Sunday, May 03, 2009

Velimirovic didn't respect Spanish Catholicism much

Fascinating 1916 critique of church history don Adolf von Harnack by St. Nikolaj Velimirovic, by way of Ora et Labora:
Christianity is founded upon a drama and not upon a science; therefore its growth and development are dramatic and not scientific.
Proto-Balthasarian? St. Nikolai would probably have a lot of critical things to say about von Balthasar's theodramatics, but it's still noteworthy that both affirm the dramatic nature of Christian faith in contrast to the scientific or positivist mindset of the modernist heresy.
The killed and martyred kings, princes, bishops, priests and laymen from these [Orthodox] countries will not be ashamed before the martyrs from the Coliseum.
I do wish Catholics acted as if their every decision were made looking the holy martyrs unblinkingly in the eye -- another useful feature of icon veneration.
Roman Catholicism in Spain came through its test very badly. Before the Islamic invasion, and after it for a long time, the Christian population showed itself inferior to the Moors, in work, in justice, in progress. But to the honour of Roman Catholicism I must say that it stood the test very well in Croatia and in Hungary in its struggle against Islam. German cathedral Protestantism failed in its test. It is destroyed as a religion, it exists only as an archival science. It ceased to be what Christianity really sought to be--a drama; it is transformed into an indifferent scientific medium for reading, exploring, classifying, comparing, criticising. It is no more a living, dramatic being--no more the serving, ruling and suffering Christ. There is very little heroic or divine in it!
I have no idea specifically what about Spain, Croatia, and Hungary St. Nikolai is talking about, but the question he's answering is an important one. What does the Church's response to persecution and opposition by the princes of this world say about its members and their understanding of the true faith?