Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy?
At ucatholic.com, Brian Holdsworth explained how, after converting to Christianity, he decided between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The decisive point was the Church’s catholicity. “There is a universality to Catholicism that doesn’t exist in the Eastern Orthodox churches. For me to become Eastern Orthodox, I’d have to join a Church with a very specific ethnic or national identity.”
Probably the “most significant” debate in the East-West schism was over authority. “Rome insisted that the bishop of Rome had a unique and universal authority over the entire Church, without which there would be no universal Church, as inherited from the authority of Peter. The Eastern Orthodox side was arguing that the bishop of Rome was a first among equals but only in an honorific way which meant that he had the same authority as the other patriarchs.”
But it was Rome which had stayed consistent. “The East did not continue to treat the Bishop of Rome as a first among equals. In fact, they excommunicated him which seems like a clear violation of their own claim that no autocephalous patriarch has authority over another.”
A classroom story of ethics gone wrong
At The Catholic Thing, David Carlin gave a view from the classroom at his community college, where he teaches a course in ethics. He is used to his students disagreeing with natural-law ethics. “The other day, however, a young man in my class shocked me (actually he amused me) by clearly and frankly defending a theory of morality that I regard as absolutely horrible.
The student, who is “sincere and amiable”, took the following view: “Individuals create their own morality, and therefore what’s right or wrong for you will not necessarily be right or wrong for me.”
When Carlin responded by bringing up Hitler, the student said that what Hitler did was right because he believed it was right – although the student himself did not share his morality. “We have a lot of bad moral theories floating around the USA today,” Carlin wrote. “If we don’t check them, they will destroy us – if not in the short run, then gradually.”
A peaceful mum writes to a worried son
In the National Catholic Register, Kimberly Scott wrote “A Mother’s Letter to Her Anti-Catholic Son”. Her son worried that she would end up destitute. But “What you see as me taking too many ‘risks’ (because I do so much lowly or unpaid work for the Church, when I could earn much more money) actually springs from the interior peace that comes from giving up worry.”
She could understand why the Resurrection seemed absurd to him. “This is good news, indeed – such good news that modern minds, trapped in a turmoil of noise, gloom and despair, can hardly believe it! It sounds like a fairy tale.”
✣ A personal trainer in California is combining fitness training with catechesis.
Jordan Friske, of Catholic Fitness Training in San Diego, said spiritual reflection was the “main part” of his programme.
“Anybody can lead an exercise class,” Friske, 29, told The Southern Cross, the newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego. “I want to have a ministry that teaches you how to be fit spiritually, as well as physically.” That means encouraging participants to offer up discomfort on behalf of the souls in purgatory, for instance, or, as they stretch after a workout, leading a reflection on St John Paul II’s theology of the body, a Scripture reading or the saint of the day.
“When we diet or exercise with a secular standpoint, we can often make our own bodies an idol,” he said. “We’re never satisfied until we look a certain way or until we have a certain number for our weight.” But, he said, from a Catholic perspective, “our bodies are a gift and we are called to be stewards of all the gifts that God gives us”.
Fitness sessions, he said, are opportunities to honour God.For Catholics seeking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, Friske said his advice was to have a plan, including realistic goals and a “road map”, and to “keep God at the centre of each workout”.
✣The week in quotations
My little girl is here today because of the support I was given Alina, a mother helped by a pro-life vigil outside an abortion clinic Press release from the Be Here for Me campaign
Don’t be afraid of being ashamed… The tragedy is when we are no longer ashamed of anything Pope Francis Divine Mercy Mass
He is doing his duty Cardinal DiNardo on the Pope urging all to holiness Press statement
Just sick Papal adviser Fr Antonio Spadaro SJon critics of Gaudete et Exsultate Twitter
✣Statistic of the week
39% American Catholics who go to Mass each week, down from 45 per cent in 2014 Source: Gallup
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund