Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Eastern churches
Joint Greek Orthodox (Antioch) and Melkite church started
Not surprising really — as this blog’s born Eastern Christian and Syrian Samer al-Batal can tell you the two sides (a minority in a Muslim land with the same rite, same basic beliefs and lots of intermarriage*) intercommune all the time over there. The only division is the clergy, who are quite friendly with each other, don’t concelebrate.

Neil the Irish Melkite gives some background and historical context here.

Underneath all the historical and political rhetoric the Catholic recognize each other as Vladimir Soloviev once described.

Has Esphigmenou Monastery gone Donatist?
Donatism is the heresy that says the grace of a sacrament depends on the personal worthiness of the minister, which they seem to apply to the apostolic ministry: the bishops of the Church of Russia and by extension now the Russian Church Abroad for going into dialogue with that church. For all their admirable traditionalism and anti-Protestantism it seems the fathers have flunked Catholic ecclesiology in addition to being somewhat mad. (ISTM a magisterium and some scholastic theology could clear that up in a jiff — and that wouldn’t diminish the rite or the spirituality at all.) In Soviet times the Russian bishops weren’t to be trusted but they remained bishops (and never fell into heresy or even liturgical revisionism, unlike the West since the 1960s), and now the Soviet Union is gone.

They themselves admit:

Although they (the Russian bishops) occupy the places of authority
which means they haven’t got a leg to stand on.

Poor Metropolitan Vitaly. I understand he never was the gentlest of men but still he doesn’t deserve to be horribly used in his senility by those saddos in Canada.

P.S. Today in the Byzantine Rite, Julian calendar, is the feast of the Meeting of the Lord (Presentation of the Lord, Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly called Candlemas): сретение Господне.

*A wife always joins her husband’s church so if she is from a Melkite family then technically she passes over to the Greek Orthodox — and vice versa. The people continue communing wherever, as usual.

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