I want to make one thing clear before I make my main point. No, I’m NOT “Pro-Choice”… however, I AM “Pro-Truth” and all priests who propagate lies are cheats and poseurs, and I say such openly. Read this. Stephen Freeman is a konvert priest without a proper Orthodox formation. His initial formation was in heterodox seminary, which means that he thinks in heterodox, NOT Orthodox terms. Furthermore, he’s a former Anglican, with all that implies… branch theory, in particular. He’s running about telling all and sundry on Facebook that the demonstrably false anti-PP videos that are credible. I’ve seen this. If he said such in private conversation, well, that’s one thing. If he said such on his blog, to his limited audience of clueless konvertsy, I wouldn’t mind that either. That’s just par for the course. That’s what that sort does. Leave them be, I say.
However, Facebook is a larger audience. As a priest of the OCA, any statement made by a cleric in good standing endorsing these deceptive videos implies that the OCA (and other Orthodox bodies) endorses these false and lying videos. As a priest incardinated in a diocese of the OCA, Freeman has a duty to confine himself to official Church pronouncements in public mass media or in social networks with a wide distribution. That’s why Reardon’s stunt about marriage licences was wrong… he presumed to make Church policy by his action. In like manner, Freeman is committing the bishops by his inane statements in a mass circulation venue. He should retract his statements and apologise. He did wrong… no priest can make such statements without clearing it with his bishop and with explicit permission. I know for a fact that most bishops are very careful with what their priests say on online social media.
It’s one thing for a laywoman like myself to post this or that… it does NOT commit the Church. In any case, I state explicitly that nothing I write is official Church policy… it’s my POV. Again, as an obvious non-cleric, I don’t think that I confuse anyone. However, Freeman is a priest; thusly, his duty is to keep his mouth shut in social media unless he has his bishop’s EXPLICIT permission. No, that isn’t “fair”, but that’s life in a hierarchical Church.
NO ORTHODOX CHURCH ENDORSES THESE FALSE VIDEOS. That’s what you can put in the bank. As I stated at the outset, I’m “Pro-Truth”. If you endorse lying and deceptive means, it corrupts the desired end, twisting why might have good under other circumstances into evil. Think on that. Freeman didn’t think things through… he should discuss such matters with a bishop or two before posting… it might save him a lot o’ grief. Pass me the jug… the world’s being gnarly again…