Print Story Turns out that I don't HAVE gangrene ...
Religion & Philosophy
By lm (Sat Jul 23, 2022 at 08:37:09 AM EST) (all tags)
... turns out that I AM gangrene.

The synod of bishops of the OCA decided to give me a birthday present this year.

tldr; LGBTQ+ bad; LGBTQ+ allies just as bad

I mean, I'm hardly shocked that the Orthodox bishops of the OCA would take the chance to reiterate that they don't think there is any room in the Orthodox Church for the blessing of same-sex marriages.

But I didn't expect them to say that you cannot contradict this teaching in any public form - including in online comments - nor can you academically inquire into the possibility that this teaching is wrong or ahistorical, that such inquiries are gangrenous and only serve to divide the church, and anyone who does that might as well be a queer themselves.

I'd already decided to stop going to church until such time as Patriarch Kyrill gets desposed. Seems pretty obvious to me that starting a war "because of the gays" is pernicious heresy. Orthodoxy, not having a centralized authority like the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church, can depose it's patriarchs by holding a synod. If the other Orthodox bishops don't stand up to Kyrill, that's a problem. And if the people don't stand up to the bishops for not doing that, that's a larger problem.

And I haven't attended an OCA parish in years. The last parish I was a member of was a ROCOR mission parish. So it's not really my synod I guess. And aside from Pascha in 2021, I haven't attended services since the 'Rona became a thing.

Two exceptionally sad bits.

According to the description on the OCA website of  the All American Council where this statement was first read on my birthday (July 21) there was a standing ovation.

The synod of the OCA has yet to condemn Christian nationalism, Nazism, or racism as clearly and as forcefully.

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Turns out that I don't HAVE gangrene ... | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
Forgive me, because I am anti-Christian... by xth again (4.00 / 2) #1 Sat Jul 23, 2022 at 09:32:42 AM EST
...but I really do not understand how that could come as a surprise to you. All the Abrahmic religions have strongly hierarchical, socially conservative male clergy who decide what is or isn't canon. It's not up for debate or investigation. Only some of the protestant churches seem to be immune to that. All the things you have described are inherent in Christianity and have been for centuries. Kyrill is just your typical Russian patriarch. What exactly were you expecting? Anyway, good to see you are distancing yourself from the whole thing I guess

There's no such thing as a ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Jul 24, 2022 at 09:13:39 AM EST
... "typical Russian patriarch"

There was no Russian patriarch from the 1700s up through the Bolshevik Revolution. And then under the Bolshevik's the patriarchate of Moscow was restored but the patriarch was effectively a puppet of the Soviet state.

Since the Soviet Union disintegrated there have been all of 2 patriarchs, one of which was Kyrill.

And, no, I'm not surprised by Kyrill's actions although admittedly I hadn't been paying attention to what's going over here.

The surprise here isn't the stance of the bishops on LGBTQ+ individuals, it's the totalitarian stance of no public dissent. The Orthodox Church has a lively intellectual life with a number of journals that have published serious inquiries into the historocity of a number of hot button issues. For Orthodox Christians in the US that are members of the OCA, it is now forbidden to participate in that discussion unless you're parroting the party line.

I think you're going to see a significant flow of members from the OCA to other jurisdictions like the Greek Archdiocese of America, the Antiochians, etc.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
'over here' should be 'over there' by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Jul 24, 2022 at 09:20:27 AM EST
From when Kyrill was elected patriarch in 2008 until this past spring I haven't been really paying attention to what he had been saying.

I went back to read as much as I could that had been translated into English after he blamed the war in Ukraine on "the gays" in his sermon on Forgiveness Sunday which he followed up the next week by referencing the "because of the Jews" line from the Gospel.

It's not a stretch to say that what he's been preaching is clearly heretical even from a very conservative Orthodox perspective. Arguably, no one wants to point that out mostly because the ROC has a lot of money and spends it the world over on Orthodox causes. When the invasion of Ukraine started out the OCA was in the middle of building a new building named after Kyrill because ROC had donated a large sum to their flagship seminary.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Russians gonna Russian... by xth again (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Jul 24, 2022 at 03:36:10 PM EST
"Typical Russian patriarch" because that's how they roll over there, regardless of how many people held the post. Perestroika was 34 years ago, that's enough data to draw conclusions IMHO. Wasn't one of Kyrill's predecessor's first act after the Soviet collapse to put pressure on Yeltsin to roll back the relatively permissive abortion laws the Soviets allowed? And didn't he have a KGB background, just like Putin? Anyhow

Sorry to hear about the hardening stance of your church. Hopefully it won't happen to other Orthodox jurisdictions. I have my doubts, but I won't bother you any further with them

[ Parent ]
inflow/outflow by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jul 25, 2022 at 02:35:59 PM EST
> I think you're going to see a significant flow of members from the OCA to other jurisdictions

but will the inflow of the alt-right nutters into the OCA keep the numbers equal ? (There's been a bunch of coverage about American alt-right types joining the orthodox church .. )

[ Parent ]
Don't I know it by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jul 26, 2022 at 09:08:19 AM EST
Some folks have claimed that the influx has slowed after Charlottesville and Heimbach being excommunicated.

The thing is there is a local parish where I know the junior priest is a white nationalist.

Sarah Riccardi-Swartz recently published a book at Fordham University Press (Between Heaven and Russia) that is an anthropological study about an Appalachian monastery filled with right wingnuts and the effect it's presence has on the community.

She be getting the hate in a massive way.

My sense is all anecdotal. But I don't think the inflow will come close to matching the outflow. Kids who were LGBTQ+ - and sometimes their parents and other family members - were already leaving prior to this. My childrens' godparents left over the homophobia and misogyny issues about ten years or so ago. Of my friends at the last OCA parish I attended, I know of four of their children that are either trans or gay and have since left now that they are adults.

It's gonna keep shrinking.

The Greeks might be moving in the other direction. Archbishop Elpidophoros recently baptized the adopted child of a gay couple and it's been all over the Orthodox and Greek news. Predictably, he's been getting a lot of hate from members of other jurisdictions. Not a lot of the Greek reaction has been translated in English and this happened in Greece.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
:-( by ana (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Jul 23, 2022 at 10:54:25 AM EST
Not unexpected, as you say.

Apparently  the Anglican communion is about to re-fight the culture wars over this issue.

Time is too strange now for a real plot. --clock

The thought police angle was unexpected by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Jul 24, 2022 at 09:02:38 AM EST
But, yeah, the general policy towards LGBTQ+ things was no surprise.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
The Methodists are starting to schism over it by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Jul 24, 2022 at 04:08:42 PM EST
with the added issue that the churches may belong to the International "synod" (or whatever they call it), while a majority of the US UMC churches consider the gays human (worldwide UMC churches forced the issue).

The Lutherans are either "safe from that issue" (they don't abide by foreign control for obvious historical reasons) or already schismed into the "American Evangelical" (which is moderate and the name presumably predates the rebranding of fundamentalists to "evangelical"), "Missouri Synod", and even crazier.

No idea about the Presbyterians, but they seem even less likely to make such horrible dogma.


[ Parent ]
ISTR that the Presbyterians already had theirs by lm (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Jul 25, 2022 at 06:15:50 AM EST
I've never paid that much attention to the Presbyterians but in 2003 one of theology professors at Xavier University was a Presbyterian minister and he mentioned a couple of congregations leaving over the issue of marriage equality.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Turns out that I don't HAVE gangrene ... | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)