Well, That Settles It!

russian-girls-kissThe question for me remains: why was the Western Media so hopped up on making this something that it wasn’t?

Source: France24

A Russian gold medalist from the Moscow World Athletics Championships on Tuesday said she was insulted by media claims that she had kissed a fellow female athlete on the lips in defiance of Russia’s new law against gay “propaganda”.

Ksenia Ryzhova and Yulia Gushchina, members of Russia’s victorious 4×400 women’s relay team that provided one of the great moments of the championships, kissed each other on the podium after receiving their gold medals.

Some activists saw the kiss as a brazen show of defiance in support of gays and lesbians and against President Vladimir Putin after the championships were shadowed throughout by controversy over the law.

But Ryzhova on Tuesday insisted that she was married and made clear she was none too happy that people suspected that she and Gushchina might be more than just good friends.

“Yesterday, I was telephoned 20 times by various publications and instead of congratulating me they decided to insult me with these questions,” she fumed, quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

“Myself and Yulia are both married and we are not having any kind of relationship,” she added, saying the two were very good friends after having trained together for eight years.

“It was a storm of emotions (after winning). And if at that moment we touched lips… I don’t know in whose fantasy this all gets thought up.

“This insults not just us but our trainers,” she added.

The law, which outlaws the dissemination of homosexual “propaganda” to minors, was signed by Putin in June and has prompted calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The controversy was intensified at the World Championships which wrapped up Sunday when gold medal-winning star Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva backed the law and said “we just live with boys with women, women with boys.”

She later said she may have been misunderstood.


  1. M. Stankovich says
  2. Sean Richardson says

    I am seeing this issue in several lights. On the one hand, it is crazy how the media has decided to make a big issue out of something that apparently wasn’t a big deal, at all. If you’ve been around Russian churches, at all, you’ll know that it’s not unheard of for people of the same gender to kiss each other, even on the lips, in celebration of various festivals of the Church.

    On the other hand, like it or not, perhaps the elephant in the room is how many practicing homosexuals attend Orthododx churches. I’ve been a member and/or actively attended OCA, Antiochian, ROCOR and Greek churches in my many decades of life within Orthodoxy, and there has never been a single church I’ve belonged to where there were no practicing homosexuals. It was always fairly well known among the congregants, the homosexuals involved were honest about their relationships, and usually the clegy were aware of it as well, but pled “pastoral considerations” for allowing these homosexuals to receive the sacraments. I am not suggesting a policy here, nor am I suggesting supporting one position or another, I am just stating what I know to be the case. Perhaps we need to acknowledge the ‘elephant in the room’ and then decide on a prayful and reasoned approach.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      This post is troubling because it is too sweeping. I may be very naive, but I have not seen the large number of homosexuals that Mr. Richardson, sees in the Church. We must be very careful on this subject. We must preach and teach that homosexual acts are sinful. However, knowing who is and who is not a practicing homosexual is a very difficult issue. When making pastoral decisions a priest cannot rely on gossip. Just because people think that someone is a homosexual, does not mean that they are actually a homosexual. Therefore, unless someone tells me in confession or elsewhere that they are a practicing homosexual, I cannot place them under penance. Naturally, if someone enters into a same sex union or “marriage,” or openly proclaims themselves a practicing homosexual, I would have to place them under penance.

      • Sean Richardson says

        Fr. John; there is no attempt here to be sweeping nor to suggest any sort of policy. All I am saying is that this is what has been seen in my own experience. I have found that many homosexuals are increasingly open about their relationships and what they admit to. Thank you for your comments and your words of wisdom. Many members of the clergy agree with you, but apparently not all.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Richardson, your description of nearly every Orthodox parish you’ve attended having as many gays as your describe is rather astounding. Though there are homosexuals and Lesbians in most every Orthodox congregation, what you describe are numbers that are simply astounding. Maybe you are situated in some major metropolitan area on one of the Coasts, that might be more imaginable.

          Having said that, I too am aware that homosexuals –even couples–are found in Orthodox congregations. That’s always been the case. What I don’t find (and have never found) though is the aggressive attitude of entitlement that would be found in congregations in Boston or Washington (the parishes of Leonova’s Coven and Bradley’s Bunch respectively). There seems to be a significant sodomite chorus in certain GOA parishes in Chicago as well where they have found a significant pastoral safe haven. I firmly believe that these are outliers and not par for the course.

          If I’m wrong, I’ll certainly correct the record.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            I do not see that in Antiochian parishes. I have yet to serve in a parish where the people did not all agree that homosexuality is sinful and abnormal. Our Bishops do not mince any words in their condemnation of homosexuality. Bishop Antoun, my Bishop, is very vocal on this matter. The Metropolitan is also as are our other Bishops. An Antiochian priest who is guilty of homosexual or any other kind of sexual immorality is immediately suspended.

  3. Michael Kinsey says

    It is a principal aspect of the spiritual malady of homosexuality, being the center of attention, like a spoiled brat, with the willingness to be outrageous as possible even with a global audience. It is a draining technique employed to get someone to give in to their vile demands. They will twist all they can to get people’s attention on themselves.This is a tragic thing to have to deal with by the faithful with gay priest. Abbot Herman of of Platina was a master in this technique. I saw he emoting exceedingly violent and cruel .verbal abuse on the hapless, Damacene and Gerasim, complaining they weren’t aware of how close the end was and how unprepared they were. He was plainly very abusive, Making their monastic vows a chain to force them to be his scapegoats. Endure to the end, we are required not to give in to them.

  4. It’s obvious why this happened

    American foreign policy is in tatters, particularly in the Middle East where things have played out exactly as VVP warned they would.

    Furthermore the Snowden debacle has given the USA a big black eye – for example the forced grounding of the Bolivian Presidents plane a public relations disaster which has offended the majority of the South American continent.

    But one thing that does play well in the American media is “gay rights” and so attention has been drawn to a recently passed Russian law which restricts public displays of overt homosexuality where minors maybe exposed to them.

    And with large international sporting events taking place and scheduled in the Russian Federation, particularly next years Winter Olympics presents an opportunity for payback and instead of talking about sport the focus is shifted to “gay rights”

    So while the Middle East burns and Christians are martyred in their Churches, the cultural elites are getting into a lather over the fact that there are no gay pride parades in Rostov-on-Don or Vladikavkaz and wont be any time in the foreseeable future.

    Nothing like getting your priorities in order

  5. Hey, George. There’s a bloody pogrom ramping up against Christians in Egypt. Let’s talk about homosexuality again.

    Things like this is how I know we are cooked. We’re fiddling while Rome burns.

    • George Michalopulos says

      One, because of my work schedule, and because of events, my backlog on a host of issues is choking me. But you’re right: Egypt deserves more attention than I’ve given it (and I’ve given it quite a bit over the past year). My question is where are our bishops? Word on the street is that whenever Metropolitan Philip Saliba wants to put out something strong about the Christians in the Middle East, Arh Demetrios Trakatellis –who is an agent of the Greek gov’t–softens it considerably.

      • George,

        There is nothing stopping Metropolitan Phillip from taking about the Christian crisis in the Middle East but he has painted himself into a very precarious corner because of his past open support for Assad in Syria. Assad did protect Christians in Syria but that support is now coming back to hurt the Churches there. The same can be said in Egypt. When the Coptic Pope came out in support of the military coup, he opened the door for radical Islamic forces to justify their cruelty in burning Coptic Churches there.

        When the Church sinks to taking sides in politics there are always winners and losers. The Church must always stay above the shifting sands of politics. That does not mean it should be silent, but the Gospel is for all people not just those in political power.

        • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

          “Assad did protect Christians in Syria but that support is now coming back to hurt the Churches there. The same can be said in Egypt. When the Coptic Pope came out in support of the military coup, he opened the door for radical Islamic forces to justify their cruelty in burning Coptic Churches there.”


          “Before Egypt’s President Muhammad Morsi was ousted… a video appeared on Arabic-language websites showing a crowd of Muslims in Egypt assaulting and raping two Christian women on a crowded street and in broad daylight. Throughout, the women scream in terror as the men shout Islamic slogans such as ‘Allahu Akbar’ “[Allah is Greater.] None of the many passersby intervenes in any way.”

          When the Muslim Bros are openly raping your women folk in public, then you’ve got very little to lose from openly supporting their ouster.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          Just what choice did the Syrian Christians have? It was either Assad or an Islamic state. We Americans do not understand that sometimes it is necessary to use dictatorial methods to prevent the radical Muslims from persecuting Christians. Look what is happening to the Christians in Egypt? Majority rule in the Muslim world means an Islamic state complete with Sharia law. Just a few weeks ago the opposition to Assad tried to assassinate the Patriarch of Antioch by firing on St. Mary’s Cathedral while they were distributing food. The Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo has been kidnapped and may very well have been killed by Muslim radicals. If Assad looses we will see a radical Islamic state in Syria. Why our government supports the opposition to Assad is totally beyond me. How is it in American interests for supporters of Al Quida to rule Syria? Obama’s foreign policy has been one of the greatest disasters in the history of American foreign relations.

          • Nate Trost says

            Deposing Mossadegh, having deposed him, later throwing the Shah under the bus, Operation Eagle Claw, sending Marines into Lebanon, attempting to nation-build in Afghanistan, having our erstwhile proxy against Iran invade Kuwait, invading Iraq, we have decades of Middle East “greatest disasters” before even getting to the Obama Administration.

            Your mindless absolutist frothing at Obama as the pinnacle of American foreign policy incompetence is rather undercut by the inconvenient fact that it seems likely that your choice of Presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012 would have taken everything you dislike in the Obama Administration’s foreign policy positions and actions, injected steroids into them and thrown candy sprinkles on top. If you showed the least glimmering of a capacity for introspection and intellectual honesty, you might at least couch your criticism of Obama as actually being the ‘least bad’ of what is offered as choice in our current climate. But no, having had to observe years of Bush Derangement Syndrome, I now get to repeat the process with the likes of you and Obama Derangement Syndrome. It tires.

