Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The West That Could Have Been, Part 2: Unity in the Orthodox Faith

With Church practices thus set on a path to unification, it remained for hierarchical unity to be forged in the Church.  The pious yet weak archbishop of Canterbury, St. Deusdedit, reposed the same year as the Synod of Whitby.  The pope of Rome replaced him with a venerable Greek from Tarsus, who would become the first hierarch to preside over a synod of bishops governing all the Anglo-Saxon Church.  St. Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury (+690), brought with him to Britain an abundance of knowledge and culture gathered from across the Byzantine-Roman Church, in a refined Orthodox form opposed to the monothelite heresy holding sway in the East.  For over twenty years, he taught the people, traveled widely, held councils, consecrated bishops, and everywhere established canonical norms, so that there was unity and harmony in the Anglo-Saxon Church as never before.  St. Bede would write, “Never had there been such happy times as these since the English settled in Britain.”

In such an environment shone forth one of the holiest of English saints, St. Cuthbert, bishop and abbot of Lindisfarne (+687).  Raised in the Northumbrian Church, he became a repository of the grace of both the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions, and as such provided a bridge of reconciliation that forged a spiritual unity among the people, complementing the canonical unity achieved by St. Theodore.  As a hesychastic hermit, he attained the heights of humility, prayer and love, and as an archpastor he worked such copious miracles as to be compared with the likes of St. Gregory the Wonderworker and St. Martin of Tours.

--Fr Geoffrey Korz, Saint Herman Calendar 2010: Orthodox Saints of Anglo-Saxon England, Platina, Cal., pgs. 3-4


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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