Who’s Minding the Store?

Fr. Christopher Calin (Facebook page)

FR. Christopher Calin
(Facebook page)

A few years ago, during the unpleasantness of Metropolitan Jonah’s defenestration, I made a prediction that if Jonah was removed from office, then the OCA would never amount to much.

I stand by this. That’s not necessarily a bad thing however. The OCA, under the maladministration of Syosset needs a break. Sometimes no news is good news.

Still, the modernist mindset has never really gone away. Oh sure, their brain trust took a hit with the self-removal of Protodeacon Eric Wheeler. But all things being equal, they just reverted to form, which is basically the accommodation to the dominant culture.

Case in point: our old friend, Fr Christopher Calin and his band of merry men have taken great umbrage at Orthodox priests who accept the moral tradition of the Orthodox Church. Read for yourself their thoughts on the subject.

The question for anybody who is interested, is will the Diocese of New York do anything about it? It’s not like this is the first time that he and they have beclowned themselves in such a public fashion.


The Many Faces of Fr. Christopher Calin

The Many Faces of Fr. Christopher Calin


  1. Once Metropolitan Herman was visting the local OCA parish. He had Calin with him who was yelling at us when we approached Communion because we kissed the icon on the tetrapod before receiving. That was my first and thankfully last encounter with the man.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      “Yelling?”I highly doubt that. Anthony. Be careful not to bear false witness.

    • Monk James says

      Fr Christopher Calin did not have the advantage of being trained in monastic reverences at a monastery, so I can’t begin to imagine what he was going on about.

      As a novice myself forty years ago, I was taught to venerate at least the ikons on my side of the church and the central or festal ikon, then step to the left, face the choirs/congregation, and bow to the left and right sides of the church, asking forgiveness of all present, and only then join the line going up to the altar for Holy Communion: vested servers first, then monastics in order of seniority, then laity. As far as I know, this is standard practice for orthodox monastics whether we are in our own monasteries or elsewhere.

      If the laity wish to do what we monks and nuns do in this regard, I don’t think that they should be criticized.

    • Seraphim98 says

      Just a question, whatever issues might exist with Fr. Christopher. I too was taught it was improper to greet icons when the Holy Chalice was present. It would be like asking the blessing of a priest when the Bishop was standing right there. Is there anyone with more depth of knowledge on this point able to shed some light on this apparent divergence of custom/teaching. Thanks.

      • Alex Slepukhof says

        Consider that all icons are ions of Christ because that are icons of those who have achieved theosis.

        • Alex, nice thought but many saints did not achieve theosis. The perfect example is St Constantine the Great who is a saint not because of achieving theosis but because of what he did for Christianity.

          • lexcaritas says

            Johnkal, Alex did not say the saints we venerate in their icons all attained theosis in this life. He said they “have achieved” it now–which is what it means to be a saint worthy of veneration, isn’t it. Surely, we’re not venerating (in your example) Constantine because he was a Roman emperor who brought about the toleration of the Christian religion and instituted a number of de-paganizing reforms in the empire. All this is good, and worthy of gratitude and honor–but not veneration. Something more, it seems to me, is required for that.


          • Michael Warren says

            What? Achieving theosis is requisite for sainthood. Where are you learning this Eastern Rite Protestant nonsense. St. Constantine was baptized, chrismated and communed before his death which is a state of theosis, theandria. Please don’t write ignorant Eastern Rite Protestant nonsense.

            • Alex Slepukhof says

              ?ignorant Eastern Rite Protestant nonsense”?

              I was born to and raised by Orthodox parents. As a child and young man I spent several summers at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, including many hours watching Fr Kiprian working in his studio and in their Cathedral. From 1985 to the day of hid repose I was a member of Archbishop Dmitri’s congregation at his at St Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. He considered me one of his closest friends.
              From 2001 to 2009 I had the joy of watching Vladimir covering the walls and ceiling of our new temple with his magnificent iconography.
              If I was ever exopsed to “ignorant Eastern Rite Protestant nonsense,” please point out to me where and when that happened.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              St CXonstantine was baptized and communed by an Arian. He also persecuted StAthanasius of Alexandria and did NOTHING about Arianism because the main purpose for his summoning and presiding at the Nicene Council was to force those disorderly Christians to agree on ONE date for Pascha, Agreeing on ONE date was outside the Tradition received, but the Church obeyed Constantine. He and his successor sons allowed Arians to remain in possession of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until Julian the Apostate came along and finally appointed a Nicene Patriarch to replace the current Arian! (Actually, the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate had a bunch of heretics over the years, Look up Nestorianism and Monotheletism, etc., and see how often Rome was the See that held the line!

      • Monk James says

        A lot of this depends on what is meant by the chalice’s being ‘present’. All I can do is pass on the tradition unchanged, just as I received it, as best I can.

        The reverences BEFORE ascending the altar to receive Holy Communion are as I described them here earlier, except that everyone makes a prostration (metanoia/metania) toward the holy doors when the deacon first shows us the Holy Gifts with the invitation: ‘In the fear of God, and with faith and love draw near!’

        But AFTER receiving Holy Communion, and until the next liturgical day (beginning at ‘Count us worthy, Lord, to be kept from sin this evening’ during the Evening Service) we make no prostrations even on days of fasting, neither do we venerate the ikons nor ask a blessing of a priest or bishop.

        NOTE: If a bishop or priest offers a blessing without being formally approached for it, it’s better to accept it and kiss his hand rather than stand on ceremony and make a scene.

        People who are present for the Divine Liturgy but who do NOT receive Holy Communion don’t modify their reverences at all, except that they make a full prostration (metanoia/metania) when the priest turns to the congregation and shows them the Holy Gifts one last time before returning them to the Table of Preparation. At that point, those who HAVE received Holy Communion merely cross themselves and make a deep bow (proskynesis/poklon). Everyone may kiss the Lord’s Cross offered by the priest for their veneration at the end of the Liturgy, and his hand.

        I don’t know of any customs to the contrary being taught anywhere, although I realize that local ways of doing things sometimes arise among people unaware of standard practice, and these can be very difficult to correct without hurting people’s feelings and making things worse altogether.

        We should try to be kind rather than hyperdoxically critical and cruel. As the proverb says: ‘Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good.’ And a russian proverb cautions us: ‘Don’t bring your own rules into someone else’s monastery.’

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Monk James seems to have little experience outside his customary OCA haunts!

          “Everyone may kiss the Lord’s Cross offered by the priest for their veneration at the end of the Liturgy, and his hand.
          I don’t know of any customs to the contrary being taught anywhere,”

          Most devout Greek Orthodox people have been trained not to kiss ANYTHING until sundown after communing. This scrupulosity, fearing that a trace of the Holy Mysteries may be deposited on whatever is kissed, is avoided in the Russian Church by the provision of wine and bread after Comminion which would remove any such trace of the Elements.
          There is a wonderful and apt saying in Russian that applies to the original scenario here: Ne suys’a so svoim ustavom v chuzhoi monastyr — Don’t sashay into a different monastery with your own typikon!

          • Michael Warren says

            Actually, that’s the Orthodox practice. If you have communed, you have received the highest blessing and hence don’t vernerate icons or the Cross or take blessings until Vespers that day.

            Eastern Rite Protestant meta-bishops should keep something they sort of heard from one of their betters once upon a time to themselves if they can’t accurately relate it.

      • Estonian Slovak says

        I don’t see the harm in kissing the Icons BEFORE Holy Communion. It is a mistake to kiss the priest’s hand right after or recieving or to make the Sign of the Cross in front of the Chalice, because the Chalice could be hit and the Holy Gifts spilled.
        I do know that some Greeks will not kiss anything for hours after recieving, it seems that the Russians would require that one take the antidoron and hot water/wine mixture first.

      • Pat Reardon says

        I too was taught it was improper to greet icons when the Holy Chalice was present.

        One hopes we can settle these big questions.

        • Michael Warren says

          Actually, the Orthodox practice IS to venerate all the icons and ask the forgiveness of the congregation usually during the Priest’s Communion, before the Communion of the faithful. In the Little Russian and Ruthenian redactions of Russian Orthodoxy, it is proper to venerate the icon(s), Relics, Gospel, Artos, etc. which may be on the tetrapod before communing.

          Yes, being at peace with ones brethren is one threshold for approaching the Chalice and receiving Communion in the Orthodox Church and is quite important.

    • I Love Carbs says

      Calin freaks out about the things which are relatively less important (how and when exactly it is appropriate to venerate which icons), while waxing bizarrely lenient on things which are relatively more important (sodomy). He seems like one of those high church episcopals who is more interested in the pageantry and the protocol than salvation and morality. Church as dress-up, basically.

    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

      Fr. Herman Schick says: “That’s SAINT or BLESSED Augustine, Misha. At least it is to us Orthodox folks. Father Harry, could you kindly cite which Letter of the saint you are referring to? Thank you.”

      Quite right Fr. Herman. In fact, the 5th Ecumenical Council subscribes to anathema one who does not venerate St. Augustine among the Holy Fathers. Of course, this is within the consensus patrem. St. Gregory of Nyssa is above reproach with regard to the Trinity, but in the anthropology category, not so much. While one of the Cappadocian Fathers, St. Gregory was not a contender for being one of the three holy hierarchs, whereas two other Cappadocians were. Likewise, as St. Augustine admits in his Retractions, there are a lot of theologoumena and theological opinion and even theological speculation in his writings.

      That being said, the answer to your question is Letter 98 of St. Augustine.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Agreed. I’ve never been sympathetic to those Orthodox who castigate St Augustine. I just read a really good book on him by Seraphim Rose. It’s not that long and very understandable. I highly recommend it for those who are perplexed about his role in Orthodoxy.

      • Fr. Herman Schick says

        Much obliged, Father!

      • St. Augustine is in the official ROCOR calendar used by every ROCOR priest, which means that his name is commemmorated at proskomedia by every ROCOR priest serving liturgy on the day of his commemmoration as the particle for the saint of the day is placed on the diskos — a particle that is eventually placed into the chalice to mingle with the Body and Blood of Christ and with the particles that were taken out for the living and the dead Orthodox Christians that the priest remembered at Proskomedia. The prayer is said, asking Christ to wash their sins away by his precious blood, through the prayers of the Theotokos and the saints (hence the particles for the Theotokos and the saints being mingled, as well.) These are acts of great importance and spiritual reality.

        If one willfully, publicly, and knowingly refuses to acknowledge St. Augustine’s sainthood and yet claims to be in the ROCOR, one is involved in a nonsensical exercise at best, and a schismatic one at worst. If there were someone on a church’s calendar that I was convinced was not a saint (and I believe that much more serious claims have been made on this site, namely that St. Augustine is even heretic), I would be wary of ever receiving communion in that Church. Of course, a more wise course of action is to exhibit humility, rather than the dangerous passion of pride, and acknowledge him as a saint.

      • I never wrote that Augustine was not acknowledged to be a saint. What I have said repeatedly is that he plays no part in Orthodox theology and we do not read him for that purpose. He is recognized as a saint for his piety, not because he was a reliable exponent of Orthodox theology.

        • Well of course he is acknowledged as a saint. That much is obvious. The point made here by many is that you do not acknowledge him as a saint, as evidenced by your past statements referring to him as a heretic, and by the fact that alone among saints, you pointedly refuse to refer to him by his title of “Saint.”

          • Edward,

            …Augustine is a saint only for his piety. His theological opinions were too erratic and in some cases heterodox to count him as a theologian of the Church. You have to compare every significant word of his to Tradition in order to know whether to accept or reject it, much as you would need to do to the writings, for example, of a Roman Catholic writer. The Western Christians did so at their own peril and it helped to land them in grievous error. If you look at the spectrum of Orthodox opinion regarding Augustine, many respected Orthodox take a much dimmer view of him than I do.

            Grow up and find something else to do.

        • Fr. Herman Schick says

          Misha: “I never wrote that Augustine was not acknowledged to be a saint”.

          And in the very sentence in which Misha admits that the Bishop of Hippo is “acknowledged to be a saint”, he yet again finds himself unable to utter the phrase “Saint Augustine”! Kind of like Obama and “Islamic terrorism”.

  2. Amusing.

    You can’t make this stuff up. Hard to say what will happen, how deep the rot is, how pervasive it is throughout the OCA. Not my problem, of course. Hope the good folks can find a lifeboat. God is merciful.

    Antioch seems to still be in play. I would not commune there, but I think they are better grounded in some ways than the OCA, obviously. But I’m sure they have their “problems” too. Personally, as I’ve said, I’m done with New Calendar entities, period. Nonetheless, any port in a storm. Do whatever you need to to keep on spiritually.

    Soon, one way or another, I myself expect to regularize things with the ROCOR parish in Cinci. I will either be a frequent visitor or be living in town and integral to that parish, depending on certain things that are still in play. They will likely be the beneficiaries of my largesse and stewardship, to a great extent, as well. As will ROCOR. We shall see how the Church of Russia progresses as well as the other local churches.

    We’re coming down to a period where decisions are going to have to be made. The pressure will get too great for most people to bear if they haven’t yet committed.

    I have, obviously. I’m an open book.


    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Misha! “My largesse and stewardship? “I’m an open book?”
      That almost warrants the ancient reply from old radio: “Give that contestant a box of moldy doughnuts!”

      • “Largesse” was a turn of phrase. Of course, my means are quite modest at the moment. As to my ego, I’m quite happy being a lowly worm under the foot of the Most High. Whatever arrogance I’ve had has been purged and the arrow has nowhere to strike at present. But of course, one must not invite demons back in to ones residence.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Misha, try not to characterize your own piety in positive terms, please. It’ a most dangerous habit spiritually!

          • Vladyka,

            Masochism is actually more dangerous. I am really the only one I can hold hostage. In any case, the good Lord and I are on very agreeable and intimate terms. That is not to brag or extol myself in any way. I just happen to have no secrets from God, have absolute faith in Him, and have Him in my contemplation (as more than welcome) on a continual/perpetual basis. Unlike most, I’m perpetually conscious of this and its fine with me. He’s always with me. Words fail at some point . . .

            Obeying the outward Law (substantial compliance is fine, we are not legalists) clears out the stable, praying the Prayer of the Heart invites both the Holy Spirit and the logismoi. At some point, the Prayer becomes a continual Communion and the logismoi come and go and come and go, etc . . .

            There are milestones. There is a Great Confrontation. Thereafter, the passions subside . . . I assume permanently.

            I am writing this as a kindness to you, Vladyka. You are a successor to the Apostles, whatever your sins. It’s all real. It’s safe to have faith. I have been there, done that.

            And it’s not too late.


            • Peter Millman says

              Hi Misha, May I ask you a question? In your humble opinion, who has a larger ego? You or Donald Trump. Thanks friend.

    • I agree Antioch is better grounded than the OCA. As far as I’m aware, none of the Antiochian clergy are trying to normalize the homosexual lifestyle.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Not if they wish to remain clergy or even communicants. That policy of Met. Philip is still in effect.

        BTW, all who predicted the demise of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America-how is it going for you? It

        I will say it again AOCNA has the best group of bishops in the US.

        However, the OCA has the best opportunity for really taking on the task of giving roots to the Church here in North America. Perhaps that is why it is under attack so much. A real shame because its leaders seem more intent on making Orthodoxy American than America Orthodox.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          RE: “BTW, all who predicted the demise of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America-how is it going for you? I will say it again AOCNA has the best group of bishops in the US.”

          We are stronger than many imagined we would be under Metropolitan Joseph. I’ve said this before, he has a monastic mindset, which frankly frustrated me when I wanted him to take a stand against our former Metropolitan. I know obedience is a virtue, but it’s a very hard concept for me to get my brain around. I still have some growing to do in this arena. Yet, when the man in charge doesn’t lie, cheat or steal, AND values obedience, you have a stellar combination. He expects exemplary behavior and those who do not comply (are NOT obedient), well, they are shown the door. He has zero tolerance for poor behavior and he is not one for pomp and circumstance. He is a genuinely sincere man. God has and will do a lot with him.

          • M. Stankovich says


            I was in the last month of chemotherapy when then Bishop Joseph made his first visit to our mission parish dedicated to St Anthony the Great in San Diego. There was an evening meal honouring him in the room that served as everything – church, hall, etc. – and the combined smells made me so nauseous, and the meds were just not helping, that I had to run outside… And when I stood up from the behind the bushes, there was the Bishop. He asked if I was alright and he said, “I am really uncomfortable at these affairs, so I stepped out for some air,” which I didn’t exactly believe. We walked once around the circular drive and returned to the dinner.

            As you say, he is a genuinely sincere, and I believe a genuinely pious, scholarly, and compassionate man. If I were asked to choose a man to lead an American Orthodox Church who is sober, wise, and has the necessary vision and wisdom, he would be my choice.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              RE: “If I were asked to choose a man to lead an American Orthodox Church who is sober, wise, and has the necessary vision and wisdom, he would be my choice.” Thanks for sharing that. – He WAS my choice. Surprised some at my parish, but he was the right choice.

              RE: “Obedience is usually mistaken for weakness by the worldly mind. It is not. It is always an opening for God’s grace.” I’m sure this is true.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Obedience is usually mistaken for weakness by the worldly mind. It is not. It is always an opening for God’s grace. An example of the hypostatic union in action.

            Obedience to God is freedom.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Michael Baumann, not “more intent” (than), but equally intent on both. As for policy, I remember when one jurisdiction had a Chancellor whom the profane would certainly call a “flaming queen!” I would ask what Anthony means by “homosexual lifestyle.” Is that different from homosexual behavior?

    • Misha, you are so full of yourself it makes me sick.

    • Peter Millman says

      Greetings Misha,
      I am so thankful that the ROCOR will be the beneficiary of your largesse, stewardship, overweening pride, arrogance, egotism, and, of course, infallibility. The sun truly rises and falls with you my friend.

      • Peter,

        Of course we should all be grateful to God for His blessings. I’ll let Him know you were thinking of Him.


    • Michael Bauman says

      Misha, where I live Antioch is it. The closest Rocor parish is over three hours away. As it is my parish is 25 miles away. It used to be over an hour drive and I cheerfully made the drive most of the time. However over three is beyond me.

      I think one’s bishop is more important than the calendar. Fortunately I am in Bishop Basil’s diocese. You ought to get further from the east coast. Come out to flyover country.

      Shoot we even have a start-up monastery just a couple of blocks from the Cathedral.

      • Michael,

        To me, the calendar is a good dividing line. I have no idea what Antioch will do regarding the divide between the Phanar and the traditional churches (Crete). They were horribly modernist under Philip regarding clergy garb and explaining the faith in terms of Protestantism.

        The new metropolitan seems to have backed away a bit from that but modernism feeds on itself and is a self referencing ideology. Retaining the New Calendar is thus a serious problem in that it encourages other sorts of modernism and ecumenism besides dividing New Calendar churches from the core of traditional Orthodoxy in practice and spirit.

        The policy of Antioch toward homosexuality has little to do with Tradition and more to do with Arab culture, where homosexuality is thoroughly despised.

        • Michael Warren says

          What about the Bulgarian Church?

        • Sean Richardson says

          Misha: Thank you for your thoughts, dedication and passion. As for myself, as a convert, I find it exceedingly difficult to go to a calendar that is astronomically inaccurate. Now perhaps what you are suggesting is metaphoric, or symbolic, but for me, I’ll stick with a more accurate calendar and I might even go so far as to suggest that if we accept inaccuracy in one area of our lives, then it might be that we accept it in other areas as well. We should seek Truth, in every aspect. I would also be very careful about holding ROCOR as the model of perfection. I personally have encountered some problems there that are not what you, or any right thinking Orthodox Christian, would hope for.

          • Michael Warren says

            Where in the HOLY Canons is astronomical accuracy used to amnesty schism? You do know the Julian Calendar has a built in mechanism to address astronomical inaccuracies called the leap year, where leap years can be added or omitted. But the point of the Church’s calendar as an icon of time is to unite all Orthodox of all times, faces and places, Church Militant and Triumphant in the bond of love in common worship and fellowship? How does one do that rejecting fellowship with 80% of the Orthodox Church and the historical Church to share fellowship with heretics? Eastern Rite Protestantism and Orthodoxy are mutually exclusive. Your New Calendar commando Renovationism just justified Mr. Misha’s point of view…

            • Michael Bauman says

              Once again Mr. Warren you have succeeded in taking all of the oxygen out of the room.

              Let us know when you have found it started the one, true, actually holy, real, genuine perfect Orthodox Church so we can know where not to attend.

              George, take your blog back. I have had all the perfection I can stand.

              • Michael,

                George is in charge, he is indulging but responsible. It has got a bit chaotic here but we seem to be making progress, ironing things out. Whatever George decides is fine.

              • What does that have to do with my refutation of new calendar commando propaganda?

                Denouncing schism deprives you of oxygen?

                I believe I have been clear in stating I am Russian Orthodox in the OCA with affinities for the Mother Church enough so much so that I have provoked the ire of Syosset-Crestwood and “Authentic Orthodox” alike. So I guess you don’t like voices from the OCA denouncing the calendar reform as not so hot. OK, next…

        • Michael Bauman says

          Misha, I have been around Bp. Basil enough and talked to him enough to understand where his heart is and the depth of his understanding of and commitment to the faith. Also the impact such a bishop has on his diocese.

          I understand to some extent the primacy of the old calendar for the work of the Church. My brother is a priest in an old calendar jurisdiction.

          The new calendar was installed in a hateful way and ought to be reversed but ain’t likely to happen.

          Still have the sacraments good priests and a Shepard who cares for the flock God has given him. I am unworthy of that blessing. Who am I to demand more.

          • I get you, Michael. No quarrel with you, brother. We find our peace.

            There is simply no construct comparable to the Church Calendar in the “New Calendar”. If you investigate its cycles and seasons fully, you will find that a much more elegant edifice would need to be created than the “New Julian” calendar to satisfy the needs of the Church into centuries to come. The New Calendar (NC) diverges from the civil in 2800. But long before then it causes lots of problems and will increasingly inhibit the planning of services according to the typikon as time goes by.

            The Julian, it is true, is less astronomically accurate than the NC in terms of keeping accurate seasons to months, etc. But that is really a minor problem. The problem is not in the stars but in ourselves. It will take several thousand years for Nativity (ca. 9000) and Pascha (ca. 6000) to escape their present seasons, for example. Yet on the NC we sacrifice kyriopascha, the Apostles Fast, etc.

            Two other things: It is divisive. The Greek Old Calendarists are really not to blame for the schism. In a sense, they are right. They did not change. Think about that for a moment. They . . . did . . . not . . . change. Were they magically devoutly Orthodox one moment and schismatic the next? Who cast such a spell?

            Honestly, the time is short. The best reason to return to the Church calendar, if one is inclined to do so, is a combination of the fact that Crete should be a wake up call and the fact that faithful Christians believe devoutly in the eschaton.

            Christ will not tarry indefinitely. The unstated assumption of NC’ism is that He will – – or that it is all a fable.

            I am a fairly well educated person. I practiced law for over a decade in Lexington, KY, et al. I made some money, lost some money, had my ups and downs and got to where I am now, which is quite peaceful, at least from my perspective. I have no axes to grind and am very frank in my assessments. I’ve shot from the hip here more than once.

            And what I am telling you, if you can believe it, is that I literally believe that Christ is going to return within about 17 years, give or take. I could be wrong, but what I see points to this. You see the headlines. It ebbs and flows. But its coming.

            No doubt that much of what was prophesied in the New and Old Testaments has already come to pass. Some of it was contemporary with the authors, some has transpired in the meantime. But God works on many levels. Just because He says one thing is an “abomination of desolation” does not mean that there cannot be more than one. It could be an archetype. He has a history of doing this, as you know.

            Anyway, it has a happy ending. That’s the really important part.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Misha, the clergy garb was vastly over stated. Right on the heels of the proclamation that none should wear cassocks outside the building our assistant priest was visiting my wife in the hospital in his cassock. I asked him about it. He said that Bp Basil had given a blessing to any clergy in his diocese who wished to wear their cassock. An example of what I mean by the importance of finding a good bishop.

              Yes, Met Phillip did not like cassocks nor beards nor monasticism (although he changed on monasticism at the end). One of his last official acts was to bless the formation of St. Silouan monastery here in Wichita. Met. Silouan of Argentina blessed it when he was here as the Patriarchal overseer for the transition. I understand that Met. Philip’s antipathy for those things had its root in his experience as a young man of abusive and hypocritical cassock wearers. That could be apocryphal but certainly possible.

              The calendar is divisive. We should go back to it. No doubt in my mind or heart. But when St. Basil the Great and others did not create schism during the days of the Arian heresy, why should we over the calendar.

              AND be careful. We do not know the time. Although the 5.6 magnitude earthquake I woke up to this morning shaking my bed got me thinking. Epicenter is Pawnee, OK. You OK George?

              • Returning to the Church Calendar would heal schism. Once all who wish to be “canonical” Orthodox have returned to the Church calendar, the moderate Greek Old Calendarists can be reconciled so there is regular communion within the Church again.

                At this point, the Phanar is in heresy but we are in communion with them. The New Calendarists are in heteropraxis, and we are in communion with them. And the moderate Greek Old Calendarists are right about the calendar question, and we are not in communion with them.

                That’s an anomaly that can be corrected should New Calendar jurisdictions like Antioch decide they want to do the right thing.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Speaking of monasteries, I was able to touch base with Father Mark Sahady, the Chaplain for St Thekla Convent, about the reason for Mother Eisodia’s departure. He said she was in the Antiochian Archdiocese for only 4 months and around Christmas 2013, asked for a transfer to ROCOR.

      • I know of very few bishops anywhere as respected, and loved, by their clergy as Bishop Basil. God grant him many years!

        • Michael Bauman says

          Tmatt, Yes, indeed. I have learned more about love from him than anyone else other than my wife. He carries it with him everywhere he goes.

          I have learned more about the faith from him than anyone.

    • Misha,

      What good does not communing at an Antiochian parish do if your patriarch or bishop would??

      • If a local church cannot figure out that the heteropraxis experiment of Patriarch Meletios IV was an abject failure and affront to unity and the Church calendar, and if they do not have the courage to repent from it, then I have little confidence that they can resist the other calls from the “prince of this world”.

        I’d rather just forget about “New Calendar Orthodoxy” which is an oxymoron.

        • Misha,

          I actually agree with most of your points but there are some inconsistencies. The Calendar is indeed a good indicator of the divining line, however, Elder Cleopa of Sihastria was truly Orthodox and on the New Calendar. Likewise, the New Calendar Greeks, NOT the ROC have been leading the charge against the EP and co. Russia signed and Pat Kirill signed some ambiguous document with Pope Francis. In past generations ROCOR led the charge with luminaries like St. John of San Francisco, Abp. Averky, Met. Philaret and Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina, but those days are long gone. Arguably, Nun Vassa is now ROCOR’s most prominent media voice and she supports Crete. The ROC is generally way more solid than the EP but the things you seek to wall yourself from are there too, and in high places. If your bishops pray with New Calendarists you might as well too.

          • I understand about Sister Vassa, et al. But I am unshakeable in the fact that ROCOR and a few other jurisdictions have preserved the faith undefiled. I have been quite up front about delineating the sins of the MP with respect to ecumenism. And I take my hat off to those courageous souls in the Church of Greece that have taken on the Phanar.

            You have to understand how I see the history of the Church of Russia in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Church of Russia is alive and well, but it is in the process of regenerating in the Motherland. ROCOR was the repository of the fullness of grace in the ROC during the dark years.

            I do not quarrel with the bishops of the ROCOR about intercommunion with New Calendarists. I simply decline to participate in the New Calendar experiment any further. Also, there is a spiritual problem with the Phanar and possibly everything under it.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Misha, what did Holy Apostle Paul say about judging according to calendar? Is not the pagan Imperial Calendar under which the Church once lived not to be corrected according to its original astronomical basis? Remember Alexandrian Patriarchs are given the title, Judge of the Cosmos because of the great astronomical observatory in Egypt through which they could examine the skies and determine, then announce, the date of Pascha every year! The Council of Nicea hadn’t heard of any innovative “paschalia” which CALCULATED the date ofPascha and got so badly out of synch with the movements of the heav enly bodies that a Roman Pope, of all people, returned to the Nicene-era custom of consulting the heavens and corrected the pagan Imperial calendar.
          We all LIVE on the corrected imperial calendar, but, perversely, TOTALLY UNLIKE THE NICENE CHURCH, some of us prefer the god old inaccurate one, So, instead of celebrating the Nativity of Christ on December 25, as all the Menaia and Menologia dictate, we wait for 13 days to do so–on, not December 25, but January 7th! Then, we complicate our folly by calling a flawed and incorrect calendar a “CHURCH” Calendar! This makes us proud as well!

          • Michael Warren says

            Actually, January 7th. is December 25th. according to the reckoning of the Church. No, there is no justification for celebrating the Feast of the Nativity on December 12th. Unless you are some sort of Calvinist at war with “the human errors which crept into the Church” which somehow were addressed by “true Christians” in the sixteenth century. Such a view would make you a Protestant, a rebel, a schismatic and not Orthodox.

            I would love to see actual quotes from St. Paul which said that we should follow those who advocate rebellion because they know more than the Church. Instead, St. Paul instructs to “hold fast to the traditions.” Yes, that is traditions in plural with a small “t.”

            The New Calendar commandos were the single most destructive force in the OCA. They emptied our churches and bankrupted us. The fact that these Renovationists continue to advocate their failures and bareheadedly demand schism speaks to their condemnation and the failed stupidity of their Eastern Rite Protestant gimmickry. 80% of the Church worships on the calendar canonically instituted by the Council of Nicea, THE CHURCH CALENDAR, THE ORTHODOX CALENDAR. 80% of Orthodoxy maintains Communion in worship with the historical Church of all times, faces, and places. Then there is an unfortunate 20% which worships on a schismatic calendar, defying Nicea, instituted by a thrice-deposed heresiarch uncanonically to observe the Feasts of the Church with heretics while breaching the bond of Love with 80% of Orthodoxy and the historical Church.

            Meta-bishops who lack all fidelity to the Church and teach schism with contrived, nonsensical gimmickry evidence only Eastern Rite Protestant rebellion and should be ignored as rebels awaiting the judgement of the Church.

            • Thank you, MW. A bit more acerbic than I would have styled it, but quite illuminating.

            • Michael and Misha,

              I agree wholeheartedly with you both about the importance of the Old Calendar. I’m not one of those who act like it’s merely a matter of days and the movement of heavenly bodies. Additionally, those jurisdictions that have moved to the New Calendar are coincidentally plagued with all sorts of other anti-Orthodox innovations. Lord have mercy! HOWEVER, you brothers should follow the glorified and the learned and demonstrate some condescension towards your brethren.

              If you think that the ROC is a complete bulwark against modernism and ecumenism then you’re both mistaken. We all have to deal with this pandemic plague which is running rampant throughout the local churches. In the 17th century the Russian Church changed it’s form of ecclesiastical governance to a non-canonical state-run synod; they changed the Typikon, the sign of the Cross and sacerdotal dress. They also westernized (pseudomorphosized) their method for receiving converts, their theology, iconography and chant style. Hesychasm was even considered to be a heresy at the institutional level during the Synodal period. Did this void the Russian Church of grace or did she continue to offer up a host of Saints?? My point is NOT to denigrate the Church of Russia but merely to demonstrate that the entire Church is suffering from these wounds, and has been. The Russian Church is wondrous, but don’t “allow your table to become a snare” (Ps. 69:22) of soul-destroying pride. Since Russia still considers the EP to the first among equals, if one member suffers then the whole body suffers with it.

              If one studies Church history, one can see that their has always been Calendar differences in the Church; the wisest course has always been condescension UNTIL these differences can be reconciled.

              St. Irenaeus of Lyons:

              [T]his variety in its observance has not originated in our time; but long before in that of our ancestors. It is likely that they did not hold to strict accuracy, and thus formed a custom for their posterity according to their own simplicity and peculiar mode. Yet all of these lived nonetheless in peace, and we also live in peace with one another; and the disagreement in regard to the fast confirms the agreement in the faith. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History Bk. 5.24.13)

              For St. Irenaeus, the fact that the Church could maintain unity despite differences in important issues like the Calendar was PROOF of their united Faith. Now, in my opinion the New Calendar DID NOT arise from simplicity, but seemingly due to a cunning agenda. But I would say that most of the people of God on the New Calendar are indeed celebrating on it either out of simplicity or obedience. What were the views of St Tikhon of Moscow and Met. A. Khrapovitsky, ROCOR’s very first primate, on the New Calendar at its outset? Please read these carefully:

              St. Tikhon of Moscow (Russian Orthodox Church) – …[T]he Julian Calendar itself is not a dogma of faith of the Church and could, in theory and principle, be altered. The common consent of all the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches would be required in order to lawfully introduce the New Calendar.

              …The so-called ‘Pan-Orthodox Congress’ was not an Ecumenical Council; not all the Local Churches were represented. Thus, its resolutions could only be implemented if they were approved by an Ecumenical Council, or by the Synod of each of the Local Churches separately. Despite the fact that the majority of representatives did not approve of the Calendar change, Patriarch Meletius, violating Catholic unity, introduced the new style into his Patriarchate. The Renovationists in Russia embraced this change.

              …Rumors have reached us that in 1925 an Ecumenical Council will be held to mark the 1,600th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea. If such a council is convoked canonically, then it would be best to raise this question then. Once the new style has been accepted by the entire Catholic Church, then perhaps we can prevail upon the faithful in Russia to accept it too, if the Orthodox bishops, appointed by me, and whom the faithful trust and follow, will have the freedom of abiding in their dioceses, of communicating with their flock, and of religious direction of the clergy and parishes found in canonical communion with me. (New Zion in Babylon II by V. Moss p. 252-254)

              Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) – “[T]hey [New Calendarists] insist on keeping the former Paschalion, for only it, and not the Julian Calendar itself was covered by the curse of the councils. True, P[atriarch] Jeremiah in the 16th century and his successor in the 18th anathematized the calendar itself, but this curse:

              1) touches only his contemporaries and
              2) does not extend to those frightened to break communion with him, to which are subjected only those who transgress the canonical Paschalion.

              Moreover (this needs to be noted in any case), the main idea behind the day of Pascha is that it should be celebrated by all Christians (that is, the Orthodox) on one and the same day throughout the inhabited world. True, I myself and my brothers do not all sympathize with the new calendar and modernism, but we beseech the Athonite fathers not to be hasty in composing letters (Romans 14)… as long as the last word has not been spoken, as long as the whole Church has not repeated the curses of Patriarch Jeremiah at an Ecumenical Council, we must retain communion, so that we ourselves should not be deprived of salvation, and, in aiming at a gnat, swallow a camel… (The Russian Church and the New Calendar by Vladimir Moss)

              If either of you are interested in the view of other ROCOR primates in specific regard to the New Calendar and ecumenism, here they are:

              Metropolitan Philaret Voznesensky 1903-1985

              “Concerning the question of the presence or absence of grace among the new calendarists the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad does not consider herself or any other Local Church to have the right to make a conclusive decision, since a categorical evaluation in this question can be undertaken only by a properly convened, competent Ecumenical Council, with the obligatory participation of the free Church of Russia.” (This was quoted by Metropolitan Philaret in his letter to Matthewite Archbishop Andreas dated October 5, 1974 ref. no. 3/50/760.)

              Metropolitan Vitaly Ustinov 1910-2006

              At the present time, most other Orthodox Churches have been shaken to the core of their being by two successive blows: the new ecclesiastical calendar and ecumenism. Despite their impoverished state, however, we do not declare and may the Lord save us from ever having to declare them as having lost God’s grace. (1986 Nativity Epistle Pravoslavnaia Rus’ 1 [1987]: 1)

              Until this problem is conquered, let us follow the glorified Papa-Nicholas Planas: ‘Once the chanter of the vigils, Panayiotes Tomis, asked him [St. Nicholas], “What do you think, Father, about the calendar?” And he answered him, “From conviction, the Old, and from obligation, the New!!” The chanter was dissatisfied and left.’ (Papa-Nicholas Planas: The Simple Shepherd of the Simple Sheep p. 10)

              in ICXC,

              • The Russian Church has a big tent, but fundamentally and historically acts as a protector or traditional, Orthodox Christianity.

