Arise Ye Russian People!

Sunday, May 10, AD 2015

The Russians are celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany this weekend.  It is fair to say that in that defeat the Soviet Union did the lion’s share of the fighting, the Soviets suffering more than twenty million war dead.  For all their heroism and suffering , the Soviets were still enslaved to a tyranny just as bad as the Third Reich, with that system now extended throughout Eastern Europe.  This cold fact is why Churchill entitled the final volume in his World War II history:  Triumph and Tragedy.

The clip from the  film Alexander Nevsky at the beginning of this post underlines the tragedy for the Russian people of World War II.   A true work of genius by Sergei Eisenstein, who somehow pulled off the feat of making a film about an Orthodox Saint, an aristocratic Prince and pillar of the Church, and ladling it with Communist and anti-religious propaganda, and yet having the final result not be laughably absurd.  The film was among the first efforts of Stalin to rally traditional Russian patriotism against the looming threat of Nazi Germany.  Poor Eisenstein found himself in the doghouse soon after the release of the film due to the Nazi-Soviet pact.  After the onset of Operation Barbarossa, the film was once again released and played to packed houses throughout the war.  The Russian rallying song in the film was composed by Sergei Prokofiev.  The lyrics roughly translated are :

Arise, ye Russian people,
to glorious battle, to a battle to the death:
arise, ye free people,
to defend our beloved country!
All honour to the warriors who live,
and eternal glory to those slain!
For our native home, our Russian land,
arise, ye Russian people!

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8 Responses to Arise Ye Russian People!

  • The Russian people endured tremendous hardship to defeat nazism, and are
    right to be proud of their sacrifices and their accomplishment. They will never
    forget.

    What about here in America? At the national VE 70th anniversary celebrations
    held in DC yesterday, our president declined to attend, instead choosing to fund
    raise on the west coast and visit Nike headquarters. Vice-president Biden was
    also conspicuous in his absence. The administration did send a national
    security advisor as its representative, so I suppose we can’t say VE Day was
    completely blown off…

  • I could write a thesis about this subject if I wanted to. To sum it up, the Russian people have, for many centuries,suffered greatly under the oppressive yoke of whoever was or is in charge in the Kremlin. Often overlooked is that the USSR instigated World War II in Europe as the ally of Nazi Germany. Stalin, not satisfied at having starved millions of Ukrainians to death in the Holodomor, jumped at the opportunity to exact revenge upon the Polish nation who humiliated him in the Polish Soviet War of 1920-21. Stalin supplied Hitler with raw materials and the USSR shared intelligence with the Nazis.

    Great Britain warned the Kremlin of a German invasion, advice ignored by Stalin-that almost cost the USSR its existence. Had Germany had capable leadership instead of the madman Hitler,the Germans would have finished the job instead of being beaten at Stalingrad.

    The Red Army and the Russian people did the most bleeding and dying in World War II because it was fine with Stalin that millions of Russians die so that Hitler would be destroyed AND so that Stalin could expand the Soviet empire. Let’s not forget that the USSR took the Baltic states in the Molotov-von Rippentrop Treaty and took Polish territory east of the Curzon Line (the Kresy) which Poland never got back. Poland did get some formerly German territory. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, eastern Germany and Bulgaria became captive nations for 44 years.

    I won’t start about Katyn now.

    So, for all of their sacrifice and suffering, the Russian people got more of Stalin, then Khruschev, etc. and now Putin, who fashions himself as another Peter the Great.

    The real reason for victory in WWII was the United States of America. Russian troops fought Germany between Stalingrad and Berlin. American troops fought Germans in North Africa and Italy, led the invasion at Normandy on D-Day, hunted U-boats in the North Atlantic, rebuilt its Navy and fought in the Pacific as well as the China-Burma-India theater against a crazed Japanese military all at the same time. American factories and American workers built most of the war materiel used to win the war. Tanks, planes, Jeeps, bombs, ammunition and the Manhattan Project, which kept the USSR out of Japan. Great Britain fought longer and was almost bled white by WWII and its troops fought valiantly but the UK wasn’t going to beat Japan and Germany by itself.

    I did not know but I am unsurprised that King Putt didn’t bother to show up at any ceremony celebrating VE Day, I can deal with Barack Obama only by completely ignoring what he says and does.

  • I have no sympathy at all for the Russians. As a person of Finnish descent on my mom’s side, and a student of Finnish history, I learned these people and their various governments can never be trusted. My Finnish grandfather always told my mother and her siblings never to trust the Russians. Apparently, Grandfather had some very bad experiences with the Rus. When he was filling out his alien registration form at the post office, somebody hear his surname, and asked him if he was Russian. Grandpa said “No, I hate the G**D*** Russians!” My grandsire was a very devout Lutheran, so what happened to him in Finland must have been terrible for him to swear like that!
    BTW, the major thing that bugs me about the Russians is their attitude toward the Non-Russians they used to lord it over. When they pulled out of the Baltic states, the Russians who moved into to those countries during the Soviet years became outraged at a demand the governments of those newly freed countries were making on them. To be a citizen of those countries, they had to learn the native tongue! Horrible!

  • There was a facinating programs about the 10 most game-changing weapons of WWII on the History Channel. One of the weapons was the Studebaker Truck, made in South Bend, IN. The US shipped hundreds of thousands of them to the USSR, and because they made the Soviet army more mobile, enabling troops, supplies, and artillery to reach danger points in the line quickly, the Soviets were able for the first time to stop the blitzkrieg. This was what made Soviet victory possible, especially at Kursk and Stalingrad.
    I don’t remember who said it, but I agree with the statement: “Too bad they couldn’t both lose”.

  • Two items in lend lease were most valuable for the Soviets: the trucks you mention and endless tins of spam that kept the Soviet troops fed. Also the Anglo-American bombing campaign caused the Germans after 43 to cede air superiority to the Soviets by drawing huge numbers of German fighters from the Eastern front to air defense duty in Germany.

  • BPS, the quote “it’s a pity they both can’t lose” is from a comment Kissinger made
    regarding the Iran-Iraq war. And he was right.

  • At the national VE 70th anniversary celebrations
    held in DC yesterday, our president declined to attend, instead choosing to fund
    raise on the west coast and visit Nike headquarters.

    ==
    I wouldn’t mind if he just doesn’t do ceremonial. The fundraiser is retch-inducing (and his signature). He and Biden remind you of our achievement of the classless society: no one has any class at all.

  • “If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word.”

    Harry Truman, June 24, 1941

When a Letter of Congratulations Contains a Warning. . .

Wednesday, November 14, AD 2012

The Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, has written a letter of congratulations to Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham and nominee as Archbishop of Canterbury.

+Hilarion
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk

Consider its contents:

Dear Brother and Lord Bishop,

 

I would like to extend to you wholehearted congratulations on your election as Head of one of the oldest episcopal chairs founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in the 7th century.

 

You have been entrusted with the spiritual guidance of the entire Anglican Communion, a unique union of like-minded people, which, however diverse the forms of its existence in the world may be, needs one ‘steward of God’ (Tit. 1:7) the guardian of the faith and witness to the Truth (cf. Jn. 18:37).

 

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Churches of the Anglican Communion are bonded by age-old friendly relations initiated in the 15th century. For centuries, our Churches would preserve good and truly brotherly relations encouraged both by frequent mutual visits and established theological dialogue and certainly by a spirit of respect and love which used to accompany the meetings of our hierarchs, clergy and ordinary believers.

 

Regrettably, the late 20th century and the beginning of the third millennium have brought tangible difficulties in relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Churches of the Anglican Communion. The introduction female priesthood and now episcopate, the blessing of same-sex ‘unions’ and ‘marriages’, the ordination of homosexuals as pastors and bishops – all these innovations are seen by the Orthodox as deviations from the tradition of the Early Church, which increasingly estrange Anglicanism from the Orthodox Church and contribute to a further division of Christendom as a whole.

 

We hope that the voice of the Orthodox Church will be heard by the Church of England and Churches of the Anglican Communion, and good fraternal relationships between us will revive.

 

I wish you God’s help in your important work.

 

“May the God of love and peace be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11).

 

+Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

“Congratulations” might not be the best word to describe the entire contents of Bishop Hilarion’s letter.

“Innovations,” “deviations,” “increasingly estrange,” “further contribute to a further division of Christendom,” and “good fraternal relationships between us will revive” sound more like a “warning” to the new Archbishop of Canterbury: His denomination is falling off a moral cliff.

Bishop Hilarion doesn’t mince his words when it comes to the orthodox Christian faith, does he?

Imagine what the National Catholic Reporter would have to say if the USCCB or a U.S. metropolitan archbishop sent  the new Archbishop of Canterbury a similar letter of congratulations!

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30 Responses to When a Letter of Congratulations Contains a Warning. . .

  • Nice letter but technicall speaking, the Archbiship of Cantebury is not the “Head of one of the oldest episcopal chairs founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in the 7th century”. That see ended in 1558.

  • Both Canterbury in England and the ECUSA under Bishopress Schori are in the full flight of heresy and apostasy.

  • The last Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald, Cardinal Pole. His predecessor, Thomas Cranmer, was deprived for heresy. All successive so-called archbishops are not in Apostolic succession.

  • Just what are the views of the Orthodox on the validity of Anglican orders?
    Are they similar to those of the Catholic Church (i.e., that they are invalid)?
    If not, in light of this ‘congratulations’, is it possible that in the future our
    Orthodox brothers will also deem Anglican orders invalid?

  • The Eastern Orthodox Churches generally accept the validity of Anglican Orders, but Canterbury’s and ECUSA’s apostasy has put a kink in the works. Eastern Orthodox do accept validity of Anglican Continuum Jurisdictions on a case by case basis. The Anglican Church responded to Pope Leo XIII’s Bull in the late 1800s on the invalidity of Anglican Orders with Saepius Officio. In today’s environment with many Anglican bishops in the Continuum being consecrated by Eastern Orthodox and Old Catholic Jurisdictions – which Rome recognizes as valid – makes Pope Leo XIII’s Bull out dated. There are also other arguments for the validity of Anglican Orders. Read Saepius Officio. I can’t link to it and other stuff on this matter now because I have to get back to neutron ‘R us. But too many in the Roman Jursidiction have this inflated sense of Roman supremacy that’s simply wrong. Many if not most Anglicans in the Continuum would recognize the Pope as Primus iter Pares, just like the Orthodox. Gotta go for now. Fully expect to be blasted for what I wrote.

