More Fallout from the Big Fat Gay Greek Baptism

In the past, we’ve noted that the GOA never stops being the “gift that keeps on giving.”  (When it comes to the gifts that we should expect from this Church, those we don’t get.)

<—I can’t help myself, this photo has gone totally meta.

That’s rather sad if you ask me.  And not just because I’m of Hellenic descent myself.  I for one, expect more from our once-proud nation.  Alas, it is not to be. 

So, once more, into this breach of mediocrity, steps the Rev Dn John Chryssavgis, noted theologian and a principal intellectual advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The Reverend Deacon, as you may remember, penned an apologia in defense of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, the primate of the GOA, who participated in a notorious baptism (as it were) last month in Glyfada, Greece.  I commented upon this scandal as did many others.  One of my arguments was that it would have been better for every ecclesiastic associated with this spectacle to apologize for the outrage and then to let the matter die.  To “go to ground,” so to speak and hope that time would erode any memory of it.  You know, the old “once you’re in a hole, stop digging,” that kind of thing.

All in all, sound advice if you ask me.  As far as I was concerned, I personally didn’t want to revisit it –at all.  

Unfortunately, the good deacon refused to heed my advice.  And so, realizing that the archbishop was now receiving more theological brickbats from Mt Athos, he decided to go on the offensive yet again.  This time, he added more gasoline to the fire by penning another, more egregious diatribe.  You can read it for yourself here, (or I can save you the time and get to the nub of it, which is this:  the Church isn’t in the job of preserving the nuclear family).

As we’ve come to expect from his pen, logic is not his long suit.  Neither is an understanding of biblical history.  Most of his arguments can be dispensed handily:  we can begin with Adam and Eve for example and go from there.  Our primordial parents are the ideal.  God the Father said so Himself.  As did His Son (Mt 19:4-6).  St Paul reiterated it as well, even giving it a cosmic dimension (Eph 5:22-33).

This of course is the ideal.  Very few of us (myself included) have been able to adhere to this ideal.  We’re sinners after all, each of us broken in our own way.  Having said, you don’t need to be a highly-trained theological exegete to know that what is being described by Moses, Jesus and Paul is a nuclear family.  After all, it takes one man plus one woman to get one baby.  And it will ever be thus. 

You know, 1+1=1.  (Kind of trinitarian if you ask me.)   

That’s the ideal and from the time of Adam to that of Noah, that’s pretty much the way it was.  In fact, there was only one recorded instance of polygamy (Gen 4:19) in the antediluvian age.  On the other hand, from the time of Noah onward, polygamy, fornication, surrogacy and incest (Abraham and Sarah were half-siblings) were so widespread that it unremarkable for the most part.  Even many of the female Old Testament worthies had more than one husband and/or lover:  Sarah, Rahab, Tamar, Ruth, and of course, Bathsheba.

Enough titillation.  Is this what Chryssavgis envisions to be normative?  Solomon and his 700 wives and 300 concubines?  Seriously?  It didn’t work out well for Solomon and it broke his kingdom.  All of history –biblical as well as secular–is littered with many such sad scenarios.  Yet, despite the best efforts of mankind, it’s never been possible to escape the natural math of one man and one woman making one baby.  And it never will, not naturally anyway.

With today’s technology, we can add to this parade of horribles the unnatural conception of children via surrogacy (which is essentially chattel-slavery of renting the wombs of poor women and the resultant abortion of excess embryos).  I’m going to go out on a limb and state that none of this preferable to the nuclear family.  And if you’re honest with yourself, you will come to that same conclusion as well.

Perhaps most specious of all is his assertion that monastics should be the last people to talk about family issues.  Is he serious?  If so, then he should direct this same criticism to his bosses in the Phanar, who as bishops are also (technically at least) “monks.”  This goes especially for Archbishop Elpidophoros, who we were constantly told before his arrival to America, was the “abbot” of a “monastery” on the island of Halki (as well as the “president” of the defunct seminary there).  Or was this merely monastic window dressing, a padding of his resume so to speak?  

But let’s go along this line of reasoning:  since bishops are monks, then why are the pronouncements of Elpidophoros (or Bartholomew for that matter) on social issues any more valid than those of the good fathers on Mt Athos?  Now that doesn’t make sense, does it?  Unless of course one is engaging in bad faith and has already decided upon a predetermined –and invariably liberal–outcome.

I could go on but I’d rather direct your attention to this perceptive essay by Fr Jeremy McKemy (courtesy of 

Advice from Monks and the Nuclear Family: A Response to Rev. John Chryssavgis / OrthoChristian.Com

So, in the interests of trying to right the ship after the unnecessary turbulence perpetrated by glory-hound bishops and attention-seeking laymen, I would kindly ask the Phanariotes to muzzle the good deacon and the rest of the Fordhamite peanut gallery.  And do so immediately.  This is a battle you’re not going to win and if you keep on engaging in such nonsense, you will finally force the Greeks within your Church to take matters into their own hands.  We’re a patient bunch, willing to turn a blind eye towards episcopal antics, mainly because many of us aren’t all that morally stalwart ourselves.  “A wink is as good as a nod to a blind man” as the English say.

