Monday, September 08, 2014

Another critic of the Orthodox

One of Fr. Z's commenters. Normally, with the goal of bringing the whole Eastern family back into the Catholic family, we keep individual conversions quiet, but this fellow makes some good points.
There were two things from the get-go that made me realize Catholicism’s doctrinal witness had to be taken seriously. Two things were inescapable: first, contraception is incomprehensible for the Christian marriage... second, marriage is necessarily permanent so long as both spouses live, both because of its duties and obligations under natural law, and also because of its sacramental character.

Orthodox may attempt to pride themselves on greater fidelity to the Apostolic Tradition in some external custom or other (ancient calendars, fasts, seasons of kneeling vs. not, etc.), but it was absolutely clear to me that she has come adrift from basic Christian doctrine on marriage and sexuality.
Reminds me of the Episcopalian (liberal high church) thing of showing off they know that St. Pius X radically changed the breviary, and loudly rejecting it, but accepting women priests and gay marriage as self-evident truths.
This is a matter of doctrine, not mere practice, and this should give many Orthodox pause, as it gave me: I reckoned to myself, “If Catholicism is false and Orthodoxy is true, why is it that Catholicism still teaches the truth about marriage and contraception, while we have abandoned it?” The doctrinal vagaries surrounding the Filioque and Papal Infallibility can be debated until one is blue in the face; the crystal-clear Patristic and Apostolic (and Scriptural) teaching that marriage is forever and excludes contraception, cannot (at least, not by honest, above-board people). I think it would be tragic, to see Catholicism even flirt with this “oikonomia” idea, when her doctrinal fidelity was, for me, a very clear witness to her real claim to be the Church.
Hooray for the unlatinized as well as the latinized forms of the Byzantine Rite but yes, this is doctrine; this is golden. Adultery is NOT "sometimes OK."


  1. Wow! Bravo, Pater Augustinus!

  2. Posted under Gabriel Sanchez's share of your link...where it will probably garner the usual flak from the usual suspects:

    I appreciated Pater Augustinus's point re "oikonomia," which has always sounded to me like a fancy term for "situation ethics" (a '60s fad y'all are probably too young to have heard of ;)). I've been told that it's OK for a priest to remarry divorced parties because, hey, he's a priest; he has the power of the keys; he gets to do that stuff. But Our Lord said, "What God has joined together, let no MAN put asunder." Um, isn't a priest a man? Yeah, folks are dumb where I come from, we ain't got any learnin'...but we do know a mere human, mortal, non-divine *man* when we see one. I could never understand this. And yes, it did strike me that "oikonomia" can easily be abused. In theory, it is almost infinitely elastic. (And yes, I know all the arguments that can be made contra the Catholic position, e.g., WRT the scandal of easily obtained annulments [an abuse, not a dogma; abuses can be fixed]. These objections have been answered many times over, and anyone who wants to see the answers can simply Google them. But, even if you Google till your eyes bubble, I doubt you will come up with a really solid Biblical / patristic justification for the Orthodox teaching re divorce/remarriage. And no, one ambiguous passage from Basil does not a theology make. So, yeah, spare me.)

  3. BTW, I almost responded to Arturo's sophomoric comment at Gabriel's link. But is it worth it to respond to such childishness? It speaks for itself to anyone with half an ounce of maturity. And responding will only feed the trollish energy monster. Why Gabe "likes" such infantile crap is beyond me.

    1. I can't find either Gabriel or Arturo there.


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