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Author Topic: Church of Finland slipping into "gay heresy" ??  (Read 8097 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 23, 2008, 09:54:52 AM »

There are two post on a Greek Blog which reffer to problems of the "Orthodox Church of Finland" and gay priests. It also has a lot of data and evidence. I REALLY hope this is a misunderstanding...


http://theoprovlitos.blogspot.com/2008/11/blog-post_18.html?showComment=1227301140000#c7501240642055992117

http://theoprovlitos.blogspot.com/2008/11/orthodox-church-of-finland-in-hands-of.html

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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 10:37:21 AM »

Is everything a heresy to you people? I would think that one would want to be more careful and prudent before accusing an Archbishop of 'heresy'...but what do I know, don't let me ruin your fun.
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 11:48:28 AM »

I don't know if the unsubstantiated ramblings on a blog can amount to anything...
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 11:48:35 AM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 01:09:57 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Greekarter.
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 03:04:41 PM »

Quote
Is everything a heresy to you people?

I believe it was Theodore the Studite who once called a questionable and unethical marriage a "heresy"... so yes, everything is heresy to us people. But seriously, I do have to wonder about calling perceived moral lapses "heresy".
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 03:05:03 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 05:56:22 PM »

http://theoprovlitos.blogspot.com/2008/11/blog-post_18.html

In this blog article (not knowing Greek, I have no idea what it is about) that Greekarter linked to there is a link to another article in Finnish (not knowing Finnish, you have no idea what it is about)

http://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/artikkeli/Arkkipiispa+Leo+Ortodoksipappi+ei+voi+el%C3%A4%C3%A4+rekister%C3%B6idyss%C3%A4+parisuhteessa/1135241059236

I will to the best of my ability translate that article which is a short interview with Archbishop Leo (of Karelia and all of Finland).
Own comments are in red

Quote
Archbishop Leo: Orthodox priests cannot live in registered partnerships (Registered partnership is the term for gay unions in Finland)
Published 13 November 2008

People who live in same-sex registered partnerships cannot function as Orthodox priests. For lay church employees it is possible however, observes Archbishop Leo in Thursday's newspaper "Kotimaa".

Parishoners' registered partnerships are also not a problem according to him.

The Orthodox Church (in Finland) is, according to Leo, wary about bringing out to discussion issues connected to homosexuality.

"They awaken as known strong emotions both for and against", he says.


What our Archbishop is saying here is nothing new. It is my understanding that the Church has many rules about the conduct of priests. Their lives are quite regulated when compared to lay people. He is also saying that lay people will not be excluded from membership because of homosexuality.

What originally caused this stir is that a few Orthodox priest has put their names on a statement of the ecumenical pro-gay association called "Yhteys". The statement is quite mild in my opinion, calling for love and the usual vague terms. It also states clearly that the signees do not wish to create new ways of working or to equate between same sex unions and marriages.

Saying that the Church in Finland has fallen into heresy is a bit of an overstatement really. Are there no similar movements in Greece or in the US?

What is troubling to me is that these priests who have signed the controversial statement have brought up to discussion precisely those things that our Archbishop would rather not discuss. And I fully understand him why he does not want to engage in this debate. How is a homosexual person able to struggle against his/her sins within the Church if all around rages a fight that to him/her feels to be about his/her right to even be considered a member of the Church? I really hope that nothing more will come of this.

Robert

p.s. welcome to the forum Greekarter
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 06:21:05 PM by Robert W » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 06:52:09 PM »

Is everything a heresy to you people? I would think that one would want to be more careful and prudent before accusing an Archbishop of 'heresy'...but what do I know, don't let me ruin your fun.
Oh come now. You were once one of them yourself.
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 09:02:41 PM »

This is no heresy, even if this blog is reporting the truth. Let us consider the following:
Quote
The registration of parishioners as same-sex couples does not constitute a problem, according to Archbishop Leo. [Note: In Finland, in order to officially belong to any church whatsoever, you need to register.]

And the newspaper continues, with the words of the Archbishop himself:

"To anyone who wishes to participate in parishional and liturgical life, no questions are asked about their family status.”
According to Leo, socio-ethical issues are to a large degree a matter of culture.

