Rod Dreher Argues with me

Rod Dreher Argues with me March 15, 2013

About the pope sacking bishops.

I’ve said this before but it tends to get lost in the shuffle: it’s not a question of what the Pope “can” or “should” do.  It’s a question of what he will do. I personally would like to see the Pope kick more butts (*cough* Mahony *cough*). But I think this unlikely due to Ut Unum Sint. There was a brief flicker of hope I was wrong due to a tale that ran in the Daily Mail. But that appears to be misreporting.

With respect to my comments on Rod’s confusing ecclesiology,  it is a question of how he squares his own communion’s theology with his ultramontane wishes for a name-taking, ass-kicking pope who treats his brother bishops as middle management flunkies.  My basic puzzle is that while an ultramontane Catholic is consistent, an ultramontane Orthodox is pretty much a contradiction in terms, so I don’t understand how Rod reconciles that in his mind.

We’ll see if this pope is different, but what with his devotion to the Ukrainian rite and his fondness for the East, my bet is that he will continue JPII’s eastern conception of the papacy and not run around kicking asses and taking names.  However that may be regarded by us Latins who would like to see him get his Innocent III on, for any Orthodox who takes Orthodox ecclesiology seriously, the Pope’s refusal to do this is a feature, not a bug.

Finally, Rod complains that I am engaging in ad hominem and insinuating he is a picking on the Catholic Church as a “pissed-off schismatic”.  I meant no such insinuation.  Indeed, I specifically dismissed the “you are a pissed off schismatic” charge by pointing out that Catholic scandals are bigger news because the Church is bigger while most Americans are unaware of the existence of the Orthodox, so it’s perfectly understandable that an American reporter would aim the camera there.  My point is not “You are a pissed off schismatic” but “Given your communion’s ecclesiology, I don’t understand why you cling to an ultramontane theology of the papacy that would horrify any Orthodox theologian worth his salt.”

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