AN UNDELIVERED HOMILY ON GUN VIOLENCE: WHOSE WORDS WILL WE FOLLOW? by Priest James K. Graham

A homily for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (this past Sunday in the Melkite Church, tomorrow in the Orthodox Church).

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1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Matthew 14:14-22

More than thirty-five people were shot and killed in the USA last weekend by solitary shooters wielding assault-style guns.

They were shot in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; a bar in Dayton, Ohio; a park in Chicago, Illinois.

Just a few days earlier, another lone gunman killed more people at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.

These figures just count the dead; they don’t include the wounded. They don’t include the devastated family members and friends. They don’t include the traumatized bystanders and first responders, and the terrified community members. They don’t count the orphaned children and the children and parents who are suffering nightmares. Read More


CRISIS AT THE BORDER: WHAT CAN A CHRISTIAN DO?

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On July 30, after an exchange of several emails between Orthodoxy in Dialogue and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), we published Mariel Moore’s invitation to each and every one of our readers to partner with them in the delivery of legal and humanitarian assistance to refugees and asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.

In the ensuing eleven days, fifteen people—including a 13-year old Orthodox Christian who committed three weeks of her allowance to this initiative—have contributed $747 toward our $15,000 goal. 

Orthodoxy in Dialogue set the goal high because, in just under two years, 210,000 individuals have visited us almost 378,000 times. Imagine: if only 1,500 readers contributed only $10 each, we would reach our goal overnight.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, RAICES emails you your tax receipt as soon as you make your donation. At Orthodoxy in Dialogue you will be listed permanently on our Angels Unawares page.  Read More


GROWING UP WITH TWO DADS by Tevin Johnson-Campion

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Randy Johnson (L), Tevin Johnson-Campion, Paul Campion (R)

Growing up can be a challenge.

Your childhood ebbs and flows, and you are often times left to your own devices to figure things out. As you age and become an adult, it’s expected that you learn from your mistakes as a child, thus, making you a better person. Your parents are usually the ones taking the credit for the person you’ve become.

But what happens when your parents are a same-sex couple? Shockingly, there is no difference. I know this from my own personal experience, because I have two dads. Yes, my parents are gay. Read More


DIALOGUE AT LAST? METROPOLITAN NATHANAEL ON SAME-SEX ORIENTATION (PART ONE) by Giacomo Sanfilippo

 

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Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago

Orthodoxy in Dialogue, and I personally, have been quick to draw global attention to bishops and priests of the Orthodox Church who “teach” and conduct their “ministry” in ways that inflict incalculable harm on Orthodox children, youths, women, and men whose deeply embedded sense of personal identity before God and their fellow human beings falls somewhere along the LGBTQ spectrum.

Too often, this harm includes increasingly unbearable feelings of worthlessness, rejection by God, verbal and physical violence, suicidal ideation, and—as one Orthodox bishop has recently testified on our pages (anonymously, for fear of his own brothers in the episcopate)—a path straight from the confessional to completed suicide.

So it’s not only LGBTQ persons, but also their families, friends, allies, and other loved ones, who are forced by these churchmen to endure unimaginable suffering—and sometimes death. Read More


MORE THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS…AND NOW CANDLES

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Archbishop Elpidophoros

From the public Facebook page of Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:

Our hearts are in pain. I ask all the faithful to join me in lifting up our prayers for the innocent victims and their families and the El Paso, TX community in the aftermath of another senseless and horrific mass shooting. (August 3)

Must our hearts break—yet again—so soon with two senseless shootings in 24 hours? Join me in lighting a candle this morning for these innocent victims and for the people of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. (August 4)

Is this as good as it gets? Read More


METROPOLITAN EPIPHANIUS PROUD TO BE CALLED A BANDERITE? by Giacomo Sanfilippo

This article appeared as an op-ed with a different title at the Kyiv Post on August 6, 2019.
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Stepan Bandera (1909-1959)

On July 31 UNIAN reported that “Patriarch” Filaret Denysenko’s long, controversial run at the center of Ukrainian religious life had just come to an inglorious end as he was effectively escorted offstage—not by the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), to whose warnings and disciplinary actions he has proven spectacularly indifferent, but by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Justice. The former has confirmed that the never canonical “Kyiv Patriarchate” (UOC-KP) ceased to exist as a legally registered entity at the OCU’s Unification Council of December 15, 2018, while the latter has rejected Denysenko’s appeal to “extend” the Patriarchate’s registration seven and a half months after it was terminated by his own consent.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers around the world, largely supportive of Ukraine’s quest for political and ecclesiastical emancipation from Moscow, breathed a collective sigh of relief when they heard the news. Now the life and mission of the OCU could move forward without the embarrassing distraction of a 90-year old narcissist clamoring for one more pirouette in the spotlight.

Or so it seemed. Read More


THE END OF THE ROAD FOR “PATRIARCH” FILARET

Ministry of Culture Confirms Liquidation of Filaret’s “Kyiv Patriarchate”

On July 30, Honorary Patriarch Filaret appealed to the Ministry of Justice to “prolong” registration of the UOC-KP.

Photo from UNIAN

Photo credit: UNIAN

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine on Wednesday confirmed the liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate following the Unification Council held on December 15, 2018.

The statement of the Ministry of Culture reads that the UOC-KP ceased to exist by joining the Kyiv Metropolis of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).

In particular, by order of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine of January 30, 2019, No. 54, the Charter of the Kyiv Metropolis of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was registered. Read More