Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Unity vs. Obedience

But the anti-canonical practices that are bewailed in "unity rhetoric" go beyond mere inconsistency: if there is any inconsistency, it lies in the fact that some jurisdictions are better at complying with the Church Canons than others. If I saw this list for the first time, without having read it first in the context of unification, I would have said, in my untutored "the-emperor-has-no-clothes-on" wit, that this list of problems must have spilled out from a departure from Tradition, or a failure of apostolic leadership – not disunity. If a funeral service in one Temple ends up with a trip to the crematorium, administrative unity is not what is needed: obedience is.
~Fr. Jonathan Tobias
I wish Catholics would get this distinction straight. Do we seek liturgical/doctrinal conformity for unity's sake or is it to grow in unity with the Fathers? Is unity from without or within? On both Catholic left and right, it seems the former is more important, hence our endless carping and strutting over what does the Pope or the prayer "really say." Administrative or jurisdictional unity is so illusory. Catholics (and apparently many Americanized Orthodox) have come to believe that unity is something that can be established, enforced, and extended by institutional, impersonal power. I now realize how this is the mind of Anti-Christ.