Tuesday, September 11, 2018

“The Imperative of the Imperium” - An Article on First Things by Shawn Tribe

I am sure that many of our readers saw an article recently published on First Things by Fr Jay Scott Newman of the diocese of Charleston, South Carolina, entitled “The End of the Imperial Episcopate”; it attracted a good deal of comment on the original site, and was linked by several of the major catholic aggregators. The jist of it was to argue that in response to the present crisis, (more accurately, the revelation of the depth and breadth of a crisis that has been going on for a very long time), the Church needs to divest itself of the vestiges of what it supposedly inherited from the Roman Empire, “(e)xalted titles and elaborate uniforms ... colored sashes, buttons, piping, and capes...”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kiev-Halych, wearing a black mantiya before entering a church for the celebration of the Divine LiturgyThe mantiya is similar to the Western cappa magna, but the use of it is not as restricted, since it may be worn by all members of the monastic clergy.
Yesterday, our founding editor Shawn Tribe published a response to Fr Newman, also on First Things, entitled “The Imperative of the Imperium”, in which he argues, correctly, in my estimation, that “the problems Newman describes in his piece are not caused by titles, dress, or the ‘imperium’—they aren’t even problems limited to bishops. These are personality probles founded in particular individuals and their particular psychological makeup—problems that will emerge whether they are wearing black, purple, red, white, or blue jeans for that matter. If we wish to eliminate these issues in the Church—as we all surely do—we don’t need to start searching for a new tailor, we need to start searching for a better screening process. ... If we want to successfully renew the episcopacy, the priesthood, and religious life, we need to do everything we can to accentuate and reclaim (their) identity and purpose—not enact reforms that minimize it even further. ” Click over to First Things to read the whole article.

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