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Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118140 09/02/02 03:15 AM
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Diak Offline
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Many Protestants, including some I have catechized, eventually see the need for primacy which is simply not present in the Orthodox Church. Ecclesiological in-fighting which is perennial within Orthodoxy continues to manifest the fallout of this lack of primacy. Three Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdictions within Ukraine, not in communion with each other is just one example.

Often these Protestants are coming from a situation where Protestant churches all too often break communion and establish new denominations, and they see the Orthodox as often too reminiscent of their own Protestant ecclesiological experience.

And once they learn about the universality and diversity of the Catholic Churches, Latin, Maronite, Ukrainian, Melkite, etc. the sense of "One Holy, Catholic" in the Creed becomes much more vivid and makes the term "catholic" that much more significant.

While the relationship between the papacy and the various sui juris churches needs to be modified and is still maturing, there is a visible and definite structure that is ever present.

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118141 09/02/02 03:38 AM
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Diak Offline
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It's interesting that the Patriarch of Alexandria came up. Which one? The historic claimant to the see, namely the Coptic Patriarch or are you referring to the Greek Patriarch who was installed much later in a uniatistic attempt to Hellanize and Byzantinize the Copts? I'm pretty sure you aren't referring to the Coptic Catholic Patriarch.

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118142 09/02/02 03:43 AM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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What makes one Catholic *is* being in communion with Rome. I really don't understand th idea of "Orthodox in communion with Rome" because it seems to imply that an organization exists that is orthodox and yet not in communion with Rome. To be orthodox is to be in communion with Rome. Axios said earlier, "I have to say, as I consider it today, the "Orthodox in Communion With Rome" school has the least appeal. To me it suggests Eastern Catholics have no self understanding (one of the complaints against the 'RC of the Eastern Rite' school) -- they are defined in terms of another body."

Well, looking at the other side of the coin, I agree with Axios. Many Eastern Catholics are defining themselves "in terms of another body" (Eastern Orthodoxy) and not what they truly are: Catholic.

Soli Deo Gratia,
ChristTeen287

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118143 09/02/02 04:45 AM
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Diak Offline
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The Church is not truly Catholic without those "Orthodox in Communion with Rome". She would only then be Latin Catholic.

The Pope himself in Orientale Lumen likens the relationship of Eastern and Western Catholic Churches to two lungs. The Church breathes with two lungs. They are separate, and not exactly identical, but both work together are needed for proper function of the body.

Catholic transcends Roman, Ukrainian, Melkite, Maronite, etc. but is composed of all of these. Why is "Orthodox in communion with Rome" such a difficult concept? Patristic works form a catholic unity in the development of the expression of the faith between Roman, Alexandrian, Syrian, Cappadocian, Armenian, etc. Fathers.

This was a reality in earlier periods of the Church. Not all of the great Church Fathers were Roman. In fact most of them were not Roman but were certainly Catholic. While there was not exact agreement on every issue (and in fact disagreement on some issues) there is a catholicity present in the entirety of the patristic works.

In the post-Tridentine West unfortunately this perspective of the early Church was often lost in a hyper-scholasticism which saw theology in general and the ecclesial nature of the Church in particular in a very black-and-white manner.

Communion does not mean submission. Submissio is not communio. One has "with" as its root and the other has "under" as its root. The Pope in exercizing the Petrine ministry is free to intervene in a grave matter of faith and morals if our own Patriarchs and Synods are unable to act.

"And conversion is also required of the Latin Church, that she may respect and fully appreciate the dignity of Eastern Christians, and accept gratefully the spiritual treasures of which the Eastern Catholic Churches are the bearers, to the benefit of the entire catholic communion..." John Paul II, Orientale Lumen, paragraph 21

I, like Der and others here, consider myself as nothing other than Orthodox in communion with Rome.

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118144 09/02/02 04:56 AM
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Orthoman:

Your continuing interest in the legal requirements of the Canons is intriguing. I posted this quote fromm Fr. Taft's essay - Eastern-Rite Catholicism: Its Heritage and Vocation- before, but its short and nice so I repeat it.

