Good News! Northeast Priests Affirm Moral Tradition on Marriage

Recently, Monomakhos tried to play amateur anthropologist. In response to a series of comments generated by Fr Alexander Webster, I asserted that the gay issue wasn’t that big a deal on the coasts. That the dominant (white) culture had come to accept homosexuality as no big deal and that the ethnic Orthodox parishes were essentially no different. I even went so far as to predict that in time gay commitment ceremonies will be performed in some marginal, cash-strapped ethnic parishes, especially if one of the happy couple was the child of a prominent family.

I may have been too pessimistic. Perhaps I need to issue an apology to the people of the Northeast. It seems that the danger of incipient ceremonies of this type have been anticipated and condemned by the courageous priests who serve in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Please read the following Response to Bishop +Michael’s recent encyclical on same sex marriage and judge for yourself.

Click here to read the document (.pdf).

From where I stand, the chancellor, deans, and priests of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey deserve a loud and full-throated AXIOI! Now, go to church, thank God for priests such as these, and pray!



    Thanks be to God that these priests are speaking out and standing firmly behind the timeless teachings of Christ, the Apostles, the Saints, and the Moral Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Every single dioceses across ALL Orthodox jurisdictions should be doing this.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Chris, I know this is a little bit off-topic but I applaud your use of the words “Communist Holocaust” to describe what happened to Eastern Europe. I for one fully concur that the entire Bolshevist enterprise was nothing less than a Holocaust and at least as bad as what happened to European Jewry under the Third Reich.

      • Thank you George. The term accurately represents the nightmare inflicted on multiple generations of hundreds of millions of innocent men, women, and children by socialists and communists who forsook God and embraced the deadly and enormously malignant and perverse humanist, leftist, and atheistic ideas. Their hatred for the Church, for Christianity, for God, and Truth inflicted unimaginable suffering and death. Their demonic deeds can NEVER be forgotten and we must warn all current and future generations of what happens when men abandon God and embrace lies.

  2. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    One in five priests of the Antiochian Archdiocese is a former Anglican, who has already fought this battle.

    We lost before, but our knives are still sharp.

    • Antiochian says

      Dear Fr. Pat,

      We are so blessed to have you and your fellow priests in our Archdiocese. You are a great defender of our faith.
      Many of us will be right behind you with our full support!

  3. Has anyone noticed the slight change put forth in Bishop Michaels original letter?–he now actually wants us to be PROACTIVE and asking us to discuss the churches position with other orthodox, family, neighbors, etc, instead of just having the OCA post synodal affirmations online and hoping people will read them. A welcome change–hopefully it sticks.

    Regarding the letter above, they should make clear what the discipline will be if a priest performs a same sex union.

    Finally, the new site seems to have scrubbed its entire site on anything regarding homosexuality. Hopefully they will just say that they havent had time to add everything when they switched to a new site.

  4. Robert Badger says

    Many years to them!

  5. I’m just curious as to when Stokoe will publish this news item on OCANews. Should we start a pool? Something like this: today / tomorrow / the day after / never .

    • Heracleides says

      Doing so would doutless impede his little campaign, er… “dialog” (come on Mrs. Stokoe-Brown – prove me wrong).

  6. Bravo George and Monomakhos Contributors,

    I believe that this site is playing an important role in countering the gay and liberalizing church agenda of Mark Stokoe and his minions. The Chancellor and the Deans of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (OCA) have offered their own statement.

    See here

    It is a complete repudiation of the double-talk of Vinogradov (same diocese) and Arida (New England Diocese) on the topic of gay marriage.

    The next step in this battle is to keep the pressure on each OCA bishop to make sure they issue their own statements and then for the Synod to make a new and unequivocal Statement on the matter.

    After that the Church must weed out gays in the clerical ranks. It will do little good to make statements on this topic if we have gays who are being raised to ranks of the episcopacy and being made Archimandrites and live lives that are a contradiction to the Gospel.

    A battle appears to be in the process of being won, but the war will be long and difficult. ZERO TOLERANCE for gays in the clerical ranks must be the goal. How pastors deal with gays in the pews will be made easier if there is no doubt what the church teaches and what Her leaders live as the example. It is time for “so-called, self-appointed” experts like Arida and Vinogradov to zip it and for the bishops to speak with one voice that leaves no doubt. Their statement can then act as another measuring stick to decide what is inside and outside of the Church.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the AAC was the platform to send the clear message that the Stokovites agenda will not be tolerated in the OCA. Is that too much to even hope for?

    • And what have you done to get it to the AAC?

      • Ignatius says

        Posting here and encouraging those who can get this to the AAC to do so. And what have you done, my friend?

        • LOL, CMON–do something besides sitting on your behind and posting–you are preaching to the choir

        • I believe Robert is asking if you’ve sent in resolutions in your parish for the AAC?

          • If there’s a resolution to form a committee to govern Metropolitan Jonah’s ability to receive his own salary, I’m going to be really ticked. If it passes, I will get out my checkbook.

  7. Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

    Axios, axios, but to be worthy of a third axios the letter would have to say that those who have entered into gay “marriages” are to be excluded from the sacraments of the Church. The letter says that gay marriage is neither “desirable” nor “acceptable,” but our actions belie our words when we continue to commune people in gay marriages.

    • Forgive my ignorance–is there something unique about gay marriage that would necessitate exclusion from the sacraments of the Church? Maybe I should be asking what actions/behaviors would warrant exclusion?

      • R. Howell says

        Logan46, see 1 Corinthians 5 for such a list.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Logan46 asks:

        “is there something unique about gay marriage that would necessitate exclusion from the sacraments of the Church?”

        No, nothing particularly unique, I think. The same exclusion is applied to habitual and unrepentant murderers, car thieves, embezzlers, and so forth.

        This is one of the reasons why normally, at the beginning of Confession, we mention how long it has been since our last Confession. It helps the priest keep track of our bad habits.

        For instance, if someone who has not been to Confession in 20 years confesses that he has committed five murders during that time, then his Confessor makes the calculation: “Let’s see—five murders in 20 years amounts to only one murder every four years. Nothing to worry about here. It’s just an occasional slip-up, the sort of failing anybody might fall into. The sin has not yet become habitual. No need for special discipline.”

