Archive for 2012

A Christmas Wish of Hope

Posted by andre under Reflections

December 24, 2012

Dedicated to my friend, Porphyrogenitum

The holidays can be a difficult time for many people. Those who are separated from family and friends find this season emotionally difficult. People who have lost loved ones can find that putting on the holiday cheer is a cumbersome task. Christmas time can also be emotionally difficult particularly for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. Those that have partners may not be “out” to members of their families and therefore might be forced to celebrate the holidays without their spouse. LGBT people who have never found a partner to share their life and love with, carry around a silent wound as they must endure another holiday alone.  Although they might be surrounded by family and friends, inside they feel alone.  This is especially acute during the time of year which is all about celebrating with family and loved ones. Everyone expects you to be cheery and celebratory and yet, in the words of one of my friends, “while others are feasting, I am fasting”. I understand his sentiment. Read the rest of this entry »

A Gay Orthodox Church

Posted by andre under Reflections

December 9, 2012

The opening of a Gay friendly mosque in Paris has made international headline news. The first inclusive mosque which welcomes LGBT people as well as offering women non-traditional roles in worship was opened on November 30, 2012. The mosque is the conception of the association of Gay Muslims in France (HM2F) – (http://www.homosexuels-musulmans.org/) Their unique idea combines a welcoming and safe sanctuary for Muslim LGBTQ people, as well as a place for women to freely worship inside the mosque without having to comply with the customary head coverings or sit in the “back seats”.  Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Not!

Posted by andre under Reflections

November 25, 2012

 

The 2012 Presidential election in the United States was particularly divisive and malevolent. It has also had some tragic consequences, everything from states petitioning to succeed from the United States to at least one individual committing suicide.  The election process and subsequent re-election of the President has even caused some sad effects upon personal relationships.

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William Shakespeare wrote the following poignant and perpetually intriguing question in his play Romeo and Juliet:

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

The famous question by Juliet, who rejects the age old feud between her family and the family of her new found love, is usually interpreted as: what matters is what something is, not what it is named or called. For numerous years I have thought about this essential question. Is the essence of something more important than the name by which it is known? 

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October 28, 2012

A former student of mine was preparing for his college interview. He was given a list of possible and usual questions that the representatives of the schools were likely to ask.  Among the questions was a familiar one and so he asked me, wondering what I would say. “If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be? 

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October 14, 2012

One the reasons that I am a Christian is because of the mystery of God.  And one of the reasons that I am an Orthodox Christian is because the Orthodox Church is sublime in living that mystery. The Church has developed, in the patristic age, an entire theology devoted to the study of what we do not know – how much more mysterious and Orthodox can you get than to study what you do not know? Essentially apophatic theology is the attempt to describe God – always a humbling practice – by exclusion or negation.  In other words to speak only of what or who the Almighty is not. It is closely connected with mystical theology.  In the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem “we explain not what God is, but candidly confess that we have not exact knowledge concerning Him. For in what concerns God confessing our ignorance is the best knowledge.” (Catechetical Homilies in Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1994) Confessing our ignorance is sometimes the best – great idea.

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The Outcast

Posted by andre under Reflections

September 30, 2012

 

Many gay, lesbian, and bisexual people have at numerous times in their lives felt like outcasts. We grow up in a world where we are quick to recognize that we do not feel or experience the same things that other kids our age are feeling and experiencing.  While I might have noticed that certain girls in my class were pretty, I certainly did not experience the same stirrings that other boys in my class were feeling when noticing pretty girls. And since in my generation no one was talking about what I was and was not feeling, I was led to believe that I was the only one who was experiencing something different, and thought that there must be something wrong with me.

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Bondage

Posted by andre under Reflections

September 15, 2012

 

I never knew that I was a delusional slave to paganism and the occult and a pathological liar just because I am gay, but according to a recent Orthodox forum, I am. The theme of the recent conference sponsored by St. Stephen Orthodox Church in Lima, Ohio, a parish in the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America, held from August 24-26, 2012, was “same-sex attraction”.  Endorsed by the Midwest diocese of the OCA, it was the latest in a series of conferences sponsored by the parish on “current issues”.

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The Wounded Healer

Posted by andre under Reflections

September 1, 2012

The Wounded Healer by the late Catholic priest Henri Nouwen is a class work in pastoral theology.  The 2010 edition of the book has two subtitles: Ministry in Contemporary Society and In our own woundedness, we can become a source of life for others. The text was one of many required readings at my Seminary and had a profound influence upon my priesthood and continues to influence my personal life. I would encourage any priest, seminarian or anyone involved in ministry of any kind to pick up a copy of the work.

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August 19, 2012

 

Apartheid is the term used to describe the policy of segregation of the non-white population of South Africa before 1994.  It is also used to describe “any system or practice that separates people according to race or caste”. (dictionary.com) There can be no doubt that apartheid, as it was practiced in South Africa, was a violent and terribly inhumane treatment of a majority population by a minority government based solely on race.  However, anytime one set of rules or rights or privileges are applied to one group of people and denied to another based on characteristics beyond their choice – such as the color of their skin, their gender, their age, their disabilities or their sexual orientation – the term apartheid can be used.

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