            I think it is also worth pointing out that this is a game where Middle Eastern Christians lose no matter what. Even if all of the neocon/neo-Jacobite influence was purged from conservative ranks, there is no way an ascendent paleocon policy would view the plight of a small Christian minority as something worth disastrous interventionism and further adventurism in the Middle East. What it seems people on this blog really want is an Imperialistic Crusade of American military intervention to protect Christian minorities in far-off lands on the basis of them being Christian. Leaving aside the minor detail of a big chunk of the American evangelical right not actually viewing OO/EO/Melkites/etc as really being Christian, that isn’t going to happen, no matter which party is in power because nobody from anywhere on the political spectrum really wants it or actually cares about said minorities unless they have a direct connection to the afflicted parties.

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              I agree that our foreign policy in the Middle East has always been against our national interests. That is because we have given unconditional support to Zionism. The unholy alliance between the Zionists and the Protestant Fundamentalists have been a total disaster for our country. However, Obama is especially bad, because he is weak. He got us involved in Libya in a conflict in which our national interests were not involved with no approval from Congress and has covered up the incompetence of his administration in whatever happened in Bengazhi. He has thrown away all the sacrifices that American troops made in Iraq, which is descending into an Al Quida inspired anarchy. He stabbed our troops in Afghanistan in the back by announcing that we will withdraw no matter what meaning that the Taliban just has to wait until we leave in the safety of Pakistan and then within a very short time will be back in control of Afghanistan. Obama does not care about the Christians of the Middle East, because he is presiding over the most anti-Christian administration in American history. He only goes to religious services for show. When he was a member of a church, he was a member of a parish of the United Church of Christ led by a black racist preacher who teaches radical black liberation theology. By Orthodox standards, the UCC is hardly Christian.

              • Nate Trost says

                You argue that it is “against our national interests”, I’m not sure that we actually agree on what “our national interests” are.

                You can probably use a better term for the Israeli right than Zionists. The term has some baggage, and Israeli politics is far, far from a monolithic affair. Keeping track of Israeli coalition politics is nearly a full-time job.

                “Got us involved in Libya”, in terms of relative scale, when put up against Afghanistan and Iraq it’s pretty laughable. Being in an alliance cuts both ways, and when other NATO parties wanted to act in Libya, the US got dragged in because it wasn’t going to work without American support. So: we have intervening in an existing civil war at a cost of around $1 billion over a few months and a peripheral side effect of 4 dead Americans on one side, up against over a decade of war, an ultimate price tag north of $3 trillion, several thousand dead Americans, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghans, and increased chaos in the whole region on the other. What kind of scale are you using that tips it to make Obama especially bad?

                Let us not forget, St. Reagan got over 241 Marines killed and responded by pulling out of Lebanon within months, leaving the country to a civil war that would rage for another six years. But of course, Obama is the weak one, History’s Greatest Monster President because Bengazhi Bengazhi Bengazhi. You seem to have a rather spectacular selective memory for assessing things prior to January 2009.

                Obama following the Bush timeline for withdrawal from Iraq and continuing plans to pull out of Afghanistan is just doing what the vast majority of the American public want. What an outrageous course of action for an elected chief executive. You might have liked McCain’s ‘100 years in Iraq’ statement. America didn’t.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Fr. John while I don’t quibble that Zionism has greatly infected US foreign policy in the past–not now. Obama is not weak. He is implementing the anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-capitalist anti-American foreign and domestic policy outlined in his book “Dreams From My Father”. He is arguably the most powerful and successful President in history.

                The fact that his success is at the expense of freedom, the rule of law and common decency does not mean he is weak. It means we are weak as a people, a culture and a nation and our Church has done little to offset the decline by refusing to evangelize.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  You may be right. I have not decided whether or not Obama is just incompetent or is deliberately trying to destroy our country. It really does not matter the results are the same. I do know this. Instead of doing his job and bringing people together, he is dividing people. Instead of meeting with the leaders of both side of congress and working on solutions, he is out giving speeches against his critics, further dividing our nation. If he were competent and cared about our nation, he would bring the leaders of both sides in congress and at least do something about the budget. Instead, we have not had a national budget since he too office. It is obvious that Obama Care is badly designed and is causing great hardship for the American people. Instead of fixing it through negotiations with both parties, he acts unconstitutionally by delaying parts of the law to please is political supporters. Holder, his Attorney General, selectively enforces the laws according to his racist ideology. He supports voter fraud by opposing the reasonable requirement that voters show that they are legally allowed to vote and that they are who they say they are. During a recent election the local newspaper caught people using white out to allow more than one person to vote using the same name.Under Obama we have ceased to be a democratic republic, but have become a nation with government spying on its people, using the power of the IRS to intimidate Obama’s critics, and controlling almost every aspect of our lives including telling us what kind of light bulbs we can use. Obama makes Nixon look like a saint.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            I am hoping against hope that it is not Assad’s forces that have used chemical weapons in the latest attack, if indeed they were used. It is obvious that this could be pure provocation. I cannot believe that the Russians, if not the Syrian authorities themselves, would not make it clear that this cannot be allowed to happen.

            We already have seen words from the Obama administration of possible cruise missle strikes against the Syrian regime if it turns out that they used chemical weapons.

          • Jonathan Johnston says

            Not true at all. Assad is a MASS MURDERER and has to go. After him, the armed forces need to check the radical Muslims and help install a moderate leader. Same goes for Egypt. Mean time, the West needs to help rid the Mideast of these radical Muslim groups.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Well, if Assad is a “mass murderer,” what was Truman? (And I have a certain fondness for Harry.)

              • Jonathan Johnston says


                Truman DID NOT have to destroy two Japanese cities to get his point across. The U.S. could have unleashed the atomic bomb on one of the many isolated Japanese islands off shore as a demonstration. However, at the Treaty of Potsdam attended by Stalin, Roosevelt & Churchill (read on Wikipedia), the demands by the three powers were that Japan surrender or they would begin destroying all the Japanese cities. Japan told them to go pound sand. So, Japan brought what happened to them on themselves. The two initial targets were mfg cities and served as example of what would follow. Even after the first bomb, Japan refused to surrender so, the 2nd example was necessary. What the “TRIO” of powers agreed to wasn’t mass murder, but acts of war and the use of atomic weapons to stop further war and invasion with more casualties. You know, like David killing Goliath and many other wars to check evil; invasion of Europe & Germany.

            • Fr George Washburn says

              Well, well, well, Mr. Johnston! So boldly and categorically stated! They’ve certainly got their marching orders now!

              While everyone is busy loading up the military appropriations bills, guns and transport, can you point to a *single* example from history to back your assertion that western military power can or should be employed successfully to dethrone a dictator, drive out radical Islamists and install a moderate government that can actually govern for more than a couple of weeks without being propped up by DC, NYC or wherever?

              Just one, Mr. Johnston, just one.


              Fr. George

              • Michael Bauman says

                To save Mr. Johnston the trouble: the answer is NO.

                With enough will and military might (both absent) we might, I say might, be able to contain Islam some but it will never be irradicated this side of the Second Coming.

                It will take over demographically without blood shed.

              • Jonathan Johnston says

                Fr. George,

                You certainly are a blind one. Assad is no better than Stalin, Hitler, Saddam, Quadafi, etc. He is a mass murderer. He must be removed. After that act, it will be for the Syrians and world to save Syria. To say, “Well, Assad protected Christians so we can turn a blind eye to his atrocities.” No; Seal Team Six is needed here. After that, a coalition may be needed to act.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Well Mr Johnston I am glad that these decisions come so easily for you. Personally, I have no idea what decision if my famlilal Christian roots in a particular place extended unbroken from the time of the Apostles and if during that time many Islamic persecutions had been suffered. Assad might look damn good. Probably would.

                  We are so sheltered and so proud and so shallow here. We’ll see how well we endure when Islamic or secular hatred is unleashed on us for even a short time.

                  Until then, we have no standing to question the existential choices of our older brethren. NONE.

            • Michael Bauman says

              But our government wants the Muslim groups. Assad just isn’t Muslim enough.

            • What a pompous, conceited ass you are. Please Mr. Johnston sign up with your army and free the world from itself. The world yearns to be saved by people like you… (/sarc)
              Mr. Johnston your country is run by criminally insane thugs and murderers, hell-bend on creating havoc around the world and as a by-line enriching themselves and screwing over your own people…
              My whole life I have been a staunch supporter and admirer of America and what it stood for, not any more…. I am very sad.

      • Trudge at SmartVote says

        Coptic Christians organized a sizable protest in front of the White House and CNN offices today.



        It makes me wonder though why our incensive powers are not aroused when we are not being well-represented against sexual anarchism.

        Except for the Copts in Egypt, maybe it is true that the motivation to protect our national identities is much stronger than the motivation to protect the faith.

        • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

          “It makes me wonder though why our incensive powers are not aroused when we are not being well-represented against sexual anarchism.

          “Except for the Copts in Egypt, maybe it is true that the motivation to protect our national identities is much stronger than the motivation to protect the faith.”

          If the Copts wanted to protect their Monophysite faith then they’d be protesting attempts at passing themselves off as Eastern Orthodox, O we really just believe the same thing as you, was just a multiple Ecumenical Council misunderstanding; or the protesting ecumenistic activity with Rome which ultimately leads to being in communion with pagans, blah, blah, blah. That’s not sexy.

          They’re rallying to protect their ethnicity, which is fine, as far as that goes. But, good luck protesting, since the mainstream media and the Democratic party support legalized murder of millions of innocent unborn babies, or partially born babies, or born babies aka “post birth abortion.”

          Obama: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” (The Audacity of Hope, p. 261)

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Those doggone “monophysites”…. makes me angry just thinking about them and all the trouble they’ve caused!

      • Granted that WORD magazine is primarily for internal Antiochian consumption, and therefore few outside the archdiocese would be aware of it, but I can assure everyone that +PHILLIP (and I personally have no particular affinity for him) has not remained silent on this topic.

        Not only has he spoken about it openly, he and many of his brother bishops have communicated their views to key U.S. government officials including Secretary of State Kerry. And contrary to popular belief these communications are not filled with with praise for the Assad regime. They simply point out the fallacious assumptions of American foreign policy and the media.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Brian, Met. Philip’s editorial and the accompanying pictorial in The Word was devastating. It was impossible to tell from the pictures who was Christian and who was Muslim.

          His editorial was written from a truly human horror that, IMO, was meant to convict us all including himself for what evil has been unleashed.

          IOCC remains on the ground in Syria attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to all.

          The fact of the matter is that the prevailing ideology of our government is anti-Christian. It did not start with Obama. IMO, the state department has been that way since at least FDR.

          Obama merely made it respectable.

    • Wall St. Journal says

      Wall Street Journal article on the Coptic Virgin Mary Church in Egypt


  6. George,

    I hope you don’t mind my changing the subject but I just read Melanie Ringa’s financial report and boy is it worth reading. The OCA is really bleeding red. According to the latest report, the accounts payable is significantly greater than their cash and accounts receivable and they are not able to pay the money currently owed for the 9/11 fund repayment. Translation: they have a heck of a lot of bills that are currently unpaid and nowhere near the cash to pay them. Incidentally their accounts receivable is almost nothing. Translation: their unpaid bills are not due to a diocese not paying them on time. They are just plain out of money.

    The OCA miraculously got a $50,000 unrestricted donation. God bless the donor but how often does that happen? If it hadn’t happened Syosset would be in enormously deep doo doo. As it is, the doo doo is getting deeper by the day. But alas, it’s business as usual. Still taking trips to see people like the pope who couldn’t care less whether you were there or not.

    Any financial person that can add two numbers together has to see that this is completely unsustainable. And who in his right mind passed a budget with a projected enormous deficit? What idiots!!! Why on God’s earth would someone give money to such an organization? You were right to criticize the sex czar idea, George, and look at the deficit that has been created just because of that. If anyone is thinking that the problems have gone away, you are in for a real treat by the end of the year.

    I challenge Melanie Ringa to refute anything I’ve said here. The OCA is teetering on bankruptcy folks at the rate they are going. Most of the remaining money is for long-term endowments (which are also royally tanking — but I digress). My point is that the long-term endowments can not be touched to pay current operating expenses, which means the light bill and legal bills aren’t going to be paid any time soon. I sure hope the pension plan is managed a little better than the rest of the place.

    By the end of the year, the OCA is going to be in a deficit by around $250,000!! I hope everyone is ready to write a check or watch for the For Sale Sign to go up in Syosset around January, 2014.

    • God pays for what He ordains.

    • Nick,

      I don’t know if we can say the OCA is “tettering on bankruptcy” but the numbers, as you conclude, and what I read too don’t paint a very good picture. Another interesting note is that the junket to Russia numbers are not part of the OCA financial report. Those will be in the next quarter and should add to their red line.

      They are not bringing in voluntary gifts. That number really stood out on the report. The days when FOS was bringing in $250K plus a year are long gone. Renaming FOS is not doing anything positive for their bottom line.

      All that means is that the anemic numbers will mean that departments will continue to be underfunded while big salaries in Syosset will not be touched.

      St. Tikhon’s will have a similar bad reporting of numbers especially when they start paying their new dean at $170K per year. Watch for another OCA institution to go deeper in debt going forward.

      The fiscal impact of the OCA’s bad decisions are on full display. People are not being fooled and they are not supporting the OCA on the national level. People are diverting their monies elsewhere if not already left the OCA and are supporting other parishes and jurisdictions.

      While the ship sinks they enjoy themselves taking money from small parishes, crumbling dioceses all the while Fr. Jillions trying to divert attention away with dying dogs, going to weddings, and desperately painting a false picture that all is well in the OCA.

      People are not stupid and the sooner they wake up and realize that their paper autocephaly is now a impediment to Orthodox unity here in the USA. the better it will be for the good clergy and laity in the OCA to stop trying to justify their existence in their present status.

      • James wrote: “People are not being fooled and they are not supporting the OCA on the national level.”

        As well they should not, because the OCA administration is a hopeless basket case.

        Things blew up again late last week, and It seems that the truce arranged between the OCA and Met. Jonah is at an end. The Holy Synod tightened the leash and muzzled him again. There is to be no more public speaking, no more trips to England, no more bible study classes, and absolutely no more serving the DC ROCOR cathedral. Jonah is once again exiled to St. Mark Church in Bethesda, MD and he likely needs a hall pass from Met, Tikhon in order to use the restroom.

        • Awh, they must have missed him . . .. “I know” they said, “let’s pretend we didn’t make an agreement with him . . . he he he”.

          Well he needs “permission” from +Tikhon and +Hilarion each and every time he does any of the above. So he could not serve at St. John’s last Sunday or teach this Friday and who knows when he can return to both—Good thing they stopped him from doing that! Cuz . . . . . ???!!!!

          He’s retired and out of their hair and yet . . . .

          • Still Disgusted says

            It was announced today at St. John that Metropolitan Jonah’s “Orthodoxy 101” classes will resume in September at St. Mark Church (OCA) in Bethesda. Same day, same time, new OCA location.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Can’t we have a moratorium on chewing over the results of Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation?There’s nothing new to be said about:
              1. The horrible self-exposure of the Holy Synod’s false witness in their Statement issued to the media at the time.
              2. Metropolitan Jonah’s appalling demonstration of a lack of faith evidenced by his allowing himself to be “forced” into signing a letter of resignation–as if God would desert his family if he didn’t sign!! That signature was also a kind of bad witness.

              There’s no way of “going back”.

          • Colette ( August 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm) says:

            ‘Awh, they must have missed him . . .. “I know” they said, “let’s pretend we didn’t make an agreement with him . . . he he he”.

            Well he needs “permission” from +Tikhon and +Hilarion each and every time he does any of the above. So he could not serve at St. John’s last Sunday or teach this Friday and who knows when he can return to both—Good thing they stopped him from doing that! Cuz . . . . . ???!!!!

            He’s retired and out of their hair and yet . . . .’


            Our OCA bishops (or at least a couple of them) must be VERY afraid of Met. Jonah.

            God grant him many years!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Monk James, that’s the only thing that makes sense. I’ve long felt that they were afraid of his Christian witness. Events like his Banishment to Bethesda only solidifies this intuition.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                What comments has the courageous Metropolitan Jonah voiced? Helga? I agree that they are either afraid of Metropolitan Jonah’s witness or his willingness to be used by those who have other axes to grind. At any rate, has anyone asked Metropolitan Jonah if he is upset about these recent developments? Should he be? I have my own idea that Metropolitan Jonah is as happy as can be about no longer being the First Hierarch and having no real responsibilities at all at last. As he might say himself, “How cool is THIS? “

                • Heracleides says

                  What a totally idiotic statement.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    I’d reply to Heracleides’s emotional outburst, but that would be as effective as clicking on the “Heracleides” button above!!!!! He doesn’t like my quotation of Metropolitan Jonah… I get that.

                • geo michalopulos says

                  Well, besides The Manhattan Declaration for one, then there was his letter to the Pentagon from two years back which warned about the dire consequences of relaxing the prohibition against homosexuals in the military, then there was the two encyclicals he wrote to his diocese regarding the issue of communing couples who were engaged in non-marital relationship.

                  That’s a lot more bold witness than anything coming out of his putative successor.

                • Still Disgusted says

                  I can say with certainty that he does not find these latest developments to be ‘cool’ nor do many others.

            • Amen!

    • Jonathan Johnston says


      Not necessarily so. The OCA incurred some costs and they will be paid off. Even if it was a deficit of $250K, no big problem. People will contribute and funds can be raised; not an issue. The OCA is not operating like the GOA or Antiochians who have lots of extra money in slush funds. The OCA is operating as people wanted it to; quarter to quarter without huge reserves. After all, many cost-cutting things can be done, but the OCA is not going away nor will it’s autocephaly. All you people under foreign bishops; they thank you for supporting their palatial estates, land holdings and bank accounts; + Philip & + Demetrius too.

    • The sooner the better.
      Still no bishop for the DOS?
      Still no apology for what they did to Metropolitan Jonah?
      Still no repentance?
      Still no tithes to the OCA.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        In Los Angeles we said our good-byes to Archimandrite Gerasim, who drove away to Dallas Sunday afternoon. I believe he will be appointed to an administrative position in the DOS. I believe, too, that he has been fully “vetted” (the expression of today’s Holy Synod and OCA administration).
        No one will apologize for, one (1), electing Metropolitan Jonah as First Hierarch, or two (2) failing to admit their mistake after he resigned, while blaming him for their mistake in an odious offficial Statement.
        Tithes, in the words of the Encyclopedia Brittanica were never historically accepted in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Of course, they are part of the time before the coming of Grace. After the coming of
        Grace there was no percentage requirement or tithe in ANYTHING, since EVERYTHING, i.e.,ALL was required by the Savior and the Apostles as the “standard” of Grace. That is WAY over the heads of many leaders of the Orthodox Church in the “New” (read Old Testament obsessed) World. Even Archbishop Dmitri with his semi-Appalachian style piety liked the idea. The Mormons, too, see it the very same way. Quantifiable Stewardship!!!!!! God forbid a prosperous businessman should be held to the standard of the widow and her mite!!!!! The OCA and every other Orthodox Local Church in the world survived without the introduction of any innovation like Old Testament or Mormon tithing. Always looking for the way to get the “passing grade’, us American Orthodox! That bad, “Old World” Orthodoxy was SO lame and benighted!!!!

        • Your Grace,

          If Americans and converts to the Orthodox Faith, or anyone in between, are used to tithing as a genuine expression of their piety I see no reason to tell them to stop tithing because it was never part of traditional Orthodox piety or use that as an excuse not to tithe. Tithing does not make one a better Orthodox Christian but neither does not tithing or stopping a tithe make one more Orthodox.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            I’m an American and a convert, James. I’ve never thought ten percent to be an expression of ANYONE’s piety. Having said that, I’d still like to express my disagreement with the cockamamie idea that there’s something especially Christian about tithing or that it meets any Christian standards at all. It remains a strictly old-dispensation regulation, very applicable along with a lot of other stuff to life in a Hasidic community…side locks and so forth.

        • Fr George Washburn says

          It seems to me that Bishop Tikhon has left out a very important fact from his comments contrasting the claimed financial thriving of historic Orthodoxy in the Old Countries without tithing, namely public financing. As far as i know essentially all the Orthodox Churches of the last many centuries in the OCs have been state churches where the faithful paid for their form of worship by rendering to Caesar …and of course letting him keep his cut. That said I agree with what i think His Grace is saying about the theology of the New Covenant not having laws like 10%, and instead calling us to give all. Aside from monks …and the clergy wives who have to make a household run on meager meager wages …who practices that kind of stewardship in N American Orthodoxy? And would we be better off to use the tithe as a “guideline” for giving?


          Fr. George

          • George Michalopulos says

            Fr George, you hit the nail on the head. I get aggravated when I hear that “we owe 100% to the Lord” which of course is true. However it’s invariably used as an excuse to prop up the dues system/food festival form of financing.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              No George. You are in error when you state that the Lord’s own standard for giving is ‘invariably used as an excuse to prop up the dues system/food festival form of financing.”
              I am against establishing an Old Testament means of judging how much money should go into the Church’s treasury, or any other means of rating people’s stewardship. Totally against it.
              When you establish a criterion of Christian behavior, such as tithing, you are erecting a popular means for judging, not only popular, but gratuitous. All such ‘criteria” are FAllen: “once a year communion at Pascha,’ “Four times a year Holy Communiion, plus Pascha”. “Once a month Confession and Holy Communion every Sunday,” It’s all food for gossip. And wasting time on instituting “systems” of stewardship” (Wesley would have referred candidly to “Methods”), just allows us to say we were to busy occupied with the “real business” of the Church to go out handing money to street people, and so on. Father George Washburn makes a good point about historic state financing of Local Churches; however, he thereby omits the flourishing Alexandrian, Antiochene, and Constantinople Churches’ successful financing WITHOUT financing by the Islamic statel. As for Father’s question, a most irrelevant one,”Who practices tthat kind of stewardship in American Orthodoxy,” it is a dreadful judgment on American Orthodoxy to admit such a thing.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Respectfully, I must disagree Your Grace. The OT stricture of tithing is actually the beginning of giving. From my intimate knowledge of Protestant churches and hundreds of Protestant friends, I speak from a little experience here. In a tithing parish, there is no one looking at another and judging their level of giving. No board of auditors looks at the members’s W4s. Does everybody give exactly 10%? No. How is the 10% measured? By net income or gross? I don’t know. What I do know is that the overwhelming majority of tithing churches must be approaching the ideal judging by the size of their churches, parish halls, charities, and missions programs. We may rightly criticize their theology but we cannot argue with their apparent successes.

                Also, you must be mistaken about the “flourishing” of the Alexandrian, Antiochene, and Constantinopolitan churches these last 500 years. That they have survived is because of God’s mercy, not because they are flourishing in any meaningful sense of the word. Compared to Rome with its thousands of hospitals, orphanages, or schools?

                Let us be honest: our giving is niggardly. I won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          The main concept of tithing is getting down to the business of pledging a regular part of your income to the Church. It’s a goal, and has nothing to do with Mormonism, the Old Covenant, or anything like that. It’s just common-sense stewardship, something that has to keep taking place until the Parousia. Practicality ain’t out the window with the New Covenant, lo’ these 2000 years.

          The roof leaks, the pastor has to feed and hopefully educate his family, just like in olden times.

      • geo michalopulos says

        I’m with you Ted. Tithing is vital. Even if the case could be made that it was “never part of the Orthodox tradition,” well, I’ll see that and raise it: neither were organs and pews.

    • Daniel E Fall says


      Your assessment of the financial status of the OCA is an overreaction and your verbage immature. While most of us are not fans of deficit budgets; they have their place. A deficit budget can be run, for instance, if the balance sheets support such an action, or if it is temporary, and yes, even a year time period can be considered temporary by accounting standards.

      The OCA reduced assessments in 2013 by nearly 10% based on a rather rosy picture that happened in 2012. The only thing accurate about your assessment is some costs are higher than plan – big deal. It doesn’t appear to be lots of just under 10 grand cash draws.


      • No offense Daniel but I think you are the one who is a bit off base here. There is nothing temporary about the OCA’s deficits just as there is nothing temporary about the loss of parishioners over the past 30 years. If you look at the OCA’s balance sheet, there isn’t much left to pull from. If they had a 10 or 20 million dollar endowment, I would concede the point that a one year deficit budget wasn’t so bad. But that just isn’t the case.

        What is obviously still going on is the conflict over what should be done by the central administration and the individual dioceses. Here I will concede one more thing, the central administration deficit can be fixed very easily: they should basically go out of business. Just like the money spent on psychological assessments, why was this a central administration expense? This could have and should have been done at the diocesan level. If a bishop wishes to have his clergy tested, let the diocese pay for it. If they don’t, don’t. Even the trips to Russia and Italy could have been budgeted and paid for by each diocese. If the dioceses don’t want the bishop to go, they won’t pay for it. There shouldn’t be a situation where there is a deficit because the diocese is funding it. If the diocese says “no” that’s the end of the story. However, everything in Syosset is backwards. They are the ones who are dictating the terms and it should be the other way around.

        My beef with all of this is the fact that the central administration is wasting enormous amounts of hard-earned money trying to justify its existence. As you pointed out, the assessment amount was reduced. Wouldn’t a logical conclusion have been to reduce the expenses by the corresponding amount? But that didn’t happen because so many people were worried about keeping their piece of the pie. Instead it was business as usual once again.

        Even the legal bills could be cut in half. Fire the general counsel and make each diocese responsible for their own legal woes. Wasn’t Fr. Susan part of the Romanians? Then let Archbishop Nathanael’s Romanians foot the bill. Why is the rest of the OCA paying this expense?

        So I stand by my original statement that passing a budget with a huge deficit and no real plan to dig yourself out of the deficit is idiotic. Perhaps your define it differently. Oh well.

        I’m sure we will all look forward to your $250,000 check made payable to the OCA at years end. Be sure to take your tax deduction.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Nick, you raise several interesting points. I am asking for a clarification on this point however: were the assessments really “reduced”? As I remember it, there was much talk and the AAC at Seattle passed a resolution but it was more of a “we need to find a way to reduce it” kind of thing. In other words the people wanted it, Syosset didn’t. Just like the fact that Kishkovsky has found a way to keep the OCA in the NCC for the past 20 years even though the people overwhelmingly voted against it.

          It was kind of a mealy-mouthed pushback by Syosset where they make all the right noises but keep the status quo.

          Also, have any of the dioceses actually enacted the assessment reduction? And which diocese has shut down the spigots completely? Does anybody have any information on any of this?

          • sad but not surprised says

            In Eastern PA the assessments actually went up. There was some talk that the CAA was reduced slightly, but the diocesan assessment was then increased. Net result was an actual increase in assessments.

            And one wonders what happens to the funds collected in the vacant dioceses of the OCA. Does the locum tenens get to direct how funds are spent until the vacancy is filled, if ever? Met. Herman was known for collecting vacant dioceses and using their resources as he saw fit. (BTW, something to remember as the OCA, now that it has removed Metropolitan Jonah, seems to be trying to rehabilitate +Herman in the faithful’s eyes by having him appear at various events and on the website.) Also something to keep in mind as the OCA follows a policy of keeping dioceses vacant, with the shady excuse that they are “trying to avoid the mistakes of the past”. Eastern PA apparently formed an episcopal search committee, but it only met once for a photo-op, and that was months ago, and it hasn’t met since. A process that should take months, in the OCA takes years, and meanwhile the faithful are left without shepherds. Is this possibly because keeping dioceses vacant, and controlling their funds, are tied together?

            • Amazed in the Midwest says

              Dear Sad but not surprised,

              Same thing here in the Midwest. I agree that the OCA bishops are keeping these dioceses vacant so that they can run things and keep a tighter control from Syosset. “Our” Bishop Alexander, as locum tenes is in the back pocket of Syosset with Kishkovsky. We can sense the long arm of Syosset reasserting itself with little pretense. At least when Theodosius was around he realized that the Midwest needed a bishop and brought in +Job. Now it looks like we will share +Alexander with the Bulgarians.

              Is Syosset trying to foist +Mark on you in EPA? I pray that does not happen. He was terrible when +Jonah foisted him on the DOS. They woke up, I hope you all do too.

              • sad but not surprised says

                Amazed, I do believe that, since +Mark got run out of DOS, the decision has been made to give him EPA instead. However, the days of +Herman’s authoritarian rule are long gone, and I expect EPA will not tolerate any bishop being forced on them. EPA will expect to be presented with a group of candidates for the bishop’s seat, from which to choose a candidate for recommendation. As it has gone for Alaska and other dioceses, that’s how EPA will expect it to go for them. And that’s how it should go.

              • AITMidwest has some great points, especially about Syosset’s long arm. Where and how do you sense that AITM?

                As for the Synod’s “past mistakes” I would challenge them to think about the fact that THEY are the ones who (supposedly) prayed for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and put forth the names for election.
                So are they acknowledging THEY made the mistake in the names they put forth by not listening to the Holy Spirit? Or are they foisting the blame onto the priests who elected the bishop? I suspect the latter rather than the former. (Though we have concrete proof of the former lack of heeding the Holy Spirit’s leading in the last three elections of a Metropolitan.)

                Bp. Mark is not liked very well in E.Pa. I think he is a bully.

