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Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119319 05/09/03 12:49 PM
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Alice Offline
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....thus my conviction. If we could all be in spiritual harmony like the first church was, there would be no regrets of becoming Orthodox, because in essence, you would not then be turning your back on the Pope, (although not under his jurisdictional supremacy).

The Patriarchs are like a family of brothers where one has been estranged from the others for too long.

May God's Divine intervention and guidance change this soon. smile

In the Risen Christ,
Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119320 05/09/03 05:39 PM
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I think that there are some interesting thoughts here.

As a former Catholic, I don't really agree that Catholicism is approaching the idea of union with Orthodoxy in a way that excludes jurisdictional union. As I understand it, this is a significant problem for Catholicism, because the jurisdictional issues have been dogmatized at the First Vatican Council and, as such, are considered to be "de fide", of "of the faith" by Catholicism. I recall this well when a few of the senior curial Cardinals very gently rebuked the Melkite Eastern Catholics for publically declaring that they believed everything Orthodoxy teaches -- and the curials specifically pointed out that this wasn't possible because Orthodoxy doesn't hold to the post-separation Catholic developments relating to the Papacy, which are a matter of faith for Catholics, regardless of rite.

I think it is useful to think about things on the spiritual level, for if we are to draw closer together over time it will only be on this level that we can make initial progress, and perhaps if progress is made on that level, progress can be made on other levels. At this point, however, I don't think it's accurate that Catholicism seems willing to "budge" on its jurisdictional claims ... it can't, in a way, without compromising its own teachings. What is possible is for Catholicism to redefine, over time, its understanding of these teachings in a way that is more acceptable to the Orthodox ... perhaps "developing further" the teachings of the First Vatican Council to the effect that the Pope's jursidction outside the Latin Church is appellate and not direct, for example. And it should also be possible for Orthodox to open their own eyes to history and recognize that there was certainly a time in the history of the Church when the Eastern Sees recognized some kind of right of appeal to Rome. For its part, Catholicism teaches the development of doctrine, so this kind of development is certainly possible in theory, at least. So there is some hope there.

Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119321 05/09/03 06:15 PM
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Alice Offline
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Dear Brendan,

Please read the article I posted from the Vatican regarding this topic, about half way down the first page of this thread. I think that you will find it interesting.

Christ is Risen!
Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119322 05/09/03 07:27 PM
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Oh, this topic is s-o-o-o-o interesting!!!

Isn't it true that the Orthodox accept other Orthodox who are under other Patriarchs, i.e., Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem?

As a Byzantine Catholic, I am Orthodox under the Patriarch of Rome. We used to be under the Patriarch of Constantinople. I do understand the historical reasons for the change. The doctrine issues were developed later to justify the split. (the doctrine issue are real; but they were not so important in the past)

I think the biggest obstacle to any kind of Christian unity is the bad feelings of some Orthodox toward the Papacy and the bad feelings of some Roman Catholics toward the Orthodox. That's the biggest obstacle in my little opinion.

:p :p :p

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119323 05/09/03 07:27 PM
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Alice --

I agree that this is an interesting piece, but I think that beyond the "exercise of the Primacy" is the notion expressed in a dogmatic fashion at Vatican I that the universal direct jurisdiction of the Pope over the entire church is a matter of de fide dogma. That's a real obstacle, I think, because I don't think the Orthodox will sign on to that as being a part of the faith. Primacy yes, universal direct jurisdiction, no. Now, as I noted above, it's possible that Rome could develop this dogma further so that it is only appellate jurisdiction (although this goes against the wording of Pastor Aeternus, nevertheless Catholic theology embraces a concept of the development of doctrine over time), and *that* might be acceptable to the Orthodox, but as it currently is formulated it won't work, regardless of what "pragmatic" arrangements might be discussed.

Now, another fruitful avenue would be for Rome to revisit its own relationship with the Eastern Christians who are currently in communion with it. That would establish some degree of credibility with the Orthodox, even if only on the level of "pragmatic" issues.

Having said that, I won't give you the impression that I am belittling what you have written. I agree that the idea of growing closer spiritually is a fruitful way to begin to think about this, and as someone who has a lot of Catholics in the family this would be welcome personally. However, I also think that the issues of dogma and faith -- especially from the Catholic perspective -- aren't so easy to sweep away, or unimportant, despite pragmatic agreement on a number of issues.

Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119324 05/09/03 08:10 PM
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The recent attitudes of the Roman Church are far different from those of Vatican I. I doubt that Pope John Paul II in his Ecumenical efforts has ever thought about a strong and square jurisdictional unity which in fact does not fully exist among the Orthodox.

