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Met. Kallistos Ware on Homosexual Marriage

RobS

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Persons of heterosexual orientation have the option of getting married, and so in a positive way they can fulfil their erotic desire with the Church’s blessing through the God-given sacrament of holy matrimony. But homosexuals have no such option. In the words of Vasileios Thermos, “A homosexual subject is called to lead a celibate life without feeling a vocation for it.” Are we right to impose this heavy burden on the homosexual?
A second anomaly is to be found in the way homosexuals are commonly treated in the sacrament of confession. All of us recognize that there is an important distinction to be made between those homosexuals who engage in casual encounters, seeking out in some “gay” bar a partner for a single night; and on the other hand, those homosexuals who are committed to a permanent relationship, faithful and monogamous, in which deep love is involved. Surely no Christian is in favour of sexual promiscuity.

What happens, by contrast, to the faithful and monogamous homosexual? Perhaps the priest says in confession, “Are you willing to give up your homosexual relationship?” The penitent may answer, “I cannot do that.” The priest may rejoin, “You can continue to share a common life, marked by mutual affection; but will you abstain from further sexual activity?” The other may well reply, “I am not yet ready to undertake that.” (Yet I have known homosexuals who have indeed transformed their relationship in this way.)

The priest, faced with this refusal, may well feel that he cannot bless the penitent to receive the sacrament. Now here certainly is a paradox. The homosexual committed to a stable and loving relationship is treated more harshly than the homosexual who is casual and promiscuous, and who is seeking not true love but passing pleasure. Something has gone wrong here.
Why do we put so great an emphasis upon genital sex? Why do we seek to enquire what adult persons of the same sex are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms? Trying to gaze through the keyhole is never a dignified posture. What harm are they doing to others? (“Ah!” it will be said, “they are doing harm to themselves.”) I am not suggesting here that we should bluntly set aside the traditional Orthodox teaching, but we do need to enquire more rigorously into the reasons that lie behind it.
In the words of Brandon Gallaher, “To ascertain the truth we must experiment.” And as Vasileios Thermos maintains, “Our theological treasury . . . is waiting to be discovered.” Let us not as Orthodox be merely defensive and reactive, “running after the facts,” as he puts it; but let us listen to one another with creative courage, with mutual respect and, more than that, with (in his own words again) “loving compassion.” Let us acknowledge, moreover, the variety of paths that God calls us human beings to follow.
Quotes from the Metropolitan.

Article here:

Kallistos Ware Comes Out for Homosexual “Marriage”
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2018/06/kallistos-ware-comes-out-for-homosexual-marriage/
 

Volnutt

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Ooooo, somebody bout to get "farewelled."


But where will this leave all the pop Orthodox "books for new converts" lists?
 

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It's possible to agree with everything Met. Ware is quoted as having written above without believing that this means the Church should offer weddings to same-sex couples.
 

Asteriktos

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And to give some more quotes from the original source text...

First, until recent times, Orthodox thinkers did not make use of the concept of sexual orientation, as this is understood in contemporary psychology. More precisely, they assumed that there is only one orientation, and that is heterosexual. They considered that persons of homosexual inclination were such because of personal choice and were therefore willfully wicked. Nowadays Orthodox writers would normally prefer to make a distinction between orientation and action. Homosexual orientation, we would say, is indeed contrary to God’s plan for humankind, being one of the consequences of the fall (incidentally, I am surprised that more is not said about the fall in the course of this issue of The Wheel). But homosexual men and women are not personally guilty of their orientation, because this is not something they have chosen; they only become guilty if by deliberate choice they decide to live out this orientation in their actions. They can choose to be celibate.
The Orthodox tradition teaches clearly that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are not permitted.
So...  maybe go read the original article before you get the pitchforks out?

EDIT--the last comment isn't directed at any of the above posters, but moreso those who will respond like many others have to the article in the OP
 

Volnutt

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No, you're right Asteriktos, I didn't read it lol- because I don't really care all that much.

He'll get roasted no matter what he said, because some people are like that. If actual change on this issue ever comes, it won't be in my lifetime or my hypothetical grandkids's so I'm "all like whatevs."
 