But only for so long.  Eventually the dam will break.  Because it always does.  There’s only so much corruption an institution can stomach.

Otherwise, what remains of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese will be found in the environs of the Athonite monasteries.  And the hundreds of parishes which were built with the blood, sweat, toil and tears of our grandparents will become little more than ethnic culture clubs, good for an annual food-festival or two. 

As for Mt Athos, it will seek greener pastures.  Guaranteed.   

About GShep


  1. Otherwise, what remains of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese will be found in the environs of the Athonite monasteries. And the hundreds of parishes which were built with the blood, sweat, toil and tears of our grandparents will become little more than ethnic culture clubs, good for an annual food-festival or two.

    I tend to agree with this George.

    I move between GOARCH needing to do something…and….GOARCH has had what is essentially an institutional collapse in membership over the past 10 years which is leading to the problem solving itself – problem is, what will be left of the GOA in 10 more years to salvage?

    As the rest of the jurisdictions explode in converts the GOA seems to be left in the dust. As the AoB seems to be working together in unity for the family and for life, the GOA has all but removed themselves because of their actions.

    Rather than joining the other Orthodox Churches they would rather hold “ecumenical” events, like the EP just did in Trabzon. They seem more comfortable around schismatics & heterodox than they do their fellow Orthodox.

    It’s easy for me (and many others) to just tell the GOA laity to leave, but, it’s much more complicated than that.

    As the EP has constantly moved the Overton Window one has to wonder exactly when will enough be enough? Why union with Rome? Why not any of the other multitude of scandals?

    I personally don’t think there will be overt union with Rome (though I probably could be, and am, wrong), I think it will be something more subtle and cunning. Then what will be the next thing that will be “enough is enough.”

    “As for Mt Athos, it will seek greener pastures. Guaranteed.”

    Where do you think they would go?

  2. (Editor Note: This is for Christine. Since you got such a kick out of the last one, I’ll add one more.)

    I would kindly ask that you exercise self control and muzzle yourself from spreading your judgment on the rest of the world.

    Adam and Eve were not married and yet engaged in pre-marital sex.

    Jesus had two fathers (God the Father and Joseph).

    The Theotokos was a child (scholars estimate age of 13), when the Archangel asked if Mary would conceive a child. How do these facts support having a nuclear family?

    If a nuclear family was so important, we wouldn’t need monastic communities that completely disregard having a nuclear family.

    Muzzle yourself please!

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    The Orthodox Church has a “Service of the Adoption of a Child”:

    This seems primarily what the Athonite statement is referencing, that is to say that the Church can’t bless same-sex couples as “parents” for the adoption of a child.

    The scandal would then be if Archbishop Elpidophoros actually used the above liturgical service to bless the adoption of children by a same-sex couple. As far as I know, he didn’t do this.

    Are adopted children, whose adoption is not blessed by the church, not allowed to be baptized? I ‘m not aware of any such qualification.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Note that the only “without exception” rule in this “expectations for baptism requests” is that the Godparents both be Orthodox Christians: “The Church requires that the Godparent be an Orthodox Christian in good standing; there are no exceptions to this rule”.

        If the “parents” do not regularly attend an Orthodox Church (there could be many reasons for this), then they are advised to meet with the priest to discuss their own particular situation. So, that’s ultimately a discussion between the priest (or bishop) and the “parents” on how the child will viably be raised in the Orthodox Church. It could very well be that there’s other people, such as Orthodox family members and/or nannies that might be involved with this.

        • “It could very well be that there’s other people,
          such as…nannies that might be involved with this.”

          How the other half lives…!

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          Give it up, Mr. Lipper. There is no way you can put lipstick on this pig in good faith or conscience.

          No truly faithful Orthodox priest would stoop to such an abomination as occurred recently in Athens irrespective of the prospective godparents, family connections, or any other “special” consideration. We owe at least that much to the children themselves. In our Lord’s good time and providential care, they may find their own way to the Church and a truly holy baptism.

        • One of the problems is that there is no agreed upon definition of what constitutes an “an Orthodox Christian in good standing.”

          Is it being in the appropriate ethnic clan? Receiving Holy Communion only once per year? Going to confession never, as is the practice in some “ethnic” communities? Is some sort of commitment to Christ required?

          I knew a nominally Orthodox Christian who regularly engaged in domestic violence (his wife routinely had black eyes), and he was considered “in good standing,” received Holy Communion, and went to confession never. This guy would be considered OK to be an Orthodox godparent according to some. Another example is a friend from years ago who grew up in an “ethnic” Orthodox community and commented that for Holy Week he was giving up hooking up with his girlfriend. I’m not trying to be judgmental, but pointing out that these are examples of who are considered by some to be “in good standing.”

          Seems that the heart of the issue is the huge problem of “cultural” Orthodox Christianity – a true bane of our existence. How many in the Greek Kardashians photo that George posted above know their Orthodox faith only by their inherited culture, yet know nothing of Christ (and care to know nothing about Him) and know nothing of the saints and our Holy Mother as depicted on the icons that they stand in front of?

