In a recent post over at the blog Eastern Orthodox Christianity 2.0 entitled St. Gregory, Illuminator of Armenia the author – an ex-Catholic and convert to the Greek Orthodox Church – uses the occasion of the Feast of Saint Gregory of Armenia to touch on the hagiography of our venerable father among the saints.
The post notes that veneration of Saint Gregory the Illuminator is most commonly found and very dear among the Armenian people whose largest church is the Armenian Apostolic Church – a church of the Oriental Orthodox communion that is NOT in communion with the Eastern Orthodox Communion and has not been since the schism that erupted after the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.
Curiously, the opportunity is taken to make the following observation:
We have not been in communion since approximately Chalcedon, even though the Church of Rome now allows communion with Orthodox, Orientals, Assyrians, and Polish National Catholics, under certain circumstances– a permission which some Orthodox regard with suspicion, since it was extended without agreement with us Orthodox, and in full knowledge that Orthodoxy forbids Orthodox to partake of non-Orthodox mysteries / sacraments, and vice-versa.
The seguay into the semantic polemics against the Catholic Church – without any explination or link to the nuanced allowances for communion for non-Catholics that come from true Churches – is an odd and curious one to me. It seems irrelevant to the feast and rather unwarranted in the post. One is left to wonder, why is it brought up?
As often as not, in reading my way through English language texts of Eastern Orthodox scholars, the recurring theme I find (in some writers far more so than others) is an incessant need for contradistinction against the Catholic Church.
Why is this?