April 20, 2014

Fr. Thomas Hopko: The Homosexual Christian

Fr. Thomas Hopko

Source: OrthodoxyToday.org Many gay men and lesbians claim that the Christian faith is the guiding rule of their lives. Some of them hold that their sexual orientation is given by God, that it is good, and that there is nothing wrong or sinful with their homosexual activities. These persons say that the Bible and Church Tradition do not condemn homosexual behaviour, but have been misinterpreted and misused, sometimes unknowingly and other times quite willfully, by prejudiced and hostile people who hate homosexuals. Those who believe in this way obviously want others to agree with them, and many are now working hard to have their views accepted, particularly by fellow Christians and Church leaders. Other homosexual Christians hold that their sexual orientation is not from God - except providentially, since the Lord's plan inevitably involves human freedom and sin but derives from human fault. While some of these people are not willing or able to identify the specific reasons for … [Read more...]

Vatican II and the Orthodox Bishops

Fr. Tom asks: Is it possible that the teaching of the Second Vatican Council about the ministry of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church is now being taught and practiced in an adapted and altered form in our Orthodox churches today? It's a cogent and sober warning about the subversion of Orthodox ecclesiology that unfortunately has historical precedent. George Michalopulos examined the historical antecedents in his essay The Role of Metropolitan and Its Relationship within the Episcopate: A Reappraisal. By Fr Thomas Hopko Orthodox Christians devoted to accountability are surely aware that accountability in behavior cannot be separated from accountability in understanding since practice (praxis) is necessarily connected to vision (theoreia). This conviction inspires me, given the present state of things, to raise the following question: Is it possible that the teaching of the Second Vatican Council about the ministry of bishops in the Roman Catholic … [Read more...]

The Episcopal Assembly, the OCA, and the future Orthodox Church of the USA

By Fr. Thomas Hopko It’s not clear what is now happening for the establishment of an autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States made up of the member churches of the former SCOBA. These are my questions: What concrete steps are now being taken to establish an autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States that would be recognized as a “sister church” by all the autocephalous Orthodox churches in the world? What can Orthodox Christians in North America and around the world expect the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria to do with their North American “jurisdictions” to establish this self-governing Orthodox Church of the USA? How will the future Orthodox Church of the USA relate to the dioceses and parishes in Canada and south of the US border that are now in North American “jurisdictions”? And why should there be any problems regarding the OCA and its place in the US Episcopal Assembly and in the future Orthodox … [Read more...]

Fr. Hopko at Hope College, Feb. 23-24

Fr. Thomas Hopko, an advisor to AOI, will be speaking at an event titled "Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy: An Introduction to the Faith and Life of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church" at Hope College in Holland, Mich. The two-day program (Feb. 23-24) "will examine the Orthodox Christian faith as a way of life." The event is hosted by the college's Orthodox Christian Fellowship student organization in partnership with the Religious Life Committee at Hope, and co-sponsored by the departments of philosophy and religion, the general education program, and the offices of student development and campus ministries. The public is invited and welcome, the school says. Admission is free to all events, although a free-will offering to benefit Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Hope College will be taken after the lecture on Monday evening. For more on the lectures, and a schedule of worship services, read the release on the Hope College site. … [Read more...]

In the Wake of the Election

Whether your guy won or lost on Tuesday (mine came in second) you have to marvel at this very exceptional nation called America. And, indeed, the whole world is doing just that. In an editorial, the Times of London described the election as a "Masterclass in Democracy": The world has been fascinated and profoundly moved by this election most of all because of what America is — a nation founded on universal aspirations, and thus a mirror to humanity. For two centuries that mirror has seemed irreparably cracked by the legacy of slavery and segregation, a pernicious and enduring racism that remains a factor in the blighted lives of so many of the poor blacks among whom Mr Obama launched his political career. He is not the last role model they will ever need, but he is the most powerful proof his country has produced that it is ready to judge them by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin. The world watched as 121 million Americans peacefully went to the polls and … [Read more...]