          Yet as long as they’re part of the appropriate ethnic clan, they are “in good standing.”

          It’s transmuting Judaism to Orthodox Christianity. Jews are Jews based on their mother’s lineage, nothing else. Some Jews believe they remain God’s chosen people because of this lineage. (Interesting tidbit: Judaism is transmitted through the maternal lineage because you always know who the mother is. Who is a baby’s father is sometimes less clear 🙂 )

          Sad to say but for many “ethnic” Orthodox communities, they function as functional Jews: one need not know anything about his/her faith, nor care anything about it, but as long as your pedigree is appropriate, then you’re good to go. Met. Kallistos Ware (who unfortunately was sick this week) has called these folks “Orthodox by inertia.”

          Someone wrote a very compelling piece (can’t remember where) outlining how the ethnic Eastern Orthodox communities in the “diaspora” during the 20th century bear significant similarities in everyday cultural/religious practice to the Jewish “diaspora.”

          I’d bet that many in the Greek Kardashians photo are part of this “Jewish Orthodox Christian” (for lack of a better term) phenomenon. Was this Christ’s intent for the practice or life of His Church? Of course not.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I think the definition is a “tithing member”. On that front, they would probably qualify.

            Let’s face it, when Christ comes back He’s going to be very disappointed that our definition of what it means to be Orthodox Christian is forking over money, and for what?

            The Church was never meant to be an institution. It was supposed to be something we could carry around in our hearts, that other like-hearted people carry around in their hearts. But the more institutional one becomes, the less time they have to spend in their hearts.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            FTS, yes, good points. It’s also been said for more than a decade that Patriarch Kirill looks the other way about Vladimir Putin’s “romantic partner”, former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabeva with whom he “is thought to have at least three children”:


            Sometimes the heads of churches are willing to put lipstick on pigs.


            • Gail Sheppard says

              What do you mean, “Looks the other way.” Putin’s wife was the one who remarried and Putin gave her a tidy some for her trouble when she left.

              There are two different things to consider here.

              The first is the bar that is set by the Church based on Tradition and the Holy Scriptures. The fake ceremonies performed by Elpi failed to meet that criterion.

              The second is the struggle to reach the bar, which the gay parents have no interest in doing at the moment.

              However, if someone like Putin, who is Orthodox, struggles with whatever, it’s between him and his priest. He is not expected to live a more saintly life than anyone else and, Joseph, you can’t presume to know (nor should you try) what Putin is doing/not doing in his personal life.

              Patriarch Kirill is a patriarch, not a priest. Patriarchs don’t listen to confessions as a rule. (Does Bartholomew hear confessions? I certainly hope not.)

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              So our Orthodox morality is now based on Whataboutism?

              Lord have mercy!


            • Lol!

              Is there ever a lame defense of the misdeeds
              of Elpidophoros or Bartholomew that doesn’t somehow manage to become a swipe at Russia?

              They must all be reading from a playbook or something. It’s that predictable.

              • “Is there ever a lame defense of the misdeeds of
                Elpidophoros or Bartholomew that doesn’t somehow
                manage to become a swipe at Russia?”

                Putin is the new Macavity.
                Whatever happens, it’s always his fault.
                But (and there’s the thing)
                Macavity’s never there

                Macavity: The Mystery Cat
                T. S. Eliot – 1888-1965

                Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—
                For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
                He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
                For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

                Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
                He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
                His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
                And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!
                You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—
                But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

                Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
                You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
                His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
                His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
                He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
                And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

                Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
                For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
                You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square—
                But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

                He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
                And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.
                And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
                Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,
                Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair—
                Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

                And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray,
                Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
                There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair—
                But it’s useless to investigate—Macavity’s not there!
                And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
                ‘It must have been Macavity!’—but he’s a mile away.
                You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs;
                Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

                Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
                There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
                He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
                At whatever time the deed took place—MACAVITY WASN’T THERE!
                And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
                (I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
                Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
                Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Adorable poem! I’ve had a Macavity or two in my life.

                  It’s becuase Putin has aligned himself with the Church. It is the Church they hate.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Now that Trump is no longer President, the brain-scrambler of the Left is Putin.

                  These people are beyond reasoning and/or argumentation. As such, they will never learn their lesson. Hence, they’ll take America down with them. Especially so if the GOP goes along with them. (And true to cuck form, McConnell is lamenting the MAGA candidates.) The Uniparty needs their Swamp to be pristine (if by pristine one means ugly, retarded, inbred mutants who don’t know their @$$ from a hole in the ground.)

                  Seriously, I think Madison Cawthorn was on to something when he said that these people take part in orgies. I would go further and say that they engage in full-blown Moloch worship.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Brian, it’s not a “defence” of anyone, but rather it’s pointing out the hypocrisy here. I don’t think the homosexual couple we are talking about are Orthodox Christians, at least in good standing. They certainly don’t project that image.

                Is Vladimir Putin an Orthodox Christian in good standing? I don’t know for sure, but he does purposefully project that image, and Patriarch Kirill seems to back it up. At the same time, he’s popularly seen as someone who lives in fornication with a woman he is not married to.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  OK, this conversation is over. It should have been over a long time ago. Joseph quit bringing up the gay baptism, the sex life of Orthodox Christians, and who is or isn’t an Orthodox Christian in “good standing”.

