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Archbishop Elpidophoros officiates baptism of gay couple in Athens

rakovsky

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Wonder what makes people like this tick? Does he really have misguided but benevolent intentions?
It feels like he's going out of his way to make a statement as to this effect by going the way from America to Greece. The Church of Greece made a statement objecting to his action, Helleniscope reported.

I am a reluctant to openly guess at his desires. The Constantinople Patriarchate leadership is itself at timescryptic with its decisionmaking, like when it announced the disbandment of the AROCWE without much explanation.
 

rakovsky

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Could they not find a priest to perform the Holy Sacrament, or a local bishop… that they required a bishop from another country to come and do so?

…or was it merely a great photo-op?
Could be both factors. Considering the letter from the COG, a Greek priest might have worried about blowback.
 

Dominika

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Samn!

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I think Dn Chryssavgis' essay here is pretty strong evidence that Met Elpidophoros was acting within the pastoral and sacramental theology of the Patriarchate of Constantinople:

Should Archbishop Elpidophoros have clarified in writing that the children baptized do not belong to what the metropolitan of Glyfada calls “a traditional family”? Do we expect the same for children of single parents? What happens in the case of atheist parents? What of parents who undergo civil marriage or are not married at all?

In such cases, do we impose any limitations on photography or publicity, as has been suggested in this case?
 

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The title of this thread is disingenuous. The Abp. did not baptize a gay couple, he baptized children they adopted. I decry both the attention-grabbing behavior of the two famous men and their entourage, the hierarch’s gladhanding with them but also the scolding and misapprision I see here among interlocutors who like to jump at every chance to spew homophobic hate.

Children raised by gay people typically grow up to be heterosexual, like the rest of us. Queerness is not a disease of the mind you catch from other people like fascism seems to be. In any given population, a couple percent turn out not to be heterosexual. This seems to be a constant and we need to be honest about this. There also seems to be a correlation between spiritual sensitivity and religiosity and homosexuality, so deal with it, please. A very conservative priest who served a parish in San Francisco once was heard to say we better not think of kicking out the queers because if we did the church would be half empty.
 

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"Two children baptized" is normal.
 

FULK NERA

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Thank you, Fulk Nera. Thank you.
I‘m pretty grossed out by the fatuous celebrity culture embraced by traditionally-Orthodox people but even more by the reactionary style of many self-consciously pious (typically neo-) Orthodox people. Neither way is the Royal Road.
 

DeniseDenise

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The title of this thread is disingenuous. The Abp. did not baptize a gay couple, he baptized children they adopted. I decry both the attention-grabbing behavior of the two famous men and their entourage, the hierarch’s gladhanding with them but also the scolding and misapprision I see here among interlocutors who like to jump at every chance to spew homophobic hate.
Agree completely....and again we do not apply these -standards- about the backgrounds of the families to most situations... we reserve it for ones like this...where its easy to ride on the high horse of judgement instead of leaving that discernment to our Bishops, etc. as we are so quick to 'Ask your Priest' about a myriad of other topics...but this one we are fine with being the court of judgement on, pretending we know everyone involved's motives and all that.
 

augustin717

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I mean there were some obscure rules that I read in a compendium of canons that people coming from non-orthodox families should not be admitted to the priesthood. Think about all the screeching that would cause here, if this were actually enforced. It even makes some sense, if you give it a second glance.
 

augustin717

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That’s canon XXXVI Carthage as approved at Trullo with the gloss that one cannnot be ordained unless he’s whole family is orthodox, parents included.
 

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That’s canon XXXVI Carthage as approved at Trullo with the gloss that one cannnot be ordained unless he’s whole family is orthodox, parents included.
Yeah, some canons are not applicable anymore, addressing situations that nolomger obtain. The place of religion in culture has largely been supplanted by nationality amd ethnicity, which hardly even vague concepts when the council met in Carthage, a city which no longer exists.
Also, the adoptive parents in the case in question are as nominally Orthodox as many. The Abp. caters to this ilk, as he’s watching the bottom line. Running GOARCH has a very high overhead and the Phanar needs its tithe as well. This is the same reason he made the earlier statement about possibly communing the Catholic spouses of rich donors. It’s fungible. Sucks but that’s the price such leaders pay to play the game of running big fancy churches for rich people with high notions of themselves.
 

