Stop the Presses! Pope Says that there’s a Gay Lobby in the Vatican!

pope-francis-1Well, isn’t this interesting? For a little over two years Your Humble Correspondent has been screaming from the rooftops that there was a Lavender Mafia (or Gay Cabal) working behind the scenes in the OCA. This Gay Cabal and their liberal cobelligerents in the Syosset Bubble were working overtime undermine Metropolitan Jonah, said we. Of course Monommakhos and our many traditionalist correspondents were roundly condemned as sexual McCarthyites or conspiracy theorists.

Well, I guess Pope Francis didn’t get the memo. He certainly believes that there’s a significant homosexual infiltration in the Curia. He even called this cabal a “Gay Lobby.” It looks like they were instrumental in putting the breaks on any significant reform in the Roman Church regarding the paedophile scandals. You could say that their obstructionist tactics derailed the papacy of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

I’ll gladly start taking the apologies of those who criticized me as a reactionary, a redneck or a fool. I’m not holding my breath though.

Seriously though, what does Francis’ revelation mean? The fact that His Holiness spoke these words are hugely significant on so many levels. First, he’s willing to call a spade a spade; you can’t clean up a mess if you actively ignore it. Second, he’s willing to take on the clerical/institutionalists who prefer to keep things quiet and take care of things “in-house.” Third, he clearly intends to do something about it. The question is, will he succeed? Or will the Gay Lobby succeed in doing to him what ours in Syosset did to Metropolitan Jonah?

These are all concerns for the Roman Catholic Church to address. What does this mean for the OCA? According to widespread sources, the acceptance of homosexuality among many clergymen in the OCA is by now an open secret. What used to be swatted away as “well, you don’t know that for a fact,” has turned in some dioceses to “it’s really none of your business.” In the meantime, academic liberalism in Crestwood has abetted this laissez faire phenomenon. That is what we mean when we say that “intellectual machinery” exists which will make it easier for the OCA to accommodate the zeitgeist when it passes the point of no return. With the ouster of Metropolitan Jonah this task is now made infinitely easier. Each passing day brings yet more evidence that the OCA was not big enough for both traditionalist monk-bishops and liberal/ecumenists. Authentic diocesan sovereignty cannot exist with the strong chancellor form of governance. When we consider that the present strong chancellor is a theological liberal, then the table is set for a heterodox OCA.

Hence, the long knives were out for Jonah from the start. It was only a matter of time. Any action or speech would be taken out of context to show a pattern of “instability” and the “Radzianko Treatment” would be called into action. After all, it worked before. (There’s an old Russian saying: If you want to beat a dog, you’ll always find a stick.) Presently, the only stalwart in any position of authority within the Crestwood/Syosset Axis is Fr. Chad Hatfield. When his contract expires then we can fully expect the OCA to revert to form and appoint a theological liberal.

Of course many will interject that the rest of Orthodoxy won’t stand by and let the OCA’s continuing slide into secularism continue. These people are missing the point. The “Progressive Captivity” of the Orthodox Church is far more wide-ranging than merely the OCA. Just as the Boy Scouts were able to fight off the forced inclusion of homosexuals as Scout Masters some years ago, today they turned around and accepted openly homosexual young men as Scouts. This was a remarkable form of jiu-jitsu, one that was completely unexpected. It’s possible that the Gay Scoutmaster trope was just a diversion while the real work was already taking place within the bowels of the BSA.

In similar fashion, different Gay Cabals are at work within the other jurisdictions, more quietly to be sure but burrowing deep nonetheless. When the time comes for the OCA to declare its allegiance to the times, there’s a very good chance that there will be no opposition from the other jurisdictions. The heresy will not be a proclaimed one which dissenters can point to a la the Unia imposed by the Council of Florence, but an accepted one, a “done deal” as we would say in modern parlance. Not the open program of Iconoclasm promulgated by Leo III the Isaurian, but a surreptitious fourth marriage by Leo VI the Wise if we may use a historical analogy.

Of course, we can be proven wrong very easily. All the Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA has to do is reaffirm the Declaration they made in 1992 about the sanctity of marriage and the inherent sinfulness of homosexuality and sign their names to it. After all, they had no problem putting out an unsigned, defamatory Stinkbomb Letter. How hard would it be to reissue the earlier Declaration?

Time will tell.

Pope Francis: `Gay lobby’ exists inside Vatican

Source: CNN | Daniel Burke

(CNN) – Pope Francis said a “gay lobby” exists inside the Vatican, a surprising disclosure from a pope who has already delivered his share of stunners, and a resurrection of church conflicts that had bedeviled his predecessor’s papacy.

“In the Curia,” Francis said, referring to Catholicism’s central bureaucracy, “there are holy people. But there is also a stream of corruption.”

“The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there,” Francis continued. “We need to see what we can do.”

Hints that the Holy See contained a network of gay clergy surfaced last year in reports about a series of embarrassing leaks to Italian journalists.

The “Vatileaks” scandal factored in Pope Emeritus Benedict XIV’s shocking decision to resign earlier this year, according to some church experts, as it impressed upon the 86-year-old pontiff that the modern papacy requires a vigorous and watchful presence.

Francis’ enigmatic comments came during a meeting Sunday with CLAR, the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women, who head Catholic communities of priests, sisters and monks.

The Chilean website Reflection and Liberation, which focuses on Catholic theology, first reported Francis’ remarks. The Catholic blog Rorate Caeli translated the report into English.

A Vatican spokesman told CNN, “The Holy See Press Office has no official comment on the private meeting.”

Gay and lesbian Catholic groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said, “structure, not sexuality, is the real issue.”

“The church is a monarchy. Monarchs are unaccountable. So many monarchs are corrupt. This is true in both secular and religious institutions,” SNAP said in a statement.

Other Catholics counseled caution about reading too much into the pope’s remarks.

“We don’t have any explanation of what ‘gay lobby’ means,” said Rocco Palmo, a Vatican watcher who runs Whispers in the Loggia, a website on Catholic news and church politics.

“Naturally, some in the church will try to polarize or interpret this, but as the rest of us aren’t pope, we still have to get further explanation,” Palmo added.

Church experts say the Chilean report rings true since the wide-ranging conversation centers on concerns that Francis has made touchstones of his nascent papacy.

In contrast to the buttoned-up Benedict, Francis has earned an early reputation for speaking off the cuff, often ditching prepared remarks in favor of more informal conversations.

On Friday, Francis nixed his “boring” speech and instead took questions from young Catholic students. Asked by a little girl if he wanted to be pope, Francis laughed and said that only someone who “doesn’t love himself” would want the position.

Last month, the pope sparked a worldwide debate by suggesting that atheists might be able to earn a spot in heaven.

“He has said some things that would turn Benedict whiter than the papal vestments,” Palmo joked.

Francis told the Catholic leaders on Sunday to focus on the poor, that the Vatican must be reformed, and joked that whoever wagered on his long-shot election as pope “won a lot, of course.”

But his comments on the “gay lobby” are likely to gain the most attention, especially in the West, where Catholic leaders have been mounting a fierce fight against same-sex marriage.

After Benedict announced his resignation in February, reports circulated that a “gay lobby” had forced his hand.

Cardinals appointed by the former pope to find the source of the leaks investigated high-level Vatican clergy involved in homosexual affairs who might have been vulnerable to blackmail, according to La Repubblica, a leading Italian newspaper.

La Repubblica reported that the cardinals found evidence of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican but gave few details about it.

“Some high level clergy are exposed to the `external influence’ – what we would call blackmail – of lay people to whom they are connected through ties of a `worldly nature,'” La Repubblica wrote.

The Vatican blasted the newspaper reports as “unverified, unverifiable and completely false.”

Francis is one of the few Catholic leaders to have seen the Vatican report.

The so-called Vatileaks scandal led to Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, being convicted on charges last year of leaking private papers from the the pope’s private office. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

‘Gay lobby’ behind pope’s resignation? Not likely

John Allen, CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, has said it would have been odd if the Vatican report had not considered the possibility that “insiders leading a double life,” including sexually active clergy, might be vulnerable to pressure to betray the pope.

“It seems a stretch, however, to suggest this is the real reason,” behind Benedict’s resignation, Allen said.

In one of his first actions as pope, Francis created a council of eight cardinals, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston,  to offer suggestions on reforming the Vatican.

“The reform of the Roman Curia is something that almost all Cardinals asked for in the congregations preceding the Conclave,” Francis said, referring to the meetings that led up to his election in March. “I also asked for it.”

But Francis said that he cannot promote the reform himself. “I am very disorganized,” he said, adding, “I have never been good at this.”

Instead, the pope said, he is relying on his eight appointed cardinals to move the reforms forward.

CNN’s Richard Greene contributed to this report. 


  1. Michael Bauman says

    Interesting comment from SNAP:

    The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said, “structure, not sexuality, is the real issue.” “The church is a monarchy. Monarchs are unaccountable. So many monarchs are corrupt. This is true in both secular and religious institutions,” SNAP said in a statement.

    Wow, that’s the stunner to me in this article. I’m not sure exactly how to process it.

  2. macedoniandeacon says

    George –

    Presently, the only stalwart in any position of authority within the Crestwood/Syosset Axis is Fr. Chad Hatfield. When his contract expires then we can fully expect the OCA to revert to form and appoint a theological liberal.

    Stout claim. Scary if true.

    • Sam Haddad says


      That’s not true. Fr. Chad is a convert from the Episcopals. What he has brought has been a Western tinge. Converts usually don’t know how act as Orthodox and imitate. I don’t think you know what Orthodoxy is. It’s not growing a long beard, long hair, wearing a cassock all the time, a klabook and playing false piety. Fr. Chad is a good man, but his love is to be back in Alaska.

      • Michael Bauman says

        And of course, no “convert” can ever become really Orthodox like you are. Is that what you are saying? No matter how long we worship, pray, fast, repent and suffer the arroganc of unconverted “cradle” Orthodox we will always be outside?

        Maybe, just maybe a small few of us realize how far we were from salvation and desire only to have some of the crumbs from our Master’s table and are actually grateful to God for His mercy to such as we who, you are right, have no business being here.

        We are the maimed, the halt and the lame seeking only a corner of the Ark to ride out the storm but all to often find the one’s who should be navigating are down below slapping one another on the back while the dark shoals come nearer and nearer.

        Lord have mercy when will such offensive nonsense end?

        • nit picker says

          And of course, no “convert” can ever become really Orthodox like you are. Is that what you are saying? No matter how long we worship, pray, fast, repent and suffer the arroganc of unconverted “cradle” Orthodox we will always be outside?

          well duh! 😉

          Mr. Bauman,

          You were purchased by Christ. Let that be sufficient for you. You are not saved by the blood of Macedoniandeacons, nitpickers or Sams.


          • Michael Bauman says

            nit, Yes, of course but even the gratuitous insults that pop out of the wood work from time to time are part of my salvation. So, while I don’t like them and they are offensive, I’m trying to learn to give thanks t God for them as they are helpful to the glacial development of humility in me.

            It is an amazing grace to be in the Church. A grace that is totally unmerited, but here I am and I’m not going away even if I’m an 11th hour worker. I’m deeply grateful for the sacrifice of those folks who founded my home parish. They carried their faith with them when they were forced out of their home and the home of their ancestors back to Apostolic times. What a gift. Yet, by that same grace, I am being grafted into that vine. We often forget that. It is, IMO, part of the dysfunction of the OCA that they lack the strongly rooted vine that the Greeks, the Russians and the Lebanese have. The roots in this country are not strong and deep yet so the vine is sickly.

            There are opportunities within the OCA to rectify that, but little attention seems to be paid to those opportunities. Too many distractions.

            So, the proper response to Mr. Haddad is: God Bless you sir, thank you and may God grant you many years and great mercy.

            The key is to learn to really, deeply mean it.

            Forgive me a sinner.

            • George Michalopulos says

              That’s very gracious of you, Michael. we should all take criticism to heart, even if it is unjustified.

              • Michael Bauman says

                I don’t think it is particularly gracious, George. In the darkness of my heart I harbor pretty much every sin there is. I am blessed not to have acted on most of them, but that does not mean they are not there; such as the tendency to be super (ficial) Orthodox.

                I can’t grow a beard, it makes my skin itch too much and looks cruddy anyway. I gave up long hair about 1973. I would love to wear a cassock all the time, they are quite comfortable but not happening. I tend to loose prayer ropes if I take them away from my prayer table. But to the more substantial criticism: yes I brought baggage with me (genuine heretical beliefs that had to be cleaned out) and some of it is still being healed and transformed. My son who has grown up in the Church knows things more deeply than I do at times and is amazed that I don’t understand sometimes. He has difficulty comprehending the convert mind as it is often so foreign to him: even the converts who are not over doing it but trying to live and learn how to be Orthodox with a good and loving heart.

                So, Mr. Haddad is right in one sense. I would have preferred that he was a bit more gentle, but who am I to complain about that?

                However, baggage or not, tinged or not. We can still be stalwart for the truth. I would hope Mr. Haddad would recognize that as well.

                I know Fr. Chad, he was received into the Church at St. George along with many of his congregation. That was quite a few years ago. At the time the newspaper in Salina, Ks where he was wrote an editorial saying that he and the others had minds the size of dinosaurs (like walnuts) for entering such an anachronistic and misogynistic faith as the Orthodox Church. (The final straw that pushed Fr. Chad out of the Episcopal Church was that he was being forced to serve with female “priests”.

                He has a son who is a member of St. George so we see Fr. Chad not infrequently. He loves Alaska for sure, but he responded to the call of the Church to be where he is and he will do his best to live as one who believes in God. Can we ask more?

                May the Lord bless his labors and strengthen him in righteousness.

            • Daniel E Fall says

              good grief, the main point of Haddad was Hatfield’s wish to be in Alaska….I think Bauman was too easily offended

              • Michael Bauman says

                If the main point was about Alaska then why the reference to his “baggage”. The post makes no sense at all unless the whole thing is intended to slam Fr. Chad. But you are correct, I was too sensitive as I freely admitted in subsequent posts.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Most of the Church Fathers were converts. What “tinge” did they bring?

        • Michael Bauman says

          Father, seems to me it was all that nasty Greek stuff wasn’t it?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Father my intent was to indicate that “baggage” could be a blessing for the Church ionce the Holy Spirit gets a hold of it. As with the circumcized/un-circumcized dispute: call thou not unclean what God has cleansed.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Mr Haddad, thank you for your readership but words fail me as to how to respond to this gratuitous swipe. Maybe by listing the names of all the converts of the past beginning with St Paul?

      • Mr. Haddad’s credibility was demolished in the moment he accused Fr. Chad Hatfield of having too much hair.

      • macedoniandeacon says

        Sam –

        Christ is Ascended!

        You’re right. I don’t know much about Orthodoxy. However, I do know that as one born into the faith, I have learn much about it due to those who where Baptized into it after me. This would move me from first, to last and rightly so.


      • So what is your definition of a true Orthodox person, Sam?

  3. The priest Stephen Kostoff who outed Bp. Seraphim in 2008 confessed that he knew of these allegation for 21 years. This man should be brought up on charges in a spiritual court for potentially endangering how many other victims because of his silence. He covered up by his silence alleged sexual abuse. Clerics in the RC church have gone down for less.

    Is wasn’t until 2008 when Bp. Seraphim might have been elected Metropolitan that Kostoff sent a letter to Seraphim and said that if he did not withdraw his name from consideration he would be outed. Even then Kostoff was not being open but used what he knew against the Bishop.

    How disgustingly sickening is the OCA. It is rotten to the very core and this Kostoff is now one of the regular contributors on the OCA website. What a screwed up organization, I can’t even call it a Church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      James, in defense of Fr Kostoff, may I offer this prudential reason why he didn’t come forward years ago? How many times have whistle-blowers had their lives ruined when they stepped forward to expose wrongdoing? The recent case involving the guy who broke the NSA leaks is a case in point. I mean, look what happened to Metropolitan Jonah who tried to reform the OCA.

      • Michael Bauman says

        George, I would not be so quick to label the NSA guy a whistleblower. It is possible he is a spy, i.e. a traitor or could become one if China takes him in an pumps him. The whole thing is so murky. I’m not in any hurry to proclaim him virtuous.

        I am caring less and less about my ‘privacy’ and my ‘rights’. Neither concept is Biblical, IMO.

        Jesus said that, “All things shall be revealed”. Freedom does not come from the state and they cannot take it away. They can make life uncomfortable, even painful and shorter than it might otherwise be, but if we are living as we should, that makes no difference.

        The standard to which we are called is much higher We are called to be blameless, without spot or stain. I’m not, but that does not change the standard.

        Out of personal preference, I’d rather live in a country that allows personal freedom, but historically that is incredibly rare. Indeed the amount of individual freedom and license in this country now is without historical precedent as far as I know.

        If the NSA wants to listen, as I assume they are heck–feel free guys. I’ll just bore you to death. Sure, if the persecution really comes, they’ll come after me, but that just means I’m doing something right for once.

        One of the reasons I post under my own name is because it helps keep me accountable and if anybody has a beef with me they know who I am. If anybody really wants to share some goodness, they can do that too. Shoot, I’m wrong a lot. I like it when folks point it out and let me know why and how I’m wrong. I’d really love it if someday any of the folks on this blog showed up at St. George, in Wichita in person.

        • Seraphim98 says

          Just to pursue this particular jackrabbit a centimeter or two farther. With respect to Snowden being a spy, frankly I smell the gearing up of a huge disinformation campaign to cause people to question his motives and by association the rightness of his disclosures….to paint him in day glow colors as a villain of Disneyan proportion. I do not believe it.

          That said, while I think it improbable, I don’t think it impossible that he is a spy. He could be. But that really doesn’t matter in the light of the information he revealed. It is that information, that awakening of the American public to just how fully the 4th Amendment has been turned into a doormat by our leaders and their operatives in the name of national security. And the fact that he and other whistleblowers within the US security arena fear for their lives and not just a day in court…that speaks volumes.

          What ever treason, technically speaking, Snowden may be guilty of, it pales in comparison to the treason administered on a daily basis by the NSA and their ilk in government service.

