The Russian Orthodox Church provides an official and shameful response to Castro LGBT Protests

By Melanie Nathan, August 25

The Russian Church took our protests this Sunday very seriously and below is their response.  After you read it  you will note that nowhere do they take a  single sentence to show care or concern for persecuted LGBTI people in Russia.  The Orthodox Church has refused  to dialogue with us, and they failed to respond to our concerns.  Instead they fled in advance of our picket outside the Church, and knowing they would not be there, that there could of course be no harm, still called the police on us.  When we arrived the Church was locked and there were 3 patrol cars and two officers on bikes. All for nothing. (My report on the Sunday picket is linked below.)

There is no decency in their response. Just disrespect and further confirmation that the Church is in fact complicit in the persecution of Russia’s LGBT gays.

The police showed up to persecute the gays – or so the Church thought, but instead the police sided with us giving us the right to protest outside the Church. In the meantime the Church and its Parishioners fled the scene before  we even arrived arrived. I have never seen such a shameful response to a call for dialogue and such  disrespect by neighbors for LGBT Americans and the persecuted Russians.

If this all Archbishop Kyrill has to say on the subject then shame on the Russian Orthodox Church! Shame on you for not even caring to show your concern for oppressed Russian LGBTI. Read on and then link to my report which is provided beneath this statement from the Church:

THE CHURCH PROVIDED THIS RESPONSE TO Melanie Nathan via Facebook and then it appeared on the WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE website dated : August 26, 2013
Orthodox Christians Respond to an LGBT Protest With Joint Prayer of Clergy and Laity of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and the Russian Church Abroad

Clergymen and laity of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia responded to an LGBT protest with joint prayers.

On Sunday, August 25, 2013, a protest was held before St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in San Francisco, CA, by local LGBT members against legislation passed in Russia last June banning the propagandizing of homosexuality to children. The day before, blogs on the internet called for supporters of the LGBT community to gather at San Francisco’s Patriarchal cathedral during Divine Liturgy with anti-Orthodox and anti-Russian placards.

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, clergymen Protopriest Georgy Roshchin, Representative of the International Russian People’s Council to the United Nations, and Hegumen Nikodim (Balyasnikov), both of St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City, traveled to San Francisco to support the local parishioners.

On August 25, Archbishop Justinian spoke via telephone to His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America of ROCOR. The archpastors discussed the unfolding situation, after which they came to the decision to hold joint prayers the next day in the Patriarchal cathedral. Priest Leonid Kazakov, Rector of St Nicholas Cathedral, gave advance notice to the planned action to the local police and to Mr Sergei Petrov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in San Francisco.

On the morning of August 25, Archbishop Kyrill and His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle, Vicar Bishop of the Western American Diocese, arrived for the beginning of Divine Liturgy, where they prayed and partook of the Holy Gifts of Christ. For the edification of the worshipers, the archpastors brought with them a reliquary with portions of the relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco from the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco.

Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Fr Leonid and Hegumen Nikodim. Praying at the service were parishioners of St Nicholas and laity of ROCOR.

After partaking of the Holy Gifts, Archbishop Kyrill and Bishop Theodosius performed a moleben with the other clergymen, during which litanies and supplications from the rite of the Triumph of Orthodoxy were intoned.

Bishop Theodosius then read a sermon. Fr Leonid welcomed the archpastors on behalf of his parishioners, thanking them for their prayerful support and words of guidance. Protopriest Georgy and Hegumen Nikodim then thanked the hierarchs on behalf of Archbishop Justinian.

By Divine mercy, neither the cathedral nor any parishioners suffered any violence from the protesters. Member of the police secured the protest area and did not permit the breaking of any laws. The clergy and parishioners of St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral of San Francisco expressed thanks to Archbishop Justinian and Archbishop Kyrill, Bishop Theodosius, the clergymen from New York’s St Nicholas Cathedral, as well as all the other clergymen and laypersons who supported them that day.

After you read this selfish and shameful response, please read my article of what really transpired at the event:

Photo061319Castro Russian Orthodox Churchgoers flee in advance of Gay Protest

Churchgoers flee fearing the wrath of a Rainbow at

31 thoughts on “The Russian Orthodox Church provides an official and shameful response to Castro LGBT Protests

  1. The parishioners are saying that they decided to leave early in order that their children not be exposed to AIDS and other loathsome diseases, as well as any displays that might be inappropriately vivacious for children to witness.

