Monday, September 22, 2014

Obese Clergy- The Elephant In The Room

I have been trying to write an article on Obese Clergy (for there are so many of them) for weeks now. I am honestly at a loss. Don't we fast? Don't we live a life of sacrifice- IN PARTICULAR- shouldn't the Orthodox clergy? I see a Bishop, a Priest, a Deacon, a Reader, a Monk-- and so many are FAT! JTO Readers- write this article for me in the comment section- 




  1. Anonymous9:51 AM

    I think there are two important factors that contribute. First is the level of physical activity. Our clergy is typically not doing physically demanding work and their schedules may not allow time for an exercise program. second is the social aspect - many parishioners love their priest and express that love through food. Whether it's inviting them to dinner, scheduling meetings over lunch or baking their favorite dessert for coffee hour after Liturgy, it's how many show their appreciation. Let's face it, baklava is not a weight loss food. So even with regular fasting, I can see where it's hard to stay thin. And should clergy worry too much about their appearance? Is that not vanity?

    Of course, I would rather our clergy not be obese because I pray for their health and obesity is such a terrible factor in so many health problems.

    Guess that doesn't help much.


  2. I agree, Dan.

    There is no elephant in the room. I've never met a layperson who was scandalized by a fat priest. Fat priests will have to answer for their sins, just like loquacious priests will have to answer for theirs, and priests with tempers will have to answer for theirs. But there is no elephant in the room. Since we are writing the article in the comments section, I propose the article go like this:

    Some people get upset when they see fat priests.

    They should focus on their own sins, and move along.

    Gluttony is a sin, indeed, but so is lust, anger, malice, pride, jealousy, and the rest.

    Sinners need our prayers.

    How sad that some priests develop diabetes or eating problems as a result of the stress of they are under.

    Let's pray for each other.

    THE END.

  3. Anonymous8:54 PM

    This is something I have reflected on and while I agree that we must first examine ourselves, I think there is something to this question. The truly pious among us want very little from the world and seek few, if any, of it's comforts. I think the Church and sadly, Her Clergy, have focused more on administration and their personal subsistence, rather than worship (in Spirit and in Truth, not in performance). This lack of focus on the purpose of the Church has led to excesses in the world manifested in very physical ways, gluttony and self-indulgences being two of them. I also think that rather than excuse our weaknesses, we should strive to encourage one another to be strengthened in our spiritual battles, that we might all move closer to God. - Marina


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