Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The separation of Church and state – like in the present day European Union, Europe, and democratic world at large – does not entail, as they think or as they claim to think, the banishment of the Church from society, or Her greater or lesser marginalization, but rather the recognition of separate authorities (“autonomous ingérence”) along with the internal independence of the Church and of the modern laic state. It further means the need for mutual cooperation in all areas of mutual significance and for the general good.
I chose my particular blogging moniker almost three years ago owing to my appreciation for the budding phenomenon of Western Rite Orthodoxy. Since that time, I’ve grown dubious about whether a Western Rite makes sense.
The Western Rite question is not so different a question as whether certain Westerners are appropriately venerated as Orthodox Saints. Orthodoxy is a cultural phenomenon. The Mind of the Church is our culture. The catechumenate is the period during which the catechumen acquires the Mind of the Church–not simply facts and dates and ethnic mannerisms–from the instructors. In fact, the quality and extent of one’s conversion is properly measured by how completely one has acquired that Mind.
The fact that Westerners are accepted as converts–and potential saints–demonstrates to me that the possibility of Western Saints isn’t inherently foreign to Orthodoxy.
Let’s circle back to the Western Rite. Have Western Riters converted to Orthodoxy, or are they simply dressing up their old habituations with Orthodox colors?