Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Russian Orthodoxy...in Rome

Hierarchical authorities of the Roman Catholic Church were on hand as Russian Orthodox blessed the new St. Catherine's Russian Orthodox Church in Roma. You can see two video clips here and here.

This action aligns with the treatment Fr. Patrick Reardon found during his trip to Rome. When he visited St. Andrew Monastery, founded by Pope St. Gregory the Great in the sixth century, he said the "Open Sesame" words throughout the stronghold of the Vatican were, sacerdote ortodosso: "I am an Orthodox priest." Upon entering, he learned El Papa had been partitioned the ancient monastery to allow Orthodox monks to share it alongside Roman Catholics -- a welcome contrast to similar arrangements in the Holy Land. Truly, the Vatican is interested in reunification (on its own terms, naturally) and has made conciliatory gestures for at least two pontificates. (Some would trace this to at least Vatican II.) Nonetheless, there are those who float conspiracy theories about Roman assassins "taking out" Orthodox priests with "extreme prejudice," or leaning on Russian Orthodox not to open churches in Italia, etc.

This church blessing is a welcome development -- and makes a much better photo op than the Ecumenical Patriarch grinning next to Castro.

One final note: I'm still sinful enough to enjoy the original poster's comments on these video clips: "Note the RC Cardinals getting sprinkled with Orthodox Holy Water!"

(Hat tip: Al Green on...many, many, many Orthodox groups.) :)



Blogger Carson Chittom said...

Er, it's not really a welcome contrast if the arrangements are similar in the Holy Land, is it? Sorry; I know it's a nitpick, but it stood out at me.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Hi Carson,

Welcome to the blog!

Sorry, it's common knowledge to most of this blog's readers that the monastery in Rome is divided among Orthodox and Roman Catholic monks -- and they live in peace.

The holy sites of Jerusalem are divided among Orthodox and Roman Catholic monks (and others) -- and they beat each other whenever they're within arm's length.

Hence, the "contrast."

I hope we'll see more of you around the blog. Nitpickers are welcome.

God bless,

4:57 AM  
Blogger Eric John said...

Do you remember when Palestinian gunmen holed up in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem a few years ago? Well, they were let into the complex by Roman Catholic monks, who herded them through their church and into the Orthodox one. As a result of that occupation, wherein the altar area was used for a latrine by the militant Muhammedans, the Nativity Church had to be reconsecrated. So, I think I would rather have the Roman Catholics a good distance away from the Orthodox. We can still be friendly, but let's not live in adjoining compounds, at least when their are raving Mohammedans, atheists, or wordly weirdos about.

8:31 PM  

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