Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Greek Catholic option

An honorable option for conservative Catholics in America but probably a sinking ship.

A conversation:
What I liked about the movie Doubt is it got the sides right. Conservative nun trying to protect kids from Father-hip-and-with-it who used clerical privilege and liberal ideology to get want he wanted: sweet young boy.

I don't trust priests and have a very low opinion of the hierarchy. The closer and deeper you get into the institutional Church, the uglier and dirtier it is.
Yeah. People think we worship our priests but that's not our teaching plus familiarity breeds contempt. Italians are mildly anticlerical that way.
Yeah, don't get close to the priests. Always a mistake. Be friendly but not too close. Yeah, I am mildly anticlerical myself. Not in an ideological way; I just think most of them are queer, omega-betas, or (small minority) very evil. Better to keep distance from those folks.
The Orthodox priests never came onto me but they have their own, theological problems.
Well, in my experience (very limited) most Orthodox parish clergy have a wife or have been widowed. Yes, they have theological problems, and they have a lavender mafia problem too, but at the parish level, I don't think the problem is as bad. But I could be wrong. I've only met one celibate Orthodox parish priest, and that was because he was a monk. He was a very happy celibate - he very obviously has that gift. Nothing gay about him at all, a very normal guy. Celibacy for him was not a way of hiding or escaping, but a way of being. But that's just one. All others were married.
Most Orthodox parish priests are. My old pro-Catholic priest was a monk. Their monasticism never took off in America. I'm all for married priests based on their model. Eastern Catholic churches here were treated badly - caused two schisms for no good reason.
Yes, I think a married clergy on the Eastern model would be a good thing on the whole. And I agree completely that the Eastern Rite Catholics here in the States were treated terribly. The Irish couldn't stand them. And the Germans and Italians were apathetic towards them.
As a son of the 1930s schism has explained, their Slovak neighbors back home understood them; American Catholics didn't. Now his church is a lost cause for no good reason. In schism and having drunk the Orthodox Kool-Aid, idolizing their culture: "we have returned to the true faith," blah blah.
Yes, sad. Many suffer in the Church from the Church; others are driven from the Church by sinful and ambitious men. God understands and gives them grace.
I agree. True of the good-hearted people who were driven out; all they wanted was their neighborhood parish where they could pray in peace. Some of those Easterners, and Italians who started neighborhood churches and were turned down by the bishop. In Philly there was one where the bishop accepted the new parish; in Hackensack he said no so they became Episcopal. Yikes.
Ick. Episcopal? Not good. Fakey fake. You go from a legitimate desire for a neighborhood parish to sodomy and witchcraft in the sanctuary. Yow.
As with native Anglo-Catholicism you have the irony though that their congregationalism enabled them to resist Vatican II pretty well but at what cost? The Episcopal flag in that place creeps me out.

They're conservative - under a less liberal "flying bishop." But he ordains women so what's the point? And no, women priests aren't at St. Anthony's, but still.
Sad. Yeah, Episcopalianism is battery acid. Destroys the mind and the soul. Perverse all the way down.
Theologically St. Anthony's is a dead end like the Polish National Catholic Church. Similar circumstances to sympathize about, but unlike them and the Orthodox, the Nats' founder was a troublemaking LIBERAL. They're people who don't realize their church makes no sense, and priests from Poland who switched to get married. The thing that kept them sane is conservative Polish culture.
Yes, the PNCC is a sad case. I do feel bad for them but they don't have a future. Unfortunately, I think they are a harbinger of what's up for the SSPX.
Right, they, the Slavic Orthodox here, AND the Slavic Greek Catholics here are dying out.
Right. No future for the splinters. Nor should there be. Rites are not ethnic, they are geographic. The West is for the Latin Rite. The people who come should adopt it eventually. That is the natural course. That doesn't mean the Eastern Rites should be suppressed; they shouldn't. But the natural flow is for the Latin Rite to be dominant and for the other rites here to disappear over time.
Yes! The Eastern rites do fine in their homelands. Like the reverse would happen too. Latins moving to Slavic Galicia would become Byzantine in a few generations. Overlapping rites in one country is unnatural and novel, and it came to tears in America.

