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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Religious Topics => Topic started by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 01:19:17 PM

Title: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 01:19:17 PM
Quote
Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) is currently in the process of removing its content from Sr. Vassa (Larin), the popular but controversial monastic podcaster known especially for her show “Coffee with Sr. Vassa.” As attested to by another AFR contributor Fr. Thomas Soroka, this move was prompted by Sr. Vassa’s publication and distribution of an email in response to a request for “insight” from the mother of a 14-year-old boy who recently told his parents he was a homosexual, in which the riassaphore nun admittedly contradicts Church teaching.

http://orthochristian.com/104995.html
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 01:23:48 PM
I read the email in question when it was still available (maybe it's still up somewhere, but I can't find it). One can question the specific advice she offers, or the wisdom of making it public, but broadly speaking it wasn't true that she contradicted Church teaching. As I recall, she says right away that homosex is sinful, yadda yadda. 

Anyway, I can't say I'm a fan of her show but getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on July 07, 2017, 01:25:00 PM
AFR is doing it job as a Orthodox site,  I'd like to see this nun be given the chance to repent,  it is unOrthodox to hold contray opinions that different from the Church, the Orthodox Church doesn't condone Homosexual relationships, or hooking up.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Agabus on July 07, 2017, 01:27:44 PM
From here (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154699741011127&id=625796126):

Quote
I asked AFR directly (which I wonder if this writer bothered to do), and they told me directly that Sister Vassa's podcast (which hadn't been added to in well over a year) was removed from the AFR site back in the spring, along with several other defunct podcasts. This is something AFR does every so often.

What that means is that that removal couldn't have been a response to recent excitement surrounding one of her posts.

Of course, what this also tells you is that the folks who believe that AFR removed her podcasts as a response to anything recent only actually checked to see if the content was there just recently. So it clearly wasn't a big matter of attention until just now.

Several of her conference lectures are still available on the AFR site, which also suggests that there was no reactionary "scrubbing" happening.

So, no, AFR did *not* "[remove] St. Vassa content following her controversial advice."

And they also did not remove her blog, because Sister Vassa never had a blog with Ancient Faith Blogs to begin with. How do I know? I'm basically the co-founder of AFB and still serve on its review board.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 07, 2017, 01:28:35 PM
Although I no longer have a dog in this faith I have to say that yes ishe does contradict  time honored baptist teaching.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 01:29:48 PM
Quote
Sr. Vassa’s controversial answer which has prompted AFR to remove her content from its site begins, "I can’t reply to your question officially, but will reply to it personally. Because my personal opinion is not line with some official pronouncements of my Church."  ... As the homosexual inclination is most often not a conscious choice, but is formed in children from 3-4 years old, according to scientific studies, Sr. Vassa writes that there is therefore less culpability for homosexual sins than for many other sins ..."

Just horrifying. So here we have a young boy, a child, who's been confused by this demonic world around him, and she uses a plea from his parents -- his parents! -- as an opportunity to show off how hip-ly sophistical she can be.

Edited to bold part of the quote and add:  As tho heterosexual fornication is not inborn.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 01:32:59 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 01:36:11 PM
Who is her monastic superior?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 07, 2017, 01:37:39 PM
I have credible, pious witnesses that she's discreetly seeing Jewish doctors too. A propos the the Chrysostom quote.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Almost_Orthodox on July 07, 2017, 01:39:26 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 07, 2017, 01:39:51 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


well except that she wasn't taken off....but why let facts get in the way
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 01:41:14 PM
I have credible, pious witnesses that she's discreetly seeing Jewish doctors too. A propos the the Chrysostom quote.

Maybe instead of attempting to make the Church's efforts to shepherd seem less than valuable, you should work up an argument for the value homosexuality brings humankind. Seize the positive.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Luke on July 07, 2017, 01:42:15 PM
Who is her monastic superior?
Good question.  I have read others criticize her, but I have not seen a response from ROCOR.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 07, 2017, 01:42:37 PM
Who is her monastic superior?
write a letter Porter.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on July 07, 2017, 01:44:21 PM
Whether the individual is "gay" or "not gay" or straight,homosexual,asexual, or even metrosexual.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 07, 2017, 02:20:50 PM
Although I no longer have a dog in this faith I have to say that yes ishe does contradict  time honored baptist teaching.
Oh? You so sure about that?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: LizaSymonenko on July 07, 2017, 02:21:25 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?

There's nothing "wrong" with AFR.  Some people feel it is too Protestant in its approach, but, I have no issues with it.

It spreads Orthodoxy to all corners of the world.  You can listen to podcasts, or just hymns, etc. ...via cellphone, PC, etc. 

I often tune in at work...just leave the music on softly in the background.

Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 02:21:54 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?

For your purposes, it's probably just fine.  Just be vigilant about what you consume. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 07, 2017, 02:23:23 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?
Many like to compare it to a non-existent pure Orthodox radio station, to find AFR wanting.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 02:25:00 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


well except that she wasn't taken off....but why let facts get in the way

I was working off the original article.  The defence of AFR contained in the link supplied by Agabus, in which someone speaks on behalf of AFR but is not speaking on behalf of AFR, doesn't really change what I was getting at. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on July 07, 2017, 02:27:33 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?

For your purposes, it's probably just fine.  Just be vigilant about what you consume.
Fr. George Morelli is my homeboy. ;)

And yes, I listen to AFR about 8 hours each day, started 2 weeks ago. It's been a lifeline and I'm thankful I can listen to archive podcasts for free.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 02:41:35 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?

For your purposes, it's probably just fine.  Just be vigilant about what you consume.
Fr. George Morelli is my homeboy. ;)

And yes, I listen to AFR about 8 hours each day, started 2 weeks ago. It's been a lifeline and I'm thankful I can listen to archive podcasts for free.

I'm glad it's helpful.  I haven't heard Fr Morelli, usually I default to Fr Hopko or some recorded stuff from SVS I couldn't attend. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 02:52:37 PM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?
Many like to compare it to a non-existent pure Orthodox radio station, to find AFR wanting.

The Assembly of Bishops in the USA (EO) does have an alternative, the Orthodox Christian Network, including radio stations like The Rudder (music) and The Anchor (talk).

Edited to add link:  http://myocn.net/
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Arachne on July 07, 2017, 02:53:58 PM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on July 07, 2017, 03:17:05 PM
Seeing this made me want to read the original email.  The most controversial part of that is the idea that he can "date", but it was not an explicit approval of dating per se, but to bring stability into their child's life to avoid risky behavior behind closed doors.  Other than that, she made it quite clear homosexual acts is still sin.

I'll be honest, in my teen years, the idea of bringing someone I was dating home to meet my parents is out of the question, as the idea of "dating" at that age should not even occur in the culture of my household.  So I am unable to relate to this advice given.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Agabus on July 07, 2017, 03:29:05 PM
Seeing this made me want to read the original email.  The most controversial part of that is the idea that he can "date", but it was not an explicit approval of dating per se, but to bring stability into their child's life to avoid risky behavior behind closed doors.  Other than that, she made it quite clear homosexual acts is still sin.

I'll be honest, in my teen years, the idea of bringing someone I was dating home to meet my parents is out of the question, as the idea of "dating" at that age should not even occur in the culture of my household.  So I am unable to relate to this advice given.

I've only seen the original alluded to, but  is the controversial part that she told the parents that they shouldn't make their son feel like he had to hide things from them?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 03:31:06 PM
Seeing this made me want to read the original email.  The most controversial part of that is the idea that he can "date", but it was not an explicit approval of dating per se, but to bring stability into their child's life to avoid risky behavior behind closed doors.  Other than that, she made it quite clear homosexual acts is still sin.

I'll be honest, in my teen years, the idea of bringing someone I was dating home to meet my parents is out of the question, as the idea of "dating" at that age should not even occur in the culture of my household.  So I am unable to relate to this advice given.

Calling something a sin, but then saying it is inevitable and offering not tangible salvation from it, is completely pointless. It's an artifact of cognitive dissonance at best.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on July 07, 2017, 03:41:11 PM
Seeing this made me want to read the original email.  The most controversial part of that is the idea that he can "date", but it was not an explicit approval of dating per se, but to bring stability into their child's life to avoid risky behavior behind closed doors.  Other than that, she made it quite clear homosexual acts is still sin.

I'll be honest, in my teen years, the idea of bringing someone I was dating home to meet my parents is out of the question, as the idea of "dating" at that age should not even occur in the culture of my household.  So I am unable to relate to this advice given.

I've only seen the original alluded to, but  is the controversial part that she told the parents that they shouldn't make their son feel like he had to hide things from them?

No, not necessarily.  It's not the hiding things from them that's the problem.  I think it is the wording, which is to say "let him date", not because you are allowing him to do so, but he will "date" anyway.

So I don't know.  I see your point, but perhaps the wording could have been different in that regard, rather than "let him".  It could have been said, "you may not approve of his dating, but encourage him not to hide his actions", that you still love him regardless of disagreements, and that you can then bring that stability of love into whatever he is doing so that he does not get into risky behavior.

Again, this culture of telling your teen to bring whoever you're dating to them in the "daylight" is beyond my comprehension.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 03:55:36 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 04:38:16 PM
I agreed with some of what she said and disagreed with some of what she said. I didn't find anything too horrible about what she said. I did find it odd that she made her answer public. It seems like some discretion in who received that counsel would have been wiser. I respect that she hasn't fed the gossip mill like so many do. She simply took it down and made no comment. I wish more people would respond to internet drama like that.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 04:40:22 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Saying "Let him date, he was born that way so it's less of a sin, and he needs to work it out" -- how does this bring comfort to his parents? It brings self-satisfaction to those with a progressive worldview, but the parents must be more devastated than before. To see a dear child struggling in this evil world and being told he must just succumb and submit to it -- like quicksand -- his fate from birth -- gosh, it's too horrifying.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 04:41:29 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 04:43:45 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 04:46:18 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 04:52:56 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.

Official statements of the episcopate work as the Church in most Christians' minds until something better comes along.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 04:57:51 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.

Official statements of the episcopate work as the Church in most Christians' minds until something better comes along.

Are you sure you're willing to commit to that principle? Every encyclical, pastoral letter, or otherwise official statement issuing from your diocese being unquestionable gospel, until they issue "something better"? And how do you determine something to be "better"?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 05:09:53 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.

Official statements of the episcopate work as the Church in most Christians' minds until something better comes along.

Are you sure you're willing to commit to that principle? Every encyclical, pastoral letter, or otherwise official statement issuing from your diocese being unquestionable gospel, until they issue "something better"? And how do you determine something to be "better"?

I don't determine something to be "better," the Church does.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 05:42:43 PM
So "better" is just whatever a bishop has said most recently?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 05:46:56 PM
So "better" is just whatever a bishop has said most recently?

Depends on jurisdiction.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 06:08:06 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.

Official statements of the episcopate work as the Church in most Christians' minds until something better comes along.

Are you sure you're willing to commit to that principle? Every encyclical, pastoral letter, or otherwise official statement issuing from your diocese being unquestionable gospel, until they issue "something better"? And how do you determine something to be "better"?

I don't determine something to be "better," the Church does.
So "better" is just whatever a bishop has said most recently?

So that's all that could make up the Church in your mind? It's you against the bishop? How sad.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 07, 2017, 06:10:46 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Saying "Let him date, he was born that way so it's less of a sin, and he needs to work it out" -- how does this bring comfort to his parents? It brings self-satisfaction to those with a progressive worldview, but the parents must be more devastated than before. To see a dear child struggling in this evil world and being told he must just succumb and submit to it -- like quicksand -- his fate from birth -- gosh, it's too horrifying.

+1

The idea that the Church's stance on homosexuality is something rooted in another time and place - like the Jewish doctor thing - that can be adjusted via application of oikonomia, or even chucked entirely - is a very disturbing one.  It seems like some elements within the Church want to move beyond being compassionate to a sinner struggling with homosexual desires to a place where the Church can actually endorse homosexual relationships.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 06:15:31 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.

Official statements of the episcopate work as the Church in most Christians' minds until something better comes along.

Are you sure you're willing to commit to that principle? Every encyclical, pastoral letter, or otherwise official statement issuing from your diocese being unquestionable gospel, until they issue "something better"? And how do you determine something to be "better"?

I don't determine something to be "better," the Church does.
So "better" is just whatever a bishop has said most recently?

So that's all that could make up the Church in your mind? It's you against the bishop? How sad.

On the contrary, the Church goes far beyond what I or my bishop think at a given moment. That's my point.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Nephi on July 07, 2017, 06:17:22 PM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 06:17:39 PM
I did not see anywhere that she endorsed homosexuality. She responded to a mother who was struggling to figure out how she should respond to her son's announcement. I suspect different advice would have been given if the son himself had written to her. The mother needed on advice on how to respond, not get a lecture on how homosexuality is a sin. She already knew that or she wouldn't be asking Sister Vassa for advice.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 06:19:12 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Not quite.

"Not in line with" doesn't mean "in conflict with" in your mind?

"(S)ome official pronouncements of my Church" doesn't mean "the Church" in my mind or that of any historically minded Christian.

Official statements of the episcopate work as the Church in most Christians' minds until something better comes along.

Are you sure you're willing to commit to that principle? Every encyclical, pastoral letter, or otherwise official statement issuing from your diocese being unquestionable gospel, until they issue "something better"? And how do you determine something to be "better"?

I don't determine something to be "better," the Church does.
So "better" is just whatever a bishop has said most recently?

So that's all that could make up the Church in your mind? It's you against the bishop? How sad.

On the contrary, the Church goes far beyond what I or my bishop think at a given moment. That's my point.

And the Church's official statements are her interpretation of that "far beyond" at a given time.

I'm not sure what you think the point of Sr. Vassa's disclaimer was -- is your argument that she claimed to be out of sync with her church in order to add fictional dramatic flair to the letter?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 06:22:36 PM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
I do agree with that. It seems quite odd. Getting funded through advertising is one thing. Paywalls are quite another.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 06:23:04 PM
I did not see anywhere that she endorsed homosexuality. She responded to a mother who was struggling to figure out how she should respond to her son's announcement. I suspect different advice would have been given if the son himself had written to her. The mother needed on advice on how to respond, not get a lecture on how homosexuality is a sin. She already knew that or she wouldn't be asking Sister Vassa for advice.

She said:

So what on earth would she have to say to "endorse homosexuality" in your view -- that the mother sins by not being lesbian?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 06:23:40 PM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
I do agree with that. It seems quite odd. Getting funded through advertising is one thing. Paywalls are quite another.

Where's her monastic superior?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 07, 2017, 06:27:00 PM
Again you are misreading her words and I must assume at this point it is deliberate.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on July 07, 2017, 06:32:55 PM
I don't think it's deliberate.  I just wanted to jump in and make a point that it is very easy to misunderstand her.

But I also think that I am trying very hard to be very fair in understanding her point, even though I disagree with her advice, and I hope others can do that too so that we can avoid a very contentious debate.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 06:41:21 PM
For my part, I can't overstate enough the difference it makes that this is a child. To come forth with progressive platitudes one hopes will solace the associates of some grown person with an established persona and pattern of behavior is understandable and I've surely done it myself. To employ the same as rearing and nurturing advice for a child who has no real concept of himself or the world is a very, very, very different matter.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 06:43:48 PM
I did not see anywhere that she endorsed homosexuality. She responded to a mother who was struggling to figure out how she should respond to her son's announcement. I suspect different advice would have been given if the son himself had written to her. The mother needed on advice on how to respond, not get a lecture on how homosexuality is a sin. She already knew that or she wouldn't be asking Sister Vassa for advice.

She said:
  • That homosexuality is a created state
  • That homosexual sins are lesser than other sins
  • That the child can "date"
  • That the Church is incorrect on this subject

So what on earth would she have to say to "endorse homosexuality" in your view -- that the mother sins by not being lesbian?

1. She doesn't say it is a "created state". She said:
Quote
We do know today, according to reliable scientific studies, that this sexual orientation is formed in most (not all) cases, by the early age of 3-4. Importantly, it is before the “age of reason,” which is traditionally considered the age of 7, so it is not a “choice.” You mention that you knew this about your son well before he came out to you now, at the age of 14. I have heard this from several mothers of homosexual children, including one wife of an Orthodox priest, that they “knew” it from their child’s early childhood.
Attraction to the same sex is not a choice, and God did not create people to be gay, but it does seem to be imprinted on someone as a rather young age. Similarly, there are a multitude of sins that God did not create people to be that way, but certain people have tendencies towards those sins. It is part of our fallen nature.

2. She doesn't say it is a lesser sin, she says it isn't a greater sin than other sexual sins.
Quote
We can and do separate the question of “culpability” for the sin, and the sin itself, - so let me point out that God must also. In most cases, homosexuality is not one’s own choice. So, “crossing the line” in this area, and not committing to total celibacy, as one “must” do according to traditional, scriptural law, is “more tolerable” in God’s eyes (as Christ says in the above-quoted passage), than our other kinds of trespasses. Among our “other” trespasses let me mention heterosexual adultery, masturbation, premarital sex, and just “looking lustfully at a woman”
She is stating that just like Christ said that it was more tolerable for Sodom and Gommorah in their judgement than it will be for those who willingly refuse Christ's disciples. I will note that I don't agree with her interpretation of that passage here, but the fact remains, she is not making it a lesser sin, but stating it is equal with other sexual sins.

3. She doesn't say the child can date, she says the child will date, so you might as well let it be in the presence of parents instead of sneaking off. This is a similar argument that many Christians make about birth control. If my kid is going to have sex, they should at least know about birth control. It doesn't mean the parent endorses their kid having sex, it is rather a pragmatic view of the situation. I will again note that I disagree with this advice, but what she is saying is different than what you are claiming she is saying.

4. She does not say the Church is wrong, she says she is giving her personal opinion on this particular situation. She states:
Quote
I must say, and cannot say otherwise, that actively living it out is a sin. It’s a no-no.
Her difference with official pronouncements is with how we respond and react to someone who is gay, not with whether it is a sin or not.

As I said before, I disagree with some of what she said and the conclusions that she draws, but it is more just because it is not the best advice instead of her attempting to change any sort of Church teaching.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 07, 2017, 06:49:47 PM
I did not see anywhere that she endorsed homosexuality. She responded to a mother who was struggling to figure out how she should respond to her son's announcement. I suspect different advice would have been given if the son himself had written to her. The mother needed on advice on how to respond, not get a lecture on how homosexuality is a sin. She already knew that or she wouldn't be asking Sister Vassa for advice.

I haven't seen the original post, but based upon the article, I would read the line advising the mother that "the parents should allow their son to date boys at home" to constitute a reluctant endorsement of said wrong and sinful behavior.  Like Mina said, in my parents' house, I abided by my parents' rules in compliance with their sense of morality, and that held true until the last day I walked out the door as an independent adult.  I find this new parenting trend of "We have to face the 'inevitable' and acquiesce to what the kids are going to do anyway..." to be weak and not to be parenting at all.  It's certainly not a notion my Mom and Dad would've bought into, and to see any public figure in the Church peddling it is disturbing.

Moreover, the bit which says:

Quote
But there are so many other things, which we tolerate in ourselves as ‘only human.’ As the homosexual inclination is most often not a conscious 'choice,' but is formed in children from 3-4 years old, according to scientific studies, Sr. Vassa writes that there is therefore less culpability for homosexual sins than for many other sins, arguing that most people have a double standard about homosexuality.

is not only a load of rubbish utterly inconsistent with what the Church has always taught, but also seems to me a step towards the idea that a place should be made for unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in the Church.  As the many debates and articles posted on these boards in recent years have shown , Sister Vassa's isn't a lone voice here, but is representative of significant number of laity and even clergy who seem to think that the Church should "evolve" on the issue of homosexual relationships.  My thought is always to err on the side of love and compassion, but I can't see actively endorsing this sin any more than I can that of Matthew Heimbach.  To do so is hypocritical.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Arachne on July 07, 2017, 06:51:52 PM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
I do agree with that. It seems quite odd. Getting funded through advertising is one thing. Paywalls are quite another.

It may have something to do with no longer having access to AFR podmaking resources, and with being the one who has to maintain the site and support the people involved in other projects on there, like the comic strip.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on July 07, 2017, 06:54:56 PM
Well, one thing is for sure:  we know at least one or two AFR podcasts will be discussing this very thing
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 07, 2017, 06:55:06 PM
So it turns out it was all a story concocted by a certain Jessee Dominic clown
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Ainnir on July 07, 2017, 07:00:06 PM
????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?

I had the same question a while back, but think it went unasked.  I listened a lot, too--hours and hours of podcasts; whole series.  At the time, it was crucial (brink-of-total-apostasy and all that).  Over time, however, I've listened less, but not because I dislike it or find it wrong.  Possibly I just burnt myself out.  I'd maybe frame it as a tool for learning about the Faith, but not for practicing the Faith.  Just like I have a (Protestant) friend who feels that her "time with the Lord" is sufficiently conducted by listening to podcasts or reading books by the leading Someone-or-Another, it can be tempting to feel we've "Orthodoxed" by binging on AFR podcasts.  Pursue Orthodoxy, recognize that AFR is just one way to do that, and that it exists in a much broader context; you'll be fine.  :)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Hinterlander on July 07, 2017, 07:08:25 PM
The podcasts vary considerably so I don't see how there can be a blanket condemnation of the contents of the site unless this diversity is part of the problem.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 07:37:24 PM
I did not see anywhere that she endorsed homosexuality. She responded to a mother who was struggling to figure out how she should respond to her son's announcement. I suspect different advice would have been given if the son himself had written to her. The mother needed on advice on how to respond, not get a lecture on how homosexuality is a sin. She already knew that or she wouldn't be asking Sister Vassa for advice.

She said:
  • That homosexuality is a created state
  • That homosexual sins are lesser than other sins
  • That the child can "date"
  • That the Church is incorrect on this subject

So what on earth would she have to say to "endorse homosexuality" in your view -- that the mother sins by not being lesbian?

1. She doesn't say it is a "created state". She said:
Quote
We do know today, according to reliable scientific studies, that this sexual orientation is formed in most (not all) cases, by the early age of 3-4. Importantly, it is before the “age of reason,” which is traditionally considered the age of 7, so it is not a “choice.” You mention that you knew this about your son well before he came out to you now, at the age of 14. I have heard this from several mothers of homosexual children, including one wife of an Orthodox priest, that they “knew” it from their child’s early childhood.
Attraction to the same sex is not a choice, and God did not create people to be gay, but it does seem to be imprinted on someone as a rather young age. Similarly, there are a multitude of sins that God did not create people to be that way, but certain people have tendencies towards those sins. It is part of our fallen nature.

Okay, I don't know why you're picking this particular fight, but the way you're going about it is
 pretty silly. If someone is trapped into homosexuality from the age of three, and if I believe in a Creator, then it's a created state.

Quote
2. She doesn't say it is a lesser sin, she says it isn't a greater sin than other sexual sins.
Quote
We can and do separate the question of “culpability” for the sin, and the sin itself, - so let me point out that God must also. In most cases, homosexuality is not one’s own choice. So, “crossing the line” in this area, and not committing to total celibacy, as one “must” do according to traditional, scriptural law, is “more tolerable” in God’s eyes (as Christ says in the above-quoted passage), than our other kinds of trespasses. Among our “other” trespasses let me mention heterosexual adultery, masturbation, premarital sex, and just “looking lustfully at a woman”
She is stating that just like Christ said that it was more tolerable for Sodom and Gommorah in their judgement than it will be for those who willingly refuse Christ's disciples. I will note that I don't agree with her interpretation of that passage here, but the fact remains, she is not making it a lesser sin, but stating it is equal with other sexual sins.

So her saying homosexuality is "more tolerable in God's eyes" than other sins doesn't mean she is saying it is "a lesser sin"? Just the fact she specifies it is more tolerable in God's eyes than fornication, thus different from and superior to heterosexual sins, demonstrates she is informing herself by the fad of LGBTQ exceptionalism.

Quote
3. She doesn't say the child can date, she says the child will date, so you might as well let it be in the presence of parents instead of sneaking off. This is a similar argument that many Christians make about birth control. If my kid is going to have sex, they should at least know about birth control. It doesn't mean the parent endorses their kid having sex, it is rather a pragmatic view of the situation. I will again note that I disagree with this advice, but what she is saying is different than what you are claiming she is saying.

I don't know many Christians handing out birth control to fourteen-year-olds, but that's a digression. By saying "hey you have to give up" on their own child, she's betraying that she doesn't consider homosexuality dangerous. It's inconceivable she'd say the same thing about a child's request to try heroin or even a child confessing he has deep depression.

Quote
4. She does not say the Church is wrong, she says she is giving her personal opinion on this particular situation. She states:
Quote
I must say, and cannot say otherwise, that actively living it out is a sin. It’s a no-no.
Her difference with official pronouncements is with how we respond and react to someone who is gay, not with whether it is a sin or not.

When a sentence is tacked on like that and completely contrasts with the burden of the letter, not to mention when it uses hand-to-brow rhetorical phrases, that's probably just so much hypocritical sophistry.

Quote
As I said before, I disagree with some of what she said and the conclusions that she draws, but it is more just because it is not the best advice instead of her attempting to change any sort of Church teaching.

Again, she herself both explicitly says and then implies that it is not Church teaching. As for its being poor advice in a practical way, I'm sure we're all ears to hear your alternative.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 07:57:01 PM
So it turns out it was all a story concocted by a certain Jessee Dominic clown

Is he an activist?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 07:59:54 PM
... a step towards the idea that a place should be made for unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in the Church.  As the many debates and articles posted on these boards in recent years have shown , Sister Vassa's isn't a lone voice here, but is representative of significant number of laity and even clergy who seem to think that the Church should "evolve" on the issue of homosexual relationships. ...

Bingo.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 08:02:50 PM
So it turns out it was all a story concocted by a certain Jessee Dominic clown

Is he an activist?
I know Jesse personally. He is...intense. I have many stories about him, but it probably wouldn't be appropriate to post them here.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 07, 2017, 08:31:15 PM
Not sure if anyone posted the text of the letter, but it seems to be available here (http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/07/sr-vassas-words-on-gay-teen-dating.html) about halfway down. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 07, 2017, 08:45:46 PM
... a step towards the idea that a place should be made for unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in the Church.  As the many debates and articles posted on these boards in recent years have shown , Sister Vassa's isn't a lone voice here, but is representative of significant number of laity and even clergy who seem to think that the Church should "evolve" on the issue of homosexual relationships. ...

Bingo.
although always centuries behind times , she has evolved on a number of other issues so who knows. She might in a century or so.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Deacon Lance on July 07, 2017, 08:52:14 PM
Porter, you state: "Okay, I don't know why you're picking this particular fight, but the way you're going about it is pretty silly. If someone is trapped into homosexuality from the age of three, and if I believe in a Creator, then it's a created state."

How about simply a result of our fallen natures like any other disorder?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 08:56:04 PM
Porter, you state: "Okay, I don't know why you're picking this particular fight, but the way you're going about it is pretty silly. If someone is trapped into homosexuality from the age of three, and if I believe in a Creator, then it's a created state."

How about simply a result of our fallen natures like any other disorder?

My point is that if we teach that a homosexual "condition" is always already irretrievably rooted at "age three," then to pretend this is somehow different from the secular pop doctrine that homosexuality is the provision of the human genome (something various twin studies have disproved, by the way; not that I give any credence to any of that) is just being weaselly. Just come out and say it: "God made this child gay."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 08:59:46 PM
Porter, you state: "Okay, I don't know why you're picking this particular fight, but the way you're going about it is pretty silly. If someone is trapped into homosexuality from the age of three, and if I believe in a Creator, then it's a created state."

How about simply a result of our fallen natures like any other disorder?

My point is that if we teach that a homosexual "condition" is always already irretrievably rooted at "age three," then to pretend this is somehow different from the secular pop doctrine that homosexuality is the provision of the human genome (something various twin studies have disproved, by the way; not that I give any credence to any of that) is just being weaselly. Just come out and say it: "God made this child gay."

And actually, now that I think of it, the "age three" teaching is, while no less a finger at God, quite a bit more repulsive than the simple genetic claim. How? Because it supposes that the sexuality of three-year-olds is testable. God save us.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 09:05:18 PM
There are kids that are predisposed to homosexuality just like children are predisposed to lie to their parents, steal cookies from the cupboards, masturbate at a very young age, become alcoholics, etc. I'm not sure why any of this surprises you. Is there a reason you need to put homosexuality in a different category than other temptations that people are disposed towards?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 07, 2017, 09:11:12 PM
Porter, you state: "Okay, I don't know why you're picking this particular fight, but the way you're going about it is pretty silly. If someone is trapped into homosexuality from the age of three, and if I believe in a Creator, then it's a created state."

How about simply a result of our fallen natures like any other disorder?

My point is that if we teach that a homosexual "condition" is always already irretrievably rooted at "age three," then to pretend this is somehow different from the secular pop doctrine that homosexuality is the provision of the human genome (something various twin studies have disproved, by the way; not that I give any credence to any of that) is just being weaselly. Just come out and say it: "God made this child gay."
well I guess you could even say that. And back it up with the troparion from the funeral service:
"O Creator, * in the depth of Your wisdom * You lovingly govern all men * and distribute to each what is for good. ..."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 09:20:10 PM
There are kids that are predisposed to homosexuality just like children are predisposed to lie to their parents, steal cookies from the cupboards, masturbate at a very young age, become alcoholics, etc. I'm not sure why any of this surprises you. Is there a reason you need to put homosexuality in a different category than other temptations that people are disposed towards?

I'm not the one making a special category here. "Born that way" isn't a movement of masturbaters or thieves, much less an Orthodox movement.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 09:20:33 PM
Porter, you state: "Okay, I don't know why you're picking this particular fight, but the way you're going about it is pretty silly. If someone is trapped into homosexuality from the age of three, and if I believe in a Creator, then it's a created state."

How about simply a result of our fallen natures like any other disorder?

My point is that if we teach that a homosexual "condition" is always already irretrievably rooted at "age three," then to pretend this is somehow different from the secular pop doctrine that homosexuality is the provision of the human genome (something various twin studies have disproved, by the way; not that I give any credence to any of that) is just being weaselly. Just come out and say it: "God made this child gay."
well I guess you could even say that. And back it up with the troparion from the funeral service:
"O Creator, * in the depth of Your wisdom * You lovingly govern all men * and distribute to each what is for good. ..."

You're really trying to get my attention in this thread, aren't you?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 09:23:22 PM
There are kids that are predisposed to homosexuality just like children are predisposed to lie to their parents, steal cookies from the cupboards, masturbate at a very young age, become alcoholics, etc. I'm not sure why any of this surprises you. Is there a reason you need to put homosexuality in a different category than other temptations that people are disposed towards?

I'm not the one making a special category here. "Born that way" isn't a movement of masturbaters or thieves, much less an Orthodox movement.
I will grant you that they aren't making movements about it, but the fact of that matter is they are born with it. We are all born in sin. That is pretty much basic Christian theology. There was a fall, and we suffer the repercussions of that fall from birth. God didn't "create" those traits in us, but we have been deformed by sin to have those traits.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 09:26:29 PM
There are kids that are predisposed to homosexuality just like children are predisposed to lie to their parents, steal cookies from the cupboards, masturbate at a very young age, become alcoholics, etc. I'm not sure why any of this surprises you. Is there a reason you need to put homosexuality in a different category than other temptations that people are disposed towards?

I'm not the one making a special category here. "Born that way" isn't a movement of masturbaters or thieves, much less an Orthodox movement.
I will grant you that they aren't making movements about it, but the fact of that matter is they are born with it. We are all born in sin. That is pretty much basic Christian theology. There was a fall, and we suffer the repercussions of that fall from birth. God didn't "create" those traits in us, but we have been deformed by sin to have those traits.

It's very different to say we all sin and must be saved and to talk about a small child in inhuman, materialist terms of permanent fate. I know you're a big fan of materialist explanations of the human being, and so that probably colors your view here, but I also know you're and intelligent thinker and able to make discernments and analyses of difference. There's something different here from normal teaching of our fallen selves, it's just plain.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 07, 2017, 09:34:26 PM
To be clear, I don't think someone is doomed to a life of homosexuality with no ability to redirect course. I see it as any other number of vices that people struggle with. I struggle with pride, and have from a very early age. Often it comes out and I need introspectively to retrain it. I think having homosexual desires is the same. I've personally never struggled with it, so I feel rather amateurish in explaining it, but just because we are tempted doesn't mean we are doomed to participate in sin. By continually turning to God, those desires can diminish. Similarly, I know people who swear up and down that they cannot be monogamous, it is too taxing for them. Is that true? Probably so. In their own strength, they cannot be monogamous, but if they are to turn to God and as St. Mary of Egypt did, flee from temptation, it can be overcome.

