Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Does ecumenism have a future?

  • Ad Orientem: Does ecumenism have a future? Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Russian Orthodox Church's ecumenical officer, talks sense about the dead end of dialogue with Anglicans and, being eirenical here, admits his church's logical dialogue partner is the Catholic Church. Hitherto we viewed the ordination of women to the priesthood as erroneous actions of individual bishops. Now women have been given the right to become bishops. For us this signifies a very simple fact — discussion on the recognition of the Anglican hierarchy is closed. Anyway, yes and no. For "true churches," ecumenism is a chance to teach, nicely of course. The liberal ecumenists' notion, such as right after Vatican II, of working with the Protestants to build a new church, no longer really Catholic (or Orthodox), of course is not an option. Nobody believes anymore that corporate reunion will happen, but we offer it to the Eastern churches, which retain bishops and the Mass. (Protestants retain baptism. The East has churches; Protestants non-churches, "ecclesial communities.") No, ecumenism's lasting and continuing accomplishments are the sides now understand each other so they're not trying to kill each other, and simpatico churches such as the Catholics and the Orthodox can do joint charitable and culture-wars work (against abortion, for example).
  • Bob Wallace: Men try to manipulate things. Women try to manipulate men. Putting that nicely, that's why girls are so socially attuned and skilled, a survival skill for themselves and their babies. This is why, for example, men devote so much of their time to fiddling around with gadgets, solving problems and playing games, whereas women spend much of their time and money altering the way that they look and "chatting about relationships."
  • Filthy lucre. In passing, from Takimag's Kathy Shaidle, apparently a disillusioned former professional Catholic writer: In the Internet age and with the Western audience jaded by porn, etc., "is anybody out there making money from smut?" Webcam girls say they are. Cheap and simple technology means a low barrier to entry (as it were). Set up your Webcam and secure payment method, and suddenly you’re a stripper without the sleazy club, a centerfold without the aging “playboy” clinging to you like a parasitic twin. Some women are reportedly raking in a million bucks a year. Not to promote the wages of sin (spiritual and, probably, unintended practical problems from doing this) but what is, is.
  • The Irish Government have expressed that it is “extremely unlikely” that a member of the Royal Family will attend the 100th anniversary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising next year. Given the nature of the events, it was agreed it would be best not to invite the Royal Family to the events during Easter week 2016. I read Peter DeRosa's (who left the Catholic Church; Fr. Neil Boyd of "Bless Me, Father" was semi-autobiographical) book on the uprising. While DeRosa was sympathetic, he was honest. Many Irish at the time were loyal Britons; they proudly helped build the empire as part of the army serving literally around the world, etc. (Not the narrative you hear on American St. Patrick's Day.) That didn't change until the crushing of the 1916 revolt. And even today many southern Irishmen DON'T hate the British. I've met one who served in the RAF after Irish independence; many Irish have family in Britain. (The British Army's Irish Guards, who are very Catholic, aren't allowed to recruit in Ireland but Irish citizens can and do join.) It's deep and complicated. And the church has never thrown itself behind the Irish nationalist cause; it's always kept its distance from it, as is right. It appreciated and benefited from the new Irish state's benevolence to it but it was never co-opted by it or the IRA, many of whom were really Communist, not Catholic. (Fooling well-meaning Irish-American Catholics into giving them money.) The church has always preferred if the British royals, et al., came back to it to rebellion.
    Well, you are right that this is something that you don't hear too many Irish-Americans discuss, that some Irish were loyal to British rule and integrated themselves into its system. I know that their are many Irish in the UK, both recent arrivals and those whose families have lived their for generations. (The vast bulk of the Catholic Church in the UK, until recently, was Irish and of Irish blood.) I do know that the Church wasn't too thrilled with the Irish revolutionaries and tended to favor the stability of the Monarchy (As they tended to do in other countries as well). At the end of the day though, national sentiment won out over any pragmatic benefits that continued union with Britain might have given.
    Some of the Irish nationalist leaders weren't Marxist-like but sincere Catholics (Eamon de Valera); the resulting benevolence to the church (essentially making Ireland act like an official Catholic country, but they respect the Presbyterians' and Anglicans' rights) plus the British firmness (executions) suppressing the revolt won enough of the Irish over.


  1. Good background on Kathy Shaidle here. I used to read her often. Since the events described there, I read her much less. A very sad case. Nearly as sad as that of Gerald Naus who went from being a relatively level-headed Catholic blogger to being a pornographer himself.

    1. Of course I wondered why she left. As the article says, at least she was honest about leaving, not trying to change the church like a Catholic liberal. So she fell in love with and married a divorcé. Objectively wrong but understandable. I don't hate her.

    2. I find it utterly depressing to see Anglophiles not realising how Ireland before partition was governed like a police state apart from what became 'Northern Ireland' and you don't have to be a genius in figuring out why many came to America, but don't allow facts to obscure the reality most irish peasants voted for the Pro-Independence Sinn Fein party in 1918.

      Bloggers who view the Irish as savages that needed England's help in being 'civilized', why not come over and view the reality for yourself.


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