|You know what's in this box? Ever since Peter the Great,|
we have been putting the self-respect of bishops in here.
I am hoping to catch up to Stalin soon. Hey, look, Kirill,
this one is yours. Right there. See it?
I started to think about the difference between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. If there is one thing you could say about the essential difference between these two general communions (there is no one Orthodox Church as there is one Catholic Church), what would it be? If you asked an Orthodox theologians he might say something like the mysticism of the East versus the rationalism of the West. Those are general characteristics, but they are not essential differences. John of the Cross is as Catholic as Newman. Augustine is as mystical as any Eastern Father. Yes, we have Aquinas, and they have Palamas, but let's not exaggerate. No Catholic theologian has a problem with the East's mysticism.
Is it the filioque - the West's addition to the creed that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and (que) from the Son (filio)? I would like someone to show me, then, how your average Catholic and Orthodox pew-sitter has been remotely effected by this little word if this is a source of our great difference.
|Leave it to the great Hungarian, Cardinal Mindszenty. |
Tortured and then imprisoned for forty years.
|Gregory VII with humbled Henry IV - would never happen in the East.|
The East's list is far shorter than the West's. I can think of St. John Chrysostom (not a great example as his primary persecutor was the Bishop of Alexandria) and those like St. Germanus and the iconophiles who resisted the iconoclastic emperors for that one glorious moment in the 8th century.
Go ahead and comment that I forgot about some Eastern bishop - go ahead: I am here to learn! But, and this is a challenge I throw out to our Eastern brothers: live like we have lived, or I should say, like our greatest have lived.
Telling the World Bank and the IMF to share (other people's money) with the poor is a good start, Holy Father. But talking about global warming and pets isn't living out our Catholic tradition of resisting Caesar. Leave the economics to the communists. Give us Christ!