is also well-documented is the fact that it is rare for men to engage in male-on-male sexual activity outside of custody. How to explain this? Secondly, it was fairly predictable that these same patients were raised in homes where the father was absent or unknown, was violent and abusive toward the patient’s mother, and/or physically/sexually abusive to them.

      Take this out of the forensic world into the ethnic minority community in the US. A study conducted by the Annie E. Cassie Foundation found that in 2017, 65% of African American, 54% of Native American, 41% of Hispanic/Latino, 24% of Non-Hispanic White, 15% of Asian/Pacific Islander, and 41% of those with two or more races children were raised in a single-female head of household, totaling 24,001,000 children. If the lack of of a paternal presence, with only a mother to to serve as the primary “nurturer” and role-model, were causative of SSA, we would be inundated – in fact overwhelmed – with homosexuals. Between the 2000 census and the 2010 census, the percentage of children in the US changed by only 2.6%; children raised in single-female head of households has varied by very few percentage little – often as little as 2% – between 2008 and 2017; and the prevalence of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender- with the obvious caveat that there is under-reporting of “stigmatized” persons – in research conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law remains consistent at 3.8%, or 1-in-20. I will say this emphatically, no one – and I repeat, absolutely no one – knows the cause(s) of SSA. And the obvious corollary is that no one – and I repeat, absolutely no one – knows if reparitive therapies are even helpful beyond anecdote, given that what is practiced now is colossally a failure.

      Again, I personally rejoice in your victory. At the same time I seriously caution you. You began by saying, “From my own experience…” I cannot emphasize more that I hope to impress on you the danger in attempting to project your personal experience onto a “class,” men who have SSA. I appreciate your feelings regarding the “cultural elite,” but I caution you against becoming a “homosexual elite,” as I worry that the two edged sword may inadvertently result in similar paths “loaded with the thousands of rotting corpses who have tried it before.” I am a survivor of colon cancer. My grandmother did not survive, and my mother endured numerous surgeries and radiation. I later discovered myself in an advocacy role, and intolerant of those who, without walking this path, attempted to “instruct.” A friend said to me very directly, “You are relying on your study and your own personal experience to your own detriment. Having experienced colon cancer, you believe you have an “acquired expertise.” You just pissed off a leading researcher by your defensiveness. He never has had colon cancer, yet he knows infinitely more than you. You let your emotions rule you.” I would hope to spare that lesson.

      • George Michalopulos says

        We would be “inundated” with massive amounts of homosexuality because of single-motherhood if there weren’t normal, “evolutionary” and societal pressures mitigating against same sex attraction.

        Now mind you, single motherhood is a massive font of pathology, of this there can be no doubt. But we’re talking about several dozens of pathologies. It’s possible that they may in toto, crowd out homosexual urges from ever forming in the first place. The taboo against pederasty for example keeps this particular urge in the closet (at least for now). And pederasty, the “grooming” of young boys & adolescents is still the primary mechanism for recruitment into the homosexual lifestyle.

        I realize that this is a massively politically incorrect thing to say but history teaches otherwise.

        • M. Stankovich says

          You and I both know you can no more document or support these statements beyond that lowlife of a human being, Milo Yiannopulos. Why don’t we hear of him anymore? Oh yeah, conservatives were forced to unload him after he publicly stated that he didn’t see a problem with adults having sex with children.
          I wish I could understand how you are served by believing this trash. You are trained as a scientist, you have spoken here on the authority of your license, and I presume that you frequently advize many customers during any given day as to the safe use of complex medications. How are able to suspend this professional “attitude?”
          I end by saying I have been wondering if anyone noticed the real absence of Tim R. Mortiss. He said that he would not tolerate an attitude of anti-semitism/racism, videos he found vulgar, nor accept vulgar language, specifically terms like “cuk,” which he (and I) believed served no purpose. What saddens me the most about his absence is, if my memory is correct, he began here shortly before he became Orthodox. St. Basil the Great’s baptismal instruction include his instruction, “Baptize them, and then teach them to be Christians.” In that analogy, it seems to me that, for better or worse, he learned a few things about Orthodoxy here. I miss his posts.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Michael S.
        I would say that the root cause of SSA is actually well known, the sexual disorder caused by our estrangement from God. That impacts us all manifest in unique ways.

