A RESPONSE TO METROPOLITAN PAFFHAUSEN RE: UKRAINE by Giacomo Sanfilippo (with Taras Kuzio)

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Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)

On October 12 Fort Russ News published a panic piece by “Metropolitan Jonah”—last name omitted, even parenthetically—entitled MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism in Orthodoxy: “Repent, and Stop this Insanity” (all caps in the original for paranoiac effect). 

It’s hard for me to take the mystique confected by Metropolitan Paffhausen’s unkempt beard and hair and his white klobuk too seriously. I’ve known him since around 1984, when he was just Jim, a 25-year old convert and SVS graduate (or about to graduate) who pined endlessly after the winsome Susan S.

Susan was a fellow parishioner at St. John of Damascus Church in Poway CA. She rented a room in my family’s house around the time that my wife and I had our third child. Jim wanted me to talk Susan into going out with him. His misplaced interest made her laugh out loud in disbelief.

Any official vita that portrays Metropolitan Paffhausen on a straight trajectory from chrismation to seminary to monastery to the primatial throne of the Orthodox Church in America is simply not accurate. On the way to the monastery he tried assiduously to find himself a wife and to become a married priest with kids.

Following his “resignation” as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America in 2012, it was reported that Metropolitan Paffhausen retained a lawyer and threatened the Holy Synod with legal action unless his demand for release to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was granted. It was also reported that the OCA released him to ROCOR with the proviso that he never be given an episcopal assignment. Six years after his forcible resignation and no longer a member of the OCA, he continues to style himself Metropolitan of All America and Canada on his currently active “public figure” Facebook page. Read More


ANNOUNCEMENT RE: UKRAINE by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.

The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed:

1) To renew the decision already made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.

2) To reestablish, at this moment, the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kyiv, one of its many Stavropegia in Ukraine that existed there always.

3) To accept and review the petitions of appeal of Filaret Denisenko, Makariy Maletych and their followers, who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy from all of the Autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above-mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church. Read More


THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: THE LONELIEST CLOSET OF ALL

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Orthodoxy in Dialogue offers its support, love, and prayers to all Orthodox Christians whose sense of self falls somewhere along the LGBTQ spectrum, and to their families.

We pray for the day when who we are can be affirmed in the Church on earth as it already is in the Church in heaven.

We pray for the day when we can meet our future partner in church, or bring our partner to church.

We pray for the day when our lifelong, monogamous commitment to our partner can be blessed and sanctified in and by the Church.

We pray for the day when we can explore as Church, without condemnation, how we Orthodox Christians can best live our life in Christ in the pursuit of holiness, chastity, and perfect love of God and neighbour.

We pray for the day when our priests no longer travel around the world to condemn us and mock us and use us as a punching bag.

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN FAILS IN ROMANIA by Luiza Elie

romaniaA referendum to change Romania’s constitution to prevent same sex couples from securing the right to marry failed to draw enough voters to validate the result on Sunday, after a campaign that led to a rise in hate speech against the gay community.

The vote has also been seen as popularity test of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) that supported the change and whose attempts to weaken anti-corruption legislation have drawn criticism from the European Union’s executive.

Data from the national election bureau showed voter turnout stood at 20.4 percent when the polls closed at 1800 GMT, below the 30 percent required for it to be valid.

The two-day referendum, which cost $40 million, aimed to change the constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman from the current gender-neutral “spouses.”

Religiously conservative Romania, which decriminalised homosexuality in 2001 decades after neighbouring countries, bars marriage and civil partnerships for same sex couples. Read More


CALL FOR PAPERS: THEOLOGY & THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE by Ben Espinoza

Orthodoxy in Dialogue is publishing this call for papers as part of our Faith & the Arts series. The editor of the proposed volume has expressed an interest in including one or more Orthodox contributions.

Theology and Pop Culture is currently seeking contributions for an edited volume from Rowman and Littlefield on the intersection of theology and Star Wars. Essays may focus on any of the films, TV series, books, and other media that comprise the Star Wars universe. Essays should be written for academics, but avoid “jargon” to be accessible for the layperson.

Potential ideas include but are not limited to:

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