                • Amazed in the Midwest says


                  The long arm (albeit rather boney and only muscular if they look in one of those funny circus mirrors) is deliberately keeping dioceses vacant so that those bishops firmly in the “loving embrace” of Syosset can do its bidding. Some cases in point:

                  1. The South. Can you imagine the only diocese in the OCA that was growing and the most financially stable has been without a bishop for going on 5 years? The reason for this is simple, the South was too close to +Jonah and he is still perceived as some sort of threat (hence his banishment again to Bethesda where the long arm of Syosset can keep an eye on him through the priest and his wife there who are in daily contact with Ab. Benjamin.) The South MAY and I stress MAY be a step closer to getting a bishop IF Abbot Gerasim who has left his re-education camp in Los Angeles under the mentorship (God save us) of Ab. Benjamin but he faces some very difficult situations which he is neither invested to correct at present, nor inclined to pursue, which could taint him as weak. He is in a tough spot.

                  One thing is for sure, Syosset will never let an independent thinking bishop like the Archbishop Dmitri, of blessed memory, fill the See of Dallas. No, the next bishop will have to be a Syosset man and do their bidding and move the DOS into the close orbit of Syosset, something they have never felt nor desired.

                  2. Alaska. Another diocese, even longer vacant than the South, still without a bishop, but they have Ab. Benjamin as their overseer, so you can bet it will be a long time before he gives up that assignment. One less vote on the Synod to impede the long arm of Syosset. Fr. Mahaffey who is going on another year up there and no closer to being nominated as their next bishop, is not winning too many supporters, but let’s face it, the only reason he is where he is now is because his wife, of blessed memory, passed away. That is why he moved from column A to column B as was tonsured a monk.

                  3. Now we come to the Midwest. Another vote not to worry about on the Synod because Bp. Alexander Golitzin is minding the store. This is the same Golitizin who was sent to Moscow/Kyiv/Minsk to show the OCA’s “russian” pedigree, but alas, he didn’t, nor did the OCA impress their Mother Church with their Slavic junket. Lots of money spent and one major goal of the trip shot down in flames, the OCA, try as they did to get an invite to Constantinople, were told they (Met. TIkhon) will never get an invite as long as the OCA continues in its current status.

                  But with Golitzin taking care of the Midwest, and it is my guess will be the bishop both of the Midwest and the Bulgarians (like Ab. Kyrill was for the Bulgarians and WPA) one less vote will be needed on the Synod to keep things “ship shape.”

                  4. Canada. This one will stay vacant until the legal battles of Ab. Seraphim are concluded, one way or another. Until then Canada has no vote on the Synod, which again keeps things simple.

                  5. EPA. This one is very interesting because +Mark Maymon would surely do the bidding of Syosset, he has already proved that, but he is not well-liked in EPA. He has already made some non-canonical and heavy-handed mistakes which I am sure will fully come to light if his name is ever finally brought forth. In truth, Syosset is just trying to find a place to hide Maymon and they are running out of places. If EPA should turn him out, who knows where he will go for his next paycheck. If they don’t, may the Lord protect them from the man.

                  So in reality, the so-called Synod of the OCA consists of: Met. Tikhon, Ab. Nathaniel, Ab. Nikon, Ab. Benjamin, Bp. Alejo, Bp. Melchisedic and Bp. Alexander. They are the only ones with votes. Easy to control.

                  Alaska-vacant. DOS-vacant, Midwest-vacant, Canada-vacant, EPA.-vacant. That is five more votes on the Synod which anyone can see is a totally different dynamic. That is why it is so important to make sure any new bishops are compliant with the seven current voting members.

                  Now, having said all of that the other side of the coin is, “maybe the OCA truly doesn’t have acceptable candidates for these vacant Sees.” I don’t think too many people consider +Mark Maymon a serious candidate for any diocese and +Irenee will be elected Bishop of Canada once the +Seraphim trial is over. But if that is so, then how can we take the OCA seriously as a local church? Russia is less inclined to think so and without Russia, the OCA is all alone.

                  Then there is an entire other chapter in the long arm of Syosset and how they are using selective prosecution of clergy misconduct cases to influence the clergy in dioceses and consolidate their power over bishops – but that is for another day.

                  • So in reality, the so-called Synod of the OCA consists of: Met. Tikhon, Ab. Nathaniel, Ab. Nikon, Ab. Benjamin, Bp. Alejo, Bp. Melchisedic and Bp. Alexander – and Bp. Michael./i>

        • George Michalopulos says

          P.S. I like your point about the Romanians, why has the OCA footed their legal expenses when they pay a paltry amount to Syosset?

        • sad but not surprised says

          Very well put, Nick! Secular central authorities exist for three reasons in this fallen world: to gather money and power to themselves and their friends, to hurt those they don’t like, and to maintain themselves in power. The people exist to provide them with these things; the people serve, pay up, and keep their mouths shut. The OCA hierarchy appears to operate at the current time like a secular central authority in a fallen world. There doesn’t seem to be much of God in this.

        • God calls us to be responsible stewards of what He has given us, and for those of us who have paid attention to OCA happenings for the past several years, it’s just very difficult to voluntarily contribute to an organization when you have no faith (and they’re not giving you any reason to have faith) that the contributions will be used wisely. Many of us had contributed to the OCA for many years before the mid-2000s and feel that our trust has been completely violated, with no reparation done to date.

          In Eastern PA for example, we used to drive about 45-55 mins each way to go to a vibrant parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese, despite some OCA parishes being closer. But the closer OCA parishes were intensely Slavic “ethnic” (despite being nearly 100% white American), and one feels out of place if he/she isn’t part of the clan. There’s not a whole lot of outreach to the local areas. It’s no secret that the venerable old OCA “American” parishes in the mid-size and large east coast cities no longer have parishioners (while the Old Calendar Slavic parishes are thriving).

          And in other areas like the South, why go to an OCA parish and support the current OCA administration when there are other options? Why support having no bishop at all and none in sight for years in the future? What kind of leadership is that?

          There are handfuls of very wealthy people in the OCA who might continue to contribute these lump sums to “save” the organization, financially. But if that’s the case, the OCA ceases to be the Orthodox Church in America and instead becomes the private chaplaincy a few very large donors and of the rest of the faithful who are OK with such an arrangement.

          Don’t get me wrong, there are individual OCA parishes that are strong and vibrant and that are wonderful examples of what Orthodoxy should be to our American society. I am thankful to God for these parishes and pray for their health, despite all the problems the OCA is having. I hope they can survive the troubled times.

          A hope is that if the OCA is not financially sustainable in the near future, this fact might help speed up administrative unity in America, if the OCA goes back under the umbrella of the MP for financial reasons.

  7. Jonathan Johnston says


    Not necessarily so. The OCA incurred some costs and they will be paid off. Even if it was a deficit of $250K, no big problem. People will contribute and funds can be raised; not an issue. The OCA is not operating like the GOA or Antiochians who have lots of extra money in slush funds. The OCA is operating as people wanted it to; quarter to quarter without huge reserves. After all, many cost-cutting things can be done, but the OCA is not going away nor will it’s autocephaly. All you people under foreign bishops; they thank you for supporting their palatial estates, land holdings and bank accounts; + Philip & + Demetrius too.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I wonder how St. Paul made it without the big bucks. One tent or awning repair at a time. Rough on the hands, though!

      But, as many a prince of the church has said over the century, times have changed!

  8. Nick is absolutely right about the $50,000 bequest and I hope they are not depending on that type of thing happening regularly. Any accountant worth their salt, and I expect Melanie is just so, would be advising the Synod of just that. That it was an unrestricted bequest is even more a blessing.

    What I would like to know:

    1) how the Synod Episcopal Salary/ Benefits is over budget by nearly $14,000 ($13,848 to be exact) when Alaska and E.Pa have administrators and the South and Midwest have no Bishops.

    2) who is the Administration Contractor causing an over expenditure of $6,000?

    3) who in the “Central Administration” is causing the over expenditure of $10,000 in travel and meetings? The Chancellor? According to his Diary he does bounce around a lot.

    4) Dept. of External Affairs – St. Catherine’s salary is over budget by $10,571 when only $30,000 annually has been budgeted and we are only half way through the year!!!

    Me thinks the Metropolitan needs to institute a spending freeze for the remainder of the year on travel expenditures and Episcopal Salary and benefits. But of course, the Synod and His Beatitude pay no attention to the thoughts of the majority of their laity, so why I bother I surely don’t know.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      Liberal theologians prefer liberal bureaucrats who favor liberal theologians whose liberal theology is well pleasing to liberal bureaucrats who spend other people’s money so liberally, and so the downward spiral goes, until liberals eventually run out of other people’s money to “live large” with.

      Prodigal Son moment for OCA and ROC? Sure, why not? After all, in the liberal Obama’s liberal economy, everyone is moving back in with their parents.

    • nit picker says

      It would appear that Ms. Ringa’s most prudent course of measure would be to contact the New York D.A. ‘s office in light of your very relevant questions raised by Philippa.

      It would be unfortunate if Ms. Ringa was left holding the bag. She seems to be “on the ball”.

  9. Priorities says

    The OCA miraculously got a $50,000 unrestricted donation…..By the end of the year, the OCA is going to be in a deficit by around $250,000!! I hope everyone is ready to write a check or watch for the For Sale Sign to go up in Syosset around January, 2014.

    Will someone savvy explain why two high salaries, a Chancellor and Father Tosi are getting such high salaries? Are their jobs needed? Is the property at Syosset needed? The $50,000 unrestricted donation would cover only a third of their salaries if so applied? Is there a policy in place to pay down the deficit first before other uses?

    • I’m having déjà vu. It’s 2006 all over again. Was nothing learned? Apparently not. And now are we going to find another priest with the last name “Kondratick” to blame everything on, and hope it goes away again? Oh wait, the other Fr. Kondratick (John — no relation, as far as I know, maybe a distant cousin) who was in the OCA (and is a retired US Air Force chaplain — I went to his parish at Lackland AFB in San Antonio many years ago) just transferred to the Greek Archdiocese. Maybe he saw that the OCA would be needing another scapegoat soon and got out before they could nab him?