Quote
The Oriental Catholic's religious point of view is as universal in essentials as the Westerner's. But he is unwilling to associate this with the fruits of human organization, of law and order and uniformity. Tending to emphasize the mystery of the Church rather than its earthly form, he is less concerned with the disciplinary and administrative aspects of its life. He sees the Church not so much as a visible society headed by Christ, than as His theophany, a coming of the eternal into "time, an unfolding of the divine life through the deifying transformation of humanity in the worship and sacraments of Christ. Life in the Church is spoken of in terms of glory, light, vision,
union, and transfiguration. The more juridical vocabulary of power, order, right, justice, sanction is less known to him.


On many occasions over the years the EP has acted in breathakingly autocratic fashion, in flagrant violation of canon law and hallmark communion ecclesiology: by appointing Alexandrian (and other) Patriarchs; by quashing and taking over ostensibly autocephalous churches (in Bulgaria) and Patriarchal churches (in Serbia, twice). A charitable view of these situations would be to maintain that the EP was acting, in challenging situations, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, with the best interests of the Church in mind. And within an Easterm perspective of family economy above legalism this view is a of meritorious one.

On the other hand from a more legalistic, Latin perspective, such a situation is perhaps intolerably discordant. So the solution is to expand the legal authority of the Pope to an extent that allows for such important actions to be undertaken within the law, rather than in violation of it - with the full confidence that, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this authority would be used with great solicitude, not caprice, for the good of the church family.

A perspective the has emerged on this board (here, the Primacy thread, etc.) is that the important issue is not the actual exercise of this authority, but the potential for abuse that is present in the law as framed. I think that this perspective is neither Latine or Eastern. It is a very American one of constituional checks and balances, which is very important for secular institutions. But it doesn't seem to have much significance, IMO, for ones guided by the Holy Spirit.

djs

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118145 09/02/02 04:58 AM
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Just a few comments,

Dan,
You are not only in communion with Rome but also under Rome. This is something you have to come to grips with. Realization of this contradiction will lead one to higher truths.

Brother Ed,
I think you lack the understanding of the "keys" from the Eastern Orthodox outlook. You possess a Roman bias that believes in the dogma of "Keys Alone". Sounds protestant!

Diak,
The Church I belong to accepts Seven Ecumencial Councils. The Syrian Orthodox Church will eventually and naturally accept the seven. It has no objections to them despite the fact they were not present or invited. They are invited to accept only seven and not three only.
The topic of Primacy from an Eastern Orthodox perspective is many and naturally resists the Roman control, subjucation & intrusions of other Apostolic Sees. I do not think Rome is at any time ready to relinquish her dominating & overpowering methods. Obviously its manifested on how the Byzantine Catholic Churches are treated in their current state. The history of the Melkite churches with Rome is enough to defer any rational man to the Orthodox Church. I need not say more than this. The relationship I see between the Roman & Melkite Church is not purely that of love but also relativism. In fact most of these forums exhibit much of what I am saying about relativism. That is why Romans that come here feel that they are under attack and that is why many Byzantine Catholics become defensive when not accepted. I do not know of Orthodox who squabble over Holy Tradition with the exception of fundamentalists. Everyone has them. The problems that the Orthodox wrestle are not unique such as jursidictional problems. Such problems do not alter Holy Tradition. There is nothing that cannot be settled at a table with a cup of Arabic coffee. A note of caution: do not come to the table with the intention of imposing Roman Supremacy in unique and formatted semantics. We will not be drinking coffee but playing "Hooked on one's self". It's the equivalent of "Hooked on Phonics". I hope to see you at the top (heaven)!

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118146 09/02/02 05:13 AM
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djs Offline
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Orthoman writes:

Quote
A Communion which requires you to accept the final authority of the so called 'Vicar of Christ on Earth' and therfore recoginize all the dogma he upholds and protects. Which invalidates your claim to Orthodoxy.


SPDundas and Denise have already pointed out the error of this statement. But I like to look at this from another angle. Does such recognition of dogma necessarily preclude Orthodoxy? The validity of Catholic sacraments is a legitimate opinion in Orthodoxy, likewise the sinlessness of the Theotokos, etc.

