Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Is this Converting Them or Us?

If the WR liturgics are properly Orthodox, why the need to accompany them with claims like this one: “Professor John Romanides and others have successfully argued that the schism of the 11th century was less about theological differences between the East and the West than about the political and military ambitions of the Franks.” – by Fr. Nicholas Alford, St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church, LIGHT FROM THE EAST – JOY IN THE WEST: The Restoration of Western Rite Orthodoxy

Question: For one thing, that is not the only way to read Fr. John’s excellent work at all. But have we not read St. Photius’ Mystagogy, listened to St. Mark of Ephesus? Why the need now to revise history and claim there are not deep-seated theological differences since at least the 9th century that have worked themselves out into a system of Western religion and “spirituality” that is incompatible with Orthodoxy? After all, if this is just about liturgics, a matter of this or that rite, and not utilized either as, on the one hand, a means of bringing in heterodox thinking with partial conversions and, on the other, preparing a bridge for a false union of Orthodoxy with Rome and Canterbury, what’s this stuff got to do with it? But then that begs the whole question of why, if the rite is perfectly Orthodox, we need a shift of rite to begin with. Overall, it’s cause for concern that what has widely been analyzes as a theological divergence that had deep effects in every other area of Western Christian thought, innovation, and practice, is now seemly treated as a mere anomaly in an otherwise Orthodox development. This seems like revisionism at best.

Fr. Nicholas continues: “In many ways it was not until the complete adoption of scholasticism in the West, in the 13th century, that the Western mind departed from the Spirit of Orthodoxy.”

What about the Norman Conquest and what was done to the Orthodox Celts? Not to mention in the Crusades.


January 17, 2008 - Posted by | Western Rite Questions | , , , , ,

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