        If, on the other hand, the Confessor notices that a penitent is committing four murders every week over a considerable period of time, then he begins to suspect that the penitent is not very serious in his repentance. He mentions it: “You know, Fred (Let’s call him Fred), this disposition to murder is becoming a bit of a problem in your spiritual life. I think maybe you should stop receiving Holy Communion until you get this habit under some control. It is a well known fact that habitual murderers rather often slip in other ways as well. Some of them start cheating on the Wednesday and Friday fast, for example.”

        Entering into a pact for sinful purposes (for instance, a conspiracy to rustle cattle, an alliance to defraud customers, a contract on someone’s life, an agreed arrangement to shack up with one’s girl friend without the benefit of matrimony, and so forth) is always an impediment to the reception of Holy Communion, as long was the pact itself lasts.

        If a “gay marriage” does not meet that criterion, then I can’t think of anything else that does.

        • This is one of the reasons why normally, at the beginning of Confession, we mention how long it has been since our last Confession. It helps the priest keep track of our bad habits.

          I have been to confession to several different priests in different jurisdictions, and never once have I been asked to say this. Neither has anyone else I know. I’ve only ever seen that when a TV or movie character goes to confession in an RC church.

          • Fr Patrick B O'Grady says

            I am sorry that your confessor does not ask (or already know?) about frequency of confession. It is, in fact, good Orthodox spiritual care of souls…

            • I have been to a number of wonderful priests, and not a single one has ever asked me that question. I do not think it is part of typical training for ordination candidates.

              Also, if there were a such thing as “Priest Olympics”, I’d put my confessor in there any day, and he’d win a gold medal. He is an amazing, kind, and caring priest.

              • I have been asked by OCA and carpatho russian priests–i have no problem telling them either
                I would think it would be helpful to them to provide guidance as if youve committed all these sins in the time of a week or the time of a year.

                • I’m not saying confessors don’t care about the timespan of confessions or one’s sins, I’m saying that saying that is not a required condition for confession. There is no “It has been # days/weeks/months since my last confession” in any rubric or service book or confession guide I’ve ever read.

          • Likewise, two or three different confessors over the years, never been asked. I came to the conclusion that it was a TV thing.

            • No, not a TV thing (no pun intended, I trust.)

              Actually it is the format taught in the RC church. “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been ____ weeks/months since my last confession.”

        • Fr, I truly appreciate the humor! Somehow, the homosexual-propagandists will never get it.

      • Michael Bauman says

        For an Orthodox believer marrying outside the Church is an act that is enough to be excluded from Holy Communion. The canons stipulatate that any such marriage should be repented of before the person is allowed back into communion. The ex-communication can be for life (if the union is not disolved), 5 years if it is and even in that case reception of communion could be restricted to the feast of the Nativity and Pascha. Depending on the circumstances, such as the non-Orthodox spouse later joining the Church, the healing prosription can be lessened.

        There is simply no theological or spiritual basis for changing the teaching of the Church, indeed every reason not to.

        • Michael Bauman said:

          For an Orthodox believer marrying outside the Church is an act that is enough to be excluded from Holy Communion. The canons stipulatate that any such marriage should be repented of before the person is allowed back into communion. The ex-communication can be for life (if the union is not disolved), 5 years if it is and even in that case reception of communion could be restricted to the feast of the Nativity and Pascha. Depending on the circumstances, such as the non-Orthodox spouse later joining the Church, the healing prosription can be lessened.

          There is simply no theological or spiritual basis for changing the teaching of the Church, indeed every reason not to.

          My spouse is orthodox, I am not–she should be ex-communicated?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Only if she married you outside the Church while Orthodox . If she came to the Church after your marriage, civil or other Christian, it is generally accepted. The canons and the Scripture allow for the marriage to continue as long as the non-Orthodox spouse does not hinder the Orthodox believer from practicing the faith. When I married my second wife, I was unable to do so in the Church and was excluded from the cup for a relatively brief period. By the grace of God, she decided to come into the Church and I was restored to the cup on the day she received her first communion (Holy Saturday).

            The reason the pre-exisiting civil marriages are generally (not universally) accepted in those coming to the Church is because the bare minimum requirements for forming a Chrisitan marriage are generally in the law. Plus the couple has normally demostrated their on going commitment to one another and the laws of God. Civil unions that do not meet those minimum requirements would not be recognized (polygamous, homosexual, swingers, etc.) Also to baptise the children of such arrangements without a deep repentance and real change on the part of the parents would be, IMO, inappropriate.

            Marriages in the Church or blessed by the Church can be an aide to one’s salvation if both parties are living a Christian life: repentance, almsgiving, prayer and worship.

            It is worth noting that marriage does not confer sexual license or free sexual expression. Chastity must be maintained within marriage and there will be times of fasting from sexual relations in order to attend to God if both agree.

          • Only if your wedding took place outside the Orthodox Church, or if you are not a Christian baptized in the name of the Trinity.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Or if the marrige was performed before she became Orthodox and she iis free to practice her faith.

        • Michael, which specific canons do you refer to?

          • Michael Bauman says

            When I was reading through the Rudder on the marriage canons, I didn’t get the specific numbers. It was a personal situation that I wanted to understand, but because it was personal I remember it quite distinctly

  8. Ignatius says

    Excellent point Deacon Brian Patrick and that is why the bishops need to further clarify how neither “desirable” nor “acceptable” is demonstrated in their respective dioceses and the Church in general by stating clearly, as you state, that “those who have entered into gay marriages should be excluded from the sacraments.”

    You have offered your situation in your Cathedral as a very real example that leaders saying one thing and doing another won’t help the situation. Keep fighting the good fight. If the bishops punt on this one, what moral authority they may possess will be further diminished. What are they afraid of anyway?

    • It’s not just those who attempt a “gay marriage” who are excluded from the sacraments, it’s anyone having homosexual sex. There is no exception for laypeople.

      • Jane Rachel says

        Don’t you think the gay bishops should first be stopped from being bishops? Looks to me like there are exceptions for gay bishops all over the place.

        As for how the Church treats homosexual lay people, do the clergy who contribute to this blog have comments?

