Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Zizioulas on Catholic/Orthodox relations, Sailer on "Megaphonics," and more

  • Metropolitan John of Pergamon on Catholic/Orthodox relations. Better known as the theologian Ioannis Zizioulas. ... for many centuries, the Orthodox believed that the Pope wanted to subjugate them. And now we see this is not in any way true. The emphasis he placed on professing and sharing the same faith is also important. Professing the same faith is the only basis of our unity. The question is recognising what that same faith is; we need to profess this faith together in order for us to be in full communion. Nothing new: "nice Orthodox" such as he, as opposed to nasty Orthodox, recognize our sacraments and churchness, in their opinion, as we dogmatically do theirs. But their hardliners (nasty Orthodox, who believe we don't even have a real baptism) have nothing to fear: same mirror true-church teaching as ours. Nice Orthodox, their ecumenists, start on the wrong foot by assuming we no longer teach we're the true church ("now we see this is not in any way true") so they, and their "Orthodox in communion with Rome" followers in but not of the church, get their hopes up when a Pope or some other Catholic churchman tries to be humble. Their understandable reaction to the unclear signals coming from us: "Why don't you just dump your doctrine like you seem to promise half the time and come into the true church?" ("Professing the same faith is the only basis of our unity.") As Catholics we believe the second-millennium papacy has consistently, effectively defended all the essentials of the faith that we do share with the Orthodox: God, Christ, the Trinity, the hypostatic union, Mary the Mother of God, bishops, the Mass, and the option of using images in worship. So we have no incentive to dump our second-millennium defined doctrine. The most I can do is blame Popes' prudential judgment for buying into the naive futurism that begat Vatican II (and there are Orthodox liberals who want to do the same thing), but that was nothing to do with our doctrine ("pastoral council" that didn't work, as my now-broke archdiocese shows). So thanks but no thanks, Metropolitan John.
  • By the way, the obvious analogue to the Byzantine Liturgy is the Tridentine Mass, as old Orthodox theology books accepted, but Orthodox ecumenists always defend the Novus Ordo, saying it's better than our Mass (which has the second oldest Eucharistic prayer still in use). It's like Sixties Catholic and Protestant liberals trying to create a new church together, though in these Byzantines' case (the OicwRs do it too, sneering at conservative Catholics coming into "their" church) it could just be anti-Westernism. (Hip Orthodox theology such as Schmemann: retread of our French liberals before V2; "anything but Thomism," as if the Schoolmen were too dumb to understand the church fathers.) Red alert.
  • Tea at Trianon: The drug-of-choice for intelligent and literate pagans is the Matthew Arnold doctrine, which can be cruelly epitomized as “Real religion is too much like hard work, so let’s have a religion of art.”
  • Satan's traps of the pious.
  • Steve Sailer at Takimag: Intro to Megaphonics. I was planning to write the definitive essay on why the engineers of conventional wisdom — the holders of the Megaphone — always seem to get their big stories so ludicrously wrong. … As Theodore Dalrymple famously noted: "… the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better."
  • Face to Face: "In debt up to my eyeballs" — the growth of a telling phrase.

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