Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • From T1:9: What unites the church is a common faith in Christ and a common share in the Spirit. Apart from this essential, Christians may have nothing at all in common. We differ from one another in temperament, personality, education, colour, culture, citizenship, language and in a host of other ways. Thank God we do. The church is a wonderfully inclusive fellowship, in which ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female’ (Gal. 3:28). In other words, in Christ we have equality. — John R.W. Stott
  • There’s nothing wrong with seeing the good in Protestants (quoting them like above) but like Fr Gordon Anderson this has me saying ‘WTF?’ J.I. Packer to be commencement speaker and get honorary degree at Nashotah House. More on ‘the enemy of my enemy’ phenomenon in conservative Anglicanism (along with beautiful pictures of St Alban’s, Holborn, which I’ve been to, and the St Mark’s Day Mass yesterday at Ushaw) or ‘let’s re-create the Elizabethan Settlement so it can collapse on us again’. And a reminder of what conservative Protestants really thought of us in the Catholic Movement. (This is not an apologia for remaining in hostile liberal Protestant denominations either.)
  • Speaking of good Protestants, Tripp explains the decline in churchgoing without the Chicken Little panic that sometimes afflicts conservatives. There is a statistically demonstrable and steady decline in church attendance. That’s not news and it accompanies a recent and seemingly rapid church building boom. Some say that what the church in America is encountering is the simple course correction after the WWII bubble. Rather like I understand the history of Ireland: in 1800 it wasn’t religious; then after RC emancipation there was a massive Catholic revival producing the pious Irish many remember; now it’s swung back to indifference. Of course religious liberty is not the same as indifferentism in principle like secular (neutral and fair on religion: freedom for all) and secularist (anti-religious) aren’t the same. I dare say the peaceable kingdom in which Tripp’s faith and mine (and those of no faith for that matter) could live would be neither of the religious right nor the Christian left but... libertarian.
  • Something for Antipascha (St Thomas Sunday): My 2,000th posting on Douglas’ defensive ilk are a ha’penny a dozen in online Orthodoxy, where I’m only an occasional visitor. Fr Anastasios is an old friend.
  • Ethnics vs Baptodox with a chip on their shoulder? Take this as you will: from an e-mail. A well-informed Greek layman tells me that American converts to the Orthodox Church are regarded as “a bunch of Protestants” over at the Phanar.
  • RIP Mgr Stephen Dutko. Вечная память (eternal memory). More on this history. The YouTube above is of Orthodox Easter a week ago; he’s in the chasuble with the big cross (yes, very Tridentine) singing a solo part. Interestingly Russians have their families’ graves blessed today.
Ruthenian-American life: making pierogi at Monsignor’s parish. Of course this could be anywhere in upstate Pennsylvania. (Binghamton, NY is just across the border.)

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