Addendum 12/12/21: We hope to publish a report on the outcome of this lawsuit some time during January 2022.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue has a record of publishing commentary on publicly accessible texts and videos produced by members of the Trenham household and outside sources. These include Trenham’s profile by the Hatewatch Staff at the Southern Poverty Law Center for “one of the more virulently anti-LGBT speeches” (full video here) at the May 2016 World Conference of Families in Tbilisi, Georgia. See the extensive Josiah Trenham: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020-21.
On Monday, July 19, 2021, pursuant to a court order allowing service to be effected by email, LiMandri & Jonna LLP of Rancho Santa Fe CA delivered a Summons and Complaint to Orthodoxy in Dialogue editor Giacomo Sanfilippo on behalf of plaintiffs Josiah Trenham, Catherine Trenham, Orthodox Christian Ministries, Inc., and St. Andrew Orthodox Christian Church (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese) of Riverside CA, where Trenham serves as parish rector. The complaint demands a jury trial for ten (10) allegations.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue is not the first to report this. Trenham’s homophobic followers (the ones who publicly call Mr. Sanfilippo every imaginable obscene name for a gay man on social media, including at least one threat of physical violence) have been circulating the news on social media since at least July 13, well before service was effected on the defendant. One wonders which insider source provided this information prematurely to Trenham’s followers.
It’s unclear how Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese or the archdiocesan administrative apparatus in Englewood NJ thought it would be a good look to sue a penniless gay man, student, and internationally known advocate for LGBTQI acceptance in the Orthodox Church. Most certainly His Eminence had to have given his blessing for this proceeding and for the inclusion of a parish under his omophorion as a plaintiff. (Cf. 1 Cor 6:1-8.)
Anyone wishing to offer legal assistance is encouraged to reach out to Mr. Sanfilippo at email@example.com. Only he has access to this email account. If you wish to contribute to our Legal Defense Fund, use the same email address via PayPal. Send it as a gift, not as payment for merchandise, as PayPal withholds a hefty fee from payments.