Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sacramentalist Catholic vs knowledge-based Protestant worldviews
Andrew Bartus tells ‘a tale of two orthodoxies or why the English are correct’
Arguably the English are more culturally inclined to be Catholic, whereas the Americans are more culturally inclined to be Protestant. Even English Protestants share many assumptions about the world with Catholicism, and American Catholics share many assumptions about the world with Protestants. What I mean is that American Catholics have much more in common with the knowledge-based mentality of Protestantism, while English Protestants have much more in common with the sacramentalism of Catholicism. These are naturally generalizations and many exceptions to either can be pointed out of course, but there certainly is a trend that exists.

...America’s proclivity to view orthodoxy in Protestant terms (in regards to correct teaching and knowledge only)
Hard to believe considering the longstanding English mindset of no-popery and the discrimination against Roman Catholics that still exists (IIRC Mr Kensit was not an American) but I appreciate the point. An ordinand I knew there nearly 20 years ago said about the same thing: that underneath it all the mediæval Catholic worldview remained, even if only expressed as defiance of it.

The great American historian Samuel Eliot Morison observed the same thing about C17 Protestants, that they shared more assumptions about the world with the Catholic faith than moderns do.

The protestantised worldview (described and contrasted here) is behind a lot of conservative Novus Ordo apologetics (not the same breed of cat as traditionalists) and ‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’ churchmanship, which leaves me cold.

Many ethnic Orthodox are of course sacramentalists. They ‘get it’.

Bartus rightly notes the problems causing the Anglican row today are far older and deeper than pushing for gay weddings, which is only a symptom:
...the philosophical presupposition of “ontology” (and later, “teleology”) fell into disuse and finally forgotten. Because they were forgotten, other such presuppositions were needed to justify why people do what they do. Hence the cultural upheaval and revolutions of the last century...

It is a false assumption to think that anyone has the civil right to become a deacon, priest, or bishop, much less someone of which it is a metaphysical impossibility.
Incidentally I don’t use the word ‘priestess’ in this blog, the impossibilist position on the matter is entirely Catholic but so is the improbabilist one and proving Bartus’s point on the sacramentalist worldview the issue almost never comes up among the Orthodox.

A word about tolerant conservatism, which both the secular left and Protestant right think hypocritical:
Often, the gay priests that the Americans perceive in... the UK are celibates. This is a good and holy thing, not something to be scoffed at. Many times, unfortunately, they are not. However, as I mentioned above, this is a sin that needs to be worked out in the confessional, just as heterosexual priests need to work out their sins in the confessional. But at least they are true priests and confect true sacraments, which are truly what heal and save people.
From All Too Common.

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