Thursday, October 28, 2010

John Zmirak on Hallowe'en, Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants

Reminding us that "this holiday was born to commemorate the many nameless saints and prepare for the feast of holy souls in Purgatory -- that scary, fascinating middle place that only we Catholics really believe in" — My High Holy Day.

Calling "All Souls' Day (November 2) the most distinctively Roman Catholic holiday in the calendar," he writes, "The Orthodox pray for the dead, but if you accuse them of agreeing with Catholic teaching on this subject -- as on any other --they will vigorously deny it." He continues, "Likewise, their liturgy and traditions affirm truths suspiciously similar to the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, which they only began to deny once Rome declared them infallible." He goes on to suggest, "The Protestant Reformation was pretty much started in reaction against Halloween and All Souls' Day; Luther nailed up his denunciation of indulgences on October 31, which is still in some places called Reformation Day."

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4 Comments:

Blogger love the girls said...

"but if you accuse them of agreeing with Catholic teaching on this subject -- as on any other --they will vigorously deny it"

The Orthodox act like scorned women.

An irresolvable at the higher levels because the Church is protected against acting irrational when it comes to Faith and Morals. But at the lower local levels, as the west becomes ever more emasculated, the girlys on both sides appear to be getting along quite nicely, albeit irrationally.

9:22 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

A lot of my fellow Catholics are enthralled by all things Orthodox, and I've known a few to swim the Bosphorus, if that's how you spell it. I confess to not really getting it.

Sure, the liturgies are impressive, especially when compared to what passes for liturgy in most the Catholic world these days, but I fail to see how any of it has really transformed the culture, outside of some elements in Russia.

I just don't see any great Christian art in the East, especially in music. Even the great Arvo Part's religious works are mostly in Latin.

Maybe I'm just ignorant and not that interested in Eastern Europe, outside of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, which are really more Western, but it seems to me that the Lutherans did a better job of things culturally in Germany than the Orthodox ever did in their countries.

On the other hand, maybe as an ethnic German (for the most part), I'm just being as nationalistic as we often accuse the Orthodox as being.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Steve Hayes said...

The Orthodox do not deny the immaculate conception of the Theotokos; we merely deny the maculate conception of the rest of us.

1:11 AM  
Blogger stevenwhunter said...

I would have to disagree with Steve on this point. The Orthodox Church does indeed deny the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin precisely because we deny the Augustinian/Latin understanding of original sin. We confess that the Mother of God was without sin, surely, and that she was truly "full of Grace" and perfectly obedient to God. But she was born under the conditions of the fall just like the rest of us. Orthodox teaching on the Incarnation makes this absolutely clear.

As for denying that we are in agreement with Catholics about praying for the dead, I would have to know specifically what points to which you're referring. If you mean purgatory, then yes, we do disagree on that point. If you mean "Limbo," well, then it would seem that you now disagree with yourselves about that. But we do indeed pray for the dead, privately and corporately, in the hope that we may unite our love for the departed with the love and mercy of God.

12:21 AM  

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