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Fr. Robert Arida and homosexuality

Clemente

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Mor Ephrem said:
Clemente said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Clemente said:
Is your position so weak that you have to rely on fallacy?
What fallacy?  You have made several accusations against me but you can't substantiate even one of them.  You cannot or will not answer my questions.
You have made a number of fallacies just in your exchange with me: deductive fallacy ("Then I suppose his opponents want to lynch gays"), unsubstantiated claims (Let me know when you have something to contribute other than gossip and innuendo), the acecdotal fallacy ("I've worked with them, studied with them, prayed with them, in some cases I've even played with their kids").

You have even admitted to using a fallacy, whilst at the same time committing the tu quoque fallacy:
I agree, it does not follow and is fallacious, and that's the kind of argument I feel the anti-Fr Arida crowd has been making.
LOL.  <-- I suppose that's another "unsubstantiated claim".  But let's play your game, this could be fun.    

Your "questions" have been delt with extensively in posts 12,59,61,74,77,79,80 and 100, so I will not re-post the same material.
I'll have a look at those again, thanks.  

Since you claim to have read both the article and the one I linked to previously, one of us evidently is misunderstanding Fr. Arida. I believe you, and a few others here, are in the minority in your benign understanding of Fr. Arida.
Unsubstantiated claim.

A large number of Orthodox priests have commented on this article and criticised it. The Statement of the Brotherhood of Orthodox Clergy of Houston, signed by priests from many juristictions including the OCA, was stinging. http://orthodoxhouston.org/arida_response.html I have not seen one Orthodox priest who is defending Fr. Arida.
Anecdotal fallacy.

The fact that Metropolitan Tikhon had the article taken down and, instead reaffirmed Orthodox doctrine on homosexuality, suggests also that sufficient numbers of Orthodox interpreted Fr. Arida's' article...
Deductive fallacy.

Also, Metropolitan Tikhon not only took Fr Arida's article down, but he also took down the comments to the article.  By your logic, HB also opposes their points of view.  

No, I read those two acts as well as his recommendation that this discussion be conducted by the Department of Pastoral Life as an attempt to put an end to the immediate controversy in order to deal with it more effectively and thoroughly in the right place at the right time.  He says as much.  

...just as I have and were alarmed.
Anecdotal fallacy.

So I think your interpretation is a minority one. However, just because a majority believes something, doesn't mean that is true; I think we have seen sufficient fallacies here without my using the ad populum.
Yes, we have.  

Perhaps you are right in your reading of Fr. Arida: he is completely Orthodox with respect to homosexual sin.

In such case, he has written a very bad article, can we not agree? Its ambiguity led to such massive confusion that it had to be taken down after just three days.
We can agree, but at the moment I do not.  Fr Arida's article, on its face, is a rather innocuous piece of writing, IMO.  If I'm to believe it is "a very bad article", it is on the basis of what a bunch of other people took it to mean based on claims "familiar to those who know Fr Arida and the Boston Cathedral", their own fear of becoming like the Episcopalian Church, etc.  

I'm sorry, but if I write an article on how "Jesus loves little children" and sixty people comment on how I'm promoting pedophilia, they're going to need a lot more evidence than "if you were knowledgeable enough about what went on in the RC Archdiocese of Boston, you would understand".    

Fr. Arida has refused to issue any clarification, in spite of being well aware of the confusion he has caused.
Deductive fallacy.

How do you know Fr Arida has refused?  So far, the most authoritative statement on this issue has come from his Metropolitan, who in his own rambling reflection refused to come out and say that Fr Arida was wrong, only that many readers presumed he was talking about a particular issue (homosexuality).  How do you know that Fr Arida refuses to clarify?  Perhaps his ecclesiastical superiors have asked or ordered him not to enter this fray again for the time being.  Why assume malice on his part?    

You suggest that we should give Fr. Arida the benefit of the doubt. Have you any evidence to suggest that he affirms a traditional Orthodox view of homosexuality?
He is an Orthodox priest ordained by an Orthodox bishop and in good standing with his canonical hierarchs.  In order to be ordained in the Orthodox Church, candidates must profess the Orthodox faith and be free of canonical impediments, among other things.  The fact of his ordination is itself the evidence unless and until others can prove otherwise.    

Can you quote any public statement which would lead us to believe that?
"The grace divine, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most pious deacon Robert to be a priest."  

"Axios!"

You have provided no evidence for this and even your anecdotal comments do not refer specifically to Fr. Arida.
I don't see the need to provide evidence that an Orthodox priest in good standing is Orthodox.  Those claiming that he is heterodox in his beliefs and knowingly violating the holy canons of the Church in egregious ways are the ones who bear the burden of proving their accusations, for these are serious matters.  This is basic canon law, not to mention courtesy.  

I really do hope your minority interpretation is correct and if so, I shall be the first to declare you a hero for defending him.
I don't want to be anyone's hero.  
Nice try. Your understanding of faulty reasoning is faulty. I think, actually, you succeeded in redefining every one of those fallacies. That is quite an accomplishment. Hey why not? Don't be constrained by convention! That is, after all, what this thread is all about.

I am flattered you went to all that trouble. You are a hero!

I did find this rather interesting:

I don't see the need to provide evidence that an Orthodox priest in good standing is Orthodox.  Those claiming that he is heterodox in his beliefs and knowingly violating the holy canons of the Church in egregious ways are the ones who bear the burden of proving their accusations, for these are serious matters.  This is basic canon law, not to mention courtesy.  
So priests always get the benefit of the doubt, no matter what they write, and that is canon law? Did the many Orthodox priests who condemned Fr. Arida's article violate canon law? Should the Brotherhood of Orthodox Clergy of Houston be worried?

If the laity have no right to critique a priest, why do we declare "axios" at their ordination? Should we only allow priests or bishops to do that?
 

AntoniousNikolas

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rakovsky said:
Fixed it at the same moment you did.
Yeah, Mor's quick on the draw like Quick Draw McGraw.  I wanted to replace the Arabic term "turbina" with the Syriac term "masnaphto" (which had momentarily escaped my memory), but he sniped me out before I could complete my ninja edit!  Darn his eyes!

Mor Ephrem said:
More smoke and mirrors, no doubt.
I'm sure.  The best thing on the blog post is Fr. Robert's actual sermon about how to transform and baptize the society by our living witness, not through becoming a part of the political machine like so many Western "denominations" that we should not be seeking to align ourselves with our emulate.  It speaks volumes in favor of Opus's assessment of the essay in question.

That said, I must say that if the position ascribed to Inga Leonova on the blog post is accurate I find it disturbing that she has not been called to repentance.  Even as one cannot be an Orthodox Christian and an unrepentant segregationist and racist - and so it was entirely appropriate to call Matthew Heimbach to repentance - one also cannot be an Orthodox Christian and an unrepentant advocate for mainstreaming homosexual unions in the Orthodox Church.  With Heimbach, there was no disputing his position as he made a point of declaring it publicly and in no uncertain terms.  Is the same true with Ms. Leonova?
 

