THIS is the “Christ” of Paffhausen and all those like him… none dare call it blasphemy and impiety. After all, “The records simply don’t exist”, and we should all be “forgiving” to clerics who abuse and attack us… JP’s not going to do anything about it, after all. THIS is why so many embrace atheism… the most putrid and rancid flowers of evil grow in the altar’s shadow… NEVER forget that.
More and more I pray for the Prodigal Son’s brother. A persistent contemplation prods me… the Prodigal awoke from his life of sin… as for his elder brother, will he awake from his life of virtue?
The following appeared on the Orthodox Forum (I thank my thoughtful friend that sent it on to me):
I agree with you that we need open and thoughtful discussion [on the topic of homosexuality]. I remember how chest-thumpingly proud we were when the Russian Church bulldozed a church in Nizhny Novgorod in 2003 after a priest had dared to marry a gay couple there. However, we then began to hear of the impact of this act of destruction. We heard through priests and others in Russia that teenagers, confused about their sexual identity, and receiving no real counselling, were committing suicide, thinking that God and the Church rejected and hated them. We must find ways to speak to these conflicted teens, and it shouldn’t be by way of dramatic acts of destruction.
What’s the “Mind of the Church” on this? Let the First Amongst Equals, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, speak (I’m pasting here a snippet from an earlier post that’s relevant to the question at hand):
We accept any human choice, including in the field of sexual orientation. This is the private affair of an individual. However, recognition of this fact in no way changes our position with regard to the phenomenon itself. The religious traditions of all nations show that homosexuality’s a sin; it’s the loss of the moral orientation of the individual. We shouldn’t punish people with homosexual tendencies, so, we’ve always stood firmly against any repression or discrimination against people of different sexual orientation. We recognise homosexuality as a sin; we’re firmly opposed to equating homosexual relations with natural ones.
My comment on His Nibs was simple:
His Nibs is friends with rockers like Yuri Shevchuk, gives great parties for kids, shows REAL compassion for the sick and handicapped, and he gets real protection against child abusers passed in the Gosduma… what’s not to like? He doesn’t bow down to Almighty Mammon and to his consort, Unbridled Lust n’ Licence, that’s what. We can disagree on this or that detail (and we do… but practising Christians don’t push that), but we agree emphatically on what I wrote in the previous sentence. His Nibs fights Evil… he’s going three out of four falls with Ol’ Nick… he’s gonna win the Derby on Old Reliable against Ol’ Scratch’s I Gotta Be Me. It’s a good time to be Russian Orthodox, isn’t it, despite first appearances?
That is, the Church DOES give communion to lay homosexuals as pastoral oikonomia, not as pastoral approval of their choice. Why can’t the extremist boobs of either flavour catch that? As a priest-friend wrote to me once:
It doesn’t matter if they’re SVS Renovationist Schmemanndorf zealots, or, if they’re obscurantist fanatics on the other extreme, bitching and backbiting on internet forums, they’re all the same, they’re all Protestants… protesting against normality. In a word, they’re all on the same ego-trip, and they have no time at all for the Church… or for anything greater than themselves. Woe betide anyone who points out this self-evident truth to them!
I also wrote the following in the comboxes:
We have many amongst the konvertsy element who uncritically voice the so-called “Evangelical (Protestant)” position as the teaching of the Church. Terry Mattingly is one of the worst offenders in this (he’s a barely-converted Baptist). Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Church takes a very nuanced position in its pastoral approach. Homosexuality (which is strictly defined as sexual relations between people of the same sex) is a sin, but it does not excommunicate a person or bar them from the Mysteries. Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (no Renovationist he) writes that he has heard the confessions of homosexuals. That is, homosexuals may receive the Mysteries, but the Church is not going to bless same-sex unions. Terry Mattingly once wrote glowingly of a bishop who tore down a chapel after an unauthorised homosexual “marriage” took place. He said, “That’s why they call it the Orthodox Church”. No, Mr Mattingly, it isn’t… we’re the Orthodox Church because we give the “Right Glory” to Our Lord Christ. Sometimes, that means throwing the mantle of the Church over the unpopular to protect them from the mob (I hasten to add that we aren’t going to be sanctioning “gay marriage” any time soon (or, any time later, for that matter)).
Yes… homosexuality’s a sin… as is greed… as is pride… as is ambition… as is bribe-taking… as is gossip… as are a thousand other things, too numerous to mention, many of which are FAR worse than homosexuality is. For instance, what of the executive who moves a factory to a compliant Third World location, not only throwing thousands out of work here, but winking at the oppression of thousands others in foreign parts? That’s FAR worse than homosexuality is… and Fathausen kisses the bums of the Radical Right (in so doing, approving with glee of our hypothetical executive)… and he does so openly and without shame. Don’t forget the time when he could’ve gone to New York to be at the side of a bishop of the confessor UOC/MP at the opening of a major Orthodox art exhibition at a major venue… no! He couldn’t be there! He HAD to be at a “within the Beltway” cocktail party to kiss the bum of the First Profit of the Mormons, for the entire world to see (and to be photographed so doing, too).
In short, the present brouhaha over “homosexuality” by the three named individuals is a phoney smoke screen… they don’t bloody care what the upshot of it is for troubled individuals, either. As a correspondent wrote to me:
Just one observation… during all those years when Feodosy pranced around Greenwich Village, when we saw the antics of Herman and others, who was there, right in the middle of things? None other than Bobby Kondratick… persistent reports keep surfacing that JP wishes to “rehabilitate” this self-same Bobby and reinstate him in the priesthood. Did he just “turn a blind eye?” Was he a “facilitator?” Or…
THIS is why the bleating of the three individuals in the title is meaningless hot air, contentless drivel, and self-serving hypocrisy. Dahulich and Moriak are disappointing… they’re from the ACROD, which takes a good-sense attitude to life, all the po-nashemu people that I’ve known are “live, and let live” types. Take, for instance, the artist Andy Warhol… by all accounts, he was openly gay… but the Uniates gave him a funeral and hushed up any idle talk (which was good on them, let me say clearly)… as the ACROD would’ve done, too… they’re of the same ethnicity, after all. Did the ACROD let these two ambitious paladins go with a sigh of relief? The late Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko, who made it clear that they could succeed him, tried to help both of these two guys. Hmm… most people would’ve been patient, then, they’d have taken the prize… “Matt stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum, saying, ‘God, what a good boy am I’”. Note well that both of ‘em ran off to the OCA… just as Tom Hopko did. Shall they be just as disastrous an acquisition? Frankly, only time will give us the answer to that one…
JP’s NEVER offered public repentance for his continued and intimate dalliance with the deposed sodomite Gleb Podmoshensky… and, trust me, he never shall. In short, any fulminations concerning homosexuality from JP or from any bishop consecrated by him is a crank imposture, best ignored by the faithful. If you want a reliable guide, look at His Holiness… if pastoral oikonomia is good enough for the Mother Church, it’s good enough for me, too. Remember… the Church is the Big Tent, it’s full of sinners… it isn’t the Little Flock, filled with the self-centred, self-satisfied, and smug Elect… if you believe the latter, you shouldn’t be Orthodox, can I interest you in some one-owner Calvinism? It IS closer to what you believe, after all…
Thursday 11 August 2011