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That’s canon XXXVI Carthage as approved at Trullo with the gloss that one cannnot be ordained unless he’s whole family is orthodox, parents included.
The canon remains in force. It applies specifically to households (note the wording—and it is canon Carthage.43), not the family. As has been the case with many saints, one solution is quite simple: they leave home.
 

augustin717

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That’s one possible interpretation. Fr. Cleopa eg, without saying he’s right-understood it as requiring that the priest be born of orthodox parents. He even extrapolâtes this to the oriests wife parents.
Whatever the case, it’s not something that’s taken very seriously these days, especially in missionary lands. And for good reason.
 

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Yeah, some canons are not applicable anymore, addressing situations that nolomger obtain. The place of religion in culture has largely been supplanted by nationality amd ethnicity, which hardly even vague concepts when the council met in Carthage, a city which no longer exists.
Also, the adoptive parents in the case in question are as nominally Orthodox as many. The Abp. caters to this ilk, as he’s watching the bottom line. Running GOARCH has a very high overhead and the Phanar needs its tithe as well. This is the same reason he made the earlier statement about possibly communing the Catholic spouses of rich donors. It’s fungible. Sucks but that’s the price such leaders pay to play the game of running big fancy churches for rich people with high notions of themselves.
It's also a consequence of ruling churches in an unorthodox fashion. I'm not an alarmist with the decline of "one city, one bishop", but, from the few I've read about how church finances work, it seems that the extent to which this has been ignored has terrible consequences.
 

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Ainnir

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The Holy Community of Mt Athos (that is, the leaders of the monasteries together) have condemned the idea that a gay couple can constitute a family and adopt children.
Maybe, but these guys did adopt children, so in the present reality, what is most spiritually healthy for the children? Honest question. How should they be raised, and when should they be baptized given their situation (which is no fault of their own)?
 

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The Holy Community of Mt Athos (that is, the leaders of the monasteries together) have condemned the idea that a gay couple can constitute a family and adopt children.
Here's the somewhat awkward Google Translate translation into English:

On the occasion of recent public appearances and positions of clerics of the Church, even hierarchs, which leave the impression to be created that it is possible for the Church to accept any other form of family, apart from the one established by the Holy Gospel, and it wishes to place a Holy Communion publicly. The Holy Land, as a place of prayer and practice, with inseparable liturgical and spiritual continuity, is humbly prayed for the universe, for all people regardless of discrimination. The sacrament of baptism, by which a person becomes a member of the Church and receives the grace of the Holy Spirit, is undoubtedly the visible expression of God's infinite love. The effort to live according to the Holy Gospel and the law of God ensures the conditions for participation in the mysteries of the Church. In the light of the above, we could not but express our regret for the above public appearances and positions of persons of the Church, which provide reasons to scandalize the faithful people. It is clearly foreign to the teaching of the Gospel and the Orthodox ethos to allow it to be understood that a "same-sex couple" can be considered as a family and to recognize in it the right to adopt children, as any such form of adoption or adoption is contrary to the teaching of the Gospel, human nature but also in the ethos and traditions of our people, while at the same time it violates the elementary rights of innocent defenseless people, who do not have the possibility to choose a normal family environment. We express the above as a voice of sincere interest in the course of our country, and indeed in such a critical period for it. May the Patroness of our country and Ephorus of the Holy Land intercede with our Lord Jesus Christ to lead everyone to repentance and life according to the light of the Gospel and His teaching. Respondents, Representatives and Leaders in the Common Assembly of the twenty Holy Monasteries of the Holy City of Athos.
 

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That declaration is so besides the point, one doesn’t know where to begin.
It also makes rather half baked statements about the “family that the holy Gospel established “. The Holy Gospel commands that one forsake his family. They could have reiterated the usual condemnations of homosexuality, instead they conflate ten holy gospel with the ethos and customs of our ethnos and nonsense like that.
De minimis non curat evangelium.
 