      1. Why on Castro? On cross Church and 15th😉 For 50+ years, 7 years before Summer of Love…:)

        Why do you people always need to exaggerate at list just a little bit? “Russian” vodka, Church “on Castro”, Putin eats gay teens for breakfast, shameful respond of “Kirill”:) Because you are very expressive by nature?:)
        Peace, love, bubble gum:)

        1. And you have demonstrated your bigotry in this comment invoking stereotypes as well as in my prior article about Castro Protests. Calm down Julita – you are safe and no one is out to hurt you or take anything away from you. You are not a victim here. You have all the freedoms and rights in the world. You have chosen to live in America and you have the good fortunate to be able t0 live in the land of the free RIGHT? So calm down …whats your problem? Who is hurting YOU? And after you settle down, think a little bit about that young gay teen who Putin stops from getting proper counseling – the affirmation that he is not the devil and the hope that his confusion – will not lead to his suicide. Because people like you perpetuate myths about gays – the law vs propaganda is based on those very myths the lie that you and your bigotry perpetuates – that gays can influence someone to be gay. If you have something worthy to say go ahead…

          1. I don’t know why you are reacting this way Melanie. I am as calm as pacific ocean, trying to protect my people, my church (just what you do for your people) and trying to make jokes in foreign language. You would not be able to provoke me for any kind of conflict, no matter what you do, I am too old for that, plus there are three gays I cannot imagine my life without (two dead and one alive). I was just saying that you are ready to believe any lie (even that Russians are so stupid they don’t know in 21st century that they cannot get aids just by walking by) if it fits your needs. But yes I am repeating myself. Ok, ok, I got it – it was a great media event for you.
            However, there is one thing that is bothering me personally as a mother. I am passing Castro and 16th every day while taking my kid to and from school. It’s not too rare to meet a person there who wears nothing but a fish net. Honestly I am so freaking too old fashioned to feel ok about it when my child or my dad is around. That is something that I don’t personally accept. And how was I supposed to know that all protesters would be wearing whole outfits on Sunday, not only halves of it? Sorry people, I know you are decent and everything, but how was I supposed to know who are you bringing with you?
            P.S. I know the difference between “education” and “propaganda”. I am from Soviet Union.

            1. “And how was I supposed to know that all protesters would be wearing whole outfits on Sunday, not only halves of it? Sorry people, I know you are decent and everything, but how was I supposed to know who are you bringing with you?” Wow – a shocking comment indeed. What a revealing show of fear. That all gay people are…like this or like that …hence run away from them? Should I run from YOU and shield my children’s eyes from YOU and ALL women because some straight women walk around topless or in shorts that creep up their butts? That shames me too – when I see a straight woman with pants creeping up or see through outfits I want to shield my children’s eyes. But that does not mean I am going to presume an entire population are the same. That is so ignorant!!

              Your bigotry still prevails when you show your stereotyping based on a few. You make the assumption that just because you see a handful of gay people under-dressed – sometimes- that there is an entire population of gay people who are likely to show up dressed with fishnets? Where do you get off on make such a terrible assumption unless you are stereotyping gays. It is that exact form of stereotyping that has caused your ROC to be complicit in the anti-gay laws in Russia. Hence you are making the admission right here on my BLOG that you see all gay people as likely to show up somewhere under-dressed?

              Hey I am a MOM TOO- I dont want my kids seeing uncouth vulgar stuff either! That does not mean I am going to dmeonize an entire community.

              So wow, now i see your fear and its real fear but the sad part is that your lack of understanding and education is in your stereotyping – the major cause of fear which usually equals hate!

              1. Trying to make a monster out of me? By the way, I take my son to a wonderful wonderful lesbian doctor, we are going to her for years and paying out of pocket because we have insurance that she doesn’t accept. My best in the world hair stylist is very much gay and extremely handsome, with the wonderful sence of humor. My mom works with half dozen of gay men and women doctors and nurses at the hospital, and she respects them and are friends with some. I live in pretty much gay neighborhood, there is a gay couple living next door and we sometines walk our dogs together. Another well-dressed gay I know by walking dogs is a chef in a great restaurant, and we often chat on the streets. Very close friend of mine is gay, he lives in Moscow. Come on! I am normal!!! I am not freaking out BECAUSE you are gay or lesbian! Believe it or not, Russians are not as wild and stupid as you may think.

