Friday, July 22, 2005

From Occidentalis (Benjamin Andersen)
Quotation
From David Hart of First Things at its mannerly Touchstone-like best:
Anyone familiar with the Eastern Christian world knows that the Orthodox view of the [Roman] Catholic Church is often a curious mélange of fact, fantasy, cultural prejudice, sublime theological misunderstanding, resentment, reasonable disagreement, and unreasonable dread: it sees a misty phantasmagoria of crusades, predestination, “modalism,” a God of wrath, flagellants, Grand Inquisitors, and those blasted Borgias. But, still, and from my own perspective ab oriente, I must remark that the greater miscalculation of what divides us is almost inevitably found on the [Roman] Catholic side, not always entirely free of a certain unreflective condescension.

...under the capacious canopy of the papal office, so many disparate things find common shelter. Eastern rites huddle alongside liturgical practices (hardly a peripheral issue in the East) disfigured by rebarbative banality, by hymnody both insipid and heterodox, and by a style of worship that looks flippant if not blasphemous. Academic theologians explicitly reject principles of Catholic orthodoxy, but are not (as they would be in the East) excluded from communion. There are three men called Patriarch of Antioch in the Roman communion—Melkite, Maronite, and Latin (I think I have them all)—which suggests that the very title of patriarch, even as regards an apostolic see, is merely honorific, because the only unique patriarchal office is the pope’s. As unfair as it may seem, to Orthodox Christians it often appears as if, from the
[Roman] Catholic side, so long as the pope’s supremacy is acknowledged, all else is irrelevant ornament. [Which is objectively and historically not true.] Which yields the sad irony that the more the [Roman] Catholic Church strives to accommodate Orthodox concerns, the more disposed many Orthodox are to see in this merely the advance embassy of an omnivorous ecclesial empire.
Fair and accurate about both sides!

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment