A Note to Women, Girls, Wives, Future Wives, Men, Boys, Husbands, and Future Husbands in the Orthodox Church
Neither Father Josiah Trenham’s (here) nor Father Joseph Gleason’s (here and here) dangerous views on marriage represent Holy Tradition with respect to the nature of the husband-wife relationship. Ignore them. For a more wholesome exposition (although by no means the final word) see our St. Paul on Marriage and On “Orthodox” Wife-Beating.
If it seems extreme to bring wife-beating into this conversation, psychotherapists who follow Orthodoxy in Dialogue closely have been unanimous in their warnings that, whether intentionally or not on their part, these priests’ perversions of “theology” set the stage for any manner of abuse of wives and children.
Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) and Archpriest Josiah Trenham of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese’s Father Josiah Trenham of Hatewatch fame (see here, here, here, and especially here) has seen an increase in attention on the internet of late—not due to his hysterical fearmongering against LGBTQ people (in Trenham’s own words, “those tolerance tyrants, that lavender mafia, those homofascists, those rainbow radicals“), but to his equally toxic “teachings” on marriage and the “proper” way for husbands and wives to relate to each other.
In fact, the attention Trenham is receiving comes from those who claim to have been directly harmed by his “teachings” and “pastoral care.”
One blogger writes:
When I was a wide-eyed catechumen, I didn’t think I had the authority to dismiss the teachings of an Orthodox priest. “The Good Wife” shocked and disturbed me the first time I listened to it, but I convinced myself that my reaction was due to my own prideful nature, which had to be conquered if I was to become a Good Wife. It’s difficult to convey the damage this did to my marriage and my faith, damage which I am still working to repair.
Then read the conversation—the original post and the comments—that took place at Reddit a week ago. One participant alleges that Trenham told him to pray his autism away.
For the well-being and safety of children, women, and men—straight as well as LGBTQ—we urge Metropolitan Joseph to examine Father Trenham’s written, video, and audio pronouncements thoroughly, and to determine if these represent the Orthodox faith as it is understood in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
Are these the kinds of messages that His Beatitude wishes the children, women, and men of his God-entrusted flock—straight as well as LGBTQ—to be hearing from the priests under his omophorion?
We respectfully invite Metropolitan Joseph to submit a response to Orthodoxy in Dialogue for publication.