Puhalo Strikes Again

caitlynWords continually fail me when it comes to His Eminence Lazar Puhalo.  Perhaps a picture (left) will do justice instead; and maybe a screenshot (below) as well.  Perhaps both.

Below are his musings regarding the “courage” evinced by Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner –winner of the 1976 Decathlon, husband of three wives and sire of six children–when he decided to cut off his penis.

It’s times like this that I ask myself yet again:  why did the Holy Synod take in Archbishop Puhalo in the first place?  It’s not like this is the first time he’s beclowned himself by choosing to come down squarely on the side of un-Christianity.

And then I ask myself another question:  for how long must we put up with his impertinences?  (“Gender harmonisation surgery,” that’s a good one.)  I suppose the only silver lining to this exceedingly dark cloud is that he felt it necessary to take down this and other pronouncements from the blogosphere.

Lord have mercy.



  1. Rodney Buchshotte says

    George, I don’t think you are being fair. We have priests who sprinkle fairy dust so why not a Bishop? Don’t you realize how difficult it is for the Synod to hold a moonbeam in their hand?

  2. Rodney Buchshotte says

    George, I don’t think you are being fair. We have priests who sprinkle fairy dust so why not a Bishop?

    Think of the Synod. How do they solve a problem like Puhalo? How do they hold a moonbeam in their hand?

    • The real problem is that he is the new normal and we are the whackos for believing in moral and spiritual absolutes.

  3. How lucky we are to have pharisees to help us identify the tax collectors among us…

  4. Mikail02 says

    Gender is in the brain? Huh? This man needs to be censured.

  5. Daniel E Fall says

    The sad truth is without lotsa money, Jenner would have never been able.

    And the bishop is flat wrong.

    Bruce Jenner is not following Christ. If he were, he would have given all his money away and been unable to pay for his very own vagina.

    I think the mumbo jumbo psychodribble, yes I used dribble again, is really sad.

    When a man walks into a doctor’s office and says I am sick, the doctor generally rules out the worser [sic](that was fun), and treats the ailment. If you walk into a psychiatrist’s office and say I want to be a woman, they don’t diagnose a disease or ailment. They rule out higher order ailments and treat. While Dr S might be offended by me trivializing medicine, I stand by it. Medicine today, while seemingly advanced, is highly barbaric. Okay, you want to be a woman? We have a treatment. We will make you a vagina-it will be expensive, how r u gonna pay?

    Diagnosing disease is not cheap, but the better way. If Bruce is given a penis, but his brain wants a vagina, exactly why does medicine not say he has a brain disorder? He has, in his brain, obsessed about being a woman for a long time. Obsessing about things is typically seen as disorder. If I obsess about fishing, I try to go.

    I blame medicine for Puhalo and Jenner.

    Please sing and play music I like to hear. I don’t want to listen to any I don’t like.

    • Daniel E Fall:

      Bruce Jenner is not following Christ. If he were, he would have given all his money away and been unable to pay for his very own vagina.

      Daniel E Fall is not following Christ. If he were, he would not be judging Bruce Jenner.

      • George Michalopulos says

        OOM, isn’t that what all good liberal do? How often do we hear about rich somebody is (“the one percent”) while everybody else languishes in supposed poverty or that we need to address “income insecurity,” etc.

        I guess it depends who’s ox is being gored. Mr Fall is spot on. Jenner, a self-described Republican and Evangelical Christian would have been better served if he sold all he had and gave to the poor, laying up for himself treasures in heaven. In a few years, when the euphoria has worn off and he sinks into the inevitable depression that claims so many sex-changed lives, he will lament that he did not give away his money but allowed his wealth to put him in that predicament.

        Better to be poor and hungry if that permits one from sinning. Just sayin’.

      • Heracleides says

        “Daniel E Fall is not following Christ. If he were, he would not be judging Bruce Jenner.”

        OMM is not following Christ. If he were, he would not be judging Daniel E Fall for judging Bruce Jenner.

        Ahhhhh – that felt good and contributed sooooo much to the conversation – the cycle is never-ending when one first trots out the ‘judging’ card. Passing the judging-stick on, who will be next!?!

      • Daniel E Fall says

        Sorry OOM, but I can judge any human that rejects his penis and cuts it off for a vagina. And if you could stop focusing on Jenner’s man made vagina, you’d see the main point is my criticism of medicine.

        I find sex change to be unethical. I don’t care if he puts on wigs and dresses, but for medicine to do so because it can avoids the question of whether it should.

        I have no credentials, but I understand ethical questions. Medicine gets an F on sex change. If medicine had a gay change operation, you gonna suggest it is right?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Fall, in buttressing your point to OOM, I do have some credentials (with two bachelors degrees: one in health sciences the other in pharmaceutics). Even though my specialty is not in medicine or surgery per se, I’m required to take 15 hours of continuing education yearly in order to keep my licence and I’m quite aware of the entire sexuality/etc. imbroglios that impinge on medical practice.

          But even without that knowledge, but merely as a traditionalist Christian, I don’t need a degree tell me that sex-change operations are unethical. I’m sorry, there’s just an instinctual “yuck factor” that makes me cringe to even think about it. However, my queasiness is now buttressed by hard, medical science: Johns Hopkins Medical Center is no longer performing these operations. It has rightly come to the conclusion that at the very least it violates the first tenet of the Hippocratic Oath: “first, do no harm.”

          I’m glad that medical science is now catching up to traditional Christian norms. Think of all the millions of dollars that would have been saved –to mention nothing of the thousands of lives lost to despair and suicide–had we just heeded the words of Scripture and abided by is norms.

        • Monk James says

          June 9, 2015 at 9:33 am Daniel E Fall says:

          Sorry OOM, but I can judge any human that rejects his penis and cuts it off for a vagina. And if you could stop focusing on Jenner’s man made vagina, you’d see the main point is my criticism of medicine. SNIP


          FWIW, a TV news report the other day mentioned that Bruce Jenner will NOT have ‘sex-reassignment surgery’ to modify his genitals to appear female.

          That’s all I know about that particular situation, so someone else will have to seek out and explain BJ’s reasons for his ne plus ultra.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Father James says, “someone else will have to seek out” Jenner’s sex.

            That is to say, I think, Father James declines to do so.

            Smart decision.

        • Daniel E Fall:

          Bruce Jenner is not following Christ. If he were, he would have given all his money away and been unable to pay for his very own vagina.

          Daniel E Fall judges Bruce Jenner for not following Christ based on the fact that he “would have given all his money away.” How many who call themselves Christians live up to Mr. Fall’s high standards, even if that is the rhetoric that the Lord is supposed to have used? Does Mr. Fall live up to that gospel standard; is he peniless from almsgiving?

          Daniel E Fall:

          Sorry OOM, but I can judge any human that rejects his penis and cuts it off for a vagina.

          Fine, but that’s not what I was responding to.

          Daniel E Fall:

          I have no credentials, but I understand ethical questions.

          Duly noted. Daniel E Fall the uncredentialed expert in his own opinion about ethics.

          • George Michalopulos says

            OOM, there will come a time in Jenner’s life in which he will regret what his fame and wealth brought him. And then he will stand before the dread judgment seat of Christ and will have to answer why he squandered his wealth and manifest talents in such a blasphemous manner.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

              George, you are right: the question is NOT Jenner and his choices: It is PUHALO and the foolishness that incorporated him as a (albeit retired) hierarch into the OCA. The most enthusiastic agents of that foolishness were Bishop Seraphim (Storheim), Archbishop Dmitri, Archbishop Job. Frivolous followers of the crowd were Archbishop Kirill, Archbishop Nathaniel. Completely neutral hand-washers were Metropolitan Herman, Bishop Nikolai, Archbishop Peter. There was encouragement from the SVS faculty. The latter, like Archbishop Dmitri were totally focussed on being champions against any belief in Toll Houses, as if such were heresy of historic proportions that should put its detractors on the historic Hit Parade of Fathers and Teachers of the Church. Even now, you will find such geniuses willing to defend Puhalo on that basis alone. ( Too bad nobody told Jenner he could avoid all all opprobrium if he’d only denounce the Toll Houses.
              I have previously related my failed attempts to convince the Holy Synod to its horrible decision when I was absent, and BECAUSE I was absent when the decision was first excreted on the Church!

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

                I note that Jenner is not professing to be an Orthodox Christian: yet, his actions bother the Orthodox HERE more than the recently PUBLISHED news of the celebration of the 25th wedding anniversary of M. Stokoe and Steve Brown, the CONSCIENCES of Orthodox Christians for Accountability. (Remember, ye righteous ones?)

                • Daniel E Fall says

                  As hard as you try to villify Stokoe for stopping the hush banking methods employed by the former Synod(s), you continually fail.

                  Stokoe’s wrongs were and are his own. They had nothing to do with the unabashed stealing of the 9/11 funds (for one) by someone taking advantage of the secret lives of men with white hats.

                  Stokoe’s personal life is trivia.

                  Give it a rest. It is like a kid with his own zits picking on a kid with zits, just worse because you keep trying to justify the errors you gentlemen made by picking on a kid with zits.