                • Motes and beams, Joseph.
                  Motes and beams…

            • JL,

              I’m going to go out on a limb and dissent slightly from what George and Gail are saying about marriage in light of the ancient witness of the Fathers. But I will try not to be unnecessarily provocative.

              Putin’s wife drove the divorce as far as I can tell and he has not remarried. Therefore, according to the Church, he has done nothing wrong whatsoever in that regard. But a word about unmarried mistresses:

              Marriage, of course, is between one man and one woman. Fornication in the world of the Fathers referred to harlotry (look it up). It was not so broad as to cover all unmarried sex. Adultery always involved a man other than the husband having sex with a married woman. Sex between a master (married or unmarried) and his female servants was assumed and was only considered fornication if another man took advantage of a female servant not his own. That was likened to fornication by the Fathers.

              But the dynamic at that time was quite different from today because the patriarchy was in full force and a female always belonged to someone. The single female at large is a decidedly modern phenomenon. The Church has addressed it in the modern age by attempting to extend the category of “fornication” to all unmarried sex. But this is an innovation, though perhaps justified. Regardless, this disapproval does not and cannot change the underlying dynamic behind prohibitions against adultery and harlotry as well as the practical reality that made sex before marriage a rarity.

              That dynamic is the patriarchy. And at the core of the patriarchy, the rule of the fathers, is that society is male centered and all women and children are supposed to be dependent on some man. Ancient fathers did not want their daughters cavorting with men because of the dishonor involved but also because they did not want any accidental dependents but rather intended to “give their daughters away” in marriage so that the responsibility for children would be that of the new husband. In patriarchal societies, daughters become part of their new spouse’s families upon marriage. While the daughter remained with her father, she was expected to save herself for marriage.

              Thus, the fundamental problem with premarital sex according to the patriarchal mindset is the lack of dependency/support of the woman in question. She is a wild card, making unsupported babies at large. This is also a very real problem in modern society which is perhaps the Church’s reason for attempting to apply the category of fornication to the new phenomenon.

              A kept woman is in an entirely different position. By definition she is supported and is much more akin to a female servant than single woman at large. Her dependence and that of any children is not a question. I do not endorse the practice. However, it is for all practical purposes a part of elite European custom, Catholic and Orthodox.

              Matters like adultery, fornication/harlotry and homosexuality are questions of holiness, or rather a lack thereof. But to use an extreme example, God was fine with Solomon’s active libido except to the extent that it involved heathen women who brought their practices into the royal house. In the Lord’s eyes, it did not involve adultery, fornication/harlotry or homosexuality. God’s only objection was the idolatry.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                This woman was a famous Olympic gymnast. I doubt it’s about the money. Perhaps the Russians don’t allow second marriages.

                My point to Joseph was that this is not at all like the fake baptism. The “fake baptism” is outside the Church altogether.

                • Solidarity Priest says

                  The Russian church most certainly does allow second marriages. I did not read this, so I can’t say for sure, but Putin allegedly said that he knew he was sinning with the said woman. He supposedly said he was going to try to normalize things vis-à-vis the church.
                  But I think what we see here us that Joseph has been bested by someone of superior intelligence, Fr. Alexander. So now he changes the subject and brings up Putin’s alleged personal sins. I could be mistaken, but I think Joseph will go to any length to justify anything the EP may do.

                • Lyudmila remarried to a guy considerably younger than her . . .

                  I’m simply cautious about negative attitudes toward the Lord’s command to all creatures to “be fruitful and multiply”. No doubt there are limits, but limits with a sound purpose behind them.

              • Polly Polonium says
                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Western sources are fond of targeting Putin. In the 70s it was Gaddafi and then the PLO.

                  Russia, and everything associated with her, has become enemy #1. This will change as people start waking up to the fact that specific countries and their leaders don’t dominate the landscape anymore. We are entering a world of alliances committed to like-minded goals, e.g. non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.

                  Gone are the days of being leeched by bloodlines and others vested in their own self-interest.

                  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signed a “Plutonium Disposition Protocol” on April 13, 2010.

                  If (I’m just speculating) someone wanted to silence Russian reporters or anyone else for that matter, and make sure it is blamed on Russia, plutonium would be a good way to do it. Apparently, it’s not so hard to get.


                • George Michalopulos says

                  Polly, two points:

                  1. strictly speaking, the first Christians in Jerusalem were little-c communists. Everything was held in common. It didn’t work. (Needless to say, in the ideal, as practiced in monasteries, there is a strict, Christian-influenced communalism.)

                  2. Putin did not “compare Lenin to a saint,” only that his body is in a mausoleum, like actual Christian saints. That’s an historical observation. Nothing more. Lincoln likewise lies in a mausoleum and JFK is interred in a quasi-shrine.


          Yes, Mr. Lipper, the ‘godfather’ of these children is clearly fully committed to countering the influence of their adoptive ‘parents.’ Yeah…he sure is. Why, you can read all about his sincere commitment in his own words!