      • Jonathan Johnston says


        The issue is that the average age of GOA parish priests is 80+ years! The GOA needs priests and getting them from the OCA is what has been happening. Fr. John Kondratick is a very fine priest and was an excellent military chaplain…The GOA priest shortage will become more & more apparent in the next several years. Church closings, consolidations, etc. while the GOA continues to proclaim Hellenism as the “real” American Orthodoxy. Why do you think the Ep. Ass. is moving toward more interchangeable priests from one jurisdiction to another? Also, if any jurisdiction is losing a large number of young people, it’s the GOA. Their young people no longer buy into the Greek/ Hellenism indoctrination nor believe it. The Antiochians will now deal with a huge influx of people from the Mideast and it will become more & more ethnic. The GOA will become more Americanized and the OCA will continue to attract more & more converts. 10 years from now, the GOA will not be the GOA of today, nor the Antiochians, but the OCA will remain on it’s same course of bringing Orthodoxy to America.

        • Jonathan,

          Where do you come up with this silly prattle? If the average age of clergy in the GOA was 80+ you would have priests over the age of 100 still serving. I guess math was not one of your stronger subjects in school. Yes the GOA may have a clergy shortage but it has to do with the fact that they have many more parishes then the AOCA and the OCA.

          GOA youth are leaving the GOA? I don’t see the OCA holding on to her youth. Do you? The OCA number decline every year. What is the OCA’s excuse. Are the youth not buying into the American Orthodox indoctrination?

          You speak as if no one converts to Orthodoxy in the GOA which is simply not true, same for the AOCA. You must not get out much from your OCA parish to see that what you espouse here is just not borne out in reality.

          I am glad you feel that the OCA is the answer to all things Orthodox here but really you don’t make much of a case for it when you make unintelligent statements. Average age 80+, that’s a laugher.

  10. Mr. Frost maybe onto something says

    Came across this article concerning the kidnapped Syrian Bishops:


    Apparently Mr. Frost isn’t the only one that’s got a gripe with Chechnya.

    I’d like to point out that in the Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church, when it refers to the “new” saints that were martyred during the occupation of Greece during the reign of the Ottomans, it refers to Turks and Muslims interchangeably. Being a Turk = being a Muslim. Something that is often referred to in these martyrdoms is the following exchange between the saint and their tormentors/torturers “Deny this foolishness! Deny Christ and live!” “No! I will never become a Turk! (embrace Islam)”.

    St. Cosmas the Aitolian predicted that one third of the Turks would be wiped from the face of the Earth. Another third would be converted to Christianity and yet another third would be driven back to a location referred to as “Kokkini Milia”. I don’t know where that is. Considering the events as they are unfolding in the Mid-East, it appears to be becoming a self fulfilling prophecy.

    “Lord have mercy on Your people!”

  11. Trudge at SmartVote says

    New Mexico Supreme Court: Christians must provide services for gay weddings even against their will.


    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      The concurring opinion is most interesting reading. Many a procurator or prefect of the Roman Empire could not have put it better!

      Come now– all you have to do is cast this little bit of incense on the flame before the idol of the Emperor….it’s the price of citizenship, that’s all…..

    • It seems that the NM SC decision is based strictly as a civil rights issue/decision, that is, for example, if restaurants want to stay in business they must serve blacks, hispanics etc. Since it is a public business and not a private membership club (there are still male only country clubs), then they fall under the existing civil rights non-discrimination laws. If you are a public business, like the photographers in question the rule of civil law takes precedence.

      The ruling has nothing to do with people’s moral concerns and thus a separation of church law and state law. Since we have no state church in the USA and never will one’s moral compass in business becomes secondary. We live in a pluralistic country and the civil rights of gay folk now have a more equal footing then in the past.

      I am not defending the NM SC decision, just trying to see it through a court’s legal eye.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      The difference between discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and say discrimation on the basis of color is the quotient of behavior. If you believe sexual orientation is fixed and absolute; then the courts ruling would be acceptable. If you believe there is some decision making to being straight or gay for that matter, then the courts ruling is not.

      For me, I have a buddy who dated a girl that said she was going to play for the other team if he broke up with her. He did, she does…

      Personally, I think humans have lots of willpower and can freely decide who to love. I don’t like discrimination, but I don’t agree with the court. A photographer ought to decide if they want to take someone’s picture without it being shoved down their throat!

      Forgive the pun-see the difference?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Mr Fall, you point us in an interesting direction in that we now see that the acceptance of homosexuality has never been about “tolerance” or “diversity” in the first place but about the superiority of homosexuality over heterosexuality. Just the other day, I heard from a lawyer friend of mine that the military is allowing homosexual couples seven days leave to travel to a state where their unions can be given state sanction. Heterosexuals are not given this luxury of course.

        No, the end result will be the celebration of soldomy over and above that of marriage. Nothing less than the sexual idealism of the Nazi Brownshirts during their heyday will be acceptable. Of course the irony is that Hitler was forced by the Prussian aristocracy to put them down if he wanted to continue in power. As a totalitarian leader, he had the wherewithal to carry out the Night of the Long Knives. He also had the sanction of ordinary society to subjugate those monsters.

        • Nate Trost says

          Yes, because once they purged the homosexuals, the Nazis became so much less monstrous.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            There are no Homosexuals, just people with a sexual attraction and acting on that attraction towards members of their own sex. This is how we lost the legal and cultural argument. We made it an identity. This is why language matters.

            btw the way the way the left is acting on this issue is very Nazi-like. How about we do away with both mentalities, and just preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


        • Michael Bauman says

          Mr. Fall. I agree. You state it well. A friend of mine in college had trouble with a couple of women. He gave up. For a year , he told me, he got up every morning, looked in the mirror and told himself he was homosexual. He immersed himself in homosexual porn (it was lying all over his house). Guess what. He got his wish– he no longer had to be hurt by women.

          George, you are correct too. The homosexual jihad is iconoclasm at its worst.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          It is true that Ernst Roehm the leader of the SS was a homosexual who was found in bed with two boys, but the reason for the Night of the Long Knives was not primarily an effort to drive the homosexuals out of the Nazi Party. It was designed to get rid of the leftists in the Party who took the word Socialist in the party name too seriously for Hitler and his rich supporters comfort.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Archpriest John W. Morris. What utter unmitigated and uninformed nonsense. Captain Roehm was the leader of the SA (Brown Shirts), not the SS at all. Further he was NOT arrested with the rest of the SA on the night of the long knives. Further, Roehm’s ambition was to take over the Reichswehr entirely with the SA at the top. Hitler could not allow this since he still depended on the support of the Reichswehr at that point. Eventually, Roehm, too, met his fate, and the SS replaced the SA in ;power and influence. The Night of the Long Knives was neither about punishing homosexuality nor getting rid of any leftists in the party. The words ‘Socialist” and “Workers'” were words included in the party name to deceive the simple into joining up. To imagine that the destruction of the SA had anything to do with opposing leftists left in the party is really silly…

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              Your Grace:

              You are partially right. I made a typographical error. Roehm was the head of the SA not the SS. Except for that everything else that I wrote is true. Roehm and his followers wanted to emphasize the Socialists in the Nazi Party name. For example they supported nationalization of the major industries. That alarmed Hitler, the industralists who supported Hitler because like many Germans at that time they considered Hitler the only alternative to a Communist take over Germany. They also wanted to abolish the old army and replace it with an army built on the SA. Hitler, aware that President Hindenburg was dying, made a deal with the leadership of the army to get rid of Roehm and the threat that he posed to their privileged position in return to their support to replace Hindenburg. Roehm was not only arrested during the Night of the Long Knives, June 30, 1934, but he was arrested by Hitler himself. The SA was heavily infiltrated with homosexuals. Hitler, himself commented that Roehm was found in bed with two naked boys. Roehm was given the opportunity to take his own life after he refused Michael Lippert a leader in the SS shot him.

              • George Michalopulos says

                We also can’t forget that the low-born homosexual thugs who made up the majority of the SA actually believed that they could replace the Junker aristocracy that was the backbone of the Prussian Army.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                I should have mention that SA is an abbreviation of Sturmabteilung which is usually translated Storm Troopers who were the street fighters of the Nazi Movement. They were thugs and filled with homosexuals. They were the famous “brown shirts.” Roehm was originally very close to Hitler. He was one of the very few people allowed to address him with the familure “du” form of you and to call him Adolph instead of mein Fuehrer which means my leader. That is why Hitler arrested him himself. The SS stands for Schutzstaffel which means Defense Corps. They were led by Heinrich Himmler, a former chicken farmer and were made up of the elite of the Nazi movement and eventual the Death Head Units were the ones who ran the death camps. They word black uniforms.

  12. Why was Pavel Datsyuk even asked his opinion on this? Because of what Yelena Isinbayeva said when asked for hers?

    And why did Western Journalists even ask her to weigh in on these matters? No Russian journalists did, they were more interested in if her ambition to start a family would impact on her medal hopes in Rio 2016, which seems a far more legitimate line of questioning from sports journalists at a press conference after a world championship winning performance by an athlete.

    The USA has gone insane when freedom of speech means being able to parade with bare backside in public with a dildo emerging from it (as seen in San Fransisco) but not being able to say the Lord’s prayer before a high school football game starts

    And when legislation in another country is a prime concern of sports journalists and there is only one answer allowed, even if you are from that country, live in that country and are speaking in that country as in the case of Yelena Isinbayeva

  13. Michael Kinsey says

    Should we legalize the right for men to breast feed babies in public, or register 2 rifle butts wired together as a fire arm, or allow a drivers license test to be taken in a car that has 2 trunks and no engine. None of these desired laws serves any purpose. The car can’t move, the gun can’t shoot, and the men can not give nourishment, nor can gays procreate.Why should this very small minority be allowed to redefine what marriage is for the vast majority of who can procreate? Should we give in to their demand that our commonsense is no longer tolerated as it is not politically correct.? It is the dictatorship of nature, GOD, not man, who ordained their purposelessness. Is that a word? Why should we allow then to dictate to the majority?