So my question to the Orthodox on the list is this:

Which Catholic dogmas/doctrines have been definitely ruled as being impermissible opinions within Orthodoxy? Or, which dogmas/doctrines, if held as an opinion by an Orthodox, would be punishable by excommunication?

djs

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118147 09/02/02 05:19 AM
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Diak,
Your concept of "Orthodox in communion with Rome" is just that: a concept. The reality is that it is not and will not be accepted amongst the Orthodox consensus. This concept is a figment of an utopian imagination. Since we are discussing concepts, my concept that I would like to see is "Rome in communion with Orthodoxy". That's the way I see it and that's the only way it is going to be. Your concept is the original deceptive practice of stealing Orthodox sheeps. Thus, the creation of Melkitism. Try keeping your concept to yourself because it will only serve to remind the Orthodox of sheep stealing and subjucation.

One last thing, true communion does mean true submission. To be in communion with Christ one must submitt his/her life to Him alone. Likewise, we submit to our hiearchies because of the Unity of Faith. Submission is full of humility. That is why God became man so man can submit & commune with God. This is true communion.

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118148 09/02/02 06:44 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Rum Orthodox:
Dan,
You are not only in communion with Rome but also under Rome. This is something you have to come to grips with. Realization of this contradiction will lead one to higher truths.



What contradiction? We are "cum Petro et sub Petro." Just like the undivided Church of the first millennium. :lol

Aren't you "under" your bishop and Patriarch? You have no problem "submitting" to him, and you take for granted that he's not some sort of megalomaniacal, tyrannical despot.

Well, that's how we feel about our Holy Father, too. biggrin

If we can obey and submit to our pastors and bishops...then why not obey and submit to the supreme pastor, the supreme bishop, head of "the church presiding in love"?

ZT, genuinely puzzled by the "fear of submission" and the rather fantastical depiction of the Pope as some sort of overbearing dishpot

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118149 09/02/02 01:42 PM
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Orthoman,

"So, I'm not sure what your point is since there is no stipulation I know of that requires the rest of Orthodoxy to accept his claims in order to be 'in communion with him'. Nor is there any canon or dogma that stipulates that to be in communion with him one must accept his final earthly authority as you are with with Rome."

That is a sticking point. Yet, it had not become Dogma until VCI and the Orthodox still were not in communion with Rome. I know the historical quirks that kept the two apart but I do not see the theological reasons that the two were apart. Imagine what trouble could have been spared the West if the East had kept communion with the West. VCI would doubtless have never happened.

Dan Lauffer

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118150 09/02/02 01:59 PM
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Zoe,

"What contradiction? We are "cum Petro et sub Petro." Just like the undivided Church of the first millennium. :lol"

I wish this were funny. If your opinion is objectively true then many of us will relunctantly leave. Orthoman and Rum Orthodox will be proven accurate. If the Romans won't let us have our submission to our patriarchs and communion with them without submission then the Eastern Catholic Church is doomed to divide again as it did in the last century.

To our Orthodox not in communion with Rome...Perhaps we are living an impossible dream. I'd rather think that a Church in union with each other under Christ in superior to disunion. Put another way, imperfect union may be better than perfect disunion. In any event, I believe that we Eastern Catholics, though I think we would be better called "Orthodox Catholics", are trying to live like our anscestors lived. Most of us don't blame you for being suspicious of Rome's intentions. She has not always acted with Godly intent. Is there no place in which East and West can meet? What efforts are the Orthodox putting forth to convert, if necessary, the Western Church to its understanding?

Dan Lauffer

[ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: Dan Lauffer ]

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118151 09/02/02 02:33 PM
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djs writes:

>>>Which Catholic dogmas/doctrines have been definitely ruled as being impermissible opinions within Orthodoxy? Or, which dogmas/doctrines, if held as an opinion by an Orthodox, would be punishable by excommunication?<<<

I found the following at: http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.13.en.orthodox_and_vatican_agreement.htm

The matter, it would seem from this, is far beyond the nuancing of formulations of understandings of dogmas and doctrines so as to arrive at verbal or conceptual congruences, thereby establishing a [false] basis for communion. The idea that "We all worship the same God. We're just using different words. So let's get our words ironed out so we can sorship together," is not, by Orthodox standards, an option... At issue is the matter of the cure of the soul, its purification, its illumination, and its glorification...

