BALLGAME, THANKS FOR PLAYING

Monday, August 8th, 2011 | Uncategorized

We’ve just started August but the 2011 Religious Idiot of the Year competition is officially over.  Murray Whyte of the Toronto Star takes down a monster pot:

Though most in the Coptic Orthodox community send their children to Catholic school, they are not Catholic themselves. The differences are slight — they use the same liturgies, though Orthodox Christians differ from Roman Catholics in their belief that the Pope is a human being, not a divine figure — which has meant Coptic Orthodox children most often are sent to Catholic school.

Mad props to Kathy Shaidle.

29 Comments to BALLGAME, THANKS FOR PLAYING

MargaretC
August 8, 2011

Words. Fail. Me.

Confessor
August 8, 2011

Do note that Murray Whyte is the visual arts editor.

That likely means….

First, he probably doesn’t own a Bible or know Christianity from a spirituality ‘happenin’ with giant puppets, dancing girls or guys, smoke (inhaled even), bonfires, chants to the moon, trees, etc.

Second, if he went to art school, he probably agitated and altered his brain on harmful chemical, audial or visual stimuli. Art – visual, verbal or vibes – can have as negative an effect on the brain as some substances.

God tells us to worship only Him, to listen to and obey His Word, to keep our minds on what is good, true, lovely, etc. (Philippians 4:8) – for our own good.

Katherine
August 8, 2011

An abysmally ignorant statement. His editors also should be ashamed.

The article presents an interesting situation, though. It says “the Catholic School Board is committed to providing ‘a learning and working environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity’”. That’s not the same as allowing special status for various minorities. If the schools intend to teach that homosexual practice is morally equal to Christian marriage, or to allow Muslim students to have a Friday prayer service at school, then the Coptic priest has a point. The leader of the Coptic group is urging Coptic parents to keep the pressure on the Catholic school board to keep these outrages from happening.

Paula Loughlin
August 8, 2011

If I recall rightly the requirements for curriculum in Canada is obligatory for all schools not just public ones so Catholic schools have to push the same radical agenda as everyone else.

Daniel aka Fisherman
August 8, 2011

Well, he saw the big “P” in Pope and just took a shot at the significance the capitalization. Anyone could make a simple mistake.

Wait, wait, “P”residing “B”ishop!

;)

Bill2
August 8, 2011

I remember the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen said something like there are about 1 million Americans who hate the Catholic Church and about 50 million who hate what they THINK the Catholic Church is.

Where do these so called journalists get their education, and even more important: Where are the editors? Aren’t they the gatekeepers keeping us safe from the misinformation from bloggers in pajamas?

FW Ken
August 8, 2011

In addition to the obvious, I’m fairly sure (Katherine, correct me if I’m wrong) the Coptic liturgy is nothing like the Catholic liturgy, at least in the Latin Rite, to which the writer is certainly referring. I can’t imagine he’s knowledgeable enough to know about Eastern Rite Catholics.

As to the substantive complaint, if the Catholic schools cave into the homosexualists, I say let the Coptic parents – and the Catholic parents, too – withdraw their kids and let the Catholic schools go bankrupt. It’s what they deserve.

Katherine
August 8, 2011

The Coptic liturgy is in Arabic with some key parts in Coptic, which is the direct descendant of ancient Egyptian, the language spoken by the people who made the pyramids and wrote in hieroglyphs. It also differs from the Latin Rite Catholic liturgy in that it is in shape and sound Orthodox.

As the bloggers at Get Religion point out, many reporters are grossly ignorant about religion. This guy is an extreme case.

Miss Sippi
August 8, 2011

The Copts are not in communion with the Orthodox, for doctrinal reasons that apparently have almost faded away. I’ve been told that there is really no good reason any more for us not to be in communion with each other. But it takes a long time for things to change in either body.

Katherine
August 8, 2011

They’re not in communion with the Eastern Orthodox, Miss Sippi. The church is called the Coptic Orthodox Church. They are one of the Oriental Orthodox churches, and speak of themselves and consider themselves Orthodox. Their written apologetics say that the split was heavily political and I think that may very well be the case. It would be nice to see that wound healed.

Martha
August 8, 2011

“Orthodox Christians differ from Roman Catholics in their belief that the Pope is a human being, not a divine figure”

I’m just going to sit here and look at that sentence and admire it for a bit, mmmkay?

I rather imagine this gentleman heard, somewhere, the title “Vicar of Christ” for the Pope and imagines it means that the Pope is semi- (or even fully?) divine, as a kind of stand-in on earth for Christ.

*sigh* Oh, well, it makes a change from being called the Anti-Christ, I guess?

Christopher Hathaway
August 8, 2011

Well of course such religious bigotry/illiteracy/idiocy is to be expected from newspapers. It’s all a bit of dog-bites-man sort of thing. What is actually shocking is the spactacularly bad writing.

which has meant Coptic Orthodox children most often are sent to Catholic school

This would be a perfectly natural piece of information to impart as a consequence of their strong similarity with Roman Catholicism, if that exact fact hadn’t been the subject of the opening sentence in the paragraph. Clunky doesn’t begin to describe such writing.

FW Ken
August 8, 2011

Thank you, Katherine and Miss Sippi -

Of course, in the broadest outlines, all Christian liturgy is “the same”, since we are all seeking to do the same things, drawing from the same history. We in this case would be Catholic, Orthodox (Eastern and Oriental), Anglo-catholics, and (I think) some Lutherans. And that’s my effort at synthesis for today.

