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I don't understand how anyone who is Orthodox can attack the Catholic Church. I would love to see how the Orthodox Church would have held up to the rapid changes in culture that the West incurred from the Renaissance onward. They would probably be in the same place if that all occurred in the East.
(11-10-2014, 02:44 AM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]I've seen the same old "things are SOOOO much better in the East" argument time and time again on another forum.  It really doesn't impress.  Even if you were right, you wouldn't get the converts you want that way.  There are those in the west who love the Church and their Rite in spite of the fact that there are also those in it who apparently don't.

I believe Pope Francis is the true pope, but I'm not particularly impressed with him.  He doesn't stand out to me as someone who has profound insights that will help me grow in holiness.  I don't exactly DISLIKE him, but I certainly don't have the same enthusiasm for him that I had for Pope Benedict.  When I first saw that Pope Benedict was elected, I was so excited I couldn't get back to my dorm room fast enough to check the news after a classmate had told me a German had just been elected pope (now, after hearing the things Cardinal Kasper has said recently, I shudder to think of how things would have turned out if he'd been the German standing on that balcony nine years ago instead of Pope Benedict).  Pope Benedict's election was and is one of the happiest days of my life.  I was also crushed when I found out he was resigning- it literally felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach.  My reaction when Pope Francis was elected was very different.  I had no idea who Cardinal Bergoglio was.  I knew his last name was Italian, and that he had chosen the name Francis.  Would he be a real Francis- a "go and rebuild my church," stigmatist, great lover of the Eucharist and the priesthood Francis?  Or would he be a hippie Francis?  I don't know.  Honestly, I don't really care that much.  Why?  Because I know he can't change the doctrines of the Church.  I know that the "social justice" garbage my diocese was fed for 30 years is just that- it's garbage, and I'm certain that it'll eventually be taken out.  I know what the Church teaches about faith, morals, the liturgy, and the sacraments.  I also know what the Church teaches about social concern- that we should have it, but it should be kept in its proper place, lest we fall into the heresy of materialism.

I found my faith in a diocese that had been fed the sewage of "social justice" and the "seamless garment" for 30 years.  I saw the restoration after a wonderful, holy bishop came- it was like seeing wildflowers bloom in the ashes of a burnt forest.  The old things that had been killed off during the 30 years before didn't come back, but new things- new, beautiful things- came and flourished.  I somehow found my faith before things got better.  When I came to the Church seeking spiritual and moral counsel, all I got was endless talk on "helping the poor."  I was a young college student, disabled and on state assistance, and didn't have a cent to my name- I was the poor, and they did nothing for me.  I didn't need endless talk about helping people like me in this life- I needed preparation for the next, and I didn't get it from them.  Thankfully, I found what I needed within the small pocket of orthodoxy that existed here, and which sustained my faith until that storm finally passed here.

The Church didn't seem to be even a shadow of what it once was, yet I still joined it.  For some reason, God has allowed the Church to be trashed from both the inside and the outside.  There's a whole book in the Bible that's all about that- my favorite book- the book of Lamentations.  That doesn't mean it isn't the Church.  That just means that God is seeing fit to chastise it now.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe people started to take things for granted,  Maybe things looked great on the outside years ago, but were really bad on the inside- the people perpetuating evil were just good at hiding it until they decided they didn't have to hide it anymore.  The most foul theologians of the 1970's were ordained in the 1950's or earlier.  They learned their theology from someone.  They were admitted to the seminary by someone.  They moved up the ecclesiastical hierarchy to the point that they were bishops, cardinals, and other prelates of distinction that awarded them a great deal of influence over the Church- their faith was formed in the early to mid 1900's, the good ole' days that many people here long to have again.  Well, something must have been going on that let them win the esteem that got them into their positions.

I am concerned about the problems in the Church, but I can't let them destroy my faith.  My faith is mine- and no one but God can take away my love for the Eucharist, for Mary, for the Saints, for the Papacy, for the Sacraments, and for the Tradition of the Church- because they are mine- I cultivate them within myself to the point that what others do doesn't matter so much.  Now, I'm certainly outraged when evil is committed- and especially when clergy perpetuate it or are silent about it when they shouldn't be.  Even so, I need not let their sin obstruct my path to holiness.  I need not let their sin distract me from Christ and His Church.

This post was the most eloquent post I've ever read on Fisheaters.  Bravo!  - From a cradle Catholic born during the reign of Pius XII.
(11-10-2014, 11:33 AM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]I don't understand how anyone who is Orthodox can attack the Catholic Church. I would love to see how the Orthodox Church would have held up to the rapid changes in culture that the West incurred from the Renaissance onward. They would probably be in the same place if that all occurred in the East.

The Orthodox Church has survived and thrived in extremely hostile cultures and all without the papacy.  Even in saying this it remains to be seen just how Orthodoxy will fair in the West over time. It's still a relatively recent import to Western Europe and the USA outside of immigrant communities and its second class citizen status in vile muslim cultures helped insulate it from anything other than self preservation and ethnocentrism. 

Don't kid yourself, Orthodoxy is already being secularized, modernized and protestantized in some circles as a result of greater freedoms from the insularity necessary for sheer survival under communist and mohammedan rule. Modernism is rampant in modern Orthodoxy, especially as filtered through the so called Parisian School and their theological heirs. That and this new pan Orthodox Council that is brewing is going to be interesting. Gone are the days of non Westernized, non academic leaders within world Orthodoxy. That will have consequences but only time will tell what they might be.
(11-10-2014, 12:59 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-10-2014, 11:33 AM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]I don't understand how anyone who is Orthodox can attack the Catholic Church. I would love to see how the Orthodox Church would have held up to the rapid changes in culture that the West incurred from the Renaissance onward. They would probably be in the same place if that all occurred in the East.