  • Once again, Russia defends traditional values. ????? ? ??????.

  • Bishop Hilarion knows that there are souls at stake and through his tactful refutation of Anglican innovations he may pick up a few converts. The truly prayerful Anglicans will not be able to remain Anglican and the institution will fail unless it seeks reunification. I believe it will happen in my lifetime.

  • I quote, “Remember, Father David, that the Orthodox are Easterners and not Westeners, and “yes” does not mean “yes” and “no” does not mean “no”, said Archimandrite Barnabas, Yes, there are statements that indicate that the Orthodox Church does recognize Anglican Orders; but much more important is the fact that no Anglican priest who has become Orthodox has been allowed to officiate without being re-ordained.” Fr Barnabas lived and worked for years in France because they did not with to draw attention to the fact that, although a canon in the Church in Wales, he had been re-ordained.
    Actually, the issue is more complicated because, ingeneral, the Orthodox do not think in terms of validity. For us it is all a little confusing.

  • Here is Saepius Officio, Answer of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Bull Apostolicae Curae of His Holiness Leo XIII.
    http://anglicanhistory.org/orders/saepius.pdf

    Here is Why Anglican Clergy Could Be Received in Their Orders by the Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky. The Christian East, March, 1927
    http://anglicanhistory.org/orders/karlovtsi1927.html

    Here is an interesting article at Philorthodox about the Validity of Anglican Orders:
    http://philorthodox.blogspot.com/2009/09/validity-of-anglican-orders.html

    Here is an excellent paper on the Validity of Anglican Holy Orders by Father Mark of the Anglican Church of the Trinity in Hiram, Georgia:
    http://churchofthetrinity.net/anglican_orders.pdf

    I acknowledge that Canterbury and the Episcopal Church USA are in full flight from orthodoxy. They have polluted themselves with embracing homosexual sodomy and female clergy. They no longer have valid orders. But those in the orthodox Anglican jurisdictions that broke away from this madness are a different matter.

  • I think it’s a masterful letter, expressing concerns in a tactful but forthright manner. It will probably have little effect on the actions of the new Anglican archbishop but I respect the metropolitan for his attempt to speak the truth in love. I’m Catholic and thus have theological differences with the Orthodox churches but no animus. I wish we could all be one.

  • Pingback: Metropolitan Hilarion Warns Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury | Big Pulpit
  • I have never, ever heard of an Episcopal deacon or priest “received” as clergy into any legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction in North America – conditionally or unconditionally. All are ordained as if they were laymen. That’s what happens “on the ground”, position papers and ecumenical diplomacy not withstanding.

    However, Pope Benedict XVI has shown great warmth and interest in the formation and rapid growth of the ACNA, (Anglican Church in North America). The ACNA has also begun friendly dialogues with the conservative Missouri Synod Lutherans and the conservative Polish National Catholic Church as well.

  • Remember, the Eastern and Anglican churches have a lot at stake in preserving the idea of an Anglican-Catholic-Orthodox communion. It’s not just about inter-church relations; it’s about their self-identity. It’s got to kill the Orthodox to see the Anglicans become just another Protestant denomination.

  • “Imagine what the National Catholic Reporter would have to say if the USCCB or a U.S. metropolitan archbishop sent the new Archbishop of Canterbury a similar letter of congratulations!”

    Or the Pope.

  • Dan raises an interesting point, one answered by Spero News editor Martin Barillas at: http://www.speroforum.com/a/GYKROSZMUH3/73295-Pope-sends-congratulations-to-new-Anglican-leader

    Barillas writes:

    Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Catholic Church’s Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a message on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI to the new Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Anglican Communion, the Right Reverend Justin Welby. Cardinal Koch expressed “congratulations and warmest best wishes.”

    Cardinal Koch, a Swiss native, wrote “Relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion are a hugely important part of the ecumenical call for all Christians to seek greater fidelity to the Lord’s will, so clearly expressed in his prayer to the Father at the Last Supper ‘that all may be one’. For almost fifty years, as you are well aware, there has been a formal theological dialogue which continues to seek a deeper understanding of the great heritage shared by Anglicans and Catholics, as well as the points of divergence which still impede fully restored ecclesial communion. During that same time, relations between succeeding Popes and Archbishops of Canterbury have been marked by numerous meetings which have expressed intense spiritual and human friendship, and a shared concern for our Gospel witness and service to the human family.”

    Cardinal Koch has expressed in the past his commitment to good relations with Christian communions other than his own. In 2010, the cardinal spoke of the Pope’s “irreversible” commitment to ecumenism while averring that neither he, nor the pontiff, wish to return to a time before the Second Vatican Council.

    Writing to the incoming leader of the Anglican Communion, Cardinal Koch said “I am certain that under your leadership those excellent relations will continue to bear fruit, and I look forward to meeting you personally, and to future opportunities to share our common commitment to the cause of Christian Unity, ‘so that the world may believe’.

    “Please accept the assurance of my earnest prayers for you and your family as you prepare for a new phase in your dedicated service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.

    Quite different from the letter of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion.

  • As an Orthodox Christian living in England, I must say that I much prefer the approach taken by Cardinal Koch which makes the points which have to be made very subtly, and without any possible personal offence to the Archbishop-designate.

  • Here in the United Stated the Epsicopailian Church is have major fractures within itself. We are seeing an extremely large number from that belief move to Catholism. I was reading of one entire parish, building and all, become Catholic. In talking to Episcopalian’s about this they are saying many with in their religion don’t like the exact things the Russain Orthodox Bishop mentioned.

  • Paul W. Primavera; Is it true that any and all men who are validly ordained and may have repudiated St. Peter and the Apostolic Succession as Vicar of Christ on earth may have stepped off into heresy?

  • Mary D V,

    The Orthodox Anglicans whom I know do not repudiate either the Pope or Apostolic Succession. Rather, they maintain that there were 12 Apostles, not 1, and that the Historic Creeds of Christendom say “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”, not “One Holy Catholic and Petrine Church.” Further, most agree that the Bishop of Rome is Primus iter Pares, but historically not Primus in Auctoritate.

  • To continue in my response to Mary D V:

    As I indicated above, the question that we must ask ourselves is this: did Jesus Christ establish One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds state, or did Jesus Christ establish the One Holy Catholic and Petrine Church? The discussion below shows what Sacred Scripture says.

    In Matthew 16:18-19, when Jesus provides the Key to the Kingdom and states that whatever is bound on earth will be bound in Heaven, and loosened on Earth loosened in Heaven, He uses the second person singular in speaking to St. Peter. The Greek word “?????” means “you singular bind” and the Greek word “?????” means “you singular loosen.” This is repeated in the Latin Vulgate with the word “ligaveris” which means the same as “?????” and the word “solveris” which means the same as “?????.”

    However, in John 20:21-23 a change is made to plural when Jesus after His resurrection meets the Disciples in the Upper Room, breathes on them the Holy Spirit and declares that whose sins they forgive are forgiven and whose sins they retain are retained. The Greek phrase “????? ????” in verse 21 means “I send you plural”. The Greek phrase “?????? ?????? ?????” in verse 22 means “Receive you plural the Spirit Holy.” In verse 23, the Greek word “????????” means “you plural shall forgive” and the Greek word “???????” means “you plural shall retain.” This is repeated in the Latin Vulgate. In verse 21, the phrase “ego mitto vos” is used to denote “I send you plural”. In verse 22 the phrase “accipite Spiritum Sanctum” means “receive you plural the Spirit Holy”. Finally, in verse 23, the word “remiseritis” means “you plural shall forgive” and the word “retinueritis” means “you plural shall retain.”

    Furthermore, In John chapter 21, where Jesus thrice asks St. Peter to feed His sheep, the Orthodox Anglicans would maintain that He gives to St. Peter a special responsibility, not a special authority since there are 12 equal Apostles (well, 11 until the lot casting of Matthias in Acts chapter 1, and that was NOT an exclusive Petrine appointment).

    The relevant Biblical texts of Matthew 16 and John 20 are reproduced below in Greek, Latin and English for the interested reader. I checked the conjugations of the Greek verbs at this web site: http://wesley.nnu.edu/gnt/. While my Latin is passable, my ability at Greek is horrible, and my pharmacist – a very pretty young Greek lady – says that I pronounce the “????? ????” (The Lord’s Prayer) with a horrible Yankee accent and should stick to broken English, which I am really an expert at. 😉

    Matthew 16:18-19

    ???? ?? ??? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??????, ??? ??? ????? ?? ????? ?????????? ??? ??? ?????????, ??? ????? ???? ?? ????????????? ?????.
    ???? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ????????? ??? ???????, ??? ? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????????? ?? ???? ????????, ??? ? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????????? ?? ???? ????????.

    Et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.
    Et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum et quodcumque ligaveris super terram erit ligatum in caelis et quodcumque solveris super terram erit solutum in caelis

    And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

    John 20:21-23

    ????? ??? ?????? [? ??????] ?????, ?????? ????· ????? ?????????? ?? ? ?????, ???? ????? ????.
    ??? ????? ????? ?????????? ??? ????? ??????, ?????? ?????? ?????·
    ?? ????? ????? ??? ???????? ???????? ??????, ?? ????? ??????? ???????????.

    Dixit ergo eis iterum pax vobis sicut misit me Pater et ego mitto vos.
    Hoc cum dixisset insuflavit et dicit eis accipite Spiritum Sanctum.
    Quorum remiseritis peccata remittuntur eis quorum retinueritis detenta sunt.

    He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.
    When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
    Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

  • Bishop Hilarion is to be congratulated for his stand against the aberrations being now contemplated even in pagan America. I have a problem with keeping those not in the fulness of faith in their quandary without the body and blood of Jesus whch must surely be a serious handicap for salvation. The decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council along with eschewing doctrine and discipline were responsible for almost destroying evangelization in the disastrous wake of the corrosive “Spirit of Vatican II.” Catholics not taught the faith became easy targets for Protestant proselytism. My drive as a convert of 63 years has never deviated from trying to make everyone become a Catholic. Without the Real Presence there is no life in us..

  • Both Eastern Orthodox and Orthodox Anglicans believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Both believe in the Catholic Church, Katholicos meaning universal or whole. Both believe that Rome is not the be all and end all of the Catholic Church. Both recite the Nicene and Apostles Creeds. Both have valid Holy Orders. Both have valid Sacraments, a fact that Rome itself recognizes in the case of Eastern Orthodoxy. Both refuse to use the word Transubstantiation, both preferring to regard what happens at Consecration of the Species as a Mystery not understandable by mere mortal man. Both maintain what Sacred Scripture states: unless you eat His Body and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. The problem always devolves to this: is the Church Petrine or Apostolic? Metropolitan Hilarion would say One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and he warns the newly elected Archbishop of Canterbury from departing from that Church through ordination of women and homosexuals. BTW, the Roman jurisdiction has more than its fair share of homosexual priests and a woman’s ordination movement, both thankfully opposed by Rome itself.

  • “Quite different from the letter of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion.”

    That isn’t fair. Both the ordination of women and the homosexually partnered bishop received very frank responses.

    Wikipedia [standard disclaimers apply] has this to say: “However, in conversation with the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar, Cardinal Walter Kasper…. warned that if the Church of England was to ordain women as bishops, as the Episcopal Church has done, then it could destroy any chance of reuniting the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Although ARCIC had just completed the major document on Marian theology in 2003, Pope John Paul II officially called off all future talks between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion upon the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop.”

  • Mr. Primavera:

    Glory to Jesus Christ. As an Eastern Catholic, which straddles the east and west, I understand your point of view. The papacy has been an evolving institution we all agree over the past 2,000 years. I believe that even the two most recent popes agree that unity or ecclesiastical communion will require a revised view of the role of the papacy with regard to the Orthodox churches. If it is God’s will, it will happen since unity is more important now than in any Christian era. Anglicanism by its own hand has committed suicide by its actions over the past few decades. My understanding of Anglicanism may be limited but being ‘ordained’ is not the end all or be all…..for example some Catholic women are being ordained by schismatic bishops. Many if not most ordained Anglican clergy have a low church at best or an extremely liberal or Protestant view (which is at variance with orthodox faiths) of the Eucharist as a symbol rather than a reality. The Eucharist in the center of unity. The fact that Anglicans who hold the orthodox view – high church Anglicans – are marginalized and ignored by the mainstream and Anglican hierarchy. Any devout Anglican at this point in time should join an orthodox communion not only for their souls sake but also their sanity.

  • I basically agree with you, Patrick, and now there are many breakaway Anglican Jurisdictions. I went to Wikipedia to list them below. The one with which I am familiar is the Orthodox Anglican Church which follows the 1928 BCP and has a very High Church view of the Sacraments, including Holy Orders and the Eucharist. Its Archbishop / Primate and its Suffragan Bishop can trace their Episcopal Orders via:

    (1) The Rebiban Succession (common to the Roman Jurisdiction) through the Utrecht Union which became the Old Catholic Church in Europe, and
    (2) The Eastern Orthodox Succession through the Moscow Patriachate of the Russian Orthodox Church

    Here is the “current” List of Continuing Anglican Churches (estimated number of Parishes are in parentheses) – to those Romans who rightly point out how fractured this shows Anglicanism to be, they would do well to consider how equally fractured the Roman jurisdiction is between liberal social justice Roman Catholics and conservative pro-life Roman Catholics, with all the variations in between:

    American Anglican Church (12)
    Anglican Catholic Church (135)
    Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (12)
    Anglican Churches of America (2)
    Anglican Church in America (75)
    Anglican Church of Virginia (8)
    Anglican Episcopal Church (6)
    Anglican Orthodox Church (10)
    Anglican Province of America (60)
    Anglican Province of Christ the King (42)
    Christian Episcopal Church of Canada (3)
    Diocese of the Great Lakes (5)
    Diocese of the Holy Cross (20)
    Episcopal Missionary Church (30)
    Holy Catholic Church–Western Rite (30)
    Orthodox Anglican Church (5)
    Southern Episcopal Church (3)
    United Anglican Church (6)
    United Episcopal Church of North America (16)

  • Mr. Primavera, Paul, Only the Catholic Church gives us the Sacrament of Penance to feed HIS sheep.

  • You are correct, Mary D V. Indeed, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church does provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. Note the title of the Church. it does not say “One Holy Roman and Petrine Church.” And even Rome recognizes that in spite of human disunity, the Eastern Orthodox who recite the same Nicene and Apostles’ Creed as we do ( except for the Filioque – different topic) are a part of that Catholic Church. It is Catholic which means whole, NOT just Roman, but it does include Roman and most are willing to acknowledge the Pope as Primus iter Pares.

  • Those who are not against you, are for you, in respect to the letter of warning.

  • Without mincing words, I say straight on that the head of the Anglican Communion is remotely controlled by the Government of Britain! And, as we all know, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Britain is one the countries that supports same-sex marriage and all the shenanigans associated with gays and lesbians. From this background, one could see the reason any Archbishop of Canterbury would always support the enthronement of gays and lesbians in both the Anglican Church hierarchy and congregation! Anything short of this from such Archbishop could result in his removal. It is unfortunate that the separation of the Church and The State is not present in the United Kingdom! More unfortunate is the fact that some unpleasant policies adopted by the Archbishop of Canterbury would impact and could offend the beliefs of many Anglican faithful situated outside Britain. And this gay and lesbian issue is definitely a sore point in this direction. I look forward to the day a future Archbishop of Canterbury would dare the government of Britain by throwing out the Church’s adoption of the gay and lesbian matters. It would be a beginning of moral and legal reforms in the UK.

  • Is not the monarch by definition head of the Church of England? Isn’t it a state church and the archbishop is chief prelate but not the head of the church? He can’t make doctrinal decisions without the confirmation of the monarch who’s now ruler of England in name only. In such a situation (if I correctly understand it) how can the church remain faithful to Christ? No one can serve two masters.

In Defense of Mother Russia

Friday, August 24, AD 2012

I haven’t heard much about the ongoing dispute between the Russian government and the Western media over the fate of the faux “punk rock band” ***** Riot in the American Catholic media. But this is a dispute in which I believe we ought to take sides as Catholics.

[No, I will not give the vulgar hate group the sociopathic pleasure of having yet another Christian publication use their name]

Three members of the vulgar hate group were arrested following their desecration of Moscow’s largest Orthodox cathedral. They have now been sentenced to two-year prison terms, with the six months spent at trial counting as time served.

My position on this incident is pretty clear. I stand 110% with the Russian government, the Orthodox Church, and the tens of millions of Russian Orthodox who have condemned the vulgar hate group – and I believe all Catholics in all countries ought to do likewise.

Not simply because this appears to me to be a deliberate ploy encouraged and promoted by anti-Russian elements in Europe and the United States; not simply because in all of the Western countries hypocritically condemning Russia these same actions could be and likely would be regarded as hate crimes according to their own established laws; not simply because the right to free speech does not, never has, and God willing, never will mean the right to invade any space one chooses and defecate on the floor; not simply because I respect the religious sensibilities of the Russian people; not even because I am fairly certain that being on the opposite side of whatever cause the degenerate celebritariat is championing is almost always the best and wisest choice – ???. Not just for those reasons.

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59 Responses to In Defense of Mother Russia

  • Here in Scotland, it is the offence of Profanity to disturb worship. The essence of the offence is the disturbance and annoyance of the minister and congregation, and the interruption of their devotions.

    A building enjoys no special protection and it is not an aggravation of a breach of the peace or of mobbing and rioting that it is committed in a place used for worship.

    This seems to me a proper distinction.

    Of course, any wilful damage to the fabric or plenishments of the building is the crime of malicious mischief.

  • You summed it up well, Bonchamps: “The sad thing is that I believe that much of this anti-Christian hatred – and I am now speaking generally and globally – is motivated merely by the fact that vulgar, hateful people cannot tolerate the existence of other people who, even though they are as oppressed by sin as everyone else, aspire to be something more than mindless animals who do nothing but hump one another and follow the latest idiotic trends. Sloshing about in a sewer filled with their own spiritual feces, they must pull everyone else down into it, and erase any suggestion that it might be possible to escape. That is the only way it can be enjoyed.”

  • The problem with calling the group in question a “hate group” is that, despite the name, they do not hate Christianity. As I understand it what they’re protesting is the perversion of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Russian government. Disagree with their methods, and even disagree with their point of view about the Church hierarchy, but this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians. They’re calling attention to something which is legitimately troubling. John O’Sullivan has more details about them here and here.

  • The jerks have a point. There’s something wrong in Russia, and the Orthodox Church is happily cooperating with it.

    There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.

  • No, Paul. I will not sign on to what seems to me to be a morally and spiritually blind bandwagon assault on the Russian state. In a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    In my view, and in the view of millions of believers, this group’s act was OBJECTIVELY hateful. It had the effect of rallying the average Russian around this supposedly dangerous regime. Even if you’re right and they don’t hate Christianity – frankly I find it impossible to reconcile their actions with any sort of love for it – they have violated Christianity. All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act. Maybe their subjective rage is channeled at Putin, but their objective victim is Christianity.

    And it is far from their first anti-social act. Other members of this group have engaged in public orgies, for heaven’s sake. A Ukrainian sympathizer also cut down a cross memorializing the victims of Stalin’s genocidal campaign. Their very name is an affront to any sort of public Christian morality.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy (yeah yeah “neoconservatism doesn’t exist”, whatever) of remaking the Middle East, which has included the ousting of secular regimes relatively friendly to the millions of Christians in the region and their replacement with Islamic fanatics who murder and oppress them. I actually have family in that part of the world.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity. I absolutely will not side with them or the filth they seek to defend.

  • Pinky,

    “There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.”

    There was a time when they would have been publicly disemboweled. If they did this in a mosque in the Middle East, they would have been torn to pieces. If they did it in a mosque in Europe, they would probably go to jail for longer than two years.

    I think 18 months behind bars is comparatively light. Maybe it will cause them to think long and hard about the seriousness of defiling a sacred space and disrupting social order. If this was some kind of first-time offense by a group of silly teenagers, I would agree with you. But this is a group of anti-social provocateurs that have repeatedly engaged in public acts of blasphemy and obscenity. They are finally getting their just deserts.

  • With all due respect, I believe that Bonchamps’ responses to Paul Z. and Pinky are correct. I agree.

