See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Are those pussy-willows?"



Pussy Riot in the sanctuary.

Just about every religious blogger has covered the story already, so what can I say?  The women got a stiff sentence, but hey, the Russian Church pardoned them - extending its forgiveness to the women who knew not what they did.  The women were protesting Putin and did so in Christ the Savior Cathedral - an action which is sacrilegious to begin with.  The courts sentenced them to two years in a penal colony for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred".   Tough sentence - but that's Russia.  Others around the world face far worse fates than that.  Although one blogger warned:
Unfortunately the prosecution has not read its history to know that such an extreme reaction to a protest only vindicates and fuels the growth of the movement and ideology, and creates a deeper controversy than what could have been prevented. - Mystagogy
Maybe. 

I found a really great quote in the com box of the same blog however - about athiests - real ones I mean:
"Atheism, true 'existential' atheism burning with hatred of a seemingly unjust or unmerciful God, is a spiritual state; it is a real attempt to grapple with the true God Whose ways are so inexplicable even to the most believing of men, and it has been more than once be known to end in an vision of Him Whom the real atheist truly seeks...The Antichrist is not to be found in the deniers, but in the small affirmers, whose Christ is only on the lips."

-Fr. Seraphim Rose

[Yes, Seraphim Rose was a controversial figure - I can't vouch for him.  I just think the insight expressed in his quote is quite good.]

One other thing:  It looks like it's okay to say 'pussy' now, huh?  Get over it Dotty Hinkle.



19 comments:

  1. From what I understand, however, the women, while vulgar and offensive, and yes, blasphemous, never did anything directed at hatred of God, but rather called on the Theotokos to rid the land of Putin. It's very Russian.

    I could be wrong - maybe they did all kinds of worse stuff than I am imagining.

    Anyway, part of the protest was also because of massive corruption in the Russian Orthodox Church, which many Russians regard as an arm of Putin's state now - it wouldn't be the first time the great Russian Orthodox Church has been converted into an institution of the Russian government.

    "I'm against it", as Terry would say, but let's also remember that the Russian government could care less about blasphemy - they were obviously arrested and charged for being against Putin.

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    1. Yes - but now we can say pussy.

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  2. According to Norman Davies (I think), one Archbishop of Moscow was also and at the same time, a colonel in the KGB.

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  3. I was always very impressed with Father Seraphim Rose's metanoia-conversion of heart. It is not often unfortunately that ssa people have such a deep and abiding conversion as he. I am convinced he lived a very holy life.

    I agree with Mercury that the Russian government doesn't much care about blasphemous acts by protesters. This whole situation has brought to fore the fact that Russia has not been converted not to mention the abortion rate - 1.3 million, or 73 per 100 births in 2009. Russia will one day be converted. I firmly believe one day there will be a "holy Russia" again. Whatever the Russian Churches mistakes and corruption it has managed to steer clear of the modernist theological tendencies and liturgical abuse and/or destruction of her liturgy from within that has plagued the Roman Catholic Church of the past 40+ years. There is something to be said for that much.

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    1. I don't know much about Rose really. I was surprised to find out he was American and ssa. The Eastern monk's veils/habits and beards would repel me from any desire to enter one of their monasteries.

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    2. Servus, you are right, but they have also accrued some traditions over the years thy are very dubious - not allowing menstruating women to receive the Eucharist is one. They also fail to distinguish what is Tradition from what is tradition (yes, the latter is important, but not in the same way), with no way to have a pope or councils to clear anything up.

      So while there is no room for modernism, there is also no room for legitimate development of doctrine or clarification either.

      One thing that bothers me about the Orthodox churches in general is that they have always been so tied to the state that it is hard to say who is leading who. I'm becoming less and less of a fan of modern liberal democracy, but I am glad to say
      autocracy, absolute monarchy, and serfdom are things of the past.

      The Russian Church is also extremely pro-Putin,
      and it's not because he's so Christ-like.

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    3. Interesting.........

      According to the Canons, though a woman is not in any manner more sinful in her cycle than a man is in the case of involuntary bodily emissions, she, like the man, must avoid Holy Communion at this time. These bodily functions are not sins, but they represent and emphasize the consequences of our fallen states. In approaching Holy Communion, we are lifting our fallen selves in the greatest humility to commune with what we are in Christ: literal participants in the Divine. We thus approach Christ as clean vessels to the greatest possible extent for us in our fallen state, that He might come into us and transform us. Being holy, He comes only to those who strive to holiness. He cannot enter into that which is evil without destroying it. The Eucharist, hence, is the fire that cleanses, for those well prepared, and the fire that burns, for those not prepared. As St. John Chrysostomos writes, "This is a great and wonderful thing, so that if you approach it with pureness, you approach for salvation; but if you do so with an evil conscience, it is for punishment and vengeance."

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    4. And as Catholics, we reject that. Neither menstruation nor involuntary bodily emissions have anything to do with holiness.

      They also do not allow people to receive the Eucharist without a rather extreme fast, and absolutely and emphatically discourage daily communion, especially for married people, since they must fast from sex the day before and the day of receiving - indeed, they are forbidden from sexual relations for the *vast majority* of the year (all of Advent, Lent, other penitential seasons, every single Friday and Wednesday, and on Saturdays and Sundays if they are going to receive Communion).

