What does the baptism of Sodomite "family" children imply for Orthodoxy?
The head of the Phanar Archdiocese in the USA baptized the children of the gay "family". What can this event imply for Orthodoxy in general and Ukraine in particular?
On July 9, 2022, the head of the Archbishopric of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the USA, Archbishop Elpidophoros (the one who articulated the "the first without equal" theory), baptized the children of a homosexual couple in the Panagia Phaneromena temple in the suburbs of Athens. The kids, who were born from surrogate mothers, were called Alexios and Eleni. The LGBT "parents" are Greek-Americans from the celebrity background. Peter Dundas is a famous fashion designer, who has worked with such celebrities as Roberto Cavalli, Jean Paul Gaultier and Emilio Gucci. In 2017, he dressed the famous singer Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards ceremony. He is also the founder of his own brand Dundas.
Evanggelos Bousis comes from an extremely well-off and influential Greek family that owns a chain of grocery stores under the Germak Fresh Market brand in Illinois and Wisconsin. A few years ago, Archbishop Elpidophoros made the mother of Evanggelos Bousis, Elena Bousis, a member of the Archbishop's Council of the American Archdiocese of Phanar, and also appointed her to an important body of the Archdiocese's administration. Both the Sodomites themselves and their families are recognized as old friends of Archbishop Elpidophoros.
The God-parents also fit into the picture – famous models Bianka Brandolina and Yevgenia Niarchos. The latter is the daughter of Philip Niarchos and the granddaughter of Stavros Niarchos, a well-known American billionaire and shipping magnate, lady’s man and philanthropist, founder of the international charitable organization Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which has awarded grants totaling more than 1.57 billion dollars in 111 countries of the world.
Despite the fact that both Archbishop Elpidiphoros and the gay couple blessed by him live in America, they decided to hold the ceremony in Greece. The mass media report that Elpidophoros did not inform either the Patriarchate of Constantinople or the Synod in the USA of his intentions. In order to perform baptism in a foreign diocese, the Phanar hierarch sent a letter to the ruling bishop, Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, asking him for permission to perform the Sacrament. Met. Antonios gave such a permission, but when the case was made public, he wrote an explanatory letter to the Holy Synod of the Church of Hellas and Archbishop Ieronymos, in which he stated that he did not know about the "homosexual" details of baptism. "The American archbishop asked me for permission to baptize two children of a woman who came from Chicago," Metropolitan Antonios wrote and added that Elpidophoros "acted arbitrarily and unlawfully within my diocese."
Thus, the ruling bishop, in whose diocese the baptism was performed, reacted negatively to this fact. Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, one of the authoritative Helladic hierarchs, who, by the way, also opposes the recognition of the OCU, reacted against it as well. He called for bringing Elpidophoros to the church court and accused him of promoting sodomy.
"The actual approval of unrepentant sodomites and their promotion within the Church as supposedly ‘God-fearing persons’ who baptize their children in the Orthodox tradition, and the subsequent amnesty of the deadly crime of sodomy, directly offends the anthropology and soteriology of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. <...> I publicly call on him to redress the spiritual damage caused, asking for forgiveness from the Lord and his Church," Metropolitan Seraphim said.
The actual approval of unrepentant Sodomites and their promotion within the Church as supposedly "God-fearing persons" directly offends the anthropology and soteriology of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus
There were also negative comments on social networks about the baptism of the children of the gay couple.
However, the head of the Phanar, Patriarch Bartholomew, remains silent, as do other representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Against the backdrop of this silence, some mass media are wondering if the baptism of the Sodomites' children means an unofficial recognition of gay marriage by the Patriarchate of Constantinople? After all, Elpidophoros is the second most important figure in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In addition, he can also claim leadership given the number and level of connections with prominent financial figures.
Some mass media voice the version that everything that happened was the personal initiative of Archbishop Elpidophoros, who hid it from everyone, and if it were not for the publications on social networks of the joyful participants of the event, then perhaps no one would have known about it. For example, Nik Stamatakis writes in his article on helleniscope.com: "This initiative of the archbishop is something that should never have happened in Orthodoxy, where all such serious decisions are made synodally. Nevertheless, once again, Archbishop Elpidophoros decides to impose on us innovations admired by his globalist-conscious masters."
Is the baptism of the Sodomites' children an unofficial recognition of gay marriage by the Patriarchate of Constantinople?
Nik Stamatakis also suggests this kind of baptism has been performed by Elpidophoros not for the first time and not for free: "The second question – how much money did they pay him for performing such a ceremony against the rules and traditions of the Church? There are reports that this is not the first time the Archbishop has performed such heretical ceremonies."