  • “Since its formation in presumably 2008 Voina has staged in public a succession of extreme actions described as performance art. These have included the painting of a male phallus on a St. Petersburg Bridge, the staging of a public orgy at the Timiryazev Museum in Moscow involving nudity and (apparently) full penetrative sex (Tolokonnikova was a participant though heavily pregnant), the throwing of live cats at the staff of a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, the overturning of police cars apparently on one occasion with a policeman inside, the firebombing of property with petrol bombs, the staged hanging of an immigrant and a homosexual in a supermarket, the projection of a skull and crossbones onto the building housing the Russian government, the spilling of large live cockroaches onto the stomach of a pregnant member of the group (Tolokonnikova again) and the theft of a frozen chicken from a supermarket, which was stuffed up the vagina of one of the women members (apparently Maria Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova apparently was also present).”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/118287.html

    No civilized nation should be forced to tolerate this. They ought to all be institutionalized, truth be told.

  • this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians.

    In Madonna’s situation, it is nothing but a marketing strategy to prolong her already far too long public career.

    I am with Bonchamps on this one. At least the Russians seem to take Christianity seriously.

  • n a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    Russia is essentially a state run by organized criminals, headed by a pseudo-authoritarian regime. It continues to flex its muscles over its former satellite countries.

    All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act.

    I don’t disagree with that, nor do I disagree that their act is otherwise repugnant. I am merely contending that their motivation is distinct from cowards like Madonna and others who employ shock for the sake of shock.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy

    A complete non sequiter.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity.

    I think you are blinded to what Putin and the Russian leadership is about. They are about as “Christian” as the current American ruling regime.

  • Paul,

    We’re not going to see eye to eye on this. You subscribe to one narrative about Russia, and I find the truth better represented in a different set of facts and perspectives.

    Even if Putin in his heart was a cold, dark atheist, his public support for the Orthodox Church means something and has a significance apart form whatever he and his lieutenants actually believe.

    Oh, and what I said was absolutely not a “non sequiter.” That is exactly why many in the West oppose Russia. I don’t give a damn if it “flexes its muscles over its former satellite countries.” For a country that developed the Monroe Doctrine and has been actively trying to preserve global hegemony to be miffed by that is beyond hysterical.

  • Bon, you seem to be ascribing bad motives to those who disagree with you. Personally, I’ve seen no information on which to build a positive narrative about Russia. All indications are that any kind of dissent is silenced by the government. I can’t get that worked up in support of this punk band doing some terrible things, but if the reaction to it is emblematic of a regression toward totalitarianism, then it’s definitely to be criticized.

  • Pinky,

    What “bad motives”? I don’t attribute any bad motives to you or Paul. If you mean the Western media establishment and the neocons, yes, guilty as charged, I think their motives are bad and their pontificating on the evils of Russia to be among the most hilariously hypocritical things I have seen in my life.

    It is simply false that “any kind of dissent is silenced by the government” – anti-government protests involving tens of thousands of people have taken place in Russia with no more or less police concern than that which you will see at the RNC and DNC conventions this year.

    The reaction to this band is also most emphatically not a “regression towards totalitarianism” either. The laws under which these disgusting criminals were prosecuted are similar to laws that exist on the books in every Western country – laws that would be quickly invoked and enforced if a politically-protected group was the target of a similar outrage.

    Maybe you haven’t seen any positive information about Russia because you haven’t even consider the possibility that it might exist. It does.

  • What these people did violated the rights of Russian Christians and the Russian Orthodox Church. They deserve to be punished, and I would call for the same punishment if it were done to a Catholic Church here.

    In fact, some imitators HAVE done this sort of thing in Catholic Churches in Europe, and are now facing similar sentences!

    Is the Catholic Church in Germany and the German government “regressing towards totalitarianism”? To ask such an absurd question is to answer it.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/24/13454525-copycat-pussy-riot-protesters-could-face-3-year-sentence-in-germany?lite

  • Don’t you people get it? This is about Christian rights. Forget your views about Putin and the Russian government. The movement, the people supporting the vulgar hate group are doing so because they want to encourage MORE obscene violations of Christian holy places. They want to take away our rights to have our own sacred, protected times and places.

    This is a time to stand in solidarity with, if not the Russian state, at least your fellow Christians!

  • I worry about my fellow Christians in Russia. I see a far greater threat to their future from Putin than from that band. Their actions, while offensive and ridiculous, were dwarfed by ongoing anti-government rallies alleging electoral fraud and widespread political corruption.

  • Well Pinky,

    I completely disagree with you. In fact I find your statement to be quite at odds with demonstrable fact and reality. Putin has restored the Orthodox Church to prominence and importance in the nation.

    You really need to take a good, long look at the international forces arrayed against the Russian government and the Orthodox Church – what they believe, what they stand for, what they want to accomplish, what they have accomplished in the West. I will without hesitation and with a measure of pride take the side of the Russian establishment over the morally and spiritually degenerate Western establishments any day of the week. What a government publicly endorses and promotes is as important as what it “really does”; what our governments promote are impiety and anti-Christian prejudice, and what the Russian government promotes is piety and respect for established Christian institutions (without, to my knowledge, violating anyone’s individual rights to religious liberty). I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    Every country, even the United States, has been rocked by allegations of massive electoral fraud and political corruption. We had one president who was impeached recently, another who ascended to the White House in spite of losing the popular vote (which was extremely close), and an administration that is almost certainly complicit in sending illegal guns to Mexico for the purpose of creating a pretext to crackdown on the 2nd amendment. Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

  • I’d also still like to know if the German Catholic Church and government are displaying signs of totalitarianism and repression in the charges they have brought up against the copycat sympathy protesters, linked in my previous post.

  • Bonchamps, with respect, your entire argument in defense of Russia seems to be based on the idea that all the other western countries are gripped in the throes of secularism. While this might be true to a certain extent, that fact does nothing to exculpate Russia from the charges that its administration or government are corrupt. I think anyone who has studied Russia from afar could tell you that many aspects of Russian life, at least in the political sense, are not much improved since the days of the USSR.

    I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    This is fairly naive and horrifying. Naive in the sense that you seem to take Putin’s “piety” at face value. Putin is acting not to solidify the Church and sanctify his people, but rather cynically to ensure that the Church has his back. It’s horrifying because you’re essentially saying that cynical piety is all right because it keeps the people in line.

    Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

    When political opponents here are murdered or almost murdered with the regularity they are in Russia, then I might be more inclined to agree with you.

  • Paul,

    I stand by what I said, and naturally, I reject your spin on it.

    I am absolutely not saying that it is ok to lie about piety to “keep people in line.” I do believe that the government probably considers all of the costs and benefits of its policy decisions (as all governments do), and that there is really nothing wrong with benefit from mutual interests, even if both parties have different reasons for having that interest. Government-promoted piety is positively good, regardless of why it is done. The “why” will matter as far as their individual souls are concerned, but those who benefit from living in an explicitly Christian culture will also benefit. There is nothing “horrifying about this.”

    I take Putin’s belief that the public restoration of Orthodoxy as a defining aspect of Russian culture and politics is good for Russia as a nation at face value. His personal piety is a different story.

    Since we obviously don’t agree on these issues, we should probably both move on before this gets as ugly as I fear it can get.

  • The German case is quite different. There, the protesters disturbed public worship. Every state in Europe guarantees freedom of worship and such actions are rightly criminal.

    That is a very different matter to staging a protest in a building sometimes used for worship, but when no service was in progress.

  • I don’t think it is “very different.” It is somewhat different, but these are differences of degree and not kind. I’m not positive but I believe there were people in the cathedral at the time trying to pray.

  • I mean, what the hell would be the point of a protest if there were no people around to see it?

  • The Russian Orthodox Church has valid Holy Orders and valid Sacraments, though it is not in union with Rome. Even Rome recognizes the validity of Eastern Orthodox Churches, of which the Russian one is an autonomous, autocephalus member. As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? Don’t Eastern Orthodox do it the same way? Orthodox Anglicans do. So the actions of the Pussy Rioters are even more reprehensible.

    Get out of thinking that the Roman jurisdiction is the only Catholic one. It demonstrably is not, and Rome’s recognition of the validity of Eastern Orthodox Holy Orders and Sacraments is a case in point. BTW, even the Pope had kind words to say about the recent meeting between Patriarch Cyril of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Archbishop of Poland.

  • While this doesn’t relate to the merits of the case (I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them), for informational purposes:

    “As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? ”

    The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Actually, I’ve had some Russian Orthodox folks online (which, as we all know from Catholic combox wars can be a weird sample) tell me that they consider the Catholic practice of reserving the sacrament in the tabernacle and most especially the Catholic practice of Eucharistic adoration, to be idolatrous. “It misses the point that the Eucharist is food” was the way it was put to me.

    While it in no way excuses the behavior of the punk band, there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia. Keep in mind, despite the official atheism of the Soviet regime, there were strong and disturbing ties between the ROC and the communist regime. These ties have continued in Putin’s Russia, where not only are a lot of ex-KGB types running the government, but Patriarch Kirill himself has been strongly implicated as having been a long term KGB informant and collaborator.

  • Thank you for the clarification, Darwin.

  • “I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them”

    I’m not the least surprised about that.

    “there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia”

    I’m more concerned about the place of the Church in the West and under Islamic rule. I don’t see why it is any of our concern at all what happens in Russia, which is not persecuting Christians, which is not threatening any of our legitimate interests, and which has a government that has the overwhelming support of the people.

  • One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times, or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia — going so far as to effectively kick Catholic clergy out of Russia by revoking their visas.

    One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. That can seem helpful at times (especially when the other options seem fairly barbaric — though that’s not the case with Russia) but in the long run being too cozy with nasty people never seems to work out very well.

  • “One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times”

    Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    “or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia”

    Ok. That’s a legitimate problem and it should be addressed. I’ll grant that one, no question. But it is hardly a matter that warrants Russophobia, or joining in the obscene chorus of celebrities, government officials and media personalities condemning Russia on the grounds that these hideous criminals were simply “expressing themselves.”

    “One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. ”

    You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    The bottom line is that the forces arrayed against Russia in this case are enemies of Christianity. In this case, Catholics ought to stand in solidarity with the Russian Orthodox against the onslaught of hypocritical condemnation coming from people like Obama, Madonna, the rest of the vapid Western media-government complex.

  • You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    If the Catholic Church (or any other) was as totally subservient to the US government and US national interests as the Russian Orthodox Church is to Russia’s, I would consider that very, very problematic as well.

