Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Disaffection and the Social Psychology of Conversion


Well phrased insight here: “…how does the next generation build on the sense of being “disaffected?” It seems the WR in its present form liturgically attempts to even amplify that sense…” – Publican123 from [these comments]

We’d be interested in your comments. If you haven’t yet cast your Western Rite poll vote, that’s still open, too.

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May 15, 2008 - Posted by | -- Catechesis & Conversion | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Alternate ending:

    Had their parents’ parish become/found another parish?

    Comment by publican123 | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. First, I think we can respond compassionately to those in for example “the Episcopal Church” who found themselves in a great deal of pain because of what they saw as an abandonment of Christian teachings. This compassion can also be extended to Charismatic Evangelicals who presumably felt lost. HOWEVER, in extending compassion one cannot shirk the obligation to point out what is NOT the teachings of the Fathers, what is in error and what is ruinous.

    This was not always done. Instead, the notion of the heterodox, which is not music to the ears of many Americans and Eoropeans was blurred, distorted, ignored or even directly dismissed as “archaic.” Frequently, those who could not stand up to the authorities and tides within their own traditions would now find “the True Faith” where they would now give voice to not simply being lost but “being right all along.” They would not only be seeking refuge but somehow arriving to “show those Orthodox.” Later, some of these now representative Orthodox would be said to “be more humble now.” But the damage was done. The contradiction of this arrangement escaped many of them. After all, the authorities receiving them did not always admonish but instead facilated their entry and created a home even to imagined or expressed design considerations as in the WR Liturgy. If their children and teenage sons and daughters came along for the ride, so much better. But maybe not.

    Why not so much the better? If in the process, many of the same heterodox practices and even liturgical forms were now part of a synthesis, what change had actually occurred, what real conversion? To be blunt, there is talk of those “considering Orthodoxy” as “changing one’s jurisdiction” or “affiliation.”

    Before the eyes of watching childten and adolescents what was the INTEGRITY of this “conversion” of their parents and what was the level of INTEGRITY of those in authority who facilitated and developed this process? Did is all seem real? Would these same children and teens who had listened to their parents rail against their former affiliations now find refuge in an Orthodox Faith which oddly included some of the same practices? Strangely, theor parents perhaps a day after their reception would still find some things about Orthodoxy not to their liking. In short time some of their parents would be leaders in the parish, spokepeople for Orthodoxy, though presumably for many years Orthodoxy was something they had never heard of or even derided. How believable to the eyes, ears and hearts of children and adolescents would all this be, especially, when the same authorities who had provided all of this, who gave their family this “option” were now being disparaged by Mom and Dad or simply ignored?

    To those of an older age or those with intellectual curiosity or precocity what would their findings be when reading history or the teachings of the Fathers?

    Had their parents found “the True Faith” or simply another parish?

    Comment by publican123 | May 22, 2008 | Reply


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