        I am going, as my father taught me, from the general to the specific. The problem we have in properly addressing sexual pathologies is our tendency to isolate them from each other rather than looking at them as a syndrome that manifests in vastly different ways. SSA is a cluster in that syndrome marked by a certain group of behaviors but even those similar behaviors often have different roots.

        Certain general behaviors cross into different clusters-ponography being one.

        The Church, in particular, would be much better served if the notion that SSA is a unique sin and has to be approached separately.

        If one of us falls sexually, all of fall to a certain degree. While the manifestations are unique and the personal experiences unique, the fundamental sin is not. We all suffer from some degree of disordered sexuality. The only norm we have is the Biblical norm and that is a high bar to reach.

        I do not have the expertise to develop and implement specific approaches but I am certain that they already exist in the Church.

      • Michelle says

        M. Stankovich —
        I understand that you are a doctor and that you are my senior.  I want to believe that you are both more rational and more knowledgeable than I am, but I am having a difficult time arriving at that belief.  Please prove me wrong?
        You write like an artist, with carefully constructed sentences that mesmerize.  Yet your logic makes me laugh!  You criticize California for relying on his experience and anecdotal data, yet with the next breath, you say that a renowned healer was “handed his hat” by fathers who relied on their own experience and anecdotal data.  You attempt to make up for this by citing research (that I presume you paid for and we do not have access to) that we are supposed to accept without question, because of your experience (read: your experience and anecdotal data).  I see a pattern!
        It’s difficult for me to accept the research that you mentioned as the research varies and research (especially on human subjects) is often abysmally flawed.  To cite contradictory “research”:  .    To inquire about a research flaw, do the studies that you present treat homosexuality as a family / community disease?  Do they rely on the qualitative (perhaps quantitative?) data of the ill individual, or do they also encompass the data of family members who watched, and perhaps participated in, the development of the disease?  Why or why not?  Can the scientific method be applied to individuals or family diseases?
        I believe you have the best of intentions, but it strikes me that you occupy a place in society that is basically a substitute for the Priest class, in addition to counseling Bishops because of the letters behind your name.  I wonder if you understand the difference between a Priest and a psychologist, between revelation and science, between Christianity as a religion and Science as a religion.  I wonder how you measure the success of your counseling.  I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.

        • Constantinos says

          I believe that Michael’s research is impeccable as he is very meticulous in his studies, and doesn’t state things unless he is sure of his sources and facts.
          As far as Michael occupying a place in society that is basically a substitute for the “Priest class,” I think that is fundamentally  unfair. Michael has labored in the trenches for many years, and he knows whereof he speaks. He deals with people on a daily basis that would give the rest of us nightmares.  Because of his extremely dangerous work, he needs all of our prayers. I believe his motives are noble, and he sincerely tries to make this world a better place.  Let us remember: “Judge not, that we be not judged.” He literally puts his life on the line every day. Not many of us can say that. I’m sure he has had great successes, and many disappointments. 