The irony is that St. Mary of Egypt is, as Sister Vassa stated, an excellent role model for this topic, but unfortunately, I don't believe Sister Vassa's advice truly touched on the amazing redemptive story of St. Mary.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Quinault on July 07, 2017, 09:45:06 PM
If a child was deemed heterosexual or homosexual at age 3 there is something seriously wrong with the person making that judgement. At age 3 sex, sexual attraction, and romance aren't even on the radar. At age 3 they are barely out of diapers.

I've actually known quite a few mothers so eager to be "accepting" of a son that they think might end up gay that they change the way they interact with their sons to be supportive of a sexual orientation that hasn't even emerged yet. Before a certain age all children are simply children and nothing more or less. My son might enjoy wearing a pinkie pie tutu whilst playing with his dolls; and that is absolutely fine with me. My daughter may demand a shaved head whilest playing with trucks (true story, that was my eldest daughter) and that is absolutely fine with me too. Making personal choices of what you do or do not like as a child isn't automatically making a declaration of gender or sexual orientation.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 09:49:32 PM
To be clear, I don't think someone is doomed to a life of homosexuality with no ability to redirect course. I see it as any other number of vices that people struggle with. I struggle with pride, and have from a very early age. Often it comes out and I need introspectively to retrain it. I think having homosexual desires is the same. I've personally never struggled with it, so I feel rather amateurish in explaining it, but just because we are tempted doesn't mean we are doomed to participate in sin. By continually turning to God, those desires can diminish. Similarly, I know people who swear up and down that they cannot be monogamous, it is too taxing for them. Is that true? Probably so. In their own strength, they cannot be monogamous, but if they are to turn to God and as St. Mary of Egypt did, flee from temptation, it can be overcome.

The irony is that St. Mary of Egypt is, as Sister Vassa stated, an excellent role model for this topic, but unfortunately, I don't believe Sister Vassa's advice truly touched on the amazing redemptive story of St. Mary.

I think I agree with these thoughts.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 07, 2017, 10:13:08 PM
... a step towards the idea that a place should be made for unrepentant, practicing homosexuals in the Church.  As the many debates and articles posted on these boards in recent years have shown , Sister Vassa's isn't a lone voice here, but is representative of significant number of laity and even clergy who seem to think that the Church should "evolve" on the issue of homosexual relationships. ...

Bingo.
although always centuries behind times , she has evolved on a number of other issues so who knows. She might in a century or so.

Since you don't believe in God - and presumably believe that those in the Church are just deluding themselves and playing dress up anyway - do you actually care if the Church does or doesn't "evolve" on this issue?  Would some perverse part of you relish seeing the Church debased in this way?  You're obviously still invested in what the Church does anyway, since you still post on a Church related forum.  Just too much a part of you as a Romanian to let go, huh?  Maybe God will use this to call you back yet.

There are kids that are predisposed to homosexuality just like children are predisposed to lie to their parents, steal cookies from the cupboards, masturbate at a very young age, become alcoholics, etc. I'm not sure why any of this surprises you. Is there a reason you need to put homosexuality in a different category than other temptations that people are disposed towards?

Is there a reason that Sister Vassa does while trying to establish that there is "less culpability for homosexual sins than for many other sins"?  To Porter's point, the idea of testing the sexuality of three year old is repugnant in the extreme.  Further, no one is trying to mainstream alcoholism, pick-pocketing, or masturbating in the Orthodox Church.  People are trying to move things to the point that an unrepentant homosexual couple living in what could only ever be described as a state of sin could participate in the life of the Church without being called to repentance.

There are kids that are predisposed to homosexuality just like children are predisposed to lie to their parents, steal cookies from the cupboards, masturbate at a very young age, become alcoholics, etc. I'm not sure why any of this surprises you. Is there a reason you need to put homosexuality in a different category than other temptations that people are disposed towards?

I'm not the one making a special category here. "Born that way" isn't a movement of masturbaters or thieves, much less an Orthodox movement.

+1

If a child was deemed heterosexual or homosexual at age 3 there is something seriously wrong with the person making that judgement. At age 3 sex, sexual attraction, and romance aren't even on the radar. At age 3 they are barely out of diapers.

+1
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 07, 2017, 10:27:23 PM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 07, 2017, 10:34:44 PM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

+1
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 08, 2017, 12:49:38 AM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

Sexuality seems to have a very limited definition in your use of the term. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 01:08:11 AM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

Sexuality seems to have a very limited definition in your use of the term.

Very limited?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 02:06:02 AM
Where's her monastic superior?
Where's yours?

Sister Vassa is your de facto superior in virtually every conceivable way. It would be more fitting for you to grovel at the Academy steps than to sneer up at its grapes.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 02:10:37 AM
Not sure if anyone posted the text of the letter, but it seems to be available here (http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/07/sr-vassas-words-on-gay-teen-dating.html) about halfway down.
Wow, that boomer meme is cringe.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 02:12:57 AM
[Children] are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels.
I think you are confusing human children with sterilized facebook pet dogs.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 02:19:47 AM
Oh good a low I never hoped to plumb: getting to watch OC.net support sexualizing children.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 02:55:20 AM
At the very least, repent of "omni-loving," O Pelagian.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 08, 2017, 06:39:25 AM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
I do agree with that. It seems quite odd. Getting funded through advertising is one thing. Paywalls are quite another.

Considering how much 'outreach' she does and how many comment that her videos have been helpful, I've long wondered why she doesn't get funding from ROCOR.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: IreneOlinyk on July 08, 2017, 08:31:07 AM
Quote
Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) is currently in the process of removing its content from Sr. Vassa (Larin), the popular but controversial monastic podcaster known especially for her show “Coffee with Sr. Vassa.” As attested to by another AFR contributor Fr. Thomas Soroka, this move was prompted by Sr. Vassa’s publication and distribution of an email in response to a request for “insight” from the mother of a 14-year-old boy who recently told his parents he was a homosexual, in which the riassaphore nun admittedly contradicts Church teaching.

http://orthochristian.com/104995.html

Sister Vassa's own words:
Quote
Just a NOTE, for anyone interested (because I've been receiving messages about this): Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) has NOT removed any Coffee-with-Sister-Vassa contents because of my recent reply to a mother about her homosexual son. AFR already removed the coffee-videos a while ago, because I stopped making them, when I monetized my contents and (I myself) made it inaccessible to non-subscribers, including AFR. Nonetheless, AFR still has several of my talks, in audio-recordings, from conferences at which I spoke (like "Orientale Lumen," if you want to check that out). So, please know that AFR did not react in any way, to that post that seems to have traumatized some of our good people here on Facebook. God bless 'em all.  :) 

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1769666573061747&id=100000552634912:
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on July 08, 2017, 09:11:24 AM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
I do agree with that. It seems quite odd. Getting funded through advertising is one thing. Paywalls are quite another.

Considering how much 'outreach' she does and how many comment that her videos have been helpful, I've long wondered why she doesn't get funding from ROCOR.

Lol.  When ROCOR stops having to use the Fund for Assistance to pay for priest's medical procedures or paying for monks to have shoes, then they can pay for a university professor for her Youtube videos.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on July 08, 2017, 10:27:28 AM
Really, Sr. Vassa offered no words on therapy?  Many a teenager question their sexuality then, but condoning doubling down in a sin is more than imprudent, but sinful in itself.


Lord, have mercy!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 11:36:30 AM
At the very least, repent of "omni-loving," O Pelagian.

I think you're reading theological import into his words that isn't there.  In my reading of Porter's statement, he was simply saying that kids are innocent, they love everyone, and sex - like Quinault said - doesn't factor into the equation for them.  Anyone who would argue that a three-year-old is a sexual being should be on a list somewhere, and anyone invoking that kind of "academic" language - in combination with a misapplication of Scripture - to prop up the argument that there is "less culpability" in homosexual sin than in other forms is on dangerous ground in my point of view.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 08, 2017, 12:16:27 PM
Sister Vassa moved her podcast to her own site a while ago, and there are still over 70 episodes on her YT channel. There's plenty others to listen to on AFR.

Not just to her own site - her Patreon. (https://www.patreon.com/sistervassa) For $5/month you can apparently access two of her weekly podcasts, with higher $/month options available. Seems a little strange for a nun to block her content off behind a paywall in order to get monthly donations.
I do agree with that. It seems quite odd. Getting funded through advertising is one thing. Paywalls are quite another.

Considering how much 'outreach' she does and how many comment that her videos have been helpful, I've long wondered why she doesn't get funding from ROCOR.

Lol.  When ROCOR stops having to use the Fund for Assistance to pay for priest's medical procedures or paying for monks to have shoes, then they can pay for a university professor for her Youtube videos.

Those emails always leave me rather troubled. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Luke on July 08, 2017, 12:18:34 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response.  Have some time on hand if you want to read it:  http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html (http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 08, 2017, 12:26:39 PM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

Sexuality seems to have a very limited definition in your use of the term.

Very limited?

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, but I took issue with the idea that children are "a-sexual".  Sure, three year olds aren't running around propositioning one another, but they usually come in "male" and "female" varieties because that's how God creates.  That's sexual, and it's not just a matter of plumbing.  You can oppose sexualising children while recognising that.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Agabus on July 08, 2017, 12:34:51 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response. 

I suppose it was only a matter of time.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 12:42:00 PM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

Sexuality seems to have a very limited definition in your use of the term.

Very limited?

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, but I took issue with the idea that children are "a-sexual".  Sure, three year olds aren't running around propositioning one another, but they usually come in "male" and "female" varieties because that's how God creates.  That's sexual, and it's not just a matter of plumbing.  You can oppose sexualising children while recognising that.

That's not being sexual, that's being a sex.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on July 08, 2017, 12:48:49 PM
I think this is where semantics come into play.  "Sexual" in many circles can simply mean the type of roles a child takes based on his/her gender.  So it could be the games a child plays or the toys a child prefers.  We have male and female games and toys, and that can be defined as "sexual".  If a boy plays with toy cars and a girl with dolls, that's "sexual" and that develops very early in age.

When something seems off at that age unexpected to the gender a child has, this is when a parent starts to have his/her suspicions.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 01:06:12 PM
I think this is where semantics come into play.  "Sexual" in many circles can simply mean the type of roles a child takes based on his/her gender.  So it could be the games a child plays or the toys a child prefers.  We have male and female games and toys, and that can be defined as "sexual".  If a boy plays with toy cars and a girl with dolls, that's "sexual" and that develops very early in age.

When something seems off at that age unexpected to the gender a child has, this is when a parent starts to have his/her suspicions.

No, no. That's obsolete thinking. We are now told that gender preference is independent of sexual preference.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on July 08, 2017, 01:08:19 PM
I think this is where semantics come into play.  "Sexual" in many circles can simply mean the type of roles a child takes based on his/her gender.  So it could be the games a child plays or the toys a child prefers.  We have male and female games and toys, and that can be defined as "sexual".  If a boy plays with toy cars and a girl with dolls, that's "sexual" and that develops very early in age.

When something seems off at that age unexpected to the gender a child has, this is when a parent starts to have his/her suspicions.

No, no. That's obsolete thinking. We are now told that gender preference is independent of sexual preference.

Well, that's an area I have yet to rap my mind around completely.  But I grant you the inconsistency of the present secular terminology.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 08, 2017, 01:09:53 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response. 

I suppose it was only a matter of time.
lol
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 01:13:00 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response.  Have some time on hand if you want to read it:  http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html (http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html)

Thanks for posting this.  I found it to be spot on.  I'm detecting a slight tone of flippancy directed towards those who oppose Sister Vassa's advice in this thread, and I do hope we won't be painted as "reactionary" or "intolerant".  I for one argued on the side of Fr. Robert Arida in this thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,62073.0/all.html) and in the other one where some Cro-Magnon tried to twist his words into a mock apology for bestiality to make a point, so I hardly think that I could be characterized as lacking in pastoral concern or in any way as retrograde on this subject.  Nevertheless, I think she has taken things a bit too far, and that this is a dangerous step towards the idea of mainstreaming homosexuality in Orthodoxy and subverting the Church's traditional stance on the issue.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 08, 2017, 01:15:18 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response.  Have some time on hand if you want to read it:  http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html (http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html)
I don't always agree with him on things, but I thought this was a good analysis.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 01:38:07 PM
So it turns out it was all a story concocted by a certain Jessee Dominic clown

Is he an activist?
I know Jesse personally. He is...intense. I have many stories about him, but it probably wouldn't be appropriate to post them here.

I know you said it wouldn't be appropriate to post the stories you have about this person here, but could you give us a thumbnail sketch of who he is?  What does he actually have to do with this story?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: servulus on July 08, 2017, 01:43:14 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response.  Have some time on hand if you want to read it:  http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html (http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2017/07/sister-vassa-on-homosexuality.html)
I don't always agree with him on things, but I thought this was a good analysis.
I thought so too.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 08, 2017, 01:46:25 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 08, 2017, 01:50:00 PM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

Sexuality seems to have a very limited definition in your use of the term.

Very limited?

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, but I took issue with the idea that children are "a-sexual".  Sure, three year olds aren't running around propositioning one another, but they usually come in "male" and "female" varieties because that's how God creates.  That's sexual, and it's not just a matter of plumbing.  You can oppose sexualising children while recognising that.

That's not being sexual, that's being a sex.
 

lol
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 01:57:48 PM
They are omni-loving and a-sexual, like angels. Learn from little children for one's own salvation, don't use them in profane argument.

Sexuality seems to have a very limited definition in your use of the term.

Very limited?

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, but I took issue with the idea that children are "a-sexual".  Sure, three year olds aren't running around propositioning one another, but they usually come in "male" and "female" varieties because that's how God creates.  That's sexual, and it's not just a matter of plumbing.  You can oppose sexualising children while recognising that.

That's not being sexual, that's being a sex.
 

lol

See my reply to Dr. Mina. Not that it matters whether one believes sex and sexuality must be separate. I very much question that new secular doctrine myself.

However, for our purposes, it's enough to note that, in point of fact, they are at least separable. One sees many mothers with male husbands, dressing like men -- it's practically the norm in many parts of the country. And one observes a wide variety of masculine or feminine affectations in the gay community.

But first I should be sure you are saying (since you haven't been altogether committal) that Sr. Vassa et al. discern the future sexuality of children via observing their supposed "gender preference" at a young age. I don't think this is at all obvious from the letter or from anything related I've read. I think that in a discussion of sexuality and dating, bringing up three-year-olds without making it perfectly plain that one has some clairvoyant method of discerning their sexuality that has nothing to do with sexualizing them is repulsive. Don't blame readers for feeling repulsed.

And if you are saying this, then it of course opens up a whole argument of the validity of such ideas, but that's another post.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 03:04:43 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:08:41 PM
At the very least, repent of "omni-loving," O Pelagian.

I think you're reading theological import into his words that isn't there.  In my reading of Porter's statement, he was simply saying that kids are innocent, they love everyone, and sex - like Quinault said - doesn't factor into the equation for them.  Anyone who would argue that a three-year-old is a sexual being should be on a list somewhere

You may not have been a kid for a while now, but you must remember not being innocent or omni loving.

Kids are naiive, not innocent. Those who consider them innocent always come across as creeps to me, or detached at best.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:10:37 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
I thought he was saying this Jesse fellow spread the misinformation on this story initially.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:12:22 PM
Father John Whiteford wrote a response. 

I suppose it was only a matter of time.
lol
Lol.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 03:21:27 PM
At the very least, repent of "omni-loving," O Pelagian.

I think you're reading theological import into his words that isn't there.  In my reading of Porter's statement, he was simply saying that kids are innocent, they love everyone, and sex - like Quinault said - doesn't factor into the equation for them.  Anyone who would argue that a three-year-old is a sexual being should be on a list somewhere

You may not have been a kid for a while now, but you must remember not being innocent or omni loving.

Kids are naiive, not innocent. Those who consider them innocent always come across as creeps to me, or detached at best.

Like our Lord?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:27:23 PM
At the very least, repent of "omni-loving," O Pelagian.

I think you're reading theological import into his words that isn't there.  In my reading of Porter's statement, he was simply saying that kids are innocent, they love everyone, and sex - like Quinault said - doesn't factor into the equation for them.  Anyone who would argue that a three-year-old is a sexual being should be on a list somewhere

You may not have been a kid for a while now, but you must remember not being innocent or omni loving.

Kids are naiive, not innocent. Those who consider them innocent always come across as creeps to me, or detached at best.

Like our Lord?
Don't put words in His mouth, young man.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 08, 2017, 03:27:29 PM
What is omni loving? Is this some new term I need to be aware of?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:34:15 PM
What is omni loving? Is this some new term I need to be aware of?
Presumably it means you love everyone and maybe even everything.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 03:37:44 PM
You may not have been a kid for a while now, but you must remember not being innocent or omni loving.

And I suppose you have memories of being a sexual being at the age of three?

Kids are naiive, not innocent.

You're splitting hairs that don't need to be split here.  You know that innocent is a relative term and you get Porter's point.  Three year olds aren't sexual beings.  If you think they are, you're the creep in this conversation.

Those who consider them innocent always come across as creeps to me, or detached at best.

Are you including Christ in that condemnation?  Or those in the Church who coined the term "Murder of the Innocents" in reference to Herod's slaughter of the children two years old and younger in Bethlehem?

Those who consider children as young as three to be sexual beings always come across as creeps to me, or detached, hair-splitting wannabe intellectuals with an agenda to push at best.

Let's get down to brass tacks.  There is an idea being pushed here that some children are already gay by the age of three, that it's not really something that people can help, that the Church needs to accept this, and consequently, it must come up with something better than encouraging these people to be straight or condemning them to a life of celibacy that most can never live out.  In short, the Church needs to be more accepting and accommodating of homosexuality, and there must come a day when Barney and Bill can sit in their family pew across from Joey and Luanne, because hey, let's face it, Joey and Luanne have their sins too, and the Church need not condemn Barney and Bill's unrepentant homosexual relationship.  This is an idea that I reject.  How about you?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 03:38:19 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
I thought he was saying this Jesse fellow spread the misinformation on this story initially.

What misinformation?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:39:03 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
I thought he was saying this Jesse fellow spread the misinformation on this story initially.

What misinformation?
That AFR took Sr. Vassa's stuff down because of her post.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 03:41:22 PM
What is omni loving? Is this some new term I need to be aware of?

Porter can speak for himself, but I +1'd because I thought he was trying to say that in their innocence, kids aren't condemnatory or hateful.  They are generally loving towards everyone they encounter.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 03:41:51 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
I thought he was saying this Jesse fellow spread the misinformation on this story initially.

What misinformation?
That AFR took Sr. Vassa's stuff down because of her post.

Okay.  Augustin or anyone: is there any proof of that?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:43:34 PM
And I suppose you have memories of being a sexual being at the age of three?
Five, sure. Don't have many memories from 3, period.

You're splitting hairs that don't need to be split here.  You know that innocent is a relative term and you get Porter's point. 
I think he is making a stronger claim, because it is paired with Omni-loving


Let's get down to brass tacks.  There is an idea being pushed here that some children are already gay by the age of three, that it's not really something that people can help
That doesn't seem implausible, why would you think it is? Because, if true, it could lead people to believe untrue things or project things onto their child that aren't there? That isn't a reason to not believe something.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 03:44:22 PM
in their innocence, kids aren't condemnatory or hateful.  They are generally loving towards everyone they encounter.
Really? Are you sure you are remembering your childhood?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 04:01:31 PM
And I suppose you have memories of being a sexual being at the age of three?
Five, sure. Don't have many memories from 3, period.

Your hazy memories are your own business.  Just be sure not to project them onto innocent others, especially as part of an agenda to compel the Church to reconsider its stance on homosexuality in accordance with the spirit of the times.

You're splitting hairs that don't need to be split here.  You know that innocent is a relative term and you get Porter's point. 
I think he is making a stronger claim, because it is paired with Omni-loving

That's not how I read his words, or even his use of the term omni-loving.  But Porter's a big boy, and he can tell us himself what he meant.  At the end of the day, all I can defend is why I +1'd.

Let's get down to brass tacks.  There is an idea being pushed here that some children are already gay by the age of three, that it's not really something that people can help
That doesn't seem implausible, why would you think it is? Because, if true, it could lead people to believe untrue things or project things onto their child that aren't there? That isn't a reason to not believe something.

So what's you're ultimate conclusion here?  What ramifications does this idea that you find so plausible have for the Church as it pertains to homosexuality?

in their innocence, kids aren't condemnatory or hateful.  They are generally loving towards everyone they encounter.
Really? Are you sure you are remembering your childhood?

Sure.  What would you know about it?  Were you some kind of a hateful, nasty kid as far back as you remember or something?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 04:13:07 PM
You may not have been a kid for a while now, but you must remember not being innocent or omni loving.

Yes, I was. I was quick to make friends of anybody, sex or age regardless, and I had no sexual thoughts. The same is true for my siblings, for most of the children I grew up with, and for my own children. Human childhood is naturally this way.

Quote
Kids are naive, not innocent.

What is the difference? In this context, all you're saying is you consider children corruptible.

Quote
Those who consider them innocent always come across as creeps to me, or detached at best.

This is because you embrace a worldview held by a particular group of young men nowadays, which serves to justify their own tendency to be incredibly foul in action and speech.

Quote
Quote
Quote
Those who consider them innocent always come across as creeps to me, or detached at best.

Like our Lord?
Don't put words in His mouth, young man.

Try not to make your blasphemy explicit. Keep to the wink-wink blasphemy that makes up a fair proportion of conversation among young men of your worldview's character.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 04:15:34 PM
What is omni loving? Is this some new term I need to be aware of?

Porter can speak for himself, but I +1'd because I thought he was trying to say that in their innocence, kids aren't condemnatory or hateful.  They are generally loving towards everyone they encounter.

By "omni-loving" -- admittedly, a poor coinage -- I meant they are quick to be sweet to anybody regardless of sex or age. By "a-sexual" I meant they do not feel sexual attraction.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 04:19:14 PM
And I suppose you have memories of being a sexual being at the age of three?
Five, sure. Don't have many memories from 3, period.

You're splitting hairs that don't need to be split here.  You know that innocent is a relative term and you get Porter's point. 
I think he is making a stronger claim, because it is paired with Omni-loving


Let's get down to brass tacks.  There is an idea being pushed here that some children are already gay by the age of three, that it's not really something that people can help
That doesn't seem implausible, why would you think it is? Because, if true, it could lead people to believe untrue things or project things onto their child that aren't there? That isn't a reason to not believe something.

Salvation implies the welfare of humankind. It should be basic Christianity to desire the best for all. Then again, it should be basic humanity to desire the best for children. None of this is a matter for rhetoric or statistics. To be honest, everyone but the Church seems actually sociopathic to me. All discussion of the human condition is in cynical materialist terms. And then, of course, there are those demonic predators who go even farther and seem to seek to corrupt all, and call it practicality or freedom. I am praying you aren't really one of those.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 04:21:34 PM
Sure.  What would you know about it?  Were you some kind of a hateful, nasty kid as far back as you remember or something?
Myself and the other kids were often resentful and nasty, selfish and inconsiderate, yes. Yet, if you spent your own childhood as an omni loving meme doggo, perhaps you are the unfallen one.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 04:24:22 PM
So what's you're ultimate conclusion here?  What ramifications does this idea that you find so plausible have for the Church as it pertains to homosexuality?
Correcting faulty thought requires no stated apology.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 04:24:46 PM
Sure.  What would you know about it?  Were you some kind of a hateful, nasty kid as far back as you remember or something?
Myself and the other kids were often resentful and nasty, selfish and inconsiderate, yes. Yet, if you spent your own childhood as an omni loving meme doggo, perhaps you are the unfallen one.

Fallenness implies such things as selfishness. It does not imply sexual lust in an organism that has not yet passed onto sexual maturity. What does imply that is an environment of sexual obsession, perversion, or even open abuse.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 04:25:42 PM
So what's you're ultimate conclusion here?  What ramifications does this idea that you find so plausible have for the Church as it pertains to homosexuality?
Correcting faulty thought requires no stated apology.

Infidel, not only, but infecund.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 04:28:27 PM
Quote
Kids are naive, not innocent.

What is the difference?

It means that when they are awful, they are often haplessly so.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 04:38:47 PM
Sure.  What would you know about it?  Were you some kind of a hateful, nasty kid as far back as you remember or something?
Myself and the other kids were often resentful and nasty, selfish and inconsiderate, yes.

At five?  Wow.  This wasn't my experience as a child.  Apparently it wasn't Porter's either.

Yet, if you spent your own childhood as an omni loving meme doggo, perhaps you are the unfallen one.

And I see you're still hateful, nasty, resentful, selfish, and inconsiderate.  Nice to know you haven't changed since childhood.

So what's you're ultimate conclusion here?  What ramifications does this idea that you find so plausible have for the Church as it pertains to homosexuality?
Correcting faulty thought requires no stated apology.

That's not an answer.  It's a wordy dodge.  Seriously, what ramifications does this idea have for the Church as it pertains to approaching the issue of homosexuality?

What is omni loving? Is this some new term I need to be aware of?

Porter can speak for himself, but I +1'd because I thought he was trying to say that in their innocence, kids aren't condemnatory or hateful.  They are generally loving towards everyone they encounter.

By "omni-loving" -- admittedly, a poor coinage -- I meant they are quick to be sweet to anybody regardless of sex or age. By "a-sexual" I meant they do not feel sexual attraction.

So there we go, Nick.  I was right in my interpretation and right to +1.  By the terminology in question, Porter never meant to imply that children were beings of light who were without sin and never inherited the fallen nature of Adam.  He just meant they were innocent and loving.  Hard to fathom, I know.

We're straying from the topic and getting bogged down in minutiae though.  (Or perhaps that's intentional?)  How do you feel about Sister Vassa's statements concerning homosexual sin and culpability relative to other manifestations or categories of sin?  How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 08, 2017, 04:39:26 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
he's the guy behind the site that initially published the fake news. He admitted as much on Sr Vassa's FB page.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 04:51:52 PM
  How do you feel about Sister Vassa's statements concerning homosexual sin and culpability
Confused and irrelevant to the point she was trying to make, tbh, but not "heretical." I start to tune out when psychological studies or definitions are used as evidence for something, outside of like a purely behavioral study.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 08, 2017, 05:03:26 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

I bumped into him at Saint Tikhon's once. He had a "W! 2004" bumper sticker on his car and talked like a dudebro ("this synaxarion is really sweet, man") but was pleasant enough.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 08, 2017, 05:31:48 PM
As long as you agree with him, he is very pleasant. ;)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 07:43:50 PM
He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Thanks for the info.  So then Jesse Dominick is just a traditionalist writer who actually has nothing at all to do with this story and Augustin was just being flip.
he's the guy behind the site that initially published the fake news. He admitted as much on Sr Vassa's FB page.

However much I might disagree with Sr. Vassa, he was absolutely wrong to do that then.  Thanks for the info.

  How do you feel about Sister Vassa's statements concerning homosexual sin and culpability
Confused and irrelevant to the point she was trying to make, tbh, but not "heretical." I start to tune out when psychological studies or definitions are used as evidence for something, outside of like a purely behavioral study.

Okay, thanks.  How about the second part of the question?  How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

He is a graduate of St Tikons who moved to Russia and married someone over there. It is my understanding that US Orthodoxy is a bit too ecumenical for him. You can search his name, Jesse Dominick, and you will probably find a good number of articles that he has either written or translated out of Russian. It should give you a pretty good flavor of what he is about. He is VERY conservative, and quick to denounce anything/anyone that is not. I didn't personally see anything he wrote on this topic, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

I bumped into him at Saint Tikhon's once. He had a "W! 2004" bumper sticker on his car and talked like a dudebro ("this synaxarion is really sweet, man") but was pleasant enough.

That's strike one and strike two, right there.  I'd be willing to bet his feelings on Miaphysites would constitute strike three.

As long as you agree with him, he is very pleasant. ;)

Sounds like your typical oc.net poster!  ;D
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 08, 2017, 07:51:57 PM
He posted that two part anti-OO rant to the Saint Tikhon's group on Facebook a few weeks back.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: rakovsky on July 08, 2017, 07:55:05 PM
He posted that two part anti-OO rant to the Saint Tikhon's group on Facebook a few weeks back.
Did he say anything of substance?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 07:56:41 PM
So he's culturally conservative? That doesn't make sense. The story he manufactured serves to make Ancient Faith Radio look like a reactionary organization oppressing gay-friendly Orthodox. Maybe he's just not that clever?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 08, 2017, 07:57:06 PM
He posted that two part anti-OO rant to the Saint Tikhon's group on Facebook a few weeks back.
Did he say anything of substance?

Is it possible to say anything anti-OO of substance?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 08, 2017, 07:57:59 PM
He posted that two part anti-OO rant to the Saint Tikhon's group on Facebook a few weeks back.
Did he say anything of substance?

The articles were garbage and have been discussed on this forum.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 08, 2017, 08:01:41 PM
So he's culturally conservative? That doesn't make sense. The story he manufactured serves to make Ancient Faith Radio look like a reactionary organization oppressing gay-friendly Orthodox. Maybe he's just not that clever?
I think he isn't all that clever . But definitely a bona fide conservative.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on July 08, 2017, 08:09:22 PM
talked like a dudebro ("this synaxarion is really sweet, man")
Hey man what you got against my kin?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 10:02:45 PM
He posted that two part anti-OO rant to the Saint Tikhon's group on Facebook a few weeks back.
Did he say anything of substance?

LOL!  Right on cue.  Rakovsky is always interested in anything anti-OO.  It's in his programming.

"What is wrong with me asking if he posted anything of substance, Antonious?  I believe that we should be able to discuss the differences between our communions in a respectful fashion."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 08, 2017, 10:09:25 PM
He posted that two part anti-OO rant to the Saint Tikhon's group on Facebook a few weeks back.

And strike three!  Called it!

(https://m.popkey.co/4bf4ae/lN0jW.gif)

So he's culturally conservative? That doesn't make sense. The story he manufactured serves to make Ancient Faith Radio look like a reactionary organization oppressing gay-friendly Orthodox. Maybe he's just not that clever?

Ever met a dudebro that struck you as particularly cunning?

(https://media.giphy.com/media/gtYaab8vCMWU8/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 08, 2017, 11:47:22 PM
How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

As for the pastoral level, I don't know yet. Sister Vassa's approach is one of the better ones I've heard-- at least it attempts to practically deal with lived reality in the church, in the antistructural village way people have traditionally worked things out in Orthodoxy over the years. but I find it unsatisfying. In truth, it reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote: "The worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves..."

But this is not an indictment of Sister Vassa, rather the rhetorical confines in which she is forced to function.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 12:52:41 AM
How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Give a brief example.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on July 09, 2017, 01:43:29 AM
I don't like her voice.  I got through 3 minutes of an episode once. 

Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on July 09, 2017, 01:49:48 AM
Anyway, pastoral advice from someone that's not a pastor should be taken with several grains of rock salt.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 02:12:37 AM
I don't like her voice.  I got through 3 minutes of an episode once.

Thanks for saying it. Yes, I've found her somewhat offputting and flippant.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 02:29:42 AM
How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Give a brief example.
Give me a typical argument about the church's position and I will convert it for you.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 02:42:32 AM
How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Give a brief example.
Give me a typical argument about the church's position and I will convert it for you.

So your only concern with the Church's position is form? And you don't know the Church's position? Good; I can safely ignore your shrill input here.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 02:52:09 AM
How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Give a brief example.
Give me a typical argument about the church's position and I will convert it for you.

So your only concern with the Church's position is form? And you don't know the Church's position? Good; I can safely ignore your shrill input here.
Not merely form. The arguments modern churchmen typically put forward do not include an honest presentation of the best objections to those arguments. They do not re-create opposing arguments to be better than they were when they were articulated by their creators. They do not go out of their way to expose their worries with their own positions. And they do not go out of their way to be perfectly understood at each stage of argumentation.

