Sunday, November 02, 2014

In voluntate tua, Domine, universa sunt posita

  • Mass: In voluntate tua, Domine. Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness, that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. The parable of the wicked servant who was a hypocrite.
  • Single and Catholic: how the church has failed the unmarried.
  • Happy All Hallows.
  • Some good news from throughout the church: Dom Benedict (Benjamin) Andersen's now a priest, and as of today, the faithful remnant from Good Shepherd, Rosemont, the Fellowship of Blessed John Henry Newman, is Catholic.
  • Modern(ist) Orthodox bloviation: Kallistos (Ware) on the Synod on the Family. He seems not to understand non-contradiction, or, regarding divorce and remarriage, "sometimes adultery is OK" doesn't fly, no matter how you spin it, and that "collegiality" means all the bishops, as indeed all of the laity in a different way, are responsible for defending the church's unchanging, unchangeable teaching (which we believe IS merciful as well as just), not the "hope" of changing doctrine by vote like a mainline Protestant denomination. Orthodox ecumenists, and their quisling wannabes in but not of the church, want us to dump our doctrine (which is what lefty secularists want!) and ask their sect to receive us economically. That the Orthodox buy into "the spirit of Vatican II" tells me that underneath the traditional liturgy, the ethnic folklore, and the basic (Anglicanish) credal orthodoxy, there's really nothing there. Maybe that's why Catholic liberals tolerate the Eastern liturgies; if they took them seriously, they wouldn't have invented the Novus Ordo.
  • Mainline hand-wringing. As I like to say, if I thought I could invent a church that I thought would please as many people as possible, including me, it would be like the Episcopalians. And then, just like them, I'd flop. You probably know what I believe. There is only one church. It has its teachings: read scripture, the catechism, the Mass, and the offices. That said, it's not a perfectionistic cult. There are many levels of participation, many of which don't meet the church's minimum. From the Latin cultures where virile young men aren't really expected to participate, with the nonnas' voodoo-ey take on the faith, to the people who go to Mass every week, read the texts, and try to follow them. A big tent, a hospital for sinners, etc. Ultimately Jesus says, "Look me in the eye and know who I AM. Do you believe me?" By the way, I hate the term "post-Christian." Sounds like apostasy.
  • Does the church ask too little of us? No. Catholicism asks for just enough. Go to Mass, fast, and abstain when the church says, commune once a year, confessing if necessary, etc. See above. We're the church, not a cult.

33 comments:

  1. "That the Orthodox buy into "the spirit of Vatican II" tells me that underneath the traditional liturgy, the ethnic folklore, and the basic (Anglicanish) credal orthodoxy, there's really nothing there. Maybe that's why Catholic liberals tolerate the Eastern liturgies; if they took them seriously, they wouldn't have invented the Novus Ordo."

    That is the money quote John. There really is nothing there with the Eastern Orthodox. They disdain reason and philosophy. All the best scholarship that has been done on the Eastern Churches is done by Catholics, not Orthodox. Reading writings from some of their Athonite or Romanian elders , sometimes I feel like I'm reading a poor man's Dalai Lama or some Hindu guru. There is no equivalent to St Basil, St Maximos or St John Chrysostom in contemporary Eastern Orthodoxy. Yes, they have a pretty liturgy, but that same liturgy is celebrated in the Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine Rite. There is no good reason for a Catholic to become Orthodox. Yes, we have our own problems, but you can find everything in Catholicism that the Orthodox have, plus much more. It all boils down to erroneous notions of the papacy that keep most Eastern Orthodox away from entering communion with Rome. Which in itself is odd, since Catholics don't even need to pay much attention to the Pope. We only have to assent to doctrine on faith and morals, which the Pope can't change. Whereas Orthodox seem to need to get a blessing for anything they'd like to do from their "spiritual father", basically making him a mini-pope with much more power than the real one actually has.

    Anthony

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    1. Thanks, Anthony!

      They disdain reason and philosophy.

      Like their fellow Easterners, the Mohammedans. But read on; our church forbids us to be anti-Eastern Christianity, even though, like us Westerners, it has its faults. I'm Catholic because unlike the other side, the church doesn't tell me to hate one rite in order to love another.

      All the best scholarship that has been done on the Eastern Churches is done by Catholics, not Orthodox.

      Probably, and as I like to say, their hardliners are a ripoff of Thomism, perverted to serve only the ethnos and/or the sultan, tsar, or other government, while their liberals, their ecumenists, rip off French ressourcement anti-scholastic Catholics from early to mid last century: "the spirit of Vatican II."