          • Michelle says

            Thank you. I should not have been so harsh. 
            I sense how difficult it is to step outside of the social/intellectual paradigms that we are invested in.  I meant to criticize the field of psychology, to question whether the scientific method can be used to study social diseases, etc.  My issue is with the religion of science, not with Michael’s intentions, and certainly not with his soul. 
            As much as the Priest’s wife who proclaimed her support for the LGBT+ lobby should be corrected, whatever that means, Michael should know his training has caused him to error. Between his single motherhood comment and his misleading extrapolation of California’s comments (wherein California said that 95% of SSA is caused by attachment issues, and Michael dismissed California by stating that abuse does not cause SSA 95% of the time), I have a difficult time trusting Michael’s judgment. I could go on: the most interesting topics that he brought up were homosexuality among inmates (not biological, obviously sociological), the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse of inmates, and Milo Younappolis (sp?), a victim of pedophilia who publicly tested whether the abuse that occurred to him would be accepted by the general public. These interesting topics contradict what Michael keeps telling himself that he is trying to say (that X does or does not cause Y in a predictable fashion). In the end, I see that Michael’s beliefs are irrational – in that they contradict each other – much in the same way that I am “psychoanalyzing” Michael’s unconscious beliefs yet I claim to oppose psychology. Lord have mercy.
            We humans are not meant to find truth through rational thought and the scientific method. There was/is only one Christ. God cannot be measured or understood.
            It bothers me that bishops ask psychologists for understanding re: LGBT issues.  This has nothing to do with Michael. Michael may be a saint — he should be advising bishops for *that* reason, and no other.
            Michael Baumann, I have saved for my personal healing three snippets of insight that you have written on this blog in the last few weeks. Thank you.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Let’s be honest here: you wouldn’t know me if bagged your groceries or delivered your mail. You have never seen me, nor heard my voice. I am nothing but words on a monitor. Nevertheless, you would somehow imagine you have grasped my “essence” and character, based on a handful of posts on a blog. Then, you proceed to openly interrogate me as if I’m some jamoke from the streets. This is a big order, Michelle. I will not be rude to you as you have been with me.

          First, I hold a graduate degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, where I studied for 7-years, from a time when Fr. Alexander Schmemann was the Dean, and the faculty included Fr. John Meyendorff (who alternately with Fr. Alexander were my confessors), Professor SS Verhovskoy, Fr. Thomas Hopko, and Fr. John Breck. I was 18-years old when I began there, and of any one in this world, these men literally influenced my development. I also have had the privilege of meeting, and either simply listening to, or having the opportunity to have personal discussions with some of the greatest Orthodox minds of our generation. If there is a Bishop who solicits my opinion or advice, it is because I am qualified to offer it, and they trust me.

          Secondly, I have been engaged in clinical research for 25-years. Why am I sought out by other professionals? Because I am  scrupulous both in my work and my ethics. Your statement, “You attempt to make up for this by citing research (that I presume you paid for and we do not have access to) that we are supposed to accept without question, because of your experience (read: your experience and anecdotal data). I see a pattern!” is as patently offensive as it is baseless and ridiculous. And for the record, my point was about the exclusive reliance on anecdote and personal experience. I specifically used my own example of offending the cancer specialist: I was so caught up in the emotions of my own personal experience, that I closed my mind to the wealth of knowledge this great expert, who had not had cancer himself, but he certainly knew how to cure it. It was foolish of me, and something to which I was totally “blind,” until my friend confronted me.
          I wrote about this recently, but I have been treating gay men ever since I did my residency in psychiatry at a major Catholic medical center in New York City, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, when there literally was no treatment for AIDS, but to address the endless number of opportunistic infections. It was also a time when there constant debates as to the actual cause of AIDS, and healthcare providers were terrified of contracting whatever illness caused it. As I also have described, because of this fear, it frequently resulted in residents like me lifting human beings, who were little more than skeletons, from beds where they lay in their own excrement, onto a bed pan so we could change the bed, wash them, and return them to bed. But far worse were people like the professor of English literature from an Ivy League college in NYC, who sat in his bed sobbing; when I entered and asked him what was wrong, he said that he had finished a full chapter of a novel, but he could not remember what he had read, and worse, he was losing his vision from cytomegalovirus, an opportunistic infection. These individuals haunt me to this day.
          And finally, let me make absolutely clear so there is no question in your mind as to how I measure success. There is a very famous psychiatrist who is a professor-emeritus from Stanford University, Irvin Yalom, MD. He essentially broke down “counseling,” therapy, whatever you wish to call it, into a number of “healing factors,” the first of which is the “Installation of Hope.” I have never worked for a “for-profit” program or practice in my life: elderly minorities, homeless/underserved & persistently mentally ill, and in-custody felons and parolees with co-occuring mental illness and substance use disorders. My patients have always been the despised, rejected, and most despicable people our humanity has to offer – and in prison, that meant the likes of murderers, serial child sexual predators, and individuals who tortured other human beings for pleasure. Regardless, their behaviour never stopped me from at least attempting to “instill hope,” hope that change was possible and that they were capable of change. Did I begin and end with a prayer? Never. Did I discuss my faith with patients? Never. Did I have the Bible or icons with me? Never. Why?
          “We know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Rom. 8:24ff)
          I did not deserve your form of “critique.” Your “questions” are actually statements, and they are loaded and intended to mock me. In any case, the respect that I have is earned, and while I do not complain, much of it was earned by suffering my inabilities and lack of faith. I have said many times, I lack the faith that would simply lift a man from the piece of cardboard on which he sleeps on the street, and offer him healing; the Lord said faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains. What can I say? It just seems to be that kind of day. 

