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Author Topic: Man leaves priesthood to get married  (Read 10802 times) Average Rating: 0
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zebu
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« on: June 19, 2008, 02:15:25 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/fashion/weddings/01vows.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=greek%20orthodox%20priest&st=nyt&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Why was this marriage even allowed? I thought second marriages were only allowed in special circumstances, and then this man leaves the priesthood to get a second marriage, and has six priests officiating!  And nobody seems to have a problem with it...I think this is far more dishonourable than the recent article about the two Anglican priests getting married.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 03:32:08 AM »

It's a Great story i liked it.... the bishop should of allowed them to get married and him still remain a priest it doesn't make sense that he had to resign. i don't see anything wrong with him marrying again...a serbian bishop allowed a ordained deacon to get married after his wife left him.we didn't see anything wrong with it  ....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 03:38:27 AM »

It doesn't seem the man did it for the show. Besides, having a family is just as important to God as being a priest.

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“I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life alone,” Mr. Orfanakos said. Regardless of his own divorce, he considered marriage sacred and, for him especially, essential.

He might not be one of those serial-marriage-and-divorce types. Besides, his kids would benefit from being in an intact nuclear family. From my POV, the law is in the way of a human expression of godliness: love, marriage and family. I'm happy for him, and I hope it works out for him! Smiley
Besides, by recognizing his natural need for companionship, I think he did well in satisfying that need in a godly way, even if the law of the Church was violated. Before they stepped down the aisle, this man acted in a professional and righteous manner towards his future wife. Ten more points right there, I say! Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 03:48:52 AM »

 zebu,
More than "gay marriage", and among so-called clergy at that? Not in my book. The article is inaccurate in a place or two, but so what? He's a layman.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 04:28:50 AM »

zebu,
More than "gay marriage", and among so-called clergy at that? Not in my book. The article is inaccurate in a place or two, but so what? He's a layman.
On the contrary, the two Anglican priests marrying are ignorant of the apostolic faith, and are thus less accountable for their actions.  Furthermore, their acts probably do a lot less to scandalize their flocks than this man.  What this man did, divorcing his wife, and then a few years later leaving the priesthood to marry must be a huge scandal to his parishioners and those involved.  And then, to have this article talking about how great this is, and making it sound like some heart-warming love story! Shameful!

I guess my main problem here are two things: One is how the event is portrayed in the article, as being a positive thing, rather than as being neutral at best. 

Second, I think it is hypocritical that so much leniency is given here because people have a "need for companionship", but then people are so hard on the two Anglican priests, and gays in general.  Both are sinful acts, both are defined as morally unacceptable acts in the Gospels and in the epistles of St Paul.  So why are we so hard on one and applaud the other? 
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 05:46:39 AM »

On the contrary, the two Anglican priests marrying are ignorant of the apostolic faith, and are thus less accountable for their actions.  Furthermore, their acts probably do a lot less to scandalize their flocks than this man.  What this man did, divorcing his wife, and then a few years later leaving the priesthood to marry must be a huge scandal to his parishioners and those involved.  And then, to have this article talking about how great this is, and making it sound like some heart-warming love story! Shameful!
Your opinion only, my friend. Do you know a soul in his former parish to back up your scandal claims?
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I guess my main problem here are two things: One is how the event is portrayed in the article, as being a positive thing, rather than as being neutral at best.
As you say, it's your problem.
Quote
Second, I think it is hypocritical that so much leniency is given here because people have a "need for companionship", but then people are so hard on the two Anglican priests, and gays in general.  Both are sinful acts, both are defined as morally unacceptable acts in the Gospels and in the epistles of St Paul.  So why are we so hard on one and applaud the other? 
These two situations are not even in the same league, except as you are trying to force/ create an analogy.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 09:16:27 AM »

Actually, it would be a scandal if the guy got remarried and stayed a priest.  The guy stepped down, as was meet and right, and so can be granted the marriage.
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 11:06:17 AM »

Actually, it would be a scandal if the guy got remarried and stayed a priest.  The guy stepped down, as was meet and right, and so can be granted the marriage.

I agree with you.  I remember the scandal when an Antiochian priest was allowed to remarry and remain a priest.  And his first wife died, he did not divorce her.  I believe this priest did the honorable thing and quit the priesthood.  Men know before they are ordained that there is to be only one marriage and that they are not allowed to remarry if the wife dies or they are divorced.  Of course, if they are single when they are ordained into the priesthood, they know that marriage is out. 
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 11:10:32 AM »

I agree that this is neutral at best. There is nothing "happy" about a priest leaving the priesthood; in fact, it is a dread thing, a burden that he will have to carry for the rest of his life and for which he will have to answer on the day of judgment, when Christ will ask him to give account for the lamb that was put on his hand at his ordination.