              • Maximus,

                I missed this of yours until today. Briefly. The NC is such a serious mistake that I can no longer condone it except insofar as the bishops of the Church of Russia insist I do so. It is a very deep question of cycles and taking “life in God’s time” seriously. IF someone had made any real effort to construct a New Calendar of equal glory in its fabric as the Old, and IF an true Great and Holy Synod had approved it, I would happily embrace it.

                But this has not happened and so the New Calendar is simply an offense and stumbling block for the faithful.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              St Tikhon tried TWICE to introduce the corrected calendar, but failed.
              St Paul wrote to the Colossians: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respects of an holiday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath..”

              HELLO! Does Pascha not qualify as “an holyday?” Does “the new moon” not qualify as a calendar matter?” I’m afraid we Orthodox are sometimes unbecomingly motivated bywanting to be found superior to others, rather than by love of those others! Let’s try to be Christians rather than Christianists!

              • I find it ridiculous that a Renovationist meta-bishop pose St. Paul against the phronema of the Church in which he spoke telling us to “hold fast to the traditions.” No, we dont elevate Scripture above the phronema but live Scripture in the phronema. That reflects whether or not our interpretations of Scripture are indeed of the HOLY SPIRIT and in fidelity to CHRIST’s Church.

                Then there are those who advocate rebellion, disunity, schism and abolition of not only unity in worship and the bond of love in peace, but even the abolition of all feasts, rituals and “corrupt practices having crept into the Church by followers of the Apostles.” Those people are called Protestants, schismatics. Neither they nor their views are Orthodox. Anyone who is writing that the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils are not valid is a schismatic who has no legitimate voice in addressing Orthodox topics. Such a person is an admitted enemy of the Church’s good order, a self-confessed adversary of the Orthodox Church.

                In America, St. Tikhon felt that BY USE OF ECONOMY, a revised calendar MIGHT BE USED for missionary purposes, BUT WITHELD HIS BLESSING OF SUCH AN ACT UNTIL A SYNOD OF PAN ORTHODOX CHARACTER COULD ACT to avoid falling under condemnation for schism, because a calendar reform had been rejected and condemned by the HOLY Eastern Patriarchs centuries earlier. He also did not have the blessing of the HOLY Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church which in 1900 stated that a calendar reform would provoke schism, divide Orthodox Christians and was, hence, UNDESIRABLE AND UNNECESSARY. After the Metaxakis Robber Synod, St. Tikhon for all of a day and a half declared that the Russian Church would adopt the New Calendar being misled that the Synod was indeed canonically constituted and representative of all Orthodox churches. St. Alexis Mechev, heading the Orthodox clergy of Moscow then convinced St. Tikhon to relent and rescind the decision because Renovationists were using it to promote schism by underscoring the Canons of Nicea which established the Julian Calendar and anathemized a change in the Paschalion, in formulation of the date of Pascha. These Renovationists also revealed the details of who constituted this Robber Synod, who was represented, its circumstances and which churches and churchmen rejected it. St. Tikhon then rescinded his ukaz. The uncanonical character of this Synod and its lack of quorom later was confirmed, cementing St. Tikhon’s rejection of the uncanonical, new calendar. Indeed, even the New Calendarists rejected the decisions of this council and from 1923 – 1925 reinserted the Julian Paschalion, what the Metaxakis Robber Council forbid, to escape the anathemas of Nicea. The New Calendarists then thereby admitted that both their synod and their calendar reform were schismatic and uncanonical.

                • MW,

                  Please consider ROCOR’s view on those New Calendar Orthodox:

                  Synod of Russian Bishops Abroad 1961

                  Our Church remains loyal to the use of the Old Calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar to be an error. Nonetheless, its tactic was always to preserve spiritual unity with Orthodox Churches, even those who have adopted the New Calendar, but only to the degree to which they celebrate Pascha in compliance with the decision of the First Ecumenical Council. Our Church has never labeled the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America as schismatic, and never abrogated spiritual union with them. (Letter dated 27 September 1961 from the Synod of Bishops to the True Orthodox Church of Greece)

                  Our Church keeps the Old Calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar to be a mistake. Nevertheless, according to the policies of Patriarch Tikhon of blessed memory, we never broke spiritual communion with the canonical Churches in which the new calendar had been introduced. (Vladimir Moss, The Orthodox Church at the Crossroads , Ch. IV “The Lifting of the Anathemas [1955-1970]”, The Orthodox Foundation of St. Michael, Guildford [U.K.], 1992; p.119)

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          CalendarIST Orthodoxy is the oxymoron!

    • Misha, great you are going to attach yourself, and of course your great generosity, to the aforementioned ROCOR parish which on its webpage first and foremost announces its Russian Festival. The Church of Christ should not be in the restaurant business or in the business of promoting ethnicity. “In Christ there is neither Jew not Greek nor male or female.” I suggest that you find an Orthodox Church, new calendar or Old Calendar, that does not have festivals. Our Lord cleansed the Temple for a reason.

      • Michael Bauman says

        johnkal, while such festivals can be a negative does there really need to be a ban?

        Mt home parish has held a Lebanese Dinner for over 70 years. We use it for many reasons but ethnic pride has never been one of them. It is a fund raiser from which we share the proceeds with the community at large, missions here and abroad and extraordinary expenses of the parish. It is also a chance to share our faith giving just a taste with Cathedral tours for those interested. Some have been interested enough to stay and become part of our community.

        For smaller parishes which have limited resources such “bake sales” are important to the bottom line.

        Sharing food and a bit of the life if the parish is not a bad thing. If a parish is interested in promoting ethnic identity over the faith even absent festivals the attitude will prevail.

        Why do non-dogmatic activities need to be elevated to dogmatic status?

        • THE CHURCH SHOULD NOT BE IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS!! Nor should the Church be in the fund-raising business. And don’t fool yourself, people do not convert to the Church through parish festivals. Bake sales will not keep a church “in business”. The Church should only be supported through faithful stewardship. If you can’t, or rather won’t, support your parish then close it don’t prostitute it. Most festival proceeds go to keeping a parish running. Occasionally parishes give some away to worthy causes but the bulk of the proceeds go to paying bills.

          Look at the link to Misha’s mentioned ROCOR parish, the only parish holy enough for him to commune in. The most prominent aspect of the webpage is not Christ, not Orthodoxy but the Russian Festival, “your treasure is where your heart is.” Church festivals are far more dangerous and insidious than a calendar.

          • George Michalopulos says

            johnkal, I agree with you. And I say this even though in my past life in the GOA I presided over the massive expansion of our annual festival. There were a lot of hurt feeling (and even broken marriages) because we became in the words of one critic “a church in support of a festival.”

        • lexcaritas says

          Thank you, Michael. Festivals can be overdone, take too much time and effort, exhaust the participants and produce ill will, and become a substitute for tithing. However, that said, much good can also come from them. I first experienced the existence of the Orthodox church (in the West) because of Greek festival in Pittsburgh. Later, because of another festival I visited the Temple and began to experience Orthodoxy. It got me to come for Pascha . . . Half a decade later I was Orthodox–and faithful and growing in the faith ever since.


          • Michael Bauman says

            Lexicritas, any non-liturigcal activity can be over done, create ill will and exhaust the participants. So what?

            Just because something is excessive in some places or inappropriate some places are we to place a ban on that activity? Silly if we do.

            As your experience points out such activities done in moderation can attract people, but it is clearly not the main purpose.

            • Michael, my thought is this: I’m grateful to the Glendi because they introduced me to Orthodoxy. Now, as an “insider” I would say that we have Festivals, first of all, to celebrate our life and culture together. Once, however, we open it to the public and charge for admission, as a Church, the principal purpose should NOT be to raise money, but to let others share in our joy and to bring them to Christ and into His Church. Without this focus, it will be a great distraction in the end, sapping time and energy from our real raison d’etre which can never be mammon.


              • Lex, when you charge an admission fee the principal goal is to raise money. People do not come to Orthodoxy or Christ through festivals. I belonged to a festival that sponsored a church for several years and saw the negative impact on the community. When asked, many parishioneers would identify the festival as the primary activity of the Church–not Pascha, Theophany or the Nativity. Worship is marginalized and deemed insignificant. Festival Sunday is a Sunday off. because there are more important things to do–work the festival.

                I don’t know what Bauman is suggesting separating liturgical from non-liturgical activities. This attitude is as secular as it gets; dividing life into secular and non-secular activites. For the true Chrisitan, there is the realization that all of life is sacramental. We are called to offer our entire lives to God.

      • They don’t have the festival in the nave. It’s in a park. It’s part of how they funded their new church. Their old one was a house modified with a little onion dome on the porch. Some of the neighbors were quite hateful.

        Nothing at all wrong with fundraising in festivals.

        • Misha, you are hyper-Orthodox and you just don’t get it. Just because a new Church was built with prostituted funds, doesn’t make it right. Of course the festival is not held in the nave. Better to be faithful and in a home rather than prostituting the Church. Go to the webpage and see what message is conveyed. George you have been in the mix and understand the ramifications. Lexcaritas, you are the exception not the norm.

          • Michael Warren says

            “Hyperdox” – what is this Eastern Rite Protestant neologism?

          • jk,

            I see nothing at all wrong with it. They don’t love money, they just needed a bigger church. I’ve attended their Russian Winter’s Night and been to their Russian festivals. Happy joyous occasions. We’re not gnostics. Neither materiality nor money are evil. It is excessive attachment to these things that vex us. I see nothing at all wrong with fundraisers so long as people are getting value for money. Use it for charity, light bills, trapeza, taxes, . . . whatever.

            I’ve gotten books and crosses from such events. Totally harmless.

    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

      Misha, St. George’s is just a few blocks from where I grew up, and I’ll be there Sunday, Oct. 16, God willing, while in town for my mother’s 90th birthday. If you can make it then, please do.

    • Misha,
      I have read the contents of this website for years and have not commented until now, but what you pen validates my action to leave the U.S. several years ago. I am now classified as an “Old Calendarist”, and I have found that the accompanying persecution has been a catalyst to be authentic. I would really like to contact you via telephone and discuss more with you. I think we would have much in common. Hopefully George will pass my email address onto you.
      In Christ,

  3. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Wasn’t Kip Wanamaker once a Deacon of Fr Gregory Safchuk’s parish in Tarzana, CA, who declared himself to be a homosexual, intent on leaving his wife for a man whom he loved, was faced by church discipline and fled to an Eastern Orthodox homosexual jurisdiction in Ohio and served there? Has he, then, left that group?
    Anybody have any idea why the Romanian American Dean of the OCA’s New York Diocesan Cathedral charges that Frs Trenham, Peck, and Jacobse have “fevered and sex-obsessed minds?”
    That openly homosexual jurisdiction was/is headed by a “Metropolitan of Mississisauga.” I have a photo of him concelebrating with a Synod of Milan/Patriarchate of Kiev heresiarch at that time, named Puhalo, if anyone wants to know what he looks like. I showed it to the Holy Synod long ago in an attempt to prevent final acceptance of the latter as a real hierarch…and failed—they didn’t want to scandalize the Faithful by being seen to change their minds—-besides, some were so enthusiastic about condemning toll houses, they probably didn’t give a damn about another homosexual-loving cleric! Oh well, “de mortuis nihil nisi bonum’, right, George?.

    • Kiprian Wanamaker says

      Yes, your Grace, I made that fb comment shown above. Please, tell us more about my life’s story! I’m curious how it ends.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Kip, I didn’t ask if you made any Facebook comment! That unasked-for “answer” and your second and third sentences indicate you need help. Ask Michael Stankovich about that

        • Kip Wanamaker says

          Your Grace, You are correct. Let me answer your two questions directly.
          “Wasn’t Kip Wanamaker once a Deacon of Fr Gregory Safchuk’s parish in Tarzana, CA, who declared himself to be a homosexual, intent on leaving his wife for a man whom he loved, was faced by church discipline and fled to an Eastern Orthodox homosexual jurisdiction in Ohio and served there?”
          Yes, that is true.
          “Has he, then, left that group?”
          Yes, I have.
          Fr. Josiah Trenham is not only failing to preach the Gospel but is adding to a legacy that perpetuates hatred and suicide in the Orthodox Church. His teaching needs to be disavowed by his bishop, his fellow clergy and the laity. It has nothing to do with me or my history.

          Thank you for leaving me in Communion after my laicization. It was a kindness that led me to active work as member, builder and singer in an OCA mission near Austin for many years. I will always be grateful to you for that. My husband, also Orthodox, attended and donated an oak floor for the church. I was not denied communion until I moved to Pittsburgh two years ago. I guess I should have stayed in the DOS where queers are treated more kindly.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mr Wanamaker, first of all, thank you for your response. However, I must take umbrage at the appellation you use to describe your companion. He is no your “husband.” Words still mean things (on this blog at least). That’s why I do not tolerate the oxymoron of “gay marriage,” choosing instead the words “same-sex union.” In the future, I will edit such neologisms by placing them in brackets or inserting the word [sic] afterwards. Thank you for understanding.

            Regardless, you (and anybody else) are welcome to comment on this blog as you see fit.

            • Kip Wanamaker says

              You’re welcome, Mr Michalopulos. I understand. It’s your blog and you can add a “(sic)” as often as you need to any of my comments.

              • I’d say there is a middle ground Kip. Somehow the church (members) needs to stop villifying homosexuals, but I find it right to not commune homosexuals promoting such a life. The church needs to protect little children from utter confusion. I understand this leaves you in limbo, but if I must choose between you and a child; there is no choice. You will refute that any choice is needed, but I find based on anecdotal evidence I care to not disclose; a choice or perspective for children is important.

                Smoking in front of a child is a comparison. It should never be done.


            • Reality Checker says

              Words still mean things (on this blog at least).[sic]

              You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. — Matthew 7:5

              • Michael Warren says

                Read the Sciptures concerning Sodom and Gamorah the next time you want to defend the disgusting, perverse sin of sodomy. Better yet, keep your liberal, San Francisco values to yourself! They are not appropriate in polite, Orthodox conversation.

                • Reality Checker says

                  MW, you have a very bad habit of obsessively imagining evil things about others without reason. I guess you were unaware that imagining evil is hated by God.

                  And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD. — Zechariah 8:17 (KJV)

                  Publicly slandering people is illegal and immoral. Doing it in the form of libel is not only illegal and immoral but also really stupid, given that the perpetrator manufactures evidence of his malfeasance in its commission while broadcasting it into the public record.

                  I was rebuking the vanity and pretentiousness in George’s assertion quoted above, because language is as grossly abused and words are as twisted beyond recognition and misinterpreted on his blog than on just about any other ostensibly Christian forum that I know of, if not more so. You yourself are certainly one of the most egregious offenders in this — probably the worst I’ve ever encountered here.

                  Honestly, can you be unaware how ridiculous it is that you strike a pose as arbiter of what is appropriate to polite conversation? If so, exert yourself to grasp at least that a Stalin apologist and wannabe sweeper-under-the-rug of the world-historical monstrosities and crimes of the Soviet Union pretending to be a fit judge of all things Christian (excuse me, “Orthodox”) is performing in a ludicrous travesty and freak show. Obviously so. Cognitive dissonance on such a scale is a lot like the activity in a subduction zone — the pressure builds and builds until …

                  I suggest that you petition Barbara about a weekly column on “Voices from Russia.” Not much daylight discernible between your religio-political sensibilities. Your venomousness and rancor have a family resemblance, too. I think you would be even more at home there than here.

            • Dwane porter says

              You are welcome to edit the word husband as much as you like to make yourself feel superior. In the eyes of the law “civil” he is married to his husband….the church does not have to recognize the union period. Especially since the marriage did not happen within the church…do you describe all marriages as unions if they are not done within the church’s definition…. same sex or not? I personally doubt it.

              • Michael Warren says

                Actually, civil marriage is generally not recognized by the Church. And, no, nine judges in wizened robes have no right to violate equal protection to accord a 1% perverted minority special rights over and above those of the 99% and judicially amnesty perversion, asserting the acceptability of homosexual perversion as state sanctioned sexual deviancy. Since when does the government have the right to legislate what is acceptable sex and give it legal status and protections?!

                • Dwane porter says

                  1% ..lol. funny. I love how a percentage justifies your logic to make a group of people seem less…. even if your 1% is correct (which it isnt) in the USA alone that equates to 3 million people. Thankfully we live in a Republic and not a Therocracy. I am not aware of the church recognizing civil marriage period not it evening being or having any influence or require any blessings from any Church. I am still amazed by the exterme interest of what people may or may not do in the privacy of thier bedroom. The goverment has passed plenty of laws about what is acceptible sex between consenting adults and provides legal status through out the ages…

                  • Michael Warren says

                    1% is the number of homosexuals in the USA. The political party which has terrorized America with the gay crusade has as one of its planks engaged in demagogery against a “priviledged 1%.” Yet the only thing the incompetent, usurper administration in power has accomplished over the last 8 years is delegating special rights over and above the rule of law to a 1% gay pervert fringe as Americans while working Americans standard of living sunk and the poor underclass grew. Liberal demagogery divided America over according special rights to sick perverts. Limousine liberals have their 1% that they have taken mainstream (but not for long).

                    A republic operates as a political organism REFLECTING THE MORAL WILL OF THE CITIZENRY AND PROTECTING THE INSTITUTIONS OF SOCIETY FROM THE TYRANNY OF AGENDIZED MINORITIES, aka “special interests.” It is REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CITIZENRY. Therefore if a priviledged 1% (or even 3%) is accorded special rights, favors, protections above and beyond those of the 99% the rule of law is overturned, a sacred caste emerges, and society suffers because the government has defied citizen sovereignty to impose an acceptance gay, perverted privilege upon it and mandated by its coercive power that filthy sodomites be integrated into society and allowed to prey upon it and debase it. The state has declared on citizen sovereignty, began engineering against the will of the people to promote an offensive and perverted sexual minority as a privileged caste.

                    Gay perverts have long argued the government “should stay out of our bedrooms.” The limousine liberals even demagogue this talking point. But in the end, the liberal statists have precisely put the government in our bedrooms in our society and arrested with the architecture of the state the privileged, protected status of homosexuality. The irony here is that gay perverts still screech that government should stay out of the bedroom. Except when the government steps in to defy the rule of law and the homosexual 1% special protections.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Mr. Porter, there would be little interest if there were not folks intent on forcing traditional Christians to change the teaching of the Church and accept behavior that is unacceptable.

                    • Dwane porter says

                      Funny how the phase special right pops up when people a granted the same rights you have enjoyed….pathetic.

            • Peter Millman says

              Greetings George,
              Whether I agree or disagree with you, I’m an admirer. George, I never heard of Kip Wanamaker before this post of yours. In fact, whether he lives or dies, it really makes absolutely no difference to my life whatsoever. In any event, after reading about and from him on this page, I looked up his facebook page. I looked up his comments and his facebook friends, and all I can say is what a perverted, repulsive nitwit he is. By the way, he had the audacity to refer to Monomakhos as a hate page.
              I am an extremely tolerant person; there is one gay man and two lesbians in my extended family. I treat them with the utmost cordiality and respect. Let me be blunt, my friend: the rectal sewer part of the body is not made for carnal relations. It is a dirty, filthy expression of unbridled lust and perversion. Fornication, masturbation, birth control, and, in my humble opinion, remarriage are also wrong. The Church is dead wrong about remarriage. There is something inherently repulsive about homosexual acts. Love the sinner, but hate sin, and make no mistake about it, homosexual acts are deeply sinful as is masturbation, adultery,etc. Looking at this nobody’s facebook page repels me. He is a very sick man, and his attitudes disgusts me. I believe in respect for all people, but homosexual marriage is a silly, foolish bad joke . This creep leaves his wife because he burns with lust for another man; it’s disgraceful.

              • Dwane porter says

                Well based upon the way you attacked Mr. Wanamaker it seems you do care…(a bit too much) especially about something you know nothing about. So you treat a some gay and leabians cordially with respect…. yet take childish jabs at a total stranger….how pathetic. I have to wonder what you say behind backs when they are not around…which you dont have the hutzpa to say to them directly……

                • Peter Millman says

                  If you don’t think I’d say what I wrote to his face, then you know nothing about me. I say to you: as far as I’m concerned, your opinion has the same value as toilet paper. Nothing! Nada! Stop trying to bring sodomy into the Orthodox Church. And, yes, your homosexual practices are deeply sinful, disordered, disgusting and perverted. You homosexuals are a tiny percentage of the US population- and, yet, you think you have some kind of God given right to badger and bully the rest of us. Well, guess what! You don’t have that right. Go to the Episcopal Church or the Metropolitan Church, my benighted, dimwitted friend. By the way, where do you get off talking to me like that?!

                  • Peter Millman says

                    By the way, Porter, ,why do you feel it is incumbent upon to defend your ” hubby?’ How does it feel to break up a man’s marriage to satisfy your own perverted lusts?

                  • Dwane porter says

                    I am not your Son… you are no way a father figure let alone to me. Lol. You are a nit wit …. you assume way to much about what has transpired in the past way before I entered the picture. Again you speak about NOTHING about something you have no knowledge of….you are out of place when you gossip about someone you do not know…. as for my sins maybe you should just focus on your own and leave mine to deal with between my confessor and GOD.]P

              • As a new Orthodox, I’m always learning more and more about our way of life.
                @Peter Millman tells us which actions are, according to Orthodox morality (which he calls “IMHO”), unacceptable. So far, so good.
                Of all the list, his statement that “The Church is dead wrong about remarriage” confuses me to no end.
                –Is he referring to remarriage after the death of one of the spouses? How would this be unacceptable? If my husband were to die (God forbid), would I be precluded from marrying again? My marriage vows would have been fulfilled–“till death do you part”–so what doctrinal point forbids a second marriage?
                –If he is referring to remarriage after divorce, there are teachings that, if a first marriage founders, a second *may* be countenanced, but it will *not* be celebrated as joyously as a first/only and will be entered into more soberly by both parties (see https://mospat.ru/en/documents/social-concepts/kh/ Section X.3, paragraph 6). The innocent spouse may be remarried, but the spouse guilty of adultery will need to demonstrate true repentance before being admitted to Communion again.
                Is it this latter case which Mr. Millman opposes? Why? I’m unable to understand the deeper meaning here.
                Thank you.

                • Peter Millman says

                  Greetings Vesta, I am humbled and honored that you would read my post, and actually ponder it. Since, I wrote the post off the top of my head, it is really only one man’s opinion. Sorry if I have caused you any distress. Personally, I wouldn’t waste more than a minute thinking about my opinion. It’s only an opinion- nothing more. My opinion and a dollar will buy a person a cup of coffee. All the best!

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Vesta, remarriage is allowed due to the hardness of our hearts and the care of young children. It was never meant to be a carte blanche to remarry because one wants to.

                  I am a remarried person. I remarried because my wife died AND I was weak, unable to live as the Church teaches. To make matters worse, my second wife had been married three times (two were adulterers and the third one died) as a non-Orthodox before we met. By a complicated route full of obstacles and even greater mercy, we are in the Church together. We married outside the Church, she began catechesis and I was barred from the Cup and went through catechesis together. On Holy Saturday seven years ago, she was Chrismated and we were able to receive the Eucharist together.

                  Our marriage continues to be a blessing to us, to our children and to others, mostly because of the unique and special woman that my wife is, a beloved of God.

                  However, as much as God has blessed us, the other four people are still with us even though three are dead. It is a great blessing that they do not disturb our marriage. It could happen easily.

                  What my wife and I did, I would never recommend to anyone else. It is better to only marry once. Much better.

                  Met. Joseph, Antiochian, has instituted a policy of a through review of all requests for remarriage. Not all will be granted I am sure.

                  However, I believe Mr. Millman is too stringent. The policy of allowing remarriage is not wrong, just that what was meant as an Economía in limited situations has become a license even a “right”. That is what Met. Joseph is trying to correct.

                  May God continue to bless you on your life in the Church and God grant you and your husband many years.

                  • Estonian Slovak says

                    Thank you, Michael, once again for your honest and thoughtful post. As you pointed out, one marriage is the ideal, even for laypeople. I personally at age 64 probably would not consider it. My non-Orthodox friends can’t understand why I wouldn’t want to remarry. I might want to, but I’m not sure it would be right for me. My children are grown, there is no pressing need for a woman in the house. I don’t pass judgement on persons like yourself who felt the need to remarry. I’m speaking just for myself when I say that God gifted me with a wife who was probably 100 times better than I will ever be. In my sinfulness, I put her through so many difficulties, that I don’t know why she stayed with me. I can only attribute that to the Mercy of God. I hope to use the remainder of my life to better myself and thus be worthy of being reunited with her in the next life. May God Bless you, my friend.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Estonian, as it turns out my marriage had a salutary effect in many ways. I am not over-stating it when I say that it is quite possible that it saved three lives at least. I would not likely be alive nor my son who was brooding over the loss of his mother and my wife’s son thanked me because he feels that without me, he would not still have his mother.

                      It brought my wife to her natural home in the Orthodox Church and gave me a daughter (my wife’s natural daughter).

                      God did all that and more. I tried to question my bishop about the somewhat irregular nature of my marriage and he cut me off with the question: What was irregular about it? . He has also pointedly told me my marriage is blessed by God.

                      It is still an example of a particular economia and in no way should it be at all normative. Yours is the better way.

                      It was and is a blessing of which I am unworthy and for which I shall always be humbly grateful.

                  • Ah. Thank you, Michael Bauman, for this extended explanation. I now think I have a better understanding of Orthodoxy’s stance on remarriage.
                    And to Peter Millman: no need to derogate your own opinion. You found it worthwhile to bring up a point on which I (clearly!) needed more information. 🙂 So, the opinion was validly posted and not at all “only one man’s opinion.”

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            <Kip, there is no need to thank me for not excommunicating you. I was obeying our canonical tradition. You were deposed. To ALSO deprive you of the Mysteries would have been "double punishment."You wrote, "I guess I should have stayed in the DOS where queers are treated more kindly.&quot…

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            You were not denied communion? Interesting. Did your parish priest know you and your “partner ” were a pair and practicing Homosexuals? If so and he still communed you can you please tell us his name? I think his Bishop may want to know, unless even the Bishop knew of your situation and just didn’t care. Please let us know who these clerics are?


            • Dwane porter says

              Experts….no longer practicing. 🙂

              Provide you with information for your own personal witchhunt and inquisition? ….no

          • Kip Wannamaker claims that “Fr. Josiah Trenham is not only failing to preach the Gospel.

            Let’s see what other Orthodox Christian Apostles, Church Fathers and Saints and have to say about what Fr. Josiah rightly preaches…

            St. Paul the Apostle
            Because of this did God give them up to dishonorable passions, for even their females did change their natural function into that which is against nature; and in like manner also the males having left the natural use of the female, did burn in their longing toward one another…. (Romans 1:26-27)

            “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

            Saint Gregory the Great
            “Brimstone calls to mind the foul odors of the flesh, as Sacred Scripture itself confirms when it speaks of the rain of fire and brimstone poured by the Lord upon Sodom. He had decided to punish in it the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment emphasized the shame of that crime, since brimstone exhales stench and fire burns. It was, therefore, just that the sodomites, burning with perverse desires that originated from the foul odor of flesh, should perish at the same time by fire and brimstone so that through this just chastisement they might realize the evil perpetrated under the impulse of a perverse desire.”

            Saint Jerome
            Saint Jerome is both Father and Doctor of the Church. He was also a notable exegete and great polemicist. In his book Against Jovinianus, he explains how a sodomite needs repentance and penance to be saved: “And Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased it [God’s wrath], had they been willing to repent, and through the aid of fasting gain for themselves tears of repentance.”

            Saint John Chrysostom
            On the gravity of the sin of homosexuality:

            “But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration!…

            “Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time!… For that rain was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the men, making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom. And what is there more detestable than a man who hath pandered himself, or what more execrable?

            Saint Augustine
            “Those offences which be contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which hath not so made men that they should in that way abuse one another. For even that fellowship which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust.”

            Saint Gregory the Great
            “Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord. He had decided to punish Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment he chose emphasized the shame of that crime. For sulfur stinks, and fire burns. So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire.”

            • Dwane porter says

              Niether homosexuals nor sodomites….wow a double whammy…. got to love that editing.

            • Cynthia mae Curran says

              I understand what you are saying but straights that commit adultery are also referred to along with fornication and gay sex. Fornication is just having sex outside of married but St Paul condemns it as much as gay sex.

          • Trey the Virginian says

            I am late to this discussion but I would certainly have liked to have heard from Kiprian Wanamaker a brief statement or reflection on his understanding of God, of the Divine, at the highest conceptual level, and how that reality relates to our life on earth.

            I do understand that he would not be inclined to participate further in this forum.

      • Katherine Wanamaker says

        It continues to astound me how everyone believes to have the inside track on this family. Kip remains to have the unfaltering love and support of all of his family. I could not have picked a more perfect time in my life to exit the Orthodox Church when I realized that the sole purpose was to pit family against family and turn “friends” into sheep. Thank you for showing me the light and introducing me to a loving and accepting world outside of those walls. Dad, everyone in your family loves and supports you. We’re proud that you’re still a topic of discussion these twenty-something years.

        To certain Bishops that I clearly did not drum on the hat hard enough as a child…. you should be ashamed for breaking this little girl’s heart.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Kiprian and Katherine,

          Please forgive my intrusion, but being that I and others do not know your story could you please elaborate if you care to as well as allow Bishop Tikhon to respond. This is a major issue in the Church that needs to be openly aired out and fully looked into, especially where the OCA and the GOAA have taken somewhat pro-LGBT stances that seem at the moment to be against the Faith and Canons of the Church.

          Whatever light you can shed on this or care to shed on this–well you now have a forum and the floor. Please proceed.


          • Kip Wanamaker says

            Peter, thank you. My own story is rather dull and not important. I have a large and wonder family for which I am very grateful.

            As far as I can tell no major jurisdiction has announced ANY pro-LGBT stances at all. I do a lot of reading and I have yet to see one bishop or synod take any official position supporting inclusion of same-sex-married, openly affirming or sexually active LGBT people as communicants in the Orthodox Church. Let me know if you find one.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Official stances are unfortunately not needed or necessary for many of our jurisdictions.

            • Mark E. Fisus says

              This is true. All Orthodox jurisdictions including OCA and GOARCH have taken firm positions against the so-called homosexual marriage. Insinuations that a left-wing conspiracy exists come from those with schismatic tendencies.

            • Michael Warren says

              The GOA newspaper seems to have flirted with it…

            • The debates, so far, are not with the statements of the national jurisdictions, but with their strategic silences.

              That and, of course, quiet actions taken in the privacy of safe zip codes.

        • Monk James says

          Wasn’t there ae former deacon who staged a walk-out with supporters carrying roses (?) at St Nicholas church (OCA) in McKees Rocks PA because the priest would not let him share in Holy Communion for having declared himself a homosexual who disagreed with the moral principles taught by St Paul and accepted by The Church from the beginning?

          I ask because I heard about this at a considerable remove, but it couldn’t have been a good thing.

          • Kip Wanamaker says

            I haven’t heard that story! I was there for over a year with my partner (sic) and were active in the parish, so you’d think that some of our many friends there would have told us that story. Father Thomas Soroka was very supportive and friendly to us as well as to my ex-wife who visited for all of Holy Week and Pascha.
            We donated and decorated the church for all of the holidays and jump-started all of the food drives and fundraisers at the parish. All the babushkas were angry and astonished at the annual meeting that my partner (sic) and I could not run for office. Ask Jan, Cathy, Eleanor or Carol about us there. But no, we never protested any of our treatment at that fine parish. Must have been another deacon.

          • Fr Thomas Soroka says

            There was no walk-out. No roses. No supporters. No drama. You heard incorrectly.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Wait was Kip and his husband [sic] open about their Homosexual partnership at your parish Father? Did you know this? Did you actively community them when you knew they were practicing Homosexuals? I apologize for asking but that’s what it sounds like.

              Kip did Fr. Sorta commune you while knowing you were unrepentant and practicing in your Homosexuality?


              • Dwane porter says

                Fr. Soroka did nothing of the sort nor did he break any rules nor did the Bishop. Please leave them out of your witchhunt.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Witchhunt? I just asked some questions and that’s a witchhunt? I did not do anything else. However, Fr. Soroka has proved able to speak for himself. I and others would like to hear from him and/or his Bishop.

                  Too long have these matters been kept hush-hush. It’s time for people to speak up. I have asked for nothing more. That’s not a witchhunt buddy.


                  • Dwane porter says

                    To what purpose? What can you affect by having this knowledge? Are you in thier jurisdiction? Or are you just wantimg to fan the flames of assumptions and conjecture? No where in the above was thier any mention of Fr. Soroka providing communion to Kip Wanamaker….end of story.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      The purpose of the Gospel. As for Change well you would know. If you get the laity involved things always change.


              • Fr Thomas Soroka says

                Mr Papoutsis,

                Not that it’s ANYONE’s business, but for the sake of your conscience, no, they were not communed at my parish. This was made clear in other posts in this thread.

                And for the public record, this issue of communion is very simple. Mr Wanamaker was deposed from the Holy Diaconate. At the time of his deposition, as Bp Tikhon rightly points out above, Kip (Kiprian) would NOT have been denied communion, since this kind of “double punishment” is not permitted by the holy canons. However, AFTER HIS DEPOSITION, Kip entered into a civil marriage with another man. This, then, according to the practice of the Orthodox Church in America, excludes him from communion.

                I hope this clarifies the issue for everyone.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Thank you Father and you are absolutely right that as a pastoral matter it is not my or anyone’s business. However, Mr. Wanamaker himself came on to a public internet forum and made it my and everyone’s business. Further, Bishop Tikhon his Bishop has commented on this specific matter on a public internet forum. So your um-bridge, although understandable, is with Mr. Wanamaker not me or anyone else on this public internet forum.

                  I apologize if my questions offended you, but given the public statements of Mr. Wanamaker and certain other Clerics that support him and his lifestyle (See George’s Article above) I truly hope you understand why I asked. If not so be it and I will leave it at that.

                  Thank you for your prompt response and please accept my apologies for offending you. That was not my intent.


                  • SleeplessInNY says

                    Peter says: “you are absolutely right that as a pastoral matter it is not my or anyone’s business. [However, I’m absolutely FASCINATED by what goes on in a gay man’s bedroom, so I think that I’m entitled to know what was discussed in confession. A list would be fine. But please be very specific. I don’t want to miss anything!]”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Speaking for traditionalist Orthodox who are mindful of their sins, do you honestly think we care about what goes on in a homosexual’s bedroom? Or that we even believe that we are in anyway better than you?

                      I dare say you don’t know any authentic Orthodox Christians, especially those that go to Confession.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says


                • Michael Bauman says

                  Father, it would not be anyone’s business were it not for the efforts of militant secularists to force all traditional Christians to comply with their social/political agenda which includes forcing us to treat homosexual practice and partnering as equal to if not better than real marriage. It unfortunately behooves us to be aware.

            • Monk James says

              It’s good to learn here that whatever I heard had nothing to do with either Mr Wanamaker or St Nicholas parish, and I apologize if I’ve mischaracterized them.

              But there was something. What was it? Where? When? I’m not imagining this or the roses. I just can’t place it properly.

        • lexcaritas says

          Dear Katherine, though I don’t know you, I’m sorry you feel the way you do; but what you say about the” sole purpose” of the Orthodox Church is to pit family against family and turn “friends” into sheep” is simply objectively not true. Untruths always do damage and ultimately seek to kill and to destroy both the one who hears them and the one who says them.

          Christ in our midst.

          • Dwane porter says

            Yet you have clergy who spew untruths about the LGBT community…even against the very ones who continue to support thier local community. You cannot continue to refer to people as homfascists and pedophiles when they are not, let alone damaged and sick when they are not and not expect to be asked to stop the lies.