                  • Daniel E Fall,

                    It is so ironic to consider that Stokoe was fired as OCA Youth Director, (consider that for a moment) when he was discovered to be doctoring his own financial records. The man is a fraud, pure and simple. He was on a witch hunt to settle scores with those who got rid of him. He is no hero. And now his real personhood has been revealed. Who he really does matter even if you think it doesn’t. Just like his comrade in arms, Faith Skordinski, a now avowed atheist, matters. By the way, Happy 25th Anniversary to Mark and Steve. All the while playing the OCA for fools.

                    • I wish one of these days someone would provide the citation to Faith Skordinski having become an atheist because I keep running into her at religious events, most recently a liturgy.

                      No one provided info on the anniversary event, either, but last year there was this article on Realtor Magazine online on an initiative to make the national Realtor Association more gender accepting that establishes Steve Brown as one of the founders of a church in Dayton, Ohio, for his having extensive theological training, and for having a loving relationship with his spouse of 24 years. It is here –


                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      I wish one of these days someone would provide the citation to Faith Skordinski having become an atheist because I keep running into her at religious events, most recently a liturgy.

                      If you keep running into her why do not ask her and report back? I would if I were you.

                      Or, we could just ask her to come on this blog, which I am sure she is already on this blog, and settle this matter once and for all.

                      See simple. Right Faith..er..YoHo.


                • Perhaps if you provide us with a link (or a citation of the publication if it isn’t online) to the published announcement, Vladyka, it would help with dispelling the smoke that was blown by those who demanded proof that Stokoe and Brown were actually married.

                  There were those who heaped vilification on us for assuming that when the realtor magazine identified them as partners of 24 years, that it meant they were, um, romantically involved. They demanded proof — it would seem that an anniversary announcement would constitute such, but Google doesn’t reveal it to me…

                  I have no problem if Stokoe revealed real financial fraud and abuse by higher ups in the OCA. This completely separate issue of an OCA priest and bishop apparently communing an openly homosexual (and a high profile one in the OCA) couple is hardly trivia (as Daniel Fall calls it) in today’s climate where people are looking to see whether the Church intends to stand fast in its moral calling in spite of changing opinions in the world around us.

                • Vladyka, can you provide a link?

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

                    I can’t provide “links.” The wedding anniversary celebration was reported, last week or the week before in the main Dayton, Ohio, newspaper.
                    Previously, the obituary of Mark Stokoe’s mother in the Seattle newspaper named Steve Brown as a surviving SON-IN-LAW. No one has EVER denied this relationship no matter where and how often cited, I did not know of his financial hanky-panky until reading of it here. I understood that his trite, generic “West Hollywood” dress and stle at Syosset finally made Metropolitan Theodosius and Proopresbyter R.S. Kondratick to get then Archbishop Herman to ptivatel confer with Stokoe and oromise to take no further action if he would quietly and voluntarily resign…..which he did.

              • George Michalopulos says

                In that case, I would stand accused myself as I was once a fan of Puhalo. Let’s be honest, he’s a brilliant man, a great preacher, and was a champion of Orthodoxy at one time. I’m sure that if Dmitri of thrice-blessed memory, Job, SVS, et al, had seen where he has wound up they would have not “championed” his cause. We’re all allowed to make mistakes.

                Now it’s up to the Synod to fix them.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

                  George, I beg to disagree with you, in that Puhalo was never ever a CHAMPION OF ORTHODOXY! He was and is merely a deposed Deacon—deposed by the same hierarchy that ordained him. What do you think was the reason that he was deposed? For champioing Orthodoxy? That champion ran to the then scismatic lawless jurisdiction of the “Free” Serbs, where Metropolitan Irinej staightaway ordained him as a “Priest” staing that the deposition had been “illegal” because ROCOR is an ” inuncanonical jurisdiction.”. If that lie were true, then why didn’t he ordain him to the Diaconate first? Later, after the Free Sebs were united to the canonical Church through the extraordinary economy exercised by the sainted Serbian Patriarch Pavle, Puhalo fled to the bogus and homophiliac jurisdiction of the “Milan Synod” which conferred THEIR episcopacy on him before joining up with the Kiev fraudulent “Patriarchate, which Puhalo abandoned (after being elevated to Archbisop by them, in order to try and work a deal whereby he’d agree to will his Canadian prperties to the OCA in return for “VALIDATION”/acceptrance. The CHAMPION of Orthodoxy left no stone unturned in his lifelong jealous campaign against the sainted Father Seraphim (Rose). George I showed photos of the CHAMPION OF ORTHODOXY to the Holy Synod: some showed him and his familiar “hierarch” concelebrating with Metrpolitan Stephen of Clevelan and Mississauga—the Orthodox version of the “Metropolitan Community Church. Archbishop Dmitri and Bishop Seraphim bith statedm “We didn’t KNOW about this before!” Nevertheless,/George they ALL refused to reverse their already announced reception of Puhalos because “If we change our minds now, publicly, it will cause a great scandal.”
                  We used to call that behavior when I was serving on the Air Staff in the Pentagon, ‘CYA”
                  I should have left the OCA then, but I did not. Totally my bad.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    What I meant your grace was that like many, I was drawn to much of what he wrote. (Caveat: I knew nothing about his personal history–I merely saw the words “Archbishop” and “OCA” before and after his name so I thought he was on the up-and-up.)

                    Having said that, much of what he wrote (I’m talking fifteen years ago when I first discovered) him, I thought he was a rational voice who wrote in a thoughtful and courageous (for a bishop) manner. Again, I knew nothing about his career.

                    If I may, going after the Free Serbs is somewhat of a cheap shot in my estimation. They may have been wrong but what else were they to do given that their national church was under the sway of Tito?

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

                      George, I did NOT “go after” the Free Serbs. That’s your red herring. Ionly quoted from Puhalo’s written narrative oresented to the Holy Synod. Any vilification of the Free Serbs wasccomplished by Puhalo when he ababdoned them for the Milan Synod. Archbishop Peter of blessed memory, upon hearing the names of the /bishops of the Milan Synod exclaimed, “But I KNOW them all. EVERYBODY in europe knows them! They areALL homosexuals and deposed when they were deacons!!!!!”

                      You might wonder, George if Puhalo was the ONLY Ortodox clergyman who was jealous of Father Seraphim Rose and remains jealous of his blessed memory! What might THAT have to do with the case of Father Gerasim, who is the sainted Father’s spiritual son and successor? Hm?

                    • Estonian Slovak says

                      The biggest mistake the Free Serbs made was going to the uncanonical Ukrainian jurisdiction for help in making Fr. Irenei a bishop.

                • George, I am as inclined to give Abp. Dimitri the benefit of the doubt as almost anyone, but this one was a no-brainer, and there is no rational explanation for the OCA Synod blowing it so badly. Puhalo’s days as a sane champion of Orthodoxy had been over long, long, long ago at the time that this decision was made. He was a crazy vagante “bishop” — no other way to say it.

                  I truly was dumbfounded, and at the time could only think of one reason why the Synod would receive a loose cannon like him — namely that Puhalo had dirt on a member or members of the Holy Synod. I also speculated at the time that something as simple as anti-ROCOR animus might possibly explain it, since Puhalo had been deposed by the ROCOR Synod of Bishops and that deposition had never been lifted. (The ROCOR had received its share of questionable, and sometimes deposed, clergy from the OCA, so I’m not claiming their hands are clean on that score.)

                  Vladyka Tikhon adds another, very sensible, layer of explanation to the whole saga — namely that Puhalo’s single-minded crusade against Fr. Seraphim of blessed memory (on the ostensible grounds of the “heresy” of tollhouses) made his reception into some sort of theological statement of supposed value.

                  Which brings the judgment of those players even further into question. Leaving aside tendentious arguments about tollhouses… actually, no, tendentiousness is exactly the issue when it comes to Puhalo, and how the bishops and SVS folks could be so blind to that is beyond my comprehension. If Puhalo hadn’t latched onto Fr. Seraphim and tollhouses it would have been something else about Fr. Seraphim or something else about someone. There is no explaining (or escaping) the kind of mental/emotional pathology that Puhalo showed — and showed very early in his career as a cleric. I frankly don’t think Puhalo gives a rip about transgendered people or whatever — it is something for him to fixate on, and he will continue to fixate on it. If it wasn’t transgender issues, it would be something, as long as it stirred up controversy.

                  No reasonable person could make a heresy out of what Fr. Seraphim wrote — there is just too much in the Fathers on the subject to say otherwise. Even if Fr. Seraphim was guilty of making it sound more physically literal than warranted (which he didn’t), it wouldn’t have justified the over-the-top tireless (and tiresome) campaign that Puhalo engaged in, nor would it explain his unwillingness or inability to let it go when his hierarchs told him to drop it already — his kind of behavior was simply pathological. No psychologically normal deacon, no matter what his theological opinion is, does what Puhalo did. His subsequent strange journey through the land of the vagantes and his seeking out “consecration” as a “bishop” only confirmed the good judgment of said hierarchs when they deposed him, and only added to the overwhelming evidence that Puhalo wasn’t all there. Deposed deacons with normal mental and emotional facilities simply find very different ways back into church life than the one Puhalo chose. Psychologically normal deacons, to put it bluntly, usually manage not to get deposed in the first place — particularly over petty theological disputes. Abp Dimitri knew that — every single OCA bishop had to know that from having dealt with countless clergy problems over the years.

