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Fr. Robert Arida and homosexuality

DCBmoreOCF

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"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."

That was not a cheap shot, it was merely stating a fact. You are assuming some things about me, that I've not encountered this amongst OO's myself, or that I've not seen questionable things done at Orthodox youth events and did not question/object to them. If you read my response, you would have seen that I stated my reason for mentioning that.

I would say though, that a person performing a song done in a certain musical style as a performance, is very, very, very different from using that in place of the liturgy as a means to worship.
 

DCBmoreOCF

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I also never said "thank god we are not like those OO's". You are inferring that that's my attitude. You don't know that, you are reading words on a screen.
 

Mor Ephrem

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jah777 said:
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.
And I honestly don't see how you came to the conclusion you did.  I've explained over several posts what I think he meant by the quote you posted and why I think that way, but neither of us have "converted" the other.  I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.   

Do you also believe that the subject of homosexual marriage is an open question in the Orthodox Church?
No, I don't.  In fact, several people have asked me about my beliefs on this matter and I have repeatedly affirmed my adherence to the teaching and practice of the Orthodox Church regarding homosexuality and homosexual marriage.  Yet, they continue to ask, as if the only thing that will prove my Orthodoxy to them is to anathematise Fr Arida.  The only thing I'm going to anathematise is the mob mentality that is driving a lot of this. 

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?
I have not read closely the OCA Synod's statements cited in HB's reflection, at least not since this situation blew up (I may have read them during my studies), so I am not in a position to say whether or not they are presumptuous. 

As for Fr Arida "writing as if these did not exist or are presumptuous", again, I disagree with that reading.  He didn't really write as if II Nicaea existed either, but I don't see anyone accusing him of being an iconoclast.  Why is everyone treating a blog post like it should be "An Exact Dogmatic Exposition of the Errors of the Homosexualists and Their Pernicious Influence within the Bosom of our Holy Orthodox Catholic Church"

Regarding your other questions, since I have (again) confirmed my adherence to Orthodox teaching and practice regarding homosexuality, I don't think I need to answer them.     
 

podkarpatska

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DCBmoreOCF said:
I also never said "thank god we are not like those OO's". You are inferring that that's my attitude. You don't know that, you are reading words on a screen.
Gosh, that was a most REASONABLE ASSUMPTION to derive from your comment TAKEN IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR PRIOR REMARKS. But then again...

I stand by what I said.
 

DCBmoreOCF

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"Gosh, that was a most REASONABLE ASSUMPTION to derive from your comment TAKEN IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR PRIOR REMARKS. But then again..."

Nope, especially since I explained why I made that comment, but what was said before doesn't really seem to be that important to you.
 

jah777

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Mor Ephrem said:
As for Fr Arida "writing as if these did not exist or are presumptuous", again, I disagree with that reading.  He didn't really write as if II Nicaea existed either, but I don't see anyone accusing him of being an iconoclast.  Why is everyone treating a blog post like it should be "An Exact Dogmatic Exposition of the Errors of the Homosexualists and Their Pernicious Influence within the Bosom of our Holy Orthodox Catholic Church"?
Fr. Arida was not writing about iconography as if being an iconoclast is an open question in the Orthodox Church.  I cannot find the original essay to read it again, but he mentioned the scenario of a "married" homosexual couple coming to an Orthodox church with their child and wondered how such a situation should be handled.  This, and other practical implications of the Orthodox Church's teaching regarding the impermissibility of marriage and sexual relations between two men or two women, are certainly questions that can and should be discussed between clergy and their bishops, as well as among synods.  Such questions are important and should not be ignored or condemned.  However, the problem is that this is not the context Fr. Arida presented when he introduced this scenario of the homosexual couple and their child coming to an Orthodox service.  His concerns about the Orthodox Church being seen by the culture as relevant, the comment regarding "presume to contradict", as well as his comment that the phenomenon of homosexual marriage is something new which the Church has not faced, suggests that the permissibility of homosexual marriage is a possibility in the Orthodox Church and its impermissibility  is uncertain.  
 