Second Chance

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Antonious Nikolas said:
DCBmoreOCF said:
Remember, silence can and does sometimes speaks consent.
In the same post, the blog's author indicates that "Quite a few of the members of this same-sex lobby within the OCA have ties to St. Vladimir’s Seminary, two of whose current faculty members (Al Rossi PhD and Fr John Behr) are members of the pro-homosexual rights Facebook Group run by Inga Leonova".  This - the idea that there might be a "same sex lobby" at St. Vlad's up to and including the dean and prominent faculty members - is something that I imagine Mor Ephrem might be able to tell us about from personal experience.  Do you have any indication that this might be true, Mor?
Dear Antonious Nikolas--My comments are not directed against you are general in nature.

It may be that there is a same-sex lobby in the OCA..or the GOA...or any other jurisdiction. What is important to me is the position of the Holy Synod, my bishop, my dean and my priest on homosexuality. Regarding any SVOTS professor, I really do not care if they talk to members of a same-sex lobby, this issue is not like a communicable disease. In fact, I am getting tired of veiled accusations like the one above; guilt by association is not a good thing for a conservative like me and I am a proven conservative in most matters. So, lets quit oblique slurs on SVOTS or the OCA; I see it too much at Monomakhos and I would hate for this forum to start resembling that one. Thanks.
 

yeshuaisiam

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Mor Ephrem said:
I read Fr Arida's article (though not Fr Jacobse's), and I read the many comments below the article.  To be very honest, I found nothing disagreeable about Fr Arida's views and my impression, based both on the comments themselves and a familiarity with a number of the commenters) was that people are reading issues into the piece that aren't really there.    

What am I and readers like me (there may have been like two or three others out of the sixty or so commenters who felt as I did) missing?  
I agree with you! :)

Quote from Orthodox Priest Arida's article:
"If the never changing Gospel who is Jesus Christ is to have a credible presence and role in our culture, then the Church can no longer ignore or condemn questions and issues that are presumed to contradict or challenge its living Tradition. Among the most controversial of these issues are those related to human sexuality, the configuration of the family, the beginning and ending of human life, the economy and the care and utilization of the environment including the care, dignity and quality of all human life."

I don't know of the EO church to have ever "condemned" """"QUESTIONS AND ISSUES""""....

I have not known it to condemn things, but to rather address things....

I must be missing something too....
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
DCBmoreOCF said:
Remember, silence can and does sometimes speaks consent.
In the same post, the blog's author indicates that "Quite a few of the members of this same-sex lobby within the OCA have ties to St. Vladimir’s Seminary, two of whose current faculty members (Al Rossi PhD and Fr John Behr) are members of the pro-homosexual rights Facebook Group run by Inga Leonova".  This - the idea that there might be a "same sex lobby" at St. Vlad's up to and including the dean and prominent faculty members - is something that I imagine Mor Ephrem might be able to tell us about from personal experience.  Do you have any indication that this might be true, Mor?
Dear Antonious Nikolas--My comments are not directed against you are general in nature.

It may be that there is a same-sex lobby in the OCA..or the GOA...or any other jurisdiction. What is important to me is the position of the Holy Synod, my bishop, my dean and my priest on homosexuality. Regarding any SVOTS professor, I really do not care if they talk to members of a same-sex lobby, this issue is not like a communicable disease. In fact, I am getting tired of veiled accusations like the one above; guilt by association is not a good thing for a conservative like me and I am a proven conservative in most matters. So, lets quit oblique slurs on SVOTS or the OCA; I see it too much at Monomakhos and I would hate for this forum to start resembling that one. Thanks.
Hear, hear, Carl!  I'm just making Mor aware of what was stated on the blog because I figured that owing to his close relationship with St. Vlad's he could speak to the matter from personal experience.  I certainly don't hold to the blogger's position.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Clemente said:
Nice try. Your understanding of faulty reasoning is faulty. I think, actually, you succeeded in redefining every one of those fallacies. That is quite an accomplishment. Hey why not? Don't be constrained by convention! That is, after all, what this thread is all about.
Indeed.  

I did find this rather interesting:

I don't see the need to provide evidence that an Orthodox priest in good standing is Orthodox.  Those claiming that he is heterodox in his beliefs and knowingly violating the holy canons of the Church in egregious ways are the ones who bear the burden of proving their accusations, for these are serious matters.  This is basic canon law, not to mention courtesy.  
So priests always get the benefit of the doubt, no matter what they write, and that is canon law?
We don't need a canon against idle gossip when we have Scripture.  And it's a basic principle of Christian behaviour towards "one's neighbour" that everyone gets the benefit of the doubt.  Priests are not excluded from this.

Now, if we are not dealing with gossip (and this is your claim IIRC), then we are dealing with serious charges, and the canons of the Church address how to bring charges against a cleric.  None of this internet fury is "canonical" in the sense that it doesn't follow any received protocol (canonical procedure), ignores Christian principles (respect for the priesthood, no tolerance for idle gossip/unsubstantiated claims) in the name of other Christian principles (just say no to homosexuality), etc.  In fact, it appears to be a very American way of conflict resolution.  Think you smell smoke?  Start a forest fire and then head to the internet to complain that the government doesn't have it under control and needs to fire someone.            

Did the many Orthodox priests who condemned Fr. Arida's article violate canon law? Should the Brotherhood of Orthodox Clergy of Houston be worried?
I don't know, that's up to their respective bishops.  I have my own opinions on the appropriateness of their public statements, and my opinions are based in part on canonical principles, but I'm not willing to condemn them without facts.  I show them the same respect I'm trying to show Fr Arida: they are priests.  

If the laity have no right to critique a priest, why do we declare "axios" at their ordination? Should we only allow priests or bishops to do that?
You don't proclaim "Axios" before the ordination takes place, but after it's all done.  It has nothing to do with the laity's right to judge a priest.  

Again, if you want to bring charges against a cleric, there's a way to do that.  Those who feel so seriously that something needs to be done about "the Fr Arida situation" ought to follow that canonical process.  Right now, all this is is a free for all where people who don't support priest X get to agitate against him (I find that ironic when one of their main concerns is "becoming like the Episcopalians").  

Even St Paul, one of the foremost apostles and certainly more a "priest" than the Jewish priests, acknowledged when he made a similar error:

Acts 23

And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.” 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’
   
 

yeshuaisiam

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Twenty Nine said:
Mor,

Fr. Robert is laying the ground work (or planting seeds) for the Church's acceptance of committed homosexual relations, where gay couples can approach the Chalice with a clear conscience. It's that simple, although he won't come right out and say that in black and white. Fr. Robert is a very intelligent and capable priest - he knows exactly what he is doing and he wrote the article in this fashion for a very specific and intentional reason.

Your reading of the article is playing right into his hand. Those familiar with Fr. Robert and who know the Boston Cathedral know exactly what he is up to. And it is not good.
FWIW, I didn't read that at all.  I saw him expanding that easier dialog takes place between homosexuals and people in the church.

Perhaps explaining the church position on such issues, even in detail, why it is this way, before straight condemnation.    

Consider if this would be a better approach than Westboro baptist church.   :eek:   Better than saying "gays go straight to hell and can't be part of the church".