            The level of hypocrisy is sickening…all fall short do they not…but to say one persons sin is more egregous than anothers is comical and hypocritical.

            • Dwayne,

              I’ve no idea what clergy or what particular “lies” you make reference to. The use of the word “community” is much in vogue today and is often, as in the case, an utter debasement of the term. It is propaganda and should not be used lightly. To do so is already creating falsehood and falsehood comes from the Father of Lies, whose objective is the death of Man. Name calling may not be good, but surely there are objectively persons who are pedophiles meaning they desire to have sexual relations with children. Surely, also you are aware that there is a movement by some for it to be legalize as long as its consensual. Surely, you are not unaware that there is a trend in the law to force the movement for homosexual “rights” on people–at great cost to them–who cannot, in good conscience, participate in it by delivery–not of goods–but of personal services, even of an artistic nature. Is it not fascistic to use the power of the state to coerce and persecute those who disagree with the elite that is in power? Hence, the name-calling by some.

              As for being damaged and sick, I believe the characterization is objectively disordered because their is a pattern of what is health that has been given by the God Who made us and where we deviate from the pattern we typically seek to correct it. Sexual complementarity was given for Man to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and to experience something of the creative power of the Holy Trinity. Deviations from that pattern are deleterious. The eye was given to see; the ear to hear; the tongue to taste and talk; the mouth to speak and eat; and sex was given to bring about new life from the combination of sperm and egg in the loving embrace of husband and wife, crowned by Christ in life-long marriage. Misuse of any of these gifts are the consequence of sin or examples of sin itself, and if they beset us, we should simply in all humility repent and seek the healing that Christ offers to be repaired and made whole again to function and live in accordance with the pattern.

              How is hoping, and praying, and contending for this hypocrisy–unless of course we’re engaged in it wh9ile railing against it–which is, in most cases, probably not the case.


            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Oh man you are truly twisting yourself into a pretzel. Why are you here, but to wage war via words and beliefs. How diabolical. You are revealed sir, you are revealed!


        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          This Katherine Wanamaker must be one of Kip;s offspring? I don’t remember anyone touching, let alone drumming on, my “hat”, ever! My impression was that at that time Kip was LEAVING his wife for a man, and also his offspring? I only had one discussion about the matter. Father Safchuk came to me and told me what Kip was doing and asked me (he’s an SVSgraduate) if there was any way Kip could remain a Deacon. I saw that he wanted to insure that HE was not seen to be “the bad guy”—that’s MY purpose! I must be a moral and human numbskull—–I had no idea I was the cause of a little girl’s heartbreak rather than her dad who knew what he was doing!
          As for this shocker: “It continues to astound me how everyone believes to have the inside track on this family.” Who is this “everyone?” I, for one, never imagined that I had an inside track on the Wanamakers. WHAT AN IDEA!

          • Kip Wanamaker says

            Your Grace, please don’t call Katherine an “offspring” ever again. She is a daughter. It’s insulting and pompous. Would you pray for a little girl coming to the Chalice, saying “The offspring of God Katherine partakes…?”

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Were not in Church Kip, and the way things are going it’s the progessives that change language away from the traditional to the nominal. Take it up with your leaders not ours.


            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              Why Kip, I’m sorry I didn’t know about your skill level in English or in courtesy. “Offspring” is in no way belittling, discourteous or condescending. Perhaps it’s not often heard in some rural areas, where it might be frightening? Isaac, Jacob were a couple of Abraham’s offspring. Queen Elizabeth was an offspring of King George and Queen Mary. Try picking up a book and reading it sometime! Your children are your offspring and Katherine IS one of them–or maybe she’d your only offspring? President Obama’s offspring are all females. SS. Joachim and Ann had no offspring until the Theotokos. The word “offspring” is neither insulting nor pompous. You are wrong there.And I know you were only a Deacon, but you must know that the most ACCURATE, punctilious way of addressing a Communicant before communing is “the SLAVE OF GOD, n…”
              We do, indeed, bowdlerize that and change “slave” to “servant”, while some would use the foolish “handmaid(en)” as if the Church were some kind of family PARLOR, but “slave” is best. Katherine is, I believe, your offspring.

    • Dwane Porter says

      Grabbing popcorn — I just love fiction. Of course you have to wonder about passing on gossip as truth.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        What fiction, Dwayne? What gossip? I reported on FACTS that Mr Wanamaker has supported. (By the way, gossip is not necessarily untrue, in case you missed that!) But go ahead “wonder” away!

        • Dwane porter says

          Gossip in that you felt the need to dredge up the past in such “detail” for what purpose exactly? Could you not have left it at Kip Wannamker a former deacon?

          • Michael Warren says

            Gossip is considered a sin in the Orthodox Church…

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              “Gossip is considered a sin in the Orthodox Church…” says the fountainhead of gossip about Ukraine and Ukrainians. Beams! Motes!

          • Michael Bauman says

            Mr. Porter, the Wannamakers themselves dredged up. It is the fundamental hypocrisy of the homosexualists that they want to shout their disordered lives to the roof tops when it is convenient then insist everybody else be silent.

            Remember, all will be revealed and the truth will reign. That is why repentance is necessary for all.

  4. Carl Kraeff says

    “Accommodation of the dominant culture” is a problem not only in the OCA but in any jurisdiction, anywhere. Well, perhaps not at the Holy Mountain and similar places. That said, it does indicate the great civilizational divide between the blue and red communities in this country. Therefore, you are bound to have more liberal Orthodox Christians in the blue counties than in the red ones. Admittedly, it is much more difficult to be Orthodox if one is a modernist, liberal, or progressive, but it is not impossible. Wherever you may be, you also may find homosexuals in our temples, just as you will find adulterers, Internet porn addicts, fornicators, liars, thieves, etc… I would bet that the non-practicing homosexuals are more numerous than the practicing ones. Also, I would bet that any of the other categories of sin will have more sinners. Even more interestingly, you will find that most, if not all, Orthodox fall short (sin) not by doing what they are not supposed to do, but by not doing what they are called to do. So, please cease hyperventilating and concentrate on the Epistle readings of last Sunday, in particular St Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, Chapter 5 and 6:

    “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

    I really think that you are falling short of meeting St. Paul’s exhortation above with your unreasonable and overwrought crusade against Syosset, Lavender Mafia, etc… BTW, did you write to the Chancellor of the Diocese of New York to apprise him of your concern that the Dean of the Cathedral is scandalously and publicly attacking fellow priests? If you were not satisfied with his answer, did you inform Bishop Alexander of Dallas of your concerns so that he can bring it up with Archbishop Michael and/or Metropolitan Tikhon? If not, why not?

    BTW, I am in favor of the Assembly of the States to at least bring about term limits for the legislative and judicial branches. Ideally, we will evolve into a Switzerland type federation, with up to four main parts, each with its own three branches, with the federal structure limited to foreign affairs and national defense. This arrangement will hopefully ease your extreme fear of the Northeast and its purported evil influence on the OCA.

    Also, just so that you and other OCA doubters should know that there are many vibrant parishes, especially in the South. My own parish had three deacons over the Summer, with one being an intern from St Tikhon’s Seminary, the second came over from another jurisdiction, and Bishop Alexander just ordained one of our own sub-deacons, raising to 14 the number of home grown clergy in the past 20 years. Being a university town, we constantly have young folks becoming catechumens. But, our story is not unique as the entire Diocese is growing; back in April, we even carved out another deanery with the establishment of the Mississippi River Deanery. From a few churches serving retirees primarily in Florida back in the 1950s, we currently have “100 faithful clergy and monastics serving in 78 parishes and missions and three monastic communities” in 14 states. http://www.dosoca.org/

    We support missions in Latin America and Africa; provide succor to those hurt by natural disasters; have charity drivers to help the poor and hungry; and more than anything else, evangelize in our own back yards. If you want to help the OCA, you would be much more productive if you encouraged all of the OCA to be more like the DOS.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Carl, how is the Northeast?

      • Michael, I have no idea. Due to may assignments while I was in the USAF, I am much more familiar with the states West of the Mississippi and the Deep South. Indeed, I have lived in South Carolina longer than anywhere else in the world. That said, I suspect the DOS (along with the Mountain States) may be unique, not only in the OCA but in any other jurisdiction. I have heard on couple of occasions that we are different and that in an admirable way. Since I am a glass-is-half-full type, I have a tendency to think (hope) that the other OCA dioceses and other jurisdictions are similar to the DOS. To tell you the truth, if I had a different personality, education, personal history (particularly being a PK), or did not read anything outside this blog, I would not be so sanguine.

  5. Carl Kraeff says

    George–Please ponder this:

    “Judging Others” by St. Gennadius

    To judge sins is the business of one who is sinless, but who is sinless except God? Who ever thinks about the multitude of his own sins in his heart never wants to make the sins of others a topic of conversation. To judge a man who has gone astray is a sign of pride, and God resists the proud. On the other hand, one who every hour prepares himself to give answer for his own sins will not quickly lift up his head to examine the mistakes of others.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Carl, we still have to discern the truth and speak out when it is being attacked.

      • Michael–My issue is not with the facts, but with the way the facts are (mis)used to exaggerate, distort, and attack. This thread is a perfect example. A handful of current or past homosexuals are exhibited as the norm to call into question the arch-pastors’ mettle; to broad brush everybody else as sympathetic to same-sex marriage, homosexuality, and other innovations; and thus to condemn the OCA and the GOA.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          I agree with you Carl, but the action of the Wannamakers and the response by Fr. Calin scandalize the faithful and he needs to be confronted and corrected and the LGBT barbarians need to be kept from the Gate as far as possible.

          They ravaged the mainline Protestants, are actively at war via corrup and Homosexual bishops in the Roman Catholic Church, they cannot be allowed and room or quarter in the One True Church, and by the grace of the One True God so far they are not.

          Constant vigilance in these dark days is very much needed.


          • George Michalopulos says

            Indeed. Peter, I have many dear traditionalist Protestant friends and have seen what the degradation wrought by sodomy has done to their churches.

            Fortunately, I think (or hope, anyway) that the Orthodox churches dodged that bullet. If anything, the diminution of Crete into a mere local council (if not outright Robber Council) means that there is hope for us.

          • Kip Wanamaker says

            The “Wanamakers” should be spelled with one “n.” Please, go on.

  6. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Can someone past the Speech by Fr. Josiah so we can read what they are objecting to? I would like to know what Fr. Josiah said that was so offensive to these people. Thanks.


    • Disgusted by more-of-the-same OCA says

      All of Fr Josiah’s talks/sermons etc. are available on his “Arena” podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

      I listened to the aforementioned talk that “Archimandrite” Christopher Calin whines about months ago. It is fantastic. Fr Josiah was invited to give a talk at the World Conference on the Family that was held this year in Tblisi, for the first time held in a traditional Orthodox country.

      Fr Josiah pulls no punches — he tells it like it is. As a family man himself – a priest with 10 children! – he is well aware how vicious the progressivists and the fascist LGBTites are in wanting to kill the traditional family. The family their biggest threat; all their efforts are focused on destroying it.

      May God preserve Fr Josiah, Fr John Peck, Fr Hans, and those like them who proclaim the truth. If “Archimandrite” C is against these men, then he’s also against St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the Theologian, St John of Shanghsi & S.F., St John of Kronstadt, and countless other church fathers & mothers.
      How can he be an Orthodox priest?

      Fr Josiah is aware that the enemy is within the church, as we clearly see demonstrated in George’s post. Thanks again for your work, George.

      • Dwane Porter says

        Always find it funny that people state that LGBT people want to destroy the traditional family – Never has this ever happened. No one has ever called for the banning of traditional marriage, or prevent people from having as many children as they are blessed with. No one who is LGBT has disowned their and thrown them on the street fro declaring their heterosexuality. LGBT people have always been in the church, the problem you have is that they are no longer willing to stay in their “designated place”.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Or follow the teachings of the Gospel. Yes, I am glad they are outing themselves and now the true work for the salvation of their souls can begin.


        • Michael Warren says

          Sexuality is a choice. Sexual identity is a choice. Sexual behavior is learned. LGBT propagandists who knowingly agitate for accomodation and acceptance for their depraved immorality in nations which reflect millenia of Judeo-Christian values, which see homosexuality as perversion are necessarily CONDEMNED AND DISREGARDED as a fringe minority which acts out to overthrow traditional family values. They are enemies of a moral society. LGBT were raised in a culture which AFFIRMED that marriage was BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, and these rights were never denied them. Instead, they demanded and demand special rights for their perversion. This is a fringe 1% trying to force their depravity and its worldview on 99% by government coercion. In their world, gay propaganda is the only appropriate standard of morality. Their perversion demands inclusion as equivalent to Judeo-Christian morality. Only a moral reprobate can argue that the choice to commit sodomy or live a sapphic lifestyle represents a moral choice which represents family values: this perversion and its depraved subculture is at war with the American family. The slag of Sodom and Gamorah witnesses against the vile nature of this filthy subculture.

          • Dwane porter says

            A the old choice straw man….so you could choose to be LGBT right now and act upon it?? 100 percent doutbful. And please stop withe the Judeo-Christian values bullpucky…there are very few Jews that hold Christian values and vise versa…. maybe you should go back a read what the true sin of Sodom which is not what you think. Ezekeiel 16:49-50:”Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Dwane, Dwane, Dwane. You are talking to Orthodox not Protestants. You are not going to get anywhere. Christ won buddy, you lost. Stop fighting and accept Christ. THAT you so have a choice in. Choose wisely.


        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Porter, don’t say “never intended to destroy the traditional family.” “Never” is too strong a word. It is not solely the intention of the homosexual lobby to do such yet it is the program of the immoral secularists to do so. They are using the homosexual lobby (quite effectively I might add) to effect this program.

          • Dwane porter says

            Sorry as an LGBT person I have no desire to destroy anyones family heterosexual or not. The tradituonal family has been quite self destructive on it own without any helpd needed from the LGBT lobby.

            Yet we continue to be blamed for any demise that the traditional family has experienced. Because we all know we are secretky reaposible for all the no fault divorces, child abuse, spouse and domeatic abuse, unwed mothers, child abandonment… not to mention the floods, earthquakes and terror attcks…..we have such power at our finger tips….. comical.

            • Estonian Slovak says

              Beg pardon, your kind has been quite successful in destroying my family. I was tormented on the job by a lesbian supervisor because she knew my views even though I almost never mention my religion on the job. Why didn’t I complain to her superior, you ask? Well, the gay libbers on the job had already floated the rumor among my black co-workers that I was a racist . Her supervisor knew full well the situation but wasn’t about to risk HER job by being labelled “racist” and/or “homophobe”.
              What happened? I took a transfer to another branch of the same company, a costly move; and I was paid much less. The stress of the move caused my wife to have a heart attack and die. Now, nobody forced me to move, and I CAN’T say the supervisor was directly to blame. Still, her conduct was one factor. Now if I had threatened harm to the woman or her partner, one could then say I got a taste of my own medicine, but that was not the case.
              As a postscript, the woman herself was later transferred to another branch, where she got a taste of her own medicine, i.e., bullying. Like so many who can dish it out, she couldn’t take it. By her own request, she gave up her position and reverted to the “ranks”.
              Then my son refused to baptize my grandchildren because his best friend is gay and he couldn’t accept the church’s teaching. Yes, I would say you activists have been quite successful at brainwashing this generation. You can be very grateful to your Hollywood allies for their help.

              • ES – you need a new attitude about homosexuality.

                Try this one.

                It isn’t best.

                And leave it at that.

            • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

              Mr. Porter, your self-description as “an LGBT person” is somewhat baffling. Can a person claim more than one of those four “sexual identities”–L, G, B, T–in the new “gender equality” era?

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            George, is your “homosexual lobby” registered? if not, why not?

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Here it is: http://frjohnpeck.com/homofascists-not-welcome/

      Pravoslavie.ru also published two of is videos, the aforementioned one and an anti-abortion one from 2015. Both are great and thoroughly Orthodox. Needless to say, I am a fan of Fr. Josiah.

      • Michael Warren says

        PRO LIFE.

      • Ah! The Pravoslavie link gives us the option of viewing two different speeches by Fr. Josiah (Trenham). One concerns sexual orientation; the other concerns abortion.
        Elsewhere in this discussion, I found a link which would (supposedly) show me his speech on sexual orientation, but it was the abortion speech. Now I can find them both.
        Thank you.

  7. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Maybe this is what Fr. Christopher Calin subscribes to:

    Either you are full on board LGBT Rights or we are coming after you.


  8. Michael Kinsey says

    Is it hateful to despise self destructive behavior and desires within and without one’s self. Indeed, it is not. Clarifying the rhetoric of hating evil and loving good and the good Holy God is essential. Loving the sinner, but hating the sin is not just perfectly acceptable authentic Christian teaching, it is also a Command from the Living Word of God. Hating evil is permitted to Christianity and their is great enmity put between the devil’s seed and the Holy Father’s seed. The Holy God placed it there. No man can serve two masters, either he will love one and despise the other, Or hate one and cling to another. OUR the love of the One Holy God always, causes us to hatefully despise sinning. And the LBGT hatred of the Sacred and Holy is caused by their cleaving to mammon and power hunger, egotism, and even, stunningly, elitism. Over what????
    Homosexuality is a plague of the great whore sent to people to some people of the people who serve themselves and live for bread alone ignoring the 2 Great Commandments. Homosexuality is not the only plague the Holy One has sent against modern civilization. It’s very obvious to even casual observation the whole global population lives in spiritual and Sodom and Gomorrah The great whore become a hold for ever vile demonic spirit that can afflict mankind.The Revelation is exceedingly precise.
    The laity should confront their priests if they teach lying nonsense, using commonsense and Holy Scripture to set them straight, if they claim things like. St Peter was incohereintly babbling, being to stunned by the Glory of the Transfigured Jesus Christ, and Moses and Elijah. He was not. He recognizes the Messiah the Holy God had already revealed to him, and the Holy Fire and the Law, and the Glory that stood above in the the Holy of Holies. He was a practicing Jew who celebrated the Feast of Booths, (tents, tabernacles). He he informs us that which was not perfect is done way with, by transfiguration, when that which is Perfect has come. These Holy Powers reappear in Christianity on Pentecost as Apostolic Authority and the HOLY FIRE. These are the 2 Prophets killed by Antichrist, by killing the men who carry these Holy Powers in their hearts. Apostolic Authority is required to receive the Holy Fire in the Holy Place. St Cryil of Jerusalem mentions this when he speaks of the Restrainer being removed. Still we will never be cut off from the Christ, who will be with us unto the end of the age. The worldly are cut off from the Holy God and the Holy Spirit, when the abomination of desolation is set up in the Holy Place, where it ought not to be. Because this is where the Protection in the night, as was the Pillar of Fire, is removed.
    If you can produce a more scriptural explanation that this. Please produce it. I am a reasonable man, and know I speak of things to great for me. Imagine my fear and trembling if I am wrong. I do not write this lightly.

  9. Disgusted by more-of-the-same OCA says

    This should be unbelievable. But given the OCA, it is not.

    Who ya gonna believe and follow? Venerable priests who preach Christ and the Truth and His unwavering Church?

    Or a probably sexually-confused priest-monk (an archimandrite no less!) without a monastery in the Bowery? In Met. Leonty’s old cathedral?! Man! Met. Leonty would be turning over in his grave.

    Reason #563 why I’m so blessed to no longer be in the OCA. How I loved that jurisdiction at one point in my life. And how far it has fallen.

    To the good priests and faithful Orthodox who remain in the OCA: leave when you can. Don’t be like the minstrels playing the violin as your Titanic sinks. Get on a lifeboat. Many lifeboats are waiting for you.

    “Archimandrite” Fr Christopher Calin in NYC needs to get to the ECUSA. They’re calling for him.

    O Theotokos — Most Holy Mother, save us!

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Hey, Disgusted! Do you miss the days when an Igumen was always lurking around a that placeto offer any visiting seminarian some of his Scotch? When the mighty Protodeacon would pinch Fr DeSocio’s behind every time he came into the Altar in order to see him jump?? How about the Archpriest from France who would invite a seminarian for drinks after Vigil and when the seminarian was drunk, order him to take a bath, and when he was in the tub call his buddies in to have a look? These are the things one person, I, knows about. Ask someone who spent more time there. That place is much more decent and in order than it was before Fr Christopher! “Disgusted” is just guessing!

      • Wow!

        If those stories are true, then the OCA has “become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2).

        • “Whitewashed sepulchre” comes to mind. But yes, OCA has left the building institutionally, though parts of the DOS seem to be intent on remaining faithful yet not walling themselves off from the cancer.

          Good luck with that. He who sits on his hands deserves to get screwed.

      • Vladika, after reading what you wrote, I feel like I must take a shower or go to confession, or both!

        You must write a book, Vladika. Otherwise what would happen to all your knowledge & experiences if the Lord takes you home too soon?

        Will the current OCA leadership do anything about the homosexual clergy? Fat chance (or slim chance — means the same thing in the English language….). This has evidently been going on too long & too many in positions of authority are compromised themselves.

        The best shot of some meaningful change is for other Orthodox to break communion with the OCA on the grounds of their sexual heresy & actively homosexual clergy. Then, some might get the message.

        Until then, those who can should steer clear of the OCA. One could even make the argument that the OCA has effectively excommunicated itself already over homosexual heresy. Are there any potential canonized saints that the OCA has produced in the last 50 years, aside from Vladika Dmitri of Dallas (his DoS is an anomaly in the OCA and would be a much better fit in ROCOR… it would be much more appreciated there). The production of saints is often a decent marker of a church’s degree of holiness.

        • Kip Wanamaker says

          Someone might be vastly underestimating the amount of male homosexual activity going on involving Antiochian clergy. Don’t pick on the OCA; they are just a bit sloppy about concealing it in my opinion but not more prone to it.

          Pew Research indicates more and more that most Orthodox laity don’t have strong issues with homosexual activity in society. How are the clergy dealing with this? Are you priests hearing of any changes among your parishioners or Youth Groups?

          • M. Stankovich says

            Mr. Wanamaker,

            While this is only my opinion, I believe in furthering this form of “dialogue,” you have seriously worn out your welcome. You are now engaging in a solicitous, offensive form of “Wormwood’s secrets.” A fishing expedition, as it were, of “Someone will break this dirty little circle of silence and give up the queers, if I just dig around…” And it’s not that I wouldn’t bet real money that some here aren’t salivating at the idea of a few “well-placed” outings. And to what end, exactly? That you would feel justified? Exonerated? Revel at the exposure and fall of men? I point out to you the grief of our Father St. Chrysostom at the fall of his friend, Theodore:

            It is not the overthrow of a city which I mourn, nor the captivity of wicked men, but the desolation of a sacred soul, the destruction and effacement of a Christ-bearing temple. For would not anyone who knew in the days of its glory that well-ordered mind of yours which the devil has now set on fire, groan, imitating the lamentation of the prophet; when he hears that barbarian hands have defiled the holy of holies, and have set fire to all things and burned them up, the cherubim, the ark, the mercy seat, the tables of stone, the golden pot? For this calamity is bitterer, yes bitterer than that, in proportion as the pledges deposited in your soul were far more precious than those.

            And so, friend, I extend these same heartfelt words to you. You outed yourself, and it seems to me you and your friends are here to accuse a lack of charity that is unfounded, obviously knowing your choice is unsupportable by the Church, and while I despise the anger and aggression directed against you, I hardly sympathize with your choice to walk into the “lion’s den,” as it were, expecting otherwise. You need to move along.

            My final comment to you is directly from St. Chrysostom, and is sincere and genuine with Christain love and peace:

            There is hope, I said to myself, that, God willing, we will accomplish something; but if that which we deprecate should take place, we shall at least have the advantage of escaping self reproach for keeping silence, and we shall not be worse than sailors on the sea, who, when they behold men of their own craft drifting on a plank, because their ship has been broken to pieces by the winds and waves, take down their sails, and cast anchor, and get into a boat and try to rescue the men, although strangers, known to them only in consequence of their calamity. But if the others were unwilling to be rescued no one would accuse those of their destruction who attempted to save them. This is what we offer; but we trust that by the grace of God you also will do your part, and we shall again see you occupying an eminent place in the flock of Christ.

  10. Hieromonk Mark Kerr says

    Here’s another unsettling dose of science based reality (as opposed to fee-e-e-lings) for the horrified homophobe haters to get hysterical about: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/number-50-fall-2016.

  11. My sister-in-law, who is a PhD, clinical psychologist and heads
    the Psych Dept at a University, absolutely affirmes the conclusions
    of Fr. Mark’s posted article, as well. There is virtually zero proof
    that homosexuality is genetically based. frd+

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says
      • M. Stankovich says

        Fr. Hans, the self-appointed “authority on the impact of ideology and narrative on culture,” refused to allow me to post my response to his skewed assessment of McHugh, “Exposing the Left’s Dogmatism on Sexual Orientation and Gender,” which, obviously is his prerogative. Sour grapes and whatever… As I noted to him, there is no narrative and there is no dialog – in effect, you rob the words of their inherent “power” – by petty manipulation and censure. If he can live with intellectual dishonesty, so can I.

        But there is a very personal sense of disgust I feel in noting to him:

        I do not know if you have been following the “Who is Minding the Store?” thread on Monomakhos, but it is a feast of loathsome derision of homosexual gossip and hate speech that I quietly attempted to ameliorate with a consistent message of scientific data that Drs. McHugh & Mayer have not refuted, but summed it up exactly as I have been stating for 5-years:

        Some of the most widely held views about sexual orientation, such as the “born that way” hypothesis, simply are not supported by science. The literature in this area does describe a small ensemble of biological differences between non-heterosexuals and heterosexuals, but those biological differences are not sufficient to predict sexual orientation, the ultimate test of any scientific finding. The strongest statement that science offers to explain sexual orientation is that some biological factors appear, to an unknown extent, to predispose some individuals to a non-heterosexual orientation. (p. 114)

        No more, no less. And if you would hold this particular study up as the definitive refutation of the “Left’s Dogmatism of Sexual Orientation & Gender,” you owe me a most sincere apology, Fr. Han’s, from your knees, and in public, for all your insult of my integrity, my knowledge, my training, and my expertise in these matters, because in this single conclusion by Drs. McHugh & Mayer is exactly what I have insisted is the truth for five years. Am I foolish enough to ever imagine you would have the courage or humility to admit it?

        I have said any number of times over the course of five years that there is a profound, carefully hidden, but easily exposed outright hatred and rage for homosexuals in the Orthodox Church – somehow even “tolerating” the holocaust of more than a million medical abortions a year and the distribution of fetal tissue and body parts a year in Russia as less abominable in the sight of God Himself. Unimaginable.

        And finally, if there is anyone who actually read McHugh & Mayer and wishes to discuss the actual scientific content behind McHugh & Mayer, please, let’s discuss and debate pursuant to its content and conclusions. It is an interesting, well-developed, and systematic study, and provides some excellent insight, on the whole. But no one, and I mean no one, benefits from the commentary of imbeciles and Google scholars.

        And do, Mr. Michalopulos, run off and notify Fr. Hans that I was talking about him. As a courtesy, that is.

        • I have never understood the biological argument in any case. Some men are born with two x or y chromosomes (xxy or xyy). It’s an interesting little glitch that results in some physical, intellectual and emotional abnormalities. However, the fact that they are predisposed to this or that is irrelevant in the normative sense. We do not base morality on abnormalities.

          Even if there were some biological basis for homosexuality it wouldn’t matter. It’s a mere diversion.

          • Some truth on a Sunday says


            Exactly. The point in searching for a biological basis for homosexuality is to say “I can’t help it,” i.e., to justify my lifestyle. Any Orthodox Saint who has struggled with SSA has said that it is awful, it is allowing oneself to be led by the passions. In virtually all cases, adult homosexuality is in truth a sexualized emotional longing, trying to give that inner child something he didn’t get in childhood. It’s not about the sex. All the gay sex in the world won’t satisfy the inner child’s emotional longing.

            Fr Alexander Schmemann wrote that, in his experience, gay adults came across to him as very self-centered, even if they didn’t realize it. It’s in his wonderful “Journals” (English-language version).

            • Gregory Manning says

              Some truth on a Sunday,
              “It’s not about the sex. All the gay sex in the world won’t satisfy the inner child’s emotional longing.” From this repentant gay man’s perspective, you’ve hit the nail on the head! Well done. A gay man can spend the remainder of his days entirely celibate and yet, because of that broken, misplaced emotional longing, is still a gay man. Remove the sex from the equation and ninety-nine percent of the weight of that cross is still on his shoulders. Regretably, most commentators “preach” the message that if you can just attain celibacy you’re essentially in the clear. But celibacy, like sexual morality in general, is not the goal of Christian living; union with Christ-God is. Authentic sexual morality is a by-product of this union. Spend your days seeking Christ and sins will die on the vine. In this up hill struggle (God being your helper) you will come to see with greater clarity just why sexual immorality is really an offence to God. Indeed, you will yourself become offended by your own sinfulness.

            • M. Stankovich says

              If there were any “truth” to the point you are making, then you will have to explain to me how it is my experience – beginning in the time of holocaust of HIV/AIDS in NYC in the mid to late 1980’s forward – that the majority of my gay patients had normal childhoods, with nurturing families; no discernible “attachment” conflicts (if you even know what that entails); and rarely the stereotypical invasive, fluid-boundaried mother who bordered on a “sexualized dependency,” paired with a distant, emotionally unavailable, unloving, unfeeling, uncaring father; i.e. the traditional Bateson/Stack Sullivan prodromal “breeding ground” for major psychopathology. And the corollary, of course, is for you to explain to me why, given the number of men and couples I have seen in those same years, where the father, in fact, did fit the stereotype perfectly, and we even outright admire his type: stand-up guy; good provider; protective of his wife, kids, & property; 2nd Amendment American; “by-the-book”; action speaks louder than words; Gail said in recent post, “a cowboy”; someone else said “data over f-e-e-e-lings.” And the corollary to your profound conclusion is that all the heterosexual sex in the world won’t satisfy whatever you believe is the “inner child’s emotional longing,” and there are millions more trying as I write. The bottom line: if you were even vaguly correct, we would be inundated with homosexuality, and we are not. Further, it is a well known phenomenon that the prevalence of child sexual abuse and the prevalence of child abuse & neglect is cyclical, meaning we should also see a cyclical pattern of the prevalence of homosexuality as “compensation,” no? No, we do not. You are attempting to establish a “causal” relationship with no reasonable evidence whatsoever.

              I will not lecture you on human genetics, if only because I strongly suspect that I waste my time. But I will tell you, and an assortment of similar commentators, that as a researcher and instructor in human medicine and biogenetics, you do not have a clue as to what it means when one says a condition has a “genetic influence.” Not a clue. You and others would do well to investigate what it means before you make “causal statement, “In virtually all cases, adult homosexuality is in truth a sexualized emotional longing,” perhaps sending the uninformed on a mission of suffering – seeking “cures” at your invention – cures you can no more substantiate than quacks and charlatans who prey on people who suffer. “The point in searching for a biological basis” for any genetically influenced behaviour or condition is to eradicate it and its ability to produce suffering, or to limit or reduce its ability to produce suffering. Period.

              And of all people to select to support your argument, you select Fr. Alexander Schmemann! Fr. Alexander was my confessor and instructor, and one of the most brilliant minds I have ever witnessed, and could be one of the most self-centered men to walk the earth. Go figure. Likewise, while his observations on the futility of the lifestyle of the homosexuals he observed was profound (a waning enclosed garden with no exit – from his “Journals”), he always seemed to be promoting or sending to ordination someone who was gay; all the students knew but, he “didn’t realize it.” He is hardly the person to add credibility to your argument!

              Men, on the whole, hate effeminacy in men; are uncomfortable with strong displays of emotion, valuing a “strong handshake” and slap on the back; and struggle to distinguish warmth, affection, friendship, passion, romance, and sexual feelings in a marital, or opposite-gender relationships (i.e. the only way to be intimate is to be sexual), and have become so paranoid and ashamed of the need for non-sexual same-sex warmth, companionship and friendship, that it seems better to forego than to be accidentally perceived as “gay.” Such is our fallen male gender and I am tremendously saddened.

              Likewise, I am always amused at the notion that sexual orientation is a “choice,” or better, a “moral choice.” I don’t know about any other heterosexual reading this site, but I sure as hell don’t ever recall making a choice, moral or otherwise. Patients have certainly said to me, “I denied this for years, but finally I had to admit it to myself.” But I have never, ever heard of a heterosexual who said, “Now I can go the gay way, or the straight way… what to do, what to do…” In my mind this is a notion of the Orthodox Far Right to set the syllogism, “1) Sexual orientation is “fluid” across the lifespan and can change, 2) You can change if you want to change, 3) If you can’t change, it’s because you don’t want to change.” Certainly we are clear that it is the teaching of the Holy Scripture, The Holy Fathers, the Canonical Fathers, and our Holy Tradition that Christian Marriage is between one man and one woman, and that sex outside of marriage is not condoned. Nevertheless, those with same-sex attraction who live a life of abstinence, repentance, singlemindedness, chastity, and purity on the narrow path to which we are all called to salvation fully and completely participate in the life of the Church. The need to re-orient is a contrivance of charlatan creeps on the Christian Right.

              Finally, let me state the the correct question and response, and it is with respect to Fr. Thomas Hopko, of Blessed Memory, who put it this way: “If the Holy Fathers had the genetic and scientific information available to them that we have available to us today, how would it change the theology of the Church? It would not change the theology of the Church in the least. Nevertheless, it speaks to the question the Apostles posed to the Lord, “His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Jn. 9:2) And the response is telling:

              “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

              Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

              Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

              • Gregory Manning says

                Michael S.
                You have raised some points here which you have done before, and I keep meaning to ask about them but then something comes up and, well…. So, if I may:

                1. You’ve been counselling (?) gay “patients” since the 80’s. You must have seen quite a few. How many would you say? When you say counselling, do you mean therapeutic counselling?

                2. I don’t recall you ever actually mentioning your profession. Are you a licensed therapist, psychologist, etc.? Is it, or has it primarily been your full time profession since the 80’s? Is your special interest homosexuality and if so, why? Are you listed in any recognized, professional psychological/therapeutic/counseling organizational directories? I only ask because I know nothing about your CV and, knowing the importance you place on the qualifications of others to speak with any kind of authority, I felt certain that I could not only ask about yours but that you would be happy to tell me. You speak authoritatively, but it occurred to me that I don’t actually know what your qualifications are. If they are listed in an earlier post on this blog merely direct me to that posting and I will look them up for myself.

                3. You didn’t mention how you determined “that the majority of my gay patients had normal childhoods, with nurturing families”. How exactly did you arrive at these results? How did you verify them? Your methods are reproducible, yes? Did you employ a recognized methodology which led to your conclusions? When you say “the majority”, how many are we talking about? Since, as you say, you’ve been doing this since the 80’s the number must be considerable but you surely have the exact number to hand, yes?

                Thank you for your time!

                • M. Stankovich says


                  First #2, my CV, such as it is, can be found on LinkedIn, like so many others, and you are welcome to look there. As I have written about this matter so many times – and been “outed,” questioned, probed, and accused – so you are welcome to search this site as well. I have an MD, an MA in clinical Psychology, an MSW, an MA in Bioethics, and a degree in Theology from SVS. Oorah. In most things I am merely read. In some things, limited though they be, I am expert. In those areas of which I had a special interest, I sought out a training placement, an internship, and so on. I am well aware of the boundaries and limitations of my training and experience; I employ a traditional evidence-base for what I insist is true; and I am able cite the source of claims I make if it is not my direct experience.

