Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Patriarch's Repose and an Objection Answered

I must confess, yesterday's blessed commemoration of the repose of HH Patriarch ALEXANDER III is one of the reasons I'm bemused when detractors bring up one shop-worn objection to the Western Rite: "Sure, the WRV is well-established now, but what will happen when Met. PHILIP retires"?

The Western Rite -- Deo gratias! -- has survived the translation of one metropolitan and three patriarchs...not to mention canonical dislocation following the Bolshevik Revolution, "episcopal marriages," the rise of ethnic jurisdictionalism, concentration camps, WWII, misunderstanding from Byzantine brethren, the imitation and venom of Western Rite Pseudodox, occasional calumnies from hierarchs, and so many other troubles. That, combined with our own sinful failings, makes its survival -- much less continued growth -- all but inexplicable. Despite all this, the Holy Synod of Antioch in Damascus has reaffirmed the Western Rite roughly every ten years since its implementation. Truly, this must be the work of God!

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