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The most discernibly Christian voice at the Synod was from a Russian Orthodox Metropolitan? October 27, 2015

Posted 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 mandownload (21) 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

They do have impressive vestments

They do have impressive vestments

“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 download (22)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

"I hate druids"

“I hate druids”

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?




1. Observer - October 27, 2015

Although the Russian Orthodox Church has been subject to Russian government since the days of Peter the Great, it is uplifting to hear a prominent bishop state Christian values in a clear and unambiguous manner.
The Russian Orthodox Church deserves our respect and admiration, they endured the Tatar/Muslim steamroller without flinching and survived Stalin’s savagery. Will we be of the same mettle?

2. Tim - October 27, 2015

Russian Orthodox prelate(outside of Church) at sin-odd. Wonder why Bishop Fellay wasn’t invited to address the same?

LaGallina - October 28, 2015

That’s what I wondered. Why was a non-Roman Catholic taking part in the Catholic congressional session, oops, I mean synod?

3. Deborah Cole - October 28, 2015

The Russian Orthodox Church, a wholly owned subsidiary of the State, continues to woo naive Catholics who are so sickened by the degeneracy and depravity of late Western culture that they will embrace anyone who “quotes Scripture” — even the devil. Metropolitan Hilarion is not the devil, but he has made common cause with a regime that uses religion to advance its quest for world domination, and his personal culture, charm, and cosmopolitan background make him a perfect instrument for detaching American Catholics from allegiance to their country. (The Russian state is reported to have a larger security apparatus now than the USSR had at the height of the cold war.) Catholics would do well to check out Hilarion’s unequivocal statements and actions regarding the stamping out of Catholicism in Ukraine.

For an informed view of Hilarion’s problematic declarations regarding Orthodox belief: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3519/christian_unity_cannot_be_built_on_lies.aspx

Tantumblogo - October 28, 2015

Just to be clear, as I said in the post, Orthodoxy as a schismatic church is rife with problems, some disciplinary, some doctrinal. Nevertheless, it was very sad that one of the clearest statements of Christian belief to be made in association with the Synod was made not by a Catholic bishop at the Synod, but by an Orthodox observer. That was the point. I think I was clear that Orthodoxy is no alternative. I repeat the refrain almost daily that we must suffer through literal hell on earth for the sake of our Holy Mother, the Church.

4. Angelic Doctor Games - October 28, 2015

I have been impressed with Russia in general lately. While we in the West appear to be moving away from Christianity both in the political and the personal spheres, the Russians appear to be more welcoming of it. Even the Russian president has taken actions he thinks necessary to squelch sodomitical propaganda while we here in the Union have become quick to celebrate it. I would not be surprised in the least if the issues you call out as such for the Russian Orthodox, the country and for her people will be dealt with in a similar manner. For me, this is evidence of her consecration. We just have to be patient.

5. c matt - October 28, 2015

I could certainly think of few Catholic prelates I would be willing to trade in exchange for Metropolitan Hilarion during the transfer window. Heck, I might even do a five for one deal. Hopefully, we can get him to come around on the whole ‘Marriage Mulligan’ thing.

6. Angelic Doctor Games - October 28, 2015

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