Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • The real story of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and ecumenism. More. Ecumenist has become an all-purpose insult used by online converts rather like mainliners use fundamentalist for any conservative. Irish Hermit’s right. The old Russian батюшки (‘fathers’, priests) knew who they were and had nothing to prove by verbally beating up other Christians. Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanowsky) once preached at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The fanatical stuff in ROCOR came and went with the Greek Old Calendarists taken on board in the 1970s who later left. Reunion with the church in Russia two years ago seems to be setting this right again.
  • What should secular journalists call the Blessed Sacrament? Speaking as a secular journalist (like I’m a secular libertarian — secular ≠ anti-religious) I think Communion (elements) with a capital C seems a good all-purpose usage as does consecrated bread, which is not perfect but there’s no room to get into a theological discussion when writing for a non-church paper or magazine. Much like simply saying the Episcopal priest or the Methodist bishop without getting into an argument about holy orders.
  • Summing up the Anglican row FWIW. The deleted links in short: an Episcopalian describing his denomination’s highest council boasted that he belonged to a democratic organisation with no Pope to which I said ‘precisely’. In a fallible church everything is up for grabs. (In Orthodoxy it’s not so it’s not about the Pope.) An infallible church is self-limiting: it can’t change its mind and decide two men can marry each other in one of its parishes for example. (So his denomination claims a power the Pope doesn’t!) The conservative Protestants happen to agree more with the Catholic faith on hot-button moral issues but on whose authority? Ultimately it’s not about sex but ecclesiology/authority. The ‘Reformation’ was evil.

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