Giacomo Sanfilippo’s Unholy Vendetta Against Faithful Orthodox Priests and Teachers

Giacomo Sanfilippo Unholy Vendetta Against Faithful Orthodox Priests and Teachersby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –

Via multiple posts and articles full of hysteria, wild exaggerations, distortions, and innuendos Giacomo Sanfilippo (also known as Peter J. Sanfilippo), has been relentlessly defaming and attacking several Orthodox Christian priests, bishops, and seminary professors. Why? Because these men dare to publicly and fearlessly defend the Orthodox Church teaching on homosexual sin and warn the Church about many false teachers (like Sanfilippo) and deceitful venues that question, challenge, mock, deconstruct, contradict, and distort Church teaching, practices, and theology, especially regarding morality, human sexuality, and marriage.

Since 2017 Sanfilippo has used his inappropriately named “Orthodoxy in Dialogue” website, his Facebook pages, and his Twitter accounts to maliciously condemn these good men and smear their reputations. Sanfilippo has launched an unholy personal vendetta against these priests and teachers and is fomenting rebellion inside the Holy Orthodox Church.

These priests have not responded in kind to Sanfilippo’s malevolent taunts.

Even worse, Sanfilippo has been recruiting others to join him and support his undignified endeavors. He’s intensifying his public character assassination campaign against these men. While he harasses and bullies faithful and honorable priests, he paints himself as a victim. (Included at the bottom of this post are several examples of Sanfilippo’s own public writings.)

Sanfilippo is specifically targeting: Father Josiah Trenham, Father John Whiteford, Father Hans Jacobse, Dr. David Ford, Father Lawrence Farley, Father John Parker, Father Joseph Gleason, Metropolitan Joseph, and Metropolitan Tikhon. He has written outrageous things about these men (see below). He has insulted and belittled them. He has spread many falsehoods and innuendos about them. He has even accused them of “murder” for preaching the right theology of the Orthodox Church. And he refuses to stop, despite several pleas from some of these very same men, who have shown genuine Christian love towards Sanfilippo and advised him to repent and abandon his rebellion against the Church.

These men have endured these vicious attacks with dignity and honor. These priests have not responded in kind to Sanfilippo’s malevolent taunts. They understand that they can’t answer a fool according to his folly, lest they also become like him, as the Proverbs caution.

We must speak out in defense of the righteous shepherds.

But, brothers and sisters in Christ, while we don’t engage fools in their folly, we must warn the Church about them. We must caution the innocent and the vulnerable to stay away from false teachers like Giacomo Sanfilippo and other corrupt impostors and hirelings. We must warn the sheep and point out the depraved wolves who are trying to lead them astray. We must speak out in defense of the righteous shepherds.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, these faithful men are our brothers. These innocent men are true shepherds of the Holy Orthodox Church. Sanfilippo is trying to silence their voices, besmirch their good names, negatively impact their livelihoods, hurt their families, and scatter their sheep. While they chose not to defend themselves, we must defend them.

while we don’t engage fools in their folly, we must warn the Church about them

The rest of the rational flock cannot sit in silence. “Not only for every idle word must man give an account, but for every idle silence,” Saint Ambrose warns us. We must not remain quiet. We have a duty to speak up and affirm these shepherds’ right preaching and teaching. We need to praise and support these good men.

We cannot witness these constant defamatory statements and not expose and denounce them. We have a duty to admonish the false teachers and call them to repentance. As Saint Paul the Apostle has told us: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Giacomo Sanfilippo is scandalizing the Orthodox Church and attacking Her right teaching and faithful priests and teachers. He’s bearing false witness when he insists these men are “unworthy.”

We, on the other hand, bear witness to the Truth and tell the entire Church that these priests and teachers are worthy:

  • Father Josiah Trenham
  • Father John Whiteford
  • Father Hans Jacobse
  • Dr. David Ford
  • Father Lawrence Farley
  • Father John Parker
  • Father Joseph Gleason
  • Metropolitan Joseph
  • Metropolitan Tikhon

AXIOS! They are worthy!

– Fr. Ioannes Apiarius

line divider

Giacomo Sanfilippo, in his own words:

Goes after Metropolitan Joseph and attacks Father Josiah Trenham:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/17/on-josiah-trenham-why-the-deafening-silence-from-metropolitan-joseph/
Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s publication earlier this week of An Open Letter to Metropolitan Joseph: Stop. Trenham. Now. by a clergyman of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (AOCA) represents the culmination of several articles in which we have voiced our opposition to Father Josiah Trenham’s alarmingly harmful, misogynistic, homophobic, inhumane, anti-Orthodox, and sacrilegious “teaching,” “preaching,” “pastoring,” and even “liturgical practices.”

Calls Father John Parker and Father Josiah Trenham “partners in homophobia”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/01/20/priests-partners-in-homophobia/
Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers will recall that Fathers Parker and Trenham have a shared mission to travel the world preaching a “Gospel” of queer bashing.

To the best of our knowledge, though, Father Trenham alone has earned the distinction of coming to the attention of the Hatewatch Staff (the Hatewatch Staff!) at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Calls Father John E. Parker “internationally known homophobe”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2018/07/21/st-tikhons-seminary-appoints-internationally-known-homophobe-as-dean/
On July 5 it was announced that “[t]he Board of Trustees of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA, has named the Very Rev. Archpriest John E. Parker III, D.Min., as the new Dean of the school.”

We do not use the epithet homophobe lightly. Yet it seems to us that a priest who travels halfway around the world to vilify Orthodox Christians who fall somewhere other than strict heteronormativity along the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity — and who agitates proactively to silence their voices — fully deserves the name in the public forum.

Father Parker’s appointment as dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary does not bode well for the near future of robust theological dialogue in the Orthodox Church of North America and beyond. What can the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop Michael, and the seminary Board of Trustees intend to signal by this unfortunate choice?

Labels Father Lawrence Farley’s writings “homosexual fantasies and rabid homophobia”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/07/14/same-sex-love-child-rape-yes-father-lawrence-farley-went-there-by-giacomo-sanfilippo/
The utter incoherence of Father Lawrence Farley’s rhetoric, driven by a combination of his homosexual fantasies and rabid homophobia, crosses an unconscionable line in his “Two Men in Bed Together”: A Failure of Exegesis of July 12, in which he responds to my From the Fathers: The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like…Two Men in Bed Together? of July 10.

In a future article I will respond to the actual substance of Father Farley’s two articles to show how he lies, misrepresents, diverts, dog-whistles, and engages in character assassination.

Or maybe I won’t. He has absolutely nothing to offer, and is probably not worth any more of my time.

Attacks Metropolitan Joseph and his diocese again:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/04/editorial-the-morality-of-the-antiochian-orthodox-christian-archdiocese/
If it’s true that Metropolitan Joseph objected to a thoughtful article by one of his priests on how to minister to LGBTQ persons and include them in the liturgical, sacramental, and community life of the Orthodox Church, this raises serious questions about the “morality” of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese.

Attacks Metropolitan Tikhon and his diocese:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/07/21/our-response-to-the-ocas-general-counsel/
Please convey to Metropolitan Tikhon, as well as the other members of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, our astonishment that they would have you contact us about the harmless use of a church camp photo, late on a Saturday night from your personal email account, when our repeated requests for a pastoral response to white supremacy and racism in the American Church, the plight of the LGBTQ children, youths, women, and men of their flock, and even a priest to accompany a man on his path to repentance from adultery, continue to go completely unheeded.

Calls Father Hans Jacobse “one of our greatest Orthodox homophobes”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/04/editorial-the-morality-of-the-antiochian-orthodox-christian-archdiocese/
Father Hans Jacobse
I knew Hans back in seminary where he had a reputation as one of St. Vladimir’s greatest limp-wristed lispers. How he went from that to one of our greatest Orthodox homophobes is not hard to figure out.

