Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy birthday

Today my blog turns two years old. There are many like it but this one is mine. Thank you to my four loyal readers, to Rorate, Zippy, Boniface, Bonald, and Button for putting me on your blogrolls, and to all of the kids who came here looking for Skyrim or Fallout builds. I know less than half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

Catholics-Orthodox to meet again at Nicaea?
It’s obvious that some Orthodox are not willing to move quickly — if at all — toward unity with Catholics, and many Orthodox would first require some reassurances, if not bold action, on several issues, beginning perhaps with the filioque, the clause in the Nicene Creed that proclaims the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” Orthodox and Catholic scholars for 20 years now have discussed this issue and agreed that it is not church-dividing, but some Orthodox still feel that the Church in the West lacked the authority to unilaterally alter a creed that was decided upon by the consensus of an ecumenical council, and that the Western Church needs to return to using the creed as it was originally written without the Latin interpolation. Thus, Christians would all together once more process our faith in “the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father.”
Other areas touch on Church discipline and governance. Those teaching Catholic theology in the name of the Church would need to do so in a demonstrably faithful (“orthodox”) way. Those celebrating the Church’s liturgy would need to do so in a way that avoids much of the silliness, the slovenliness and the banality that still afflict Masses today. The Orthodox would want to know that their own system of electing and disciplining bishops would remain free of Roman curial interference. And they would want it clearly understood that their own tradition (which is also the tradition of Eastern Catholics and those Anglican and Lutheran clergy who are now Catholic priests) of ordaining married men to the priesthood would remain untouched, and nobody would be forced to adopt celibacy.
Obviously I think that we Catholics are right and the Orthodox are wrong on all of the issues that separate us. I deeply respect the Orthodox though. Those guys stick to their guns in a way that puts most of us Catholics to shame. I don't expect reunion will happen in my lifetime. The average Orthodox looks at the typical suburban Novus Ordo Mass and thinks, "Full communion with that? Nope." I wouldn't wish the Spirit of Vatican II on my worst enemies. If reunion ever happens, I hope they influence us more than we influence them.

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