"Especially in Eastern Europe, the Church leaderships are obliged to maintain a balance, on account of the demands of noisy extremist fundamentalist organizations. Among these circles, liberalism is not fashionable.”
According to Leo, the Orthodox Church is very careful when handling matters pertaining to homosexuality.
"Those who are registered as a couple with a person of the same sex cannot be accepted in the ranks of priesthood. But for associates and workers from the laity, we do not place the same criteria."
The Archbishop is clear that he is against homosexual clergy, but that he welcomes all people--regardless of sexual orientation or marital status--into the Church. This is proper. What better place for us sinners to be than in the Church? Regardless of our sin, the Church can help us repent and find forgiveness. Let us never exclude some sinners under the notion that their sin is more objectionable than ours. God keep us from such pride!
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2008, 09:53:11 PM »

This is no heresy, even if this blog is reporting the truth. Let us consider the following:
Quote
The registration of parishioners as same-sex couples does not constitute a problem, according to Archbishop Leo. [Note: In Finland, in order to officially belong to any church whatsoever, you need to register.]

And the newspaper continues, with the words of the Archbishop himself:

"To anyone who wishes to participate in parishional and liturgical life, no questions are asked about their family status.”
According to Leo, socio-ethical issues are to a large degree a matter of culture.

"Especially in Eastern Europe, the Church leaderships are obliged to maintain a balance, on account of the demands of noisy extremist fundamentalist organizations. Among these circles, liberalism is not fashionable.”
According to Leo, the Orthodox Church is very careful when handling matters pertaining to homosexuality.
"Those who are registered as a couple with a person of the same sex cannot be accepted in the ranks of priesthood. But for associates and workers from the laity, we do not place the same criteria."
The Archbishop is clear that he is against homosexual clergy, but that he welcomes all people--regardless of sexual orientation or marital status--into the Church. This is proper. What better place for us sinners to be than in the Church? Regardless of our sin, the Church can help us repent and find forgiveness. Let us never exclude some sinners under the notion that their sin is more objectionable than ours. God keep us from such pride!

Completely agree. The Archbishop talks about welcoming everyone in the Church, not about welcoming any kind of sinful behavior. It would not be easier for anyone to overcome a sin (of any nature), if she or he is pushed out of the Church.

Additionally, as Cleveland pointed out, allegations on the blogs are not an evidence.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 09:59:11 PM by Starlight » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 10:02:58 PM »

The Orthodox Church of Finland, like any minority church, has a couple of challenges here. First of all, the church is one of the two official churches of Finland (the other being Lutheran) and is financially supported by people who register as "Orthodox." Until recently, every Finn had to chose which church they would support. People now have the option to "de-register" their religion and thus remove their names from the religious tax rolls (and cut off their support to their denomination). Secondly, Finland is extremely secular, socially liberal and has low church attendance rates (like all western and norther European countries). Gay rights are legal and it may be illegal (as it is in Canada) to preach or speak against homosexuality. The Archbishop has a fine line to walk here.

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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 10:36:10 PM »

Oh come now. You were once one of them yourself.

No...I was not and I resent the accusation. I was a loyal subject of the Oecumenical Throne and never accused the modernist or ecumenist bishops of the Church of heresy, even when I disagreed with them. I still don't really understand how you could call yourself a Christian while condemning bishops who are in good standing with the Church and their Synod of heresy.
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 10:56:08 PM »

Quote
The Archbishop is clear that he is against homosexual clergy, but that he welcomes all people--regardless of sexual orientation or marital status--into the Church. This is proper. What better place for us sinners to be than in the Church? Regardless of our sin, the Church can help us repent and find forgiveness. Let us never exclude some sinners under the notion that their sin is more objectionable than ours. God keep us from such pride!

But the Orthodox Church does not allow homosexual behavior whether it be a laity or a priest. That means the Church does not allow gay marriage, but does allow homosexuals to enter the Church, although they must abstain from such behavior.
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 11:53:05 PM »

What better place for us sinners to be than in the Church? Regardless of our sin, the Church can help us repent and find forgiveness. Let us never exclude some sinners under the notion that their sin is more objectionable than ours. God keep us from such pride!

Let us ponder upon the words of wisdom from our very own ytterbiumanalyst.

Is it wise for a spiritual leader such as Archbishop Leo of Carelia an all of Finland to say, in a national newspaper ("Helsingin Sanomat" in this case), that homosexual people are not tolerated in the Orthodox Church?

Please realise that it would be kind of stupid of him to do so.

Perhaps this sin should not be preached against too loudly but instead handled in private conversations and confessions.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 11:53:25 PM by Robert W » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 06:09:14 AM »

Is it wise for a spiritual leader such as Archbishop Leo of Carelia an all of Finland to say, in a national newspaper ("Helsingin Sanomat" in this case), that homosexual people are not tolerated in the Orthodox Church?
I don't know whether it's wise or not but he has already said that. Grin Although the interview was not originally given to HS it published that sample anyway.

