Author Topic: David Mills on Orthodoxy  (Read 1967 times)

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Offline Peter J

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David Mills on Orthodoxy
« on: May 28, 2011, 10:39:07 PM »
(Or "David Mills on Orthodox participation in the WCC")

I was reading an old article in Touchstone. It was by Dr. Peter Bouteneff (OCA) and presented some thoughts on Orthodox participation in the WCC. This was followed by some short responses from conservative Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant writers.

I found David Mills' statements particularly interesting (and not just because he's Catholic):

Quote
I would add to Steve’s comments that in my observation the Orthodox can get away with being so conservative in the WCC because modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics. They tend to assume the Orthodox commitment to the Tradition is ethnic and cultural, a product of their historical development—e.g., in places like Greece as opposed to Germany—not a doctrinal conviction that spans ethnic groups and cultures.

I’ve heard this line taken especially on the Orthodox opposition to women’s ordination. Which means, among other things, that while the Orthodox may think they are having an influence, any stand they make for orthodoxy that offends the liberal consensus is dismissed as just “their thing,” as an Orthodox peculiarity that they will someday get over. If they have an influence for good on doctrinal matters, I suspect the liberals are open to their influence because liberals don’t care as much about doctrine as about ordaining women, and they further believe that all doctrines are just metaphors anyway, so why not let the Orthodox have their way?

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=11-05-016-o
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Offline FormerReformer

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 10:55:25 PM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.
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Offline Aindriú

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2011, 11:24:02 PM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

Because they don't even know what an Orthodox 'is'. Other conservatives have a visible voice, Orthodox can be denied as a cultural church.

I'm going to need this.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 11:52:24 PM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

Because they don't even know what an Orthodox 'is'. Other conservatives have a visible voice, Orthodox can be denied as a cultural church.

Also, at least to Western liberals, Orthodoxy seems foreign and can be cut some slack in the name of cultural relativism. Hey, if it works for "those people" then why raise a fuss?
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Offline Peter J

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 09:04:08 AM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

I think there is a difference. With regard to Orthodox they'll basically say "See, the Orthodox agree with us", when in fact the Orthodox are strongly disagreeing.
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Offline sprtslvr1973

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 09:33:35 PM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

I think there is a difference. With regard to Orthodox they'll basically say "See, the Orthodox agree with us", when in fact the Orthodox are strongly disagreeing.

When do Liberals think Orthodox church agrees with them?
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Offline Kasatkin fan

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 11:17:56 PM »
I think Catholic's are correct in their stance toward the WCC, precisely because it serves to validate liberal tendencies in Protestantism.

Offline Peter J

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 05:06:53 PM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

I think there is a difference. With regard to Orthodox they'll basically say "See, the Orthodox agree with us", when in fact the Orthodox are strongly disagreeing.

When do Liberals think Orthodox church agrees with them?

Sorry if I oversimplified. I think Kasatkin fan put it better than I did: membership in the WCC can serve to validate liberal tendencies in Protestantism.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 09:13:05 PM »
I also thought the last paragraph of the response from Louis R. Tarsitano (who was a priest of the Anglican Church in America) was interesting:

Quote
The WCC’s euphemistically titled “Fund to Combat Racism” has often been used in Africa as a “fund to combat Christianity.” As an old-style Anglican missionary friend complained to me some years ago, his parishioners were being machine-gunned on the way to church, in the name of “raising their consciousness,” by groups supported in part by the fund.

In the bizarre world of such ecumenism, it is my “fundamentalist” Orthodox friends who most strenuously oppose the participation of Orthodoxy in the WCC, even as they are the most likely among the Orthodox to have a kind word, or even to deign to speak, to other sorts of Christian traditionalists in their local communities. The depth of their charity corresponds to the depth of their faith, in a wonderful testimony to the reality of their Christianity.

Since I am a “fundamentalist” Anglican, we disagree, obviously enough, about certain details of how the Universal Church of Christ is to be manifested to the world, but we find a commonality in our belief that the Universal Church is Christ’s Body, and in our sense that many of our bishops and bureaucrats have interests that lie elsewhere. Much the same is true, as well, of our overlapping relations with Roman Catholic “fundamentalists.”

