Gabriel Sanchez these days reminds me of Bruce Jenner, who's still into women, the real reason for what Jenner's doing. (Peter Robinson's made the same comparison describing Westerners turned anti-Western Easterners.) Leaving the church, then more than one post about union, though not on our terms.
- Cooperation. Neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy can save the West alone, and by “the West” I mean that civilizational accomplishment which began nearly three millennia ago and is rapidly decaying before our very eyes. The good news: this is obviously not the longtime line of what I think is his new jurisdiction, ROCOR, "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Reality." Their pose comes from 19th-century Russia: take our methods such as scholasticism and catechisms and use them against us to assert their true-church claim. (Very Byzantine: the church is the Russian Empire and its allies.) Owen White once stated many moons ago that for Catholicism and Orthodoxy to (re)unite, one side would have to cease being what it is. My suspicion is that both sides will have to, and all for the greater glory of God. Here Gabriel seems to preach indifferentism, neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy: there is no church or at least no visible church; Protestant. That said, both sides can change nonessentials (my bonafide offer: everything that's not doctrine is on the table) so in that sense both would cease to be what they are. But doctrinally Owen nailed this a few years ago.
- A comment on "Unia." Here Gabriel has backed off from indifferentism and adopted the theology of Stuart Koehl, "Orthodoxy in communion with Rome," stealth work for Orthodoxy that can charm Catholics at first because it relies on our teaching that both sides have all seven sacraments, which is allowable in Orthodoxy but not at all favored in ROCOR. Like the contrasting approaches to Anglicanism a friend and I have while both holding Catholic doctrine: "Join me in spreading the gospel!" vs. "Fakedty-fake!" Gabriel's smart enough not to approach us the way ROCOR idiots usually do, calling us graceless. It seems that there is still an inclination on the part of some to see “Uniatism,” that is, the incremental reunification of Eastern churches through the establishment of parallel sees, as the only acceptable model of bringing Catholicism and Orthodoxy (Eastern or Oriental) together. Actually not what I say: it's acceptable because of our true-church claim but our goal has been to bring all the Orthodox in at the same time. We're not trying to break up their families, etc., or destroy their rite. But as the late, great Catholic layman turned Russian Orthodox priest turned Russian Catholic priest Brian Keleher/Archimandrite Serge told me in person, we accept individual conversions, quietly. By the way, the Orthodox/Oriental rapprochement ("we're both Orthodox") is very new (and ROCOR at least used to condemn it; they considered the Orientals heretics). The Orientals have a true-church claim too and I think the Orthodox once persecuted them. (Fr. Serge: What's next, the Muslims are really "pre-Nicene Orthodox"? Fellow cultish anti-Western Easterners. The difference between John Walker Lindh and the convertodox is of degree.) If one follows the line proposed by Fr. Robert Taft to its logical conclusion, it would seem that what the Catholic Church “should do” is simply recognize the Orthodox Church as a true, particular church; offer full reciprocal communion to any local Orthodox church that will accept it; and lay aside almost every substantive theological disagreement the two parties have (or at least think they have). This Bob Taft's opinion isn't worth a Zimbabwean dollar as far as the magisterium is concerned; this line really means "Catholics, dump your doctrine by making it optional and all will be well." No, and if that's what you really believe, you belong somewhere else. Such should become Orthodox, because they're not Catholic. (Koehl should have been excommunicated many years ago for teaching heresy online, a powerful modern pulpit.) Most real Greek Catholics, the ethnics, don't think like that at all.
- Photos: "О кто, кто Николая любит..." Roebling, NJ: St. Nicholas Greek Catholic Church (Ruthenian). Many Eastern Europeans settled in this blue-collar town to work at the factory that made the cables for the Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges. I also saw a Hungarian flag hanging from a rowhouse there yesterday. I think Gabriel was a Uniate to begin with. Their loyalty to the church runs deep: all their bishops in Eastern Europe said no when the Communists ordered them to leave the church; the first Eastern Christians and indeed first traditional Catholics I knew well were Ukrainians who chose exile over schism right after World War II. So, besides his intelligence, that's why I think he'll come home before the clock runs out. God's very patient. By the way, you DON'T have to latinize to be Greek Catholic (yes, that's a First Communion picture), but most of the time they latinized themselves; that has the right to exist (I was effectively kicked off an anti-Catholic, of course mostly convert Greek Catholic forum for saying that) and as long as it's pre-Vatican II I like it as I do the unlatinized versions. (A visitor to a parish: the OicwRs are even nastier and more anti-Catholic than the convertodox, obviously because they're ashamed of being Catholic. Just like Bob Tur if you don't play along with his pretense: "You stop that now or I'll put you in an ambulance.")