Sunday, March 07, 2010

Clarity on ecumenism or more obnoxiousness doing business as orthodoxy?
An Orthodox blogger likes the way an in-your-face trad blog denounced the way Pope Benedict wished the Patriarch of Constantinople a happy birthday.

A one-true-church claim is part of what defines a Catholic church; it’s not a denomination. Which is why the Orthodox understood and respected Dominus Iesus while the mainline complained; the Pope was speaking their common language!

The matter at hand: Rome while in no way compromising its claim seems to acknowledge never-RC Orthodox bishops as having not only holy orders but jurisdiction over their never-RC people. (What it means when it says the Orthodox are churches; Protestants are non-churches, ‘ecclesial communities’ being the polite term for church-like collections of Christians.) The same benefit of the doubt that makes venerating post-schism Orthodox saints possible, even liturgically among the highest-church of the Greek Catholics (the Melkites and St Gregory Palamas; the tiny Russian Catholic Church and all the Russian Orthodox saints). Which sounds fine to me and in their usual unwritten customary way is mirrored by the Orthodox, who venerate pre-schism Popes as Popes and have never appointed an Orthodox replacement Pope. Even with the difference over his scope as the one real division between the two sides, it’s understood that the reigning Pope is who he says he is.

This benefit of the doubt given to people born on the other side is how I interpret the old-school condemnations, as applying not to them but to people who switch.

Of course I do hope that generosity doesn’t mean I’m one jump removed from the old relativists of Call to Action (wannabe mainliners who don’t like high church).

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