Thursday, June 28, 2007

‘Head religion’ and practice
Self-conscious or natural orthodoxy, or protestantised religion opposed to sacramentalism: two kinds of Catholics/high churchmen

Somewhere along the line I’ve picked up the idea that ‘head religion’, where liturgy and other practice don’t matter as much as ‘doctrine on paper’, is something that appeals to former hard-core Presbyterians and other conservative Protestants; they seem happy as conservative Novus Ordo RCs (’we don’t want that artsy-fartsy high-church stuff; we’ve got the catechism and santo subito! Santo subito!’). From the Institutes to JPII’s catechism… almost seamlessly.

(The natives in the latter church scene — descended from persecuted Irish — are the people Thomas Day described perfectly.)

Those for whom practice including liturgy matters as much as doctrine are happier as Anglicans or Orthodox... and possibly as high-church Lutherans. (Nobody can accuse the Orthodox or the Lutherans of being weak on doctrine either.)

Unsurprisingly the two brands of high churchmanship (in the old sense of high theology and church authority not necessarily ceremonial) don’t understand each other or really get on.

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