          I don’t care what apparatus, information networks, etc is compromised by his leaks, they clearly show a pattern of deep covert wrongdoing by our government against our people in contravention of our constitutionally guaranteed liberties. Not unlike the revelations a few months ago by now private Manning, which by most definitions was treasonous, put the lives of American operatives or sources in danger, and yet also revealed such corruption and ideological disease in the military’s execution of its supposed mission in the middle east…many savageries all previously denied by the brass, until Manning revealed they were true. If we could actually trust our government to do the right thing in secret, I might feel differently, but there is too much in recent years from Abu Grabe, to water boarding our captives (stuff we hung the Japanese for when they did it to our guys), torture of detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere, the brutalities leaked by Manning, the massive at home surveillance leaked by Snowdon, the political intimidation recently revealed at the IRS.

          So, no I don’t care if Snowden did this on his own, at the bidding of the Chinese, the Russians, or of a stone age tribe in Papau New Guinea for a stack of hand scraped banana leaves. What he did was so necessary to help us preserve our freedoms…so we would have the information we needed to elect better government leaders who will dismantle this monstrosity, all the rest is essentially forgivable.

          If it were up to me as soon as the bulk of the bad actors were out office, either elected or appointed, there should be a freedom medal struck in his honor, public parks named for him, and statues of him put up in front of every government agency where secrets are kept.

          Some might say, some indiscretions are acceptable because these information mining capacities keep us safer from terrorist attacks. Frankly I would rather have the attacks than the loss of liberty, or to leave such massive secret power available against our citizens to use at their whim. Freedom has a price, and I for one am not willing to trade liberty for security. We could do a lot more to increase our national security by stopping our military adventures around the world, and stop being so backbendingly politically correct when it comes to enemy enclaves we senselessly welcome into our own backyard.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            See Frontline’s “Top Secret America.” Usually this program is so far to the left, it’s not worth watching, but it’s hard to argue with their conclusions when it comes to this segment. They said EXACTLY what you’re saying. Too much is, well. . . too much!

      • Philippa says

        George, I disagree 100%. Fr. Kostoff should be defrocked at minimum and be brought up on criminal charges at maximum. He’s a priest!!! However, his long time of silence makes me believe all the more the charges against His Grace, Abp. Seraphim are false.

        Whatever happened to “no tolerance?” If abuse occurred, then Fr. Kostoff is part of thenproblem, not part of the solution!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Philippa, the point I was trying to make was not to justify Fr Kostoff’s decades-long silence (again, assuming the allegations are true) but to offer a rationale as to why so many otherwise decent and good people look the other way. Especially in an institutional setting. Look at it this way: what would have happened to the priest in question if he went to (who? Syosset?) the proper ecclesiastical authorities with what he knew? With Theodosius at the helm? He’d of been destroyed.

          My question is always two-fold: (1) why? and (2) how did we get here? I keep going back to The Dumping Ground, the propensity for poor immigrants to send their effeminate sons to the priesthood/episcopate. I realize of course that this phenomenon has been ongoing in the See of C’pole for at least half a millennium so it didn’t necessarily start in the US but you get the point.

          Yes, in the ideal all wrongdoing should be reported. Always. But we don’t live in the ideal world and when the Church becomes institutionalized and tolerates a little corruption, it devolves further until the corruption is so deep that nobody within its administration can be trusted. I mean, does anybody expect Fr Jillions to seriously investigate immoral behavior in the priesthood when he’s all gung-ho to champion “sexual minorities”? Doesn’t make sense to me.

          I’d like yours and other’s opinions on this.

          • I learned years ago when my son was young and singing in a men and boys choir, and I discovered that a “gentleman” of the choir was improperly touching the young boys of the choir, tickling them, and just bothering them, that 1. kids that have been taught to respect their elders were frightened at the thought of going to another adult with a complaint. about an adult, and 2. at that time the powers that be could not even say anything to the person about his behavior. The solution at the time was to gather the other men in the choir, informing them of the situation, and making them all monitors of the situation. He left of his own accord after several months of being watched. but…what he did after that I don’t know.

            As George has said, in times past being a whistle blower in these situations was a difficult thing to do. And it is today. Just depends upon who is in power.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Thanks for this perspective. Once, when I was much younger, me and other more senior worker “had issues” as the younger set would say. I wanted to discuss them with my boss but before I did that I ran it by an older man who was a mentor to me. This man was a regular patron and noticed that the man in question didn’t like me so I thought that he’d take my side and encourage me to go to our mutual boss.

              Instead he told me this: “If you do go to Mr T—-, be sure you have another job lined up.” I was stunned as I thought that my concerns were valid and anyway, I was the professional on staff as well as the assistant manager and the prospective buyer of Mr T—–‘s business. The fellow I had issues with was a delivery man so I thought the pecking order was clear.

              Unfortunately, Mr T—— and the delivery man had a long-standing relationship which I came to believe trumped my credentials. I took my friend’s advice and let the matter drop. One of the smartest things I ever did.

              I was 28 at the time but it was a life lesson well-learned. Things aren’t always rational and life doesn’t always follow a just script.

              Let’s compare this to Jonah. He put the OCA on the map. Missions were opening up during his archpastorate. The OCA reiterated its autocephaly and got a place at the ACOB table. He was treated like a patriarch in Moscow. The situation at SVS and STS was stabilized. A new diocese was created. He was in the catbird seat by all indications.

              Unfortunately he ruffled some institutional feathers. See what I mean?

              I’m not trying to justify Fr Kostoff’s or even these boys’ mothers inactivity. Look what happened to Paula Corbin Jones and the other women, like Kathleen Willey who came forward to tell the world about Clinton’s serial groping. Their lives were destroyed.

              • George,

                Being a whistleblower is not easy – it takes courage because you may have a target on your back for the rest of your life. Covering up for 21 years this alleged abuse is not courage, it is wrong.

                If a person, a whistleblower is going to sound the alarm one does it because it is the right thing to do to warn others.

                A certain priest sounded the alarm a few years ago that +Jonah had a target on his back and that the Synod and Syosset was after him. That priest got fired and was branded as untrustworthy compared to Mark Stokoe as trustworthy by Protopresbyter Hopko. That priest paid the price. He was maligned, slandered and made an object of scorn by those who justified their behavior toward +Jonah.

                Kostoff is no hero and any person, lay or clergy, who knows credible evidence about alleged abuse is duty-bound to report it. Kostoff says that the OCA had no guidelines back then. Baloney. The guidelines were and are the Gospel, basic ethics, justice, and love for thy neighbor. That is just a weak co-out and exposes the Pharisaical thinking of the OCA.

          • Philippa says

            Dear George,

            I understand your point very well having been in a similar situation with regarding to calling child protective services on a family member. Ultimately I did not make the call. However, I did gather as much information as I could, spoke to professionals, asked questions, spoke to other family members and kept an eye on the situation, eventually deciding making the call was not necessary. Time frame for all of this: approximately 3 months. I saw the matter being taken in hand, corrected and the mother guided by those with experience.

            Two years after the alleged molestation, the mother of the children spoke to Fr. Kostoff. He was ‘stunned and quite dumfounded but decided to keep silent.’ That decision compounded the alleged abuse. Period. By deciding to ‘keep silent’ he abused the children again. At least, that is what we’ve heard from in other situations.

            Does a target being placed on my back excuse me from protecting an innocent child? I don’t think so because the situation is not about me. It is about the child or whomever is being abused/used. I’d rather protect a child and be targeted, than decide to be silent (aka being a coward / protect my own a$$) and live with guilt for 20 years. (Sarcasm alert) Poor baby. Let me get him some tissues. He should feel guilty.

            Had I been Fr. Kostoff I would have started quietly asking questions of professionals about what to look for and what to do. Gather evidence. Speak to the boys. Speak to their friends. Speak to other parents. Keep a journal of my findings. Then go the police with it all. I probably wouldn’t have gone to church authorities then – and sure as heck wouldn’t go to them now.

            It is important to ask ‘why’ George, and to examine the past with the hope and intention to not allow it to repeat itself.

            I also believe that those with the targets, who have been wrongly maligned, misunderstood and accused with be vindicated eventually…not just in heaven but here on earth. We reap what we sow.

            May God have mercy.

            • M. Stankovich says

              I believe when you say, “Had I been Fr. Kostoff I would have…” you do so with nearly thirty years of intervening process and policy regarding the identification and reporting of physical & sexual abuse, maltreatment, and neglect of children – most importantly the mandate under the law for certain individuals to report or experience consequences. I truly believe that without this mandate, plenty of individuals would still choose not to “involve” themselves by reporting. I have worked as a clinician with offenders in prison, and with victims, so while I am certainly not defending the “cover up” of even a concern or suspicion of sexual abuse, you are unfair in ignoring the context in which these events occurred.

              Fr. Stephen Kostoff is a pious man, a scholar, and when I knew him, an obedient and deferential man. He would have been a young man at the time, and as best I know, supported himself & family solely as a parish priest. We were students together with Seraphim Storheim. Mr. Michalopulos alludes somewhere above to an atmosphere of “tolerance” for behaviours that, if challenged, would have “destroyed” the challenger. Mr. Michalopulos doesn’t know the half of what he speaks. Search for my posting regarding Times Square and learning to live with the truth… Priests were terrorized by the idea of confronting the parish council and risk being put out and being refused a reassignment, their only source of supporting their family. What exactly does one do with an M.Div? The idea of reporting the bishop, however, was unimaginable.