      We are not Russian Orthodox, and the Catholic Church is wise in her discipline (though admittedly somewhat lax in comparison to before).

      Also, notice how what St. John Chrysostom said has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO with menstruation or involuntary bodily emissions.

      I think it is disgusting to forbid women from receiving Him because of their menses.

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    5. Also, did the men who wrote the canons even understand what the menstrual cycle does, or why women have it? How can they call it a result of the fall? Where does Scripture say that? The Fall brings corruption, but that's not what's happening.

      I understand that maybe the pains of menstrual cramps and all that would not have existed pre-Fall, but it is clear that the cycle itself is designed by God and part of a woman's nature. It's a horrible thing to bar her because of that.

      The Jews had laws against it because of their beliefs on blood, not because menstruation was seen as an indicator of sinfulness.

      And while also not sinful, an involuntary emission for a man is a totally different story, but also seems to serve a biological purpose ... by design.

      By the same logic in that passage, the Church should bar the following people from communion, since these things DO indicate the Fall: the sick, the dying, the lame, the mentally ill, the insane, the crippled, etc.

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    6. I think you're over reacting (maybe). I didn't read anything in the quote above saying that a woman menstruating had anything to do with her holiness or lack thereof. If that is their tradition regarding receiving the Holy Mysteries so be it. I still think the reverence they show the Eucharist is leaps and bounds anything I've been witness to in parish churches since 1970. I can assure you of that. What is the Catholic discipline? a one hour fast that people have difficulty keeping? A continual parade of miniskirts and tube topped women distributing/receiving the Holy Mysteries? No comparison.

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    7. I'm saying that there can be a mean between extreme rigor and extreme laxity.

      I think the Catholic Church (and most non-Russian Orthodox) are absolutely right in either abandoning this tradition or never having had it. The whole "representative of our fallen condition" makes no sense at all, since while menstruation is *by nature* part of a being a woman, sickness and death are what we suffer because of the fall, yet I do not see them barring the sick and the dying.

      I also think the Catholic Church is right for not forbidding married folk from marital intimacy for MOST of the year (freely surrendered goods are one thing, and I admire those who can give up this good as Lenten penance, for instance - turning one's spouse into an occasion of sin for 70% or more of the year is another).

      I agree that the Eucharistic fast has become too lax in our discipline. It does NOT mean that Russian Orthodox traditions or disciplines are automatically good simply because they are more rigorous, and simply because they are more extreme.

      I am probably overreacting, because this whole issue gives me an extreme sense of guilt. I feel like if I am ever married again, I'll be constantly infuriating God by not making an effort to eschew marital relations most of the time, or by receiving the Eucharist in an unworthy state. My SD assures me that the Catholic Church does not require this, but the Russians are so insistent on the necessity of their rigor that it makes me very, very afraid to approach the Eucharist. I will end up either almost never receiving communion or almost never being with my wife.

      I guess if I am "lucky" I won't be "cursed" with marriage and will not have to worry about this.

      I am overreacting, and my scruples are extreme, my fears very real, and the love in my heart very little. I am sorry.

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    9. Mercury,

      The discipline of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding reception of the Holy Mysteries is precisely for Russian Orthodox faithful who have managed for centuries to keep that discipline and more importantly to embrace it joyfully and live it. It is what it is. They have managed to retain reverence, respect and transcendence in their Divine Liturgy and having experienced the opposite in most Catholic Churches over the past 40 years there's something to be said for that.

      You are not subject to the discipline of the Russian Orthodox Church. Their Eucharistic discipline has nothing to do with you in your spiritual life. So I fail to understand why it should as such plague you.

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    10. Btw, Catholic practice even in the early 20th century, even in the 19th century, was lax compared to the Russian Orthodox.

      I think the rules as they were prior to Vatican II were good, but nowhere near as extreme as the R.O., or Orthodox in general. Keep in mind that the church does amend things out of prudence.

      They also think it an absolute scandal that Pius X encouraged frequent communion, but we're heretics according to the Orthodox line, so whatever.

      The Jansenists were also very particular about Eucharistic reverence and had a series of rules about it. They were also very rigorous. My point is that that the Orthodox are like the Jansenists (far, far, from it really, since they tend to reject much of Augustine anyway), but simply that "more rigorous" doe snot necessarily mean "better".

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    11. Honestly, I can't imagine a devout Russian Orthodox woman receiving at such a time. So it wouldn't be an issue.

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    12. Remember the film "Carrie"- that was about - well you know. She shouldn't have been at the prom.

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    13. Servus, you are right. It should have no bearing on me. Some of those disciplines have NEVER existed in the Western Church, so not only do they not apply to me, but didn't to my forebears either.

      However, I have read of formerly Orthodox women who were *delighted* to be received into the Catholic Church precisely because they would not be turned down at the Eucharist for that reason.

      And it's not that old of a discipline, and most Orthodox have rejected it.

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  4. My pussy cat is amused...

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