      Yes, they have a pretty liturgy, but that same liturgy is celebrated in the Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine Rite.

      To be fair, it's hard to find the liturgy celebrated the same way, with the same baroque panache as the Russians or fully unlatinized, in the Greek Catholic churches. Most Greek Catholics are self-latinized, which I'm fine with as long as it's old, but there's also Novus Ordo influence, sometimes subtle. (I've heard Sebastian Temple's "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" in a Ruthenian parish church.) So I understand the frustration of Catholics called to the East and running into this. The mistake, which is egged on online, is to conflate "really Eastern" with "Orthodox" and, buying some argument about still recognizing our sacraments but believing the other side's truer, leaving the church. (That plus blaming the Pope for Vatican II was me 20 years ago leaving the church.)

      The LOYAL unlatinized Greek Catholics really need other Catholics' support; they're too little known and, I think, betrayed by the Orthodox wannabes in our church (DISLOYAL unlatinized Greek Catholics, few and mostly converts), who really steal their identity and make good Catholics suspicious of unlatinized stuff.

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    2. Whereas Orthodox seem to need to get a blessing for anything they'd like to do from their "spiritual father", basically making him a mini-pope with much more power than the real one actually has.

      My guess from once knowing some real Orthodox (ethnics) is, among them, not so much. They're not converts out to prove themselves, so they're not pretending to be monks and nuns. Unsurprisingly they're a lot like Catholics; at most they have a father confessor, and, just like Irish and Italians, have enough sense to stay away from a parish priest who would try to play staretz. But yes, as Gabriel Sanchez has pointed out, every bishop, every parish priest, is his own Pope. So you get Vladyka's or more likely Father's opinion on contraception (on which they're just like Protestants) or on non-Orthodox sacraments (to rebaptize or not to rebaptize) rather than an objective standard.

      Look for an objective standard, for consistency, and you end up with the hardliners (something you see repeatedly online) such as ROCOR or Old Calendarist sects, who then tell you most of Christendom, Catholicism, with really the same set of beliefs as they, has been outside the church, nay, "a blaspheming heretical sect" (actual quote from self-hating Irish-American turned queer for things Russian, in an email to me nearly 20 years ago), for 1,000 years: God as a sick f*ck, or "outside of Eastern European folklore there is no salvation." Idiocy.

      The Greek Catholic witness is supposed to be what the loyal but unlatinized are trying to do: show that Orthodoxy can and will flourish under Catholic doctrine, which we've yet to live up to, large-scale; that "this ancient and vast tradition is entirely Catholic" as Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) wrote, with no need for the schism. In other words, to get the Orthodox to come back but under better conditions than previous unions. (Dumping our doctrine is not on the table; that's impossible.)

      But the latinized Greek Catholics, who went through hell on earth to remain in the church, have rights too.

      For those new here, here are things I love about the Christian East: the liturgies, thanks to grassroots traditionalism, with national churches that largely run themselves based on custom, enculturation (the good side of being ethnic: the church works best as the Church Local), Leonid Ouspensky's (?) rather recent theology of icons as halfway between our statues and pictures and a sacramental presence, married priests, and St. Isaac the Syrian (not a Byzantine Orthodox: Monophysite?) on heaven and hell being different experiences, by the good and the wicked respectively, of the same afterlife, God's all-consuming love. I have no problem with the toll-houses (which many Orthodox have never heard of): just a Russian folkloric telling of the particular judgment.

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    3. I think "most Orthodox have a spiritual father" is a Western myth about Orthodoxy like "the Jesus Prayer is big in Orthodox devotions." In real Orthodoxy, prayer ropes are a monastic thing (quote from a old man now departed whose Russian father was a priest: the father didn't have a prayer rope), not like the rosary. (The rosary-like version is strictly just part of a monk's or nun's habit.)

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    4. "St. Isaac the Syrian (not a Byzantine Orthodox: Monophysite?)"

      No, a Nestorian (briefly their bishop of Nineveh), although some controvert this.

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    5. John, this reminds me of the convert fixation on "The Way of the Pilgrim." Of which an old Russian parish priest once told me is better stated as "the confession tourism booklet." Most old, real Orthodox simply go to their parish priests for confession, and then complain about him (Sound familiar); it is only the konvertzi who shop around. And in the end, find that no one is spiritual enough for them!

