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Price of Tea in China

I'LL Give you a topic:

The "Paris School" ecumenically writ large:

Henri de Lubac
Olivier Clement
Jean Danielou
Alexander Schmemann
Louis Bouyer


Discuss.

Optional extra topics: Yves Congar and Dom Gregory Dix.



Huw Raphael | 2006.12.15:2111 (@174) | Orthodoxy
27 comments | link


COMMENTS


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From: mike | 2006.12.15:2146 (@199)

They made the Church Fathers hip again. And they modeled the kind of cooperation and collegiality we can live today, just this side of intercommunion. May they intercede for us, their children.


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From: Benjamin Andersen | 2006.12.16:0057 (@331)

Yeah, pretty much ... and at a time when fraternizing between RCs and EOs was very taboo.

That's why some of the ultra-traditionalists in the RCC can blame some of Vatican II on modern Orthodox thought; and why, conversely, some of the ultra-traditionalists in Orthodoxy can fault these modern Orthodox theologians for being unduly influenced by modern RC thought.


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:0337 (@442)

All liberals together that would seem to the left of our right wings (the Uber-pious) and to the right of our leftwings.

Yet these guys are very alive: not lukewarm (which might be seen as "centrist" and boring).

What I find most interesting is that I studied four of them at St Gregory Nyssa Church - either in classes or for discussion in classes.

Just from the list of names, without having read their works in a collective context, seeing them together (and thus knowing they are together in time as well as in space and heart) I get some odd glimpses of understanding: New Skete makes sense, as does Fr Schmemann's comment about WRO and the 1979 BCP.

From: George | 2006.12.16:0532 (@522)

I think Schmemman kind of stands on his own in that group; he sometimes seems so concerned to reject "rigid" categories that he ends up sounding more like a liberal protestant than an orthodox Father. That's _sometimes_, not all the time, but you never catch de Lubac sounding like that.


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From: Fr. Peter | 2006.12.16:0907 (@671)

We in America anyway, owe a great debt to Fr. Schmemman for his liturgical theology. He was a big supporter of frequesnt reception of Holy Communion and made it something that all the faithful should participate in, not only two times a year as it had gone too.

From: FrDn. Ernesto | 2006.12.16:1009 (@714)

Also their work on the development of the liturgy was the background for the freedom to make some needed liturgical changes in both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. They fairly well destroyed the idea in both Churches that the
Liturgy, as celebrated back then, was fully inherited from the Fathers. When I say fully inherited, I mean the argument that everything that developed in the Liturgy was found in seed form in the Liturgy of the Fathers.

They showed multiple acceptable Liturgies in an Early Church. They showed that some of the Liturgies were missing pieces that were later considered to be essential for the "validity" of a sacrament, and yet were acceptable in the Early Church. For instance, they gave a great shot in the arm to Anglican orders when they showed that a couple of the major ordination liturgies of some parts of the Early Church lacked the consecratory formulas demanded by scholastic Catholicism and Orthodoxy in order for the correct transmission of the spiritual grace of ordination.


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1053 (@745)

You Go, Dcn! I find great hope in the fact that a new deacon - and, God willing, soon, a new priest - would go there. I found the material in the *first semester* of liturgical theology in the St Stephen's Course to be as ground shaking as you describe. Mind you, as most know, I worshipped for a while in a very post-modern context. I have no idea what these theologians would have thought of this rite, but most of them are credited with the scholarship that created it.

Oddly enough: when coming into Orthodoxy I was pissy about that liturgy and the justifcation for it. Only after reading much of the same stuff in the context of Orthodoxy did I find I felt ok about it.

From Now On, your Delta Tau Chi name is Fr Deacon Mischief.


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1125 (@767)

You're onto something, but I think it's possible to take this line of thinking too far. These men were daring, but they were also obedient. That's what set them apart from so many goofballs in the next generation. Danielou and de Lubac watched in horror as rebels used their work as an ingredient for ecclesiastical Molotov cocktails in the 1960s. This essay by Danielou moves me to tears on every reading:
http://catholica.pontifications.net/?p=935


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1128 (@770)

And here's a nice collection of essays that includes many of the Romans of the Paris school:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/LITWRD.TXT

Here's Danielou's contribution by itself:
http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=681


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1208 (@797)

Well, as has been told to me (by Subdeacon Benjamin) Fr Schmeman wondered why anyone who had seen the 1979 BCP would want to be using an older rite (or words to that effect). So, despite some attempts at breaking the train, some were not. I'm saying that mindful that (a) New Skete Monastery drives some Orthodox as batty as my former ECUSA parish does more traditional liturgical types; and (b) New Skete, when compared to my former parish, is way uptight. It's all a matter of perspective.

Regarding the Danielou essay on the "infallibility of the church"... my general attitude towards the great schism sorta discounts that idea and makes the assumption that the Church can, in fact, make mistakes: and she can correct them. I'll hold to that because if the Church is infallible... which church? It's an important question, and one on which I'm willing to err in favour of both parties and repentance.