    And that’s despite the fact I think it’s clear that the US is a much safer and better power to have controlling the international scene than the Russians. I’m about as comfortable with Putin’s Russia as I am with what China has developed into. It’s not an “evil empire”, and Putin is certainly no Stalin, but that’s praising with faint damns.

    Am I joining the chorus of people decrying Russia’s action? Not at the moment. The band does basically sound like hooligans to me (even if they’re hooligans on the right side when it comes to Putin) and if you’re going to stage a protest such as theirs in Putin’s Russia, you can’t be surprised to land in prison for a couple years. So my reaction to the celebrity fuss is basically, “What, this is what it took to make you notice the repressive regime in Russia?”

    But I do not think that Putin’s regime is good for Russia, and I don’t think it’s remotely a benevolent force in the world.

  • Darwin,

    Suffice to say, I disagree with you across the board. I’m particularly disturbed by the fact that you are more concerned with getting in shots at “Putin’s Russia” than you are the the sanctity of holy places and the rights and sensibilities of fellow Christians. I believe your priorities are completely wrong, and I’ll leave it at that.

  • While I think that what they did was bad — I think that Putin’s attempt (successful, thus far) to coopt the Russian Orthodox Church to support his own corrupt and violent ends is more blasphemous than anything that these bozo protesters have done.

  • Well, let me put it this way. In the future, I’ll make another big foreign policy post with special emphasis on Russia/Putin and we can hash it all out then. I’m neither willing or able to do it now, though.

  • It is perhaps worth recalling that the Kram Khrista Spasitela was built by the blood-spattered tyrant, Tsar Alexander to commemorate the defeat of Napoléon. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was commissioned and first performed at its dedication.

    It is a monument to the victory of despotism and ignorance over freedom and enlightenment and to the defeat of that Grande Armée, whom Hilaire Belloc hailed:

    “You who put down the mighty from their seat
    Who strove to fill the hungry with good things
    Who turned the rich man empty to the street
    And trailed your scabbards in the halls of kings…”

    It could be truly said of Moscow, as was written of Jerusalem, “If you had known the time of your deliverance…” Alas! its priests, too, then as now, had “no king but Caesar.”

  • I mean seriously, anyone who praises Napoleon while denouncing another ruler as “blood-spattered” is brain-damaged. And the suggestion that Napoleon’s army was bringing “enlightenment” and “freedom” is just as arrogant, deluded, and disgusting as the illusions of people who think they can bomb and mass murder the Muslim world into democracy.

    From now on, leave your sanctimonious comments and pedantic lectures on someone else’s posts. They aren’t welcome here.

  • Against the bigoted, ignorant, Russophobic filth penned by Belloc (whom I’ve never cared for) and praised by MPS, I offer a passage from the Marquis de Custine’s multi-volume work “The Empire of the Czar”, written in 1843:

    “Moscow is everywhere picturesque. The sky, without being clear, has a silvery brightness: the models of every species of architecture are heaped together without order or plan; no structures are perfect, nonetheless, the whole strikes, not with admiration, but with astonishment. The inequalities of the surface multiply the points of view. The magic glories of multitudes of cupolas sparkle in the air. Innumerable gilded steeples, in form like minarets, Oriental pavilions, and Indian domes, transport you to Delhi; donjon keeps and turrets bring you back to Europe in the times of the crusades; the sentinel, mounted on the top of his watch tower, reminds you of the muezzin inviting the faithful to prayer; while, to complete the confusion of ideas, the cross, which glitters in every direction, commanding the people to prostrate themselves before the Word, seems as though fallen from heaven amid an assembly of Asiatic nations, to point out to them the narrow way of salvation. It was doubtless before this poetical picture that Madame de Stael exclaimed – Moscow is the Rome of the North!”

  • Well, de Custine went to Russia looking for arguments against democratic governments which he opposed. He liked the Russians but was appalled at the autocracy he found. Many of his quotations are absolutely damning, and could apply to Putin’s regime today:

    “I don’t reproach the Russians for being what they are; what I blame them for is their desire to appear to be what we [Europeans] are…. They are much less interested in being civilized than in making us believe them so… They would be quite content to be in effect more awful and barbaric than they actually are, if only others could thereby be made to believe them better and more civilized.”

    “Russia is a nation of mutes; some magician has changed sixty million men into automatons.”

    I heartily recommend his Letters From Russia which gives a nice overview of what he saw in Russia.

    http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/the-marquis-de-custine-and-the-question-of-russian-history/

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

  • Donald,

    I don’t particularly care for autocracy, or for the head of the state to be the head of the church – these are aspects of Russia I can do without.

    But a nation that produced Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakriev, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, and many lesser known but equally talented artists and musicians is not a nation of mutes and automatons. The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

    These broads are serial public nuisances, so something more severe than parole after 20 days might be expected.

  • “The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.”

    I have long been a student of not only Russian history but also its culture. I even took three semesters of Russian language as an undergrad, to the detriment of my gpa, alas. There is much to admire in Russian culture. As to Russian government, I am afraid that an all too accurate assessment was given by a Russian nobleman after the murder of Paul I in 1801: “Despotism tempered by assassination, that is our Magna Carta.” A good book on Russian culture is James Billington’s The Icon and the Axe.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Icon-Axe-Interpretive-History/dp/0394708466

  • Art Deco,

    They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

  • Although it seems clear that Vladimir Putin is up to no good in co-opting the Orthodox church to his grandiose plans, nonetheless these punks have deliberately chosen to insult the memory of millions of victims of Communism by cavorting at the restored Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which was destroyed at the orders of the monster Stalin.

  • >Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?

    Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history – Russia dominating Poland in the 18th century, the Partitions at the end of said epoch, the Russian occupation of central Poland in the 19th century (and the brutal repression of any and all Polish rebellions during that time), the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1920-21 or so, and of course Stalin’s betrayal of the Warsaw rebels and subsequent establishment of a Communist puppet state in that land after World War II. And that’s not even counting the rivalry between Moscow and Poland for Eastern Europe in the centuries before Peter the Great.

    Even if we forget Poland (since, given history, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kremlin thought trying to dominate/occupy/control that country is too much trouble than it’s worth) , there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate. Just think about the 2002 hacking of Estonia, Russia’s interference with the 2004-2005 Ukranian elections (Putin was on the losing side of the Orange Revolution), and the 2008 invasion of Georgia, among other things. Want to know why Alexander Lukashenko is still dictator of Belarus. Because he and Putin are BFFs.

    Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.

  • They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

    Did I even imply it was?

    These women are attention whores. They thrive off challenging authority with paying trivial prices for it. Give them small (but escalating) jail terms for each instance of vandalism, disorderly conduct, disruption of a religious service (a class A misdemeanor in New York, btw), criminal trespass, and resisting arrest. Eventually, though, it is not unjust to point the cannon at the cat. They ought to do themselves and everyone else a favor and get normal jobs.

    As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril. As for the Russian political order, regrets but the attempt at democratic institutions was contemporary with an economic catastrophe. One ought to hope for a recovery in fertility, successful improvements in the effectiveness and reliability of police and courts, and a regulatory regime that does not ratify or promote rent-seeking before one hopes for a restoration of competitive elections. (Even so, Putin’s regime is likely the most liberal-democratic in the civic realm of any outside the periods running from 1905 to 1918 and 1988 to 1999).

  • >As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril.
    Tell that to the people of Eastern Europe…

  • The basis of the the ABM Treaty is that in the realm of ballistic missiles so called defensive weapons tend to destabilise existing deterrents. If the Russians had wanted to use their missiles against the Poles, the propitious time was in 1989; that era is long gone now. The Poles should not rely on bear baiters in the Pentagon for support, but instead come to a regional understanding with the other Europeans including the Russians.

  • Tommy,

    To answer your questions…

    “Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?”

    Do I think that any of these people want to attack Russia unprovoked? No. Well, maybe John McCain… but this is besides the point. To deprive Russia of first-strike capability can only be interpreted as hostile. Do you seriously expect Russia to just assume the permanent good intentions of the West? You speak of “recent history” going all the way back to the 18th century. Russia only needs to go back as far as Operation Barbarossa to justify the maintaining of a sphere of influence and nuclear first-strike capabilities.

    It is unreasonable to demand of others what you would find unreasonable if demanded of you. You would not rest on the assumption of Russia’s permanent benevolence, and so it is absurd and almost dehumanizing to expect them to do likewise.

    “Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history”

    Poland really has nothing to do with this. It was brought up by Darwin as an example of Russia’s offenses against another Christian nation – as if no two other Christian nations have gone to war, as if all three Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox nations haven’t engaged in regrettable belligerence and war with one another.

    A NATO missile shield isn’t about protecting Poland from a nuclear strike, for heaven’s sake. It is about limiting Russia’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

    “there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate.”

    Oh really? There’s no other power using its own international spy agency to ferment political upheaval and regional opposition to Moscow in these republics? There’s no power whose actions are obviously aimed at the complete encirclement of Russia?

    Russia would be insane not to oppose the West. The color revolutions are CIA-engineered shams.

    “Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.”

    I am not opposed to imperialism as an abstract category. I don’t have an abstract, moral problem with say, the Monroe Doctrine. But – and I will elaborate on these issues much more when I eventually do a big foreign policy post (maybe after the elections) – I do believe that

    a) Russia is completely right in identifying Western actions in the ex-Soviet republics as encirclement, and this is fundamentally hostile
    b) Russia is completely justified as a nation in opposing Western attempts to encircle it
    c) Russia, in supporting the secular dictatorships of the “Islamic” region of the world (North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, etc.) is objectively supporting the Christians who live relatively unmolested under these regimes, while recent US support for Islamic fanatics in Lybia, Egypt and now Syria is – among other things – a direct threat to tens of millions of Christians around the world.

  • Russia is repressive. Nice to see you’re sadistically enjoying P**y Riot’s suffering (clearly, you find femininity&female organs scary) When Russia passed its antigay laws… the first man arrested wasn’t gay, but a straight married man. Russia has been against free speech for years. Read about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.

    You’re defending oppression&censorship. P**y Riot isn’t sociopathic;they were battling the sociopathic Vladimir Putin.

    How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

  • Susan, the pu$$y rioters defiled a Christian Church. If their intent was to protest against Putin, then they should have carried their protest to a govt bldg, NOT a Christian Church.