                  When Puhalo was received by the OCA, I furthermore learned that he had been received on the condition that he keep silence and no longer write, speak publicly, etc. I had a huge laugh over that one, since it cast even more doubt on the judgment of those who made the decision to receive him — past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, and the idea that Puhalo would EVER be constitutionally capable of avoiding public utterances (let alone avoid controversy in what he says) was hilarious. He simply can’t do it. Think about it — this is the age of the internet. Puhalo could come on this forum every day, let all of his “stuff” out under the name of something like, say, “OOM,” and he would be able to get his argumentative wiggles out of his system while still keeping his word to his fellow bishops.

                  But he can’t do it, and anyone who knew anything about Puhalo had to know that. Whatever the real reasons were for his reception — blackmail, anti-ROCOR animus, a desire to make a theological statement — there is no excuse for not being able to know with near 100% certainty that he would, unfailingly, act out as a “retired archbishop” in exactly the same way as he acted out through his entire “career.”

                  Again, Vladyka Tikhon is to be commended and thanked for having tried to stop this.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Edward, you write very well and I’d give you the last word on this subject except regarding the teaching of the Toll Houses. Although my own beliefs have evolved on that subject, the fact remains that Rose’s description of them in The Soul after Death is a terrifying one and to my mind (at the time) very literal. My own faith was tested in that it seemed to me at the time that Rose’s theology displaced Christ as the Judge with demons. In this sense, I think Rose’s book did much damage as written, not only to me but to many others. I’m talking both of born-Orthodox as well as seekers.

                    When one of our party asked the Venerable Dmitri of thrice-blessed memory about the Toll Houses he was didn’t condemn the concept but asked us to look at the mystery of death thusly: “When the thief on the cross asked for forgiveness, our Lord said ‘today, you will be wit Me in Paradise.'” While not an outright denunciation of the Toll House theory, it was a Scriptural reaffirmation on Who the judge of the person’s soul is.

                    Years later, while at Holy Archangels in Kendalia, we asked one of the hieromonks there about them and he explained them in a way made them seem less literal (but no less real) than what Rose had written. Perhaps the problem was Rose’s lack of theological education and/or his writing skills.

                    Having said all that I fully expect Fr Seraphim to be glorified as a saint sooner rather than later and a more nuanced approach to the Toll House theory to be taught.

                    • George, I agree with you that Fr. Seraphim will be glorified. In spite of the fact that his writings were influential — even crucial — in my conversion, I never thought of him as a potential saint in any way. But I have had things change my mind since then, and I venerate him as a saint and pray to him — I don’t need to wait for anything official to know that he is a saint. It will be interesting to see the opposition that his glorification draws out. I suspect it will come from those who will find it to be repulsive (and for some, damning) for a monk to have spent a lifetime of asceticism, in part repenting for homosexual actions. Of course, they won’t say that’s why they are criticizing his glorification.

                      I haven’t read “The Soul After Death,” or if I did, it was a very long time ago. I thought I had a copy in my library, but can’t find it. I did open Vassiliadis’s exhaustive and well-received text, “the Mystery of Death,” (which, as I recall, was promoted by the Ephremite monasteries at the time that I purchased it) however, and there is an entire, uncritical, chapter on the tollhouses in that book, all backed up with Scriptural, patristic, and saints’ lives references.

                      I also found a booklet published in Jordanville in the 1960s on the subject which was pretty old-school and a bit scary, with references to 19th century Russian writings as well as to saints’ lives. My point being that Fr. Seraphim seems to have been restating something that is present in Orthodoxy in general and in the 19th century Russian tradition in particular. It was therefore disingenuous for Puhalo to condemn Fr. Seraphim for something that has a definite Orthodox pedigree — particularly since Fr. Seraphim’s primary mission was to convey the richness of pre-revolutionary Russian piety to 20th century Americans. The Russian booklet, incidentally, seemed to be designed primarily to encourage people to be honest in their confessions and not go to their grave with unconfessed and unrepented sins, since when one does that, there is the possibility that “tonight thy soul will be required of thee.”

                      That latter statement by Christ, I have read in some of the patristic commentaries, is a reference to the demons coming to take the foolish rich man’s soul — and those same fathers contrast it to the story of rich man and Lazarus in St. John, which has good angels carrying the soul of Lazarus to heaven. Sort of like tollhouses.

                      I do hear you that you think Fr. Seraphim’s writings caused damage to you and others, and I accept that for you this is true, just as I hope you accept that I have seen real damage done by Ephremite monasteries to people close to me — another subject on which we have agreed to disagree.

                      In any event, my main point was that even if Fr. Seraphim was guilty of being wrong on that particular point (I point I do not grant, but just for the sake of argument), Puhalo’s reaction to him was still completely out of proportion and reflected pathology. It was grossly out of proportion both to Puhalo’s standing as a mere deacon and grossly out of proportion to the supposed “heresy” of teaching about tollhouses. At most, it was a theological opinion on which there isn’t consensus in the Fathers. Had it been a heresy, either Fr. Seraphim’s own bishops or at least some bishop somewhere (Abp. Dimitri, perhaps) would have publicly condemned it.

                      Unless, that is, one is to take the view that only Puhalo had the spiritual vision to spot a serious heresy and only Puhalo had the lonely courage to combat it. And standing with Puhalo contra mundum is not anywhere that any sensible person should ever have wanted to be.

                      Ask any sensible priest or bishop whether any psychologically stable deacon ever ends up like Puhalo did — deposed, and then wandering around in the vagante world, ending up a “bishop.” I’d be surprised if a single one answers in the affirmative.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Edward, I think you hit the nail on the head. If I may defend myself somewhat regarding Rose’s work The Soul After Death, it was a book that staggered my soul (hopefully to repentance). Having said that, I did not mean to imply that it was erroneous; what I meant to say was that it was the product of a pious man (certainly) but it could have been stated with a little more academic erudition. Rose (who, like you, I believe to be a saint) was for all his sanctity not a theologian. Perhaps had he been this book would not have been so frightening to those immature in the faith. I dunno, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing.

                      Having said that, your commentary on this subject is very useful and very enlightening, not just on Rose per se but on the several other subjects you expounded upon.

                  • Estonian Slovak says

                    Had he repented, ROCOR might have taken Puhalo back as a deacon. I knew him when he was in ROCOR. I can’t confirm this, but I understand even his deaconate in ROCOR was irregular. As a Canadian resident, he was ordained in the US (by Metropolitan Filaret, I think), but without the knowledge and permission of his own bishop, Archbishop Vitaly of Canada, who would succeed Metropolitan Filaret as ROCOR First Hierarch. I recall that all the time he was in ROCOR, he had to come to the states to serve. Being young and foolish then, I was taken in by him and those people who later morphed into the HOCNA Cult. Thus, I was brainwashed against Fr. Seraphim Rose and only learned to appreciate him after his repose.

            • Michalopulos:

              And then he will stand before the dread judgment seat of Christ and will have to answer why he squandered his wealth and manifest talents in such a blasphemous manner.

              Dear experts in divine retribution. Why must we always wait until the dread judgement day? Why can’t we expect some fire and brimstone to rain down upon the heads of Jenner or any of the countless other degenerates NOW?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Please, nobody wants to rain “fire and brimstone” upon his head now. Least of all myself, the greatest of sinners.

            • George:

              OOM, there will come a time in Jenner’s life in which he will regret what his fame and wealth brought him. And then he will stand before the dread judgment seat of Christ and will have to answer why he squandered his wealth and manifest talents in such a blasphemous manner.

              You DON’T KNOW what is in his heart. You DON’T KNOW how God will judge him because you can’t control God. THAT is what this is all about: you can control neither human behavior nor God’s judgement of that behavior, and you can’t handle it!

          • Daniel E Fall says

            I’m sorry. I meant no medical credentials.

            As for ethics, I’ve studied it enough to know medicine fails the simplest ethical standards doing elective sex change operations. The ethical challenge is yes we can, so shall we? And they never asked the question. If we pinpoint those areas of the brain that drive crossdressing, for example, is it ethically right to laser it away if it can be done someday? You seem to think doctors making sex organs is just fine. Slam me if you will; it appears obvious you don’t enjoy the ethical discussion.

            As for almsgiving, the greater point is just because Jenner has the money to buy female genitalia mockups, is it the right thing to do with his money? I’d say if he budgeted for the surgery at a hundred grand; he could have done lots better giving it away. I never suggested he go penniless.

