Recently, it was brought to my attention that my latest crankiness about an American Journal of Public Health article suggests at least a mild, and backward, prudery on my part.
I am not sorry for this, neither am I proud. Forlorn is more the word.
I will continue sounding prudish and moralistic. I will even risk sounding pietistic (though I am sure Yannaras errs in his estimations), not because I am offended by sin or phobic about it, but because I believe without a doubt that it kills and passion destroys. It is time to be more moralistic, not less.
In the same way, I will continue sounding exclusivistic and insensitive, and very much too dogmatic for the tastes of most gnostic ecumenicists. I do not do this to protect my worldview, which is completely unimportant and ultimately irrelevant.
I am exclusive about Orthodox Christianity because I know, and am persuaded, that any consciousness leading away from the Nicene theoria of the Holy Trinity must lead to insanity, and metaphysical anguish.
I will not, nor can I, apologize for my old-fashioned and revivalistic concern about my own people and for you, dear reader: I want you saved.
It is all because Heaven is by definition a public place. The other place is quite private, as it is the very definition of privation and despair. It is possible there to pretend disbelief forever, and to refuse the Grace that will have become, in that place, corrosive fire.
Here is a passage from the beautiful, priestly heart of +Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), that might give a clue to the wisdom of prudery today:
If contemporary pastors dare to take upon themselves the responsibility before God of admitting them to Communion, then it is in view of the general corruption of Christian morals and the Christian way of life, which has made the struggle with sin incomparably harder for the sons of the Church than it was before, when there was a general zeal for salvation, when people stimulated each other to moral struggles and were ashamed of their sins before each other. Now society's attitude to sins and virtues is exactly the opposite, and so it is already necessary somewhat to soften the requirements of the book of penances, but only within certain limits, lest the priest should also burn in the same flames as the sinners he had unlawfully admitted to Communion.
(from Confession: a series of lectures on the mystery of repentance, 1983)
I read this with fear and trembling, but as priests generally do, we will take the risk of offering Communion when we are all unworthy. That is a much greater danger.
Compared to this mortal danger, being called a prude is nothing. Nothing at all.