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Jane Rachel, that’s ultimately the problem isn’t it? (How did we get here? Homosexual bishops I mean.) Clearly because for too long the priesthood has really been the “dumping ground” for the mamas’ boys, at least that’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

          Caution: Amateur Anthropoligist Alert! Along these lines, it seems to me that there are real cultural differences between the various ethnicities that make up Orthodoxy. If I may speculate: I really don’t believe that among the Greeks or the Lebanese there will ever be a drive towards normalizing homosexuality, whether implicitly or explicitly. Instead, I fully believe that this is a cultural phenomenon of those ethnic groups which are descended from Northern Europe. Such people –to their credit–are uncomfortable with hypocrisy, whereas with people from the Mediterranean Basin, hypocrisy and double-dealing is par for the course. As another respondent on this blog said about his travels to the Middle East, homosexual acts were rampant. Homosexuality as an ideology however was castigated.

          So what do you do with effeminate men who can’t make it in the real world? Send them to seminary. I realize that this is broad-brush, stereotypical thinking, but look at the most recent bishops in the GOA. Does anybody know anything about their theological writings? Did they ever spend time in real monasteries? It seems like they were just adept at playing the Phanariote game.

          Anyway, among Mediterranean people, we know how to “wink-wink, non-nod” our way through life. Taking concepts that seriously just isn’t that high up the list of priorities. That’s why ideologies never gain that much traction in Greece. (This reminds me of the joke that came out after 9/11: ten reasons why Greek’s couldn’t have pulled it off. Reason #1: there are no hot chicks in Afghanistan.)

          On the other hand, converts to the faith, particularly those that came from the Reformation with its emphasis on rationalism, do take things very seriously. Hence, the rationale that takes gay ideology to its inexorable conclusion: it must be sanctioned because to do otherwise is hypocrisy. Living in the closet is hypocrisy. Engaging in occasional homoerotic acts to merely relieve “pressure” is hypocrisy. Etc. In a rationalist regime there is no choice but to recognize the acts, disabuse people of “false consciousness,” and normalize these actions.

          Anyway, what do y’all think?

          • CodeNameYvette says

            I think that somewhere in the primeval soup of your thought processes here is the amorphous blob of a theory, based on the Western tradition of rationalism. Unlike the Mediterraneans, who know better than to trust the human mind, Western Man trusts his mind to provide an accurate measure of all things, including the things of God. So naturally, logical thought leads to all sorts of false conclusions based on their conformity to human reason.

            It’s no coincidence that the Episcopal Church proudly claims to rest on three pillars, one of which is the pagan goddess Reason.

            • Isn’t that what I kinda said? It’s very difficult to quantify human actions. “Cognitive dissonance” and all that. Man is rational but he’s also an animal.

              I’m not so sure that one of ECUSA’s three pillars is reason (as properly understood). Rationalism perhaps. After all, it was reason that created the cosmos (John 1).

              • CodeNameYvette says

                When I became an Episcopalian I was taught that the Church rested on Tradition, Scripture and Reason. All equal in importance. Guess which one is more equal than others.

                In general, I don’t think we pay enough attention to the way Western Rationalism shapes our thinking.

                • The three legged stool is heretical, even to the man attributed with its formulation: Anglican divine Richard Hooker saw Scripture as the supreme authority in theological matters, but he did not believe it was sufficient or self-interpreting (requiring Tradition and reason) for the fullness of application. His Model of Authority in the church is best described as a hierarchy with Scripture at the top and reason at the bottom.

                  My own anthropology tells me written tradition is more reliable or at least more stable than oral tradition, and so I am still partial to this model. Unfortunately there is no continuing church that ascribes to it except in the abstract across denominational lines. In other words there is no existing church which accepts this model both explicitly and implicitly, both de facto and de jure. Although I believe it is the underlying reality of how our lives function in every church acting in good faith today. Obviously Tradition had a role in writing, propagating, and then defining the canon. But then so did reason! This does not make reason a superior authority in church life today. Scripture clearly holds primacy of place in all sincere churches, but neither is it self-interpreting on all points or sufficient to govern every aspect of corporate or individual life in the church.

                  It is unreasonable to reject tradition as an authority completely; and community, communication, and cooperation are not possible or at least not ultimately sustainable without reason. The problem is not reason itself, but poor reasoning based on empirical errors, logical fallacies, and a deeper seated commitment to an unethical agenda that itself trumps reason in one’s world view. Those familiar with the deconstructionist movement will know that reason itself is viewed as an enemy to many progressives, a tool of oppression used by the strong to control the week and marginalized. — as is language itself. I can see this tendency to misuse reason in human nature, so I agree that reason ought to operate under the authority of Scipture and Tradition … But to abandon it is to embrace anarchy and isolation from others.

                  One can make strong arguments against gay marriage and homogenital sex based on reason alone. But I don’t know of anyone doing a convincing job of this in the public square today. Scripture and Tradition may be necessary for salvation and may trump our finite and temporal and often wrongly motivated attempts at reason, but reason is absolutely essential to our ability to live together with others both Christian and non-Christian.

                  In any event, the three legged stool model is a heresy based on a profound truth. I don’t know how or when the metaphor came into popular use in Anglican churches. It is certainly not Hooker’s model.

        • Don’t you think the gay bishops should first be stopped from being bishops? Looks to me like there are exceptions for gay bishops all over the place.

          Yeah. You notice that the minute Metropolitan Jonah starts looking into the rumors surrounding a certain active OCA bishop, he gets sent to the penalty box for two months? Maybe he’d started making noises about the Boynton Beach Bunch, too.

          As for how the Church treats homosexual lay people, do the clergy who contribute to this blog have comments?

          Fr. Juvenaly Repass made a comment on the “Loud and Clear” Facebook group today that said basically, anyone can attend services, but those who persistently maintain a lifestyle that is contrary to Church teaching cannot “participate fully”. I take that to mean they would not receive sacraments unless they repented and committed to chastity. Fr. Juvenaly appears to be very much on the level with respect to imparting the Church’s moral teaching on homosexuality and I agree with what he said.

          • Jane Rachel says

            It’s a simple thing, really.

            What’s the Boynton Beach Bunch?

            Bishop Benjamin. Huh.

            I re-read the reflections and comments on OCAnews in case I missed something. Nope.

            Why not just say what Father Juvenaly said?

            • Heracleides says

              Here ya go Jane Rachel:

              Fr. Juvenaly Repass: “The attitudes are spreading in society and this affects the attitudes of some in Church. But the question was, how many clergy have these views? So far, I only know of 2 or 3.”