              Secondly, what do you imagine the police would have done in this situation 30-years ago? One mother with a letter that “semi-apologizes” for perhaps teaching them about “adult matters” at too early an age. 30-years ago, two pre-adolescents tell the police a man walks around his own house nude, and during breakfast lies on the floor of his own house holding his genitals. You gather evidence into a journal: are there other accusers in nearly 30-years? Apparently not. In that climate 30-years ago, I suspect the police would have done nothing, particularly when they considered that the accused was the highest ranking bishop of the OCA in Canada.

              Again, I stress that I am not defending Fr. Stephen’s actions, but I certainly can understand his decision in context. Likewise, I believe that had the letter reflected sexual abuse as we understand it today – or described sexual activity that was unmistakably sexual abuse even 30-years previous – Fr. Stephen would have responded differently.

              • Mark from the DOS says

                I rarely agree with Dr.Stankovich, but he is correct through and through in this case. Judging the actions of people in the 80s by the standards of awareness and knowledge we have today is an exercise in self-congratulation. “Oh we would have made much better choices.”

                Reading the descriptions of the incident, at worst the offender might have gotten a talking to, and been told to use better judgment around kids. Sadly, I know of people from the same area who did far worse and were politely asked to leave town. I know parents who wouldn’t report someone organizationally or criminally because they didn’t want to ruin the offender’s life!

                I just think applying today’s standards to actions or inaction that occurred 30 years ago is not particularly revealing of anything. We should have been better, yes. But was the failure one of evil intention, naïveté or something else entirely.

                • Philippa says

                  Mark from the DOS said,

                  applying today’s standards to actions or inaction that occurred 30 years ago is not particularly revealing of anything.

                  The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t think so nor has that been their experience.

                  • Children are our future says

                    Parents expect a higher standard than looking the other way at potential abuse! As for the eighties, I was calling the police and talking about physical and psychological abuse with folks at church in the sixties and seventies. At one church, we had a “small talk” with a husband and wife about hitting their children and one grandfather offered to teach them parenting skills.

                    Sound like children are getting beaten in the upstairs apartment? Make the call. See a wife cowed and bruised? Call. More than a call, let the wife know she has a safe place to go to. Volunteer on a hotline. Don’t block the zoning of a shelter in your neighborhood. Provide free babysitting or the bucks for it if someone has to get to court or to a job interview. If you downright hear about abuse, then act quickly. This does two things. One, it often stops the abuse and two, it gives the person talking about being abused the sense that their church and home community cares about them and theirs.

                    Know your neighbor’s business. Show them you love them. Speak out to bullies. Let a guy know that the way he treats his wife is not the community standard and let the wife know she is a valued member of the community. Let the person who beats kids know that this won’t be tolerated. No one should, for example, be allowed to smack their kids in church. Be brave so others can be brave and do the right thing.

                    How can we expect our children to be brave if we are not brave? How can we expect our children to remain in the Church and go to confession if we don’t make our churches safe?

                    Holy things for the holy people of God!

              • George Michalopulos says

                Dr S, thank you for what you just wrote. It’s horrifying that this was (is?) the case, that priests were cowed into not doing the right thing. You put your finger on the culprits as well: parish councils and corrupt bishops. The question I have to any and all concerned is: how did we get such corrupt bishops? It seems that my answer posited some two years ago –The Dumping Ground–gains more saliency the more we find out.

              • Michael Bauman says

                M. Stankovich: thank you for the context especially the parish council context. As I said before, folks who have not seen this kind of thing frequently are not aware of the atmosphere of denial. The act is so horrible, it just cannot be.

                Even today when the perpetrator is a true sociopath is charming and lies as easily and convincingly as he breaths most folks will not believe.

              • Fr. Kostoff had many years under the “saintly” leadership of Archbishop Job, remember all men and women in the Midwest are “free men” to disclose this terrible secret he held. Maybe he did tell +Job and he did nothing? I don’t know, but to simply say that there were no guidelines is still a cop-out. And then to wait until the 11th hour when +Seraphim might have been elected Metropolitan to blackmail sorry, inform him in writing on the eve of the election that he would expose this secret if he ran for Metropolitan gives me pause.

                Yes, maybe Fr. Kostoff was trying to make the best of a bad situation, but it became bad because he did not do what he should have done decades before. This would have given the OCA plenty of time to deal with Seraphim before it went to the Crown. Kostoff himself, under oath, regretted his actions, so this is not piling on Kostoff, just ascribing meaning to his words, something dear Dr. S. loves to remind us about when it comes to +Jonah and his Seattle speech.

                One thing that remains clear to this point that although there have been numerous calls by Pokrov and the Crown for other possible victims of +Seraphim to step forward, none have done so. Certainly the climate for victims has changed which leads me to think that there are no other victims and that the alleged abuse was the only incident in +Seraphim’s life?

                Sadly, this is just another black eye for the OCA and if +Seraphim is convicted one can only imagine what the civil lawsuit against the financially struggling OCA might entail.

                Then 20 years ago as now, if you have credible evidence of child abuse, YOU CALL THE POLICE.

              • M. Stankovich says


                As I noted, It was not my intention to defend or provide mitigation for Fr. Kostoff. My point was that I could appreciate, in real time, what he did nearly thirty years ago.

                I specifically contrasted his experience and choice with my experience and choice of an observation in Times Square – you can search my comments. He apparently made the “wrong” choice and was troubled for twenty years, while I made the “correct” choice and was made to feel like a “snitch.”

                I obviously am not explaining the “milieu” properly if you are envisioning the choices as a simple fear of destroying ones career and protecting even a single child. When you are taught an Orthodox bishop is incapable of such behaviour, before God and man, the response is denial. And I differ from the discussion proposed here: denial is not an emotion. Denial is a primitive and the most immature mechanism of ego-protective defense, prompted specifically by an affront of reality too painful to accommodate. “You are obviously mistaken. He could not have been in Times Square exiting a gay club.” “I was 15-feet away. He looked me directly in the eyes.” “You mistook someone for him. There are 8 million people in NYC, after all.” And so it goes….

                And finally, at least for me, such a matter is an imposition and a burden which I cannot fully articulate. I was 18-years old and this was delivered in what seems a totally random manner. How many times can you switch communion lines? How many can you avoid going forward to be anointed without drawing the attention of the Dean of Students? How will you accept your diploma? I was never so angry, and it lingers. In retrospect, I can only wonder if Fr. Stephen had made a report at the time, would he have been dismissed as I was? I strongly suspect so.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Those are all excellent points. If I may add this point: as a cradle Orthodox, I was always taught that the vestments made the priest and that that is what we were to fear. Thus a priest’s personal morality was rarely the issue. Such hypocrisy together with the normal human attitude of denial makes it all to easy for us to overlook criminality.

                  One more thing: one thing that gives me pause about the entire Storeheim affair is that so far this is the only incident that has come to light and that was 30 years ago. Usually, there is a pattern that is displayed and is exposed when one case sees the light. So far that hasn’t happened yet.

                • Michael,

                  I am glad to hear that you are not justifying or mitigating the actions of Fr. Kostoff not making the right decision 20+ years ago. It is precisely that when there is a wrong, no matter the personal cost, one must stand up for what is right.

                  I know, as you might that standing up for the truth will often come at a personal cost. Speaking truth to power usually does. Nevertheless if he would have done the right thing, at the cost of whatever would come his way, the Storheim affaire would have taken a much different course in the history of the OCA. I do not believe that if credible evidence pursued by Fr. Kostoff when he was the priest in London, ON. that Storheim would ever have been made a bishop. That was the dividing line and even if Fr. Kostoff waited until Seraphim’s name was being presented as a possible candidate for bishop, that would have been an appropriate time to speak up with evidence which was surely available at the time to go on record opposing his candidacy.

                  Indeed we all have the luxury of hindsight but it is also true that his inaction in real time and at critical moments has led us to this present scandal the complete unfolding we still don’t know the ultimate results.

                  How many other missed opportunities because of personal decisions to do nothing has cost the Church? We all know of the legion of opportunities lost in the Roman Catholic Church over the decades that it must now pay for and deal with and at the cost of how many wounded souls and lives.

                  Is Fr. Kostoff a good and pious man and a fine parish priest? No doubt but his lamentable example in this case like any sin, has its ramifications not only on the lives directly involved but also on the countless number of others who have had their faith injured and possibly lost.

                  Rewarding, as it were, Fr. Kostoff with a byline on the OCA website, especially at this time seems to me like an inappropriate decision by those in Syosset. He must bear the cost of his actions and holding him up as an example in sharing his commentaries is a misstep.

                  Like the victims in this ugly episode, he too will have to bear the scars as he and we all work out our salvation. Best he do it quietly, in his parish and not a regular contributor of Orthodox thought.

                  We all want healing but it cannot begin until Fr. Kostoff, in public, confesses his sin and ask for God’s forgiveness. I can forgive him and will but he needs to step forward and begin that process so we can move on.

                  God is the Judge and He will judge with mercy and truth but He cannot forgive a sin unless the sinner admits his sin. Then we can embrace the sinner in love and mercy.

                  As a public figure now, this is his responsibility to the Church.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    If I may add something to this. Like Dr S, I see the conflict of the whistleblower in another way. (And this assumes that the alleged crime actually took place.) And that’s this: sometime last year, at a Hasidic school in Brooklyn, a male teacher was accused of molesting several children. When some of the parents went to complain to the headmaster, he told them that if this news ever got out, that little Yosele (or Menahem, or Schlomo, etc.) would be “damaged goods” for the rest of his life. Not only that, but the other siblings would be tarnished in the Hasidic marriage market because nobody would want their children to marry the brother or sister of an abused victim.