In short, their is a great deal of intellectual humility that is not often present.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 03:06:25 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 03:42:47 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 03:57:23 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Go ahead.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Charles Martel on July 09, 2017, 06:34:22 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.
Does that include the ((men)) of both sexes? Lol!

4 pages deep and you people are still trying to push queerdom on three year olds.

Gives a break with this nonsense. ::)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 07:11:36 AM
I don't like her voice.  I got through 3 minutes of an episode once.

Oddly enough, her tone sounds much milder when she's speaking Russian.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 07:22:14 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 11:18:40 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Charles Martel on July 09, 2017, 11:38:49 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 11:53:16 AM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
3 year olds engaging in scholarly theological discourse
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 12:11:37 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
3 year olds engaging in scholarly theological discourse

At least they're willing to. What's your phobia? If you can't, that's fine, but what you've done is claim big things and deliver nothing.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 02:09:29 PM
Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Flesh this out a bit for me so we don't once again get bogged down quibbling over terminology.  The rest is pretty straightforward, but what is intended here by "weakness-exposed arguments"?  Who's weakness precisely is exposed?

As for the pastoral level, I don't know yet. Sister Vassa's approach is one of the better ones I've heard-- at least it attempts to practically deal with lived reality in the church, in the antistructural village way people have traditionally worked things out in Orthodoxy over the years.

"Tell your son to bring his boyfriends home" seems an expression of the lived reality of the Church to you?

but I find it unsatisfying.

How so?

In truth, it reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote: "The worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves..."

Who exactly are the slaves in the scenario?  How is "being kind to them" in this instance detrimental?

But this is not an indictment of Sister Vassa, rather the rhetorical confines in which she is forced to function.

Meaning what?  Because she is forced to at least pay lip service to the notion that living a homosexual lifestyle is inherently sinful?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 02:20:29 PM
They do not go out of their way to expose their worries with their own positions.

Please explain why an Orthodox Christian pastor should find the Church's position on homosexuality worrisome.

It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.
Does that include the ((men)) of both sexes? Lol!

4 pages deep and you people are still trying to push queerdom on three year olds.

Gives a break with this nonsense. ::)

+1

The bolded bit is the most disturbing and sickening by far.  But around here, someone who views children still in their single digits as innocent and denies that they are sexual beings is supposed to be "creepy".  ::)

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.

Speaking the truth in love doesn't mean backing off of the idea that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church.

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
3 year olds engaging in scholarly theological discourse

More like three year olds sexualized by perverse academics in the interests of moving the Church to a place where it can validate the world's present teachings on homosexuality.

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
3 year olds engaging in scholarly theological discourse

At least they're willing to. What's your phobia? If you can't, that's fine, but what you've done is claim big things and deliver nothing.

+1

We're all waiting for the big reveal here.  I know there's got to be something more to your argument than what's been offered so far.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 02:30:48 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.

Speaking the truth in love doesn't mean backing off of the idea that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church.

Nor do I claim that it does or should. Don't read in statements that are not there. But what remains is how the Church and homosexuals are going to deal with each other. In my view, it would be a tragedy if either 'side' simply shut the door on the other and walked away.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 02:53:48 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.

Speaking the truth in love doesn't mean backing off of the idea that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church.

Nor do I claim that it does or should. Don't read in statements that are not there. But what remains is how the Church and homosexuals are going to deal with each other. In my view, it would be a tragedy if either 'side' simply shut the door on the other and walked away.

Okay.  So once we articulate the truth that we both agree upon above - that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church - where do we go from there in your point of view?  How would that be different than the pastoral approach(es) that the Church has applied on this issue for the past 2000 years?  What should the place of, say, a homosexual couple be in the Orthodox Church?  What about a young person who wants to start dating people of the same sex as in Sr. Vassa's scenario?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Charles Martel on July 09, 2017, 03:12:51 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
3 year olds engaging in scholarly theological discourse
Theological?  Lol! ;D

Tell me nick, seriously, what kind of "theological" evidence do you have to support the notion of 3yrd olds being sexual beings?


Yea, get back to me on that one Mr deep-thinker. 8)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Charles Martel on July 09, 2017, 03:18:17 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.

Speaking the truth in love doesn't mean backing off of the idea that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church.

Nor do I claim that it does or should. Don't read in statements that are not there. But what remains is how the Church and homosexuals are going to deal with each other. In my view, it would be a tragedy if either 'side' simply shut the door on the other and walked away.
How does the church deal with every other sinner?

Why do sodomites feel they're any special?

Sorry, the Church does not dabble in special rights and legislation that your secular govt's appease you with.

As for the door, Christ said he stands at the door and knocks. The rest is up to you.


Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Charles Martel on July 09, 2017, 03:21:47 PM
Quote
The bolded bit is the most disturbing and sickening by far.  But around here, someone who views children still in their single digits as innocent and denies that they are sexual beings is supposed to be "creepy".  ::)
Wow. Well, what else do you expect from pederasts? This kind of thought comes from people witha seriously disordered moral compass.


Liberalism truly is a mental disorder. >:(
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 03:51:19 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.

Speaking the truth in love doesn't mean backing off of the idea that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church.

Nor do I claim that it does or should. Don't read in statements that are not there. But what remains is how the Church and homosexuals are going to deal with each other. In my view, it would be a tragedy if either 'side' simply shut the door on the other and walked away.

Okay.  So once we articulate the truth that we both agree upon above - that an actively homosexual lifestyle or relationship could only ever be viewed as sinful in the eyes of the Church - where do we go from there in your point of view?  How would that be different than the pastoral approach(es) that the Church has applied on this issue for the past 2000 years?  What should the place of, say, a homosexual couple be in the Orthodox Church?  What about a young person who wants to start dating people of the same sex as in Sr. Vassa's scenario?

Good questions. First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 04:12:49 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful post, FinnJames. I do sense you're talking for granted such young men will form couples some day, should be allowed to and allowed to prepare for it socially. If I'm correct, what makes you feel this way?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 04:17:34 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful post, FinnJames. I do sense you're talking for granted such young men will form couples some day, should be allowed to and allowed to prepare for it socially. If I'm correct, what makes you feel this way?

As you already know, this is the sort of couple I live in. Unfortunately, my partner is not Orthodox, so my parish doesn't have to worry about how to treat us.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on July 09, 2017, 04:27:08 PM
But what remains is how the Church and homosexuals are going to deal with each other. In my view, it would be a tragedy if either 'side' simply shut the door on the other and walked away.
The same way as with other fornicators.  Or did you expect a special treatment by the Church of those who fornicate with people of the same sex?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on July 09, 2017, 04:28:54 PM
I don't like her voice.  I got through 3 minutes of an episode once.
Thanks for saying it. Yes, I've found her somewhat offputting and flippant.
Having attended a talk by Sr. Vassa, what I found off putting was that she blathered for over 1h and I could not figure out what point she was trying to make or whether the talk had any theme.  On the other hand, I cherish her daily reflections.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 04:41:34 PM
But what remains is how the Church and homosexuals are going to deal with each other. In my view, it would be a tragedy if either 'side' simply shut the door on the other and walked away.
The same way as with other fornicators.  Or did you expect a special treatment by the Church of those who fornicate with people of the same sex?

I'll do you the courtesy of assuming you posted before reading post #171 in this thread.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on July 09, 2017, 04:47:16 PM
Good questions. First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish.
Because people of the same sex do not form couples, but should rather be treated as any other single people who struggle with a sexual vice.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 04:47:32 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful post, FinnJames. I do sense you're talking for granted such young men will form couples some day, should be allowed to and allowed to prepare for it socially. If I'm correct, what makes you feel this way?

As you already know, this is the sort of couple I live in. Unfortunately, my partner is not Orthodox, so my parish doesn't have to worry about how to treat us.

I do know. So are you extrapolating from your own experience, and saying couples is inevitable? By the same token, that homosexual lifestyle of some sort is inevitable? That a lifetime of desire for gay company is inevitable? I do respect your opinion. I certainly have no great reason to trust my own.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: PJ26 on July 09, 2017, 04:53:48 PM
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 04:59:16 PM
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.

My understanding of this thinking is that the couple is a known romantic partnership, even civil marriage, of whom it's supposed to be assumed they are living in sexual ascesis, from which if they fall, it concerns only their confessor. I'm astounded at how many questions this begs and how it has so rapidly managed to assume the default role in Orthodox expectations and debate. I assume the stealthy success has much to do with the Church's fetish of academics. And I think it merits much more scrutiny.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 09, 2017, 05:05:01 PM
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.

It's past midnight here and I'm going to bed. I'll reply to your post tomorrow.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 05:17:30 PM
First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)  I don't agree with that worldview and I don't agree that it can be supported with Orthodox Christian ontology or anthropology.  It does not speak to the Orthodox conception of marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is first and foremost a path to holiness.

Such an approach is not one that has ever existed in the life of the Church.  It would be an innovation based upon the spirit of the present times and out of line with traditional Christian anthropology.  It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

I see in your last post to Porter that you say that this is the kind of union you are yourself involved in, so I want to be very careful and not be mean to you here, but you said you wanted a truthful dialogue in love, so I hope you don't mind me expressing my point of view respectfully, even if it contradicts something which must be very dear to you.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

People living together in the world is not the same thing as a monastic community, where people live under obedience to and under the supervision of a monastic superior.  Again, I don't believe that the Church could turn a blind eye to homosexual unions any more than they could to a man and a woman living together without a sacramental marriage.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

How the Church is perceived by the laity can sometimes be a problem, but I don't believe that changing the Church's traditional means of addressing the subject of homosexual unions and homosexuality in general is the best way to address that problem.  Rather, the Church needs to articulate what has always been her teaching in a loving way, to offer therapeutic and loving means of coping with such problems to its members, and always to uphold the truth that such a thing is indeed a problem and not something that can be blessed, tacitly or explicitly.

Eventually, however, the Church also has to accept that while we always leave the ninety-nine sheep to pursue the one, people also have free will and are free to leave if they feel they cannot abide by the Church's perception of what constitutes morality.  If, at the end of the day, I cannot accept that the Church cannot bless or turn a blind eye to my living with a woman outside of marriage, I have to make a choice about whether or not I can remain in the Church.  I cannot reasonably expect the Church to change to accommodate something - however dear to me - which contradicts her lived theology.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.

I don't agree with your reading of Sister Vassa's answer that she sees dating as something this young man will embark upon in the nebulous future as opposed to the present or the immediate future.  It makes little difference, however, because either way, I must once again respectfully disagree with your assertions here.  As indicated in previous posts, as a general rule, I don't agree with the mode of parenting in which the parents throw up their hands and accept the "inevitable" as it pertains to what their child will and will not do while living in their home.  As with Mina, this concept is foreign to me.  In my worldview, and the way I was raised, the children abide by their parents rules in keeping with their parents sense of morality until the day they leave the house as independent adults.  I cannot conceive of any parent tolerating behavior they find objectionable from a recalcitrant child.  In this sense, I can agree with you that this aspect of the discussion doesn't differ significantly than the situation of young heterosexual people.  If I don't want, say, my daughter going out with boys outside of a group setting, so long as she lives in my house, that is what she will do.  I don't concede that this necessarily means that she will be defying me behind my back, because I know too many households in which the children were raised right where this was not the case.

Further, once again we come back to how we view the subject of homosexuality in general, as either a result of the fall or as something equal to the union of a man and a woman in the self-sacrificial love which ultimately makes them human as ordained by God and described so eloquently by Fr. John Behr in various places.

I believe we have some fundamental differences in our worldview, FinnJames, and respectfully, I believe that yours is at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with one another in love.  Thanks for talking with me, and please pray for me as I pray for you.  :)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: rakovsky on July 09, 2017, 05:22:57 PM
What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation? The basis for the gay chaste relationship appears to be the sexual attraction, with the gay pair repressing the sexual act itself. So this man man gay suppressed sex love relationship is missing the mark of the ideal love couple pairing, which is Adam and Eve, Man and Wife. The underlying basis of this diverted gay relationship is the attraction of the suppressed sexual act. Thus the basis of the relationship is missing the mark and a diversion from the true path of the divine coupling.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 05:26:39 PM
Regarding #171:

Is the hypothetical homosexual couple living chastely explaining their situation to everyone?  How are they presenting themselves to the community - as buddies, roommates, or as an actual "couple?"  If as a couple, without making known how they are living, I could see how this could be a source of scandal particularly if they are going to Communion.  I don't think it's equivalent to homosexual monks in a monastery.  I would say the same thing if the couple were heterosexual.

My understanding of this thinking is that the couple is a known romantic partnership, even civil marriage, of whom it's supposed to be assumed they are living in sexual ascesis, from which if they fall, it concerns only their confessor. I'm astounded at how many questions this begs and how it has so rapidly managed to assume the default role in Orthodox expectations and debate. I assume the stealthy success has much to do with the Church's fetish of academics. And I think it merits much more scrutiny.

+1

What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation? The basis for the gay chaste relationship appears to be the sexual attraction, with the gay pair repressing the sexual act itself. So this man man gay suppressed sex love relationship is missing the mark of the ideal love couple pairing, which is Adam and Eve, Man and Wife. The underlying basis of this diverted gay relationship is the attraction of the suppressed sexual act. Thus the basis of the relationship is missing the mark and a diversion from the true path of the divine coupling.

Well stated, rakovsky.  I agree.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 06:19:51 PM
What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation?

Well, this is a bizarre opening.

Quote
The basis for the gay chaste relationship appears to be the sexual attraction, with the gay pair repressing the sexual act itself. ... The underlying basis of this diverted gay relationship is the attraction of the suppressed sexual act. ...

I understand what you're saying, and it would be my thinking as well. However, there's a concept afloat that divides "sexual" from "romantic" and says the latter is also a genetic compulsion. For example, someone could be homosexually active yet looking for a normal marriage in the future, and in this new concept's terms, he might say he is bisexual but heteroromantic. Supposedly "Bible teaching" only impinges on the former, and, voila, a rhetorical basis for celibate homosexual marriage. Now, to you and me, this all sounds like nothing more than obsessively systematizing what's always been understood in more general terms. So, by this concept, St. Paul might be discerned as asexual and biromantic, where to you and me he is ascetic and a spiritual father. Then this obsessive systematizing and relabeling is supposed to appeal to folks as some kind of new science and a replacement for their old terms but also the old anthropology and theology. At any rate, let's consider in general terms a situation where a man is determined to live chastely but thinks of himself as in love, or as suited primarily to friendships with gay men. What do you say to him?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 06:21:46 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 06:32:53 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 07:55:30 PM


At least they're willing to. What's your phobia? If you can't, that's fine, but what you've done is claim big things and deliver nothing.
What am I being tasked with delivering?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:06:11 PM
At least they're willing to. What's your phobia? If you can't, that's fine, but what you've done is claim big things and deliver nothing.
What am I being tasked with delivering?


Oh, just to put your money where your mouth is, viz.:

Let's get down to brass tacks.  There is an idea being pushed here that some children are already gay by the age of three, that it's not really something that people can help
That doesn't seem implausible, why would you think it is? Because, if true, it could lead people to believe untrue things or project things onto their child that aren't there? That isn't a reason to not believe something.

So what's you're ultimate conclusion here?  What ramifications does this idea that you find so plausible have for the Church as it pertains to homosexuality?
Correcting faulty thought requires no stated apology.

How do you feel the Church should be addressing this issue?

Bare bones, weakness-exposed, standard-form arguments would be a good start at the abstract theological level.

Give a brief example.

Give me a typical argument about the church's position and I will convert it for you.

So your only concern with the Church's position is form? And you don't know the Church's position? Good; I can safely ignore your shrill input here.
Not merely form. The arguments modern churchmen typically put forward do not include an honest presentation of the best objections to those arguments. They do not re-create opposing arguments to be better than they were when they were articulated by their creators. They do not go out of their way to expose their worries with their own positions. And they do not go out of their way to be perfectly understood at each stage of argumentation.

In short, their is a great deal of intellectual humility that is not often present.

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?

At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Ainnir on July 09, 2017, 08:16:54 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.

This occurred to me also, and I was going to bring it up if no one else did.  Does it even matter if the man and woman are married/unmarried and celibate?  I've heard of the EO lauding married couples who lived as brother and sister, but have not even heard reference to an unmarried man and woman living chastely together, let alone as an option the Church endorses or allows, either one.  That sounds far-fetched to me, also.  But who knows?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 08:30:39 PM
Please explain why an Orthodox Christian pastor should find the Church's position on homosexuality worrisome.

Here are some thoughts:

First, I was speaking of abstract theological discourse when I brought up "worries". Second, when one presents an argument, however valid one believes it to be and however sound one believes the premises to be, one can also perceive the points at which it is open to relative levels of objection. One may have real worries about the arguments one believes to hold. Or one may believe the conclusion of an argument without believing that the argument adequately demonstrates the conclusion. In doubing the validity of an argument for a position or belief within the church, one is not thereby doubting the conclusion of that argument. Here's an example of the first case: One may believe in God or a particular theodicy (say, Felix Culpa), while expressing one's worries about the weaknesses of that theodicy (say, an objection from gratuitous suffering, or certain views that base themselves off of the assumption that Molinism is correct about God's providence).

When one presents one's arguments in theological discourse, and here I am talking about scholarly theology, one expresses intellectual humility when one proactively presents the weaknesses and best objections to the arguments one presents. This is humble for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges that, no matter the degree to which one can "speak with the mind of the church," one is re-articulating positions. In virtue of this being a re-articulation it necessarily entails an accidental (at least) change in meaning that (at least) synergistically involves the re-articulator as a creative agent. Because of this, it ought to be subject to critique by one's peers; least of all because we are often bad, and a good God has no need of a bad argument.

In proactively presenting the weaknesses and best objections to one's argument, or one's claims, one is opening oneself up to criticism in a vulnerable way. And this opening is done for the betterment of the church, decreasing our own glory in a potentially bad argument in order to avoid scandal in the church through it's unfortunate proliferation. It is also an act of withdrawing as we create, which images God. and it helps make our re-articulation a communal effort rather than a solipsistic enterprise.

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?
I would have to think about it more to do it proper justice but here are a few:

1. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies mechanistic natural law (improper function for a human machine to perform)
2. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian natural law (failure to properly exemplify/move toward a natural end-in-action/entelechia, ultimately in God)
3. Homosexuality is wrong because it fails to embody transcendent otherness, this being known through our God-given intuition
4. Homosexuality is wrong because it contradicts God's ordinance, obedience to which is good of itself and defiance of which is bad of itself
5. Homosexuality is wrong because it has not been licit before and we are a church that maintains a core unchanging tradition

1. Homosexuality is acceptable because the forbidding of homosexuality was a contingent/accidental element of tradition which can be revised given the good of promoting human unions/relieving suffering

1.A Homosexuality is acceptable because it was never actually forbidden by our authoritative sources in the first place (all of the supposed forbiddings were actually referring to prostitution or some such)

1.B Homosexuality is acceptable because there is no core tradition (and we are progressively revealing a clearer picture of God over time, of which this is a part

2. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, it is an evil that must be permitted in order to prevent further evil/promote some compensatory goods

2.A. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, an evil has already occurred (instantiation/transmission of a fallen disposition) and the response (gay marriage or some other) mitigates this evil, does not attempt to hide it in a sinful way, or some other.

I dunno, those seem like the ones I hear most often. I'm sure I'd add more.

As for their merits, if I were to say those off the top of my head, without preparing extensively, I would be doing them a disservice. If you think I promised I'd list my responses somewhere in this thread, sorry. But like the boxing coach who is out of shape, we can call boxing like we see it and give proper boxing advice without being fighters ourselves. Nevertheless, this is something I do plan to take up at a later date.

My opinion is that, *setting aside the truth of the conclusions*, all of the above arguments, in the forms I've seen them, have damning objections.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 08:38:18 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:41:24 PM
Please explain why an Orthodox Christian pastor should find the Church's position on homosexuality worrisome.

Here are some thoughts:

First, I was speaking of abstract theological discourse when I brought up "worries". Second, when one presents an argument, however valid one believes it to be and however sound one believes the premises to be, one can also perceive the points at which it is open to relative levels of objection. One may have real worries about the arguments one believes to hold. Or one may believe the conclusion of an argument without believing that the argument adequately demonstrates the conclusion. In doubing the validity of an argument for a position or belief within the church, one is not thereby doubting the conclusion of that argument. Here's an example of the first case: One may believe in God or a particular theodicy (say, Felix Culpa), while expressing one's worries about the weaknesses of that theodicy (say, an objection from gratuitous suffering, or certain views that base themselves off of the assumption that Molinism is correct about God's providence).

When one presents one's arguments in theological discourse, and here I am talking about scholarly theology, one expresses intellectual humility when one proactively presents the weaknesses and best objections to the arguments one presents. This is humble for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges that, no matter the degree to which one can "speak with the mind of the church," one is re-articulating positions. In virtue of this being a re-articulation it necessarily entails an accidental (at least) change in meaning that (at least) synergistically involves the re-articulator as a creative agent. Because of this, it ought to be subject to critique by one's peers; least of all because we are often bad, and a good God has no need of a bad argument.

In proactively presenting the weaknesses and best objections to one's argument, or one's claims, one is opening oneself up to criticism in a vulnerable way. And this opening is done for the betterment of the church, decreasing our own glory in a potentially bad argument in order to avoid scandal in the church through it's unfortunate proliferation. It is also an act of withdrawing as we create, which images God. and it helps make our re-articulation a communal effort rather than a solipsistic enterprise.

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?
I would have to think about it more to do it proper justice but here are a few:

1. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies mechanistic natural law (improper function for a human machine to perform)
2. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian natural law (failure to properly exemplify/move toward a natural end-in-action/entelechia, ultimately in God)
3. Homosexuality is wrong because it fails to embody transcendent otherness, this being known through our God-given intuition
4. Homosexuality is wrong because it contradicts God's ordinance, obedience to which is good of itself and defiance of which is bad of itself
5. Homosexuality is wrong because it has not been licit before and we are a church that maintains a core unchanging tradition

I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 08:42:14 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
This question has been answered.

Separately, if you'd like an example of how one of the arguments in my previous post would be broken down, here:

Here's one of the often-thought to be weaker arguments against homosexual actions. Keep in mind that the presentation below is not my thought-out view, nor do I agree with it:

1. If God ordains something, it's prima facie wrong to disobey.
2. God has ordained that homosexual actions are forbidden.
3.If 1. and 2. then it's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
4. Therefore it's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
5. There is no sufficient countervailing reason (say, a higher-ranking divine ordinance) that would justify performing homosexual actions.
6. If (4) and (5) then homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.
7. Therefore homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.

Worry about premises 1 and 3: Should we be acting in virtue of God's commands, or in virtue of exemplifying his character through imitation? Surely the latter is greater.
Rejoinder: Just because it may be greater to act in virtue of exemplifying God's character than following his commands doesn't mean that it is not more just to follow his commands than to disobey them.

Objection to premise 5: Jesus's injunction toward mercy rather than sacrifice, loving the sinner, and being undefiled by external actions/the old law is a superior command to the command against homosexual actions, and motivates the opposite.
Rejoinder A: Since it is an accepted principle that God's commands do not contradict one another, it cannot be the case that it motivates the opposite. There are interpretations consistent with both commands that have the same end: Prohibition of homosexual acts.

Remaining worry (note, this worry is presented by the person who is presenting the initial argument): But these interpretations, while they are consistent, are not equal, and I could see how God's articulation of mercy really does seem to trump the command to sacrifice certain forms of love. It's the strongest objection to my argument, even though I don't think it is sufficient to compel my argument's rejection.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:43:02 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

Males that don't have his weakness, or an older couple, or even a family that offers a stable home. Is this really that hard?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:43:48 PM
(Not to mention, by himself, or with his own family.)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 08:46:30 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

Males that don't have his weakness, or an older couple, or even a family that offers a stable home. Is this really that hard?
Ok, sorry. I hadn't read thoroughly enough and there were a lot of subplots going on. I thought the argument was that a man struggling with homosexuality shouldn't live in the same house as another man period just like a man shouldn't live with a non-relative woman regardless of whether he is attracted to her or not.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 08:46:42 PM
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 08:51:53 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:51:58 PM
And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
This question has been answered.

If you'd like an example of how one of the arguments in my previous post would be broken down, here:

Here's one of the often-thought to be weaker arguments against homosexual actions. Keep in mind that the presentation below is not my thought-out view, nor do I agree with it:

1. If God ordains something, it's prima facie wrong to disobey.
2. God has ordained that homosexual actions are forbidden.
3.If 1. and 2. then it's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
4. It's prima facie wrong to perform homosexual actions.
5. There is no sufficient countervailing reason (say, a higher-ranking divine ordinance) that would justify performing homosexual actions.
6. If (4) and (5) then homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.
7. Homosexual actions are categorically forbidden.

Okay, Wittgenstein. Numbering straw men doesn't change them from being straw men.


Now you put in some work here:
Quote
Worry about premises 1 and 3: Should we be acting in virtue of God's commands, or in virtue of exemplifying his character through imitation? Surely the latter is greater.

You are manufacturing an opposition. In fact, God's commands are given to us to teach us how to exemplify his character.

[/quote]Rejoinder: Just because it may be greater to act in virtue of exemplifying God's character than following his commands doesn't mean that it is not more just to follow his commands than to disobey them.

Objection to premise 5: Jesus's injunction toward mercy rather than sacrifice, loving the sinner, and being undefiled by external actions/the old law is a superior command to the command against homosexual actions, and motivates the opposite.
Rejoinder A: Since it is an accepted principle that God's commands do not contradict one another, it cannot be the case that it motivates the opposite. There are interpretations consistent with both commands that have the same end: Prohibition of homosexual acts.[/quote]

Yes, there is no contradiction, and there is also no need to efface one of these laws -- since, in very fact, they already don't contradict one another. Sexual sin is not a matter of external ceremony but a matter of the heart. By saying "loving the sinner" you are already admitting there is a sin and thereby granting the validity of a command against it. "Mercy rather than sacrifice" has to do with the gifts we give back to God: of these, mercy on others is more pleasing to him to receive than a material gift. Your implication, that having mercy is identical to annulling commandments, or that a commandment is a kind of material sacrifice, remains to be demonstrated.

Quote
Remaining worry (note, this worry is presented by the person who is presenting the initial argument): But these interpretations, while they are consistent, are not equal, and I could see how God's articulation of mercy really does seem to trump the command to sacrifice certain forms of love. It's the strongest objection to my argument, even though I don't think it is sufficient to compel my argument's rejection.

Very tendentious toward your own side. No good when you say you're trying to show the Church how to argue fairly.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:55:36 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:57:00 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

Males that don't have his weakness, or an older couple, or even a family that offers a stable home. Is this really that hard?
Ok, sorry. I hadn't read thoroughly enough and there were a lot of subplots going on. I thought the argument was that a man struggling with homosexuality shouldn't live in the same house as another man period just like a man shouldn't live with a non-relative woman regardless of whether he is attracted to her or not.

No it's about longterm romantic relationships that are presented to others as civil marriage or equivalent. The analogy to heterosexual couples that live together, which somebody else made, seems apt.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 08:57:32 PM
You are manufacturing an opposition. In fact, God's commands are given to us to teach us how to exemplify his character.

Uh, are you really arguing with my example?

...why?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 08:57:41 PM
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.

I said tendentious. Such a master of it should learn the word.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 08:59:45 PM
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.

I said tendentious. Such a master of it should learn the word.
Among the hated Academics, pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian aren't dirty words. Saying this being a holder of some of the latter view
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 09:03:55 PM
I don't know if it would be possible to be more tendentious. "Human machine"? "Pre-Copernican"? "Intuition"? "Obedience ... is good of itself"? "Because it has not been licit before"? And this after your accusation that the Church can't argue fairly. Good gosh. Grow up.
The fact that you find these polemical tells me that you really know nothing about your hated Academy.

I said tendentious. Such a master of it should learn the word.
Among the hated Academics, pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian aren't dirty words. Saying this being a holder of some of the latter view

Yeah, there is such a thing as a time before Copernicus. Which means nothing out of context. I'm not going to play the game where you pretend you can't see the post I responded to and instead take a bit out of my response and mock-marvel at it in isolation, and repeat with my response to that, a game of diminishing returns ad absurdam.

Just take your medicine.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 09, 2017, 09:07:14 PM
Yeah, there is such a thing as a time before Copernicus. Which means nothing out of context.
I provided the context... but it would seem that, given you misunderstood my example post as well, you are a little hard of reading.

Thankfully those reading this thread, aside from Charles, are a bit more careful.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 09:08:11 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:17:15 PM
First, I was speaking of abstract theological discourse when I brought up "worries".

And this really isn't something that I'm interested in as it pertains to this topic.  If you're going to refuse to be nailed down to a particular position and argue its merits - and you feel your role in this thread is to play the gadfly and force everyone to examine the various possible theoretical implications of the topic,and reexamine their own positions in the process, all while taking no stand yourself - then you really have nothing to contribute but a lot of distraction and hot air.

I'm interested only in two things as it pertains to this subject:

1. The pastoral ramifications for everyone involved.
2. The maintenance of the integrity of the Church's traditional view of homosexuality in the fact of an objectionable modern culture which holds that it is no vice.

Second, when one presents an argument, however valid one believes it to be and however sound one believes the premises to be, one can also perceive the points at which it is open to relative levels of objection.

If, however, one believes that one's argument is grounded in absolute Truth, one needn't necessarily regard those potential objections as necessarily valid, only as something that will inevitably be overcome.  Such is the case with the Church's teaching on homosexual relationships, to be sure.

One may have real worries about the arguments one believes to hold. Or one may believe the conclusion of an argument without believing that the argument adequately demonstrates the conclusion.

This is true, when dealing with the abstract and the theoretical.  As I have said, I would like to discuss brass tacks, not spin potential variations of theoretical arguments ad infinitum.

In doubing the validity of an argument for a position or belief within the church, one is not thereby doubting the conclusion of that argument. Here's an example of the first case: One may believe in God or a particular theodicy (say, Felix Culpa), while expressing one's worries about the weaknesses of that theodicy (say, an objection from gratuitous suffering, or certain views that base themselves off of the assumption that Molinism is correct about God's providence).

My concern is the conclusion of the argument.  If a particular means of articulating the truth of the matter is weak or open to attack, I'd prefer not to invoke that particular argument at all.  I would still not hesitate from articulating the truth behind it, however, through other, less readily assailable means.

When one presents one's arguments in theological discourse, and here I am talking about scholarly theology, one expresses intellectual humility when one proactively presents the weaknesses and best objections to the arguments one presents. This is humble for a few reasons. First, it acknowledges that, no matter the degree to which one can "speak with the mind of the church," one is re-articulating positions. In virtue of this being a re-articulation it necessarily entails an accidental (at least) change in meaning that (at least) synergistically involves the re-articulator as a creative agent. Because of this, it ought to be subject to critique by one's peers; least of all because we are often bad, and a good God has no need of a bad argument.

I have no problem with this at all so far as it goes, since as I've already stated, the truth undergirding the arguments remains beyond doubt, question, or assault: in this case, that homosexual relationships could never be blessed, sanctioned, or tolerated within the Church, and yet the Church is mandated to deal with those afflicted by such desires in a compassionate and pastoral way.  Again, I am not interested in bandying about ideas related to homosexuality and the Church in the seminary classroom, though most in this discussion are surely capable of doing so if need be.  I am interested in the application of the Church's already well-established position on the issue in the parish.

In proactively presenting the weaknesses and best objections to one's argument, or one's claims, one is opening oneself up to criticism in a vulnerable way. And this opening is done for the betterment of the church, decreasing our own glory in a potentially bad argument in order to avoid scandal in the church through it's unfortunate proliferation.

Again, I can go along with this, so long as it is not a means by which the Enemy's argument and/or the world's argument is given an unjustifiable patina of credence.

By way of illustration, can you give me an example of such a bad argument and the criticism it has exposed the Church to as it pertains to this particular subject please?

It is also an act of withdrawing as we create, which images God. and it helps make our re-articulation a communal effort rather than a solipsistic enterprise.

Who is included in the community producing this statement?  Are apologists for a revision of the Church's stance on homosexuality a party to this creative act in your point of view?