          I see the Archbishop did his due pastoral diligence and ensured that the adoptive parents and/or Godparents would rear these children in the $faith$ of their fathers. What a “great $piritual leader” he is! And what a $aving pastoral decision he made to secure the $alvation of the souls of all those involved.

          You seem like a decent person. What will it take for you to admit the truth?

  4. I haven’t read the response article yet, but something came to my mind reading this one. And that is, can we forget about the fact that we’re Orthodox? Meaning that it’s not just what is written in the Scriptures, but also the consensus of the Saints for the last 2000 years. Has he read anything St John Chrysostom wrote about family? Though, a thought does occur to me. Russia has really been pushing hard to reinstate family values in their country. Maybe the good deacon felt that standing up for the nuclear family was a little too Russian and he better steer clear of that.

  5. I would kindly ask that you follow your own advice/recommendation and muzzle your own mouth for once!

    You are not a theologian. You have no formal theological training.

    Jesus had two dads (God the Father and Joseph). A fact you dismiss and overlook because it doesn’t support the radical nuclear family argument.

    The Theotokos was approximately 13-14 (according to most theologians), when the Archangel asked if she would carry a child. Should we then argue that because God wanted a young child to carry His son that it’s okay for a nuclear family to begin when a girl reaches 13? If it’s okay for God, why is not okay for man?

    Adam and Eve were never married, yet there are many Christians who gladly celebrate and promote their non-marital relationship as acceptable.

    The Gospel reading for an Orthodox wedding ceremony isn’t about the Wedding in Cana, it’s about the party after the wedding. Has nothing to do with the actual ceremony!

    For once, muzzle yourself!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Linda, you can’t be serious. Are you implying that God the Father and St Joseph were involved sexually? As for Adam and Eve, God Himself “married” them.

      The logical end of your argument is that every sexual act is OK with God. Does this include pedophilia? How about bestiality?

    • Antiochene Son says

      LOL! With such “arguments” I can’t decide if “Linda” is an edgy teenager or if she is a sock puppet account of John Chryssavgis himself!

    • anonsayswhat says

      This is not an Orthodox Christian response. What a blasphemous attempt to argue for the supporting of the rise of Sodom and Gomorrah in the West. The Lord has His plans and will stop it. He can’t and won’t be mocked. It’s in our prophecies.

      May the Lord open your eyes to the Truth, and to give you courage to fight for the Truth and to live in the Truth. Nothing else matters.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        You are, of course, correct and because of what one person did, we now have a flurry of comments saying exactly the same thing. This is why we have the rules that we do because it’s not worth anyone’s time to have to respond to something like this.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Personally, I was shocked to read “Linda’s” response. Mind you, I don’t mind criticism (well, we all do, just a bit anyway) but the inanity of her argument pushed me back on my hills a little bit. I was especially shocked to read about that whole “Jesus had two daddies” line of argumentation.

          (I misspoke earlier when I conflated St Joseph with God the Son. My bad. Please, Lord, forgive me.)

      • Two things:
        First, check out the good deacon’s history at HCHC.
        Second concerns “monastics” in the GOA. Now, you get tonsured a monk on Saturday, without ever spending a day under obedience in a monastery, and a deacon on Sunday, etc.
        How about this: You want to be a celibate clergyman? Get thee to a monastery we have an agreement with in Greece or Mt. Athos, for three years and, if the elder finds you worthy, be tonsured a monk and then come back to the States to be ordained a deacon. That will slim down the list a bit.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          To all, I would appreciate it if you would include how you came by whatever knowledge you’re sharing:

          (1) You witnessed the event in the first person.
          (2) You were told what and by whom.
          (3) It’s common knowledge and here’s the link.

          In other words, I don’t want to take up space asking questions.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          There are also archimandrites and bishops in various Orthodox jurisdictions who have never been tonsured as monks. This has been commonplace in the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Church of Alexandria, for example. I’ve met archimandrites from both of these jurisdictions who were not tonsured monks, even though they still wore the klobuk and veil. The OCA’s Archbishop Mark, ordained a bishop in Syria for the Antiochian Archdiocese, was never tonsured a monk either.

          I guess the point being that if they’re not going to live in a monastery, then why bother to tonsure them. Apparently the titles of “bishop” and “archimandrite” are primarily administrative titles rather than being exclusively monastic, but it does vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Linda, you are not in a position to “kindly ask” anything as there was nothing kind or even civil in your delivery.

      On this blog, you have 3 options in response to what is said:

      #1 You can read it.
      #2 You can trash it.
      #3 You can respond in a respectful way, i.e you cannot be rude or demeaning to someone’s person

      You broke the rules, Linda. Don’t do it again.

    • Assuming this is a real post and not a troll it definitively highlights how incompatible modern liberalism is with Orthodox Christian teachings. You can be a Trump supporter and be gay, but you can’t be a liberal and try to hold fast to what the church teaches. One cannot have two masters.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Yes, she is a troll and I need to apologize to the group and on behalf of our part-time editor who should never have published this garbage.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Why are we surprised that there are liberals among our readers who uphold the teachings of other liberals? It’s sad, I grant you but the facts dictate that there are Orthodox Christians who believe this nonsense.

