Monday, March 20, 2006

What Catholic ecumenism should be?
In Russian — here is a translation

The superior (the Russian text says he’s an archimandrite, a mitred abbot) of a Redemptorist house in Scotland affiliated to the SSPX visits a Russian Orthodox archbishop and has a dialogue. No liberal platitudes here!

What a pleasant surprise as I thought these groups didn’t want to talk to the Orthodox.

I’ve written about the Transalpine Redemptorists and their affiliates before — they mean well but ignore St Pius X himself on the Christian East (nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter compared to Orthodox practice).

Archbishop Augustine has the Russian Orthodox see of L’vov in old Polish Galicia, the home of the Ukrainian Catholic Church that 80 per cent of the people belong to. You can argue that the Orthodox presence there is a leftover Soviet transplant but I imagine his little congregations are made up of sincere people. I’ve read that many of the few Orthodox there have instead joined one of the nationalist schisms, such as the Kyiv Patriarchate that President Viktor Yushchenko belongs to, perhaps to get away from the stigma of the ROC’s Communist past. That and Galicians of any kind aren’t Russians. (Galicia is the home of Ukrainianism.)

The Russian article describes the SSPX-related groups as a ‘Catholic Old Believer church’. Not to be confused with the few Russian Old Believers circa 1905 who ended up in the new Russian Catholic Church: ‘the enemy (the Pope) of my enemy (the Tsar and his church) is my friend’ is what I imagine these historic xenophobes thought.

In other news from that part of the world
Is the EU interfering in the Byelorussian election by pressuring Russia?
Messrs Putin and Lukashenko may not be saints but these are sovereign countries

Patriarch of Moscow supports shutting down gay-pride parade
Saying homosexuality is ‘a vicious deviation from God-given human nature’. That is of course correct, but regarding the first issue, how does one balance freedom with the common good? (There is of course the do-no-harm principle of libertarianism.) In a free society people have the right to be wrong and that freedom of course enables the church to tell the truth that something’s wrong.

Promoting behaviour that’s a public health hazard seems a valid reason to shut something down.

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