While I have not been uncritical of Pope Benedict, when Rod Dreher begins pontificating -sorry- about him, and Catholicism in general, it is beyond annoying (Dreher recently pronounced Benedict’s pontificate a “failure”).
I wanted to write about this, and have started about a dozen times. Every time what comes out is snarky in the extreme. It would be easy to brutalize Mr Dreher; after all his very public record since leaving the Roman communion for Orthodoxy makes him an easy target.
Note that unlike more conservative Catholics I do not call him an “apostate”; surely that is not the term for someone who has joined a church which holds to the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the unbroken Church, possesses all the means of sanctification, and is viewed by Catholics, at least most of the time, as a “sister Church”. Nor is it as unassuming as “joining a different jurisdiction”, which is how many Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox see it. But at the least, in light of his personal history in his new church, one would think that he would just lay low, keep his eyes and ears open, and his mouth shut.
This may be coming. While he seems to have landed on his feet after his missteps, he announced in the latest issue of The American Conservative, where he is an unlikely senior editor, that he is involved, in his Louisiana small town, with an Orthodox mission composed entirely of converts from evangelicalism. In his mid-40s, Mr Dreher is the eldest of the bunch.
I have a number of friends who did this and every one of them was totally traumatized.
None of the missions survive.
He may be headed for the knock upside the head that the Almighty reserves for those who need it (and I speak as one who has gotten that knock more than once).
Lent began a few days ago for those of us who are Byzantine Catholic, and yesterday for my Roman brethren (and not for weeks for the Orthodox this year, alas). I will do what I preach and pray for Mr Dreher:
For the servant of God, Rodney, for his health and salvation and acquiring of wisdom, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
I hope that was not too snarky.