In 2006, I emailed him naively thinking that we were friends, that I could “come out” to him, and that he might publish on his website a theological exploration of same-sex love that differed from his approach. (I wrote the first draft of A Bed Undefiled nine years before I submitted it in final form as my MA thesis, and was asking for dialogue eleven years before I started Orthodoxy in Dialogue.) Upon learning that I was gay he replied tersely: “I pity your kids.”

Father Jacobse lost his mind over my harmless bit of fluff at Public Orthodoxy, Conjugal Friendship. Like Father Lawrence Farley in the OCA, Father Jacobse manages to find a tangle of penises, mouths, and anuses lurking behind every word I write, no matter how spiritual a vision of same-sex love I strive to articulate.

What was worse were the comments that he allowed to be posted about my person on his website. Let there be no mistake: Father Jacobse vets and approves every comment you see there (I know this for a fact), even though he coyly chides, “Oh, the terrible things you say about Giacomo/Peter. I’ll toss you out of this conversation if you don’t stop.”

Father Jacobse’s website and Meg Lark over at the TradOx Facebook group drove me probably as close to ending my life as I’ve ever come. (I can just hear David Ford at St. Tikhon’s Seminary cooing, as he once did in an email to me, “Oh, you fragile gay people.”)

Accuses Father Hans Jacobse of inventing a bizarre “moral tradition of the Orthodox Church”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/19/the-joy-of-same-sex-love-a-response-to-father-aaron-warwick-and-bridging-voices-by-giacomo-sanfilippo/
(In connection with this, Father Hans Jacobse’s equally bizarre invention of “the moral tradition of the Orthodox Church” also comes to mind.)

Calls Father Josiah Trenham “American Orthodoxy‘s most homophobic and misogynist priest”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/04/editorial-the-morality-of-the-antiochian-orthodox-christian-archdiocese/
Father Josiah Trenham
As Orthodoxy in Dialogue has reported extensively, Father Trenham has established a worldwide reputation as American Orthodoxy ‘s most homophobic and misogynist priest. In this role he has earned the distinction of being profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch Staff.

It’s one thing to “teach” and “preach” in such a way that people report escaping from your parish. It’s one thing to believe that sexual and gender diversity in human nature presents its own particular challenges to life in Christ (my own position, actually). It’s one thing to hold mock funeral services for the United States when gay marriage is legalized. It’s one thing to make children, women, and men who read and watch your garbage question their faith, their God, indeed their sanity.

Petitions Metropolitan Joseph to silence Father Josiah Trenham:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/17/on-josiah-trenham-why-the-deafening-silence-from-metropolitan-joseph/
Respectfully I encourage Your Eminence to order all of Father Trenham’s internet content taken down from wherever it appears—Ancient Faith, Patristic Nectar, YouTube, etc.—until it can be thoroughly evaluated for its appropriateness and its consistency with the Orthodox faith; to have Father Trenham issue a retraction and apology to be published by Orthodoxy in Dialogue and the AOCA website (as Father Warwick was ordered to do); and to communicate your awareness and handling of this troubling situation with our readers. Orthodoxy in Dialogue stands at the ready to publish whatever words of reassurance you submit to us.

Accuses Dr. David Ford of encouraging radicals to “execute” him:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/31/suddenly-im-afraid-by-giacomo-sanfilippo/
All it takes is one radicalized crazy watching John Parker’s video calling for me to be drowned and fed to sharks, one crazy reading David Ford’s applause for Parker’s speech, one crazy watching Josiah Trenham’s praise of Sharia law for executing people like me.

Accuses Father John Whiteford of “ignorance and pastoral malfeasance” for challenging Sanfilippo’s pro LGBTQ agenda:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/11/father-john-whitefords-appalling-ignorance-and-pastoral-malfeasance-by-giacomo-sanfilippo/
Whenever Father John Whiteford weighs in on questions of sexuality and gender, he can reliably be counted on to repeat, like a cracker-craving parrot, an inflexibly doctrinaire, pseudo-theological, and pseudo-pastoral ideology grounded in precisely no actual knowledge of the matter at hand.

