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A Tragedy in Finland

We like to report good news. However, sometimes, with profound sadness, we have to report bad news. This is only in the hope that such reports will awaken the conscience of Orthodox and bring prayer and repentance.

The 24 parishes in Finland and 100 chapels and communities, which claim a membership of over 60,000, have had the status of an autonomous Church within the Patriarchate of Constantinople since 1923. Ever since the group’s foundation under Archbishop Herman Aav in 1923, it has been known for certain Lutheran tendencies which have infiltrated among some. Increasingly less traditional since Protestant liturgical innovations were introduced here and there, a few members in the Church seem to wish to renounce the Orthodox Faith completely, in favour of a Scandinavian-style, politically correct, humanist and secularist mishmash, an ‘a la carte pseudo-Orthodoxy’. This is against the wishes of the majority.

The Roman Catholic calendar and paschalia, ecumenism, freemasonry, liberalism, divorced priests and homosexuality, usually brought into the Church from ex-Lutheran converts, isolate a few of the Finnish parishes from the other Local Orthodox Churches. Indeed, many Orthodox clergy refuse to concelebrate with certain priests, pretexting the danger of falling under the Orthodox anathema for serving on the Roman Catholic paschalia. Today in Finland four Russian parishes have been formed. Some Finns prefer to go there rather than to attend certain Finnish parishes.

Over the last few years a few of the Finnish parishes have undergone a crisis which is now breaking into the awareness of Orthodox worldwide. This concerns the homosexuality of some of its members. One Greek website, surely in an exaggerated way, has even referred to ‘a gay mafia’. It is true that it was widely rumoured in the 1920s that the beardless Archbishop German Aav was himself homosexual. Whether this was true or not, we cannot say. And it is also true that homosexual couples are allowed to take communion not only in several Finnish parishes, but also in at least one parish of the Paris Jurisdiction, as they were also in one parish of the old Sourozh jurisdiction of the late Metr Antony Bloom, against the view of Metr Antony himself (nothing to do with the new, Orthodox Sourozh jurisdiction) and, it is said, in certain parishes of the OCA, but these must be exceptions. Obviously, if a bishop or a cleric were himself a practising homosexual, then the rot would spread very quickly.

We have known of the homosexuality scandal in the Finnish parishes for many years. Now a new book has appeared. Written by members of the Finnish Orthodox Church in the moderate and balanced terms one is accustomed to from a Nordic country, it nevertheless states the Orthodox Truth on homosexuality, for all those who wish to hear it. This can be found at:

We would ask all our readers to pray for the many brave souls in the Finnish Orthodox Church, clergy and laity, who are scandalised by the apostasy of a few.

The many Russian Orthodox immigrants in Finland now attend Russian Orthodox parishes in Finland. Thus a division in the country has already occurred. This mirrors the situation in Estonia, England, France, Belgium, North America, where tiny but often powerful and wealthy, Protestant-minded, semi-Orthodox groups exist side by side with large normal Orthodox groups, which follow the universal Orthodox Tradition. We should all pray for the majority in the Finnish Orthodox Church, who are fighting for the integrity of the Orthodox Church and Faith.

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