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    6. Regarding The Way of a Pilgrim, exactly! Sure; the konvertzi are very much part of American denominationalism and "the American religion," even with their rival true-church claim. (The Mormons claim they're the true Christians too but they're quintessentially "the American religion.") Shopping. Some might accuse me of that for not remaining in the Episcopalianism I was born into, but besides the usual apologetics stuff, Catholicism in America isn't exotic but, thanks to heavy immigration followed by a halt to allow a good kind of assimilation, a big part of my own culture, which I picked up on at a young age, plus I have a family connection; my half-Hispanic dad still crossed himself even though he'd been out of the church for decades (he came back in the end) and in 1978 even said, "We have a new Pope!" I've come home.

      And in the end, find that no one is spiritual enough for them!

      I know. Some might accuse me of that for being a traditionalist; shopping AND holier-than-thou. (This situation, after Vatican II, is just weird; not my doing.) That's why I say you'd have to take a crowbar to pry me out of the institutional church, even though I'm just a parishioner on the books and a Massgoer. I won't be leaving the church for a cult with its trappings.

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  2. What is strange is that the real Orthodox are not the ones dealing with much of anything. When they have to parade around a hairy, self-loathing ex-Anglican as the voice of the Holy Byzantium, one knows there is a problem.

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    1. Hahahahaha! True.

      Orthodox are even fewer in Britain than in America so their using Msgr. Kallistos as their face and voice there is partly understandable.

      To be fair: for what it's worth, the Russians have their home-grown Msgr. Hilarion (Alfeyev), whom they can count on when a guest in Rome to parrot the party line against Ukrainian Catholics (because they know our churchmen won't hit back).

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    2. Reminds me - who's the voice of Holy Byzantium in America? Tina Fey? Nah. Frank Schaeffer before he wigged out? Maybe. Rod Dreher?

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  3. let's not forget that Alfeyev also parrots that party line against the free Ukrainian Orthodox, whom they hate even more than the Greek Catholics. But at least Alfeyev is a real Russian and not a pretend one.

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    1. Well, to their hardliners, any sacrament outside their church is a big question mark. But I read over at Gabriel's your claim that the Russians rebaptize folks from any of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox but accept the baptisms of hypothetical ex-Ukrainian Catholics. Irrationality worthy of the Mohammedans and the Mormons. I would have thought it was the other way round (being a legalistic Latin and all), because the breakaway Ukrainian Orthodox aren't Catholic; they're closer than the Uniates are and would be seen as less of a threat to Russia. (The Ukrainian Catholics aren't a threat to Russia; they just want to be in a separate country free to worship without interference.)

      I understand that initially ROCOR was like the OCA and the Antiochians here, following the tsarist line since the 1700s or so that our sacraments are valid. The fanatical anti-Catholic Greeks they took in during the '60s changed that, so they and Fr. Seraphim's (Rose) cult under Fr. Herman rebaptized ex-Catholics. The Orthodox all reserve the right to do that, according to their doctrine, but Fr. John Schroedel of the OCA has told me that the big three American Orthodox denominations (the Greeks, the OCA, and the Antiochians) have agreed not to rebaptize Christian converts. Most of them rechrismate, though, because they opine that it doesn't have an indelible character.

      Also, for nationalism's sake, the Kyiv Patriarchate (the biggest uncanonical Ukrainian Orthodox church) cozies up to the Ukrainian Catholics.

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    2. Actually, even the nutso converts in Antioch were on a re-baptism spree a few years ago; the most famous was the conversion of a whole parish of a Charismatic Episcopal congregation in San Juan Capistrano, California, to St John the New Theologian Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church. Everyone was re-baptized, including the priest. What is strange is that the baptizing priest, himself a former Protestant who was never re-baptized (oh, the canonical fun one can have with that one!), did not even know how to properly baptize according to the Orthodox ritual! But baptized in the Protestant evangelical manner, i.e. back of head first! It was truly a jokeski. The overall outcome was a movement of Charismatic Episcopal parishes into the Antiochians effectively stopped.

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    3. Oh, I believe it! I've heard similar stories. But didn't Msgr. Philip crack down on that? That's why such, either individually or congregationally, would jurisdiction-shop and hop to ROCOR (pre-reunion with Russia: the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Orthodoxy), for example.

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    4. Yes, and some even jurisdiction-shopped to Eastern rite Catholicism! Most of these evangelicals were more interested in eastern folklore than anything else, so why not Rome, as long as it included beards, incense, exotic haberdashery and strange looking ikons?

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  4. I found the following comment on a blogpost from Dreher proselytizing for his ROCOR mission so funny that I saved it:

    I’m sorry, but I can’t get over the feeling that there is something a little absurd about an Eastern Orthodox church, full of American converts on their second, third, etc, religion, located in rural Louisiana, complete with a priest from Walla Walla, WA, wandering around dressed and bearded like he’s in 18th century Kiev (and complaining that people think he’s odd(!)) One imagines that these are the same people who would have become hippies in the ’60s, Buddhists in the ’70s, Kabbalah-ists in the ’90s, RC converts in the ’00s, etc, always looking for another set of more obscure traditions to cleave on to and find…well, something.

    Orthodoxy originated in a context where the idea of choosing your religion would have been simply incoherent — you were what you were born as. It seems to me it simply ceases to be “Orthodoxy” in any meaningful sense stripped of its context (practically speaking, five minutes googling about the political situation of the US Orthodox churches suggests that they’re run as petty fiefdoms, in addition to bringing up a lot of ridiculous pictures of middle-aged American men groomed like Rasputin).

    A bunch of modern Americans play-acting as medieval Russians a couple of hours a week proves Marx’s line about history repeating itself, the second time as farce.

    -Childermass

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    1. Rod Dreher is a formidable opponent, with a sympathetic backstory (so scandalized by the Catholic clergy's coverup of the underage gay sex scandal — including an Anglican Use parish, orthodox and with good liturgy, whose pastor let in a problem priest without even running it by his bishop — that he left the church after 20 years; he was no flaky convert), intelligence, and a facility with words (he is a professional writer). A friend has figured him out for me: he's a false-flag operation trying to get conservative Catholics to surrender the public square, preferably for the schism and religious escapism he's embraced. So he must be opposed, but I don't hate the man. He's ROCOR simply because he didn't want to drive an insane distance to go to church, and ROCOR's requirements to start a mission are easier than the OCA's.

      As someone accused of pretending to be Russian during my labored attempt to be Orthodox more than 15 years ago (I let that attempt drop and only went through the motions on Sunday morning for years after until I could come back to the church three years ago, and I liked baroque tsardom, a substitute for Tridentine Catholicism, not medieval stuff like the hellenophiles), I can honestly say I don't mind the people trying to emulate a more pious culture (and I love languages — I know Russian but am not fluent). Heck, I do it, living halfway in the '50s, a stereotype of Catholic traditionalists. No, the offensive thing is the sin of SCHISM (which real Russians aren't personally guilty of): self-loathing Americans, et al., putting that on as a statement breaking with the Catholic Church or with all of Western Christendom. (Of course Catholicism doesn't tell you to hate Western Christendom in order to love the East.) That p*ssed off my former friends even after I'd stopped meaning it that way, simply because I'd left the church. Anyway, for me, even in my serious Orthodox phase (which ended before I started blogging), it was always more out of love for the rite, etc., than an "anti-" statement. Basically, the Orthodox inadvertently turned me against them, because I don't hate my native tradition; they do.

      The sin of schism and a big helping of spiritual pride: "I'm fasting, I'm fasting, I'm fasting," boasting about service lengths and never sitting down in church, etc. Most of the crap you read from converts online.

      And... most real Russian (ethnic Slavic, Greek, etc.) laymen, with nothing to prove, don't put on the Rasputin look. That's for monks including bishops (by the way, Rasputin wasn't a monk, just a charismatic layman).

      Orthodoxy originated in a context where the idea of choosing your religion would have been simply incoherent — you were what you were born as. It seems to me it simply ceases to be “Orthodoxy” in any meaningful sense stripped of its context.

      YES! My guess is the emotional contortions their converts go through, repudiating their real family and religious traditions, etc., horrify many of the real Orthodox who know of it. "That's crazy!" There's the sense that people at the hearts and centers of their churches are closer to God and to each other than the play-actors you describe and other crazy converts. The Greek yiayia understands the Italian nonna, who understands the nice English Methodist granny and vice versa, etc., more than any understands the Hyperdox Hermans in Internet-land, and vice versa.

      ...practically speaking, five minutes googling about the political situation of the US Orthodox churches suggests that they’re run as petty fiefdoms.

      I've noticed that too. In America, the putative true church is a gaggle of little denominations run by cheerily corrupt clergy mafias.