Second Chance

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
TheTrisagion said:
I weep for the stupidity of this forum and pray that it is not representative of the Orthodox faithful across the world.
Come on now. I thought most posts were thoughtful and indeed representative of Orthodox faithful--well, at least those who have been doing their homework. I thought Mor did a great job in presenting his VERY Orthodox approach to pastoral care. Indeed, if Fr. Arida had written what Mor said in reply #121 above, he would not be in the deep water he now finds himself.  I also thought that everybody else made their points cogently and respectfully--minus one hiccup, but we got over that fast.
A day later, I find that I spoke too soon.  :-[ :mad:
 

AntoniousNikolas

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jah777, I think it's important that we look at the quote in context.  Fr. Robert says:

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. If the unchanging Gospel is to be offered to the culture then the Church, in and through the Holy Spirit will have to expand the understanding of itself and the world it is called to save. That there are Orthodox Christians who misuse the never changing Christ to promote a particular political agenda and ideology or as license to verbally and physically assault those they perceive as immoral along with those who would question the status quo of the Church impose on the Church a “new and alien spirit.”
I don't take this to mean that Fr. Robert regards the Church's unalterable stand on the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage - homosexual and heterosexual - to be in conflict with its living Tradition.  Neither do I think that Fr. Robert is opening the door to the possibility that homosexual unions are only presumed to contradict the Church's Tradition and might one day be blessed by the Church.  Rather, to my reading, Fr. Robert is saying that there are a number of controversial issues facing the Church today that we cannot ignore, sweep, under the rug, or dismiss - as Mor has pointed out - with a simple "because I say so".  Fr. Robert enumerates a number of these issues: sexuality, the beginning and ending of human life, the quality and dignity of human life, the environment, the economy, et cetera.  Some of these points - Fr. Robert doesn't specify which - obviously contradict the Church's teaching.  Others - again, Fr. Robert doesn't specify which - may be presumed to contradict the Church's teaching by those who wrongly think that the Church's teaching aligns perfectly with their own personal politics simply because the Church is theologically conservative.  Perhaps - like me - Fr. Robert has encountered people who think that the Church's stance on some of the other issues he's enumerated - welfare, economics, the environment, et cetera - does or should align perfectly with their own.  I would agree with Fr. Robert that "Orthodox Christians who misuse the never changing Christ to promote a particular political agenda and ideology" are indeed imposing a “new and alien spirit" on the Church.  The Orthodox Church is not the Southern Baptist Convention or the Episcopalian Church.  It is not politically conservative or politically liberal.  It is not "more on the Republican side" or "more on the Democratic side".  It transcends both and its morality is based on something greater than both which contradicts important elements of both.  Thank God!  If that weren't the case, it would no longer be the Orthodox Church. I don't see how homosexuality is jumping out at you as being the be-all-end-all or the primary issue discussed in this essay or this paragraph.
 

podkarpatska

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Antonious Nikolas said:
jah777, I think it's important that we look at the quote in context.  Fr. Robert says:

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. If the unchanging Gospel is to be offered to the culture then the Church, in and through the Holy Spirit will have to expand the understanding of itself and the world it is called to save. That there are Orthodox Christians who misuse the never changing Christ to promote a particular political agenda and ideology or as license to verbally and physically assault those they perceive as immoral along with those who would question the status quo of the Church impose on the Church a “new and alien spirit.”
I don't take this to mean that Fr. Robert regards the Church's unalterable stand on the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage - homosexual and heterosexual - to be in conflict with its living Tradition.  Neither do I think that Fr. Robert is opening the door to the possibility that homosexual unions are only presumed to contradict the Church's Tradition and might one day be blessed by the Church.  Rather, to my reading, Fr. Robert is saying that there are a number of controversial issues facing the Church today that we cannot ignore, sweep, under the rug, or dismiss - as Mor has pointed out - with a simple "because I say so".  Fr. Robert enumerates a number of these issues: sexuality, the beginning and ending of human life, the quality and dignity of human life, the environment, the economy, et cetera.  Some of these points - Fr. Robert doesn't specify which - obviously contradict the Church's teaching.  Others - again, Fr. Robert doesn't specify which - may be presumed to contradict the Church's teaching by those who wrongly think that the Church's teaching aligns perfectly with their own personal politics simply because the Church is theologically conservative.  Perhaps - like me - Fr. Robert has encountered people who think that the Church's stance on some of the other issues he's enumerated - welfare, economics, the environment, et cetera - does or should align perfectly with their own.  I would agree with Fr. Robert that "Orthodox Christians who misuse the never changing Christ to promote a particular political agenda and ideology" are indeed imposing a “new and alien spirit" on the Church.  The Orthodox Church is not the Southern Baptist Convention or the Episcopalian Church.  It is not politically conservative or politically liberal.  It is not "more on the Republican side" or "more on the Democratic side".  It transcends both and its morality is based on something greater than both which contradicts important elements of both.  Thank God!  If that weren't the case, it would no longer be the Orthodox Church. I don't see how homosexuality is jumping out at you as being the be-all-end-all or the primary issue discussed in this essay or this paragraph.
This!
 