At least that's what I'm seeing.
 

rakovsky

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Antonious Nikolas said:
That said, I must say that if the position ascribed to Inga Leonova on the blog post is accurate I find it disturbing that she has not been called to repentance. 
What if it isn't accurate and Leonova didn't write anything "pro-gay"? Does Monomakhos get called to repentance?
 

TheTrisagion

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Who is Inga Leonova and why does anyone care what she says?
 

Mor Ephrem

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Antonious Nikolas said:
That said, I must say that if the position ascribed to Inga Leonova on the blog post is accurate I find it disturbing that she has not been called to repentance.  Even as one cannot be an Orthodox Christian and an unrepentant segregationist and racist - and so it was entirely appropriate to call Matthew Heimbach to repentance - one also cannot be an Orthodox Christian and an unrepentant advocate for mainstreaming homosexual unions in the Orthodox Church.  With Heimbach, there was no disputing his position as he made a point of declaring it publicly and in no uncertain terms.  Is the same true with Ms. Leonova?
I have no idea.  I've met Ms Leonova before and we have spoken in the past, but not on these issues.  

I do note, however, that this is becoming more and more like a witch hunt.  That article you cited names a whole bunch of people and, frankly, a lot of it appears to be BS based on my familiarity with the people involved.  Whether or not Ms Leonova is "guilty" I cannot say (I'd like to see evidence) but I have no reason to believe that a handful of others named in that article whom I know are anything but "innocent".  

We can do better than a McCarthyesque witch hunt, surely.  But maybe we don't want to.      
 

rakovsky

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TheTrisagion said:
Who is Inga Leonova and why does anyone care what she says?
She ran a facebook group called Listening.
This website talks about her views:
http://www.aoiusa.org/same-sex-marriage-and-the-revolt-against-metropolitan-jonah/
She posted on this facebook page on the topic:
https://www.facebook.com/pravmircom/posts/313667915377321
 

AntoniousNikolas

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rakovsky said:
What if it isn't accurate and Leonova didn't write anything "pro-gay"? Does Monomakhos get called to repentance?
If it isn't accurate then someone is bearing false witness against her and should indeed repent.  Wouldn't you agree?  I'd hate to have words put in my mouth or actions falsely ascribed to me.  Frankly, I'm not familiar with her writings, so I don't know what she has or hasn't said in the public forum.

Mor Ephrem said:
I have no idea.  I've met Ms Leonova before and we have spoken in the past, but not on these issues.  

I do note, however, that this is becoming more and more like a witch hunt.  That article you cited names a whole bunch of people and, frankly, a lot of it appears to be BS based on my familiarity with the people involved.  Whether or not Ms Leonova is "guilty" I cannot say (I'd like to see evidence) but I have no reason to believe that a handful of others named in that article whom I know are anything but "innocent".  

We can do better than a McCarthyesque witch hunt, surely.  But maybe we don't want to.      
I agree.  I only think it's fair for certain aspects of this debate to take place in the public square if someone made overt public statements distorting the Church's teaching or ascribing their own erroneous teachings to the Church.  If any of the several people named on the blog have done so then they're fair game (as was Heimbach).  If they haven't, they're not, and everything should be handled privately between them and their father confessor or bishop as the case may be.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
My take on vocal and conservative priests, such as Fr. Hans Jacobse (Antiochian) and Fr. John Whiteford (ROCOR), is that they do not have a personal or partisan political agenda. They are simply conservative Orthodox priests, much like almost all of the priests that I have known in my life. Sure, there are some differences between jurisdictions but they do not amount to a hill of beans when it comes to age-old Orthodox stances on ethical and moral issues that affect our society.
No, I disagree. They both go beyond a conservative Orthodox priest.

To focus on the issue at hand, Orthodoxy cannot approve same-sex marriage or commune active and unrepentant sinners, to include homosexuals. That is not at all reactionary, unless one thinks that we are no longer an Apostolic Church.
I have no problem with this, and from what I read from Fr. Arida, I do not think he would either.

What I disliked in Fr. Arida's essay was mainly what the Houston Statement covered: Orthodoxy does not craft new doctrines like the Roman Catholic church does, we preserve Holy Tradition. Now, pastoral approaches do change but I submit to you that the position of the OCA that I posted earlier does not need to be changed whatsoever. We cannot change our dogmatic positions because they are written in the Scriptures and as such are the most definitive elements of our Holy Tradition. And, when it comes to pastoral approach to homosexuals, what is wrong exactly with, quoting from the OCA document, "Men and women with homosexual feelings and emotions are to be treated with the understanding, acceptance, love, justice and mercy due to all human beings"?
To put it mildly the Houston Statement is flawed. There is nothing wrong with the OCA document. I have seen no direct evidence that Fr. Arida has stated otherwise.

After participating in this discussion both here and elsewhere, I have come up with the following convictions:

1. Those who jumped at Fr. Arida's essay as a call to change our stance on homosexuality are wrong to do so.
This is fine

2. However, these folks have reacted not in a vacuum but a particular context: We are in the midst of a cultural war where the Gay Lobby is campaigning hard for society to accept their unions as something that is not and should not be distinguishable from traditional marriage. As someone who has supported equal civil rights for gay couples, I must also say that I find it highly offensive any efforts to condemn foundational Christian beliefs on the sinfulness of homosexual activity and I find it unbearable that folks' First Amendment rights are being eroded. This is partisan politics only because one party is mostly on the side of traditional marriage and the other is not. This is an overarching issue that transcends partisan politics; it is about public policy that is based on  the fundamentals--religion and morality.
I can quibble but it is not very substantive.

3. Another context is the long history of accusations against Fr. Arida and his alleged communing of active, unrepentant homosexuals. While that is something that is between Fr. Arida and his bishop, the reality is that there is lots of smoke on this matter. I would think that someone of Fr. Arida's intelligence and experience would not have published an essay that was bound to irritate some audiences (a) conservative priests who disliked his nebulous call for change, (b) folks who were already questioning his practice and views vis-a-vis homosexuals, and (c) parents of priests of young people who visited the site that published his essay.
This I do object to and much of it deals with issues that are not in his blog and the commentators were fabricating what was not there and in essence giving the appearance of bearing false witness. (a) The priests should have called or wrote to him to find out what he meant. (b) Point to me where prior to the initial comments that had little to do with what Fr. Arida wrote. This is the gossip part and I have read lots of outrageous and untrue things in comments. I am not going to that facebook page (that is the only source that I have seen noted so far), did someone say that Fr. Arida told them it was OK to have sex? That they didn’t have to confess it? (c) Since there was nothing wrong with Fr. Arida’s blog post, blame the commenting priests.

By the way, I wrote this offline during breaks (I am still at work), There are a startling amount of new post to be read, but I thought your thoughtful post deserves a reply.
 

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Father Oliver Herbel has jumped into the fray on his blog with a characteristically balanced take. He addresses  the action/reaction that breaks out when so-called culture wars issues are addressed.

" The Orthodox Church has never had a “gay marriage rite” and for the record I would not support creating a new marriage rite for gay couples, but the challenge Fr. Robert left us, which was simply finding new ways to speak to the surrounding culture on this issue as well as others, is a vital one."