The Church does allow this in acts of extreme economia, so it is not the same thing as a gay marriage, but, it is still not a "positive" thing.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 11:41:30 AM »

Many years to them!
I'm happy they have found true happiness. It's a silly rule we have about no marriage after ordination. We should be more like the Anglicans in this regard I think, then we wont have to lose vocations. Another big problem area for us is widowed priests, espeecially in Greece.
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 11:48:47 AM »

Many years to them!
I'm happy they have found true happiness. It's a silly rule we have about no marriage after ordination. We should be more like the Anglicans in this regard I think, then we wont have to lose vocations. Another big problem area for us is widowed priests, espeecially in Greece.

They and we won't know if they have found true happiness until the day of judgment.

No marriage after ordination is a good and sensible rule that should never be "overturned" (as if canons were legal precedents!). One thing that several members of my family respect is that Orthodox priests are held to an extremely high standard vis a vis their Catholic and Protestant counterparts.
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 11:50:23 AM »

No marriage after ordination is a good rule that should never be "overturned"
Why is it a "good rule"?
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 11:54:55 AM »

They and we won't know if they have found true happiness until the day of judgment.

They don't look too miserable to me:

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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 12:21:27 PM »

They don't look too miserable to me:


Quote from: St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians Chapter 4
1So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

The man may in the end be proven faithful, or he may not; his current mood as expressed in a glamorous wedding shot has nothing whatsoever to do with it. We should not judge him one way or the other personally, because the Church already has judged that he may enter into this marriage; however, he will still give account for his actions to God, and he may be found lacking.  The priesthood suffered when this man left it all the same, and he will give account for that on the day of judgment. Leaving the priesthood is a dread thing and should not be celebrated, even if in the end, it was necessary.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 12:26:51 PM »

Why is it a "good rule"?

Priests are not "one of the guys" and should not be out looking for women. Then perhaps getting divorced, and finding another woman. Having kids, getting divorced, getting married again, more kids, perhaps a second divorce (hey we allow three marriages, right?). These canons are for the salvation of the person.  Having a layman marry more than once is dangerous enough for his soul; allowing a priest to do it will kill his soul and possibly the souls of those in his care. One marriage is enough for a priest; if he can't handle being single, so be it, but the priesthood will not be brought into disrepute.

St Paul is the one who sets the bar high:

Quote from: St Paul's Letter to Timothy Chapter 3
1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 12:27:09 PM »

The priesthood suffered when this man left it all the same, and he will give account for that on the day of judgment. Leaving the priesthood is a dread thing and should not be celebrated, even if in the end, it was necessary.
True, but if our rules give him no choice but to leave the Priesthood to marry, then perhaps we too will have to answer for it on the Day of Judgement.
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2008, 12:29:52 PM »

True, but if our rules give him no choice but to leave the Priesthood to marry, then perhaps we too will have to answer for it on the Day of Judgement.

Our canons are in place based on the experience of the Fathers.  They reflect the underlying canon (rule of faith) which has been passed down from the Apostles.  Leaving the priesthood is a grave and dread thing--that is all I am saying--it may be necessary for his salvation (which is why we depose priests), and he may in the end be found worthy. But second marriages, especially in cases of the priests, are grave matters and should be low key and not celebrated, is all I am saying. I do wish him the best and hope that this wife is God's gift to him for his salvation.
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2008, 12:46:49 PM »

Our canons are in place based on the experience of the Fathers.  They reflect the underlying canon (rule of faith) which has been passed down from the Apostles. 
"Kanon" means "measuring rule"/"guide". This is why our book of Canons is called "The Rudder" and not "The Code Of Canon Law". The Church, in her wisdom has changed Canons and has even ignored them at times- even without the authority of an equivalent Council which established the Canon in the first place (case in point, Canon 101 of the Quintisext). The Church makes the Canons and applies them, not the other way around- the Canons don't make the Church. We have to stop thinking of the Canons the way Roman Catholics think about "Canon Law". They are not "Laws".


Leaving the priesthood is a grave and dread thing
I agree. And all I am saying is that it may not be necessary. The Church can (and has) changed the application of the Canons.


But second marriages, especially in cases of the priests, are grave matters and should be low key and not celebrated, is all I am saying.
Are they shameful? Is it a sin to remarry? Is the Church condoning sin? If not, then why not celebrate?

I do wish him the best and hope that this wife is God's gift to him for his salvation.
I think a Christian marriage is a partnership of equals, not a means to the man's salvation alone.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2008, 01:40:06 PM »

"Kanon" means "measuring rule"/"guide". This is why our book of Canons is called "The Rudder" and not "The Code Of Canon Law". The Church, in her wisdom has changed Canons and has even ignored them at times- even without the authority of an equivalent Council which established the Canon in the first place (case in point, Canon 101 of the Quintisext). The Church makes the Canons and applies them, not the other way around- the Canons don't make the Church. We have to stop thinking of the Canons the way Roman Catholics think about "Canon Law". They are not "Laws".

