A Rant about the Constant Orthodox/SSPX Comparisons I Get
I got another one yesterday. And I've just about had it.
So most of you Roman Catholics seem to either find:
a) the SSPX preferable to Eastern Orthodoxy when converting from a non-Roman Catholic faith
b) the Eastern Orthodox no better than the SSPX (both schismatic, cut from the True Vine, etc)
Well, I did a rudimentary comparison between the two, and here's what initial findings show:
Founded: Pentecost, 33 AD
Rite: Byzantine, "Western"
Liturgical Music: Byzantine, Kievan, Znamenny, Valaam, Georgian, Carpatho-Russian, Galician, Gregorian (Western Rite Orthodox)
No. of Adherents: 225 million
Majority Religion: Belarus (80%), Bulgaria (82.6%), Cyprus (81%), Georgia (83.9%), Greece (98%), Macedonia (66%), Moldova (93.3%), Montenegro (74.24%), Romania (86.7%), Russia (80%), Serbia (84.1%), Ukraine (83%)
Significant Religious Minority: Bosnia & Herzegovina (36%), Croatia (4.4%), Estonia (13.9%), Finland* (1.1%), Kazakhstan (7.8%), Kyrgyzstan (10%), Latvia (6.6%), Lithuania (4.9%), Turkmenistan (9%), Uzbekistan (9%)
Notable Saints: Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Basil the Great, John Climacus, Clement of Alexandria, Nicholas of Myra, Athanasius of Alexandria, John Cassian, Anthony the Great, Maximus the Greek, Cyril of Alexandria, Dorotheus of Gaza, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor, John Chrysostom, Sava of Serbia, Gregory Nazianzus, Barlaam of the Kiev Caves, John of Damascus, Dionysius the Areopagite, Seraphim of Sarov, Basil the Confesor, Dimitri of Rostov, Sergius of Radonezh, Olympia the Deaconess, etc
Notable Religious Contributions: First seven Ecumenical Councils, iconography, hesychasm, foolishness for Christ, etc
Notable Literary Works: Philokalia, The Way of a Pilgrim, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, The Spiritual Life
Notable Cultural Contributions: Cyrillic alphabet (used by 11 languages), architecture (Byzantine, Muscovite Baroque, Neo-Byzantine, Russian Revival, etc), Byzantine art, Classical Antique heritage
Notable Culinary Contributions: Paskha, kulich, kutia, kolliva, etc
Notable Churches: Hagia Sophia (Constantinople), St Basil's Cathedral (Moscow), Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Sofia), etc
* Has national church status
Society of St Pius X
Liturgical Music: Gregorian
No. of Adherents: 150,000 (approx.)
Majority Religion: None
Significant Religious Minority: None; Ecône probably
Notable Saints: None
Notable Religious Contributions: Highlighting the dangers of Modernism & the Novus Ordo mass, insight into what *exactly* constitues a valid mass/whether excommunication was incurred latae sententiae during consecration of bishops (only in 1988), directly/indirectly influencing the issue of Ecclesia Dei/Summorum Pontificum
Notable Literary Works: 100 Years of Modernism, Against the Heresies, Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre
Notable Cultural Contributions: First to put lace on Byzantine vestment (no wait, that was the Greek-Catholics)
Notable Culinary Contributions: Ask Kenny
Notable Churches: St Nicolas du Chardonnet (Paris)
By their fruits, you shall know them, so the good book tells us. I think the results are clear. There is NO comparison. Any comparison done to liken the Orthodox to the SSPX in relation to the Roman Catholic Church is clearly derogatory/offensive and WILL incite anger - so if you absolutely must say it, stay clear of cossacks.
If you are a Roman Catholic who believes points a) and/or b) mentioned earlier, congratulations - you are no better than a racist. You think the Roman rite (it doesn't matter whether it's the Novus Ordo or Tridentine mass) is the ONLY worthy, divinely approved liturgy. The Byzantine liturgies are good too, but only for strange people with beards from the forests of East Europe. Worth a visit, but it's really not for decent, English-speaking, educated folk. Oh, and really, who gives a @#$% about the theological and liturgical contribution of the Orthodox East - heck, who cares about doctrine these days - because we know that once you sever that all-important, life-or-death link with the bishop of Rome, you ain't worth nothing.