Orthodox Christians Respond to an LGBT Protest With Joint AAPrayer of Clergy
and Laity of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and the Russian Church
Православие.Ru, 30 августа 2013 г.
Western American Diocese: August 26, 2013 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.
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
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