I'm glad you should mention the above because I often tell people the same thing; when I took some classes on the canon tradition at the seminary those were some of the points made frequently. I agree with everything you just said above but still disagree that this canon should be changed because I think the underlying canon (measuring rule) is an apostolic injunction whereas some of the canons that have been changed are not apostolic injunctions (such as a bishop being a monk or not).

Quote
I agree. And all I am saying is that it may not be necessary. The Church can (and has) changed the application of the Canons.

It has, but the underlying canon (measuring  rule) cannot be changed. There have been priests allowed to stay priests and remarry--I know this--but I don't think it is wise to change the canon. If economy is granted by a bishop that is none of my business but if we are talking about scrapping the canon then I think there is a problem.

Quote
Are they shameful? Is it a sin to remarry? Is the Church condoning sin? If not, then why not celebrate?
I think a Christian marriage is a partnership of equals, not a means to the man's salvation alone.

1) It's not shameful but it is not living up to the standard (which would have been to remain single and possibly take monastic vows)

2) I don't see the need for the latter point you are making since I don't think that the marriage is only a means to the man's salvation nor did I say that it was.
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2008, 01:54:21 PM »

Priests are not "one of the guys" and should not be out looking for women. Then perhaps getting divorced, and finding another woman. Having kids, getting divorced, getting married again, more kids, perhaps a second divorce (hey we allow three marriages, right?).

Don't forget the dangerous (and nauseating) possibility of a marriageable priest scoping out his spiritual daughters as potential wives.  I know that in those circumstances, I wouldn't feel safe confessing to any unmarried non-monastic priest younger than eighty.   Shocked

I don't like the idea of treating canons as if they were absolute laws instead of guidelines.  I don't mind that Fr. Joseph Allen (the Antiochian priest) was allowed to remarry, or that other priests (especially ones left with young children) are occasionally allowed to remarry without relinquishing the priesthood.  But the canon is there to remind us that one marriage only is the ideal path and that deviations from this (whether the priest remains a priest or not) are a concession to the fallen world.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2008, 02:52:14 PM »

Two words: George Stephanopoulos who's a ABC honcho and whose father was long-time Archdiocesean Cathedral Dean.

The priest had a choice between serving God and Mammon and he chose Mammon in becoming involved in the pursuits of the secularly employed Ms. Orfanakos.

We don't know why the priest was divorced in the first place.  Inquiring minds can always visit the NJ Courthouse to find out why a civil divorce was granted.  For six priests to officiate at Mr. Orfanakos' wedding probably implies that the former Presbytera Orfanakos may not have been a person of good moral character; Perhaps she was a Bada Bing stripper (figuratively and literally).   Wink  On the same vein, if a priest is not to be treated as "another one of the guys," why would 6 of them show up at Mr. Orfanakos' wedding?  Such a display only reinforces what I've heard in that Priests are very cunning individuals....

I see nothing more than a story on Greek American elitism and I'm more gladdened than saddened that Mr. Orfanakos renounced his ordination to find his secular happiness.  I do not find humility anywhere in the New York Times story.   Cry
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2008, 03:41:50 PM »

We don't know why the priest was divorced in the first place.  Inquiring minds can always visit the NJ Courthouse to find out why a civil divorce was granted.  For six priests to officiate at Mr. Orfanakos' wedding probably implies that the former Presbytera Orfanakos may not have been a person of good moral character;
"implies..." - What a particular act implies is largely a matter of personal interpretation with maybe a dash of speculation mixed in.

"may not have been..." - The language of pure speculation

Quote
Perhaps she was a Bada Bing stripper (figuratively and literally).
"Perhaps..." - Again, the language of speculation.  In this case, since you're speculating about the moral character of an individual who may actually be reading this thread--hey, you never know--and since your speculation may possibly bring this person's character into disrepute, I find your speculation quite vain and even libelous.  If you don't have verifiable facts to back up your damaging speculation, then keep your speculation to yourself.

Quote
   Wink  On the same vein, if a priest is not to be treated as "another one of the guys," why would 6 of them show up at Mr. Orfanakos' wedding?  Such a display only reinforces what I've heard in that Priests are very cunning individuals....
To you, maybe, but, again, speculation.