Asteriktos

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Fwiw, I agree that change is slow with such things, but I think we can see it already happening. The part about "Nowadays Orthodox writers would normally prefer to make a distinction between orientation and action"?? That kind of thing was unheard of a couple generations ago. Someone would have probably punched you in the nose for saying such a thing in your local parish c. 1955. Probably still would be the reaction in some parts of the world. Yet Met. Kallistos can say what he said without much exaggeration or false optimism. For a concrete example, consider how the homosexuality of Fr. Seraphim Rose has been treated.

"Was Fr. Seraphim gay?"
1985: Boy ima bout to take you out back and beat the...
1995: Of course not. Homosexuality is a sin. Period. And triple-yucky. Stop asking questions that make me uncomfortable.
2005: Um. No. Probably not. It's wrong, ok? How bout them Lakers?
2015: Who cares? If he was, he left it behind. He strove to lead a holy life, that's what matters.
 

Antonis

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Critiques of the Orthodox approach to homosexuality and other issues never come right out and say it. That's too bold, and would never catch. Instead, they take an approach that becomes very easy to pick up on.

1. Acknowledge the teaching of the Church, explicitly or implicitly.

2. Implicitly accuse what has always been the Church's pastoral approach to same-sex relations and other such sins as being wrong.

3. Ask a bunch of loaded questions. Do not answer them. There's no need, because the intended audience already has in their heads.

4. Lead everyone to the conclusion that x (in this case, a committed same-sex relationship) is OK, because y (same-sex promiscuity) is "worse" (somehow).



 

Volnutt

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Asteriktos said:
Fwiw, I agree that change is slow with such things, but I think we can see it already happening. The part about "Nowadays Orthodox writers would normally prefer to make a distinction between orientation and action"?? That kind of thing was unheard of a couple generations ago. Someone would have probably punched you in the nose for saying such a thing in your local parish c. 1955. Probably still would be the reaction in some parts of the world. Yet Met. Kallistos can say what he said without much exaggeration or false optimism. For a concrete example, consider how the homosexuality of Fr. Seraphim Rose has been treated.

"Was Fr. Seraphim gay?"
1985: Boy ima bout to take you out back and beat the...
1995: Of course not. Homosexuality is a sin. Period. And triple-yucky. Stop asking questions that make me uncomfortable.
2005: Um. No. Probably not. It's wrong, ok? How bout them Lakers?
2015: Who cares? If he was, he left it behind. He strove to lead a holy life, that's what matters.
Good points.

In before 15,000 slippery slope arguments about pedophilia/bestiality/polygamy/incest/whatever.
 

Alpo

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Nothing particularly wrong with those quotes. Most of the churchy scandals are about how things are said instead of what is being said. This is one of those instances. He is just being polite.
 

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Antonis said:
Critiques of the Orthodox approach to homosexuality and other issues never come right out and say it. That's too bold, and would never catch. Instead, they take an approach that becomes very easy to pick up on.

1. Acknowledge the teaching of the Church, explicitly or implicitly.

2. Implicitly accuse what has always been the Church's pastoral approach to same-sex relations and other such sins as being wrong.

3. Ask a bunch of loaded questions. Do not answer them. There's no need, because the intended audience already has in their heads.

4. Lead everyone to the conclusion that x (in this case, a committed same-sex relationship) is OK, because y (same-sex promiscuity) is "worse" (somehow).
Rather than write generalities with no citations, why not put it into context with the editorial by Father Andrew Louth, it will make for a better learning experience. He was the editor for this two volume monogram and therefore responsible.
I glanced through it. I have not time to read it carefully right now.

https://www.wheeljournal.com/s/1314-Being-Human.pdf

 

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I love it how the ContinuingOrthodoxTM
are going crazy over this. So much fun.
 

Agabus

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augustin717 said:
ContinuingOrthodoxTM
Perfect.

*******

This is not unlike Jim Martin's book, which quotes the RC catechism in full and then says, "There's no way to address all of this in a way that makes everyone happy, and we can't change Church teaching, but here are a few areas where we can do better, like treating people like human persons..."
 

Alpo

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augustin717 said:
I love it how the ContinuingOrthodoxTM
are going crazy over this. So much fun.
I love your signature. Where is it from?
 

