Continuation of question three: 3) What is the AOC position on those in same sex, long term, relationships as members of the clergy?
Father Thaddeus: The history of the Church, even from the times of the Old Testament, can be argued and even debated about the actions of some in the affairs of the Jewish Faith and even the Christian Faith and praxis.
The Christian Church is a spiritual hospital for sick souls. No one must left outside the Church who has a degree of true sincerity to enter in, even those who lack spiritual understanding. We must accept all who come to us out of true sincerity of desire, motivated by the promptings of Holy Spirit.
In Heaven, we learn, that there is no male or female - no giving or taking in marriage. When we look at some of the teachings of Jesus Christ, we learn more. We learn that there are some who have become eunuchs (of the heart) for the sake of Christ.
We must equally be aware of the fact that Jesus Christ permitted all who truly struggle out of pain of heart, according to their nature and degree of understanding, to come to Him from where they stood (...from where their understandings were). And, no matter how many times they fell or faltered, their sincerity of desire to follow him in spirit and truth was acceptable and therefore they were accepted.
There are those who appear effeminate and are not necessarily homosexual. Many of them, in times past, were believed to be something they were not and thus put to physical torture and eventually, if not quickly, suffered death. Would we believe that someone with HIV/AIDS today is a homosexual? If so, we have judged and taken that judgment upon ourselves as though we were homosexual. Believe it or not, but scripture (Old and New Testament) would prove this to be true if you have it in your abilities to do some research on your own.
There are those whose lifestyles as clergy swing the gamut of what today would be viewed as a sexual identity crisis. Are they to be disenfranchised from the Church or be taken to a place for electrical shock therapy or treatment as they did in times past? Or, would one's progression over time be allowed so the individual may be in self-control? And, depending on their self-made decision, if any, would they be thrown out of the Church as many have been, in times past (and are today) treated as many parents throw their children out the door? These too are God's children!
As for clergy who may or may not be homosexual, it is believed that so long as one acts and performs responsibly in so-far as they are able, a "don't ask - don't tell" policy may be the better road of approach. Yet, in saying this, the question itself, initially asked, is not fully answered.
This country, even this world in which we presently live, has become more in which a "Protestant" mentality of Puritanism has taken root wherein "free-will" has been or is being violated.
The "Orthodox-Catholic" (Eastern Orthodox) and the "Roman Catholic" jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church have become infected with such misunderstandings about the teachings that they have failed to recognize the difference between "Sodomy" and "Homosexuality". Never, in the original texts (or as close them as one can come to) is there any mention of that which could be interpreted as "homosexual". Yet, "Sodomy" is very specifically declared and mentioned several times. "Sodomy" can be and is often an act between both male and female, not just male and male.
The interpretations of those "bibles" more common today, are the inventions of those who have held and hold to a personal agenda. For most of them, they are "Protestant" who have infected today's One, Holy, Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church with false understandings and teachings.
Am I defending homosexuality? No! I am defending the Church! The "Beam" in thine own eye that Jesus Christ talked about, must be eradicated (removed) before you even attempt to take the splinter out of your brother's eye. And, be sure such personal agendas are done away with before casting judgment! That means to do away with such as is based on the internal motivations of prejudice and bigotry and misconceptions, as well as false teachings. Learn the truth first and then work on the inner man before trying to work on the inner being of your neighbor be s/he friend or foe.
Lastly, I must ask you to read what true repentance and forgiveness means. For without such, the above answer to the question will be wholly misunderstood and even taken out of context. Go To: REPENTANCE - FORGIVENESS - SEALS OF THE CONFESSIONAL...
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