Mor Ephrem

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jah777 said:
Fr. Arida was not writing about iconography as if being an iconoclast is an open question in the Orthodox Church.
My point was simply that the absence of something doesn't necessarily mean opposition to it.  

I cannot find the original essay to read it again, but he mentioned the scenario of a "married" homosexual couple coming to an Orthodox church with their child and wondered how such a situation should be handled.  This, and other practical implications of the Orthodox Church's teaching regarding the impermissibility of marriage and sexual relations between two men or two women, are certainly questions that can and should be discussed between clergy and their bishops, as well as among synods.  Such questions are important and should not be ignored or condemned.
 

I agree.

However, the problem is that this is not the context Fr. Arida presented when he introduced this scenario of the homosexual couple and their child coming to an Orthodox service.  His concerns about the Orthodox Church being seen by the culture as relevant, the comment regarding "presume to contradict", as well as his comment that the phenomenon of homosexual marriage is something new which the Church has not faced, suggests that the permissibility of homosexual marriage is a possibility in the Orthodox Church and its impermissibility  is uncertain.  
What do you think "being seen by the culture as relevant" means?  

What do you think "presume to contradict" means?  

What do you think "homosexual marriage is something new which the Church has not faced" means?  
 

Mor Ephrem

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
TheTrisagion said:
I weep for the stupidity of this forum and pray that it is not representative of the Orthodox faithful across the world.
Come on now. I thought most posts were thoughtful and indeed representative of Orthodox faithful--well, at least those who have been doing their homework. I thought Mor did a great job in presenting his VERY Orthodox approach to pastoral care. Indeed, if Fr. Arida had written what Mor said in reply #121 above, he would not be in the deep water he now finds himself.  I also thought that everybody else made their points cogently and respectfully--minus one hiccup, but we got over that fast.
A day later, I find that I spoke too soon.  :-[ :mad:
I'm sorry, Carl! 
 

NicholasMyra

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
TheTrisagion said:
I weep for the stupidity of this forum and pray that it is not representative of the Orthodox faithful across the world.
Come on now. I thought most posts were thoughtful and indeed representative of Orthodox faithful--well, at least those who have been doing their homework. I thought Mor did a great job in presenting his VERY Orthodox approach to pastoral care. Indeed, if Fr. Arida had written what Mor said in reply #121 above, he would not be in the deep water he now finds himself.  I also thought that everybody else made their points cogently and respectfully--minus one hiccup, but we got over that fast.
A day later, I find that I spoke too soon.  :-[ :mad:
Ah, Carl...
 

jah777

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Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults.  If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different. 
 

DCBmoreOCF

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"Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults.  If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different."

Indeed indeed!
 

Mor Ephrem

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jah777 said:
Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults. 
I can sympathise with that. 

If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different. 
I'm not sure I agree, but let's leave that.  :p
 

Second Chance

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Mor Ephrem said:
jah777 said:
Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults. 
I can sympathise with that. 

If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different. 
I'm not sure I agree, but let's leave that.  :p
Cue the following. I am the guy at 0.41.

[flash=200,200]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE[/flash]
 

podkarpatska

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Mor Ephrem said:
jah777 said:
Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults. 
I can sympathise with that. 

If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different. 
I'm not sure I agree, but let's leave that.  :p
Cue the following. I am the guy at 0.41.

[flash=200,200]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE[/flash]
Wow, the last four years must have been tough... :D
 

podkarpatska

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Mor Ephrem said:
jah777 said:
Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults. 
I can sympathise with that. 

If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different. 
I'm not sure I agree, but let's leave that.  :p
Me too.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Mor Ephrem said:
jah777 said:
Antonious Nikolas and More Ephrem, after reading more of these comments from both sides, I do think overall that Fr. Arida's blog post was just too vague and left too much open to interpretation for a piece that 1) touched on such hot topics like human sexuality and homosexual marriage, and 2) was posted on a site aimed at teenagers and young adults. 
I can sympathise with that. 

If his article was written to his fellow clergy in advance of a clergy meeting where such things were going to be discussed, and if he made himself a bit more clear in what he was attempting to express, the response likely would have been quite a bit different. 
I'm not sure I agree, but let's leave that.  :p
This has to be a first.  A lengthy, contentious thread has concluded with agreement across the board.  And Carl, nice pipes, brother!
 
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