Friday, August 15, 2014

Quotes and conversations on religion: going for broke in an Orthodox/Catholic fight

  • A question of incense: what is it that High-Church Anglicans do differently from Catholics that seems to make the incense so ummmmmmmmm what's the word?? Never noticed a difference in the smell of the incense, just a difference in the culture. The ad-hoc, congregational nature of high-church Anglicanism, sort of a club mentality, successfully resisting (hooray) the changes from Vatican II, made it fun. I imagine it's still much the same that way for Affirming Catholics, even though they're more liberal than Catholicism on some points and more conservative than mainstream Catholics on others (liturgically they still resemble me). Romans tend to give it the token wave with a small thurible in a Basilica; Anglo-Catholics tend to use "big bertha" in a church the size of a walk-in closet. Heh heh. "Romans." (I get it: "We're Catholics too.") Civis Romanus sum.
  • “@RorateCaeli: Catholicism is not a super-congregational church where the people grant power to the pastor; it's never been like that.” True, but there is lots of leeway in church polity apart from the papacy and episcopate. Anglican semi-congregationalism enabled Anglo-Catholic parishes to NOT implement the changes after Vatican II, plus it builds strong parish communities, also the Orthodox and Polish National Catholic experience. Reject their errors but learn from these people too. Liberals say that stuff because they're anti-sacerdotal and rebelling against priests who happen to be orthodox. But the women who want to be priests are clericalists, not sacerdotalists, and have you ever run across liberal priests when they're in charge? (Pretty much the story of the church since Vatican II.) Not pretty.
  • Orthodox/Catholic fight: going for broke. Long thread in which I make all the points I make here, in the middle of You have been warned. If "the whole Church" is limited to Eastern Europe and the Middle East with a few immigrant and convert outposts in the New World, I think I'll go be a Buddhist instead. They're nicer. There seem to be two kinds of Orthodox arguing here: geeks living in their heads coming up with historical sophistry to defend the schism, and xenophobic ethnics, with crossover. The defensiveness of the East in its claims to be the "true Church" is an example of its weakness. Its inability to recognize that it is a piece of the broader Church - an inability nurtured by sultans and tsars who preferred a divided Christendom to a united one - is not a sign of strength. It is just silly. They have a bunch of popes as saints in their calendars, and even the dreaded St. Augustine is a saint to them - "Blessed Augustine" as he is known. I have a relic of St. Augustine, and another of St. John Neumann. We don't hate the East; their reason to exist is to hate the West.
  • The idea of a conflict between "Dormition" and "Assumption" is schismatic nonsense from the Orthodox, ironic since we got the story, assumption and all, in a much more flowery form from the East. Pius XII left it open: Catholics can believe she died but don't have to.
  • From the rector of a formerly Anglo-Papalist parish that retains those trappings, including today's feast: If she imitated her Son, then she died. Mariolatry is just round the corner in much of the so-called 'developed' doctrine, East and West. True enough, Father, about popular piety but not doctrine. Good thing the church is indefectible to keep us from going round the bend. But riddle me this, Batman: so, Catholic Mariology means "development" is bad (echoing the Orthodox and the classic Anglicans) but women's ordination and same-sex marriage are "development," no? So what's the difference?
  • The feast of the Assumption is when the United States got its first Catholic bishop. The anniversary of the consecration of John Carroll. There was once a kind of high-church Episcopalian who had a kind of true-church claim, mirroring the state church in England: I remember from my Anglican days that there was a Feast of the Bestowal of the American Episcopate in the ECUSA calendar, referring of course to Samuel Seabury, not Carroll. I remember how we (that is, the people I associated with) implicity - and sometimes explicitly! - behaved as if the Episcopal House of Bishops were the real, honest to God, truly, true "American Episcopate" whereas the "Roman" hierarchy constituted a bunch of unwelcome interlopers. Of course, I do not blame Bishop Seabury for this mentality one bit - only some of his more obnoxious spiritual descendants (mea culpa!), of which I found one 19th-century choice (better yet, bonkers) specimen from the Project Canterbury website for your amusement. Cue tiny violins and sad trombones. The other reason they call us "the Romans." I wonder if Bolles is an ancestor of Richard Bolles, the Episcopal priest who wrote What Color Is Your Parachute?


  1. Donauschwäbisch7:04 pm

    Dad's cousins/family (males between the ages of 12 and 70) were wiped out by Serb Orthodox. They were Danube Swabs/Donauschwäbischen. Serbs' first modern ethnic cleansing took place in the forties, not the nineties.

    1. I believe it. The Orthodox are not victims.

  2. The Orthodox are just minions of the State, and if the State isn't Orthodox, it is a minion of whoever is in charge, with a big dose of ethnocentrism mixed in. Not attractive in the modern world, but a good explanation why so many Orthodox have such a bad attitude about the Catholic Church and the Pope, reminders that the Church isn't an ethnic club but is the company of the saints from all races and groups on earth.

  3. True but the ethnic ones are often nice in person, very Catholic-like. They have nothing to prove.

  4. Some questions for ya. I'm not trying to start any fights, but I've noticed you always use the same arguments against Orthodoxy and it's never about doctrinal issues. There are no more Tsars or Ottoman Empire so Tsarism and dhimmitude are not issues (not that I think Tsarism was really a problem) so what's your point about that? The whole church of the first three centuries was subject to severe persecution, so according to your logic, wouldn't that make God a sicko who hates humanity? I mean look at what happened to all the Apostles. Orthodoxy is not without its problems, but look at the Latin church, I mean, really? I don't hate my culture. I'm living in the same culture and with the same name as I did when I was RC. Me becoming Orthodox is not a self-hating act. I am Orthodox because I believe it is true. I can't in good conscience be RC because there is too much evidence in the Bible and church history against the papacy. Plus Florence screwed up in its explanation of the Filioque. Also, who are you to accuse anyone of hating their culture? You pretend to live in the 50s. Just sayin.

    1. It's never about doctrinal issues because the schism is not about doctrinal issues. All of their defined doctrine is true - all of it came from us (the first seven ecumenical councils). In other words, unlike Protestantism, on paper, Orthodoxy is entirely Catholic. Which is why the schism hurts.

      America 50 years ago is part of my culture and I don't claim that everything outside it is outside the church.

      The unlatinized forms of the rite (as well as the old latinized forms that our Greek Catholic peoples developed on their own), the people, and the cultures are great, but Orthodoxy as a separate church exists to hate the West. The tsars, petty Balkan princes, and sultans found a divided Christendom more useful for some reason so they separated most of the Byzantine Rite peoples from the church. That continuing isolationism is the only reason Orthodoxy as such still exists.


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