              “However, I agree with you that Orthodox Christians should not be questioning the teachings of the Church.”

              “More latitude, however, is allowed for the laity than for the clergy. It is one thing to disagree with the teachings of the Church, yet not break them in deed; it is another thing to break them by one’s own actions; it is yet another thing to not break them, yet to question them and lead others to question them, so that some are led to actually break them. In my opinion, a layman (as opposed to a cleric) should not be barred from receiving communion for questioning the Church’s views on this issue, but without breaking them in one’s own actions. Yet if someone is actively encouraging others to disobey the Church’s teachings, there comes a point when discipline should be applied – that is, they should be refused communion. Also, a person should be barred from communion if they themselves adopt a sinful lifestyle and do not repent of it. This is my opinion.”

              Fr. Juvenaly Repass: “I’ve read a little bit from that group [Inga Leonova’s facebook group], but I haven’t followed it much. There are some legitimate issues to be discussed. That could be one justification allowing that group to exist. For example, where same-sex marriage is legalized and there is a same-sex couple who are legally married and they have adopted or borne children, and they come to the Church, how should it be handled? This is the kind of question that is a topic of legitimate discussion. (In my view, anyone should be allowed to attend the services of the Church, but no one who persists in a lifestyle contrary to what is approved by Orthodox Christian tradition, can participate fully in the life of the Church.)”

              (Source:!/groups/200212643361559 )

              • And so why was Fr. Juvenally passed over for bishop in Alaska? Sounds like he is too Orthodox on this issue for some?

                • And that’s in spite of Fr. Juvenaly’s overwhelming support in the Diocese of Alaska.

              • Jane Rachel says

                Why does it even need to be “a topic for discussion”? I know gay people want to be Orthodox and actively gay, but…. and I’m not criticizing Fr. Juvenaly at all. I’m grateful for his post. Unless I’m missing something, f he’s qualified, it’s certainly easy to put two and two together when he gets passed over for bishop in Alaska. Wake up, folks!

                In an earlier post here, I said Fr Robert Arida’s final question is “lame.” This is because I think he asked it to manipulate the reader. It shouldn’t need to be asked. Fr. Juvenaly answered it well, but why did Father Arida feel it was necessary to even ask it? Were gay couples, with or without children, turned away by a priest from attending an Orthodox Church? If so, shame on the priest.

                I also don’t like the fact that Fr. Arida brought children into the mix. It felt to me as I read it that he is using children as a tool to manipulate the reader, spinning the reader’s mind to make the reader feel guilty. “Oh, we can’t turn away children no matter what!” … Does Father Arida want to allow gay people to take Communion? How can that be? And yet, he does allow it in his Church in Boston. Isn’t this the issue? If Father Arida wants the Church to commune gay people, he should come right out and say it, not mincing words and being all scholarly, gentle, kind and wise and intelligent. If he does commune them, he should say it, and explain why, and how he can reconcile his actions with the teachings of the Church.

                I think the reflections and some of the comments on ocanews are soft and squishy. Where’s the substance? No one’s “judging” gay people, and if they are shame on them. Who’s worse, me or them? Me. I’m worse, by far. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

                George, you’re probably spot on about us northern European thinkers. I do a lot of “wink-wink” “nudge-nudge” when it comes to living in this world, and try not to wink too hard when it comes to myself. But when it comes to leaders of the “one true faith” being gay and setting that example, they are threatening divine precepts laid down from the foundations of the world. Who am I to wink about it?

                If we continue on the path Father Arida is taking by communing his lesbian daughter who is “married” to another woman, then we will end up with her and her partner being crowned in the Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.

                • Why does it even need to be “a topic for discussion”? I know gay people want to be Orthodox and actively gay, but…. and I’m not criticizing Fr. Juvenaly at all. I’m grateful for his post. Unless I’m missing something, f he’s qualified, it’s certainly easy to put two and two together when he gets passed over for bishop in Alaska. Wake up, folks!

                  I have heard no aspersions cast upon Fr. Juvenaly’s moral integrity. I don’t want to outright accuse anyone on the Synod of refusing to consecrate Fr. Juvenaly because of this, but the timing is very suspicious, especially considering that Alaska pretty much unanimously wants Fr. Juvenaly to be their bishop.

                  I read somewhere on OCAN that one of these episcopal candidates had been somehow “blackballed” by the Synod for years; I wasn’t sure if they meant Fr. Alexander Golitzin or Fr. Juvenaly.

                  If we continue on the path Father Arida is taking by communing his lesbian daughter who is “married” to another woman, then we will end up with her and her partner being crowned in the Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.

                  I don’t know that Fr. Arida is actually communing his lesbian daughter; all that we have is what he wrote, and the report that he has a lesbian daughter. We don’t know if she’s still Orthodox, if she has some kind of lesbian ‘marriage’, or if he communes her at all.

                  However, if she is “married”, and he *does* commune her, that is a far more serious issue. You probably know that the Sacrament of Marriage as we know it developed fairly recently. A couple that wanted to marry in the early church would get a civil marriage and then partake of communion together when they came to church. The church did not start doing a discrete ceremony until much later.

                  So, when a priest has a homosexual couple in his parish, and he communes them together, he is effectively blessing their ‘marriage’. This is underscored when the couple has contracted a civil marriage and has been allowed to come and commune in an Orthodox church. This is why this so-called “oikonomia” of communing sexually active, unrepentant homosexuals is so horribly wrong.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Yes, and thanks for clarifying.

                  • Fr. Juvenaly’s open support for prohomosexual proabortion candidate obama in the last election does not show him to be consistent on the issues enough to say he should be a Bishop!

                    • That’s troubling, but he’s still no Frank Schaeffer.

                      Which would you rather have, a Fr. Juvenaly who votes for Obama but nevertheless recognizes that same-sex marriage is wrong, and tears down the false gospel of the “Breaking the Silence” club?

                      Or a Bishop Nikon, who has a front-row seat for the moral equivocating, and remains silent?

                    • I’m pro-life, but I don’t want live in a fascist state or a theocracy. I prefer democracy which means politically there will always be things I disagree with.

                    • CodeNameYvette says

                      I think this is a topic worthy of exploration on its own. Should an Orthodox Christian base his preferences for a social order on the sole criterion of conformity to the rules of the Church or even basic Christianity, or should we prefer a form of government that suits our taste for representational government even if the result is far removed from even elementary Christian ideals?

