Do you really think he ought to be in Category:American Saints? He's not been officially canonized by anyone and is still quite recent. —[[User:ASDamick|—Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!)]] 13:36, 13 Jun 2005 (EDT)
"[H]e is (prematurely) celebrated by some Orthodox Christians as a saint" -- I think he can be considered to be in the category of "American Saints" whether or not he is officially recognized as a saint. As you say, he is recent, so the status of his canonization may change. I hardly think adding him to the orthodoxwiki category will effect his canonization. Apologies if I am mistaken. --magda 14:36, 13 Jun 2005 (EDT)
- Yes, quite likely not! :) I was just wondering. I can't remember where the initial bit about his being celebrated comes from, though, especially it being "in liturgy." I wonder who has the daring to celebrate someone liturgically whom their hierarchy has not yet openly glorified? —[[User:ASDamick|—Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!)]] 14:45, 13 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I'd like to weigh in on the article mentioning that Father Serafim was a homosexual in his youth before converting to Orthodoxy. First of all I'd like to question the sources. There is no mention of this in his biography from Platina. This is not what you think about when you remember Father Serafim! To my mind this is like revealing someone's confession! He overcame so much and is such a wonderful example for us! We who have great reverence for him are pretty upset! No one but God and one's father confessor has a right to information like that..and splashed all over the internet no less!
- There is always a balance we have to strike between reporting significant historical facts and the good and useful traditions of hagiography (and of course the line is somewhat blurred since Fr. Seraphim is not canonized). I don't think that the homosexuality passage is something which is required for this article. Its origins are from whatever source the Wikipedia article used (as this is an import). My guess is that it's this article: http://www.pomona.edu/Magazine/PCMSP01/saint.shtml
- It's possible that the article draws on sections from the book of his letters published by his niece (who interestingly enough recently showed up on Wikipedia and added edits to the article there).
- I would have no problem removing the passage. It may be more difficult to get the folks over at Wikipedia to do so, though. —[[User:ASDamick|—Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!)]] 23:29, 29 Jun 2005 (EDT)
- I can see why it would scandalize and turn off some, but I know, at least in the circles I inhabit, that this kind of testimony to the possibility for conversion is sorely needed. I really don't think it takes anything away from Fr. Seraphim's greatness, but only adds to it (or rather the manifestation of God's greatness in him). Fr. John
- Father, I agree. I read this article the other day, having not heard anything much about him, and was inspired by his victory over this sin. I felt that it added to his testimony to God's grace. The Bible certainly is not shy about letting us know the dark side of many of the Saints. That being said, I understand the initial concern. I don't believe confession should be taken lightly and gossip is never a good thing. The fact of the matter is that now it is public knowledge and I guess should be addressed in some way. --Joe Rodgers 00:16, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)
This could and should have been dealt with in a single line, similar to the beginning of one of the accounts of the life of St. Vladimir the Enlightener: Concerning his life before his baptism, it is best that we retain a discreet silence. Enough said.
- Hi Fr. Greogry,
- I would like to hear more about why you think this is the case. It has always seemed to me that we need to be honest about our saints -- their background and struggles. If we too easily place them on a pedestal, we remove their greatest triumph from them (because we fail to see the full glory of their triumph). Besides that, if this news is all over the internet, what good will it do us to hide it? Those from outside could accuse us of whitewashing. Like St. Paul, shouldn't we boast in our weaknesses that God may be glorified?
- I don't think it is a scandal that Fr. Seraphim may have had a homosexual relationship befoe he became Orthodox. The article makes it clear that he left this lifestyle behind. There was repentance, acceptable to God, and no hypocrisy on his part.
- I wonder if there's a generational difference here, too. It seems that previously homosexuality was something unspeakable. Now, it's being talked about all the time -- flashed over T.V., voted on in polls. Many say there's no real possibility of conversion for homosexuals, and homosexuality becomes for so many the defining aspect of their identity. Fr. Seraphim proves them wrong. What do you think? Thanks, Fr. John