Clergy & Monastics Father Andrew Damick

The Black Russian

Chicken
Orthodox
Unfortunately Father Andrew took a huge swipe at the Orthosphere during his recent Gospel Simplicity interview. Given how sharp he normally is it made me think there is something personal behind it all (though of course there was truth in what he said). I have no way of knowing but I was floored when on several occasions he referred to himself as a "professional communicator" (as if that is not an obvious swipe, lol) and pointed out some non-controversial background info that clearly let those in the know figure out who he was referencing without of course naming names.

At any rate the Orthodox Church has a long history of lay theologians. I believe what is happening now via the internet (going where all the eyeballs are) is a necessary corrective to some weaknesses in the Orthodox leadership in America.
 
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MichaelWitcoff

Ostrich
Orthodox
Unfortunately Father Andrew took a huge swipe at the Orthosphere during his recent Gospel Simplicity interview. Given how sharp he normally is it made me think there is something personal behind it all (though of course there was truth in what he said). I have no way of knowing but I was floored when on several occasions he referred to himself as a "professional communicator" (as if that is not an obvious swipe, lol) and pointed out some non-controversial background info that clearly let those in the know figure out who he was referencing without of course naming names.

At any rate the Orthodox Church has a long history of lay theologians. I believe what is happening now via the internet (going where all the eyeballs are) is a necessary corrective to some weaknesses in the Orthodox leadership in America.
He does have a personal vendetta going on with a particular individual, and I wish he had simply not said anything about it on that GS interview. I like his book “Orthodoxy And Heterodoxy,” and recommend it to inquirers and catechumens constantly, but that is the only content I generally recommend from him.
 

Mulato_Man_Gabe

Pigeon
Orthodox
For the record, I deeply wish the laity did not have to defend our faith publicly the way the debating corner of the Orthosphere has been doing. In Church history it was almost exclusively - if not actually exclusively - patriarchs, bishops, archbishops, and monks engaging in disputations with heretics and schismatics. If our modern clergy took up the banner and sword once more, I’m sure the whole thing would take on a very different character. But since I cannot even think of a modern cleric engaging in debate the way our faithful forefathers did, it is unfortunately left to laypeople to pick up the slack. There are clergy who at least address these topics and do an excellent job, like Fr. Josiah and Fr. Andrew Damick in their books on these topics, but the actual disputations with leading heretics are a missing part of our modern Church that bore great fruit in the past.

Well, we have Fr. Dcn Dr. Ananais Sorem debate Matt Slick and Fr. Patrick (John Ramsey) debate Yabara. So it might be a trend we see more often.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Can you share what he said?

The start of the question is here, Fr. Andrew's answer is about a minute later. Says lay apologists are all are unqualified to make determinations of heresy, many of them don't know original Orthodox languages (and therefore can never know the full patristic consensus), and many are motivated by ideology of 19th century German philosophers. He goes on to say these lay apologists are angry one upper people trying to fill the void of crumbling Christianity. Calls out Jay Dyer (not by name but I know what he's referring to) for looking for people to debate. Goes on to say what is going on on Orthodox internet is not Orthodox Christianity, misrepresents it, calls out Orthodox Christian apologists who have been Orthodox for fewer years than his toddler has been around, calls out a specific Orthodox clergyman who does internet apologetics but doesn't announce who his bishop is. He says the spirit of Christ is to win brethren rather than defeat enemies. He says he is aware of some Orthodox apologists who do not even attend church, and he knows this because of his contacts as a priest.
 
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DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
At least mention names so we know who to avoid. Without names saying all of that serves no purpose except to confuse inquirers "who can I listen to?"

Fr. Andrew is one of the high ups at Ancient Faith, and clearly would rather have people go to his website and listen to his podcasts than other Orthodox people out there who might be the only ones calling out certain evils very closely affecting everyday Orthodox people like myself and my family, right now.

An Orthodox person very close to me will be getting fired very soon for not getting the vaccine. Clergy aren't helping this person.
 
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DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
I've never seen someone in the Orthosphere claim they are great people, infallible, say not to listen to anyone else. We know they're not perfect, they're also not clergy, they aren't held to as high of a standard. They're flawed. And? Their problems are between them and their spiritual fathers. If one is not confessing and going to Church, call them out! Right now Orthodox laity are standing up against the covid tyranny ruining so many of our lives. Patriarch Primus with his exemption document made a huge impact worldwide and has made thousands of people interested in Orthodoxy. Apologetics from people like @MichaelWitcoff keep us grounded and the analysis from him and @Roosh keeps us aware of the broader situation at hand.