                    Also there was the customary prohibition about Orthodox Jews selling out one of their own to the secular authorities. That’s a biggie for the Hasidim.

                    In the tight-knit world of the Hasidim with its deep familial structures, these strictures proved enough to stop any further legal action in the secular sphere as well. It all came tumbling out anyway. The question is how many more cases were there which will never be known?

                • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                  Denial is a primitive and the most immature mechanism of ego-protective defense, prompted specifically by an affront of reality too painful to accommodate. “You are obviously mistaken. He could not have been in Times Square exiting a gay club.” “I was 15-feet away. He looked me directly in the eyes.” “You mistook someone for him. There are 8 million people in NYC, after all.” And so it goes….

                  And finally, at least for me, such a matter is an imposition and a burden which I cannot fully articulate. I was 18-years old and this was delivered in what seems a totally random manner. How many times can you switch communion lines? How many can you avoid going forward to be anointed without drawing the attention of the Dean of Students? How will you accept your diploma? I was never so angry, and it lingers.

                  Why were you so angry? You apparently caught the bishop in sin, you informed the powers that be, you were ignored. No sin on your part, until you got angry about, and avoided receiving Mysteries from him as much as possible (the grace still flows from a sinful priest/bishop, even if heap greater judgement upon themselves). If you were going to be angry about anything you should have been angry about being taught errors such as the “Latin captivity” which allows modernists to circumvent the “golden chain” of Orthodoxy as passed down by the saints and remake Orthodoxy in their own image.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Ladder of Divine Ascent,

                  If I thought for a moment that you, personally, were competent to engage in scholarly debate, I would put you in your place. Soundly. But the fact of the matter is that you personally are not familiar with the scholarship of those you criticize because you have either never read it, or do not comprehend it. “Your” scholarship is the critique & criticism of others. That’s cheap, pal, and dishonest. The Google school of theology. And a grandiose waste of my time. I would only hope that someone in moral crisis, particularly at a young, impressionable age would never cross paths with you.

                  An elder, very experienced in these matters, once spiritually admonished a proud brother who said in his blindness, “Forgive me, father, but I am not proud.” “My son,” said the wise old man, “what better proof of your pride could you have given than to claim that you were not proud?” St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 23, “On Pride”

          • It really amazes me that anyone dares to assume a defendant’s guilt. Any Canadian reading this must think we Americans don’t actually believe in the legal principle of presumption of innocence.

            Those rushing to declare Abp. Seraphim’s guilt as somehow absolutely certain should come down off their pedestal and realize how hysterical they sound. You presume to judge a man guilty based off of one priest’s testimony, and that of one of the alleged victims who admits to gaps in memory and that he takes several prescribed drugs for a mental illness?

            What disturbs me is that (if it emerges that Abp. Seraphim has been falsely accused), then what he will have endured, all the slanders, will be very similar to what Metropolitan Jonah has faced. Think on that.

            If he is found to be guilty, so be it, he will face the consequences, but until then — only if he is found guilty- we must presume his innocence.

            I would simply ask that all of us please think before posting on here with absolute surety in the reliability of testimony which a priest offers (without any corroborating evidence, over two decades later) of the defendant’s guilt.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          The ecclesiology of the church is largely to blame. Forgetting about the status of Storheim when the event occurred; the problem with reporting sexual abuse to a bishop or a priest in authority is the political ramifications for that person receiving the report are great. I am making no effort to justify abuse; just to see how something so ugly so easily occurs.

          The irony is that now after the good priest comes forward; some of you still want him defrocked.

          This is why such matters need to land on a review board from the beginning..

          • how about? says

            How about Father Kostov publically bows down and prostrates himself in front of the victims asking their forgiveness for not pursuing the matter decades ago?

            • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

              “How about Father Kostov publically bows down and prostrates himself in front of the victims asking their forgiveness for not pursuing the matter decades ago?”

              You mean to the two which are grateful when Fr. Kostoff got back in contact with them? And then they divulged details beyond “he did something terrible to my boys” statement (which could be perhaps be explained by unwanted sex education, which is exactly how the priest later +Seraphim spun it) by the mom and a vague half apology letter?

              He said another priest from the Orthodox Church in America contacted him in 2009 to apologize for not taking his concerns seriously when he was a child.

              The man credited that priest with encouraging him to contact police.

              “If it wasn’t for (the second priest), we wouldn’t be here today,” the man said.

              I suppose if further victims come forward you could have a point, but as is, you’d have the man groveling before two men we should assume he has already made his peace with and other unknown theoretical victims.

              If the below is all the facts that someone had, it would seem that it may not even rise to the level where the police could do anything about it (which is the only explanation I can think of for the mother never contacting the police herself).

              The man said he was surprised when Storheim came into his bedroom at night and wanted to inspect his pajamas for semen stains and also examined his genital area for pubic hair.

              The man said Storheim told him he was conducting sexual-education sessions for the young boy, who was being raised by a single mother.

              And then there is always the chance that the bishop is innocent, that the original story told to Fr. Kostoff was based on some misunderstanding, and that the later elaborations have become distorted and exaggerated.

              • George Michalopulos says

                It’s all well and good to castigate the Latin Captivity of the Orthodox Church and its attendant legalisms but at the end of the day we are still dealing with scandal, its mystery and it spiritual dimension.

                I understand that the sacraments of the Church are independent of the servitor but scandal can’t be so easily erased. Young Michael Stankovich did everything in his power to avoid receiving the Mysteries from this bishop. Perhaps he was wrong to do so. But supposing this bishop committing a felony? Suppose this bishop was seen robbing a bank and getting away with it and then a spate of bank robberies commenced thereafter with the bishop fitting the best description from other eyewitnesses. What then?

                • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                  “It’s all well and good to castigate the Latin Captivity of the Orthodox Church and its attendant legalisms but at the end of the day we are still dealing with scandal, its mystery and it spiritual dimension.”

                  No, the whole “Latin Captivity” is an overblown excuse for liberal theologians to be liberal. Which is what I was getting at with Stankovich, why so angry with a bishop for private sins of sodomy, when his whole education at SVS laid the foundation for people that Mr. Stankovich supports, like Fr. Vinogradov and others, who appear to be trying to overturn Orthodox tradition on sodomy and “sexual minorities”? The bishop sinned because he was a hypocrite, but if the entire OCA openly revolts against Orthodoxy (and becomes a tiny sect) then that would be ok?

                  “Young Michael Stankovich did everything in his power to avoid receiving the Mysteries from this bishop. Perhaps he was wrong to do so. But supposing this bishop committing a felony? Suppose this bishop was seen robbing a bank and getting away with it and then a spate of bank robberies commenced thereafter with the bishop fitting the best description from other eyewitnesses. What then?”

                  Then you go to the secular and spiritual powers that be and inform them, and if you’re ignored, again that’s not your sin. Now, if the priest or bishop is teaching heresy and apostasy then things change, but the private sins don’t really matter, in the long run nobody is getting away with anything. For instance, we all know the throne of Constantinople is sold and then paid for from money taken (stolen) from the Church or even more unsavory means like accepting bribes. That isn’t going to change until the Patriarchy is relocated beyond the reach of Islam (the world’s most “benevolent” and “peaceful” religion). So, all I can do is state the situation as it exists, advocate for Putin to shed his liberal ways and crown himself Tsar and call a Ecumenical Council to reorder the locations of the Patriarchies, and perhaps deal with the Calendar issue and “false” Ecumenism.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    I’m with you on all this. Let me interject this point however: Seeing a bishop rob a bank/mug a woman/burgle a house/etc., it’s easy to say “go to the police!” which we would do so if it were any other felon. But here is where it gets dicey: seeing a bishop exit/enter a gay bathhouse? It’s not necessarily criminal but more moral and hence more murky. Then what? Go to the powers-that-be in Syosset? When they’re probably just as culpable and they already know? Then what would happen? Young Michael would have gotten thrown out of the seminary post-haste and all the suspicion would have been turned on him. “Hmmm,” some people back home would say, “why did Michael get thrown out of seminary?”

                    At that point, it’s a matter of who you gonna believe –a bishop and the administration of an august seminary or some young punk who claims he saw an Orthodox bishop exit a gay bar?

                    Do you see my point?

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I do hate to sound frivolous, but it would be sort of nice if, instead of gay bathhouses, errant bishops were seen coming out of the salons of stunning courtesans, or the townhouses of notoriously beautiful society women!

                    Various strands of fortune over the years got me involved with some frequency in defending parsons and pastors over matters of sexual misconduct, both before civil and ecclesiastical courts. These usually involved good old heterosexual adultery, but not always. However, I especially remember one case, involving a Catholic priest (he was not my client in that particular case– a codefendant was). Both the lawyer for the Archdiocese and I were rather gratified, in spite of ourselves, that the cleric in question was being sued by adult women (adults at the time of the adulteries as well as at the time of the lawsuits), including for child support! It was sort of a welcome relief…..

                    Yes, some say it’s the same sin, but I have my own doubts…..

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    I absolutely detest the situation of resorting to “you can’t understand if you’ve never been there,” but I am saying it never the less. I was not angry at some bishop for coming out of a gay “playland” on 8th Avenue in NYC. You insult me with the shallowness of your interpretation and you cavalier “resolution.”