Quote
I see nothing more than a story on Greek American elitism and I'm more gladdened than saddened that Mr. Orfanakos renounced his ordination to find his secular happiness.  I do not find humility anywhere in the New York Times story.   Cry
Now this is an appropriate opinion--maybe not true, but appropriate for posting.
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2008, 05:00:11 PM »

Many years to them!
I'm happy they have found true happiness. It's a silly rule we have about no marriage after ordination. We should be more like the Anglicans in this regard I think, then we wont have to lose vocations. Another big problem area for us is widowed priests, espeecially in Greece.
I agree with Anastasios...this isn't a canon that can or should be changed. While it is true many canons have been ignored or changed, that's because some canons only deal with temporal situations which then pass...The canon about priests not being able to re-marry is clearly rooted in the Scriptures, which state that a priest must have only one wife (1 Timothy 3:2).  Jesus also clearly states that divorce is a sin. 

In any case, even if this is one of the circumstances where the canons shouldn't be applied strictly, this isn't something that should be celebrated because doing so scandalizes and confuses the vast majority of us who do strive to live according to the rules of sexual purity.  Christianity means sacrifice and struggle.  This man seems to have forgotten this, as do those around him since clearly, these priests approve of his actions as does his bishop.  This is what is most saddening.
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2008, 05:35:49 PM »

"Perhaps..." - Again, the language of speculation.  In this case, since you're speculating about the moral character of an individual who may actually be reading this thread--hey, you never know--and since your speculation may possibly bring this person's character into disrepute, I find your speculation quite vain and even libelous.  If you don't have verifiable facts to back up your damaging speculation, then keep your speculation to yourself.

I apologize in advance for the length of this message because there are a few related items going on at the same time.

I wish this person was a member of this board to provide her 2 cents in this context or any other pertinent context.   Smiley  My reference to the Bada Bing came strictly from The Sopranos and was intended to be humorous rather than libelous.  The comment was not to bring her character into disrepute.  Replace Bada Bing with the New Jersey State Police:

Quote
Perhaps she was a New Jersey State Police Employee

Would that comment remain vain and libelous?  Is it libel to say that someone works for the NJ State Police whether such a statement is true or not.  The definition of libel is:

A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.

From the 2007 Boston Globe about a successful legal upholding of a libel claim:

Successful Libel Article from Boston Globe

First two paragraphs:

The state's highest court upheld a $2.01 million libel verdict against the Boston Herald yesterday in a sharply worded decision calling the newspaper's 2002 articles about Superior Court Judge Ernest B. Murphy "defamatory and false."

The stories portrayed Murphy as soft on crime and generated widespread outrage by quoting anonymous sources as saying that the New Bedford jurist had declared of a 14-year-old rape victim, "Tell her to get over it." Hate mail deluged Murphy's office, causing him considerable emotional and physical distress, his lawyers said.


The Priest allowed The Sopranos to be recorded in the sanctuary which was a fact mentioned in the New York Times article.  We live in the digital age.  If a former priest wishes to brag about his second marriage to the New York Times, who speaks for his first wife who was married to such an individual?  I know of female EO friends and relatives who were humiliated in both Civil and Spiritual Court and their husbands were the "more" guilty party.  Like I heard, Priests are cunning and have the influence in both Civil and Spiritual Courts to destroy spouses who don't play along, so to speak.

I have a raw nerve when it comes to Greek American elitism when I perceive that Priests are out to serve themselves rather than Christ.  Seeing such elitism in the New York Times irritates that raw nerve further because there are multiple sides to one story.  Again, my intent was not to bring anyone's character into disrepute and one sentence of thinking speculation comes nowhere near the Libel case cited above.   Huh

I will conclude with a section from the St. George Home Page about the former Father George leading Marriage Counseling classes:   Cry

With divorce rates now reaching 60%, our Saint George community is also trying to create a ministry to respond. We have established “IT TAKES TWO” pre-marital classes. Led by Father George, all of the engaged couples in our community come together for a frank discussion on what they should expect in marriage. A highlight of the evening is the presence of several couples in our Parish who have been married fifty or more years. After a time of open sharing and discussion, the men and women are separated into homogeneous groups led by these more experienced husbands and wives. They shared openly and nothing is out of bounds. A special bond has been made during these classes and we are seeing our Church overflowing with young married couples taking their first steps in their new life together.

Edited to keep constant that I heard vs. I believe or I said that Priests are cunning.
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2008, 08:22:54 PM »

Our canons are in place based on the experience of the Fathers.  They reflect the underlying canon (rule of faith) which has been passed down from the Apostles.  Leaving the priesthood is a grave and dread thing--that is all I am saying--it may be necessary for his salvation (which is why we depose priests), and he may in the end be found worthy. But second marriages, especially in cases of the priests, are grave matters and should be low key and not celebrated, is all I am saying. I do wish him the best and hope that this wife is God's gift to him for his salvation.