The Oriental Orthodox indeed broke from the main body of the Church in the wake of the Council of Calcedon. My church history prof did indeed regard the break as much cultural and political as theological, although, of course, theology played a part, specifically monophysitism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Chalcedon

[...] Divine PopePublished Monday, August 8, 2011 A.D. | By Paul Zummo // Hat tip to the Midwest Conservative Journal for finding what might be the dumbest thing ever written by a journalist about Catholicism. [...]

Just Visiting
August 8, 2011

Not to be picky, but is Mr. Whyte aware that the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is His Holiness POPE Shenouda III?

I’m just askin’…

Mark
August 8, 2011

I believe most Orthodox and Copts now regard the split as a schism rather than a genuine difference of theology. The challenge in reconciling it has do with things like the Orthodox having liturgical commemorations of Chalcedon and subsequent councils as “ecumenical” while the Copts repudiate those councils; and the Copts venerate as saints certain individuals (such as Dioscorus who have been condemned as heretics by the Orthodox.

I can’t see how that could take more than a couple more centuries to resolve, but what do I know.

Ed the Roman
August 8, 2011

As Richard Hammond mentioned on Top Gear, at art school you drink and pursue women. So we shouldn’t expect too much from Whyte.

FW Ken
August 8, 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Orthodox_Church_of_Alexandria

Note that besides the largest, non-Calcedonian Coptic Church, but also a Calcedonian Eastern Orthodox group, and a Catholic Church that is ethnically Coptic.

I can’t find it substantiated, but I believe there are protestant (maybe Presbyterian?) Copts, as well.

Katherine
August 9, 2011

Hmmm. Copts are both a church and an ethnic and cultural group in Egypt. Some few have departed the Coptic Orthodox Church and joined Protestant groups, and there is a Catholic presence in Egypt as well.

Pope Shenouda’s episcopal chair is now in Cairo, in St. Mark’s Cathedral, where relics of St. Mark now rest, having been restored to the Coptic Church in the mid-twentieth century. The relics were “rescued” from Arabs in the ninth century by Venetians and rested for centuries in St. Mark’s basilica in Venice.

Janjan
August 9, 2011

Wow, you mean the Pope’s human? Does that mean that bears sh%t in the woods, too? I am so confused.

Deacon Michael D. Harmon
August 9, 2011

As Ziva David noted on NCIS, the proper form of the rhetorical query is, “Do bears SIT in the woods?”

After reading this, we can now add, “Hey! Is the Pope Coptic?”

Which will lead to a new reality TV show, “Copts.” Its theme song: “Bad boys, bad boys, what ya gonna do, what ya gonna do when they come for you? Go to confession, of course.”

The Marxist version will be, “Monophysites, unite! Oh, that’s right, I forgot….”

Bill in Ottawa
August 9, 2011

Catholic schools in Ontario are publicly funded and are therefore required to follow the Ontario standard curriculum which has many elements in it that a faithful Christian would find problematic. They do, however, pay some attention to Catholic teaching as well. This is a step up from the Public school system which does its best to ignore religion or to do a form of secularist syncretism.

As far as the odd comments of the writer, in my father’s generation, Catholic churches were few and far between in Southern Ontario. On-Tory-o was very white, very Orange and very insular. My mother, a French speaking Protestant Quebecker, was automatically assumed to be Catholic and when it was found out she was Anglican and a member of the Orange Lodge, there was a celebratory libation offered. Many of the older Protestants in Ontario have some very deep seated misinformation about the Catholic Church that is matched, unfortunately, by deep seated misinformation about Protestants. That said, it would be abysmal fact checking for a journalist but I don’t know that the Star hires any of those.

[...] Divine Pope Hat tip to the Midwest Conservative Journal for finding what might be the dumbest thing ever written by a journalist about Catholicism. [...]

Martial Artist
August 9, 2011

@Ed the Roman,

Your information on Mr. Hammond’s apparent educational background goes a long way to explaining a number of uncertainties I had harbored about him since first becoming aware of Top Gear. Thank you for the info.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Martial Artist
August 9, 2011

@Bill in Ottawa,

Shouldn’t that have been “a French-speaking Québécoise?”

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Intercessor
August 9, 2011

The Orthodox break from Rome and visa versa has many reasons over many centuries. Remember Emperor Constantine built what is now Istanbul in the 4th century to protect Christianity from the shocking decline of the Roman empire. Also there is a little 1,700 year spat over the Filioque and its origin that Rome imposed as doctrine within Christianity.
Intercessor

David Fischler
August 9, 2011

As of 7 pm EDT this evening, this article had 35 comments. Only ONE–by Therese Z, a Catholic who I presume if the same person going by that moniker who I’ve seen comment at Mark Shea’s joint, who pointed out the stupidity of the author. No one else so much as noticed, it seems.

FW Ken
August 9, 2011

Also, they have taken out the stupid part.

Though most in the Coptic Orthodox community send their children to Catholic school, they are not Catholic themselves. The differences are slight, which has meant Coptic Orthodox children most often are sent to Catholic school.

I would still say the differences are more than “slight”, but hey, at least the pope’s not divine. That would be the pope of Rome, not the pope of Cairo.

The comments are fascinating, the usual mix of gay and secular brownshirts, but at least some Christian response is still permitted.

:-)

Tom V.
August 12, 2011

Looks like the Star got the message. The sentence about the Pope has been deleted from the online article.

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