Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More on Prayer from an Orthodox Perspective

Pravmir: The Holy Fathers on Prayer

Deacon = Servant [of Works of Charity]?

Internet Archive: November 2006 issue of the Pastoral Review: Deacons and the Servant Myth by Anthony Gooley

It is frequently argued that the distinctive character of deacons is that they are servants called to the charitable and social justice ministry of the Church. The belief that service is distinctive of deacons is the servant myth. It is based on a false reading of Acts 6 and it has consequences for the way in which the Church receives the ministry of deacons. Breaking down this myth is the first step in restoring an authentic diaconate in the life of the Church. Anthony Gooley is a deacon and Ministry Development Officer in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia.

A proper understanding of what the order of the diaconate is necessary to address the question of whether there can be "ordained" deaconesses or not.

If we take the Greek text, as it is reproduced in RSV, we are able to construct a better picture of what is really happening in Acts 6.1-7. The Greek speaking Christians are complaining that their widows are being neglected in the daily diakonia. In Acts the diakonia is the proclamation of the Gospel.3 They are neglected for two reasons, the Aramaic speaking Apostles predominantly concentrate their proclamation in the Temple and the widows, who cannot comprehend the language and for social reasons are mostly restricted to the home, are overlooked in this daily diakonia. The solution proposed by the Apostles and agreed to by the whole Church is to appoint seven from among the Greek speaking community to do that daily diakonia in the homes of the Greek widows or as the expression in the Greek has it, to minister tables.4 Both the Apostles and the Seven had been entrusted with the same diakonia which is to minister or proclaim the word. To underscore this interpretation we see that Stephen immediately commences to proclaim the Gospel to the point of giving witness with his life (Acts 6-7.50) and Philip commences his diakonia of the word in proclaiming the Gospel, catechising the Ethiopian and baptising (Acts 8). The laying on of hands becomes the concrete sign that the ministry entrusted to the Apostles is to be entrusted to the Seven. The one thing we do not see the Seven do is charitable works or distributing food or funds to the widows, in fact we do not see anyone in the New Testament with the title of diakonos engaged in a specifically charitable service activity. This should give us some clues as we address the servant myth.

Would we have needed the development of the mendicant orders and their emphasis on preaching if we have a living, energetic diaconate at the time?

International Theological Commission - From the Diakonia of Christ to the Diakonia of the Apostles (2002)

Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas

DSPT: Book Launch: “Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas” by Fr. Michael Dodds, OP - Tuesday, April 23, 7.30pm

CUA Press

The Nature of Scientific Explanation by Jude P. Dougherty

Fr. Ashley's last? book: Healing for Freedom: A Christian Perspective on Personhood and Psychotherapy by Benedict M. Ashley, OP

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Metropolitan Hilarion Interview

in which he discusses the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI.

MosPat: Metropolitan Hilarion’s interview with the Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday)

The metropolitan's remarks make for a contrast with the pleas by Roberto de Mattei and Enrico Maria Radaelli - Last-Ditch Appeal: The Pope Should Withdraw His Resignation. The two traditionalists seem to have a very "high" conception of the office of the pope, but I wonder if their conception is really warranted by Sacred Tradition, or if it is tied to a brand of ultramontanism.

Two from Ethika Politika

Monks Still Matter by J. L. Liedl
With Love as Our Byword: Ecumenism, Asceticism, and the Common Good by Dylan Pahman

Tracey Roland on the Pontificate of Benedict XVI

The Pope and the Philistines by Tracey Rowland
Benedict XVI’s papacy has been one of imagination and urbanity hampered by bureaucracy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Piece on David Schindler

Philosopher of Love by Jeremy Beer
David Schindler has a remedy for the religious right
For the orthodox Christian, is doing one’s public duty more or less reducible to voting for the most socially conservative Republican on the ballot—and then shutting up about whatever misgivings one might have? Surely not. Yet for many election cycles, this has been often implied by the self-appointed guardians of practicality and political realism. It is even increasingly heard from the pulpit.

The assumptions that lurk behind this idea are that when it comes to ordering public life, modern liberal democracy in its best sense has things basically right. America rightly understood is the highest exemplar of this kind of liberalism. And the Republican Party is our best reasonable hope for defending this liberalism’s political, economic, and cultural accomplishments from its enemies. To question these assumptions is to be naïve or—a favorite epithet—utopian.

Is it truly the case...

that Latin theology has been deficient in comparison to Eastern theology with respect to the Holy Spirit (until, maybe, rather recently)? Were the medieval theologians, both the scholastics and the monastics, lacking with respect to Pneumatology? How good, then, is Yves Congar's I Believe in the Holy Spirit?

How about the place of the Holy Spirit in the Roman-rite liturgy, which is said to be more Christocentric than the othe rites of the Church given its antiquity? (I believe this is the thesis established by Fr. Jungmann.) In contrast, could it be said that the Byzantine rite is more "Trinitarian" (or, perhaps, it gives attention or invokes both Christ and the Holy Spirit in the worship of the Father)?

Is it possible for the Roman rite to "organically" develop in such a way that it retains the Christocentric texts for certain parts of the liturgy while other texts are added or emphasized in order to draw our attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy? (I am thinking beyond the addition of a [quasi-]epiclesis to Roman rite.)

Fr. Hunwicke: The epiclesis of the Roman Rite
Fr. Z: QUAERITUR: Epiclesis in the Roman Canon
Discussion at the Byzantine Forum.

Orientale Lumen XVI

Someone alerted me to the fact that the audio files for Orientale Lumen XVI are available. The theme of the conference was "Theology of the Laity."

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware - What is Prayer?