The example is the Agreement between the Catholic Church and the Church of Assyria ("nestorians"). No jurisdictional or hierarchical unity was imposed to any of the groups (Chaldeans and Assyrians) but a full spiritual comunion was established (sacraments, concelebration, mass attendance, etc).

I believe that the dialogues for Church Unity should focus more on faith issues and the mysteries, in order to find a spiritual communion, and I think that's what the Bishops and theologians engaged in the dialogues are doing. A jurisdictional unity would be the fruit of a spiritual unity.

But now, even if Rome proposed a spiritual unity (meaning intercommunion, common mysteries, common prayer, etc.) without any Vatican I standard or jurisdictional commitment, the Orthodox would not be able to accept it unless all the Churches agree and this is very difficult. The Greeks would strongly oppose to that because of their prejuidces toward Rome.

It is my undestanding that the Orthodox Churches of Eastern Europe would have no problem in accepting unity with Rome as long as their "status quo" is respected and this would mean the desintegration of the Unia. And that kind of agreement would be unfair for those Christians who have suffered persecutions becauyse of their communion with Rome.

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119325 05/09/03 08:48 PM
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I believe that Eastern Orthodoxy's priority should be the formal restoration of communion with the Oriental Orthodox. Heal the effects of Chalcedon before moving on to others.

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119326 05/09/03 09:40 PM
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Brian<<I believe that Eastern Orthodoxy's priority should be the formal restoration of communion with the Oriental Orthodox. Heal the effects of Chalcedon before moving on to others.>>

I agree with you, Brian. With the Oriental Orthodox we Eastern Orthodox already share and have always shared the same ecclesiology. With Rome, OTOH, one thousand years of separation has only accentuated the differences in our ecclesiologies, which reflect further differences in our approach to canons, spirituality, dogmatic development, etc.

CHRIST IS RISEN!

OrthodoxEast

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119327 05/11/03 06:06 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
[b] Dear Friends,

If an Eastern Catholic wished to become Orthodox or return to Orthodoxy, how does Catholicism view that?

Is it something Catholicism would consider a sin, apostasy or the like?

What if an Eastern Catholic simply saw "communion with Rome" as a "no-winner?"

Alex
Alex,
I hope this doesn't mean that you are thinking about doing this..... frown

I believe that Catholicism views this as a return to our Mother Church. I think it is viewed as being different for Eastern Catholics as it would be for Roman Catholics.

David [/b]
Dear David: I think you are wrong here. I believe it would be regaerded as a tragedy. Vatican II (which applies to the entire Church, East and West) says that the True Church subsists in the Catholic Church. According to Lumen Gentium, he who knows that Catholicism is the True Church yet refuses to join her (or insists on leaving her) cannot be saved. Someone who doesn't know that Catholicism is the True Church is in a different situation, of course. But we are all called to form our consciences with integrity and in sincere supplication that God's Will be done.

I hope Alex will not take this step; I will pray and pray that he will remain united with our Holy Father, Christ's true Vicar and servant-leader of the Church Universal.

Blessings,

ZT

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119328 05/11/03 01:47 PM
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ZT,
Christ is Risen!

What if one believes the true church subsists in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both are Apostolic Churches? Technically, the true church is both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both were undivided until the Schism. And at the Schism, both excommunicated each other, so it was a mutual thing, so to speak.

Dan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119329 05/11/03 02:00 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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Danj,

Then he denies Truth.

Logos Teen

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119330 05/11/03 02:12 PM
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Dear Friends,

I think both views are present in Roman Catholicism. The extreme hard-lined one which Zoe presented and the moderate one which David presented.

Some would have you think, if you follow your formed conscience -which might include the belief that the Orthodox Churches are an integral part of the one true Catholic Church, that if you act according to this belief (e.g. by becoming Orthodox) that the RC nuns are going to track you down and beat your knuckles with a ruler until you repent. smile

Yet, this is very opposite of the well known report that the "Vicar of Christ" himself refused the Macedonian Orthodox Church the restoration of full Communion due to ecumenical concerns with world Orthodoxy. The Pope of Rome, it seems, would rather see unity established with the entire Orthodox Communion rather than with individual Churches. This is in keeping with the agreements of Balamand.

In so doing, His Holiness, himself manifests the fact that Orthodoxy has all the necessary means of sanctification and holiness a Christian needs to inherit everlasting life.

Incidently, the more people tell me how I have to believe, the less open I am to that belief. The mere fact they are attempting to dictate my faith to me, has the reverse effect of making one want to reject that faith they are trying to impose. I wonder if people who do this even realize that the very thing they are arguing for is being undermined by their approach?

