World Orthodox Clergy in Texas Respond to Fr. Robert Arida: “Gay Couples Knowingly Communed at Abp. Nikon’s Cathedral”

November 14, 2014  (Source:

Statement of the Brotherhood of the Orthodox Clergy Association of Houston and Southeast Texas on the Comments of Fr. Robert Arida on Homosexuality

In response to Fr. Robert Arida’s recent article, which was posted on the OCA’s Wonder blog, there have been many eloquent rebuttals.  We do not wish to attempt to reproduce those critiques here, but we do wish to underscore some of the more important points that have been made, and to speak out publically on this controversy.

We find it unacceptable for Orthodox Clergy, who have been given the charge to instruct and guide the laity, to suggest that the moral Tradition of the Orthodox Church needs to change with the times or with the prevalent culture. St. Paul admonishes us to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2). And it should be noted that the word translated “world” is not “kosmos” (the material world, world order, or people of the world), but  “tō aiōni” which refers to the age (or generation, or time) in which we live. And we have no better guide as to what the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God is than we find in the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church.

It is also contrary to our Tradition to write about matters of faith or piety in ways that are intentionally ambiguous – this is rather the approach of liberal Protestantism. As Sergey Khudiev wrote, in response to a previous statement by Fr. Robert Arida, which was likewise replete with studied ambiguity, liberal Protestants have “a particularity which entails a tendency to explain themselves with rhetorical questions, vague allusions and highly mysterious phrases from which you can with more or less justification guess at their positions, but are unable to explain clearly.”1

We are all the more concerned that members of Fr. Robert Arida’s parish who identify themselves as homosexuals, report that though they make no secret of their ongoing homosexual relationships, they are freely communed. One such person, wrote, on an open Facebook group (named oxymoronically “Pro-Gay Orthodox Christians”):  “I am gay… I was married to my husband in a civil ceremony in 2005. When I began attending Holy Trinity later that year I was completely up front with the priest. My husband, Martin, began attending liturgies regularly about two years ago. He was chrismated Holy Saturday earlier this year. Our relationship is not a secret; I have had no negative interactions with either clergy or laity in this parish. Martin and I are not the only gay people in the parish, though after Martin became Orthodox, we are the only Orthodox gay *couple* as far as I know. I don’t think this constitutes “don’t ask don’t tell.” More like “ask or tell whatever you like… we don’t care.” Just saying.”2

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7 thoughts on “World Orthodox Clergy in Texas Respond to Fr. Robert Arida: “Gay Couples Knowingly Communed at Abp. Nikon’s Cathedral”

  • November 15, 2014 at 12:03 am

    When Christ began his ministry he attended a wedding, turned the water into wine, and sanctified the marriage, between a man and a woman. Far from the Christian Tradition ever even imagining ‘marriage’ between two of the same sex, this has never happened in any culture, any religion, in all of known world history. Not the Indians or Asians or bush people of Africa or Australia, or the ice people or cave people or anyone. Billions of people throughout the ages in all continents, never, is there any mention of any culture anywhere or anytime, with ‘gay marriage,’ unheard of and unknown, until just recently, last few years, in the US and in Europe, few other countries like maybe Canada, Australia. Amazing. And yet the political debate seems to make it appear like as though ‘Gay marriage’ has always been around. Amazing.

    • November 15, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Quite right, Cytwo. Why not just become ‘eastern rite’ Episcopalians if they are so concerned about this? Then they can believe whatever they want, and no one will really care.

    • November 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Even in the moral corruption rampant in the ancient world of Greco-Roman civilization, they never sought to introduced ‘gay marriage’! And, of course, that was a time when such behaviour was considered ‘acceptable’ and ‘normal’. Instead, it was Orthodoxy, from the time of the Apostles, that fought against this attitude, not seeking to accept the teachings of Greek culture on it.

    • November 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      With issues like homosexualism and ‘women’s ordination’, we are often told by the liberal heretic modernists, such as those in the OCA and Ecumenical Patriarchate, that these are only ‘cultural’ importations into the Church. However, this is the furthest from the Truth. In the Ancient Near East, as well as in Ancient Egypt, it was considered normative to have priestesses; however, the Israelite religion stood out in absolute stark contrast from all those other ones around it in that it rejected ‘priestess’, as well as rejecting child-sacrificing demon-worship. When the New Testament came with Christ, the classical pagan world accepted the practice of priestess, but, the Apostles and Fathers rejected such. The same is true for the moral practices Fr. Robert and others seek to normalize; the Israelite religion that God gave to them through Moses and the Prophets was constantly battling this moral degeneration, and not wanting to conform to the culture; the same was true with the Apostles and the Fathers in the classical pagan period. It was not Christianity that was ‘influenced’ but which influenced and changed the attitudes; though, again, even in the degeneration of classical culture, as Cytwo alludes to, the idea of ‘gay marriage’ would have been considered laughable as even the Greeks realized the teleology of marriage and the family.

  • November 15, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Here we go with the witch hunts.

    • November 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Did somebody say “witch hunts”? I’ve been waiting for months now to burn me some witches. I’ve got my torch and Witch Hammer book ready at the door!

      • November 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

        Maybe we need to take up some collections for this
        worthy endeavor.

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