                      Should we desire to live in this world under a godly Tsar, in an empire where laws are based on Orthodox principles and the authority of the State is aimed at fostering a Christian society?

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Logan, that’s tedentious beyond words. When has America ever been ruled by theocrats or fascists? However when the Brownshirts take over our churches, then we will be ruled by theocrats. Look what’s happened to ECUSA, where “dialogue” has become a one-way street and No Orthodox Anglicans Need Apply. What is that if not fascism?

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Yvette, the contrasts you show are worthy of consideration but if I may say, almost too stark for words. Both a republic and a monarchy can be godly societies, it’s not either-or. America in the days of the Old Republic and even up until the onset of the Cold War were godly nations.

                    • Logan, that’s tedentious beyond words.

                      hmmm . . . display of bias . . I’m glad you’re able to recognize such :).

                      If you vote for a Republican candidate that supports the death penalty, I wouldn’t subsequently question whether or not you should be Orthodox. Just sayin’

                • Jane Rachel says

                  I read a comment or two on ocanews just now. I don’t know if I’ve been “disrespecting” Fr. Arida or not. I feel so strongly about this. His family is on my mind and in my poor, disrespectful prayers all day long.

                  People are wondering what’s going on with Father Arida; at least, the people who don’t understand what he’s really saying. I surely have respected him in the past, now I’m not sure what to think. Forgive me if this “anonymous” girl, Jane Rachel, has offended people with my words.

                  I found what Kenneth Tobin wrote here something to listen to. Perhaps this is where some people are heading? Either what he says is true, and as far as I’m concerned, there is no True Church in the way I was taught, or what he says is not true.

                  Kenneth Tobin wrote:

                  Quite simply, Father Hopko, who I respect, is wrong. He is “hanging his hat,” so to speak, on the now discredited notion that homosexual orientation is a choice, or the result of early childhood influences that can be overcome. The overwhelming scientific and medical evidence that exists rejects this assumption. Thrown into this mix is a curious resort to original sin–meaning, of course, that from their conception homosexuals are somehow “fallen” in ways unique to them.

                  The whole issue of human sexuality is one on which the Church’s message is increasingly irrelevant because it is based on false assumptions and information. It is heavily influenced by Gnostic notions that the material world is evil and that sexual impulses are inherently sinful. So we are left with an ideology that only allows sexual relations in a married, procreative context as a sort of second best choice to celibacy. The overwhelming majority of modern Christians, including Orthodox Christians, reject this construct as self-evidently outdated and wrong.

                  We are a long way from formulating a new expression of human sexuality in a Christian context that makes sense. Father Vinogradov’s reflection is at least a first good step in that direction.

                  #37 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2011-07-19 06:58

                  • The whole issue of [fill in whatever you like here] is one on which the Church’s message is increasingly irrelevant because it is based on false assumptions and information.

                    If this is how we’re going to evaluate orthodoxy and orthopraxy, we may as well all stay home on Sunday morning, ’cause by the time the KRT’s of this world are finished, there won’t be anything left of “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

                    “Overwhelming scientific evidence.” LOL.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    What he says is not true.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    I would like to ask Mr. Tobin if he has read the words of the baptism ceremony and bothered to consider them at all. It is not up to us to reconfigure the teachings of the Church. If he can’t live with that, then he should find a venue in which he is god (in effect what he is already doing).

                    • Did you see Maria McDowell’s post on “Sexual Ethics” in the “Breaking the Silence” group? She talked about how great it was that priests were rewriting the services to fit our modern sensibilities. And this was for an entry in the so-called “Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity”!

                  • According to Romans 1:28,
                    God has given such “believers” as Mr. KRT over to “a debased mind.”

                  • Geo Michalopulos says

                    Talk about dogmatism. What “scientific evidence” can Brother Ken refer us to? I will gladly publish it, as well as any other evidence, pro or con.

                  • CodeNameYvette says

                    George, this is not the right place for the discussion so I won’t persist beyond this point. What I am wondering is if we as Orthodox Christians ought to aspire to a monarchy blessed by the Church rather than a republic. We know that there have been God-pleasing Orthodox monarchs in world history because we recognize them as saints. Is it possible for any republic to operate on Orthodox principles to that extent? If not, should we not aspire or at least desire to live in a God-pleasing monarchy?

                    This has nothing to do with being a good citizen where God has placed us, but it surely has something to do with our deepest loyalties.

                    • Yvette, in the near future, i hope to post an essay regarding this topic. Yes, I believe you are right that in a monarchy it is easier to have God-pleasing saints as monarchs and probably would be easier to create a government that is more Christian that what obtains in most republics.

                      My only contention was that we shouldn’t yet throw America under the bus. That historically speaking, we were a godly republic. That may have been because the people were Christian. Now however, with the Supreme Court cases ever since 1942, the laws have been increasingly hostile towards Christianity. Of course, it doesn’t help that the mainstream Christian denominations have pretty much jettisoned their adherence to orthodox doctrines.

              • FR Juvenaly: That could be one justification allowing that group to exist. Is this what we should expect when the theocracy begins? “being allowed to exist?” Reading your more rational posts I find this statement unsettling at least. Think–Free speech; part of American culture.

                The problem with the Orthodox Church generally in America is that up until now, it has not been successful in the religious stew which is religion in a democracy. All of what I have seen has been ethnic parishes where even in the OCA any concept of being in a different country –that is America–is minimal at best. Let’s start with icons. As we know there are several Orthodox American saints–Peter the Aleut. John of San Francisco/Shanghai, Raphael of New York. of course Herman, not sure of all this detail. However, I have not seen one single icon of an American saint in any Orthodox Church for general. ongoing veneration. Why is a saint from the “old country” icon placed out when parishes here have been open for over 125 years? Why is there no integration with American holidays? What is wrong about a service or vigil for Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, July 4th etc. How are Americans to relate to this foreign faith?

                As much as I and you probably prefer not to hear this, I feel the Roman Catholics have done better at all of this. If you are looking for an American Orthodox Church I suggest y’all start living this religion in America. Do Orthodox youth groups compete in sports in local leagues? This kind of connection may not be the foundation of missionary work, but it puts Orthodox youth in touch with others as a way to invite them to a church event or after service social.