At least according to the article:
1) He was already on his way out of the priesthood, before any marriage or even dating was in the air
2) He was already divorced, which is already a problem for a priest
3) St. Paul also said better to marry than to burn.

Though second marriages, for whatever reason, can have the same opportunity to express the Holy Mystery (as there will always be at least a third person involved), whether there is a problem here or not would depend on the circumstances of his divorce, not his remarriage.
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2008, 09:50:10 PM »

Our canons are in place based on the experience of the Fathers.  They reflect the underlying canon (rule of faith) which has been passed down from the Apostles.  Leaving the priesthood is a grave and dread thing--that is all I am saying--it may be necessary for his salvation (which is why we depose priests), and he may in the end be found worthy. But second marriages, especially in cases of the priests, are grave matters and should be low key and not celebrated, is all I am saying. I do wish him the best and hope that this wife is God's gift to him for his salvation.

Canons are not unchangeable dogma. They are temporal meant to meet the needs of he Church in a particular era.

The problem with the canons is that there is no Orthodox unity by which to revise and update the cannons. In the US you have Orthodox denominationalism, not unlike protestant denominations. And world-wide you have the Metropolitans of Moscow and Contantinope competing like Kobe Bryant and Shak for supremacy.
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2008, 09:52:45 PM »

As to the OP, good for this brother. He did everything honorably and in the right way. Many years to him, his new wife, his children and his ex-wife.
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2008, 10:05:00 PM »

Two words: George Stephanopoulos who's a ABC honcho and whose father was long-time Archdiocesean Cathedral Dean.

The priest had a choice between serving God and Mammon and he chose Mammon in becoming involved in the pursuits of the secularly employed Ms. Orfanakos.

We don't know why the priest was divorced in the first place.  Inquiring minds can always visit the NJ Courthouse to find out why a civil divorce was granted.  For six priests to officiate at Mr. Orfanakos' wedding probably implies that the former Presbytera Orfanakos may not have been a person of good moral character; Perhaps she was a Bada Bing stripper (figuratively and literally).   Wink  On the same vein, if a priest is not to be treated as "another one of the guys," why would 6 of them show up at Mr. Orfanakos' wedding?  Such a display only reinforces what I've heard in that Priests are very cunning individuals....

I see nothing more than a story on Greek American elitism and I'm more gladdened than saddened that Mr. Orfanakos renounced his ordination to find his secular happiness.  I do not find humility anywhere in the New York Times story.   Cry


Actually a friend of mine personally knows Mr. Orfanakos and his first wife- the "ex-prevytera". All grew up in church together as friends. She is quite saddened by the whole thing and doesnt find any solace in him leaving the priesthood let alone remarrying. 
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2008, 10:12:01 PM »

Don't forget the dangerous (and nauseating) possibility of a marriageable priest scoping out his spiritual daughters as potential wives.  I know that in those circumstances, I wouldn't feel safe confessing to any unmarried non-monastic priest younger than eighty.   Shocked

I don't like the idea of treating canons as if they were absolute laws instead of guidelines.  I don't mind that Fr. Joseph Allen (the Antiochian priest) was allowed to remarry, or that other priests (especially ones left with young children) are occasionally allowed to remarry without relinquishing the priesthood.  But the canon is there to remind us that one marriage only is the ideal path and that deviations from this (whether the priest remains a priest or not) are a concession to the fallen world.
The canon itself is sub-biblical from a certain perspective - UNLESS, unless you consider some of what St. Paul writes as inspired advice to a particular culture (a dangerous place to go because of where it can lead visa-vis women's ordination and homosexuality). Or, another possiblity is that, in wisdom of the Church, canons can modify certain particulars of ecclesial life.

The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy that bishops and deacons should be the husband of one wife. That included pagan converts! One wife - period! So as not to be a scandal in the general culture. Not the husband of several or even just one pagan wife before converting from paganism. Then leaving them (or her) after conversion and finding one Christian wife before ordination. But the husband of one wife period - your one and only pagan wife who hopefully converted with you.

But because I was divorced before becoming Orthodox, I have been told that doesn't count; only my current marriage counts and I could be a deacon.
I, personally am not so sure about that. I am not the husband of one wife (even though my first wife left me). I have had two.

Now here is another possibility. St. Paul didn't want polygamists and serial divorce/remarriage people becoming priests and deacons because of FIRST CENTURY social mores and the possibility of scandal among the pagans. Maybe in a later context, a more Christianized culture could say that what happened before conversion doesn' count. So the Church modified St. Paul's strict criteria at a later point.

So, cannot the Church modify its criteria today?

If canons can modify St. Paul, why can't canons modify canons?
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2008, 10:54:42 PM »


She is quite saddened by the whole thing and doesnt find any solace in him leaving the priesthood let alone remarrying.

