Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ecumenism, Anglicanism, and the Ukraine and Russia


  • "What God has joined together': recovering Christian identity amid the ruins of the Reformation era. Intelligent and compelling, including noting the return to small-o orthodoxy in the church (traditionalism, a minority but robust, and Benedict the Great's "reform of the reform") and the denominations. Even Ephraim Radner's Episcopalians are going back to basics, sort of. Creed, sacrament, and liturgy, not Spong's unbelief. Fine apologists such as ex-Catholic Jonathan Mitchican (Anglicanism as it really is, good and bad, not what we as would-be Catholic Anglicans wanted it to be). But while this hint of repudiating the "Reformation" sounds great, it's just a tease. That Radner's an Episcopalian, by choice, gives the game away. Writers like him don't want to come back to the church. This is a retread of Sixties ecumenism, when the media ginned up the idea that we were all getting back together any day now. That and Anglicanism itself screwed us over when we were would-be Catholic Anglicans. Either we thought we were already Catholic (the myth of non-papal Catholicism: Hooker minus Erastianism) or that we were about to come home, thanks in part to Vatican II. Ecumenism was fashionable so lots of middle-of-the-road Episcopalians were starting to do high church. Even better, actually a number were becoming high-church before the council: very Catholic-looking. All for naught. By the way, to give poor, crazed Dr. Luther credit, he meant well and, ironic considering his place in world history, he didn't mean to start a sect. His best followers, such as the Missouri Synod, un-Protestantly think they're the true church, "reformed" or "evangelical" Western Catholicism, preaching a pure gospel; a few even say they're not Protestants.
  • By the way, with Archbishop Morse's passing, the last of American Anglo-Catholicism's '70s all-stars has left us. Bishop Chambers and the four bishops he consecrated, like the LCMS trying to save what they thought was the church in its purest form (Hooker minus Erastianism, with liturgical practice largely imitating us before Vatican II). Trying to save Catholic order (tradition's consensus: you can't change the matter of a sacrament), they hoped the Archbishop of Canterbury would have their back, choosing them over the Episcopalians. And even if they were pro-papal, Vatican II had wrecked the American Catholic Church then so it was inhospitable, locally as liberal as what they were leaving, and with worse liturgy, anti-high church (a problem that actually pre-dates the council). The first four Continuing bishops; only one, Peter Watterson, ended up a (married) Catholic priest. In English (moot most of the time because my normal Mass is in Latin) I still say the same creed they did.
  • "Russian youth pays price for speaking out over Ukraine." Would you be defending this boy if he were American and wore something or carried a sign saying "America Sucks" or "Go Communist"? Wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt? Or something even the left hates, such as "Let's Do 9/11 Again" or "Go ISIS"? Because it was the same thing. Ukrainian independence is like China getting California to secede from the Union, turning it against us, and having military maneuvers there. And taking one of our dialects, spelling it phonetically, declaring it the sole official language, and forcing it on the population. The Crimea even more so, because it's all Russians who were handed to the Ukraine in the '50s. It and the eastern Ukraine were integral parts of Russia for centuries. The Crimea is again, nearly unanimously. The Ukrainians had just overthrown their government; "Why don't we do that?" reasoned the Crimean Russians. Almost immediately they took over the statehouse and raised the Russian flag over it. Patriots. That said, I have nothing against the new Ukraine; they and Russia aren't my problems. Just don't fall for this anti-Russian stuff. Slavs and democracy don't fit (strongmen rule them because the people love them); here's hoping both Russia and the Ukraine are conservative authoritarian states fitting their culture, with the Ukraine as a pro-Catholic version. Now to get Patriarch Sviatoslav to stop parroting Western liberals. Understandably, Ukrainian Catholics are the most patriotic Ukrainians, actually speaking that language, for example. By the way, in English it's "the Ukraine," because "English language has articles." We're "the United States." The Russians don't like us, but they're anti-liberal estranged Catholics, the biggest such group, in a country's that's still a superpower. (That underrated statesman Nixon: they'll never be our friends but we can't afford them as an enemy.) Catholics should see the big picture: bringing in the whole Orthodox Church (such as it is: a loose confederation little to do with each other); we are not trying to break up their families, parishes, dioceses, or peoples, nor trying to destroy their rite, which is better than the Novus Ordo. I'm pro-Russian because I'm Catholic.

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