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Author Topic: AXIOS - Eastern and Orthodox Gay and Lesbian Christians?  (Read 8982 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 08, 2008, 09:23:04 PM »

I stumbled across this site:

http://www.eskimo.com/~nickz/axios.html

Has anyone else heard of this?
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 09:54:20 PM »

I hadn't seen that before. Fwiw, if you're interested in the subject generally, there is always this thread full of links Smiley I don't mean to discourage discussion, I'm just saying for those who might not know about the threads from the past.
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 10:06:40 PM »

Similar groups exist for practicing gay and lesbian Catholics ( http://www.dignityusa.org/purpose )
and Episcopalians  ( http://www.integrityusa.org/ ).
None of these groups are officially endorsed by any of their respective Churches. Rather, they are groups started by people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians themselves.
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 10:36:48 PM »

The reason Axios is not endorsed by any canonical Orthodox church is because the members of Axios believe it is acceptable to practice homosexual relations.
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 10:40:37 PM »

The AXIOS site is defunct.  They tried to prove, without success, that the ancient rite of two men declaring their fraternal love in Christ (like Sts. Sergius and Bacchus) was equivalent to a same sex marriage ceremony.
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2008, 10:48:29 PM »

The AXIOS site is defunct. 
This is correct.

They tried to prove, without success, that the ancient rite of two men declaring their fraternal love in Christ (like Sts. Sergius and Bacchus) was equivalent to a same sex marriage ceremony.
This is incorrect.
AXIOS actually claimed that the Adelphopoiia Rite (which in fact exists but is now banned by the Church of Greece) was a same-sex union ceremony. There is no evidence that Sts. Sergius and Bacchus underwent the Adelphopoiia Rite, and AXIOS never made such a claim. These Saints, however, are invoked in the Adelphopiia Rite.
I say this because it is always important that any objections to anything be based on truth, otherwise the claim can be made that your objections are unfounded.
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 10:51:21 PM »

http://english.gay.ru/life/religion/AdelphopoiiaTheRiteofSpiritualBrotherhood.html

I found this link about the "Adelphopoiia Rite" of "Spiritual Brotherhood". But if it is a "spiritual" brotherhood, one would think that would imply sexual purity? Huh Why would one need a special rite merely to be friends with someone of the same sex?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 10:52:34 PM by Rosehip » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2008, 10:56:47 PM »

They tried to prove, without success, that the ancient rite of two men declaring their fraternal love in Christ (like Sts. Sergius and Bacchus) was equivalent to a same sex marriage ceremony.
This is incorrect.
AXIOS actually claimed that the Adelphopoiia Rite (which in fact exists but is now banned by the Church of Greece) was a same-sex union ceremony. There is no evidence that Sts. Sergius and Bacchus underwent the Adelphopoiia Rite, and AXIOS never made such a claim. These Saints, however, are invoked in the Adelphopiia Rite.
I say this because it is always important that any objections to anything be based on truth, otherwise the claim can be made that your objections are unfounded.

Could you give me a pass if I equate marriage with union for this argument alone?   Wink

I never said that Sts. Sergius and Bacchus underwent any Rite; I was providing my understanding of what AXIOS promoted based on what I read.  Based on what you said, I feel we're in agreement and I made no objection which was unfounded.   Huh  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2008, 11:16:19 PM »

Why would one need a special rite merely to be friends with someone of the same sex?

That is the question AXIOS ask. But the fact is, we have to remember that the Church is here to sanctify everything. In the Euchologion (Service Book), the Aldephopoiia Rite (literally "Brother-Making Rite") was found in Goar's translation between the Rite of Matrimony and the Rite of Adoption. Now, we can hardly say that the Rite of Adoption is a marital rite, yet it is the blessing and establishing by the Church of a new relationship (parent-child). This blessing of the relationship creates marriage blocks (eg, the parent cannot marry the child they adopt, nor any of their siblings nor any of their other first or second degree relatives). These marriage blocks are also created in Baptism (you cannot marry your Godparent), and, of course, in Matrimony itself (you cannot marry your In-Laws).
The Adelphopiia Rite as was practised in the Church of Greece also created marriage blocks, for example, you could not marry your Cross Brother's sister or Cross Sister's Brother (those who undertook the Adephopoiia Rite were called "Cross Brothers/Sisters" because they exchanged their baptisimal Crosses as part of the Rite). But this does not automatically mean that it was a marital rite, because Sponsoring someone in Baptism is not a marital rite, yet it also creates marriage blocks.
The question remains, however- "What exactly was the Adelphopiia Rite for?" One theory put forward in the 1990's was that it was used to bless missionaries before their journeys (like Sts. Cyril and Methodios), however, this theory was discarded when it was discovered that the Adelphopiia Rite was forbidden to monastics (who did most of the Missionary work).
My personal theory was that it was originally used as a rite to remove enmity between feuding factions. It was like a pledge before God that two people would get on as brothers. The Rite was banned by the Church of Greece in 1859. And as far as we know, the Church of Greece is the only Orthodox Church which banned the Adelphopiia Rite.
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2008, 11:19:46 PM »

