Rod and Orthodoxy

Rod and Orthodoxy

I will only comment on this briefly because it really is no one else’s business. Journalist Rod Dreher, who I count as a friend—he and his wife had me and Melanie and Melanie’s sister to their home for dinner a couple years ago—has announced that he has converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. He goes into an explanation at length on his own blog, so I won’t rehash it here. It should go without saying that I disagree with Rod’s reasoning, but then if I didn’t disagree I wouldn’t be Catholic either.

What’s quite disturbing is how this became public. A disturbed individual who is nearly a cyberstalker wrote to the Orthodox parish in Dallas to ask the priest if Rod was now Orthodox and the priest—imprudently, in my opinion—replied in the affirmative. This isn’t anyone’s business, but this busybody has had a burr under his saddle for a long time about Rod. He’s shown up here several times, always riding his hobby horse. I’ve even received a number of private emails from this guy that make me question his stability. I’m not sure why Rod has become the special target of his ire since he’s far from the only Catholic journalist to have criticized the Church. But then I find it difficult to understand why certain other individuals have set up a group blog focused on attacking Rod, not just disagreeing with his “Crunchy Con” thesis, which would be one thing, but to attack him personally.

What other bloggers are saying

Technorati Tags:

  • I hope that the Holy Spirit will continue to visit grace upon them in their search for Truth and the will of God (as we all continue that search for ourselves).

    Your prayer for Rod…. Amen.

  • Father Groeschel has said, regarding the scandal, (and I hope I’m paraphrasing him correctly) that if you worship the Church, you will have trouble holding onto your faith.  If you are a disciple of Christ, then your faith will weather the storm.

    On a side note, is it true that one can only switch rites once in one’s lifetime or am I confusing Orthodox with Byzantine?

  • This responsibility applies even if Catholics aren’t taught this in CCD, RCIA, from the pulpit or however else we may be catechized.

    You’re holding people responsible for things they don’t know?

    Like the Catechism teaches, something may be objectively evil but culpability can be reduced by other factors, like ignorance. In fact, the Church teaches that in order to be in mortal sin, one must know that the act is a sin in the first place.

    “Some culpability”? Yes, but how much? Neither you nor I nor any other man can judge.

  • Carrie,

    We can condemn Rod’s action without making a judgement on his soul, as Steve has pointed out. His action is obviously one involving grave matter, but only God and Rod know if its a mortal sin. The Eastern Orthodox Church may have historically been the right lung of Christendom, but we can’t go so far as to consider today’s differences irrelevant. As for differences in theology, the ‘filioque’ in the Creed immediately comes to mind, and, of course, the papacy itself. In some sense, this kind of conversion is worse than someone rejecting Vatican II (because the council didn’t define new doctrine) and joining the SSPX because the Lefebvrites are only schismatic. Actually, the word ‘conversion’ is significant: one can cut oneself off from the Church, like the SSPX, without ‘converting.’ The language of ‘conversion’ seems to imply new doctrine. In either case, formal schism ought not to be taken lightly. I doubt PJPII would be happy about Catholics converting to Orthodoxy.

  • It’s been up and down over the past couple of days.

    As for the Pope’s “lung” comments, his point was that while the Orthodox are the other lung of the Church, they are in schism and thus leave the Church breathing with only one lung. He wasn’t saying that there is no difference, but that they need to end the schism.