            Sorry oom, I’m pretty liberal, but I say its wrong to cut off your schwanz and throw away your name. As a matter of fact, I don’t respect the religious practice of name changing either.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Mr. Fall,

          Actually, the decision by Johns Hopkins for a moratorium on gender reassignment surgery was not simply an ethical decision, if the suggestion is that performing the surgery, in and of itself, was “immoral.” The decision was an evidenced-based decision, such that protracted research clearly demonstrated that this form of intervention did not accomplish what it had been originally intended to accomplish: to end the “psychic” conflicts of dysphoria. In other words, the theoretical basis of the “reassignment” was to improve the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual “well-being” of the lives of these individuals so affected. As Johns Hopkins researchers discovered in examining their own patients, it was a failure. Recipients of this surgery suffered from more mental disorders (e.g. major depression, anxiety & panic disorders, chemical dependency, etc.) – and to a greater extent – than prior to the surgery; they scored no better on scales intended to measure their perception of there ability to control the circumstances of their own lives; they were not subjectively happier, satisfied, or hopeful as to the state of their lives; they were frequently more socially isolated and believed their environment was substantially more dangerous (e.g. that they potentially were at greater risk for harm or violence) as a group; and had what the researchers found to be a surprisingly potentiated regret for ever having undergone the reassignment. Upon publishing the results, the chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry led the movement to cease performing the surgery.

          If I am not mistaken, that’s how the whole “medicine” thing is supposed to work. Having come from a major research university environment, you don’t have to instruct me as to the influence of money in human medicine. Nevertheless, I find the decision of Johns Hopkins to be a very courageous, superbly balanced & justified, and ethically responsible decision.

          • Daniel E Fall says

            Well, Dr S. Medicine has a long way to go. We won’t see it during our lives.

            I don’t envy you. I think psychiatry is the furthest behind due to parity and other reasons.

            If you just consider parity alone, psychiatry has the most need for refinement.

            Doctors et al need to diagnose and treat underlying causes and not rule out higher maladies and treat symptoms. But they constantly do the latter for all sorts of reasons.

            I shook hands with Senator Paul Wellstone on Nov 29, 1991 at a chance encounter. I had a broken down vehicle and there was too much snow for him to make it the last mile to his condo. He and Sheila and I were the only three people for as far as I could see. Wellstone worked for parityif you didn’t know.

            Sorry if you feel I’ve slammed you or your profession. My criticism is fair.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Like you, Mr Fall, I think we have over the last few generations given psychiatry a too-exalted position in the medical sciences.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Fall,

              The sudden loss of Paul Wellstone was a tragedy, and his advocacy is sorely missed.

              I believe the true value of modern medicine – be it oncology or psychiatry – becomes apparent when you need it. The rest is debate. I believe that there is considerable confusion as to the significant differences between the practice of psychiatry and the practice of clinical psychology. The only psychiatrists I know who provide psychotherapy (i.e. “counseling”) are older, experienced physicians who were medical students when the practice of therapy was actually & comprehensively taught in medical schools. It is no longer. Today, a masters-degree level social worker or marital & family therapist is infinitely more skilled in psychotherapy than any psychiatry resident. Secondly, insurance does not reimburse psychiatrists to practice psychotherapy – and why would they when they can pay a social worker a third the fee – and psychiatrists that I know who provide therapy do so with patients who pay “out-of-pocket.”

              You keep referring to a doctor’s need to “diagnose and treat underlying causes and not rule out higher maladies and treat symptoms,” and I will only say that the “modern” texts of psychiatry always include a thorough and comprehensive medical history & examination to first rule out “higher maladies” (and you would be surprised to discover the medical conditions whose symptoms mimic psychiatric disorders) before concluding the issue is purely psychiatric. And that, in effect, is the modern practice of “reimbursable” psychiatry: diagnosis, frequently medication administration, and medication management. Obviously, the advent of complex technology – including genetics – has greatly expanded the medical practice of psychiatry (e.g. individual genetically-assisted predictions of medication effectiveness, neuro-imaging, funtional MRI (fMRI), etc.) and research effectiveness. It is an emergent field, and not to be confused with clinical psychology.

              • Daniel E Fall says

                Like I said, medicine has a ways [sic] to go, and thank you for your fair critique in the following post. My two older boys lost their father to suicide. He was treated and the shrink called his personality issues baseline. ssholeaay they said… I, of course, am the beneficiary of that fellow’s poor fate. My beef with medicine is they treat symptoms too much. The underlying causes are oftentime considered too complex. Correcting a bad personality-got a cure in a bottle?

                Warm regards.

      • Pere LaChaise says

        Tell me where following Christ requires moral blindness. Please quote chapter and verse.

        • Pere:

          Tell me where following Christ requires moral blindness. Please quote chapter and verse.

          Pere, are you in the Bible belt by any chance? A convert from evangelicalism? We don’t really do the “chapter and verse” thing in Orthodoxy, you know. And who said ANYTHING about moral blindness? The question of “requirements” is whether one must follow the gender norm in order to follow Christ. If you’re looking to “search the scriptures” you can start with Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, although I have a funny feeling the point of that story will be lost on you…

          • George Michalopulos says

            OOM, that’s extremely tendentious. The Church Fathers regularly quoted “chapter and verse” when the need arose. Chrysostom would quote entire pericopes for that matter.

            As for your indictment of Pere’s accusation against your “moral blindness” –he’s spot on. Your reliance upon the Ethiopian eunuch is particularly ignorant: the vast majority of men who were eunuchs in ancient times were castrated against their will, whether as infants or as prisoners taken in battle who were later sold into slavery. Only an infinitesimally small cohort of men ever castrated themselves, and the overwhelming majority of these were followers of pagan mystery-cults. The only Christian who did so to my knowledge was Origen.

            And even in these instances they kept their penises.

            • Michalopulos:

              Your reliance upon the Ethiopian eunuch is particularly ignorant: the vast majority of men who were eunuchs in ancient times were castrated against their will, whether as infants or as prisoners taken in battle who were later sold into slavery. Only an infinitesimally small cohort of men ever castrated themselves, and the overwhelming majority of these were followers of pagan mystery-cults.

              Is this what they teach in your continuing education class? Or have you been Googling again? What’s your evidence ? All I know is that his disfigurement – regardless of how it came about or in what it consisted, and these details are omitted from the narrative – did NOT prevent his following Christ.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Uh, well, regarding eunuchs you could read Gibbon’s The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire for starters. Michael Grant as well. If memory serves Runciman had a few choice words about this unfortunate phenomenon. They all relied on primary sources, guys like Tacitus, Suetonius, Plutarch and others.

              • ReaderEmanuel says

                Read any account of the history of the city of Sardis and it being a center of the cult of Cybele. Sardis was Sin City in ancient times. Going way beyond sexual orgies, males, in their frenzy of worship, often castrated themselves. It was one of the 7 cities mentioned by John in the book of Revelation. Under Julian the Apostate they reverted back to paganism. The city was later destroyed. George Michalopoulos is correct. Instead of trying to rewrite history, please try to investigate it for yourself. A follower of Christ would not do what Jenner did.

            • Michalopulos:

              OOM, that’s extremely tendentious. The Church Fathers regularly quoted “chapter and verse” when the need arose.

              Yes, in developing homiletics and theological argument, they did so. Pere Lachause, Protestant-fashion, seeks a PROOF TEXT.

          • If I [God] say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give them no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity, but you will have saved your life. (Ezekiel 3:20)

            Is that what you want? For God to hold you responsible for failing to love your fellow man enough to see him find the right way? How cruel, and how dangerous for your own soul.

            (Apologies to everyone for quoting from the Bible! I promise to never do it again.)

  6. Thomas Barker says

    I salute Caitlin Jenner for having the courage…

    What is courageous about Bruce Jenner changing his body to make it more alluring to Bruce Jenner?

  7. What a load.

  8. I didn’t realize that enabling mentally ill people was one of Christ’s imperatives. How much deeper his reading of the Gospel is than the rest of ours! He is a new Chrysostom.

  9. Michael James Kinsey says

    What can be said? It is a shame even to speak of these two examples of spiritual Sodom and Gomorrah. But, the Holy Synod is responsible for any accreditation it may have bestowed. upon this archbishop. It’ does beg the question, whose side are they on. The Christ addressed this delima, effectively. Where the eagles are gathered together, there also wil the body be. The heart is which receives God’s revelation to the human heart, is the Rock the Christian church is built on.The Holy Synod or P-U Halo cannot change this. Archbishop doesn’t like this scripture, and claims it means nothing. Culpable ignorance means less than nothing.

  10. Vladyka Tikhon, on other threads, has detailed the wackiness behind the OCA accepting the deposed deacon Puhalo as a “retired archbishop.” Some simple Google searches will reveal a representative sample of his responses to those of us who asked him directly what in tarnation the OCA Synod of bishops was thinking. All well worth reading. He deserves our thanks for at least having tried to stop it.

    One thing is certain, if past is prologue, this current Synod of Bishops will do absolutely nothing about Puhalo no matter what he says or does. Add it to the list of things they will do nothing about, no matter how persistent and unrepentant the behavior.

  11. ReaderEmanuel says

    He took his posts down after many people complained. I wonder if that was due to sticking his finger in the wind, or thinking twice, or a reprimand from higher up? At any rate, where is a statement from his superior hierarch? There’s an old saying that goes, “Silence gives assent.” I know that a lot of people aren’t going to like what I am about to say, but so be it. The more the Church and/or its hierarchs and priests go to the left and espouse these kinds of things, the more people will be drawn away from it, myself included. Unfortunately, these people are very vocal and will never be satisfied. Today it’s transgenderism and homosexuality and gay marriage, and so on. Tomorrow it will be something else that is against Church teaching. They are not trying to change the Church, THEY ARE TRYING TO DESTROY IT. Plain and simple. Where are our hierarchs?????

