Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) and Archpriest Josiah Trenham of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
I write to you as a concerned parishioner of ————-. Why has the Archdiocese been silent on the belligerent rhetoric of Father Josiah Trenham toward homosexuals and others of the LGBT community?
Regardless of the Church’s view of their actions, Trenham’s words and deeds needlessly degrade and dehumanize the very people to whom our Church should be reaching out with compassion and a desire to understand. His content on AFR and elsewhere continues to embolden and radicalize others over whom you have equal responsibility but less control. Do the shepherds sleep while the fold is dying from their neglect?
Speak. As a spiritual son and brother in Christ, I implore the bishops to speak. Tell us why Father Trenham is allowed to carry on unchecked—what of his preaching do you endorse? Be aware that your silence is perceived as a wholesale endorsement of a manifestly violent, shrill, unpastoral, and unnuanced position.
Or else speak to us some consolation: that the man is a rogue, must be disciplined, silenced, or corrected until he can once again be trusted to voice an opinion on these matters that does not threaten and demean the very image of God even in those whom we might deem furthest from the Kingdom.
Our Lord taught us that there is a higher and better way, and that those whom we reject—whether we are bishops or laymen—are typically those whom He favors.
Please: be the good shepherds whom our Lord has called you to be. You have my prayers, but—until you give us a word—not my trust.
Reader in the OCA Diocese of the South