Friday, March 18, 2011

Rod Dreher: What's so appealing about Orthodoxy?

I came to Orthodoxy in 2006, a broken man. I had been a devoutly observant and convinced Roman Catholic for years, but had my faith shattered in large part by what I had learned as a reporter covering the sex abuse scandal. It had been my assumption that my theological convictions would protect the core of my faith through any trial, but the knowledge I struggled with wore down my ability to believe in the ecclesial truth claims of the Roman church (I wrote in detail about that drama here). For my wife and me, Protestantism was not an option, given what we knew about church history, and given our convictions about sacramental theology. That left Orthodoxy as the only safe harbor from the tempest that threatened to capsize our Christianity.

In truth, I had longed for Orthodoxy for some time, for the same reasons I, as a young man, found my way into the Catholic Church. It seemed to me a rock of stability in a turbulent sea of relativism and modernism overtaking Western Christianity. And while the Roman church threw out so much of its artistic and liturgical heritage in the violence of the Second Vatican Council, the Orthodox still held on to theirs. Several years before we entered Orthodoxy, my wife and I visited Orthodox friends at their Maryland parish. As morally and liturgically conservative Catholics, we were moved and even envious over what we saw there. We had to leave early to scoot up the road to the nearest Seventies moderne Catholic parish to meet our Sunday obligation. The contrast between the desultory liturgical proceedings at Our Lady of Pizza Hut and what we had walked out of in the Orthodox parish down the road literally reduced us to tears. But ugliness, even a sense of spiritual desolation, does not obviate truth, and we knew we had to stand with truth – and therefore with Rome – despite it all.
Read the rest here.

An interesting read, and I can identify with some of Rod's experiences (as an ex Traddie). That said it sounds like he still has some issues with the Catholic Church. I think he was spiritually wounded by some of what he came into contact with. That is regrettable (although understandable) because one's view of the RCC should not be so heavily framed by the sex abuse scandal. If I remember correctly he had to swim in the deep end of the septic tank as part of his journalistic investigation into that scandal. That can and will leave deep scars.

1 comment:

David said...

Four days and not a single Dreher-hater post. Is that some sort of a record?