Arkkipiispa Leo: "Ortodoksipappi ei voi elää rekisteröidyssä parisuhteessa"

That interview practically says that an orthodox priest cannot live in a homosexual relationship. Furthermore, His Grace ( is this the correct title? ) has said earlier that the homosexual relationships are not part of the Orthodox Tradition. It seems that the heretical gay mafia has had quite a little success in it's manipulation.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 06:32:39 AM by Alpo » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 06:31:37 AM »

Douple post. Perhaps one day I will learn to use this system...
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2008, 06:40:54 AM »

Guys,

You don't understand. The question is NOT about whether a homosexual person has place in the Orthodox Church but whether a homosexual boasts about his homosexuality and seeks social AND ecclesiastical approval through a sinful sexual union that is even called MARRIAGE. This is an insult to the sacrament of Marriage and change of the Orthodox dogmas, ethics and morals. I repeat it is NOT just question of a faithful or even a priest practicing homosexuality.

It is obvious that we cannot judge others by their sins or reject them from the church. That is NOT  a heresy indeed. However it BECOMES a heresy when some people who are filled with passions justify and sanctify their passions and present them to be as an ecclesiastical act. THAT is a heresy.

Whne you have someone publishing in the Finnish Orthodox Magazine "Aamun Koitto" an article that Jesus and St John had intimate relashionships, and he suggests ecclesiastical blessing of homosexual relationships, and 13 years later you see the same team and persons becoming the Theological Secretery of the Archbishop" then what can I say?

NOONE EVER asked that the homosexuals should be outcasted. But call their practrice MARRIAGE, that is to much. What comes next? Ecclesiastical approval of adultery?
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 06:49:43 AM »

Although the interview was not originally given to HS it published that sample anyway.
Arkkipiispa Leo: "Ortodoksipappi ei voi elää rekisteröidyssä parisuhteessa"

Which paper was the original article published in and what date? I would like to read the whole article.
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 07:13:44 AM »

Whne you have someone publishing in the Finnish Orthodox Magazine "Aamun Koitto" an article that Jesus and St John had intimate relashionships, and he suggests ecclesiastical blessing of homosexual relationships, and 13 years later you see the same team and persons becoming the Theological Secretery of the Archbishop" then what can I say?

Maybe "thank God that this man is not teaching theology at the university"?  Grin

No seriously, I will comment more when I have read the article quoted from in "Helsingin Sanomat". Then I will have a better picture of the standpoint of our Archbishop.

Welcome to the forum Theoprovlitos
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 07:31:26 AM »

Although the interview was not originally given to HS it published that sample anyway.
Arkkipiispa Leo: "Ortodoksipappi ei voi elää rekisteröidyssä parisuhteessa"

Which paper was the original article published in and what date? I would like to read the whole article.
It was published on 13.11.2008 in "Kotimaa". The interview is on the third page of the paper.
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 11:56:25 AM »

Terveisiä Kaikkille Ateenasta,

This article was just the peak of the iceberg s we say in Greece. Or the drop that made the glass overflow. Some things are to be judged better if one knows the past as well as the background. The Finnish Orthodox Church is gradually sliding into a ditch becasue of a dozen of active people. You DO have great people in the Finnish Church. Valamo and abbot sergei. Lintula. Bishop Arseni is a very reasonable man. I have met many Orthodox faithful and priests and they are just fine. Ok, I must admit that Orthodox tradition and culture is not passed on from generation to generation, from mouth to mouth as in Greece but this is not a problem. It becomes a problem however when some guys and priests who are suffering first of all from the demon of PRIDE think that they will change the world and the Church their OWN way. According to the NEW AGE perception of what the Church and salvation is. And because they are active and energetic they impose their own views to the Church.

Archbishop is not a bad man. However he is being dragged by that environment. To me it is OBVIOUS that this interview was a set up by his "Theological" secretary so that their heresies will come out to the public.

