A SPECIAL KIND OF ORTHODOX CLERGY DIRECTORY by Giacomo Sanfilippo

shepherdIf you’re a parish priest in a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction who feels spiritually, pastorally, and emotionally equipped to minister to Orthodox Christians, inquirers, seekers, and others who identify somewhere along the LGBTQI spectrum, please reach out to me at editors@orthodoxyindialogue.com. I’m the only person with access to this email account.

By canonical Orthodox jurisdiction I mean any of those belonging to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, as well as the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Outside of North America you know what I mean by “canonical”—which, in Ukraine, includes both the autocephalous Church and the Church under the Moscow Patriarchate. 

Your email should contain your name, the name and location of your parish, your jurisdiction, and a clear description of how you deal pastorally, or would deal, with LGBTQI persons. This will include the general conditions under which an LGBTQI person may or may not receive Communion from you—understanding, of course, that we cannot foresee individual situations.

Whether you make it into our directory will be my call. (Sorry.)

This directory will never be published. Your information will be kept strictly confidential at all times.

This is how I will make referrals:

  1. I receive an email from an LGBTQI person who lives in your area.
  2. I forward said person’s email to you and await your permission to introduce you to him/her/them by 3-way email.
  3. With your permission—and only with your permission—I make the introduction.
  4. Once you both inform me that you have received the referral (perhaps by cc’ing me when you say hello to each other), I am obviously excluded from any future communication between the two of you.

This will work only if you trust me and I trust you. God grant this level of complete trust between us. No one other than myself will ever know who’s in this directory. As a former priest myself I know how to keep, and still do keep, the seal of the confessional.

If you’re an Orthodox layperson and you think your parish priest fits our profile, forward this post to him and ask him to write to me. I will not initiate contact with him even if you ask me to.

If you’re LGBTQI and wish to speak to an accepting Orthodox priest, write to me whenever you wish. I already have a very small number of priests to whom I can make referrals in the manner described above. First and foremost, though, know that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ loves and cherishes you more than you can possibly imagine.

See LGBTQI Listening Tour: An Open Letter to Our Bishops in the USA and Canada.
SEE OUR PATRONS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS IF YOU WISH TO SUPPORT ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE’S WORK