    Having pro-sodomy filth laws isn’t fre speech. It’s promotion of godless sexual idolatry and iniquity. The gays who won’t repent belong back in the closet where they belong, and Christianity belongs front and center in the public square.

    As for the first man arrested who was straight, if he was promoting homosexual filth, then his arrest, regardless of his sexual orientation, was right and correct. There are only human rights, and the filth of these sexually promiscuous creatures does not qualify as a human right. Indeed, for this kind of filth God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

    If that’s the way you want to put it, sister, go ahead. Betwixt and between hating women and freedom I have little time for vulgar professional adolescents who deface public property and disrupt other peoples’ common activities.

  • I will leave the judgement on Putin’s Russia to historians who will doubtless have better access to the information needed to make that judgment than any of us is likely to get.

    What is clear is that this band willfully defiled a church. In any country, rights are not absolute, but need to be balanced against other rights. If they had been sent to jail for two years for making their “protest” in Red Square, I would be supporting their right to free speech (even if I very definitely disagree with much of what they are saying). They do not however, have a right to enter a church or other non-governmental or non-publically owned space in order to make that protest.

    Personally, I get the impression that they wanted to be arrested; they got what they wanted and I am not going to loose too much sleep over it.

  • Susan,

    The most frightening thing about your kind is your complete inability an unwillingness to recognize the rights and freedoms of others. In your sick, twisted, limited world view, religious worshipers have no rights and freedom. If you decide you want to stomp into our churches and menstruate on the floor, you believe you should have that right, and that we have an obligation to sit there and like it.

    Well, let me tell you something sister. Under the laws of civilized nations, you don’t have this right, not in Russia, not in the U.S., not anywhere. If you think preventing and punishing such vile, hateful acts is “censorship”, then you are sick in the head and you belong in a mental institution. In a just society, a rational society, you would have already been committed.

  • May God bless Bonchamps, Maryland Bill and Art Deco.

  • God Bless all of us. Just because people disagree with Bonchamps about the nature of the Russian government, that doesn’t make them the enemy (and even if they were, we still should ask God to bless them).

    I do have reservations about Putin’s government, a lot of them. But I know I don’t know enough to be sure one way or the other. I also know that to a certain extent, whether Putin is a saint or a sinner, it doesn’t change the wrongness of what this “band” did in a Church.

  • Susan, I disagree with Bonchamps about this, but I wouldn’t accuse him of hating women or freedom. Attacking someone’s motivations is bad form. And also, just because Putin is a sociopath, that doesn’t mean his oppnents aren’t.

  • The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Darwin, you are wrong. We do in fact keep the reserved Sacrament in a tabernacle on the Holy Table at all times, for Presanctified Liturgies during Lent and for the communion of the sick at all times of the year. Just because we don’t have a practice of Eucharistic Adoration outside of a liturgical context doesn’t mean that the Altar does not at all times have the Holy Gifts placed on it.

Russian Christian Soldier a Martyr of the Chechen War

Saturday, February 20, AD 2010

This is an fascinating story: a Russian soldier who was killed on his 19th birthday in 1996 is being venerated in his home country as a martyr and an icon of him is giving off aromas of myrrh:

Today according to Inferfax of Russia in  Penza, an Icon of Evgeny Rodinov  gave off aromas of myrrh in the St. Lukas Church at the Penza regional oncologic dispenser. Russian soldier Rodionov was executed in Chechnya in 1996 after refusing to renounce Orthodox faith and take off his cross.

“Myrrh came out in two spots, in a palm of his hand and where one wears the cross,” the church Rector Alexy Burtsev told journalists.

According to the Church Rector, it happened during the All-Night Vigil on February 15.  Those in attendance, at the Church, stood behind praying, and took in the strange pleasant aroma.

The priest noted that on February 15, 1996, Penza-born Evgeny Rodionov was captured in Chechnya, imprisoned for hundred days and when he refused to renounce Christian faith, militants beheaded him.?

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Rodionov (Russian: ???????? ??????? ?????????????) (May 23, 1977 – May 23, 1996) was a Russian soldier who was kidnapped and later executed in Chechen captivity. The purported manner of his death has garnered him much admiration throughout Russia, and even prompted calls for his elevation to sainthood.

Rodionov was born in the village of Satino-Russkoye, near Podolsk, Moscow Oblast. Though he aspired to be a cook, he was conscripted into the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in 1995. Private Rodionov was deployed to Chechnya, he served in border troops and on February 13, 1996 he was captured by Chechen rebels. They held him captive for more than three months.

On his 19th birthday Rodionov was beheaded on the outskirts of the Chechen village Bamut. According to his killers, who later extorted money from his mother in exchange for knowledge of the location of his corpse, they beheaded him after he refused to renounce his Christian faith or remove the silver cross he wore around his neck.

Yevgeny Rodionov was posthumously awarded the Russian Order of Courage. There is a growing movement within the Russian Orthodox Church to canonize him as a Christian saint and martyr for faith. Some Russian soldiers, feeling themselves abandoned by their government, have taken to kneeling in prayer before his image. One such prayer reads:

Thy martyr, Yevgeny, O Lord, in his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from thee, our God, for having thy strength he has brought down his torturers, has defeated the powerless insolence of demons. Through his prayers save our souls.

As of 2003, religious icons depicting Yevgeny were becoming increasingly popular. Yevgeny’s mother has one herself; she has suggested that the icon of her son sometimes emits a perfume which she believes to be holy, to the extent that it actually drips with it.

Evgeny Rodinov, pray for us!

_._

Reprinted with permission by Eric Sammons of The Divine Life.

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2 Responses to Russian Christian Soldier a Martyr of the Chechen War

History and the End of Schism

Wednesday, September 16, AD 2009

Pope Benedict and Patriarch Kirill

Rumors and rumors of rumors of an imminent end to over a thousand years of the Great Schism between Catholics and Orthodox have exploded over these past few days.  If these rumors are correct then not since the Ecumenical Council of Ferrara-Florence have these great Church’s been so close to unity.

In A.D. 1054 Catholic prelate Humbert and Orthodox prelate Michael Cærularius excommunicated each other.  This marks the beginning of the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Church’s.

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18 Responses to History and the End of Schism

  • Good post, balancing the hope with realism. One slight correction: Mount Athos contains a solid bloc of hardcore anti-Catholics, perhaps (probably?) even the majority of the monks there. But there are those loyal to the Ecumenical Patriarch who are there, too.

  • This has already been all over the blogosphere in Orthodox circles as well as Catholic – Archbishop Pezzi is clearly expressing naive optimism here. Archbishop Hilarion is indeed visiting Rome, but Pezzi made his announcement before Hilarion even set foot in the eternal city. The other question is what did Pezzi actually say in Italian; perhaps it is a mistranslation.

  • Alan,

    I read Irenaeus posting and my impression was it was all over the Orthodox blogosphere, not necessarily the Catholic blogosphere. Just wanting to be exact.

    I agree that Archbishop Pezzi was overly optimistic, but my thinking is that he’s basing it on previous dialogue with the Orthodox, not a prediction of the Hilarion-Kasper talks.

    Dale,

    I only threw in the “Mount Athos crowd” to represent the many Orthodox that are against any form of ecumenism Patriarch-and-Pope-be-damned.

  • “Just wanting to be exact since you want to make a pointless point.”

    The blog to which I linked is a Catholic/Orthodox blog.
    The story was also on NLM just yesterday. The “pointless point” judgment seems kind of harsh – not sure where that is coming from?? Maybe it didn’t come across in my comment, but my point was that most seem to be taking this with a grain of salt, and rightfully so.

  • Alan,

    I edited that out before you were able to reread it.

    No harm done.

    Posting isn’t the same as talking in person.

    I don’t read the NLM as much as I used to in the past, so I missed that one.

  • Teófilo over at Vivificat also has a good post on the subject from Monday with some interesting points.

  • LOL…

    I didn’t want to bash Archbishop Pezzi, so I tried to be diplomatic concerning his enthusiasm, but I do agree with Teofilo’s assessment on the archbishops exuberance!

  • Thank you for the link to Vivificat!

    With all due respect to Archbishop Pezzi, the expectations he has ignited need to be dowsed with a cold, wet showert of realism.

    In Christ,
    -Theo

  • Assuming this somehow goes through, would that mean RCs could fulfill Mass obligations by going to an Orthodox parish (will they still be called RC and Orthodox)? What would the post-schism Church look like?

  • c matt,

    I believe you already can fulfill your obligation to go to Mass in an Orthodox parish ONLY IF it is impossible to fulfill that obligation in a Roman Catholic Church (or those in communion–Byzantine, Ukrainian Catholic… ect.) Though, you can not partake in Communion.

  • Daniel,
    I believe you already can fulfill your obligation to go to Mass in an Orthodox parish ONLY IF it is impossible to fulfill that obligation in a Roman Catholic Church (or those in communion–Byzantine, Ukrainian Catholic… ect.)

    That’s correct and would change if they were in full communion, you’d be free to assist for any reason and even switch rituals formally (with permission) as is the case with th Uniates now.

    Though, you can not partake in Communion.

    the Catholic Church permits you to receive as long as you defer to the celebrant. As I understand it Orthodox are quite restrictive and will not allow it unless perhaps prior arrangements are made.

  • Matt is more or less right here. The Catholic Church is more permissive than the Orthodox (any Orthodox is welcome to take our communion, but told to follow the rules of their jurisdiction), and we are told, in various circumstances (not all) that we can take Orthodox communion (though most Orthodox will not give it to Catholics, some will). Then there are some, like the Armenian Orthodox and Catholic, who freely share communion.

  • I like the fact that we are able to partake in some sacraments with the Orthodox under certain conditions.

    Though the Orthodox in America are more receptive to this, do you see this attitude changing for the better in traditional Orthodox lands?

    I am aware of the amount of distrust that many Greeks and Russians share towards Catholics, is this changing as well?

    Just questions because of all of the ecumenical efforts we’ve done since Vatican II, it is the Orthodox that I see real progress in reuniting with more than any other ecclesiastical group (the Orthodox being the only other real Church).

  • Mr. Edwards and friends,

    In your article/commentary you said the following, which needs correction:

    “Outside of malefactors such as the Mount Athos crowd and the Orthodox resentment of the sacking of Constantinople, anything is possible.”

    Webster’s dictionary defines malefactor as:

    “one who does ill toward another”.