An I repeat The question is not about gays. There is a young Finn who is like a brother and a son to us. We love him alot and one day he has confessed to us many years ago that he is gay. He still had a part in our family. He was even baby sitting our kids. We visit monasteries and travel together. I have even slept in the same bed with him while on a trip. There wasn't ever a question about accepting him or seeing him as a brother in Christ. We always care and pray for him. But when in Helsinki there is a group of active Sodomites who are ruining spiritually people by dragging them by their passions instead of healing them I told them to stop having anything to do with them. The Church is not a gay club as they have turned it to.
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2008, 03:53:27 PM »

Membership of the Church is not simply attending services or paying your dues, it is participation in the Holy Mysteries.  This cannot take place without repentance. Of course some people have homosexual tendencies and these tendencies have to be healed by love and confession.  I think the problem is the current belief that homosexuality is genetic, a very clever move by the Homosexual Mafia to make a perversion appear 'natural'.  The Church has a history dealing with this problem through suspension, epitimia etc.  One can easily say one is a fornicator because of a high level testerone or a desire to conquer other people.  'It's in my natural to be behave this way".  The good confessor explains that "Yes it is in your nature, that is your fallen nature. We all have to struggle...."
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2008, 05:23:51 PM »

Membership of the Church is not simply attending services or paying your dues, it is participation in the Holy Mysteries.  This cannot take place without repentance.
Not to the Finnish government it's not. Their only concern is where you want your taxes to go.
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2008, 01:29:00 AM »

Yes it is against the law to preach against homosexuality (it is considered, at worst, a hate crime). The Roman Catholic Bishop of Calgary was charged with such an offence. See the below article from 2005. Since that time, human rights laws have become even more restrictive.

Will all respect intended, I refuse to put too much stock in the information provided by a paranoid "watchdog" website.  They did not properly site any of their sources, and it is not as if Catholic Insight is some sort of reputable news source that places any value in different perspectives.  I understand that there might be some isolated incidences, but by and large I highly doubt anyone in a religious community will actually listen to a government once it tries to start regulating religious beliefs surrounding conduct.

If anyone has something a bit more substantial, I welcome it.  For example, I found this article about the situation with Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1112231085323_10; but all that it really said was that people were bothered by his opposition of gay marriage, not that any legal action was taken against him.  I guess it just seems unbelievable to me that it would be in any way against the law to express a moral position on homosexuality, so unless someone can show evidence of his prosecution and conviction for a crime of hate-speech, I'll just continue to be skeptical.
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2008, 05:46:20 AM »

As Theoprovlitos say there seems to be a dozen people within the Finnish Church that are advocating gay rights. To say that these have taken over would not be true however.

I did read the article in "Kotimaa" (thank you for the info Alpo). It did hurt my eyes trying to comprehend so much Finnish at once but i pulled trough.  Grin Finnish is not my first language, I belong to the minority of Swedish speaking people in Finland.

The paper "Kotimaa" (literally: homeland) is a Lutheran paper and the interview with Archbishop Leo was actually about Serbia. There was a smaller insert about homosexuality and the Orthodox Church. Many Lutheran papers in Finland regularly have articles about the "other" national church. And as the Lutheran Church in Finland is currently having a discussion about whether or not to bless same sex unions they asked our Archbishop how things are in the Orthodox Church.

The key parts in the interview was quoted by "Helsingin sanomat" and I have translated that for you already. The whole part on homosexuality and the Orthodox church was very short. The sum of it being that the Orthodox Church does not discuss homosexuality and that the Archbishop does not want to do so and sees no need for it. The Orthodox Church does not turn away members because of sexual orientation but priests cannot live in registered partnerships.

I am not worried that Archbishop Leo will be bullied or deceived by the gay right activists. I will keep my eyes open though.

This whole thread have painfully reminded me of how isolated I am, speaking the OTHER official language and belonging to the OTHER national Church. The people that speak Swedish know almost nothing of Orthodoxy and the people that are Orthodox are more likely to speak Russian than Swedish. I really had no idea that this was going on until this thread appeared. I really must make an effort to start reading newspapers in Finnish. Undecided
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 05:48:18 AM by Robert W » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2008, 07:58:42 AM »

Membership of the Church is not simply attending services or paying your dues, it is participation in the Holy Mysteries.  This cannot take place without repentance.
Not to the Finnish government it's not. Their only concern is where you want your taxes to go.