          • Michelle says

            Please forgive me for offending you. You have taken the time to correct me and that is far more than I deserve. 
            I misread a sentence of yours yesterday, erroneously believing that you were dismissed from a position for referring to patients by their chosen gender. I reacted poorly to you, especially with my immature autogynephilia comment, because I was married to, and for years abused by, an autogynephile, with his sexual compulsion a significant part of the abuse. You are not responsible for the way that the community of psychological professionals enable my husband’s behavior.
            I emphatically insist that I intend no personal offense when I question the assumptions of the field of psychology and clinical research. I simply do not believe in it. I also admit that I am not impressed by academic credentials — yours, mine, or another’s.  Apologies if you are hurt by my dismissive attitude; that’s not my intention. 
            My best friend from childhood studied psychology at Harvard and earned her PhD last year. I’ve listened to all of Rory Connelly’s YaleCourses YouTube lectures (he’s a psych professor). Between Rory and my friend Elizabeth, I’m told that clinicians are supposed to support the patient in the choices that they make, while providing suggestions, yet mostly follow the lead of the patient as he discovers his path.
            I much prefer your goal — to instill Hope in your patients.
            You’ve done that for me — given me hope. It may sound silly, but it’s because you insisted on the correct pronouns, and especially because you have gone out of your way to respond to me. I will not forget that, and I thank you.
            I hope you have a good night and a happy 4th of July. 

          • I must admit, I am greatly impressed by your theological studies after the age of 18, with such good teachers!
            Without joking at all, you would be a much, much better choice today than Elpidoforos. And apparently you speak about 4 languages too.
            What I do not understand is why you did not stay in Theology (if not clergy) and went to Psychiatry or something similar. And I am saying this because we normally read about scientists who leave their science, and come to “the Science of Sciences”, Religion.

            A few examples are:

            Bp. Nikolaos of Mesogaia, Greece used to be a physisist/nuclear scientist in the USA.

            The Russian Bp. St.Lucas the Doctor used to be a Surgeon.
            (BTW, unlike you,  he did have an icon and prayed in the Surgery, before operations, and he did that for spiritual AND practical/medical reasons!)
            A few years ago, I met a psychologist who told me,
            “After reading these things in the Bible and the Fathers I feel like throwing away my Psychology Degrees”

            In the group “Crusade for Christ)” who later became Orthodox, many of their Pastors (late Priests) were Mathematicians or other Scientists who had left their sciences for the Church.

            And last but not least, when St.Basil the Great became Christian he said: “I  wasted my time at the University of Athens” where he had to take all subjects like Philosophy, Medicine, Maths, you name it.

            So, I was just wondering, your course of events was exactly the other way round.
            You must have had a very good reason.

