Monday, May 17, 2010

Ethiopian Excess

Most embarrassingly, owing to an incident some centuries back when a Jesuit was briefly Patriarch of Ethiopia and tried to forcibly Romanize his horrified flock, the nickname for Catholics in Ethiopia is "Enemies of Mary"!

What in Catholicism seemed so anti-Marian?  Well, consider the monastic dispute between the Tigrenses (monks of Tigre) and Dabra-libanenses (monks of Dabra-Lebanon?)...  (I am relying on Gordillo's Compendium Theologiæ Orientalis (Rome, 1950), so forgive me for imperfectly rendering his Latin.)

The first-named votaries denied Our Lady the worship of latria (thanks be), and adhered to the formula "To the Theotokos honour and glory agrees, and to her Son worship agrees" – a formula known for short as "and to her Son", wa-la-Waldâ.  The second group, however, preferred instead to say "To the Theotokos, together with her Son, worship agrees" (!) – or "together with her Son", za-mysla Waldâ, for short.  Thanks be to God, Who thus preserved the Ethiopians from entire Mariolatry, King John IV ruled in favour of the first opinion.  It is distressing, though, that matters ever came to such a pass.

Such ignorant error is only comparable to the Coptic error of the middle ages that made confessing to a thurible (!) an acceptable substitute for the Sacrament of Confession...

(I can think of some Traddies who'd just love an excuse to take up the latter!)

1 comment:

Ben said...

I may have mentioned this before, but could you change the blog settings so that the entirety of your posts are visible in the RSS feed, and not just the titles? Love the blog.