                I talk to people and invite them to a service, except for vespers I say: it’ll be at least 2 hours. There is ridiculous amounts of repitition, insertion of little litanies. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater–but start to think about what is possible to remove from liturgies that are not on feast days, for example.

                Why am I ranting about this? It is an attempt to stop the thinking that leads people to see Orthodoxy as foreign and unapproachable. Why are we now into the third generation not putting the bishops’ noses to the grindstone and get this American Orthodox church to happen? Meetings after meetings, still as far as this church has gotten in 28 years is (my time in Orthodoxy) is the new All American Council of Bishops, replacing SCOBA. And of course you know that Met Jonah wasn’t invited!! Due to political stuff; he eventually was invited and attended.Hello–where’s that American know how and ability to get things done gone to? Has it left because you’ve found orthodoxy in its present state thinking it has always been this way and always will? Whowever told you that has no concept of Tradition. Not all things American are antithetical to salvation in the Orthodox Church. If y’all are gonna start with resurrecting the monarchy again–or running back to Momma Russia–you’re going down the wrong path.

                There is no reason that Orthodoxy is the poor step child of religions in America. With all the church has to offer, the problem is not American culture, it is Orthodoxy failing to adjust, re-think and (Heaven forbid) modernize itself. So, in the end Orthodoxy doesn’t accept homosexuals who have sex married or not. What approach are you going to use to explain that to today’s and tomorrow’s youth?. The train has left the station. Alas, will the orthodox church be smothered with its total lack of imagination and insight? Not succeeding in America will be the fault of the Orthodox, not the culture of the country in which we live. Are you as members of the church going to capitulate to having to be a state sponsored religion to succeed? As all I can see is that’s the type of environment the church has had in the past to survive. That’s not gonna happen here, so we need to re-think the game plan.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Stephen, you must be on the east coast. While we need more veneration of American saints, it is present and growing. Get off the east coast. That alone would do a lot for Orthodoxy in the US. Folks there are barely connected to being American even if they aren’t Orthodox or ethnic.

                  Modernization of the type you suggest, would like lead to the demise of the Church in the US altogether. We need to separate more from the nihlist culture, not less. That will be done for us eventually.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Stephen, it’s very simple – the Orthodox Church survived Rome, various barbarian dynasties, and the Communists. The Orthodox Church never conforms to culture, culture conforms to the Church. The church is more important than America, and the Orthodox Church will survive after America has declined and fallen because of it’s moral laxity and crony capitalism.


  9. George,

    Glory to Jesus Christ!

    Thank you for your website, which in my estimation gives balance where there was none.

    Just for the record, and with your permission, I would like to post here what edited out of a comment I made. After many months of seeing little point in commenting on ocanews because of its blatant bias and dismissive “editorial” responses to comments (those I guess to be Steve’s editorial responses are much more angry and ridiculing), I decided to comment on Fr Arida’s article. I wound up commenting several times in the same thread, and, as Mark Stokoe usually does, my comments were posted as written and in a timely manner (after all, Mark does have a day job!). I appreciate that he posted all of my several comments. But my latest comment was edited, and I would appreciate it if you, George, were to allow me to put on the record here all that I sent to ocanews. I will put what was edited out in bold (it’s three separate sentences, a link, and one paragraph, but I do think it involves a couple of important points to make):

    Your position cannot be the “end of story,” in indeed you are seeking God’s truth, and not your own. (As Jesus said, we must seek God’s Kingdom and *His* righteousness –notice He did not say we are to seek heaven, and notice He did not say we are to seek what “I” think is right, but rather God’s rule over our lives as the One Who knows best, and God’s righteousness, as revealed in the holy Scriptures.)

    Stating “your primary contention is obviously wrong,” offers no Scriptural or patristic evidence to support your bias against the clear teaching of the Bible and the Church. You say that it is “utter nonsense” to contend that humankind was created heterosexual. This, I would say, ignores the obvious. But what *is* utter nonsense, is to believe, contrary to the Bible and Holy Tradition, that God intended men to inject their life-giving seed into a place of excrement, decay, and death. What *is* nonsense, is to ignore the biological and physical compatibility of a man and a woman and say that sodomy is its moral equal (in effect saying heterosexual compatibility is nothing more than chance, which is the position of the godless). What *is* nonsense, is to turn a blind eye to the widespread fruit of homosexuality: a lifestyle of promiscuity, loneliness, self-hatred and disease. What *is* nonsense is to blame a holy and loving God for our fallenness and rebellion against His own loving direction and commands for living.

    But what is much worse in your position, Ken, is to enable those who are identity-confused and sexually unstable to continue harming themselves and others. You are not doing anyone any favors. *Sodomy hurts.* Homosexual activity is not just a serious personal malady, but is deeply harmful physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you truly cared about those with same-sex attractions, and if you truly believed the Church’s loving teaching, you would stop enabling such harmful (even deadly!) activity by saying it is normal, natural, God-given, etc.

    “God created man in His own image; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27). Human gender is not only a part of the created order; it is a reflection of God. Equality in Christ (Gal 3:28) does not mean that distinctions between women and men are to be ignored, or that men can take the place of women or vice versa. There are overt differences in Scriptural counsel to men and women, especially in how they relate to one another. As in nature, male and female are not interchangeable. Salvation does not involve the denial of our identity as women and men, but rather the acceptance of our identity. (Part of our redemption is gratitude for who we are!) The distinctions between women and men remain forever, even in the Kingdom of God, both physically and spiritually. Masculinity and femininity have been distorted and perverted in the fallen world; if gender is to be rediscovered and healed, it has to be discovered in our divine image and relationship with God.

    God in His wisdom created humanity as man and woman. He has not made us unisex spirits, but chose to reflect His image as male and female. We are male and female in the deepest sense of ur being; our souls are gender-specific –not as something external put upon us, but as who we are and were made to be by God. Gender differences are not just biological, or even mostly biological; our gift of gender is far more profound. As Fr Hopko says, a woman is not maternal because her body is able to give birth: it is from her maternal spirit that the corresponding physiological and anatomical capabilities are derived. Likewise, man is more virile and physically stronger because in his spirit there is something that corresponds to the “violence” of which the Gospel speaks. The physiological and the psychic depend upon the spirit; they service it and express it. These differences are not conflicting or contradictory; they are designed as complementary. In fact, the image of the Trinity in humanity is precisely both male and female; one alone (male or female) is an incomplete reflection of God. (And, of course, two of the same gender are also an incomplete reflection of God.) Dualists say God created us male and female because of sin, and in eternity gender will pass away. Christians say the opposite: in order to be in the image of God, we must be male and female. Without Eve, Adam is not human, and vice versa.

