Posts Tagged ‘Reformation’

Short reflection inspired by St. Theophan the Recluse is here.

(Theophan, sometimes called Theophanes [the original Greek version of his name], was a 19th-century bishop in Russia who retired early from the active episcopate – hence “recluse” – and became an incredible spiritual father and writer!  A real latter-day Father of the Church.  He even wrote an acclaimed book on how to raise children!  And he was glorified by the Moscow Patriarchate at its Council in 1988, its first chance in 70 years, under glasnost in the waning days of Communist rule; for this reason, older printed references to him might not say “Saint.”)

Interesting post from Orthodox Priest Stephen Freeman, a former priest from Anglicanism, specifically addressing issues with Protestantism, but not without insight for Catholics too, featuring our holy father among the saints Irenaeus of Lyons, Gaul/France.

[I’d just offer a small note from my own religious experience/study, but so marginal to his own point that I didn’t think it necessary to post it there: At times and places the so-called Radical Reformation did indeed pose a popular uprising – twice violently, in the Peasants’ Revolt and at the infamous ‘holy experiment’ at Muenster (that’s Germany, not Ireland!) – almost universally vigorously persecuted by both ‘Magisterial’ Protestants and Latins. Many truths commonly held by U.S. Protestants today in fact trace back to these Radicals, not just those of Mennonites, Amish, Brethren, etc. – and Luther, Calvin, et al., are turning over in their graves! To bring things full circle, the RR had little lasting effect in continental Western Europe, but Russian Empress Catherine “the Great” offered some of these a refuge, even virtual states within the Empire, in exchange for them taking up farming. Most of these “Russian Mennonites” now live in the central and western U.S. and Canada. Most of them didn’t intermarry with actual Russians or even learn the Russian language, but ironically, they did administer their colonies and enforce laws; I don’t remember if they ever executed offenders, or just talked about whether they should given their “Christian nonviolence.” I know of at least one Orthodox influence on them though – they make “paskha,” a kind of cheese-loaf, for Easter, whose name is the Greek and Slavic name for Easter, also spelled Pascha.]