But that's the point, really. If the Church is infallible then (assuming an RC point of view) how can you say the various excesses of the church's liturgy, post Vatican II, supported by the church's clergy, done by the church's people, witnessed and blessed by the church's bishops and popes... how can you say that's wrong? How do you draw the line? (This is an on-going question in these pages, it's nearly rhetorical now.) I don't think you can draw that line, you have to either say, "oops, we make mistakes" or "Praise Jesus We're Infallible." You can't say it's both/and: and expect me to take you seriously.

Orthodox fall into the same trap by basically saying "at the point someone makes a mistake in faith they are not the Church any more." Which is deus ex machina if there ever was one...

Personally, I pray God is more merciful than that.



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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1209 (@798)

But... sorry... forgot to add this: I'm clear that there is "going too far". I think I'm just a little lighter on the breaks.


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1252 (@828)

I don't think infallibility precludes development. Nor does infallibility in doctrinal require liturgical stasis. That's a caricature. The Catechism treats of this, and of course Newman played it out at book-length at the very end of his Anglican days. WE do make mistakes, but the gates of hell don't prevail over the Church's teaching.


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1258 (@832)

"gates of hell don't prevail over the Church's teaching"

Mmm. Why did you have to add that last word to Christ's sentence? This is curious.

(Didn't mean to imply a cross between the liturgy discussion and the infallibility discussion: you just posted it in a link...)


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1308 (@839)

Ha! Editors can't help but edit, I suppose. Let the dominical words stand!


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1319 (@846)

hehehehe. that's where I get weak: I'm quite all right with the Church not being defeated by the Gates of Hell. But I don't make the connexion there between her and her teaching. I don't make it between her and her liturgy either.

She is the body of Christ, but she is filled with humans: we must avoid *both* the idea of Monophysitism as well as Monothelitism in the Church. And we must affirm the free will of humans in the Church...


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From: Benjamin Andersen | 2006.12.16:1329 (@853)

"I'm quite all right with the Church not being defeated by the Gates of Hell. But I don't make the connexion there between her and her teaching. I don't make it between her and her liturgy either."

I suppose that one could take our Lord's words about the gates of hell not prevailing against the Church, AND Saint Paul's statement that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth. One could make that connection.

However, with regards to our Lord's words, some have pointed out that we commonly mistake the Church here to be in a defensive position. This seems to ignore the imagery. "Gates" are not offensive but defensive. Perhaps Hell is on the defense against the Church, the army of the Lord, which is, in fact, storming the gates of hell. That the gates will not "prevail" could be taken to mean that the gates will not be able, ultimately, to stand up against the Church's attacks.

Just a thought!


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1340 (@861)

Again, none of that precludes either infallibility or development. I'm not sure what you mean by the "Church" when you say she won't be defeated. If you are so distinguishing the heavenly from the earthly Church as to separate them, then you have successfully avoided Monophysitism and Monothelitism, but you've embraced Nestorianism. Christ must have meant something when he made His guarantee. What was it? I don't think it was a general assurance that we'd muddle through in some form and everything would turn out OK in the end. I believe he empowered the Church to teach in His name with His purity. That doesn't mean that every member of the Church (or of the hierarchy) will always correspond to that grace; nor does it mean that the Church's every disciplinary decision will be inerrant. But when the Church, as the Church, teaches dogma (say, in an ecumenical council), she teaches infallibly. That, I think, is what the Orthodox and Catholic Church holds.

I don't think any sane person has ever extended the range of infallibility to include liturgical rubrics or penitential disciplines, never mind artistic canons. But the Church can still exercise disciplinary authority in an area where her hierarchs do not possess the guarantee of infallibility (or even, sometimes, ordinary wisdom!). That authority is simply a recognition that we live in a Church filled with sinful humans. It's the authority of parents in a family, police in a township.


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1410 (@882)

Forgive me, I know you tried to phrase this as light-heartedly and humorous as possible: "I don't think it was a general assurance that we'd muddle through in some form and everything would turn out OK in the end."

Yes, that's pretty much exactly what I think because God still has to work with us, not overriding our free will, not destroying but perfecting our humanity.

That doesn't preclude three days dead and a resurrection in middle of the night witnessed by no one, an unwed mother suddenly pregnant but still at the mercy of the Roman state, miraculous healings we're not supposed to talk about (but do), hell taking a mortal body and encountering God, and a mother that guilts messiah into making the guests drunk.

God seems to always use the sneak attack, the sucker punch and the 98-pound weakling.

We'll all muddle through somehow, I'm sure - even if I'm wrong, LOL.

Ben, you are quite right to note the attack: but in Akido we attack passively. The Weak overthrows the Strong and not even by her own strength but rather by simply stepping out of the way and letting the Strong trip himself up.

The Gates of hell... well... another thought just dawned on me. The Gates of hell have already been destroyed by the Body of Christ: they have not prevailed... but they were broken down from the inside out.