    It is unfortunate that such ignorance or malice exists among those roman catholics who respect the Orthodox Church and desire to be united to it. For, the Holy Mountain of Athos is THE ark of true Christian Spiritual Life in the Church, a bastion of true Christian spiritual practice and defender of the Truth of Revelation for over 1000 years. Her life and Saints are the heart of the Orthodox Church in the 2nd millenium. To say that the holy fathers of Athos are intent on doing ill to others or even to the desire for true unity in Christ is an affront to all who love Truth and to all Orthodox Christians. They have been and are today lights to every sincere practitioner of Christian love and without them and their agreement no true union can take place.

    Your ignorance is one of the many obstacles standing in the way of real progress toward unity in Christ. I hope that you will correct your error and take time to learn more about the Garden of the All-Holy Mother of God (as Athos is known).

    Sincerely,

    Panagiotis Dimitriadis

  • Panagiotis Dimitriadis,

    It is unfortunate that such ignorance or malice exists among those roman catholics who respect the Orthodox Church and desire to be united to it

    We desire the return of ALL Christians to the One Holy Catholic Church. We pray that the Orthodox chuches return in their integrity as particular churches.

    Your pride is one of the many obstacles standing in the way of real progress toward unity in Christ.

  • Panagiotis Dimitriadis,

    I noticed you referred to Catholic with the small “c”, but the Orthodox with the large “O”.

    You need to remove the speck in your own eye before commenting.

    By the way, the ARK is the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus to birth and I referred to the Mount Athos crowd, ie, those like yourself that hold ill-will towards Catholicism in general and unity in particular.

  • Regarding the Unity of The Holy Spirit and the Filioque: If we believe in the UNITY of God, The Father, The Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, of all that is, seen and unseen AND one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of The Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not made, ONE IN BEING with The Father…THEN, in order to be a Trinity, The Holy Spirit, The Love Between The Father And The Son, must proceed from The Father AND The Son, to begin with.

Rule of Three: SSPX, TAC, & the Orthodox Church

Saturday, January 31, AD 2009

metropolitan-kirill2

We have had a spate of exciting news these past two weeks.  So much good news that I have noticed a certain pattern forming.  That pattern usually comes in threes, so I’d like to introduce the Rule of Three theory.  The Rule of Three is a theorem that states good news comes in threes. 

First we have Pope Benedict XVI having the excommunications on the Society of St. Pius X (S.S.P.X.)  lifted on January 21.  Then we have rumors that the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.) possibly offering the  Traditional Anglican Communion (T.A.C.) entry into the Catholic Church on January 29.  So there needs to be a third piece of good news percolating somewhere some would think?

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39 Responses to Rule of Three: SSPX, TAC, & the Orthodox Church

  • I think an invite will occur, but I don’t think it will be in the immediate future.

    Besides, the TAC issue is still just a rumor/consideration, though a really fascinating one at that.

  • It’s “interesting” that you call #1 “good news” with absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Telling.

  • I think it is all good news. Even though the ryumors of TAC might be premature there is somethig in the wind. We actually in the USA can reconcille some Anglican through a wder use of the Anglican Use Parish.

  • Michael I.,

    It’s “interesting” that you call #1 “good news” with absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Telling.

    Very telling that you abhor Forgiveness, The story of the Prodigal son, orthodoxy, Latin, the Extraodinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass, Ut Unum Sint, and many other Catholic doctrine just by that simple statement you left.

  • Forgiveness is fantastic. But the SSPX is not “orthodox.” News flash, Tito: You can love forgiveness, “orthodoxy,” Latin, the extraordinary form of the Mass, etc., and not embrace groups like SSPX that reject Vatican II, Pope John Paul II, and the Catechism and who believe that “the Jews” committed “deicide.”

    Don’t flirt with these people, Tito. Seriously.

  • Michael I.,

    Don’t worry, I don’t flirt with them. I appreciate much that they do, it’s their arrogance that ruffles my feathers.

    I’m more of a Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (F.S.S.P.) guy. Unfortunately there isn’t an F.S.S.P. church in my archdiocese for me to attend.

  • Looks like Rome is denying the TAC prelature rumors. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. But if it isn’t true, where did it come from? I remember the endless “Universal indult” rumors that came even years before Summorum Pontificum.

  • Alan, good point with the indult rummors, that thing seemed “imminent” for like 2 years! As to the TAC, everything will happen in God’s own time, but I have good reason to think the recent “rumors” are credible, things may be going slower (or even faster!) that we can tell but the wheels are certainly in motion!

    I have seen some of the vitrol SOME in the SSPX spew, esp. in regards to John Paul II, but the average SSPX’er I know (and to be fair that is only two and they are both college students if that is any indication) are not anywhere near as hostille as the image, indeed the ones I know seem to admire JP-II much more than certian liberal priests I am aware of!

    Tito, thanks so much for writing on this “rule of three!” The Russian situation is complex and mostly beyond my limited understanding, I am not sure what is the greater threshold to cross…

    1-Pope meeting with Patriarch or
    2-Pope being in Russia

    I have a feeling that at first you can’t do both. I have a feeling that the two men will have to meet at a “neutral” i.e not Moscow or Rome to save face. On first glance Ukraine would make sense but a little more of a look at that would show that to be the worst possible idea. I think John Paul II was well recieved in Romania before so that is possible, I’d put my money on Greece though, let’s the Patriarch come across looking good for the hard-line Russians, the Greek Orthodox Church seems to have good relations with Rome, indeed Patriarch Bartholemieu could do the inviting (yes he’s in Turkey but I am sure he has a free hand for hosting things in Greece.)

    Anyway my two cents, keep up the good work Tito!

  • PS-I think new Moscow Patriarch once operated out of Vienna so it could happen there too.

  • “Don’t flirt with these people, Tito. Seriously.”

    But Pope Benedict is “flirting” with them as well as the Vatican. It is time to get these people back in the Church to contribute to the Body of Christ their contributions and for the Church to moderate their extremes

  • Michael I,

    Forgiveness is fantastic. But the SSPX is not “orthodox.” News flash, Tito: You can love forgiveness, “orthodoxy,” Latin, the extraordinary form of the Mass, etc., and not embrace groups like SSPX that reject Vatican II, Pope John Paul II, and the Catechism and who believe that “the Jews” committed “deicide.”

    Don’t flirt with these people, Tito. Seriously.

    Wow, I didn’t realize you were such a stickler for orthodoxy…. would you join me in calling for the excommunication of these much less orthodox folks who reject the ACTUAL TEACHINGS of Vatican II while subscribing to some twisted liberal and satanic “Spirit” of Vatican II?

    Nancy Pelosi,
    Joe Biden,
    Abp. Mahoney
    Bp. Gumbleton
    50% of the USCCB Staff
    100% of the National Catholic Reporter staff (except maybe John Allen)
    All members of Catholics For Free Choice, Call to Action, etc.
    All those who do not reject the possibility of women’s ordination
    All those who accept that contraception may be moral in certain circumstances

    let the inquisition begin.

  • Matt – How do your RCIA mentors feel about your “take” on the Catholic faith?

  • Michael I,

    pardon me?

  • I think you’re right, except I think the election of Patriarch Kirill WAS the third bit of good news. He likely will meet with the Pope on neutral territory the first time.

  • Christopher,

    You make an excellent point. Dave Hartline alluded to that in his post in Catholic Report.

  • Matt – Do excuse me. I now remember you saying that you are not yet AMERICAN, but that you are working on it or something. I got mixed up and thought you were not yet CATHOLIC. A sincere mistake.

    That said, it was certainly a jab at your take on Catholicism. The RCIA bit was not important.

  • I’m confused Michael. While Matt’s rhetoric certainly is fiery, and he’s likely hyperbolizing when he mentions percentages, the thrust of his argument is true. All the people he named have put forth and defended positions that are contrary to the Catholic faith, including several non-negotiables, such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden defending and advocating abortion. I don’t see what’s wrong with saying people that disagree with the definitive teaching of the Catholic Church are outside of the Catholic faith. Personally, I think excommunication is a very drastic step to take, but I certainly wouldn’t mind it if more bishops spoke up and publicly declared that pro-abortion politicians cannot recieve communion. I don’t consider that politicizing the Eucharist, as a) it’s to protect the faithful from false teachers, and b) I believe the same thing should be done for Rudy Giuliani.

  • Looks like the Vatican is working on its equivalent of warp factor speed. Maybe that staid old bureaucracy is used to groundbreaking stuff, first with JP and now with B. Amazing times. One branch of Anglicans might graft onto the big redwood tree of Rome. This big Metro Bishop might also have civil relations with Holy See. Hey- maybe some day the Cardinals might make it to the Sup- oh, it happened.

  • A fourth bit of good news would be Msgr Williamson taking a perpetual vow of silence after repenting of his Jew-hatred, but I’ll take what has happened so far. Looking very much forward to seeing what the Russian Orthodox do.

    Oh, and Latin clergy definitely need to recultivate beards. 🙂

  • Michael (lionsdensf), I agree that some of the parties on Matt’s list are problematic and some simply do not represent the Catholic faith on various issues. You obviously agree that his across-the-board call for “excommunication” is absurd. I would also say his view of orthodoxy is quite narrow. As if the Vatican didn’t have better things to do than “excommunicate” the staff of NCR? Please.

  • Beards all around! :)#

    Gerard,

    I believe this has been planned out the previous two years. It just seems like warp drive, though it really is nice to see.

  • Michael I.
    a jab at your take on Catholicism.

    No Michael it was an attack on my personal Faith, not on my position. A most vile “ad hominem”.

    Michael I,

    Michael (lionsdensf), I agree that some of the parties on Matt’s list are problematic and some simply do not represent the Catholic faith on various issues. You obviously agree that his across-the-board call for “excommunication” is absurd. I would also say his view of orthodoxy is quite narrow.

    Yes, I used hyperbole to demonstrate that you have a very narrow view of orthodoxy when it comes to “conservative” perspectives suggesting the SSPX is not Catholic, but a very “BROAD” view when it comes to liberal ones by suggesting the people on my list are.

    As if the Vatican didn’t have better things to do than “excommunicate” the staff of NCR? Please.

    If the Vatican’s principle role is to lead souls to heaven, and preaching heresy is a principle way that those sheep are lost to the evil one, then NO… the Vatican hasn’t more important work.