RobS

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Agabus said:
This is not unlike Jim Martin's book, which quotes the RC catechism in full and then says, "There's no way to address all of this in a way that makes everyone happy, and we can't change Church teaching, but here are a few areas where we can do better, like treating people like human persons..."
LOL
 

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I am amazed at how well the metropolitan can argue from sentimentalism!
 

augustin717

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Sharbel said:
I am amazed at how well the metropolitan can argue from sentimentalism!
and yet you could still teach him a thing or two about sentimentalism.
 

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augustin717 said:
Sharbel said:
I am amazed at how well the metropolitan can argue from sentimentalism!
and yet you could still teach him a thing or two about sentimentalism.
Nah, make it three!  It takes one to know one, you know?
 

Volnutt

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So another gay kid kills himself. Can't make a holiness omelet without breaking a few eggs, amirite? Let's not be so sentimental!
 
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Volnutt said:
So another gay kid kills himself. Can't make a holiness omelet without breaking a few eggs, amirite? Let's not be so sentimental!
Yes a gay kills himself, so do so-called Christians, straight people, the depressed, the SJW types, Conservatives, liberals, etc.

What exactly do folks like you want, Orthodoxy (and Christ in particular) to conform to you, or you to Confirm to Christ, and his Church traditions, that lasted for 2,000 years.
 
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augustin717 said:
Sharbel said:
I am amazed at how well the metropolitan can argue from sentimentalism!
and yet you could still teach him a thing or two about sentimentalism.
Says the one who quit the Church over homosexual rights,  and alleged corruption, you expected the Romanian Church to conform to your views?
 

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seekeroftruth777 said:
Volnutt said:
So another gay kid kills himself. Can't make a holiness omelet without breaking a few eggs, amirite? Let's not be so sentimental!
Yes a gay kills himself, so do so-called Christians, straight people, the depressed, the SJW types, Conservatives, liberals, etc.
Kills himself after cracking under the strain of trying to beat his gayness out of himself (almost certainly an impossible task) from a Church that tells him that he'll go to Hell if He doesn't (or if he didn't get lucky enough to draw the "gift of celibacy" card from the deck of life). But of course you don't give a crap since at least it means no more yucky buttsex, right?

seekeroftruth777 said:
What exactly do folks like you want, Orthodoxy (and Christ in particular) to conform to you, or you to Confirm to Christ, and his Church traditions, that lasted for 2,000 years.
Christ is already on the side of morality. I'm just not at all sure that the savage cruelty of the anti-gay program is in any way moral. I guess we'll all see who's correct in God's good time, though. In the meantime, I don't think I could ever in good conscience recommend Orthodoxy to a gay person. Shame, that.
 

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I really doubt that gay people commit suicide because the orthodox church or any church says what is being saying in the last 2k years, that homossexuality is a sin and degenerate form of sexuality.
 

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juliogb said:
I really doubt that gay people commit suicide because the orthodox church or any church says what is being saying in the last 2k years, that homossexuality is a sin and degenerate form of sexuality.
They might if they also believe that Orthodoxy is the "ark of truth" "the faith that founded the universe" etc. etc.  Not everyone can compartmentalize away such problems. If it's rare then I'd suggest that a lot of that has to do with most people either 1) not being fully invested as the be-all end-all of their lives, and so not being as bothered by contradictions between traditional teachings and their own conduct, or 2) being completely oblivious to all the moral stances the Church has traditionally taken. Consider the now-common refrain that the Church "has never stuck its nose in the bedroom of married couples." That's demonstrably false, but the people saying it don't realise that, and if they were informed and corrected it likely still wouldn't bother them much. Most of us are like the rich young man--we want to be happy with what we are already doing, and don't really want to hear that we have a lot more to do than we thought.
 

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juliogb said:
I really doubt that gay people commit suicide because the orthodox church or any church says what is being saying in the last 2k years, that homossexuality is a sin and degenerate form of sexuality.
People commit suicides for their girlfriend leaving them or other silly reasons all the time. That might be irrational but people are mostly speaking irrational.
 

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Well, the same church that says that homossexuality is deviant and sinful says the same about suicide, so if a gay person really believes in the church's teachings should not commit neither of those sins aforementioned.
 

