Coffee with Sr. Vassa: St. Basil and His Inconsistency

Today I would like to reflect on what I find is St. Basil's most striking quality…. his inconsistency.
Nun Vassa (Larin) | 25 September 2014

While being very theologically precise and uncompromising concerning truth and faith, he often demonstrated a remarkable inconsistency in the area of liturgical and canonical practice of the sake of Church unity. That is, he didn’t insist on his own opinions and practices if they could be surrendered without a sacrifice of truth. For example, perhaps surprising for some of us, he didn’t insist that certain heretics be re-baptized when they were accepted into the Church, after he learned that other bishops did not re-baptize those same heretics. You could read that in the first Canon of St. Basil.

One could say that Basil the Great was inconsistent. And that is a healthy quality, if you think about it. Because actually, perfect consistency or being perfectly logical is not a characteristic of a sane person, but rather that of a madman.


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