Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bernard Brandt on the attempted ordination of women
Clericalism vs sacerdotalism: its proponents are about the former (power, as in ‘empowerment’), the Catholic faith the latter

I also like his take on the Christian East’s village mentality, or real not contrived ‘Christian community’ to use that shopworn expression: that matushki (priests’ and deacons’ wives), starosti (rector’s wardens) and the Orthodox version of PCCs/vestries defuse clericalism. (Then there’s the flip side, the problem of congregationalism vs apostolic authority.*) St Paul’s ‘diversity of ministries’, not at all the same as the fad of clericalising the laity one sees among modern RCs for example (like having every other Tom, Dick and Molly give out Communion). Just like the Orthodox version of ‘modes of presence’, with icons as a unique part of that tradition, doesn’t mean de-emphasising the Sacrament at all.

On one hand I don’t entirely accept his criticism that the historic Latin West has a skewed view of the apostolic ministry that automatically lends itself to the distortion of clericalism. On the other I see the ‘close contact’ of some Byzantine Catholics with the Novus Ordo as compromising. Lives down to the worst accusations of some Orthodox that it’s only the NO with a change of set and costumes. (Too often it is!)

Here’s a good word for an organic kind of traditionalism from Daniel Mitsui, a Roman Catholic gentleman who is part of one of the longest and liveliest comment-box debates in this blog’s recent history:
I've written that I am have a basically "Latin Orthodox" attitude as a Catholic - I see natural traditionalism as the primary way that the faith is preserved, not catechisms or papal pronouncements (the metaphor I use is that those are part of the armor, not part of the knight).
The crunchiness that Rod Dreher rightly likes (search the blog for more on his views including criticism).

*In the US for example Orthodox congregations have a history of treating priests like Protestant ministers, hired help the church council can virtually sack/force out. (Happily that problem doesn’t really affect the liturgy.) Jurisdiction-jumping is similar, and it seems this problem has hit the UK.

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