In keeping with this call for clarity in the light of day, clearly stated, what are the various positions on the subject within the Church as you see them?  Which do you find to be meritorious?
I would have to think about it more to do it proper justice but here are a few:

1. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies mechanistic natural law (improper function for a human machine to perform)
2. Homosexuality is wrong because it defies pre-copernican or neo-aristotelian natural law (failure to properly exemplify/move toward a natural end-in-action/entelechia, ultimately in God)
3. Homosexuality is wrong because it fails to embody transcendent otherness, this being known through our God-given intuition
4. Homosexuality is wrong because it contradicts God's ordinance, obedience to which is good of itself and defiance of which is bad of itself
5. Homosexuality is wrong because it has not been licit before and we are a church that maintains a core unchanging tradition

1. Homosexuality is acceptable because the forbidding of homosexuality was a contingent/accidental element of tradition which can be revised given the good of promoting human unions/relieving suffering

1.A Homosexuality is acceptable because it was never actually forbidden by our authoritative sources in the first place (all of the supposed forbiddings were actually referring to prostitution or some such)

1.B Homosexuality is acceptable because there is no core tradition (and we are progressively revealing a clearer picture of God over time, of which this is a part

2. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, it is an evil that must be permitted in order to prevent further evil/promote some compensatory goods

2.A. Homosexuality is acceptable because, like divorce, an evil has already occurred (instantiation/transmission of a fallen disposition) and the response (gay marriage or some other) mitigates this evil, does not attempt to hide it in a sinful way, or some other.

I dunno, those seem like the ones I hear most often. I'm sure I'd add more.

As for their merits, if I were to say those off the top of my head, without preparing extensively, I would be doing them a disservice.

That's up to you, of course, but like I said, if you feel that your role in this conversation is merely to force an examination of the subject in a relatively abstract, academic sense, then I really have no interest in dialoguing with you for reasons outline above.  I also feel that it is cheap for you to pretend not to have a particular stance on the issue, when it is fairly clear that you are more than a disinterested party, or a party interested only academically.

If you think I promised I'd list my responses somewhere in this thread, sorry.

I never thought that you made any such promise.  I requested such, and you have elected not to oblige, which is of course your right.  As I've said though, this limits the amount of energy I'll be willing to expend engaging with you on the issue.  I'd be better served devoting the time and energy I can afford to expend on this board engaging with FinnJames.

But like the boxing coach who is out of shape, we can call boxing like we see it and give proper boxing advice without being fighters ourselves. Nevertheless, this is something I do plan to take up at a later date.

When you do, please let me know.  For now, if I only have time to spar with Canelo or exhaust myself listening to the endless ramblings of Teddy Atlas, I'm going to lace up my gloves and step in the ring with Canelo.

My opinion is that, *setting aside the truth of the conclusions*, all of the above arguments, in the forms I've seen them, have damning objections.

I'm much more interested in the practical applications of said arguments for the life of the Church than in endlessly debating them in theory.  But thanks anyway.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:19:22 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.

This occurred to me also, and I was going to bring it up if no one else did.  Does it even matter if the man and woman are married/unmarried and celibate?  I've heard of the EO lauding married couples who lived as brother and sister, but have not even heard reference to an unmarried man and woman living chastely together, let alone as an option the Church endorses or allows, either one.  That sounds far-fetched to me, also.  But who knows?

I do not know of an example of the Church lauding an unmarried heterosexual couple living together as brother and sister.  I know married couples who live together that way personally.  It is certainly not something I could do.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 09:19:28 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

This is the authoritative study proving homosexuality is inbred and insurmountable? Ask gay dudes what age they remember being gay?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:22:14 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

In addition to the options listed by Porter, I would ask what is wrong with living alone?  Lot's of people do it.  Further, do you really not see a difference between him having a male roommate and a male whom he thinks of as his homosexual companion?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:25:47 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

Play fair, Nicholas.  That quote is Charles Martel's, not mine.

The proof, you liar:

And what's an example of what this extra formality on their part would accomplish in regard to homosexuality and the Church?
It would allow the arguments for/against the various positions to shine in the light of day, without the shrouds of polemic. So that both sides could fight like men.

Fight? Fighting is part of the problem, I think. What's needed is for both 'sides' to listen and speak to each other with love (no homo  ;)). As far as I can determine, there are a lot more priests and a lot more homosexuals doing just that than either 'side' wants to admit, publicly at least.
At the academic level there is a 'fight' that occurs, though it doesn't have to be a malicious one!
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 09:27:25 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

This is the authoritative study proving homosexuality is inbred and insurmountable? Ask gay dudes what age they remember being gay?
I didn't say I did a study. I'm just trying to figure stuff out. Other than saying that we are born in sin, Scripture doesn't really address anything of the sort. Most of my friends who have come out where/are Christians who were discussing the struggles they have had with trying to overcome their feelings. A number of them went through the whole gay therapy thing which didn't work for any of them.

Its just that it is a whole lot easier to discuss this in a theoretical context on an Orthodox Christian forum than it is to talk to someone in person who is struggling with it and looking for help. I'm the first one to admit that I'm probably not the best help since I've never struggled with it myself.  :-\
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 09:30:56 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

In addition to the options listed by Porter, I would ask what is wrong with living alone?  Lot's of people do it.  Further, do you really not see a difference between him having a male roommate and a male whom he thinks of as his homosexual companion?
They do it if they can afford it. There are lots of people who aren't in a situation that they can do that.

I do see a difference between the two, but I suppose my question would be, does that then permit men to live with women so long as they don't think of themselves as heterosexual companions? I would think not, but perhaps minds differ on that.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:33:31 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:35:28 PM
... It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

Actually, this is not uncommon in the EO in the U.S., and sometimes even seems taken for granted by priests.

If true, that's pathetic.  That's not at all the situation in the Coptic Church.  Truthfully, it's not been my experience with the EO here on the East Coast either.  Either way, this doesn't provide an out for homosexuals arguing for an application of the same lapsed standard to their unions.  It just means that the EO in your neck of the woods needs to get its act together.
So if a man admits to being tempted by homosexual feelings, who should they be permitted to live with? He can't live with a woman because that would be improper, and he can't live with another man for fear of falling into sin. If he wants a room mate, what sex can he live with?

In addition to the options listed by Porter, I would ask what is wrong with living alone?  Lot's of people do it.  Further, do you really not see a difference between him having a male roommate and a male whom he thinks of as his homosexual companion?
They do it if they can afford it. There are lots of people who aren't in a situation that they can do that.

I do see a difference between the two, but I suppose my question would be, does that then permit men to live with women so long as they don't think of themselves as heterosexual companions? I would think not, but perhaps minds differ on that.

Then like Porter said, let them live with their families, etc.  I don't think the Church would or should ever validate a homosexual couple living together on the basis of economics.  I also don't think the Church would or should consent to a heterosexual guy and girl shacking up under any circumstances.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: rakovsky on July 09, 2017, 09:38:36 PM
At any rate, let's consider in general terms a situation where a man is determined to live chastely but thinks of himself as in love, or as suited primarily to friendships with gay men.

What do you say to him?
The underlying basis for the erotic "chaste" romantic gay love is still the theologically and biologically deviant unfulfilled sexual gay urge. Thus the "romantic" chaste gay relationship is still founded on deviancy that misses the mark from the divine ideal desired male female romantic relationship.

The biological and theological ideal is for a male and a female to have romantic coupling. A male male sexual relationship is deviancy according to biology. There are many pieces of evidence for this, like the fact that sexuality and the sexual organs are for the purpose of reproduction. Gay sexual romantic relationships are also deviant in the eyes of the Bible, early Christians, and Church fathers, and the Church tradition.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 09:43:43 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 09, 2017, 09:46:47 PM
First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)  I don't agree with that worldview and I don't agree that it can be supported with Orthodox Christian ontology or anthropology.  It does not speak to the Orthodox conception of marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is first and foremost a path to holiness.

Such an approach is not one that has ever existed in the life of the Church.  It would be an innovation based upon the spirit of the present times and out of line with traditional Christian anthropology.  It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

I see in your last post to Porter that you say that this is the kind of union you are yourself involved in, so I want to be very careful and not be mean to you here, but you said you wanted a truthful dialogue in love, so I hope you don't mind me expressing my point of view respectfully, even if it contradicts something which must be very dear to you.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

People living together in the world is not the same thing as a monastic community, where people live under obedience to and under the supervision of a monastic superior.  Again, I don't believe that the Church could turn a blind eye to homosexual unions any more than they could to a man and a woman living together without a sacramental marriage.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

How the Church is perceived by the laity can sometimes be a problem, but I don't believe that changing the Church's traditional means of addressing the subject of homosexual unions and homosexuality in general is the best way to address that problem.  Rather, the Church needs to articulate what has always been her teaching in a loving way, to offer therapeutic and loving means of coping with such problems to its members, and always to uphold the truth that such a thing is indeed a problem and not something that can be blessed, tacitly or explicitly.

Eventually, however, the Church also has to accept that while we always leave the ninety-nine sheep to pursue the one, people also have free will and are free to leave if they feel they cannot abide by the Church's perception of what constitutes morality.  If, at the end of the day, I cannot accept that the Church cannot bless or turn a blind eye to my living with a woman outside of marriage, I have to make a choice about whether or not I can remain in the Church.  I cannot reasonably expect the Church to change to accommodate something - however dear to me - which contradicts her lived theology.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.

I don't agree with your reading of Sister Vassa's answer that she sees dating as something this young man will embark upon in the nebulous future as opposed to the present or the immediate future.  It makes little difference, however, because either way, I must once again respectfully disagree with your assertions here.  As indicated in previous posts, as a general rule, I don't agree with the mode of parenting in which the parents throw up their hands and accept the "inevitable" as it pertains to what their child will and will not do while living in their home.  As with Mina, this concept is foreign to me.  In my worldview, and the way I was raised, the children abide by their parents rules in keeping with their parents sense of morality until the day they leave the house as independent adults.  I cannot conceive of any parent tolerating behavior they find objectionable from a recalcitrant child.  In this sense, I can agree with you that this aspect of the discussion doesn't differ significantly than the situation of young heterosexual people.  If I don't want, say, my daughter going out with boys outside of a group setting, so long as she lives in my house, that is what she will do.  I don't concede that this necessarily means that she will be defying me behind my back, because I know too many households in which the children were raised right where this was not the case.

Further, once again we come back to how we view the subject of homosexuality in general, as either a result of the fall or as something equal to the union of a man and a woman in the self-sacrificial love which ultimately makes them human as ordained by God and described so eloquently by Fr. John Behr in various places.

I believe we have some fundamental differences in our worldview, FinnJames, and respectfully, I believe that yours is at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with one another in love.  Thanks for talking with me, and please pray for me as I pray for you.  :)
the canons always actually distinguished between sex and other displays of affection fwiw.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 09:50:38 PM
"Making out" isn't just a display of affection. Next you'll be saying no homosexual act is really sex according to the canons because it's not procreative.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 09:51:09 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.

I don't think you should beat yourself up over it.  It's not like you singlehandedly failed them or that it was on you to singlehandedly save them.  God have mercy on them and lead them to His truth.  Like I said before though, men have free will.  If, at some point, someone decides that their sexual identity is more important to them than Christ, that is their sad choice to make.  We can't compel anyone to take up his cross, but we can't pretend it's okay when it's not just to spare people's feelings either, right?

First of all, if a homosexual couple is not having sex with each other or with anyone else but is in other ways supporting each other as heterosexual couples do, then I don't see why that couple should be treated any differently than any other couple in the parish. The wives of several heterosexual couples in my parish are noticeably pregnant, which does sort of give things away. But there really is no reason to assume that a childless couple, heterosexual or homosexual, are having sex. After all, we all go to confession and presumably all of us confess honestly and repentantly.

Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)  I don't agree with that worldview and I don't agree that it can be supported with Orthodox Christian ontology or anthropology.  It does not speak to the Orthodox conception of marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is first and foremost a path to holiness.

Such an approach is not one that has ever existed in the life of the Church.  It would be an innovation based upon the spirit of the present times and out of line with traditional Christian anthropology.  It would be essentially the same thing as saying that the Church could de facto bless - without actually blessing - a man and a woman living together outside of marriage, and if they should fall once in awhile and cross the line into premarital sex, all they need do is confess.  I'm sure you realize the Church could never bless such a thing or even commune a man and a woman living this way.  Could you please tell me how the scenario you propose is different in any meaningful way?

I see in your last post to Porter that you say that this is the kind of union you are yourself involved in, so I want to be very careful and not be mean to you here, but you said you wanted a truthful dialogue in love, so I hope you don't mind me expressing my point of view respectfully, even if it contradicts something which must be very dear to you.

Presumably there must be at least a few homosexual monastics living chaste lives in same-sex communities, so I see no reason to suppose that homosexual lay people shouldn't be able to follow a similar discipline in couples.  I see no reason why the Church should bless these unions, but I also see no reason why the Church should forbid these couples from forming legal civil unions.

People living together in the world is not the same thing as a monastic community, where people live under obedience to and under the supervision of a monastic superior.  Again, I don't believe that the Church could turn a blind eye to homosexual unions any more than they could to a man and a woman living together without a sacramental marriage.

The question of young people is a difficult one, but it is the one the mother asked Sr Vassa about. And note that this was a question she did not feel comfortable bringing to her priest (for fear of 'outing' her son, if I understood her letter correctly), which does say something about how the Church is perceived by its lay members.

How the Church is perceived by the laity can sometimes be a problem, but I don't believe that changing the Church's traditional means of addressing the subject of homosexual unions and homosexuality in general is the best way to address that problem.  Rather, the Church needs to articulate what has always been her teaching in a loving way, to offer therapeutic and loving means of coping with such problems to its members, and always to uphold the truth that such a thing is indeed a problem and not something that can be blessed, tacitly or explicitly.

Eventually, however, the Church also has to accept that while we always leave the ninety-nine sheep to pursue the one, people also have free will and are free to leave if they feel they cannot abide by the Church's perception of what constitutes morality.  If, at the end of the day, I cannot accept that the Church cannot bless or turn a blind eye to my living with a woman outside of marriage, I have to make a choice about whether or not I can remain in the Church.  I cannot reasonably expect the Church to change to accommodate something - however dear to me - which contradicts her lived theology.

Although most of the commenters here have assumed that Sr Vassa envisions a 14-year-old as dating, a careful reading of her post shows that she talks about dating as a possibility in the child's future. Unless the boy in question himself wants to follow the Church's teachings or his parents lock him in his room until he reaches adulthood, I don't see how they can stop him from dating someone of the same sex at some point. Whether for this lad dating is going to mean hopping into bed for a quicky or socializing and exploring how to relate to another individual he cares about depends largely on the advice he gets from his parents--and his Church. I don't see how this differs at all from the situation of heterosexual young people.

I don't agree with your reading of Sister Vassa's answer that she sees dating as something this young man will embark upon in the nebulous future as opposed to the present or the immediate future.  It makes little difference, however, because either way, I must once again respectfully disagree with your assertions here.  As indicated in previous posts, as a general rule, I don't agree with the mode of parenting in which the parents throw up their hands and accept the "inevitable" as it pertains to what their child will and will not do while living in their home.  As with Mina, this concept is foreign to me.  In my worldview, and the way I was raised, the children abide by their parents rules in keeping with their parents sense of morality until the day they leave the house as independent adults.  I cannot conceive of any parent tolerating behavior they find objectionable from a recalcitrant child.  In this sense, I can agree with you that this aspect of the discussion doesn't differ significantly than the situation of young heterosexual people.  If I don't want, say, my daughter going out with boys outside of a group setting, so long as she lives in my house, that is what she will do.  I don't concede that this necessarily means that she will be defying me behind my back, because I know too many households in which the children were raised right where this was not the case.

Further, once again we come back to how we view the subject of homosexuality in general, as either a result of the fall or as something equal to the union of a man and a woman in the self-sacrificial love which ultimately makes them human as ordained by God and described so eloquently by Fr. John Behr in various places.

I believe we have some fundamental differences in our worldview, FinnJames, and respectfully, I believe that yours is at odds with the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with one another in love.  Thanks for talking with me, and please pray for me as I pray for you.  :)
the canons always actually distinguished between sex and other displays of affection fwiw.

Could you give an example of what you mean, please?  Preferably quoting the canons in question?  Are we talking friendly pats on the back or something more graphic?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 09, 2017, 09:57:40 PM
Yes John the Faster for instance gets very technical and scholastic in ranking suns and penances.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 09, 2017, 09:58:35 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.

I don't think you should beat yourself up over it.  It's not like you singlehandedly failed them or that it was on you to singlehandedly save them.  God have mercy on them and lead them to His truth.  Like I said before though, men have free will.  If, at some point, someone decides that their sexual identity is more important to them than Christ, that is their sad choice to make.  We can't compel anyone to take up his cross, but we can't pretend it's okay when it's not just to spare people's feelings either, right?
You're right, but through those experiences and those conversations, I can't really see how any of those guys were in a situation where they willingly chose those feelings. Rather, it seems like they were saddled with them for as long as they could remember and then eventually figured it was too hard to fight it anymore and decided to just give in to them. This is where I don't really agree with the "being gay is a choice" thing. Acting out on those feelings is a choice, obviously, but those feelings aren't. At least, that is the distinct impressions I got from my conversations with them.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 10:45:18 PM
One thing I think is borne out in this thread, if subtly, is that similar problems beset heterosexual people. And problems beset children. And married people. And so on. In other words, that the modern world is seriously messed up and perplexing. And more critically, that the people who inhabit it are stretched and twisted and desperate.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 09, 2017, 10:56:59 PM
Teaching three yr olds sodomy is "normal" is not malicious?
Clearly teaching them anything about sodomy or attempting to "sexualize" them is degenerate and anyone who advocates such is a degenerate, nobody has advocated such in this thread, it's about time this straw man came to an end.

Noting that we are always sexual beings does not imply that degenerate acts toward young people are good or acceptable.

You are better than that, I'd expect it from Charles and Porter in his snappier moments but come on.

If you were to test a toddler's sexual appetites and decide their are for males, then you'd have to teach them something about homosexuality and sexualize them to some extent. Now, if I grant what Mor may have been saying and admit their may be some model researcher's use that correlates, say, love of trucks with appetite for men, then this would not be necessary. However, this is an assumption about whatever study (actually, I think she implies there are many studies) Sr. Vassa is alluding to and one nobody's proved, and any such model would remain quite problematic for other reasons.
I going to again give the caveat that I'm not gay, so I can't speak from any kind of personal experience, but friends of mine who self-identify as gay tell me that they have known they were gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it wasn't even sexual when it started out. When kids in kindergarten have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", they know nothing about sex or sexuality. It is just a generalized sense of attraction. If kids at a very young age can have that sense of attraction even before they know what sex is, I have to imagine it is either something they are born with or something that develops at a very young age. Could it occur during early brain development? I don't really know. All I know is that people are born or develop at young ages all sorts of disorders which develop into more serious sinful manifestations as they get older. I've know enough people who ended up coming out to me at various points in their lives, most of them as gay, but some of them as transgender, that I really don't know what to think. I don't question that it is sin, but I think that much of how Christians have responded to it has been largely unhelpful and damaging in helping people who struggle with it turn to the Church as a source of healing.

But that's just it: How many are interested in actual healing and how many are interested in validation and being told that they can persist in what the Church deems sinful because "they can't help it" or "it feels like love to them"?
I can only speak from personal experiences I've had. I attended a Christian college, and 3 of my good friends came out as gay to me either while at college or shortly after graduation. None of them at the time were looking for any validation; they wanted to be rid of the feelings. With each of them, I prayed and talked with them, sometimes for years. Eventually all three of them left Christianity and became openly gay. It was after years of long, painful talks, lots of prayer, them going through conversion therapy, pretty much everything they could think of to do to not be gay. They tell me they are much happier and contented now, but I remain haunted, wishing that I could have done something differently, maybe gave better advice, helped them in some way, so they wouldn't have abandoned Christ. All that took place before I was Orthodox, so maybe I would give better advice now, I don't know. I don't feel like I'm any more of an expert on it, since all three of them basically failed Christ.  :'(

I just feel haunted by those three experiences. Like I made a big mistake and I don't know what I could have done differently.

I don't think you should beat yourself up over it.  It's not like you singlehandedly failed them or that it was on you to singlehandedly save them.  God have mercy on them and lead them to His truth.  Like I said before though, men have free will.  If, at some point, someone decides that their sexual identity is more important to them than Christ, that is their sad choice to make.  We can't compel anyone to take up his cross, but we can't pretend it's okay when it's not just to spare people's feelings either, right?
You're right, but through those experiences and those conversations, I can't really see how any of those guys were in a situation where they willingly chose those feelings. Rather, it seems like they were saddled with them for as long as they could remember and then eventually figured it was too hard to fight it anymore and decided to just give in to them. This is where I don't really agree with the "being gay is a choice" thing. Acting out on those feelings is a choice, obviously, but those feelings aren't. At least, that is the distinct impressions I got from my conversations with them.

And I've met a lot of straight men who lead me to believe that being monogamous is not in our nature.  Left to our own devices, most of us would prefer a harem, and most of us feel we're hard wired that way.  It's up to us to live the way God wants us to live though.  We're not free to indulge our lusts, or worse yet, call upon the Church to sanctify or wink at them.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 09, 2017, 11:15:27 PM
The individual human being separated and analyzed purely as an individual yields as much useful information as analyzing a cell in situ tells us about the needs of the human body. Humankind is properly a Body, and life isolated from that proper organism is deranged.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Ainnir on July 09, 2017, 11:33:19 PM
Would it make any difference to anyone if we defined sexuality as human maleness/femaleness?  Such that being a helpmeet was as much a part of Eve's sexuality as childbirth (and so for every woman)?  Hopefully that makes sense; this is how I think about it.  Society has simply flattened and cheapened the concept, and crammed it into a crass little pigeon-hole; I don't think that's a new development, either.  Just my $0.02, though.   ;)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: rakovsky on July 09, 2017, 11:40:42 PM
What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation?

Well, this is a bizarre opening.
When parents live with their kids, it's because they have a natural family relationship based on their family relations by birth. The same thing is true when siblings live together or grandkids or nieces and nephews move in with their relatives.

Men and women who have a marriage or romantic relationship live together because of their sexual attraction combined with their love.

When a pair is gay and recognizes that they have a romantic relationship and common sexual attraction that is the basis of their relationship, then that sexual deviancy is still a cornerstone of their cohabiting relationship. So the gay cohabitation is still at root a deviant one.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 10, 2017, 12:03:27 AM
Would it make any difference to anyone if we defined sexuality as human maleness/femaleness?  Such that being a helpmeet was as much a part of Eve's sexuality as childbirth (and so for every woman)?  Hopefully that makes sense; this is how I think about it.  Society has simply flattened and cheapened the concept, and crammed it into a crass little pigeon-hole; I don't think that's a new development, either.  Just my $0.02, though.   ;)

That's sex. Or even gender. What they mean by "sexuality" is sexual appetites and tendencies. A homosexual is no longer considered feminine by definition -- that went out in the '50s, and, more importantly, it's just not backed up by facts.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 10, 2017, 12:04:20 AM
What is the basis for a supposedly chaste gay couple relationship, as opposed to, say, a chaste parent child cohabitation?

Well, this is a bizarre opening.
When parents live with their kids, it's because they have a natural family relationship based on their family relations by birth. The same thing is true when siblings live together or grandkids or nieces and nephews move in with their relatives.

Men and women who have a marriage or romantic relationship live together because of their sexual attraction combined with their love.

When a pair is gay and recognizes that they have a romantic relationship and common sexual attraction that is the basis of their relationship, then that sexual deviancy is still a cornerstone of their cohabiting relationship. So the gay cohabitation is still at root a deviant one.

I assume you don't have sexual relations with your mother. The bizarre part is your, so to speak, bringing it up.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 10, 2017, 12:27:25 AM
Thread locked pending moderator review.

Mor Ephrem, section moderator
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Bob2 on July 19, 2017, 12:55:26 PM
Quote
NEW YORK: July 19, 2017
Circular Communique from the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops

The Holy Synod, having received the recent text of a publicly-posted e-mail exchange, dated 2nd July 2017, between the Nun Vassa (Larin) and a correspondent, entitled “EMAIL OF THE WEEK: (from a mother, on MY SON IS HOMOSEXUAL),” together with follow-up correspondence, also posted publicly on 8th July 2017, is compelled to confirm to its flock and to all Orthodox Christians that the counsel contained therein is in contradiction to the Church’s teaching on sexuality, repentance and family life. It does not represent an Orthodox understanding of anthropology or theology, and in the counsel it purports to offer presents a grave spiritual danger to those who might follow it, in terms of their own understanding of sexuality, as well as in the rearing of children.
More here: http://www.synod.com/synod/eng2017/20170719_encircularnotice.html
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 01:00:31 PM
Thank you, Bishops.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ICXCNIKA on July 19, 2017, 01:18:32 PM
And yet her son is still gay and the nun's personal opinion is still that.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:27:42 PM
Glory to God!  I very much approve of this response, especially the correctives applied to Sr. Vassa's language concerning what homosexuality is and the clarification concerning the misapplication of the story of St. Mary of Egypt to this problem.

Highlights for me included:

Quote
It should be clear to men and women of faith that mere verbal acknowledgement, with regards to homosexuality, that “actively living it out is a sin,” is not sufficient to establish a text’s keeping with Orthodox teaching in the light of the Gospel, when the same text nevertheless equates homosexuality in numerous places to a “God-given gift, and cross,” or “one’s gift-and-cross of (homo)sexuality” — suggesting, in utter departure from all Christian teaching, that this or any means of behaviour which God identifies as sinful may be His deliberate bestowal upon some (thereby falling into the social trap of suggesting that “God made me that way”); further, that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”; and moreover, rather than encouraging that a parent of a child identifying as homosexual should help him, with the Church’s loving care, to repent and seek healing unto redemption of soul and body and the fulness of life, instead suggest either that the child be encouraged to remain in his sin as a “humble presence in [his] parish,” falsely equating a consequent withdrawal of approach to the Holy Mysteries to the example St. Mary of Egypt, whose long struggle without Holy Communion was not due to her steadfastness in sin but to the extreme conviction of her utter repentance; or yet worse, that the parents of a child should seek out a parish that deliberately and knowingly “is acceptive of your son’s particular gift-and-cross,” once more ascribing homosexuality as a bestowal of God, encouraging at the same time the departure from ascetic transformation and the seeking out of a community that might wilfully abandon the Gospel teaching towards repentance, knowingly permitting the faithful to languish in their sin rather than be healed.

And yet her son is still gay

And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.

and the nun's personal opinion is still that.

And she is wrong, per her Synod.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 01:29:10 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ICXCNIKA on July 19, 2017, 01:36:01 PM
Glory to God!  I very much approve of this response, especially the correctives applied to Sr. Vassa's language concerning what homosexuality is and the clarification concerning the misapplication of the story of St. Mary of Egypt to this problem.

Highlights for me included:

Quote
It should be clear to men and women of faith that mere verbal acknowledgement, with regards to homosexuality, that “actively living it out is a sin,” is not sufficient to establish a text’s keeping with Orthodox teaching in the light of the Gospel, when the same text nevertheless equates homosexuality in numerous places to a “God-given gift, and cross,” or “one’s gift-and-cross of (homo)sexuality” — suggesting, in utter departure from all Christian teaching, that this or any means of behaviour which God identifies as sinful may be His deliberate bestowal upon some (thereby falling into the social trap of suggesting that “God made me that way”); further, that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”; and moreover, rather than encouraging that a parent of a child identifying as homosexual should help him, with the Church’s loving care, to repent and seek healing unto redemption of soul and body and the fulness of life, instead suggest either that the child be encouraged to remain in his sin as a “humble presence in [his] parish,” falsely equating a consequent withdrawal of approach to the Holy Mysteries to the example St. Mary of Egypt, whose long struggle without Holy Communion was not due to her steadfastness in sin but to the extreme conviction of her utter repentance; or yet worse, that the parents of a child should seek out a parish that deliberately and knowingly “is acceptive of your son’s particular gift-and-cross,” once more ascribing homosexuality as a bestowal of God, encouraging at the same time the departure from ascetic transformation and the seeking out of a community that might wilfully abandon the Gospel teaching towards repentance, knowingly permitting the faithful to languish in their sin rather than be healed.

And yet her son is still gay

And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.

and the nun's personal opinion is still that.

And she is wrong, per her Synod.

1) I don't know that the lady asking the question feels any different now regarding the helpfulness and veracity of Sr's advice. That is an assumption on your part.
2) I don't think a synod gets to determine if someone's personal opinion is wrong.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 01:37:56 PM


And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.





I am going to go with, no she probably doesn't know...since the mother is likely still not Orthodox and probably not nearly as absorbed as the InternetDox are with this....


Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ICXCNIKA on July 19, 2017, 01:38:47 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:40:20 PM
1) I don't know that the lady asking the question feels any different now regarding the helpfulness and veracity of Sr's advice.

Who said anything about how she "feels"?  We don't know how she "felt" about Sr. Vassa's advice in the first place.  She now knows her Synod's position on whether or not the advice she received was helpful  It's up to her if she wants to accept that decision in humility or not.

That is an assumption on your part.
2) I don't think a synod gets to determine if someone's personal opinion is wrong.

Tell that to Nestorius.  Sr. Vassa was advancing what her Synod determined to be a wrong theological and anthropological opinion.  They publically corrected that opinion.  In the eyes of her Synod, she is wrong.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:42:11 PM


And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.





I am going to go with, no she probably doesn't know...since the mother is likely still not Orthodox and probably not nearly as absorbed as the InternetDox are with this....

What makes you say that?  Especially the bolded bit?  I know that if a controversy in the Church cropped up around my family, I'd be at least marginally aware of it.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 01:45:09 PM


And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.





I am going to go with, no she probably doesn't know...since the mother is likely still not Orthodox and probably not nearly as absorbed as the InternetDox are with this....

What makes you say that?  Especially the bolded bit?  I know that if a controversy in the Church cropped up around my family, I'd be at least marginally aware of it.


unless i am grossly mistaken in my remembering, the mother in question was Byzantine Catholic.

Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:49:30 PM


And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.





I am going to go with, no she probably doesn't know...since the mother is likely still not Orthodox and probably not nearly as absorbed as the InternetDox are with this....

What makes you say that?  Especially the bolded bit?  I know that if a controversy in the Church cropped up around my family, I'd be at least marginally aware of it.


unless i am grossly mistaken in my remembering, the mother in question was Byzantine Catholic.

That's right!  I'd forgotten!  That said, she's likely one of those Byzantine Catholics who believe that their church and the Orthodox share the same Faith and spirituality, or she probably wouldn't have written to Sr. Vassa in the first place, so the Synod's advice should carry at least as much weight for her as the advice of a nun under that Synod.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 01:51:07 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 01:51:10 PM


And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.





I am going to go with, no she probably doesn't know...since the mother is likely still not Orthodox and probably not nearly as absorbed as the InternetDox are with this....

What makes you say that?  Especially the bolded bit?  I know that if a controversy in the Church cropped up around my family, I'd be at least marginally aware of it.


unless i am grossly mistaken in my remembering, the mother in question was Byzantine Catholic.

That's right!  I'd forgotten!  That said, she's likely one of those Byzantine Catholics who believe that their church and the Orthodox share the same Faith and spirituality, or she probably wouldn't have written to Sr. Vassa in the first place, so the Synod's advice should carry at least as much weight for her as the advice of a nun under that Synod.


oh...not arguing whether she would -value- their opinion.....just assuming that she isn't checking the synod website...and also isn't nearly as tuned in as the internetDox.....

i.e. my comment was strictly on the 'now at least the mother knows....' part
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:54:18 PM
Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

Is validating anyone's sin a means of leading them to salvation?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?

Are the only options you see the above or validating and embracing their sin?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:57:24 PM


And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.





I am going to go with, no she probably doesn't know...since the mother is likely still not Orthodox and probably not nearly as absorbed as the InternetDox are with this....

What makes you say that?  Especially the bolded bit?  I know that if a controversy in the Church cropped up around my family, I'd be at least marginally aware of it.


unless i am grossly mistaken in my remembering, the mother in question was Byzantine Catholic.