"A more balanced approach would not ignore traditional teachings on sexuality nor ignore what other churches are doing, but it also wouldn’t be so primed that it went off half cocked whenever cultural questions were merely raised.  It wouldn’t devote nearly the energy and time to criticizing others (that seems currently devoted–you know, because of “culture wars”) but would turn that energy inward.  We have problems–a lot of them.  An obvious one seems to be that we prefer to critique non-Orthodox to an unhealthy degree.

Eastern Orthodox Christians need to take the sociological data very seriously.  We need to turn our energy to working on our own problems.  We need to turn our energy to finding new ways to engage our culture other than proof-texting from patristic sources.  This will be hard work.  It will mean we have to admit the Church is big enough house both Democrats and Republicans alike.  It means we will have to bring together those who stand against a same-sex marriage rite and those who believe we are not doing enough to minister to those who are gay.  It means we have to deal lovingly with those who think homosexuality is the touchstone issue in the first place."

- See more at: http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2014/11/19/orthodoxy-in-america-will-increasing-political-conservatism-lead-to-increasingly-becoming-a-high-church-sect/#sthash.7S1NKXGV.dpuf

 

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I really resent that some are making accusations that if one sees that Fr Robert is saying the Church needs to change its teachings, they are automatically:

A Fundamentalist
A Right Winger
A hyper sensitive convert

To make such accusations is to be exactly what they are accusing others to be.

People, really it's not that difficult. The issue from which everything else proceeds is that Fr Robert, while correctly stating that Christ does not change, but that we do, fails to stick to what we DO need to change; to wit, ourselves, and begins to apply the idea of change to Church doctrine, the very teaching that ought not change, in the name of dealing with "culture", which appears to be used instead of the traditional term "the world".

He lets the cat out of the bag at the end, admitting that the controversial issues (that the whole article is really about, what he desires change in) are the doctrines on the family, marriage and sexuality. He then portrays the defenders of those doctrines as having "a political agenda" and ideology, as if the ideology were not merely the defense of the traditional teachings on those issues, outlined in the encyclicals met Tikhon points out. And so the rhetorical terms "fundamentalism" (which are not clearly defined, but the implication that "fundamentalism" sees only "text" and teaching/laws to be "blindly" followed seems to be behind this.

Rhetorical language such as "lynch mobs" and "rabble rousing", and "right wingers", and "being judgmental". words that do not address the concerns but do aim at getting an emotional response without thinking about what words mean and what implications lie (and lie) behind them.

Metropolitan Tikhon either fails to see or refuses to address the basic fact, which, that all of the preamble is aimed at justifying change in Church doctrine on those issues, in order to conform to the world. Although he does point to the traditional teachings of the Church in the encyclicals, he refuses to speak to that central issue. And so his response does wind up to be obfuscation, trying to please everybody, to be a peacemaker where peace is not called for, but a defense of the paradosis, of our ancient teachings, of Orthodoxy. Being a peacemaker does not mean to give in to anyone and anything, but to speak the Truth in love.
 

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DCBmoreOCF said:
I really resent that some are making accusations that if one sees that Fr Robert is saying the Church needs to change its teachings, they are automatically:

A Fundamentalist
A Right Winger
A hyper sensitive convert

To make such accusations is to be exactly what they are accusing others to be.

People, really it's not that difficult. The issue from which everything else proceeds is that Fr Robert, while correctly stating that Christ does not change, but that we do, fails to stick to what we DO need to change; to wit, ourselves, and begins to apply the idea of change to Church doctrine, the very teaching that ought not change, in the name of dealing with "culture", which appears to be used instead of the traditional term "the world".
Where, exactly?

And what is "culture"?  And what is the traditional meaning of the traditional term "the world"?

Metropolitan Tikhon either fails to see or refuses to address the basic fact, which, that all of the preamble is aimed at justifying change in Church doctrine on those issues, in order to conform to the world. Although he does point to the traditional teachings of the Church in the encyclicals, he refuses to speak to that central issue. And so his response does wind up to be obfuscation, trying to please everybody, to be a peacemaker where peace is not called for, but a defense of the paradosis, of our ancient teachings, of Orthodoxy. Being a peacemaker does not mean to give in to anyone and anything, but to speak the Truth in love.
There it is, folks.  Your priests cannot be trusted and neither can your bishops, only your internets. 
 

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Thank you, podkarpatska for posting the article by Fr. Oliver Herbel.  It was refreshing to read a fair and balanced assessment of the affair instead of one that stigmatized those on either side of the discussion.  I especially liked this paragraph:

Eastern Orthodox Christians need to take the sociological data very seriously.  We need to turn our energy to working on our own problems.  We need to turn our energy to finding new ways to engage our culture other than proof-texting from patristic sources.  This will be hard work.  It will mean we have to admit the Church is big enough house both Democrats and Republicans alike.  It means we will have to bring together those who stand against a same-sex marriage rite and those who believe we are not doing enough to minister to those who are gay.  It means we have to deal lovingly with those who think homosexuality is the touchstone issue in the first place.
It better.

I'm not seeing what some here are seeing in Fr. Robert's writings, or - most especially - in his wonderful sermon posted earlier.  What I am seeing is a call for the Church to remain true to its own traditional morality and values and not to allow itself to be reduced to a "High Church Sect" or an adjunct to one American political bloc or another.  I would not want to be a part of a church like that - a church that marched in lockstep with one set of angry, red-faced talking heads or the other in America's culture wars - a church beholden to a particular political ideology.  Thank God, Orthodoxy is bigger than that.

DCBmoreOCF said:
I really resent that some are making accusations that if one sees that Fr Robert is saying the Church needs to change its teachings, they are automatically:

A Fundamentalist
A Right Winger
A hyper sensitive convert

To make such accusations is to be exactly what they are accusing others to be.

People, really it's not that difficult. The issue from which everything else proceeds is that Fr Robert, while correctly stating that Christ does not change, but that we do, fails to stick to what we DO need to change; to wit, ourselves, and begins to apply the idea of change to Church doctrine, the very teaching that ought not change, in the name of dealing with "culture", which appears to be used instead of the traditional term "the world".

He lets the cat out of the bag at the end, admitting that the controversial issues (that the whole article is really about, what he desires change in) are the doctrines on the family, marriage and sexuality. He then portrays the defenders of those doctrines as having "a political agenda" and ideology, as if the ideology were not merely the defense of the traditional teachings on those issues, outlined in the encyclicals met Tikhon points out. And so the rhetorical terms "fundamentalism" (which are not clearly defined, but the implication that "fundamentalism" sees only "text" and teaching/laws to be "blindly" followed seems to be behind this.

Rhetorical language such as "lynch mobs" and "rabble rousing", and "right wingers", and "being judgmental". words that do not address the concerns but do aim at getting an emotional response without thinking about what words mean and what implications lie (and lie) behind them.

