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Amen. I did that. I went before my elders and said, "I committed adultery". I didn't try to save my marriage. I told them frankly, I didn't want to. I got excommunicated. I went to another church and before I "joined" I met and told the priest all that had happened. I stood down from all public ministry until called back up. (I didn't do the false humility of excommunicating myself.) Delusion runs deep. Repentance is hard. Forgiveness is hard. Transformation is hard. Seeing the consequences of you sins following you 20 years later is hard. Grace is hard. A married man with multiple "soul mates" whose version of "repentance" are lines from a simpering romance novella is a weakling. How can someone who cannot even look in the mirror and bear his true self, but only the false lightweight he's created in the image of a resume to get a spot on "Oprah" bear the martyrdom of marriage and family? May God have mercy on his wife and family...there is no man in the house.

Fr. Jonathan,

I hope you do in fact e-mail Gov. Sanford your prescient comments. Speaking the truth in love to power: how like the church to be the conscience of the atate.

Fr. Paul Becker (LCMS)

You're probably right; he more than likely won't read this (unless, maybe, I E-mail him the link).

The capital of this fair state, Columbia, smallish as metro areas go, has parishes or missions of the OCA, the Antiochian Archdiocese, the Greek Church, and ROCOR. Any of the clergy of these communities, I would think, would be more than happy to assist Governor Sanford, his wife, and sons in "seeing the true light" and restoring their marriage and family.

No, David, I disagree with you.

Your ability to confess -- even these very comments -- are evidence of the real sort of confession, remorse and reparation that makes a man. There is nothing vaudevillian in your material.

You stared reality in the face with your wife, your boss and spiritual father, and waited on grace.

Blessings,

Fr. Jonathan

I wish I could be as manly as you suggest father.

I do a fair job of the other kind of, as you say, vaudevillian material, with my wife, my boss and my spiritual father.

I even confess on other people's blogs, when I should have been confessing last night after services.

Dear Mom,

Blessings on you in your travail. My heart goes out to anyone who says, correctly, "bah and fie on it all."

The topic was tangential in this post, but not nearly so tangential in previous posts, and not nearly confined to your particular situation either.

How did you say it? Bah and fie.

Blessings,

Fr. Jonathan

And BTW, sorry about focusing on your tangential, not your main, topic, but I'm sure you can understand my preoccupied state of mind.

I completely agree with your assessment of Sanford's "rambling, incoherent acid trip" and of this weird phantasm, "soul matey-ness." Bah. Bah and fie on it all.

". . . a plaguey mass that makes the Mosaic series in Exodus look relatively wholesome."

Just a minute before I read this, a friend and I were discussing how we are eventually going to have to inform our teens of the present Orthodox scandal, but how? It is so hard to explain or summarize. A sex scandal is almost always a simple story (as you so clearly portray with your "rewrite of Sanford's script"). Money and power, that gets complicated. I'd have to say that maybe you have provided the summary we were looking for. Plagueier than the Mosaic plagues. Yep. That about sums it up.

Not that it'll provide enough details for telling our kids that their Archdiocese is in flames and who lit the match, but it sets the scene.

Sigh.

And everyone frets about young people ditching the Church when they go to college. I sure don't want to hear one more effing sermon about how it's all pop culture's fault until a long time after this plaguey mess is blasted away from our Church.

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