Review of ‘Orthodox Readings of Aquinas’ by Marcus Plested

Dylan Pahman [Note: A version of this review was published in The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 184-187. Published here with permission.] ORTHODOX READINGS OF AQUINAS. By Marcus Plested. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 276. $99.00 Hard Cover, ISBN: 978-0-19-965065-1. The encounter between the works of Thomas Aquinas and the Orthodox Church is often told in a…

One Quote from St. Ignatius Converted this Guy to Catholicism?

I happened upon this article today. Here’s an excerpt: Like St. Paul before him, St. Ignatius, in his capacity as Bishop of Antioch, is writing with authority against those who break off from the Church founded by Christ. Anyone, says Ignatius, who walks in heresy—that is, against the teachings of Ignatius and the other appointed Bishops—is, alarmingly, “out of sympathy with the…

Is Orthodoxy Really United?: A Question from a Reader

I recently received the following question from a reader (slightly edited to remove identifying details): I am aware of one Orthodox church parish leaving one Orthodox group to go to another Orthodox group because of some issue. Doesn’t this kind of dispel the idea of the Orthodox being a unified church organization as it is in the case of the Roman Catholics?…

Did the Ecumenical Patriarch say that the Church is divided?: Response to an Anonymous Greek Orthodox Priest

An anonymous piece by a self-identified Greek Orthodox priest entitled “On the Recent Events in Jerusalem and their Ecclesiological Underpinnings” has recently been circulating in response to the recent meeting in Jerusalem by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis, especially regarding certain statements by the Ecumenical Patriarch about the Church being “divided in time” and its ecclesiological ramifications. It’s been republished in…

The Doctrine of Transubstantiation in the Orthodox Church

Does the Orthodox Church believe in “transubstantiation” (μετουσίωσις in Greek) with regards to the Eucharist? Or is that only used in the Latin (Roman Catholic) church? There’s certainly a lot of confusion and conflicting information out there, so let’s take a closer look. As a long-time blogger, I can vouch for the necessity of extending grace towards a writer when they are…

Dancing Bishops Greet the Pope (and Other Such Nonsense)

Even if I were somehow able to be convinced of Rome’s unique dogmas, stuff like the above is one of the main reasons I could never become a Roman Catholic. I have been told by Rome’s apologists that these kinds of things are really just “abuses” and that the “true” culture and worship of Rome shouldn’t be like this. But if a…

“A Premodern Sacramental Eclectic”?: Evangelicals Reaching for Tradition

An Evangelical friend who is interested in Orthodoxy sent this link to me: Ten years ago I was a poverty-stricken Christian…and I didn’t even know it. My poverty was theological and it was the sad consequence of my arrogant sectarianism. By restricting my Christianity to the narrow confines of modern charismatic evangelicalism I suffered from a self-inflicted theological poverty. I needed the…

Did Pope Francis say everyone will be saved by doing good?

Enormous theological ignorance and bad reading exploded onto the scene this week: Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics (An earlier version had this headline: “Pope Francis Says All Who Do Good Are Redeemed – Atheists included.”) (Huffington Post) Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus,…

Should I want everyone to become Orthodox?

I recently ran across on Facebook a group named “Catholic & Orthodox: Steps Towards a Reunited Church,” which naturally interested me since I am, among other things, keen to understand how Orthodoxy compares and relates with Rome and vice versa. It’s always hard to figure out exactly what the character of these groups is at first blush, even from reading their official…

Media Discovers Episcopus Vagans at Vatican, Film at 11

Imagine trying to explain to your average reporter—even a religion reporter—what an episcopus vagans is. Those of us who work in “the religion biz” are frequently reminded that the press just doesn’t get religion, and in the case of the “prankster” “fake bishop” who recently made an amusing appearance at the Vatican, the press did not fail to live up to its…