Vassula just can’t keep out of trouble

Just when one kerfuffle over the automatic-writing mystic Vassula Ryden is announced, along comes another.
Now the Orthodox Church of Cyprus issued a statement about her on January 13. The Synodical Committee for Matters of Heresy —
By the way, isn’t that a great name? Sure, we have a Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is a nice, positive-sounding name, but some issues really deserve a statement coming from an organization that gets right to the point. This is about identifying, defining, combating and routing heresy. I’ll send a little note to Levada and see if he– well, I’ll do that later.
The Synodical Committee for Matters of Heresy warned:

In reality, her teachings are heretical, and her claims that she communicates directly with Christ are fantastical and outside of the spirit of the experience of the our Church.

So how many Orthodox Churches have issued warnings against her: Greece? Cyprus? The Patriarchate of Constantinople? Does she plan to stop in at church offices to collect the condemnations on her tour?
There are probably more to come!

“Anglicans and the Roman Catholic Church”

I just finished reading the anthology Anglicans and the Roman Catholic Church: Reflections on Recent Developments, edited by Stephen Cavanaugh (Ignatius Press).
The collection of essays is an orientation to the “Anglican Use” phenomenon by some of its leading advocates: the book covers its origins and development, its current status and possible future, with helpful articles about liturgy, ecumenism, and the experience of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.
I’m particularly grateful for the articles on liturgy. Brother John-Bede Pauley, OSB’s essay on the monastic character in Anglican liturgy is a help in understanding what the “Anglican patrimony” means as a gift to the Church. Prof. Hans-Jürgen Feulner’s introduction to comparative liturgy and its use in studying the development of rites and texts indicates the sort of studies the Church will need in order to develop a set of rites for the new Anglican Ordinariates. These will need to be suitable for the Ordinariates in various countries, and thus will have to improve on the current Book of Divine Worship, developed hastily in the 1980s for “Anglican-use” congregations in the US; it drew heavily on texts of that era: the U.S. Episcopalian 1979 Book of Common Prayer and the 1975 ICEL Roman Missal (soon to become obsolete).

Not much point in doing that any more, is there?

Anglican writer David Virtue notes:

In the DIOCESE OF NORTHERN INDIANA, Bishop Edward Little and his Roman Catholic counterpart, Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, jointly sponsored an event, titled “An Introduction to the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue.” During the evening event, which began with prayer in the church, both bishops underscored the need for closer ties and better understanding of one another’s churches. The Anglican presentation focuses on the importance of local clergy and laity beginning to receive and study the work of the 40-year-old Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue and relationship. “It is time to break down the very big theological agreements into stages of reception, so that these agreements can become part of the daily life in the churches. Embittered relations have surely run their course, especially in today’s world of ever more intricate networks.”

Much as I appreciate Bp. D’Arcy, isn’t he wasting his time? It would be more realistic to say that the official Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue has run its course. It produced various common declarations, each of them fruitless.
In contrast, the new and less structured dialogue between conservative Anglicans and the Catholic Church may actually result in some Christians moving into visible unity.
Grant this, O Lord.

Sometimes it’s just too easy to make fun of these things

An announcement at
Hip Hop Schoolhouse
Saturday, October 13, 2007 – Sunday, October 14, 2007
Location: St. Paul’s (Episcopal) Cathedral, Boston MA
All are welcome at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston, Massachusetts on October 13 at 5:30 p.m. for the HipHopEMass ‘Big Bean’ Celebration with the newest Hip Hop Bishop, ‘Great Momma’ Gayle Harris.
On October 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., the Cathedral will then host HipHopEMass Schoolhouse where the elements of Hip Hop, theology of Hip Hop, Hip Hop liturgy and evangelization will be introduced.
Hip Hop liturgy; what could that be like?

At the Entrance:
Priest: Yo, God’s in da House!
People: Word!
At the Dismissal:
Priest: Peace out!
People: A’ight!

(HT to the MCJ.)

A rollback wouldn’t be a bad idea

A couple of years ago, Rod Dreher was a Catholic, distressed to the max over corruption in the priesthood, and worried about the spiritually polluted Church. He eventually talked himself out of the Church, on the grounds that if he were to stay, then his kids might not remain Christians at all. He did it for the children, not because of any doctrinal issues.
Now, Rod’s a member of one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and writing about the mysterious workings of God’s grace — about how some phony Orthodox monks in Texas, in spite of the spiritual frauds and sex crimes they committed, had accidentally brought about some good in the late ’90s: that Rod met a young Protestant lady who would eventually become his wife. They were, despite everything, once a means of grace, he says.
To some extent, I’m pleased to see this attitude in Rod: a recognition that God accomplishes some good even despite sin and corruption. Here he seems to lack the harshness and anger with which he suffered for years.
Rod admits he was conned: he had his ears tickled by claims of a weeping icon, and he was fooled by the pseudo-monks there who blessed him and his fiancee. But if he’s admitting that he didn’t have good discernment then, doesn’t that call into question his more recent discernment about leaving the Catholic Church? Wouldn’t it be proper for him to go back to the status he had in 1996? Or is he going to switch to a pre-Chalcedonian Church now?