My hunch is that the irritant of institutional ecumenism has planted the seed of an ecclesiastical ecumenism among those who are least likely to compromise their faith or their tradition. Whether or not this develops into a “pearl” of visible unity will be a matter of Providence, grace, and patience. In any case, institutional Christianity, as represented by the WCC, and ecclesiastical Christianity, as represented by the “fundamentalists,” continue to diverge.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 09:53:20 AM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

Because they don't even know what an Orthodox 'is'. Other conservatives have a visible voice, Orthodox can be denied as a cultural church.

Also, at least to Western liberals, Orthodoxy seems foreign and can be cut some slack in the name of cultural relativism. Hey, if it works for "those people" then why raise a fuss?

How about this as an example:

"To attempt to apply rational analysis to this is to fail to understand what the East is. Once you get over on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the further you go South or East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It’s futile to try and reason about this."
"So the Catholic church is never going to persuade the Orthodox to accept the patriarchate?"
"No, and I don’t think we should even try. To hell with Moscow."

http://www.natcath.org/mainpage/specialdocuments/taft.htm
(Granted, that's actually an interview with a Catholic, Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute.)
- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 10:22:55 AM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

Because they don't even know what an Orthodox 'is'. Other conservatives have a visible voice, Orthodox can be denied as a cultural church.

Also, at least to Western liberals, Orthodoxy seems foreign and can be cut some slack in the name of cultural relativism. Hey, if it works for "those people" then why raise a fuss?

How about this as an example:

"To attempt to apply rational analysis to this is to fail to understand what the East is. Once you get over on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the further you go South or East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It’s futile to try and reason about this."
"So the Catholic church is never going to persuade the Orthodox to accept the patriarchate?"
"No, and I don’t think we should even try. To hell with Moscow."

http://www.natcath.org/mainpage/specialdocuments/taft.htm
(Granted, that's actually an interview with a Catholic, Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute.)

Well, that 'kind a' validates what I said about Fr. Taft  on the Orientale Lumen thread,  doesn't it. He is a good example of Roman 'knowledge', he may 'know' a great deal about us and our history, but he doesn't know us at all. Typical rigid scholastic. (There are many of my Eastern Catholic friends who would agree with me on that point! I like to remind them that our door is always open! All they have to do is knock....)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 10:25:30 AM by podkarpatska »

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 08:40:36 AM »
Quote
modern Protestant liberals treat them as primitives or exotics.

I fail to see how the liberals' attitude toward Orthodox conservatives is any different from the liberals' attitude toward conservatives in general.

Because they don't even know what an Orthodox 'is'. Other conservatives have a visible voice, Orthodox can be denied as a cultural church.

Also, at least to Western liberals, Orthodoxy seems foreign and can be cut some slack in the name of cultural relativism. Hey, if it works for "those people" then why raise a fuss?

How about this as an example:

"To attempt to apply rational analysis to this is to fail to understand what the East is. Once you get over on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the further you go South or East from anywhere, the worse everything gets, except the food. Logic gets worse, rationality gets worse, and everything ultimately winds up in hysteria and emotionalism. It’s futile to try and reason about this."
"So the Catholic church is never going to persuade the Orthodox to accept the patriarchate?"
"No, and I don’t think we should even try. To hell with Moscow."

http://www.natcath.org/mainpage/specialdocuments/taft.htm
(Granted, that's actually an interview with a Catholic, Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute.)

Is there anybody in the Orthodox Church who really cares about "Archimandrite" Taft's assessments and opinions of our Church?

He made his contempt for us only too plain in the interview he gave in
http://ncronline.org/mainpage/specialdocuments/taft.htm

Who can forget his "To hell with Moscow" answer in the interview and other similar nastiness.  I would excuse him only because the interview is so hilariously bizarre that I can only think he had been partying hard the night before and was not in a fit state to be interviewed by John Allen.

Why he would want a Church such as ours to unite with his is a mystery. 




Offline Peter J

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 11:39:00 AM »
Why he would want a Church such as ours to unite with his is a mystery. 

Indeed, it's seems extremely difficult to reconcile Fr. Taft's attitude with, well, itself.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: David Mills on Orthodoxy
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2012, 04:05:52 PM »
Fr. Robert Taft is a scholastic?
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