Scandals in the Church



  1. It’s about to get hot in Antioch.

  2. The hierarchy must clean up its scandal ASAP.

  3. Henry Bellman says

    As usual, an excellent teaching from Fr. Josiah. I think this is great advice. At the end of the day, Christ is in control of His Church. Yes, we should be vigilant and call out wrongdoing, but we should never dispair.

  4. Here’s a necessary resource (constantly being updated) that faithful Orthodox Christians can use to stay away from impostors and false teachers who scandalize the Church and help them identify the righteous and faithful priests, bishops, and teachers they can trust.

    Warning to Orthodox Church: False Teachers and Deceitful Venues That Contradict and Distort Church Teaching

  5. George Michalopulos says

    Yes indeed.

  6. This was an amazing video by Fr. Josiah. Very relevant.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      He said everything we wanted to say and better than we could say it. It breaks my heart. We pray for all involved. I have to say, however, the surrounding circumstances have some unanswered questions.

      • He sure did, him and Fr. Peter Heers have summed up everything perfectly. It is heart breaking, but, it is comforting in a weird way that there have been other points of Church history that have been just as bad or worse.

        I have to be honest I’m not sure what the surrounding circumstances are. I assume he’s talking about the recent gay baptism or something?

  7. Don’t let “others” drag you down to “hades” alive is what the good Fr. is telling us.

  8. This is so timely. Just what I needed to receive today.

    God bless him and keep him strong. God keep us, everyone, to have eyes to see and ears to hear. Keep us strong and faithful Lord! (I love his homilies and messages.)

  9. I recognize scandals are inevitable, but in what sense are they “necessary”? I suppose seeing as sins will occur, that they come to light/become public (ie., become a scandal) is necessary in order for the Church to be purified and in order that true, godly leaders and members be recognized for who they are.

    The recent film about the life of St. Nektarios (“Man of God”) is instructive in this regard and inspirational.

    • I think he might be causing a little confusion by using the word “necessary.” English translations commonly use “must,” a slightly softer word, including the Orthodox Study Bible. The point is that God does not cause division, rather free will has resulted in human sinfulness, with division the result. But that division then reveals who is good and who is a bad among us, and the suffering the good endure is what makes saints.

  10. Good talk, though the ending lacked one aspect that is important, when he talks about not leaving the Church. It is possible to leave parish life while still remaining in the Church, evidenced by the early hermits who fled to the desert to escape sin, heresy and complacency in the cities. The first generation did not have access to sacraments, as they weren’t priests and lived far from any priests, those only came later. Yet they became great saints. St. Mary of Egypt is one of the early examples of that.

    The early Church Fathers support this, in their constant teaching in the strongest terms from their earliest writings, including the Didache, to shun and avoid sinful or heretical presbyters, calling them wild dogs, ravening wolves, etc. Their point is not to lose your faith, to stand firm in faith while avoiding and refusing to follow bad leaders.

    If you have no good leaders or parishes in your area, I believe it is entirely possible to simply turn your home into a kind of desert hermitage, following the prayer life and maintaining faith. Especially considering the earliest monastic forms started in private homes, not out in the desert, for example St. Basil and his family. Follow good teachers from a distance, which the internet makes possible, and use good spiritual reading. I’ve done that when I had to, and my faith has not suffered, rather it became stronger and clearer when not confused or affected by bad or weak leadership.

    • Sarah Karcher says

      You can’t receive communion from afar, and there are some things here that sound a little like Donatism (

      I hear what you’re saying though, and sometimes it can be useful to take a little time away, with the blessing of a spiritual father. Otherwise I think it is probably not a good idea to guide others into thinking they can be like monks in the desert (a dangerous and difficult path even when done the “normal” way) by refusing to go to a parish under a priest or bishop who is lacking in some way other than canonical good standing. While you are right that we are exhorted to close our ears to wrong teaching and even to challenge it, I have never read anything in Scripture or in the Fathers that tells the faithful to stop participating in parish life for any reason unless specifically told to by a spiritual father.