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RaphaCam

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That declaration is so besides the point, one doesn’t know where to begin.
It also makes rather half baked statements about the “family that the holy Gospel established “. The Holy Gospel commands that one forsake his family. They could have reiterated the usual condemnations of homosexuality, instead they conflate ten holy gospel with the ethos and customs of our ethnos and nonsense like that.
De minimis non curat evangelium.
The Holy Gospel is more than red letters, though... The wedding at Cana, the wording of the divorce controversy, the wedding parables and the couples mentioned are all man and woman.
 

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Maybe, but these guys did adopt children, so in the present reality, what is most spiritually healthy for the children? Honest question. How should they be raised, and when should they be baptized given their situation (which is no fault of their own)?
I don't think fault has anything to do with it. Generally speaking, if there's no reason to believe that a child will actually be raised a Christian, priests will often refuse to baptise them. I've seen this happen with random gypsies wheeling into a parish and asking for a baptism. It's not some kind of good luck charm.
 

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Maybe, but these guys did adopt children, so in the present reality, what is most spiritually healthy for the children? Honest question. How should they be raised, and when should they be baptized given their situation (which is no fault of their own)?
Considering that the "parents" have rejected Orthodox moral teaching, which cannot be separated from Orthodox dogmatic teaching, it would be better if the children were not baptized, and so raised in more lies.
 

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So much love and forgiveness.
 

augustin717

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I don't think fault has anything to do with it. Generally speaking, if there's no reason to believe that a child will actually be raised a Christian, priests will often refuse to baptise them. I've seen this happen with random gypsies wheeling into a parish and asking for a baptism. It's not some kind of good luck charm.
that sounds more like the usual Eastern European racism towards the Gypsies, however I doubt that occurs often. I’ve had Gypsies as neighbors they had their chicken baptized, never went to church otherwise, but that was the norm for most people. Also my best friend served as a priest in mostly a gypsy village for about 5 years. Never refused a baptism even though as you say, they probably don’t mean to teach their infants theology and saw baptism more as a social event just lik a huge percentage orthodox people do.
 

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that sounds more like the usual Eastern European racism towards the Gypsies, however I doubt that occurs often.
I'm talking here about situations I've seen in Western Europe and the US where people not associated with the community come and ask for a baptism, with no one knowing where they're coming from or where they're going. Ministering to members of a community that might not be all that catechized is a different pastoral situation.

Another situation that still happens sometimes in the Middle East is Muslims asking for a child to be baptized either to ward off illness or in thanksgiving for the child being healed of illness. Since there's obviously no intent for the child to be raised Christian, they can't be baptized.
 

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I knew such an Orthodox priest once. Refused to baptize a two year old because the mother couldn't adequately explain why the child hadn't been baptized earlier. That she was Russian and presumably baptized herself wasn't reason enough. Admittedly, I didn't quite understand it then.
 

augustin717

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So, in this given situation, apart from the fact that their dads are presumably committing a certain sin ( for what we know they may be in a sexless marriage, like many heterosexual couples, or only have flings on the side etc), where do you see that obvious intent in the part of the 2 men to prevent those kids from practicing the Orthodox religion? Are they gonna stop them from going to church, commune, say their prayers?it seems to me that if that were the case, they wouldn’t have bothered to have them
Baptized in the first place, and that they took the pain of organizing such an extravagant ceremony shows an implicit intent at least , to raise them to be no worse orthodox than what’s the norm among Orthodox Greeks or Greco-Americans of their social and economic status.
 

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augustin717 said:
I’ve had Gypsies as neighbors they had their chicken baptized
Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!

🐓😍
 

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I've seen this happen with random gypsies wheeling into a parish and asking for a baptism. It's not some kind of good luck charm.
Racism aside, seeing it as a good luck charm is better than seeing it as a civil ceremony... I hope the priest is consistent with randos from the local majority.
 

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A really good article explaining in detail why this baptism should not have been performed:
 
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