We have deep respect for many traditional Roman Catholics like Josef Pieper, Dr Russell Kirk, Louis de Bonald, and others. And we appreciate good-hearted folks like Fr Longenecker for trying to enculturate Roman Catholicism within the South:
However, to use Fr Longenecker’s fried chicken imagery, for the Southern fryer to follow the road to Roman Catholicism would end with that bird being burned to an unappetizing crisp. This is because of the loss of balance in Roman Catholicism that leads to onesidedness (thus overcooking one side of the chicken!), to extremes of different kinds, which have manifested themselves in various ways within Roman Catholicism:
--in the self-wounding practiced by Francis of Assisi, Angela of Foligno, and others:
--in the sterile, life-strangling rationalism of the Scholastics;
--in the flirtatious attitude towards God of Theresa of Lisieux, etc.:
--in the overemphasis on unity/uniformity that follows from making the bishop of Rome the replacement of Christ as Head of the Church on Earth; its consequences were well described by Fr Andrew Phillips, though he was referring to another subject when he said, ‘This imperialism is marked by the imposition of a single language and a single culture, centralisation and bureaucracy. This is inevitably part of a controlling tyranny, of the bullying and intimidation of both clergy and people at the grassroots. By creating fear and injustice, it hopes to obtain the property and wealth of the people, their church buildings. By mistreating the clergy, this imperialist centralism discourages the missionary impulse, often persecuting any missionary initiative in the name of control and ‘protocols’. Such a mentality is death to the soul and death to the spiritual life of the Church: imperialism is always spiritual death.’ (http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/the-inevitable-struggle-for-the-inevitable-local-church/)
In this age when relativism has taken its place as one of the cardinal virtues, it upsets folks to speak plainly about truth and falsehood. But that is what the South needs to hear when it comes to Roman Catholicsm (and Protestantism). In this wise, the Holy Elder Ambrose of Optina has some important words that ought to be heeded:
In vain do some of the Orthodox marvel at the current propaganda of the Roman Church, at the feigned selflessness and activity of her missionaries and at the zeal of the Latin sisters of mercy, and incorrectly ascribe to the Latin Church such importance, as if by her apostasy from the Orthodox Church, the latter remained longer such, and has the necessity to seek unification with the former. On rigorous examination, this opinion proves to be false; and the energetic Latin activity not only does not evoke surprise, but, on the contrary, arouses deep sorrow in the hearts of right-thinking people, who understand the truth.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, from apostolic times until now, observes unchanged and unblemished by innovations both the Gospel and Apostolic teachings, as well as the Tradition of the Holy Fathers and resolutions of the Ecumenical Councils, at which God-bearing men, having gathered from throughout the entire world, in a conciliar manner composed the divine Symbol of the Orthodox Faith [the Creed], and having proclaimed it aloud to the whole universe, in all respects perfect and complete, forbade on pain of terrible punishments any addition to it, any abridging, alteration, or rearrangement of even one iota of it. The Roman Church departed long ago into heresy and innovation. As far back as Basil the Great, certain bishops of Rome were condemned by him in his letter to Eusebius of Samosata, "They do not know and do not wish to know the truth; they argue with those who proclaim the truth to them, and assert their heresy."
Apostle Paul commands us to separate ourselves from those damaged by heresy and not to seek union with them, saying, A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself (Tit. 3:10-11). The catholic [universal] Orthodox Church, not two times, but multiple times tried to bring to reason the local Roman Church; but, despite all the just attempts at persuading the former, the latter remained persistent in its erroneous manner of thinking and acting.
Already back in the seventh century, the false philosophizing that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son was conceived in the Western Church. At first, certain popes rose up against this new reasoning, calling it heretical. Pope Damasus proclaims in a Council resolution: "He who thinks rightly about the Father and the Son but improperly about the Holy Spirit is a heretic" (Encyclical § 5). Other popes, such as Leo II and John VIII, also affirmed the same thing. But most of their successors, having been carried away by rights of domination and finding many worldly benefits in this for themselves, dared to modify the Orthodox dogma about the procession of the Holy Spirit, contrary to the decisions of the seven Ecumenical Councils, and also contrary to the clear words of the Lord Himself in the Gospel: Which proceedeth from the Father (Jn. 15:26).