The Orthodox Church has survived and thrived in extremely hostile cultures and all without the papacy.  Even in saying this it remains to be seen just how Orthodoxy will fair in the West over time. It's still a relatively recent import to Western Europe and the USA outside of immigrant communities and its second class citizen status in vile muslim cultures helped insulate it from anything other than self preservation and ethnocentrism. 

Don't kid yourself, Orthodoxy is already being secularized, modernized and protestantized in some circles as a result of greater freedoms from the insularity necessary for sheer survival under communist and mohammedan rule. Modernism is rampant in modern Orthodoxy, especially as filtered through the so called Parisian School and their theological heirs. That and this new pan Orthodox Council that is brewing is going to be interesting. Gone are the days of non Westernized, non academic leaders within world Orthodoxy. That will have consequences but only time will tell what they might be.
Good point. I will mention that many of these modernist elements do come from jurisdictions which are not so vehemently anti-western from a cultural point of view (think Greeks). In Russia, thankfully, an anti-western cultural (and religious) attitude has always maintained its presence within the society, even if marginalised during dark times, such as the first half of the XX century and the  1990s. You are right, formerbuddhist, to point out the evils of „pan-Orthodoxy". There is a reason for the national jurisdictions and we see the fruits of the system in places like Russia. The whole idea of unity/academic circles etc. are merely superimposed western ideas, which will hopefully meet reaction from religious, or if all else fails, from the last defence of patriotic sentiment.
It is somewhat of a paradox, but it appears to be true in both the East and West--the Church is more "pure" when being refined by persecution and tribulations or when treated like a foreign outsider--and falls into decadence when it has peace and comfort.  St. Bernard applied to this phenomenon the verse from Hezekiah's canticle in Isaiah: "In peace is my bitterness most bitter." I think history bears witness to this.
(11-10-2014, 02:14 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: [ -> ]It is somewhat of a paradox, but it appears to be true in both the East and West--the Church is more "pure" when being refined by persecution and tribulations or when treated like a foreign outsider--and falls into decadence when it has peace and comfort.  St. Bernard applied to this phenomenon the verse from Hezekiah's canticle in Isaiah: "In peace is my bitterness most bitter." I think history bears witness to this.

Good point there too. Much of the decadence we see in modern Catholicism is because the secular culture allows the Church to exist if it tows the party line and settles for a bland live and let live mediocrity and because so many churchman are willing to go along with it.

In some ways modern secularism is far more dangerous to the Faith than normative Islam or communism, as in either of those there is no room for the lukewarm, you're either totally Catholic all the time or you're not, the state hates you for simply existing and makes good on its threats whereas in a secular pluralist environment the state is totally indifferent and gives you all the perks you want as long as you remain simply a cultural Catholic. They'll let you have everything, including all the smells and bells as long as it's just aesthetics and nothing more.  At most being an outspoken Catholic in a secularist pluralist culture gets you blacklisted and tarnished as a wee big insane, mentally unstable and backwards but nothing more. There is no outright persecution.

And academic "theologians" can live in their ivory towers and discuss and dissect doctrines, dogmas and disciplines ad nauseam as long as the result of their theology never has any bearing on life outside the academy.

The Church will survive only with those who will be uncompromising in their living of the Faith. This applies to both Catholics and Orthodox. There is no room for the lukewarm, and yet how hard it is to push through mediocrity!
(11-10-2014, 03:30 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-10-2014, 02:14 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: [ -> ]It is somewhat of a paradox, but it appears to be true in both the East and West--the Church is more "pure" when being refined by persecution and tribulations or when treated like a foreign outsider--and falls into decadence when it has peace and comfort.  St. Bernard applied to this phenomenon the verse from Hezekiah's canticle in Isaiah: "In peace is my bitterness most bitter." I think history bears witness to this.

Good point there too. Much of the decadence we see in modern Catholicism is because the secular culture allows the Church to exist if it tows the party line and settles for a bland live and let live mediocrity and because so many churchman are willing to go along with it.

In some ways modern secularism is far more dangerous to the Faith than normative Islam or communism, as in either of those there is no room for the lukewarm, you're either totally Catholic all the time or you're not, the state hates you for simply existing and makes good on its threats whereas in a secular pluralist environment the state is totally indifferent and gives you all the perks you want as long as you remain simply a cultural Catholic. They'll let you have everything, including all the smells and bells as long as it's just aesthetics and nothing more.  At most being an outspoken Catholic in a secularist pluralist culture gets you blacklisted and tarnished as a wee big insane, mentally unstable and backwards but nothing more. There is no outright persecution.

And academic "theologians" can live in their ivory towers and discuss and dissect doctrines, dogmas and disciplines ad nauseam as long as the result of their theology never has any bearing on life outside the academy.

The Church will survive only with those who will be uncompromising in their living of the Faith. This applies to both Catholics and Orthodox. There is no room for the lukewarm, and yet how hard it is to push through mediocrity!
I like the way that you included socialism as distinct from the liberalism characterised by modern saecularism. One thing that I have observed through my experiences with the effects of a socialist system (PRL) is the maintenance of a religious attitude despite prevalent state atheism. This resulted from the mandatory conformity to an authority opposed to individual caprice. This social arrangement of conformity and lack of individual sovereignty, largely lost during the industrial and liberal revolutions, maintains a sense of a higher authority (although significantly flawed due to its denial of God). I believe that the restoration of this sense of the elevated will provide a sociological and perhaps a spiritual resurrection.
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