            • George Michalopulos says

              BTW, “Mesogaia” is Greek for Middle-earth.

            • Estonian Slovak says

              Michael speaks at least French and Greek, possibly as well as he speaks English. He probably has at least a decent command of Russian and Serbian.
                  More importantly though, Michael has not wasted the talents God gave him. I regret that I can’t say the same for myself.

          • Michael Stankovitch I do not know u either but know of you and know yr postings that i find immensely helpful and hope full.
            I worked in physical and mental health as senior nurse and clinical psychologist in Uk and Greece so saw ALL that u describe.
            One of my treasured books is the Diaries of late Fr Alexander Schememn, and a St Vladimir cd recording of him celebrating the presanctified liturgy.
            When one looks at the current generation of Orthodox leaders ( NOT ALL) one understands the meaning of decline. Especially in the GOA.

    • Monk James Silver says

      ‘California’, may the Lord bless you abundantly in your struggle for holiness, and may His Holy Spirit guide others — especially the clergy — to learn from your experience and example. Please remember me in your prayers as I do you in mine.

      • Lon Calefas says

        The etymology of California (good fornication) always cracks me up

        • George Michalopulos says

          Actually, the name comes from a fictional island described in a novel Las Sergas de Esplandian, which was ruled by a Queen Calafia. (This name itself may derive from the Arabic word khalifa.)

          The novel was written by Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo and when Hernando de Alarcon discovered the Baja peninsula in 1540, he thought it was a beautiful island. This is the first recorded use of the word California for an actual geographic area.

          • Ted Murphy says

            It is worth remembering that Spain’s Arab past foredates the Moroccan Moors as the Carthage Punics were Lebanese Pheonicians

            • George Michalopulos says

              Very true. Iberia’s indigenous population is a mixture of the Phoenicians of North Africa together with the Celts. Usually this mixture is called “Celt-Iberian”. With the expulsion of the Moors (themselves a mixed Arab/Celt-Iberian population [the Moors did not bring their women with them but intermarried with the indigenous Iberian women]) and the Jews in 1492, many of these non-Christian peoples decided to convert to Christianity. Some who had Jewish ancestry were devout in their observance (e.g. Tomas de Torquemada,* Ignatius Loyola, Theresa of Avila, etc.), most of these conversos however were engaging in a form crypsis or false conversion. The Christian monarchs who united Spain (Ferdinand and Isabella) received permission from the Pope to take over the Inquisition for political purposes. Their aim was to ferret false conversions. Their reliance on limpeada de sangre (the “purity of blood”) was the only guarantor of religious orthodoxy.

              *Yes, you read that right: the infamous Inquisitor-general was one-quarter Jewish.

              Interestingly, the indigenous peoples of North Africa are the Berbers, a very Celtic/Teutonic-appearing race of people with higher than normal Rh-negative blood grouping.

              • Joe Mirtigle says

                It has been argued the first Celts appeared in Spain. Catalonia is said to be a contraction of Goth-Aloun-ia

    • California if only we could have more quiet, factual statements as you have posted, that show up the current  ‘frothers at the mouth’, for the ill informed biggots they are, and the ‘ right on elites’   ( Robert, call me Beto as I’m Mexican really!!?o’ rourke comes to mind as classic example)  with their smooth unchallenged assumptions and yes ‘ pro choice ‘ so nice,  coffee please, not tea  for me, as so naive in one way and  so cynical in another.  The Obama, clinton feel good music therapy crap.  Well they so shocked when the white man’ s tribes turned up too .  
      And as you say the Church, well what can Catholic church say on anything now that is not a  very sick joke?  But where are we on all this? 

  21. Dr. Stankovich,
    I’m not as smart as you and I certainly don’t come near as writing as well as you. So, I’ll use the listing method to make clear what I was saying and add a little more.