Metropolitan Tikhon either fails to see or refuses to address the basic fact, which, that all of the preamble is aimed at justifying change in Church doctrine on those issues, in order to conform to the world. Although he does point to the traditional teachings of the Church in the encyclicals, he refuses to speak to that central issue. And so his response does wind up to be obfuscation, trying to please everybody, to be a peacemaker where peace is not called for, but a defense of the paradosis, of our ancient teachings, of Orthodoxy. Being a peacemaker does not mean to give in to anyone and anything, but to speak the Truth in love.
Indeed.  Rhetorical language is not at all useful in this discussion, whether that means the terms you've cited here or "sympathetic to the (homosexual) movement", "progressive", "Episcopalian", "leftist", "liberal", "collaborators", "pro-homosexual", "same-sex lobby", "diseased" and other such terms of opprobrium used to describe Fr. Robert - not to mention a host of other bishops, priests, laymen, and even prominent faculty from St. Vlad's - across the blogosphere.  Those who use such terms do indeed fail to make the case that Fr. Robert is a part of some secretive cabal determined to remake the Church in the image of the world, but rather, as you say, they engender an "emotional response" in those accustomed to hearing such terminology thrown about in an entirely different context, a context which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Orthodox Church but rather with politics and the so-called "culture wars".
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Thank you, podkarpatska for posting the article by Fr. Oliver Herbel.  It was refreshing to read a fair and balanced assessment of the affair instead of one that stigmatized those on either side of the discussion.  I especially liked this paragraph:

Eastern Orthodox Christians need to take the sociological data very seriously.  We need to turn our energy to working on our own problems.  We need to turn our energy to finding new ways to engage our culture other than proof-texting from patristic sources.  This will be hard work.  It will mean we have to admit the Church is big enough house both Democrats and Republicans alike.  It means we will have to bring together those who stand against a same-sex marriage rite and those who believe we are not doing enough to minister to those who are gay.  It means we have to deal lovingly with those who think homosexuality is the touchstone issue in the first place.
It better.

I'm not seeing what some here are seeing in Fr. Robert's writings, or - most especially - in his wonderful sermon posted earlier.  What I am seeing is a call for the Church to remain true to its own traditional morality and values and not to allow itself to be reduced to a "High Church Sect" or an adjunct to one American political bloc or another.  I would not want to be a part of a church like that - a church that marched in lockstep with one set of angry, red-faced talking heads or the other in America's culture wars - a church beholden to a particular political ideology.  Thank God, Orthodoxy is bigger than that.

DCBmoreOCF said:
I really resent that some are making accusations that if one sees that Fr Robert is saying the Church needs to change its teachings, they are automatically:

A Fundamentalist
A Right Winger
A hyper sensitive convert

To make such accusations is to be exactly what they are accusing others to be.

People, really it's not that difficult. The issue from which everything else proceeds is that Fr Robert, while correctly stating that Christ does not change, but that we do, fails to stick to what we DO need to change; to wit, ourselves, and begins to apply the idea of change to Church doctrine, the very teaching that ought not change, in the name of dealing with "culture", which appears to be used instead of the traditional term "the world".

He lets the cat out of the bag at the end, admitting that the controversial issues (that the whole article is really about, what he desires change in) are the doctrines on the family, marriage and sexuality. He then portrays the defenders of those doctrines as having "a political agenda" and ideology, as if the ideology were not merely the defense of the traditional teachings on those issues, outlined in the encyclicals met Tikhon points out. And so the rhetorical terms "fundamentalism" (which are not clearly defined, but the implication that "fundamentalism" sees only "text" and teaching/laws to be "blindly" followed seems to be behind this.

Rhetorical language such as "lynch mobs" and "rabble rousing", and "right wingers", and "being judgmental". words that do not address the concerns but do aim at getting an emotional response without thinking about what words mean and what implications lie (and lie) behind them.

Metropolitan Tikhon either fails to see or refuses to address the basic fact, which, that all of the preamble is aimed at justifying change in Church doctrine on those issues, in order to conform to the world. Although he does point to the traditional teachings of the Church in the encyclicals, he refuses to speak to that central issue. And so his response does wind up to be obfuscation, trying to please everybody, to be a peacemaker where peace is not called for, but a defense of the paradosis, of our ancient teachings, of Orthodoxy. Being a peacemaker does not mean to give in to anyone and anything, but to speak the Truth in love.
Indeed.  Rhetorical language is not at all useful in this discussion, whether that means the terms you've cited here or "sympathetic to the (homosexual) movement", "progressive", "Episcopalian", "leftist", "liberal", "collaborators", "pro-homosexual", "same-sex lobby", "diseased" and other such terms of opprobrium used to describe Fr. Robert - not to mention a host of other bishops, priests, laymen, and even prominent faculty from St. Vlad's - across the blogosphere.  Those who use such terms do indeed fail to make the case that Fr. Robert is a part of some secretive cabal determined to remake the Church in the image of the world, but rather, as you say, they engender an "emotional response" in those accustomed to hearing such terminology thrown about in an entirely different context, a context which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Orthodox Church but rather with politics and the so-called "culture wars".
If one wants rhetorical "code words", the secular world has many outlets to hear them - left, right and even center.

What I expect to hear from the Church is the proclamation of the Truth in terms the faithfulcan relate to and understand, spoken in the spirit of the great Evangelizers to the Slavs, the Equals to the Apostles, SS. Cyril and Methodius who knew the wisdom of proclaiming the word in a manner that the people could understand. In the end, I suspect that is Father Arida' s point. Appeals to authority will fall on deaf ears.as Mor observed.
 

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"Indeed.  Rhetorical language is not at all useful in this discussion, whether that means the terms you've cited here or "sympathetic to the (homosexual) movement", "progressive", "Episcopalian", "leftist", "liberal", "collaborators", "pro-homosexual", "same-sex lobby", "diseased" and other such terms of opprobrium used to describe Fr. Robert - not to mention a host of other bishops, priests, laymen, and even prominent faculty from St. Vlad's - across the blogosphere.  Those who use such terms do indeed fail to make the case that Fr. Robert is a part of some secretive cabal determined to remake the Church in the image of the world, but rather, as you say, they engender an "emotional response" in those accustomed to hearing such terminology thrown about in an entirely different context, a context which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Orthodox Church but rather with politics and the so-called "culture wars".

Indeed, so lets stop focusing on what others on the internet may or may not be doing. All that does is distract from the real issue at hand, and yes, both sides do this.

Let's focus instead on the actual words of Fr Robert, his actions, and his life, and the actual actions and words of others associated with these issues.

I'm tired of the constant references to what others are doing on the internet. I see this brought up quite a few times amongst Roman Catholic apologist and Orthodox sympathetic to Roman Catholicism.

I also tire of the accusations that any objection to what Fr Robert says is automatically has political motivations. There's no way on God's green earth can anyone tell that from comments posted on a forum!
 

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DCBmoreOCF said:
Indeed, so lets stop focusing on what others on the internet may or may not be doing. All that does is distract from the real issue at hand, and yes, both sides do this.
That's all very good, but so far, this entire debacle has been about people on the internet doing or saying things and other people on the internet disagreeing with them.   

Let's focus instead on the actual words of Fr Robert, his actions, and his life, and the actual actions and words of others associated with these issues.
Those who are against him have made serious charges touching on the faith and morality of the Orthodox Church and, if they have evidence to prove those allegations, ought to pursue them legitimately through the canonical process. 

