This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pope Benedict Goes to Turkey

The Pope is meeting this day with Ecumenical Patriarch Barthalomew I. It is a step toward eventual Christian Unity, not because it is essential that the Orthodox Church submit to the Pope, but because the Pope must take is place as one among many Patriarchs under Barthalomew. The See of Constantinople did not do anything to break away from Rome. History teaches just the oppossite, that Rome broke its ties to Constantinople. Much of the hubris that infects the Roman Curia would be cured by mending such a break and allowing the Western Church to follow the decentralized model of the East. This is essential for ecumenicism, since a main reason for Protestant disaffection are the overreach in authority claimed by the Pope. There are a few cases when the gift of binding and loosening are given to the Church. While one of these does involve St. Peter, the others involve the Church as a whole, including all of the faithful.

In Evangelical circles, there is a popular wrist band, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? One might ask in this instance, what would St. Peter do? It can be argued that Peter went to Rome (if he did) because that is where the Emperor was. Therefore, when the Emperor Constantine went to Asia Minor and founded Constantinople, the Church that went with him became the Holy See, giving Peter's primacy to the Ecumenical Patriarch. After the Turks consolidated power in Asia Minor and over all of Islam, the See was under persecution - and still is (which is why no great pronouncements will be made today - His Holinesss the Ecumentical Patriarch does not need that headache). Peter's Church would be the one under persecution, which is fitting as radical Islam raises its head as the main source of terror in the post-cold war world.

Another place Peter might be would be Russia, which was also under persecution over the past century - and may be again if Putin shows his communist roots.

The other place Peter might go is Washington, which is where the power is. A patriarchy in a newly configured Church would be appropriate to lead English speaking Christianity and the most power city in the English speaking world is Washington (the other opton would be Galway, with its similarity to Gallatia - the earliest Gaelic Christian Church - a great Church in its own right that could be restored). I could see Cardinal McCarrick as a Gallatian Patriarch, either in Washington or Ireland. If anyone is temprementally suited to bring warring English speaking Christianity together, it is his Eminence.


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