          2. I’m not sure I get the point of expressing opposition to policies of the Russian government by protesting at a Russian Orthodox Church. Neither of the Russian Orthodox Churches in America have any legal or corporate ties to the Russian government or Church, so these protests are an example of ethnic or religious bigotry, just as much as protesting at a Presbyterian or Episcopalian church would be, were one protesting the British government. Any protesting should be done at the Russian Consulate, as they are the direct Representative of the Russian Federal Government.

            1. You are wrong . The ROC has had a direct influence on the anti-gay Russian Law. Putin is connected to the ROC. The Church here is connected – please read my original article about the event where we show the connection. This is what I wrote –

              “Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I, who lives in Moscow, is a leading proponent of the law. Patriarch Kirill is a longtime supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two leaders both strongly back the recently enacted anti-gay propaganda law that bans any pro-gay statement or demonstrations in public or private and on the Internet. The law, which was enacted in June, has drawn international condemnation.

              Speaking in the English-language Moscow Times on July 21, Patriarch Kirill said of same-sex marriage:

              “Those who are true to their conscience in fighting these minority-imposed laws are subject to repression. It’s a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse.”

              The St. Nicholas Cathedral in the gay Castro district is under the control and direction of Patriarch Kirill, who in December 2010 appointed Father Leonid Kazakov of the St. Petersburg diocese to lead the San Francisco church. Emails and voice mails to the church were not returned.

              This action is designed to show the love and beauty of LGBT people through the display of the rainbow flag, our international symbol of acceptance and respect for our community. ”

              THAT SAID playing the victim by the oppressor is tired and very usual and you seem to be doing that here with your comment. No one is interfering with the rights of the ROC to operate freely and enjoy religious freedoms in America. We are merely asking that the ROC and the Catholic Church and the Evangelicals keep out of LGBT secular business.

              1. It seems to me that with the reported displays of tasteless sensuality going on at these protests you are attacking the church and impeding their right to carry on with their business. That along with the negative result of angering Russians into even more provocation and violence may indeed make you feel better but it’s almost certainly going to harm people in Russia.
                I’ve lived in Russia and always found that homosexuality isn’t really that much of an issue, for all that transvestites are universally despised there. These protests play into the Russian perception of Americans as complete degenerates. They make things much harder for those of us who do business there and it’s only a matter of time before American businessmen and tourists start getting fag bashed, gay or not as the case may be.

                1. I don’t recall waving rainbow flags in THE CASTRO to be in the book of tasteless. The Church has chosen to reside in gay haven? I dont think Americans should do business in Russia until the anti-gay laws and hostile attitude towards LGBTI changes. Sorry I think Russian hating gays are degenerate. I think parents kicking gay kids out of their homes are degenerates where ever they may be! . I believe in complete divestment from Russia until Putin changes his law and we may as well include all those other human rights infractions that should keep our dollars here in the USA. David, you have obviously not done your homework – either on this site or elsewhere. You are right not doing business with Americans is a jolly good idea. Moving Sochi Games with American sponsors such as Macdonalds, VISA, GE and others is an excellent idea. People in Russia are already being harmed. I dont see what my silly little protest on a street corner in the Castro can do SO MUCH HARM! Wowo talk about attributing power to the powerless. Thank you! But lets be real all of this is embarrassing Putin . Maybe he will think twice before he next signs some law that leads to heightened persecution of a minority. And lets hope he shits himself until, such time as he is sure that Western sponsors are too cowardly to retract pending the relocation of the SOCHI Games. So if you worried about getting “fag bashed” as you call it – dont go to Russia. I dont think you should be doing business there anyway. Seems our silly little plan may be working after all… right? people like you afraid?

              2. YOU Yourself gave me link to the blog of main BoycotLatvianVodka activist, where above and below photos of my church was dozens of photos of half- and three-quater-naked men. Where I ever said that ALL gay are like that?! I said that you posted request to support you on multiple blogs, HOW DO I KNOW WHO WOULD COME SUPPORT YOU?!! Why not couple of these cute dudes from Petreilis blog?? And why should I spend any time explaining my kid who are you and what you want if he does not know yet how babies are made and what kind of sexual relationships exist between adults? Was I supposed to lie to him??? Find some cute explanation? How was I supposed to explain him Boycote Russian Vodka banners in front of our church?!!! We don’t drink vodka in church, and my kid is not exposed to it in any way. Why do we all need it??? Did I deserve it? Did my son deserve it? Because you found great reason for media event? Good bye Melanie, it was a valuable experience to talk to someone who doesn’t hear you.