And who you baptize, I understand: it confers citizenship.
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« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2008, 08:15:11 AM »

Terveisiä Kaikkille Ateenasta,

This article was just the peak of the iceberg s we say in Greece. Or the drop that made the glass overflow. Some things are to be judged better if one knows the past as well as the background. The Finnish Orthodox Church is gradually sliding into a ditch becasue of a dozen of active people. You DO have great people in the Finnish Church. Valamo and abbot sergei. Lintula. Bishop Arseni is a very reasonable man. I have met many Orthodox faithful and priests and they are just fine. Ok, I must admit that Orthodox tradition and culture is not passed on from generation to generation, from mouth to mouth as in Greece

although I didn't have a lot of exposure (I was only in Finnland a week, twenty years ago), I did see the tradition and culture passed down (ironically, that there IS a Finnish culture is due the Orthodox Finns in Karelia.  The Swedes never cultivated Finnish culure, and they drove Orthodoxy out).  So what do you mean by the last sentence (btw, I've been to Greece too, a couple times and for longer).
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« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2008, 09:56:27 AM »

Membership of the Church is not simply attending services or paying your dues, it is participation in the Holy Mysteries.  This cannot take place without repentance.
Not to the Finnish government it's not. Their only concern is where you want your taxes to go.

And who you baptize, I understand: it confers citizenship.
Interesting. I was unaware of that fact.

Nevertheless, the Finnish government couldn't care less what your religious beliefs and practices are. Whether a person participates in the Mysteries or not is an ecclesiastical concern, not a governmental one.

Moreover, I am concerned about many of the posts on this thread. I see homophobia and hysteria rather than reasoned discussion. I applaud Robert W and Alveus Lacuna, among others, for their contributions to a reasonable discussion of what was originally blog rantings. The fact that we can have such a discussion is remarkable, and is the very reason I became a member here over a year and a half ago. But others have done nothing but make unsubstantiated claims about what might be happening or what some "people" are forcing upon "us" and what "their" intentions might be. What happened to loving our neighbours? What happened to being wise as serpents and gentle as doves?

It's unfortunate that any discussion of homosexuality, however tangential, has to feel like the first season of Lost. We can do better than this.
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2008, 06:45:18 AM »

As one who worships in the Church of Finland some part of the year, I hate to admit I'm very worried about these developments. The identification of several key administrators with the gay movement is there for all to see. And Finland, unlike many other Orthodox countries, doesn't have any real tradition of conservatism to keep them in check. There's no community of monasteries here which call for holding firm to the faith received, nor very aggressive Orthodox in the cities. You can bet that if the Finnish Orthodox Church moved more towards blessing homosexuals, the considerable Russian immigrant community here would be up in arms, but I hope it doesn't reach that point.
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2008, 07:32:03 AM »

You can bet that if the Finnish Orthodox Church moved more towards blessing homosexuals, the considerable Russian immigrant community here would be up in arms, but I hope it doesn't reach that point.
Yes, the priest should, before he gives any blessing, ask about the person's sexual orientation. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2008, 07:43:14 AM »

You can bet that if the Finnish Orthodox Church moved more towards blessing homosexuals, the considerable Russian immigrant community here would be up in arms, but I hope it doesn't reach that point.
Yes, the priest should, before he gives any blessing, ask about the person's sexual orientation. Roll Eyes

Mr.Y I think the poster meant blessing same-sex unions, although I could be wrong.
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2008, 08:57:03 AM »

Membership of the Church is not simply attending services or paying your dues, it is participation in the Holy Mysteries.  This cannot take place without repentance.
Not to the Finnish government it's not. Their only concern is where you want your taxes to go.

And who you baptize, I understand: it confers citizenship.
Interesting. I was unaware of that fact.

Nevertheless, the Finnish government couldn't care less what your religious beliefs and practices are. Whether a person participates in the Mysteries or not is an ecclesiastical concern, not a governmental one.

Moreover, I am concerned about many of the posts on this thread. I see homophobia and hysteria rather than reasoned discussion. I applaud Robert W and Alveus Lacuna, among others, for their contributions to a reasonable discussion of what was originally blog rantings. The fact that we can have such a discussion is remarkable, and is the very reason I became a member here over a year and a half ago. But others have done nothing but make unsubstantiated claims about what might be happening or what some "people" are forcing upon "us" and what "their" intentions might be. What happened to loving our neighbours? What happened to being wise as serpents and gentle as doves?

It's unfortunate that any discussion of homosexuality, however tangential, has to feel like the first season of Lost. We can do better than this.