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juliogb said:
Well, the same church that says that homossexuality is deviant and sinful says the same about suicide, so if a gay person really believes in the church's teachings should not commit neither of those sins aforementioned.
Unless they thought they were beyond hope and help and going to hell regardless, in which case it might seem pointless to endure decades more pain just to get the same result.
 

Alpo

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juliogb said:
Well, the same church that says that homossexuality is deviant and sinful says the same about suicide, so if a gay person really believes in the church's teachings should not commit neither of those sins aforementioned.
Yes, they should. But people are, well, people. Just because this or that doctrine is correct and one actually believes in it doesn't one couldn't get depressed or something to that effect over it. People aren't machines after all.
 

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juliogb said:
Well, the same church that says that homossexuality is deviant and sinful says the same about suicide, so if a gay person really believes in the church's teachings should not commit neither of those sins aforementioned.
Had to reread this statement a couple times to make sure it wasn't parody. What an astonishing lack of empathy.
 

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Why lack of empathy?

Nevertheless, appears to me that you are proposing that the church should start accepting ''monogamic'' homossexual relations and bless them, ignoring Scripture and Tradition, what others sins should the church embrace in order to avoid supposedly suicides (that have other causes, not the church)?

I'm sorry for appearing so cold about the subject, however, everybody fights against sin daily, in what homossexuality is that diferent from adultery? sex adiction? promiscuity?

Sorry for any error, I am not a native english speaker.
 

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Nevertheless, appears to me that you are proposing that the church should start accepting ''monogamic'' homossexual relations and bless them, ignoring Scripture and Tradition, what others sins should the church embrace in order to avoid supposedly suicides (that have other causes, not the church)?
Scripture and tradition has nothing at all to say about homosexual monogamy, it didn't exist back then (at least that most people were aware of). Might as well appeal to Scripture and tradition against Heliocentrism (which did actually exist in the ancient world, but I digress). I don't think it's at all clear that prohibitions on gay sex in completely different contexts are therefore prohibitions of it in this context. Maybe it's an "err on the side of not making people's lives more brutalizingly difficult than they absolutely need to be" thing.

The fact that you put monogamy in scare quotes tells me we're about to get a whole lot of stereotyping...

in what homossexuality is that diferent from adultery? sex adiction? promiscuity?
The latter can all be stopped without cutting your balls off (again, assuming you're not gifted with celibacy. Insert Venn diagram here) and have loving, stable alternatives that happen to be recognized by the Church.
 

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Volnutt said:
Scripture and tradition has nothing at all to say about homosexual monogamy, it didn't exist back then (at least that most people were aware of).
this is the same sort of bullcrap argument that many Orthodox Christians use to justify other things like abortion, for example.  "Jesus didn't say anything about it" or "The Bible doesn't say anything about it".  Jesus didn't say anything either about nuclear war or about wearing pants.  The tradition of the Church though has maintained constantly and consistently that marriage is between man and woman, the mystical union of the Church (woman) and the head of the Church, Christ (man) and that sexual relations are for that particular covenant.  Will people stray and do wrong? Of course, but that's why there is confession and repentance. 
 

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scamandrius said:
The tradition of the Church though has maintained constantly and consistently that marriage is between man and woman, the mystical union of the Church (woman) and the head of the Church, Christ (man) and that sexual relations are for that particular covenant. 
That's exactly the same argument from silence that you accuse me of making. People didn't have the mental furniture to think of marriage (or of gender, for that matter, but that's a whole other debate) as anything but straight until the last 60 years or so, conditions change. You might as well say that nuclear power or women wearing pants or any number of things are condemned by their absence in tradition (or things that did exist then but no Church Father happened to embrace, like Heliocentrism).
 

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I read the Metropolitan's article in his voice and it took me two hours to read.
 

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Volnutt said:
That's exactly the same argument from silence that you accuse me of making. People didn't have the mental furniture to think of marriage (or of gender, for that matter, but that's a whole other debate) as anything but straight until the last 60 years or so, conditions change. You might as well say that nuclear power or women wearing pants or any number of things are condemned by their absence in tradition (or things that did exist then but no Church Father happened to embrace, like Heliocentrism).
People also didn’t have the mental furniture to think of a man having a committed monogamous relationship with a cartoon plush pillow or car muffler. What you’re describing isn’t a mental evolution, it’s a devolution.
 
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