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Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up Thousands more stood in the square outside to receive the flame, representing the resurrection of Jesus, which passed from candle to candle and will be taken back to Orthodox churches worldwide.

The ceremony is the holiest event for Orthodox Christianity.

The number of priests who take this approach only seems to be growing in spite of—perhaps because of—the increasing tolerance of the world around them. To be sure, I can’t possibly know the nuances of this situation, but Pappas elides over some very important distinctions.

In general, an Orthodox priest is not going to deny a communicant the sacrament because he or she is a homosexual.

Gregory Pappas has a good opinion of himself, so what’s the Church’s problem?

I think I’m going to tell my priest that I’m not coming back to confession, because in my opinion, I’m a good person, and he’d better not deny me communion, or else I’m going to call him a “fundamentalist.” More Pappas: The good news for me and my Church is that since this incident, which I wrote about here, I’ve heard from more than two dozen Greek Orthodox priests and even two bishops, inviting me to their parishes to receive Holy Communion.

Pappas is right that Orthodox priests follow a pastoral practice called , which grants a pastor discretion in how strictly to apply rules in a given situation.

The church is built on the site where according to Christian tradition Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. Tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims gathered at Christianity’s holiest site in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday for the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter.Paul speaking in past allegory of the children of Isaac, son of free Sarah -- to the children of Ishmael, son of slave Hagar; compared in Paul's time to unbelieving Jews and believing Christians; and the same Jewish persecution in our modern times."The Kingdom of Heaven will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit." (Matthew -43) "It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise." (Romans 9:6-8)"Who is the liar?

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