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On clerical homosexuality and the desire to modernize the Church: a perspective from Greece

The following passage comes from an article (simply titled Περί ὁμοφυλοφιλίας or "On Homosexuality") originally posted  last month on the official website of the Greek Orthodox Eparchy of Kifisia, Amoros and Oropos and translated into English by John Sanidopoulous of the "Mystagogy" blog. (The Passion of Homosexuality According to St. John Chrysostom.)

Emphases are Rorate's. 

It is understood that in the circle of priests homosexuality is unthinkable. Even the simplest carnal sins are obstacles to the Priesthood. The Saints of our Church believe that even the smallest hair in the eye of a person causes tingling and pain and it takes many tears to remove it from the eye. So also the candidate for the clergy, and much more the active clergyman, cannot rest in his priestly ministry, but is tormented and suffers, if there is the slightest carnal sin.

Homosexuality is the heaviest sin, which irrevocably and definitely prevents one entering the Priesthood (and of course the Church does not allow any homosexual to be elevated to the priesthood, even if he has stopped the sin for years). Basil the Great considers homosexuality or lesbianism a beastly sin: "Abusers of themselves with mankind and with beasts, as also murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, are deserving of the same punishment" (Canon 7 of Basil the Great). Saint Gregory of Nyssa characterizes homosexuality as "unnatural" in his 4th Canon. Saint John the Faster observes in his 19th Canon, according to the compilation of The Rudder by Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, the following: "A boy who has been ruined by any man cannot come into the holy priesthood. For although on account of his immature age he did not sin himself, yet the vessel of his body was rent and became useless in connection with the sacred priesthood."

Unfortunately there exists within our Holy Orthodox Church an organized group of homosexual clergy, who by their provocative behavior and by their obscene insistence on mortally sinning, take others by the neck and drag them to hell from this life, preparing them, alas, for eternal hell, even though they ought to grab them from the abyss of destruction and reconcile them once again with Christ.

The psychology of clergy possessed by the deadly passion of homosexuality mutates essentially into having a persecution mentality by the Church. The residual or inherent faint voice of their conscience cries out for them being on the wrong course and for their daily augmented personality which they form. Incredible nervousness bifurcates their personality, and there is obsessive antipathy towards specific individuals, terrible negligence in their liturgical and pastoral duties, disregard for their family if by chance they are married, and a substantial annihilation of their angelic schema [a reference to higher monastic garb in the Byzantine tradition - Rorate] if they are unmarried. Manic to the gut with various sophistries regarding the Sacred Canons, together with hypocritical and pious excuses, they try to modernize the Church.

Unfortunately within such a group of homosexual clergymen there has developed an illusory and deceptive climate of supposed love and support for one another. Young inexperienced candidate clergy, if not guided spiritually and maturely by an experienced spiritual and pious Orthodox mindset, are likely to be ensnared by the exaggerated zealous protectionism indicated above. They are bound emotionally and in a friendly manner with these patrons of theirs, and if there is some tendency towards homosexuality, they basically become victims of this network with devastating consequences, ultimately for the former and the latter. The evil of the above groups, or with others who are more individualized, continues with scenarios and pitfalls set up across the world by the wicked and cunning serpent, the devil.

If the candidate or young clergyman eventually joins and stays within the circles of the homosexuals, he will certainly suffer the consequences of being a particular type as well as terrible alienation against the measures and molds, which experienced and knowledgeable homosexual patrons are imposing.

There are also rare exceptions of repentant or remorseful homosexual clergymen, who are suffering spiritually, psychologically, existentially and perhaps physically, and with nothing can they find rest and quiet from the relentless torture of their conscience. If they do not deeply repent and give up their high pastoral office, they will never rest and acquire the inner experience of complete forgiveness by God.