Thursday, January 17, 2008

Staying Put

It is with interest that I note the decision of fellow Orthodox blogger Cathedra Unitatis to remain in The Church. Those familiar with his excellent blog might find his decision somewhat surprising (I did), given his various expressions of sympathy with the Roman Church. Indeed the raison d' etat of his blog was to explore the issues dividing the Latin Church from Orthodoxy (or vice versa depending on one's perspective). And this he has done with remarkable patience and charity. Some of the better Orthodox - Catholic discussions have occurred there. But the tenor of some of his posts and his own commentary lead many of us, I think on both sides of the debate, to expect him to shortly be swimming the Tiber.

In announcing his intentions to remain Orthodox he observed (perhaps tongue in cheek?) that it might be somewhat dismaying to both his Catholic and Orthodox readers. While I concede my surprise; I feel no dismay. Indeed as one who struggled with the choice between Rome and Orthodoxy for decades before reaching a decision, I sympathize with CU. Those who have never carried the burden of doubt can not know its weight on the soul. I do not know if CU has made the right decision or not. I am content to leave that to God. Others, as evidenced by a handful of less than irenic comments posted in response to his announcement, apparently entertain no doubts. I found their lack of charity somewhat sad though not terribly surprising. Most of the sharply negative comments were from a single individual with a well established and unfortunate reputation among both Orthodox bloggers and her fellow Catholics.

Beyond those handful of unpleasant comments though, this is a post that is well worth reading along with the comments. I particularly refer the reader to a magnificent comment posted by a Fr. Paul (I presume a Roman Catholic) which I found abundant in both charity and reason. Would that there were more people like that on both sides of the often heated discussions between East and West.

On the subject of those discussions I am also pleased to report that CU plans to keep up his blog. I look forward to reading many more interesting posts there.

4 comments:

NeoChalcedonian said...

I would not have been surprised had he decided to become Catholic instead of remaining Orthodox, and I expected a comment war of epic proportions to follow the announcement either way.

Richard Barrett said...

I expect I know exactly who the "single individual with a well established and unfortunate reputation" is...

(checking)

Yep.

Sigh.

Richard

Hieromonk Gregory said...

I am an Orthodox priestmonk and a convert to the faith. I too was pleased that CU chose to remain within the Orthodox fold. I understand how often we meet extremes on both sides of the fence or the Bosphorus, but frankly, I find comfort in returning to the theology and history of the Orthodox Church and its ongoing witness throughout the ages. I have great love for Pope Benedict and for my Roman Catholic Brothers and Sisters. I pray that we can refer to issues and theological principles and not degenerate into polemics and name calling. No one benefits from that approach. Also, I find a bit of humor helps to keep one more focused.

May we humbly folow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we seek the union that is not predicated on compromise or power, but one the common grasp of Truth, Jesus Christ the Lord.

Gabriel said...

I still think The Ochlophobist had him pegged right from the start. Part of me wonders, "Who cares?" In some sense I do care that someone should remain within the Orthodox Church, but given the amount of time spent "blogging" about it, coupled with the potential danger it has to upset/offset fellow Christians (what's that line about stumbling blocks?), it all smelled rotten from the get-go. I can certainly appreciate the tensions of being Orthodox, especially in a part of the world where "Apostolic Church" has almost exclusively been the claim of Roman Catholics. As an ex-Catholic, I sympathize even more with those who look to it over-and-against the oftentimes "ghettoized" Orthodox. But to make a public spectacle out of it...that's something else entirely.