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    2. And you're right: a lot of it is exoticism (Orientalism), which now falls under multi-culti coolness ("diversity"), unlike the Latin Catholicism our (Protestant) mainstream hates. So even though you're high-church and sort of conservative, you're not REALLY conservative. You're joining in the war on the old America. Like the beatniks and hippies bastardizing Buddhism and Hinduism. Hey, it's even vegan much of the year (starving yourself for the cult), like the other rich, pretentious jerks shopping at Whole Paycheck, a.k.a. Whole Foods.

      "The enemy of my enemy is my friend": after all, even the real Orthodox belong to the mainline World and National Councils of Churches. "Anything but Rome."

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    3. So he must be opposed, but I don't hate the man.

      I don't hate him either, tho' I've been accused of that many times because I oppose him vocally. It would be sort of like hating Big Bird or hating Homer Simpson at this point.

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    4. "[M]edieval Russians" not at all, that would mean they would have to pretend to be Old Believers; they are part of the very western influenced 19th Slavophile movement; but too dumb to know it. They run-around convincing themselves that they are 3rd century Christianity, but with the baroque overlay and spectator-sport operatic liturgies one has to be really, really stupid to be convinced.

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    5. They run-around convincing themselves that they are 3rd century Christianity, but with the baroque overlay and spectator-sport operatic liturgies one has to be really, really stupid to be convinced.

      LOL, Dale, this cracks me up. Yep, nothing says "primitive apostolic Christianity" like ornate bejeweled brocaded vestments and funny hats.

      Of course, we Kat-o-Licks have our elaborate vestments and operatic Mass settings, too, but at least we don't pretend that we were frozen in time at the Council of Nicaea. ;)

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    6. Another thing interesting about the comment posted on Dreher's site, besides its honesty and true appraisal of the situation, is how the konvertzi are attacking him for posting a truth too close to home. Says it all.

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    7. Dale, could you post some excerpts, pretty please? ;) I cannot stand that venue, so the less direct exposure I have to it the better. (Better for my soul AND my blood pressure -- LOL!)

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  5. Do you really take Dreher seriously? His prose is turgid when it's not embarrassingly mawkish and cloying. And his ideas are simplistic and predictable when they're not incoherent. He glosses over sex abuse in his new communion -- the height of hypocrisy and double standards. And he is a rabid anti-Catholic who loses no opportunity to hammer us, usually unfairly and sometimes even mendaciously.

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    1. Well, if he were really stupid you wouldn't be writing about him, would you? Again, I fight his ideas when they come up but am trying not to go all Mean Girls (the popular meaning of ad hominem) on him. What do Christ and the church teach? Trying to hurt him personally only hurts yourself. When conservative Christianity is facing defeat, his way, his Benedict Option, is that of Fr. Gabriel Kostelnyk; God's and the church's way is that of acting Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sterniuk).

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    2. I never said he was stupid. Just that he's not nearly as clever as he and his acolytes claim. I'm not going Mean Girls, seriously. Dreher himself is notoriously mean, even vicious -- the classic bullied kid who turns into a bully himself. Moreover, I have strong reservations about his Benedict Option, and believe me, those reservations are not based on any animosity toward Dreher.

      Like you, I pray for his return to the Church. In the meantime, I oppose his relentless anti-Catholic agenda, which has already done much damage. I cannot understand how he has any influence, but apparently he does. And that becomes problematical when he pushes his anti-Catholic shtick.

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    3. Also--I have certainly never, ever, ever sought to harm Dreher personally. (As if I even could. I mean, how?)

      He has chosen to be a very public figure, which means his very public views are open to very public criticism. That doesn't mean that his critics seek to harm him. They simply seek to criticize him for his very public words and stances. This is perfectly legitimate.

      Personally, I don't give a flip about the fact that Rod promotes crunchy localism while drinking expensive imported wines. I don't care that he's forever jaunting off to places like Paris and Florence for culinary tours (oops, I mean spiritual pilgrimages), minus his family. I'm not even bothered by his incoherent political views, which, thankfully, reflect an extreme minority position. All of that is his business. More power to him.

      I care only when he relentlessly bashes my Church -- often over issues he has either imagined or grossly exaggerated (remember the Tuam nuns?) -- while ignoring all the messes in his own communion. This isn't responsible journalism on Rod's part; it's an obsession, an out-of-control hobbyhorse. I want him to shut the blip up about my Chuech. He left. We're not his problem anymore. Let him tend to his own church's problems. We can take care of ours.

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    4. Stuff like making fun of him for vacationing in Europe (I thought his family was with him) and enjoying the food there strikes me as envy; it's petty. Let's stick to the issues.