That's right!  I'd forgotten!  That said, she's likely one of those Byzantine Catholics who believe that their church and the Orthodox share the same Faith and spirituality, or she probably wouldn't have written to Sr. Vassa in the first place, so the Synod's advice should carry at least as much weight for her as the advice of a nun under that Synod.


oh...not arguing whether she would -value- their opinion.....just assuming that she isn't checking the synod website...and also isn't nearly as tuned in as the internetDox.....

i.e. my comment was strictly on the 'now at least the mother knows....' part

That's fair.  So maybe I should've said, "If she's checking in, at least the mother knows..."?  My point is, this all took place in the public sphere, so it was prudent and necessary for the Synod to issue a public correction of a wrongheaded theological opinion by a monastic under their jurisdiction.  I do hope that the correction reached the mother and that she is not operating under the delusion that Sr. Vassa's advice was helpful and healthy.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jetavan on July 19, 2017, 01:57:58 PM
Wouldn't Sr. Vassa's superior be the one who should respond?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 01:58:59 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which elements of her public statement were off base.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 02:04:30 PM
Wouldn't Sr. Vassa's superior be the one who should respond?

As Porter asked repeatedly in the other thread: "Who is her superior"?  ;D
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:05:14 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality.

Gosh, no.

Quote
Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark.

God forbid. However, let's put your fantasies aside and look at the specific case. The child here only thinks he's gay; he has no sexual experience.

Quote
Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

As this Synod so ably illuminates, it is Sr. Vassa's thinking that suggests someone with homosexual desires cannot be saved. Salvation persists thru life and extends throughout experience, yes, even to the body. If it did not, it wouldn't be real rescue and preservation, but the kind of impotent legalism that mocks Evangelicals who were "born again" that one day 31 years ago and now trapped in discontents and impelled to invent alternate gospels, e.g., the Prosperity Gospel.

Quote
How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family?

If you would not wish on my children death, why do you wish on them the death of their genetic lines? as well as of much of their personal purpose.

Quote
Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?

Is that how you treat someone who is suffering? But what I would do is certainly assure them that there is always hope in Christ who is mighty to save.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:05:45 PM
Wouldn't Sr. Vassa's superior be the one who should respond?

As Porter asked repeatedly in the other thread: "Whoere is her superior"?  ;D
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 02:06:38 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 19, 2017, 02:07:04 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:08:09 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 02:09:09 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.


Neither is the internet....
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:09:17 PM
*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.

This is interesting. I've never heard anyone States-side using "mother," and if someone did I'd assume he meant an abbess.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:10:16 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.


Neither is the internet....

Sts. Basil, Antony, Macarius, Benedict, etc., etc. gave instructions for remote communications?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 02:10:57 PM
Wouldn't Sr. Vassa's superior be the one who should respond?

As Porter asked repeatedly in the other thread: "Whoere is her superior"?  ;D

An important distinction.  I stand corrected!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 02:14:45 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.

Around here, Mother means an abbess.  Sister is a simple nun.  Besides, she bills herself as Sister Vassa.  The title of her program, for instance, was Coffee with Sister Vassa.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 19, 2017, 02:16:07 PM
Just as the holy gospel enjoins , some of these bishops must be hating themselves !
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 02:16:45 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.


Neither is the internet....

So what we have here is a monastic internet celebrity without a monastery?  Did she ever belong to a women's monastery before returning to the world?  If not, in the Coptic Church, we would describe such a person as a celibate servant, not a monastic.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 02:17:14 PM
from http://www.synod.com/synod/engdocuments/enart_srvassaorthodoxy.html:



Dr Sr Vassa Larin, a ROCOR nun of the Diocese of Berlin and Germany, is a University Assistant teaching Liturgical Studies (Liturgiewissenschaft) at the University of Vienna in Austria. She is a founding member of the Society of Oriental Liturgy and a candidate for membership of the North American Academy of Liturgy. Unknown documents discovered by Sr Vassa in the State Archive of the Russian Federation and the Archives of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops in 2002 have played a significant role in reconstructing the genuine historical past of the Russian Church Abroad. A result of her research, an article on “oikonomia” is among the most popular articles posted on www.rocorstudies.org. We are delighted to introduce Sr Vassa to our readers and to dedicate this interview to the area of her expertise - liturgics.

-Please tell us about your background and explain why you decided to study theology.

-I was born and raised in the ROCOR, more specifically in the family of a ROCOR priest in Nyack, NY. When I was a novice living in a small monastic community in Munich, it was Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany who sent me, along with several other monastics of his diocese, to study theology at the Institute for Orthodox Theology of the University of Munich. His reason for doing this was simple: our diocese needed certified teachers of Orthodox Theology for our parish schools, and we happened to have an Orthodox Institute in Munich. Since higher education in Germany was then free, Vladyka decided to take advantage of this. His decision shocked me at the time, because it never entered my mind that I as an American could study at a German university.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 02:18:36 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.


Neither is the internet....

So what we have here is a monastic internet celebrity without a monastery?  Did she ever belong to a women's monastery before returning to the world?  If not, in the Coptic Church, we would describe such a person as a celibate servant, not a monastic.


She did....she was in a monastery from the age of 19 to whenver it was that Bishop Mark in Germany sent her to seminary....and since I do not know her current living arrangements.....for all we all know...she could return to a monastery each night to sleep....after she teaches
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 02:19:19 PM
Just as the holy gospel enjoins , some of these bishops must be hating themselves !

You're implying that some of the ROCOR bishops are secretly gay and therefore hypocrites?  I don't think that's accurate.  If some of them do have those desires, who is to say that they are not living a life of repentance struggling every day to conquer them.  No, I don't think this is a good illustration of hypocrisy at all.  A better definition would be, say, an atheist who thinks he knows what is best for the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 02:21:28 PM
Thanks for the info, Denise.  I didn't feel like googling.  :)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 19, 2017, 02:22:22 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 02:23:50 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Including GOA bishops. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ICXCNIKA on July 19, 2017, 02:25:38 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality.

Gosh, no. I guess you still don't know.

Quote
Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark.

God forbid. However, let's put your fantasies aside and look at the specific case. The child here only thinks he's gay; he has no sexual experience. You finally got in a taunt that was funny. God may forbid it but it doesn't stop youngins from doing it. You don't think you are gay or straight you are gay or you are not. Sexual experience doesn't make you gay or straight.

Quote
Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

As this Synod so ably illuminates, it is Sr. Vassa's thinking that suggests someone with homosexual desires cannot be saved. She never said that. Salvation persists thru life and extends throughout experience, yes, even to the body. If it did not, it wouldn't be real rescue and preservation, but the kind of impotent legalism that mocks Evangelicals who were "born again" that one day 31 years ago and now trapped in discontents and impelled to invent alternate gospels, e.g., the Prosperity Gospel.

Quote
How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family?

If you would not wish on my children death, why do you wish on them the death of their genetic lines? Well if they have your questionable DNA they would be doing the world a favor. as well as of much of their personal purpose.

Quote
Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?

Is that how you treat someone who is suffering? And if they tell you they are happy and not suffering? You just keep telling them that you know better and that they must be in a state of suffering?But what I would do is certainly assure them that there is always hope in Christ who is mighty to save. Yes, he can even save straights.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:25:56 PM
Just as the holy gospel enjoins , some of these bishops must be hating themselves !

When you're tempted to see the whole world thru sex-colored glasses like this, just remember that even activists put the homosexual population at an incredibly tiny percentage.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 02:26:05 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Including GOA bishops.


Say it isn't so!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 02:26:44 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

From what I read she didn't say that homosexuality is God-given gift. She said said that sexuality in general is a God-given gift and that there are problematic aspects in it for both straight and queer. That's hardly controversial or against Orthodox anthropology.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.

Around here, Mother means an abbess.  Sister is a simple nun.  Besides, she bills herself as Sister Vassa.  The title of her program, for instance, was Coffee with Sister Vassa.

Fair enough.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:27:08 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Agabus on July 19, 2017, 02:28:31 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Including GOA bishops.

St. Maria Skobtsova famously insisted she didn't want to belong to a monastery after taking vows.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:29:38 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be misunderstanding their purpose. This isn't a rebuke of Sr. Vassa personally, this is a discussion with their flock of an incident and message that has become prominently-known to their flock.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 02:31:18 PM
http://pemptousia.com/2014/09/coffee-interview-with-sister-vassa/

Sister Vassa: I see this kind of communicaton as my “obedience“ (or “poslushanie“, as we say in  Russian) and also my obligation. Because my spiritual father and archbishop, Vladyka Mark of Berlin and Germany, both sent me to receive  academic degrees in theology, and later blessed me to take on a teaching position at the University of Vienna. He also blessed me to make these videos, as part  of my academic  activities.




I said nothing that was not published
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 02:32:50 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 19, 2017, 02:34:29 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.

You mean, like Saint Anthony?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 02:34:55 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be misunderstanding their purpose. This isn't a rebuke of Sr. Vassa personally, this is a discussion with their flock of an incident and message that has become prominently-known to their flock.

That would be understandable purpose. However if that was the case I don't think bringing Mr. Vassa up would be anyhow necessary. Since they specifically mention her I assume their beef is also though not only with Mr. Vassa.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ICXCNIKA on July 19, 2017, 02:41:34 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 02:42:54 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be misunderstanding their purpose. This isn't a rebuke of Sr. Vassa personally, this is a discussion with their flock of an incident and message that has become prominently-known to their flock.

That would be understandable purpose. However if that was the case I don't think bringing Mr. Vassa up would be anyhow necessary. Since they specifically mention her I assume their beef is also though not only with Mr. Vassa.

Did you even read the statement? It puts its purpose quite plainly. Or are you now wanting a statement that said "Sr. V----" or "the writer of the e-mail, which for Christian charity we won't call by name"?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 02:50:02 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be misunderstanding their purpose. This isn't a rebuke of Sr. Vassa personally, this is a discussion with their flock of an incident and message that has become prominently-known to their flock.

That would be understandable purpose. However if that was the case I don't think bringing Mr. Vassa up would be anyhow necessary. Since they specifically mention her I assume their beef is also though not only with Mr. Vassa.

Did you even read the statement? It puts its purpose quite plainly. Or are you now wanting a statement that said "Sr. V----" or "the writer of the e-mail, which for Christian charity we won't call by name"?

Mr. Vassa is mentioned by name and there are direct quotes from her text. I can't interpret that anything else than rebuking. They don't issue any ecclesial punishment but seem somewhat annoyed at her. If they didn't want to rebuke her they could have issued some general statement on homosexuality without mentioning Mr. Vassa at all.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on July 19, 2017, 02:56:29 PM
The text criticizes her for saying:

Quote
that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”;

This was actually at the center of something Sister Vassa had said and was being discussed in the other thread, but which I think people were completely misunderstanding. However, I don't know about bringing it up here since that other thread is still closed, and it might be seen as circumventing moderatorial actions. Mods/admins?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: IreneOlinyk on July 19, 2017, 03:01:03 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

From what I read she didn't say that homosexuality is God-given gift. She said said that sexuality in general is a God-given gift and that there are problematic aspects in it for both straight and queer. That's hardly controversial or against Orthodox anthropology.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.

Around here, Mother means an abbess.  Sister is a simple nun.  Besides, she bills herself as Sister Vassa.  The title of her program, for instance, was Coffee with Sister Vassa.

Fair enough.

A minor point: Alpo is correct that tonsured nuns are addressed as "Mother" just as all monks are addressed as "Father" not just the monks who have been ordained as priests (Hieromonks). 
I have never been to an American Orthodox women's monastery so cannot comment as to why only the heugumena is cal "Mother".  In Canada in my limited experience that Has not been the case and women monastics are addressed as "Mother" just as in my visits in Eastern Europe. 
As for "Sister" Vassa's title perhaps she is under 40 years old & the ROCOR keeps to the ancient rule of only finally tonsuring nuns at age 40.  Other jurisdictions are not that strict. 
Or perhaps she is still a novice and her bishop has given her permission to remain a novice until she finishes her studies/research/ work and returns to the convet.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jetavan on July 19, 2017, 03:02:20 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 03:14:49 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

From what I read she didn't say that homosexuality is God-given gift. She said said that sexuality in general is a God-given gift and that there are problematic aspects in it for both straight and queer. That's hardly controversial or against Orthodox anthropology.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.

Around here, Mother means an abbess.  Sister is a simple nun.  Besides, she bills herself as Sister Vassa.  The title of her program, for instance, was Coffee with Sister Vassa.

Fair enough.

A minor point: Alpo is correct that tonsured nuns are addressed as "Mother" just as all monks are addressed as "Father" not just the monks who have been ordained as priests (Hieromonks). 
I have never been to an American Orthodox women's monastery so cannot comment as to why only the heugumena is cal "Mother".  In Canada in my limited experience that Has not been the case and women monastics are addressed as "Mother" just as in my visits in Eastern Europe. 
As for "Sister" Vassa's title perhaps she is under 40 years old & the ROCOR keeps to the ancient rule of only finally tonsuring nuns at age 40.  Other jurisdictions are not that strict. 
Or perhaps she is still a novice and her bishop has given her permission to remain a novice until she finishes her studies/research/ work and returns to the convet.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassa_Larin


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin (born Varvara Georgievna Larina, Russian: Варвара Георгиевна Ларина; December 11, 1970 in Nyack, New York, United States) is a Russian Orthodox ryassofor nun, the host of the popular show "Coffee with Sr. Vassa", author of many scholarly articles and a monograph on Byzantine liturgy and theology, and outspoken public intellectual on current issues of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). She teaches Liturgical Studies at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Vienna in Austria. Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin is a member of two Commissions of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church: the Commission on Liturgy and Church Art, and the Commission on Canon Law.




she is neither under 40 nor a novice.


Language usage varies without making one or the other 'wrong'
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 03:16:52 PM
The need for a public statement at all.

They covered that in their statement too.

Quote
While it is not the norm to reply from the Office of the Holy Synod to materials posted on the internet, in this instance the wide readership of the various resources published by this author, who is an Orthodox monastic, has the potential to lead readers astray and we therefore feel compelled to issue a brief word to the faithful.

If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed.

Obviously, the Synod disagrees.  I think they made the right response.

IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point.

She did.  On the points outlined by her bishops, to whom she should defer and submit.

She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be willfully reading the text that way, but that's not what it says.

From what I read she didn't say that homosexuality is God-given gift. She said said that sexuality in general is a God-given gift and that there are problematic aspects in it for both straight and queer. That's hardly controversial or against Orthodox anthropology.

Again, you seem to be willfully reading your thoughts onto the text.  She terms homosexuality as "a gift and a cross".  It may be the latter.  It is certainly not the former.  And of course there are problematic aspects of normal sexuality, but let's not pretend that homosexuality and normal sexuality are equivalents and that both are equally wonderful and problematic.  One is holy and ordained by God within the confines of marriage.  The other is not.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 03:18:49 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be misunderstanding their purpose. This isn't a rebuke of Sr. Vassa personally, this is a discussion with their flock of an incident and message that has become prominently-known to their flock.

That would be understandable purpose. However if that was the case I don't think bringing Mr. Vassa up would be anyhow necessary. Since they specifically mention her I assume their beef is also though not only with Mr. Vassa.

They have to give the erroneous teaching context.  What would be the point of pretending that it materialized out of thin air?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 03:25:44 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 19, 2017, 03:27:13 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 03:28:58 PM
I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

I don't know how to explain the problems with her Christian anthropology and her perception of what homosexuality is any more clearly than the Synod has already done.  What statements of theirs in the vein specifically are you finding hard to impenetrable?

The need for a public statement at all. If anything a simple coffe table discussion with her bishop or something to that effect would have sufficed. IMO she didn't contradict Orthodox faith at any point. She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be misunderstanding their purpose. This isn't a rebuke of Sr. Vassa personally, this is a discussion with their flock of an incident and message that has become prominently-known to their flock.

That would be understandable purpose. However if that was the case I don't think bringing Mr. Vassa up would be anyhow necessary. Since they specifically mention her I assume their beef is also though not only with Mr. Vassa.

Did you even read the statement? It puts its purpose quite plainly. Or are you now wanting a statement that said "Sr. V----" or "the writer of the e-mail, which for Christian charity we won't call by name"?

Mr. Vassa is mentioned by name and there are direct quotes from her text. I can't interpret that anything else than rebuking. They don't issue any ecclesial punishment but seem somewhat annoyed at her. If they didn't want to rebuke her they could have issued some general statement on homosexuality without mentioning Mr. Vassa at all.

You are definitely reading emotion into a plain communique. I don't think you could point to any specific phrases of "annoyance."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 03:30:17 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.

Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 03:32:41 PM
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 03:34:50 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.

Well at least you're not pretending words in sacred use can be examined in a vacuum. Yet you're still ignoring most of history and Tradition. The Church's movement away from hermits was neither arbitrary nor obscure. It's very important history and very well documented Tradition.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 19, 2017, 03:36:01 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.

Well at least you're not pretending words in sacred use can be examined in a vacuum. Yet you're still ignoring most of history and Tradition. The Church's movement away from hermits was neither arbitrary nor obscure. It's very important history and very well documented Tradition.

So you're saying that hermits don't exist anymore in the Church. Wrong again.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 03:39:26 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.

Well at least you're not pretending words in sacred use can be examined in a vacuum. Yet you're still ignoring most of history and Tradition. The Church's movement away from hermits was neither arbitrary nor obscure. It's very important history and very well documented Tradition.

Popularity of cenobitic monasticism =/= movement away from other forms
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 03:45:32 PM
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

There seem to be elements of Sr. Vassa's original statement - and of some of the defenses offered for it here and elsewhere - that attempt to deny this truth, or to claim that making such a statement is not the loving thing to do.  I strongly disagree.  I think it is the most loving and helpful thing to do if it is done and offered in the proper spirit.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 03:45:44 PM
They have to give the erroneous teaching context.  What would be the point of pretending that it materialized out of thin air?

No need to pretend anything. They could have said something like "There has been some confusion among the faithful and we'd like to clatify that...". Less gossip and judging that way.

Quote
She just didn't want to stone the kid to death.

You seem to be willfully reading the text that way, but that's not what it says.

It was an exaggeration. Sorry, can't help it from time to time. Blame hipsterism or something.

Quote
Again, you seem to be willfully reading your thoughts onto the text.  She terms homosexuality as "a gift and a cross".  It may be the latter.  It is certainly not the former.

IMO she's just saying that sexuality is a gift from God. Since gays are people their sexuality must also be in some level a gift from God. Perhaps in a very twisted and pervert way but still. Hence I don't think she said anything wrong. That's not equating homosexuality and heterosexuality. That's saying to an angsty teenager that God loves you as much as your straight neighbour.

The text criticizes her for saying:

Quote
that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”;

This was actually at the center of something Sister Vassa had said

How so?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 03:51:43 PM
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

There seem to be elements of Sr. Vassa's original statement - and of some of the defenses offered for it here and elsewhere - that attempt to deny this truth, or to claim that making such a statement is not the loving thing to do.  I strongly disagree.  I think it is the most loving and helpful thing to do if it is done and offered in the proper spirit.

In general, I agree with you.  And there are, to be sure, some elements of Sr Vassa's original statement which give me pause or with which I simply disagree.  But I think other elements are being distorted, in some cases probably unintentionally (it's not the clearest piece of writing) and in other cases probably intentionally (people love to grind their axes when they can). 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 03:52:54 PM
No need to pretend anything. They could have said something like "There has been some confusion among the faithful and we'd like to clatify that...". Less gossip and judging that way.

I think that since she is such a public figure and that since the incident has made such headlines (relatively speaking, that is, in the Orthodox world), they had no choice but to cite the specific communique outright.  Especially with ROCOR being such a conservative jurisdiction, and this liberal stance seeming out of step with their basic ethos.

It was an exaggeration. Sorry, can't help it from time to time. Blame hipsterism or something.

It's more than hyperbole.  It's a complete misreading of the text.  No one - including those who oppose Sr. Vassa's point of view - is calling for the condemnation of the kid, or of anyone struggling with the issue of homosexual attraction.

IMO she's just saying that sexuality is a gift from God. Since gays are people their sexuality must also be in some level a gift from God. Perhaps in a very twisted and pervert way but still. Hence I don't think she said anything wrong.

I disagree, for reasons articulated in my previous post.  Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

Quote
The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 03:53:36 PM
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

There seem to be elements of Sr. Vassa's original statement - and of some of the defenses offered for it here and elsewhere - that attempt to deny this truth, or to claim that making such a statement is not the loving thing to do.  I strongly disagree.  I think it is the most loving and helpful thing to do if it is done and offered in the proper spirit.

In general, I agree with you.  And there are, to be sure, some elements of Sr Vassa's original statement which give me pause or with which I simply disagree.  But I think other elements are being distorted, in some cases probably unintentionally (it's not the clearest piece of writing) and in other cases probably intentionally (people love to grind their axes when they can).

That may be true.  My chief concern is that the authentic teaching of the Church on human sexuality in general be upheld and not distorted.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 19, 2017, 03:53:44 PM
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 03:57:09 PM
Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

And I agree with that and didn't say anything contrary. And I don't think Mr. Vassa did either.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 04:01:57 PM
Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

And I agree with that and didn't say anything contrary. And I don't think Mr. Vassa did either.

I keep reading that as "Mister Vassa" and laughing. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 04:02:41 PM
Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

And I agree with that and didn't say anything contrary. And I don't think Mr. Vassa did either.

I keep reading that as "Mister Vassa" and laughing.

Me too...but I was giving the poor Finn a bit of slack.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 04:04:22 PM
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

There seem to be elements of Sr. Vassa's original statement - and of some of the defenses offered for it here and elsewhere - that attempt to deny this truth, or to claim that making such a statement is not the loving thing to do.  I strongly disagree.  I think it is the most loving and helpful thing to do if it is done and offered in the proper spirit.

In general, I agree with you.  And there are, to be sure, some elements of Sr Vassa's original statement which give me pause or with which I simply disagree.  But I think other elements are being distorted, in some cases probably unintentionally (it's not the clearest piece of writing) and in other cases probably intentionally (people love to grind their axes when they can).

That may be true.  My chief concern is that the authentic teaching of the Church on human sexuality in general be upheld and not distorted.

+1

My own view is that the authentic teaching on and practice of sexuality has (for lack of a better word) "dogmatic", and not merely "moral" or "ethical", importance, and so it's necessary to get it right. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 04:06:31 PM
Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

And I agree with that and didn't say anything contrary. And I don't think Mr. Vassa did either.

I keep reading that as "Mister Vassa" and laughing.

Me too...but I was giving the poor Finn a bit of slack.

LOL! It's past 11PM here by now. Should have logged out hours ago.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Pravoslavbob on July 19, 2017, 04:08:21 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.

It's because she's a Rassophore nun.  If she were to  become a Stavrophore nun or were to receive the Great Schema,  she would  then be addressed as "Mother".
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 04:10:42 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.

Well at least you're not pretending words in sacred use can be examined in a vacuum. Yet you're still ignoring most of history and Tradition. The Church's movement away from hermits was neither arbitrary nor obscure. It's very important history and very well documented Tradition.

So you're saying that hermits don't exist anymore in the Church. Wrong again.

I'm saying 'monos' doesn't comprise some religious mandate to be a hermit. Please read the post I'm responding to.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 04:13:07 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.
Well, the Greek monos does mean alone

What a priceless instance of misdirected knowledge.

Since so many early monks were solitaries, not really.

Well at least you're not pretending words in sacred use can be examined in a vacuum. Yet you're still ignoring most of history and Tradition. The Church's movement away from hermits was neither arbitrary nor obscure. It's very important history and very well documented Tradition.

Popularity of cenobitic monasticism =/= movement away from other forms

Popular it may be, but also mandated by several Saints with unique authority in the matter. The model of the hermit gave way to sketes and monasteries early on in EO tradition largely due, again, not to popularity but Church mandate. I don't know the case in OO.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 19, 2017, 04:33:08 PM
Just a note on language:

@Alpo: There is no abbreviation for 'Mother' (the head of a monastery for women) in English. The abbreviation 'Mr.' is just 'Mister'. Given that this thread touches on LGBTQ... matters, we don't want anyone thinking a monastic has had a sex change operation.

@everyone who has been reading this thread: It was stated earlier in the thread that in Finnish we call all female monastics 'Mother' (äiti). This information is in error. In fact, 'Mother' is reserved for the head of the female monastery (igumenia) and other nuns are called 'Sister' (sisar) in Finnish as in English.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 04:47:46 PM
.
@everyone who has been reading this thread: It was stated earlier in the thread that in Finnish we call all female monastics 'Mother' (äiti). This information is in error. In fact, 'Mother' is reserved for the head of the female monastery (igumenia) and other nuns are called 'Sister' (sisar) in Finnish as in English.

I believe that's not the case either. For example the news about recently lost nun were referencing to "Äiti Elisabet" i.e. Mother Elisabet despite her not being Abbess of Lintula. I was wrong though since I didn't consider the difference betwern Rassophore and Stavrophore. Of this difference Pravoslavbob kindly notified me. Rassophores ("Viitankantaja" if I'm correct) are indeed Sisters/Brothers in Finland too.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 19, 2017, 04:57:01 PM
.
@everyone who has been reading this thread: It was stated earlier in the thread that in Finnish we call all female monastics 'Mother' (äiti). This information is in error. In fact, 'Mother' is reserved for the head of the female monastery (igumenia) and other nuns are called 'Sister' (sisar) in Finnish as in English.

I believe that's not the case either. For example the news about recently lost nun were referencing to "Äiti Elisabet" i.e. Mother Elisabet despite her not being Abbess of Lintula. I was wrong though since I didn't consider the difference betwern Rassophore and Stavrophore. Of this difference Pravoslavbob kindly notified me. Rassophores ("Viitankantaja" if I'm correct) are indeed Sisters/Brothers in Finland too.

Here's a link to the Finnish Wikipedia article on nuns, for what it's worth. https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunna#Nunna_ortodoksisessa_kirkossa (https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunna#Nunna_ortodoksisessa_kirkossa)
And you were quite right about 'mother' while I was wrong.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 04:58:18 PM
And yet her son is still gay

Oh? Who made the diagnosis?

Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

and the nun's personal opinion is still that.
and now it has been publicly and officially rebuked.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 05:01:19 PM
Glory to God!  I very much approve of this response, especially the correctives applied to Sr. Vassa's language concerning what homosexuality is and the clarification concerning the misapplication of the story of St. Mary of Egypt to this problem.

Highlights for me included:

Quote
It should be clear to men and women of faith that mere verbal acknowledgement, with regards to homosexuality, that “actively living it out is a sin,” is not sufficient to establish a text’s keeping with Orthodox teaching in the light of the Gospel, when the same text nevertheless equates homosexuality in numerous places to a “God-given gift, and cross,” or “one’s gift-and-cross of (homo)sexuality” — suggesting, in utter departure from all Christian teaching, that this or any means of behaviour which God identifies as sinful may be His deliberate bestowal upon some (thereby falling into the social trap of suggesting that “God made me that way”); further, that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”; and moreover, rather than encouraging that a parent of a child identifying as homosexual should help him, with the Church’s loving care, to repent and seek healing unto redemption of soul and body and the fulness of life, instead suggest either that the child be encouraged to remain in his sin as a “humble presence in [his] parish,” falsely equating a consequent withdrawal of approach to the Holy Mysteries to the example St. Mary of Egypt, whose long struggle without Holy Communion was not due to her steadfastness in sin but to the extreme conviction of her utter repentance; or yet worse, that the parents of a child should seek out a parish that deliberately and knowingly “is acceptive of your son’s particular gift-and-cross,” once more ascribing homosexuality as a bestowal of God, encouraging at the same time the departure from ascetic transformation and the seeking out of a community that might wilfully abandon the Gospel teaching towards repentance, knowingly permitting the faithful to languish in their sin rather than be healed.

And yet her son is still gay

And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.

and the nun's personal opinion is still that.

And she is wrong, per her Synod.

1) I don't know that the lady asking the question feels any different now regarding the helpfulness and veracity of Sr's advice. That is an assumption on your part.
2) I don't think a synod gets to determine if someone's personal opinion is wrong.
1. If you don't know, why do you opine?
Feelings crash on facts.
2. You think wrong.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 05:04:00 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Same sex "marriage" cannot by nature make a family-that's a non-starter, not an insult. (except that thinking otherwise hurls insults at nature and nature's God)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 05:09:09 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Sisters is common, both in North America and the Middle East.

A minor issue is not minor if it leads to something great, as St. John of Damascus warns. Within our lifetime we have seen that at work in this agenda in particular. What claims the status of "common knowledge" now was denounced commonly as insanity as little as 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 05:12:10 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpo on July 19, 2017, 05:23:01 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Sisters is common, both in North America and the Middle East.

Interesting. Because of local tradition or because of RC influence?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ICXCNIKA on July 19, 2017, 05:23:32 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Same sex "marriage" cannot by nature make a family-that's a non-starter, not an insult. (except that thinking otherwise hurls insults at nature and nature's God)

I would just point out there are plenty of gay households that have children from previous marriages, donors, or adoption.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 05:23:40 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak
💩
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 05:25:44 PM
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Same sex "marriage" cannot by nature make a family-that's a non-starter, not an insult. (except that thinking otherwise hurls insults at nature and nature's God)

I would just point out there are plenty of gay households that have children from previous marriages, donors, or adoption.
sooooo you can't start a family, so you rip off one already started.

A test tube is not a family member.

And the kids won't have to be told that they are adopted...
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 05:26:54 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.


Not sure why you find my making sure that Porter did not call a nun 'Ms. ' is being silly.

Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on July 19, 2017, 05:27:14 PM
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Sisters is common, both in North America and the Middle East.

Interesting. Because of local tradition or because of RC influence?
Local. We don't have so many RC in the Middle East. "My sister" is what the Copts call the priest's wife, btw.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 19, 2017, 05:36:22 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.


Not sure why you find my making sure that Porter did not call a nun 'Ms. ' is being silly.

Do you want me to use "Mx."?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 06:03:47 PM
Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

And I agree with that and didn't say anything contrary. And I don't think Mr. Vassa did either.

The Synod disagrees with your reading of her missive.  So do I.

I keep reading that as "Mister Vassa" and laughing.

+1

Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

There seem to be elements of Sr. Vassa's original statement - and of some of the defenses offered for it here and elsewhere - that attempt to deny this truth, or to claim that making such a statement is not the loving thing to do.  I strongly disagree.  I think it is the most loving and helpful thing to do if it is done and offered in the proper spirit.

In general, I agree with you.  And there are, to be sure, some elements of Sr Vassa's original statement which give me pause or with which I simply disagree.  But I think other elements are being distorted, in some cases probably unintentionally (it's not the clearest piece of writing) and in other cases probably intentionally (people love to grind their axes when they can).

That may be true.  My chief concern is that the authentic teaching of the Church on human sexuality in general be upheld and not distorted.

+1

My own view is that the authentic teaching on and practice of sexuality has (for lack of a better word) "dogmatic", and not merely "moral" or "ethical", importance, and so it's necessary to get it right.

Very much agreed.  I think that in their own way, the Synod is touching on this reality in their abbreviated missive.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: DeniseDenise on July 19, 2017, 06:46:01 PM
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.


Not sure why you find my making sure that Porter did not call a nun 'Ms. ' is being silly.

Do you want me to use "Mx."?

No...I wish that you had enough respect to actually call her Sr.   and failing that....(since you seem to think you are the judge of monastic vows these days) at least call her Dr. since she has a Doctorate..

but clearly your 'decency' and 'tradition' only apply to those you approve of
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 19, 2017, 07:06:03 PM
Well this is certainly a big hullabaloo!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on July 19, 2017, 07:25:15 PM
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Fr. George on July 19, 2017, 07:33:44 PM
Antonious, I don't disagree generally, but I think you go one step too far in making your point.  To wit:

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman in an inherently good thing that expresses its goodness either when (a) exercised within the context of marriage, or (b) its energy is transformed into a passionate love for Christ and His people (as attempted by monastics).  Stating only (a) without (b) denies one of the central struggles of the monastic life: transforming the love that we would use in a limited way in the world (familial love, friendship, passionate love, merciful love) into purer love for God and all persons.

In that context, the sexual desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) can have its fulfillment in (b) - redirecting the eros toward God while disconnecting it from the physical drives.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jetavan on July 19, 2017, 07:50:17 PM
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.
I thought the Orthodox position was that the mere arising of same-sex desire/thought/feeling/logismoi was not inherently sinful; rather, the holding onto such logismoi was sinfu.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 08:52:46 PM
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.