I never said that Sts. Sergius and Bacchus underwent any Rite; I was providing my understanding of what AXIOS promoted based on what I read.  Based on what you said, I feel we're in agreement and I made no objection which was unfounded.   Huh  Smiley

Sorry, it just sounded to me that you were saying that AXIOS claimed Sts. Sergius and Bacchus underwent a same-gender union rite, which AXIOS never claimed. After so many years on OCnet, let me tell you from experience: I am always careful how I word other's beliefs, because inevitably, they will come online to dispute my claim if it seems incorrect.
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2008, 11:26:52 PM »

My personal theory was that it was used as a rite to remove enmity between feuding factions. It was like a pledge before God that two people would get on as brothers. The Rite was banned by the Church of Greece in 1859. And as far as we know, the Church of Greece is the only Orthodox Church which banned the Adelphopiia Rite.

Or perhaps to create another unbreakable bond between business partners such that direct relatives of one partner couldn't marry direct relatives of another partner.  Holy Matrimony would create a union between two families.  Adelphopiia would cement a business relationship.  Church of Greece may have seen how the Rite was being used as a bad idea.
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2008, 11:29:07 PM »

Sorry, it just sounded to me that you were saying that AXIOS claimed Sts. Sergius and Bacchus underwent a same-gender union rite, which AXIOS never claimed. After so many years on OCnet, let me tell you from experience: I am always careful how I word other's beliefs, because inevitably, they will come online to dispute my claim if it seems incorrect.

We're good.  I agree with you and I am always ready to defend my interpretations and understandings to anyone while knowing when to quit if I'm ultimately wrong.   Wink
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2008, 11:30:26 PM »

http://english.gay.ru/life/religion/AdelphopoiiaTheRiteofSpiritualBrotherhood.html

I found this link about the "Adelphopoiia Rite" of "Spiritual Brotherhood". But if it is a "spiritual" brotherhood, one would think that would imply sexual purity? Huh Why would one need a special rite merely to be friends with someone of the same sex?
You're a girl, so I take it you never had a blood brother.
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2008, 11:32:09 PM »

You're a girl, so I take it you never had a blood brother.

Actually, she does. We all do. Orthodox Christians are united in the Blood of Christ which is a bond deeper than even blood relation. Wink
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2008, 11:47:00 PM »

Yes, I have both! Natural and Spiritual blood brothers. Now, did I get that right, or is it a trick question? Undecided Wink

OzGeorge, I appreciated your above post. It's very comforting in many ways.
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2008, 02:36:25 PM »

I stumbled across this site:

http://www.eskimo.com/~nickz/axios.html

Has anyone else heard of this?

Goodness gracious. We all know what the scriptures teach about homosexuality. It always amazes me when I hear about another one of these groups.
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2008, 03:43:49 PM »

The website might be out of date but the org still exsists: http://axiosdconline.tripod.com/

Almost every Christian denomination in the US has had a gay/lesian "affinity group"(for lack of a better expression) appear since the mid 80's. Sometimes these groups are officially recognized sometimes the are simply tolerated, sometimes they are condemened by thier church's leadership:
http://www.dignityusa.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutherans_Concerned
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Welcoming_and_Affirming_Baptists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmation:_Gay_%26_Lesbian_Mormons

but wait....there's more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:LGBT_religious_organizations

And lest you think our Abrahamic brothers and sisters have been left out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Fatiha_Foundation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keshet_Rabbis
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 04:27:06 PM »

The website might be out of date but the org still exsists: http://axiosdconline.tripod.com/

Almost every Christian denomination in the US has had a gay/lesian "affinity group"(for lack of a better expression) appear since the mid 80's. Sometimes these groups are officially recognized sometimes the are simply tolerated, sometimes they are condemened by thier church's leadership:
http://www.dignityusa.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutherans_Concerned
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Welcoming_and_Affirming_Baptists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmation:_Gay_%26_Lesbian_Mormons

but wait....there's more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:LGBT_religious_organizations

And lest you think our Abrahamic brothers and sisters have been left out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Fatiha_Foundation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keshet_Rabbis

In the Presbyterian Church (USA), there is also a gay-lesbian-transgender activist group that calls itself "More Light."
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2008, 11:31:06 PM »

Rosehip asked:

"Why would one need a special rite merely to be friends with someone of the same sex?"

If I recall correctly, I read somewhere (from Bishop Kallistos Ware perhaps?) that this "Brotherhood Rite" was practiced in areas of the Balkans that were ripped apart by unceasing tribal vendettas and warfare. The purpose of the rite, as it was practiced, was to make peace between two rival "chieftains", if you will. It had nothing to do with sex - it was a sacramental pledge to stop making war on the other and exacting bloody vendettas.

Unfortunately, I've long since forgotten the source for this information. Am I correct, and could anyone explain further?
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2008, 11:34:54 AM »

Unfortunately, I've long since forgotten the source for this information. Am I correct, and could anyone explain further?

The following is an extract from pages 156 and 157 of one of the more interesting books I have in my library, “Some Tribal Origins Laws and Customs of the Balkans,” written in 1929 by M. E. Durham (“Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute”).  There is a section that discusses blood-brotherhood, first amongst the Albanians, and then amongst the Montenegrins and the Serbs.  Here is an extract from the latter:

Quote
In Montenegro I was often assured that the custom was extinct, and I never came across a case.  But it possibly still lingered in out-of-the-way places.  People who wished to appear “civilized” in Montenegro were very apt to deny the existence of customs they thought would be despised.  But it was admitted that “pobratimstvo” had but recently died out.  Medakovitch in 1860 mentions it as prevalent.

The Orthodox Church, both in Serbia and Montenegro, adopted this pagan custom and tried to “Christianize” it.

Two forms of pobratimsto were known:
“Pobratimstvo prichestno” (communion pobratimstvo). “Prichest” is the word for the Holy Communion.  It was not, however, a case of the two parties taking the Communion together, but a special ceremony.  In the Orthodox Church, when the people receive the Communion, the Host is put into the consecrated wine.  The pope [NB pope=pop= colloquial for “priest”] takes a portion of the soaked bread in a special spoon and gives it to the communicant.  The ritual for pobratimstvo, so far as I could learn, was as follows:  The two parties went together to church.  The pope read a prayer.  The two then took a large goblet full of wine, and both, setting their lips to it, sipped at once.  They then broke bread and each ate a piece.  They sipped and ate together thus three times and then kissed the cross, the Gospels, and the icon, and lastly each other.  It I a curious example of a pagan rite transformed into a parody of the Communion.  The bread and wine are apparently substitutes for the blood (? And flesh) of the contracting parties.  In early days probably blood was added to the wine-cup. 

My old friend, Pope Gjuro of Njegushi, spoke in the strongest terms against this ceremony, which he said the Church should never have permitted.  He described it as “the marriage of two men and against all nature,” and intimated clearly, as did others, that it had been used as the cloak for vice.

The second form of pobratimstvo was known as “Pobratimstvo nevolje” (brotherhood of misfortune).  If a man or woman in dire need called on another for help in the name of God and St. John, the person so called was bound to give help as to his own brother.  St. John, as he baptized Christ, is the godfather and patron saint of godfathers.  The godchildren of one godfather rank as born brethren.  Therefore, St. John is called on to confer the relationship which entitles the sufferer to help.
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« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2008, 12:15:21 PM »

Rosehip asked:

"Why would one need a special rite merely to be friends with someone of the same sex?"

If I recall correctly, I read somewhere (from Bishop Kallistos Ware perhaps?) that this "Brotherhood Rite" was practiced in areas of the Balkans that were ripped apart by unceasing tribal vendettas and warfare. The purpose of the rite, as it was practiced, was to make peace between two rival "chieftains", if you will. It had nothing to do with sex - it was a sacramental pledge to stop making war on the other and exacting bloody vendettas.

Unfortunately, I've long since forgotten the source for this information. Am I correct, and could anyone explain further?

Out of curiosity, if anyone has seen the Tarkovsky film "Andrei Rublev", I wonder if this "Brotherhood Rite" is what's being depicted when the 2 Russian Princes meet together at the Church and the Metropolitan makes them swear an oath not to fight. (as it happens, sadly, one of the brothers hooks up with the Tartars and ransacks a town and descretates the cathedral there)

Anyway, it's one of the most beautifully shot pieces in film, imho. Certainly sounds like the same thing.
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2009, 11:08:59 AM »

This has been the most fruitful discussion concerning these groups that I have ever read in a forum. Thanks!
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2009, 01:57:32 PM »

My personal theory was that it was originally used as a rite to remove enmity between feuding factions. It was like a pledge before God that two people would get on as brothers. The Rite was banned by the Church of Greece in 1859. And as far as we know, the Church of Greece is the only Orthodox Church which banned the Adelphopiia Rite.

