Thursday, July 23, 2009

Orthodox in Communion with Rome?

That said, as an Eastern Catholic I reject the idea that Trent is truly ecumenical, and hold instead that its decrees espouse Latin (mainly Scholastic) theological theories, which no one outside the Latin Church is required to accept
Hat tip to The Young Fogey

I encourage the reader to peruse the entire thread. It really is quite interesting. Clearly the concept of "cafeteria" Catholicism is not limited to the Latin Rite. I am slowly coming to the view that many of these people are neither Catholic nor Orthodox. They are Protestants dressed in Byzantine vestments. "I will believe whatever I want to believe."


Visibilium said...

The rationale for the Unia's witness to the Orthodox rests on the pretense that mutually exclusive beliefs aren't irreconcilable. It requires a falsification of reality. Professional-grade linguistic gymnastics are needed to conceal inherent contradictons--like the gymnastics provided by professional-grade Vatican philosophers.

I had a good laugh at absurdities like "Rome has the same right to call itself 'Orthodox' as does Orthodoxy to call itself 'Catholic'". And we're supposed to believe that such idiots form our second lung?

Ecgbert said...

Regarding OicwRs:

I am slowly coming to the view that many of these people are neither Catholic nor Orthodox. They are Protestants dressed in Byzantine vestments. "I will believe whatever I want to believe."

I'd say that's a fair description. They can be very appealing, seeming to be Orthodox without toxic anti-Westernism, but they just don't make sense.

(I've come to a similar conclusion about Continuing anglicans for example. They happen to have most of their beliefs in common with us but they're Protestants because their principle of authority is different: ultimately... self. The small a is because Anglicans belong to the Anglican Communion - they don't.)

The only mutually exclusive, irreconcilable belief IMO is regarding the scope of the Pope. Orthodox ecclesiology is very different: not only no Vatican but even less centralised than Anglicanism (no Lambeth Conference).

To be fair the 'Unia' - I say Greek Catholicism instead - as a whole and officially is not trying to say mutually exclusive beliefs are reconcilable. That's the OicwRs' game, or rather, as you say, they're cafeteria Catholics who happen to agree with conservative theology and liturgy. Most Greek Catholics are not OicwRs; they're RCs with a different Mass and are liturgically and devotionally very self-latinised including in a 'Vatican II' sense.

Rome's not lying: they're clear they want Greek Catholicism to be entirely Orthodox - unlatinised - externally, but doctrinally Latin (given church infallibility they can say nothing else with integrity), which IMO is almost like Orthodoxy except the different ecclesiology about the Pope. In short they want Orthodox to be this kind of Greek Catholic. Those people exist - I've met a Rome-trained priest who's like this - but seem to be few, and they're neither the online convert fantasy church of the OicwRs nor the vast majority of Slav born Greek Catholics (who are fine with being called anything but Russian - they're not; they're Galician and Ruthenian - or Orthodox).

Fr. J. said...

The OICWR crowd is a tiny but vocal minority resident mostly online at ByzCath. They are not representative of the countless good Eastern Catholics one finds in church on Sunday.

I would beg to differ that these malcontents do not display a toxic anti-Westernism. That is pretty much all they are about, save a tenuous and virtually meaningless communion with Rome.

Most dox. And they should, in the interest of honesty.

Ecgbert said...

As I was saying.

Good point.

Yes and yes.

Visibilium said...


Interesting take, but you're setting up a more impossible task than the impossible scenario that I've outlined. Even during the first millennium when all of us were singing around the campfire, internalized latinism was off the table.

Mike L said...


I couldn't agree more with what you and young fogey say.


Anonymous said...


Since the view here seems to be that these Catholics who are trying to live as "OiCwR" are some kind of hopeless wanna-be's, I was wondering if you have an opinion as to what a Roman Catholic might do if he is drawn strongly to Orthodoxy, but in conscience cannot leave communion with the bishop of Rome? Is there no place in this world for such a person?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Communion in the "catholic" sense means full agreement on all matters of doctrine and the faith. With that view in mind he should go where he believes the True Faith resides.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that the "Orthodox" can have blogs like this where they can bash Catholics as if they know what they are talking about. It helps stabilize their insecurity, created by being everything the early Christians were minus communion with the one then recognized as the visible Head of the entire Church.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I can only conclude from your comment that yo have not read any of the comments on this topic. You just came along with your standard line about the pope that you decided to add to a 2 year old thread. That makes you a troll.

If you have something constructive to add to a conversation then by all means go for it. If you just want to troll and post inane or provocative comments then do it somewhere else please.