In Father Whiteford’s predictably uninformed response to Father Aaron Warwick’s Pastoring LGBTQ Individuals in the Orthodox Church, he crosses the line from ignorance to pastoral malfeasance—to which I will get in my third point below.

1). “…[I]t was somewhat of a surprise to see that an Antiochian Priest, Fr. Aaron Warwick, had written a pro-homosexual article and published it via a notoriously pro-homosexual website ‘Orthodoxy in Dialogue.’”

If my untiring advocacy for queer Orthodox children, teens, women, and men driven to despair by the likes of Father Whiteford and like-minded priests makes Orthodoxy in Dialogue “notorious,” I wear my notoriety as a badge of honour and gift from God. (See Editorial: Rod Dreher’s Limited [and Theologically Meaningless] Vocabulary for the names of other priests who are a spiritual, emotional, and psychological danger to LGBTQ children, teens, and adults.)

2). Father Whiteford’s voyeuristic fixation on same-sex sex whenever the subject of same-sex love comes up for discussion fails to take into account the fact that sexual orientation—not unlike transgender identity—begins to manifest very early in a child’s consciousness. Is Father Whiteford prepared to tell a 5-, 7-, 10-year old that he or she will have to spend his or her teen dating years and adulthood either in loneliness or play-acting as straight?

Accuses Father Josiah Trenham and Father Joseph Gleason of promoting “wife-beating”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/06/12/the-good-wife-according-to-father-josiah-trenham-does-metropolitan-joseph-approve/
Neither Father Josiah Trenham’s (here) nor Father Joseph Gleason’s (here and here) dangerous views on marriage represent Holy Tradition with respect to the nature of the husband-wife relationship. Ignore them. For a more wholesome exposition (although by no means the final word) see our St. Paul on Marriage and On “Orthodox” Wife-Beating.

If it seems extreme to bring wife-beating into this conversation, psychotherapists who follow Orthodoxy in Dialogue closely have been unanimous in their warnings that, whether intentionally or not on their part, these priests’ perversions of “theology” set the stage for any manner of abuse of wives and children.

Disparages the late Father Thomas Hopko of blessed memory, faithful Orthodox New Testament scholar and former Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/11/father-john-whitefords-appalling-ignorance-and-pastoral-malfeasance-by-giacomo-sanfilippo/
Father Thomas Hopko’s notoriously ill-conceived Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction reaches its nadir of bad pastoral theology when he counsels gay men who are capable of opposite-sex intercourse (and how would they know, unless they experimented with premarital sex?) to marry an “understanding” woman.

Calls Orthodox Priests and Teachers who publicly criticize the LGBTQ agenda “shriekers and screamers”:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/01/30/a-temporary-farewell-some-parting-thoughts-by-giacomo-sanfilippo/
If you identify somewhere along the LGBTQ spectrum, don’t let the Church’s shriekers and screamers—including certain priests (you know who you are, Fathers)—get you down.

Accuses Five Orthodox Priests of “murder” for their right preaching on homosexual sin:

https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2019/02/09/priest-to-priest-an-open-letter-to-fathers-damick-farley-jacobse-parker-and-trenham-by-an-archpriest-and-grandfather/
Father Andrew Stephen! Father Lawrence! Father Johannes! Father John! Father Josiah! If you don’t stop your very public spiritual malfeasance online and in your travels, how many spiritual deaths will be accounted to you before you’re finished? How many physical deaths?

In how many young hearts will you murder God before you’re done?