From 2009 - not sure if the content is similar to his first lecture from this past weekend.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Making Headway in Ecumenical Dialogue

At this point in time, would the Orthodox be willing to undertake a systematic analysis of their understanding of the offices of the bishop, metropolitan, and patriarch with the science of politics, or the study of constitutions, authority, rights and powers, and so on, as a tool? What of consent and the delegation of authority (and the question of whether such a delegation can be withdrawn - perhaps not individually but through collective action)?

To end the discussion by appealing to the canons does not seem to work, if the canons are instances of human positive law and not divinely instituted law?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Precursor to His Work on the Russian Orthodox Catechism?

The book stand operated by HVC Bookstore had this title on display: The Mystery of Faith by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. I will pick up a copy eventually.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy

Started reading Adam A. J. DeVille's Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity today - it's been quite good so far, question-provoking and containing a lot of references to other works on the subject of the papacy and the patriarchal office. There is a review by William Tighe of the book for NOR here.

If the office of patriarch and such constituted through human positive law? Tighe's review makes note of an important distinction between the office of patriarch and the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the Church Universal.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Manufactured Crisis?

From The Impossible "Road Map" of Peace with the Lefebvrists (via Pertinacious Papist and Rorate Caeli):

Fr. Barsotti wrote:

"I am perplexed with regard to the Council: the plethora of documents, their length, often their language, these frightened me. They are documents that bear witness to a purely human assurance more than two a simple firmness of faith. But above all I am outraged by the behavior of the theologians.”

"The Council is the supreme exercise of the magisterium, and is justified only by a supreme necessity. Could not the fearful gravity of the present situation of the Church stem precisely from the foolishness of having wanted to provoke and tempt the Lord? Was there the desire, perhaps, to constrain God to speak when there was not this supreme necessity? Is that the way it is? In order to justify a Council that presumed to renew all things, it had to be affirmed that everything was going poorly, something that is done constantly, if not by the episcopate then by the theologians.”

"Nothing seems to me more grave, contrary to the holiness of God, than the presumption of clerics who believe, with a pride that is purely diabolical, that they can manipulate the truth, who presume to renew the Church and to save the world without renewing themselves. In all the history of the Church nothing is comparable to the latest Council, at which the Catholic episcopate believed that it could renew all things by obeying nothing other than its own pride, without the effort of holiness, in such open opposition to the law of the gospel that it requires us to believe how the humanity of Christ was the instrument of the omnipotence of the love that saves, in his death.”

I think Fr. Barsotti may have just been musing, but if he was dead set in his judgment, he may have been wrong. The pre-conciliar Church may have been in bad shape after all, a decline that first began with the rise of the modern nation-state and nationalism. In the struggle between the Church and the state [at first nominally Christian but progressively secular], the Church has been losing? What is the nature of the defeat, and how did it happen? I will leave that speculation for a future post. What if the theses of the Constantinian Church/Constantinianism/Constaninian shift are not wholly wrong? The overlap between civil society and the Church was bound to lead to problems as the different authorities, temporal and ecclesial, came into conflict. The questions of the nature of each authority and their limits must be constantly revisited and rethought, and there is no guarantee that the answers of the virtuous and wise will prevail.

But Fr. Barsotti may be right to think that some thought they could renew the Church without first renewing themselves and focusing on their duties. Or they thought they could accomplish it by merely being academics and advocates, rather than as saints and true sons of the Church.

Robert Louis Wilken, In Defense of Constantine

Holy Resurrection Monastery Videos

Link More videos.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More on Pope Benedict XVI

Dominicana: The Empty Chair, by Br. Henry Stephan, O.P.
Media Madness About Catholicism
Pope Benedict XVI's Musical Legacy by Jeffrey Tucker
The Debate Over the Council Continues and Quo Vadis?: The New Liturgical Movement Post-Benedict XVI by Shawn Tribe
Benedict: Last of the Heroic Generation by R. R Reno
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Benedict
Papal Resignations by Kevin White
Benedict XVI's Last Days
The Meaning of the Pope's Gesture
Nemi: Benedict XVI’s fond memories of Vatican II
Benedict XVI’s resignation is a first for Canon Law
The Radical Return to Ratzinger by Sean Fitzpatrick

After a surprising abdication, an examination of Pope Benedict XVI's legacy
The Cycle hosts, Father Robert Barron, and NBC’s Claudio Lavanga talk about the pope’s abdication and the process of selecting his successor.

Fr. Robert Barron on the Next Pope

Key players in the conclave to choose the next Pope

Dcn. Andrei Psarev Interviews Fr. Robert Taft, S.J.

Are You Part of the Problem, or Are You Part of the Solution? An Interview with Fr. Robert Taft

I have tried to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. My latest paper that I will be giving at the North American Academy of Liturgy congress is an attempt, an ecumenical attempt to reconcile the Catholic and Orthodox views of the consecration of the Holy Eucharist. I try to show that both of these are different expressions of a system and are truly reconcilable, and I give the evidence for that. I’m a bridge builder.

I hope this paper becomes available online.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Dumbarton Oaks: The New Testament in Byzantium

2013 Byzantine Studies Symposium, April 26-28, 2013, Symposiarchs: Robert S. Nelson, Yale University and Derek Krueger, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Pravmir: China, Japan officially added to list of canonical territory of Russian Orthodox Church

I suppose the Nestorians aren't around to defend their claims, and Roman claims do not matter, either. Any dispute would be between Orthodox churches. A brief note at Byzantine, Texas.
Ordo Praedicatorum: Fr. Peter John Cameron Keynote Address

“The Catholic Roots of Religious Freedom,” by Robert Wilken

Lumen Christi Institute

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Nagel on Scientific Materialism

Is Scientific Materialism “Almost Certainly False”? by John Horgan

A review of Thomas Nagel's Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.

Edward Feser has a series of posts on critics of Nagel; unfortunately he has not labelled his posts.


Friday, February 01, 2013