                    My father’s “bedtime stories” were to tell me & my brother again and again of the holiness of Bishop Nikolai (Velomirovich), of Serbian officers, sworn between one another, to protect him in Dachau. And when he would take us to Bp. Nikolai’s simple grave, we would place lighted candles in the ground, and my father would cry & cry. When the Russian bishop came to our parish, my grandmother dressed us in suits, and my father would march us up to the bishop, having taught us to ask his blessing. We were not taught to fear the bishop – quite to the contrary. My father loved and respected the bishops, and he taught us the same.

                    I was not and I am not angry at a person. I was angry at the burden imposed – and I hesitate to say “burden of the secret,” because plenty knew. But the plenty who knew made sure no one else knew, for whatever reason(s), and those reasons were obviously more important than me. Being a late-adolescent, an unique developmental task is forming an emotional independence. While it’s easy enough to say “that’s not your sin, move on,” frequently at that age, it is next to impossible to distinguish what I am feeling from what others are feeling. This is classically referred to as “projective identification”: those, for example, who are unable to manage their own feelings of shame project them onto others as a form of “management” and intimidation. This was 1973. There was no internet on which to anonymously “out” anyone, and I believe it fairly obvious this would not be my approach. Sadder yet, I never told my father about this whole situation. I don’t know exactly what he would have said, but at the time, I did not believe I could have borne him challenging my “perception” as well. I am well aware of the “consequences” faced by whistleblowers, but whoever imagined that derision as a snitch, >i>in the Church, would be one of them. Likewise, I read nothing in response that would bring comfort or explanation to a naive, trusting late-adolescent who inadvertently picked up the wrong backpack.

    • nit picker says


      I understand your disgust and rage and sympathize with it.

      I am not defending or placing blame on anyone but my reading of the articles concerning this case suggest that the mother was made aware by one of the children themselves at the time when the abuse was occurring about what was happening. Even if Fr. Kostoff failed to come forward, the mother should have contacted the police. Did she? What took them so long to respond? Why didn’t she believe her sons when they told her 20 years ago? Why did Fr. Kostoff have to blow the whistle 20 years later for something to come to light? A little caution, everyone please. Let’s let the courts do their jobs. Let’s trust God to sort this one out. Once the dust settles and a verdict is handed down if someone still deserves to be defrocked and they aren’t, THEN let’s start woopin’ and hollerin’ .

      • Michael Bauman says

        The emotion of denial is stronger than most realize. It often causes people to turn on even righteous accusers and the victims with great ferocity. Much of the denial is rooted in not wanting to have been dupped and the unwillingness to face the violation of one’s own trust.

        If you haven’t seen it, it is tough to believe how strong denial becomes even in the face of obvious evil much more difficult when you still see goodness in the perp or there is authority involved.

        The murkiness of such events is also sometimes difficult to cut through. Crystal moral, factual and existential clarity is hard to come by.

        All things shall be revealed but it is not always immediately.

        • nit picker says

          Mr. Bauman,

          The emotion of denial is stronger than most realize. It often causes people to turn on even righteous accusers and the victims with great ferocity. Much of the denial is rooted in not wanting to have been dupped and the unwillingness to face the violation of one’s own trust.

          Your point is well taken sir. I would like to clarify that I am not questioning the guilt or innocence of any party, or trying to assign blame to anyone involved. This is the work of God through the agent of the courts at this moment. My point is that IF the courts do find against Archbishop Seraphim. IF the courts do find the Fr. Kostoff had knowledge of these incidents 20 years ago AND he did not come forward (he may have come forward but the powers that be may have just ignored him….we all know that this is also within the realm of possibility), then the OCA administration had better well do something about these issues. The administration’s inability/unwillingness to address these issues = unwillingness of the laity to trust them.

  4. lexcaritas says

    No doubt, John, these allegations and supporting testimony are horrendous—if true. However, I would hesitate to rush to judgment. If +Seraphim were the kind of man to engage the kind of conduct of which he stands accused, would there not have been other victims over the years? Isn’t such a man is typically a repeat offender? Where are the other victims and their testimony? I am most leery of these bizarre allegations that come out after 28 years, when memories are not reliable and it is hard to detect fact from fiction or phantasy, where there is no hard evidence to prove the crime and exceedingly hard to rebut the allegations by proving the negative—that it did not happen or what did happen was something different. Furthermore, what do we know of the two accusers and their (then) single mother? One is on medications and has received psychiatric treatment. It is easy, presuming, the bishop’s guilt that hic conduct produced the trauma that led to this condition. But did it? And if he is innocent . . . . And the mother, why was she single? Did her husband die or did he abandon her and his children? Was he an abuser? Was he the abuser whose conduct is being projected on the bishop? Or did he leave her because of her conduct? What role did she play in all of this? How did she raise her sons. We know none of this–and more . . . .

    It is so easy to presume guilt on the basis that allegations have been made and charges filed, and yet the position of our law is that a man is presumed innocent—he does not have to prove it—and that his guilt, if any, must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Allegations and testimony regarding decades-old events should not, typically, be sufficient to remove such doubts.

    Frankly, it seems to me the conditions for a claim of sexual assault given 3-1/2 millennia ago by Christ through Moses remain most wise: the one assaulted has a duty to cry out at the time. If we want victims to have protection and recourse and if we want to put an end to predators before they do further damage—we must insist on victims learning and following this command. Prosecution thirty years after the fact does little to deter and nothing to heal. It can perpetuate new injustices, fears and confusion.


    • geo michalopulos says

      very good point, Lex. The problem however is this IMHO: if these allegations are false (and I hope they are), were they known before he was elevated to the episcopate? (This would have been pre-Jonah btw.) If they were known, were they investigated? Or were they ignored?

      I would rather place my chips on your side of the table all things being equal, but what we know about Syosset and the Kishkovskyites –how they acted in conspiracy against Jonah and their mishandling of the aftermath–does not engender any confidence on my part. Had they been good-faith actors in the past I would give them the benefit of the doubt. But they haven’t been.

      Anyway, your point is well-taken and we should remember it: Arb Seraphim is innocent till proven guilty.

  5. ChristineFevronia says

    The case so far has not proven that Archbishop Seraphim sexually abused those two children, and he is innocent until proven guilty.

    If we are to have a legitimate discussion of this case, may we please at least use the term “ALLEGEDLY abused” until the Crown issues a verdict?

  6. Maybe the OCA is, itself, a gay cabal.

  7. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Presently, the only stalwart in any position of authority within the Crestwood/Syosset Axis is Fr. Chad Hatfield.

    Yes, formerly my student in New Testament back in the mid-70’s.

    The first lecture, if memory serves, was on Romans 1.

    • Macedoniandeacon says

      Well if Fr. Chad can trace his ancestry back to the Hatfields of the Hatfields & McCoys then there is no doubt he is a stalwart! And I mean this with all due respect 😀

  8. Fr. Hans Jacobse says

    George, you got it all wrong! The Vatican released this clarification:

    VATICAN–Being interviewed via Skype hours ago, Spokesman for the Vatican Press Office Monsignor Bernard Hopkins clarified recent remarks made to a Latin American Church group by Pope Francis admitting the existence of a ”gay lobby” in the Vatican.

    ”It is true what the Holy Father said about there being a gay lobby in the Vatican, but it is not as many have speculated,” Hopkins told Eye of the Tiber from inside the site of the gay lobby in question.

    “The Holy Father was literally complaining about the posh, overly-decorated, overly-flamboyant lobby located at the southwest entrance of the Vatican where we meet many foreign dignitaries.

    As you can see there is just too much pink…too much pizazz, as they say. This has bothered the Holy Father who much prefers pastels and neutrals.”

    Hopkins went on to point out a couple of examples of dazzling chandeliers, glamorous floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and a painting of Liberace.

    “Of course he wants to destroy the gay lobby. You know how embarrassing it is for him to greet the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church while standing on a plush pink carpet?”

  9. Michael Kinsey says

    Well, it’s time to post this again.All that is required to remedy this gay assault upon anything that is Holy, is to have the entire OCA refuse to tonsure or ordain any repentant gay. This will keep any backslider, within the confines of the laity, and never in a position he can abuse. The honor of the laity is good enough for them, and communing the Holy Sacraments is not a punishment. It is an effect address to stop cold a gay agenda. A review of present repentant gays, who are where they ought not to be might be a good idea, alsoYou will pardon us, if we use our commonsense, and deal with this abomination in Christian manner.They are worse than murderers says St/ John Chrysostomon. How many repentant murderers are ever considered for tonsure or ordination?

  10. Michael Kinsey says

    You could even allow the exception for a repentant gay, if he can get an authentic Orthodox elder to agree with him, that he is called to the priesthood or monasticism. This is what Fr. Seraphim Rose recieved from St John Maximovitch and the tare,Gleb.

  11. John,

    Well said! It’s interesting that the OCA website doesn’t mention anything about the trial. What, it’s not news? I guess it’s not news that supports their position that everything is fine. Someone else posted about the Chancellor’s diatribe and I have to agree with them as well, it’s just dribble. The OCA is paying $100,000 plus benefits for this, a missive that could have been written by any priest in about half an hour.