I remember the first time I had a big discussion with some RC friends about this topic, I was so disgusted by their attitude and their depiction of Orthodoxy, I was ready to break communion with the Latin Church, right there on the spot. But then, when I read documents coming from the official Latin hierarchy, I was disuaded from doing this. In them, I found that more moderate view presented by David. But as a result of this bad experience with RC's I created a page for my web-site especially dedicated to presenting such documents in hopes of their modifying their views a little.
see: http://www.geocities.com/wmwolfe_48044/EC_Links.html

And I'm happy to report a few of them have warmed up to the East over the years. Shnorhagel em Asdvadz eem (I Thank you my God!)

Trusting In Christ's Light,
Wm. DerGhazarian
Armenian Catholic Christian
www.geocities.com/derghazar

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119331 05/11/03 06:40 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Ghazar:
Dear Friends,

I think both views are present in Roman Catholicism. The extreme hard-lined one which Zoe presented and the moderate one which David presented.

Some would have you think, if you follow your formed conscience -which might include the belief that the Orthodox Churches are an integral part of the one true Catholic Church, that if you act according to this belief (e.g. by becoming Orthodox) that the RC nuns are going to track you down and beat your knuckles with a ruler until you repent. smile

Yet, this is very opposite of the well known report that the "Vicar of Christ" himself refused the Macedonian Orthodox Church the restoration of full Communion due to ecumenical concerns with world Orthodoxy. The Pope of Rome, it seems, would rather see unity established with the entire Orthodox Communion rather than with individual Churches. This is in keeping with the agreements of Balamand.

In so doing, His Holiness, himself manifests the fact that Orthodoxy has all the necessary means of sanctification and holiness a Christian needs to inherit everlasting life.

Incidently, the more people tell me how I have to believe, the less open I am to that belief. The mere fact they are attempting to dictate my faith to me, has the reverse effect of making one want to reject that faith they are trying to impose. I wonder if people who do this even realize that the very thing they are arguing for is being undermined by their approach?

I remember the first time I had a big discussion with some RC friends about this topic, I was so disgusted by their attitude and their depiction of Orthodoxy, I was ready to break communion with the Latin Church, right there on the spot. But then, when I read documents coming from the official Latin hierarchy, I was disuaded from doing this. In them, I found that more moderate view presented by David. But as a result of this bad experience with RC's I created a page for my web-site especially dedicated to presenting such documents in hopes of their modifying their views a little.
see: http://www.geocities.com/wmwolfe_48044/EC_Links.html

And I'm happy to report a few of them have warmed up to the East over the years. Shnorhagel em Asdvadz eem (I Thank you my God!)

Trusting In Christ's Light,
Wm. DerGhazarian
Armenian Catholic Christian
www.geocities.com/derghazar
This is the first time I've ever heard the Vatican II view described as "hard line"!!!!

Whew! What a board! :rolleyes

Blessings,

ZT

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119332 05/11/03 07:20 PM
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Two Lungs Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Danj:
ZT,
Christ is Risen!

What if one believes the true church subsists in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both are Apostolic Churches? Technically, the true church is both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both were undivided until the Schism. And at the Schism, both excommunicated each other, so it was a mutual thing, so to speak.

Dan
Christ is Risen Indeed !!!

Actually, one would have to be Catholic to hold that view. Not that all Catholics believe that the Orthodox are really "Church", but that seems to be the official point of view.

It seems to me that to be "Orthodox" would mean holding to a belief that the "Roman Catholics" including the "Uniates" are outside the Church. frown

The excommunications of 1054 were between the Honchos and Poobahs of the Church. We the faithful have just been dragged around separately ever since.

Sometimes the "Servants of God" spill the soup before they get to the table. Or worse, spill it on the flock while we wait for leadership. shocked

I'm reminded of a comic strip I saw not long ago. A team of sheep was playing basketball. The sheep dog was the coach. One of the sheep was saying:

"I hate this coach.
You make a mistake, he barks at you!
You miss a basket, he barks at you!
You drop the ball, he barks at you!
He treats us like we're a bunch of darn ...

OH!!! biggrin


John
Pilgrim and Odd Duck

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy #119333 05/11/03 08:21 PM
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I just don't see how ZT's stance is "hard-line" in the least. It seems to be in perfect accord with Catholic teaching.

Quote
838. "'The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.'[LG 15.] Those 'who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.'[UR 3.] With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound 'that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist.'[Paul VI, Discourse, December 14, 1975; cf. UR 13-18.]"
This paragraph clearly says that the Orthodox Churches lack 'little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist' with THE Church.

I have yet to see an official Church document that denies that the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ.

Logos Teen

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