If I recall correctly, the "Death of Marriage in Scandinavia" dealt with the imposition of gay marriage in Norway, very much a government imposing its will on a reluctant church.   The Reformation happened the same way, so much that the Danish king (at the time united Norway's crown to his) hid the relics of St. Olaf, Scandinavias patron.  When I went to the cathedral, the guide (Lutheran) referred to the Reformation as a "shock" in Norway.  But as to the OP, given the way things go in Scandinavia, the fears are well founded.  A shame, I rather am fond of Finland and her Church.
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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2008, 08:13:54 PM »

Tangent on Canadian law split off and moved here:  Public Opposition to Homosexual Behavior Illegal in Canada?
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« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2008, 11:05:53 PM »

C.R. Culver wrote:

"There's no community of monasteries here which call for holding firm to the faith received..."

Um...what about Valaam? Isn't the Valaam Monastery (the original one) located in Finland?
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« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2008, 02:16:11 AM »

C.R. Culver wrote:

"There's no community of monasteries here which call for holding firm to the faith received..."

Um...what about Valaam? Isn't the Valaam Monastery (the original one) located in Finland?

Yes, but Valaam is the only monastery in Finland, and I've always perceived it more as a friendly tourist attraction like, say, Rila Monastery, than a safe brotherhood of men one could count on to protect the Church from innovations.
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« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2008, 11:37:18 AM »

I am getting a little bit tired of hearing the repeated calls that "the Church in Finland DOOOOMED!"

A handful priest and theologians (in the Helsinki region I think, correct me if I'm wrong) are behaving suspiciously. Is this really enough to corrupt the whole Church in Finland? To make the Orthodox heartland of Karelia forget the millennia old teaching of the Church? To make the monks at valamo and the nuns at lintula forget the millennia old teaching of the Church? To make all the rest of the priests forget the millennia old teaching of the Church? What about the Skolt Samis, the old Russian ladies and the fanatical converts (like me Roll Eyes)? Will we all somehow forget what the Church teaches in this matter? Will our bishops follow tradition and at the same time stay united with the Orthodox faithful in Finland, or will they be turned away from the millennia old teaching of the Church by this handful of people?

There have always been people with ideas contrary to the mind of the Church. What always happens is that the Church either anathematizes them or ignores and forgets them.
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« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2008, 12:37:54 PM »

I am getting a little bit tired of hearing the repeated calls that "the Church in Finland DOOOOMED!"

So am I.

A handful priest and theologians (in the Helsinki region I think, correct me if I'm wrong) are behaving suspiciously. Is this really enough to corrupt the whole Church in Finland? To make the Orthodox heartland of Karelia forget the millennia old teaching of the Church? To make the monks at valamo and the nuns at lintula forget the millennia old teaching of the Church? To make all the rest of the priests forget the millennia old teaching of the Church?

The answer to each question is no.  The real question is will outsiders' homophobia make them look down on the Finnish Church and, in turn, lead them to sin in their hearts against Orthodox Christian brethren?

What about the Skolt Samis, the old Russian ladies and the fanatical converts (like me Roll Eyes)? Will we all somehow forget what the Church teaches in this matter? Will our bishops follow tradition and at the same time stay united with the Orthodox faithful in Finland, or will they be turned away from the millennia old teaching of the Church by this handful of people?

Nope.

There have always been people with ideas contrary to the mind of the Church. What always happens is that the Church either anathematizes them or ignores and forgets them.

Amen.
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« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2008, 02:29:57 PM »

This bothers me a bit. I'm not sure why the Church and the members of this forum think so little of such a manifest error as the practice and profession (as a life-style) the coupling of men with men and women with women. I mean we do know what we are talking about here right?  Undecided

Even if it cost the Orthodox Church national support funds why curtail the fact that such behavior is not acceptable. Why are we accepting this idea that this is a life-style when it is simply a manifestation of a deviant form of sexual behavior? Once we go down the road to accepting such behavior as some kind of identity we blur our own ability to separate this from the person. It is not a good. It is an evil to be bound in such an extreme form of sin. Caught within it's grip these individuals can no longer see themselves outside of these behaviors and so begin to identify themselves with the behavior and thus think of themselves as a 'type' of individual (category) i.e. minority which is oppressed and due rights to protect their 'way of life'. Knowing what St. Paul said in the first part of his Epistle to the Romans I can't understand why we are here discussing this as if it's a life-style or that it's acceptable in the Orthodox Church. This is a grave sin which is growing in Western society and it has clothed itself as a political movement. We should have no part By Consent, By Praise, By Concealment, or By defense of the sin committed. Yet we seem to be doing just that.