Give me a break.  Which Cure song was playing as you cranked out this little gem?  If the Synod's statement sounded like a sermon to a conservative, self-righteous choir, created expressly to fill the collection plate, this little screed sounds like the smug, shallow rant of a cynical, angst-ridden teen who's convinced himself that life is pointless because he's discovered Hero Dad's secret porn stash and he's been reading Camus in 5th period philosophy.  All that's missing is the "Whatever!" and the eye roll at the end.  We get it.  The Church is outmoded, inward-looking, and out of touch with society and reality.  So Bronze Age.  Much Medieval.  But what do you expect from a cloistered collective of bearded weirdos who still pray to their imaginary friend in the sky, right?  The "culturally Orthodox" atheist has a much better handle on how the Church should engage with those afflicted with homosexual desires.  There are "other ways of looking at the situation" he says.  Well, enlighten us, Augustin.  We're all ears.  Unless all you've got to offer is malaise.

Antonious, I don't disagree generally, but I think you go one step too far in making your point.  To wit:

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman in an inherently good thing that expresses its goodness either when (a) exercised within the context of marriage, or (b) its energy is transformed into a passionate love for Christ and His people (as attempted by monastics).  Stating only (a) without (b) denies one of the central struggles of the monastic life: transforming the love that we would use in a limited way in the world (familial love, friendship, passionate love, merciful love) into purer love for God and all persons.

In that context, the sexual desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) can have its fulfillment in (b) - redirecting the eros toward God while disconnecting it from the physical drives.

I don't know that I agree, Father, for a number of reasons.  First of all, I've had some close friends who have become monks, and I can't say that any of them were channeling desire for a woman or women into their calling.  Two of them in particular had an absolute peace about leaving the world for their cells that their parents and siblings (and their friends, for that matter) could not comprehend, and sexual desire for another human being had nothing to do with it.  It was simply an overwhelming love for God.  I realize that not every monk's path is the same, but I don't agree with your assessment of what the "central struggle of the monastic life" is, since not every prospective monastic approaches the calling in that way.  Not all, perhaps not even most, are redirecting sexual desire for another towards God.

Secondly, and more importantly, denial of a thing, and redirecting one's passion for a thing towards God, doesn't necessarily mean that the thing one had a passion for out the outset was a good thing to begin with.  It only means that God has turned evil into good in one's life through His grace and through the person synergistically cooperating with that grace of their own volition.

Thirdly, I believe that it is disingenuous to compare normal, heterosexual desire with homosexual desire as if both are inherently good things, as Sr. Vassa implies, made a part of us by God.

Finally, it seems to me that your thesis leads us to conclude that all people afflicted with homosexual desires are called to be monastics.  I don't know that this is the case.

Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.
I thought the Orthodox position was that the mere arising of same-sex desire/thought/feeling/logismoi was not inherently sinful; rather, the holding onto such logismoi was sinfu.

I never contended that the mere arising of same-sex desire was a sin in and of itself, but I would contend that it is a tragic result of the fall and not something God ordained for us, as the desire of a wife and husband for one another is.  The desire of a man and a woman for one another has a proper, blessed, and holy place in the life of a Christian.  The desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) never can.  As Isa has already pointed out, such a couple can cohabitate, but can never participate in the Holy Mystery of marriage and can never form a true family blessed and recognized by the Church.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 09:44:20 PM
Popularity of cenobitic monasticism =/= movement away from other forms

Popular it may be, but also mandated by several Saints with unique authority in the matter.

Which saints?  When/where did they mandate this?

Quote
The model of the hermit gave way to sketes and monasteries early on in EO tradition largely due, again, not to popularity but Church mandate. I don't know the case in OO.

EO, like OO, still have hermits, and they're everywhere from Athos to South Canaan.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Saxon on July 19, 2017, 09:45:03 PM
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.

No, an axiomatic response is exactly what is needed. These types of sentiments should be stamped out lest we go the same way as the West and have churches infested with this kind of sentiment in the name of "modernity".

There is a ROCOR parish nearby with a gay music director; this individual regularly posts atheistic and blasphemous statements on social media, and is very "in your face" about his sexuality. He seems to only attend church for the Russian cultural life. Church officials are aware of this individual and have turned a blind eye to it. It is causing divisions that, it multiplied, could threaten the Church much as the issue has fractured Catholicism and Protestantism.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 19, 2017, 09:47:46 PM
I'm going to post, with his permission, a private correspondence between FinnJames and myself regarding this subject in the hopes that it will contribute to the discussion, especially since it addresses an aspect of the discussion recently brought to the fore by Jetevan.

Hello,

When I went to the thread on Sr Vassa this morning it was locked. So I'll use this pm to thank you for your post #182, which I found quite well reasoned.

I did want to make a comment on a few lines, though, for you to think about. You wrote: "Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)"

It seems to me that you're in danger of making homosexual attraction the sin (something the Church does not teach, though correct me if I'm wrong about OO here) rather than sodomy (which the Church does condemn as sinful). I think this is an understandable error on your part, though, since Christ did after all say that looking on a woman with lust was committing adultery. Whether or not we should take that as legally binding or only a metaphor the Church must have decided, though I don't know what decision was reached (and would appreciate finding out, if you know).

As for what constitutes sex, I think you're right on to see this as an open question. Can we at least agree that if it's physical contact you would be comfortable with with your grand-daughter, daughter, mother or grandmother, it's (hopefully) not sex.

Hi FinnJames,

You wrote: "Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)"

It seems to me that you're in danger of making homosexual attraction the sin (something the Church does not teach, though correct me if I'm wrong about OO here) rather than sodomy (which the Church does condemn as sinful). I think this is an understandable error on your part, though, since Christ did after all say that looking on a woman with lust was committing adultery. Whether or not we should take that as legally binding or only a metaphor the Church must have decided, though I don't know what decision was reached (and would appreciate finding out, if you know).

It's not that I'm making homosexual attraction the sin so much as I view it as an unfortunate consequence of the fall of man which might easily lead us into sin.  I don't believe that it should be equated with heterosexual attraction, which was ordained by God when He said, "It is not good for the man to be alone" and made a female companion for him, and ordered them to be fruitful and multiply.  I realize this might be a hurtful thing to say to a person involved in a celibate homosexual relationship, and I do apologize for any offense, hurt feelings, or anger this might engender in advance, but it is what I believe.  It is not that the desire itself is the sin, even as a married man finding himself attracted to a woman who is not his wife is not sinning simply by noticing her or thinking in his heart a ménage a trois might be nice, or a single man noticing a beautiful woman is not sinning simply by noticing her beauty, but if either of these heterosexual men is acting upon their respective desires in any way - whether by dwelling on them, masturbating to them, or putting himself in situations where he can enjoy some arousal from them without going all the way - then I believe that he is sinning by indulging in his lusts which separate him from God.

Similarly, if a homosexual person is setting himself up to live with someone he is undoubtedly attracted to and indulging in his fantasies in any of the above ways, he is also sinning.  As rakovsky has pointed out, the basis of the coupling is an attraction that in the eyes of the Church - at least in my understanding - is not natural and is sadly a result of the fall, similar to the way that most straight men would be desirous of having a small harem because, as they often argue, "men are not monogamous by nature".  Do you see what I mean?

As for what constitutes sex, I think you're right on to see this as an open question. Can we at least agree that if it's physical contact you would be comfortable with with your grand-daughter, daughter, mother or grandmother, it's (hopefully) not sex.

We can agree that it is technically not sex, but I don't know if we can agree that there it is entirely innocent either.  If I gently stroke the face or hold the hand of a woman who is not my wife, as I might my grandmother, etc., but the intent behind that stroke or touch is not something I would be comfortable telling my wife about, was that touch, while ostensibly okay, and not technically different from the way I might touch a female relative, altogether innocent?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 19, 2017, 10:45:46 PM
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.

No, an axiomatic response is exactly what is needed. These types of sentiments should be stamped out lest we go the same way as the West and have churches infested with this kind of sentiment in the name of "modernity".

There is a ROCOR parish nearby with a gay music director; this individual regularly posts atheistic and blasphemous statements on social media, and is very "in your face" about his sexuality. He seems to only attend church for the Russian cultural life. Church officials are aware of this individual and have turned a blind eye to it. It is causing divisions that, it multiplied, could threaten the Church much as the issue has fractured Catholicism and Protestantism.
That is very sad.  :'(
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 11:44:15 PM
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir. 

While I think you are unfair toward the bishops, I do sympathise with your point.  We are often more comfortable dealing with general principles than we are with specific people.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2017, 11:57:22 PM
Antonious, I don't disagree generally, but I think you go one step too far in making your point.  To wit:

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman in an inherently good thing that expresses its goodness either when (a) exercised within the context of marriage, or (b) its energy is transformed into a passionate love for Christ and His people (as attempted by monastics).  Stating only (a) without (b) denies one of the central struggles of the monastic life: transforming the love that we would use in a limited way in the world (familial love, friendship, passionate love, merciful love) into purer love for God and all persons.

In that context, the sexual desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) can have its fulfillment in (b) - redirecting the eros toward God while disconnecting it from the physical drives.

I don't know that I agree, Father, for a number of reasons.  First of all, I've had some close friends who have become monks, and I can't say that any of them were channeling desire for a woman or women into their calling.  Two of them in particular had an absolute peace about leaving the world for their cells that their parents and siblings (and their friends, for that matter) could not comprehend, and sexual desire for another human being had nothing to do with it.  It was simply an overwhelming love for God.  I realize that not every monk's path is the same, but I don't agree with your assessment of what the "central struggle of the monastic life" is, since not every prospective monastic approaches the calling in that way.  Not all, perhaps not even most, are redirecting sexual desire for another towards God.

While I can't speak for Fr George, I will say I've come across the point he was making in monastic/spiritual literature before.  I am not well-read enough to say what, if anything, these writers recommend in terms of how to redirect eros toward God, nor has anyone ever explained it to me out of their own experience (like you, I haven't known any monks who were intentionally going about this).  But the idea that eros has to be redirected and transformed is neither new nor unique, and if some/many monks are not consciously doing this, I don't think it follows that they're not doing it at all.  The monks you describe, who left the world out of "an overwhelming love for God", perhaps experienced this transformation without describing it in such terms. 

Quote
Secondly, and more importantly, denial of a thing, and redirecting one's passion for a thing towards God, doesn't necessarily mean that the thing one had a passion for out the outset was a good thing to begin with.  It only means that God has turned evil into good in one's life through His grace and through the person synergistically cooperating with that grace of their own volition.

I'm not sure Fr George said otherwise? 

Quote
Thirdly, I believe that it is disingenuous to compare normal, heterosexual desire with homosexual desire as if both are inherently good things, as Sr. Vassa implies, made a part of us by God.

See above.

Quote
Finally, it seems to me that your thesis leads us to conclude that all people afflicted with homosexual desires are called to be monastics.  I don't know that this is the case.

What are they called to be? 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 20, 2017, 12:37:26 AM
What are they called to be?

Thumbs-up to this question.

It's one thing to affirm like the Synod that the homosexual person can be saved -- it takes faith, but it's easy. It's another thing to shepherd the soul to such a salvation -- and I mean really to do it, not to implement some formula and express regret when it fails.

So, yes, every human being is meant to live a fulfilled life and the homosexual person deserves to know what that could be. On the other hand, let's bear in mind two things: first, which shouldn't have to be said, that a human being is not solely sexual in purpose -- far from it; and, second, that even the best-situated person must still fall short of a fulfilling life again and again in this fallen world.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on July 20, 2017, 01:35:22 AM
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
I agree.

As for ROCOR, does ROCOR really has nothing better to do, I can imagine this trickling up the echelons of netodox "power" until it got to the synod.

I know they have better things they need to be doing atm so they should do those things.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on July 20, 2017, 01:39:55 AM
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
I agree.

As for ROCOR, does ROCOR really has nothing better to do, I can imagine this trickling up the echelons of netodox "power" until it got to the synod.

I know they have better things they need to be doing atm so they should do those things.

Wow. You present a much different picture of the "Orthodox internet" than I had.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on July 20, 2017, 04:32:50 AM
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
I agree.

As for ROCOR, does ROCOR really has nothing better to do, I can imagine this trickling up the echelons of netodox "power" until it got to the synod.

I know they have better things they need to be doing atm so they should do those things.

It's hard to see what else ROCOR could have done (other than disciplining Sr. Vassa privately, which I assume they must already have done since she deleted the letter from her website). One of their monastics under an obligation to ROCOR discipline went public with statements that are clearly in violation of ROCOR teachings, and they are compelled to warn the faithful who may have seen the letter in question about this since it received such wide attention.

As for what motivated Sr. Vassa to write the letter and post it publicly, only she can say. Whether or not one feels Sr. Vassa acted wisely, it seems more likely that she was motivated by compassion than by a desire to send the Eastern Rite Catholic mother who asked the question, her son and the rest of us who read the posted letter down the path to hell (even if that's where one believes those who follow her advice are headed).
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Dominika on July 20, 2017, 08:05:45 AM
Nicholas, it is prooven you have changed the author of the quotation. It is a clear manipulation. In many cases attributing words of one person to another one may lead to serious consequences (social, legal). It should be remembered always and in every place, but especially in a Christian forum. This time you will not be given a punitive warning, but if this happens again, it will be strongly punished.

This warning is not directed only toward Nicholas, but it applies to EVERY member of the oc.net.

I am unlocking the thread and merging it with the one called ROCOR Synod response to the Sister Vassa Emails from the Christian News section.

Dominika,
Global Moderator
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on July 20, 2017, 08:18:49 AM
While I can't speak for Fr George

Are you setting him up to say, "You can speak for Fr. George" so you can sig it?  ;)

I will say I've come across the point he was making in monastic/spiritual literature before.  I am not well-read enough to say what, if anything, these writers recommend in terms of how to redirect eros toward God, nor has anyone ever explained it to me out of their own experience (like you, I haven't known any monks who were intentionally going about this).  But the idea that eros has to be redirected and transformed is neither new nor unique, and if some/many monks are not consciously doing this, I don't think it follows that they're not doing it at all. 

Perhaps.  I've read similar things myself.  None of these means that homosexual desire is blessed and holy in the way that the desire of a husband and a wife for one another is though, and that is my main point.  The desire of a man for a woman (and vice versa) is a good and natural thing.  God instituted it for a purpose.  I do not think we can say that the desire of a man for a man is a good and natural thing and that God instituted it for a purpose, which is to have it redirected towards himself via a monastic calling.  I'm not chucking Fr. George's thesis in its entirety.  There are simply elements of it I dispute, most especially those elements which might lead us to conclude that homosexual desire should be categorized along with heterosexual desire as something inherently good which might be perverted into something unnatural.  I believe, rather, that it is something unnatural in and of itself, a result of the fall, as articulated in the (now public) pm exchange with FinnJames.

The monks you describe, who left the world out of "an overwhelming love for God", perhaps experienced this transformation without describing it in such terms. 

Again, perhaps.

Quote
Secondly, and more importantly, denial of a thing, and redirecting one's passion for a thing towards God, doesn't necessarily mean that the thing one had a passion for out the outset was a good thing to begin with.  It only means that God has turned evil into good in one's life through His grace and through the person synergistically cooperating with that grace of their own volition.

I'm not sure Fr George said otherwise? 

Perhaps not.  I think, however, the language was perhaps unintentionally pregnant with the idea, which might also be the case with Sr. Vassa.  I think we need to be very precise with our language here so as not to endanger anyone's soul through good intentions though.  There's a difference between a theology and anthropology which leads Tim to say, "My desire for Bill was a bad and debased thing, but God used it for good to call me to monasticism and celibacy, and ultimately an unfathomable, never-ending love of Him" and a theology which leads Tim to say, "My desire for Bill wasn't such a bad thing after all.  In fact, it can be viewed as something every bit as good and pure as heterosexual desire, because in the end, God used it for good to call me to monasticism and celibacy, and ultimately an unfathomable, never-ending love of Him".

Quote
Thirdly, I believe that it is disingenuous to compare normal, heterosexual desire with homosexual desire as if both are inherently good things, as Sr. Vassa implies, made a part of us by God.

See above.

Indeed.  Please see my answer above as well.

Quote
Finally, it seems to me that your thesis leads us to conclude that all people afflicted with homosexual desires are called to be monastics.  I don't know that this is the case.

What are they called to be?

I don't think we should treat them as a "they" with a one size fits all answer.  We should treat each individual as a human being made in the image and likeness of God.  One person might be called to be a monastic.  Another might be called to be a celibate servant living in the world (that is an important distinction in the modern Coptic Church, at least).  As politically incorrect as this might be to say, a third person might actually be freed of those desires and enter into a heterosexual relationship.  I know a woman who did this.  She is married now with a child, and she didn't go through forced Protestant "conversion therapy" or anything either.  God delivered her.  (She is not Orthodox, by the way, but Roman Catholic.)  My issue with that aspect of Fr. George's answer was that it seemed to indicate that every single person afflicted with homosexual desire must become a monastic if they are to conquer, and I don't agree.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on July 20, 2017, 07:38:50 PM
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on July 20, 2017, 08:40:27 PM
Might be something ridiculous or crazy so need to tone it down.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2017, 09:11:03 PM
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

Or if anyone else knows of such studies and could point them out?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpha60 on July 27, 2017, 05:24:33 PM
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Saying "Let him date, he was born that way so it's less of a sin, and he needs to work it out" -- how does this bring comfort to his parents? It brings self-satisfaction to those with a progressive worldview, but the parents must be more devastated than before. To see a dear child struggling in this evil world and being told he must just succumb and submit to it -- like quicksand -- his fate from birth -- gosh, it's too horrifying.

+1

The idea that the Church's stance on homosexuality is something rooted in another time and place - like the Jewish doctor thing - that can be adjusted via application of oikonomia, or even chucked entirely - is a very disturbing one.  It seems like some elements within the Church want to move beyond being compassionate to a sinner struggling with homosexual desires to a place where the Church can actually endorse homosexual relationships.

Indeed so, and that is what must be resisted.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on July 28, 2017, 10:45:35 AM
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

Or if anyone else knows of such studies and could point them out?

Some studies, somewhere. It's science, man.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 28, 2017, 10:47:03 AM
Oc.net. Where everything's made up and the points don't matter.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Opus118 on July 28, 2017, 10:58:59 AM
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

Or if anyone else knows of such studies and could point them out?

Some studies, somewhere. It's science, man.

I did not find anything in pubmed or google scholar, but it is keyword based and if former* previous* present* current* aren't used, it would not show up. I did find a study that aging gays tend to become bisexual to some extent. If this pathway exists: gays --> bisexual --> heterosexual, then perhaps there could be tax benefits for gays that become bisexual in order to reduce the gay population and thus gay parades that some consider a public nuisance.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on July 28, 2017, 06:55:52 PM
Oc.net. Where everything's made up and the points don't matter.

You are my friend.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on August 01, 2017, 11:34:30 AM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jetavan on August 01, 2017, 11:57:04 AM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)
I wonder if she chose "80" because of its biblical and numerological significance.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 01, 2017, 11:57:41 AM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)

Wow, I want to ask her what my gay child should do.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 01, 2017, 12:09:03 PM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)

Ugh.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on August 01, 2017, 12:40:47 PM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)

(http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/jesus_facepalm.jpg)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on August 01, 2017, 12:42:38 PM
It's quite possible I'm being naïve here, but I don't think I've ever seen paid spiritual sessions with teacher x in Orthodoxy before. This is something I would associate with New Age gurus and mercenary Zen masters.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 01, 2017, 12:42:50 PM
RaphaCam can practice German with her.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 01, 2017, 01:06:00 PM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 01, 2017, 01:07:01 PM
If you want it to be.  She is a doctor (PhD)!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on August 01, 2017, 01:07:23 PM
Someone must have concocted a fabulous myth about these people cos' they don't exist.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jetavan on August 01, 2017, 01:27:17 PM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 01, 2017, 01:37:00 PM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?

I'll talk to anyone here for $20/hr, with bulk discounts. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on August 01, 2017, 01:46:24 PM
Someone must have concocted a fabulous myth about these people cos' they don't exist.

The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on August 01, 2017, 02:00:23 PM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?
Usually its around $120 if not covered by insurance.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 01, 2017, 02:06:56 PM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?

I'll talk to anyone here for $20/hr, with bulk discounts.

I was going to Jew it down some more, but I know you'd post your MDiv and I don't have one of those.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 01, 2017, 03:09:06 PM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?

I'll talk to anyone here for $20/hr, with bulk discounts.

I was going to Jew it down some more, but I know you'd post your MDiv and I don't have one of those.

I was looking for that post the other day and regretted my inability to track it down. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Dominika on August 01, 2017, 03:44:52 PM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)

I can't believe it. I spent last days in a female monastery, talking with its sisters (the igumenya knows perfecly Greek) and monks with a nearby male monastery (they know various langauges and liturgical stuff) for free. I hadn't to pay for the accomodarion nor food. Moreover, I was given a psalter.
Such attitude - talks, spending time in monastery for some (usually not so little) money is typical for Roman Catholics there - people pay for living in a monastic way (works, vegetarian diet, lectures, reading of Bible, liturgical services) ::)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on August 01, 2017, 11:38:35 PM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)
She is making it rather hard for anyone to provide a serious defense for her.
Title: Vassagate continues
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on August 02, 2017, 09:52:55 AM
This mess continues,  now she charging paid spiritual counsel. Isn't she suppose to be a nun?  Mods please move else where if needed.
 
http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/08/sr-vassa-doubles-down-now-offering-paid.html?m=1
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on August 02, 2017, 11:12:38 AM
Any aspiring journalists?  They can have a 50 min interview ("pick her brain") on the recent scandal.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpha60 on August 02, 2017, 11:40:48 AM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?

I'll talk to anyone here for $20/hr, with bulk discounts.

Hmm I should book some time to clear up some liturgical questions I have...   :P
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpha60 on August 02, 2017, 11:43:44 AM
Any aspiring journalists?  They can have a 50 min interview ("pick her brain") on the recent scandal.

I don't really care what she has to say.  A major difference between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is that obedience to the church is not a discretionary matter.  I see Sr. Vassa as a dangerous force, who, if left unchecked, would have evolved into our own miniature Orthodox version of Nuns on a Bus.

Btw I am very disappointed in her over this, in part because she was useful to name drop as an important figure in contemporary Orthodoxy when we are on occasion falsely accused of being sexist.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 02, 2017, 11:54:16 AM
So is this like talk therapy or something? Cause $80 /hr. for therapy is fine, but otherwise... ???
Isn't the rate for talk therapy more like $40/hr.?

I'll talk to anyone here for $20/hr, with bulk discounts.

Hmm I should book some time to clear up some liturgical questions I have...   :P

For you it's $100/hr, you require special skills and I know you can afford it.  :P
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on August 02, 2017, 11:56:03 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 02, 2017, 12:18:07 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

If you'll pay for shipping, I'll mail it to you. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: augustin717 on August 02, 2017, 12:45:30 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

If you'll pay for shipping, I'll mail it to you.
maybe alpha60 can step in he's both richer and also has a thing for veils and liturgical parameters. I'm
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Luke on August 02, 2017, 12:55:01 PM
I'll talk to anyone here for $20/hr, with bulk discounts. 
plus sales tax? :P
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Luke on August 02, 2017, 12:56:35 PM
I liked Sister Vassa when she introduced saints.  For her latest thing, I am not sure if she is charging to cover cost or if some of the money goes to her or to her organization?  I am wondering if she has approval to give advice? :-\
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: primuspilus on August 02, 2017, 02:27:24 PM
AFR is doing it job as a Orthodox site,  I'd like to see this nun be given the chance to repent,  it is unOrthodox to hold contray opinions that different from the Church, the Orthodox Church doesn't condone Homosexual relationships, or hooking up.
It depends on who you are on AFR. There seems to be a group of folks (some now reposed) who could pretty much say what they wanted and not get in trouble for it. Im not bashing AFR, just a personal observation.

PP
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: IreneOlinyk on August 02, 2017, 03:00:34 PM
This mess continues,  now she charging paid spiritual counsel. Isn't she suppose to be a nun?  Mods please move else where if needed.
 
http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/08/sr-vassa-doubles-down-now-offering-paid.html?m=1

The web site is: http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa

No need to read it second hand on a blog.

Sr. Vassa is a nun directly under obedience to Bishop Mark of Berlin of the ROCOR.  It was his decision that she go to university and study theology.

I do remember reading in a recent interview (in The Wheel I think)  with her that she has a staff of how many people I forget for her online ministry.  No doubt there are costs involved to pay her staff and also for her internet domain and activity. 
Note the prices cited are European prices in American dollars: every time I have been to Europe  I found the price of even a cup of coffee to be outrageous compared to prices at home.
Since she is in obedience directly to Bishop Mark she has to have his permission for her work.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 02, 2017, 05:07:39 PM
Since she is in obedience directly to Bishop Mark she has to have his permission for her work.

I'm not sure we can take this to mean that Bp Mark pre-authorises everything she does. 
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Luke on August 02, 2017, 06:08:09 PM
^Indeed.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: IreneOlinyk on August 02, 2017, 06:51:37 PM
Since she is in obedience directly to Bishop Mark she has to have his permission for her work.

I'm not sure we can take this to mean that Bp Mark pre-authorises everything she does.

I can see your point.  Probably, Bishop Mark gave his permission for her to study, to teach after graduation and her outreach in non-specific terms.  By that I mean that he is not involved in the rates for her to charge for her services.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Asteriktos on August 02, 2017, 07:04:19 PM
"The worker deserves his wages."

$1.60 a minute really is pretty cheap. I used to call 1-800 advice lines and wrestling hot lines that charged like $3 a minute, and I bet the advice wasn't half as good as you'd get from Sister Vassa.

Speaking of which, 1-800 lines are surprisingly inexpensive to set up and maintain,  and especially good if you do business outside the local Podunk; I strongly recommend all businesses get one.
 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 02, 2017, 08:52:53 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 02, 2017, 08:54:22 PM
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour. (http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa)
Yeah... Spiritual Directorism is where I draw the line.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 02, 2017, 08:56:33 PM
This mess continues,  now she charging paid spiritual counsel. Isn't she suppose to be a nun?  Mods please move else where if needed.
 
http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/08/sr-vassa-doubles-down-now-offering-paid.html?m=1
Lost a lot of respect for byztex getting mixed up in this on either side
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on August 02, 2017, 08:58:31 PM
$i$ter Va$$a ©™
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: TheTrisagion on August 02, 2017, 09:12:16 PM
Can't she just make candles or something to bring in income like most other monastic do? This seems like it is just baiting the bear.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 02, 2017, 10:06:18 PM
This mess continues,  now she charging paid spiritual counsel. Isn't she suppose to be a nun?  Mods please move else where if needed.
 
http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/08/sr-vassa-doubles-down-now-offering-paid.html?m=1

The web site is: http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/video-chat-with-sr-vassa

No need to read it second hand on a blog.

Sr. Vassa is a nun directly under obedience to Bishop Mark of Berlin of the ROCOR.  It was his decision that she go to university and study theology.

I do remember reading in a recent interview (in The Wheel I think)  with her that she has a staff of how many people I forget for her online ministry.  No doubt there are costs involved to pay her staff and also for her internet domain and activity. 
Note the prices cited are European prices in American dollars: every time I have been to Europe  I found the price of even a cup of coffee to be outrageous compared to prices at home.
Since she is in obedience directly to Bishop Mark she has to have his permission for her work.

I'm interested to know what motivated this laundry list of excuses? In other words, what's your take on this ministry, over all?
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 02, 2017, 10:09:09 PM
Can't she just make candles or something to bring in income like most other monastic do? This seems like it is just baiting the bear.

She's not operating a monastery. She's one person who works a job. This idea that having a domain and a vlog breaks the bank is pretty ludicrous to hear on an interent-savvy site like OC.net -- I'll bet most of us have those things, even the ones in our mothers' basements. I agree with your point in general however.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 02, 2017, 10:25:31 PM
$i$ter Va$$a ©™
Stick to s-posting on Christianforums with your crypto-Randian ACNAntiochian/ Evangelochian comrades  :police:
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on August 02, 2017, 10:27:37 PM
$i$ter Va$$a ©™
Stick to s-posting on Christianforums with your crypto-Randian ACNAntiochian/ Evangelochian comrades  :police:
LOL Evangelochian.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on August 02, 2017, 10:58:34 PM
$i$ter Va$$a ©™
Stick to s-posting on Christianforums with your crypto-Randian ACNAntiochian/ Evangelochian comrades  :police:

Quit stalking people and get a life,  don't u have a family, what about a wife or in your case a bf? I ain't a Randian , never been big on Libertarianism.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Sharbel on August 02, 2017, 11:24:01 PM
I've seen paid lay spiritual directors, but never paid clergy nor religious spiritual directors.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: TheTrisagion on August 03, 2017, 12:47:20 AM
Can't she just make candles or something to bring in income like most other monastic do? This seems like it is just baiting the bear.

She's not operating a monastery. She's one person who works a job. This idea that having a domain and a vlog breaks the bank is pretty ludicrous to hear on an interent-savvy site like OC.net -- I'll bet most of us have those things, even the ones in our mothers' basements. I agree with your point in general however.
I'm not internet savy at all. I know how to click on Google Chrome and navigate through my favorites, but that is about it. I have no idea about domains or vlogs or whatever else have you. I think I do recall something being mentioned that she had a team of people that does the editing for her videos and that she pays them. I'm guessing that is why she is finding alternate sources of income. This one just seems to be in particularly bad taste.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 12:50:34 AM
Can't she just make candles or something to bring in income like most other monastic do? This seems like it is just baiting the bear.

She's not operating a monastery. She's one person who works a job. This idea that having a domain and a vlog breaks the bank is pretty ludicrous to hear on an interent-savvy site like OC.net -- I'll bet most of us have those things, even the ones in our mothers' basements. I agree with your point in general however.
I'm not internet savy at all. I know how to click on Google Chrome and navigate through my favorites, but that is about it. I have no idea about domains or vlogs or whatever else have you. I think I do recall something being mentioned that she had a team of people that does the editing for her videos and that she pays them. I'm guessing that is why she is finding alternate sources of income. This one just seems to be in particularly bad taste.

Millions of people do it. It's neither complicated nor costly.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 03, 2017, 01:12:01 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 03, 2017, 09:55:56 AM
Can't she just make candles or something to bring in income like most other monastic do? This seems like it is just baiting the bear.

She's not operating a monastery. She's one person who works a job. This idea that having a domain and a vlog breaks the bank is pretty ludicrous to hear on an interent-savvy site like OC.net -- I'll bet most of us have those things, even the ones in our mothers' basements. I agree with your point in general however.
I'm not internet savy at all. I know how to click on Google Chrome and navigate through my favorites, but that is about it. I have no idea about domains or vlogs or whatever else have you. I think I do recall something being mentioned that she had a team of people that does the editing for her videos and that she pays them. I'm guessing that is why she is finding alternate sources of income. This one just seems to be in particularly bad taste.

Millions of people do it. It's neither complicated nor costly.

I'm sure she'd like to hear from you on how to make it easier on her zillions. 
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Iconodule on August 03, 2017, 09:57:28 AM
I will pay $80 to watch a Porter-Sister Vassa dialogue.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: RobS on August 03, 2017, 09:59:43 AM
I will pay $80 to watch a Porter-Sister Vassa dialogue.
If you could twitch stream that so we can have realtime comments, I'd help pay for it.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 03, 2017, 10:03:49 AM
I will pay $80 to watch a Porter-Sister Vassa dialogue.
If you could twitch stream that so we can have realtime comments, I'd help pay for it.
+1
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 03, 2017, 10:06:18 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on August 03, 2017, 10:11:08 AM
I'm guessing the university doesn't allow people to wear headcoverings in their photos? Pretty weird anyway. Things are going in a very strange way with Sister Doctor.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on August 03, 2017, 10:24:04 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

I think the pic is the issue for most of the commentators here, Nick.  As a monastic, shouldn't she be wearing her head covering at all times?  Wouldn't the university respect that?  I know a Coptic monk who went to grad school out here, and he was wearing his kolonsowa in all of his official photos, including ID, CV, etc.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 03, 2017, 10:53:34 AM
I will pay $80 to watch a Porter-Sister Vassa dialogue.

+1
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Vanhyo on August 03, 2017, 11:13:45 AM
I always thought there was something odd with this sister...
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on August 03, 2017, 11:18:42 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

I think the pic is the issue for most of the commentators here, Nick.  As a monastic, shouldn't she be wearing her head covering at all times?  Wouldn't the university respect that?  I know a Coptic monk who went to grad school out here, and he was wearing his kolonsowa in all of his official photos, including ID, CV, etc.

