Friday, November 7, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

John L. Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, a well-respected writer for a publication that is not well-respected in some circles, has written an open letter to the President-Elect, explaining that, differences notwithstanding, the "Vatican...believes that the United States is its most natural ally in promoting religious freedom and human dignity around the world", even a United States led by someone with whom it differs on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Allen concludes by saying:

"For what it’s worth, Mr. President-Elect, my advice is to get on the phone if the pope calls. Better yet, initiate the conversation yourself. You might be surprised about where it goes."

Read it all and you can also check out comments from Fr. John "Save the Liturgy Save the World" Zuhlsdorf here.

Too bad none of the Orthodox patriarchs, Byzantine or Oriental, are also heads of state.


Mother Clement said...

The National Catholic Reporter is not "well-respected in some circles" as you say not just because it has the reputation of being the voice of liberal/leftist prgressives but mainly because it often circumvents established Roman Catholic doctrine and discipline.

I agree with what Fr. Benedict Groeschel said once about preferring that Catholics be Catholics and Protestants be Protestants and Pagans being Pagans. Don't try and blend it all together. Be what you say you are and behave accordingly.
If you claim to be Roman Catholic then abide by what the RCC teaches. If you don't then don't claim to be Roman Catholic. Quite simple.

An interesting point though about none of the Orthodox patriarchs being heads of state.
That is too bad.
Would have been nice to hear a definitive statement from some of them nevertheless, since it is rare that the RCC in the U.S. and the majority of mainstrem Protestantism were in agreement with regard to the moral choices in this past election.

I read a statement from Metropolitan +Herman but it was really a non-statement. I say that was my impression of it because he really did not say anything that we did not already know nor did he call his clergy and faithful to take a stand on anything.

I think it would behoove, not just the major patriarchs, but all Orthodox Bishops to issues statements regarding political and social issues as the RC bishops do so that all Christians - clergy and faithful - could draw a general consensus from all three points of view - Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant.
Might be interesting to see how often they agree.

Mother +Clement, OCB

Anonymous said...

The Patriarchs and Bishops of EO churches are not heads of state because historically they have been subservient to heads of state.
They, at least in practice, have been guitly of the heresy of Caesro-Papism.

FrGregACCA said...

I think the "Caesaro-Papism" thing has been overstated. A couple of examples: ikonoclasm was initiated by emperors, but defeated by the Church. In Russia, the Tzar felt so threatened by the Patriarchate that he got it abolished (only to have it restored, much later, just in time for the revolution). CP didn't become a real issue until the Reformation, when much of Protestantism explicitly embraced it, the Church of England being the best known example.

OTOH, one can also speak of "Papo-Caesarism" with respect to the Papacy.