  14. cynthia curran says

    I wonder how St. Paul made it without the big bucks. One tent or awning repair at a time. Rough on the hands, though!
    Paul family might have made some tents for the Roman Army, Tarsus is where Antony and Cleopatra met before Paul was born. If his father and grandfather made tents for Romans this might explain the Roman Citizenship in the family.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      While we can hardly know everything, the consensus seems as to be that Paul learned tent making in maturity to make a living as an apostle. It was very likely not a family occupation. His own statement in various places including Acts would tend to reinforce this.

      There is a vast literature on Paul, and among the best in my opinion are the books by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., a Catholic scholar-priest. His most accessible is the recent “Paul: His Story”, a fine read for any one interested in the personality and travails of the Apostle. He points out that Paul does not seem to display the pride of an artisan raised in the trade. It was an adult decision; a wise one because tents, pavilions, and awnings were needed everywhere in Roman cities and among travelers, including those by sea. He could always find work in small shops, where he could also preach, and start the nucleus of a church. The suite of necessary tools is small and easily carried in a leather pouch.

      This book by Murphy-O’Connor introduced me to one of his main sources, Lionel Casson’s “Travel in the Ancient World”; a really fine and enlightening book about how rough it was to get around in those days. The perils of the road, the perils of the inn, the unscrupulous innkeepers, the brigands and cutpurses…..

  15. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    for those that did not believe me about the lawsuits against churches that refused Gay Marriages look at what attorneys are advising churches. This would be my pre-emtive advice.


    we are definitely living in interesting times.


    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Peter, the fact that a discussion about gay marriage crystallizes around churches already tells me that persecution will come, first as legal challenges forcing churches to perform gay marriages and so forth, but down the road more difficult barriers emerge (zoning regs, building permits, etc.), and after that even more.

      The reason for the crystallization is because everyone knows that the source of the morality that teaches homosexuality is sinful is the Christian faith. The only way to root out the traditional teaching is to root out those who still teach it. Not a pretty picture.

      I’ve argued for a while that homosexual rights will become the legal ground for the persecution of Christianity. The culture is not far enough along yet to where it seems reasonable to silence Christians but we are moving closer to that threshold. The only thing that might stop it is if the cultural washout becomes too great a burden to bear (increased disease rates, increases in the rate of young men becoming homosexual, pressure towards pedophilia, and so forth). That will take at least four to five years to play out however.

      I’ve argued elsewhere that for homosexuals, the normalization of the homosexual life-style is a double edged sword. As soon as the victim status dissipates, the relationship between the homosexual and the larger culture will have to be redefined. The State will be in charge of that redefinition because citizens acquiesced to the State’s arrogation of moral authority when it decreed that gay couplings constituted a morally licit marriage (gay marriage is solely a creation of the State). If the State ever decides to scapegoat homosexuals (a distinct possibility when times get tough and resources need to be reallocated), then homosexuals will realize that their earlier role as outsider was the safest place to be.

      For Christians these changes may come too late because by then the State may have already become Leviathan. Christians lose, but so will homosexuals. The only winner is the State.

      + + + + + + +


      Here’s the unvarnished truth. The State does not really care about gay rights. It only cares about eliminating the barriers that prevent it from accruing more power. Gay rights, because it strikes at the heart of the Christian teaching about freedom as the outflow of moral self-integration, becomes the means by which the State can first de-legitimize and finally silence the Church. Why? Because the Church is the only authority that challenges the State’s claim to complete hegemony over the individual.

      The American Founding Fathers knew this. That’s why the Constitution is a circumscription of State power. Christians should know it too but unfortunately too many have become lazy and dim witted.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Truly remarkable prophesy from an Orthodox priest, no less! I wait to see the day when some court – any court – orders one of the conservative mega-churches, or the chapel at Bob Jones University, or someone of the caliber of Rick Warren, “You must marry homosexuals under penalty of the law.” The dome of the US Capitol would collapse with the resonating outrage, and the law would be enacted, and re-enacted until it was deemed constitutional! What in heaven’s name are you thinking? These aren’t the Orthodox, mumbling, bumbling, “Well, who should represent us? Whose jurisdiction is most affected?” They take action! One quarter of the Orthodox world is literally besieged by fire and chemical weapons and you are wringing your hands over “homosexual persecution?” Madonna mia, get some perspective.

        • geo michalopulos says

          It’s funny you should mention Bob Jones University. They had a long-standing policy against interracial dating that was based on their religious principles. They were forced to back down. Now, speaking for myself, as one belonging to a church that has no problem with interracial marriage, the question is not whether BJU was right or wrong to have this policy but why the gov’t forced its way into this issue in the first place.

          That’s precisely the point, isn’t it? BJU’s proscription against interracial dating maybe heretical, but so is the doctrinal theology of most millenarian denominations. For that matter the Justice Dept doesn’t go after Hasidic Jews who likewise condemn intermarriage with non-Jews.

          • Nate Trost says

            Actually, no, they were not forced to back down by the government. They didn’t actually drop the proscription until 2000. And if they were ‘forced’ in 2000, it was in response to popular uproar, including from many on the right which was kind of profoundly embarrassed in the wake of the whole Bush visit fallout. Which, it should be pointed out, was seventeen years after Bob Jones University v. United States. Seriously, it would have taken 30 seconds to get your facts straight.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Technically, you’re right. In time though, the federal government would have overreached and made life financially miserable for them by taking them to task for violating the Civil Rights Act or somesuch.

              The same thing happened twice with the Mormon Church, once by the Supreme Court which mandated that the US was “a Christian nation” (in 1892) striking down polygamy and once when the culture was brought to bear against the Mormon proscription of black men in the Mormon priesthood.

              Having said that, did you follow the implications of the paradigm you described? That it was social opprobrium which forced BJU to change its religious convictions? What do you think will happen when the local GOA parish is considered to be “homophobic” by the local media? That a boycott of the food-festival or just a bothersome demonstration outside the entry gate takes place? If BJU couldn’t take it do you think the parish priest will? After all, his $80K+ salary is contingent on a successful food festival.

              In time, I predict that as in Canada, the federal government will force the Orthodox Church to change its “homophobic” doctrines. The question at that point will be, will the Orthodox Church succumb to the dictates of Caesar?

              • Michael Bauman says

                George, the Church will not succumb people who are in the Church may well succumb. The only question worthwhile to ask is: Whom do I serve and why?

              • Nate Trost says

                Unless you are proclaiming yourself to be a Holy Prophet, the conjectures of your imagination probably shouldn’t be confused with actual reality. Especially if, as we see on a regular basis, the fruits of your imagination are fed by faulty knowledge of actual history and fact. The federal government already had taken BJU to task in Bob Jones University v. United States. But the consequences were not severe enough to cause a policy change in the subsequent seventeen years. There is rather a big difference between government coercion and societal evolution, you do not do any favors by mixing them interchangeably in your examples.

                Having exhorted you to take 30 seconds to sanity-check the contents of your posts, you proceeded to ignore my advice and serve up another dish of a confused post. The Supreme Court did not strike down polygamy in 1892. In the 1878 case Reynolds v. United States it upheld the anti-polygamy Morrill Act previously passed by Congress and signed by Lincoln in 1862 .

                Neither the Morrill Act or Reynolds v. United States had any such “Christian Nation” mandate as you claim. The infamous “Christian Nation” verbiage was from the 1892 case Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, and resulted in the responsible justice later writing a book to avoid any misunderstanding about his use of that term.

                from “The United States: A Christian Nation”, David Brewer (1905)

                But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. […]

                Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.

                This is not obscure stuff you are getting wrong. 30 seconds. Seriously.

                Having said that, did you follow the implications of the paradigm you described? That it was social opprobrium which forced BJU to change its religious convictions?

                I think you are misusing the word “forced”.

                After all, his $80K+ salary is contingent on a successful food festival.

                Oh, I forgot, the Church is “forced” to do food festivals for cash because of some unwritten law that makes it illegal for Orthodox Christians to tithe.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Thank you for setting the record straight. In the end though, we are talking about distinctions without differences. While I was wrong about the year SCOTUS struck down polygamy, you admit that the 1892 case affirmed that the United States was “a Christian nation.”

                  You then flesh out for us that the federal gov’t actually did take BJU to court because of its ban on interracial dating. I didn’t know that, now I do. Regardless, how does this mitigate against my point? Which is that the gov’t can, will, and indeed has, challenged the religious scruples and doctrines of religious entities (in this case BJU)?

                  My question regarding GOA parishes, their food-festivals, and possible civil or social actions against them is far from rhetorical. I asked an honest question and I’d like an honest answer –from anybody.

                  • Nate Trost says

                    I strongly disagree that we are talking about “distinctions without differences”. There is a world of difference, for example, between you improving the fact-checking of your bloggery due to being “forced” to by the shame and embarrassment of having frequent errors in your work highlighted by a trivial amount of effort by commentators, or you doing so due to facing a Federal indictment.

                    While I was wrong about the year SCOTUS struck down polygamy, you admit that the 1892 case affirmed that the United States was “a Christian nation.”

                    You were not only wrong about the year, you were wrong about the “Christian Nation” mandate of the decision. Being wrong about the year is trivial. Being wrong about the reason for the decision is not. You attempt to sidestep this by making it about me “admitting” that the term “Christian Nation” was used in a court decision, while completely ignoring my setting of the context of that term by the man who penned the words.

                    In other words, you couldn’t care less about what Brewer actually meant by the term “Christian Nation”, you merely wish to seize upon the term out of context from the author’s intent and twist it to meet your own purposes in an intentionally dishonest and disingenuous manner displaying utter moral bankruptcy in order to advance an unconstitutional Christianist agenda. But you aren’t even self-aware enough to qualify for being shameless in this. Getting to that point would be an improvement.