                  While I sense your inquiry is more than simply a gathering of information, I would note that I was a psychiatry resident at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Greenwich Village, NYC, which had the largest HIV/AIDS service on the east coast at the time. And if you are interested in the details of those times, and more specifically their traumatic impact on me as a living, breathing human being dedicated to healing, I am happy to communicate with you privately. I was at St. Vincent’s, Beth Israel Medical Center (in the opiate detox unit), the AIDS and the Family Project at the Clinic of the Ackerman Institute for the Family on 78th Street and Park Avenue, and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in lower Manhattan. Was this my full-time profession? It was unavoidable. Again, if you want to discuss the details, contact me, but no one wanted to voluntarily deal with these patients, and residents did nothing voluntarily. But like many things in your life, situations and persons have a way of instructing you, and ultimately become your passion and vigor and your motivation. The numbers, if you look at the data of the times, were staggering; hundreds came and went, but most simply came, went, and died. Everything had to be managed in groups because there were too many people: support groups, shame & acceptance groups, dementia groups, hospice groups, grief groups, family groups. After this experience, I have always had gay men in every clinical practice experience I have been in. How? In that I have never worked in private nor for-profit practice, someone passes your name along to someone – practitioner or patient – who again passes your name along, etc., etc. I have nearly always had enough men to have an on-going, open-ended therapy group.

                  As to your final question, how do I determine “that the majority of my gay patients had normal childhoods, with nurturing families?” Would it be too pretentious to state, “because I ask?” I trained as a structural family therapist at the Ackerman Institute for the Family – and I refer you to the significance of the that pioneering institution as reference – and am acutely sensitive to the impact of the family on child development. Likewise, I am aware of the extraordinary resilience of children who have experienced trauma in diverse circumstances. I have worked with children who were abused in the worst of sexual, physical, and emotional circumstances in-patient, out-patient, forensic, and school settings, supervized at one point by the Director of the NYS Psychiatric Institute, Child and Adolescent Services at Columbia University Hospital. I believe I am qualified to make such assessments. Certainly I have had homosexual patients who fit the description of emotional longing. I have never disputed this in the least. But to say this is true in “virtually all cases of adult homosexuality” is neither what is reflected in the research literature, nor in my experience. And if it is my personal experience to which you are objecting – as if to suggest I am asserting a sort of unqualified, arrogant insistence on my own reputation and arrogance – ignore me. I am one dumbass among many. Who cares, ultimately, Gregory, in what I think? But you are still left with the research data of many whose experience is not like yours nor is one which coincides with Some truth on a Sunday. It’s not my doing. I didn’t make the data up.

                  I do not wish to be contentious with you, Gregory, and I have attempted to present to you a very simple point that, like many human experiences, there simply is not a single answer that speaks to every aspect for everyone. I truly apologize if what I have written has offended you, but I make no apology for its accuracy. I am not the enemy.

                  • Gregory Manning says

                    Actually Michael I did simply want to know about your qualifications. I have sometimes repeated what another person, apparently well informed, said only to have a listener ask me how I know that person actually knew what they were talking about. Did I ascertain his educational background? His training? Or did I simply assume that his/her apparent intelligence precluded the need to ask such questions?
                    As to the question about making factual claims–based on what I assumed were likely interviews–I felt I should ask more pointed questions about how you established the veracity of those answers as I have gotten the distinct impression that you don’t look favorably on anecdotal testimony as sufficient evidence. So my question was/is: did you believe your patients had good/very good relations with both parents because they said so? How did you determine the truth of their answers so as to be able to make a factual claim based those answers? Did you interview their parents as well? Were they telling the truth?
                    Unlike some here I am not distracted by how you say what you say. I have endured military school, the military, and 30+ plus years working for rich and powerful individuals, many of whom routinely addressed me in course and abusive language on a regular basis. I trained myself to not take anything personally but to discern the pertinent information I needed to know to do my job, buried as it often was within the screaming. I read what you write for the information; not how you present that information. Having said that, it remains my contention that attempting to persuade others to one’s point of view is more likely to succeed with honey rather than vinegar.
                    We must agree to disagree on certain elements of the homosexual debate. You opine on the topic from the perspective of a clinician with a considerable mastery of data and statistics; I from the perspective of one who has lived the life your data and statistics attempt to account for. Nevertheless, as long as George allows it, we will both express our views and opinions, allowing the readers to decide for themselves.
                    Thanks Michael.

                • M. Stankovich says


                  I didn’t see your response, but you confirm exactly what I stated: you were not gathering information, but issuing a cheap sleight-of-hand dismissal. You have selected 5% of my work, created a monolith, and declare “precisely” the limitations of my “opine” because I don’t happen to be a member of the “crew.” Let me point out you to an observation by Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, and author of the classic, Existential Psychotherapy:

                  Therapists have a dual role: they must both observe and participate in the lives of their patients. As observer, one must be sufficiently objective to provide necessary rudimentary guidance to the patient. As participant, one enters into the life of the patient and is affected and sometimes changed by the encounter.

                  You somehow imagine to demean and deprecate my work – joining most intimately – in many cases for years – with the sufferings, the process of insight, of providing hope & direction, and ultimately some sort of insight and healing as “data and statistics.” What a shallow and insulting interpretation you have reached. People did not come to me to be “studied,” counted, or anonymously added to a statistical table. They came because they were, as Yalom puts it, “broken and empty, with literally no recourse or possibility untried.” I certainly did not help everyone who came to me, Gregory, but I helped as many as I possibly could. How? Not attempting to address them as homosexual, or women, or Black, or anything else I simply could not presume to understand. But as any psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist world do, I “joined” them in our common humanity and emotions, something so rarely accomplished in even the most “intimate” of circumstances.

                  The bottom line here is that you don’t me from any one on this earth; we’ve never met, you’ve never heard my motivations, my ambitions, my disappointments, or my regrets. Nietzsche said that when people are not listening, some men begin to shout, and I despise that characteristic in myself. I presume this is to what you refer to as “vinegar,” and I sincerely apologize. I am passionate, without the intention to offend, however frequently unsuccessfully. And I assure you that I place little personal value on being correct; we must value the truth. To that end, I personally resent being made the problem. I am happy to debate pursuant to the substance of the issues. Your comments about me were unfair.

              • It must be awful.

                There is hope in Christ. You recall, in the eschaton, that we are to be transformed. All anomalies resolved. Spiritual bodies. Supernatural bodies. Seven feet tall, the picture of Adam before the Fall. And with a female helpmeet. Eve.

                It will simply change for those who have done well unto the least of these.

                No worries.

            • Kip Wanamaker says

              Gay men who have been picked on and ridiculed since childhood about being girly or pansies can be criticized for being “self-centered?” That is like accusing Black men for being sheepish and distrustful around police. Talk to some gay people before you spread ideas about us. Fr. Schmemann (memory eternal x 3) can be excused, but not us in our day.

        • Fr. Hans never lied nor decontextualized any literature to bend it into a liberal, weaponized talking point. You have just recently on the birth control question and on abortion in Russia and in addressing the role of cooperation between Church and state in the new Russia. In that, you have been shown to be an outright liar and disgraced as a fraud, as someone who uses inaccurate, even contrived quotes, to lie your liberal agenda into legitimacy. You are a hack, an ideologue lacking all moral standing to dialogue in polite conpany.

          FWIW, liberalism is a subset of the bourgeois Right, a corrupt and debauched, morally reprobate subset. It by no means defines the Left: you are the bastard child of Barry Goldwater, not of Karl Marx.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Here lies the problem: imbeciles & Google-scholars will triumphantly jam such a study into your face, demanding – as Fr. Hans did of a respondent on his site – “Did you read the study?” yet is apparently not confident enough to allow another opinion as to the content of the study. Or to put it more directly, he does not wish to be handed his hat, as so many times previously. “Why don’t you publish it on your own blog?” he asked. Fr. Hans knows well enough that if ever got in a room for a live debate with me, I would take his insults, smugness, internet-induced “authority,” his watch, wallet, and what remains of his hair (levity, Abouna, levity). Cowardice becomes you. And let’s seal this internet sandbox special up with justice, shall we: Scott doesn’t understand it – and being pure of heart – even if it were true, ” it wouldn’t matter”; leaving us with with the ringmaster of the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus, desperate to quash me as an “outright liar and disgraced as a fraud, as someone who uses inaccurate, even contrived quotes, to lie your liberal agenda into legitimacy” because I quoted an obscure news source, the New York Times as to the number of medical abortions in Russia in 2015. Imagine. Tartuffe did not check in, but I have to believe he is thinking, “How can I bring this arrogant bastard down a notch, and not forget to ask forgiveness?” I simply have to believe the truth is more important than faggotry.

          I did not proffer this study as an “unsettling dose of science based reality (as opposed to fee-e-e-lings) for the horrified homophobe haters to get hysterical about”; that was Hieromonk Mark Kerr. Nor did I invoke somebody’s “sister-in-law, who is a PhD, clinical psychologist and heads the Psych Dept at a University”; that was the anonymous Fr. David; and certainly I made no claim that this single study “[Exposed] the Left’s Dogmatism on Sexual Orientation and Gender”; that was Fr. Hans. As near as I can tell, the authors have upheld my position as I have consistently presented it without amendment.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          I refused to print a response because you tend to view psychological categories as biologically fixed. It’s a kind of scienticism that assumes that if any psychological category has data that explains it, and if the data is collected and collated in a responsible manner, then the data functions as prima facie evidence that the category is grounded in ontology.

          In fact the assumption is epistemological. And, if the assumption is taken as self-evidently true, then ontology is derived from the epistemology. I’ve said on many occasions that your ontology is flawed and I still hold to it.

          An example would be your inability to reconcile homosexual desire as a passion with you usage of the term “homosexual orientation” which you see as a fixed ontological category. Orthodox anthropology does not see it that way. Another example is you continual juxtaposition of the terms “homosexual orientation” and “heterosexual orientation” as if both are anthropologically equivalent. They aren’t. It’s is a false dichotomy. In fact, heterosexuality should not even be classified as an “orientation.”

          • Yes, Father Hans. I think you’re right.

            The notion of ‘innate sexual orientation’ is based on a mechanistic view of human nature which has never been proved and is impossible to reconcile with orthodox christian theological anthropology.

            The authentically orthodox catholic christian Tradition has always assigned the highest value to human free will, recognizing that we are ALWAYS able to make moral choices no matter what temptations we suffer.

            Some people are tempted by the Evil One to commit sexual sins, Most of the time, these temptations involve fantasies about the other sex but sometimes the same sex as ourselves. Insofar as any of these temptations would lead us into sexual sin, they must be resisted.

            Apart from masturbation, which is also very seriously wrong, sexual sin may be most easily described as having intimate relations with anyone to whom we are not married, marriage being authentically defined as the sacred relationship between one christian man and one christian woman consecrated to each other in and by Christ to help each other ‘work out their salvation in fear and trembling’. No other recombinations of intimate human relationships can work in a life of grace.

            But this is a great appreciation of the work of God in our lives. We Christians are not in a position to say that a hindu or jewish couple are not truly married. As St Paul teaches, if they were to become Christians as a couple, we would recognize their marriage and bless it. If only one partner were to convert, he teaches us how to respond to that as well.

            • M. Stankovich says

              What you have presented here is a garden of vacuous blunder that is authoritative by virtue of… well, by you. Nevertheless it serves as a perfect example of the empty “scholarship” that the likes of you and Fr. Hans pass off as somehow important to the “public square” of the church in this world. I say it is nothing but a distraction and intended to bring personal attention to you.

              If you would have me believe this ridiculous statement that, “The notion of ‘innate sexual orientation’ is based on a mechanistic view of human nature which has never been proved and is impossible to reconcile with orthodox christian theological anthropology, ” then, please, explain to me how it is possible that St. Methodius of Olympus, in such stunningly beautiful poetry, describes the awakening of Adam to, for the first time, look into the eyes of his wife, and they both realize, “you are my other self [εγο],” ultimately different, but as one another, such is the “intimacy.” [PG 10] St. Chrysostom – with absolutely no contradiction – declares that, “according to creation and nature“, and “[prior] to sin and disobedience they [Adam and Eve] were clothed in that glory from above which caused them no shame.” And further, he describes them as “living like the angels,” and as we know from Sts. Chrysostom & St. John of Damascus, as they lived as the angels, so “they were not burning with desire, nor assaulted upon by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature, but on the contrary were created incorruptible and immortal.”

              ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς, male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27). (Nice touch with that font, no?) For what reason or purpose could they have been created, St. Chrysostom asks, and how is it that within the very confines of the garden, where they were living “as the angels,” and therefore “unassailed” by the passions or “subject to the needs of nature,” nevertheless, we are told, “And God blessed them, saying, ‘Increase and multiply’ (v.28)” and we are told that “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. And the two were naked, both Adam and his wife, and were not ashamed. (2:24-25) Were they engaged in a sexual relationship as husband and wife at this time? St. Chrysostom says no:

              Now, Adam had intercourse with his wife Eve [Αδαμ δὲ ἔγνω Εὔαν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ].” (Gen. 4:1) Consider when this happened. After their disobedience, after their loss of the garden, then it was that the practice of intercourse had its beginning. You see, before their disobedience they followed a life like that of the angels, and there was no mention of intercourse How could there be, when they were not subject to the needs of the body? So, at the outset and from the beginning the practice of virginity was in force; but when through their indifference disobedience came on the scene and the ways of sin were opened, virginity took its leave for the reason that they had proved unworthy of such a degree of good things, and in its place the practice of intercourse took over for the future.

              So, in case you are struggling with my point, let me be as succinct as possible: after considering the Holy Scripture and the interpretation of only two Holy Fathers – and trust me, I have not touched the matters of natural law & the ancient philosophers so beloved of the Holy Fathers to confound you and Fr. Hans further – how is possible for you to say that “innate sexual orientation’ is based on a mechanistic view of human nature which has never been proved and is impossible to reconcile with orthodox christian theological anthropology?” Are you saying that sexual orientation – the inherent, mutual sexual desire, “according to creation and nature,” as it was in the beginning and bestowed at the Hand of the Creator – is a “learned behaviour” and fluid across the developmental cycle? And all things being equal, if it is within the realm of possibility within this fluid cycle, that if one may re-orient himself/herself from homosexuality to heterosexuality, it is also possible to perform the converse as well? And how many times across the lifecycle? And finally, since you have so focused on the matter of “free will,” are you suggesting a correlation between sexual orientation and the operation of free will? Better yet, I would suggest that your wisest course of action is simply and quietly withdraw from this discussion.

              • I concur.

                These guys suggesting that all sexual behavior is driven by simple human will have missed the cruise ship leaving port while sitting on a high hill watching other humans get onboard.

                Even anecdotal cases prove them wrong.

                No PhD required, but it is good to see one discounting such silliness.

                There is more than free will at play. The impacts of the parents, even without parental ‘will’, on the child are not something to discount. And, no, the church does not have the ability to overcome subtle parental influences. The church can be a safe harbor, though, and a place of refuge for confusion and emotional distress related to such things.

                And rather than the church ‘winning’ the culture war. It should remain a place of refuge for people struggling, not with SSA per se, but with all human problems.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Anonymous, seriously? You don’t think that most of us understand the role of nurture in the interplay of human sexuality? That’s perhaps the number one reason most conservatives pine for a traditionalist, somewhat morally restrictive society. And another reason why we want children shielded from sexualism for as long as possible. I mean, come on! what’s wrong with allowing children to remain as free and innocent for as long as possible?

                  Where do you get your talking points? Let me tell you where I get mine: life. (I know, it’s anecdotal but here goes): the pervasiveness of pornography clearly has deleterious effects on younger men. As a retail pharmacist I can tell you that it has gotten to the point where I dispense Cialis, Levitra and Viagra to almost as many men under 40 as I do to those over 40. Most probably 1:4 but the shock of dispensing ED drugs to a 30-something man (or younger) is perhaps coloring my perceptions. (Sometimes I look at their profile to see if they are diabetic and only once have I seen this to be the case.)

                  Bottom line: we know that environmental factors play a part in sexual identity.

              • What a shame it is to waste all that rhetoric on me and my opinions.

                I merely suggested that Fr Hans is right and I was referring only to attempts to create a moral justification of homosexual behavior when I wrote: ‘The notion of ‘innate sexual orientation’ is based on a mechanistic view of human nature which has never been proved and is impossible to reconcile with orthodox christian theological anthropology.’

                I didn’t think that our the readership here needed to be reminded that I wrote this in the specific context of homosexuality, which was the framework of this discussion.

                It’s sad that Michael Stankovich can’t just read what I (among other people) write, and understand it in context, rather than start from the POV of his own animus against me (and other people) and go off from there.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  It was abundantly clear what you “meant” in context – which is precisely why I responded – reminding me of the French expression, “It is always better to speak to the organ grinder than to the monkey.”

                  Apparently I am unable to impress upon you – among others – that I write nothing to anyone with the express intention of animus. It is the truth that is of significance. Exactly how many time have I said that if I am shown to be wrong on matters of substance, I will admit my error, retract my error, and repent of my error. It is better that I be openly shown to be incorrect than someone be misled by my mistake. And that, fundamentally, is the difference between us: you do not show the desire, the ability, nor the capacity to admit you are wrong, nor exwert any effort to repent of your error. And the statement above is but another example. Today the problem is my inability to read the English language “in context,” and my “animus” toward you. Whatever, dude. I tire of being held responsible for your convolutions of the Orthodox Faith. And while we’re at it, I also resent being “forgiven” for correcting you.

                  • Apparently, then, Michael Stankovich disagrees with what I wrote concerning homosexuality:
                    ‘The notion of ‘innate sexual orientation’ is based on a mechanistic view of human nature which has never been proved and is impossible to reconcile with orthodox christian theological anthropology.’

                    If that’s the case, then he must believe that homosexual orientation is just as innate as heterosexual orientation.

                    But, biological facts being what they are, both for human beings and other animals and even plants having both male and female sexes, the innate instinct is to reproduce, to ‘increase and multiply’ per God’s command.

                    The moral implications of these physical realities are very serious for us human beings, since we are created ‘in the image and likeness’ of God’, and we pass on those divine characteristics to our children. Our sexual relationships, consecrated in Christ in a holy marriage of one man to one woman provide the ideal environment for raising children, which the saints tell us is our most sacred task on Earth.

                    Yet it would be a mistake to assert that generating children is the sole purpose of marriage. Even St Paul (a lifelong bachelor) acknowledges that companionship and sexual intimacy are important aspects of that blessed relationship in which spouses help each other to ‘work out their salvation in fear and trembling’.

                    Taking those other aspects out of marriage (as traditionally understood by The Church), and avoiding reproduction while seeking intimacy with people to whom we are not married, including people of the same sex, frustrates our natural instincts and defies our Creator, Who made us and everything else ‘good’.

                    Opportunistic, casual,’ recreational’ sex with people to whom we are not married is far below the dignity of human beings. And we haven’t even begun to think about the place of authentic human love in all this.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  Monk James wrote:

                  I merely suggested that Fr Hans is right and I was referring only to attempts to create a moral justification of homosexual behavior when I wrote: ‘The notion of ‘innate sexual orientation’ is based on a mechanistic view of human nature which has never been proved and is impossible to reconcile with orthodox christian theological anthropology.’

                  This is the problem I’ve pointed out again and again about Michael Stankovich’s approach to homosexuality. He uses the term “heterosexual orientation” and “homosexual orientation” interchangeably. This implies a materialist anthropology where the passions have become essentialized and viewed as a intrinsic to the human being, that is, passions are now grounded in ontology. This is not Orthodox Christian anthropology, although the dominant culture has already made this shift.

                  I’ve also pointed out to Stankovich that all passions effect an ‘orientation’ – just talk to the alcoholic, porn addict, or drug abuser. I’ve also asked him if homosexual desire is given the appellation “orientation,” then why not the pederast, pedophile, or bestialist?

                  From the other direction, hetrosexual desire is not an “orientation.” It is grounded in being as affirmed by natural law and Orthodox anthropology.

                  The problem is that whenever questions like this are raised, you are met with another recitation of the resume, general bullying, and a host of other distractions.

                  • “The problem is that whenever questions like this are raised, you are met with another recitation of the resume, general bullying, and a host of other distractions.”

                    Yes, exactly.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    The problem is this: the term “orientation,” as Anonymous so aptly described it, has no application whatsoever to our humanity or anthropology by creation and “as it was in the beginning,” nor any correlation to the natural law. Its efficacy, such as it is, serves only to make distinctions of order in this fallen world, and in reference to this fallen and disobedient humanity. Open your eyes! Do you not understand the words of St. Chrysostom,

                    They [Adam and Eve] were clothed in that glory from above which caused them no shame.” And further, he describes them as “living like the angels,” and as we know from Sts. Chrysostom & St. John of Damascus, as they lived as the angels, so “they were not burning with desire, nor assaulted upon by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature, but on the contrary were created incorruptible and immortal.”

                    There was no heterosexuality, no homosexuality, no pedophilia, no bestiality “in the beginning!” And neither will there be heterosexuality, nor homosexuality, and so on in the kingdom which is to come! (cf. Lk. 20:36) Orientation is a convention of, and necessary to this world, and only in the context of this fallen humanity. Your argument is foolish, extraneous, and wastes my and everyone’s time with your continuous, head-in-the-sand denouncement of terminology that, in the end, are of absolutely no consequence. You would have us stand against one of the most destructive forces against morality in our withering society, and with a straight face proclaim, “There is no homosexuality. It is a plastic construct, blah, blah, blah…” And the reality is that what is lost is the message of Him “who desires that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) I say again to you, Fr. Hans, set aside all your empty social critique and your vanities of the Christian conservative right and pick up the Holy Scripture, the writings of the Holy Fathers, and our Holy Tradition. We would all be better off, rather than to again be forced to endure the magnitude of your ignorance. You deserve to be bullied, and of anyone here, you should especially be grateful to have befitted from my resumé.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Finally you define your construct “as it was in the beginning” and it appears that you add something to Chrysostom’s explanation that he does not say, ie: male and female are not a part of human ontology. I say appears because your arguments imply as much when you conclude that natural law has no bearing on your construction. Genesis however, defines the human being as male and female before the fall so your conclusion that natural law has no bearing, or to phrase it another way, the created bodies of male and female have no bearing on how we comprehend sexuality after the fall, is simply wrong. Orthodox anthropology affirms this point, BTW.

                      To say there was no “heterosexuality” in the beginning subsumes the term into the basket of “orientations.” It is true that sexuality as we understand it was not part of life in the garden. It is not true the male and female is a construct that appeared post-fall. Consequently “heterosexualty” ought to be defined not as an “orientation,” that is, a passion, since heterosexual relations are in accord with nature while the the other passions are not. From another direction, the unnaturalness of a passion is an important part of defining them as such.

                      The “plastic construct” you mentioned actually applies to anthropology and affirms a point I made earlier here: you hold to a plastic anthropology. Anthropology is plasticized when the passions are essentialized, that is, seen intrinsic to the human being and thus part of ontology. Your reduction of heterosexuality to a passion (which arises out of your negation of male and female as ontology) affirms it.

                      In Orthodox anthropology “heterosexuality” as an orientation does not exist. Relations between a man and woman conform to nature — natural law (although of course the definition of what constitutes the proper relationship between a man and woman requires more insight than what natural law alone provides). Any other kind of “orientation” violates that law.

                      If you want to use the term “orientation” as a diagnostic category then you should only apply it in a therapeutic context. That would work as long as the limits of psychology are recognized. You use the term in a theological context all the time however — even proof-texting Chrysostom above to make a point wholly unrelated to what he says. This is one reason why your arguments are muddled.

                      Lest you doubt that male and female relate to ontology, don’t forget we venerate the Theotokos as Mother. She will remain a Mother even when all things are restored as they once were in Eden.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      For anyone new to this nearly six-year rond-de-jambe of the good Father Hans, he has taken it upon himself to engage me – toe-to-toe – from my very first post on his site in matters of which he has not a clue of insight, and of which I have dutifully instructed him. I will insist vigorously that I have not changed a single word in anything I have said since that initial post, having used the patristic expression, “as it was in the beginning” hundreds of times over the course of the years. Today, however, Fr. Hans – with all the self-importance of Emile Zola’s headline in the French newspaper L’Aurore: J’ACCUSE! – “Finally you define your construct…” Sit down, you Karl Rovian poseur and I will set you straight.

                      You were simply too lazy to seek out the Homily 15 from St. Chrysostom’s Homilies on Genesis where you would have found just how correct my conclusions are, but chose, again, to attempt to fake it with a load of Christian Right, heterodox code words, claiming I am “proof-texting” the foundation of Orthodox anthropology for which you cannot cite a single source. I have no intention of helping you. Just pointing out your massive ignorance. Please, Reverend Father, in the Orthodox Tradition of “joining with the Holy Fathers before us,” demonstrate to everyone exactly where I have misspoken or erred by citing the Holy Fathers, not “stuff” in your head. You will not because you cannot. You are a homophobe willing to support any quack, creep, or charlatan who suggests that there is “evidence” that “homosexuality” does not exist in this fallen world; that the evidence that a homosexual can change is abundant, and if you want to want to change you can change; and, try as you might, if you can’t change, you really didn’t try. And if you don’t change, you are an abomination. I ask, where do you find the the Lord? As His disciples found him: among the sick and despised, bringing the message, “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matt. 11:28) The Church is the narrow path of repentance, singlemindedness (σωφροσύνη), purity, abstinence, and forgiveness to which we are all called by the Physician & Healer. No one need change their orientation, but only their heart.

                    • Fr. Hans,

                      While I do not disagree that gender (or our human sexual distinction – whatever you choose to call it) is not abolished but rather glorified, I would be inclined to be careful of using the word ontology when discussing it. I am not being critical, only cautionary.

                      Saint Maximos explores this subject in great depth.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      St. Maximus does not explore the subject of gender “in great depth.” He speculates on it briefly in one work. Until very recently, nobody in the Church made much use of his speculation, and even today scholars cannot agree on what he meant.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Lucky you, Fr Hans! Wrote your message today, the 16th, and George posted it already! I, on the other hand, posted yesterday, the fifteenth, and am still waiting! You did not challenge George, though, so…..

          • He just quoted a scientist below suggesting “some biological factors appear, to an unknown extent”. I’d hardly say he suggested anything was “biologically fixed” as you suggest.

            Stop refusing to post Stankovich. If you do, it just means your pearls aren’t wisdom and your theology can’t win, or you refuse to reason, which is far worse. For the juxtaposition of defining terms? Really? Is that all Orthodoxy can stand up for? To avoid the juxtaposition of terms. Sad. I’d even agree that heterosexual orientation is sort of silly, but perhaps needed when trying to differentiate in a study between gay and normal, if nothing else to avoid seeming full of inherent bias. Oi vey. It isn’t political correctness, so bite your tongue. And as a caveat, I don’t even go to that site.

            Quiz for the experts posting here, caveat, I’m not.

            In a world where atheism is the norm. What are the rates of homosexuality?
            Correlation studies?


            I don’t know and I don’t want to google it, but I’ll take a guess. The rates for countries dominated by [DO NOT QUOTE] atheism are nearly the same, perhaps even statistically indifferent. Translation. (moron translation) Theology or religion is almost [DO NOT QUOTE] useless in impacting the occurrence of homosexuality in society. (the parentheticals should be obvious, but I don’t want someone to chop up the context)

            Homosexuality isn’t best as I see it, but Orthodoxy goes too far reading impassioned letters to empty churches.

            Why don’t you forget about the differences in the bell spectrum position and find some common ground?

          • M. Stankovich says

            There was a time, Fr. Hans, when I felt a need to defend myself against your reputation and Karl Rovian tactics of argument. Then it dawned on me: you are not read in Classic Philosophy, the arts, anthropology, Ancient nor New Testament Greek, the Holy Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the Canons, nor our Tradition. Further, in retrospect, pretty much whatever you know “foundationally” in regard to human medicine, genetics, endocrinology, psychiatry, and so on, you learned from me. My conclusion: it will be a cold day before you will “school me,” Fr. Hans, because you are neither qualified nor competent to do so.

            I read your comments above, and I simply say this: bait somebody else. A confident man would have gladly accepted my critique of McHugh and awaited the opportunity to “take me down a notch.” Instead, you thought it better to serve me a cold plate of intellectual faggotry. You are insignificant and a grandiose, arrogant waste of my time.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Oh my! Is Father Hans’s “scienticism” related to scientism? Then there’s all that terminology tossed into the mix from Philosophy 101! Egads!

    • M. Stankovich says

      I would strongly suggest that your Ph.D. Psychologist sister-in-law is answering to matters outside her area of expertise. The question at hand is not a question of psychology, per se. Paul R. McHugh, MD is a psychiatrist & acknowledged expert in matters related to gender & gender dysphoria. He is not recognized as an expert in matters related to sexual orientation, which is significantly different. Having read the study, I believe that he errs in arguing from a traditional argument of a single entity, “homosexuality,” i.e. that his “conclusions” apply to anyone and everyone who identifies as homosexual systematically and equally. This is exactly how exploring, for example, animal models and antecedents of human behaviour in common genetic traits has opened the door to medical interventions never before possible. I will write more about this article, but for now, I would suggest that “virtually zero proof” is ridiculously ignorant.

      • M. Stankovich says

        How about we leave it at “ridiculously ignorant” and split the difference?

        • Michael Warren says

          We know you are a ridiculously ignorant, gay crusading, liberal propagandist.

          1/3 of instances of Homosexuality can be ascribed to in utero fetal stressors. 2/3 to abnormal sexual development. In all instances sexual behavior, identity and activity is a moral choice. Newest research shows there is no gay gene and, no people are not born as gay perverts, pedophiles, schizophrenic or OCD.

      • M. Stankovich says

        I know the writing on the “Monomakhos wall” when I see it. “Authority” here is anonymously quoting your anonymous sister-in-law from an anonymous university; empty “stats” from the scientifique imbecile impudique Mr. Warren, himself a rich source of fetal stress; and the liguist, Mr. Panos, who knows exactly what about human genetics/epigenetics? I’m sure the sudden interest in this thread has to do with the shameful, salacious “homo” stories that now dominate. Lost are Dr. McHugh’s best intention to simply suggest:

        The strongest statement that science offers to explain sexual orientation is that some biological factors appear, to an unknown extent, to predispose some individuals to a non-heterosexual orientation. p.114

        I will not waste my time attempting to convince you beyond that.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Michael s., these guys want to prove that although they have the same urges as these homosexuals, they are able to CONQUER their impulses through moral probity, not because they weren’t born with the same drives as homosexuals do.

        • And there it is, an “Orthodox” bishop parroting the Lady Gaga “born this way” myth regarding homosexual behavior. Damn the Scriptures, the preaching of the Church Fathers, Apostles and Saints, the witness of the Church moral Tradition regarding sin and the human condition and the mounting scientific evidence that confirms there is no genetic link between DNA and homosexual behavior.


          Key Findings
          It’s worth reading the report in full. Here I begin by summarizing four of its principal findings. Based on the data presented by hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies, the report concludes:

          1. Claims that sexual orientation is immutably determined by biology are not supported by scientific evidence.

          2. Claims that gender identity is somehow fixed and innate, yet is also independent of biological sex, are likewise not supported by scientific evidence.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Centurion! I believe this remark was about me: “And there it is, an “Orthodox” bishop parroting the Lady Gaga “born this way” myth regarding homosexual behavior.” Please point out or quote my parroting any myth about homosexual behavior at all. I’ll be waiting. If you produce such, then I’ll inform you of my core beliefs about sexuality. Good luck!

          • That is absolutely insane: His Grace did not say anything even remotely close. Are you yet another incarnation of the MW and Misha?

            • Carl,
              Are double negatives that difficult for you to figure out?
              Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald): “not because they weren’t born with the same drives as homosexuals do.”

              The logical and clear inference of what BT posted is that homosexuals are BORN with their urges. Hence the Lady Gaga “born this way” reference.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                True, very true.


              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                CENTURION, what you INFER is not what I implied! I said that by denying that such drives are innate, an implication is made: that EVERYONE is born with the same impulses. Homosexuals act on some of them; heterosexuals conquer those SAME IMPULSES, virtuously!

  12. Phil R. Upp says

    It seems no one knows Calin’s history. Since BT is here, I’m sure he’ll remember. Calin was kicked out of SVS because he had a questionable relationship with someone on 2nd St. in NYC. He was labeled as not worthy for ordination. WELL, Calin appealed to BT who sat on the Ordination Review Committee of the Synod of the OCA. BT thought this was his opportunity to “put his thumb in the eye” of Dean Hopko and SVS. Please note, BT has always hated SVS and worked against SVS since he himself only spent 3 months there before ordination. So, Calin was ordained, appointed to the 2nd St. Cathedral of the OCA where he and his partner still engage. A true embarrassment to all of Orthodoxy, the OCA and SVS. Needless to say, no bishop wants to associate themselves with 2nd St. to this day. Hey BT, good job; how’d your support for homo’s in San Fran & LA go?

  13. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Phil R. Upp bears false witness. There was NEVER EVER any “Ordination Review Committee” of the OCA”s Synod! I am totally ignorant of any case involving said Priest while I served as a Bishop. There was no opportunity, such as this liar mentions, to put a thumb in anyone’s eye, let alone that of FATHER T. Hopko! I was enrolled at SVS for the full school year from September 1965-June 1966 (a simple call to the SVS office will bear this out). I returned to active duty in the U.S. Air Force in September 1967. Fr John Meyendorff was my confessor at SVS. We corresponded on and off for several years after that, and I retain some of those letters. Fr John often asked me, “Stephen, what was the REAL reason you dropped out?” I served on the Air Staff (HQS USAF) in the Pentagon as Deputy Chief, Personnel Security Group from 1967-71, In the Fall of 1971, the new Bishop of Washington, Dmitri, suggested to me that I should be doing more for the Church (I sang in both choirs and read at Slavonic Vigils at St Nicholas. When His Grace mentioned the Diaconate, I protested that I had only matriculated for one school year at SVS. Bishop Dmitri said, “Don’t worry, Stephen, I already checked with Father Alexander and he said I should tell you to list him as a reference!:” That is how I came to be ordained on December 19, 1971 at St Nicholas by Bishop Dmitri.
    Phil R Upp asked me about my “support for homo’s (SIC) in San Fran (SIC) & LA.” I did not support such ever. In fact ONE of the reasons I quit SVS was the overpowering ubiquity of homosexuals there. I still remember a “pre-the” being so in love with seminarian David B—- that another semunarian, now an old Priest on Lon Island, decked him as he was trying to go up the stairs to see David! That same Pre-The, at Forgiveness Vespers executed his third kiss by sticking his tongue WAY into my astonished mouth! A Serbian student told me he was “gay” and struggling, but that his struggle was made harder by the permissive attitude of the administration–a young and gay lay teacher of Greek, he said, had been appointed by “the Archpriests” (Professor Verkhovskoy’s expression) to just “monitor and keep us informed” of any homosexual students. Then there was my classmate who said I appeared in his dreams as a UNICORN. He went on to become a Bishop, although both Fathers John and Alexander had told me he would be referred to a psychiatrist (he had been a dropout from (Episcopalian) General Seminary before converting and matriculating at SVS. Then there was the French-Canadian who caused me to stop wearing a nightshirt and begin wearing pyjamas because he kept saying stuff like, “Oh, Stephen, sometimes we can see EVERYTHING when you sit down!” In later years the “Monitor of the Gays” was ordained and became an Archimandrite, but he subsequently died of A.I.D.S. Phil, I’m just skimming the surface here for obvious reasons. I wish you’d retract your ignorant lies for your own sake, We don’t need to know the identity of which you are patently ashamed: GOD knows it!

  14. Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

    In other news, a priest at the OCA cathedral in DC has baptized the artificially conceived and surrogate-born son of a militantly homosexual Russian man, despite warnings from people who know the man and with the blessing of Met. Tikhon.

    • M. Stankovich says

      I no longer even flinch when the likes of Tartufffe and the anonymous creeps who outright revel in the seamy details of a man’s sin. And I can only recall the despair and heartbreak of Fathers such as Chrysostom, who weep with sorrow, begging and praying for their change of heart. You, Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell should know better than to bust in here like some TMZ reporter, second-guessing and reproaching the pastoral decision of the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America. I am to meet your bishop in several weeks and I will inquire as to how you, who worked this room hard for support in a decision that embarrassed your former Metropolitan, are able to publicly “critique” outside both your rank and jurisdiction. I suggest you pray for this man, and pray for this child – this image of the Kingdom of Heaven – who through no fault of his own, is called to Holy Baptism as were we all. May God strengthen him and protect him with His own Right Hand for the obvious difficulties that face him.

      • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

        You mean the decision not to commune the flagrantly gay at the OCGay cathedral in DC? Yes, I worked hard for that decision. Tell my bishop that I did. I’ll thank you for the recommendation.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Indeed. You are that arrogant, haughty man who “has said in his heart, God has forgotten: he hides his face; he will never see it,” (Ps, 10:4) and is too ignorant to savour his moment of insignificance and disappear. And Lord knows you continue to lack the maturity and self-restraint of obedience to stop yourself.

      • We know by your dishonest and four letter word, Crestwood, meta-educated participation here that you are at war with Orthodox morality and Orthodox moral theology. No asinine Syosset-Crestwood posturing really needs be belched to remind us. Thing is you lie and distort to manufacture your “facts” and that is why you don’t have a legitimate voice here.

    • If true, Fr. Dcn, this “baptism” is a travesty. Do we believe in magic, that if one simply says the rights words and uses the right stuff reality can be changed? How can the exorcisms mean anything and the three-fold renunciation of Satan, the three-fold statements of uniting oneself to Christ and the three-fold assertion that one has done so? How will this child be reared in the Faith so that his Baptism is true instead of counterfeit? Here I thought that for in infant to be brought to Baptism at least one of his custodial parents must be Orthodox and his godparent Orthodox since Baptism is into Christ and His Body, the Church. But the background to this story, if true, does not attest to this and does not bode well for the child, his father, his godfather, the priest, the parish or the Church. Where is the Bride without spot or wrinkle? I weep for the way we insist on crucifying Christ anew and trampling under foot the blood of our Saviour. Lord, have mercy on us, sinners–and change us.


    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Protodeacon! Do you think that an infant sponsored by a God-parent who is an Orthodox Christian should not be baptized because of the character/sins of his FATHER? If so, you have no business serving in our Church until you repent!
      Who is your Bishop?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Witness my good Bishop WITNESS! You are baptizing a Homosexual’s child that has no intention of raising that child in Orthodoxy.
        This scandalizes the faithful.


        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Peter Papoutsis! If that baby dies, you’ll comfort yourself with your virtue in providing holy WITNESS by having deprived a baby of Baptism? What a great WITNESS!
          What about all the babies that were secretly brought at night by grandparents or neighbors in the USSR to be baptized AGAINST THE WISHES OF ATHEIST PARENTS who had “no intention of raising that child in Orthodoxy?”
          You’re not witnessing–you’re expressing a malice equal to that of the Protodeacon of Indignation!

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            The mercy of God takes care of the baby. As for the so-called Atheist parent argument that’s comparing Apples to Oranges. One group intends to secretly raise the child Orthodox. The others does not and is doing so to wage war on Christ’s Church.

            On another note, enjoy Labor Day.

            Finally, I just received a copy of the GOAA’s new English translation of the Divine Liturgy. I was wondering if you have had a chance to see it and study it and if you have any thoughts on it.

            Thank you your Eminence. Take care.


            • George Osborne says

              Baptism is not a magic rite that automatically confers some sort of permanent guarantee of salvation. The effect of Grace is only realized in the context of the Church as the Kingdom of God. Being baptized gives one the healing of God but that does not confer some sort of automatic immunity from sin either. It provides the necessary prerequisite for being empowered in struggling to actually live a life pleasing to God. There is no doubt the baby was baptized but whether of not the child will grow in grace is something else indeed.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              Peter What group “intends to secretly raise the child Orthodox?” Atheist parents in the USSR? Won’t it be easier for this American sponsor to PUBLICLY “raise the child Orthodox?” There is NO canonical requirement for parents to be Orthodox.You are reporting on somebody’s bylaws, not the teaching of the Church or its canons. The most important influence in upbringing is the mother, who is forbidden to be in Church at the time when, according to Tradition, a child should be baptized.There’s a point of view, probably the high and mighty Protodeacon’s, that believes that homosexuals do not deserve to have their babies baptized “like ours.” GeorgeOsborne has his doubts about infant baptism, obviously, given his grudging concession that it only works if parents are devout: otherwise, it’s “magic.”

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                I disagree, but you are a bishop what do I know.

                In any event, good night, God bless and please pray for me.

                Take care,


                • Estonian Slovak says

                  As one who secretly baptized his grandson, I agree with the bishop. That’s another reason I am anonymous.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    I didn’t disagree with the Good Bishop either on that specific point. I disagreed with his improper comparisons.

                    That’s the difference.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                For the Record:

                Bishop Tikhon stated on September 8, 2016:

                What about all the babies that were secretly brought at night by grandparents or neighbors in the USSR to be baptized AGAINST THE WISHES OF ATHEIST PARENTS who had “no intention of raising that child in Orthodoxy?”

                I stated in response:

                As for the so-called Atheist parent argument that’s comparing Apples to Oranges. One group intends to secretly raise the child Orthodox. The others does not and is doing so to wage war on Christ’s Church.

                Bishop Tikhon then stated:

                Peter What group “intends to secretly raise the child Orthodox?” Atheist parents in the USSR?

                As it can be seen this is your classical bait and switch turning the argument on its head and around. Unfortunately for Bishop Tikhon this is his M.O. and he has done it for years from what I have been able to discover.

                I will continue to debate him and hold his feet to the fire and expose his many rhetorical tricks and breaks in logic, but I think many on this blog and throughout the years he’s been posting on the internet have caught on to his tactics.

                Just wanted to clear that up. Carry on.


                • A secretly-baptized child born to atheist parents would at least have sponsors to bring him/her up with the knowledge of God, the people who brought the child for baptism in the first place.

                  A child being raised in a homosexual mockery of a family, however, is in a completely different situation. What kind of unrepentantly homosexual “couple” would choose godparents who were in full agreement with the Church’s teachings, and instruct the child accordingly? The child is going to be raised to be nominally Orthodox while detesting authentic Orthodox teaching. That is the essential difference.

                  But hey, who cares what soul-destroying heresy such children will grow up to believe, who cares how they will be raised to despise the grace they were given as infants? What really matters is that we think of ourselves as being really nice and pastoral by treating Holy Baptism as if it were a cheap participation trophy.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Wow! Helga got it. Why not a Bishop of our Church? Hmmm?


                  • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                    And what about the other souls involved?

                    It’s not all about the baby. It’s also about the gay man who is getting his way and feeling emboldened by his triumph. And the sponsors who are encouraged in their complicity. And the weak in faith who are being shown a weak way of cowardly concession. And the faithful who are repulsed by such cowardice and will go elsewhere.

                    Really, if you want a gay church, this is how you build one.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      I think the OCA and GOAA already have that. They just haven’t put pen to paper to make it official. I hope I am wrong, but my gut tells me otherwise.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Every single Sunday across this country in some Orthodox church, in every jurisdiction, some Orthodox priest is marrying a couple he knows will not not be married in two years tops, yet he will not take a stand against it. Why? Because what bishop, in what diocese, in what jurisdiction will support such a stand? None, nowhere. End of story. What did you say, Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell, cowboy and moral authority on nothing: “The weak in faith who are being shown a weak way of cowardly concession. And the faithful who are repulsed by such cowardice and will go elsewhere.” Baloney. If you want a church of indifference, look about you. And I’ll bet you can’t even get up on a horse…

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Dr S, that’s not true. There is no way that the priest in question “knows” that the couple standing before him will divorce in two years (unless he has the prophetic insights of St John of Kronstadt.) And the children that are born to that couple will grow old and die as well even though we live in the hope of the Resurrection. That doesn’t mean that we stop reproducing.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Nope. I cancelled a wedding once right before it started. Never had any flack about it either because it was the right decision and everyone knew it except the parents. (The betrothed couple was relieved.)

                      Even so, how could you possibly know that:

                      Every single Sunday across this country in some Orthodox church, in every jurisdiction, some Orthodox priest is marrying a couple he knows will not not be married in two years tops, yet he will not take a stand against it. Why? Because what bishop, in what diocese, in what jurisdiction will support such a stand? None, nowhere.

                      You don’t know because it is simply not true.

                      Everyone gets married for different reasons but after three or four years you learn that staying married takes a discipline that has to be learned and it applies across the board. The reasons matter but the intention and commitment matter more.

                    • Yeah, Fr Hans is right. But the two year remark is revealing. That’s usually the period of time it takes for one to convert to a protestant evangelical church, get bored and leave. Eighteen months is normally given as the longest that PEA, the infatuation hormone, does its magic.

                      What Stankovich is describing is a projection of the longest that two ships passing in the night, so to speak, might linger for purely animalistic reasons, nothing else disturbing the habit.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Good work, Mr. Michalopulos! An appeal to a voice from the wilderness to suggest I am doing nothing more than barker (with all apologies to Mr. Thomas of the same) a special “talent,” as it were, to guessing the weight of you and your bride-to-be of “How long?” Rev. Jesse Jackson, “Not long.”

                      And here, with my meta-educated, $18.95 MD, Crestwood Revovationist Uniate-lovin’ opinion, from the keenest of observation derived from Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s Problems of Orthodoxy in America, I direct your attention to what is coming up on two (count ’em) missing generations of Orthodox Christians lost to ethnic secularization and indifference. Nevertheless, they come to be married, to baptize their children, and bury their dead. What is their great advantage? Apparently, they are not homosexual, and thus, as the poseur Helga states, “What really matters is that we think of ourselves as being really nice and pastoral by treating Holy Baptism as if it were a cheap participation trophy.” And hey, who’s not above a “nudge” from a little weasel in a cowboy hat like that guy from David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive?” Remind people, “Really, if you want a gay church, this is how you build one.” Shot to the ribs.

                      You, and any other priest, who would come to a public forum like this and say “I never had a gut sense a couple was bound to fail in their marriage,” even if you were genuine enough to say, “but I left it in the hands of God” is dishonest, Fr. Hans. Worse, however, are those who proceeded to avoid the inevitable consequences, and Lord knows the uncountable numbers, and the unknowable impact of that decision. Let me make my point again, with emphasis:

                      Every single Sunday across this country in some Orthodox church, in every jurisdiction, some Orthodox priest is marrying a couple he knows will not not be married in two years tops, yet he will not take a stand against it. Why? Because what bishop, in what diocese, in what jurisdiction will support such a stand? None, nowhere.

                      It is true. Unquestionably so. Now, Mr. Michalopulos, since no one seems to be willing to be honest about topics of reality – abortion, divorce – and you have driven the topic of homosexuality into the ground and have seemingly sworn off anything edifying and inspiring, perhaps you move the cycle on to Jonah and psychiatric hospitals. That hasn’t been discussed in a bit…

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Protodeacon! Tell us if the Baptism of the infant son of a militant homosexual by an Orthodox Priest with an Orthodox sponsor is WITH Grace or WITHOUT Grace. Thanking those Holy Fathers and teachers that here informed us ignorant ones of their discovery that Baptism is not magic, I ask them how the Grace of the Holy Spirit could be CONQUERED by homosexuality of a parent! Surely you are not also and beyond that a crypto-Lutheran that requires individual purity of Faith to “validate” a Mystery! Examined carefully, I feel you and some others here “have your doubts” about infant Baptism EVER!

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      “God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

                      This is why we do not baptize just anybody, and why we do not accept the baptisms of just anybody, indiscriminately. We must have good reason to believe a baptism was done in the right spirit and in truth. We don’t have it in this case.

                      And again, it’s not all about the baby; it’s about everyone involved, and we are all involved. Baptism involves the whole Church — and even those outside the Church because of the witness it bears to the world about what we must do to avail ourselves of God’s grace.

                      Baptizing people indiscriminately bears the wrong witness, just as communing people indiscriminately bears the wrong witness. Both obscure the difference between life and death. Both say to the world, “It doesn’t matter how you live; God gives everyone a free pass.”

                    • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

                      Pardon me for jumping in, but don’t many priests, OCA and other, require a normal heterosexual couple to attend services and premarital counseling for several weeks or even months, before even agreeing to perform their wedding, let alone baptize any children issuing from such a marriage?
                      The issue here, Your Grace, is NOT that the Grace of the Holy Spirit could be conquered by the parent’s homosexuality. The issue is that the priest performing the Baptism and the sponsor(s) are giving their approval to a false marriage. Of course, the child is innocent. I have mixed feelings about leaving the child unbaptized. BUT, I would have to question the faith of a sponsor who would accept such a marriage as a real marriage.
                      People should not hide behind innocent children to push their agenda. This is the language of the libs who argue that sending illegals back to their native countries hurts innocent children. If the parents hadn’t violated the law in the first place, the children wouldn’t be hurt. I realize it’s a dilemma. My own conscience would be troubled at having to refuse to baptize a child of a(sic) same-sex marriage, but I couldn’t do something which would indicate my blessing that so-called marriage.
                      I’m sorry, Your Grace, I’m just an old country priest from Vermont. I lack the higher education of Your Grace, Dr. Stankovich, and many others who post here. I just don’t see how we can turn our backs on what has always been taught by the Church.
                      I’ll provide an example. The Sunday after Pentecost, I was at a Greek Orthodox Church Festival. I got to talking to the Rector. When the subject of the Old Calendar came up, he remarked something to the effect that Sts. Basil the Great and John Chrysostom, who were all about science and learning, would shoot the Old Calendarists out of the water. But then when the talk turned to same-sex activity, the priest said, “Well, it’s something that needs to be talked about.” Suddenly, there was no talk of Chrysostom or St. Basil any more.

                    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

                      “Its not all about the baby.” Yes, actually it is. Vladyka Tikhon is correct. People are at this juncture making stuff up as they go along. While we could not baptize the unrepentant parents, we certainly must baptize the child–“the child shall not share the guilt of the parent” (Ezek. 18.20) and all that. This whole idea that we don’t baptized babies unless they “will be” (like we could really see the future on that one) brought up in a fully dedicated Orthodox family is nonsense. It is not supported at all in the canons, the fathers, or in the baptismal service itself, which is solely concerned with the salvation of the person being baptized.

                      This reminds me of the argument “we shouldn’t clean the house because the kids will mess it up tomorrow anyway.” Likewise, “we shouldn’t feed them good food because the parents will give the McDonald’s tomorrow anyway”.

                      We don’t give a baptized child communion based on the parent’s worthiness nor on their moral rectitude. Why would we restrict, against all scriptural ordinance, the grace-filled mystery of baptism from an innocent? It is ridiculous.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      The Protodeacon seems to be the east coast representative of the Judas Iscariot School of “That’s Not Fair,” yet offers us absolutely nothing by way of guidance apart from a non-sequitur from the Scripture and his own fear that somebody is getting away with something. As I recall, the Lord instructed His Disciples to, “Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:6-8) Thankfully, there is someone here, unwilling to quack from his hat…

                      The reasoning of the Holy Fathers in this matter is quite interesting and refreshingly uncomplicated (a bit like the reasoning of the Eunuch riding with the Apostle Philip: “they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?” Acts 8:36). Irenaueus of Lyon argues that, quite distinct from our cognizance of the fact, “Through baptism our physical bodies are protected from eternal corruption, and our souls, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the baptismal water, are made participants in the life of God.” Book Five, Against Heresies. Clement of Alexandria adds that “our characters are not the same as before our washing. And since knowledge springs up with illumination, shedding its beams around the mind, the moment we hear, we who were untaught become disciples. Does this, I ask, take place on the advent of this instruction? You cannot tell the time. For instruction leads to faith, and faith with baptism is trained by the Holy Spirit.” (Ch. 12, The Paedagogus). But most interesting is what we find in the discussion of the Fifteen Canons of the Regional Synod Held in Neo-Caesarea of Cappadocia, because not only do they address why we baptize infants in the first place, but those who face “danger” – and obviously this “danger” can be literal physical harm, but also extends to unbelieving parents, in the same hope, “For who knows, woman, that [by your faith] you may save you husband” (1 Corinthians 7:16).

                      These fathers first argue that, pursuant to St. Chrysostom’s homily, “Regarding the paralytic lowered through the roof ” (Mk. 2:2-11) [PG 48], children should always be baptized, as should anyone with “weakness so excessive that he cannot command enough strength to believe.” They are, in the words of Dionysios the Areopogite,”henceforth under the care of a Divine Father and a caretaker of their salvation.” Further, they quote St. Gregory the Theologian, from his Theological Orations [PG 38],

                      Infants which can feel neither any loss nor any grace ought to be baptized if they are exposed to danger, since it is better for them to be baptized even without knowing the grace of baptism than to die unbaptized and imperfect, seeing that even circumcision, which was a type of baptism, was administered to infants eight days old that were devoid of thought and destitute of knowledge; and furthermore in view of the fact that anointing the thresholds of the door of Jews which was done with blood, safeguarded the firstborn by means of senseless things (1 Corinthians 7:18).

                      I remain mystified at this relentless turmoil as to the supposed “scandal” this baptism is said to pose for the church. Is it lost on everyone that when the Lord heard the children who had been brought to him to touch him had been “rebuked” [ἐπιτιμάω] by the apostles, the KJV notes that He was “displeased”; but the Greek says Ἰησοῦς ἠγανάκτησεν from the verb ἀγανακτέω, meaning a strong (even violent) visceral reaction. We either believe in a Just Judge and a God of Justice, or we are the victims of a God of indifference – or worse – impotence and in need of our intervention into the matters of this world to piece together justice as best we can. My thought: learn the lesson of Job and get out of the business of eternity.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      No, Fr. Harry, the baptismal service does not support your claim that it’s all about the baby. The service requires sponsors. Why, if it’s all about the baby? It also requires the sponsors to speak words of truth? Again, why, if it’s all about the baby?

                      If it’s all about the baby, why doesn’t the Church advertise that she’s giving away free baptisms to all infant comers? You yourself could do that. You could take out ads offering to baptize anybody’s baby, no questions asked, no strings attached. Great way to evangelize. Get people in the door. Show them some kindness. Maybe plant a seed. Why haven’t the Fathers thought of that? Why have they not made a practice of appealing to unbelievers to get their babies baptized, just in case?

                      They have not because of what such an offer might mean to unbelievers. It could mean several things. It could mean that baptism is a magical act requiring nothing of the person being baptized. It could mean that babies are born sinful and the Christian God will damn them to hell if they die unbaptized. Or it could mean that Christians take baptism very lightly, so lightly that it’s become a gimmick to get people in the door.

                      In this case, it could mean that the Church does not require repentance or condemn immorality. It could also mean that the Church is simply blind to the danger of subversion by people who truly hate her and her teachings and who wish to destroy her from within by populating parishes with perverts.

                      No, it’s not all about the baby. We must care what will cause a brother to stumble, or scandalize the faithful, or embolden the ungodly. If eating meat sacrificed to idols sends the wrong message, we must not do it.

                    • According to Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell, “We must have good reason to believe a baptism was done in the right spirit and in truth.”

                      Sts. Porphyrios the Actor and Genesius of Rome would disagree.

                    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

                      Look Protodeacon, there is no problem with your stand on sexual immorality. But the Priest cannot refuse to baptize the child without serious abrogation of duty to God. The Priest will need to make clear the expectation that the child be taught and reared in full in the Orthodox Faith. Whether the parents comply is on them. The Godparents must agree and if they do not, they can be replaced.

                      The fact that God would not condemn the child to hell does not in any way make acceptable to deny baptism to the child, as we pray to God that the child be given “that great grace of Your holy Baptism. Put off from him (her) the old man, and renew him/her unto eternal life; and fill him/her with the power of Your Holy Spirit, in the unity of Your Christ; that he/she may be no more a child of the body, but a child of Your kingdom through the good will and grace of Your Only begotten Son, with Whom You are blessed, together with Your most holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now ever and unto ages of ages”

                      If the Godparents do not agree to do their duty as far as is in their power, then it is time to get a new sponsor. The Priest is to explain what is expected of the parents and Godparents. If the parents refuse, the priest warns them of the eternal repercussions on them of abrogation of duty, and that they will be responsible also for the corruption of the child. The Godparents, on the other hand, must be dedicated to teach the child right to the best of their ability (if the parents deny them access in the future, that is not in the Godparents’ control, and future, that possibility in no way should be a reason to deny the child the grace of Baptism now).

                      If you hold that a baby conceived in adultery cannot be punished by depriving them of physical birth because of the sins of the parents, so also you cannot deprive the child of spiritual birth in the font because of the sins of the parents.

                      The Baptism is completely, wholly, fully, and totally about uniting that child to Christ in the Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and Communion. That you mention that Godparents are required does not make the Baptism about the Godparents. Water, Chrism, and a Priest are also required, but the Baptism is not about them, it is about the child, and his or her being made a child of the Kingdom of God.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      Fr. Harry, you are dealing with the issue only theoretically, with no knowledge of the persons involved and (I would guess) limited experience of people like them. But even theoretically you must agree that your theory would enslave Christian priests to the ungodly: The ungodly could come and demand that a priest baptize their children, so as to make a mockery of the Sacrament, and the priest would have no choice but to obey them.

                      I am dealing with issue more practically. I know this priest, and I know these parishioners. I worshipped among them for ten years. I know the parent in question indirectly from three very devout and responsible people who know him personally, and they tell me that he is using the child to force acceptance of homosexuality. It does not surprise me that this priest and this parish agreed to go along, because they have demonstrated their acceptance of homosexuality in many ways over the years, even by knowingly communing the openly, militantly gay and viciously attacking those who object.

                      This is the danger we face, and it will only grow worse if we blind ourselves to it.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      Here is an excerpt from a recent statement by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, entitled “On the Baptism of Children Born to ‘Surrogate Mothers’”:

                      The Church is open to all people seeking salvation. Baptism is the sacrament of entry into the Church and implies the acceptance of the one receiving Baptism with its faith and teaching, as well as their continued participation in church life.

                      The sacrament of Baptism is performed in the Orthodox Church over both adults and infants. Adults are admitted to the sacrament after appropriate preparation, that is, by the catechumenate – instruction in Christian doctrine and Christian morality. In such cases, the decision of when to adopt Baptism is taken by the parish priest who has conducted the instruction.

                      In the case of the Baptism of an infant, consent is given for it by adults: parents and sponsors. The conditions for Baptism of an infant are thus its upbringing in the Christian faith and in accord with the norms of Christian morality, which involves the regular participation of both parents, child, and sponsors in the Church’s services and sacraments.

                      In the case of the possibility of baptizing infants born to a “surrogate mother,” the following factors must be taken into consideration.
                      On the one hand, any infant who has been born can be Baptized – in accordance with the faith of those who intend to Baptize it. The child cannot be responsible for the actions of its parents and is not to blame if his birth is connected with reproductive technology condemned by the Church.

                      On the other hand, the responsibility for the Christian upbringing of a child is borne by the parents and sponsors. If the parents do not bear explicit repentance for their deed, and the sponsors in fact concur with the sinful act that has been performed, then there can be no talk of a Christian upbringing. Refusal to Baptize an infant in such cases will correspond to the Orthodox tradition, which assumes the agreement of the Baptized – and, in the case of infant Baptism, of its parents and sponsors – with the teachings of the Church. Such refusal will also have pastoral significance, inasmuch as society will thereby receive a clear signal from the Church that the practice of “surrogate motherhood” is unacceptable from the Christian point of view.

                      A child born with the assistance of “surrogate motherhood” can be Baptized according to the wishes of the party that will be raising it, if such are either its “biological parents” or its “surrogate mother,” only after they have recognized that, from the Christian point of view, such reproductive technology is morally reprehensible and have borne ecclesial repentance – regardless of whither they ignored the Church’s position consciously or unconsciously. Only in this case can the Church expect that the Baptized child will be brought up in the Orthodox faith and that Christian moral concepts will be instilled in it. If such recognition does not occur, then the question of Baptism is deferred until the child can make a conscious personal choice of its own. In the latter case, the fact of “surrogate birth” in and of itself is not an obstacle for one’s Baptism, since one is not responsible for the behavior of one’s parents.


                      The position stated is based on the teachings of the Church regarding the inadmissibility of the Baptism of infants in families whose members explicitly and deliberately neglect ecclesial tradition and do not share the Christian teaching about marriage and family, which practically eliminates the possibility of the child’s Christian upbringing. This concerns not only the question of “surrogate motherhood,” but also any consciously expressed unwillingness to live in a Christian manner.

                    • There’s no sense in the claim that refusing to baptize a baby being raised by homosexuals is punishing the child for the sins of the parents. The child is welcome to ask for baptism on his or her own initiative, and the sinfulness of the parents will not be taken into account. Such a child will have to reject the sinful lifestyle in which he or she was raised, and regard it as a sin, but there is nothing onerous or atypical about requiring catechumens to reject sin and heresy!

                      The problem with baptizing such a person as an infant isn’t merely that the child is being raised by sinners (otherwise we would have no children to baptize), but that the priest would know for a fact that the people raising this child are going to teach him or her to reject Church teaching. The priest’s sin in these cases is equivalent to baptizing adult catechumens who are openly dedicated to heresy and non-repentance.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      The fact is that the ruling bishop in this matter has determined that this child has been already, or will be baptized – either by economy, his interpretation of the Holy Fathers, or his satisfaction by the parents or sponsors that the conditions necessary have been met. It is only the the arrogance and lack of humility & obedience on the part of Pdn. Mitchell to accept the Metropolitan’s decision – who alone will answer to God for having made it – that keeps this truly anomalistic debate going. He is a demonstrated loose-cannon who left the OCA, and should confine his “advice,” such as it is, to his own house. We are under siege in this society at every turn. but the issue of “married” gay Orthodox couples with surrogate children flooding the parishes demanding baptism, “using the child to force acceptance of homosexuality,” is dumb at best.

                    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

                      Protodeacon Brian,

                      Why would you guess that I have no experience with these kind of people? You would not believe some of the nonsense I have had to put up with.

                      The Priest is not enslaved to anyone. None of these people that you speak of can “demand” that a Priest do anything. The Priest can direct that the parents not be present, and that only the Godparents be present for the Baptism. He can make clear that the Godparents are to have access to bring the child to Church regularly and teach the child about the faith. He can refuse to do the baptism unless PRESENT conditions are met. He cannot anticipate the FUTURE and refuse it based on that, and be doing his duty.

                      I know that there is “context” to this, but I also know that a child cannot be sacrificed on the altar of other’s sins (the context of abuse by the others in the past).

                      I am, however, acutely aware of your concern with the “context” in the particular community (namely that it seems to send a message that the past is okay, and seeking to “breed” a change in the faith…).

                      I am not saying that this is an easy situation.

                      But a principled response is not “theoretical”. Dr. S and 123 and myself have all made principled responses (with Orthodox ecclesiastical principles).

                      I can’t speak for the rest of them but I myself churn over the horrid agenda of those who seek to redefine Christianity. But we cannot sacrifice a child to appease the devil. I know that you think it is the opposite. You think that baptizing the child is giving into the devil. But the devil has found a way to increase the number of unbaptized .

                      We are talking practically, right? Do you think it is more likely that a child, when he or she grows older, is more likely to decide to live as an Orthodox Christian if he or she is informed that they were baptized Orthodox, or if they are raised completely heathen? I know it is speculation but we now have record of many children raised by homosexuals who have determined that their parents were wrong and are adherents of Christ. I think one story even came on a link from this website of a child who found out they were baptized, and because of this in teenage years rejected the ways of the parents and are now late 20 somethings in the Church.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      An example of “Hard cases make bad law,” I suppose.

                  • If you deny baptism to such a child; it is denying the faith and the principles of baptism. The sinful parent cannot have its child baptized? Lots to digest about this definition of Orthodoxy.

                    Okay, I reread all the posts and want to say thank you to Fr. Linsinbigler for his response.

                    …what he said… reread it a few times friends

                    • Thomas Barker says

                      Fr. Linsinbigler,

                      As a Canon Law expert, would you please comment on Canon VIII from the Second Council of Nicaea (787)? It appears to prohibit the baptism of children if the parents were unconverted Jews. Was the rule later amended to state the it’s “all about the baby” regardless of the state of the parents? The text of the Canon is shown below with my emphasis added. Thank you.

                      Canon VIII.
                      That Hebrews ought not to be received unless they have been converted in sincerity of heart.

                      Since certain, erring in the superstitions of the Hebrews, have thought to mock at Christ our God, and feigning to be converted to the religion of Christ do deny him, and in private and secretly keep the Sabbath and observe other Jewish customs, we decree that such persons be not received to communion, nor to prayers, nor into the Church; but let them be openly Hebrews according to their religion, and let them not bring their children to baptism, nor purchase or possess a slave. But if any of them, out of a sincere heart and in faith, is converted and makes profession with his whole heart, setting at naught their customs and observances, and so that others may be convinced and converted, such an one is to be received and baptized, and his children likewise; and let them be taught to take care to hold aloof from the ordinances of the Hebrews. But if they will not do this, let them in no wise be received.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      I suppose some wiseacre will say that baby should have been aborted—then the pious Orthodox will serve panikhidas and Liturgies, praying more for that baby’s soul than for that of any Baptized infant who died!!

                    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

                      Sure Thomas,

                      As the Rudder explains, the Canon refers to Title 1, Book 1, chapter 44 of the Basilica (Imperial legislation), which states that Jews accused of crimes or owing debts were “converting” because if they or their children were baptized (and they sponsored it), they would no longer owe the debt or the crime would have a lesser penalty, and should no longer be allowed to do so unless they first paid the debt or were acquitted of the crimes of which they had been accused. So people were using this as a “loophole”.

                      One thing that is different then than now is that the parents then could sponsor their own children. Thus, “bring them to baptism” or “baptize their children” had a different connotation than it does now. St. Augustine in his Letters indicates that the parents were the normal sponsors, and further notes that it was irregular that anyone besides the parents were sponsors if they were Christian. It did, however, become completely regular if the parents were NOT Orthodox Christians. In that case, the “Godfamily” became the surrogate family of the child, which is why the canonical legislation regarding marriage and the “Godfamily” is so peculiar to us today. In the west the “universalization” of sponsors other than the parents came earlier than in the east.

                      Even today, particularly in the Mediterranean lands, it is normal to speak of sponsors as “baptizing” a baby, or in the north as the ones “bringing them to baptism”.

                      Thus, this canon is a canon against Jewish parents under debt or conviction of crime seeking to circumvent the system by bringing a child that they are standing as sponsors for. There is NO forbidding of baptizing a child with real Orthodox Godparents, since the purpose of the legislation was to keep the parents from using the child as a means to define themselves as Orthodox Christians or as sponsoring parents to avoid paying debt or imprisonment. But they could NOT escape it if their children were baptized with Orthodox Godparents other than them.

                      So yes, Baptism is still all about the baby. They cannot use the child as a means for them to escape prosecution by themselves sponsoring the child. There must be real Godparents if they themselves are not truly Orthodox Christians, which is what I have already stated in an above post. Case closed.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Fr. Harry Linsinbigler said:

                      But a principled response is not “theoretical”. Dr. S and 123 and myself have all made principled responses (with Orthodox ecclesiastical principles).

                      I can’t speak for the rest of them but I myself churn over the horrid agenda of those who seek to redefine Christianity. But we cannot sacrifice a child to appease the devil. I know that you think it is the opposite. You think that baptizing the child is giving into the devil. But the devil has found a way to increase the number of unbaptized .

                      We are talking practically, right? Do you think it is more likely that a child, when he or she grows older, is more likely to decide to live as an Orthodox Christian if he or she is informed that they were baptized Orthodox, or if they are raised completely heathen? I know it is speculation but we now have record of many children raised by homosexuals who have determined that their parents were wrong and are adherents of Christ. I think one story even came on a link from this website of a child who found out they were baptized, and because of this in teenage years rejected the ways of the parents and are now late 20 somethings in the Church.

                      I was going to let your comment pass as most of it had good points, I strongly disagree because our society has changed and because you are completely unaware of how militant LGBT people are, as well as the reality of our present situation will make itself, and has made itself, known, but you insulted me and others by saying we did NOT make principled responses.

                      OK have it your way. Let the apathy and complete and utter internal destruction that is currently underway in the Church continue. BTW the opposite also occurs. Children are baptized that leave the Church because neither Parent or Sponsor raised them in the faith. However, don’t ever say you were not warned.

                      I hope you are right as I do not want to be right. And again for the record, for those that know me on this blog and outside of this Blog I do not say things lightly or from a lack of principle. I also know many Good and Principled Orthodox Priests that hold the view I do. Are they somehow unprincipled? Glad to see that you believe so. I’ll remember from here on out to be more principled in my Orthodoxy as I guess I have been lacking in that area. Thanks for pointing that out. Oh and being that George, Helga and the Protodeacon were not listed in your list of “Principled” responses I guess they are unprincipled as well. Good to know, and better company to keep than with the so-called principled crowed, except for Michael Stankovich, he’s just plain cool and I like hanging out with him.


                    • Fr. Harry is full of it. The very purpose of sponsors is to secure the faith of the baptized person in the event the parents are not in the picture for whatever reason. The reason might be that the parents die or apostacize or, in the event that the baptized person is an adult, that his parents are not Orthodox. But the notion that the godparents were originally the parents is not true. Nor should one rely on Augustine for anything having to do with theology or ecclesiology.

                    • Fr. Herman Schick says

                      That’s SAINT or BLESSED Augustine, Misha. At least it is to us Orthodox folks.

                      Father Harry, could you kindly cite which Letter of the saint you are referring to? Thank you.

                    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

                      Peter, of course you gave principled responses. I in no way said nor implied that you didn’t. I was simply stating clearly that the responses given were principled, and should not be ignored. I think you have to acknowledge that you were reading something into what I said that is not there. I don’t think that you intentionally falsely accused me of saying something that I didn’t, but were emotionally reading something in that was not there. You are a person of integrity, I have no doubts about that. Just be careful–emotions are deceptive, and then you start accusing people of doing things that they did not do.

                    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

                      “Misha” (rolleyes–have the guts to say who you are, since it is cowardice to make such bold statements anonymously), you have slandered a Patriarch and other hierarchs of the Orthodox Church and many others several times. You should have the chalice pulled from you until you repent. You are ignorant of history and think that you can narcissistically troll and dive-bomb when you wish. You are a child who won’t even take milk, when you should grow up and start eating solid food. Who is your priest, that I may have a chat with him?

                      BTW, the word is apostatize, not “apostacize”

                    • Fr. Harry,

                      I am not anonymous. George knows exactly who I am and I have even linked to my FB page here in the past. Stankovich knows that my middle name is Scott. I was chrismated Michael/Mikhail and “Misha” is a diminutive of that name, like “Mike” in English. It is the name by which most Russians I know well address me. On a forum dedicated to Orthodoxy, I think it is very appropriate.

                      As to the bishop, everything I have said about him is true. I do not hate him or have any negative feelings toward him. I will pray for him as well but I stand by what I have said.

                      As to whom you might make complaint about my comments, I acknowledge the authority of Bp. Peter of Chicago and the Midwest of the ROCOR. I have never asked his permission to write anything, but I would consider it if he asked me to do or not do this or that.

                      But you would be wasting your time.

                    • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      Fr. Harry, your discourses on debt and sponsors are red herrings that only obscure the principle demonstrated by the Seventh Ecumenical Council and affirmed very recently by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church, which is that we don’t just take every opportunity to baptize babies, as if baptism were only about the baby and true faith is not required. Your own principle contradicts the Council and the Holy Synod and requires you to baptize all babies brought to you no matter who brings them and what their motivations are.

                      As for the odds of what will happen to the baby afterwards, truth and nature do often triumph over lies and nonsense, but we live in a world where the odds of a child hearing the truth about homosexuality decrease daily because everyone is under pressure to go along with the lies by keeping silent about the truth, which more and more Christians do so as not to offend the unrepentant and risk a soul being lost—as if God can’t be trusted to ensure that every soul has adequate opportunity to be saved.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Peter, many wiseacres on the Net think that “argumentum ad hominem” means attacking anyone personally at any time. It does not. It applies only, and narrowly at that, to SUBSTITUTING an attack on an arguer or debater for rational argument. As you have done in the following classical way:

                  “As it can be seen this is your classical bait and switch turning the argument on its head and around. Unfortunately for Bishop Tikhon this is his M.O. and he has done it for years from what I have been able to discover.
                  I will continue to debate him and hold his feet to the fire and expose his many rhetorical tricks and breaks in logic, but I think many on this blog and throughout the years he’s been posting on the internet have caught on to his tactics.”
                  Actually, my tactic is striving for valid syllogisms. I think Reality Checker, M. Stankovich, and Father Helga know what those are. On the other hand, Misha and Warren must not know, which is why their attempts at rational argument are so skewed.
                  And HELGA! What about THIS:
                  “At the ACNA’s inaugural assembly in June 2009, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, while recognizing theological differences, said that he was “seeking an ecumenical restoration” between Orthodox and Anglicans in the United States.[90] An agreement was announced between Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and Nashotah House, an Anglican seminary, to guide ecumenical relationships and “new dialogue” between the two churches.[90] Archbishop Foley Beach met Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, at an ecumenical meeting that took place at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, on 8 November 2014.”

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Bishop Tikhon said:

                    “My tactic is striving for valid syllogisms.”

                    I will let the record speak for itself on that one.

                    What I will do is continue to keep the good bishop’s feet the fire and maybe he can strive for more Gospel truth than valid syllogisms.


                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      As if the (Greek) Fathers had Peter’s attitude: “…maybe he can strive for more Gospel truth than valid syllogisms.”

                    • Peter,

                      The problem the bishop has is not seeking or finding valid syllogisms, as you point out. His problem is that a successor of the apostles should not be exchanging vile banter, rumor and innuendo on the internet like some cruiser on a break from the streets of San Francisco.

                      His willful blindness to that is indeed a problem between him and God (assuming he still believes, if ever). But God does not have to be believed in to be real.

                      “Gospel truth”, yes, that more or less sums it up.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Bishop Tikhon also uses the Race card agains me or anyone exposing if false train of thought.

                      Instead of invoking the “Greek Fathers” you should actually read them to help you forming valid syllogisms.


                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      I’m surprised that Peter doesn’t know what a TACTIC is!

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      I’m surprised by a great many things Bishop Tikhon doesn’t know. Indeed!

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Pater, you wrote this: “I will continue to debate him and hold his feet to the fire and expose his many rhetorical tricks and breaks in logic, ”

                      But, but, but, Peter followed up with THIS: “What I will do is continue to keep the good bishop’s feet the fire and maybe he can strive for more Gospel truth than valid syllogisms.” So….Peter was wrong to give his attention to exposing rhetorical tricks and breaks in LOGIC?

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      I’ve always assumed, in spite of the suspicious surname, that Peter was a Hellene, but his so Unhellenic scorn for the classical rhetoric and logic so revered by our Hellenic Fathers, especially the Cappadocians, gives me pause–perhaps I was rash in my assumption! “Papujee?”

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
                      September 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm

                      Protodeacon! Tell us if the Baptism of the infant son of a militant homosexual by an Orthodox Priest with an Orthodox sponsor is WITH Grace or WITHOUT Grace. Thanking those Holy Fathers and teachers that here informed us ignorant ones of their discovery that Baptism is not magic, I ask them how the Grace of the Holy Spirit could be CONQUERED by homosexuality of a parent! Surely you are not also and beyond that a crypto-Lutheran that requires individual purity of Faith to “validate” a Mystery! Examined carefully, I feel you and some others here “have your doubts” about infant Baptism EVER!

                      Again classical bait and switch while setting up a stawman argument. The good Bishop leads down the path of “Is the sacrament with or without Grace” when he known full well the discussions has to do with Church Discipline and Witness to the laity and world as to the Church’s moral position on the issue of Homosexual Acceptance.

                      Protodeacon please do not be fooled by the slight of hand even if it is coming from a Bishop.


                  • SleeplessInNY says

                    One of Jonah’s first acts as Bishop of Ft. Worth, after Archbishop Dmitri selected him as his Auxiliary, was to meet with Bishop Jack Iker, who has since split from the Episcopal Church. He didn’t spend the time getting to know his flock, or learning from the aging Archbishop, he spent his time meeting with a loose canon. We are so lucky to be rid of him. There are enough disaffected Episcopalians in the church as it is, but I think their numbers are declining. They’ve discovered that the Orthodox Church is every bit as dysfunctional as the Episcopal Church. It’s like my family, they’re crazy, but I love them because they’re my family. I can’t just up and go to another one.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Fr. Harry Linsinbigler said: “So yes, Baptism is still all about the baby. They cannot use the child as a means for them to escape prosecution by themselves sponsoring the child. There must be real Godparents if they themselves are not truly Orthodox Christians, which is what I have already stated in an above post. Case closed.”
                    Not to me and others is it case closed, but that’s just my unprincipled view. In these trying times you need to balance the Gospel with common sense. Common sense is a good principle no?


        • SleeplessInNY says

          God is not mocked.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Put apparently I am:

            Bishop Tikhon: “Papujee?”

            That spoke volumes as to the Good Bishop. Kinda like adding an extra “N” in “Bauman” as a sign of respect.


          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I am NOT making things up as I go along as some clergy suggest. While you view the child being baptized, I view the homosexual using the baptism as a vehicle to enter God’s church to wreck havoc. That’s common sense, and basic insurgent warfare.

            We cannot be gentle as doves, but NOT wise as serpents otherwise we will be infiltrated, if not already, and killed from the I side.

            Canons existed at one time that we could not do business with Jews or associate in any way with jews. Why? Because they were turning us over to the Romans for death.

            Church discipline and witness matter otherwise just be prepared for what you are going to get. It’s what we have now, debated on this blog. If that is good for you then enjoy, it is not good for God, and that’s why 2 Thess. 2 told us what was coming. That’s not hyperbole that’s fact. Enjoy.


            • George Michalopulos says

              Excellent response Peter. Also, during the Middle Ages Jews were very active in the slave trade. (BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I did the ancestry.com thing last year and found out that I have some Ashkenazi ancestry, basically 1/64th, i.e. seven generations back).

              We too often forget that hundreds of thousands of European Christians (esp women) found themselves as slaves in the Islamic world. They didn’t get there by joining the Peace Corps. (Nor for that matter did Africans get to the Americas on their own.)

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                George! “We too often forget that hundreds of thousands of European Christians (esp women) found themselves as slaves in the Islamic world.?”
                Of course, European men and women, Christian and non-Christian, ‘found themselves as slaves of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean powers like Rome and Greece centuries long before Islam came onto the world scene! And Islam did not abolish slavery.
                Jews were forbidden to own land or be farmers: Christians were forbidden by Christian governments to practice usury—i.e., lend money at interest. Jews were not forbidden to do so. So, until rich Christians couldn’t STAND it anymore, money-lending at interest was a monopoly of Jews. Finaly, however, all Christians, Orthodox or not, united ecumenically in ignoring all their own holy canons against usury. Greed won out, the canons were as good as abolished forever, but jealousy of the Jews, NEVER!

              • Reality Checker says

                OK, are you and Peter doing a comedy routine here? This whole thing is some kind of running gag isn’t it? You be playin’ us. I knew it. Explains so much. I knew it.

                That or the water in Tulsa and Chi-town needs some serious toxological analysis. Or the air. Something

            • What is baptism Peter? Please let us know your definition.

              If two homosexuals kissed in church, for example, it would be proper for the priest to ban them. Right? And if they were unwilling to accept the behavior was not allowed, to excommunicate. Right? How so, then by baptizing an infant is the church giving approval to the parental relationship? It is not.

              How, by, baptism of an infant, to wash away its sins and the sins of its ancestors, have homosexual parents won anything? It is the opposite of tacit approval. Baptism is saying, despite the sinfulness of your ancestors (parents), your child will be accepted into Christ.

              All I know is by rejecting this child; you are rejecting the faith. And by arguing for your point, you are tearing at the curtain.

              I find this version of Orthodoxy interesting, but in contradiction to the very definition of Baptism.

            • Peter, would you apply the same restrictions on other sins? In my opinion, one of the flaws of the debate about homosexuals is that we place a greater gravity on homosexual sins. Look what St Paul writes to the Galatians:

              The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

              In other words would you restrict a jealous person from having their child baptized? A real dilemma for me.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Give me you name and we’ll talk otherwise good bye.


              • George Michalopulos says

                Johnkal, the problem is not the catalog of sins described by St Paul but the fact that one of those sins is not viewed as a sin at all in the present environment.

                • Reality Checker says

                  Is greed viewed as a sin in the present environment? On the contrary: Envy and covetousness are the cardinal American virtues. Obviously. Why don’t y’all fulminate against those?

                  Funny, I don’t recall a single “essay” castigating Orthodox for tolerating material greed, winking at covetousness for money and things, basing evaluations of personal worth and quality of life on income and the owning of lots of stuff and encouraging such a sordid and vile ambition in the young.

                  • Reality Checker says

                    No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all of this and were scoffing at Jesus. So He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is prized among men is detestable before God.… — Luke 16:13-15

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Of course greed is a sin. Who told you otherwise? If we find an exaltation of greed today, it is always in materialist/consumerist circles, not traditional Christian ones. If you want, it’s not that hard to find Orthodox polemics against consumerism, greed and avarice. You could start at the holy canons which condemn usury if you’d like.

                • George, I have no problem affirming homosexual acts for what they are–sin; however, I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. Likewise, I do affirm that heterosexual acts outside of the covenant of marriage are sin but I do not believe heterosexuality is a sin. The problem is that many assign greater gravity to homosexual acts. Again, look at what St Paul writes in Galatians:

                  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

                  The consequence to all sin is that it separates one from God. There are no grades of sin as identified in the Catholic tradition.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    johnkal, how can homosexuality not be sin, especially given the fact that Scripture (as well as Paul in this particular list) states otherwise?

                    While I agree that heterosexual passions outside of matrimony are a sin that does not obviate the fact that God instituted heterosexuality as the mechanism of procreation from the start –even before the Fall. Are you saying that God is the creator of sin as well?

                    • Perhaps we need to think of heterosexuality and homosexuality as fields of possible actions based on human sexual attractions. In other words, there are appropriate and normal sexual attractions, best and most sacredly fulfilled in marriage, and then there are inappropriate and abnormal sexual attractions, or temptations to sin. This second category includes heterosexual activity between people who are not married to each other and sadly, sometimes even between spouses; it also includes all homosexual activity.

                      The temptations to which we yield result in sins of the flesh, and a heterosexual sin is as different from heterosexuality as a concept as homosexual sin is different from homosexuality as a concept. Basically, a temptation or inappropriate attraction is not a sin unless we act on it.

                  • Gregory Manning says

                    Yeah, jonkal, homosexuality, per se, is a sin.
                    The American Psychological Assoc. defines homosexuality as an exclusively sexual and romantic preference for another of the same sex. Many people are unaware of the “romantic” aspect of the orientation or discount it altogether. They too are missing the mark. Indeed, as you have correctly pointed out, people assign “greater gravity to homosexual acts.” Attempting to categorize a man as a homosexual based solely on the kind of sex he has is not entirely reliable. Many male hustlers who are in fact heterosexual will, for the right amount of money engage in homosexual acts. Actually, this is misleading in itself. Truth is, they allow the homosexual client to perform homosexual acts on them. They do not actually find their “client” sexually attractive nor will they engage in any kind of activity which would suggest romantic affection for the client. That they actually find repellent. They have no romantic affection for another man because that is not what they are. Hence the old saying among homosexuals, “Never fall in love with a straight man (even if, under some unusual circumstance, you managed to have some kind of sex with him) because he will never fall in love with you.” What really defines a man as a homosexual is not simply that he sees other men as sex objects but, more importantly, as objects of romantic affection. So, you can completely abstain from sexual contact with another man but if, in your heart, you always long to love and be loved by another man, you are a homosexual. The reason it is a sin, a missing-of-the-mark is that, as George has pointed out, such a quest will always fail-it will never “succeed” as is possible between two people of the same sex, because it was not part of God’s plan. It would seem (to put it mildly!) that God has known from the very beginning which paths in life would work and which would not. He is, in short, more in touch with reality than we are. His laws actually describe that reality but many of us, myself included, don’t often like that reality–or His laws–when they conflict with my desires.
                    As I have claimed somewhere else, you can be celibate all your life, but if in your heart and head you are homosexual, then you are in fact homosexual. As long as you seek, even in the privacy of your heart, the affection of another man rather than the Love of Christ, you are missing the mark. Attempting to reconcile the two desires is impossible as they are mutually exclusive. You have only two choices: Christ or some man. Choosing Christ is very hard work but it bears fruit. Choosing some man will, at best, get you a really, really close friend with whom you get along well enough to be able to live together for the rest of your life–maybe. Yeah, homosexuality, per se, misses the mark.

                  • johnkal – homosexuality must be viewed as sinful by the church

                    there are far too many negatives related to homosexuality to promote it as a way of life

              • Completely apart from the ensuing baptism argument, the greater travesty, indicative of the cultural sickness that has infected even our own minds, is the acknowledgement of the fiction that homosexual could even request that ‘their’ children be baptized. Homosexual ‘couples’ have no children. Any children that exist are not and cannot be ‘theirs.’ If they are biological children, they are – and must be understood as – the offspring of one or the other other, but not both.

                Even the pagans of the ancient world understood this, presumably because they had a better grasp of reality than we do.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Johnkal, false logic. As George says only one of the enumerated sins being force fed to our society as a positive good and the power of the state being used to enforce that “good”.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              That’s VERY Anglican, Peter!

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                That’s Orthodox my good bishop.

                Oh and btw your bath and switch tactics won’t work. You DID recommend the OCA Prayer Book NOT the RSV which you stated. That’s why I tell you to try again my good bishop, try again.

                Also, if are wondering, yes I would apply it to other sins as the Church has done with Church discipline. Unfortunately bishop don’t like enforcing church discipline especially when loosing money is involved.



  15. George Osborne says

    Oh for Pete’s sake, everyone! Stop beating this dead horse! Those who understand, appreciate and try to adhere to the traditional teachings of the Church, not to mention Saint Paul, know that at no time or place has the Church espoused or endorsed a homoerotic lifestyle. Homoeroticism is sinful according to the Church. Period. We love homosexuals, pray for them and hope they will repent of their sins just as we pray for the repentance of ourselves and all sinners. But we do not endorse or support their sinful choices. Neither do we institutionalize it as is being attempted on such a wide scale. Saint Paul told us 1900 years ago what to expect over time and we seem amazed that his prophecy would dare come true. So, let’s stop castigating these tangential figures and pity them. While it’s a fun pastime to condemn and throw stones, that judgementalism is also sinful. We just celebrated the feast day of St. Moses the Ethiopian: perhaps we should call to mind the story when he was asked to judge a fellow monk. Very instructive.

    • There is an aspect of “not judging” that demands clarification. On the one hand we are commanded not to judge a person. On the other hand we are commanded to judge manifest behavior, although not for the purpose of condemnation. This is a different sort of ‘judging’ that means something more like the English word ‘appraisal.’ It is observing behavior and seeing it for what it is without pretending to be able to look into a person’s soul and know its precise cause. We are commanded to confess the revealed truth of human nature and agree with God that certain behaviors are sinful, a participation in death leading to death, and to refuse communion with those in the Church who openly manifest these behaviors as though they were life leading to life – for our own sake, for the sake of Church, and for the sake of the those whose behavior we rightly appraise. This is what the Apostle did in the case of the man in the Church at Corinth.

      “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

      (Note the purpose: that he may be saved)

      “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

      “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

      “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person.”

      It is one thing to struggle with SSA or any other sin (covetousness, extortion, idolatry, drunkenness…) or to lovingly and patiently help those who struggle against such things in themselves. It is quite another to glory in them, persist in them without remorse, openly and willfully rebel against the revealed will of God as clearly taught by the Church from the beginning. The episcopate of the OCA itself has repeatedly and publicly upheld this teaching, albeit often apparently without the life-restoring excommunication the apostle rightly exercised for the sake of his salvation. I say “apparently” because this man who openly glories in his ‘husband’ gives every indication that his behavior has been neither corrected nor sanctioned. If so, this is heartrendingly sad, both for him and for the Church.

      The apostle exercised good, holy, proper, loving discipline, and the good fruit of repentance was born of it, as is nearly always the case when we agree with God in practice (not merely in words) and have the courage to do what He commands. Even when it seems to us hard that relationships may be lost we simply must agree with God and obey His loving commands. Why? Because He is always right whilst we are so very prone to being wrong.

      “And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

      “ But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.”

      Does no one care for this man, or for others like him, or for the holy Church of Christ? I know many do, and I know our severely merciful God does as well. May the Lord have mercy on us all.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Brian! ““It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!” That’s like Adam’s boys and his wife, Eve, right? Or was it one of his anonymous daughters that they “had?”?

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          It would seem that the Good Bishop has a disagreement with St.Paul and engaging in his classic tactics of bait and switch. Taking Brian’s proper use of St. Paul and turning St.Paul’s words on their head and then back at Brian to explaint the Good Bishop’s twisting of those words. How interesting. Let’s see what happens. Type away my Good Bishop type away!

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Peter, which of the following words of the Holy Apostle did I twist: “sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!” (By the way, I’m not the one who twisted St Paul’s teaching by putting the word “sexual” into his mouth. That might be, rather, the begetters of the RSV or NEB, of whom T.S. Eliot said that they didn’t realize they were atheists!

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Bait and switch, bait and switch. Boring. Try again my good bishop try again.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Btw my good bishop although I use the RSV I always correct it against the Septuagint and our Greek New Testament. I thought you knew that? Well I guess that’s another thing you missed. Wow!

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Peter, how do you repair the damage done by the RSV in not having the singular 2nd person pronoun: thou/thee, but only the ambiguous, sometimes misleading, “you? In the O.T. episode referred to as “the hospitality of Abraham, for example, we behold the Holy Trinity, in that Abraham addresses God with “thou” (i.e. singular) alternating with “you” (i.e. plural) one God, three Persons!
                Some RSV-ophiles try to obscure this point by making thou/thee vs you a matter of polite vs familiar! Compounding that big error, they go on to reserve “Thou”, “Thee”, “Thy,” and “Thine” as special pronouns indicating DIVINITY! Of course this would make Christianity unique among mankind’s religions in having a special pronoun for the Deity, while making it impossible to know how to address Christ Who is BOTH human and divine!

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Hence what I said I fix it. I’ve known about that since I was a teenager, and know how to deal with it. In fact, in the OCA’s own statement against the NEW RSV back in 1990, you yourself even stated, and correctly I might add, that OCA priests knew of the problems with the OLD RSV and knew how to deal with them. Exactly, just like the laity we knew how to deal with the OLD RSV and fix it where it was wrong. I was actually following your advice.

                  Again I am surprised you did not know this?


                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    Some OCA Priests DID know how to “deal with” ANY RSV; don’t use it!

                    • Hear, hear, Vladyka!

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      I’m glad to head that. Please direct me to the OCA statement that told the priests and faithful not to use it or when the OCA Prayer Book that uses the RSV was banned, which btw you recommended to me and others to use. Try again my good bishop, try again.


                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Peter Papoutsis, be careful not to lie! This is a lie: “the OCA Prayer Book that uses the RSV … which btw you recommended to me and others to use. Try again my good bishop, try again.”
                      I have never ever recommended the RSV, and have never ever recommended any Liturgical service books except: Bishop Dmitri’s “Priests’ Service Book,” the “Psalter of the Seventy”, the “Pentecostarion” the Knoxville Menaion, the KJV New and Old Testament with Apocrypha and the Arkhieratikon which I myself translated and printed, and Bishop Basil (Essey)’s “Liturgikon.”
                      Why do you tell me to “try again?” Try WHAT again?
                      I KNOW and can PROVE what I did and did not recommend, for it is publicly available in the “Letters of Instruction” I issued periodically throughout my term as Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the West. Any of these DOCUMENTS, not Peter’s falsehoods, may be found on the web page of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco, or obtained from me personally. Or just ask any parish clergy who served during my incumbency, as well as Archbishop Benjamin.

                    • Peter, Vladyka did not forbid the use of the Divine Liturgy book published by St. Tikhon’s, since it had been approved for use by the entire Synod at the time it was first published. And it does contain RSV texts and uses the nonsensical pronoun conventions of the RSV. But he made it clear that what he wanted used was another text approved by the entire Synod (and more recently), namely that of Abp. Dimitri.

                      The St. Tikhon’s text is the only liturgical text using anything but the KJV, the Boston Psalter, or Abp. Dimitri’s translations as they appear in his liturgical texts, that Bp. Tikhon allowed, and it was clear — in writing — that it was not recommended for use by Bp. Tikhon, merely allowed. Someone with an axe to grind has been feeding you half-truths, hoping you would go off. Clearly it worked.

                      The RSV was the stalking horse used by liberal Protestants to begin to effect the well-documented moral, theological, and social transformation of their denominations. They did as much as they could get by with at the time, and abandoned the RSV as soon as they had been successful enough to move on to more radical things like the NRSV. Everyone knew it at the time.

                      It is a great irony, and a mark of gross Orthodox ignorance and naiveté about these matters, that it is parts of the Orthodox Church that has decided to perpetuate what was only ever intended by its creators to be a transitional translation that was a mere stepping stone for those wanting to gut mainline Protestantism of the traditional confessional beliefs it still held in the early part of the 20th c.

                      Why any Orthodox Christian would want to memorialize a written testament to the liberal Protestant agenda and to the underhanded means it’s practitioners were willing to engage in to get their way — is truly beyond me.

        • My understanding of “his father’s wife” has always (“always” meaning from the time I was a Lutheran at the age of 12 up until now, having found Orthodoxy) been that the woman in question is not the son’s mother, but rather the father’s second wife.
          It still boggles the mind that a boy/teen/young man would lust after his stepmother…. Pretty revolting, actually.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Vesta, on what basis did you come up with that far-fetched idea. I, too, was raised and confirmed as a Lutheran, and I attended St Olaf Lutheran College for a couple years( before my savings ran out and I transferred to Wayne State). I never heard such nonsense!
            Even if that fantastic hypothesis were true, what would having intercourse with a woman one was not PHYSICALLY related to be something so unheard-of among the Gentiles? And where would you and such “interpreters” get the idea that the subject was not the son of that second wife?
            And who determines that the son is to blame, but not the mother?

            • My biblical sources for the “stepmother” interpretation are listed below. But let’s all agree on the wording of 1 Cor. 5:1: according to The Orthodox Study Bible, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles–that a man has his father’s wife!”
              The notes and textual references in the three Bibles I have readily to hand (my KJV is difficult to move around the house) are:
              1) From the RSV: Deut. 22:30 and 27:20. 22:30 states, “A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor shall he uncover her who is his father’s.” 27:20 is very much like it: ” ‘Cursed be he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered her who is his father’s. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ ”
              2) From the Jerusalem Bible: 1 Cor. 5:1 states, slightly differently from the others, “I have been told as an undoubted fact that one of you is living with his father’s wife. This is a case of sexual immorality among you that must be unparalleled even among pagans.” The text refers us again to Deut. 27:20, as well as to Lev. 18:8, which states, “You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.” And we know the curse Noah laid upon the son who saw him drunk and naked (see Gen. 9:20-29).
              3) Even if these two citations are found to be vague, and the reader doesn’t wish to acknowledge “your father’s nakedness” as being a separate quality from “your mother’s nakedness”–which I believe would be the case if the woman in question were the man’s own mother, esp. given St. Paul’s command of written language–The Orthodox Study Bible should surely clarify the situation. The explanatory note on 1 Cor. 5:1 (p. 1556) says, “Sexual immorality (Gr. porneia, from which we get ‘pornography’) originally meant prostitution, later immorality in general. In this case of incest, his father’s wife is not the man’s own mother, but a stepmother. Even so, this sin is grievous among Jews and Gentiles alike.”
              The Introduction to The Orthodox Study Bible is dated Lent 2008; I purchased my copy during Lent 2015. There are many people credited with translating, parsing, cross-referencing, and the hundred other tasks involved in producing such a vast and critical volume; their names are printed on pp. v and viii.
              Thank you.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Thanks for quoting those rationalisations, Vesta! They are not authoritative.True, some Moslems might think this was Saint Paul ALMOST openly admitting polygamy. I hardly think, however that ANY Gentile at any period would consider penetrating (or being seduced by) a father’s second or other wife was so awful as to forbid mention of it!
                I examined the Orthodox Study Bible when it came out, It is very good for the convert from Protestantism who is used to such a tool and considers it vital. It’s also reassuring to the Cradle Orthodox confronted by Protestant neighbors. The Authorized or King James TRANSLATION; however, remains the far-and-away best text for use in Orthodox Church services.

                • I’m sad to see that your opinion of The Orthodox Study Bible–strongly recommended by my parish priest–is so negative and condescending. Were the makers of this bible all unworthy? Alas.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  The KJV, like the RSV, must always conform to the underlying Greek and Slavic texts of out Liturgy which are the best and only texts of our Liturgy as neither the KJV or RSV conform to our Orthodox mindset or underlying liturgical use and traditon.

                  As for the Orthodox Study Bible, the good bishop is correct. It was primarily made for converts and seekers of the Orthodox faith. It is not a true translation or exposition of our faith. For this Bible to truly become Orthodox it needs a complete and utter revision that will take years, alot of effort and money to perform the job. We as English speaking Orthodox need an English translation of the Bible and the Church better get to it as we are embarrassingly behind.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Yes, yes, I too must hasten to add that I am nonplussed by even the possibility!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Mr. Osborne, I assure you I and most others here who follow traditional teaching would like nothing better than to follow your advice. However, when the militant, confused and disordered are attacking one must stand and be counted speaking truth in love.

      One thing we must recognise is that all of us are sexually disordered. The real standard for sexuality is much higher than we tend to assume and none are conformed to that standard. We all need to repent and the Church needs to help us all by refusing to look the other way while appropriate guidance by one’s confessor toward healing is applied.

      Our sexuality is still a shame to us. Hiding, justifying and acquiescing to society’s perversions only deepens the shame and prevents healing.

      Homosexual sin is not the only sexual sin. Pornography is much more ubiquitous and equally destructive. Adultery, promiscuous hetrosexual behavior, divorce, shacking up, etc.

      All are disordered and until we start seriously, consistently and soberly addressing that, homosexualists will have a place for their camel’s nose to enter. In the meantime we must continue to affirm without apology or equivocation that homosexualists (as opposed to folks struggling with same sex attraction) will not be welcome.

      The disorder of same sex attraction is unique and can include all of the above mentioned perversions as well due to the unique quality is same sex attraction though the healing seems to involve a different level if renunciation than hetrosexual perversions. There is no such thing as a same sex marriage it is physically, spiritually and ontologically impossible. Even the term same sex unions is an oxymoron.

      One thing I emphatically say to Mr. Wanamaker however: the Church does not cause anyone or incline anyone to commit suicide. That is an unjust, untrue slander.

      Such self-destructive behavior is always a temptation of the evil one and abides in the hearts of people who abide in sin and dysfunction. Repentance leading to communion and community is essential to conquering that temptation particularly if it is persistent.

      The barriers you see are a false creation. Repentance is always personal and can find a place in the Church at anytime by the Grace of Jesus Christ, difficult though it may be. Intransigence will never find a real place even if it outwardly appears that it does.

      Repentance not victimhood or claiming false identity is the way to healing.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Michael Baumann wrote:
        “One thing I emphatically say to Mr. Wanamaker however: the Church does not cause anyone or incline anyone to commit suicide. That is an unjust, untrue slander.”

        Christ knew that Judas would betray Him, but didn’t know he’d commit suicide?

        • Blasphemy is the new chic of mustered out, sectarian meta-bishops.


        • Michael Bauman says

          Oh come on, your Grace. That post is really beneath you. It makes no sense. But then you frequently fail to understand and misrepresent what I say and you continue to misspell my name for some reason. I suppose you find it humorous.

          I said incline or encourage… Judas committed suicide because he was unrepentant. That is the same reason for everyone. All willful non-repentance leads to death. Surely you know that.

          The suicidal temptation is, as I said, always from the evil one therefore it is not of God nor of the Church. I suppose if you have never suffered from that temptation and the delusion that goes with it, you might not know where it comes from, but a bishop should know it.

          To imply that the Church’s teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts and the Euchristic discipline that goes with it causes people burdened with that particular sin to commit suicide is a lying slander. The slander itself comes from the same place as the temptation to kill oneself–the evil one and his minions. They delight in the death of a sinner, unlike God.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Well Mr B, I thought I’d encourage you to think before making utterances. I was wrong. I APOLOGIZE for inadvertently giving your name a German spelling. I’ll be 84 next month, and, though I was once a 75 w,p,m, typist, I got Depuytrens Syndrome in one hand about six years ago and decided against tendon-slicing surgery, so I do one hand typing mostly. I’ll try to remember it’s “Bauman” rther than “Baumann”, Nobody answered my question but, like you, just manoeuvered around it.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Bishop Tikon, it is difficult to instruct someone on something one does not know how to do. Your original comment to me does not indicate any prior thought.

              Knowing that Judas would commit suicide is not the same thing as encouraging or causing it.

              Even knowing that did not prevent Jesus from calling Judas a son of Satan. Or change Jesus behavior.

              The homosexualists are trying to have their sin approved by the Church. Trying to force the Church to change her teaching.

              It is the fundamental selfishness of all suicidal ideation: “give me my way or I’ll kill myself.”

              A way to avoid one’s own sin. I know the process all too well.

              Lord have mercy.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Michael Bauman–for heaven’s sake, can’t you answer yes or no? Can’t you let your yea be yea and your nay, nay? You seem to want to answer something I did NOT ask!
                THIS was my question to you: “Christ knew that Judas would betray Him, but didn’t know he’d commit suicide?”
                PS Besides not answering the question “yes”, “No,” or “I don’t know,” you seem to have forgotten that you got your knickers in a twist because I mistakenly added one “n” to your family name. Where is the “h” you omitted from my CHRISTIAN name?

                • Trey the Virginian says

                  The back and forth on this discussion is coming to be the “Orthodox Room” in Sartre’s No Exit. No one can stand anyone else, and no one can leave the room nor can they stop talking.

                  But the topic that started it all, “Who is minding the Store,” has in it the clue to how we got into these difficulties in the first place.

                  If Orthodoxy is the Universal tradition of the Apostles and Fathers and their manner of life, the expression by the Bishops, Priests and Deacons of the full knowledge of God that should be spoken to mankind, then we are no longer Orthodox, even if we think we are defending it.

                  The Tradition at some point has been broken in this country, or never really arrived.

                  Otherwise, our Bishops would have a deep knowledge and love for the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Fathers, and they would be striving to portray this life to us to free us from the great evils around and in us, and first to inoculate us against them. And people like Kip Wanamaker would not have become a slave to lawlessness and his passions, and he would have been brought healing words and knowledge and would be feeding in a beautiful meadow instead of how we see him here.

                  As for the bishops, The blind cannot lead the blind, or they will both fall into a ditch. And what a ditch we see ourselves in!

                  We will know we are not being lead by the blind the day when we hear the moral dimensions of the Holy Gospel preached and the Christian themes of:
                  Freedom and Slavery
                  Truth and Falsehood and the virtue of discrimination
                  The supernatural reality of the angels, and the demons and temptation
                  The striving for the harmony of soul and body and for holiness
                  The acquisition of self-control and the virtues and the extinction of the passions
                  Beauty and disfigurement
                  The reality of God as the Supreme Artificer and the things that give us knowledge of His reality
                  Facing our mortality and the reality of the Judgement to Come

                  Unfortunately, the expression of the Holy Gospel in our day is superficial, childish, dull and riddled with cliches, Protestantized, and sidesteps the moral dimension of our human and social problems, and instead smiles on our condition as passive consumers.

                  Those who find themselves disturbed by the shamefulness of our situation must be willing to leave a life that is ordinary, saturated with push-button pleasures and vapid opinions, and do the things the Fathers and other Holy Ones did to rid themselves of their own slothfullness and to acquire purity and the knowledge of God, for the salvation of our souls and for the common good of all.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says


                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says


                  • Dear Trey the Virginian:
                    Your list of topics seems very worthy, at least to small me. But one of them is unclear to me.
                    What would “the Christian theme of…Beauty and disfigurement” be?
                    There was a model in Texas who, on 3 December 2011, walked into a working airplane propeller. She lost an eye, part of an arm, and suffered other maiming and permanent disability. *However,* she has returned to modelling and looks beautiful, both to me and others. (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2124129/Lauren-Scruggs-steps-time-proudly-displaying-amputated-limb.html for an early read on her recovery.)
                    Is she beautiful, even though disfigured? I think so; her optimistic attitude and upbeat tone of voice tell me that she thinks so, too.
                    So…I’m confused.
                    Thank you.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    “Trey the Virginian,” your moralizing peroration is quite right. Now, Question One, repeated: Christ knew that Judas would betray Him, but didn’t know he’d commit suicide?
                    Question Two, Have you READ Sartre’s “No Exit?”
                    Question Three, If, as you hypothesize, “The Tradition at some point has been broken in this country, or never really arrived,” from what point of view or place or in what context are you preaching to us? Did you have a Mohammad or Joseph Smith moment?

    • I’m at a loss as to how people misunderstand the situation. I suppose a clarification of cause and effect is in order so as to “flesh out” the stakes.

      Homosexual sodomy is an abomination and contrary to the Law of God. This is clear from Scripture and Tradition, we need not argue about that. Can “homosexuals” be saved? Of course. Repentance is always possible in this life. That passion is a heavy cross to bear though and there are many “homosexuals” who would rather die than give up their “faith”.

      Now, that being the case, what are the consequences? The evil that results from homosexuality has not really been documented and is mostly anecdotal due to political correctness. Some of the worldly powers that be are “homosexuals” and thus a forthright accounting is taboo. But we can make an educated estimation.

      First of all, many “homosexuals” were sexually abused by male relatives or close friends of the family when they were children. That is the means by which many acquire the “thirst”. I’m sure there are other ways but it is not a question of genetics.

      So when people advocate that gays adopt, be aware that you’re really just feeding Moloch.

      The other piece of it is the abject degradation and humiliation of the gay lifestyle. It is thoroughly passive-aggressive because what you are dealing with is unnatural. Natural sexual relations are between a dominant male and a submissive female. Whenever you have two males, you are going to have perpetual acting out due to the unhealthy nature of the mix. Thus the cattiness and obsession with sexual innuendo. Always stirring the pot, passive aggressive. Something’s always wrong.

      Well, duh.

      For men it seems to be always two ships passing in the night or a semi-stable daddy-houseboy (squirrel) relationship. Sick but real. For women, the joke is that they bring a moving van to the second date. Yet their relationships are quite stormy and often filled with violence, depending on the social strata and breeding to some extent. One thinks she wants to be dominant, the other one knows she wants to be submissive, but has chosen poorly for some reason. What could go wrong?

      Who’s alpha?

      That is why it is confusion and abomination.

      So . . . eternal consequences:

      If a “homosexual” does not spend time unraveling these knots in this life through prayer, fasting, repentance, etc . . . then upon demise, one is faced with the Absolute. This is disconcerting, to say the least.

      We have the analogy of the toll houses from the Fathers as to how these things are sorted out in the Particular Judgment. Tradition says it goes on for 40 days. Forty days can seem like an eternity, I’m sure. I’m not trying to scare anyone, just being honest about the inevitable.

      This is not repentance in the common sense of the word. The time for repentance has passed. This is triage before the Great and Terrible Day. Angels and demons vying for the soul . . .

      So how good a physician is God? And how patient is He? And is He a doormat?

      Souls that He chooses not to fool with longer than the forty days, if it all doesn’t get ironed out, are dragged down. I suppose the prayers of the faithful in this life can help such souls to some extent, but theirs is an unenviable fate.

      From an infernal repose, one is resurrected into an imperishable body. Then comes Judgment. Those who remained in an infernal repose, we may assume, did not pass the test, so to speak.

