Frederica Mathewes-Green and the Holy Grail

Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green, a long-time friend and well-known Orthodox writer, has an excellent piece in First Things that I had not seen (it’s almost a year old). A friend sent me a link and I deeply enjoyed the read. It is a creative use of sources that I really appreciate in a writer – someone who shows me something about God or the world I had not known or considered. I recommend the read.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.





11 responses to “Frederica Mathewes-Green and the Holy Grail”

  1. Nate Rose Avatar

    Fr. Stephen,

    Greatings Father! I have written once before on your blog and felt compelled to so again. (I am a convert to Catholicism…didn’t quite become Orthodox…but was influenced by Fr. Serephim Rose, St. Theophane the Recluse, etc.) I am not quite sure where to post this so please remove this if it is problematic.

    My question is this: As you are a former Anglican, do you have any comment on the up coming Lambeth Conference? Did the direction that the Anglican Church began to move (women priests, homosexuality, etc.) help your conversion to Orthodoxy?

    Also, what is the relationship between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches? (I was heavily influenced by Pope Shenouda III.)

    Last question, as a Catholic, what is the best way to learn about the Orthodox Church (especially in terms of authority)? As a Catholic, Church authority is very clearly defined. How do the various Orthodox Churches relate to one another?

    Please respond when you can. Thanks for your time, Fr. Stephen. May the mercy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. Pax et bonum,

    – Nate Rose

  2. fatherstephen Avatar


    My conversion to Orthodoxy included a renunciation of the errors of Anglicanism, which predate its modern issues by centuries. My conversion to Orthodoxy was a conversion to Truth and the journey of my heart. I pray only good things for those who remain Anglican and wish only their salvation.

    There is continuing conversation between Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Church(es) with some agreement on certain theological matters, but no agreement as yet concerning matters such as the remaining councils, etc.

    Orthodox Churches (local) relate to one another the way Christ does to His bride – in a communion of love which unites us in one mind and one faith. It gets strained greatly at times by the sins of its members and even hierarchs, but Christ has preserved the Church in the Truth.

    Met. John Zizioulas’ writings might be of interest on Orthodox understandings of communion, though of late he has pushed the envelope a bit, from Moscow’s point of view.

  3. neil Avatar

    Fr Stephen,

    thanks for the tip to read that article by Khouria Frederica. That was really amazing and could have a long term effect of my further understanding of the Holy mysteries, as well as the world as a sacrament.

    I’m getting more and more interested in the Orthodox understanding of personhood and this fits right into the reading that I’m doing. Is there anything else you might suggest reading along these lines? If I’m reading it right, the Wisdom of Solomon seems to speak to this, as well.

    Thanks again.

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    I took the liberty of editing my comments as well as others (removing some) where our conversation was headed in a direction that I think would be less than helpful. Forgive me if my actions as website owner offended anyone.

  5. Wonders for Oyarsa Avatar

    I apologize for my contribution to the aforementioned unproductive conversation.

  6. Jason Avatar

    I very much enjoy your blog and your podcast, and the contributions of your readers. I did not mean to raise any ire. Be assured of my prayers.

  7. papa_rod Avatar

    THANK YOU for a great new resource for me to sink my teeth into!!!

  8. Rachel Avatar

    How utterly fascinating! Why didn’t I think of that?

  9. undertheheavens Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    I apologize if my set of questions started a heated and perhaps unhealthy debate…which from the looks of it led to a new post. My questions were chosen in order that I might learn. Thank you for the information regarding Met. John Zizioulas’. I had never heard of him.

    In closing, perhaps I would like to make a small reflection. I am a devout Roman Catholic and Fr. Stephen is a devout (and in my opinion, very holy) Eastern Orthodox priest. In all likely hood, I will not become an Eastern Orthodox and he will not become a Roman Catholic. Therefore, what are we to do? Argue? Yell? Call each other names? Perhaps we should follow the example of Paul and Barnabas?

    Let us be kind and patient with one another.

    I agree whole heartedly with Fr. Stephen that at the end of the day, it’s all still about God. May we recite with reverence the prayer of the humble Mother of God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

    Again, I apologize for having started any arguments.

    May the peace and kindness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with all of you.

    – Nate Rose

  10. fatherstephen Avatar


    No need to apologize, your questions were quite appropriate. We occasionally bump into one another (Christians, that is) and things get a little odd. I don’t mean to sound tacky, but I have extremely close Roman Catholic friends (some RC priests were former Anglican buddies of mine). Some I count among by very best friends and admire their courage and honesty even if it’s something that I did differently. I know they were and are seeking God. I’m not a relativist about truth, but I think God is good and I have no fear for the salvation of those who seek God. I also know that among the friends who have part of the same path I have walked, I am by far the worst of sinners – and I don’t offer that as a pious platitude, but a sober self-observation.

    May God’s richest blessings be with you and may you always seek Him.

  11. Lucy Avatar

    What an amazing article! I’d be interested to read your response to her thoughts. It is a fascinating concept that has real potential to change at least my own behavior and attitude toward the world. Thank you for the link.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to blog via email

Support the work

Your generous support for Glory to God for All Things will help maintain and expand the work of Fr. Stephen. This ministry continues to grow and your help is important. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Latest Comments

Read my books

Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman

Listen to my podcast