    God does not like our sinning, whether it be shoplifting, lying with a man, yelling at one’s wife etc
    God has infinite mercy for us and rejoices when we repent and will forgive us.
    There is a serious movement within the church to implement the LBGT agenda and say that homosexuality is not a sin, gay marriage should be blessed by the Church and calls for approving a whole bunch more of gender and sexual issues.
    Orthodox Christians have a duty to defend the Church and stop attempts to introduce this LBGT agenda into the Church.
    Calling out those who promote this LBGT stuff does not indicate a lack of love or judging.
    P.S. I would certainly agree with you that indifference and compartmentalization of the faith weaken the Church.

    • M. Stankovich says

      Let me begin by saying to you and beyond, I have grown tired of the whole “Dr.” business. I don’t know it started, but enough. As you may have already heard, my name is Michael. That would be appreciated.
      I must be missing the point, or you have somehow imagined I would disagree with with your “list?” It would surprise me, but whatever… 

      • On this specific topic, and after observing what the common practice is in the discussions here, and using your paradigm,
        please correct me if I am wrong,
        but one thing strikes me:

        In MOST of your replies here, you in turn, do not mention the name/pseudonym of the receiver (addressee) at all?
        Why is that?

        • M. Stankovich says

          I defy convention?

          • As usual, you answer a question just by another question.
            I am not going to play that game and I’ll answer:
            You know very well that you defy no convention.
            You also know that I know that. So, why ask me?
            To waste time? To avoid the real answer?

            However, being a scientist, you understand very well
            that there is an “exception” in the technical sense.
            If there is an “exception” to the “common practice” then
            there is a reason and an explanation about that,
            but of course I did not make myself very clear.
            You probably have heard of the technical term
            “management by exception”. An exception is a very important thing to consider. It invariably reveals otherwise unknown facts, good or bad, positive or negative.
            As an easy example in your case, it MIGHT mean that you think you are addressing people in the correct (nameless) way, but that we, the rest of the crowd, cannot understand this. Again this is a bad, easy example of mine, as a mere illustration, and i do not imply anything else.

            May I now kindly repeat my question?
            Thank you very much.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Of course you meant to imply something or you would not have elaborated on the “possibilities” and attempted to engage me in this ridiculous discussion! The real answer: C’est n’importe quoi!
              I have been posting on this site since 2011, and the fact is, a “paradigm” has never existed for addressing anyone. If Mr. Michalopulos has changed this policy overnight, I’ll wait to receive the memo. In these eight years that I have been active here, no one whom I have addressed has ever been offended by the technical how of my responses. Now, you would presume to fantasize over why I do what I do? Seriously? C’est n’importe quoi!
              In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am neither cagey (Not forthcoming, reticent, wary, non-committal), nor coy (To instigate or stir up to action). I speak very directly, succinctly, and I choose my words carefully. I have already clearly stated to you that you apparently hold an unique sense of entitlement as to who “owes” you an answer. I do not subscribe to this sense. Neither am I like the other two gentlemen from whom you “demanded” answers. And did you seriously say to me, “I am not going to play that game?” Pal, you threw the first pitch. I’m a perceptive man, and it appears to me that you can’t hit the curve ball, inside, at the knees. But I’ll tell you what: I’ll answers your question immediately after you provide me your full name. BANG! Called third strike on a fast ball waist high, caught you looking. You’re out bro’.  

      • Gail Sheppard says

        The person who began calling you that was giving you the props he believed you deserved.  Those who continue to call you that do so because your writing and observations support it.  It would be a shame to get so far into the weeds that you no longer recognize kindness and respect when it is extended to you.    