People at my church constantly are coming up to me and talking about how their lives are being ruined under this tyranny. The other week I had an elderly Russian woman I met that day come to me and start crying because masks were coming back. Another elderly Orthodox woman was talking to me about getting Ivermectin online. A catechumen mentioned to me she might be losing her job due to the vaccine mandate although she only goes to the office a few times a year. Sunday school reopenings are getting pushed back, canceled, or opening with mask requirements across the country. I've been turned away from a church for refusing to wear a mask when other people in the church weren't wearing masks. I've been told I can't sing along during the liturgy because I'm not vaccinated (though I will admit I don't have the best singing voice).

There are plenty of things for clergy to criticize that aren't Orthodox Christian laity getting their lives ruined. The same clergy calling for unity and civil discussions will turn you away from church for not wearing a facemask.
 
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Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
He does have a personal vendetta going on with a particular individual, and I wish he had simply not said anything about it on that GS interview. I like his book “Orthodoxy And Heterodoxy,” and recommend it to inquirers and catechumens constantly, but that is the only content I generally recommend from him.
Yes, I would not even recommend his podcasts, which flirt with dark aspects of paganism, and are anyway bereft of scholarly citations.

I’m sure Fr. Andrew is a great priest though.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
calls out a specific Orthodox clergyman who does internet apologetics but doesn't announce who his bishop is.
There aren't many Orthodox priests online doing internet apologetics. Is he referring to Fr Peter Heers? I don't think it's in the "spirit of Orthodoxy" to spread negative sentiments about a priest without referring to the specific actions he did wrong. I did watch the portion of the interview, and it seems like he doesn't like the tone or attitude of the internet evangelists, because I did not hear him state that they are making errors or uttering falsehoods. Is he accusing them of pride? Fair enough, we can all work on that, but why do you need to know who a priest's bishop is to know if he's telling the truth or not? If we don't know the priest's bishop, that means we should disregard him? I don't know who Fr Andrew's bishop is. I'm sure he has shared it somewhere, but I don't see the immediate relevancy of knowing the priest's bishop unless he falls into heresy and I want to lodge a complaint.

We can also ask each other: is it the "spirit of Orthodoxy" to use your position to platform non-Orthodox for podcasting by giving them a large voice for the ears of the Orthodox? Fr Andrew is criticizing fellow Orthodox when he allows Protestants on his podcasts to share their views. That confuses me, and I must also state that I don't know what the "spirit of Orthodoxy" is specifically, only vaguely. There can be a place for taking to the heterodox, but his criticisms give me an uneasy feeling. To be clear, I'm not attacking Fr Andrew, just rebutting his concerns to find out what his real concern is, because right now I must conclude he simply doesn't like the attitude of those who speak online because they are not nice enough to non-Orthodox. Maybe I am misreading it.
 

Chasinglogos

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
There aren't many Orthodox priests online doing internet apologetics. Is he referring to Fr Peter Heers? I don't think it's in the "spirit of Orthodoxy" to spread negative sentiments about a priest without referring to the specific actions he did wrong. I did watch the portion of the interview, and it seems like he doesn't like the tone or attitude of the internet evangelists, because I did not hear him state that they are making errors or uttering falsehoods. Is he accusing them of pride? Fair enough, we can all work on that, but why do you need to know who a priest's bishop is to know if he's telling the truth or not? If we don't know the priest's bishop, that means we should disregard him? I don't know who Fr Andrew's bishop is. I'm sure he has shared it somewhere, but I don't see the immediate relevancy of knowing the priest's bishop unless he falls into heresy and I want to lodge a complaint.

We can also ask each other: is it the "spirit of Orthodoxy" to use your position to platform non-Orthodox for podcasting by giving them a large voice for the ears of the Orthodox? Fr Andrew is criticizing fellow Orthodox when he allows Protestants on his podcasts to share their views. That confuses me, and I must also state that I don't know what the "spirit of Orthodoxy" is specifically, only vaguely. There can be a place for taking to the heterodox, but his criticisms give me an uneasy feeling. To be clear, I'm not attacking Fr Andrew, just rebutting his concerns to find out what his real concern is, because right now I must conclude he simply doesn't like the attitude of those who speak online because they are not nice enough to non-Orthodox. Maybe I am misreading it.

I posted something similar on the video 5 days ago. Fair criticism is warranted in my opinion. We should demonstrate that there is a way to constructively critique and that there are better channels to do so. Basically act in the way everyone wishes to be treated and to encourage transparency and positive dialog between Orthodox without involving non-Orthodox.
 

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DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
There aren't many Orthodox priests online doing internet apologetics. Is he referring to Fr Peter Heers?
I can't think of who else he would be referring to, everyone is thinking it's Fr. Peter, but there's still a good chance he wasn't referring to Fr. Peter Heers and is thereby harming his reputation. Also, why do we need to know his bishop unless you want to tattle on him? That's the spirit of the ADL and the SPLC.

