Every time I see a blogger suddenly discover that the Church used to do things differently, and that Her refusal to resume the ways of old is a sure proof of Her current wickedness, especially if the ways of old involve dressing up, I think of a fellow blogger who blogged all the way through his conversion to Orthodoxy in a way that left most of us behind but acutely aware of how much the struggle took from him. I cannot remember a single time that he mentioned aesthetic reasons for leaving Rome, and he swam the Bosphorous against every current imaginable: unlike others, I do not think he flounced once. Very tentatively, he seems to have reopened The Undercroft.
There was a group of us in the period just after the election of Pope Benedict XVI who congregated around the forum on The Universe's website. It was an exciting time, and what some of us realised was a time in which the seismic shift of the second half of the twentieth century would begin to be reversed. One poster stood out in an indefatigable mission to fight cant: cant from the Vatican II groupies, cant from the trads, cant from the SSPXistas, even if the SSPX was where his journey had temporarily left him beached. Coincident with the final demise of the trade in which he had served his apprentiship and which had also left him beached, he scorched the forum every time he spotted the vacuity of the pious platitudes which some of its denizens were wont to spout; so much so that after highlighting one more time something crass posted by the Universe's editor, he eventually became the first forum member to be banned!
But he had already discovered blogger.com and had begun to express himself and to encourage one or two of us to follow him from afar. He also wrote the most affecting piece I have ever read on a blog, here.
Only the Orthodox have the right to challenge the Roman Church from the standpoint of Tradition, and while I believe that their challenge has at its core a flaw, it is a challenge which all Catholics should acknowledge and engage with.
I hope Anagnostis' return to the blogosphere will be to do a bit more than simply comment on the weak points in some of the arguments we have been posting, and to challenge us with what he has learned. But just one post like the one above, or its companion piece here, and I at least will be very, very happy that he is back.