AN ORTHODOX YOUTH RESPONSE TO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS by Stefan Kleinhenz

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Stefan Kleinhenz

In the wake of yet another school shooting, seventeen families are left without their loved ones, a school is left with a broken heart, and an entire nation is left without peace.

The unfortunate reality is that school shootings have become a recurring predicament in this country, and the time has come where we can no longer ignore it. We as a people must search for real solutions; this has to begin with ourselves. We are not only witnessing, but allowing, the fundamental breakdown of our community to occur right before our eyes—and as a nation we can’t allow this matter to become subject to partisan politics, because the right to life comes not from government, but from God. The desire to protect it is something we can all agree upon. We cannot be Republican or Democrat when discussing this matter, because we are not talking about a political issue but a human crisis. We have forgotten that we are all on the same team. To allow our political differences to not only divide us, but to turn us against each other, is to allow darkness to succeed in terrorizing our community. From the foundation of our nation, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, to the core of our faith, Love one another, we must go forward and be strengthened in the fundamental principles we all agree upon.  

Unfortunately, tragedies seem to be the only thing in our modern world that don’t have a political agenda. And like a phoenix rising from the ashes, great beauty can come from the horrific acts of evil. In the horrendous moments of a school shooting, people are not concerned with political differences or disagreements: they are solely determined to survive. They are all united in their human nature, in which their greatest effort is to protect one another and to defend human life. Moments of great calamity breed our necessity for one another in ways that other situations don’t. Read More


AN OPEN LETTER ON SAME-SEX LOVE by David Ford

The following represents a departure from the safe space that our readers have come to expect from us on questions of sexuality and gender.

Dr. Ford of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary submitted the following open letter for publication on November 7, 2017 in reply to Giacomo Sanfilippo’s “A Response to Ross Douthat’s Orthodox Admirer.” In his article Sanfilippo did not name the admirer or the seminary where he teaches.

In close consultation with an Orthodox licensed therapist the editors proposed to Dr. Ford a dialogical format for presenting his thoughts. This would have entailed an abridgement of his letter—which, at 5000 words, runs a full five times over our usual limit—and the interpolation of a paragraph or two of commentary from us at various intervals. 

Two main considerations guided our proposal: first and foremost, the therapist’s concern for the potential harm to emotionally vulnerable LGBTQ readers of Dr. Ford’s unedited letter; and second, the fact that Dr. Ford does not actually engage with anything that we have published on the question of same-sex love. 

Dr. Ford declined to proceed under the terms that we requested.

After sitting on his letter for nearly four months we have decided for a number of reasons to publish it exactly as written. 

Our hope is that some benefit may accrue from adding this document to the conversation on sexual diversity in human nature and how it might reflect the image and likeness of God.

My Response to a Response to a Facebook Post: An Open Letter of Brotherly Love to Giacomo Sanfilippo 

by Dr. David C. Ford

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November 8, 2017
Holy Archangel Michael and all the Angels

Dear Giacomo, fellow-struggler in Christ,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I feel your pain, and I greatly appreciate your strong desire to help alleviate the pain that others are experiencing, as they try to find their way to inner peace in this era of much confusion  concerning sexual issues.  Read More


GRANDPA DOBRI: A SAINT IN OUR MIDST by Tanya Shahova

Dobri Dimitrov Dobrev

The Saint from Bailovo

July 20, 1914 ~ February 13, 2018

Вечная Памят ~ Memory Eternal

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Bailovo is a village about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Over the course of many years, every morning, an old man looking like a Russian beggar from the 19th century set out for the city. If he missed the morning bus, he went on foot. He wore simple shoes—made from pigskin in the older photos, but rubber towards the end of his life. Often as he was going a car would pick him up. The people had grown to know him and where he was heading. Those giving him a ride for the first time would be amazed by the scent of herbs that always followed him. 

Grandpa Dobri, as he came to be known, had a difficult way of life. He lived in a 2-room house in the church yard: in the floor of one room he dug a hole that functioned as a refrigerator, while in the other room he kept warm with a fireplace that had a copper cauldron. That room also contained the rest of his possessions: a table, a chair, and a notebook. That was it. He washed himself and his clothes at the public drinking fountain. Read More


NEO-NAZIS vs. METROPOLITAN SAVAS (ZEMBILLAS)

On January 24 white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and hate group spokesman Matt Parrott published his response to our Open Letter to the Assembly of Bishops on white supremacy in the Orthodox Church. We shared his screed with our readers here on the following day.

