To those of us Easterns, the name 'Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida' needs no introduction - this was the fool whose ill-temper and pride was the catalyst for the breaking of communion between the Roman and Constantinopolitan Churches in 1054. I haven't yet found where he is buried - I promise to spit on it when it is found.
I propose a 'Cardinal Humbert Prize' for Latins who say silly and ignorant things about the Eastern Churches. Readers are of course, welcome to submit entries at any time.
The current holder of the Cardinal Humbert Prize has to be one Elinor, who runs Mommentary
. A while ago, there was a deeply offensive article in the Straits Times of Singapore that used the derogatory term 'Uniate' and I took exception to that - hence this post
. Behold the comments here
that this Elinor made on that entry:Don't be silly. "Uniate" is not a derogatory term by any measure. It merely reflects a fact, that the churches so designated - such as the Maronites, Melkites, Copts, and so forth - have been united with the Roman Catholic Church. I never have understood why members of these churches should object to a word that only means "not schismatic anymore", but the foolish qualms of those who do object are not good enough reason to deprive the rest of us of a useful and efficient expression.
Unbelievable. Naturally, I replied: Dear Elinor, thank you for your comments. I must point out however, that the term is considered DEEPLY offensive by those to whom it is applied. At the risk of arguing in a circle, "uniate" is an offensive word because the great majority of those to whom it is applied are offended by it. Since polite people address and refer to others by the names or technical designations which said others prefer, within some semblance of reason, the mere fact that the use of this word is perceived as offensive is reason enough to avoid it.
Would one dream of referring to those of African origin by the term 'negroes' simply because they are dark of colour? The same goes for the terms 'Romanist' and 'Papist' - both of which are used as derogatory terms.
Those of us who are Eastern Catholics consider the term offensive because our Churches (note capital C, not lower-case) established communion with Rome, we were not 'united'. Besides, we are Eastern Catholics - we are no less Catholic than the Romans and do not require a special name. No one would dream of calling the Romans 'Uniate' simply because they were in communion with us.
Ignorant Latins who know nothing of our traditions and ways have no place pontificating on the matter - particularly in such a tone. I propose that it is your sort of mindset that is, in truth, 'silly' and 'foolish', to quote your own words.
This is the same sort of mindset that I found on Sunday in a book entitled 'My Catholic Faith'
that one of the boys I'm training in chant picked up from the local SSPX (spit spit) chapel. The book, talking about the punishment to heretics and schismatics, in the same paragraph that talks about the death of Arius and Nestorius, mentions that Constantinople fell to the Turks on the feast of Pentecost, 'the feast of the same Holy Ghost about whom they had doubts'.
Someone's making it up as they go along - Constantinople fell on Tuesday, 29th May 1453. Tuesday couldn't have been Pentecost in ANYBODY's calendar. Any Latin apologist who uses that argument is at best a fool and at worst a malicious liar.
Then again, Latins making things up (history, documents, interpretations, symbolism) as they go along is nothing new - from the Donation of Constantine to the 'extra ecclesia nulla salus'
of Boniface VIII to the ridiculous Pastor Aeternus
of Pius IX (note I most emphatically do NOT accord him the status of a Beatus). Semper Eadem (ever the same) - yeah, right.
Any Latin who wishes to protest this post - please tell me the origin and meaning of the light slap to the cheek administered to the confirmand by the bishop at Confirmation in the Roman Rite. If you're going to tell me it represents willingness to suffer for the Gospel and for Christ - thank you very much, you've just confirmed what I said about Latins making it up.
(Kenny, Norman, Michael and Royston - I told you the origin of this already, so you're disqualified)
Ok. Rant over.