We also have a Coptic nun, Mother Lois Farag (https://www.luthersem.edu/faculty/fac_home.aspx?contact_id=lfarag), who also got her PhD during her vows, and I don't think she ever took off her covering either.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 03, 2017, 12:44:11 PM
she is in Vienna, could be policy
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 01:22:00 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

I think the pic is the issue for most of the commentators here, Nick. ...

Oh, he knows.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on August 03, 2017, 01:36:07 PM
she is in Vienna, could be policy

Maybe.

For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

I think the pic is the issue for most of the commentators here, Nick. ...

Oh, he knows.

Well, I don't think he'd think anyone could have an issue with her - an academic - having a curriculum vitae.  I mean, the thing was posted in response to Augustin's asking for her headgear to come off.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Dominika on August 03, 2017, 04:49:21 PM
I have merged this topic with "Vassagate" frim Christian News section.
Dominika Global Moderator
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on August 03, 2017, 05:54:02 PM
I'm guessing the university doesn't allow people to wear headcoverings in their photos? Pretty weird anyway. Things are going in a very strange way with Sister Doctor.

Try telling a Muslim Hijabi woman to take off her scarf for her PhD.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2017, 06:10:41 PM
Surely there is more than one way to view 'proper conduct' in this type of situation, no? Passages like 1 Pet. 2:13-14 could be used to defend the 'when in Rome' concept--that it was best to follow the local rules of governments and customs of institutions, as long as it didn't interfere with morality or faith.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on August 03, 2017, 06:31:55 PM
I'm guessing the university doesn't allow people to wear headcoverings in their photos? Pretty weird anyway. Things are going in a very strange way with Sister Doctor.

Try telling a Muslim Hijabi woman to take off her scarf for her PhD.

I think in Turkey they did that until recently. Nasser' Egypt too I believe.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 03, 2017, 06:41:12 PM
SV's response to a fb comment asking why this is ok:

"...I do get paid for public invitations, as does any professional, and these video-chats are much cheaper, so a church-group could do this, instead of paying for the costly travel, accommodations, plus speaking fee that a public talk involves."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 06:43:51 PM
SV's response to a fb comment asking why this is ok:

"...I do get paid for public invitations, as does any professional, and these video-chats are much cheaper, so a church-group could do this, instead of paying for the costly travel, accommodations, plus speaking fee that a public talk involves."

Doesn't check out. The site specifically says $80 for 50 minutes for individuals, $300 for groups.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2017, 07:06:56 PM
SV's response to a fb comment asking why this is ok:

"...I do get paid for public invitations, as does any professional, and these video-chats are much cheaper, so a church-group could do this, instead of paying for the costly travel, accommodations, plus speaking fee that a public talk involves."

Doesn't check out. The site specifically says $80 for 50 minutes for individuals, $300 for groups.

You think travel expenses + lecture fee is <$300 for... who?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 07:13:20 PM
SV's response to a fb comment asking why this is ok:

"...I do get paid for public invitations, as does any professional, and these video-chats are much cheaper, so a church-group could do this, instead of paying for the costly travel, accommodations, plus speaking fee that a public talk involves."

Doesn't check out. The site specifically says $80 for 50 minutes for individuals, $300 for groups.

You think travel expenses + lecture fee is <$300 for... who?

No idea and wasn't my point. Nicky's turned to covering for Sr. Vassa by spreading this new claim she's charging for speaking engagements, only via internet. That's mostly a diversion. It says very clearly on the website just what we've been discussing all along: $80/50minuts for individuals.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2017, 07:20:01 PM
Sorry, someone else must have posted about "$300 for groups."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 07:29:16 PM
Sorry, someone else must have posted about "$300 for groups."

Who's denying "$300 for groups"? What I'm denying is that this answers folks' doubts about "$80 for individuals." I suppose you want to keep waltzing? I'm in bed fighting pneumonia -- I have the time.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2017, 07:50:16 PM
I started a thread which I had hoped would address this more generally. What is an acceptable price for a spiritual product, spiritual wisdom, something made by a monastic, something that can be made for $1 but is sold for $20, etc. Many are being rather selective about what to be outraged about. It struck me as off as well, until I thought again about those things we already accept as normal.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 08:00:16 PM
Good name for a gritty roots band: Waltzing Pneumonia.

Yeah, you opened a good thread and it's quite a question. I have little to contribute as an answer. Surely this is not the common mode, tho -- admit that much.

I come from a give-your-cloak-also perspective of the holy life, so even the idea a priest has a salary is new to me (altho I soundly approve of it), or the idea that Orthodox folks don't just stay with each other when they travel (I would soundly approve if they did). Or even just that Greeks are one of America's wealthiest ethnicities and the whole "Archon" business. I won't start on Moscow.

It's all too much  for me; I have no answers; I just observe. A little nun, tho, that seems like an answer I could pretend to have and hit her with. There's the temptation. But because there's the temptation and I'm a small, confused mind doesn't get her off the hook either!
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on August 03, 2017, 08:09:47 PM
No idea and wasn't my point. Nicky's turned to covering for Sr. Vassa by spreading this new claim
Lol the melodrama
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 08:11:18 PM
No idea and wasn't my point. Nicky's turned to covering for Sr. Vassa by spreading this new claim
Lol the melodrama

Good for you that you can see and admit it.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: TheTrisagion on August 03, 2017, 10:31:04 PM
Good name for a gritty roots band: Waltzing Pneumonia.

Yeah, you opened a good thread and it's quite a question. I have little to contribute as an answer. Surely this is not the common mode, tho -- admit that much.

I come from a give-your-cloak-also perspective of the holy life, so even the idea a priest has a salary is new to me (altho I soundly approve of it), or the idea that Orthodox folks don't just stay with each other when they travel (I would soundly approve if they did). Or even just that Greeks are one of America's wealthiest ethnicities and the whole "Archon" business. I won't start on Moscow.

It's all too much  for me; I have no answers; I just observe. A little nun, tho, that seems like an answer I could pretend to have and hit her with. There's the temptation. But because there's the temptation and I'm a small, confused mind doesn't get her off the hook either!
I agree. Growing up, any sort of fundraising was a damnation from the pit of hell, so it still hits a visceral spot with me when I see it even though I haven't been in that environment for quite some time now.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 10:42:19 PM
I will pay $80 to watch a Porter-Sister Vassa dialogue.
If you could twitch stream that so we can have realtime comments, I'd help pay for it.
+1

You'd surely be disappointed as I'm very pleasant, bland, and complimentary in most interactions.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on August 03, 2017, 10:49:37 PM
No, that is supposed to be free of charge.
Title: Re: Vassagate continues
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 03, 2017, 11:08:44 PM
I will pay $80 to watch a Porter-Sister Vassa dialogue.
If you could twitch stream that so we can have realtime comments, I'd help pay for it.
+1

You'd surely be disappointed as I'm very pleasant, bland, and complimentary in most interactions.

I think I spoke too quickly. If the subject were this young lad of her email advice, then, yes, I'd find something to say.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on August 04, 2017, 12:35:43 AM
An $80 or $300 charge for a Skype chat on religious matters seems wrong until one realizes how many people would be video conferencing with Sr. Vassa if there were no fee involved. A fee isn't all that unexpected since we live in societies where literally everything has a monetary value or can be assigned one. So maybe a relevant question that's being overlooked is what Sr. Vassa does with the money she collects from the sale of her podcasts, mugs and video chats. This is surely something her superior knows and is alright with.   
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 04, 2017, 12:42:33 AM
An $80 or $300 charge for a Skype chat on religious matters seems wrong until one realizes how many people would be video conferencing with Sr. Vassa if there were no fee involved. ...

Okay, now you just made it sound really wrong.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 04, 2017, 01:17:34 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

Yim was right.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on August 04, 2017, 12:24:09 PM
I'm guessing the university doesn't allow people to wear headcoverings in their photos? Pretty weird anyway. Things are going in a very strange way with Sister Doctor.

Try telling a Muslim Hijabi woman to take off her scarf for her PhD.

I think in Turkey they did that until recently. Nasser' Egypt too I believe.

Secular governments that cracked down on Islamists, where the hijab was frowned upon,  apples and oranges.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: IreneOlinyk on August 04, 2017, 12:41:23 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

What is the web site?  In many countries women or men have to take off their head coverings for a passport photo by law.  I am wondering if this is an old passport photo which someone had access to & attached it to an existing CV
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 04, 2017, 12:50:04 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow.
Its a CV, they normally look like this sans the pic

What is the web site?  In many countries women or men have to take off their head coverings for a passport photo by law.  I am wondering if this is an old passport photo which someone had access to & attached it to an existing CV

You're saying it's not her real CV, it's a forgery? I'm curious how you think the forger got her passport?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: IreneOlinyk on August 04, 2017, 03:40:41 PM

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

What is the web site?  In many countries women or men have to take off their head coverings for a passport photo by law.  I am wondering if this is an old passport photo which someone had access to & attached it to an existing CV

You're saying it's not her real CV, it's a forgery? I'm curious how you think the forger got her passport?
[/quote]

No I am not saying that the content of her CV is a forgery; a CV could be obtained on the internet.  But I do not think the picture is that of a 47 year old woman.  That is why I think it is an old picture.  Anyone can insert a picture into a MS Word document.  I do not think that by providing a picture from an unknown website anyone can jump to the conclusion that Sr. Vassa dresses in secular dress.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 04, 2017, 03:45:37 PM
What is the web site?  In many countries women or men have to take off their head coverings for a passport photo by law.  I am wondering if this is an old passport photo which someone had access to & attached it to an existing CV

You're saying it's not her real CV, it's a forgery? I'm curious how you think the forger got her passport?

No I am not saying that the content of her CV is a forgery; a CV could be obtained on the internet.  But I do not think the picture is that of a 47 year old woman.  That is why I think it is an old picture.  Anyone can insert a picture into a MS Word document.  I do not think that by providing a picture from an unknown website anyone can jump to the conclusion that Sr. Vassa dresses in secular dress.

So you are saying it's a forgery? I'm curious how you think the forger got ( a ) her CV contents and ( b ) her passport photo?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Arachne on August 04, 2017, 03:48:22 PM
What is the web site?  In many countries women or men have to take off their head coverings for a passport photo by law.  I am wondering if this is an old passport photo which someone had access to & attached it to an existing CV

You're saying it's not her real CV, it's a forgery? I'm curious how you think the forger got her passport?

No I am not saying that the content of her CV is a forgery; a CV could be obtained on the internet.  But I do not think the picture is that of a 47 year old woman.  That is why I think it is an old picture.  Anyone can insert a picture into a MS Word document.  I do not think that by providing a picture from an unknown website anyone can jump to the conclusion that Sr. Vassa dresses in secular dress.

So you are saying it's a forgery? I'm curious how you think the forger got ( a ) her CV contents and ( b ) her passport photo?

That is not a passport photo. Those have several strict criteria (facing directly into the camera, hair pulled back, no glasses, no smiling). That is a professional promo image, probably from a university yearbook. The CV is over two years old, and the photo could easily be 2-3 years older than that. No big deal, really.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 04, 2017, 06:39:42 PM
Fine, I'll say it. She looks good in that photo.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 04, 2017, 08:11:28 PM
Fine, I'll say it. She looks good in that photo.

On the bright side, at least you're not daydreaming about dating new-martyrs.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 04, 2017, 11:41:15 PM
Fine, I'll say it. She looks good in that photo.

On the bright side, at least you're not daydreaming about dating new-martyrs.

No veil tho.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpha60 on August 05, 2017, 07:07:33 PM
So, getting serious for a moment:

1. How is this not Simony?   I've never heard of a monastic in the Orthodox Church charging people to talk to them; they either dispense free and often prophetic advice if that is their vocation (see St. Seraphim of Sarov, or in more recent times Elder Joseph the Hesychast or Elder Ephrem of Arizona), or else, where they lack such a vocation or a blessing from their hegumen to do it, or are hermits, they don't.

2. Given that Sister Vassa has given advice that intentionally contradicts the teachings of the Church on the issue of homosexuality, does not this, in combination with her dubious practice of charging people money to talk to her, render her a false teacher, a wolf in sheep's clothing even, someone to be excluded under Galatians 1:8?

I realize that probably sounds harsh and extreme, but it seems to me that we in essence have a rogue nun, one lacking proper canonical oversight, who is both leading the faithful astray, and charging money for it.  Also consider the expression, cliche though it might be, "Where there is some, there's fire."  If she is deviating from the teachings of the church, publically, on homosexuality, in the pastorally critical scenario of a teenage youth, what else is she telling people privately who have paid her money?

I am not sure that she has any legitimacy in doing any of this ministry on the basis of the Pauline epistles; obviously St. Paul did not intend to preclude all catechesis or teaching by women, as his own ministry with St. Teklas indicates, or, for example, St. Nino's conversion of Georgia, but it seems like Sr. Vassa is providing, not catechtical instruction, not the guidance expected from a geronda (which would be fully in accord with the teaching of the Church, possibly prophetic, and certainly offered free of charge), but rather, in the case of this teenager with a homosexual inclination, advice that should properly be dispensed by the priest.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2017, 07:26:38 PM
Does not Met. Kallistos and thousands of other Orthodox charge speaking and other fees?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on August 05, 2017, 07:50:02 PM
Does not Met. Kallistos and thousands of other Orthodox charge speaking and other fees?

 Way different.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2017, 08:12:04 PM
Does not Met. Kallistos and thousands of other Orthodox charge speaking and other fees?

 Way different.

Right, because he's... um... well he speaks ... um... yeah, way different. Like totally.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on August 05, 2017, 08:19:49 PM
Does not Met. Kallistos and thousands of other Orthodox charge speaking and other fees?

 Way different.

Right, because he's... um... well he speaks ... um... yeah, way different. Like totally.

 Metropolitan Kallistos travels throughout the world to give lectures about Eastern Orthodoxy.  Sr. Vassa stays home giving personal "advice" online for money.  Big difference. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Quinault on August 05, 2017, 08:32:42 PM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow. She has received a tremendous amount of grant money.

Quote
October 2013 – awarded a grant of $286,923.00 from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), to write
and publish a monograph on the Byzantine Enarxis within a three-year period
(Project 25083-G19 of the FWF).

```````````````````````````````
March 2006 – received a grant of $28,000.00 from the Joukowsky Family Foundation
(Rhode Island, USA) for doctoral studies in Munich and Rome.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpha60 on August 05, 2017, 08:57:44 PM
Does not Met. Kallistos and thousands of other Orthodox charge speaking and other fees?

Does the Metropolitan of Diokleia charge individuals, for example, members of his Oxford parish, brethren from the monastery of St. John of Patmos, of which he remains a member, and other persons who approach him, $80 an hour to dispense spiritual advice?  I think not.

What we are objecting to is charging individuals money for a session with Sr. Vassa, not speaking fees, or even fees associated with addressing a group via webcam.  That is entirely different from basically charging people to be their geronda.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2017, 09:10:53 PM
I apologize for losing my temper... I'm allowing my symphathising with someone (or the position their in) and wanting to defend to lead me to let my emotions get the better of me.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Alpha60 on August 05, 2017, 09:30:32 PM
I apologize for losing my temper... I'm allowing my symphathising with someone (or the position their in) and wanting to defend to lead me to let my emotions get the better of me.

We're good.   :)   Please pray for me, a sinner.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on August 05, 2017, 09:30:49 PM
I apologize for losing my temper...

 From a fellow hot-head, I completely empathize.   No worries, brother.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 05, 2017, 10:08:36 PM
Does not Met. Kallistos and thousands of other Orthodox charge speaking and other fees?

 Way different.

Right, because he's... um... well he speaks ... um... yeah, way different. Like totally.

His accent is better and he speaks really slowly.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on August 05, 2017, 11:48:52 PM
Kinda funny . . .  See you the next day.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on August 06, 2017, 01:21:14 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow. She has received a tremendous amount of grant money.

Quote
October 2013 – awarded a grant of $286,923.00 from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), to write
and publish a monograph on the Byzantine Enarxis within a three-year period
(Project 25083-G19 of the FWF).

```````````````````````````````
March 2006 – received a grant of $28,000.00 from the Joukowsky Family Foundation
(Rhode Island, USA) for doctoral studies in Munich and Rome.[/b]

This is the typical way in which scholarly research is funded these days. There is nothing unusual about it. It's likely that part of the three year grant to produce a monograph was spent to pay student assistants who worked on the project as well. That was certainly the way the university I used to work for financed (post)grad students and was able to keep the salaries of teaching staff low.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: OrthoDisco on August 06, 2017, 01:50:32 AM
...getting kicked off of AFR earns her points in my book.

That was one of my takeaways from the article.


????????????????

Okay.  Confusion.

Are you guys saying in some manner that there is something wrong with AFR?  Because I listen to it, like, a lot.

Comments?

There's nothing "wrong" with AFR.  Some people feel it is too Protestant in its approach, but, I have no issues with it.

It spreads Orthodoxy to all corners of the world.  You can listen to podcasts, or just hymns, etc. ...via cellphone, PC, etc. 

I often tune in at work...just leave the music on softly in the background.

Yeah i have felt that, being an ex protestant, it is sometimes too protestant for me. Good and bad, depending on what a person needs. For conversion, I think it does a good job introducing people to the faith. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Quinault on August 06, 2017, 04:47:24 AM
For an extra fee would the klobuk come off?

Here:

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/26b36d_dc588da5510148abbbf70d5c122a087f.pdf

Wow. She has received a tremendous amount of grant money.

