23 December 2007

Reasons that are lacking

In response to my question, one of the readers of this blog has declared that he has completed his "little masterpiece on why no sane person should ever be(come) Orthodox."

The reasons give me pause because (a) "Orthodox" is confused with "Byzantine"; (b) the reasons depend upon a legalistic reading of canons (as if they are "canon law"); and (c) the reasons appear to be an argument against the discipline of the church.

Concerning (a), the confusion is quite common; nevertheless, it is a confusion. "Orthodox" is not synonymous with "Byzantine rite" anymore than it is synonymous with "Russian" or "Greek" or "Romanian." "Orthodox" applies to the life of faith in all places by those in communion with the canonical Orthodox bishops.

Concerning (b), the canons of the Orthodox Church are not a uniform legal code but pastoral applications of the Church's Faith in specific contexts.

Concerning (c), the Church's discipline is intended to focus the heart and mind in order to "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" and thereby desire "things above, not on things on the earth."

2 comments:

Lvka said...

I just think that people should be rightly informed, don't You agree, Father?

(And thanks for posting my comment, though not agreeing with it -- I really appreciate that).

Indulgence or an economy of canons as regards certain loosenings related to consuming certain *FOODS*, YES ... for *OBVIOUS* reasons: people with certain health-problems, hard-workers, stressed students, young infants, elderly people, beginners in the spiritual life, or even proud people (better to be with a fuller stomach, than to be full of yourself, right?) --> BUT AS regards intimate relations ??? (I'll have to admit: that one was news to me ...)

As for Saturday being a Fast-day of in the West (as opposed to the same being perceived as a Feast-day in the East) : TRUE ... but fasting requires abstinence, does it not?

As for myself, I'm a Romanian Orthodox Christian, and a member of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and can't think of being anything else ... and I don't hate God, nor His Body the Church, nor His faith once and for all delivered to the saints (well, actually I do: I'm a lousy little sinner, and that wouldn't be the case were I to *truly love* God, His Church, and the Faith -- but that's another story altogether).

As for Martin Luther, I deeply admire that great man and Father of the Reformation: ever-since the fifth grade, when I saw a cartoon-episode about his life (it was from a cartoon-series depicting the history of Europe). I also wrote my Sprachdiplom-thesis on him, when I was in the eleventh grade, after "serving" for eight years as a student of the German High-school situated in the German city-quarter of the town where I live. -- I hope that that's OK with You, Father ...

Sch├╝tz said...

Lucian,

While I thought your blog on this matter was rather funny, I took it for what it was: having a bit of a go at the Orthodox for "their funny little ways".

Fr Fenton, you should not have fallen for the bait.

This is a game often played by non-Catholics against Catholics as well.

It really isn't fair.

However, it is okay to play the game on ourselves. I, as a Catholic, am perfectly entitled to have a go at Catholics for their funny little ways.

And Lucian, who is himself Orthodox, is allowed to have his little joke too at the expense of the Orthodox.