UPDATE Friday, May 5, 7 pm: We had a warm conversation with Fr. John Vlahos, who assured us that he would do everything possible to protect and project the Orthodox Faith in these talks. We both recognized that our children are subjected to an avalanche of social media, peer pressure, and school indoctrination regarding LGBTQ identities… We are all fighting an uphill battle against the “megaphone” of this corrupt ideology. The hopeful sign is that it looks more like a fad, a fashion, than an ideology: it resembles the “tattoo fad,” which is now rather subsiding after many years… But the problem is real: over 20% of young children nationally are already indoctrinated and identify as LGBTQ (although I believe this statistic includes a lot of “experimentation” on the part of many kids and is inaccurate)… I do not see any other way to win this battle than put our feet down in our families, churches, and communities and protect our Faith’s fundamentals.
Meanwhile, Fr. Vlahos did postpone the first meeting of this support group for June 12 (it will give everyone time to take a breath and think) and changed the flyer (see below). Our biggest fear does not have to do with Fr. Vlahos but with the Church leadership; they are the ones who openly promote homosexuality, and they are the ones who undermine the Faith… George Demacopoulos is an “Archon” of the Patriarchate: Why does the Patriarchate make an Archon someone who is against basic biblical teachings?
In the coming days, Helleniscope will expand our thoughts on this issue, focusing on the needs of the parents and children subjected to this unfair brainwashing and how to protect themselves better from deforming their bodies and damaging their lives from this dangerous ideology/fad… We invite any priest, teacher, or theologian to write their ideas on handling this as best as possible.
By Nick Stamatakis
The poster below, from Saint Paraskevi of Greenlawn (Long Island, New York), is announcing “AGAPE”, a support group for parents of children who are “struggling with same-sex attraction”… The support group is supposed to show “unconditional LOVE” and understanding and provide “comfort” in a supportive community… We understand the need to support parents in difficult situations with their children. The Church’s role is to stand by them and support them. But the Church needs to support them based on the Faith. Not in this case… From what we read and learned, this support group in Saint Paraskevi is supposed to accept homosexuality as not a sin. This poster has been circulating nationwide (!!) for about a week and has made quite a splash: We have received countless emails and calls from people who are distressed with one more “novelty” in the times of AB Elpidophoros…
Before I proceed any further, I will let my good friend George Michalopulos of Monomakhos.com, frame this story in the right way: “We should not be beguiled by the sympathies expressed in this flyer which are directed toward the parents of homosexually-inclined children. Soothing words to the contrary, this is not really a “ministry” for parents who have “a child who is struggling with same-sex attraction”. It is instead, pure and simple, an imitation of a ruse first used by homosexual dissidents (and other cultural Marxists) within the mainstream Protestant denominations going all the way back to the 70s.” (Please follow this link to Monomakhos). I will add that these Protestant denominations were ravaged. As a side effect, we had a wave of protestant “refugees”, desperately coming into Orthodoxy in search of the Bible’s eternal truths and meanings.
If we lived in an ideal world, this support group would be like any other support group, a ministry offering services and comfort to the people. But we are not in an ideal world. Instead, we live in a revolutionary era where various activists attempt to change fundamental facts, words, history, statues, and everything around us by throwing to the trash can what were accepted “truths” and “givens” for centuries. When a prospective Supreme Court Judge (Jackson – please link here) cannot define “who is a woman,” all events around us are fluid. Political and social actors try their best to demolish all standard foundations of society, the “glue” that makes us stick together…
And so, we have to question the motives behind a “novelty” such as the “AGAPE” group at
Saint Paraskevi Parish. I know the Parish fairly well; St. Paraskevi used to be the Church I attended for some years and the Church my sons occasionally attend now. It was not difficult to gather more information about this event. I also tried to get in touch and hope to speak to Fr. John Vlahos soon, who Helleniscope supported when he was removed from the NYC Cathedral.
I had to ask further when I learned that the Fordhamite theologian George Demacopoulos is a St.Paraskevi parishioner. Why? Because he and his intellectual “twin brother”, Fordhamite theologian Aristotle Papanicolaou, are revisionist activists who have created numerous videos like the one below titled “The LGBTQ Agenda in Western Orthodoxy”… I am sure you can easily find more online…
More than being just a parishioner, George Demacopoulos has an active life in the parish, being a parish council member (on the Executive Board, which means additional power) and a Sunday School teacher, grades 9-12, among other things. Digging deeper, one realizes that George Demacopoulos is the kind of parent who would likely need the services of an AGAPE support group, as he seems to accept and encourage this “ideology” in his own family – and this is public information.
This is how activists work: they start innocently and gradually expand until the parish belongs to them. Then they will teach all children that “it is not simply OK, but it is preferable to identify as LGBTQ… Christ accepts it!”…
The parishioners have enough “wokeness” to fight against at their school districts – they certainly do not need more in their Church, which they see as a haven… This community and Suffolk County, in general, are conservative. Like most Greek-American communities, they are morally, politically, AND fiscally conservative. They are 45 miles away from liberal Manhattan, but even the Greek parishes in NYC are not liberal AT ALL… On the opposite, the school districts on Long Island are dominated by the teacher unions and their woke activists – very much in synch with academicians like Demacopoulos…
Helleniscope has proven that we do not harbor negative feelings for anyone. We are simply about the truth, and we support the causes of each parish and our community. A prime example was the way we treated certain parishes. In Saint Demetrios of Astoria, we saw corruption and “conflicts of interest,” among other criminal or non-criminal, but reprehensible, behavior. And we wrote about it. Years later, recently, the Archdiocese intervened, taking drastic measures. Whether they succeed is doubtful, but Helleniscope’s exposing the truth was 100% verified! In the case of Saint Catherine in West Palm Beach, we saw a “hostile takeover” of the Parish by the Karloutsos family: they wanted to replace the priest loved by 80% of the parishioners. It seems that this hostile takeover was prevented… Again we were verified – and thanked by the parishioners.
We are not here to enter a theological dialogue with the revisionist Demacopoulos. But we are here to warn all “activists”: This community made you part of it, embraced you as a human being, and accepted you. It did it because they are profoundly and genuinely Christian. You also must respect the community: it is not patient with your well-hidden attempt at indoctrination. Enough is enough. I know a few parishioners who already left for other parishes because of this “support group”. And I know many more who will leave immediately when they learn more about it.
My question to Fr. John Vlahos and the Archbishop is this: Do you want to chase away the faithful from one more wealthy parish? Saint Paraskevi is among the wealthiest parishes of GOA. Do you want, a few years later, to return and take action as you did recently in Astoria and elsewhere because the parish will be financially insolvent?
Dr. Demacopoulos and whoever agrees with him have many opportunities to form such “support groups” in the local schools (with their active PTAs), the local libraries, and other places. They can find plenty of support there. In the Orthodox Church, the main objective of such support should be to train the parents to help their children abandon their LGBTQ identities because the Orthodox Church recognizes and denounces these sins.
Providing comfort is accepting that homosexuality is part of the Orthodox faith. When was the last Orthodox or Panorthodox Synod that accepted this? If we let this go, what would the next step be? Start a support group about adultery? Not mentioning once that adultery is a sin and the support group is about repentance?
DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.