alt.religion. christian.

April 9, 2000


Re: Orthodoxy and RC: 99% the Same? 

Subject:        Re: church music 

John writes: 

>Jack, childhood catechism is not mature theology. "Thou shalt not.." is the
>level of morality suitable for children (even the children of Israel).

But the confused message, John, has resulted in the vast majority of my Roman
Catholic school mates leaving the Church...and by now, if our gray hair is any
indication, we're all far beyond childhood. In my hometown, overwhelmingly
French Canadian, the past 30 years have seen a spread of fundamentalist "Holy
Roller" type churches which is truly astonishing. And they are filled with
French Catholics, John.

>The catechetical model prior to Vat II in this country was that of immigrants
>who needed to be treated as children. I wasn't there, so I can't defend or
>critique that choice by the American Catholic bishops, but that was what we
>had. Something like that exists in some Orthodox churches, where the
>of the spiritual father is sought for any moral decisions. 

I'm in no position to critique the bishops of the past either, but I can bemoan
the result of their choices. As for this spiritual father stuff, you should
know (boy am I going to catch it for this one) that as it is presented on this
newsgroup it is essentially unknown among "cradle" Orthodox. Some priests of
late, and various peripatetic monks have sold converts on this concept which is
essentially a monastic practice. For most of us, the parish priest is our
spiritual father and he is called upon for advice in matters spiritual in the
same way a Roman Catholic might speak with her parish priest. It is hardly a
common thing among the laity and in my opinion its a pernicious practice, at
least in this country.

>Wonderful theology! And you don't think Catholics agree??? It could
>the keynote address today at the Religious Education Congress...

I'm glad to hear this John. Maybe the Roman Catholic kids of today will grow up
differently than my generation in which case there is great hope for unity.

Jack Clifford


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