THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: THE LONELIEST CLOSET OF ALL

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Orthodoxy in Dialogue offers its support, love, and prayers to all Orthodox Christians whose sense of self falls somewhere along the LGBTQ spectrum, and to their families.

We pray for the day when who we are can be affirmed in the Church on earth as it already is in the Church in heaven.

We pray for the day when we can meet our future partner in church, or bring our partner to church.

We pray for the day when our lifelong, monogamous commitment to our partner can be blessed and sanctified in and by the Church.

We pray for the day when we can explore as Church, without condemnation, how we Orthodox Christians can best live our life in Christ in the pursuit of holiness, chastity, and perfect love of God and neighbour.

We pray for the day when our priests no longer travel around the world to condemn us and mock us and use us as a punching bag.

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN FAILS IN ROMANIA by Luiza Elie

romaniaA referendum to change Romania’s constitution to prevent same sex couples from securing the right to marry failed to draw enough voters to validate the result on Sunday, after a campaign that led to a rise in hate speech against the gay community.

The vote has also been seen as popularity test of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) that supported the change and whose attempts to weaken anti-corruption legislation have drawn criticism from the European Union’s executive.

Data from the national election bureau showed voter turnout stood at 20.4 percent when the polls closed at 1800 GMT, below the 30 percent required for it to be valid.

The two-day referendum, which cost $40 million, aimed to change the constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman from the current gender-neutral “spouses.”

Religiously conservative Romania, which decriminalised homosexuality in 2001 decades after neighbouring countries, bars marriage and civil partnerships for same sex couples. Read More


CALL FOR PAPERS: THEOLOGY & THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE by Ben Espinoza

Orthodoxy in Dialogue is publishing this call for papers as part of our Faith & the Arts series. The editor of the proposed volume has expressed an interest in including one or more Orthodox contributions.

Theology and Pop Culture is currently seeking contributions for an edited volume from Rowman and Littlefield on the intersection of theology and Star Wars. Essays may focus on any of the films, TV series, books, and other media that comprise the Star Wars universe. Essays should be written for academics, but avoid “jargon” to be accessible for the layperson.

Potential ideas include but are not limited to:

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IF KAVANAUGH WERE ORTHODOX by Patricia Fann Bouteneff

brettThe editors at Orthodoxy in Dialogue asked me to give my thoughts about the recent Brett Kavanaugh hearing, in which the Supreme Court nominee responded to an accusation of sexual assault. The hearing was contentious and highly partisan, with the accused positing that his enemies were out to get him.

I attended the Orthodox Advanced Leadership Conference hosted by St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York this past weekend. Some of the talks felt like they were speaking directly to the hearings of the previous week, especially those concerning how to talk with people who disagree with you, and how to be an Orthodox Christian in the workplace. To add to that, the Gospel readings on Sunday and today both speak about how to relate to your enemies (Lk 6:31-36 and Lk 6:24-30). In light of all of this, I began thinking about what an Orthodox Christian spiritual director might advise Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and wondered whether it might it go something like this:

· Mother Gavrilia said, “God loves your enemies as much as He loves you.” Think on this: as much as God loves you, He loves every Democrat, every Clinton, every woman having an abortion, every gay person (married or not), every Muslim, and every immigrant child being held in detention. Read More


THE CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG: MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE REJECTS UKRAINIAN NATIONHOOD

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Inter-Orthodox Feud Deepens over Ukraine

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Jonathan Luxmoore

According to the transcript Patriarch Bartholomew defended his plan to grant autocephaly to a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

A Greek Orthodox news agency has published the transcript of a three-hour summit between the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, and Patriarch Kirill of Russia over the future of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, showing that the Russian delegation angrily rejected Ukrainian self-rule and insisted the country’s current government was illegitimate. 

According to the transcript, published on 1 October by Orthodosia, Patriarch Bartholomew defended his plan to grant autocephaly, or independence, to a new Ukrainian Orthodox church during the 31 August meeting at his Istanbul see, and rejected Kirill’s warning that Russian-backed separatists would soon overthrow Ukraine’s “illegal government”. 

“Ukrainians do not feel comfortable under Russia’s authority – they want full freedom religiously, just as they have obtained it politically”, the Ecumenical Patriarch, who holds honorary primacy among the world’s 14 main Orthodox churches, told his Russian guests. “So they have turned to their mother church, which judges their claim fairly and will proceed in that direction… Everyone has come to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and begged for the granting of self-rule”.  Read More