    Gender was from the beginning; it is not a result of the Fall. The Son of God assumed everything about humanity except sin; His taking on the male gender proves that gender is not a result of sin. The eternal Word took on our human nature, not as a genderless being or a unisex creature, but as a man, because there is and can be no other way to be human but to be male or female. “If sexuality is sinful, then God is the sinner.” Lust and selfishness seem bound up with the sexual act, and yet they are not proper to it. Orthodox say that gender, marriage, and exclusive marital sex is good, ordained by God, and intended to be a witness of His unifying love.

    Not only is our gender a part of our inner self, our personality and psychology, but it instinctively affects our relationships with others individually, in family, and in society. How we interrelate is gender-specific. The “role” of men, in the Christian view, differs from the “role” of women, in much the same way that the “role” of God the Son differs from the “role” of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. (Being in the image of God is a metaphysical reality and not merely a matter of moral imitation.) As we have said, the divine Persons are fully equal, yet each has a unique “role” in their relationship to one another and to creation. In the same way, we are made equal human beings with unique and complementary gender “roles” that unite us as one, as the Trinity is one. Unity is not uniformity; real unity starts with accepting one another’s differences, including our own gender. To deny this is to deny our psychological makeup, our different bodies, and our human nature; to deny this is to deny ourselves.

    As God created us male and female, He gave us a father and a mother, who are created to be committed in love, divinely joined (“What God has joined together, let not man separate”), and to raise us together, each in their own gender-specific and unique ways. The “role” of father is naturally different from the “role” of mother, and vice versa; it was created to be. A child relates differently to his/her mother than his/her father, and needs to receive both of their gender-specific loves. Likewise, in our relationship with God our Father, we are to enter into a paternal relationship with Him, not a maternal and not a sibling relationship. This is as important as it is to be human; made in God’s image.

    The two forms of human existence must be in communion to have proper humanity. They belong together, and to each other. Complementarity and mutual fulfillment are essential to our humanness. God made Eve from the substance of Adam to show that she is what Adam is, and is equal to him. Too often overlooked, however, is the biblical teaching about the relationship between male and female. Holy Scripture is very clear that there is in the relationship a loving headship of the husband (I Cor 11:3). Woman is equal, and man cannot be human without her, but in their relationship, there is an order. Eve is created as Adam’s “helpmate”; she makes him fully human by completing the image of God in him. Man is “head” the same way that the Father is the head of Christ, and in the same way that Christ is the head of the Church: by the self-sacrificing means of love, self-giving, compassion, and communion. (This, by design, should also be the characteristic of Church leadership and authority.) All this is derived from the Holy Trinity.

    For further discussion, check out this Orthodox catechism:

    (Incidentally, a wonderful saint for those struggling with homosexuality is St Symeon the New Theologian, who confesses such struggle himself, along with sins of sodomy in Constantinople, and who ultimately found purity and inner peace in the Holy Spirit.)

    Father Mark

    Up until his shameless campaign to oust Metropolitan JONAH, and with the glaring exception during the Kondratick scandal of his intentionally not dealing with the homosexual issue (as I posted at the time, this was/is our “family secret”), I think Mark did an amazing job with ocanews. Our church sent him a thank you letter for his service to the Church. Regarding my edited comment, I believe that Mark and/or Steve and/or whoever felt that what they edited out was distasteful, and, giving them the benefit of the doubt, they may have thought it did not help my argument. I don’t hold their editing against them (in one reflection I posted on ocanews years ago, Mark’s editing was very helpful), and I don’t consider this editing conspiratorial. (I do think that such realities are a little too close to home for those who live in denial, and so they consider some facts “off limits” in “gentlemanly” discussion.) But I think the realities of sodomy and homosexual perversion are relevant and important facts to point out, as is the fact that we are not helping those with same-sex attractions by defending their activities.

    Thank you, George, for letting me post the whole thing.

    Fr Mark Hodges

    • George Michalopulos says

      Not at all Fr. I am committed to the truth, the whole truth, and want this site to be a source where people can speak freely. Please continue to contribute as you see fit.

    • Jane Rachel says

      Thank you for your writing and posting here, Father Mark.

    • Pravoslavnie says

      Thank you Fr. Mark for reposting your response in its entirety here. I think the full text is entirely appropriate although some people may need to be reminded that while the truth hurts, it’s still the truth nonetheless..

  10. lexcaritas says

    Mr. Tobin glibly states that the notion that homosexual orientation is a choice, or the result of early childhood influences that can be overcome is “now discredited” and “rejected by the overwhelming scientific and medical evidence.”

    Our sister Jane Rachel wonder whether Mr. Tobin is right. Fear not, there is no such overwhelming scientific and medical evidence. It is, in fact, questionable whether there is any. Hence the notion of which he expresses such disdain is in now way discredited–only rhetorically belittled by folks like him with an axe to grind.


    • Jane Rachel says

      Oops, not wondering whether he’s right. I wrote “listen to” hoping it would get more conversation going. It’s hard to think when it’s so hot, isn’t it?

      • O Hamartolos says

        Well at least he is honest about his views and doesn’t beat around the bush thus causing confusion. In this debate the Frs. Vinogradov and Arida have had the first say. There have been rebuttles, and comments. Now it is their turn to clraify their position. I would only wish they would cut to the chase. If Mr Tobin can do so without wasting so many kilobites, they can as well. So, for Frs. Vinogradov and Arida, do you believe, like Mr. Tobin, that the Church should change its teaching on homosexuality? We’re not asking if we should be pastoral, understanding, warm, caring, respectful to those brothers and sisters who struggle with homosexual attraction. The Gospel is clear on that matter: judge not lest ye be judged, do unto others as you would have them do unto you; let the first among you without sin cast the first stone; take out the beam in your own eye before taking out the speck in your brother’s; with the measure that you judge, you shall be measured. No, that is not the question. Again the pressing question and the one the looms over the Orthodox Church in America like an A-Bomb is: Should the church change it’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin, and say it is NOT a sin. That is the issue. Instead of allowing rumor and inuendo to muddy the waters, please Frs. Arida and Vinogradov, answer this question.