      He has chosen to be a very public figure, which means his very public views are open to very public criticism.

      Which is why I repeat a friend's insight that he's a surrender monkey in the public square, an escapist, a conservative who wants the liberals to like him or just leave him in peace. Now that this person has figured him out for me, I rarely read him.

      He relentlessly bashes my Church.

      That doesn't bother me as much as it does you.

      It takes some figuring out. It's not the crude anti-Catholicism of the Orthodox hardliners, denying even our baptisms. As we've noted, he's haunted by the church; he can't stop talking about it, or telling his story to priests at a church he's visiting (a zealot wouldn't set foot in a Catholic church), and he obviously still thinks we have valid sacraments, etc. Which is why I think he might come back. Attack him personally, and besides it being objectively wrong, you may be responsible for him dying outside the church.

      No, he's one of the online folks I call Orthodox ecumenists (careful; that's a fighting insult in Orthodoxy). Actually very nice on the surface but clear that they believe they're the true church; I'd respect nothing less. Again, they want us to dump our doctrine and join their sect but with our baptisms, ordinations, etc. recognized. (Cf. surrendering the American public square: neutralize the Catholics by making them not Catholic anymore.)

      Except for his guilty conscience (my guess; he's obviously conflicted about leaving the church), we're not his problem anymore nor he ours other than having to oppose his plausible argument for opting out: the Benedict Option.

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    5. "Stuff like making fun of him for vacationing in Europe...strikes me as envy"

      Which is why I don't usually do that. Plus, I've been to Europe, so what's to envy? ;)

      I don't think any of my buds from Pauli's blog envy him, either. They do see some of his antics as silly and open to ridicule. But again -- he's a public figure who ventilates all this stuff endlessly, in public. If you're going to over-share in public, then you're going to get some pretty piquant responses. It goes with the territory. Don't want flak? Don't have a big fat byline and a public megaphone. Simple as that.

      Again, I am not personally concerned with his foodie and/or crunchy pretensions. All that concerns me is his public Catholic-bashing. His relentless anti-Catholic crusade may mean that he is kicking against the goad, as you say, but it also does a LOT of harm. Even if it's more nuanced and complicated than EO-hardliner anti-Catholicism, it still does damage. In fact, it probably does MORE damage because it is not as nakedly and obviously ridiculous as the EO hardline. It's hard to get sucked in by a Romanides rant. It's easier to get sucked in by a Dreher rant. Just look at the Catholic sycophants who hang on his every word!

      Anyway, let's agree to disagree on this one. ;)

      Diane, who has always had issues with double standards ;-)

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    6. Rod Dreher has faults. Don't we all?

      In fact, it probably does MORE damage because it is not as nakedly and obviously ridiculous as the EO hardline. It's hard to get sucked in by a Romanides rant. It's easier to get sucked in by a Dreher rant. Just look at the Catholic sycophants who hang on his every word!

      Same reason I fight the "Orthodox in communion with Rome" Catholics online — same program as the Orthodox ecumenists (get us to dump our doctrine, then have us ask to be received into "the true church," but "nice" because they recognize our sacraments) but they're our problem since they're still in, but not of, the church. A hair's breadth of difference from LOYAL unlatinized Greek Catholics — stealing their identity, really. But that breadth means everything.

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  6. I think this blog is the most revolting and nasty blog one could find. How simply horrible all of you are. I'm a convert to Catholicism from the Orthodox (old style ROCOR to be precise). It makes me ashamed to call myself a Catholic when I find people like you. I'm sure you're not aware how alarmingly similar you are to the worst of the Orthodox zealots. Just a little more high-brow and proud, but really just the same spiteful and bitter zeal. Yes welcome everybody to The Abrasive Bog of Creeps, don't poke your nose around this stinking pile of refuse so temptingly arranged by Beetle though, Earwig is never far away and will be sure not to miss her opportunity to bite you on the face. Beware! Proceed at your own risk. Bitter and angry vermin to be found here!

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    1. You are so right, Justin. I wish I could be as holy and charitable as you and call people lovely names like Beetle and Earwig. Nothing says Christian Charity like nasty name-calling.

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    2. Not to feed the troll, but "the worst of the Orthodox zealots" believe, as is their right as Orthodox, we don't have real baptisms, real bishops, or the Eucharist. I don't believe that (it would go against the church) or feel that way about them.

      "Temptingly arranged." Thank you!

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