The most discernibly Christian voice at the Synod was from a Russian Orthodox Metropolitan? October 27, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, manhood, Papa, Revolution, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
That’s the claim of Tancred at Eponymous Flower in presenting us with this piece from the German site Katholisches. It’s a rather interesting claim, given how many times progressive bishops at the Synod pointed to the Orthodox history of caving on divorce and remarriage, at least once, in giving a “do over” pseudo-marriage ceremony if a divorce has occurred. A few years ago, I had a brief period of infatuation with the Orthodox, but they are no solution. Their approach causes far more questions than any answers they provide, even if, of course, Orthodox Masses are valid and the Orthodox have always had very holy souls capable of great spiritual wisdom.
Nevertheless, let’s see what the often combative Metropolitan Hilarion has to say (emphasis from Eponymous Flower, my comments, I leave out opening/closing fluff)
In our turbulent and unsettling world, man needs solid and unshakable foundations on which he can rely in order to fully trust to be able to build their lives on them. The secular society that is geared primarily to the satisfaction of individual desires can give man no clear moral orientations. [In fact, I would say society leaves men mired in misery] The crisis of traditional values that we experience in the consumer society leads to a contradiction between the different preferences, even in family relationships. When on the one side, extreme feminism sees in motherhood an obstacle to the self-realization of women who have children, on the other hand, more and more regard children as a right that can be realized by any means. Increasingly, the family is seen as a connection between two people, regardless of their gender, and it is believed that the individual can choose the affiliation to one or the other sex according to his personal taste. [Now here I’d like a clear condemnation from Sacred Scripture, Old and New Testaments, of this evil, but we’ll continue on]
On the other hand, new problems occur that directly affect the foundations of the traditional family. The armed conflicts of the modern world causing a mass exodus from the war-affected regions towards the richer countries. Emigration often leads to breaking of family ties while creating a new social environment, creating connections that often have an interethnic and inter-religious character.
These challenges and threats are, for all Christian churches alike, the need to look for the answers, by relying on the order entrusted to them by Christ, to lead the people to salvation. Unfortunately, we often hear in Christian circles, voices demanding that there be a
“Modernization” of the Church’s conscience, thus the rejection of the apparently Christian apparently obsolete doctrine on the family. Nevertheless, we must not forget the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome: “conform not on this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God: what He desires, is what is good and perfect.” [Solid. There are other quotes that might be even better]
The Church is called to be a light and a beacon in the darkness of this world, and Christians are called to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”. We all need to remember the harrowing admonition of the Savior: “If the salt loses its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is good for nothing; it is thrown out and trampled by men.” (cf.. Mt. 5:13 to 14). Such a salt that has lost the power of its own taste, are in our time what some Protestant communities who call themselves Christian but preach moral ideals that are incompatible with Christianity. When a community of this kind, introduces the rite of blessing homosexual unions, and a lesbian woman who describes herself as a “bishop”, who prompts her churches to remove the crosses from the steeples and replace them with Islamic crescents, can such a community may be called “church”? Before our eyes is Christianity is betrayed by those who are willing to play the game of secularized, anti-clerical and Godless society. [And thus quite a warning to the Church’s progressives, whose aims, as the 13 cardinals pointed out, seem indistinguishable from those of liberal protestantism, which first fell to modernism during the course of the late 19th and early 20th centuries]
The leadership of various countries of Europe and America, despite numerous protests, even by the Catholic faithful, continue a policy aimed deliberately at destroying the understanding of family. Not only are homosexual connections made legally equivalent to marriage. One goes so far as to prosecute those who because of their Christian faith, refuse to register these connections. [Quite valid criticism. Who would have thought, 30 years ago, that RUSSIA would be the beacon of Christian morality and cultural sanity! It shows how fast things can change. That’s one major reason we must not give up hope for our Holy Mother Church, ever.] Immediately after the end of the visit of Pope Francis, the American president Barack Obama openly declared that the rights of homosexuals are more important than religious freedom. This clearly shows the intention of the secular authority to continue the attack against the healthy forces of society who defend traditional family values. The Catholics are in the front line in this fight, and just against the Catholic Church, there is a veritable campaign of discredit and lies under way. [Wow. These are about the best words I’ve seen in defense of the Church’s traditional Doctrine of late. Even those on the “conservative” side in the Synod did not stress the point that it is only the Church that can and must fight this battle, even if we must do it alone, as Bishop Sheen said.] Therefore, the force in defending the Christian conviction and fidelity to the tradition of the Church today are particularly necessary.
Society today comes to resemble more and more the foolish man, “who built his house on sand” (Mt see. 7.26). It is the duty of the Church, to remind society of its established foundation – the family as a union between man and woman, who has the birth and education of children as its goal. [Metropolitan Hilarion, your own church could do better in this
regard. When will you get abortion made illegal in Russia?!? When will you stop tolerating divorce?!?] Only such a family, established by the Lord at the time of the creation of the world itself, is able to prevent the release of modern society into the abyss of moral relativism, or at least slow it down.
The Orthodox Church, like the Catholic, has always followed the Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition in their teaching about the family and established the principle of the sanctity of marriage affirming that based on the words of the Savior Himself (cf.. Matt 19:6 ;. Mk 10:9) [Well, not quite always. You do allow that do-over. You were the first to break. And you have abandoned Scripture in a handful of other areas, too, including the plainly sensical filioque.] In our time, this position must be united and unanimous. We must work together to defend dialogue with the legislative and executive powers of each country and at the level of international institutions such as the UN and the European Union. We can not only limit ourselves to exhortations. We need to ensure the legal protection of the family completely.
I agree, it’s pretty strong. I’d be hard pressed to find a better defense of Catholic moral doctrine from the synod itself. I think it is probably more effective in presenting a cohesive defense of Christian morality than the letter of the 13 Cardinals, which was good but much focused on inside baseball. It was not intended to speak to the outside world.
I do tend to agree with Metropolitan Hilarion on one level, however: he has argued in the past that the real divide among Christians is less Orthodox Catholic or even Catholic Protestant, but more traditional/orthodox/believing and liberal. Yes there are HUGE differences with protestants, but they are less in many cases than with our self-described Catholic modernists like Fr. James Martin, SJ, who’s just been spastic with joy over the Synod and its outcome.
Not that I think some Catholic-Orthodox-protestant confab of conservatives is any real solution, but there may be times when collaboration between like-minded groups can be not just prudent but necessary.
I’m babbling. What do you think of his address?