———————————
— NOTE — Giacomo Sanfilippo himself used to be priest, but he was defrocked by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America. I “was suspended from the priesthood in 1995, was divorced in 1999, and was deposed from the priesthood in 2002,” Sanfilippo admits. He appears unable to come to terms with that fact. “Thirty years later, and sixteen years after my deposal for reasons entirely unclear, it never leaves me,” Sanfilippo writes.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

7 thoughts on “Giacomo Sanfilippo’s Unholy Vendetta Against Faithful Orthodox Priests and Teachers”

  1. Sanfilippo needs to be excommunicated. Apparently defrocking him did not send a strong enough message. Enough is enough already!

    Reply
  2. I am highly offended! 🙂 What do I need to do to get on the list!
    I have also written against the heretical article referred to below: https://orthodoxyindialogue.com/2020/01/04/editorial-the-morality-of-the-antiochian-orthodox-christian-archdiocese/

    If it’s true that Metropolitan Joseph objected to a thoughtful article by one of his priests on how to minister to LGBTQ persons and include them in the liturgical, sacramental, and community life of the Orthodox Church, this raises serious questions about the “morality” of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese.
    ……

    The priest who wrote the article has been silenced, and is not talking publicly about his false teaching, which remains on the Orthodoxy in Dialogue site. One of the drafts of my letter to him was actually published on this site. I later changed it a bit, because, as is almost always the case, the gay agenda took something out of context, and emphasized it, ignoring the rest of my message. This is the emended text.

    Dear Giacomo:

    I have edited the letter. Some parts of it have incited people, so much that I think the rest has been ignored. I would appreciate it if you would replace the letter content.

    Fr. Aaron Warwick has been rebuked by his bishops and directed to issue an apology, about the letter he published to a homosexualist “Orthodox” website. His elevation to Archpriest has been cancelled. If this was horseshoes or hand grenades, we should praise the Antiochian Bishops. But this is about truth and falsehood and how sexual falsehood kills souls. It is also about how people are fooled by the homosexualist propaganda, and are deluded into saying things that they think are reasonable, and pastoral and loving, but are actually heresy, and toxic to the soul.

    Fr Aaron issued a non-apology apology. He did not address the theological errors of his letter. He missed a great opportunity to fight the homosexualist agenda.

    Father Aaron has been embarrassed and such. He’s been allowed to write a non-apology apology. The homosexualist heretics look for any advantage they can have. I am certain that they consider this a victory. One can see how dishonest they are by the fact that they will not take down the article written by a man who thought he was being a reasonable person.

    If Father Aaron really wants to make good over his serious error, he would swallow his pride, and write vociferously about how His poor reasoning, in which he said things that are outright heresy and kill the soul. Then Father Aaron would actually be benefiting the faithful, and would be repenting of his sin. He would be helping to fight against the homosexualist agenda. If he lays low and licks his wounds, he will still be an enabler.

    There is no other thing to call what father Aaron did except that it was sin. That’s a terrible word for some people and seems so judgmental but when a priest preaches heresy it is definitely sin. His non-apology didn’t say that he preached heresy. It just said that he was misunderstood. Well, you can get that line about being misunderstood from a hundred articles on those websites.

    I have since learned that Fr Aaron does a lot of marriage counseling. This burns anybody out. Cynicism is at the door. It is a lion, lurking about. I know about this cynicism, because I do extensive prison ministry. This is one of the most difficult crosses a priest must bear. I felt cynicism in Fr Aaron’s letter. I do not blame him for that, having been there and done that, but I can still recognize it, and it always leads us in the wrong direction.

    Fr Aaron has an excellent podcast. I listened to an episode, and was very impressed. He has pastoral skills. He has a pastoral heart. Fr Aaron can emerge from his serious sin a better man and a better priest. He can make the homosexualists rue the day they caught him in their net. May God give him the strength to achieve this. Priest Seraphim Holland

