I know dozens of gay bishops and priests from Greece, Russia, Serbia and France. All of them are leading a double life: in public they condemn homosexuality as a sin but still live quite peacefully with it in private.

Homosexuality is not an obstacle for ecclesial career for the Orthodox, but it cannot be addressed publicly at any time.

An Orthodox priest from Saint Peterborough whom I know was once horrified by the emancipation of the homosexual in Finland. ”Why on earth are there all these Yhteys-liike movements and gay-unions?” The priest admitted that there have always been gay bishops, priests, monks and nuns in Russia. They are tolerated if they do not make a noise.

In the Orthodox countries in Balkan and Eastern Europe homosexuality is still a taboo. Here in Finland taboos are different.

The demand for condemning homosexual relationships, presented by conservative Orthodox theologians a week ago has been an expected move. Fundamentalism is rolling in the Orthodox world. Hannu Pöyhönen, Markus Paavola and Heikki Alex Saulamo have gone to their Orthodox schools in that atmosphere of orthodoxy.

I do not insist that Pöyhönen , Paavola and Saulamo accept homosexuality, but these gentlemen are also leading a double life. They are presenting themselves as Doctor and Masters of Theology but their argumentation is straight from Poltavian market square parliament.

There might be one good consequence in this gay hunting. The Parliament might finally realise that times of state churches are over. Why should they finance an institution which is with this kind of devotion concentrating on the destruction of our multicultural and tolerant democracy?

© Jyrki Härkönen, March 2007 (Column of Jyrki Härkönen translated by Ortodoksinen Sateenkaariseura, 20.3.2007.)