        • M. Stankovich says

          As to why you would evaluate this as reflective of my “ingratitude,” and indicative or my lost ability to “recognize kindness and respect when it is extended to you,” is at once pretentious as it is a poor attempt at mind-reading. Had you been respectful enough to have asked me before reaching a conclusion, I would have told you that, as I look around, with the notable exception of clergy, no one displays such titles, particularly when I know some here are equally – if not better – qualified. I am not unique, nor am I significant enough to be the only one singled out. Likewise, “kindness and respect” can be shown in equally appropriate ways without making a special distinction. And most importantly, it’s my business. You have again taken up the practice of immediately scouring my posts, and suggesting my numerous deficiencies, all of which I am quite aware. Kindly find another project.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Sorry, M. I just knew the backstory and thought you might want to know people were paying you a compliment. Sorry if I offended you. I do not single you out by “scouring” your posts. I scour EVERYONE’S posts. I’m an editor, M. It’s my job. Feel free to post somewhere else if that is a concern.

            • M. Stankovich says

              You need to read what I wrote again: scour my posts as you will, that wasn’t my objection. I object to your pretension of “case formulation” and mind reading. I would have thought you could learn from your mistakes. And the fact of the matter is that there is no parity: if were to impose myself into your comments as you do mine, and be honest, they would never see the light of day on this site. This is the joke that is Centurion’s attempt to dog me, saying, “You can read the full discussion here.” No, you can’t read the full discussion, because when webmaster’s censure your response, it certainly appears to everyone else that you gave no response; the implication being you “conceded” the point because the webmaster was correct. And you know what? There is something very sad, very disheartening to read you telling me that if I cannot tolerate your pretension and inappropriate comments, I should leave here, on a website that says, “Copyright © 2019 George C. Michalopulos.”
              Before you delete this post, let me say that this opportunity to be honest has been refreshingly cathartic.

      • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

        Hello, Michael Stankovich. Out of respect for your education and the difficulties you went through as you worked towards your doctorate, I’ve called you Doctor a few times. I am glad we are friendly now, on account of because I respect you. Thanks for your posts, insights, and wisdom. – Beryl

    • M. Stankovich says

      As I noted to you from my very first comment, I was genuinely moved by your report of your family and the “rhythm of the Church” you have established, and I have respect for your effort. If I have offended you by not following the paradigm of addressing the “subject,” please forgive me.  

      • California if only we could have more quiet, factual statements as you have posted, that show up the current  ‘frothers at the mouth’, for the ill informed biggots they are, and the ‘ right on elites’   ( Robert, call me Beto as I’m Mexican really!!?o’ rourke comes to mind as classic example)  with their smooth unchallenged assumptions and yes ‘ pro choice ‘ so nice,  coffee please, not tea  for me, as so naive in one way and  so cynical in another.  The Obama, clinton feel good music therapy crap.  Well they so shocked when the white man’ s tribes turned up too .  
        And as you say the Church, well what can Catholic church say on anything now that is not a  very sick joke?  But where are we on all this? 

  22. Chris Banescu says

    California, may God bless you for the powerful testimony and your faithfulness to Christ, and genuine love for others who struggle with SSA. There are a couple of priests I know who have helped men find healing in a manner similar to what you described. Their true Orthodox pastoral approach needs to become the standard in the Church. Your testimony can further affirm the right way to help these men.

    I echo Gail’s comments and offer my support. Your wisdom and experiences can help the Church better counsel and heal these souls. The OrthodoxNet Blog already has a series of articles written by Christians who also suffered with SSA and found healing and restoration through the power of Christ and help and counseling from priests and Christians who didn’t compromise the Orthodox Church teaching.

  23. Breaking News: Uniate Mutroduckies appoints Tony Dumatardis of Notional Cuckold as Minister of Exputriate Harlonism!

  24. Stephanos Damaskinos says

    Is anyone familiar with the goings on at the Metropolis of Atlanta in the know as to whether Presvytera Mars or Fr. Christos received any chastisement for the repugnant virtue signaling?
    Perhaps a defrocking or transfer to Siberia would be appropriate.

  25. Long Gone says

    Any comment mentioning Monomakhos is not published on The Notional Cuckold web site. I suggest you refrain from ever referencing them ever again in turn. There are other sites. Zupaniotis (Imigrants)  Kotrotsios (Appalachia)   GOA  and Robotis (Snoots), and so on