Phanar theologian on "LGBT baptism": Time to talk of sex & gender in Church

27 July 2022 15:39
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Phanar theologian on

Archdeacon John Chryssavgis, the advisor to the head of the Phanar, believes the Church must define its position on LGBT people.

On July 25, 2022, Archdeacon John Chryssavgis of the Archdiocese of the Phanar in the United States and advisor to Patriarch Bartholomew, published an article accusing the Church of being out of touch with “reality and the world" for criticizing the baptism of children of the LGBT couple by Archbishop Elpidophorus. The article is posted on religionnews.com.

Chryssavgis believes that the Orthodox Church “excel in ostentatious rituals and flamboyant vestments" but is afraid to touch on sensitive topics such as homosexuality.

The archdeacon said all children have a right to be baptised and urged clerics to reflect on how children who do not belong to what the Church calls the "traditional family" differ from those of single parents, atheists, and parents living in common-law marriages or who are not married at all.

“Are we afraid of admitting our own discomfort or embarrassment in discussing sexual principles or practices? Could it be time for a frank discussion about sex and gender in the church? Should those prone to deprecating the lifestyles of others — whether consecrated bishops or compulsive critics — ‘first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye,’ as Jesus said?” Archdeacon John Chryssavgis wonders.

" The role of Orthodox Christians cannot be reduced to either expectation of a separation of sheep from goats or renunciation of a sinful world by detachment from all things secular," stressed the advisor to the head of the Phanar.

Archdeacon John Chryssavgis also expresses doubts that the Church readily or voluntarily admits prejudice against the baptism of children of LGBT couples.

As reported, Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, baptised two children of a same-sex "family" during a visit to Greece. The situation has caused a scandal in Greece. As is customary, Elpidophoros informed the local bishop, Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, that he was coming to perform a baptism in his diocese. He did not, however, bring up the nature of the children’s birth or the sexuality of the parents.

As the UOJ wrote, Slovenia has legalised LGBT marriage and gay adoption of children.

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