Well, if I knew friends of mine in similar circumstances, I would basically have three questions:

  • Why did they marry?  Who put them up to the marriage (e.g. parents of both sides?)
  • If they had problems, how could they have been worked on inside the marriage?
  • Why did they divorce?

The whole thing troubles my heart.   Cry
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« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2008, 10:25:02 AM »

So, cannot the Church modify its criteria today?

If canons can modify St. Paul, why can't canons modify canons?

I don't think that anyone is saying that disciplinary canons can't be modified or that they should never be modified.  After all, the Church already did rewrite St. Paul when it became forbidden to consecrate married bishops (Quinisext Council).  It's just that some of us (including myself) think that this particular canon is based in wisdom and should remain in effect, save for a few rare cases where economy can be applied (such as a widowed priest with young children).
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« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2008, 10:33:46 PM »

I don't think that anyone is saying that disciplinary canons can't be modified or that they should never be modified.  After all, the Church already did rewrite St. Paul when it became forbidden to consecrate married bishops (Quinisext Council).  It's just that some of us (including myself) think that this particular canon is based in wisdom and should remain in effect, save for a few rare cases where economy can be applied (such as a widowed priest with young children).
the problem is one person's economy is another person's scandal (or at least question/disappointment). I've read here at OC.net people who view the Antiochian priest with small children's case as a scandal; others see it as economy. This situation in the OP could be viewed as economy but many in this thread have been scandalized or diappointed with it.

Revise the canon and there is no problem.
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« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2008, 10:51:21 PM »

the problem is one person's economy is another person's scandal (or at least question/disappointment). I've read here at OC.net people who view the Antiochian priest with small children's case as a scandal; others see it as economy. This situation in the OP could be viewed as economy but many in this thread have been scandalized or diappointed with it.

Revise the canon and there is no problem.

I can see three problems with that:

1) The letter of the law becomes more important than the spirit of the law, and, as pointed out earlier, the Canons of the Orthodox Church are not even laws to begin with.

2) If the Church is forced to refrain from exercising Economia because some feel scandalized by it, then the lowest common denominator will always be "not scandalizing".

3) If some people are "scandalized" by what they perceive as "breeches of the Canons", I hardly think they will take kindly to actually changing Canons.
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2008, 12:55:17 AM »

Many years to the new couple.

It is sad that George Orfanakos got divorced first time.
Before they stepped down the aisle, this man acted in a professional and righteous manner towards his future wife.

I support remarriage of widowed clergy. In situations with a divorced priest or deacon, may be Bishops can provide a permission to remarry and to continue to serve. But if so, that should be done upon a very careful evaluation and strictly on case-by-case basis.

It reminds me a great difference from a case from several years ago in a different jurisdiction, when a Hieromonk left the Priesthood in order to marry. Instead of Mr. Orfanakos, another guy went on his own. He neither asked an official permission to leave the Priesthood, nor had an Orthodox wedding. He was defrocked as a reaction.
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2008, 10:24:37 PM »

Quote
Why was this marriage even allowed?

Because he decided to leave the priesthood which is allowed.  We all have free will.
I admire the fact that he knew that he could not continue as a priest and then asked permission to leave.

It is not as if the poor man was sneaking around having affairs or "dating" while a priest.

He did the honest thing.

May God bless him and his new bride.
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« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2008, 07:19:45 AM »

1. I'm happy for Mr. Orfanakos.  He did the right thing - better to leave the priesthood because of his feelings, than to remain and burn because of them.  He will certainly be called to account for his actions - but I hope this marriage is a blessed one, which helps both him and his new wife advance on the path towards salvation.

2. I am 100% against the re-marriage of clergy once ordained.  The reasons for my stand include (but are not limited to):

a. The inappropriateness of courtship or dating between shepherd and sheep.  Let's not forget that such actions would be illegal between a Psychologist or Psychiatrist and their patients, because of the potential harm to the patient, the position of control and potential manipulation enjoyed by the counselor, because of the breakdown of professionalism, and more.  How much more so with the priest, who is not only doctor of the mind, but of the soul?  No, the priest is supposed to model the perfect life, and in doing so he is not to be advancing romantic relationships within the flock.

b.  A widowed or widower priest is as much an example as a married one is - who is going to strengthen the resolve of those who have lost their spouse if the priest does not?  The path of the widow or widower is blessed, and second marriage is only a concession to human weakness.  The priest is supposed to model the perfect life, and in doing so he should be a strength to those who have seen their spouses go on to the next stage in life.  It is possible to raise even a large family as a widow or widower through the lasting friendships in the community, through the help and assistance of family, and through the willingness of the bishops to make concessions (as far as assignments and "full time" vs. "part time" status).

