Lowering Catholic Standards: Is a More Welcoming Church a Healthier One?
#11
(12-22-2015, 05:47 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Is fasting in Orthodoxy obligatory? The way it was explained to me is that they set a high bar, but it's not a sin or anything if you don't reach it.  In other words, it's not strict at all and there are no consequences for "non-compliance." 

Also, look at traditionally EO countries.  Church attendance numbers in Greece, for example, are on par with various Catholic places and even worse than traditionally Catholic countries like Italy, Ireland, Poland, and Portugal.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_attendance

Also, I think we're a little prejudiced by American Orthodoxy, which is still very much an ethnic immigrant religion (with a mix of new converts)--it tends to be a more significant source of identity leading to a more devoted practice.  The same was true when Roman Catholicism was such an immigrant religion here.

But anyway, with regards to the OP, there is definitely a good point being made.  Even those most nominal Catholics I know will still abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent.  People want discipline and an identity.  There's no point in getting out of bed on Sunday to drive to church when there's nothing different there than you can get from living in the world.

If by " high bar" you men it's mortally sinful to not reach it than no, many Orthodox do not,but the standards are pretty serious amongst more traditional Orthodox. Most days of the year are fast days,including some feasts where the only real treat is the choice to eat fish or to have a bit of wine and oil.  The point is that the fasts themselves have not been legislated out of existence the way they have in the Roman Catholic Church. Just whether individual Orthodox keep them or not is probably not uniform.

It's still uniform amongst Orthodox to fast from midnight to the time of the Divine Liturgy from everything including water before Communion.

I'm certainly not making a plug for Orthodoxy. I'm just saying that on the surface  the Orthodox churches appear more robust in terms of fasting, liturgy, architecture, etc than the average Roman Catholic parish.

I actually have very little good to say about " American Orthodoxy" to be honest. Much of it is either " super correct" RadTrad stuff or the Eastern Rite protestantism with the blind leading the blind. I just saying on the surface, and compared to Roman Catholicism in the average parish it can seem like it's this ancient and untouched safe haven.

The Orthodox Church--- whatever else might be said about it-- has not reduced its fasting requirements, mangled the liturgy and liturgical calendar or turned its sanctuaries into whitewashed wastelands, nor has it as of yet brought women and girls into the sanctuary.  It's possible that all these things will happen officially at some point, but as of yet they have not. Orthodoxy still looks healthier in the average parish than even the most robust Novus Ordo parish.

People are attracted to what appears to be ancient and to be somewhat strict. Neither antiquity nor strictness are present on the surface in most of modern new rite Catholicism. That could be driving people to seek elsewhere.



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#12


Not digging the title of this thread. I don't see any conflict between being "welcoming" and being orthodox. I think the Faith shouldn't be watered-down one tiny bit, that catechesis should be thoroughly trad, that the liturgical and sacramental rites should be old-school -- but also that we should be clear that the Church is a Hospital for sinners, that ALL are welcome, no matter who they are, what they've done, what they do, what their struggles are.

I know that "niceness" has gotten a bad rep because the so-called "church of nice" is what it is (and it sucks, waters down the Faith, is ineffective and silly), but warmth, being hospitable, empathetic, understanding, kind, "meeting people where they are," refraining from judging souls, giving people the benefit of the doubt, seeing "designated sinners" as on the path, and all that good stuff are perfectly compatible with everything I mentioned in the first paragraph. There simply is no reason why the two -- "being welcoming" and being orthodox -- can't exist together. In fact, I believe that true Christianity demands that they do.
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#13
(12-23-2015, 12:00 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Not digging the title of this thread. I don't see any conflict between being "welcoming" and being orthodox. I think the Faith shouldn't be watered-down one tiny bit, that catechesis should be thoroughly trad, that the liturgical and sacramental rites should be old-school -- but also that we should be clear that the Church is a Hospital for sinners, that ALL are welcome, no matter who they are, what they've done, what they do, what their struggles are.

I know that "niceness" has gotten a bad rep because the so-called "church of nice" is what it is (and it sucks, waters down the Faith, is ineffective and silly), but warmth, being hospitable, empathetic, understanding, kind, "meeting people where they are," refraining from judging souls, giving people the benefit of the doubt, seeing "designated sinners" as on the path, and all that good stuff are perfectly compatible with everything I mentioned in the first paragraph. There simply is no reason why the two -- "being welcoming" and being orthodox -- can't exist together. In fact, I believe that true Christianity demands that they do.

There is no reason why it shouldn't co-exists, but the narrative that we are forced is that orthodoxy equals rigidity and heterodoxy equals warm and fuzzy and good times. 
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#14
It is not about lowering Catholic Standards. It is about meeting the sinner where they are and leading them to where they ought to be.
Remember, Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors. He told the adulterous woman to "sin no more." He said to Zachaeus "this day salvation has come to this house." But that was only after Zacheus promised to return all the money he stole.
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#15
(12-23-2015, 07:25 AM)Poche Wrote: It is not about lowering Catholic Standards. It is about meeting the sinner where they are and leading them to where they ought to be.
Remember, Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors. He told the adulterous woman to "sin no more." He said to Zachaeus "this day salvation has come to this house." But that was only after Zacheus promised to return all the money he stole.

That's a great point Poche, the implication of everything you've stated above is repentence. What you write, with all the implications, addresses point 3

3) “Do not consent to, encourage, or indulge any violations of [the religion’s] standards of beliefs or behavior by its professed adherents.”

The lowering of standards is regard to giving the impression that the rules are changing to accept more people. Yes we need to meet people where they are and show those people the way, just as Jesus did. Jesus met people where they were and told them to repent and follow him which is exactly what Catholics should do, not meet people where they are and say join us what you are doing is fine, no worries. When Jesus spoke to people and they did not repent he didn't chase them nor did he change the rules. I.e. the rich man Mark 10:17-31.

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#16
(12-23-2015, 08:28 AM)CaptCrunch73 Wrote: (snip)

The lowering of standards is regard to giving the impression that the rules are changing to accept more people. Yes we need to meet people where they are and show those people the way, just as Jesus did. Jesus met people where they were and told them to repent and follow him which is exactly what Catholics should do, not meet people where they are and say join us what you are doing is fine, no worries. When Jesus spoke to people and they did not repent he didn't chase them nor did he change the rules. I.e. the rich man Mark 10:17-31.

Exactly! QFT and all that! The Faith must be kept whole and intact; we just have to spread it around, know it's for everyone, and have a conversion of the heart which'd take care of our attitudes toward others, the way we approach them and deal with them. It's in that last sort of thing that "being welcoming" fits in, not with the Church's teaching or our rites and traditions.
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