          I have no problem with highlighting their idiocy. If nothing else, people should not be blind to people within the Church who are undermining it. If anything, we should draw attention to it, rather than sweep it under the rug. (That’s how we got to this point, by either ignoring it or not fighting it in the first place.)

          Nor should we forget that it’s people like the deacon (and his overlords in Istanbul) who are advocating this type of nonsense. In my opinion, that’s where we should be directing our fire, because it’s the leadership class within the EP/GOA who give ammunition to misguided laymen, convincing them in their delusions.

        • I am not sure you should apologize, people need to learn by experience that such people exist, and they are paid to write such nonsense to stir up trouble. One of the problems we Orthodox Christians have is that we try to be nice and respectful, by at the same time too many of us are simply naive. Our forefathers were not naive. They understood evil. We are commanded to be wise as serpents yet innocent as doves, that means we MUST UNDERSTAND the way evil works and to stop pretending – especially to stop pretending that there have ALWAYS been in every generation those who work evil in the Church. WE MUST NOT BE NAIVE!

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Yeah, that’s why I posted it. LOL

            • The formerly public Coffee with Sister Vassa Facebook page is now closed. Praise God for small miracles.

              • Thank God.

                All these people have gotten so used to flying under the radar for so long that as soon as they get called out and the light shone on them they scatter.

                I can think of a few recent examples of this.

                We need to continue to go after them and call them out on their subversion.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I believe that it was Thomas Jefferson who said “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

        • I don’t mind if it’s what she truly believes. I think the more people who think these things expose themselves the better it is for us. That way we can see the demons at work much more clearly.

    • I can’t stop laughing! These are some of the funniest things I’ve ever read! Jesus had two dad’s! Wow, thank you for posting such hysterical statements! I’m glad it got thru because I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      There didn’t need to be a wedding ceremony for Adam and Eve because they were joined together directly by God. Read Gen. 2:18-25. At the end of God’s actions, Eve was referred to as Adam’s wife. Who else could officiate a wedding ceremony at that point in time? Use common sense, please.

    • Seraphim SA says

      Linda this time, you need to muzzle yourself!!!! Before you post think and when you post be intelligent.

    • I don’t even know where to start answering such (un)biblical revisionism. While it’s not my intent to insult your intelligence by implying you actually believe what you wrote, for the benefit of some poor, gullible soul out there (and out of boredom) I felt compelled to respond.

      Jesus had two dads (God the Father and Joseph). A fact you dismiss and overlook because it doesn’t support the radical nuclear family argument.

      You’re suggesting that St. Joseph and God the Father were two human males who were sexually involved and raising a surrogate child together? If that’s not what you’re suggesting, there’s no parallel to be drawn. If it is, well, no further comment necessary.

      The Theotokos was approximately 13-14 (according to most theologians), when the Archangel asked if she would carry a child. Should we then argue that because God wanted a young child to carry His son that it’s okay for a nuclear family to begin when a girl reaches 13? If it’s okay for God, why is not okay for man?

      Historical ignorance par excellence at play here. Ancient Jewish custom mirrored that of the rest of the world in considering a person of child-bearing age to be an adult. A young adult, to be sure, but perfectly capable of being a full-fledged member of society, which includes marrying and siring/bearing children within the customs of that culture. The bar/bat mitzvah ceremony is reminiscent of this.

      The modern Western view most of us have been bombarded with as “normal” didn’t really start to gain widespread traction until Victorian times and the idealization of “childhood” as something to be treasured and artifically drawn out for as long as possible by sheltering. It didn’t hurt matters that a Middle Class was rising around that same time which was affluent enough to even begin to consider the idea of offspring as an ongoing financial burden rather than an asset. “Growing up fast” as it’s called these days, due to having to actually help support one’s family, was the norm, not the exception, for most of human history.

      While marriages were typically settled by an arrangement between a young woman’s father or guardian and husband-to-be (or his father or guardian), the Theotokos being chosen by the Most High took precedence over that bit of custom.

      Adam and Eve were never married, yet there are many Christians who gladly celebrate and promote their non-marital relationship as acceptable.

      As George already alluded to in response to this bizarre interpretation, God married them by the act of creation itself. Marriage is a sacrament to place a seal on a monogamous relationship of childbearing form (ie one man, one woman, sterility notwithstanding). Eve was created for Adam’s companionship – they were quite literally destined for one another – and they received the command to “go forth and multiply”, which taken together couldn’t be a more clear instance of marriage.

      “But there was no ceremony!” you might argue.

      When there are only two people alive, it’s a tad redundant for the religious community (which, at that time, was just them) to bind them(selves) to one another to the exclusion of all others (who didn’t exist) through a sacramental Mystery of the Faith (even the Old Covenant of which had not yet been delivered). If God created us all ex nihilo clearly intended for one another like He did Adam and Eve, we would have no need for marriage ceremonies.

      The Gospel reading for an Orthodox wedding ceremony isn’t about the Wedding in Cana, it’s about the party after the wedding. Has nothing to do with the actual ceremony!