c. ... I need to finish my thoughts, but I have to run.  TBC later.
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« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2008, 09:33:15 AM »

I reiterate the above and am happy that Mr. Orfanakos chose to leave the priesthood in the correct and canonical manner.  He requested and recieved laization by his Hierarch in full obedience to the requirements of the Church.  He did not go out of the Church at anytime. There have been many examples of former piests who obeyed the canons and procedures established by their hierarchs. I recall  that in the last few years a well respected Layman of the Antiochian Church reposed who had requested Laization when he was a priest---he served the Church well as a noted lay theologian and composer transposing  Antiochian Orthodox chant into  English and guiding the Antiochian Orthodox Church Chant projects for years. May Mr. Orfanakos likewise be able to serve God and the Church as a layman for many years!

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« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2008, 09:46:38 AM »

While not being aware of the circumstances of this gentleman's  divorce, I cannot help but feel the pain his first wife must have to endure if she was innocent and has decided to remain unmarried. I was also under the impression that in the Church a second marriage was to be very quiet and penitential-often even if the one party was totally innocent and chaste. I've seen many first weddings being conducted on a more humble, modest scale than this one.

Secondly, if repentance is to take place under the circumstance of a second marriage, what form does that repentance actually take?
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« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2008, 10:36:30 AM »

While not being aware of the circumstances of this gentleman's  divorce, I cannot help but feel the pain his first wife must have to endure if she was innocent and has decided to remain unmarried.

Each should have pain in a divorce - he obviously did, as his decision to leave the priesthood came before meeting his new bride.

I was also under the impression that in the Church a second marriage was to be very quiet and penitential-often even if the one party was totally innocent and chaste. I've seen many first weddings being conducted on a more humble, modest scale than this one.

Seems awfully judgmental, no?  The prevailing practice nowadays is to perform the full marriage ceremony as long as at least one spouse is unmarried. 

Secondly, if repentance is to take place under the circumstance of a second marriage, what form does that repentance actually take? 

Theoretically repentance is supposed to take place before the second marriage.  But within the marriage, repentance can take many forms  - I'm sure most married couples can attest to that.
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« Reply #39 on: June 23, 2008, 12:23:55 PM »

While not being aware of the circumstances of this gentleman's  divorce, I cannot help but feel the pain his first wife must have to endure if she was innocent and has decided to remain unmarried. I was also under the impression that in the Church a second marriage was to be very quiet and penitential-often even if the one party was totally innocent and chaste. I've seen many first weddings being conducted on a more humble, modest scale than this one.

Secondly, if repentance is to take place under the circumstance of a second marriage, what form does that repentance actually take?
My sentiments exactly! I mean, this man put a huge wedding announcement in the New York Times, for God's sake! That's hardly quiet and penitential! I too was taught that second weddings, IF they are allowed (and I was taught that you can't have one just because you want one, there must be a good reason) are quiet and certainly are not to be a huge celebration. 

Furthermore, another poster said that the "prevailing practice"  is to do a regular marriage service in the case of a second marriage.  Is that really true? The only second marriage I have been to they did the more penitential rite for a second marriage, and the groom had never married before, it was just the bride who had been divorced. And it's not "judgmental", it's the official practice of the Church, and the Church would not condone a "judgmental" church service.  It's a recognition of the reality that divorce is, in fact, a sin. Besides, even if that is the "prevailing practice", why does that matter?  That doesn't justify anything.  There are lots of things that are the "prevailing practice" that are downright evil! I'm gay and I struggle to live a celibate life because that's what the Church requires of me.  Celibacy certainly is NOT the "prevailing practice" though!  But by this logic most people seem to be using, I could justify that...

I guess I can accept based on other poster's responses that he did do the most honest thing in leaving the priesthood, and that it isn't as bad as I initially thought.  But still...it's just such a celebrated event, like it is a first wedding, like he didn't abandon his vocation.  That's what troubles me.  While many won't like this comparison, I wonder if it isn't like how many heterosexual people don't have that much of a problem with gay people in theory, but will get very upset if it is something that is celebrated, like in gay pride parades and such, they say then that it is being forced on them, that they don't want to know about all that stuff. This is how I feel about this situation. 
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« Reply #40 on: June 23, 2008, 12:38:40 PM »

Furthermore, another poster said that the "prevailing practice"  is to do a regular marriage service in the case of a second marriage.  Is that really true? The only second marriage I have been to they did the more penitential rite for a second marriage, and the groom had never married before, it was just the bride who had been divorced. And it's not "judgmental", it's the official practice of the Church, and the Church would not condone a "judgmental" church service.  It's a recognition of the reality that divorce is, in fact, a sin. Besides, even if that is the "prevailing practice", why does that matter?  That doesn't justify anything.  There are lots of things that are the "prevailing practice" that are downright evil! I'm gay and I struggle to live a celibate life because that's what the Church requires of me.  Celibacy certainly is NOT the "prevailing practice" though!  But by this logic most people seem to be using, I could justify that...

