Wednesday, August 30, 2017

St. Vlad's Seminary and the seditious Amsterdam Conference

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse writes in AOIUSA an article entitled "St. Vladimir’s Seminary Reacts to Amsterdam Conference, Bishops Remain Silent." He asks a very good question: Why are the bishops by and large remaining silent when their clergy start spouting nonsense? The Internet has given an immediacy to the textual purgation of bad ideas like never before. Arians had catchy songs, others had slogans or imperial approbation, but the modern new media publication process makes ready quislings for the deceiver without much effort at all. The words of a simple parish priest no longer have an audience of 200, but of thousands upon thousands when they hit the Internet and the forces at play (a la Public Orthodoxy) encouraging such bunkum need to be met with the same concerted effort that they are applying in disseminating their contrary opinions.

The meeting in Amsterdam organized by Public Orthodoxy several months ago to discuss Orthodoxy and sexuality raised serious questions, some of which have been answered. Thankfully, several attendees withdrew their support of the conference once the questions were raised. Also contributing to their withdrawal was the publication of an article on the Public Orthodoxy Blog by Peter J. (Giacomo) SanFillipo that argued that a renowned theologian of the Russian Orthodox Church was a sodomite (read the refutation here). The conference was poorly conceived and should never have been held.

One troubling question raised was that some of the attendees cited their affiliation with St. Vladimir’s Seminary (SVS), presumably to give the conference a patina of authority it clearly did not have. This fact was not lost on SVS leadership, including the President and the Board of Trustees. Does the seminary want to be associated with a group that by all appearances considers the moral tradition up for grabs, subject to the cultural deconstruction of the kind we see in the SanFillipo article for example? Clearly not it turns out.

Several weeks ago St. Vladimir’s Seminary leadership, clearly troubled by the promiscuous use of the seminary’s name and reputation by some members of the conference, reaffirmed its fidelity to the Orthodox tradition. They wrote...

Complete article here.


  1. "The words of a simple parish priest no longer have an audience of 200".

    Yes, Fr. Johannes has built an outsized influence for himself from the political and theological Right online.

    1. Yes, eliding politics and religion has worked fabulously for Christianity, except when it hasn't.

  2. You got me thinking 123, does Fr. Han's "elide" politics with Christianity in that crude way the "progressive" (or more accurately "secularized") Orthodox are truly worried about?

    I went to his web site and looked at the last 10 posts. The majority are straight up Orthodox Church posts, about 3 are about the interface of Christianity and culture, and 1 appears to be about politics in France on the surface but is really about the culture and "religious situation" if you will.

    I gotta say, you are simply throwing stones...