Fr. Romanides writes:

40) In regard to the cure of purification, illumination and glorification there is no difference between Latins and most Protestants since, or if, they are not engaged in this cure which has nothing to do with mysticism. This holds true for nominal Orthodox also. The reason for the increase of the numbers of the latter (especially since Peter the Great) is that professors of Orthodox faculties became no longer aware, and many are still not aware, of this Biblical/Patristic tradition of cure and are therefore prone to copy from non patristic or non Orthodox works to write their teaching manuals. The result has been the appearance of large groups of clergy who no longer see any important difference between the Latin and Orthodox understandings of the Mysteries within the Body of Christ.

41) The basic question before us is clear: Is dogma 1) a protection from speculating quack doctors and 2) a guide to the cure of the purification and the illumination of the heart and glorification (theosis), or not?

42) "Let each person test himself, and thus eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For one who eats and drinks not discerning the Body eats and drinks his own judgment. For this reason many among you are weak and sick and many are dead" (1 Cor. 11:28-30). In other words one tests himself to see whether he is a member of the Body of Christ by being in the state of illumination, i.e. with at least kinds of tongues. Otherwise one shares in the bread and the cup "unwortherly" (1 Cor. 11:27). In such a case one is still "weak" or "sick" and even spiritually "dead" (1 Cor. 11:30), i.e. not sharing in the resurrection of the inner person and so not yet communicating at the Eucharist unto life in Christ, but rather unto judgment. One should not use the Eucharistic gatherings as occasions to simply eat. This one does at home. "If we examine ourselves, we will not be judged. Being judged by the Lord we are instructed, so that we are not condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11:31-32). In the states of illumination and glorification one is instructed in his spirit by Christ Himself. This is the cure which Paul explains in detail in 1 Cor. 12-15:11. [ 10 ]

geo


"Be not troubling of you the heart..."
Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118152 09/02/02 03:47 PM
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ZT,
Did I not warn Diak about playing "Hooked on one's self"? Unfortunately, you don't get it. Let me help you see it this way: Supreme Pastor=Papal Supremacy
Nice try though. Keep playing word games. I hear you can buy such games at the nearest Toy's R Us or you can buy the most recent, updated "Webster's New World Thesaurus."

The Eastern Churches which are the orignal Churches have not ever believed in your Roman biased notions. Please enroll in Apostolicity 101 at your nearest Eastern Church.

I guess we will not be having that cup of Arabic coffee.

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118153 09/02/02 03:50 PM
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Dear geo:

Father Romanides writings make great reading, but are not related to my question really. After all his criticism here extends to the Orthodox. Moreover, much of his thinking on, for example, the validity of Catholic sacraments, or sacramental economy in Baptism, are manifestly not required for Orthodoxy (cf. the MP's statement on Balamand, or the North American Orthodox statements on Baptism and Sacramental economy that I have posted here before).

My question arises from the discussion of "Orthodox in communion with Rome". While "in communion with Rome" is clearly unOrthodox, the idea has been raised the phrase is even more paradoxial, at the level of dogma/doctrines. My question is aimed at trying to sort out that idea.

djs

Re: Protestants who convert to BC vs Orthodox #118154 09/02/02 04:05 PM
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Diak writes:

[Many Protestants, including some I have catechized, eventually see the need for primacy which is simply not present in the Orthodox Church. Ecclesiological in-fighting which is perennial within Orthodoxy continues to manifest the fallout of this lack of primacy. Three Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdictions within Ukraine, not in communion with each other is just one example.]

