The more I find out about Father Christiaan Kappes, the more I think that he’s a great priest.
- He’s willing to go to the heart of relations between the Greek Orthodox and the Holy See, knowing how to do this, using Saint Thomas Aquinas, who made a superb study about this very topic, introducing the Orthodox to their own tradition, which is, surprise, surprise, that of Catholic Rome. While 99.99% of all other ecumenists sweep difficulties under the carpet, creating greater problems in future times, Father Christiaan goes where others don’t dare to tread. They want niceness. Father wants charity in all truth. I love that. Good on him.
- He’s willing to go to Greece to do this. I backed away from this some years ago, thinking that the Lord had a different trajectory for my life. I had been invited, insistently, to go to a particular House of Studies near Athens to do some post-doctoral studies on the Church Fathers, something which always has incisive ecumenical impact, something which can change the face of nations. Being deep in history is to be Catholic, after all. I almost jumped on the plane, and had even started to get hold of the various modern Greek pronunciations (having had years of Koine), but instead became a chaplain in Lourdes before teaching at the Pontifical College Josephinum. Father Christiaan, however, threw himself into this particular project. Good on him.
- He was willing to get to know his own tradition first, learning the extraordinary form of the liturgy, the other half, if you will, of the Roman Rite. This demonstrates once again his sensititivity to the flow of history, of reverence before the Lord of History. The Orthodox love that. Good on him.
- I could go on, but you get the idea.
And what about his present situation? Good on him! We pray for his safety. I think we’ll be hearing about a bit of heroism on his part in times to come. The Emergency chaplet to the Immaculate Conception would not be out of place in this case.
Of course, as always, the foxhole saying of “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!” is appropriate here as well. I intend to make some further verification phone calls in these next days. Some things have come my way that make for a scenario which answers questions about what happened at the airport and embassy.
A field agent for this case strongly encouraged the continued use of social media to put pressure on concerned parties. I’m going to be a bit more liberal, if you will, in letting comments through the moderation queue. Say whatever you please.