Off topic now but nobody can refute what Fr. Peter says about covid and the inoculation with patristics, but Fr. Peter backs up everything he says with patristics. If you don't like the argument and can't refute the argument, shut it down.
 

Chasinglogos

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
There aren't many Orthodox priests online doing internet apologetics. Is he referring to Fr Peter Heers? I don't think it's in the "spirit of Orthodoxy" to spread negative sentiments about a priest without referring to the specific actions he did wrong. I did watch the portion of the interview, and it seems like he doesn't like the tone or attitude of the internet evangelists, because I did not hear him state that they are making errors or uttering falsehoods. Is he accusing them of pride? Fair enough, we can all work on that, but why do you need to know who a priest's bishop is to know if he's telling the truth or not? If we don't know the priest's bishop, that means we should disregard him? I don't know who Fr Andrew's bishop is. I'm sure he has shared it somewhere, but I don't see the immediate relevancy of knowing the priest's bishop unless he falls into heresy and I want to lodge a complaint.

We can also ask each other: is it the "spirit of Orthodoxy" to use your position to platform non-Orthodox for podcasting by giving them a large voice for the ears of the Orthodox? Fr Andrew is criticizing fellow Orthodox when he allows Protestants on his podcasts to share their views. That confuses me, and I must also state that I don't know what the "spirit of Orthodoxy" is specifically, only vaguely. There can be a place for taking to the heterodox, but his criticisms give me an uneasy feeling. To be clear, I'm not attacking Fr Andrew, just rebutting his concerns to find out what his real concern is, because right now I must conclude he simply doesn't like the attitude of those who speak online because they are not nice enough to non-Orthodox. Maybe I am misreading it.
 

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iop890

Peacock
Gold Member
You can literally just go ask Fr. Heers who his bishop is, it's not a secret. He answers YouTube comments and emails, and I've seen him answer the question about his Bishop publicly on YouTube before. He even took the time(despite getting who knows how many emails per day) to find a parish near me that receives everyone via baptism after I emailed him asking about reception via chrismation vs baptism, which is above and beyond what I had asked.

EDIT: Found it.
Clipboard02.jpg
 

Penitent

Robin
Orthodox
I must also state that I don't know what the "spirit of Orthodoxy" is specifically
There is a Greek word that St. Paisios uses in his writings a lot that would maybe explain what Fr. Andrew is talking about, that word being Philotimo. "Philotimo, according to St. Paisios, is the reverent distillation of goodness, the love shown by humble people, from which every trace of self has been filtered out. Their hearts are full of gratitude towards God and to their fellow men, and out of spiritual sensitivity, they try to repay the slightest good which others do them." (quote taken from a footnote in the book Epistles, by St. Paisios).

In the spirit of Philotimo let us try not to stir up scandal if we can, lest we offend anybody. Remember that this forum is public and is read by many people who are not even members.

That being said, just because somebody has been in the faith for less time than a toddler doesn't mean they have no right to speak publicly. Remember that only a few days after St. Paul had been baptized, "Straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." Acts 9:20
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
Probably related to this discussion, Fr. Andrew is involved in a new site called Orthodox Intro, which includes a section specifically warning inquirers about internet personalities in Orthodoxy.

I kind of get his concern given some of the hotheads in the world of online Orthodoxy, but on the other hand it can seem like there's some other agenda behind it. This is pure speculation on my part, I don't really have a dog in this fight.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Regarding @Chasinglogos ' photo of Fr Andrew's response and what @Hermetic Seal shared above, it sure seems like Fr. Andrew is really interested in gatekeeping Orthodoxy. I guess that is a small part of his role as an Orthodox clergyman on the internet, but I want to know from him what specifically Jay Dyer and people like him are sharing that is wrong? You don't like how he lives his life? Okay, what about the theology he shares? Is that wrong? Because from @Hermetic Seal 's link, that's what he's saying.

I've watched a lot of theology related videos from Jay Dyer, @MichaelWitcoff , and others, please explain to me what they are teaching that is wrong.

As Fr Andrew says, emphasis mine:
There are people with big followings on the Internet who are actually brand-new to Orthodox Christianity and have no blessing and no qualification to teach others something that they have only just begun to learn or to practice. They might know a lot of information about Christianity, yet teach a distorted faith because they lack experience in practicing it. Talent and good intentions don’t make one a true teacher. Teaching Christianity is about caring for souls, something you can’t do without the formation of hard experience.
What is that distorted faith? He's making things less clear, why would you make things less clear on a site for inquirers and catechumens? Who are these people, and what are their distorted teachings?

Also, the top Orthosphere people everyone thinks he's referring to actually do have blessings, so he's making it seem like they are some sort of Orthodox e-rogues. Jay Dyer has interviewed clergy, and a bishop led a catechism course through his platform.
 
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