Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Russian Orthodox and Catholics

The Russian Orthodox leaders confuse me. They would like the Catholic Church to stop evangelizing, forming dioceses and promoting Catholicism in Russia. Yet, they don't want to do the same in Catholic countries (nor has the Catholic Church ever asked them to do so).

5 comments:

bullschuck said...

Nah, I think that there is a difference. In Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church is for Russians. In America, the Russian Orthodox Church is for Russians. So in that respect, the Russian Orthodox Church in America is not proselytizing folks like me, German/French/Norwegian/Scotch/German-again/a bit more French/vaguely Native North American. They are there for the ethnic Russians who have moved here. I would imagine that the Russian Orthodox Church would have no problem with RC parishes in Moscow if they were entirely composed of foreigners. They have this autocephalus perspective that Rome is in charge of everything in Western Europe and the Americas, but that all of Russian is under their own Patriarch.

Marcel said...

Bull - The Catholic Church isn't proselytizing, it is evangelizing a very secular group of people - the Russians. Nobody is forced into the Catholic parishes, they come willingly.

bullschuck said...

I never said that the Church was forcing anyone to do anything, I was just pointing out that the efforts of the Church in Russia are not comparable with what the Russian Orthodox Church does in the West. Your second example could be said in any host of Latin American nations, but there the evangelizers are Pentecostal. Yet there's a definite feeling of animosity about their efforts from the Church that these "churches" are stealing parishioners. Bottom line, I still feel that one can't equate the efforts of the Catholic Church to evangelize Russia with the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church in the west.

Marcel said...

My mistake. Generally the word "Proselytizing" means a forced conversion.

I understand your argument. Catholics and Orthodox are in a different relationship (at least from a Catholic point-of-view) than Protestants and Catholics.

But, your argument bears weight in this - The Orthodox in Russia are leaving their Church because of a failure of the R.O. to evangelize their own. Same thing in South America with the Catholic Church. I don't blame those who are taking in those who have no faith and are culturally Orthodox in Russia or culturally Catholic in S. America. The Pope has said as much to the S. American Bishops - stop complaining about what others are doing, when you are doing your own job.

bullschuck said...

Agreed, there's acres and acres of harvest in old Russia. I think there's still the issue of how the OC in Russia dealt with the Communists as well. It will take a very delicate balancing act to coexist. From that Orthodox - Catholic conference last October, Cardinal Kaspar said something to the effect that this will take decades to resolve.