                    Which is that the gov’t can, will, and indeed has, challenged the religious scruples and doctrines of religious entities (in this case BJU)?

                    Because there exist distinctions between what falls into the religious sphere and what does not. In terms of entities, this is not always black or white, and grey areas some things may apply and some may not. There is a lot of case law about this. On the one extreme, there is no way I’m going to be able to open up a hot dog stand and claim tax exempt status as a religious institution. On the other hand, I could start a fundamentalist Protestant congregation tomorrow, do my best televangelist act and bring in the suckers, and there is no way it would be considered a for-profit enterprise even as I thumb through the Lear Jet catalog. BJU was not at either of these extremes, thus a legal process that dragged on through the better part of a decade that was ended by an 8-1 decision. But, of course, upon learning of your error, and that there was something you did not know, your immediate response was to figure out how to reframe the tidbit of new information to align with your existing prejudices and keep on trucking. Instead of doing something like going and reading the court decision. If you ever wonder why I charge you with being intellectually lazy, Exhibit A.

                    My question regarding GOA parishes, their food-festivals, and possible civil or social actions against them is far from rhetorical. I asked an honest question and I’d like an honest answer –from anybody.

                    If a community boycotts a GOA food festival because of its stance on homosexuality? Tough cookies. Social conservatives have spent decades beating the voluntary boycott drum, so wailing and gnashing of teeth about “persecution” if the shoe ends up on the other foot is really not going to find much of a sympathetic audience.

                    As far as civil action, again, I have previously in other threads given honest answers pointing to over two centuries of legal precedent in regards to the First Amendment. But I don’t think that is really what you want, you want to have a collection of the like-minded bringing out the sackcloth and ashes to prognosticate doom based on feverish imaginations out of touch with reality and bemoan the reduced lack of ability to steamroll over disliked cultural minorities out of a place of elevated cultural privilege. If only the world’s smallest violin weren’t so hard to find…

                    • Mike Myers says


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      First of all, you must forgive me because I’m not up to the minutiae at times. 12-hour workdays has a way of doing that. Having said that, I have absolutely no intention of proving the point that up until 1942, the US and the overwhelming majority of its luminaries considered this nation to be a “Christian nation.” Read the works of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Take a gander at the frescoes of the Capitol to see for yourself scenes depicting the evangelization of American Indians. Etc.

                      As to the harassment that the Mormon Church faced at the hands of the Federal gov’t, there is more than enough documentation. Much of it was violent, other was more subtle. The first Senator elected from Utah was not allowed to take his seat in the Senate chamber for four years. During that time the Senate conducted hearings to find out if Mormonism was a Christian denomination or not. Four years. Think about that. During that time the Congress endowed and built the National Cathedral, a parish of the Episcopal Church. Etc.

                      These are facts. I do not put a moral gloss on them. The fact that I confused one SCOTUS case with another is unfortunate but does not destroy the argument. I am somewhat intrigued however by your use of the word “Christianist,” who does your talking points, Rosie O’Donnell?

                      Regarding my question regarding GOA food-festivals. Nowhere did I say “boycott.” A boycott would be honorable and not the least bit hurtful. (Indeed, a boycott by professional gays would probably boost business.) I don’t worry about boycotts. What I worry about are lawsuits, injunctions, and more serious harassment than mere “boycotts.” Think of the incessant lawsuits put out every year by gays protesting their non-inclusion in the annual St Patrick’s Day parades in NYC, Chicago, wherever. It got to the point where the Ancient Order of Hibernians just threw up their hands and said “Screw it!” and stopped the parades outright.

                      Think jihadism.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    Marginalization will happen by redefining freedom of religion to mean freedom of worship. All non-worship activities a Church does will fall under the purview of the State and thus increased regulation. Shrewder activists wont try to force traditional churches to hold gay marriages because the symbolic power is still too great to risk defeat. Food festivals, rentals, and so forth are fair game.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Yes, we had a very recent incident here where a local pub/restaurant was pressured to (and did) cancel a private fund-raiser set by a conservative Protestant congregation to raise money to put a new roof on their church. Among the ironies is that the church building in question is a beautiful historic church they recently bought from its essentially defunct old “mainline” congregation, which could no longer maintain it.

                      The pressure came from gay groups and liberal clergy, because the new church preaches against gay marriage (which, of course, we now have by law in this state). The whole incident caused quite a stir, but it’s just the beginning.

                      The Greek festival at the GOA church in our city is a really big one, loved by the community, and attracts many thousands. It will be fine this year and next, I expect…. but it will find itself on the blacklist before too long, I’m sure.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      That’s the kind of thing we will see more of Tim. Interesting that it was a coalition of gay activists and liberal clergy although not surprising. We will see more of that too.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                George, would you explain the Canada part?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  OK, here goes: in Canada, churches are prevented from preaching against sodomy. If they do, they’re liable to be brought to court because of “hate crimes” violations.

  16. Michael Bauman says

    But, Peter, we are assured that no church will ever by forced to perform gay marriages. If we believe them about Obamacare, why not about that?

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Hi Michael:

      I could respond to this to show you the difference, but I am going to stay on topic. Besides the opponents of The Affordable Care Act have more of a problem with the House Speaker than with anybody else.


      • Michael Bauman says

        In all seriousness, my point is that the rule of law as you and I used to know it has pretty much ceased to exist. It is rapidly regressing to rule by fiat of those who believe (and in many cases are) outside the law. It does not matter which political party as all of them are pretty much operating that way.

        Domestic policy, foreign policy, regulatory policy is all capricious, violent and largely illegal–exactly what the U.S. Constitution was meant to prevent.

        We no longer have a Constitutional government or a rational government “of the people” just a bunch of un-principled demagogues. We are therefore no longer duty bound to obey it if we are prepared to suffer the consequences. Certainly, if we trust it in anything, we are fools.

        There are three ways of preparing for whatever bad stuff is to come: 1. Stock up, arm up, fort up and be prepared to kill as many of your fellow human beings as necessary; 2. Go along to get along and hope like heck that you are not led to the slaughter; 3. Pray up and be prepared to accept with thanksgiving and joy whatever God sends your way.

        I know some folks who are in #1 mode and they are totally prepared to take down as many people as they can to protect themselves and their families. These are not evil people, just scared people who see little hope because they are ‘of the world’.

        Most people I know are in mode #2 since they don’t have access to those outside the dome.

        Just to be clear, the Christian way is #3. #3 requires that we be like St. Peter in the boat, when Jesus says “Come” we must step out of the boat into the storm in utter faith knowing that even if we sink, He will save us.

        Existentially we will suffer. The question is whether we make others suffer too; just suffer; or in union with Christ be able to say “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do;” and perhaps others will be saved as well.

        #3 is what I am striving for.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          I have several millions of dollars I’m not using, too. Why? I can’t figure that out either; if I could, I’d be rich.

  17. cynthia curran says

    Yes, because once they purged the homosexuals, the Nazis became so much less monstrous.
    Well, Byzantine emperors put a few homosexuals to death did that make them monsters, Anyways, I don’t support putting them to death but your reasoning is not correct because it doesn’t make you a monster if you put homosexuals to death.

  18. Jonathan Johnston says

    It really is quite simple for the Orthodox when homosexuals ask to be married in an Orthodox Church. We have all sorts of liturgical services developed from ancient times, but NONE for homosexual marriage. So, we can’t marry them. Although an idiot named Boswell wrote a book trying to show that the Adoption Service in the Orthodox Church was a homosexual marriage service. Nothing could be further from the truth. During wars, many men who headed their families were killed. For families to continue, they needed a male head for legal purposes and adoption was one way this was achieved. Legally this was done and the Church blessed it via a modified Thanksgiving Service, but no mention of marriage anywhere.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      What is tragic is that the academic community has accepted Boswell because his conclusions fit their political correct ideology. I once taught at a university that used a Western Civ. text that accepted Boswell’s conclusions without question. I taught one year and was not rehired. I think that part of the reason was that I challenged Boswell’s arguments in class. I was only told that I was not a good fit into their program.

      • Well I don’t know about that-I’d say scholars in his field do not accept him.
        Yeah if someone wants his conclusions they are not appling reason anyway.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          Unfortunately, the academic world at large did not pay any attention to the scholars of ancient Church history when evaluating Boswell’s works. Boswell was politically correct. Therefore, his work was accepted in academic circles. Last year a professor of sociology a the University of Texas at Austin published a study that showed that children do better when raised by a father and a mother. That paper almost cost him his job. He was forced to defend himself before a faculty disciplinary committee. Compare a history survey text from the 1970s to one used today and you will see what I mean.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            I don’t know how to define the academic community “at large.’ I do remember that Boswell’s work about the Service of Adopting (or “making”) a Brother (found in the Serbian trebnik alone) was greeted by some with acceptance and by some with scorn. What in the world is a “history survey text” and why would it have anything to say about Boswell or the content of his hypothesis?
            I ask the Archpriest, “in WHICH academic circles was Boswell’s work accepted? Name a university faculty or two, ok?
            The Archpriest says the academic world at large did not pay any attention to the scholars of ancient Church history when evaluating Boswell’s works.Please, an inquiring world would like to know WHICH “scholars of ancient Church history evaluated Boswell’ work on the Service of Adopting a Brother found in a Serbian Trebnik?
            I agree that Boswell’s hypothesis was wrong, but feel it was also of little importance.

        • Here are just a few good scholars who mention his work and offer some critique of it in early Byzantine Studies;

          Elizabeth A. R. Brown,
          Kirk R. MacGregor
          David E. Malick
          Leiden E. J. Brill
          Claudia Rapp

          I know other diciplines accept him if they are emotionally in need to, but I’m saying amoungst his peers he’s not taken seriously.

  19. Russia’s Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, addressed international controversy over the “gay propaganda” law on Monday. Broaching the calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi next February, he assured that no athletes or visitors at the Sochi Olympics would suffer any infringements of their rights.