  12. M. Stankovich says

    I believe it is important to note that there are 14 recognized – mainly genetic – medical disorders that hinder gender distinction biologically. While to my knowledge none of these 14 are “life-threatening,” I believe that we must remain compassionate and sensitive to these issues that such disorders pose to parents, newborns, and those who must legitimately, throughout the course of their lives, struggle with the medical interventions necessary to correct gender ambiguity. However, what is now termed “Gender Dysphoria,” a mental disorder pursuant to the DSM-V of the American Psychiatric Association and the ICD-10 of the World Health Organization, is not among the 14 recognized disorders of sexual ambiguity. In fact, the diagnostic criteria for Gender Dysphoria is completely subjective to the experience of the patient, and there is no genetic or anatomical defect.

    Secondly, the epidemiological data regarding Gender Dysphoria varies tremendously – from 1:1200 Americans to what is insisted as the “best” data, 1:500 (and for perspective, approximately 1:500 Americans has Cerebral Palsy; 1:325 are blind; 1:250 are deaf; and both those with schizophrenia or rheumatoid arthritis are estimated to be 1:100). Even at 1:500, we are considering an extraordinarily small, extraordinarily anomalistic segment of the U.S. Population; certainly making the attention it is currently receiving – and the potential civil rights contemplated as a “protected class” – outrageously disproportionate. While the LGBT a community is continuous arguing, for example, the suicide rate of gender dysphoric youth, as measured against the general population, as cause to criminalize even discussing the matter with children, it is statistical and epidemiological lunacy. Perhaps the most objectionable aspect of this entire situation is that critical social and therapeutic decisions are being made with no research whatsoever. In the state of CA, after two years of living as the opposite gender & participating in “gender supportive” psychotherapy, one may petition the courts to permanently change the birth gender on one’s birth certificate, without any surgical or genital change, and without hormone replacement/supplementation. Those of us not the patient are being asked to literally suspend reality to consider that an unaltered, genetically born and “equipped” male is now a female because that is how s/he feels, and the refusal to accept this “reality” is “transphobic” and socially unacceptable.

    I do not wish to conclude these observations without pointing out the real suffering, confusion, and frequent despair experienced by these individuals. Having interviewed any number of individuals – across the age and diversity spectrum – it is a fact that these are deeply affected human beings who deserve the outpouring of compassion and mercy that the Church as Physician must offer. It is simple enough to declare these individuals as sinners and – in the case of interventional surgeries – “abominations,” yet they too may repent and again turn to the Church for soul-saving “clarity,” repentance, and a life of chastity. It is hardly possible to “undo” reassignment surgery, but it does not seem to me that we are prepared to confront the reality of the price of such delusion & disorder. It is only a matter of when such circumstances present themselves, and we cannot meet suffering & anguish with revulsion and rejection. Prodigal sons will take many forms in our future, and for those who actively seek the path of repentance & obedience are our lost sheep.

    • While to my knowledge none of these 14 are “life-threatening,” — I agree with pretty much all of what you say, Michael, but doubt is cast regarding your knowledge of the subject. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is easily the most common cause of ambiguous genitalia, and it sure as hell is life-threatening.

      To reinforce one of your points, the incidence of this, to pick a generous number, is maybe 1/10,000 births. And that is the most common cause of ambiguous genitalia.

      • M. Stankovich says


        I never saw a severe case in residency as you describe. I stand corrected & appreciate your input.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      Like I said, medicine gets lots of credit for this issue.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      What did folks do about these dysphorias in olden, pre-surgical times?

      • Tim R.:

        What did folks do about these dysphorias in olden, pre-surgical times?

        They shamed them, ridiculed them, called them “demon-possession,” etc…

        • M. Stankovich says

          I would add that there has been a major evolution (if not revolution) in gender theory in the field of psychology in the last half-century. For example, primary theorists argued as to when a child’s actual gender determination occurs – is it determined pre-nataly, or does it “develop” and solidify over the course of child development. A major theorist in the US, John Money (yes, Mr. Fall), was especially influential and believed in gender as a developmental process of formulation. There are now an emerging group of individuals who, as a result of Money’s influence, after having been born with ambiguous genitalia, underwent gender “assignment” surgery pursuant to the “choice” of their parents. Money literally counseled that, as gender was “formed” over time, raising a child according to environmental factors (e.g. gender-appropriate name, dress, role-expectations, etc.) was sufficient. One famous case from the 1970’s was a Canadian male infant who was undergoing circumcision with an experimental electro-cautery instrument that burned off his penis. Money counseled reassignment surgery, and instructed the parents to raise the child as a female. This child instinctively knew something was terribly wrong and suffered tremendously until finally securing his medical records as a young adult. Dr. Kenneth Zucker – a recognized expert in Gender Dysphoria – of the Addictions Research Foundation in Toronto – has written extensively of his success in “orienting” children by guiding parents in strictly raising them pursuant to their birth gender (e.g. removing all “opposite-gender” toys, books, clothing, etc. and limiting interaction with the opposite gender to “casual contact”).

          Obviously we now can confirm gender by genetic testing, and understand that gender is determined in a process of genetics and predictable post-genetic, intrauterine hormonal cascades. It is also believed that sexual orientation is determined in the same process, and that errors in the timing of these cascades and/or other genetic factors (e.g. x-chromosome suppression in certain females causes them to produce more male offspring, which may be a risk factor for same-sex-attraction) may be essential. It is obviously speculative and emergent. Nevertheless, I believe, by analogy, those harmed by John Money give us some insight into the “psychic” process of Gender Dysphoria and the suffering and confusion of those affected, albeit as a mental disorder.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Hi Michael,

            I know this case very well. The poor man went through a lot of pain as well as his family to the point that his older brother committed suicide and then years later he did as well. This whole gender is “formed” over time destroyed this man and led to so much misery and death in that family.

            This is why the fallen need the Gospel. Not just unrepentant gays and transgendered people, but all of us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ Himself gives us (Body and Soul) life and gives it to us more abundantly. The Gospel According to St. John 10:10. We have allowed the Devil to kill and steal from us the greatest gift of all. The Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

            Thank you again Michael and have a great day.


          • “…that gender is determined in a process of genetics and predictable post-genetic, intrauterine hormonal cascades.”

            This is exactly why it is a born condition; the development of gender as a function of brain formation while in the womb. For those who have had to deal with this all their lives, perhaps we could offer a bit more peaceful understanding than faulting the individual for how their mental gender was, in fact, formed while in utero.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Let me clarify for you a very important distinction: Gender Dysphoria is a mental disorder characterized as “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” and “strong desires” for affective and other characteristics of the opposing gender. It is not a matter of “error of assignment” – i.e. a “woman” brain in a man’s body” or vice versa – because of, say mistiming of a hormonal cascade or developmental event. It is a significant mental illness by definition that calls for compassion and treatment, not revulsion and mockery.

              • Daniel E Fall says

                So, in other words, to give them status as a protected class would drive schizophreniacs into a protected class as well?

                It seems TS is not too thrilled with the notion of psychological reversal of gender confusion.

                Thanks for your edifying remarks on this subject. I have learned much.

                So, has any of this been able to transcend homosexuality? That is, is there any discussion of the sexual attraction to like gender as a mental disorder?

                I understand how big a can of worms this might be…but I’m genuinely curious.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Mr. Fall,

                  It isn’t a “can of worms,” exactly, or, at best, a half open can. Homosexuality was listed among the mental disorders contained in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) through the second addition – and I have written about its subsequent removal beginning here. What I have written about homosexuality recently refers only to a limited sub-set of individuals that seem to be at a significant risk that is genetically/epigentically mediated. Before the ban on research on reparative therapies, this group in particular was the least successful affecting change in, for example, sexual fantasy, despite their expressed moral desire to align themselves with the teaching of their church (i.e. even though they desired to be aroused by heterosexual stimuli, they were not). However, because of the ban on research, the data is limited. The strong suspicion is that there is not a single entity “homosexuality,” but rather “homosexualities,” which undoubtedly include individuals whose orientation is mental disorder rather than biological. This, it seems to me, would necessarily lead one to conclude the reason the LGBT community so vehemently opposes reparative therapy research, particularly when there is absolutely no evidence that suggests it is harmful, while admittedly, the corollary is that there is no evidence to suggest it is helpful. That is, after all, the point of research. For the time being, we will just never know.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Perfectly stated and correct. Unfortunately, politics have gotten in the way and now we will never get the answers. Truth, it would seem, was never the objective, only victory for a sexual practice that God calls a sin and which the Gospel can heal one from by become a “New Creation in Christ.”

                    “New Creation,” so out of date these days.

                    Take care my friend.


                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Michael, quick question: “How much flak did Spritzer get from his article?” If this is true, and I do not doubt that it is, what happened to him following this article?