    I was at the Pittsburgh AAC and the buzz was all about the allegations against Storheim. After the election of Metropolitan Jonah, an investigation should have taken place immediately. The OCA couldn’t find water if they fell out of boat in Lake Michigan, yet the Canadian police found both boys, the mother, the letter from Storheim in which he admitted to doing some “inappropriate things” and the priest who spoke to the mother. Thanks OCA for the Sargent Schultz investigation — “I see nothing, nothing.” I have it on good authority that Storheim was questioned by the Holy Synod in 2008 and he admitted that “something happened.” What, is that it? “Something happened?” Ok Vladyka, thanks for the sincere and honest explanation. Case closed. Move on. Nothing to see hear. We are the OCA, the great Church of America, we have the Autocephaly, we are the Church. Move on.

    It probably won’t happen, but how wonderful it would be if 60 minutes and other major television and newspapers started looking around and did an expose on the real history of the OCA — not the autocephaly, but the “special” trips to Greenwich Village by Metropolitan Theodosius, the “Special Therapy” sessions at Manton, the unique way that a now former Chicago hierarch communicates with young coeds, the unique relationship of a former hierarch of Boston with his deacon in Florida. What a sick mess!!!!

    • ChristineFevronia says

      Why would the world care, when OCA members don’t even care?

      Let’s get an “apathy check” here… What’s happened in just the past week on the world scene that directly affects us?

      “Plan B” is now in the hands of children as an over-the-counter pill, making abortion as easy to swallow as an aspirin…

      The Boy Scouts have issued a declaration allowing “homosexual” boys to actively participate in troops around the nation, and have even introduced a new badge for sexual diversity…

      Priests in foreign jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church are still missing after being kidnapped and held captive…

      The Supreme Court decides any minute now about the legality of same-sex marriage in all 50 states…

      Archbishop Seraphim of the OCA is currently on trial in Canada, as the seniormost-ranking OCA official, and his trial is broadcast for all the world to see…

      … And there on the OCA webpage, front and center, is a picture of +Tikhon with his dog Max, looking at + Tikhon’s slide show of his recent trip to the southeast of France.

      No official Church statements on Plan B and abortion? No statement about the monumental decision by the Boy Scouts? No statement on Archbishop Seraphim? No call for prayers nationwide, as the Supreme Court deliberates about same-sex marriage?

      • Daniel E Fall says

        The church does not need to engage in all worldly matters. A picture of a bishop and his dog or a bishop eating a cabbage roll, now that I like.

        • ChristineFevronia says

          Excuse me? “The church does not need to engage in all worldly matters”? I’m not talking about worldly matters. I am talking about good-vs-evil matters that affect our very salvation and the history of God’s people on this planet.

          Abortion for kids? Yes, I demand my church engage!
          The kidnapping of our Orthodox brethren in other lands? Yes, I demand my church engage!
          The Supreme Court deliberating on same-sex marriage for all of America? Yes, I demand my church engage!

          Can we get more serious “worldly matters”? I don’t think so.

          • Daniel E Fall says

            No sarcasm.

            The idea that the church will use limited resources to argue political matters that don’t concern it directly is rather absurd; not to mention wasteful, imo.

            First, the financial end is gigantic and we would ask ourselves if Christ would have us feed the hungry or run about lobbying politicians in limosines, taxicabs, massage parlors, and fancy restaurants. OK, maybe not the parlor, but you get the picture.

            As for same sex marriage, you demand your church engage what or whom? A politician? The SCOTUS? Really? You suggest our bishops bother themselves arguing against health insurance for same sex partners? (that is all this is really about) I can’t think of a bigger waste of time. I’d rather they pet a dog, serve in a soup line, or eat a cabbage roll with parishoners. If all I want my bishop to be is a lobbyist; I’d rather hire a professional lobbyist! Then my Sundays would be free to be with my family and I wouldn’t need to go to a place that was a refuge from the woes of the whole world.

            As for the abortion pill; we can only at this point talk about our views on it; fighting it is unaffordable and a losing proposition both. Even the Obama administration tried to fight it (for purely political reasons, not because they were against it truly) and lost. Hmm, maybe a poor Orthodox cleric should take up the fight? What? Excuse who?

            Feed hungry children, help heal the sick, choose real goals you can directly impact; not lofty ones that make you feel good for taking the side your theology suggests. The Taliban don’t believe women should be educated-do you feel as strongly about your issues as they do about theirs? I think religions taking lofty positions is part of the reason people are leaving the churches et al.

            Of course, George will really be bothered by my post, because he wants to be a pundit, and the very name of his website suggests a battle. And without the battle, the Mike Malloys, Stephanie Millers, Rush Limbaughs, and Glenn Becks of the world, even George if he continues on his chosen battle path, got zip. They weren’t in the soup lines doing their shows friends.

            If you don’t have a battle, or create one; you can’t fight. Americans love a good fight. If George were fighting for more Orthodox churches, I’d join him there, but he seems more interested in the fight.

            Keep petting that dog good bishop, and make sure you eat plenty of church dinners, and if you really want to get on my good side, volunteer at a hospital, and serve in a soup line. And if your church is all twisted up in worldly matters, play with your kids instead I say.

            I bid you all well.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I beg your pardon: I have actually been involved in Orthodox evangelism for going on 20 years now. I’ve helped found a mission and supported others. I would gladly spend my time and energies doing nothing but rolling up my sleeves and building church after church after church until the Lord calls me home. Unfortunately, the liberal/ecumenists who have a stranglehold on Syosset and who immeasurably hurt the Orthodox Church here in America with their flamboyant jihad against Jonah have made further evangelistic efforts exceedingly difficult if not fruitless. Outside of ROCOR I know of very few new Orthodox missions anywhere.

              Newsflash: the reason droves of people have stopped coming into the OCA (at least) is because these people are very sensitive to the undercurrents. They are the victims of spiritual abuse in ECUSA, PCUSA, United Methodists, etc. They saw how immorality seeped in under the veneer of “tolerance” and “inclusiveness.” These people have no intention of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

              However, if you see things differently, that the various Orthodox jurisdictions are definitely on fire for the Lord and want to evangelize, then I will give you all the opportunity to comment.

              • Daniel E Fall says

                I already have great respect for your evangelism George; make no mistake. For creating fights where they need not exist; not as much, and I think you have fallen into a deep rut of hatred against homosexuals and anyone that wasn’t a fan of Jonah, and anyone that walks on or near Long Island, NY to the point you are less than you can be….I mean that in the kindest way possible.

                And for the two ladies posting here with their real names, I commend you for your bravery beyond that of clerics too weak to say their names. Recognize, I only posted here because I see nothing wrong with the church showing bishops in a tenderhearted moments. Goodness sakes, what a breath of fresh air.

                Why does everything have to be about a big culture war or financial scandal for it to matter to people in the church?

                Lead; don’t be lead.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Daniel, I don’t hate and have never hated those who are afflicted with same-sex attraction. I have friends, relatives, and acquaintances who fit this description. What I am not happy with is the reordering of society –and especially the Church–to accommodate their proclivities. After all, despite my lustful thoughts towards females I have no intention of having the Church sanctify my own proclivities, even though from an evolutionary standpoint it makes more sense.

                  As for my admiration for Jonah, it’s plain to see. I don’t hate those who don’t share the same view. What I can’t abide is the criminal actions that took place to get rid of him. I’ve said that if the Synod had a valid case against Jonah, make it. Whether it be moral transgression, felony, or the preaching of heresy.

                  They couldn’t make one (or worse, were skittish about doing so) and now look at the fallout.

            • Your eyes are wide shut. George has not created any fight, +Jonah has not created any fight, I have not created any fight . . . Many have simply pointed out what the faith is and what it is not and for that found enemies. Why Mr. Fall are we haters if we choose the Gospel? Why do you classify people who simply notice wrongs and unhealthy things around them as haters? You are the one pointing the finger, why on earth are you not seeing yourself as the hater? In time you may not like where Church history put you. . . .
              Know much about the Byzantine Church? If you did you wouldn’t accuse anyone here of being “political” about their faith.

              • I’m reading a really good book:

                The Mystery of the Faith: An introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church, by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev.

                There’s an appendix which I have found really telling. You’ll have to read it, but notice all the great men (not so many women-shame) . . . a definite opinion there . . .subtle but loud.

              • Daniel E Fall says

                Sorry for pointing out realities and good try at rationalizing away from them Colette. George’s website name suggests his inherent purpose is to fight! I merely stated there was nothing wrong with the church opting out of some worldly matters and posting pictures of bishops in tenderhearted moments. The rest was defending my position against an small onslaught of disagreement and you suggesting it were sarcasm. And I’m eyes wide shut?

                As for Jonah, his words would suggest he, too, was interested in fighting against those things the church didn’t agree with. And where I take exception with him is that even in the abortion argument; it is so much easier to take a stand than support motherhood, that at some point, the dialogue becomes comical; the efforts fruitless. In a case against rhetoric, I provide you a link which I have done before. These folks recognized the realities and instead of holding up signs at abortion clinics, they are providing real help, but the work is a thousand times more difficult than walking with a sign in March each year.


                Feed the hungry, heal the sick, render under Caesar that which is Caesars.

                By the way, I can’t even find the picture originally mentioned. All I can find is the slideshow on the EP website. Did it get taken down?

                Again, I bid you all well.

