The following communiqué was received from an inside source at the chancery of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (AOCA) in Englewood NJ.

Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui)

January 14, 2020

Dear Brothers in Christ,

Greetings in the Name of Our Lord!

His Eminence asked me to relay to you the attached article from Dr. Bradley Nassif  entitled Sexual Paradigms in the Orthodox Church. His Eminence found if to be a good overview of the theological teachings of the Church regarding human sexuality and encourages all of us to review it and ensure that our teaching does not deviate from Holy Tradition.

Please be reminded that His Eminence and our hierarchs have consistently upheld the teachings of the Church on human sexuality, and no clergyman of this Archdiocese may teach anything contrary to or propose pastoral practices at odds with these teachings—certainly not on public forums on the internet. His Eminence and our hierarchs have also consistently taught us to treat all who come for forgiveness and healing to the spiritual hospital that is the Church with love, compassion, and dignity. 

With prayerful best wishes for a grace-filled new year, I remain,

Your brother in Christ, 

Fr. Nicholas Belcher 

Please note: This internal communication is only for the clergy of this Archdiocese and is NOT to be distributed.

Attached to the above email was this PDF of Dr. Nassif’s article from the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of The Wheel
Clergy covered by this prohibition may choose to contribute to the Church’s ongoing conversation on sexual and gender diversity in human nature by writing anonymously for Orthodoxy in Dialogue. With or without the hierarchy’s blessing, we will not be silenced. 
We continue to wait patiently to learn whether Father Josiah Trenham’s discursive violence fulfils the AOCA’s pastoral rubrics of “love, compassion, and dignity.”
Readers wishing to convey their thoughts to the hierarchy of the AOCA may do so as follows:
  • Metropolitan Joseph ~ metjoseph@antiochian.org
  • Bishop Basil ~ BpBasil@aol.com
  • Bishop Thomas ~ bpthomasjoseph@gmail.com
  • Bishop John ~ frjpa@aol.com
  • Bishop Alexander ~ themutran@yahoo.com
  • Bishop Anthony ~ bpanthonymichaels@gmail.com
  • Bishop Nicholas ~ bpnicholasmse@gmail.com
See the Sexuality and Gender and Fifty Years after Stonewall sections in our Archives 2017-19, and the Sexuality and Gender section and Warwick Files in our Archives 2020.
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