                    • M. Stankovich says


                      Dr. Spritzer was obviously “championed” again by the LGBT press – but to the extent that their new tact is “biology, no biology – accept us as we are” (a brilliant PR move, if there ever was one) – Spitzer is of no particular consequence. Secondly, when you are able to promote an atmosphere that disdains and even forbids research of reparative therapies – of which he remains a major proponent – without engaging him whatsoever, all the better.

                      On the other side, the charlatans and poseurs of reparative therapies milked his faulty research for all they could get, ignored his objections that his research was being improperly promoted to suggest what he had never intended (which is what charlatans do best), and when finally exposed, attempted to cast a renowned research scientist and physician – who is actually more well known for his expertise in other matters – as a pitiful, confused old man, because that is the gratitude extended by charlatans.

                  • Paul Stasi says

                    Dr.Stankovich, I couldn’t help but notice that all the individuals I have met who identify as homosexual, bi or transgender have said that they survived abuse in various forms as children. Are you aware of any research which examines this trend?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Stasi,

                      Actually, there is a considerable amount of research that addresses this question – which would suggest there are, in fact significant environmental factors that are correlates of homosexuality, in this case psychological/psychiatric trauma – from several perspectives. I’ll only address one.

                      From an epidemiological perspective, we know from excellent, protracted research (such as this 2014 lifetime prevalence study of childhood sexual abuse published by the University of New Hampshire) that female children are abused at a rate over male children nearly 5 to 1. Nevertheless, male homosexuals consistently outnumber lesbians by a rate greater than 3 to 1. And secondly, given the fact that the New Hampshire study is so well designed, and funded by the US Dept. of Justice, Dr. Finkelhor and his associates have demonstrated that we may reasonably presume that as many as 30% of our youth in any given year who reach the age of 17, have been, at some point in their lives, sexually assaulted or abused by an adult or a known peer. Given that fact, if we were to be hypothesizing a correlation between childhood sexual abuse and homosexuality, we would expect, for example, to observe marked rises in the prevalence of homosexuality in relation to the overall patterns of crime rates for the sexual abuse of children, geographic locations, associated with populations, and so on. But the fact is, we do not. Conversely, if you read the New Hampshire study, it notes that, “it should also be considered that the data included in this analysis span the years 2003-2010. During this time period, some surveys such as the National Crime Victimization Survey showed a decline in sexual assault based on annual prevalence comparisons. Our data do show significant declines in annual prevalence from 2003 to 2011 but detect no significant decline in lifetime rates for females” (emphasis mine). And likewise, the prevalence of homosexuality in the US – as best as can be determined – has remained relatively constant.

                      So, what is to explain that “all the individuals” you happened to meet “identify as homosexual, bi or transgender [and] have said that they survived abuse in various forms as children?” Given that we, as best as one can predict a “stigmatized” population – and by that I refer to situations where, despite even in the current social climate, some individuals choose to remain unidentified in their sexual preference – we can reasonably presume the prevalence of homosexuality to be approximately 6% in the US; the rate of child sexual abuse at 25% for females & 5% for males (and meaningless in this argument), and you have not identified the number, “all you have met (which, too, is inconsequential).” In this case we undoubtedly have one of two explanations: anecdote or you, for better or for worse, have a trend. And what do I mean by anecdote? When an unexplained event(s) arise(s) that cannot be sufficiently discriminated from all the possible variables, it/they is/are considered a random event and insignificant. Since I believe we have already allowed for the notion of trends, I’m going with anecdote. But I’m open to hearing your argument.

                    • Anecdotally, in my experience, this seems to be the case for lesbians. I can’t say that I’ve noted it in males, though. One also has to take into consideration that abusers target the vulnerable, and those of confused sexuality may have higher incidences of being vulnerable. So even if prevalence is documented, it doesn’t prove cause and effect. I’m not sure that in today’s environment, though, that any honest research on this subject will ever be done.

                    • Paul Stasi says

                      Dr. Stankovich, Thank you for the link and your explanation of the contents of the link. It is, all at once, enlightening and frightening. I suppose anecdote is a better word than trend, after all it is only an observation concerning my experience of the 30 or so males that I know who identify as homosexual and not a scientific study. What I would like to share (concerning my experience again) is that I have not met as many women who identify as being homosexual even though many have confided to me that they have been abused. It implies to me (again, with no solid scientific training or research to back it up) that the other environmental factors that you mentioned in passing play a possibly more significant role than abuse.

                      You mentioned in other posts that diagnostic criteria in the DSM have also changed. For example, being homesexual was once considered a mental illness. What is the scientific evidence that accounts for that change of view?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Stasi,

                      Again, bear in mind, my commentary regarding the influence of biology, genetics, and epigenetics appears to be significant to a specific group (a sub-set, or cohort) among homosexuals. The extent this may be generalized across the homosexual population is unknown, and generally, the worst data relates to women and “bi-sexuals” (the absolute worst data refers to bisexual women). In fact, bisexual women – often used by the LGBT gender theorists as an example of “a third gender” i.e. to promote “gender fluidity” and disparage the bias and closed-mindedness of “binary” sexuality – is unrelated to sexual orientation. I have to believe that the skew in the interest and availability of data is related to the fact that males outnumber females 3:1, and the impact and attention of HIV/AIDS.

                      The story of the removal of the diagnosis of homosexuality from the DSM is as intriguing as a good unsolved murder mystery. If you look at my post from June, 25th (approximately four or so posts above this), I did provide a link my take on the matter. Robert Spitzer, MD was a friend of my supervisor (both being from the NYS Psychiatric Institute at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC), and spoke very highly him. Intriguing it is.

                  • Daniel E Fall says

                    I had a neighbor who was a selfish atheist or agnostic. He had a girlfriend and when he broke up with her, she threatened becoming lesbian. He claims she did just that when he told her they were finished.

                    To me, that is wackerdoodles. That your sexuality would be based on rejection by another, but it looks like one of the …ties.

                    For this reason, the notion reparative counseling is banned is wrong. What if the person says, I’m nuts and want to be counseled…

                    All for the promotion of …

        • called them “demon-possession”

          Implying that’s not a factor.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Sarcasm on Of course not Ages, no self-respecting modern can possibly believe in demons. Sarcasm off

            Easy to over do the demon thing however and ascribe behavior to it that is not demon oriented and is merely a disjunction of mind and body amenable to material treatment. Reading the Life of St. Luke of Simferopol, a master physician, the way many Orthodox Russian doctors determined whether or not demons were involved was to place three small glasses of water in front of the patient one of which was filled with Holy Water. The patient was instructed to drink the water not knowing of the Holy Water. Those who could not or would not drink the Holy Water were referred to a priest. The rest were treated medically.

            However we moderns, even many if not most Orthodox, have lost the awareness of the holy and the sacred and the unseen to such a point that the demons might very well laugh at our Holy Water.

            We have given up so much for what? All too often a mess of potage as the following from Christopher Frye alludes to:

            Thank you for that
            You speak of the world I thought I was waking to
            This morning. But horror is walking round me here
            Because nothing is as it appears to be.
            That’s the deep water my childhood had to swim in.
            My father was drowned in it.

            He was drowned in what?
            In hypocrisy?

            In the pursuit of alchemy.
            In refusing to accept the dictum “It is
            What it is.” Poor father. In the end he walked
            In Science like the densest night. And yet
            He was greatly gifted.
            When he was born he gave an algebraic
            Cry; at one glance measured the cubic content
            Of that ivory cone his mother’s breast
            And multiplied his appetite by five.
            So he matured by a progression, gained
            Experience by correlation, expanded
            Into marriage by contraction, and by
            Certain physical dynamics
            Formulated me. And on he went
            Still deeper into the calculating twilight
            Under the twinkling of five-pointed figures
            Till Truth became the sum of sums
            And Death the long division. My poor father.
            What years and powers he wasted.
            He thought he could change the matter of the world
            From the poles to the simultaneous equator
            By strange experiment and by describing
            Numerical parabolas.

            To change
            The matter of the world! Magnificent
            Intention. And so he died deluded.

            As a matter of fact, it wasn’t a delusion.
            As a matter of fact, after his death
            When I was dusting his laboratory
            I knocked over a crucible which knocked
            Over another which rocked a third, and they poured
            And spattered over some copper coins, which two days later
            By impregnation, had turned into solid gold.

            Tell that to some sailor on a horse!
            If you had such a secret, I
            And all my fiendish flock, my incubi,
            Succubi, imps and cacodemons, would have leapt
            Out of our bath of brimming brimstone, crying
            Eureka, cherchez la femme!… Emperors
            Would be colonising you, their mistresses
            Patronizing you, ministers of state
            Governmentalising you. And you
            Would be eulogised, lionised, probably
            Canonised for your divine mishap.

            But I never had such a secret. It’s a secret
            Still. What it was I spilt, or to what extent,
            Or in what proportion; whether the atmosphere
            Was hot, cold, moist or dry, I’ve never known.
            And someone else can discolor their fingers, tease
            Their brains and spoil their eyesight to discover it.
            My father broke to the wheel of a dream; he was lost
            In a search. And so for me the actual!
            What I touch, what I see, what I know; the essential fact.

            In other words, the bare untruth.


