Monday, November 24, 2014

Dr. Adam DeVille Severely Criticizes Met. Hilarion (MP)

Christian Unity Cannot Be Built on Lies

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the “foreign affairs minister” of the Russian Orthodox Church, is, as George Weigel observed recently in First Things, a talented man, “charming and witty.” However, the gifted Hilarion, Weigel rightly noted, “does not always speak the truth.” Hilarion is rather like the Energizer Bunny: he goes on and on and on repeating tirelessly whatever pernicious propaganda the Russians want to spread. He has three channels to choose from: tired and outright lies about Ukrainian Catholics, repeated ad nauseam for over a decade now; useful if rather vague calls for Christians to co-operate in addressing the social ills of our time (same-sex marriage, divorce, abortion); and tendentious distortions of his own Orthodox tradition, particularly her ecclesiology. It is the third I wish to address.

Read the rest here.

10 comments:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Much agreed. Christian unity cannot be built on lies, distortions, personal pique and selective quotes.

August said...

I find a lot of things wrong with this article, not least of which is the idea that Hilarion is looking for 'christian unity.' He is looking for collaboration against the progressive tide, but the Russian church seems to be quite resigned (or perhaps content) to non-unity. As such, Hilarion's statements are entirely in accord with his message, and his church.
These statements may be wrong- I would prefer more autonomous churches in the world, and both the bishops of Rome and Moscow tending to their own flock rather than meddling in other people's affairs- but they are consistent and true. Especially in the sense that, if you do desire Christian unity, you have to actually deal with the Russian perception that it is practically impossible.

Gregory DeLassus said...

I am a Roman Catholic and I usually enjoy reading Dr. Deville, but this piece seems a bit unhinged.

dmw said...

It's another venue for DeVille to sell more copies of his book.

Stephen said...

It's magic. Nothing makes even the most liberal Catholic become a raging ultra-montanist than an Orthodox. It's ok for Catholics to pick and choose just exactly what they like about the Papacy, but whoa to an Orthodox who subscribes to anything less than the Papal Full-Monty. Never mind that Catholics themselves are still working through what exactly is the extent of Papal prerogatives, and how that authority should or should not be exercised (some claim that the Church has on authority over the Pope, some are less embracing of that for example). This is what you get when an Orthodox leader says, "Papal schmapal, Pope schmope, that's all a distraction."

August said...

Stephen,

I think this is in large part due to the fact that the left/right dichotomy is propagandized into us. It is how we lost the U.S. and how we lost our church. Instincts toward traditionalism that would have saved us in an earlier age, don't now, because yesterday's progressives had already subverted tradition. Indeed, the easiest way to implement progressive policy is to have a strong pope do it- yet the conservatives are the ones who love a strong pope, out of a sense of tradition.

Stephen said...

Yes, anybody loves it when it's your boy in power, that's only human. But the Church should not be just another human organization. And the Papacy has evolved into a very centralized machine, to the point where it is now by nature totally progressive. Innovation, Thy home is Rome.

Stephen said...

Perhaps I should mention to Dr. DeVille that that should be the title of his next book.

Fr. Frank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

Dear Father Frank:

Yes, the organizational and administrative issues of the East are less than ideal. But the internal cohesion and clarity of what we Orthodox believe and how we know what each church around each bishop believes is strong and clear.
The situation is almost reversed, a mirror image, among Roman Catholics. The power of the Papacy, which has had few historical checks or balances from any secular or ecclesiastical source in its geographic area for most of its existence, has created a clear administrative organizational structure; but I would contend that on the inside of the Roman Catholic Church, a tremendous lack of consensus and clarity exists. You speak of the Real Presence, and chide the Orthodox for having questions regarding it among the West; yet some of your own co-communicants claim that other Roman Catholics seek to undermine or do undermine the Real Presence via changes to the Mass, or lack of following the right rubrics, or from bishops a lack of enforcing the right rubrics. This is rampant in the west since Vatican II, so how can you blame us for raising an eyebrow when you yourselves cannot agree?