Love is Orthodox or not?
Causing some degree of consternation is the Romanian Orthodox 2014 calendar which organizers tell pay tribute to gay marriage, which, they say, ‘is in the news all around the world and very timely.’
Opine the creators: ‘A great gift for people who like illustrations, artwork, artistic photography, and controversial art in their decor. These pictures will definitely bring you hope, joy and comfort.’
The calendar was established in 2012 and is the brainchild of a group composed mostly of Orthodox Christian eastern Europeans of the former communist regions.
One of the calendar’s organisers told The Huffington Post that the snaps don’t feature any actual priests.
That said, the models are gay-friendly members ‘of the Orthodox Church‘ who have chosen to strip down for the sexy shoot ‘because they believe – like us – in freedom of speech, tolerance, equality and human rights.’
Goes on to tell a source: ‘This product is not intended to be used for religious purposes. It is a work of artistic expression and political and social commentary promoting the modernity and dynamism of persons involved in the Orthodox Church.’
According to the calendar’s website the primary goal of the calendar is to ‘demonstrate that Orthodox believers do not all fit the backward, hidebound stereotype portrayed in the press but rather are regular people with passions, preferences, interests and desires,’
‘At the same time, the calendar takes an ironic approach to the Orthodox Church itself, which in recent years has baeen embroiled in corruption scandals, artist repression, gay sex cover-ups, outrageous behavior and homophobia.’
Through their calendars, the six creatives behind the calendar are hoping to counteract, what they describe as the ‘negative and outdated influences of most of the Orthodox church leadership.’
Yet that too may be where the problem is as Orthodox leaders have reacted coolly to the calendar, not necessarily outright condoning it but in some measure appreciating the ‘creative’ appeal the calendar may have to creatives and minorities. Of course whether the Church endorses the calendar amongst its regular followers has yet to be openly broached.
Describes the calendar’s website: ‘Some called them terrorists; some did not bother to react. The coolest reaction was from the Greek Patriarchy, who declared ”they did not approve but understand it could be appreciated by creative people and minorities”.
Photo sessions and casting took place in the predominantly Orthodox area of Eastern Europe. Casting calls have been open to the public via online announcement on the promoter’s website.
And then there was this posting on Facebook which brought out a rueful laugh:
I have been told today that “there is nothing Christian about homosexuality” and “that God does not approve” … to witch I answered, “Honey, Jesus hung out with 12 guys and a prostitute. He has more in common with me than with you”
UPDATE received via our email inbox a few days after our post went live: Just to set the record str8, nobody at OC told anyone at Huffington Post that our calendars do not feature any actual orthodox Priest. As our PR materials have consistently indicated, “all our subjects are part of the Orthodox Church” which contrary to what the Huffingtonpost.com said it does not mean they could not be priests.
In fact the most important thing is not who these people are but the message we would like to transmit via our project.