no one should be proud to be orthodox because of this article...why do we expose the faults of others when God can easily expose our faults...we know what that priest did was wrong, now what?
Because this is the reason why we are Orthodox - because our Church does not give to dogs what is Holy. Its unthinkable ANYTHING like this happening in our Church.
Now, our church is not perfect, but the way we treat our sacraments are. Its not perfect in terms of perhaps domestic issues. But it is perfect in the administration of sacraments. This IS Orthodoxy: The administration, the attitude and the respect towards the Church sacraments is perfect. This is not man-made.
Problems arise in the Church perhaps due to domestic issues (a bishop may not get along with another bishop, or a priest may not have been wise with respect to how he treats someone in the Church) - but regardless - never would there be anything remotely like this happening.
This is why I AM orthodox!
I myself was invited to attend an Ecumenical Mass at the Roman Catholic Church in paris. They invited an Orthodox Christian (ME), a protestant Christian, an Anglican, a baptist etc, to pray for the unity of the Churches.
The Roman Catholic priest asked me, at the end of the mass: "Would you like to distribute the Body of Christ"? I said "Father, I am Orthodox, and above all, this should be done by you." - so, guess what he did??
He (the RC Priest), gave the Body of Christ to the protestant woman to distribute. She doesn't believe it was the Body of Christ. And all this was to make us "feel at home".
This would NEVER happen in an orthodox Church. It is ironic that after attending this mass that was directed at Ecumenical Unity, I felt that I really did not want to be part of the Roman Catholic Church. I have NEVER seen anything in my life as disrespectful as this in a Church.
That is why I am Orthodox, and the point is this Sod:
Others think like me also. Others who happen to be Anglican, Catholic, Baptist think like me also, and they will have NO choice BUT to become Orthodox.
We expect there to be problems in ANY Church - sure! Problems of people not getting along, foolish clergy perhaps.. but even if a clergy in the Orthodox Church was stupid - let's say, his stupidity would not let him disrespect or compromise anyway the respect due to the Holy Sacraments simply because we follow certain unbreakable rules of protocol.
An orthodox priest, during the Administration of any of the 7 sacraments, CANNOT just do whatever he wants... or say whatever he wants, or behave in a way that he wants (no matter if his intentions are good or bad). He MUST follow the protocol of the Church. WORD FOR WORD.
Every mass, baptism, marriage, confession etc that I have attended has been EXACTLY like the one before it. No change. Whether in Egypt, Canada, America, Belgium, France, England, Ireland, - you name it! All the priests were different. Some priests, I didnt get along with, some I did.. but ultimately, the sacraments were 100% the same. The way they were treated was EXACTLY the same. The words used, the protocol, the gestures were 100% the same as those done anywhere else.
The ONLY difference is that perhaps ONE priest may decide to include the Gregorian liturgy (or parts of it) during the Liturgy of Saint Basil, and MAYBE a deacon MAY feel tempted to sing some doxology that is rare for a saint that he happens to love, but that's about it.
Outside the scope of administration of the sacraments, the priest can indulge in any folly he may wish, but that's fine - because that's in his own private life (if that's the case!).
I remember one priest (Abouna Daniel), he ran his own prayer meeting, and it was charismatic. THE PRAYER MEETING! not the mass, not the liturgy, not a baptism, not a marriage.. A PRAYER MEETING!! - He was excommunicated in a new york minute!! lol
I mean, YES YOU SHOULD BE GLAD, if not proud to be orthodox!! Its a huge reassurance and blessing.