Saturday, January 23, 2016

Gay conservative Christians and more

  • Anglicanism: After the Primates' Gathering, whither gay conservatives? Of course this point reminds me of classic, Tridentine Anglo-Catholicism at its best. Being innocent as a young person, I didn't know for a couple of years that homosexual men have long predominated in the movement. People don't understand that Catholicism is all for being "openly gay" if by that you mean you're honest about your orientation with yourself and the few others it concerns. It doesn't necessarily mean unchastity. Yes, for homosexuals, abstinence is the answer. "Take up your cross and follow me." For example, the A-C alumnus Fr. John Jay Hughes is upfront with you about his bisexuality, if it ever comes up; he has never used this to attack the teachings of the church. There's no such thing as gay Catholicism, just Catholicism. (Why, for the most part, until recently nobody figuratively waved rainbow flags at St. Clement's.) Like Huw Richardson: he's gay and he's Orthodox, but just call him Orthodox; your orientation isn't the sum of who you are. As for the Episcopalians, they now think this is all nonsensical repression (closeting); I think unchaste gay pseudo-traditionalism is for all intents part of their brand now. My guess is the people the piece describes will find out Fr. Richard John Neuhaus was right: when orthodoxy becomes optional, not only is it no longer orthodoxy; it eventually is forbidden.
  • Anglican drama: The Episcopal Church gets a time-out over same-sex marriage. I'm now a writer for Catholic World Report.
  • The March for Life has its place and is great (been in it three times) but 1) what can we do to actually stop abortions (voting Republican doesn't do the trick; Roe v. Wade was under a Republican president — I know; it was the Supreme Court, separation of powers, but still — and we've had how many GOP presidents and Congresses since?) and 2) considering the Novus Ordo American church, among well-meaning conservative Novus Ordo Catholics might this stuff be a substitute for a larger Catholic identity we lost, so much so that the goal of stopping abortions is almost irrelevant?
  • Pope Francis allows women in Maundy Thursday foot-washing ceremony. It's not doctrine; he can do that. But should he? Just like the church normally doesn't write completely new services. His intentions are probably good: serve the poor; be generous. But is this ceremony to do with the apostolic ministry since the first participants were apostles? Why in 1988 I got into a shouting match with two libcaths who hated the then-new Archbishop of Philadelphia for keeping the rule. Like with unnecessary lay Eucharistic ministers and altar girls, it seems not a matter of doctrine but disobedience that churchmen eventually caved on, a fait accompli and a slap for Anglo-Catholic alumni who lived through the attempted ordination of women; we defended the faith and the church and this is the thanks we get.
  • From Patrick Sheridan: What went wrong with the West? Putin's great as a new Constantine for Russians, not for me. I've known Russians (and know Russian) and like them. Hooray for that almost Catholic country returning to its anti-liberal roots. I'm not falling for the secular New World Order trying to exploit my Catholic and old Cold Warrior feelings to get me on board propping up the Ukraine to attack Russia, though of course I support a pro-Catholic Ukraine, independent if it wants to be. The Western left hates Russia because it's not Communist anymore. Fr. Andrew's post, echoing how I talked myself into Orthodoxy 20 years ago ("the West dropped the ball so it's not the church"), is just fanboy convertitis from an outsider worshipping Russia. ("Russia will save the world!" It can't; it's cut off from the universal church.) The church, on the contrary, isn't tied to any one rite, empire, or set of cultures. Byzantium's great; at heart Catholic. But that's not the whole church. Fr. Andrew's "Orthodox Civilization" not only denies that the mid-late medieval West had grace (St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis, frauds? Seriously, get out of town: move [back] to Russia!) but is talking nonsense about divorce and remarriage ("sometimes adultery is OK" says the putative true church?!) and contraception, and is always the state's lackey, even if the state's anti-Christian, once they've been slapped around enough. Nobody can own the Catholic Church, which is why those states have hated it. The Russian government hates the Ukraine because, really being the same people, they think it belongs in their empire and are furious it's not. The empire as fake catholicity. Some senior clergy from upper-class families would shave their Christian beards, just like the old pagan Roman leaders. They read pagan Latin literature and, remarkably, passed their nostalgia for pagan Rome on to the Frankish barbarian invaders. (We're "Frankish barbarians" because we're outside the empire; theologically this is hash.) He's ignorant: at some point didn't the Greeks have unhaloed paintings of Socrates and Plato in their churches' vestibules? (Why not? Their philosophy, like Aristotle later with the Schoolmen, gave our theology a framework. Huge influence on the church fathers.) And the shaven Roman style was normative in the Western classical world at that time; the Byzantine beard came later. A thought: within three generations of arriving in America, Orthodox become just like Protestants.

8 comments:

  1. Regarding "I think unchaste gay pseudo-traditionalism is for all intents part of the Episcopal brand now," a commenter writes: Careful about the pot and the kettle there. I have sojourned at length in Catholic monasteries. It's more, it seems to me, an issue with modernity; which, granted, TEC champions. But none (in the West) is exempt. (Maybe not in the East either. I don't really know.)

    The difference is the Catholic Church teaches the truth on this matter; TEC doesn't, even though both have homosexuals in them, and as the article hints, they're welcome in the church; only unchastity is not. Your allusion to gay Catholic monks reminds me: like how "everybody knows" in Episcopalianism that Anglo-Catholicism is gay, nothing to do with the teachings, some Catholic cultures (Spanish, for example, and maybe Italian) don't jibe with the church, with straight men not really expected to participate in religion, a blind eye turned to their sexcapades (boys will be boys), and the priesthood (and monastery) being a respectable, even high-status option for gays (where likewise people look the other way?). As far as I know, the Eastern churches have the same problem, in about the same proportion as the rest of the population. For a while there were lots of gay, not chaste Ruthenian Catholic priests; yes, in a conservative Slavic church. See above about the respectable option.

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    1. John, you are forgetting the very hairy ROCOR monks of a certain monastery in Texas, who had just about every sexual perversion imaginable; they are now all in prison.

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    2. As obnoxious as ROCOR is, I was trying to be fair to that branch of our estranged Catholic brethren. Blanco were Western vagantes ROCOR took in and arguably got hurt by, not native.

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    3. John, you are correct, but when ROCOR people like Rod Dreher keep casting aspersions against the Catholic Church for this issue, not undeserved by the way, but are completely silent about their own problems, it becomes problematic, if not openly hypocritical. The self-righteousness of ROCOR would be nice, if it were also honest. It is not.

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  2. Congratulations on your new gig!

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  3. I thought my post about Old Smoky was rather good.

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  4. Karpoosta Andrew is a perfect example of a self-loathing convert, and ignorant as well. He professes, as an example, to know nothing about the English Church (which is most likely true), but it has never stopped him from mouthing off about it all the time. My own personal favourite is when he deduced that the only hymns in the English Church are from the Victorian era (a bad, bad period for anyone of this Karpoosta's generation), showing that he knows nothing about the hymns of the Breviary, which are often sung in Anglican churches. On one issue he is at least honest, unlike most of his pretend Russian coreligionists, he readily admits that the so-called ROCOR western rite is only a bait-and-switch; that eventually all such parishes will become Russian.

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    1. "Self-loathing convert." Except for the completely deracinated and unchurched who join because they're marrying nice ethnics, aren't they all?

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