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Friday, April 29, 2011

An excellent read

I think everyone should read these two articles by Fr. Gregory

Looking Toward Rome

"Regarding my personal views on the relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, I think Orthodoxy (in America at least) has understandably (though unwisely) oriented itself relative to American Protestantism. For example, the National Council of Churches has historically been dialog partner with the Church as we have tried to pursue our shared vocation as Orthodox Christians here in America. The practical result is that–despite our dogmatic conservativism–we have as a group adopted a relatively liberal attitude and have done so to our harm. (And to be clear, I mean “liberal” in the contemporary not classical sense of the term.)
Thanks to the recent influx of new Orthodox Christians over the last 20 or so years, there has been a move away from liberal Protestantism as a partner and toward Evangelical Christianity. While I welcome the move away from mainline Protestantism, I’m not convinced that the move toward Evangelical Christianity is necessarily any better for the Church. In both cases, albeit first from the left and now the right, we have adopted a largely Protestant model of in all areas of Church life. Outreach and evangelism, parish and diocesan governance and seminary education are all markedly Protestant.
While I don’t want to say our conversation with the Protestant world was all bad–it certainly isn’t–it has caused Orthodoxy parish life in America to take on a markedly congregational tone. This is more than just a matter of who chairs parish council meeting."

To read the rest please visit the link.


Looking Toward Rome, Part 2

"As for catechesis, I taught theology at a Catholic university for 2 years. While I liked the students, I really disliked teaching there. First the students as group had almost no grasp of the catechism. It was so bad that together with a Protestant minister who also taught there, I asked if the department would consider at least offering a class based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. No such course was offered.

Worse though, was the faculty intentionally undermining the Catholic faith in the classroom and out of it. Invited speakers who ridiculed the idea that only men could be priests, faculty members who advocated for the establishment of pro-gay rights group (which they got), and a cheapening of the Eucharist along the lines that Fr Stephen Freeman discussed on his blog a sign of Jesus’ absence.

All that said, and as recent events in the OCA suggests, things are not necessarily all that much better in the Orthodox Church. We may not have gone as far down the road as our Catholic brothers and sisters, but we are at the very least standing at a junction that leads down the road they have wandered these last 40+ years. Whether we will follow them into folly is still–humanly speaking at least–an open question. Yes, I do believe that if we take the same or a similar path God will bring us back to ourselves but the damage of our flirtation with foolishness is already bearing the poisonous fruits of adultery."

To read the rest please visit the link


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