Tuesday, June 17, 2003

To Dustin Anastasios Hudson
Many thanks for your thoughtful essay in yesterday's shout-outs. As far as I know none of the seven (or nine, depending on how you count them) general, dogmatic councils of the ancient Church made a dogma of Eastern Orthodox opinion on how grace works.

Interestingly, today both St Gregory Palamas (a lifelong Orthodox) and St Thomas Aquinas, whose opinions about grace polarized East and West in the Middle Ages, are accepted as saints by the Catholic Church.

...the Church has always taught that dogma and spirituality cannot be separated.

Right, nor am I arguing for that.

I believe that the belief that they don't matter to salvation is a belief that actually is a product of the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

Agreed. I was talking about opinions, not dogmas.

Having known you for five years, you probably mean that what matters for salvation are beliefs such as Trinity, Incarnation, etc., the great beliefs held by all orthodox Christians

Right, as well as the other things I named in my May 16 blog entry, 'What I believe'. My 'Mere Christianity' is not Protestant!

These mistaken beliefs on the part of the West--while not nearly as great as the convert provocateurs would like us to believe--still resulted in the Reformation and the Novus Ordo. While I agree with you wholeheartedly that many exaggerate the differences (we can agree that for instance, that the Byzantine Rite is not necessary for salvation, etc), there are differences that must be appreciated.

That's a compelling argument, and I haven't found any other explanation why those things afflicted the West and not the East. It's the key argument, I believe, in the writings of both Alexis Khomiakov in the 19th century and Fr Seraphim (Rose) in the 20th, both of whom I've read.

On the other hand, not letting the side down on artificial birth control is the Pope's trump card vs. what passes as Eastern Orthodoxy in much of the modern world.

You seem to find my statement relativistic, as I predicted others would react (though you stated your case respectfully and very well), yet it is my understanding that it is by this same criterion of basic orthodoxy that you, and I, accept the Oriental Orthodox.

Patrick Rothwell on the Anglican contribution to American culture

St Alban
The first martyr of England and today's 1662 Book of Common Prayer saint (one of the black-letter days that came from the medieval missal)

The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius
The High Anglican and Eastern Orthodox group, founded in 1928. The postal address is that of the Orthodox church at Oxford, Holy Trinity and the Annunciation in Canterbury Road, jointly used by a Greek and a Russian congregation. Once saw the great Bishop Kallistos (Ware), bishop for the Greeks in England, serve Vespers and go through the whole reception and chrismation ceremony for an English convert at this place and went to the Russian Divine Liturgy here too.

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