      You know there’s a lot more to the ceremony than the reading of John 2:1-11, right? It’s relevant to the ceremony since we’re supposed to celebrate, but it isn’t the entirety by any means.

      At no point in Church history has this radical reinterpretation ever even been considered. If you wish to be taken seriously, cite where the Church Fathers said any of what you are arguing. You won’t be able to, because they didn’t, but that’s what you would theoretically need to do.

      God bless.

  6. Μολων Λαβε says

    The debate wears very thin when one twists The Word to fit their world view rather than their world view fit The Word. This is as an insolent child who cries that The Lord should fit them and not they The Lord. There is no “easy” button as preached by Liberal Socialism.
    It’s best to ignore ignorance (pun intended).

  7. I am reading Exodus “And God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” Why I don’t know. But he does that in the OT and I suppose He is still doing it. Pray!

    Actually the more I reread the the Exodus the more I think it should be required reading for every new Christian. We learn that being set free is only the beginning of the journey.
    We will encounter many obstacles along the way to the promised land.

    • ” We learn that being set free is only
      the beginning of the journey.”

      Indeed. The next question is:
      “What will we do with our freedom?”

    • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

      > And God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

      The best commentary I ever read on this said that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart because He didn’t want Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of fear or terror, but because of the recognition God is superior and that God’s claim to the Israelites was just.

    • No, Lina, God did not harden Pharaoh’s heart; Pharaoh hardened his own heart against God.
      Wayne, wouldn’t ten horrific plagues inspire fear and terror? That commentary doesn’t make sense.
      God does not harden people’s hearts. As our Saviour hung on the cross, the people insulted, mocked and taunted Him. Their hearts were hardened in response to God, not hardened by Him. Prepositions are tricky things…

      • Gail Sheppard says

        . . . because our hearts are the agents of free will.

      • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

        No Katherine, it makes perfect sense. Please read my comment again. God, in His display of power, wanted Pharaoh to acknowledge His greatness and superiority, but not out of abject fear. Yes, the natural inclination of fallen man would be such fear, but God stayed that fear in Pharaoh. Pharaoh still had his faculties of reason intact – in fact, more so than if those faculties had been impeded by fear.

        • The Orthodox Study Bible has this note for Exodus 4:21 and the subsequent passages where the wording is similar: “It is customary for Holy Scripture to call God’s permission His action (JohnDm). Therefore, when the Lord said to Moses, I will harden his heart, this hardness was by way of divine permission. For Pharaoh hardened his own heart through his free choice.”

          Causative verbs are often used to mean to let, to allow or to permit. So, when reading these passages in the Bible, it is easy to see that it was not God who did the hardening, but rather God allowed Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened, for Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Notice the wording in the OSB for Exodus 7:13,14,22, etc.. The word “harden” is repeated fifteen times in Exodus in regard to Pharaoh.

          The remedy for a hard heart is the divine surgery that replaces it with a heart that is responsive and obedient. “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”(Ezekiel 11:19 & 20)

        • George michalopulos says

          By “hardening pharoah’s heart,” God was showing future generations what stark idiocy coupled with evil looks like.

          Because pharoah had freewill, he could have turned back & acted in a sane manner. Be cause he didn’t, he will be judged on the last day. On a mundane note, he did not and now the brazenness of his stupidity is apparent for all time.

          Kind of like that country & western song, “what was I thinking.”

          • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

            > Kind of like that country & western song, “what was I thinking.”

            Q: What happens when you play a country music record backwards?
            A: You get your wife back, you get your farm back, you get your truck back….

            • George Michalopulos says

              LOL! A favorite song title I heard a long time ago: “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Leave?”

              • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

                Have a listen to It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night (That Chew Your @– Out All Day Long). Yes, the song really exists.

  8. Tragically comedic! You know, we just take these idiots far too seriously! “The devil, that proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked!” (Thomas Moore) Why waste time going all Orthodox Woke on them? Let them shame themselves in public so we can laugh them back to hell, where our King will give them just sentence. Truly, this Linda had me belly laughing for 10 minutes with her screed.

  9. ‘ …best practices in gender inclusivity [?] ‘

    Jordan Schachtel: Combat ready? Pentagon to host ‘transgender
    and non-binary’ gender inclusion and pronoun usage workshop

    ‘ Forget about China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other adversaries. The U.S. Army is focused squarely on getting the troops ready for the real problem with our military: the lack of transgender and non-binary inclusion, the Biden Administration’s woke Army has concluded. …

    An Army email blasted out to service members says that “The Workshop will cover a discussion/training on gender identity, transgender and non-binary 101; use of pronouns and other best practices in gender inclusivity.” … ‘

    Are you, or have you ever been, a normal heterosexist?

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      The screenshot of the e-mail says the office “would like to present,” implying it’s not mandatory.

      My experience with this sort of thing in the corporate world is the people go through the motions because they have to, and get it over with quickly.