    • Questioning says

      Interested in Dr. Stankovich’s thoughts on the views of Dr. McHugh, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/06/15145/

      • M. Stankovich says


        Sorry I didn’t see this ahead of just posting the same link myself! I believe Dr. McHugh provides the most succinct and convincing “reality check” on Gender Dysphoria as a mental disorder I have read to date. The longitudinal study on the failure of gender reassignment surgery from Sweden (available as a PDF here) he cited is from where I derived my original comment. I happened to be listening to a local NPR call-in discussion while driving this week, where a local clinician was explaining gender “fluidity” and the need for society to eliminate “privilege” (which is a new buzzword in the rhetoric of radical – although what is radical anymore? – feminism and beyond) and understand that “transgender” is neither “male nor female,” but a “gender” in and of itself. I actually pulled over to call in, but the show ended before they could take my call! Dr. McHugh very patiently and calmly states the obvious: 1) a “femanized” man will never be a woman, and a “masculinized” woman will never be a man; 2) we are being asked to suspend reality to accommodate individuals suffering from a serious mental illness that distorts their reality in the same manner as anorexia nervosa & body morphic disorder; and 3) we do not treat mental disorders surgically, but with psychotherapy and, perhaps medications.

        And finally, his summation is worth the time to read this excellent essay in the first place: “But gird your loins if you would confront this matter. Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.”

        • Mike Myers says

          I was looking for this, Michael, thanks for the link. Interesting study with predictable results and conclusions — I wonder if these cautions will get much traction in the US.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

            I agree, Mike. Did you know that while you were away, some opined that you were posting here under a variety of cowardly pseudonyms posing as accepted homosexual Orthodox same-sex spouses?

            • Mike Myers says

              Yes, I saw that. I’ve learned to ignore his bait.

              But it was the last filthy straw for me. All the best to everyone, even him.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

                I’ll miss your words which always seemed intelligent and sensible. I have a hard time getting away from this stew of myths and legends about Metroplitan Jonah, etc. So very many idols, against which Holy Apostle John warned us!
                Call me up if you are in town, but realize my phone is screwed up worse than att sometimes! At 82+ I’m sometimes too impatient to cope! I never know what the answering device will do next!!

                • Mike Myers says

                  That’s kind of you to say, your Grace. I regret my too frequent failures to dialogue here with patience and kindness. My irritability and sometimes ire with Christian Rightist sensibilities has even leaked out of me in the real world more than once. I worry I’m just feeding that by commenting here. I need to starve it instead. This is certainly not good for my soul.

                  • Mr. Myers, at the risk of being overly bold, I would suggest that the reason that you have had difficulty maintaining your equilibrium is precisely because you seem to think primarily in political terms — such as right and left. I am not saying that you aren’t provoked into such thoughts, but the fact that a pretty right-wing (politically) guy like me is a huge longtime fan and supporter of Vladyka Tikhon, with whom I probably have little or nothing in common in terms of secular politics, should suggest that there is another way…

                    I feel myself privileged to have lived for a time in Vladyka Tikhon’s diocese, and to have lived even longer in a diocese that retained his indelible liturgical, theological, and spiritual stamp. His significance and influence continue on to this very day, and he is and was significant to an extent that few diocesan bishops ever are.

                    I have had close spiritual affinities with numerous Orthodox Christians whose secular political views are repulsive and even dangerous in my eyes — and they doubtless felt the same about mine. And yet we were blood brothers in the faith. I doubt that in any of those cases, either of us were ever able to grasp how the other could be so right in matters of the faith and so wrong in matters of secular politics. But yet, there it was.

                    Some of the clergy with whom I have had the most profound disagreements, and whom I even felt to be spiritually dangerous, were men whose politics varied from mine nary a whit.

                    By reacting to the secular political views shown here that you disagree with, you are ever destined to be befuddled by your inability to understand — let alone affect — what is going on. Such alignments of right/left dichotomies in the secular and religious worlds may be standard fare in the Protestant and even Catholic worlds, but trust me that they simply don’t fit in Orthodoxy, even though there are those Orthodox Christians on both ends of the political spectrum who think that they should.

                    My read on you has always been that you are a man of the political and social left of great intellectual brilliance — far greater than anyone else on this forum — who thought that you would be able to come into the midst of Orthodox Christians and encourage those on the “left” and confound those on the “right” — and hence promote your own (to you) sensible political and social/religious views. I have watched as you have been, yourself, confounded and perplexed and frustrated to the point of withdrawing (a quite logical reaction).

                    Until and unless you embrace Orthodoxy in the way that I have and the way that Vladyka Tikhon has and the way that George has, you are ever destined to be frustrated in that goal. You may think that you have learned our lingo, but in reality you haven’t even yet learned the alphabet…

                    This is a long way of saying that I, too, regret your absence, even though we had seemingly aI completely agree with your decision as being a wise one spiritually.

    • M. Stankovich:

      However, what is now termed “Gender Dysphoria,” a mental disorder pursuant to the DSM-V of the American Psychiatric Association and the ICD-10 of the World Health Organization, is not among the 14 recognized disorders of sexual ambiguity. In fact, the diagnostic criteria for Gender Dysphoria is completely subjective to the experience of the patient, and there is no genetic or anatomical defect.

      An example of the limitations of psychology/psychiatry. The complex phenomenon under discussion is as much cultural and sociological. No need to worry, though. Sooner or later the APA will do what it famously and controversially did with homosexuality: REMOVE the “disorder” from the DSM entirely!

      M. Stankovich:

      Even at 1:500, we are considering an extraordinarily small, extraordinarily anomalistic segment of the U.S. Population; certainly making the attention it is currently receiving – and the potential civil rights contemplated as a “protected class” – outrageously disproportionate.

      Designating a protected class is a POLITICAL issue, not a statistical or “scientific” issue. It doesn’t matter that psychology can not identify the etiology of “gender dysphoria.” It offends against the political judgement of many Americans to discriminate against this class of people, (“You’re a man masquerading as a woman and I refuse to serve/do business with you or hire you.”), and THAT’s what counts – much to the chagrin of the control freaks in and out of the churches.

      • M. Stankovich says

        There is an excellent essay written by Paul McHugh, MD, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital (and the voice behind the moratorium) published June 10, 2015 here.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

        “OOM”s” “tell” is the -e- after Judg in judjment.!

      • Daniel E Fall says

        If someone comes into your place of business wearing a Miley Cyrus twerking outfit, why must you serve them?

        The beauty of the first amendment is any business owner can say I’d rather not.

  13. Why do you suppose our Lord Jesus was emphatic about praying for God’s Kingdom (government) to come to earth, “as it is in heaven”??
    Add to this Jeremiah 10:23 and there you have it.
    The church is leading the masses down a rabbit hole, and not towards God’s Kingdom.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Mishka, it is enormously reductive to equate the Kingdom of Heaven with government. I rather doubt that there are any points of congruence between what we consider government and the Kingdom of Heaven. That is perhaps why Christian monarchies have never worked as well as they might have. The earthly quest for power and the temptation to use it unjustly and unrighteously always distorts.

      Of course, it will distort any form of government we manage to think up and that leads inevitably to the fall of nations.

      While it is quite easy for God to know His will, it seems to be quite difficult for us creatures to apprehend HIs will let alone follow it — even in simple things.

  14. The Green Deacon says

    To what “faith” does the bishop identify himself with!? Can he be surgically altered to bring him more inline with Orthodox thought and theology? Guess not. Just another member of the OCA scrap heap episcopate.

  15. pegleggreg says

    I don’t understand. I truly don’t understand. I have trans friends and I don’t understand. I can’t condemn them any more than I can condemn others who are different from me.

    • Rdr Thomas says


      (As an aside, I read your name as Puddleglum when I first scanned it, and it put a smile on my face…Puddleglum being a reference to a character in the Narnia Chronicles.)

      The way out of your confusion is to trust the Church. Being headed by Christ, trusting the catholicity of the Church means that you are trusting the teachings of God directly. The universal teaching of the Church is quite clear that Mr. Jenner is not following God in this unfortunate decision. He is to be pitied…as is every other sinner in God’s creation. We are all broken in some way or another. Observing this brokenness in others is not being judgmental, it’s simply stating a fact. And observing brokenness in others does not diminish the brokenness in myself.

      I, at least, am not condemning Mr. Jenner. He is doing that to himself. The reaction we should have is one of pity. The outrage you observe is likely more at those who seek to make his actions normal (or even label such self-destructive behavior as “courageous”). It is pitiable when those who God designed, created and caused to come into being choose to walk away from him. It is outrageous when supposed shepherds tell such a soul that “it’s OK” and try to tear down the fences that keep out the wolves.

    • ReaderEmanuel says

      We are condemning the act and its approval by “clergy”. We are told to hate sin but not the sinner. I’ve known a couple of transgendered folks also. One was a rather “spiritual” person but outrightly rejected religious fundamentalism. The question I have to ask these people is, “what God are you worshipping?” If they are worshipping the one true God of the Bible, then they know that what they are doing is wrong. Unfortunately, they are worshipping the modern day God of “whatever I do is OK as long as I feel good about it and society approves of it.” We all commit sins of one degree or another, but we also should be aware, with any discernment at all, that what we did was wrong and try to sin no more, and most importantly, we should approach our spiritual fathers in repentance and humility and confess.