Of course, the canonical process also involves vetting the integrity and trustworthiness of the witnesses, not just the person(s) on trial, so if they want to read the open book of Fr Robert Arida's life and work in the light of day, they ought to be ready to open their own books for others' reading enjoyment.   

I'm tired of the constant references to what others are doing on the internet. I see this brought up quite a few times amongst Roman Catholic apologist and Orthodox sympathetic to Roman Catholicism.

I also tire of the accusations that any objection to what Fr Robert says is automatically has political motivations. There's no way on God's green earth can anyone tell that from comments posted on a forum!
"I'm tired of the constant references to what (Fr Arida, Inga Leonova, people on Facebook and) others are doing on the internet.  I see this brought up quite a few times amongst Roman Catholic apologist and Orthodox sympathetic to Roman Catholicism."

"I also tire of the accusations that any support to what Fr Robert says is automatically has heterodox and anti-moral motivations.  There's no way on God's green earth can anyone tell that from comments posted on a forum!"

Or a blog.
 

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Mor, again, you are keeping the focus on what others may or may not be doing.

You are contributing to this tread getting sidetracked yet you complain its getting side tracked at the same time.

Are you saying that no one can ever object to anything anyone does, because they are not perfect either? I guess that means  you have nothing more to say about anything or anyone...
 

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DCBmoreOCF said:
Mor, again, you are keeping the focus on what others may or may not be doing.

You are contributing to this tread getting sidetracked yet you complain its getting side tracked at the same time.

Are you saying that no one can ever object to anything anyone does, because they are not perfect either? I guess that means  you have nothing more to say about anything or anyone...
No, I just think it's ironic that Fr Arida's critics don't see the irony of using tactics against him that they reject as illegitimate when used against themselves.
 

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Since some are singing the praise of Fr Oliver (who also painted a broad brush and made sweeping generalizations in his post) did anyone read this response to Fr Oliver?

"Fr. George Aquaro on November 20, 2014 at 12:06 am said: Well, here’s my take: I don’t think that if you are going to talk about this issue and mention ‘The Church’ that you can do so without taking into account the *entire* Church. So, where goes the State Church of Greece, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the BOR, and other churches stand on these issues? The truth is that they are not far apart from what is condemned here as ‘Protestant’ behavior. I think this is an exceedingly narrow construct. I lived for a time not long ago on a Greek island where adultery was punished by death… in the shadow of an Orthodox Church. They make our ‘Protestant Converts’ look positively leftist in comparison. How many of these ‘Protestant Converts’ have disrupted a gay pride parade? Again, our internet chatter is mild in comparison to what goes on in other parts of the Church. We ought to have a little perspective here. Fr. Arida’s antagonism of his brethren was as cold as it was purposeful: the OCA has been in constant turmoil for over a decade, and this topic he raises not only brought down the OCANews web site, but was a part of the Met. Jonah fiasco. The OCA is still healing, and he poured battery acid on the wound. As an outsider (I’m in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and encourage you to talk to an old Arab priest about how we need to be more accepting of homosexuality), all I saw in his ambiguous post was a man who used his intelligence and skill to provoke not a discussion, but a blow-up. I’m assuming that he knew that by keeping his post ambiguous enough, he could let people draw all kinds of conclusions. My conclusion is this- I think that before we talk about loving others outside the Church, we ought to work on how we love one another in the Church. That means dropping the ‘left’ and ‘right’ baloney, and be able to engage one another as family rather than as the ‘ignorant reactionaries’ versus the ‘immoral perverts.’ So, the bell has rung… back to your corners… - See more at: http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2014/11/19/orthodoxy-in-america-will-increasing-political-conservatism-lead-to-increasingly-becoming-a-high-church-sect/#comments"

So, is this priest another right winger, fundamentalist who is allowing politics to muddle his Orthodoxy? How many more people are going to be accused of this?
 

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DCBmoreOCF said:
Indeed, so lets stop focusing on what others on the internet may or may not be doing. All that does is distract from the real issue at hand, and yes, both sides do this.
I don't mean at all to be provocative or argumentative here, but isn't this entire discussion based on how people on the internet have interpreted Fr. Robert's writing?

DCBmoreOCF said:
Let's focus instead on the actual words of Fr Robert,
We have.  We simply don't agree about what those words mean.  I've stated my interpretation of them.  You've stated yours.  I don't see what you're seeing.  Do you see at all what I'm seeing?

DCBmoreOCF said:
his actions, and his life,
That's beyond the scope of what I'd be comfortable "judging".  By most accounts - even those of some of his critics here like 29 - he seems to be an upstanding priest, a sincere and loving pastor, and a man of character.

DCBmoreOCF said:
and the actual actions and words of others associated with these issues.
As Carl counseled, I'm not big on the idea of "guilt by association".  I've been to Orthodox youth conferences where they've been playing Protestant "praise & worship" music.  Just because I didn't storm out indignantly or bash the lead servant's guitar over his head like the Honky-Tonk man wailing on Randy Savage, that doesn't mean I approve.  I'd have to see Fr. Robert advocating for what you guys say he's advocating for in his own words before I'd be willing to assign any particular position to him.

DCBmoreOCF said:
I'm tired of the constant references to what others are doing on the internet. I see this brought up quite a few times amongst Roman Catholic apologist and Orthodox sympathetic to Roman Catholicism.
But this is the source of the criticism of Fr. Robert's article.

DCBmoreOCF said:
I also tire of the accusations that any objection to what Fr Robert says is automatically has political motivations.
It is true that this might not automatically be the case, but that doesn't mean that isn't where some of the criticism is coming from.

DCBmoreOCF said:
There's no way on God's green earth can anyone tell that from comments posted on a forum!
That depends.  It wouldn't be fair to assign that position to any and everyone critiquing Fr. Robert, but based on their own words and the positions they consistently advocate on line, that seems to be where some of the criticism is coming from.
 

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Mor, still, you are focusing on others, focus on the actual issue at hand
 

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@Antonius Nikolas,

OO's use protestant praise and worship music at their youth events, we (Chacedonians Orthodox) don't. but that's a different topic, I'm only bringing it up because it is not applicable to us.
 

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DCBmoreOCF said:
Since some are singing the praise of Fr Oliver (who also painted a broad brush and made sweeping generalizations in his post) did anyone read this response to Fr Oliver?

