Kyiv Pride 2018
The Orthodox Church of Georgia, one of the world’s most ancient Orthodox Christian communities, has adopted a unique way to give the middle finger to the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia each year in May: it observes “Family Purity Day” on the same date by staging a religious procession through Tbilisi and persuading several hundreds of couples to get married in mass weddings around the capital.
Despite Patriarch Ilia’s disclaimer that the event is not “against someone,” and that the “Church is distancing itself from any kinds of violence,” it seems clear that he instituted the observance as the Georgian Church’s annual anti-LGBTQ protest. In showing no pastoral concern whatever for the united cry of queer people around the globe to halt the physical and discursive violence that culminates far too often in their beatings, rapes, imprisonment, expulsion from jobs and homes, deprivation of medical services and police protections, deaths, and suicides, the Patriarch and his Church consent to this violence by their silent refusal to confront it. Silence equals consent. Read More
The relevance of this Guide for readers of Orthodoxy in Dialogue lies in the complicity of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Kremlin’s endless manufacture of fake news. The main organs for the church-related disinformation campaign from Russia—particularly as it pertains to Ukraine—seem to be the Department for External Church Relations, the Union of Orthodox Journalists, and Pravmir (“Orthoworld”). These three report regularly on the nonexistent “persecution” and “violence” directed against Ukraine’s Moscow Patriarchate adherents—nonexistent because never corroborated in the secular press such as the Kyiv Post. (For more context see our When Kremlin and Patriarchate Cry Wolf Together.)
See EuroMaidan Press for the original of this Guide and other reporting on Ukraine.
A GUIDE TO RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA
The Russian propaganda machine produces endless streams of fakes and manipulative stories. While at times they may seem outrageous or silly, they are far from being random. Russian propaganda for both domestic and foreign audiences follows techniques that stem from Goebbel’s times. Ultimately, it is a weapon of war. In our series A guide to Russian propaganda, we examine how propaganda works, and how one can avoid falling for it.
While Orthodoxy in Dialogue continues to support the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as an ecclesological, pastoral, and political necessity, Ms. Lomidze’s brief report underscores the conundrum that it presents for the Church of Georgia and the other autocephalous Churches.
We have argued previously that the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the 21st century—almost six centuries after the fall of Constantinople and twelve centuries after the last Ecumenical Council—must be formulated through ecclesial consensus and not by autocratic decree from the Phanar. (See, for instance, our Editorial: Orthodox Popery Comes to America? or Time for a Greek Orthodox Revolt in America?.)
Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia
The Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church is about to convene in the next few days. A group of hierarchs allegedly led by Metropolitan Daniel of Chiatura and Sachkhere is up to discuss the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which was established in Kyiv in December 2018 and received autocephalous status from the Ecumenical Patriarch on January 5-6, 2019.
Constantinople is especially interested in the OCU’s recognition. If recognized, Metropolitan Epiphanius and his organization can augment the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s power in the Orthodox world, weaken the Moscow Patriarchate’s influence, and allow the Patriarch of Constantinople to make decisions on extremely important matters for Orthodoxy by his sole authority. Read More
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This is the second voice to speak in Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s Fifty Years after Stonewall: A Virtual Listening Tour. We urge our readers to forward the articles in this series to their diocesan bishops and parish priests. We beg our hierarchy and clergy to listen, attentively, reflectively, and prayerfully.
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Thank you for your website and work.
I wanted to share my thoughts. This probably isn’t the type of submission you are looking for, but this is something I’ve wanted to share for a long time and I simply felt moved to write to you after seeing your post about Stonewall. I’m not a professional writer. I’m certainly no theologian. I’m not even much of a deep thinker. I’m a mother who loves my intersex child. I’m Orthodox but struggling to remain in a Church that excludes LGBTQI+ people.
My child did not go through puberty like other children. When it became clear that my child was not just a “late bloomer” we sought medical advice. Many tests and scans later we discovered that my child has an intersex condition. She has XY chromosomes. Her gonads are part ovary and part testes—ovotestes. She has internal structures that are the size, shape, and position of fallopian tubes but consist of the tissue that forms vas deferens. She has a uterus, and her external genitalia have a typically female appearance. Her body does not produce eggs or sperm. Her body does not make either estrogen or testosterone. Without medical hormone therapy she would have a perpetual pre-pubertal physical appearance. Read More