POPE PRAISES NUN’S LGBTQ MINISTRY by Rev. Jim McDermott, SJ

The present article appeared earlier today at America: The Jesuit Review (more popularly known as America Magazine) with the title “Pope Francis Praises Sister Jeannine Gramick’s 50 years of L.G.B.T. Ministry in Handwritten Letter.” Orthodoxy in Dialogue reprints it with the author’s permission.
The Orthodox Church’s vast numbers of LGBTQ children—preteens, teens, women, men, genderfluid persons—await with heartfelt hope  similar public statements of support, acknowledgment, care, and listening from the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops around the globe, from the Holy Synods of our various autocephalous Churches, autonomous Churches, and jurisdictions, and from individual bishops. Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia’s public support of open-minded dialogue around sexuality and gender, Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago’s public refutation of a brother hierarch’s homophobic trash talk, and Metropolitan Petros of Accra’s equally public praise for Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s LGBTQ ministry stand as  exemplars of courage for their brother hierarchs and beacons of hope for our Orthodox LGBTQ siblings in Christ.

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Pope Francis and Sister Jeannine Gramick

In another sign of support for L.G.B.T. Catholics and those who advocate on their behalf, Pope Francis sent a handwritten letter on Dec. 10 to Jeannine Gramick, S.L., the co-founder of the Catholic apostolate New Ways Ministry.

Sister Gramick is celebrating 50 years of working with and advocating for L.G.B.T. people. Noting her anniversary as the reason for his letter, the pope congratulated her in Spanish on “50 years of closeness, of compassion and of tenderness” in a ministry that he described as being in “‘the style’ of God.”

Pope Francis’ letter to Sister Gramick is the latest in a series of letters from the pope written to gay Catholics and others who are serving and advocating for L.G.B.T. people. Read More


FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: WHY GAY CHRISTIANS NEED SCIENCE AND FAITH by Richard Vytniorgu

We publish the present article after no little hesitation because of its focus on a specific sex act. Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s editorial policy has been to underscore the sexual intimacy of same-sex relationships without reference to specific acts. The author’s careful avoidance of being unnecessarily graphic factors heavily in our decision. We consider it incumbent on us to give voice to a wide range of opinions found among our brother and sister Orthodox Christians.

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In 2018 in Orthodoxy in Dialogue I wrote about the importance of creativity for gay Orthodox Christians in overcoming limitations placed upon them by Church and nation. Drawing on the personalist philosophy of the Russian thinker, Nikolai Berdyaev, I argued that homosexuality represented an opportunity for Orthodox Christians to “activate” the ability of Christ to overcome the slavery of necessity: to become a prescriptive kind of man or woman. Being a gay Christian was a chance to exercise freedom of spirit and a kind of transfiguration of human sexuality. Being gay was a chance to become “a person.” Read More


LIKE A PROPHET OF OLD: ARCHBISHOP DESMOND MPILO TUTU by Metropolitan Petros (Parginos) of Accra

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu
October 7, 1931 ~ December 26, 2021

I never had the privilege of meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu face to face, yet he was very much a part of my life while I was growing up in a South Africa characterized by apartheid and even after the fall of that deplorable system.

I remember how, as a child, I would watch scenes of rioting on the news programme, the clashes between demonstrators and the security forces, frightening scenes particularly for a child. And there in the thick of the clash one could discern a man in a cassock trying to come between the two sides, urging calm and sobriety. It was not that he disagreed with the demonstrators and their expression of absolute frustration and anger. It was not that he collaborated with the oppressors, as some of his own people had chosen to do. It was that he had chosen the path of nonviolence. Read More