    [This letter has been modified, because certain parts of it were interpreted to be threats, and even an attempt to lynch Fr Aaron. I was even reported to Facebook, as a bully. Those who know me would never accuse me of that reprehensible term, but on Facebook, truth or personal relationships can be irrelevant. I categorically deny that that was my intent, and regret that the deleted words offended some people. To those who were genuinely offended, I sincerely apologize and ask your forgiveness. I am attempting to engage Fr Aaron publicly, because he wrote a public letter with bad pastoral advice. Please engage the substance of my letter. I will take my lumps for it. That is okay. This is an important issue, and Fr Aaron has the talent to make a real difference. Priest Seraphim Holland. I do not live in the shadows. My email is seraphim@orthodox.net]

    Reply
  3. I am aware that in addition to Father Seraphim Holland there are many other faithful Orthodox priests and teachers who have spoken out against the scandalous teachings spread by Public Orthodoxy, The Wheel Journal, Orthodoxy in Dialogue, Fordham University’s Orthodox Center, and Lazar Puhalo. Since those men and women were not made direct targets for Sanfilippo’s personal vendetta, I did not mention them in my article. The names of those 54 different Orthodox Christians are all listed in this post: https://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2019/07/warning-to-orthodox-church-false-teachers-and-deceitful-venues-that-contradict-and-distort-church-teaching/

    The following priests and one reader also deserve our praise and recognition for their public preaching to help the Church and warn and protect the faithful from the wicked works of homosexualist activists who embrace the LGBTQ heresy:

    • Father Alexander F.C. Webster
    • Father Gabriel (Hieromonk)
    • Father Zechariah Lynch
    • Father Patrick Reardon
    • Father Michael Wood (Hieromonk)
    • Father Joseph Birthisel
    • Father John Cox
    • Father Herman Majkrzak (Hieromonk)
    • Father John Guy Winfrey
    • Father Andrew Stephen Damick
    • Reader Dr. Alfred Kentigern Siewers

    AXIOS! They are worthy!

    Reply
  4. SanFilippo’s idea of “dialogue” is “shut up and do what I say!” Sodomy is a pernicious vice. It damages the soul and causes its proponents to rail against anyone who criticizes it. Rod Dreher called Sanfilippo a “bitchy queen.” The excerpts posted here prove it.

    Reply
  5. It’s worse than anyone imagines. Giacomo Sanfilippo has declared all out WAR against Fr Josiah Trenham. When Sanfilippo is among other friends and supporters on his Facebook pages he lets his guard down completely and says things like this:

    Giacomo Sanfilippo – Feb 1, 2020 at 6:44 PM
    Still welcoming letters to the editors and longer, open letters (published as articles) on why Josiah Trenham needs to be taken down.
    sanfilippo-takedown-trenham01

    Giacomo Sanfilippo – Jan 29, 2020 at 10:51 AM
    Guess whom we’ve contacted re: Josiah Trenham. Time for them to do a follow-up.
    https://www.splcenter.org/
    sanfilippotrenham-splc02

    Giacomo is attempting to sic the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Fr Trenham and recruit the hateful and anti-Christian SPLC to go after this innocent priest and further attack and savage him in public. This is so sick!

    For those not familiar with The Southern Poverty Law Center you can read these essays:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center Is the Most Dangerous Hate Group in America
    https://www.christianpost.com/news/the-southern-poverty-law-center-is-the-most-dangerous-hate-group-in-america-196712/

    How The Southern Poverty Law Center Attacks And TERRORIZES Conservatives
    https://dailycaller.com/2018/03/14/how-the-southern-poverty-law-center-attacks-and-terrorizes-conservatives-a-first-hand-account-from-a-former-member-of-congress/

    Southern Poverty defends its attacks on Christians
    https://www.wnd.com/2017/07/southern-poverty-defends-its-attacks-on-christians/

    Bloody hands: The Southern Poverty Law Center
    https://www.wnd.com/2013/02/bloody-hands-the-southern-poverty-law-center/

    Reply
  6. “Sanfilippo needs to be excommunicated. Apparently defrocking him did not send a strong enough message. Enough is enough already!”

    Wait, is Sanfilippo a communing member of an (canonical) Orthodox parish?? Which one (he is in Europe right)?

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Fr. Ioannes Apiarius Cancel reply

4 × five =