Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Anti-Western Orthodoxy, again

Even while objecting to Rod Dreher's defection for Eastern Orthodoxy, which we discussed as a question under a larger consideration of the question of "Apostasy (αποστασία)" (Musings, December 16, 2006), one might sympathize with his complaints about how troubling and confusing things seem to be aboard the Barque of St. Peter at times. Perhaps you recall his laundry list of complaints -- sex scandal, poor catechesis, infighting, ambiguity, etc., etc.

Yet, having said that, when not being in communion with the Bishop of Rome becomes the sine qua non of one's identity as an Orthodox Christian, one may begin to question what master he serves. We examined the phenomenon of "Anti-Western Orthodoxy" back in Musings, January 26, 2005. And I've just received notice of an article entitled "Mount Athos Objects to Ecumenical Openness" by George Weigel recounting how dismayed the Athonite monks were with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the way he treated his Roman guest, Pope Benedict XVI, in Constantinople last December.
Why? Because, the monks complained, "the Pope was received as though he were the canonical bishop of Rome." There were other complaints, but that was the first listed in a statement released last December 30 by the Assembly of Representatives and Superiors of the twenty monasteries: Why was Bartholomew treating Benedict as though the latter were, in fact, the bishop of Rome?
If we can't agree on that much, we may have a little problem.

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