Quote
October 2013 – awarded a grant of $286,923.00 from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), to write
and publish a monograph on the Byzantine Enarxis within a three-year period
(Project 25083-G19 of the FWF).

```````````````````````````````
March 2006 – received a grant of $28,000.00 from the Joukowsky Family Foundation
(Rhode Island, USA) for doctoral studies in Munich and Rome.[/b]

This is the typical way in which scholarly research is funded these days. There is nothing unusual about it. It's likely that part of the three year grant to produce a monograph was spent to pay student assistants who worked on the project as well. That was certainly the way the university I used to work for financed (post)grad students and was able to keep the salaries of teaching staff low.

I have no doubt that typically scholarly research is funded by grant. What is odd is that this particular person was funded in this manner. Normally grants include a "salary" for the person recieving them. Obviously this individual is already bringing in a fairly respectable amount thru other means. I've yet to meet or hear of a monastic that brings in both enourmous amounts of grant money and enormous speaking/appearance/consultation fees. That is certainly very far away from the monastic life of simplicity I have always read/heard about. I certainly don't think she need live in sackcloth and ashes, but given the preexisting grant funds; why exactly is she charging all those other fees?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Velsigne on August 06, 2017, 04:56:05 AM
Maybe she gives the money to charity.  I'm surprised people here haven't heard of city monks before.   Seems like the stories could be a lot worse.

No, not a fan.  Watched one episode. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: hecma925 on August 06, 2017, 05:00:33 AM
why exactly is she charging all those other fees?

Because she can and people are willing to pay.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on August 06, 2017, 10:27:55 AM
Don't people have coffee all the time? ... How is this any different.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 06, 2017, 01:42:46 PM
Maybe she gives the money to charity.  I'm surprised people here haven't heard of city monks before.   Seems like the stories could be a lot worse.

No, not a fan.  Watched one episode.

What does this mean?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on August 06, 2017, 04:14:46 PM
Don't people have coffee all the time? ... How is this any different.

It just costs a lot more.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Velsigne on August 06, 2017, 05:10:19 PM
Maybe she gives the money to charity.  I'm surprised people here haven't heard of city monks before.   Seems like the stories could be a lot worse.

No, not a fan.  Watched one episode.

What does this mean?

The Russian branch has monastic who live in alone in  cities with little to no oversight--not cenobitic style

All monastics do not live in monasteries
So they work and pay the bills
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 06, 2017, 08:28:28 PM
I mean how is it applicable?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Bob2 on August 06, 2017, 08:50:48 PM
Maybe she gives the money to charity.  I'm surprised people here haven't heard of city monks before.   Seems like the stories could be a lot worse.

No, not a fan.  Watched one episode.

What does this mean?

The Russian branch has monastic who live in alone in  cities with little to no oversight--not cenobitic style

All monastics do not live in monasteries
So they work and pay the bills

I resisted the urge to bring this up longer than I thought I was going to be able to.

For example:
(http://www.rense.com/1.imagesH/nath2.jpg)(http://www.brothernathanaelfoundation.org/pics/BNAffirm.png)

The Synod issues this statement against Sr Vass. However, the statement from Abp Kyrill on this guy was retracted and no longer appears on the Synod website.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on August 06, 2017, 09:19:52 PM
Retracted? Or just no longer posted? What was the retraction statement?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Bob2 on August 06, 2017, 09:31:19 PM
Retracted? Or just no longer posted? What was the retraction statement?
It is no longer on the Synod website, and if you look at the text of that statement, which called upon him to stop posting on the internet, the fact that he continued to do so, and has been affirmed to be in good standing and as a monastic, albeit a novice.

The Statement for Met Hilarion, is not meant to be a endorsement of his activities, but he certainly tries to use it as one, and should have been foreseen.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on August 07, 2017, 08:47:55 PM
I deeply miss the good old moratorium. If we can't have one on discussing homosexuality, let's at least have one on mentioning Brother Nathanael (Kapner)?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 17, 2017, 05:42:03 PM
Latest on Sister Vassa's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeWithSisterVassa/), not behind a paywall

Because of forum rules, I will quote only a small part:
Quote
So, when I “examine myself,” as St. Paul instructs us to do, before approaching Holy Communion (1 Cor 11: 28), let me ask the right questions, rather than the false ones. I do not ask myself whether I am “worth” the Self-Offering of the precious Body and Blood of my Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. No. Because He already answered that question, having died for me, and all of us, and having descended into our hell and overcome it, in His resurrection.

Basically she seems to imply that we are worthy, because if Christ has in fact done it for us, we must have been worthy. That's really something odd to say, isn't it? In fact, doesn't the Gospel of Matthew teach us we are not worthy ("Lord I am not worthy to receive you" - Matthew 8:8), and doesn't John 3:16 tell us that God did what he did out of love, rather than because we are worth it?

As Orthodox Christians, we are in danger of spiritual delusions, of ascribing a false value to ourselves. The Church Slavonic term for this is прелесть (prelest), the Greek one πλάνη (plani). Sister Vassa's post seems to be a textbook example for this. She even goes as far as to put the mercy we are asking God for into quotation marks, as if we didn't literally need his mercy. In fact, she seems to imply we could forgive ourselves. Sorry, but we need to be forgiven by God and by our neighbours...

Quote
What I need to ask of myself, and what He asks of me, is that my heart and mind, despite my shortcomings, are “properly” in line with His peace and His mercy, embracing forgiveness of myself and others. Lord, have it Your way; Have “mercy”!


Lord have mercy (literally) on me, the first of sinners, and on Sister Vassa, that we may have humility, sobriety and faithfulness to the authentic teachings of our Holy Fathers.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: The young fogey on September 17, 2017, 06:20:12 PM
I think she's a good person who made an honest mistake; her bishops have handled it.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 17, 2017, 06:40:23 PM
I think she's a good person who made an honest mistake; her bishops have handled it.

Have you read my latest contribution to this thread? I may be wrong, but my impression is that she just made a new mistake. If it's not about homosexuality, it won't attract as much attention obviously. But is it really acceptable to say that we can forgive ourselves and that we are worthy of communion?? Anyone? It just feels to me that the whole attitude is wrong.

And that goes together with the fact that to the statement of the bishops, she has not reacted with a retraction or apology at all...
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on September 17, 2017, 07:25:34 PM
I don't see a problem with it, I can see where Sister Vassa is coming from where using "worthy" in that context can be confusing, although I don't have trouble with it. Granted I'm a newbie in the Church so I could be wrong...
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: The young fogey on September 17, 2017, 07:34:53 PM
I think she's a good person who made an honest mistake; her bishops have handled it.

Have you read my latest contribution to this thread? I may be wrong, but my impression is that she just made a new mistake. If it's not about homosexuality, it won't attract as much attention obviously. But is it really acceptable to say that we can forgive ourselves and that we are worthy of communion?? Anyone? It just feels to me that the whole attitude is wrong.

And that goes together with the fact that to the statement of the bishops, she has not reacted with a retraction or apology at all...

I didn't know about that.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on September 17, 2017, 07:41:49 PM
Quote
... I do not ask myself whether I am “worth”... No. Because He already answered that question, having died for me, and all of us, and having descended into our hell and overcome it, in His resurrection.

Basically she seems to imply that we are worthy, because...
Not so fast.  Yes, it seems so, but it also seems otherwise, if the emphasis above is considered as the answer to the question on whether she or we are worthy of Holy Communion. 

Regardless of her inane comment about homosexuality, Sr. Vassa still deserves the presumption of repentance and that this is not yet another slip away from orthodoxy, but just an instance of poorly phrasing.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 17, 2017, 08:15:59 PM
Regardless of her inane comment about homosexuality, Sr. Vassa still deserves the presumption of repentance
I respectfully disagree. She would deserve it in my opinion if she had given any sign of respect to the letter of the bishops. But she just answered that her approval ratings were still getting higher in spite of this...

and that this is not yet another slip away from orthodoxy, but just an instance of poorly phrasing.
When poor phrasing multiplies, that can still have disastrous consequences. Just look at the "poor phrasing" of and since V2 in the Roman Catholic Church... also Sr. Vassa is a) highly educated and b) a native English speaker (although she now lives in Austria, she is American), so it seems more probable that she intentionally uses the words she uses, rather than because of bad wording skills...
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on September 17, 2017, 08:33:04 PM
I respectfully disagree. She would deserve it in my opinion if she had given any sign of respect to the letter of the bishops. But she just answered that her approval ratings were still getting higher in spite of this...
I'm not privy to public statements by her either way or by her bishop about his pastoral care of hers.

Quote from: Gorazd
When poor phrasing multiplies, that can still have disastrous consequences. Just look at the "poor phrasing" of and since V2 in the Roman Catholic Church... also Sr. Vassa is a) highly educated and b) a native English speaker (although she now lives in Austria, she is American), so it seems more probable that she intentionally uses the words she uses, rather than because of bad wording skills...
I know.  After a few years of Pope FI allegedly putting his foot in the mouth so often, by now it's clear that he's meant everything that he's said and that he's forfeited any benefit of the doubt.  Still, in this case, the evidence is very circumstantial and the accusation requires inferring her intentions, which is a dangerous route to follow.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 18, 2017, 05:36:57 AM
I'm not privy to public statements by her either way or by her bishop about his pastoral care of hers.

Alright... I guess if she had said nothing, it would have been ok. But her defiant reaction still tells me a lot.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: FinnJames on September 18, 2017, 07:23:53 AM
Could the problem(?) with Sr Vassa's blog post 'Are We "Worthy" of Holy Communion?' be that it is addressed to the general public? What she says seems to me to be a very helpful thing to tell someone who worries obsessively that they are too sinful to approach the communion line--or, as also happens, that the person in front of them is. On the other hand, what she has written strikes me as not at all helpful to those who assume they can relax their daily self examination and repentance and line up with a clear conscience.

For what it's worth, I found her observation that the same Greek/Slavonic phrase has been translated into English differently in two passages quite informative. She is, after all, a liturgical scholar. If I follow her logic correctly, it was precisely this translation ambiguity that gave rise to her post.

Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on September 18, 2017, 08:56:57 AM
Maybe need to spend time in reflection that leads to self-examination and eventually repentance.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 18, 2017, 02:22:34 PM
What she says seems to me to be a very helpful thing to tell someone who worries obsessively that they are too sinful to approach the communion line--or, as also happens, that the person in front of them is.
And the filioque was very helpful in the fight against arianism.
But in Orthodoxy, truth comes first, and helpfulness second. And I believe we are never worthy (as opposed to always), though we should do our best to approach worthiness. Worthy is the main signification of the Greek "axios". Other meaning can be additional, such as "proper", but not instead of "Worthy" from a linguistic point of view.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Rohzek on September 18, 2017, 06:41:55 PM
I think she's a good person who made an honest mistake; her bishops have handled it.

Have you read my latest contribution to this thread? I may be wrong, but my impression is that she just made a new mistake. If it's not about homosexuality, it won't attract as much attention obviously. But is it really acceptable to say that we can forgive ourselves and that we are worthy of communion?? Anyone? It just feels to me that the whole attitude is wrong.

And that goes together with the fact that to the statement of the bishops, she has not reacted with a retraction or apology at all...

If God forgives us of our sins, who are we, who are but lowly creatures, not to forgive ourselves?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jackson02 on September 18, 2017, 07:19:32 PM
hurrah! nobody should listen to her heretical opinions.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jackson02 on September 18, 2017, 07:22:29 PM
Sad she didn't repent, I liked her show.  :(
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on September 18, 2017, 07:23:20 PM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church? 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jackson02 on September 18, 2017, 07:27:27 PM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on September 18, 2017, 07:39:30 PM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.

You're making this too easy, it's not even fun. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: orthoreader on September 18, 2017, 08:25:05 PM
She's a brilliant woman. It's too bad she took a U-turn on the homosexual issue. I pray she adjusts her thinking because we need her.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jackson02 on September 18, 2017, 09:27:01 PM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.

You're making this too easy, it's not even fun.
I know I'm probably gonna regret responding but what are you talking about?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on September 18, 2017, 09:34:48 PM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.

You're making this too easy, it's not even fun.
I know I'm probably gonna regret responding but what are you talking about?

You have zero--Z, E, R, O--lived experience of Orthodoxy, and you're going to judge a nun's views and call her to repentance?  Get your own life in order.  The actual Orthodox can handle Sr Vassa. 
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Jackson02 on September 18, 2017, 11:00:35 PM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.

You're making this too easy, it's not even fun.

I know I'm probably gonna regret responding but what are you talking about?

You have zero--Z, E, R, O--lived experience of Orthodoxy, and you're going to judge a nun's views and call her to repentance?  Get your own life in order.  The actual Orthodox can handle Sr Vassa.
So what? I've been studying and inquiring Orthodoxy for about a year now and have gained lots of knowledge about the faith. I have learned what the rules are and Sister Vassa has violated them. Thus, she should be stripped of her monastic title. You really think that if a person hasn't been inside an Orthodox Church that he/she is devoid of knowledge on all relating subject matters? if so sir I suggest you rethink your opinion. What you said was quite insulting to all inquirers to Eastern Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on September 18, 2017, 11:12:33 PM
So what? I've been studying and inquiring Orthodoxy for about a year now and have gained lots of knowledge about the faith.
Careful, it can be tempting to intellectualize the faith. But "gaining" knowledge =/= faith.

Thus, she should be stripped of her monastic title.
I would recommend taking Mor's advice on "getting your life in order" more seriously.

Quote
You really think that if a person hasn't been inside an Orthodox Church that he/she is devoid of knowledge on all relating subject matters?
As someone who once opined on Orthodox matters having been outside the Church for a number of years, I now recognize much of my own folly then. You should worry a whole lot more about becoming Orthodox than anything else.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RaphaCam on September 19, 2017, 12:49:51 AM
I have learned what the rules are and Sister Vassa has violated them. Thus, she should be stripped of her monastic title.
You're not making a big name for inquirers here... You can't quote canons punishing monastics for giving loose advice (presuming it's too loose advice), and even if you could, that's not how canonistics work in the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on September 19, 2017, 01:24:58 AM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.

You're making this too easy, it's not even fun.

I know I'm probably gonna regret responding but what are you talking about?

You have zero--Z, E, R, O--lived experience of Orthodoxy, and you're going to judge a nun's views and call her to repentance?  Get your own life in order.  The actual Orthodox can handle Sr Vassa.
So what? I've been studying and inquiring Orthodoxy for about a year now and have gained lots of knowledge about the faith. I have learned what the rules are and Sister Vassa has violated them. Thus, she should be stripped of her monastic title. You really think that if a person hasn't been inside an Orthodox Church that he/she is devoid of knowledge on all relating subject matters? if so sir I suggest you rethink your opinion. What you said was quite insulting to all inquirers to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Two things jump out to me:

1.  It makes a whole lot of difference in your life as an inquirer to continually visit and pray in an Orthodox Church, not just read about them and their beliefs.  You need to actively live it, and that requires being in the presence of a spiritual father who will periodically guide you.  There's no self-help and self-reading in Orthodoxy.

2.  Even if you are a practicing Orthodox Christian, the virtue of humility teaches us a "who am I" approach to judge.  I am not an archimandrite, I'm not a presbyter, I'm not a bishop, I have no judgment role.  Instead, I have a "what sins do I still struggle with" role right now.  And if you are responsible for someone else, you can think about them too.

All I see right now is a lot of conjecture for her most recent posts on forgiveness that seem to be taken out of context.  At least with homosexuality, the backlash on her particular views was disagreed with and handled.  Whether or not this made her more famous or more successful, I don't know, and frankly I don't care.  You can continue to criticize her other views, but to judge and say "she should be removed" is beyond our own personal roles as Orthodox Christians.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 19, 2017, 01:32:42 AM
Basically she seems to imply that we are worthy, because if Christ has in fact done it for us, we must have been worthy.
You have misunderstood. The idea is not that we shouldn't contemplate our unworthiness. The idea is that we shouldn't check ourselves and say, "am I worthy this week? Let's see, I've gone to confession, fasted, tithed, donated to the children's fund, but oh I did gossip..." rather, we are assuredly unworthy, but Christ makes us worthy in his "yes" on the Cross. Ultimately through his action, despite the modern synergia fetish. This is what is said: "thank you...for making me worthy, though unworthy, to partake..."

You are one who ought to take that hokey be the bee crap to heart.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on September 19, 2017, 01:36:30 AM
I'd rather have Be the Bee anyday anytime than some of the productions I saw some members of my church do.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 19, 2017, 02:26:59 AM
Ultimately through his action, despite the modern synergia fetish.

A "fetish" that goes back to Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 3:9). And an indispensable part of Orthodox doctrine. Christ's action would have saved no one, if not for the free acceptance of that salvation by the people. We are not Calvinists who believe in irresistible grace.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: WPM on September 19, 2017, 08:57:19 AM
That's how far away it is.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Sharbel on September 19, 2017, 09:53:28 AM
and that this is not yet another slip away from orthodoxy, but just an instance of poorly phrasing.
When poor phrasing multiplies, that can still have disastrous consequences. Just look at the "poor phrasing" of and since V2 in the Roman Catholic Church... also Sr. Vassa is a) highly educated and b) a native English speaker (although she now lives in Austria, she is American), so it seems more probable that she intentionally uses the words she uses, rather than because of bad wording skills...
This post made into my feed yesterday and today I had a chance to read it.  Indeed, it seems to be more than poor phrasing, but poor reasoning.  I'm afraid that she suffers from theologianitis, the malady that suffers theologians who get stuck in words and try to spin their way out of them.  :)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Agabus on September 19, 2017, 10:10:11 AM
we are assuredly unworthy, but Christ makes us worthy in his "yes" on the Cross. Ultimately through his action...This is what is said: "thank you...for making me worthy, though unworthy, to partake..."

+1
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on September 19, 2017, 11:21:47 AM
I'd rather have Be the Bee anyday anytime than some of the productions I saw some members of my church do.
Ive never heard of this Be the Bee until now.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on September 19, 2017, 11:59:09 AM
^Have you ever stepped foot in an Orthodox church?
Are you talking to me? if so no as the closest Old Calendarist church near me is in Texas.

You're making this too easy, it's not even fun.

I know I'm probably gonna regret responding but what are you talking about?

You have zero--Z, E, R, O--lived experience of Orthodoxy, and you're going to judge a nun's views and call her to repentance?  Get your own life in order.  The actual Orthodox can handle Sr Vassa.
So what? I've been studying and inquiring Orthodoxy for about a year now and have gained lots of knowledge about the faith.

Oh, how delighted I am for you.  Gold star!

Quote
I have learned what the rules are and Sister Vassa has violated them.

What rules?  And how?

Quote
Thus, she should be stripped of her monastic title.

Certainly you should have learned in your extensive year long inquiry into Orthodoxy that "monasticism" is not a title, it is a vowed life of repentance.  You don't really get stripped of repentance. 

Quote
You really think that if a person hasn't been inside an Orthodox Church that he/she is devoid of knowledge on all relating subject matters? if so sir I suggest you rethink your opinion. What you said was quite insulting to all inquirers to Eastern Orthodoxy.

I think if you haven't actually entered an Orthodox church building and participated in some way in the common life of the people of God, then yeah, whatever book knowledge you have about the faith is severely lacking.  If anyone is insulting all inquirers to Eastern Orthodoxy, it's you.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on September 19, 2017, 12:07:23 PM
Basically she seems to imply that we are worthy, because if Christ has in fact done it for us, we must have been worthy.
You have misunderstood. The idea is not that we shouldn't contemplate our unworthiness. The idea is that we shouldn't check ourselves and say, "am I worthy this week? Let's see, I've gone to confession, fasted, tithed, donated to the children's fund, but oh I did gossip..." rather, we are assuredly unworthy, but Christ makes us worthy in his "yes" on the Cross. Ultimately through his action, despite the modern synergia fetish. This is what is said: "thank you...for making me worthy, though unworthy, to partake..."

+1
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: orthoreader on September 19, 2017, 12:48:11 PM
Ultimately through his action, despite the modern synergia fetish.

A "fetish" that goes back to Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 3:9). And an indispensable part of Orthodox doctrine. Christ's action would have saved no one, if not for the free acceptance of that salvation by the people. We are not Calvinists who believe in irresistible grace.

Maybe even further to Abraham's Covenant/promise, or faithful participation gr. (Logizomai)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 19, 2017, 11:23:35 PM
Christ's action would have saved no one, if not for the free acceptance of that salvation by the people. We are not Calvinists who believe in irresistible grace.
No Calvinism necessary. God gave you the will, sensibility, intuition, deliberative faculties, etc. that you use, he is ultimately the author of all good things including your conversion, etc. Synergia and freedom traditionally understood do not negate this. But the modern "synergia" (voluntarism) fetish of absolute freedom and absolute moral responsibility on the part of finite creatures (lol?) distorts this. Calvinism buys into this fetishized definition of freedom but take it in the negative; and they take the fetishized responsibility, in the positive, it's how they justify the eternal condemnation of sinners.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 20, 2017, 03:30:00 AM
he is ultimately the author of all good things including your conversion
No, the conversion is a synergeia, a working-together of divine grace and of human will. Our will is created by God, but He has given us the possibility to exercise it in one way or the other.

That doesn't mean absolute freedom. In fact, the Fathers teach significant limits on freedom, such as the inevitable link between pleasure and pain. But concerning grace, we have free will to accept or to reject it.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on September 21, 2017, 08:01:16 AM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: RobS on September 21, 2017, 10:09:16 AM
Weird coincidence, but I came across this bit from Zizek's book Absolute Recoil:

"This is why radical acts of freedom are possible only under the condition of predestination: in predestination, we know we are predestined, but we don’t know how we are predestined, i.e., which of our choices is predetermined, and this terrifying situation in which we have to decide what to do, knowing that our decision is decided in advance, is perhaps the only case of real freedom, of the unbearable burden of a really free choice—we know that what we will do is predestined, but we still have to take a risk and subjectively choose what is predestined."
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Rohzek on September 21, 2017, 11:00:51 AM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on September 21, 2017, 03:01:18 PM
Weird coincidence, but I came across this bit from Zizek's book Absolute Recoil:

"This is why radical acts of freedom are possible only under the condition of predestination: in predestination, we know we are predestined, but we don’t know how we are predestined, i.e., which of our choices is predetermined, and this terrifying situation in which we have to decide what to do, knowing that our decision is decided in advance, is perhaps the only case of real freedom, of the unbearable burden of a really free choice—we know that what we will do is predestined, but we still have to take a risk and subjectively choose what is predestined."

He should get a doctorate for that right thar. That's tooth-crackingly painful tomfoolery.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on September 21, 2017, 03:01:53 PM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.

The human being is also strongly inclined toward God its Father.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on September 21, 2017, 07:27:11 PM
Weird coincidence, but I came across this bit from Zizek's book Absolute Recoil:

"This is why radical acts of freedom are possible only under the condition of predestination: in predestination, we know we are predestined, but we don’t know how we are predestined, i.e., which of our choices is predetermined, and this terrifying situation in which we have to decide what to do, knowing that our decision is decided in advance, is perhaps the only case of real freedom, of the unbearable burden of a really free choice—we know that what we will do is predestined, but we still have to take a risk and subjectively choose what is predestined."

I wouldn't want to live in a world where that was true or worship a deity who set things up that way.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Rohzek on September 21, 2017, 07:32:15 PM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.

The human being is also strongly inclined toward God its Father.

I'm torn on this point. If such is as you say, then why has most of the world throughout human history turned from God? I think you're overrating humanity a little bit.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: LivenotoneviL on September 21, 2017, 07:56:37 PM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.

The human being is also strongly inclined toward God its Father.

I'm torn on this point. If such is as you say, then why has most of the world throughout human history turned from God? I think you're overrating humanity a little bit.

Something tells me you would like Thomas Hobbes.

But anyways, I would agree to a certain extent - but even though we have irrational inclinations towards sin, and for the most part (unless you're as flippin awesome as the Theotokos...or Christ Himself), we are all gonna sin. Nevertheless, we all have to make the choice - whether we want to take the easy route, revert to our animalistic instincts and serve ourselves, while isolating ourselves from God and from other human beings, or choose God first and foremost in a selfless, but usually difficult manner - detaching yourself from Earthly things, as I've experienced, although wonderful, in that we have true love and see the whole value of every single one of our brothers and sisters, and we become thankful for everything we have, it is difficult. We all have the freedom to choose which path to follow - that of animals or that of God. We can choose to run downhill into the Outer Darkness, or we can walk uphill to the stars, to analogize from Patriarch Kirill.

In terms of inclination, I think we would all be lost without God - but because God loves His children, we all have the opportunity for eternal life and salvation.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Rohzek on September 22, 2017, 01:10:31 AM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.

The human being is also strongly inclined toward God its Father.

I'm torn on this point. If such is as you say, then why has most of the world throughout human history turned from God? I think you're overrating humanity a little bit.

Something tells me you would like Thomas Hobbes.

But anyways, I would agree to a certain extent - but even though we have irrational inclinations towards sin, and for the most part (unless you're as flippin awesome as the Theotokos...or Christ Himself), we are all gonna sin. Nevertheless, we all have to make the choice - whether we want to take the easy route, revert to our animalistic instincts and serve ourselves, while isolating ourselves from God and from other human beings, or choose God first and foremost in a selfless, but usually difficult manner - detaching yourself from Earthly things, as I've experienced, although wonderful, in that we have true love and see the whole value of every single one of our brothers and sisters, and we become thankful for everything we have, it is difficult. We all have the freedom to choose which path to follow - that of animals or that of God. We can choose to run downhill into the Outer Darkness, or we can walk uphill to the stars, to analogize from Patriarch Kirill.

In terms of inclination, I think we would all be lost without God - but because God loves His children, we all have the opportunity for eternal life and salvation.

I like Hobbes and I largely think he was right. That being said, I like Rousseau a lot as well, particularly his Second Discourse. Nevertheless, I think Rousseau erred in thinking that anything bad can be blamed on society. No, the blame lay in human nature itself, as Hobbes tended to think, albeit to an extreme that is perhaps too much for my tastes. In the end, it is strange how both men seemed to suggest that evil can be socially engineered away. But maybe that's because of some misreading on my part.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on September 22, 2017, 10:16:10 AM
That the human will is perverted by the fall, I don't think anyone disputes. Our fallen will is not free- it can only be freed by grace. A will is free (paraphrasing Saint Maximus again) insofar as it wills according to its nature, and our nature, like all created natures, is inclined toward God. So it's not that God forces us to be good but that our will, freed from sin, inclines naturally to him. Free from sin, it could still make the wrong choice, as Adam did, but in doing so it becomes enveloped in passions and loses its freedom. This freedom was restored in Christ, and through him for all people (via baptism and the other mysteries), and through him is unassailable.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 22, 2017, 10:19:42 AM
he is ultimately the author of all good things including your conversion
Our will is created by God, but He has given us the possibility to exercise it in one way or the other.
In virtue of what do we choose one way or the other? in virtue of things God has given us.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on September 22, 2017, 01:43:24 PM
Some comments from DBH at the Eclectic Orthodoxy blog:

Quote
Because God is not a finite object over against you as a subject, you cannot simply turn away towards ‘something else.’; He is the ground and end of all desire and knowledge as such, the Good in itself. You cannot choose or not choose God the way you would choose or not choose a cup of coffee. You desire anything because of your original desire for God as the transcendental Good and Beautiful; you know anything because of your original intellectual appetite for God as the transcendental Truth as such. Even in desiring to flee God, you are desiring God as the ‘good end’ you seek in godlessness. He is inescapable because all being, goodness, unity, truth, and beauty simply are God in their transcendent truth, and because a rational nature is nothing but an infinite dynamic orientation towards that transcendent end. The natural will, as Maximus says, can will only God. Don’t think of God as a candidate in a political race, whom you could simply reject and be done with; he is the original and final act of your every discrete act of desire. And, in the ages, since God is all and there is literally nothing beyond him, the natural will is always seeking its natural supernatural end. Simply said, God is not an object of desire; he is the end that makes desire.

Quote
In simple terms, if a deranged man chooses to slash himself with a knife or set fire to himself, you would not be interfering with his ‘freedom’ by preventing him from doing so. You would be rescuing him from his slavery to madness. This is why the free-will defense of the idea of an eternal hell is essentially gibberish. Which, incidentally, does not break from the ‘synergist’ view. It is merely to say that the cooperation of the created will with God’s is still a cooperation–if needs be by terrible purgation–in restoring a human soul to its natural state. I think of Gregory of Nyssa deals with this quite delightfully and cogently in De anima et resurrection.

Quote
No one can freely will the evil as evil; one can take the evil for the good, but that does not alter the prior transcendental orientation that wakens all desire. To see the good truly is to desire it insatiably; not to desire it is not to have known it, and so never to have been free to choose it. It makes no more sense to say that God allows creatures to damn themselves than to say a father might reasonably allow his deranged child to thrust her face into a fire out of tender respect for her moral autonomy. And the argument becomes quite insufferable when one considers the personal conditions—ignorance, mortality, defectibility of intellect and will—under which each soul enters the world, and the circumstances—the suffering of all creatures, even the most innocent and delightful of them—with which that world confronts the soul.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Porter ODoran on September 22, 2017, 04:18:27 PM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.

The human being is also strongly inclined toward God its Father.

I'm torn on this point. If such is as you say, then why has most of the world throughout human history turned from God? I think you're overrating humanity a little bit.

What the heck? What's your religious and educational background? God is the father and savior of mankind. You're really just expressing unbelief in God.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 22, 2017, 04:32:00 PM
DBH is once really clever guy, but sometimes I wonder if he isn't building Western Captivity 2.0? He does sound a lot like Thomas Aquinas, whom he openly respects.

Whereas the rule for practising Orthodox theology should be simple:
"If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian." Evagrius Ponticus, Treatise on Prayer, 61, quoted after OrthodoxWiki.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on September 22, 2017, 04:33:25 PM
DBH is once really clever guy, but sometimes I wonder if he isn't building Western Captivity 2.0? He does sound a lot like Thomas Aquinas, whom he openly respects.

 ::)

Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Rohzek on September 22, 2017, 05:29:26 PM
But the will is not a blank slate that shows one thing or another. Its free inclination like all things is toward God. A will embroiled in sin is not free. And that's not Calvin, that's Saint Maximus.

I've always understood human free will to be inclined, but not determined, towards sin. Nevertheless, it is not totally depraved. It still has the choice on its very own to received God's grace and participate with the divine energies. The human being might be indulging in sin and therefore a slave to it, but it is not deprived of its agency and capacity to accept the ever present grace of God.

The human being is also strongly inclined toward God its Father.

I'm torn on this point. If such is as you say, then why has most of the world throughout human history turned from God? I think you're overrating humanity a little bit.

What the heck? What's your religious and educational background? God is the father and savior of mankind. You're really just expressing unbelief in God.

And yet, none of that addresses a word I said. Classic Porter moment. Someone raises a question regarding one of your positions? They must be some sort of heretical monster or a closet atheist.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Rohzek on September 22, 2017, 05:34:46 PM
That the human will is perverted by the fall, I don't think anyone disputes. Our fallen will is not free- it can only be freed by grace. A will is free (paraphrasing Saint Maximus again) insofar as it wills according to its nature, and our nature, like all created natures, is inclined toward God. So it's not that God forces us to be good but that our will, freed from sin, inclines naturally to him. Free from sin, it could still make the wrong choice, as Adam did, but in doing so it becomes enveloped in passions and loses its freedom. This freedom was restored in Christ, and through him for all people (via baptism and the other mysteries), and through him is unassailable.

I agree with this formulation. Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 22, 2017, 06:19:04 PM
DBH is once really clever guy, but sometimes I wonder if he isn't building Western Captivity 2.0? He does sound a lot like Thomas Aquinas, whom he openly respects.
Contrary to Metropolitan Heirotheos and friends, the east is all about rationality too. You were sold a historical revision.

DBH's work may be boring, polemical, melodramatic, pseudoclassicist, middling and LARPy, but you can't fault him on this particular point.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonis on September 22, 2017, 07:34:12 PM
DBH is once really clever guy, but sometimes I wonder if he isn't building Western Captivity 2.0? He does sound a lot like Thomas Aquinas, whom he openly respects.
Contrary to Metropolitan Heirotheos and friends, the east is all about rationality too. You were sold a historical revision.
There is a difference between rationality and rationalism.

The Metropolitan of Nafpaktos does not reject reason. He rejects reason being valued above revelation. This is Orthodox teaching, confirmed synodally in the condemnation of Barlaam.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on September 22, 2017, 08:30:41 PM
Well then how do you define this "rationalism" and how do you perceive it in the DBH quotes above, in a way not found in, e.g., Sts Maximus, John Damascene, Gregory Palamas?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Antonis on September 22, 2017, 09:21:24 PM
Well then how do you define this "rationalism" and how do you perceive it in the DBH quotes above, in a way not found in, e.g., Sts Maximus, John Damascene, Gregory Palamas?
Apologies, that wasn't my intention. I only took issue with a common critique made towards Metropolitan Hierotheos and those like him, although I now see how it could've been read as supporting Gorazd's comment.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 23, 2017, 01:52:20 AM
You were sold a historical revision.

Let's answer this in a "rational" way...
1) I got the quote for free from Orthodoxwiki, so I didn't buy anything.
2) It's a rather old quote from one of the autors of the Philokalia, so long before the debates of the 20th century.

And I still believe that Holy Orthodoxy is about theosis. I accept the writing of St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximos the Confessor, but I am deeply sceptical about attempts to interpret them in a Thomist or Calvinist way. Instead, as an introduction to their thought, I would recommend "Deification in Christ" by Panayiotis Nellas, English Translation published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.



There is a difference between rationality and rationalism.

The Metropolitan of Nafpaktos does not reject reason. He rejects reason being valued above revelation. This is Orthodox teaching, confirmed synodally in the condemnation of Barlaam.
Thank you. I completely agree.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 23, 2017, 02:08:27 AM
Let's answer this in a "rational" way...
1) I got the quote for free from Orthodoxwiki, so I didn't buy anything.
I never said anything about the provenance of your quote.


I accept the writing of St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximos the Confessor, but I am deeply sceptical about attempts to interpret them in a Thomist or Calvinist way.
Unless you have an account against an interpretation (whatever it is) who cares what you're skeptical of? I mean I'm skeptical of a lot of stuff.


Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Volnutt on September 23, 2017, 02:48:15 AM
You were sold a historical revision.

Let's answer this in a "rational" way...
1) I got the quote for free from Orthodoxwiki, so I didn't buy anything.
2) It's a rather old quote from one of the autors of the Philokalia, so long before the debates of the 20th century.

And I still believe that Holy Orthodoxy is about theosis. I accept the writing of St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximos the Confessor, but I am deeply sceptical about attempts to interpret them in a Thomist or Calvinist way.

You're the one who brought up Calvin and Aquinas. What makes you think these arguments have anything to do with either? Just because DBH likes some things about Aquinas? That's a pretty weak connection (also doesn't touch Iconodule's use of St. Maximus).

All you've done is throw out some crude LFW* and asserted that it's more Orthodox just because a theologian is one who prays. Never mind the fact that that maxim has never stopped Eastern Fathers from spilling just as much ink on complex topics as their Western counterparts.

Instead, as an introduction to their thought, I would recommend "Deification in Christ" by Panayiotis Nellas, English Translation published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.

And what do Nellas's points have to say about the question at hand? It's kind of cheap to just say "read this entire book to see how I win the argument."




*Libertarian Free Will, as differentiated from Compatibilistic Free Will (CFW)
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Volnutt on September 23, 2017, 02:53:39 AM
Weird coincidence, but I came across this bit from Zizek's book Absolute Recoil:

"This is why radical acts of freedom are possible only under the condition of predestination: in predestination, we know we are predestined, but we don’t know how we are predestined, i.e., which of our choices is predetermined, and this terrifying situation in which we have to decide what to do, knowing that our decision is decided in advance, is perhaps the only case of real freedom, of the unbearable burden of a really free choice—we know that what we will do is predestined, but we still have to take a risk and subjectively choose what is predestined."

I wouldn't want to live in a world where that was true or worship a deity who set things up that way.

...tough excreta?


I don't want to live in a world where God let's babies get cancer, but it seems I don't have a choice in the matter.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Volnutt on September 23, 2017, 03:26:22 AM
Some comments from DBH at the Eclectic Orthodoxy blog:

Quote
Because God is not a finite object over against you as a subject, you cannot simply turn away towards ‘something else.’; He is the ground and end of all desire and knowledge as such, the Good in itself. You cannot choose or not choose God the way you would choose or not choose a cup of coffee. You desire anything because of your original desire for God as the transcendental Good and Beautiful; you know anything because of your original intellectual appetite for God as the transcendental Truth as such. Even in desiring to flee God, you are desiring God as the ‘good end’ you seek in godlessness. He is inescapable because all being, goodness, unity, truth, and beauty simply are God in their transcendent truth, and because a rational nature is nothing but an infinite dynamic orientation towards that transcendent end. The natural will, as Maximus says, can will only God. Don’t think of God as a candidate in a political race, whom you could simply reject and be done with; he is the original and final act of your every discrete act of desire. And, in the ages, since God is all and there is literally nothing beyond him, the natural will is always seeking its natural supernatural end. Simply said, God is not an object of desire; he is the end that makes desire.

Quote
In simple terms, if a deranged man chooses to slash himself with a knife or set fire to himself, you would not be interfering with his ‘freedom’ by preventing him from doing so. You would be rescuing him from his slavery to madness. This is why the free-will defense of the idea of an eternal hell is essentially gibberish. Which, incidentally, does not break from the ‘synergist’ view. It is merely to say that the cooperation of the created will with God’s is still a cooperation–if needs be by terrible purgation–in restoring a human soul to its natural state. I think of Gregory of Nyssa deals with this quite delightfully and cogently in De anima et resurrection.

Quote
No one can freely will the evil as evil; one can take the evil for the good, but that does not alter the prior transcendental orientation that wakens all desire. To see the good truly is to desire it insatiably; not to desire it is not to have known it, and so never to have been free to choose it. It makes no more sense to say that God allows creatures to damn themselves than to say a father might reasonably allow his deranged child to thrust her face into a fire out of tender respect for her moral autonomy. And the argument becomes quite insufferable when one considers the personal conditions—ignorance, mortality, defectibility of intellect and will—under which each soul enters the world, and the circumstances—the suffering of all creatures, even the most innocent and delightful of them—with which that world confronts the soul.

Well it's certainly an elegant attempt at any rate, but doesn't saying that desiring sin is ultimately a form of desiring God imply that His house is divided against itself a la Mark 3:24-26? I'm also not sure how this squares with James 1:13-16.

This also doesn't really account for how anybody actually rebels against God in the first place. Were we just made flawed and sin basically happened at random (Adam and Eve one day just all of a sudden started mistaking evil for good)? Perhaps he addresses this somewhere else?

I'm also not sure an answer like "this all only happened because you were incapable of desiring anything but God" avoids the kind of pat gibberish explanations of accountability and Hell that DBH is trying to avoid.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: The young fogey on September 23, 2017, 08:48:12 AM
It's safe to say that Sister Vassa's situation is a matter for her bishop and her abbess, not for us.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 24, 2017, 06:51:52 PM
It's safe to say that Sister Vassa's situation is a matter for her bishop and her abbess, not for us.

Surely not for you as a Roman Catholic.
But in Orthodoxy
1) Laypeople do care about maintaining the right faith. Sometimes emperors and bishops betrayed Orthodoxy, but laypeople refused to follow them.
2) If it was a merely personal thing, it would be between her and her bishop/synod. (AFAIK she doesn't have an abbess, but she is directly under Archbishop Mark). But since Sister Vassa still acts as an authority and many people trust her, we must speak out against people being mislead.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: The young fogey on September 24, 2017, 07:32:56 PM
If I recall rightly, people not just laity but not even officially Orthodox (catechumens or just inquirers) were calling for her to be thrown out of the convent.

Clerical (including monks and nuns) gossip is fun. They can't defend themselves like people in the world. It's easy to do online. I've done it. It's also a sin.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: ialmisry on September 24, 2017, 07:36:18 PM
If I recall rightly, people not just laity but not even officially Orthodox (catechumens or just inquirers) were calling for her to be thrown out of the convent.

Clerical (including monks and nuns) gossip is fun. They can't defend themselves like people in the world. It's easy to do online. I've done it. It's also a sin.
She made it public, not us.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 25, 2017, 02:47:13 AM
Clerical (including monks and nuns) gossip is fun. They can't defend themselves like people in the world. It's easy to do online.
If anyone can defend herself online, surely Sister Vassa... I am not sure if you have noticed, but although she formally is a nun, she doesn't live "outside the world" in a monastery. In fact, her "apostolic monasticism" is something your should be familiar with as a Roman Catholic. She herself admitted herself that her kind of life is not what is usual in Orthodoxy, and she is more inspired by Jesuits, such as Fr. Robert Taft SJ, a Greek Catholic Jesuite under whom she studied for a PhD in liturgical science.


 
It's also a sin.
Let that be between the individual and one's confessor... We deal with such issues with ikonomia, taking into account the individual criticism, its intentions and circumstances, not with "one size sits all" rules.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Iconodule on September 25, 2017, 10:01:35 AM
Well it's certainly an elegant attempt at any rate, but doesn't saying that desiring sin is ultimately a form of desiring God imply that His house is divided against itself a la Mark 3:24-26? I'm also not sure how this squares with James 1:13-16.

I think it goes more along the lines of understanding that evil has no real substance. It can only be a distortion of what God has made, of what is good, mistaking things for God that aren't. It does not mean that sin is a legitimate expression of the good creation, just that it can only cannibalize it. And we cannot cast out demons by demons.

Quote
This also doesn't really account for how anybody actually rebels against God in the first place. Were we just made flawed and sin basically happened at random (Adam and Eve one day just all of a sudden started mistaking evil for good)? Perhaps he addresses this somewhere else?

That's a fair point and to be honest I'm not sure if anyone has been able to adequately account for the fall. I haven't read DBH's books yet so I can't comment on whether he attempts to address it. The usual basic approach is to say Adam (like angels) was different from other creatures in that he was made to love God voluntarily, that is, he had the possibility of turning away. But why would he turn away? If we say that the temptation of the serpent was a major factor, then we have to ask why the devil turned away too. In any case Saint Maximus talks about this gnomic/ deliberative will in man, which could, under the influence of some deception, be exercised to choose something other than God, at which point the will becomes plunged into confusion and sin. Somehow the incarnation restores the human will, not merely to a pre-Fall state but something better. That stuff goes over my head at the moment. It seems to me there is no theological model that is problem free, but some are more helpful than others.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Volnutt on September 25, 2017, 10:09:57 AM
Well it's certainly an elegant attempt at any rate, but doesn't saying that desiring sin is ultimately a form of desiring God imply that His house is divided against itself a la Mark 3:24-26? I'm also not sure how this squares with James 1:13-16.

I think it goes more along the lines of understanding that evil has no real substance. It can only be a distortion of what God has made, of what is good, mistaking things for God that aren't. It does not mean that sin is a legitimate expression of the good creation, just that it can only cannibalize it. And we cannot cast out demons by demons.

Quote
This also doesn't really account for how anybody actually rebels against God in the first place. Were we just made flawed and sin basically happened at random (Adam and Eve one day just all of a sudden started mistaking evil for good)? Perhaps he addresses this somewhere else?

That's a fair point and to be honest I'm not sure if anyone has been able to adequately account for the fall. I haven't read DBH's books yet so I can't comment on whether he attempts to address it. The usual basic approach is to say Adam (like angels) was different from other creatures in that he was made to love God voluntarily, that is, he had the possibility of turning away. But why would he turn away? If we say that the temptation of the serpent was a major factor, then we have to ask why the devil turned away too. In any case Saint Maximus talks about this gnomic/ deliberative will in man, which could, under the influence of some deception, be exercised to choose something other than God, at which point the will becomes plunged into confusion and sin. Somehow the incarnation restores the human will, not merely to a pre-Fall state but something better. That stuff goes over my head at the moment. It seems to me there is no theological model that is problem free, but some are more helpful than others.

Huh, interesting. Thanks.

Yeah, I'd heard about the gnomic will, but I thought that for St. Maximus it was a product of the Fall and thus Christ didn't actually have one (and thus neither will we at the end).
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: minasoliman on September 25, 2017, 06:34:39 PM
Clerical (including monks and nuns) gossip is fun. They can't defend themselves like people in the world. It's easy to do online.
If anyone can defend herself online, surely Sister Vassa... I am not sure if you have noticed, but although she formally is a nun, she doesn't live "outside the world" in a monastery. In fact, her "apostolic monasticism" is something your should be familiar with as a Roman Catholic. She herself admitted herself that her kind of life is not what is usual in Orthodoxy, and she is more inspired by Jesuits, such as Fr. Robert Taft SJ, a Greek Catholic Jesuite under whom she studied for a PhD in liturgical science.


 
It's also a sin.
Let that be between the individual and one's confessor... We deal with such issues with ikonomia, taking into account the individual criticism, its intentions and circumstances, not with "one size sits all" rules.

Just because someone studies Fr. Robert Taft does not make that person "inspired by Jesuits".  His research on liturgical studies is attested by most Orthodox institutions as an excellent study that deserves reading even for our own traditions.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 25, 2017, 11:24:48 PM
Clerical (including monks and nuns) gossip is fun. They can't defend themselves like people in the world. It's easy to do online.
If anyone can defend herself online, surely Sister Vassa... I am not sure if you have noticed, but although she formally is a nun, she doesn't live "outside the world" in a monastery. In fact, her "apostolic monasticism" is something your should be familiar with as a Roman Catholic. She herself admitted herself that her kind of life is not what is usual in Orthodoxy, and she is more inspired by Jesuits, such as Fr. Robert Taft SJ, a Greek Catholic Jesuite under whom she studied for a PhD in liturgical science.


 
It's also a sin.
Let that be between the individual and one's confessor... We deal with such issues with ikonomia, taking into account the individual criticism, its intentions and circumstances, not with "one size sits all" rules.
In a word, what are you trying to say?
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Gorazd on September 26, 2017, 07:34:46 AM
Just because someone studies Fr. Robert Taft does not make that person "inspired by Jesuits". 
I heard her say herself that her understanding of her monasticism is influenced by the Jesuit one, as she got to know it through him.

His research on liturgical studies is attested by most Orthodox institutions as an excellent study that deserves reading even for our own traditions.
I do not dispute the quality of his research. I say it's problematic to copy his lifestyle. Quite a difference.
Title: Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
Post by: Asteriktos on September 26, 2017, 08:02:12 AM
Here's St. Paul, who got trained by a Pharisee: "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today." - Acts 22:3

Here's St. Gregory the Theologian, who had both a Christian and pagan Greek education, saying he admires the life of people who deny the full divinity of the Holy Spirit: "This we concede to you in whom we do find something of vital truth, who are sound as to the Son.  We admire your life, but we do not altogether approve your doctrine." - St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 41.8

It is possible to learn from someone, and even be inspired by them, while not becoming 'tainted,' or if at first 'tainted' then not continuing as such later on.