Answer:

You seem to be implying that it is this Papal Primacy (Supremacy) that has held the Roman Catholic Church together since its inception. Yet it is this same Papal Supremacy that was the cause of the biggest schism within Christianity. Because of this so called centralized power and what came out of it, the western church was shattered into over 30,000 different pieces with more pieces being shattered as we speak. In case you are confused its called Protestantism which came out of the Roman Catholic church rather than the Orthodox Catholic Church. And was a result of this so called Primacy and what it created.
So history would disagree with you in the sense that there wasn't as much fallout from the lack of a centralized primacy (Orthodoxy) as there was because of a centralized primacy (Roman Catholicism).
Now lets address your last sentence and previous comments regarding inter- communion within Orthodoxy and how confusing it is to you.
Its only confusing because you insist on making a mountain out of a mole hill. Standard formula is that all CANONICAL autocephalous and automonous Orthodox Catholic Churches are in communion with each other. Note, once again the buzz word is Canonical. Just as all CANONICAL portions of the Roman Catholic Church are in communion with each other.
In either church when a Bishop, without the authority of the Pope (in the RCC) or Patriarch (in the OCC), separates himself from the authority of his superior Bishop and proclaims himself as head of his own church, he automatically breaks communion with that church he has separated from. The two SELF PROCLAIMED Ukrainian Orthodox churches in Ukraine are no different than the Polish National Catholics, the Old Catholics, the Archbishop Lefevre group, etc. within the Roman Catholic Church.
Is the RCC is communion with any of the separated Catholic churches I have mentioned above? I don't think so. Yet all identify themselves as being 'Catholic'. Why are they out of communion with each other? For the same reasons that the two Ukrainian Orthodox Churhes you mention are not in communion with world wide Orthodoxy.
Here in the U.S. there are many bogus small groups that use the name 'Orthodox' in their title. Just as there are many bogus small groups that identify themselves as 'Catholic'. Why there's even a small group that calls itself 'The Byzantine Catholic Church, Inc.'! Is the Byzantine Catholic Church or the Ukrainian Catholic Church in communion with them? I don't think so!
Point I'm trying to make is that there is also disunity within the RCC and all its so called sui juris entities as within Orthodoxy. Papal Primacy is not the strong glue that holds the RCC together as you claim. There have been in the past, and will be in the future, small divisions within its ranks. Same as its be within all of Christianity since Pentecost.


ChrisTeen287 writes:

[What makes one Catholic *is* being in communion with Rome.]

As an Orthodox Catholic I beg to differ. That is a Roman Catholic interuptation of the Greek word Catholic. There is no Canon or Ecumenical Council that has given Rome exclusive rights to the word 'Catholic'.
As an Orthodox Christian I am just as much a 'Catholic' as the Pope. I'm just not a Roman Catholic.
Catholic (Gk. "whole") - 1. used to describe Christians who are in historical and continuous tradition of faith and practice with the undivided church. 2. whole, complete, or full.

Diak writes:

[Communion does not mean submission. Submission is not communion. One has "with" as its root and the other has "under" as its root. The Pope in exercizing the Petrine ministry is free to intervene in a grave matter of faith and morals if our own Patriarchs and Synods are unable to act.]

Then if communion does not mean submission, and the Pope only has the authority to intervene in grave matters of faith - Then tell me why there are so many complaints here about the celibacy issue, the title of 'Patriarch' in Ukrainie, the necessity to submit names to the Pope to select leading Hierachs, the complaint about submitting retirement requests to the Pope instead of the head of a so clled sui juris church you refer to, etc. Explain how they are 'grave matters of faith'.


djs writes:

[So my question to the Orthodox on the list is this:

Which Catholic dogmas/doctrines have been definitely ruled as being impermissible opinions within Orthodoxy? Or, which dogmas/doctrines, if held as an opinion by an Orthodox, would be punishable by excommunication?]

I think by now we are all aware of the differences in doctrine that separate us. Listing them again would be repetitious. As far as those that would be punishable by excommunication, your question seems a bit redundant to me. If one insists on believing in any one of the Roman Catholic doctrines that separate us, why would one want to remain an Orthodox Catholic? Seems they would have already separated themselves from the Orthodox Catholic Church by refusing to adhere to, or uphold the beliefs of the Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Personally, if I was to accept any of the doctrines that separate me from the RCC, I would become a Roman Catholic. Because I don't accept these doctrines and the Supremacy of the Pope, I will remain an Orthodox Catholic.
I must admit however, that I find your question an interesting topic for discussion. And would be interested in other Orthodox Catholic replies.
Because of this, I have posted your question on some of the Orthodox Catholic discussion groups I belong to. I hope you don't mind. If it is permissable I will post the replies here in a condensed form.

OrthoMan

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