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1456 (@914)

I'm trying, Huw, to understand what you mean by Church, doctrine, mistakes. Are the articles of the creed up for grabs, or do they have some guarantee of infallibility behind them? Is the canon up for debate, or is it an infallible decree? What about the dogmas related to the Trinity and the Incarnation? I grant that the Church's authority has limits, but what remains on the near side of those limits, and what does that body of doctrine require of us? Believe me, I'm no maximalist in terms of ecclesial power. But I fear you're so spiritualizing the "real" Church as to beam it up entirely.


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.16:1459 (@916)

You ask questions I can't answer. I've been asking them here for over a year.



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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1519 (@930)

But you answer them, too. You know you're not a Monophysite or a Monothelite. You said as much today. There are answers implicit in those boundaries.


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:1528 (@936)

And in the name of Cardinal Danielou, I apologize for getting us soooo far off topic!

From: FrDn. Ernesto | 2006.12.16:2059 (@166)

There is something to be said for the distinction between the Church Militant and the Church Victorious. There is only one Church, and she includes those with the Lord and those here on Earth.

Nevertheless, the Church with the Lord knows Truth in all its facets: experiential, intellectual, emotional, and as our incarnate Lord. She is indeed the Church Victorious. The Church here on Earth is the Church Militant. She knows the Truth dimly and as a reflection in a mirror (not my words, St. Paul's words). She is a mixture of wheat and tares and both the Enemy and our Lord are at work in her.

Thus the Church here on Earth needs to be cautious as to what she declares to be unassailable dogma, and she has been. However, many forget that the Church then needs to have a certain degree of flexibility as to those things which have not been declared dogma and are not clearly enshrined in Holy Tradition. Too many of us equate every development in tradition with the leading of the Holy Spirit, which future synods are forbidden to change. However, if we see Truth dimly, then it should not be surprising if misteps are made now and again.

Moreover, too often we forget St. Paul's very arguments to the established Apostles and the true Fathers of the Church that they ought not to impose cultural forms of worship on the new Christians coming into the Church. Note that St. Paul makes it very clear to the Corinthians that there is a deposit that must be kept in a certain way, and castigates them for not doing it in the way in which they were taught. I am in favor of such a deposit being kept.

However, note that two chapters later he then writes about the freedom and variety allowed in worship. Too many of us have forgotten the second part and glibly use syllogistic argumentation to forbid some of the very freedom and adaptability for which St. Paul argued right to St. Peter's face. Mind you, this is not surprising since God was forced to send a direct vision to St. Peter in order to get him to allow St. Cornelius into the faith! May all of us get a few direct visions from the Lord to break us of our blinders!


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From: mike | 2006.12.16:2122 (@182)

Amen on every point.


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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.17:0657 (@581)

Forgive me for dropping out: sleep came upon me.

Good morning.

Ernesto - I agree with you point for point. I love this: "Too many of us equate every development in tradition with the leading of the Holy Spirit, which future synods are forbidden to change. However, if we see Truth dimly, then it should not be surprising if misteps are made now and again."

Of course it begs the question of has the Church gone too far. An infallible church can't go too far.

A human one can.

Mike - forgive my flip answer to your last post to me, but "touche". I can use theological terms, yes, in part because we know what they mean by the Church's action. But that doesn't mean that the Church was right: I'm not saying she was wrong either!!!!!!

I simply lay it out there, noting an element of faith that I don't have - nor am I sure why I need it. It was one that I did have... but I feel mine (at least) was built on sand: because in Orthodoxy at least, pretty much everything changes and the only possibility is the "Theology/Economy" division I noted recently where some kind of vague platonic Divine Forms are the real thing.

Too theoretical for me.

I'm down with the idea of the Church Triumphant enjoying her perfection, the Church Militant striving for it (but quite able to fail) and the Church Expectant working it all out. But I'm in the Church Militant. I expect a goodly number of folks change divisions and slap themselves on the foreheads saying "WHAT Was I thinking?!?!?!"

Also, Mike: while this is WAY off topic (and my friends know I hate off-topic with a passion) this *is* on topic for this blog. It's been the main question for a year or more.







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From: Huw Raphael | 2006.12.17:0700 (@583)

"Too many of us equate every development in tradition with the leading of the Holy Spirit, which future synods are forbidden to change. However, if we see Truth dimly, then it should not be surprising if misteps are made now and again."

This line reminded of a joke from a Christian Stand-up Comedian circa 1980.

You ever hear all those earnest kids at youth camp with their guitars. They introduce every song with something like 'the Lord gave me this song last Thursday'.
Some times you just wanna say, 'Why didn't you give that one back?'
And what was the Lord thinking when he gave us Kum Buy Ya?

From: Bob | 2006.12.17:2005 (@128)

Huw, I've had the idea that the threat to "Sing a song the Lord gave me" might be what they use at Guantanamo Bay when other methods of persuasion are ineffective.
I asked my priest whose confessor and friend was Fr. Alexander, about the WR in Europe and Schmemann's thoughts about it.. Sometimes he is said to have been an early supporter. It sounds like he lost enthusiasm for it some time before coming to the US. He said among other things he didn't like baptismal theology that differed from Eastern understanding of it (I'm not ready to defend every detail, just reporting!), and felt (as many have) that adjusting it would have left little left
that was "Western".


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