"Fr. George Aquaro on November 20, 2014 at 12:06 am said: Well, here’s my take: I don’t think that if you are going to talk about this issue and mention ‘The Church’ that you can do so without taking into account the *entire* Church. So, where goes the State Church of Greece, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the BOR, and other churches stand on these issues? The truth is that they are not far apart from what is condemned here as ‘Protestant’ behavior. I think this is an exceedingly narrow construct. I lived for a time not long ago on a Greek island where adultery was punished by death… in the shadow of an Orthodox Church. They make our ‘Protestant Converts’ look positively leftist in comparison. How many of these ‘Protestant Converts’ have disrupted a gay pride parade? Again, our internet chatter is mild in comparison to what goes on in other parts of the Church. We ought to have a little perspective here. Fr. Arida’s antagonism of his brethren was as cold as it was purposeful: the OCA has been in constant turmoil for over a decade, and this topic he raises not only brought down the OCANews web site, but was a part of the Met. Jonah fiasco. The OCA is still healing, and he poured battery acid on the wound. As an outsider (I’m in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and encourage you to talk to an old Arab priest about how we need to be more accepting of homosexuality), all I saw in his ambiguous post was a man who used his intelligence and skill to provoke not a discussion, but a blow-up. I’m assuming that he knew that by keeping his post ambiguous enough, he could let people draw all kinds of conclusions. My conclusion is this- I think that before we talk about loving others outside the Church, we ought to work on how we love one another in the Church. That means dropping the ‘left’ and ‘right’ baloney, and be able to engage one another as family rather than as the ‘ignorant reactionaries’ versus the ‘immoral perverts.’ So, the bell has rung… back to your corners… - See more at: http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2014/11/19/orthodoxy-in-america-will-increasing-political-conservatism-lead-to-increasingly-becoming-a-high-church-sect/#comments"

So, is this priest another right winger, fundamentalist who is allowing politics to muddle his Orthodoxy? How many more people are going to be accused of this?
I thought we weren't supposed to be focusing on others?  ???
 

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TheTrisagion said:
DCBmoreOCF said:
Since some are singing the praise of Fr Oliver (who also painted a broad brush and made sweeping generalizations in his post) did anyone read this response to Fr Oliver?

"Fr. George Aquaro on November 20, 2014 at 12:06 am said: Well, here’s my take: I don’t think that if you are going to talk about this issue and mention ‘The Church’ that you can do so without taking into account the *entire* Church. So, where goes the State Church of Greece, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the BOR, and other churches stand on these issues? The truth is that they are not far apart from what is condemned here as ‘Protestant’ behavior. I think this is an exceedingly narrow construct. I lived for a time not long ago on a Greek island where adultery was punished by death… in the shadow of an Orthodox Church. They make our ‘Protestant Converts’ look positively leftist in comparison. How many of these ‘Protestant Converts’ have disrupted a gay pride parade? Again, our internet chatter is mild in comparison to what goes on in other parts of the Church. We ought to have a little perspective here. Fr. Arida’s antagonism of his brethren was as cold as it was purposeful: the OCA has been in constant turmoil for over a decade, and this topic he raises not only brought down the OCANews web site, but was a part of the Met. Jonah fiasco. The OCA is still healing, and he poured battery acid on the wound. As an outsider (I’m in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and encourage you to talk to an old Arab priest about how we need to be more accepting of homosexuality), all I saw in his ambiguous post was a man who used his intelligence and skill to provoke not a discussion, but a blow-up. I’m assuming that he knew that by keeping his post ambiguous enough, he could let people draw all kinds of conclusions. My conclusion is this- I think that before we talk about loving others outside the Church, we ought to work on how we love one another in the Church. That means dropping the ‘left’ and ‘right’ baloney, and be able to engage one another as family rather than as the ‘ignorant reactionaries’ versus the ‘immoral perverts.’ So, the bell has rung… back to your corners… - See more at: http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2014/11/19/orthodoxy-in-america-will-increasing-political-conservatism-lead-to-increasingly-becoming-a-high-church-sect/#comments"

So, is this priest another right winger, fundamentalist who is allowing politics to muddle his Orthodoxy? How many more people are going to be accused of this?
I thought were weren't supposed to be focusing on others?  ???
DCBmoreOCF has a permit to do it.  You and I don't. 

DCBmoreOCF said:
Mor, still, you are focusing on others, focus on the actual issue at hand
Which is?
 

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DCBmoreOCF said:
Since some are singing the praise of Fr Oliver (who also painted a broad brush and made sweeping generalizations in his post) did anyone read this response to Fr Oliver?

"Fr. George Aquaro on November 20, 2014 at 12:06 am said: Well, here’s my take: I don’t think that if you are going to talk about this issue and mention ‘The Church’ that you can do so without taking into account the *entire* Church. So, where goes the State Church of Greece, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the BOR, and other churches stand on these issues? The truth is that they are not far apart from what is condemned here as ‘Protestant’ behavior. I think this is an exceedingly narrow construct. I lived for a time not long ago on a Greek island where adultery was punished by death… in the shadow of an Orthodox Church. They make our ‘Protestant Converts’ look positively leftist in comparison. How many of these ‘Protestant Converts’ have disrupted a gay pride parade? Again, our internet chatter is mild in comparison to what goes on in other parts of the Church. We ought to have a little perspective here. Fr. Arida’s antagonism of his brethren was as cold as it was purposeful: the OCA has been in constant turmoil for over a decade, and this topic he raises not only brought down the OCANews web site, but was a part of the Met. Jonah fiasco. The OCA is still healing, and he poured battery acid on the wound. As an outsider (I’m in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and encourage you to talk to an old Arab priest about how we need to be more accepting of homosexuality), all I saw in his ambiguous post was a man who used his intelligence and skill to provoke not a discussion, but a blow-up. I’m assuming that he knew that by keeping his post ambiguous enough, he could let people draw all kinds of conclusions. My conclusion is this- I think that before we talk about loving others outside the Church, we ought to work on how we love one another in the Church. That means dropping the ‘left’ and ‘right’ baloney, and be able to engage one another as family rather than as the ‘ignorant reactionaries’ versus the ‘immoral perverts.’ So, the bell has rung… back to your corners… - See more at: http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2014/11/19/orthodoxy-in-america-will-increasing-political-conservatism-lead-to-increasingly-becoming-a-high-church-sect/#comments"

So, is this priest another right winger, fundamentalist who is allowing politics to muddle his Orthodoxy? How many more people are going to be accused of this?
I don't know that I'd characterize him with the words you're using, but he does employ some of the inflammatory buzzwords that I think we both agree are unhelpful: "leftist", "gay pride parade", and most especially "accepting of homosexuality" which I don't think is a fair representation of Fr. Robert's position at all.

The bit about the punishment for adultery being death, "carried out in the shadow of an Orthodox Church", on some remote Greek island that time forgot was also unnecessarily hyperbolic and not germane to the discussion.  If it's true, is such a thing truly representative of Orthodoxy and should it be taken into consideration when discussing problems of a sexual nature in an American context?  Are we advocating for honor killings now, or seeking to find a "happy medium" between honor killings and tossing rice at a smiling, newly-crowned lesbian couple?

Like Fr. Oliver, I agree with Fr. George's final paragraph, even if I don't agree with the conclusions he draws about Fr. Robert or his motives.

Your concluding point is not so different from that of the essays’. We need to work on our internal problems. We need to find a way to engage and love one another. We need to engage and love those who are not within our particular church. As for the non-Americans, I disagree. The sociological demographics of America are what they are. America is where we are. America is the country we are called to engage. If one’s in Canada, the same applies there. If we love one another and engage others appropriately, we can even be a light to the rest of the Orthodox world. - See more at: http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2014/11/19/orthodoxy-in-america-will-increasing-political-conservatism-lead-to-increasingly-becoming-a-high-church-sect/#comments
 

AntoniousNikolas

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DCBmoreOCF said:
OO's use protestant praise and worship music at their youth events, we (Chacedonians Orthodox) don't.
Come across to Macedonia and help us!  :'(

I know you guys don't and I glorify God for it.  God willing, we won't be doing it either in the next ten years or so, but I don't want to sidetrack the discussion so...

