You could drive a sled dog team from Key West to Nome with this response by the Metropolitan of the OCA to his church’s publication, on the church’s official website, of an essay by Boston priest Robert Arida, calling on the Orthodox Church to rethink its theological opposition to homosexuality. At his order, the OCA webmaster took the Arida essay down, and replaced it with the Metropolitan’s essay. I was trying to find something to excerpt from the Metropolitan’s reflection, but I couldn’t find a thing. I don’t know what he’s saying, other than posting links to position papers stating the Church’s official policy opposing gay sex, and stating that he wishes everybody could get along and listen more.
I don’t know what is more depressing: the fact that the OCA published, on its official website, a lengthy essay by a priest (a dean of a cathedral, no less!) attacking a core teaching of the Church, or that the bishop who is the head of the Church cannot bring himself to issue a clear statement defending the Church’s teaching and correcting the priest. What is the Metropolitan so afraid of?
This response to Fr. Arida, from Prof. Alf Kentigern Siewers, is much better. Indeed, it has been very, very encouraging to see the strong and articulate pushback to Arida from Orthodox clergy and laymen, especially in the comments section of that original Arida essay. It’s discouraging, though, and revealing, that the head of the OCA can’t muster even the feeblest defense of Orthodox teaching in response. Uncertain trumpets, for sure.
If you haven’t, read Anthony Esolen’s broadside against the bishops of his Church (Roman Catholic) for being spineless in defense of truth, and leaving to fend for themselves laypeople who are struggling to live out the Christian truth in a culture that is increasingly hostile to it.
UPDATE: A reader e-mails to say:
What troubles me most about this whole thing is not necessarily the issue of homosexuality or Fr. Arida’s verbal soup, but his comment that we should somehow look beyond the Fathers. Then to make things worse, it seems Met. Tikhon said nothing specific to correct that statement.
In my mind, that’s the real Trojan Horse. Convince the faithful to relegate the Fathers to the dustbin of have-beens (unless you need a quote or two for politically or culturally progressive expedience) and you eventually destroy our faith.