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:
Castro Russian Orthodox Churchgoers flee in advance of Gay Protest
Churchgoers flee fearing the wrath of a Rainbow at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/08/26/castro-russian-orthodox-churchgoers-flee-in-advance-of-gay-protest/