      1. You are just like Putin and his law. Nothing about you Julita is different. You make the case for us. You are saying that its not okay for gays to be around children? Or am I misunderstanding the nuance here? What do children have to do with Sundays’s rainbow flag waving

        1. And you know why I am saying “how was I supposed to know who are you bringing with you?” Because you shared a link with me to a blog of ProtestRussianVodka activist, Michael Petrelis. And here what I found there: So how was I supposed to know who is coming? Do I have the right not to expose my son to naked flesh in front of our church? Does this wonderful country give me this basic right? Or I am offending gay community by it?:)

  2. Stand up and proud ….. against the laws passed by this country who, rather than forward, is going backwards!!!

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    And the news continue to come in ….. church’s response!!

  4. Dear Melanie Nathan: The ROC does not prosecute members of the LGBT community nor does it protest at the LGBT Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco. For the moment, we still enjoy freedom of religion. We respect yours, please respect ours. Wishing you peace, Serge

    1. What does the MCC have to do with me? That is not my religion. You have freedom of religion BUT deny e my sexuality in the secular world. Your Church interferes. My right to my sexuality is not free from your religious dogma pronouncing on secular law to curb my freedoms. How hard is that to understand Serge? And yes you DO PROSECUTE gays in Russia by law that came from support and at the urging of your Church/ ROC. Now if you meant “persecute” yes you do that too because ROC incited and supports a persecutory law.

      1. Dear Melanie, why are you so bitter toward the ROC and not the countries, as pointed out by the Very Rev Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko, that murder members of the LGBT community. The ROC has never killed anyone for being LGBT, but a priest (perhaps more than one) has been murdered in Russia, and churches have be damaged, burned, destroyed, etc.Peace to your heart, Serge

        1. Dear Serge, I never knew anything about the ROC until the Anti-gay laws came about I received the information of its involvement. So to accuse me of unfounded or preconceived bitterness is misdirected. Clealry the people in that Church have suffered their own forms of persecution over time. But being persecuted does not give you a right to become an oppressor. ROC is oppressing LGBT people through its support of Putin laws, its calls for the law in the secular realm, its denial of one’s natural right to one’s sexuality and also the reparative therapy practices it encourages or endorses such as “cures” for being gay through prayer. The suicides of youngsters who have been told than can be cured or who have been outed and then shamed by the Church is tantamount in my book to killing. There are other Churches equally guilty – such as Evangelical based Churches and others… But pointing the finger at others is no excuse for anyone as REV Stefan Pavlenko has done. In his private conversaitons with me he eeps asking me to go after Muslims instead of the ROC.

          1. I am sure he is not asking you, but offering you try to go after muslims, and spill middle eastern oil and gasoline in front of City Hall. Try to boycotte oil – it would not only be good for gay, but also for environement. Or, why not to try to boycotte chinise goods. Latvian LGBT would really appreciate it.

            1. Rev. Stefan and I have had a good private discussion. He does not harbor the resentment against me that you do. He and I have a good understanding and it is without the vitriol that you seem to suggest necessary for the discourse . please time to stop your venom and let it all rest. No one at your Church has been hurt or even came near to it,. I wont be responding to you again, save to say its time to stop the drama and focus on the people who are really being hurt.

              1. Melanie, sorry if I went too far with sarcasm in some of my comments, that is my defense weapon. I am glad that you were able to meet Russian cleric you are not demonizing, Fr. Stefan. Maybe now you will believe that not all Russians are evil, but only 99% of them %) All right, enough is enough:) Good night.

                1. I have never said all Russian are evil.Not sure where you got that? Sheez why would I be defending Russians and aspending so much unpaid time and energy on people I think evil. I want freedom and happiness for all people and Russians included. Thats why i do what I do. Not because I get paid!

  5. Pingback: The Russian Orthodox Church provides an official and shameful response to Castro LGBT Protests | Daily Queer News
  6. Another sign of the bigotry and disgusting nature of the LGBT community. Why can’t they just let people believe what they want? Instead they force people to accept them, and pay off those who won’t but have other interests? They are worthy of no respect.

    1. Says he who has 100% pf his civil and human rights in tact. The oppressor always the victim HO hum!!!

    2. For those of you who believe the Putin lies, that LGBTI people are safe, can be left alone entitled to privacy, and are not persecuted in Russia under his new law, here is a shocking example. This notice posted by the administrator of a building illustrates that the so called “anti-propaganda” laws have led to widespread persecution of gays.

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