Me, I wouldn't mind if the dominant Catholicism here were Byzantine; I could and would live in that rite again - perfectly Catholic and traditional, beating the Novus Ordo. But here it ain't gonna happen.
Right. If I moved to the Ukraine the dominant rite would be Byzantine, and as a Catholic I would go to the dominant Catholic rite. But here the natural rite is the Latin one. Even putting settlement patterns aside, the Americas are within the ambit of the Latin Rite. That doesn't mean the Latin Rite is superior; it just means that it is the rite here by nature. So, it is natural that the other rites fade over time.
Which is exactly what's happened and not by design.

Third- and fourth-generation Ukrainian-Americans are Latin, Protestant, or nothing, not Greek Catholic.

Some Catholics are called to move to the East. I think Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) should be their patron saint. (Catherine de Hueck Doherty makes a good candidate for Catholics going in the other direction. Ex-Orthodox who remain Byzantine, as they automatically do, have St. Josaphat and Leonid Feodorov.) But what we're describing is still happening.
Right. The natural course. What should have happened is that the Irish should have been more accommodating to the Easterners and just let time and nature take its course.
The Orthodox lose people like crazy too, because when you make your culture your religion, your idol, even if your culture is good, the kids leave when they become American.
Plus people who are really spiritual see through that. They understand that the ethnicity is an idol and that that's not what the Gospel says.
Right, so you're left with the dumb and parochial, like the PNCC, and bigoted (anti-Western). THAT'S American Orthodoxy, plus the messed-up, self-hating Western converts.

The church is best as the Church Local, ONLY when it is also part of the Church Universal.

An unchurched or nominal Protestant being ignorant buying that the Orthodox are the church, I can see, plus being turned off by the Novus Ordo. But do a LITTLE homework - hell, watch old movies - and you'll see Catholicism in all its truth and beauty.
Right. Remember, Orthodoxy exists because of Tsars and Sultans. Its entire reason for being is to hate the West. Sad. The Council of Florence solved the Schism. Orthodoxy really only dates from after that point. Once the Schism was healed, the petty princes and the Ottoman sultans got to work. Once Byzantium fell, the tsars realized the benefits of a non-papal church they could control. And thus, Orthodoxy is born and nurtured. The "Real Easterners" are the "Uniates."
I wouldn't go as far as saying the "real Easterners" are the Uniates. And when you're Catholic you don't have to believe the Uniates are perfect.
Right. Just like the Latin Rite isn't perfect.
I'm a moderate: I love both the pure Byzantine Rite and the old latinized version the online snobs turn up their noses at. BOTH exist in the church! As they should.

There is a kind of Eastern snob online, almost never an ethnic, who would rather hobnob with mainliners and academics and blather about mystaliciousness and women deacons than have a bunch of embarrassing conservative Catholics take refuge from Vatican II at an Eastern Catholic parish. Orthodox anti-Westernism's cousin. Reason I am Roman Rite. That and it's my home, and I don't like the way they treat my home.
Agreed. I have no problem with the various rites and their uses. I would like to see a restoration of the older sub-rites within the Latin Rite, for example, and I am a fan of the Dominican use for the Latin Mass.
Sure. Sarum re-enactments are fine too even though they have no future. The real Sarum Use was in Latin (historical fact; traditionalism is not about Latin) and under Rome.

When it comes to Catholic rites, there's the Gamaliel principle: if it is meant by God to prosper here, it will. If not, it will fade away.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:04 pm

    The real problem that the Orthodox have is the spirit of Schism, which is one of the prime reasons they exist as ethnic enclaves in the US and the Middle East. Once that spirit takes over and starts driving things, the actual technical differences don't matter. Look at the SSPX during B16's pontificate. They were offered everything they wanted, but it was never enough. Always another demand, always another opt-out, always another objection. PNCC is in the same boat. Once the spirit of Schism sets in, the actual differences don't matter. We'll come up with differences and then invest them with imagined significance ("you don't commune children, obviously you deny the Real Presence!!!!!!" said the spittle-flecked Orthodox fanatic).


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