"[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? —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 14:45, 13 Jun 2005 (EDT)
- Of course, all saints must be prematurely celebrated as such for the canonization to occur in the first place. Of course, full liturgical glorfiication should only come with episcopal blessing. Fr. John
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. —Dcn. Andrew talk random contribs 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
- I think that's good, esp. cutting out the header. Maybe we should've left in whatever citations were there though, no? Fr. John
- Regarding the different biographies of Fr. Seraphim, and especially his niece's discussion of him homosexuality, see http://www.chattablogs.com/aionioszoe/archives/025629.html. Fr. John
uncompromised teachings of the Church?
The article states that Frs. Herman and Seraphim transmitted the uncompromised teachings of the Church on a number of different issues. There are many serious Orthodox writers who disagree with much of what these Fathers wrote on these topics. To maintain the wiki's NPOV standards, I would suggest that this statement be reworded without this assertion.
Kadj 06:25, May 13, 2006 (CDT)
- Perhaps you have a way that this could be re-stated to maintain NPOV-MCB? --— by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 07:59, May 13, 2006 (CDT)
- above comment by Kadj edited by PADRAEG, reversed by User:Pistevo
- It is a generally accepted part of netiquette that one does not misrepresent another person's comments. Possibly because it hasn't been possible before, but a person's comments should never be changed by another person. This action can also be defamatory. If there was a superior way to phrase 'transmitted uncompromised teachings' (etc.) in the article, any given person is invited and asked to do this; a talk page is not the place for editing a genuine editor's work. — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 01:01, September 9, 2006 (CDT)
- Obviously User:PADRAEG agrees with Kadj's comment. It would be helpful to us if he could give some supporting evidence; examples of teachings which differ from historic Orthodoxy. Then this thread would be instructive rather than simply defamatory. Others could respond, and a real conversation could take place. — FrJohn (talk)
- Father Seraphim did, to the end of his life, transmit the uncompromised teachings of the Church in the sense that the large majority of "his" works are really just made up of quotes from the saints and from the lives of saints. He really didn't say anything new, especially in the whole 'toll-houses' debate. In fact, most of his critics simply have not read through the book carefully enough, especially those who accuse him falsely of Platonism or Gnosticism. He openly states in the book that his position is based on the amount of available information from the fathers. Anyone who knew Father Seraphim (and MOST of his contemporaries, disciples, friends etc are alive today) knew that his entire purpose in writing was to translate and transmit information from the fathers. In short, the point of this little paragraph is this: there's more than enough evidence to suggest that this article is correct, at least as far as asserting that that was Father Seraphim's GOAL, and most people who have spent any serious amount of time researching Fr. Seraphim will agree that he did, in fact, accomplish that goal. I don't think there's a POV issue here.
Why the world needs to know the truth on Fr. Seraphim
When I heard that Fr. Seraphim Rose *may* have been a homosexual, I was shocked, but at the same time very much intrigued. For many of us Orthodox Christians, we have come to view Fr. Seraphim as a modern example of the holiness as seen from the desert fathers. Granted there are many who argue and disagree with his theology, I being one of them, but theology aside I think we can all say that he was indeed a holy man, filled with God's grace. I think it is a bad thing that his real life is covered up. I beleive he was a homosexual, and if he really was, then I think that it should be written about. Why? Because as the Orthodox Church grows in numbers, it will ultimately have to face the critical eyes of the modern secular world. One of the most pressing issues facing religion is homosexuality. The Orthodox Church believes that homosexuality is a passion which can be overcome by Christ. We, the Orthodox Church, will need to use concrete examples of holy men (and women) whose homosexual tendencies were curbed by ascetic practice within the Church if we want to A) convince the world that the True Church is the Orthodox Church and B) To help those homosexuals already in the Church (and yes there are many) to be encouraged, inspired, and strengthed by the lives of those like Fr. Seraphim Rose; that homosexuality can be overcome through prayer, fasting, and the sacraments . The Orthodox Church for centuries has used the lives of Her saints to proclaim the Truth of Christ's action in the world, and now in the 21st century we find ourselves in the same position but with just different issues. I hope that one day if Fr. Seraphim is canonized that thourgh his intercession and story of his life many homosexuals will find comfort, hope, and inspiration in their struggle. John Maletis 19:01, August 22, 2006
- Thanks, John for these words. That's a nice statement of why I think it's important to include these details here too. — FrJohn (talk)
- Hi, I know I have come across this 2 years after your initial discussion but when I read about this priest on various blogs on the intranet (literally only 10 minutes ago) I felt physically ill because I understood that he was an active homosexual whilst being a priest and then glorified by people ... but upon looking him up in Orthodox wiki, reading this discussion I am understanding that he was homosexual prior to his conversion ... I really do think that this topic warrants a small paragraph on the main article, for clearing up the initial scandalismo that a traditional orthodox person, like myself, will go through without knowing that he repented for this and worked through those issues - so that it is clear to us traditionalists reading it and that we dont misunderstand his life ...that he repented and WAS homosexual as opposed to IS homosexual ... Vasiliki 17:41, March 19, 2008 (PDT)