August 10, 2016

A little while ago I took a little bit (not quite boiling, more like low-simmer) heat for my “anti-Orthodox sentiments” (not a quote, but you get the idea). I wrote: There was a time when I considered becoming Eastern Orthodox. The richness of the theology, its emphasis on mystery, the centrality of theosis—and a passion for Westerners like Eckhart and Eriugena—made “conversion” appealing, though only ever in my heart. Factors stopped me—nationalism, ethnocentrism, quibbling—hardly the antidotes to the hyper-rationalism, Americanism, and pretension I found… Read more

August 9, 2016

No. I’m not that sort of Cynic (though sometimes I wish I were). I don’t live in a barrel, defecate and masturbate in public, or ask the emperor to stand out of my sun. Alas, I’m no Diogenes. No. I’m the much worse sort—incredulous, sarcastic, broody. It’s been with me all my life. Internally, anyway. A good idea? I have a better one. A well-written piece? I’ll have identified every problem in minutes. Your dog is cute? I’ve not only… Read more

August 7, 2016

Yes. I ought to come clean from the beginning: I am a member of the American Solidarity Party, a self-styled Christian Democratic group, dedicated to the pro-life cause, non-binary economic principles, and other positions generally not controversial among orthodox Christians. And, as a long-time member (a year or two), it’s been weird (but exciting) to see so much coverage of the party spawn so quickly. From First Things to Aleteia, to Mark Shea’s blog, among others, arguments for our little… Read more

August 6, 2016

Maybe one or two of you noticed (may God bless me with so many readers!) that I have been away for the last couple of weeks. As you probably surmised from the title, I was in Europe: Germany and Italy to be precise. I had meant to write a goodbye before my trip, but the typical pre-airport rush swept me away. My apologies! More importantly, both countries were lovely—rich in history, rife with differences, and bloated with the decadence an… Read more

July 20, 2016

Here I am proud to present part three of this three-part series on the Great Schism of 1054. Parts I and II may be found here and here respectively. However, in a letter to the Patriarch of Antioch written shortly after the document of excommunication, Cerularius does, in fact, go on to attack the entire Western Church in much stronger terms.  To begin with, Cerularius says that he has heard that Peter of Antioch considers himself in communion with the Church… Read more

July 19, 2016

Here I am proud to present part two of this three-part series on the Great Schism of 1054. Part I may be found here. Thus, through these letters, a little of each side’s perspective in this controversy is made clear.  The perspective of Cerularius and of his associates is that the West has erred grievously in adopting corrupt customs contrary to divine law and the Scriptures; thus, the Western Church must move to correct these customs at once, with the… Read more

July 18, 2016

July 16th marked the 962nd anniversary of the so-called “Great Schism.” As someone deeply invested in the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, I am happy to announce the publication of this three-part essay exploring its background, causes, and unexpected quirks. It is by a friend of mine, whose work is the fruit of a summer research project, which was then presented at a conference a couple of years ago. Enjoy! Among the supposed “great dates” of history, one… Read more

July 17, 2016

I can’t help but laugh a bit when I hear liturgists and other Catholics speak of “versus populum.” Of course, in Latin it just means “having been turned to the people,” but in English it has an adversative sense; it makes me think of a priest confronting the people, Eucharist held aloft, prepared to fight. The meaning of the word itself (versus) implies a change in previous practice; it implies that initially the priest ought to be facing somewhere or… Read more

July 16, 2016

Unsurprisingly, I am surrounded by Catholic bloggers: opponents, friends, frenemies, and every other color of the proverbial Apostolic rainbow. And, frankly—for a long time and from all sides—the sheer intensity of it all has troubled me. Why is everyone yelling so much? What’s with the name-calling? Obviously anger can easily overcome us; being charitable can be very hard. And yet, God promises us more than pettiness and the gnashing of teeth. Mark Shea recently (and very bravely) admitted both his… Read more

July 15, 2016

My intensifying dalliance with social-media criticism is no secret. I’ve blogged about it before, and, if you know me in real life, you know my issues with the quality of much digital communication run deep—sometimes, some might say, to the point of condemnation. Yet, I find myself asking—how constructive have I been? Aside from counseling abstinence, what have I contributed? Well, to some extent, I think frustration, mistrust, and derision are endemic to the platform—how can people overcome a lack… Read more

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