    • Rotting military

  10. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

    Brendan, this new woke U.S. Army is not my father’s Army Air Corps (WWII, 1942-1945), my Army (including Afghanistan and Iraq, 1985-2010), or my son’s Army (2010-2012). While I’m at it, the new U.S. “Army” is a far cry from my grandfather Charles Webster’s British Army (4th Reserve Battalion and 5th [Buchan & Formartin] Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, with the Territorial Force in Peterhead, Scotland, and subsequently the Gordon Infantry Brigade during WWI [1909-1919].

    If I were a young man or even a bit older chaplain prospect today, I would not serve in today’s disgraceful U.S. military.

    • Here is a real soldier(Col. Douglas Macgregor)
      talking about today’s New Model US Military:

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        Right you are, Brendan. Colonel Douglas Macgregor (a great Scots name, BTW!) is a rare person of insight and wisdom concerning such matters. Alas, he, too, is retired and carries no weight in today’s U.S. Army.

        Colonel Macgregor and Prof. John Mearsheimer at the University of Chicago are also two of the few wise and prudent voices crying out against the scores of military and foreign policy “experts” in the Deep State, the academy, and the major broadcast and print media who have become shills for the globalists and woke radicals whose animus against Russia and its Orthodox people, on one hand, and, on the other, a robust, masculine, heterosexual U.S. military is leading the USA to ruin.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Fr, your insights into the military culture (and its present degradation) are worthy of attention.

        • “Colonel Douglas Macgregor… carries
          no weight in today’s U.S. Army.”

          The Gregorach are no strangers to cancel culture.
          In 1603, the very name was proscribed by King James VI.
          Anyone who bore it was given a choice: renounce it or die.
          For a while the ban was lifted by Charles II and James VII,
          but was reimposed with the advent of William III (of Orange).
          It was not finally lifted until 1774. While it was in force,
          the outlaw clan became known as “The Children of the Mist”.

          Originally, they are of the Siol Alpin (the Seed of Alpin).
          In 841 AD, Kenneth mac Alpin became King of Dalriada.
          Two years later, he also became King of the Picts,
          uniting both into the Kingdom of Alba (or Scotland).
          But Alpin had another son – Gregor whose grandson
          (also called Gregor) is the founder of the clan.

          The clan slogan is: ‘s rìoghail mo dhream [Royal is my race]

      • George Michalopulos says

        Love and respect Col MacGregor. Brendan, can you tell me if the tartan in the background is that of Clan MacGregor?

        • I would say it looks very like it.
          For the Modern MacGregor Tartan see:

          However, in a tartan the horizontal and vertical should be the same.
          In Col Macgregor’s backdrop, the horizontal lines seem much darker.
          I suspect this may be due to a trick of the light on the material itself,
          compounded by the camera’s capturing of the colours at his end
          and the rendering of those shades by my computer and screen.
          So, I will give a qualified: “Yes – it probably is the MacGregor Tartan.””

  11. Indeed. Fr. Any military that supports and promotes
    the emasculation and feminisation of its young men
    and the dis-fertilisation of its nation’s young women
    will not last long against any half-serious opponent.

  12. Anonymous II says

    British soldiers to prepare for fighting Russia

    The UK’s top ‘other ranks’ soldier has said that British troops must be ready to fight Russia, and should prepare their families for the prospect of an “extended” deployment. His advice comes after the UK’s new head of General Staff said that British forces must become capable of “defeating Russia in battle.”

    Writing for the latest issue of the British Army’s ‘Soldier’ magazine, Carney said that “the Army is shaping itself to meet the threat from Russia,” and “will be ready, with the right equipment, to play our part in deterring a future war in Europe.”

    “Deterring” in this case seemingly means deploying. “I want us all to check we are physically fit for operations. And it is also important we prepare loved ones and families, who often have the hardest role in our absence,” he continued.

    “My ask is that you have discussions about a potential deployment with them now…we could be out of contact for extended periods on tour.”

    UK should be ready to fight Russia – army chief
    Read more UK should be ready to fight Russia – army chief
    Carney’s warning does not signal an imminent change in the UK’s role in the conflict in Ukraine. However, a warning in June by Britain’s new chief of the General Staff, General Patrick Sanders, suggests that the Army views Russia as its next major opponent.

    “There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle,” Sanders wrote in a letter to his charges. “We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again.”

    The UK has given Ukraine £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid since Russia’s military operation began in February. British forces are currently training Ukrainian recruits in the UK, and its intelligence agencies are allegedly sharing information with their Ukrainian counterparts.

    The UK is a member of the NATO alliance, and in the event that it became involved in open war with Russia, the bloc’s 29 other member states, including the US, would be obliged to enter the conflict.

  13. Mark E. Fisus says

    And the hundreds of parishes which were built with the blood, sweat, toil and tears of our grandparents will become little more than ethnic culture clubs, good for an annual food-festival or two.

    What were aspirations of the grandparents for those parishes?

  14. Gender goes critical…

    Police remove lesbians from GAY PRIDE parade in Cardiff:
    Moment cop tells gender-critical women to leave LGBT march because
    ‘whatever you are, you’re causing confrontation’ with trans groups and their supporters

    They’ve chopped the L off!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      When you separate yourself, because you think you’re special, there will come a day when someone within your group will want to be more special than you.