However, in reality, the problem is much larger and deeper. Possibly, Archbishop Elpidophoros assumed that the information about the baptism would receive wide publicity and even counted on it. After all, the participants of the event are very public people from the world of glamor and show business, who cover every step of theirs on social networks. Moreover, after the baptism, a shindig took place at the Four Seasons Hotel on the Athenian Riviera, where the famous Greek pop star Anna Vyssi performed her best hits.
The magnitude of the event, the resonance it created, the fame and financial capabilities of the participants, as well as the degree of their involvement in the affairs of the American Archdiocese suggest that all this could be some kind of coming out, the opening of Overton's window on the legalization of gay marriage in Orthodoxy.
This is only an assumption, but the following proves this version:
Firstly, both Archbishop Elpidophoros and the Patriarchate of Constantinople have the closest ties to the Democratic Party of the United States, which is the main force promoting LGBT and gender ideology around the world. Today, American Democrats are in an unenviable position. The level of support for Joe Biden is minimal, the Democratic Party risks losing control over the American Parliament and over both chambers at once as a result of the upcoming autumn elections. In addition, democracy and liberal ideology in general in the USA was dealt a serious blow when the Supreme Court canceled the right to abortion in the USA, and following this decision, many states began to pass laws prohibiting abortion, which greatly upset Joe Biden. Accordingly, the Democrats desperately need support for their liberal agenda ahead of the elections, and the powerful Greek diaspora in the US can provide such support.
Both Archbishop Elpidophoros and the Patriarchate of Constantinople have the closest ties to the Democratic Party of the United States, which is the main force promoting LGBT and gender ideology around the world.
Secondly, Catholicism also backs similar processes for the legalization of sodomy. Moreover, everything went much further there than in the bowels of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. For example, Catholic structures in Germany openly, at the level of council decisions, call on the Vatican to recognize gay marriages, as well as to introduce female "priesthood" and other liberal innovations.
If one takes a look at these developments through the prism of the announced Phanar-Vatican union, then the scandalous baptism of the children of Sodomites seems quite logical. There are groups of conditional liberals and conditional conservatives both in the Vatican and in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is easy to guess that conservatives, in contrast to liberals, do not recognize themselves as fans of the union of Phanar and the Vatican, defending each their own point of view on the dogmas of faith, formed over the centuries. However, liberals have a completely different stance. For them, some abstract "love", tolerance and open-mindedness are much more valuable than the postulates of faith and traditional morality. Church liberals rely on political liberals and vice versa. Therefore, the fact that the Democrats may lose legislative power in the USA this fall forces church liberals to promote their agenda more vigorously.
Now the floor is given to the official Phanar and personally to Patriarch Bartholomew. He has two choices: either he will condemn Archbishop Elpidophoros, remove him from the current post of head of the American Archdiocese, or remain silent. And this silence will sound louder than any words, because it will mean consent to further steps in the advancement of the liberal agenda.
Does this all have to do with the situation in Ukraine? Absolutely.
During the war, the Ukrainian government is in an extremely vulnerable state in front of all Western "wills" in the field of promoting "European" ideological values. Quite recently, Ukraine ratified the Istanbul Convention. Now Zelensky has put on the table a petition about the legalization of same-sex partnerships in Ukraine, which he will hardly reject: the country now vitally depends on Western financial and military support.
The situation on the religious "front" is no less complicated. Despite the declaration of its autocephalous status, the OCU, according to the prescriptions of the Tomos, is in fact a religious structure subordinate to Phanar. Thus, if Phanar chooses the path of recognizing LGBT and gender, this will be mirrored in the policy of the OCU.
How should believers of the UOC take all this? Undoubtedly, the actions of the head of the Phanar Archdiocese in the USA are clear evidence that breaking the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople was the right decision. The structure that goes against the canons of the Church is now taking an obvious step against its teaching. It looks even more absurd in the context of the Phanar's persistent desire to be the sole leader and head of Orthodoxy.
Unfortunately, we see that individual representatives of Orthodoxy increasingly act according to the laws of the external secular world to the detriment of the Holy Scriptures. It is necessary to understand this and give an appropriate assessment to such attempts. There is also a high probability that the UOC will have to learn to live with such state legislation, which directly contradicts the Bible and the dogmas of the Church. This means it is necessary to develop a clear and unambiguous official position on these issues, as well as methods of protecting believers, their families, and especially children from the adverse impact of such non-Christian ideology. In general, the struggle of Christians for the right to remain Christians is reaching a new level both in Ukraine and in the world.