DCBmoreOCF said:
but that's a different topic, I'm only bringing it up because it is not applicable to us.
It's applicable only in that I'm saying you shouldn't assign a position to Fr. Robert based on people who you've heard he associates with or who you might've even seen him around.  I think it's fairly well known that I'm not on board with the Protestant music, but because the Oriental Orthodox Church in North America is a relatively small place, you might happen to catch me at an event where said horror is (unknown to me when I walked in the door) part of the program.  If you do, it's not fair to assume I'm down with whatever the jabroni with the six string who think he can sing might be doing.  You should ask me how I feel about it first.

DCB: "Hey, Antonious.  I'm surprised to see you here, man.  Are you cool with this?"

AN: "NOOOOOOO.  I just came to hear the speaker.  In fact, I'm gonna go wait this out in the hallway and shoot the breeze with the EO guys who are staring at the stage in slack-jawed disgust and disbelief.  Wanna come?"

See what I mean?

Like Mor said, if you really want a clarification of his position, why not write to Fr. Robert.  He's a human being, not a symbol for what's wrong with the Church.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Clemente said:
Your "questions" have been delt with extensively in posts 12,59,61,74,77,79,80 and 100, so I will not re-post the same material.
Again, thanks for the reply.  Unfortunately, it doesn't help.  

Regarding reply no. 12, Fabio and I went back and forth a bit on this.  I am not convinced by his arguments.  

Regarding reply no. 59, I responded to jah777.  I am not convinced by his argument.

Regarding replies nos. 61, 74, 77, 79, 80, and 100 I simply disagree with rakovsky's interpretation of Fr Arida.  I don't think his is a reasonable interpretation.  And surely you would know that because I did respond to rakovsky's posts.  

Now, all of those were based on Fr Arida's blog post.  Those aren't the only questions I had, since we are now talking about more than a blog post: serious allegations are being made by Fr Arida's opponents but with an apparent reticence on their part for providing actionable evidence.  I'm open to seeing that evidence, but it's just not here.      
 

DCBmoreOCF

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I quoted that not to focus on what others are doing, but for all to read some of the good points that are being made in that response to Fr Oliver. I did bring up the question of whether or not that priest will be labeled a certain way because it was tied into comments I made earlier.
 

podkarpatska

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DCBmoreOCF said:
@Antonius Nikolas,

OO's use protestant praise and worship music at their youth events, we (Chacedonians Orthodox) don't. but that's a different topic, I'm only bringing it up because it is not applicable to us.
That is the cheapest shot perhaps this year on this forum and that's saying a lot. Thank God we EO's are not like those 'other' Orthodox. or "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"  


I've spent a good deal of my adulthood involved with youth activities in the Church and one could pick vignettes out of any number of online promotional videos of our Eastern Orthodox Youth Camps. I remember before he was a priest and Father Peter Jon Gillquist performed with his band at Antiochian Village and Camp Nazareth.... there was a lot of criticism (Unfounded in my view) directed to our Bishop and Chancery about how 'Protestant' that was. Or just go online and view any of the hundreds of Orthodox Youth activity videos available via Google.

Get real.

 

NicholasMyra

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DCBmoreOCF said:
OO's use protestant praise and worship music at their youth events, we (Chacedonians Orthodox) don't.
True. American EO only use Protestant-style business strategy, marketing, language, publishers and publications, youth organizations, politics, retreats, conferences, etc.
 

Mor Ephrem

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NicholasMyra said:
DCBmoreOCF said:
OO's use protestant praise and worship music at their youth events, we (Chacedonians Orthodox) don't.
True. American EO only use Protestant business strategy, marketing, language, publishers and publications, youth organizations, politics, retreats, conferences, etc.
I laughed so hard I spilled my coffee...can I sue you like McDonald's?
 

podkarpatska

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Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
DCBmoreOCF said:
OO's use protestant praise and worship music at their youth events, we (Chacedonians Orthodox) don't.
True. American EO only use Protestant business strategy, marketing, language, publishers and publications, youth organizations, politics, retreats, conferences, etc.
I laughed so hard I spilled my coffee...can I sue you like McDonald's?
I had a cup from the Kuerig so it wasn't all that hot to begin with..but I do have to clean the carpet now...
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
jah777 said:
Mor Ephrem said:
I read Fr Arida's article (though not Fr Jacobse's), and I read the many comments below the article.  To be very honest, I found nothing disagreeable about Fr Arida's views and my impression, based both on the comments themselves and a familiarity with a number of the commenters) was that people are reading issues into the piece that aren't really there.    

What am I and readers like me (there may have been like two or three others out of the sixty or so commenters who felt as I did) missing?  
For instance:

[size=10pt]Fr. Robert: “the Church can no longer ignore or condemn questions and issues that are presumed to contradict or challenge its living Tradition.”
Aside from his excessive concern for being perceived by the world as "relevant", it is a serious problem that Fr. Robert sees the question of sex between two men or two women as if it were an open question in the Orthodox Church.  He says that it is presumptuous to say that homosexual marriage contradicts the tradition of the Church.  The canons, Scriptures, and Fathers were quite clear that sexual relationships between two men or between two women are sins that, if not repented of, will prevent those engaged in them from inheriting the kingdom. 
I guess I don't read that as Fr Robert believing that "sex between two men or two women" is an "open question in the Orthodox Church".  I read that as "asserting X to be the case is not enough to answer the question".  I have a lot of experience listening to clerics and lay people say "The Church believes that..." followed by some black and white statement about some hot button issue.  The statements, in and of themselves, are not false, but "This is the way it is because I say so the Church says so" is more or less "Shut up" if that's all you've got to say. 

There are a lot of theological issues about which we could make such an appeal to authority.  "Christ is consubstantial with the Father because the Church says so", "Mary is Theotokos because the Church says so", etc., but, while the statements are true, that's not why they are true.  And we don't oppose really thorough examinations of these ideas in order to understand, within our human limitations, why they are true.  Why are we so scared now?         
I honestly don’t see how you can interpret the quote I provided above from Fr. Robert as anything other than a claim that homosexual marriage is an open question in the Orthodox Church and that saying otherwise is presumptuous.  Do you also believe that the subject of homosexual marriage is an open question in the Orthodox Church?  Met Tikhon responded to this article with statements made by the OCA Synod which do discuss the issue and do not flatly condemn homosexual marriage without explanation.  Fr. Robert wrote as if these did not exist or are presumptuous.  Are you agreeing that the OCA’s statements on the subject are presumptuous?  If so, how and why?  If you agree that homosexual marriage is an open question in the Orthodox Church, on the basis of what patristic teachings, Scriptures, canons, examples from the lives of the saints, etc. do you make this assertion?
 
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