Highlights from the week online

Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy?

At ucatholic.com, Brian Holdsworth explained how, after converting to Christianity, he decided between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The decisive point was the Church’s catholicity. “There is a universality to Catholicism that doesn’t exist in the Eastern Orthodox churches. For me to become Eastern Orthodox, I’d have to join a Church with a very specific ethnic or national identity.”

Probably the “most significant” debate in the East-West schism was over authority. “Rome insisted that the bishop of Rome had a unique and universal authority over the entire Church, without which there would be no universal Church, as inherited from the authority of Peter. The Eastern Orthodox side was arguing that the bishop of Rome was a first among equals but only in an honorific way which meant that he had the same authority as the other patriarchs.”

But it was Rome which had stayed consistent. “The East did not continue to treat the Bishop of Rome as a first among equals. In fact, they excommunicated him which seems like a clear violation of their own claim that no autocephalous patriarch has authority over another.”

A classroom story of ethics gone wrong

At The Catholic Thing, David Carlin gave a view from the classroom at his community college, where he teaches a course in ethics. He is used to his students disagreeing with natural-law ethics. “The other day, however, a young man in my class shocked me (actually he amused me) by clearly and frankly defending a theory of morality that I regard as absolutely horrible.

The student, who is “sincere and amiable”, took the following view: “Individuals create their own morality, and therefore what’s right or wrong for you will not necessarily be right or wrong for me.”

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