Try reading cleveland's post more carefully.  He said the prevailing practice was to perform the regular service in a second marriage if it were the first marriage for one of the spouses.  In other words, the never married spouse isn't going to have a penitential service forced upon them because of another's failings.
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« Reply #41 on: June 23, 2008, 12:56:05 PM »

Try reading cleveland's post more carefully.  He said the prevailing practice was to perform the regular service in a second marriage if it were the first marriage for one of the spouses.  In other words, the never married spouse isn't going to have a penitential service forced upon them because of another's failings.
I understood that...And then I explained that I have been to a wedding which was the first marriage for one of the spouses, and it was still a penitential marriage service.
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« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2008, 01:08:14 PM »

I understood that...And then I explained that I have been to a wedding which was the first marriage for one of the spouses, and it was still a penitential marriage service. 

I have no dog in this fight, I'm just stating what I know based on my experiences working in Metropolis offices, speaking with chancellors of different diocese, and knowing registrars of different diocese.

And it's not "judgmental", it's the official practice of the Church, and the Church would not condone a "judgmental" church service.  It's a recognition of the reality that divorce is, in fact, a sin. Besides, even if that is the "prevailing practice", why does that matter?  That doesn't justify anything.  There are lots of things that are the "prevailing practice" that are downright evil! I'm gay and I struggle to live a celibate life because that's what the Church requires of me.  Celibacy certainly is NOT the "prevailing practice" though!  But by this logic most people seem to be using, I could justify that...

I should have been more clear.  In my post I quoted the following together:

I was also under the impression that in the Church a second marriage was to be very quiet and penitential-often even if the one party was totally innocent and chaste. I've seen many first weddings being conducted on a more humble, modest scale than this one. 

But my comment of "judgmental" was directed towards this part only:

I've seen many first weddings being conducted on a more humble, modest scale than this one. 

... and I stand by my question (judgmental, no?).  Anyway, I seriously doubt that anyone here was "at" the wedding to "see" it done, humbly or not, modestly or not.

Besides, even if that is the "prevailing practice", why does that matter?  That doesn't justify anything.  There are lots of things that are the "prevailing practice" that are downright evil! I'm gay and I struggle to live a celibate life because that's what the Church requires of me.  Celibacy certainly is NOT the "prevailing practice" though!  But by this logic most people seem to be using, I could justify that...

Apples and oranges.  I'm speaking of "prevailing practice" in these situations because marriages of any sort (first, second, third, mixed, first-for-one but second-for-other, etc.) must be explicitly approved by the Bishop (usually through the registrar and the priest together) - thus, there is thought and calculation to such allowances, made by the people who are supposed to make such decisions.  When celibacy is not the "prevailing practice," that's because we as individual sinners choose to not follow the right path, and instead follow the path of sin.  Different situation.
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« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2008, 02:49:01 PM »

Judging regarding my remarks about size of wedding? I'm sorry if it appeared that way. I thought I was making a comparison/observation.

I am doing my level best to have a good attitude about all this-it's just that sometimes there are many questions and personal issues which affect each and every one of us when it comes to an emotional topic such as this one.

Ebor, I for one can understand how you feel as a gay trying to live a celibate life. I'm not gay, but as a person who has always been very romantic, driven to loving and caring for someone special, and who has deeply valued sexuality, it's been a terrible cross to bear living without any human touch. So I sympathize totally. It was mentioned that the man should marry rather than burn. Well what about the self-denial Christ tells us all we must do as Christians? Is it not a terrible cross to bear to give up the best years of one's life alone? But it can be done, with God's help. So too I think with God's help this man could have lived a pure celibate life. I"m not saying he must, but with Christ all things are possible.
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« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2008, 03:46:51 PM »

On the contrary, the two Anglican priests marrying are ignorant of the apostolic faith, and are thus less accountable for their actions.  Furthermore, their acts probably do a lot less to scandalize their flocks than this man.  What this man did, divorcing his wife, and then a few years later leaving the priesthood to marry must be a huge scandal to his parishioners and those involved.  And then, to have this article talking about how great this is, and making it sound like some heart-warming love story! Shameful!

I guess my main problem here are two things: One is how the event is portrayed in the article, as being a positive thing, rather than as being neutral at best. 

Second, I think it is hypocritical that so much leniency is given here because people have a "need for companionship", but then people are so hard on the two Anglican priests, and gays in general.  Both are sinful acts, both are defined as morally unacceptable acts in the Gospels and in the epistles of St Paul.  So why are we so hard on one and applaud the other? 


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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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