Sunday, June 03, 2012


Church
  • Orthodoxy: the Carpatho-Russian Diocese’s candidate for bishop is... a priest from the Greek Archdiocese. So you have to ask why there aren’t native Slavic-American vocations. A bit of background: nice people, just like their Greek Catholic cousins, from America’s Rust Belt, kicked out of the Catholic Church in the ’30s for no good reason. They weren’t heretics or even liturgical modernizers. The local Roman Rite clergy didn’t like their native custom of ordaining married men. (All Greek Rite bishops, including the Orthodox ones, are celibate.) So the Carpathos who left went under the Greeks, who more or less left them alone like they wanted. I like latinizations when they’re old (Tridentine) and don’t take over, which for decades was what the Carpatho Diocese was like (monsignori and First Communions: a charming down-home traditionalism). Recently an Italian cardinal caused a ruckus online (probably not in the parishes) when he said Greek Catholic priests in America are still to be celibate. That’s long been a done deal among them, dating back to this pointless schism. So again: where are the native sons and why aren’t they going to seminary? Married clergy aren’t a cure-all. The Orthodox lose people like crazy (so do the Greek Catholics, and the mainline, which marries the ordained, is going down the drain). My guess is this candidate is a sign the diocese is dying and will eventually be absorbed by the Greeks, who, while small on the American scene, are America’s biggest Orthodox church: immigration and marriage converts like Tom Hanks.
  • Today is Trinity Sunday. The King of England started his own church with the excuse that the Pope was too powerful, but its prayer book kept numbering Sundays after Trinity, a late medieval feast started by ... the Pope. The reason for the split was a lie anyway. As far as I know, the classical Anglican and Tractarian objection to the shape of the papacy was amazingly ‘conservative’ like the Orthodox one: as if the Pope, with absolute power above tradition (not really how the church works), would do something crazy... like, I don’t know, try to ordain women or teach that men can marry each other.

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