Monday, December 26, 2005

Eastern churches
From RISU

Site blessed for interdenominational church in Kiev
And not a Catholic-Protestant one either. It is dedicated to St Nicholas. Well and good... except the two churches participating with the Ukrainian Catholic Church aren’t really Orthodox* so I wonder if this well-meant endeavour is more a hindrance than a help towards corporate reunion.

In Samer al-Batal’s native Syria his Melkite Church and the real Orthodox do work together.

The legend of St Peter the Aleut
Popular this time of year among some Orthodox who give it maximum anti-RC spin. If any part of this horrible story is true (the late Gerard Bugge didn’t think it really happened), then according to the Catholic faith the Spaniards who did this committed several sins. Besides the obvious ones of torturing and killing somebody they committed sacrilege because the young man was already not only baptised but chrismated (confirmed) and had received Holy Communion. Sounds rather like a variation of the Black Legend of Spain, fuelling anti-Hispanic prejudice to this day. The truth is the Spanish though not perfect remembered the indios had souls; a slave-owner was punished by law if his Indians weren’t allowed to go to Mass.

Like the ending of The Mission, in which it was unlikely that Spanish soldiers would have shot at a priest, even one from an enemy country, carrying a monstrance with the Sacrament, officials and certainly missionary priests and brothers would have been very dim indeed not to recognise any religious articles on the lad such as a Russian baptismal cross (which may have been a crucifix) and especially icons of Jesus and Mary! (I think a version of the story has cast as handy villains the Jesuits, who are not known for being thick.)

If these monsters were real then they weren’t RC murderers, that is, they weren’t sadists and killers because they were RC. They were so in spite of it. (Especially if they were followers of St Francis, like the Croat Franciscan I’ve heard of who participated in Nazi war crimes against his brother Christians the Serbs. That part of Eastern Europe isn’t exactly overflowing with charity. Funny how I don’t hear of Mr Martic and his lot being described by the tale-tellers as Orthodox criminals.)

Occasional contributor to the blog Lee Penn belongs to San Francisco’s Russian Catholic church (search the blog for more on this church), which commemorates this saint as he is on the OCA calendar — without irony. Because, according to the magisterium, if he existed he was right and his torturers wrong.

And despite American persecution from the government and Protestant missionaries (who really were heretical) the Russian Orthodox Aleut faithful are with us, barely, to this day. Слава Богу.

As for the tellers of tales (Eighth/Ninth Commandment, people), I understand wanting one’s kids to marry within one’s culture and not marry themselves outside one’s venerable rite and church but to try to make this happen by slandering another church when the truth is readily available is beneath contempt.

*Maybe RISU are trying to be impartial about the sectarian rows in the country but they are bad about making this distinction clear.

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