I've seem this in the Roman Catholic Church and now I am seeing this within Orthodoxy. This bothers me a great deal. I see how the times enter into what should be timeless and I fear that we are lost.
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« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2008, 03:08:35 PM »

This bothers me a bit. I'm not sure why the Church and the members of this forum think so little of such a manifest error as the practice and profession (as a life-style) the coupling of men with men and women with women. I mean we do know what we are talking about here right?  Undecided
Are we really minimizing the errors of the gay lifestyle, or are we merely pointing out that the situation in the Finnish Orthodox Church is nowhere near as bad as we internet yahoos would like to believe from the blog ramblings we've been reading here?
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« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2008, 04:17:11 PM »

C.R. Culver wrote:

"There's no community of monasteries here which call for holding firm to the faith received..."

Um...what about Valaam? Isn't the Valaam Monastery (the original one) located in Finland?

Yes, but Valaam is the only monastery in Finland, and I've always perceived it more as a friendly tourist attraction like, say, Rila Monastery, than a safe brotherhood of men one could count on to protect the Church from innovations.

Odd, as when I was in Bulgaria ('87), Rila WAS only a tourist attraction (no monks).
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« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2008, 04:19:45 PM »

I think that there were many changes in place of religion in society after abandonment of communism.
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« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2008, 05:04:15 PM »

This bothers me a bit. I'm not sure why the Church and the members of this forum think so little of such a manifest error as the practice and profession (as a life-style) the coupling of men with men and women with women. I mean we do know what we are talking about here right?  Undecided

Even if it cost the Orthodox Church national support funds why curtail the fact that such behavior is not acceptable. Why are we accepting this idea that this is a life-style when it is simply a manifestation of a deviant form of sexual behavior? Once we go down the road to accepting such behavior as some kind of identity we blur our own ability to separate this from the person. It is not a good. It is an evil to be bound in such an extreme form of sin. Caught within it's grip these individuals can no longer see themselves outside of these behaviors and so begin to identify themselves with the behavior and thus think of themselves as a 'type' of individual (category) i.e. minority which is oppressed and due rights to protect their 'way of life'. Knowing what St. Paul said in the first part of his Epistle to the Romans I can't understand why we are here discussing this as if it's a life-style or that it's acceptable in the Orthodox Church. This is a grave sin which is growing in Western society and it has clothed itself as a political movement. We should have no part By Consent, By Praise, By Concealment, or By defense of the sin committed. Yet we seem to be doing just that.

I've seem this in the Roman Catholic Church and now I am seeing this within Orthodoxy. This bothers me a great deal. I see how the times enter into what should be timeless and I fear that we are lost.

Have you been paying attention on this forum?  There's no reason to make a bigger hub-bub about homosexuality than about adultery and fornication and pedophilia; in fact, the last of those should be considered the worst (remember Christ talking about how bad it is for those who harm a child?  better having a mill-stone, and all that?).  (a) There is no movement or indication that the Church will recognize a marriage between two members of the same sex (or two members of different species - for those who want to bring bestiality up every time someone wants to spout off about homosexuality); (b) the Church has <0 influence on the state during these times; (c) the Church knows that the state will do what it wants to (with regards to recognizing same-sex unions); (d) the Church will accept all sinners, but will not harbor their sins - just as Christ loved tax collectors, harlots, and thieves but didn't support their sins - "sin no more."

For your benefit - a bit of reading that I will suggest:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12023.msg162911.html#msg162911
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« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2008, 05:43:06 PM »

Are we really minimizing the errors of the gay lifestyle, or are we merely pointing out that the situation in the Finnish Orthodox Church is nowhere near as bad as we internet yahoos would like to believe from the blog ramblings we've been reading here?

It's not just Internet yahoos. Many in Helsinki are troubled by these developments. And this is not "homophobia", which would be an irrational and spiteful attack on all those who suffer from passions and attempt to pull through with the power of Christ. This is concern over several administrators in key positions who want to have the church celebrate homosexual relationships. They are treading carefully, because other Orthodox churches would not be happy about this, but it's clear that they believe that within Helsinki they will make this an acceptable lifestyle choice. One already sees troubling signs of this, like homosexual couples showing up at liturgy, hand-holding or hugging throughout the service, and then going up for Communion (any requirement of confession or even membership of the parish is rarely enforced for Communion here).

Prior to coming to the Orthodox church, I attended Anglican and ECUSA churches. The local culture here in Finland is troublingly similar. No one wants to rock the boat, so for the sake of peace and unity everything is very watered down. Now, I don't like rabid "Orthodoxy or death" schismatic zealots who are all rage and no joy. But I just find Finland to be unusual among other Orthodox countries in this respect. In the course of a year, I move between Romania, Finland, and Russia, with short visits to Orthodox churches in other countries, and comparing Finland to other Orthodox bodies, I just don't feel the Finnish Orthodox Church will be able to pull through the crisis of homosexual marriage debates without some immediate drastic action.