      This is quite awful, but has to be said: What happens next is really self inflicted. They did it to themselves.

      Those who are resurrected from a heavenly repose, we may assume, treated “the least of these” with dignity, as they should Christ Himself. They pass into Paradise, the New Jerusalem.

      As for those who inherited an infernal repose and are resurrected:

      Now, I ask you, how would you answer the question: “As you have done to Bruce or Betty, so have you done to Me.”

      You get the picture.

      Hell is the eternal life of an immortal soul at odds with God.

      • Dwane porter says

        Wow you have one very warped sense of what a relationshi should be….who is dominante and submissive….who is aplha? But thanks for your work of fiction…it was quite amusing. I kust loved the broad brush strokes of generalism and you not so tactful use of age old sterotypes.

  16. M. Stankovich says

    On August 12, The Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 — United States and Selected Sites, 2015 periodic report of the The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). This is a “periodic” report (the last was issued in 2011) that monitors categories of priority health-related behaviors among youth and young adults. 2015 marked the first occasion where it was determined that

    Sexual identity and sex of sexual contacts can both be used to identify sexual minority youth. Sexual minority youth include those who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual and those who are not sure about their sexual identity as well as those who have sexual contact with only the same sex or with both sexes. Dissonance between sexual identity and sex of sexual contact occurs, particularly among youth.

    However, with the interpretation of this study being that,

    The majority of sexual minority students cope with the transition from childhood through adolescence to adulthood successfully and become healthy and productive adults.

    a fact already well established in the literature, it strikes me as quite curious to claim the reasonability of pursuing it for other than socio-political reasons, in order to state, “this report documents that sexual minority students have a higher prevalence of many health-risk behaviors compared with nonsexual minority students” (something I noted in March in examining the pre-publication of Reisner, SL, et al. “Psychiatric diagnoses and comorbidities in a diverse, multicity cohort of young transgender women: baseline findings from project lifeskills.” JAMA Pediatr. 2016 May 1;170(5):481-6). The point I am making is that – as we shall see – these “minority sex” youth occur in such small numbers as to be, arguably, grossly disproportionate to the attention and focus they receive for what ordinarily such a statistically insignificant group should warrant, let alone attract federal intervention and legislation.

    This is an extremely complex survey based on complex design and and complex statistical analysis. There is a lengthy discussion of the methodology, and anyone inclined to dismiss its results as fraudulent or questionable best be prepared to speak to complex systems of survey design, data gathering integrity, and complex statistical analysis. It is based on a subject saample of nearly 16,000 adolescents; nearly equally divided between the 9th-12th grades (in my experience ages 14-18); nearly equally divided between male and female; 54.5% White, 13.6% Black, 22.3% Hispanic, and 9.7% Other (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and multiple race (non-Hispanic). It is described as an “urban” study in that it was exclusively conducted in private and public schools in major US cities (and enrollment in a school was a requirement for participation). While the study was “distributed” to include all 50 states, certain US cities were focused as well: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore; Miami-Dade, Broward, Duval, & Orange Co., FL; DeKalb Co., GA; Cleveland, Detroit, Houston & Ft. Worth, TX; Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, CA.

    The findings are interesting, though not particularly surprising to anyone who follows epidemiological trends: of those students reporting, 89% of the students identified themselves as exclusively heterosexual, with a confidence interval (meaning, what we would expect to consistently find to be true, at any given time, among any similarly given group of respondents) nearing 95% for males and 87% for females; 2% identified as exclusively homosexual/lesbian; 6% as bisexual (with females outnumbering males more than 3 to 1 – which speaks to long-held theories of the instability of female bisexuality, but which this study did not address); and 3.2% were simply “unsure” (with females 35% more likely than males). While the citations for this final category, “unsure,” reference “diversity studies” considering the phenomenon of transgender, the study never specifically mentions trans students among sexual minorities, leaving us to presume that the current epidemiological predictions that trans individuals constitute a number anywhere between 1 in 150,000 individuals to 1 in 250,000 (and again, to provide perspective, the incidence of blindness in the US, for example, is 5.5 per 1000,000). Several points to draw in these findings are that 1) the rate of homosexuality is significantly divergent from what is generally reported in the media as to the prevalence of homosexuality in the general population (i.e. 6-8% or higher); and 2) while it is not my point in this brief survey to summarize the entire discussion of what the “unsure” classification of sexual identity entails (it is easily downloaded from the CDC website), it is clearly not intended to suggest anything in regard to transgender youth. Therefore, with an overall reported survey response of 3.2%, sexual identity as “unsure” there seems no reasonable justification epidemiologically to support a claim of what, for all intents and purposes, now politically has come to constitute a “protected class” designation for a “sexual minority” that is nothing more than a statistically insignificant anomaly. Forcing school districts to change their entire bathroom protocol to accommodate such a statistically anomalous group makes as much sense epidemiologically as a suit I read that was filed by parents against a school district who were “outraged” that their blind children were allowed to study in a darkened library after school when someone inadvertently forgot to turn on the lights.

    Further, complimenting the earlier findings of Reisner et al. – as I noted in March – this cohort of sexual minority students is shown to experience a disproportionately higher prevalence rate for many health-risk behaviors and co-morbid psychopathology than their non-sexual minority peers in nearly every category measured by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, and upwards of 40% in regard to co-morbid psychopathology. What is interesting, however, is that while sexual minorities were more likely to experience, for example, electronic and on-campus bullying (a behaviour specifically identified as psychologically harmful as sexual abuse), it did not necessarily correlate with the variable of “sexual minority” distinct from the adolescent process alone; in other words, bullying is simply traumatic to all adolescents developmentally. And still further, while the prevalence of the variables of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and self-harm are higher among the sexual minority students – in fact nearly double the rate of non-sexual minority students – we are still still only considering approximately 288 cases in 16,000 respondents. As the Reisner et al. study indicated – which allows subjects to the age of 20 – actual suicide attempts among the sexual minority cohort was significantly weighted toward the older students (as is the case in the general population) thereby challenging the notion that there is an epidemic of adolescent “child” suicide among sexual minorities, specifically brought about by psychopathology correlated with being a member of a sexual minority. Neither this study nor Reisner et al. support such a conclusion.

    I will leave a conclusion for a second post.

    • Great analysis, Dr. Stankovich. I particularly liked your main conclusions:

      “Therefore, with an overall reported survey response of 3.2%, sexual identity as “unsure” there seems no reasonable justification epidemiologically to support a claim of what, for all intents and purposes, now politically has come to constitute a “protected class” designation for a “sexual minority” that is nothing more than a statistically insignificant anomaly.”

      “As the Reisner et al. study indicated – which allows subjects to the age of 20 – actual suicide attempts among the sexual minority cohort was significantly weighted toward the older students (as is the case in the general population) thereby challenging the notion that there is an epidemic of adolescent “child” suicide among sexual minorities, specifically brought about by psychopathology correlated with being a member of a sexual minority. Neither this study nor Reisner et al. support such a conclusion.”

      In a perverse way, the “traditionalist” Orthodox on this site–starting with our esteemed host, have helped the cause of the gay lobby by their exaggerations. Unfortunately, what may have started as a manufactured crisis, has become a real monster that devours all contrary reasons and even reasonable caveats.

  17. SleeplessInNY says

    It’s always amusing when “Love BT” spins tales without actually naming anyone or citing any sources. I never cease to be amazed at all that he has seen *with his own eyes* but which he scrupulously avoids documenting. Surely no one in the OCA has witnessed such depravity, or has “heard about it” as much as “Love BT!” How he praises Fr. Christopher out of one side of his mouth, while reviling him out of the other! How little he has changed since he was the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of the West. How he enjoys the obsequious ministrations of the people of the Cathedral in Los Angeles where he sits behind a screen like a Byzantine Empress.

    To this brood of vipers: Have you ever set foot in the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin in New York? Have you met Fr. Christopher, or heard him preach? Have you been to the Divine Liturgy within those venerable walls? Of course not. You know not of what you speak, yet you stand in judgment of a caring and dynamic priest, a faithful son of the Diocese of New York. You tell us how good things are in the Diocese of the South and how sinful things are in New York. Is Dallas, or Birmingham, or Lilburn, Georgia somehow holier than Manhattan, or Buffalo, or Yonkers?

    Remove the beam from your own eye. See your own transgressions and judge not your brother.

    • Michael Warren says

      Those who preach the immoral filth that this Renovationist does were punished by GOD at Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      “Sleepless in New York”, you are a coward, as demonstrated by your moralizing behind a pseudonym! Further, WHERE EXACTLY have I ***reviled*** Fr. Christopher Calin? [“How he praises Fr. Christopher out of one side of his mouth, while reviling him out of the other!”]

      I am not responsible for any “obsequious ministrations (SIC)”—-“obsequious ministrations of the people of the Cathedral in Los Angeles where he sits behind a screen like a Byzantine Empress.”

      I do sit on the north kliros at Divine Liturgy, out of the way, so to speak, O coward, at my advanced age of 83+, but I’ve never hidden myself from anyone–not there not here or any place else. I would be LESS accessible in the Holy Altar, and people could not come to me for blessings…(I suppose THAT is what irks the coward!) Why not come out from behind your disguise? Try putting some trust in GOD!
      Newcomers may not know that I used to interact with clergy and faithful on an old Internet site, and I signed off, economically as “Love, +B.T..” This coward must be a veteran of that “Orthodox List.”
      I want to apologize to anyone who, like this coward, has unreasonably envied me!
      I know Fr Christopher mainly, but not only, from Facebook. I have no idea of his views on homosexuality, whether that of the coward or of anyone else!
      Elsewhere in this blog, Coward, I have indicated that the Cathedral in the Bowery was in many respects less decent and in order than it is since Fr Chrisopher’s been there.
      Reading the coward’s poison note, I was once again reminded of Mark Twain’s so adequate comment on the like: “Noise proves nothing: a hen after merely laying an egg will cackle as if she had laid an asteroid!”

    • Dear CluelessinNY,

      “Judge not your brother” is code for “ignore all Christian standards; any lifestyle is ok.” This is insane, and I’m sure you know that St John Chrysostom, St Basil, St Elizabeth, St Tikhon, any Saint at all would love their fellow Christian but would not “tolerate” his gay lifestyle. Puh-leeze. It ain’t the 1970s anymore.

      You can have your “gay OCA” — heck, it’s already what it is anyhow, and the word on the street (and from many, many sources other than Vladika Tikhon) is that it’s been the “gay OCA” for decades. But I wish y’all weren’t cowards about it. Be public about it and show the “pride!” The gay clergy need to have some cajones and come right out and say yeah we’re gay, we’re the clergy, and proud of it! Then at least we’d all be clear on where you stand and we can wipe the dust from our feet and get on with our lives.

      Till then, the silence from the OCA bishops and senior clergy disciplining the gay OCA clergy is deafening. Their silence bespeaks their tacit approval, a message we all get loud and clear.

      Quit hiding behind this “judge not your brother” crap. I don’t care what any men or women do behind closed doors, but when they are clergy or bishops and are publicly held to a “life beyond reproach” — which they signed up for (no one is coerced into ordination) — then yeah, it matters a lot, my friend.

  18. Teena H. Blackburn says

    It is the grossest sort of intellectual dishonesty to remain in a church whose teaching you reject, and whose authority you have no intention of obeying. Mr. Wanamaker, you left your wife and children, and civilly married another man. This act itself would make you ineligible for the chalice (even if married to another woman-you married outside the church). For some reason, several priests allowed you to commune, even though by your words and actions, you reject the church’s authority over you. You are not merely gay-you are publicly and actively opposed to your church’s teaching.

    In being so, and continuing to commune, you are a scandal to the faithful, and a danger to yourself. Whether you are subjectively responsible for your actions is not mine to judge. You are, however, objectively in a state of serious sin, according to the church you insist ought to commune you. You are obviously a man of some virtues, given that your ex-wife and children speak highly of you, in spite of the fact you violated your vows and responsibilities to them and to the church.

    Given, however, that membership in the church is a free association, why would you insist on communing in a church you obviously do not believe in? We are not Protestants, it is not “my” church, or yours, to do with as we will. It is Christ’s church, to which we are to submit-the lawful authority being the bishops (all of whom, across all jurisdictions, having reiterated the consistent teaching of the church that active homosexual activity is not compatible with being a disciple of Christ).

    But, no, you criticize priests who teach what the church teaches on this matter, in a post open to the world, and then have your friends, even other clerics, defame them. It saddens me, and confuses me. I just don’t get it. If I was unwilling to submit to the teachings of the church, I would leave, for the sake of my conscience, and so as not to scandalize others-particularly if I thought my beliefs and/or lifestyle had to be public. You have excommunicated yourself, why the anger that some priest in Pa. honored that fact?

  19. Michael Warren says

    I think Renovationist sectarians like this “archimandrite” (sic!) actually do us a service: they personify the liberal, Eastern Rite Protestant moral bankruptcy of the Syosset-Crestwood machine and supply us the faithful with the ammunition to clean house and rebuff their mouthpieces. It is extremely difficult to argue that you live the Orthodox Tradition and have an Orthodox worldview when not only do you bless the sin of Sodom and commune practicing Sodomites but go so far as to argue, cause scandals in the Church, asserting that the “fundamentalists must be silenced and GOD’s love and acceptance be offered” to the perverse, disgusting sin of sodomy. Times will change and the gay crusade representing a sick 1% will pass out of vogue. Then these betrayers of Christian morality will be called to account. We can take solace in assuring the Syosset-Crestwood Renovationist apparat that they will be held accountable for enabling these sick people and betraying Orthodoxy for a reprobate, liberal, gay agenda.

    No wonder why some Crestwood flunkies were going on about a new plastic anthropology asserting the deifying nature of gay sex…

  20. M. Stankovich says

    I conclude this brief survey of the the Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 — United States and Selected Sites, 2015, a periodic report of the The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), issued on August 12 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. It should be said that, while I have initially emphasized these aspects of differentiation and emphasis between “sexual minority” students and non-sexual minority students – simply because the CDC has made it the focus of this report, for better or worse – nevertheless, there are disturbing findings contained in this report that are worth mentioning for what they reveal about the respondents, and adolescents in general.

    Obviously, the issue of public safety is paramount in the minds of parents and students alike. This study reports that approximately 16% of all respondents claimed to have “carried a weapon” (specifically a knife, a gun, or an object with which to strike another – a “club”) at least one day during the 30-days prior to the study, and 4% reported actually carrying a weapon onto school property. Further, 5% specifically reported carrying a gun. While anything is certainly possible, the fact that this study is identified as an “urban” study – and there is a fundamental lack of firearm attacks in “urban” schools – it strikes as a suspiciously inflated saturation; more so when the emphasis is placed on an inflated prevalence distribution among lesbian & bisexual students. I, personally, do not recall a single case, but would be interested in hearing of one. 23% of all respondents reported having been in a physical fight in the past year – nearly 8% on school property – and 2.5% reported a physical injury. All of this culminates in over 17% of all nationwide respondents reporting that they had been electronically bullied by someone “through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites, or texting, during the 12 months before the survey.” It would seem obvious to imagine that you were significantly more likely to be bullied if you were female or a sexual minority, but also, you were significantly more likely to be bullied if you were perceived to be female or a sexual minority, or had been identified as such by a known internet bully. This further translated into 20% of all respondents indicating that they had personally bullied on school property, and nearly 6% of these individuals did not go to school on at least one day during the study period because they were afraid for their safety.

    More disturbing are the reports of what we can only term, “domestic violence,”; literal physical abuse where a student “had been physically hurt on purpose (counting being hit, slammed into something, or injured with an object or weapon,” in the context of what students identified as a “dating relationships” (“with someone I dated or went out with”). This was reported at a rate of nearly 10% among all respondents nationwide. Interestingly, the prevalence of physical violence was apparently an independent variable – as we shall see – from sexual relationships, in that students who reported being sexually abstinent and yet dating/”going out,” also reported experiencing physical violence at a rate of nearly 7%. Nearly 11% of all students responding indicated that they had been “forced to do sexual things (counting being kissed, touched, or physically forced to have sexual intercourse) they did not want to do by someone they were dating or going out with one or more times during the 12 months before the survey (i.e., sexual dating violence).” This, then reinforces the conclusions I have cited here since they were published in 2014:

    The lifetime experience of 17-year-olds with sexual abuse and sexual assault was 26.6% for girls and 5.1% for boys. The lifetime experience with sexual abuse and sexual assault at the hands of adult perpetrators exclusively was 11.2% for females and 1.9% for males. For females, considerable risk for sexual abuse and assault was concentrated in late adolescence, as the rate rose from 16.8% for 17-year-old females. For males, it rose from 4.3% at 15 years to 5.1% (2.6-7.6) at 17 years.Self-report surveys in late adolescence reveal high rates of lifetime experience with sexual abuse and sexual assault at the hands of both adults and peers. Because of high continuing victimization during the late teen years, assessments are most complete when conducted among the oldest youth.

    The lifetime experience of 17-year-olds with sexual abuse and sexual assault was 26.6% for girls and 5.1% for boys. The lifetime experience with sexual abuse and sexual assault at the hands of adult perpetrators exclusively was 11.2% for females and 1.9% for males. For females, considerable risk for sexual abuse and assault was concentrated in late adolescence, as the rate rose from 16.8% for 17-year-old females. For males, it rose from 4.3% at 15 years to 5.1% (2.6-7.6) at 17 years.

    Finkelhor, D. et al. “The lifetime prevalence of child sexual abuse and sexual assault assessed in late adolescence.” J Adolesc Health. 2014 Sep;55(3):329-33.

    I do not mean to imply that there is nothing of encouragement or hope to be found in this 280-page otherwise exhaustive exploration of the health practices and well-being of both the nations’s and the church’s most precious gift, our children. But the fact is that – if you have followed my reasoning to this point – every single evaluative aspect of this massive undertaking of statistical design and analysis has been framed with an eye toward a truly anomalistic, truly statistically insignificant aspect of this sample of American adolescents, and truly dominates the thought process for no justifiable reason – medically, psychiatrically, genetically, epigenetically, epidemiologically, or sociologically – in a manner I am able to discern. In fact, this study concludes with the following conclusion for a Public Health Action

    To reduce the disparities in health-risk behaviors among sexual minority students, it is important to raise awareness of the problem; facilitate access to education, health care, and evidence-based interventions designed to address priority health-risk behaviors among sexual minority youth; and continue to implement YRBSS at the national, state, and large urban school district levels to document and monitor the effect of broad policy and programmatic interventions on the health-related behaviors of sexual minority youth.

    My thought is simply this: what is not permissible here is any simple inference that the source of “the disparities in health-risk behaviors among sexual minority students” that result in such an astonishingly high prevalence of psychiatric and other co-morbidity – nearly 40% – might be related to their lifestyle and beliefs, a suggestion for which we are ravaged as “homophobic” and, in my case, literally forbidden by law to discuss. And so it goes… As I noted in the part 1, from their own conclusion, even the adolescents who “struggle” as unsure are more likely than not to resolve the issue with absolutely no intervention whatsoever. And that is probably for the best in most cases.

  21. SleeplessInNY says

    Teena: Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?

    Are you without sin? Unless you are, you have no business (or right) standing in judgment of Mr. Wannamaker. Can we assume that he is following the direction of his confessor, as I’m sure you are as well?

    • Teena H. Blackburn says

      I have no moral high ground. I sin, I go to confession. What I don’t do is sin, claim it’s not sin, and demand the church take me on my terms. If Mr. Wanamaker’s confessor is communing him, or telling him that having sex with another man is acceptable, said confessor is also violating church teaching. This has zero to do with how bad a sinner I may be. Mr. Wanamaker may go to Paradise while I split hell wide open. That’s not the point here. The issue is whether the Orthodox church teaches gay sex is sinful, and whether those of us who are Orthodox are obedient to that teaching. It’s also about being honest. What right does a person who does not intend to even try to be obedient to church teaching have to protest said teaching and seek to change it? Why on earth would anyone belong to a church they believe is that fundamentally wrong about something so important, if they can go to a church that agrees with them?

      • Dwane porter says

        Teena – Why would anyone thow the baby out with the bathwater? How many of you are willing to ignore Christ’s teachings like helping the poor, the homeless, the refugee because of your political leanings? Yet pony up to the Chalice weekly. The level of fixation with sex is stagering on this thread.

        • Teena Blackburn says

          Mr. Porter, do those people publicly declare that the teaching of Christ and His Church are wrong about feeding the poor (as opposed to perhaps disagreeing on the best way to do that)? Is there a movement in the church to declare that this moral teaching is false? If a person ran around doing this, I would hope they would be called to task too-for their sake. But, this is really a red herring. The point is, you and your partner married outside the church, you know the church teaches against gay sex, you think the church is wrong, you have no intention of obeying, you disobey publicly, and yet you still think you ought to commune. Lord have mercy. It’s not sin that keeps you from the chalice, it’s that you publicly declare you have nothing to repent of. Your conscience tells you that, but then you insist you are still Orthodox, even though your conscience leads you outside the church. If I was to posit a motive, which is dangerous, it appears to me you really want affirmation, and you can’t deal with the fact Orthodoxy won’t give it to you. We’re fixated on sex? Your partner made a public FB post. The two of you have made it all about being gay in the church. If you went about your lives privately, who would even know this? You make it public (and scandalous), and then complain when people comment. Please…….

        • Teena H. Blackburn says

          Tu quoque is also a logical fallacy. BTW, if it matters, I don’t care for Fr. Trenham’s tone in that video. That doesn’t mean the Church is wrong in its teaching about sexuality. I would agree the tone in the video is probably not helpful.

        • Homosexuality is demonized perversion which condemns souls. That’s why.

      • Gregory Manning says

        Exactly right, Teena!

    • Teena H. Blackburn says

      I might also note Mr. Wanamaker and his friends seriously criticized not only Fr. Trenham, but also two other priests. Are Mr. Wanamaker and his friends without sin? Does this mean they don’t get to comment? I also wonder what you do with 1 Corinthians-you know, that part about not even eating (probably communion) with fellow believers who are sexually immoral, thieves, drunkards, etc…These verses followed by Paul saying (unrepentant) fornicators, adulterers and homosexuals would not inherit the Kingdom. It’s not my private opinion, and I’ve stood judged by these verses in my own life at different times. It is not love and mercy to stand by while people condemn themselves.

      • Dwane porter says

        Mark 2:13-17

        Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners
        13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

        15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

        17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

        So Paul or Jesus….who was right?

        • Teena H. Blackburn says

          I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners-to repentance. It was also Jesus who said to not associate with people who refuse to listen to the church.

        • The North Remembers says

          Can you honestly say that a practicing homosexual is living the Gospel? I can’t, and I can’t take such a person’s scriptural commentary seriously. Jesus selected Paul and appointed him an Apostle. For almost two thousand years no one has cited a gay rights Jesus at odds with a puritanical Paul. That’s because Jesus commanded us to hate the sin but love the sinner. Paul says the same thing. You just don’t like that Paul says that the gay lifestyle you have chosen is sick and immoral. You can choose not to be a sodomite by not engaging in sodomy and living a moral life. That is what Paul is encouraging you to do. Jesus embraced sinners and then told them to go and sin no more. Choose a moral lifestyle and sin no more. That would mean you repent of being a sodomite. That’s what Paul has to say. I see no contradiction.

          • Would you consider a practicing fornicator, liar , thief, glutton, adulterer or gossip “living the Gospel”?

        • Michael Bauman says

          Both are right. Matthew repented. The others with whom he ate were humble in their recognition that they were sinners unlike the arrogant, prideful and unrepentent homosexualists.

          Repent, enter the struggle for union with Christ. That is what is required for communion. Nothing more, certainly nothing less.

          Homosexual practice is sinful. It is a distortion of the image of God in our humanity. It is a false identity.

          It is, like all lust, a worshipping the created thing instead of the Creator.

          Repentance is first to recognise the darkness that rules one’s own heart, mind and body. Then to turn back and seek the healing available only from Christ and His Church.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      ‘Speaking of high moral ground, “sleepless in NewYork,”
      “WHERE EXACTLY have I ***reviled*** Fr. Christopher Calin? [“How he praises Fr. Christopher out of one side of his mouth, while reviling him out of the other!”]

      Try “Speechless in New York” and don’t let your mouth overload another portion of your anatomy!

  22. The OCA and GOA bishops should pay attention to this man’s testimony and LEARN some wisdom. These bishops need to MAN UP and SPEAK UP about this deadly sin to help others also escape this nightmare and find the real Christ.

    A Call for Even Harsher Language on Homosexuality from the Synod
    By Joseph Sciambra
    (former homosexual who now embraces Christ and is trying to help other homosexuals.)

    Leading up to and during the October Synod on the Family, countless pro-“gay Catholic” advocacy groups have sent out “calls for the harsh language of previous Vatican documents referring to LGBT people as ‘disordered’ to be rescinded;” recently, even someone in the “Spiritual Friendship” group, a loose confederacy of self-proclaimed “gay” and chaste Catholics who have been embraced by some in the hierarchy, said this: “…we often stay away from the language of ‘disorder’ and ‘brokenness’ that often surrounds the issue.” This line of reasoning is wholly supported by such prelates as, among others, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane who proposed: “There has to be a whole new language … that would open up new doors and new possibilities.” What they want to replace it with, I have no idea; but I think it would be so diluted and weak as to appear “gay” affirming; the few stout and brave priests and prelates would be warned to – speak no evil; the rainbow flag as gag.

    This call to change, hinges on the false supposition that Catholic priests and bishops everywhere are calling homosexuals from the pulpit, or in the Confessional, “disordered.” As a life-long “Catholic,” though marginally one in my youth, and away from the Church as an adult for over ten years, I have never once heard a priest deliver a homily about homosexuality; and, for a few years, I even attended a parish run by the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius X, and another by The Fraternity of St. Peter, and, again, even from these traditional priests, homosexuality was only mentioned in brief passing as it related to the secular push for “gay marriage” and or the increased acceptance of homosexual activity among the young. Now, while “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” is quite clear about homosexuality and does use the term “disordered:” the Catechism has never been a “gay” bestseller, and, of the thousands of “gay” men that I have spoken with over the past few years – not one, has ever heard the word “disordered” as it relates to Catholicism and homosexuality. In addition, I have never encountered a priest or Bishop on a homophobic rampage, though, apparently some believe, as “gay Catholic” speaker Ron Belgau voiced during his presentation at the Philadelphia Meeting of Families, that this incredibly hurtful language is being widely disseminated and therefore causing “great damage” to the homosexuals who may hear it. Ludicrous.

    In my own experience, I have come across all sorts of priests who run the gamete with regards to the “gay” issue: though, by far, I would testify that the vast majority are far from “gay” condemning, but actually “gay” supportive. And, what I mean by “gay” supportive, I am not accusing them of marching in the Gay Pride Parades of San Francisco, though some do that, but what they have done is confused compassion with collusion; because, in their sincere effort to not appear condemning, they inevitably come off as overly accepting. In 1986, then Cardinal Ratzinger feared such a movement, when he stated: “an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” Actually, the first priest I ever spoke with, just after leaving the “gay” lifestyle, could certainly be regarded as someone the future Pope Benedict XVI was concerned about; for, he said that: “…this was something I did not choose;” “…that I had done my best” and “…that God was okay with me being ‘gay;’” adding one caveat: “…that I needed to be more careful.” Then, I didn’t know much, but I instinctively knew he was wrong. Because, simply – I had lived it: I had made the wrong choices, and I hadn’t done my best, and I knew God was not okay with this.

    The second priest I spoke with was humble and kind, fully aware that homosexuality was not an option – in any way, but he was also very reticent to give advice; I think this was partially due to the fact that counseling a recovering “gay” man was widely outside his experience, and that, he didn’t not want to offend me – telling me just that: that he was scared of saying the wrong thing; therefore, our conversation always centered on chastity; though a noble and beautiful pursuit, I needed something more. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I met a newly ordained priest, not that much older than me: he was considerate and thoughtful, but he was fearless and brash, and he had something to say and I needed to hear it; up till that point, on my own, mostly by reading the works of Fr. John Harvey and Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, I had come to understand that my swerve into homosexuality truly emerged out of a highly confused, traumatized, and yes “disordered,” mind; only, this priest, told me that there was another aspect to all of this – the spiritual or the demonic. He said I very much needed a tri-fold healing: of the body, the mind, and the spirit; the various surgeries I had to endure in order to repair the damage of homosexuality was taking care of the body, albeit painfully; with a good Catholic therapist – I was taking care of the mind; now – it was time to heal the spirit. First off, telling someone you just met, as Father did with me – that you are under demonic influence, would go against every “pastoral” theory put forth by the “gay” Catholic league and their supporters in the Church; only, it was exactly what I indeed to know. Because, I was like some wandering pathetic sick person constantly searching out a cure: one doctor tells me to embrace the disease and accept it, another tells me to just endure it, while, finally, the third one offers a treatment.

    I will always be thankful to that priest – because, he was not afraid. Some would argue that he was about as un-pastoral as you can get: he named the sin, told me where it came from (the devil and hell itself) and then went about casting it out. It sounds harsh, but sometimes the most invasive forms of cancer require the most severe forms of therapy. St. Josemaria Escriva said: “To heal a wound, the first thing to do is to clean it well, including a wide area around it. The surgeon knows that the cleaning hurts, but he also knows that there will be worse pain later if it is not done.” He was talking about sin. The much maligned word “disordered” works in sort of the same way, though I think even harsher language should be used, as we need peroxide poured on your wounds…something that will burn and sting our ears…and our complacency. And, continuing upon this analogy, if you went to a physician with a serious life-threatening illness, would you want him to tell you the truth about your condition, as unpleasant as it may be, or would you want him to play mind games with you? No! You would want to know: what do I have; and what do I need to do in order to survive this? That’s what this priest did for me…He respected and loved me enough – to tell the Truth. Probably, the greatest voice yet to emerge from the Synod is not one of the egotistical Cardinal-heavyweights from Western Europe, but a seemingly inconsequential prelate from a Hungarian backwater; Archbishop Fülöp Kocsis, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Hajdúdorog stated: “We must call these diabolic forces which have a role to play with these phenomena by name because this way we can find some indications even for the research of possible solutions.”

    Mercy and Compassion Rarely Seem Merciful or Compassionate
    By Joseph Sciambra
    For the next few months, I followed that same routine of weekly Confession followed by Mass. Occasionally, if I needed to discuss something, I would make an appointment beforehand. Back then, I was struggling, not with what the Church taught, but with what I needed to do in my own life. In the beginning, I thought that since I had given up “gay” sex, why I should also have to give up “gay.” Meaning, I had no trouble with the concept of the sinfulness of homosexual acts, yet I wanted to maintain what I thought was an integral part of my identity. But I was a grown-man, and Father wasn’t going to sit silently by as I continued to believe in Santa Claus. Now, he could have “accompanied” me on this journey, but I was returning to the pro-gay theological works of John McNeill and John Boswell in an attempt to justify my continued chaste Catholic gayness. He also understood that believing in a fantasy was different from a childhood fairytale – for my identity hinged on that falsehood; to not directly oppose that illusion, would have been neither charitable nor merciful, it would have been cowardly. For, Father truly took the words of “The Catechism” to heart, namely:

    “By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

    Father knew that I could be so much more than a “gay” Catholic man, that I could be refined and reduced to a Catholic man; because he understood that my ultimate salvation and happiness required that I decrease so that Christ may increase. That meant, not a layering on of more identities, but a complete stripping away.*

    When we talked Father wasn’t trying to be my friend, but a Father. He told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. He gave me advice that benefited my soul, and didn’t pander to my self-doubt. He smashed my pop-culture hallucinations, and gave me true examples of masculinity and femininity as perfectly realized in the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. He didn’t coddle my insecurities; he challenged me to confront them. He didn’t see me as a “gay” man, but as another broken and betrayed wastrel from God. He never treated me like a special case; he just treated me like a just another sinner. He wanted to guide me along this path to perfection when I was more-than-happy to settle for “gay” and chaste.

    At times, he was tough and I didn’t like him. There were occasions when I even hated him. I thought I would punish him and stay away. Then, while I sat at home brooding, he went about his day. When I cooled down and called him, we picked up right where we left off. Sometimes, I would return and quarrel with him. He didn’t waste a single minute on my weak arguments as they were always based on emotion. Where I wanted to make things complicated, he always brought me back to the seemingly trite reality of simplicity. Occasionally, I would regurgitate the old axioms that still clinged to me from my former life; for instance, something about being born gay, or that God made me this way, or God wouldn’t want me to suffer – so let me be. In the midst of my repertoire, Father would interrupt me with a shocking statement like: “Where is this coming from Joe – from the devil?” He was right. Sometimes, when I was especially bull-headed, he told me to go home. Father didn’t do “discourse” or “dialogue.” He immediately called out a lie as a lie, and then shut the conversation down. Today, I am reminded of Christ’s admonition to Peter: “Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.”

    During my whole life: from what I heard in the pro-gay media to the placating words of gay-affirmative Catholic priests, everything and everyone confirmed what I thought about myself – that I was gay. Only, one person didn’t do that. He refused to see me as the summation of my broken childhood. He wouldn’t allow me to surrender my soul over to my fears. And, he recognized the good man underneath all the “gay” pretense. In order to do that, he had to break down the image that I had of myself – and you do not do that by telling someone: “You are gay – and okay.”

    He didn’t see “gay” as an identity, but as a symptom of a deeper inner struggle. Rather gruffly, he pushed aside the false “gay” persona that I presented to the world and went straight to the hurt and whimpering kid in the corner. He understood that my continued reliance on gay was petulant and demanding. No one had stood up to that fact. Yet, Father exemplified a sort of “muscular Christianity,” not based on bulk, because he wasn’t a physically impressive man, but on a sheer confidence in the Truth. Because, he didn’t see gay as something inevitable; his approach was antithetical to most “pastoral” approaches which attempt to “accompany” and even “celebrate” a person’s supposed gayness and the “blessings” inherent in the homosexual orientation; for example, the Archdiocese of San Jose has officially put forward in its “LGBT Ministry,” namely that: “[homosexuals] cannot change their sexual orientation but must understand it and integrate it into their life of faith and conscience.” Father wanted me to fight against it – because he knew that homosexuality was simply covering over the unhealed wounds of my life. This was a spiritual battle for my soul – to “integrate” gay, would have allowed the enemy a permanent outpost inside of me; from there, it would have taken over forever. With the help of this good and faithful priest, in my case, God won.

    • Fr. Peter Dubinin says

      Thank you for sharing this. Usually I skim through the offerings presented here hoping to find something spiritually nourishing with encouragement to stay the priestly course ordered by Christ. I needed this. Thanks.

  23. One other thing we should be clear about though. We are all sinners. Nonetheless, some sins are more serious than others. Christ Himself spoke of the weightier matters of the law. And we know that not every sin is a sin unto death.

    Matthew 23:23 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

    John 5:16-17 – “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he should ask God, who will give life to those who commit this kind of sin. There is a sin that leads to death; I am not saying he should ask regarding that sin. All unrighteousness is sin, yet there is sin that does not lead to death.”

    There were various punishments meted out for sins/crimes in the Old Testament. The penalty for stealing, for example, was different from that for sodomy.

    Sodomy is a sin unto death. However, even this does not mean that a particular person is guilty of hellfire. That is the prerogative of God alone to decide. As in the debate we had about St. Gregory of Nyssa’s hopes for the Last Judgment, we have to leave that verdict to God on the Last Day.

    In the meantime, is it a sin to exhort ones brother to cease tempting God?

  24. Metropolitan Jonah is regularly held up here as the standard for real, traditional, mission-minded Orthodoxy. This piece implies Archimandrite Christopher is his antithesis within the ECUSA-bound OCA. Since the contrast has been set up this way, it would be worth asking why such a good, traditional Metropolitan would have begged and cajoled such a well-known, sinful, modernist Archimandrite to accept consecration to the episcopacy under him. Of course, it’s because this is all gossip; this is really just Presidential year, culture war proxy politics, i.e., liberal evil North / Democrats / cities vs. virtuous, traditional South / Republicans / country, so it’s easy to gossip (a sin, for those who have forgotten) in the name of something so important.

    Arguing against the crude, bullying, hyperbolic fascination with fighting ‘the gay agenda’ is not the same thing as arguing for a full, unquestioning acceptance of homosexuality as a virtue. Arguing against especial opprobrium and shame against certain manifest and unrepentant sinners and not against others is also not the same as arguing vice is virtue and virtue vice. I’d say it’s pretty manifest most Americans (and our Orthodox clergy and monastics) are manifest gluttons, and that while our personal charitable giving is higher than that of other nations we as a nation in fact give far less to the poor and needy regardless of source, that our nation’s actual treatment of the foreigners among us, the poor, and the widows is deplorable by the same OT standards brought forward against homosexuality, and that we are far too easy on the proud, the arrogant, the comfort-loving, the divorced, etc. – not to mention the gossips.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Speaking of the Metropolitan who resigned, “At the ACNA’s inaugural assembly in June 2009, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, while recognizing theological differences, said that he was “seeking an ecumenical restoration” between Orthodox and Anglicans in the United States.[90] An agreement was announced between Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and Nashotah House, an Anglican seminary, to guide ecumenical relationships and “new dialogue” between the two churches.[90] Archbishop Foley Beach met Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, at an ecumenical meeting that took place at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, on 8 November 2014.”

    • Anyone: What is the ECUSA? (Used in 123’s sentence which ends “…his antithesis within the ECUSA-bound OCA.”)
      Thank you.

  25. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

    This, too, is Scripture. These, too, are the sins of Sodom.

    A man screwing a man is as bad as that man screwing the poor, his workers, the alien in his midst.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Then I suppose you are going to vote against Hillary Clinton? After all, she is part of the globalist elite that has been “screwing over” working men in America for the last thirty years. Not to say the same people who want to import millions of peons into Western lands where they can be exploited for their labor.

      • I don’t make it a point to stand in judgment over others, but I am happy to point out logical inconsistencies, factual errors, mistaking anecdotes for proof, selectively refusing to accept facts and proof, and to note what too many of my co-religionists leave out when moralizing politically while pretending it’s religion.

        For instance, claiming Hillary is ‘is part of the globalist elite that has been “screwing over” working men in America’ while forgetting Donald is, too, and he has an actual track record of not paying his workers. It’s not as if either candidate is as pro-labor as it would seem you have become, but there is one who has fought consistently for the kinds of government responses that would blunt and offset the harsh realities of globalization. If there is one positive to come out of this election, it is the acknowledgment on both side of the aisle and among those who have preferred to blame the poor for being losers who should have worked harder that there have been winners and losers in our globalizing market economy, and that we have not paid as much attention as necessary to the losers created by these market forces. It’s a shame this change of heart had to wait until it was white people (in rural and Rust Belt areas) feeling economic and societal dislocation resulting in stressed families, communities, economic instability, etc. like we saw happen to minority communities in the 70s when well-paid, unionized, low-skilled jobs were more plentiful leading to more stable communities. Compare the findings of William Julius Wilson in “When Work Disappears” to the societal problems we see today among economically and culturally stressed whites supporting Trump (and, to a certain extent, Sanders). That is, change the structure of the economy in such a way that a large class of white men — say, white men without a college degree — lose access to good jobs. If Wilson was right, we’d expect to see a sharp decline in stable marriages, a rise in unwed births, growing drug use, and other forms of social disruption. And that is, in fact, exactly what has happened among the typical Trump demographic. Republican free market policies have gutted the social safety net, and it’s starting to hurt good Republican voters now – so they blame Hillary.

        • George Michalopulos says

          123, thank you for walking into my trap. Let us stipulate for the sake of argument that Trump has “screwed over” workers. (Never mind the fact that hundreds of people who have worked for him or worked with him would take issue with your assertion.) Let us go forward however: which candidate wants to restrict immigration and stop the erosion of working men’s wages and which one doesn’t? Which one wants to restrict further terrorist infiltration into the US and which doesn’t? Which one wants to scrap and/or rewrite previous trade pacts and which one doesn’t?

          The question answers itself.

    • Please provide patristic quotes which state that this, and not filthy buggery, was the sin of Sodom: the Book of Genesis flatly contradicts your gay crusade propaganda. For Orthodox Christians seemingly disparate interpretations of Scripture are settled by the HoIy Fathers stating the phronema of the Church. You have noticed that in the English language, a sodomite is understood as a homosexual who engages in buggery, not one who neglects the poor. Although the Church does teach that sodomy = homosexuality, defrauding the laborer his wages, oppressing orphans and widows, neglecting the poor are sins which cry to heaven. If you are stating that because sodomites are such narcissists and sexually obsessessed with the perversion of buggery that they also neglect the poor, then your scriptural quote only reinforces the denunciation of the perverse evil of homosexuality. You want to mainstream the gay pervert subculture by mandating homosexual filth be accepted by us as a society as moral to then accord it special legal protections over and above those accorded to normal, moral people? That’s an overthrow of Orthodox Christian morality and impossible for faithful Orthodox Christians.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Misha is desperate! “Please provide patristic quotes which state that this, and not filthy buggery, was the sin of Sodom: the Book of Genesis flatly contradicts your gay crusade propaganda.” He desperately needs somebody to say Ezekiel is wrong! He KNOWS Ezekiel is wrong because……… “in the English language, a sodomite is understood as a homosexual who engages in buggery, not one who neglects the poor.” What is he, a Russophobe?

        • Misha’a not in this one, Vladyka. MW is quite a handful though, isn’t he?

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Peter, I recommended one section of the St Tikhon’s Seminary Prayerbook because of the convenient arrangement for reading of the canons preparatory for Holy Communion. whereby one does not have to page back and forth between canons.
            I have never ever recommended any English translation of the Holy Bible but the Authorized Version (KJV). The phrase is “bait and swtch” not “bath and switch.” I’m not sure what loosing money means. Is that like throwing a porcelain piggy bank in the area so it will smash on the ground and the money be loosed. Why don’t you apologize for saying I ever recommended the RSV (ANY VERSION OF IT!)?

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Go back and read very carefully what I said as I went back and read very carefully your Original recommendation that did NOT have all the caveats you just inserted.

              I NEVER said you recommended the RSV, I said you recommended the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Prayer book, which you had to now admit because there was a clear record of you doing it on this Blog, which had the Psalms from the RSV in it albeit charged to fit the Septuagint.

              So I will not apologize for something I never said. However you are definitely free to continue your BAIT AND SWITCH, which you have now become infamous for as well as other rhetorical tactics to confuse, re-direct, and obfuscate. I think you are the one that need to apologize to all of us my good bishop.


              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Peter Papoutsis. Your first posting here about my prayerbook recommendation wanted to show me approving psalms from the RSV—-a comma rightly placed would have avoided that misdirection on your part. I have always opposed the English of the RSV in all its permutations and editions. There was no need to repeat what Psalters I had approved in my instructions (written) I issued to my diocese in the past.. I had also said on many occasions that one 50th Psalm verse in the KJV must be corrected, It reads, “In sin did my mother conceive me,” That is an error: It should read “In sinS did my mother conceive me.” I found appalling the RSV’s reservation of the second person SINGULAR pronouns to GOD as being AGAINST Holy Tradition, which never ever reserved a special dialect for addressing God! Not even Muslims or Buddhists or Confucians or Shinto or Zoroastrians or Hindus address their Deity with special pronouns! And if further editions of the RSV and other English Bible versions just did away with the singular 2nd person pronouns, they would still thereby sacrifice ACCURACY, In the telling of Abraham’s hospitality, there is a wonderful way Abraham addresses God, now in the singular; now in the plural–a wonderful confirmation of the Trinity in the O.T!
                You may, indeed, continue to use the version of the Septuagint (O.T.), no doubt, the so-called “textus receptus”, when you are communicating in Greek. Texts from that Greek version may be understood by most, but not all, Greek speakers in today’s American-Greek parishes. They are useless elsewhere. In the future, I recommend addressing me as just “bishop,” rather than the needlessly condescending “my good bishop.”
                Are you sure you understand what “bait and switch” means? By the way, have I ever asked you to apologize or indicated that you “need” to apologize to anyone? If so, I regret it—-I wasn’t raised to ask for anyone’s apology EVER! Perhaps that’s because I was raised (German) Lutheran? You, a Greek Orthodox, were apparently wounded by……my BAIT AND SWITCH…as well as rhetorical tactics to confuse you, redirect you and obfuscate, I ask your forgiveness for thus wounding, confusing, and redirecting you, as well as for my obfuscating strategies!

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Apologies accepted my good Bishop. It feels good to have a German apologize to a Greek, even in a condescending bait and switch kind of way.


                  PS. Just stick to fixing your KJV according to our canonical Greek Bible and you’ll be just fine.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    Peter Papoutsis:
                    ???????: “Just stick to fixing your KJV according to our canonical Greek Bible and you’ll be just fine”?
                    No. I’ll stick with the KJV, unless you can revise your “canonical” Greek Bible by transcribing the original Hebrew”shibboleth” in it correctly! Even the awful Persians can say “sh”, “ch”, “zh” as can the Russians, ETC. I think the Greeks are the ONLY people claiming to be Orthodox who can’t begin to pronounce or WRITE “shibboleth” correctly! And that’s a fact!

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Wow! So a bishop of the Orthodox Church relies on a Protestant/Anglican English translation in direct opposition to our canonical biblical texts. And you called me Anglican. Sheesh! I guess only the Germans think they know bether than the canonical Greek biblical text, and that’s a fact, ha!

                • I will respond here since Peter’s last comment to me on this topic disappeared beneath the fold, so to speak.

                  Peter, you rightly point out that the Greek texts of the OT and NT that have been passed down in the Orthodox Church are what is most authoritative. You are also right that both the KJV and RSV have problems, but that is kind of like saying that both armed robbery and a speeding ticket involve breaking the law.

                  But what you don’t address in the discussion is this: between the KJV and RSV, which one follows the Byzantine text type (i.e. Orthodox family of texts) of the NT?

                  Either you know the answer and are hoping to slide by the question with no one noticing, or you don’t, in which case you really ought not to be expressing an opinion about which one you think is best.

                  The bottom line is that the KJV NT can be fixed with a few updates of truly archaic words that have changed significantly in meaning and by revising a couple of verses about the Theotokos where Protestant ideas influenced the translation. Why? Because the base text is fundamentally identical to the Byzantine lectionary.

                  By contrast, one doesn’t know where to start with the RSV, since the entire base text is deeply flawed — one that is based on a composite Greek text concocted by 19th c German agnostics based on principles that could just as well have been “when in doubt, throw out the Byzantine reading.” And it is a text that, because it is composite, was never used by ANY historic Christian church, and hence has no claim to preservation by the Holy Spirit within the living tradition of the Church. Again, if you don’t know that, you aren’t paying attention and shouldn’t be expressing opinions about RSV vs KJV.

                  The reason that the RSV made its way into so many OCA and GOA parish Gospels and liturgical texts is a pure historical accident, since the Orthodox were just beginning to use English more at the time when the RSV was new, and many Orthodox “scholars” naively thought that this ecumenical version would be the new English language standard — after all, all of their ecumenical liberal Protestant buddies were using it and were running down the KJV as passe and flawed (and you do a good job of repeating liberal Protestant talking points of the 1960s, btw).

                  As I have said before, the RSV was just the liberal Protestant opening gambit in their quest to gut the Scriptures of traditional belief. They ditched it as soon as they could move on to something more radical.

                  The KJV was translated from the Byzantine text-type of the NT, and was translated at a time of actual Christian belief (not agnosticism, as in the case of the RSV), and a time of great scrutiny by Catholics and by Catholic minded Church of England members. This is why it comes closest, by far, to the Byzantine text of any translation.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says


                    I am well aware of what you say and was not sliding anything by you or anyone else. I have never hid the problems that BOTH the KJV and the RSV have and that whichever one you want to use MUST CONFORM with our biblical texts. What YOU MISS is I care about OUR biblical texts as used and preserved in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church.

                    I use the RSV because I was brought up on it AND because it is a superior translation to the King James IMHO, you may disagree and that’s fine, but the RSV AND the KJV must give way to the Septuagint and the Official Greek New Testament.

                    I also follow the advice of the Late Fr. Thomas Hopko to use the RSV WITH THE NOTES. Both the GOAA and the OCA have conformed their lectionaries, I know because I’ve actually seen them, to conform to our New Testament readings in Church and Old Testament Readings during Lent.

                    As for which text comes closest well that would be OUR actual Biblical Texts and neither the KJV or the RSV. I have studied both text quite well and know that for sure. Does the KJV come closest in English translation? Yes, I never argued against that, but as far as translations go and completeness of Biblical Canon for Orthodox purposes I stick to the RSV.

                    Just in case you were not around back in the day I actually recommended three (3) English Bibles for English-Speaking Orthodox Christians:

                    1.) KJV w/Apoc.
                    2.) RSV w/Apoc.
                    3.) OSB

                    Please take your pick, but no matter which one you pick they must conform to our canonical biblical texts. The RSV never hurt me or my spirituality because my faith is based on our Orthodox faith NOT the KJV or RSV. It’s our canonical biblical texts that are paramount not what the Protestants have given us. The KJV and RSV are helps nothing more. Our canonical biblical texts are authoritative and not the KJV or RSV. I bid you peace.


                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    Abertausend Dank, Edward! Genau!

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Misha, M is not a handful: he’s a shovel full! M. Stankovich puts this in detail.

            • Stankovich? Stankovich couldn’t find it with both hands. He’s pathetic. Find another champion, Vladyka. There are things I like about MW. He sees himself on the other side of the Red/Monarchist divide somehow while remaining Orthodox. That’s quite a trick. But he goes a long way with facts, some interesting, some not so very.

              Yet I’d much rather read him than any number of others here.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          The Septuagint Greek of Ezekiel 16:49-50 states:

          49 πλὴν τοῦτο τὸ ἀνόμημα Σοδόμων τῆς ἀδελφῆς σου, ὑπερηφανία· ἐν πλησμονῇ ἄρτων καὶ ἐν εὐθηνίᾳ οἴνου ἐσπατάλων αὐτὴ καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες αὐτῆς. τοῦτο ὑπῆρχεν αὐτῇ καὶ ταῖς θυγατράσιν αὐτῆς, καὶ χεῖρα πτωχοῦ καὶ πένητος οὐκ ἀντελαμβάνοντο. 50 καὶ ἐμεγαλαύχουν καὶ ἐποίησαν ἀνομήματα ἐνώπιον ἐμοῦ, καὶ ἐξῇρα αὐτὰς καθὼς εἶδον.

          49But this was the lawless act of Sodom, your sister: arrogance. She and her daughters were indulging in excess of bread and in prosperous ease; this belonged to her and her daughters, and they ere not holding the hand of the poor and the needy. 50 And they were boasting and committed lawless acts before me, and I took them away, just as I saw.

          The Greek word for lawless acts is ἀνόμημα. Sodom did acts that were against the law. Law of nature, Law of God, take your pick. When you juxtapose this with what we read in Genesis it makes complete sense that Sodom was such a decadent society that in its arrogance it went against the very laws of nature of not only having no sympathy and kindness for the poor, but a complete devolution of their own humanity, hence the sin of Homosexuality.

          The Good Bishop also forgets or just engaging in his typical confusing and obfuscating tactics by failing to tell you that the New Testament actually tells us what the sin of Sodom specifically was.

          Jude 1:7 states: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (KJV)

          2 Peter 2:7-8 states: And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

          The underlying Greek actually is a lot more graphic saying: “and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men: (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)” (2 Peter 2:7-8 NET Bible).

          And then you have Our father Among the Saints: St. John Chrysostom.

          His take on this is, shall we say, at odds with the Good Bishop’s perspective.

          I bid you peace.


          BTW I quote the King James Bible out of respect to the Good Bishop.

          • “Conversation” is one of a small group of words that has changed in meaning since the time of the KJV. It originally meant “deeds, behavior, actions…”

            So “filthy conversation” is plenty graphic, and pulls no punches about what was going on in Sodom, which included everything from their treatment of the poor and strangers to gross sexual immorality.

            As you point out, the New Testament sheds plenty of light on the whole picture of what is encompassed in references to that city.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says


              Do you happen to know what the major or significant difference is between the 4th Edition of the Orthodox New Testament (That I have), and the 7th Edition that Holy Apostle’s Monastery is selling?

              Does anybody know?

              How about the difference between the 1st Edition of their Psalms Translation (That I have) and the 2nd Edition that Holy Apostle’s Monastery is offering?

              I feel like they are doing these various “editions” just to make money and the differences are not that significant. Anyway if anybody knows please post it.



              • I have an edition of the NT from them that I got many years ago, but 7 editions is a pretty blatant sales ploy to me — either that or the editing is extremely shoddy.

                I have hardly looked at mine and don’t remember much about it other than it was inferior to the KJV. I am unaware of the editor having any particular expertise. I used to sometimes glance at things like it and the Etna KJV revision to see if there are obvious things I should know about a certain reading. But usually I get a much better sense of whether a word needs changing from reading the English translation of Blessed Theophylact’s commentaries on the Gospel (although only a few of the epistles are done.) I also have a couple of good interlinear translations of the Textus Receptus (Byzantine text) that I use a lot. With things like the Colorado and Etna editions, I worry about axes to grind with nothing to balance it.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  I agree completely. Just wanted to be sure. Thanks Edward.


                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:
                  October 1, 2016 at 11:53 pm
                  Peter, of course you gave principled responses. I in no way said nor implied that you didn’t. I was simply stating clearly that the responses given were principled, and should not be ignored. I think you have to acknowledge that you were reading something into what I said that is not there. I don’t think that you intentionally falsely accused me of saying something that I didn’t, but were emotionally reading something in that was not there. You are a person of integrity, I have no doubts about that. Just be careful–emotions are deceptive, and then you start accusing people of doing things that they did not do.

                  Father, thank you for your comments, but I was not being emotional, but factual. I think next time it should be you that should be careful what you write.

                  Btw if you want to threaten people with calling their priests so as to shut down people’s speech, I would recommend you call my priest, Fr. Andrew Georganas at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Elmhurst, IL. Please be my guest.

                  In any event, I stand by what I said and what you wrote speaks for itself.

                  Peter A. Papoutsis

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Edward, the good Bishop admitted his mistake.

                  As for this running debate between the KJV and the RSV please know that BOTH versions are defective from an Orthodox point of view and must be corrected according to the Septuagint and our Official Greek New Testament. So whichever one we use OUR Greek Bible is our canonical text and not the KJV or the RSV.

                  Peter A. Papoutsis

  26. Can someone help me out here? I watched Fr. Trenham’s (sp.?) speech and I thought it was sort of profoundly beautiful and I’m not a person he’d probably like at all. I’d say he oversimplified a few things – like not everyone is going to do well bearing ten children for just one, but I don’t understand the ado. Perhaps I missed a section where he went after homosexuals or something? I mean, why did people hate it so much? The one I watched was mostly an anti-abortion speech, or more like a pro-life speech, was it the wrong one?

  27. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    John, it’s libel and character assassination PERIOD.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Yours: “Am I the only one that realizes the problem with this thread is not the sodomy issue, it’s the libel and character assassination? Of a priest, no less, against other priests?”

  28. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    John Panos, why would Fr Christopher’s bishop respond to YOU? Why should WE expect such?

  29. Teena H. Blackburn says

    After looking at this really long thread, I realize we’ve really missed the point. Mr. Wanamaker attends a Unitarian seminary. He’s getting ready to do ministry in a UCC church, and some sort of Muslim (Sufi?) organization. He worships with Sufi people (I am very fond of the Sufi movement, but I would not pray with them), and women who think they are Hebrew priestesses (I wonder if anyone has told the local rabbi?). He is simply not Orthodox.

    • SleeplessInNY says

      Teena Said: “After looking at this really long thread, I realize we’ve really missed the point. Mr. Wanamaker attends a Unitarian seminary… He is simply not Orthodox.”

      No. I think YOU are missing the point. Mr. Wanamaker was never the point of this argument. As you said, he’s attending a Unitarian seminary. He’s not your problem. He’s not the problem of this blog. LEAVE HIM ALONE.

      The Point of this ridiculously long posting, rather, was to impugn “our old friend, Fr Christopher Calin and his band of merry men [who] have taken great umbrage at Orthodox priests who accept the moral tradition of the Orthodox Church.” As the “familiarity” of the address suggests, this is not the first time this list has taken aim at Fr. Christopher, and I feel confident it will not be the last. The point is, some self-appointed group of pharisaical bloggers feel the need to question Fr. Christopher’s Orthodoxy. That’s not their job. That’s what our bishops are charged with doing.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Two points:

        1. Why are you so confident that these criticisms will “not the be the last”? Is it possible because he makes such a spectacle of himself?

        2. Regarding the issue of Fr Christopher’s Orthodoxy being the bishops’ responsibility: I’d say we’re in a world of hurt.

      • Teena H. Blackburn says

        Mr. Wanamaker started the FB conversation. He is “our”problem insofar as he keeps trying to influence Orthodoxy when he has put himself outside of the church in multiple ways. If he would simply go about his life, no one here (least of all me) would care. Fr. Calin made a very nasty, demeaning, slur against fellow priests. In public. On a post open to the world. That sort of gets rid of the idea that other people can’t say anything.

  30. SleeplessinNY says

    George: Have you been to his church? Have you met him? Do you only rely on secondhand “knowledge” from this wretched hive of scum and villanry?

    • George Michalopulos says

      well, leaving aside the fact that your anonymity leaves me at a disadvantage, may I ask you a similar question? Have you ever been in a traditionalist (“conservative”) parish where the people acknowledge their sins and contrary to Salon/Huffpo/MSM talking points actually don’t “hate” homosexuals? Are you willing to give the same latitude to those of us who understand the plain Biblical texts that condemn all sin as binding on all people and wonder why homosexuals are to be given a pass?

      Just curious.

  31. Michael Bauman says

    I would suggest that using the term “moral tradition of the Church” rather misses the point and allows the big nose of the secularists camel into the tent.

    Morals are secondary artifacts of a spiritual and cosmological reality.

    As Mr. Wannamaker’s bizzar and sad retrograde “journey” would indicate. It is not that homosexuals are “bad” people. It is that they have, for whatever reason, fallen into a specific and insidious way of worshipping the created thing far more than the creator; sometimes to such an extent that they deny the creator, His Son and the salvific work of Christ.

    Now, the fact is that most others also worship the created thing more than the creator. I certainly do. Is that not the heart of all sin and the foundation of death?

    It is from an understanding of the very nature of our being as revealed in the Church that we can say without hypocrisy: Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. For we are saying it first to our selves and inviting others to join with us so that we may bear one another’s burdens in thanksgiving and compassion.

    Anything else is just a spitting contest.

  32. Al Richardson says

    Here we are weeks after this story was published. Syossett is silent. Bronxville is silent. Calin is silent. Even Bishop Tikhon reluctantly admits the public character assassination of the three other clergy. The results are in.

    No apology forthcoming.
    No retraction forthcoming.
    Not even a slap on the wrist.

    Silence is speaking, folks. Calin is one of the untouchables, and he can attack whoever he wishes in any way he wants.

  33. Reality Checker says

    . . . While I do not disagree that gender (or our human sexual distinction – whatever you choose to call it) is not abolished but rather glorified, I would be inclined to be careful of using the word ontology when discussing it. I am not being critical, only cautionary. . .

    Yes, and you should be cautious, as should any other mere mortal. But Fr. Jacobse has loftier ambitions, as we know from his stature as “a recognized authority on the impact of ideology and narrative on culture” and his ideological affiliation with the renowned Acton Institute.

    Finally you define your construct “as it was in the beginning”. . .

    Amazing. A more than usually shameless pretense on Fr. Jacobse’s part — as if anyone able to read could possibly have missed the constant refrain present in Dr. Stankovich’s posts for years. The little addition of “finally” here is a bold-faced lie, as well as being deeply deceptive in its implication, of course. I doubt Michalopulos will post this but it needed to be said. Birds of a feather do indeed flock together.

  34. SleeplessInNY says

    George asked:

    “Have you ever been in a traditionalist (“conservative”) parish where the people acknowledge their sins and contrary to Salon/Huffpo/MSM talking points actually don’t “hate” homosexuals?”

    Yes. I have been to traditionalist parishes. Orthodoxy is by its very nature conservative. It’s hardwired to be conservative. I’ve been to many Orthodox parishes. I’ve never been to one that presents what you call the “Salon/Huffpo/MSM talking points,” nor do I really know what you mean by that. One can be Orthodox and not subscribe to the Republican party platform, though. Contrary to what one reads on this forum.

    As for homosexuals “being given a pass,” I don’t have any idea how you, or anyone would have any insight into such a preposterous claim. Do you sit in on confessions? (“No, but I’d sure like to!”) How do you know how homosexuals are treated by their confessors or spiritual fathers. How do you know what goes on in anyone’s bedroom? Someone said in response to my earlier question that he had absolutely no desire to know what goes on in a homosexual’s bedroom. If this is true, and I doubt that it is, why is this constantly the subject of discussion and supposition? St. John of Kronstadt married his wife, then told her that he wanted to live as brother and sister (a true mockery of the marriage vows). Do we know if he kept this vow? What difference does it make? Many gay couples are sexless after a certain age (“Just like straight people”). Not all, but many are. At that point they are living together as brothers, just as the Kronstadt’s lived as brother and sister. “How good and joyful a thing it is when brethren live together in unity!” Can you consider for one moment that homosexuals are not the sexual hedonists that you so desperately want them to be?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Sleepless, you’ve packed a lot in there. Some of it over-the-top. I can say that male homosexuals, particularly those under forty are most definitely hedonists. Let’s be honest: they enjoy the opportunity for sexual fulfillment that heterosexual males dream of. Only rock stars can even come close to what they experience.

      Why? Because women, even if they are slatterns, do not give themselves over for sexual abandon to the same rate as do men.

      • SleeplessInNY says

        George said: ” I can say that male homosexuals, particularly those under forty are most definitely hedonists. Let’s be honest: they enjoy the opportunity for sexual fulfillment that heterosexual males dream of. Only rock stars can even come close to what they experience.”

        How do you know so much about what happens in a gay man’s bedroom?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Good question. Early in my pharmaceutical career I worked in a compounding pharmacy in which we prepared medications for AIDS sufferers. I got to be very friendly with many of them. I learned a lot. Then I read up on the gay bathhouse scene in the 70s. Even homosexual writers admitted –and some glorified–the rampant promiscuity of that time.

          Please understand: I’m not saying that all homosexuals are incredibly promiscuous.

          • M. Stankovich says


            Are you familiar with the term, “epidemiology?” We have known for more than thirty years that the simple use of a condom – for what $.25 a piece? – more than adequately, and very dramatically, lowers the rate of HIV infection in men who have sex with men. So explain why so many young gay men fought for the “right” to Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofivir) – the only FDA approved anti-retroviral for HIV-prophylaxis (supposedly only for “high-risk” men, e.g. where one partner is HIV-infected and the other is not) – in major health insurance formularies at “reasonable” co-pays? Obviously so they could have “spontaneous” sex with whomever they wish without bothering with a condom. Does this strike you as hedonistic/promiscuous, or no? I pass a gay bath house on my way home every day, and when the door is propped open, just inside the door is what appears to be a large fishbowl filled with condoms (though the owner reported to the San Diego Reader, in a story related to the epidemic of new HIV infections in the county correlated to methaphetamine use, “Not too many avail themselves of the condoms, though I keep the bowl full”). Even while acknowledging a sensitivity brought about by living through a holocaust of death at the hands of HIV disease, it is very difficult for me to understand how, 30+ years after we have learned prevention techniques so simple and so inexpensive, this is anything other than hedonism. The promiscuity persists and is endemic.

            I don’t watch television, nor am I a patron of HuffPo, or the other silly sites of reference you offer. “How do you know so much about what happens in a gay man’s bedroom?” Epidemiology. Surveillance reports of the rates of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men; subsequent correlations with lifestyle, drug use, domestic violence with domestic partners, and so one. These facts you cannot hide nor obfuscate with absurd argument about St. John of Kronstadt and his “marriage vows.” The fact is, dear friend, the epidemiology bears out that same-sex relationships – on the whole – are not comparable with traditional marriage over the life span, but are significantly fraught with instability and pathology; those that are “stable” and “sustaining” are more likely to have adjusted the definition of “relationship,” or are simply anomaly. Even the best attempts to mimic, to mirror, to assume, or to characterize are at best the “aroma” of the fullness of what God intended, and are neither comparable nor healthy.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Very good point, Dr S.

            • Gregory Manning says

              Everything Michael has written here is tragically true! To make matters worse, there are advocates (yes, advocates) for un-protected sex who have taken the position that the whole HIV epidemic “scare” is just that–a scare!
              I would add that there is a sad and tragic irony here. Many in the medical gay community have been pleading with members of the gay community to practice safe sex–to little or no avail. Why? Because the same cry of “Keep your morals out of our bedrooms!”, effectively employed by the gay community at large to browbeat sexually moral traditionalists such as the Church into backing off, is now being used against those within the gay community who plead for safe sex practices: “Keep your morals out of our bedrooms.” Those in leadership positions within the gay community, stupidly, did not see that coming.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Told you he was cool.


            • SleeplessInNY says


              I know what epidemiology means. Do you know what a logical fallacy is? Look up “Correlation Does Not Equal Causation.” Why did young men “fight” for the “right” to the drug you mention? To lessen the chance of infection, of course. As you say, when one partner has HIV and the other does not…. There is nothing that means that anyone was looking for a license to be hedonistic.

              Not all homosexuals are hedonistic.

              My comment about St. John of Kronstadt stands. It was a mockery of the marriage vows.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Are you serious? The correlation between unprotected receptive anal intercourse and AIDS causation is well-acknowledged.

                • SleeplessInNY says

                  Can you read?

                  We all know how AIDS is transmitted. That is science, not that your kind relies on science. However, there is no proof that young men “fought” for the “right” to the drug he mentioned to give them license for hedonistic behavior. That’s just silly, and cannot be proven. Correlation does not equal Causation. As I said.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Y’all may not want to read what follows: The causation is receptive (unprotected) anal intercourse which almost always results in trauma to the epithelial lining of the rectum. In addition, the inoculation of semen now-destroyed hemorroidhal plexus of capillaries results in an immune system overload, hence the preponderance of Hepatitis B (among other diseases) in receptive homosexuals (i.e. catamites/sodomites as opposed to sodomists).

                    Sorry for this but I work today.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Questions for the day: Why does Russia stand head and shoulders above the whole western world in its rate of A.I.D.S. infestation? Only a FEW African countries come up to the Russian rate of infection! WHY are ABORTIONS LEGAL there, if Russia is more spiritually admirable than the West?
                      Finally, is non-homosexual sodomy less sinful than homosexual sodomy? I’m speaking of the buggery practiced by a heterosexual man with his heterosexual female wife. I understand this is a vital question in Texas and Oklahoma, for example.
                      And then there is the touchy question of male circumcision and its relation to freedom from AIDS and from cervical cancer in the wives of those who are circumcized. Did God know what He was doing when He instituted circumcision (and underwent it in His Human Nature) for Israel, a salutary practice later to be discarded by the Apostles for the New Israel without any corresponding Divine Revelation or consultation on the topic?

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    When I thought back on what originally caused me to investigate this particular medication the first place, were 1) articles like this, this, and this. And wouldn’t you just know that there is neither irony nor justice against one smart retro-virus and 2) the long list of gross side-effects of taking any anti-retroviral medication (nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, depression, joint pain, trouble sleeping, strange dreams, back pain, itching or skin rash, changes in the color of skin on your palms or soles of your feet, or changes in the shape or location of body fat, especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist). I am living testimony to this fact after having been in a fight with a psychotic patient who bit man numerous times deeply on the hands arms, and face, and spit in my eyes and mouth, I was placed on a 30-day pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) regimen of Combivir and it was as bad, if not worse than 5-FU for colon cancer. From reading over the documents submitted to the FDA in their application for approval as a prophylactic medication, the manufacturer indicated a significant drop-out rate of healthy (non-HIV infected subjects, as Truvada was already approved for the treatment of HIV disease) clinical trial subjects because the side-effects were intolerable. My point? If you are willing to endure these serious side-effects for sex without a condom, you need to review your notes on probability. The breakthrough, drug-resistant infection for the patient who was scrupulously adhering to to his Truvada regimen occurred this passed February. Somehow you hear the squealing in Gilead.

              • Monk James says

                SleeplessInNY (October 7, 2016 at 9:03 pm) says:

                My comment about St. John of Kronstadt stands. It was a mockery of the marriage vows.
                I completely agree that Fr John Sergiev’s deceit and mistreatment of his wife and his false piety regarding the holiness of sexual relations in marriage should disqualify him from being recognized as a saint, in spite of his many good qualities.

                At the same time, I’d like to point out that the Sergievs made no marriage vows. There are no vows in the orthodox service of marriage/crowning.

                Spouses make vows to each other only when their wedding ceremony is thought to be conducted by themselves on the model of contract law, with legal witnesses in the presence of a representative of the Church. This is how non-orthodox Christians do it, but we Orthodox believe that Christ Himself, through the ministry of His priest, joins a man and a woman as husband and wife.

              • M. Stankovich says


                Wow. Truvada (Tenofovir/emtricitabine) was in the top 50 drugs prescribed in the United States in 2015 and brought in $2,578,983,746 of profit to the manufacturer, Gilead Sciences/Bristol-Meyers.

                What are the FDA’s approved clinical indications for prescribing Truvada for “prophlaxis in adults at high risk. The following factors may help to identify individuals at high risk:

                Has partner(s) known to be HIV-1 infected, or
                Engages in sexual activity within a high prevalence area or social network and one or more of the following:

                Inconsistent or no condom use
                Diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections
                Exchange of sex for commodities (such as money, shelter, food, or drugs)
                Use of illicit drugs, alcohol dependence
                Partner(s) of unknown HIV-1 status with any of the factors listed above.

                Now, let’s try this again. Epidemiology. Would you care to wager a statistical guess as to how many of the qualifying “high-risk” demographic have insurance that covers this extremely expensive antri-retroviral? How about a guess just limited to those who exchange sex for “commodities?” Better yet, how about you don’t address me like I’m an idiot?

          • Cynthia mae Curran says

            I have a liberal friend who is gay and from a orthodox Jewish background where he was given shock treatment to become straight so I don’t talk about the homosexual issue with him but I think that legalizing gay marriage now has every split people up in the us and its better to go back when they might have done their own thing by marrying themselves if they like without the support of the state.

  35. A response to Helga

    Helga’s statement in part..
    “The problem with baptizing such a person as an infant isn’t merely that the child is being raised by sinners (otherwise we would have no children to baptize), but that the priest would know for a fact that the people raising this child are going to teach him or her to reject Church teaching. The priest’s sin in these cases is equivalent to baptizing adult catechumens who are openly dedicated to heresy and non-repentance.”

    First of all, you assume the sinner wants to teach its child that their sin is acceptable. You are assuming then that the alcoholic parent will teach its child drinking alcohol with negative reaction is good. Or even a gay married parent wants its child to be gay, too. Very unlikely, however, a question a priest ought to ask for certain. That is are you going to teach your child that homosexuality is a sin and that marriage to a woman in a relationship that might bear fruit is preferred? Pastoral care seems relevant to this conversation. Were you not a priest or something close?

    And there is no equivalence to a priest baptizing an infant and a heretic. None. Everytime you post, I keep thinking. No wonder.

    How did you become so hard hearted Helga?

    Or is it only to prove your opinion about a culture war?

  36. SleeplessInNY says


    These categories don’t have insurance, so the use of these drugs becomes a matter of public health, in the same way that needle exchanges do:

    >>Exchange of sex for commodities (such as money, shelter, food, or drugs)
    >>Use of illicit drugs, alcohol dependence

    That’s half the list.

    Now as for addressing you like you’re an idiot, stop acting that way, and I’ll react accordingly.