In it Mr. Parrott makes his attitude towards the faithful hierarchs and priests of our Holy Church chillingly clear:

The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests and bishops, and I will stomp on each one of them on my way to hell and back to win this war for the universality of Christianity in the West.

With sneering condescension towards one of our most respected and beloved Orthodox bishops in America today, Mr. Parrott wrote the following defense of fellow neo-Nazi, now disgraced Orthodox convert, and organizer of last August’s murderous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Matthew Heimbach, in November 2014. We share it with our readers in order that none may doubt with what and with whom we are dealing, and to forewarn and encourage our bishops in the face of what lies ahead for them when they speak out with one voice on this cancer in our Church and in some of our seminaries, parishes, and monasteries. 

Of great concern to us must be the following claim by Mr. Parrott: 

Heimbach and I got away with attending Orthodox parishes for years before his Chrismation. Neither of us concealed our beliefs from the priests….

If he is telling the truth, how could this have happened? If our sources both within and outside the Church are correct, how can this continue to happen?

~

A Public Response to Metropolitan Savas Zembillas

by 

Matt Parrott

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His Eminence, Metropolitan Savas Zembillas has seen it necessary and appropriate to speak on behalf of the Church in political matters against Matthew Heimbach, rewarding the virulently anti-Christian (of all denominations) SPLC political organization with a quote for its latest smear piece on our work in general and our comrade Matthew Heimbach in particular, East of Eden. Read More


ORTHODOX FACEBOOK GROUP POSTS ANONYMOUS WHITE SUPREMACY DENIAL

tradoxTraditional Orthodoxy (Canonical) (TradOx for short) is perhaps Facebook’s largest Orthodox group. It has over 15,600 members as of this writing. Being a “public group,” it allows anyone with a Facebook account to view its membership list, posts, and comments. Any information shared in this report is already publicly accessible to all Facebook users.

Superimposed over the group banner—which includes a modern icon of Christ caressing a sword—is the designation, Group by St. Dionysios the Areopagite Monastery. This is a new monastery under the abbacy of Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar) and the omophorion of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), located in East Setauket NY. The June 2017 announcement of its founding can be read here.

As all of our readers know, on January 22 we published an open letter to the Assembly of Bishops expressing our concerns about the rise of white supremacy within the Orthodox Church. This letter was signed by almost a dozen priests and deacons with some 150 laypersons. 

Without naming names, our letter stated the following:

At least one individual studying for the priesthood in one of our Orthodox seminaries in the US posts white supremacist materials and messages under an alias on Facebook.  Read More


WHITE SUPREMACISTS BASE THEIR IDEOLOGY ON THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF HARAKAS, STĂNILOAE

On the website of the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP)—designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—we have discovered a series of posts appealing overtly to Orthodox Christianity to justify its Nazistic views on racial segregation and racial purity.

In November 2014 the obviously pseudonymous “Kyril Klimakos” (whose earlier posts bear the byline of simply “Ken”) published “An Orthodox Person’s Theological Analysis of Interracial Marriage” on the TWP site. In one and the same very brief essay he appeals to St. Cyprian of Carthage, Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, the Wisdom of Sirach, Tobit, white supremacist (or “race-realist,” more euphemistically) Jared Taylor (see here and here), Father Stanley Harakas’  The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers, and Father Dumitru Stănilaoe’s Orthodoxy and Nationalism.  

Although the TWP essay is more than three years old, it sheds light on the reports that we have received from within the Church that America’s Neo-Nazis find Orthodoxy to be congenial with their diabolical ideology.

It is not our intention to sully the reputations of the highly esteemed Father Harakas and Father Stănilaoe by republishing the following, but to expose as widely as possible the gravity of the threat of white supremacy to the life and witness of the Orthodox Church on American soil and throughout the world. We ignore it at our peril.

monks_light_family Read More


Forgive this sinner

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My beloved Masters, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, and Friends in Christ,

I commit sins every day, all day long. In the six months since Orthodoxy in Dialogue went to press, I have offended very many people in very many ways. I also commit countless sins against the people in my personal life.

Forgive me, a sinner, and pray that the Lord our God may forgive me.

Your unworthy brother and fellow servant of Christ,

Giacomo