  11. The Leonova group is small and probably feels itself beleaguered. But its numbers will grow. The social pressure we traditionalists on the coasts feel, especially in the workplace, is already pretty acute; for many it’s doubtless excruciating. (See below) And such pressure will only grow in potency as its geographic reach expands and as the law, state by state, gives it teeth. The fight against the homosexual license in the church is right and proper, but we should never forget to pity our opponents. In a sense their efforts are simply an attempt, deeply wrongheaded to be sure, to resolve a fiery cognitive dissonance that we will all be saddled with sooner or later:

    Maggie Gallagher wrote today:

    The First Amendment is more than a legal guarantee. It is a culture[.].. [I]n a decent and free society, law-abiding citizens should not face reprisals for speaking up with civility for the moral good as they see it.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley’s remarkable opening statement in today’s Senate hearing on a bill to repeal DOMA called attention to a very serious and growing intolerance directed at Americans who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife:

    The minority very much hoped to call a witness today at this hearing to testify in support of DOMA… She declined, however, citing as one reason the threats and intimidation that have been leveled against not only her but her family as a result of her public support for DOMA. She will continue to write on this subject, but will no longer speak publicly about it. This chilling of First Amendment rights is unacceptable.

    When Chris Johnson, a reporter from the Washington Blade, called and asked if that woman was me, I was at first amused. No, of course not. I am not refusing to make public appearances. I was not invited this time. But I could sympathize. I just returned from interviewing a Toronto sportscaster who was fired for tweeting that he believed “in the true and authentic meaning of marriage.” Next week, I will go to North Carolina to interview another man whose contract was terminated when the HR head of his company found out he had written against gay marriage.

    The death threats and hateful mail New York state senator Rev. Ruben Diaz says he has received are not unusual. Whole professions are in the process of being closed to anyone who espouses — and acts — on the view that marriage is the union of husband and wife.

    Fox News is not covering this. Conservative media outlets, except for a few beacons such as NR [National Review], are virtually silent.

    The underlying truth that “pro-equality” Republicans need to understand is this: They are aiding and abetting a political movement that…seeks to make traditional Christian views on sex and marriage unacceptable in the public square — just as racist views on interracial marriage are unacceptable — by heaping scorn and hatred on any American who does something to support marriage as one man and one woman.

    – Maggie Gallagher, The Chilling of Our First Amendment Rights – 7.20.2011

  12. cynthia curran says

    Well, the Byzantine Empire had some of the same moral problems common to the modern world. Constantinople was known as the child prostuition capital of its time. Emperors Leo the first and later Justinian the first had laws directed at child prostution and the procurers that lured young girls sometimes under the age of 10 to the capital and kept them in brothels. Just read novels 14 and 51 of the Justinian Code on how bad this was. Also, Justinian and Theodora built a convent for ex-prostitutes. Goes to show that any society whether an old fashion Roman Empire which by early Byzantine times also had a handful of the old Roman elements such as the consulship which was honorary then except for putting on the games and the Senate a lot less of an influence body by the 6th century. Too many people here have Romantic thoughts about the Byzantines, granted for a long time in the west they were always scene in the negative but in the ancient or medieval world their flaws were not worst than other Empires or Kingdoms but certainly no golden age.

  13. Mat 13:33 NKJV – Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

    The Church is to leaven the culture, not the other way around.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Alec, hard to do when the powers that be in the Church want to lock up the yeast in a dark corner of the frig somewhere and pretend that it dosn’t exist. Seems there is a Bible verse or two about that. Pharisees, hypocrites….

  14. Here is a question for the folks at SVS in New York. Given recent legislation in New York that redefines marriage, how does this impact the idea of married student housing at the Seminary.

    1) Will the seminary house same sex couples who are legally married in married student housing if they wish to pursue studies at the Seminary? Given the current situation, does the seminary have any legal grounds to exclude legally married same sex couples from married student housing if at least one person is a student at the seminary?

    2) Does SVS receive any funding from the state of New York which would obligate the seminary to house legally married same sex couples who pursue a course of studies at the Seminary?

    3)Does restricting married student housing only to man-woman marriage violate fair housing law in New York?

    As you can see the legal ramificaitons of the recent marriage legislation may have consequences no person would have foreseen.

    • From what I remember of their newsletter, most of their money seems to come from donors and grants. They don’t get public funding. (They don’t even get money from the OCA.)

      As for whether they would be required to house a same-sex “married” couple, they’d be able to expel heterosexual students for fornication, right? Why would a homosexual couple be any different?

  15. cynthia curran says

    Well, how do you know that the US will decline. Rome-the western part probably a combination of things- the best current theory is civil during the 5th century, Constantinople became weak because of a weaker military-hence vulnerable first to the crusaders and then the Ottomans. If you did the Second Punic War as the beginning of the Roman Empire, then the Western lasted for 500 years. And the Eastern for about a 1000 years but the last 200 years it wasn’t much of an empire. Granted, modern Empires or Countries that dominated last less as things changed rapidly. I agree with historian Adrian Goldworthy that one doesn’t want the US to go yet, in fact, those that wanted the old Roman Empire as mention above missed the aqueducts, and so forth that the Germanic tribes couldn’t recreate though in the middle ages some advances occurred because of agriculural development with the horse collar and so forth. The main hostility here is that the US is a Protestant Country and Protestant Countries have dominated since about 1600 A.D. or so. Roman Catholic countries probably lost a great deal of their dominance by 1600 and the Orthodox outside of Russia and other Eastern European countries stopped dominating about 200 years or so in both Western and Eastern Europe before Constantinople felled. Facts are or facts, Orthodoxy will probably with the exception of Russia not be in a dominated Country in the future, it rose in the Roman Empire and that formed of culture and government peak in the ancient world or the middle ages, this is also true with Islam which peak in the middle ages. Granted, Protestant Countries may one day be replaced with foreign eastern ones who knows

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Because America is already in decline. In fact, it’s a downright freefall.


      • Harry Coin says

        It started with LBJ in 1965. Didn’t take long for an aspiring politician to recognize presiding over handing out benefits was a good career move.