But just as one mistake--which is not considered a mistake--always brings another one in its train, and one evil begets another, so the same happened with the Roman Church. This incorrect philosophizing that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son, having just barely appeared in the West, already then gave birth to other similar offspring, and instituted little by little other novelties, for the most part contradictory to the commandments of our Savior clearly portrayed in the Gospel, such as: sprinkling instead of immersion in the mystery of Baptism, exclusion of laypersons from the Divine Chalice and the use of unleavened bread instead of leavened bread in the Eucharist, and excluding from the Divine Liturgy the invocation of the All-Holy and Life-Giving and All-Effectuating Spirit. It also introduced novelties that violated the ancient Apostolic rites of the Catholic Church, such as: the exclusion of baptized infants from Chrismation and reception of the Most-Pure Mysteries, the exclusion of married men from the priesthood, the declaration of the Pope as infallible and as the locum tenens of Christ, and so on. In this way, it overturned the entire ancient Apostolic office that accomplishes almost all the Mysteries and all the ecclesiastical institutions--the office, which before had been preserved by the ancient holy and Orthodox Church of Rome, being at that time the most honored member of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (Encyclical § 5, item 12).
Nevertheless, the main heresy of the Roman Church is not in subject matter, but in action; there is the fabricated dogma of supremacy, or rather, prideful striving for dominance of the bishops of Rome over the four other Eastern Patriarchs. For the sake of this dominance, supporters of the Roman Church placed their pope above the canons and foundations of the Ecumenical Councils, believing in his infallibility. But history truthfully testifies as to just what this papal infallibility is. About Pope John XXIII, it was stated in the decision of the Council of Constance, which deposed this pope: "It has been proved that Pope John is an inveterate and incorrigible sinner, and he was and is an unrighteous man, justly indicted for homicide, poisoning, and other serious crimes; a man who often and persistently before various dignitaries claimed and argued that the human soul dies and burns out together with the human body, like souls of animals and cattle, and that the dead will by no means resurrect in the last day." The lawless acts of Pope Alexander VI and his sons were so monstrous that, in the opinion of his contemporaries, this pope was trying to establish on Earth the kingdom of satan, and not the Kingdom of God. Pope Julius II reveled in the blood of Christians, constantly arming--for his own purposes--one Christian nation against another (Spiritual Conversation, No. 41, 1858). There are many other examples, testifying to the great falls and fallibility of popes, but there is no time to talk about them now. With such historical evidence of its impairment through heresy and of the falls of its popes, is it warranted for the papists to glory in the false dignity of the Roman Church? Is it just that they should abase the Orthodox Eastern Church, whose infallibility is based not on any one representative, but on the Gospel and Apostolic teachings and on the canons and decisions of the seven Ecumenical and nine Local Councils? At these Councils were God-inspired and holy men, gathered from the entire Christian world, and they established everything relating to the requirements and spiritual needs of the Church, according to the Holy Scriptures. So, do the papists behave soundly, who, for the sake of worldly goals, place the person of their pope above the canons of the Ecumenical Councils, considering their pope as more than infallible?
For all the stated reasons, the Catholic Eastern Church severed its communion with the local Church of Rome, which had fallen away from the truth and from the canons of the catholic Orthodox Church. Just as The Roman bishops had begun with pridefulness, they are also ending with pridefulness. They are intensifying their argument that allegedly the Orthodox Catholic Church fell away from their local Church. . . .
The rest is at https://orthochristian.com/63657.html .
The Southern hen won’t reach the perfection of crispiness, juiciness, spiciness, etc., outside the kitchen of the Orthodox Church, however hard the other religious cooks may try. For the Master Chef and His true apprentices are found only there. Put yourself in their holy and skillful hands, Dixieland!
A very helpful summary of the differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics:
Also, a couple of related videos:
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!