  16. And to think this fellow condemned the teaching of Hieromonk Seraphim Rose.

  17. Willard Lemroe says

    It is well and good that Rose came to the Orthodox Church, however, his theology was very flawed. Rose would have done better to be a real monastic, pray and keep his ideas to himself.

  18. J Clivas says

    “Socially unacceptable” generally means unacceptable to liberals.

  19. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    George, I know this will shock you, but I must confess that Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner is an inspiration to me. I admire the way she has decided, being faithful to her own feelings, to insist on regarding herself as a woman. Indeed, on the basis of those feelings she is insisting that everyone else also regard her as a woman.

    This was not an easy decision to make. After all, Caitlyn has had three wives and has fathered six children.

    Caitlyn’s decision, therefore, required an unusual level of courage.

    Now, in emulation of that courage, I am taking my own stand. I begin by confessing that I have been living a lie all these years. My birth family, never consulting me on the matter, raised me as an Irish-American.

    In my heart of hearts, however, I have been inwardly aware, for many years, of being an Italian.

    It all started in high school, the first time I heard Nat King Cole sing <Mona Lisa. About that time I also read I Promessi Sposi and realized instinctively who I realy was.. The following year, as I was listening to Dean Martin’s rendition of That’s Amore, I knew there was no turning back. I had discovered my inner, socially suppressed Italian.

    Still, I kept living the lie, acquiescing in the popular prejudice that regarded me as an Irish-American. I always felt embarrassed when my friends stood around admiring the neighbor’s Ferrari. Every time I took a forkful of lasagna, my conscience told me, “You’re a fake, Reardon.” Of course I was a fake. My whole being protested the charade.

    Now, however, encouraged by the courageous decision of Caitlyn Jenner, I can no longer pretend. My Irish-American act is OVER.

    From now on, you may call me Gianbattista Monstrasiti.

    • Rdr Thomas says

      Not gonna lie. I LOL’d, Don Gianbattiststa.

    • Clever.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      I have seen a couple of e-mail responses to my message of “coming out”:

      The first came from my brother Marty, who wrote:

      Now that my oldest, “natural born” , American brother has come out of his “closet”, I realize that I must also share my “big” secret: even though my height of 6’2″ makes me the tallest of all my siblings, I have always known and felt that , not only was I adopted, but I truly am a dwarf. Now that you know this deep secret, you can now refer to me by my true identity as: Shorty Marty!!”

      My friend Rob Grano responded:

      Marty, you’re actually in a better position than your brother. All Fr. Pat can do is start wearing Hawaiian shirts and gold chains. You, on the other hand, might be eligible for verticular reassignment surgery.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      From now on, you may call me Gianbattista Monstrasiti.

      I changed my mind. Just call me Vic.

      • Daniel E Fall says

        I’ma gonna callsu Don Giovanni.

        Not expecting much humor from you Don. i was really gigglin…

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

      I guess that was like Fr Reardon’s “coming out” as an Orthodox Christian and wannabe satirist? Little children1 Keep yourselves from idols!” This is as entertaining as Jenner’s likewise “clever” decision to show she is not subject to te dread “penis envy” since she maintains hers! Fr Reardon reminds me of the pious theorem that there be many who are satirists for the kingdom of heaven’s sake!!

    • Greekcatholic Uniate says

      Perhaps Rachel Dolezal can be equally inspiring. Wasn’t it Nietzsche who proposed that for humans there is no being, only becoming? There seems to be a lot of becoming going on here.

  20. Michael Woerl says

    “And to think this fellow condemned the teaching oh Hieromonk Seraphim
    And to think that’s one of the reasons the OCA accepted this fellow!

  21. Estonian Slovak says

    I think you could be on to something, Michael. It’s known that Fr. Seraphim as Eugene Rose had been a homosexual. I never knew him at all, but you and I shared a Spiritual Father who suffered the same affliction. Like(I believe) Fr. Seraphim, this man became a monk in order to repent.
    I guess having people who sincerely struggle with this sin wouldn’t fly, not in a church where a same-sex couple is bold enough to proclaim their 25 years together.

  22. I can’t verify this since I haven’t read any of the interviews with Jenner for myself, but according to a discussion of Jenner’s transformation on WLS talk radio just after the issue of “Vanity Fair” was released, Jenner had facial (and I assume upper body) surgery to make him resemble a woman, but he has had nothing done below the waist and doesn’t plan on it. According to that discussion, Jenner remains attracted to women, not men. If what these talk-show hosts stated is true, Jenner is apparently a sort of self-made hermaphrodite! All I could think was this is such tragic confusion and how very strange and sad!

    I can’t help but feel the same way when I read of or hear of these kinds of utterances from this Orthodox Bishop as well.

  23. Francis Frost says

    Dear George:

    Once again, the resident tribe of moral martinets set off on another hysterical round of: “Ooh, Ooh, look at what they are doing” with the attendant denunciations of the dreaded, evil “Western” tolerance.

    We might be better off to start looking at how often our Orthodox community has harbored equally repugnant deviance in our own midst.

    This past week, a young married couple, the children on OCA priests, started a blog to document their renunciation and denunciation of the Orthodox faith. This may be read at


    The blog is informative, if heartbreaking.

    Several things come to mind after reading their posts.

    First, the force of repugnance for fanaticism that drives away so many of our own young people.

    Second, the fact that “traditionalist” Orthodox groups have repeatedly proven to be nothing more than a convenient cover for deviant schismatic weirdos, barely closeted gays and child molesters. Of course the Pokrov site has been documenting such for years.

    Third, that Orthodoxy cannot exist as an ideology.

    Our Orthodox faith must be a living faith based not on geopolitical fault lines; but on the Gospel imperative to “Love the LORD your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself”

    • The “repugnance for fanaticism” has little to do with the Church and a lot to do with our anything-goes culture. Being opposed to gay marriage was a majority opinion just 10 years ago; now holding that opinion makes you a loon. The further we drift away from truth, the crazier the truth appears, to many people.

      It is sad to see these people condemning themselves, but your post frames it as the Church’s fault. But the Church hasn’t moved. Christ hasn’t moved. They have.

      Also, our culture has no concept of what love means. Just like the souls in hades who are tortured by the fire of God’s love, our wicked culture burns with hate when truth is spoken and true love is shown. (Reminder that permissiveness is not love.)

      • Anonymous says

        You can’t discount the second point.

        Caz and Little’s experiences have been pretty wacky.

        Crediting the culture for

        Francis generally sounds like Stan with a different perspective, but the second point is valid.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      What would you have us do, Mr. Frost? Must we water down the faith because some young people can’t deal with the Truth? When I was young, I bought into the whole OCA thing, I wanted an American Church, though my background is partially Slavic, as is yours.
      I’m sorry to have to write this because I actually agree with you on some issues. I don’t trust the current President of Russia. I do condemn Russian aggression in Ukraine. (Not the US has clean hands there, either).
      I’m also sorry if I sound bitter, but I lost my wife because I had to make a costly and unnecessary move some years ago, partially because I was hounded out of my job by a militant gay manager. Where was the protection of MY civil rights, Mr. Frost?
      You worry about fanaticism. Isn’t it fanaticism when gay activists put Christian businesspeople out of business, because the latter won’t go against their beliefs? I’ve never threatened to put a gay business owner out of business.
      You quote the Canons against the Russian Church. All well and good. But your Metropolitan Philip violated Canon Law, when he allowed a twice-married priest to serve at the altar.
      Why don’t you become a priest then, Herr Hotshot, since you obviously know more about it than the rest of us? If you’re so much more in tune with the Canons than our host, George or myself, put your money where your mouth is and accept ordination.
      I apologize for venting, but I have Celtic blood in my veins, too. I’m rather like Clancy the Irishman in that song , a peaceful man, if you don’t push my buttons!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

        Prettty good post. It’d be credible if you identified your self. I inderstan self-interest coming first, though….

  24. cynthia curran says

    “Uh, well, regarding eunuchs you could read Gibbon’s The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire for starters. Michael Grant as well. If memory serves Runciman had a few choice words about this unfortunate phenomenon. They all relied on primary sources, guys like Tacitus, Suetonius, Plutarch and others ”
    Good point George,even the Byzantines didn’t support it in their laws. A lot of families wanted their sons to be at the imperial court and had them castrated against the law The fame eunuch Narses was made a eunuch when he was captured in warfare as a boy. As for Bruce Jenner, he had dyslexia as a child which probably means he might have had ADHD. ADHD and some other disorders like high functioning autism or Asperger’s sometimes have difficulty with sexual identification. Connections in the brain with these disorders mention above are slightly off and some folks have trouble with sexual identification. I recently found out that I have Asperger’s never married I’m somewhat asexual and more Tom Boyish but never wanted a sex change like Bruce Just explaining why he might feel that he is a woman instead of a man because of connections in the brain which are somewhat off

  25. Vladimir Moss says

    Puhalo’s major heresy, much more important than his anti-tollhouse-ism, was his Darwinism.

  26. The Deek says

  27. Somewhere in this argument people wanted to know the percentage of declared gay people in America-