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we-are-nYesterday, as most will recall, we mutually pledged to give up asperity for Lent on this blog. Today, I found myself biting my tongue (already) to keep my promise to us and to God. Here’s a bit of what Chalcedon said yesterday

In that spirit, as readers of the comments boxes will have seen, we are going to try to give up asperity for Lent – that is the blog’s collective sacrifice for Lent. because we welcome all here, there are times, and themes, which encourage a certain amount of controversy. We are going to see whether we can avoid that for the next six weeks, and, instead, encourage each other to see the image of Christ in each of us. There is not one of us without sin, and we all partake of a tendency to make up for that by pointing out the sins of others. We shall try, harder, to recall our own sinfulness, and to practice that forgiveness which God extends to all who truly repent.:

In reference to the atrocity in Libya and the Popes response i would again refer to Chalcedon in his post Pray for the Copts, adding Libya

There are reports of attacks on Copts in Suez, Fayoum, Minya, Sohag, Assiut & Beni-Suef.  This is turning into a catastrophe.  I long ago abandoned any hope that the British and American Governments would do anything to help the Copts, but now it seems that a disaster is unfolding. These Christians have borne faithful witness under centuries of persecution, and continue to do so.  May the Lord have mercy. Our Lady of Zeitoun have mercy.

We have always allowed open debate here but, we have always recognized that can cause controversy. But we have always welcomed a cross-section of all Christian denominations here as well as those attempting to learn about our Faith.

Personally, i think the Copts have a fair case to claim that we in the west have modified the Faith once received while they haven’t. Your mileage may vary of course but, anybody trying to make the point that this church which has been persecuted as long as any, is not Christian is simply out of line.

Let’s close with a bit more from Chalcedon, in a recent post:

It is far from clear, indeed so much so that I should be intrigued to see the exegesis which says it, that in wanting us to be one, Our Lord was referring to ‘petty animosities among the brethren’. Schism is not a good thing, but the Church has always been able to live with it and to work to bring erring brothers and sisters back into full communion; heresy is another matter, of course. But then it is precisely the nature and depth of the heresy which true ecumenism explores; for us simply to assume we understand what, say, the Copts mean, has turned out to be a bad assumption. Discussion with the non-Chalcedonianshas been the most fruitful area of ecumenism, although I doubt many in the West know it. It is clear enough that they never have been, as we claimed, Monophysites. When we used to hurl anathemata at them on the basis we thought they were, it achieved naught; now we have stopped doing it, they have stopped doing it to us, and we are beginning to explore how we can go forward to heal the old schism. That is worth the hours and years it has taken; in fifty years we have advanced further than we had in 1500 of behaving as QV seems to suggest we ought. For my part, I am with Einstein, in defining stupidity as doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.

That is the meaning of my statement that there is very little point in insisting that we are THE Church. If we are, we know it, there is no need to sound like a braggart, it poisoned relations with the non-Chalcedonians in 451 and ever since, and with the Eastern Orthodox since 1054. If we are, as we should be, secure in who we are, let us behave as Christ would want. Let us listen, as he did, to the Samaritan woman, and not behave to her as the Jews would have.

I think that says it all. Anybody know a good surgeon to sew my tongue back on?