                • geo michalopulos says

                  Mr Fall,

                  No one here (to my knowledge) nor Metropolitan Jonah himself fits the description you paint of pro-lifers who don’t care about motherhood. That is a ludicrous assertion. That’s like saying all Abolitionists cared about was emancipating slaves and nothing else. For the record, Abolitionists set up mental improvement societies, colleges, trade schools, and whatnot to teach freedmen, escaped slaves, and the emancipated slaves how to support themselves in freedom.

                  Likewise traditionalist Christians have fought against no-fault divorce, making women wage-slaves, and the lessening of blue laws all of which cheapened and demeaned motherhood.

                  As for “rendering unto Caesar” that which is his, I dare say that 100% of us already do so and gladly at that. What we object to is that Caesar has now intruded himself into the religious sphere and demands that which is not his.

                  We shall see this play out in the “gay marriage” debate when it becomes the law of the land and that churches which decline to perform such rituals will first lose their tax exempt status and then ultimately be closed.

                  And please don’t tell me that Caesar would never force his secularist opinions on the Church. I have a one word answer to that ridiculous delusion: Obamacare.
                  We’ve largely lost those battles. Abortion is inevitable in any regime in which women are devalued as women and whose aspiration is to be junior men. That doesn’t mean that abortion qua abortion is not evil and can’t be fought against. It is and it must.

                  • Nate Trost says

                    When one reads:

                    We shall see this play out in the “gay marriage” debate when it becomes the law of the land and that churches which decline to perform such rituals will first lose their tax exempt status and then ultimately be closed.

                    One can only solemnly nod and think of the Catholic bishops rotting in Federal Supermax prisons for refusing court orders to ordain female priests under the Equal Rights Act, and breathe a heavy sigh at the memory of the tens of thousands of church buildings from every state in the Union owned by denominations failing to recognize women pastors that were seized and auctioned off to become abortion clinics, brothels, and most offensively, Bed Bath and Beyond outlet stores.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Sir, the only reply I could give you is what Francis Cardinal George of Chicago recently said: “I’ll probably die in my bed, my successor will probably die in prison, his successor will probably die in the arena.”

                      One of the great mistakes that triumphalists like myself made after the fall of the Berlin Wall was buying into Francis Fukuyama’s argument that we have arrived at the “end of history.” That Democratic Liberalism is the wave of the future. You and I are Orthodox because 9-10 generations of Byzantine Christians were persecuted by Christian emperors because they held to the Orthodox view of icons. Think of it: 250 years of being persecuted, arrested, murdered, or otherwise marginalized as refugees and/or having crappy jobs (like the Copts of present-day Egypt).

                      I for one have had the scales lifted from my eyes and would never be so pollyannish as to say that “it can’t happen here.”

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    George, I went looking for that quote from Cardinal George and found this piece, with the context and the very important last sentence. It has the note of hope which is all-important.
                    Thanks for posting the quote, which I had never heard.

                    “Cardinal George confirms that he said it, and also adds that the quote has most frequently been used without his important follow-up sentence.

                    Here’s the salient section from the Cardinal’s column.

                    “Speaking a few years ago to a group of priests, entirely outside of the current political debate, I was trying to express in overly dramatic fashion what the complete secularization of our society could bring,” writes the Cardinal. “I was responding to a question and I never wrote down what I said…. I am (correctly) quoted as saying that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. What is omitted from the reports is a final phrase I added about the bishop who follows a possibly martyred bishop: ‘His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.’ What I said is not ‘prophetic’ but a way to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse.”

                    So, as a corrective, for all those writers and speakers out there desirous of using the quote, when used it should be used in its entirety.

                    “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you for giving the full context. I was aware of it but left it out for polemical purposes. First of all, both Cardinal George and I agree on the first three contingencies. We disagree on the possibility of the fourth because either he is right (that the Church shall come in an pick up the pieces and restore order) or others are right, that we are living in the end times and it is the Lord who will come in and restore order and pick up the pieces.

                      Regardless, the second and third contingencies (on which we both agree) paint a very grim picture of persecution. Are you up for it?

                • nit picker says

                  Mr. Fall,

                  Of course we are called to fight, just as much as we are called to be of tender-hearts (not of mush-hearts).

                  Some of the greatest martyrs of our Church where soldiers and generals. While they submitted as lambs to the slaughter we have examples of these same soldiers and generals destroying with their own hands and weapons the idols of their generation that were leading their fellow citizens that they were sworn to protect directly to hell. By their brave and bold witness, which surely led to their gruesome tortures (starvation, beatings, imprisonments, mutilations and finally executions, not to mention all the mental and emotional anguish that accompany these events), thousands upon thousands were moved to believe in the one true and ever living God. All because they fought. Not because they were politically correct, not because they were cute, but because they fought against the idols of their day.

                  Back then, if you were witnessing these events, you would look and say “yup, no doubt about it, that one there is a martyr.” Now, torture is much more subtle. If you bear witness to the Gospel of Truth you are politically incorrect and a “hater.”

                  I say “Glory to God.” I would rather be considered a hater in your eyes than be giving the kiss of Judas to Christ.

        • This has to be sarcasm from Mr. Fall. . .

      • Older But Wiser says

        Yes, it is interesting that we may be overlooking how these developments you mention link themselves together. If children may obtain a “morning after” pill over the counter, with no prescription, does that not play straight into the hands of those who molest girls, and of those who force young girls into prostitution? How convenient, no complications should the victim become pregnant….

  12. Michael Kinsey says

    There is no muderers row lobby, or adulters advocates, or bank robbers union, or friends of wife beaters group. But there is a Nambla, and a fierce secularist agenda to change attitudes which are authenticly Christian, to at the very least, luke warm do gooders.The Holy Fr. St John Chrysostomon was not prone to speak in an unseely manner concerning anthing concerning authentic Christianity. This was spoken in kindness, for the afflicted and thier victims.”Homosexual are worse than murders”, which equates to the fact, that any church would be better off tonsuring and ordaining, supposedly repent murders.It is stunning to me that any right thinking Christian would find insuring the protection of the laity effectively, is at all questionable. This is reasonable and needed to ward off a total onslaught from this demonic element which wants to control Christ’s Church.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      Well, one thing you’ve proven is that St. John Chrysostom was imperfect. If you think I’m wrong; why don’t you go find a murderer to spend some time alone with. At least you can give the gay guy a push and not end up dead.

      … a logically flawed premise of two gays won’t procreate, but a murderer might so he is the better of the 3. Oh, that is right, a murderer is locked up. And do we really want the murderer’s seed?

      • Michael Bauman says

        Mr. Fall murderers only kill the bodies of their victims. Homosexuals kill both body and soul. The homosexual jihadists want everybody to tell them they are not sinful and compelled everybody to acknowledge their sin as not only normal but beautiful.

        That is an abomination that is worse than murder. It is a demonic desire to destroy marriage and desecrate the Church and the image in which humans are created.

        They want to go off and wallow in their lust. Go ahead but don’t demand that I deny all that is holy so that they can be outwardly comfortable.

        They want to work out their salvation in obedience to the Church, they have my prayers and support.

        Those who seek the destructive path however will always be met with the truth from me that they are demonic cowards.

  13. Heracleides says
  14. cynthia curran says

    I can’t grow a beard, it makes my skin itch too much and looks cruddy anyway. I gave up long hair about 1973. I would love to wear a cassock all the time, they are quite comfortable but not happening. I tend to loose prayer ropes if I take them away from my prayer table. But to the more substantial criticism: yes I brought baggage with me (genuine heretical beliefs that had to be cleaned out) and some of it is still being healed and transformed. My son who has grown up in the Church knows things more deeply than I do at times and is amazed that I don’t understand sometimes. He has difficulty comprehending the convert mind as it is often so foreign to him: even the converts who are not over doing it but trying to live and learn how to be Orthodox with a good and loving heart.

    Don’t worry Michael, Orthoodox Countries didn’t go to having men have beards until the 7th century, Constantine was clean shaven in the classical Roman Style. Only priest, monks, and Bishops had beards from the 4th to 7th century. Early Orthodox clergy from the 4th to 7th century from Icons or Mosiacs din’t have long beards and long hair but shorter beards and short hair more in the Roman Empire fashion. It was the middle ages that fashions in Eastern Europe or Western Europe went to long hair and longer beards in the east.

  15. Michael Stankovich stated,

    This is classically referred to as “projective identification”: those, for example, who are unable to manage their own feelings of shame project them onto others as a form of “management” and intimidation.

    An excellent definition of the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America.

  16. Hello George,

    Just for clarification. We do not know exactly what the Pope actually said about there being a gay lobby in the Vatican. The only record of his remarks is a summary made by the attendees after the meeting.

    According to the Latin American Confederation of Men and Women Religious, CLAR “deeply regrets the publication of a text regarding the conversation held with the Holy Father Francis on June 6. The conversation developed upon the questions asked of the Pope by those present (at the meeting)… (There) was no recording made during the conversation, but shortly after a summary was made based on the memories of the participants. This summary, which does not include the questions posed to the Holy Father, was intended at (helping) the personal memory of the participants and in no way for publication… It is clear that, based on these facts, it cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father, the specific expression contained in the text, but only in its general sense.”

    Source. CNA. Latin American religious backtrack on Pope and gay lobby

  17. It seems to me from my previous post that there most definitely is a lobby of some sort operating within the confines of the Vatican.

    I have also personally seen and know of one in a NJ diocese which is rampant and in total control.