Thursday, March 26, 2009

Diary of a Religious Butterfly...

"My feeling is that the reformation that many Protestants want is really an unknown desire to heal the schism that happened between East and West. The West splintered and have been splintering and splintering ever since."

I was skimming another blog and found this left as an anonymous comment.

I've mentioned before, briefly I think, that several comments made in RCIA have made me start to question which side was correct, in the Schism. The teachers sort of pass it off...'well, yes, the Orthodox are doing things in the original way, and we're trying to get back to that, but Rome is still the Church that Christ instituted...why? well, we have the Pope' Hmm, okay, but, and I've by no means got the Bible memorized, or even have a fantastic recall of where something is referenced. I'm new at this, remember. But, while St. Peter was given a sort of primacy, an authority, I can't recall him running around making unilateral decisions for the whole church. That's why they had councils...

So, 'we have the Pope' and 'they all wish they had a Pope'...not so much working for me, honestly. And I really think they're downplaying the Schism, which, and this is as far as they talk about it, was caused entirely by the insertion of the words 'and the Son' into the Nicene Creed without consulting the bishops in the east.

Which, you know, I find this sad. I'm not even Catholic yet and I'm questioning whether or not I stopped too soon!

Anyhow, the quote I found just, I guess it did sort of strike a chord. So I picked up one of the books Alana had recommened from before. I'd gotten it and not quite gotten around to reading it yet, but I moved it up in the pile. :)

I particularly like this quote, and it's just from the Introduction: "The Orthodox Church is thus a family of self-governing Churches. It is held together, not by a centralized organization, not by a single prelate wielding power over the whole body, but by the double bond of unity in the faith and communion in the sacraments. Each Patriarchate....while independent, is in full agreement with the rest on all matters of doctrine, and between them all there is in principle full sacramental communion." - The Orthodox Church, Kallistos Ware, pg. 7


  1. One of my dearest friends (we met when we were studying the LCC-IQPS examine MANY years ago) is a devout Catholic.

    Over the years of conversations with her about her faith is that 'catholiscm' for her is not so much about the way things are done - but about the feeling of belonging to a community that is so very important.

    For her, being a catholic is about belonging in wider social sense. And that is a need that I see in all of us, where ever we are placed in life.

  2. Ahem...insteresting questions you are asking there.

    And for what it's worth, the Orthodox are NOT running around wishing we had "a pope". I had to chuckle at that. The primacy of the Roman Bishop was that of first among EQUALS. And for what it's worth, St. Peter was Bishop in Antioch before he was Bishop in Rome. So what does that say about the Antiochian Orthodox Church who can ALSO trace her lineage back trough St. Peter?

    I just stumbled across the following website earlier today that you might find interesting, given your current questions:

  3. Ahavah,

    Well, we clearly are pack animals by nature, so community is very important. But we break down into groups by people who have common interests or ideals.

    And when we find that some things we thought we held in common we don't, then it's time to examine those differences, and either decide that we were wrong, and conform to the group, or find another group that more closely matches your beliefs.

  4. Alana,

    *cough* How ever do you mean? *innocent look*

    Oh, I know, the 'wish they had a pope' thing. I was taking a drink the first time he said that, and I nearly choked. To be fair, he seems to think that *every* Christian who is not Catholic wishes that they had a Pope, not just the Orthodox.

    They say that the Pope is merely first among equals in the Catholic church, too. But I don't know of any other bishop that can single handedly make policy for the entire church. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the current Pope, and John Paul II. I think they're both very good men. But I'm just uncertain as to whether or not they've been placed in a position of too much power. Power that wasn't meant to reside in one person alone, but rather a group of equals.

    Kallistos Ware, in the chapter I'm reading, says that the Catholics have given the Pope, rather than primacy, supremacy, which was never meant to be the way things worked.

    Thanks for the link! It was a quick overview, and I'm *really* enjoying The Orthodox Church. A very easy and educational read. :)

  5. LOL that we all want a pope. :) That's cute!

  6. *lol* Oh, admit it Susanne, you all have Pope envy. ;)

  7. Protestants don't need a pope because each one is their own pope. That's why there is so much schism, with so many going of and starting their own denomination.

    ...squirting lighter fuel onto a fire with that statement?????....

  8. *readies bucket of sand* I doubt enough people read my blog to start a fire over that, Alana. But I'm ready, just in case. :)

  9. zing, zing! I'm already the Orthodox "weirdo" on the list of blogs over at Those Headcoverings, and I do restrain myself. A Lot. On many subjects.

  10. Alana,

    Well, if my opinion counts, I don't think you're a weirdo at all! I think you're wonderful. :)

    And, you know, you shouldn't hold back on any subject. I for one would love to know what you really think. :)


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