As for Karelia being the "heartland" of Finnish Orthodoxy, that doesn't mean much. Helsinki is in many respects the centre of Orthodox life in Finland. Most of the Orthodox churches I've seen in Karelia have long since been boarded up.

As for the suggestion that it's not worth concentrating on homosexuality more than adultery, I disagree. If the decline of many mainline Protestant churches in the UK and the US has taught us anything, it's that homosexuality is a weathervane for other general crises of modernity. The same action which would reaffirm traditional Church teaching on homosexuality would cure other ills as well. Adultery just doesn't have that prominence.
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« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2008, 06:11:04 PM »

This bothers me a bit. I'm not sure why the Church and the members of this forum think so little of such a manifest error as the practice and profession (as a life-style) the coupling of men with men and women with women. I mean we do know what we are talking about here right?  Undecided

Even if it cost the Orthodox Church national support funds why curtail the fact that such behavior is not acceptable. Why are we accepting this idea that this is a life-style when it is simply a manifestation of a deviant form of sexual behavior? Once we go down the road to accepting such behavior as some kind of identity we blur our own ability to separate this from the person. It is not a good. It is an evil to be bound in such an extreme form of sin. Caught within it's grip these individuals can no longer see themselves outside of these behaviors and so begin to identify themselves with the behavior and thus think of themselves as a 'type' of individual (category) i.e. minority which is oppressed and due rights to protect their 'way of life'. Knowing what St. Paul said in the first part of his Epistle to the Romans I can't understand why we are here discussing this as if it's a life-style or that it's acceptable in the Orthodox Church. This is a grave sin which is growing in Western society and it has clothed itself as a political movement. We should have no part By Consent, By Praise, By Concealment, or By defense of the sin committed. Yet we seem to be doing just that.

I've seem this in the Roman Catholic Church and now I am seeing this within Orthodoxy. This bothers me a great deal. I see how the times enter into what should be timeless and I fear that we are lost.

Have you been paying attention on this forum?  There's no reason to make a bigger hub-bub about homosexuality than about adultery and fornication and pedophilia; in fact, the last of those should be considered the worst (remember Christ talking about how bad it is for those who harm a child?  better having a mill-stone, and all that?).  (a) There is no movement or indication that the Church will recognize a marriage between two members of the same sex (or two members of different species - for those who want to bring bestiality up every time someone wants to spout off about homosexuality); (b) the Church has <0 influence on the state during these times; (c) the Church knows that the state will do what it wants to (with regards to recognizing same-sex unions); (d) the Church will accept all sinners, but will not harbor their sins - just as Christ loved tax collectors, harlots, and thieves but didn't support their sins - "sin no more."

For your benefit - a bit of reading that I will suggest:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12023.msg162911.html#msg162911

I'm willing to read anything you offer but I have to tell you that I agree with CRCulver whole clothe on this topic.
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« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2008, 06:20:00 PM »

I'm willing to read anything you offer

Please do - you'll notice that you're wasting your breath on the rational folks here who know that any kind of sex outside of marriage is not good, and that marriage in the Church is only for one man and one woman.

but

Why is there always one of these?

I have to tell you that I agree with CRCulver whole clothe on this topic. 

Good - he is more familiar with the situation in Finland than most people here, save the one or two other residents of that fine nation.
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« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2008, 06:56:48 PM »

Have you been paying attention on this forum?  There's no reason to make a bigger hub-bub about homosexuality than about adultery and fornication and pedophilia; in fact, the last of those should be considered the worst (remember Christ talking about how bad it is for those who harm a child?  better having a mill-stone, and all that?).  (a) There is no movement or indication that the Church will recognize a marriage between two members of the same sex (or two members of different species - for those who want to bring bestiality up every time someone wants to spout off about homosexuality); (b) the Church has <0 influence on the state during these times; (c) the Church knows that the state will do what it wants to (with regards to recognizing same-sex unions); (d) the Church will accept all sinners, but will not harbor their sins - just as Christ loved tax collectors, harlots, and thieves but didn't support their sins - "sin no more."

Thank you, thank you, Cleveland, for some much-needed sanity and historical perspective on the matter. Post of the Month nominee!
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