Friday, March 10, 2017

Ninny non-Catholic apologists and more

  • "The Pope appointing the bishops in other sees directly contradicts Canon 2 of Constantinople..." Plausible but ever notice that the usually convertodox and Anglicans, and the occasional Catholic liberal, who make these arguments against the reality of the Catholic Church often really have a problem with our other teachings? It's like the old joke about the celibate Roman Rite diocesan priest asking his bishop to be released from the ministry, rattling off an impressive list of theological objections to the church. "What's her name?" "The Pope has overstepped his authority!" screeches the schismatic who accepts divorce-and-remarriage and contraception, the convert schismatic who wants the sugar of exotic hipster Catholicism without the scrutiny and possible martyrdom being a real Catholic invites in today's Western society, and the liturgical Protestant who has "married" another man with a woman priest officiating. When travel and thus communication were difficult, "universal and immediate jurisdiction" really meant a laissez-faire governance largely by custom; how the church really works. There's only one church, it has a head bishop, and his office has certain powers. Not a problem.
  • What's now the Ukrainian Catholic Church was originally, at the union in 1596, the metropolia of Kiev with much of Byelorussia; Russian westward expansion and its accompanying persecution left it with only Polish Galicia, which the Russians didn't invade until World War II. Yet ironically, as a Polish acquaintance points out, that region was the last to accept the Unia: The archeparchy of Halicz Galicja was the last Orthodox diocese in the Commonwealth to join the Unia. This occurred in 1697. Before the Russian expansion it was called simply the Uniate Church as it was multiethnic. Please don't forget that the center of the Unia from 1596 to 1836 was the area of what is now called Belarus. In 1700, 80% of the population of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania now Belarus was Uniate (for comparison 10% Roman Catholic and 8% Jewish). The center of the Unia was the city of Vilnius, not Lvov. The Unia of 1596 was not exclusively Ukrainian as it also included ethnic Poles and Belarussians, which many seem to forget. I doubt the claim regarding Vilnius as Lithuania's fervently Roman Rite just like Poland (and, interestingly, the last European country to become Christian).
  • Christian images: all can, some should, none must, but always respect them. That there are ignorant people isn't news. What gets to me are things like this from people who know better: a local conservative Catholic meeting place for parties and conferences has icons as signs for the men's and ladies' rooms. Hello, I use icons to pray, exactly like the Orthodox. Way to set back the only ecumenism worth a chance. Icons are optional but they're not decorative. My icons are in a corner of my home where I do bows and prostrations; some say Mohammedans got the idea of prostrations from Christians. Icons are a beautiful part of our common heritage. The Catholic Church actually helped preserve icons during iconoclasm. Thanks for the reminder that iconoclasm was the Byzantine emperor's project if I recall rightly. God works in mysterious ways; wasn't one of the defenders of icons the iffy ("actress," which in classical times meant prostitute) empress Theodora?


  1. "wasn't one of the defenders of icons the iffy ("actress," which in classical times meant prostitute) empress Theodora?"

    I believe that you are confusing the Emperor Justinian's wife Theodora (d. 549) with the Empress-Regent Irene (d. 803) who was responsible for the first restoration of the icons in 787, or, more likely, the Theodora who was responsible for the second restoration of the icons in 843; cf.:

    1. I knew you'd have the answer.

    2. Professor Tighe, this is completely off-topic, but I actually came here looking for you! I have a question. Can you recommend a solid, fair, scholarly, accurate, non-tendentious history of the papacy? I am contending online with a rather self-important atheist who laughably claims that "most of the popes were murderers." He bases this nonsense on a piece of crude 19th-century anti-Catholic polemics by one Louis Marie de Cormoren (I think that's the name). When challenged, he tells us all how much smarter he is than we are, and we should just concede this and give up. :) (Don't ask how I got sucked into this ridiculous online discussion. Never again.)

  2. More from my Polish acquaintance:

    Modern Lithuania is only about 10-20% of the ancient Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Up to the war, Vilnius was Wilno. The city was 50-50 Polish-Jewish while the surrounding countryside was 60-40 Polish-Belarussian. Stalin forced the majority of Poles and Belarussians out, so he is the reason the city is now 63% Lithuanian. But those are the official statistics — the state is officially Lithuanian but the majority of people speak Polish or Russian.

    Aside from that, until about 1850, the modern-day Lithuanians called themselves
    Samoigitians od Żmudzini in Polish.


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