To my mind Forgiveness Vespers is a service wherein the people seek mutual forgiveness as a community that lives a life of prayer and worship together. I'm not sure - beyond extending "forgiveness" to be something like a trite and contrived "forgiveness for our disunity" - how this special and quite personal experience would be fostered by complete strangers looking through stapled photocopies of the service trying to figure out what's going on.
(Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy) - When the blog Red River Orthodox announced a change in format in order to attempt a “liberal engagement with the ‘West,’” many of us were both intrigued with the hopeful possibilities of such an endeavor but troubled at what might actually occur. Now that a number of posts have been published, I would like to take this opportunity to reexamine the notion “liberal engagement” for fear that an authentic “liberal engagement” has not in fact occurred.Complete post here.
In a recent post, Orthodox priest Fr. Oliver Herbel asks why Orthodox Christians would not participate in a suggested joint Orthodox-Catholic service of Forgiveness Vespers. His reply is a vitriolic assertion that Orthodox bishops and priests simply don’t have “the guts” to do so. In referencing Eastern Catholic scholar Adam DeVille’s original suggestion of the idea, we find that he intends it as an effort to “heal the divisions of the dead, and moreover, the memory of those divisions among the living.”
So I ask the question: Is this a true, liberal engagement with “the other”? May Catholics and Orthodox engage each other authentically with such a service? In order to extrapolate this question, we must delve further into the concept of “liberal engagement.”
What does a “liberal engagement” actually look like? I propose we tackle the issue by expressing it in simpler terms, terms that I encountered and embraced while an undergraduate student at a Southern Baptist liberal arts university – the integration of faith and learning...