Friday, March 24, 2006

Is This a Legitimate Orthodox Church?

Fr. Matthew Thurman has an excellent post: "The Western Rite -- Accept No Substitutes!" Sadly, one of the factors giving the Western Rite a bad name is the large number of vagantes who have decided it is easier to mislead, con, sucker the unwary, conduct their missions to the unconverted if they slap the words "Western Orthodox" on their church (especially if they get to call themselves "Priest," "Bishop," or "Archbishop" in the process).

This is more than a case of the self-aggrandizing claims of the pretentious: it is also a case of whether one is genuinely becoming a communicant of the Holy, Apostolic, and Catholic Church or...something else.

...which is why I carry a link to Non-Canonical "Orthodox" Churches on the sidebar (although the page has some anti-Western comments). Surprise! The group that put together the website to which Fr. Matthew refers is listed thereon.
Those who convert, or covetously solicit the spiritual and liturgical advice of such individuals ought not be blamed. Even some of the priests and prelates themselves may not fully understand the gravity of what they are doing, which is leading those longing for Holy Orthodoxy away from the Church. But everyone interested in the Church, rather than playing Church, must know there are officially but two jurisdictions with a Western Rite at this time: Antioch and ROCOR. (In N. America, Antioch is currently most amenable, although there is one ROCOR WRITE monastery, led by the very holy Dom James Deschene.)
This spurs an interesting discussion, with rules I drafted years ago...stay tuned for that post.

(Biretta tip: Subdn. Benjamin.)



Blogger Benjamin Andersen said...

I don't think anybody wishes these people any insult or harm.

We are simply pointing out the obvious: we're not in communion with these people. We're not calling them heretics. We're just stating a fact.

What confuses me, however, is this:

On one hand, these folks seem to think that we are modernist ecumenist heretics. By definition, that would mean that we are outside of Orthodoxy.

On the other hand, they whine and complain when we point out the fact that we don't recognize them because our Bishops and not in communion with theirs.

But if we're not really Orthodox, why worry so much about what we say?

Shouldn't it be a badge of honour for them not to be in communion with us, if we are indeed heretics?

Sorry, I don't get it.

9:22 AM  

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