Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

We told you this would happen.


Well, we’ve warned before that if they keep messing with the cork in the dike, they’re liable to unleash the flood. Here it comes. A new site of criticism of some of what passes for Western Rite has been born at westernritefraud.freehostia.com

The Horde of the Uncanonical? Or just superheroes on a day's work?Apparently, in the witch hunt to expose all opponents, critics, or persistent questioners, that site’s new founder had been repeatedly accused of running this site and slandered accordingly, and decided finally to start one of his own.

Hey! Credit where credit is due, eh? This site is run by little green men. Or the government. We don’t know which government, but hey – it’s probably the one with an agency so secret that it doesn’t even know it’s an agency. It probably thinks its a postal service or something. Or it could be run by a cadre of conspirators out to destroy everything good and lovely (or at least duplicitous and easy). Or maybe every “uncanonical” and “vagante” group, bishop, and jurisdiction have teamed up in a kind of League of Justice to expose the darkness that is this city. It’s the Night of the Vagante.

Do you want it? It's a flood.Well, there’s no actual proof that the accused isn’t everywhere. He might be behind you right now, dear reader. He might be Santa Claus and have access to a really really fast sleigh and be responsible for all the presents in the world. Or….

Maybe the enthusiasts just equated suspicion with reality one too many times, and yup… there are actually more than a handful of people in the world that think a lot of the activities styled as “Western rite” are a bad idea, and we’re finding each other, and finding a voice. And now – they’ve gone and goaded us into making more web sites. If we could shake our collective heads over the internet, we would. You’ll just have to try and imagine it.

Hey… do you hear that? What’s that sound? It sounds like… rushing water….

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February 19, 2008 - Posted by | -- 9th Commandment, Western Rite Weirdness | , , , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. When one feels one’s only safe defence is to silence genuine debate, demonise one’s “opponents” in the most awful way (I use quotes because I am no one’s opponent…) and restrict access of information to one’s followers, then one is truly insecure in one’s position. – Monk Aidan Keller (quoted here)

    Comment by tuD | February 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. I wasn’t sure it was confirmed he’s a deacon, since that scandalous letter is the only source I’ve seen cited to that effect, and I certainly can’t believe a clergyman could behave that way.

    Comment by tuD | February 25, 2008 | Reply

  3. That’s “Fr. Benjamin.”

    Comment by hieromonachusaidanus | February 25, 2008 | Reply

  4. Indeed. Perhaps Ben will return the favor. 🙂

    Comment by tuD | February 24, 2008 | Reply

  5. I am glad to see the blog owner has linked not only to Joseph Suaiden’s website that was inspired by his being bitterly attacked and smeared, but also to a pious liturgical reflection on Fr. Benjamin Johnson’s website. This shows balance, avoids the impression of favouritism, and allows for Christian charity. We should look at the good people do, and not only at what they themselves will one day rue.

    Comment by hieromonachusaidanus | February 22, 2008 | Reply

  6. Apparently the technique has finally backfired, of using dirt-finding missions and making unfounded character assassinations against those who advocate older forms of Western rite. I advocate for older forms of Western rite, but I don’t feel the need for such frenzy. Look at the equanimity of St. Gamaliel, teacher of holy apostle Paul: “If this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought, but if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it,” he said. This advice can be applied equally to those who believe pre-Reformation Western rite is a better path, those who believe post-Reformation Western rite is a better path, and those who believe all Western rite is an undesirable path. Let God decide. If older forms of the Western rite are not of God, or not useful for Orthodox mission in this world, will they not collapse under their own weight? The psalmist says, “Let the heathen rage,” not “Let the faithful rage.” Life is too short for being always on the warpath.

    Comment by hieromonachusaidanus | February 22, 2008 | Reply

  7. Do they even have gender? Hmmm. The little plastic models I have are deprived of visible distinctions. 🙂

    Comment by tuD | February 21, 2008 | Reply

  8. Hey! Credit where credit is due, eh? This site is run by little green men…

    Or women.

    Comment by nycxs | February 21, 2008 | Reply

  9. Thanks. Will do. 🙂

    We find it interesting also that criticism of the Western Rite is dismissed as being held by people who ‘have a problem with ecumenism’. The implication is that to be truly Western Rite, you have to be for exactly the kind of ecumenism we’ve critiqued. Surely this is an unintentional assertion by the enthusiasts.

    If Joseph Suaiden is correct – namely that the WRV is actually not wanting pre-schism ritual and devotions (b/c that would be archaeology) but want a ‘living tradition’ (by which is meant the post-schism rites and devotions of the heterodox) – there is clearly an ecumenism inherent in their implementation.

    If true, it would imply that the Church is not one, undivided, single, and indivisible, indeed spotless and without blemish; it would imply a syncretic ecclesiology a la Florence. One hopes he is incorrect.

    We’ve also been taken to task for simply mentioning the Great Apostasy. Apparently, mentioning that now makes one suspect, and Western Rite enthusiasts are not allowed to believe in it. That’s strange. Likewise, there could be only one reason…

    In any case, the prophets fortell a Great Apostasy. Did not Christ himself do so? (Apparently, Christ cannot be with the Western Rite?) And with that apostasy, what is foretold?

    As some read it: That official (read: canonical) religion will form a kind of super-religion, a union of religious-ness. And those who don’t participate (the uncanonical, by definition) will be betrayed by their own brethren who believe they are doing God a service. We have seen many such great apostasies. But the final one must come, and how else do we think it will look? Like something of which all those gone before are types.

    So does not the Christian look at history and the present, and we see what could be leading us there? What might help that? And that question is a concern about much being done in the name of Western Rites, which does seem to need to blur the boundaries of the Church, which seems to do so intentionally, which does raise questions of conversion and ecclesiology and our relationship to other religions, among other things, and we find that the concern is simply dismissed by repetition: They talked about this. Yes, we did. And?

    We’ve written about prayer and fasting, too. One is surprised we are not taken to task for it.

    Comment by tuD | February 20, 2008 | Reply

  10. I have read the text of this “deacon’s” letter. I’m not certain he is a deacon as his blog does not state so. Why would an ordained cleric HIDE that he is??

    Very sad that they (and I mean almost the ENTIRE AWRV) will not engage in sound honest dialog.

    Perhaps some of these non SCOBA jurisdictions have a point. If being “canonical western rite” means becoming like Ben Johnson I might rather be considered a vagante!

    PLEASE DO keep up the genuine discussion. While I do not comment frequently, I do read, ponder and research quite regularly.

    Comment by occidentaltourist | February 20, 2008 | Reply

  11. “Like Bishops, Deacons must be men of dignity, not double-tongued… Nor should the women be slanderers.” – St. Paul, to St. Timothy.

    Comment by tuD | February 19, 2008 | Reply


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