That was quite possibly the original intent, but hardly what it was eventually used for...AXIOS probably got the actual use of it correct. Which is why it was also banned by the Synod of Constantinople, I want to say in the 14th Century. The decision is in the Syntagma and a handful of articles have been written about it by various scholars (article I'm thinking about was written by a rather well known scholar on Byzantine family law, I believe out of England, I can't recall her name or the article at the moment, perhaps if I get the energy later to day I'll try to find it, I have it somewhere in my library from when I was doing research on the origin of degrees affinity and their role as an impediment to marriage in Byzantine (and therefore Orthodox Canon) Law...and this right conferred this affinity and the related impediments just as adoption, marriage, baptismal sponsorship, etc.).
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2009, 02:18:02 PM »

Ah, I found the reference in the paper I wrote on my computer:

Macrides, Ruth. ‘Kinship by Arrangement: The Case of Adoption’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 44. 1990. pgs. 109-118.

Dr. Macrides is a Senior Lecturer in Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham with speciality in Byzantine Family Law and Byzantine Social Kinship Structures http://www.arch-ant.bham.ac.uk/staff/macrides.htm

In essence, she presented the fact that the rite could be used between two men, two women, or between a man and a woman, even if one or both of the parties were already married. It often served as a pretext for both illicit homosexual and heterosexual unions. It was forbidden during the Patriarchate of Athanasios I (1289-1293...very late 13th, almost 14th century Wink), I believe she gives the exact date but I don't know for certain if I have the article in full and I only included the Patriarchate in the footnote to my paper (my research was on degrees of affinity, not Adelphopiia, so it was just an interesting trivia fact included). Feel free to look up the full Journal article if so intersted.
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2009, 02:35:16 PM »

Ok, final consecutive post, I promise Wink, I found the article, she doesn't give an exact date either just the Patriarchate (after all, she's specifically talking about Adoption, not Adelphopiia in this article). But she does give a reference for those who would want to look up the acts of the Synod of Constantinople in question (I don't have the source and even if I did I wouldn't want to spend an hour typing out the acts in Greek, but you're free to look it up).

V. Laurent, Les regestes des actes du patriarchat de Constantinople, I, 4 (Paris 1971), no. 1762 p. 541; no. 1777, p 554.

I remember this work, great source, editor's comments are in French but the vast majority of it is simply the original sources in the original Byzantine Greek. While Macrides thinks Boswell goes too far in calling it 'basically a gay marriage ceremony for the Greek church' she finds compelling evidence from the acts condeming it that it was at lest used for that by many who participated in it (as well as for easy and initmate access, in private, to members of the opposite sex with whom you were not married).

If anyone's interested in Boswell's work, she references:

J. Boswell, "Rediscovering Gay History: Archetypes of Gay Love in Christian History," Michael Harding Memorial Address (London 1982, repr. 1985), 5-21.

I haven't actually read that article, so I can't comment on it one way or the other.

But, there you go, at least now there's an academic basis for this discussion.
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2009, 10:49:13 PM »

greekischristian,

So who created this Adelphoplia 'originally'? Any idea?
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« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2009, 03:33:57 AM »

I stumbled across this site:

http://www.eskimo.com/~nickz/axios.html

Has anyone else heard of this?

Yup. I actually know a fellow who is trying to revive Axios.
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« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2009, 03:35:22 AM »


The reason Axios is not endorsed by any canonical Orthodox church is because the members of Axios believe it is acceptable to practice homosexual relations.

I didn't know they were inherently Side A.
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« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2009, 03:38:45 AM »


We all know what the scriptures teach about homosexuality.

If that is the case then why do some seem to legitimately deny what you're thinking of?
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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2009, 03:43:58 AM »


AXIOS probably got the actual use of it correct.

In what way?
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2009, 08:18:27 PM »

http://english.gay.ru/life/religion/AdelphopoiiaTheRiteofSpiritualBrotherhood.html

I found this link about the "Adelphopoiia Rite" of "Spiritual Brotherhood". But if it is a "spiritual" brotherhood, one would think that would imply sexual purity? Huh Why would one need a special rite merely to be friends with someone of the same sex?
You're a girl, so I take it you never had a blood brother.

I have two blood brothers! One is Orthodox and the other is non-religious.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 08:21:26 PM by ignatius » Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
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