“If the point is that you need a visible display of unity for the work of evangelism to have lasting success, how can you have the Russians and the Greeks fighting with one another all the time?”
Huh? There is far far less theological disagreement between Russian and Greek Orthodox (in fact there is none)than between say Irish and French Roman Catholics, let alone between say Belgian and Polish ones. What is this person talking about?
“The laxity on divorce . . . I heard a saying recently that “your doctrine of ecclesiology will affect your doctrine of marriage, or vice versa.” If you believe in divorce, then you believe in the Reformation, because you believe that Christ will divorce part of His Body. If you believe that the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church, is indivisible, then you will believe that (among Christians, anyway) marriage is indivisible. There should be no divorce. And I think that the Orthodox are lax in that area.”
Well, the author is entitled to his own beliefs about Orthodoxy and the permissability of divorce. He is not entitled to his own version of history. The exercise of economia by hierarchs in allowing remarriage after divorce precedes the Reformation by at least 800 years. Similarly, he is not entitled to impose on Orthodoxy a distinctly Western and Roman understanding of the sacraments, marriage in particular. If he wants to say that he dismisses Orthodoxy because it doesn’t hold to Roman notions about the nature of marriage, he should simply say so.
“I think that they’re too ethnic - that’s probably due to a type of caesaropapism, and that their views of culture don’t seem to work out very well.”
What a thoroughly white bread remark this one is! Its pretty clear to me that the author didn’t grow up around immigrant Catholic communities, where the Irish, Polish, Italian, French, etc ethnicity of the parish counted for just as much as the “Greek” or “Russian” did in the Orthodox ones, maybe more!
Pretty sorry piece, Alex!
Regarding divorce, -- more accurately, he should be talking about remarriage after divorce and not divorce itself, -- he is coming from a Sola Scriptura worldview, and therefore the economia considerations, or historical considerations, would not be acceptable to him, while literal reading of Christ's teaching on remarriage would be very appealing.
I am sure one can defend the Orthodox positions on each count, but this is a personal conversion story, and these things were a factor for him.
But ... but ... I AM white bread! (Okay, if you overlook my Jewish great grandfather ....)
What I'm seeing as a nouveau Catholic is that the ethnic parishes, at least in the boonies or where Catholicism and the local populace have been overwhelmed by migrations, are no longer so ethnic. In my parish the mix is amazing. We have an international food festival thing and there is Korean, Vietnamese, Fillipino, English (white bread?) (Yes, the English HAVE been known to cook)(rarely), French, EYEtalian, and more.
Personaly I have a real problem with a church that won't help me get thin, but that's another issue.
On the other hand we do have in the Diocese of Richmond a specifically Vietnamese parish., so it's not a slam dunk either way.