Friday, February 10, 2012

An Episcopal "Bishop" takes a shot at Rome and fleeing Anglicans

It really is one of the more petty things I have seen written by a supposed member of the clergy.  I won't excerpt or quote it.  If interested you can read it all here.  For those who have concluded that the Anglican Communion is a ship that has foundered and are looking for a new home, I am well aware of the temptation to think Rome is the only logical destination.  Nor will I disparage those who feel called to enter the Roman Church.

But for what it's worth we Orthodox are also leaving the welcome mat out and the porch lite on.  Feel free to peruse the links in the sidebar including some related to the growing Orthodox Western Rite.


Igumen Gregory said...

I would agree with the "Bishop" on one matter: these folks were not victims. i know many who stayed with the EC far longer than any conscientious objector should have, bearing in mind that it is heart wrenching to live the stability and comfort of home to venture off to a new a new Church. let us pray for all who have made the journey and also for those left behind.

Anonymous said...

"But for what it's worth we Orthodox are also leaving the welcome mat out and the porch lite on..."
As someone who has supported not only the idea of the Orthodox Western Rite but actually have attended when possible, this statement is quite ingenuous.
The Orthodox Churches reject the Western Rite paying only lip service. The Greeks oppose it out the gate, Serbians pretended to be open to the idea just to suck in some people from the splintered Orthodox catholic Church of France, the Romanians were burned by the same OCCoF. The Antiochians only support it here in the USA (if you want to call it support) and ROCOR only supports it under Met. Hilarion and even he has problems now from what I've heard.
Ley's face it, the Orthodox Church is "provincial". They only version of the church is their version,. It is not a 'Catholic' church (universal) in this respect. It refuses to use 'Catholic' in its name!
Sorry, I have seen far to many disappointments where the WR is concerned to give it much hope. Yes, it had a spurt of growth a couple of years ago which was stopped dead in it tracks by the 'scandals' and since then nothing. In fact, the last group that was prepared to enter the WR withdrew after seeing that the Antiochian Orthodox Church (otherwise known as the Eastern Rite Episcopal church) was nothing but protestant episcopal all over again. After Met. philip passes I figure the WR will be cut a trail.
I know I'm being harsh but I'm so sick of all the churches playing games. What's the old political saying? " there ain't a dimes worth of difference between'um!'

Left out on the Left Coast.

Archpriest David Thatcher said...

Dear Anonymous:

I am a former Episcopalian -- now an Orthodox priest in Central California, in a small mission. We are Byzantine Rite.

I must say that I am astonished by your kind of thinking. If a person is looking for authentic catholicity -- i.e. the true Church -- then how is it that liturgical rite become your sine qua non bottom line as to whether or not the "doormat is out"? It's the same kind of bizarre red herring that I hear from Roman Catholics who want "real" catholicism by going back to Latin.

The mat is out because here is the historic Christian Church. It is available most everywhere in English. We have a growing and powerful literature in English. Our liturgies are more than beautiful (though they are that): they are the authentic worship of God in the true faith. Do you really want to hang your hat on the issue of rite? Are you that afraid of assimilating to something new? We all need to follow our Lord's direction for Nicodemus: we "must be born again." At the very least, that means we need to be willing to simply start over, with no agenda, in order to receive of Him Who is Life.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I notice the Bishop did not have the cajones, to allow comments, which is a shame. I had a doozy to stick in his comment box.

Proskomen said...

Thank you for saying that, Fr. David.

I have to disagree with John and Anonymous about the Western Rite being the "welcome mat". I don't understand how the WR is supposed to attract converts over the Eastern Rite.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I think you misread my post. I did not say the Western Rite was the welcome mat. I said the Church was leaving the welcome mat out. I noted that there are links related to the Western Rite in the sidebar. Fr. David's comment is spot on.

Mcommini2 said...

Anon- The Orthodox Church doesn't "refuse" to use the word "Catholic" in its name. For many years it used the word without a problem, even here in the west. The reason the word Catholic is not used in conjunction with "Greek" or "Russian" anymore is simply branding- the Romans and their "Eastern Catholic" step-children have the word on lock-down in American society and it causes confusion when you have two "Greek Catholic" churches right across the street from each other.

Matushka Anna said...

"Catholic" doesn't mean universal, it means complete.

Anonymous said...

Yada Yada yada.
Priest David, your comments prove my point - 'provincial'.
Matushka Anna, complete, whole, universal, they are intertwined and Eastern Orthodoxy is none of these except in its own mind.
"TRUTH" in religious/spiritual matters cannot be determined, intellectually, rationally or logically. If it could be we would all think alike, act alike, walk and talk a like and worship alike.

Left out on the Left Coast.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Please be careful how we express our views on here. I have recently had a couple of comment threads where things got a bit heated. I don't like censoring comments but I want to keep things civil. In other words please self edit, so I don't have to. Contrary opinions are welcome, as long as they are on topic and not just empty polemics or ad hominem.

Thank you...
The Management

Igumen Gregory said...

I find it telling that people who post as "anonymous" seem not to have the intestinal fortitude to sign their names to their opinions, but rather prefer to utter cheap shots and then run and hide. I see that on so many blogs and the comment boxes.

Matushka Anna said...

Too true, Igumen Gregory.

The originally-named-anonymous: What I stated was not an opinion. Your logic is breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

I read Bishop Andrus' comments prior to the link appearing here on Ad Orientem. I found them deliberately provocative and offensive in their arrogance.

I was an Episcopalian for many years before becoming Orthodox. I found his words typical of the triumphalist attitude of the liberal proponents of "dialogue" and inclusiveness as key theological values.

To look from a slightly different angle than my friend and father, Igumen Gregory, many of those who eventually left Canterbury for Rome or Orthodoxy were indeed victims: victims of a deliberate, disingenuous, prolonged plan to undermine the traditional foundations of a Christian worldview. Make no mistake, even though until recently the oppressors wore kid gloves, the oppression and marginalization was real. Too many sincere people took the "progressives" at their word when they called for mutual understanding and universal welcome. But now, having achieved near-total victory, the "liberals" have removed the gloves, and the need for welcoming all sides to the table has ceased. Those whose consciences cannot take them to the great, new, promised land of Burger King spirituality must now be reviled as bigots or semi-ignorant fundamentalists. In that sense, Bishop Andrus has struck a blow for truth in advertising and should, I suppose, be commended.

Sadly, where I think Igumen Gregory is correct, is that some people still in or now outside the Episcopal Church will choose to remain victims or re-image themselves as exiles, instead of becoming pilgrims who, like Abraham, set out in faith for strange lands with only God's word in which to trust. I pity them and pray for them, but I don't think they deserve the scorn that Mark Andrus would heap upon them.

Making the "change" is easier for some than others. It can be very difficult, not only because of the demands of truth and apostolicity, but because here in North America Orthodoxy IS provincial. The cultural challenges are real and there is no point in whitewashing that -- whether one is worshiping in the Byzantine or the Latin rite (I have been both; and though I am now "Greek," my heart will always respond joyfully and deeply to the more spare, measured, ethos of Western Orthodox Solemn Vespers or High Mass).

I learned, the hard way, that Orthodoxy is worth the cultural and organizational difficulties it poses to North American converts. I had rather navigate the meandering canals of Greek or Russian customs, old or new calendar, vernacular or liturgical language, than to have to again run the rapids of how the Virgin Mary can be the "Mother of God" only on alternate Sundays, depending on who the priest is; or whether Jesus actually overcame the power of death or only left his disciples in a sort of ecstatic hallucination that made them all think life could be just grand.

Matushka Anna is right: catholicity is "wholeness" not cultural or geographical universality (or uniformity). The whole Truth, proclaimed in its fulness, at all time, in all places, to all people, in spite of any obstacles, hardships, or naysayers.

Schema-monk Theodore