    By the way, would you say that 100% of the NCR staff doesn’t render the assent of faith to the Church’s teachings on contraception and/or women’s ordination? Either case is completely legitimate grounds for excommunication, isn’t it?

  • By the way, would you say that 100% of the NCR staff doesn’t render the assent of faith to the Church’s teachings on contraception and/or women’s ordination?

    I have no idea. I don’t know the views of all of the staff members. Do you?

    Either case is completely legitimate grounds for excommunication, isn’t it?

    Either no, it’s not legitimate grounds for excommunication, or the Church has absolutely no interest in going around excommunicating people simply because they disagree with the Church’s teaching on birth control and/or women’s ordination. Thankfully they are a bit more generous and patient with such Catholics, unlike you who seems to get off on mindless internet “heretic”-hunting.

  • Michael J. Iafrate,

    By the way, would you say that 100% of the NCR staff doesn’t render the assent of faith to the Church’s teachings on contraception and/or women’s ordination?

    I have no idea. I don’t know the views of all of the staff members. Do you?

    If one can be judged by the articles one writes, edits or publishes, I have a pretty good idea that they do not…

    Either case is completely legitimate grounds for excommunication, isn’t it?

    Either no, it’s not legitimate grounds for excommunication, or the Church has absolutely no interest in going around excommunicating people simply because they disagree with the Church’s teaching on birth control and/or women’s ordination. Thankfully they are a bit more generous and patient with such Catholics, unlike you who seems to get off on mindless internet “heretic”-hunting.

    First of all, any Catholic who culpably persists in heresy is automatically excommunicated. People who hold such heretical views PRIVATELY are of course not notorious public sinners, and are to refrain from communion on their own, they are not generally subject to ecclsiastical action. Those who persist in teaching such heretical views, as does NCR are subject to ecclesiastical action up to and including excommunication for the good of their souls and those who they teach.

    c. 1364
    1. With due regard for can. 194, part 1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication and if a cleric, he can also be punished by the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, part 1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.

    Do you deny that it is harmful to souls to preach heresy, such as women’s ordination?

  • Happy “heretic”-hunting, Matt!

  • Michael I,

    you sure hate to get pinned down on calling evil for what it is.

  • I suggest that we, who are not experts in canon law or its interpretation, refrain from throwing around quotes from canon law. Excommunication is a serious matter. Even the acknowledgment of latae sententiae is rarely asserted by the Church.

  • Matt,

    With your views on torture and excommunication, I’d be fearin’ and tremblin’.

  • Matt – It’s tough to take you seriously when you say that believing in women’s ordination is “evil.”

  • Well, those women who have simulated ordination to the priesthood, and at least one man who has assisted, all have been uniformly excommunicated, and excommunication isn’t exactly a pleasant place for the soul to be. I don’t know if I’d call believing in the necessity of women’s ordination “evil,” but it certainly gives aid and comfort to people who get themselves in a bad place.

    Otherwise, I’d agree that heresy-hunting and tossed accusations generate far more heat than light, and a smoky, choking heat at that.

  • Dale,

    I’d call believing in the necessity of women’s ordination “evil,”

    Believing in the necessity? It’s heresy to believe in the possibility. Period. This is not me, this is the teaching of the Church. Is not all heresy evil?

    If you read through the posts, I’m responding to Michael I’s opposition to the lifting of excommunications and the attempts to reconcile the SSPX. The point is that his strictness on “orthodoxy” is relative to who’s ox is being gored. At the same time, it is scandalous for people to preach error and remain unaffected by public sanctions.

  • Matt:

    Is not all heresy evil?

    Formal, yes. Material, no. Otherwise I’d be forced to call my evangelical neighbors “evil.” There’s a difference between being wrong and being sinfully wrong.

    Look, I wholeheartedly assent to the Magisterium on WO, without the slightest hesitation. Even on the merely pragmatic level, WO has been an unmitigated disaster for those denominations which practice it, both in terms of dwindling numbers and even faster-dwindling orthodoxy. That’s the Holy Spirit pointing to the canary in the coal-mine, which is consistently and studiously ignored by the proponents of WO.

    Impending qualifier alert: But. That doesn’t mean that I think everyone who still favors it is a formal heretic in need of the penalty of excommunication. Those who simulate and assist with attempted WO, yes. Everybody else deserves patience, education and the passage of time. And, yes, careful rebuking and repudiation where necessary.

  • Is not all heresy evil?

    No. Dale has a pretty good explanation about why.

  • Dale,

    Is not all heresy evil?

    Formal, yes. Material, no.

    Wrong. All heresy is evil, however all material heretics are not automatically excommunicated. I didn’t ask if all heretics are evil, that’s really not a proper question.

    Otherwise I’d be forced to call my evangelical neighbors “evil.” There’s a difference between being wrong and being sinfully wrong.

    I think you’re off base here, we’re talking about Catholics who reject the teachings of the Church willfully. Heresy is formal when it is known that ones belief is in opposition to the teachings of the Church. I don’t think the people we’re talking about, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and the NCR staff are uneducated in their faith, they are intentionally rejecting Church teachings. That is, by definition formal. As to those who “read” the NCR, some of them may not be so culpable.

  • Matt,

    Aren’t there better ways for you to imagine, to aid in the kingdom’s coming?

  • OK, looks like a matter of defining one’s terms. Here’s something more precise: Not all heresy is mortally sinful.

    all material heretics are not automatically excommunicated.

    Actually, it’s rather stronger than that. Give me an example of a material heretic who IS automatically excommunicated. The Church isn’t in the business of excommunicating material heretics. Period.

    I think you’re off base here, we’re talking about Catholics who reject the teachings of the Church willfully. Heresy is formal when it is known that ones belief is in opposition to the teachings of the Church.

    Correct as to the theological formulation. However, the problem is that determining willfulness is not that easy. Sure, for the WO simulators–absolutely. Hence the thunderbolt of excommunication. It’s a crucial step removed for the likes of Pelosi, Biden and even the staff of the Reporter, as tiresomely obnoxious as the reportage and editorial line of that publication is. I can’t presume that Pelosi and Biden aren’t being misled by the theological smoke belched up in their respective diocese during their formations, perhaps even by their confessors. I’ve been told stuff that I know was wrong by well-meaning confessors myself. Look–do I *think* they are knowingly standing in opposition to the Church? More likely than not, yes. Do I *know* that for a fact. No, and that’s for their Ordinaries to determine and authoritatively counsel and discipline them about, as canon law indicates. If their Ordinaries fail to act, then the sin is upon their heads as well.

  • OK, looks like a matter of defining one’s terms. Here’s something more precise: Not all heresy is mortally sinful.

    all material heretics are not automatically excommunicated.

    Actually, it’s rather stronger than that. Give me an example of a material heretic who IS automatically excommunicated. The Church isn’t in the business of excommunicating material heretics. Period.

    Formal heresy involves an added element to the material heresy, that it is “freely willed”. Now, if you want to make the labels to be mutually exclusive, rather than formal being a subset of material, I don’t really care, it is not material to the question. A Catholic who manifests heresy, and who by virtual of his station can reasonably be presumed to be aware of his error, is subject to be excommunicated (an act of law), unless he can demonstrate that he is not aware of his error. This is important to protect the purity of the Church’s teaching. In the area of moral theology it’s theoretically possible that the person is not morally culpable for his error, the point of excommunication is to resolve the situation, it is not a condemnation.

    Will you now answer the question: are you saying all heresy is not evil?

    Correct as to the theological formulation. However, the problem is that determining willfulness is not that easy. Sure, for the WO simulators–absolutely. Hence the thunderbolt of excommunication. It’s a crucial step removed for the likes of Pelosi, Biden and even the staff of the Reporter, as tiresomely obnoxious as the reportage and editorial line of that publication is. I can’t presume that Pelosi and Biden aren’t being misled by the theological smoke belched up in their respective diocese during their formations, perhaps even by their confessors. I’ve been told stuff that I know was wrong by well-meaning confessors myself. Look–do I *think* they are knowingly standing in opposition to the Church? More likely than not, yes. Do I *know* that for a fact. No, and that’s for their Ordinaries to determine and authoritatively counsel and discipline them about, as canon law indicates. If their Ordinaries fail to act, then the sin is upon their heads as well.

    You’re position is self-contradictory… why can we not assume that the WO simulators (who were actually excommunicated under Canon 1378) are as misled by the theological smoke as are the others? Speaking is an external material act.

    I agree with you that those bishops and priest who are responsible for such poor formation, and who refuse to take concrete steps to correct the errors will have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to Judgement Day. Nevertheless, automatic excommunication requires no act of the local ordinary to execute, but it does obligate him to help the subject to reconciliation, shame on them for refusing their duty.

  • At the risk of having my words parsed to the point of death by a thousand cuts, let’s try this again.

    1. No, I’m not getting into a taffy pull about “evil” because the Church looks at heresy from the standpoint of sin, both mortal and venial. Is sin evil? Well, yes, but not all sin is of the same magnitude, eternally speaking. Heresy is sinful. However, the effect on the soul and eternal destination is a matter of culpability.

    2. No, it’s not self contradictory–not remotely. Prelates have issued warnings to the simulators and there is the precedent of Church action excommunicating those who have done the same thing. Moreover, they have been offered the opportunity to defend themselves canonically. They know going in that if they do this, they will be excommunicated. Period. None of which obtains with respect to Pelosi, Biden, etc.

    “Formal heresy involves an added element to the material heresy, that it is “freely willed”. Now, if you want to make the labels to be mutually exclusive, rather than formal being a subset of material, I don’t really care, it is not material to the question. A Catholic who manifests heresy, and who by virtual of his station can reasonably be presumed to be aware of his error, is subject to be excommunicated (an act of law), unless he can demonstrate that he is not aware of his error.”

    Assumed, but not proven. Not by a long shot. And you simply cannot wave away the need to prove willfulness in this matter. You need to start giving some canonical precedents here for me to buy this line of argument. Excommunication, far from being presumed, is extraordinary. I recommend you run this past canonist Ed Peters of the Canon Law blog, as I would be very interested in his take.

  • I think the very fact that there has been much disagreement with your three “happy” news shows that perhaps these three pieces of news do not compliment one another. And if that is the case, I’m thinking the clergy of the Catholic Church still don’t have it all together. Perhaps they’re throwing stuff on the wall and seeing what sticks.
    ———
    OliviaB.