Thursday, February 02, 2006

Non-Orthodox Saints?

Also worthwhile on Huw's blog is this insightful post about -- gasp! -- change in Orthodoxy, particularly the veneration of saints who died outside of the Orthodox Church.

Non-Orthodox Saints, Of Course: Jan 28 is also the Feast of St Isaac the Syrian. Many people don't like to talk about it, but he was a member of - and a supporter of - a heresy: the Nestorians. Oddly enough this fact tends to be ignored on most Orthodox sites, but a google makes it clear.

The point NOT being that this should be a shock to the system. In fact, the point is that this SHOULD NOT be a shock to the system. Innovation and seeing Holiness in people of other faiths/churches is part of the Orthodox faith.

Huw's right: few dare mention St. Isaac the Syrian was a proud Nestorian -- and he's not the only saint venerated by the Orthodox who had an "Orthodoxy problem." All were Christian, but most would fare poorly according to the standards of the hyper-orthodox converts. Yet the same Baptodox who (rightly) consider St. Isaac one of the most advanced spiritual fathers excoriate St. Augustine of Hippo as an heretic.

For discussion: How should the Orthodox Church approach the saints of other traditions? Does the example of St. Isaac the Syrian demonstrate, in the words of Alexei Khomiakov, that the heterodox faithful are "united to [the Holy Church] by ties which God has not willed to reveal to Her"?

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1 Comments:

Blogger William Weedon said...

Ben,

I'd say YES and that this is precisely the TRUE meaning of the invisible church: the invisible connection that binds that Christian, parish, diocese whatever to the canonical Church. Thus did St. Augustine go to great lengths to extend the name "brother" to the donatists.

Pax!

2:46 PM  

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