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Orthodox in Communion with Rome #328076
07/22/09 01:13 PM
07/22/09 01:13 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline OP
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This term is interesting to me, if not somewhat confusing.

There are a few here who describe themselves in this way, and so my thoughts and questions are primarily for them. But, of course, anyone can chime in as he sees fit.

One reason I find the OICWR moniker confusing is that it seems self-negating. To be clearer: to be Orthodox one must believe what Orthodox Christians believe. Orthodox Christians believe that, if one accepts the Orthodox Faith, then one should be a formal member of the Orthodox Churches. Orthodox Churches are not in communion with Rome, and therefore anyone in communion with Rome is not Orthodox, at least from their perspective.

If OICWRers are actually Orthodox, then why do they reject the Orthodox Churches' insistence on being actual, formal members of the Orthodox Churches? Is it because they don't believe the Orthodox have the right to define "Orthodoxy" as just what the leaders, saints, and people of what Eastern Orthodoxy say it is? Are we making a distinction between historical Orthodoxy and the Eastern Orthodoxy of today, so as to define ourselves as part of the latter, but not part of the former? How is it possible to differ with the Orthodox Churches on such a central matter of salvation, and still define oneself as Orthodox?

Alexis

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: Logos - Alexis] #328077
07/22/09 01:46 PM
07/22/09 01:46 PM
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ebed melech Offline
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It should be no more confusing than Orthodox Christians not in Communion with Rome referring to their Church as "Catholic."

Both terms reflect the ancient nomenclature of the Christian Church. That the Church within each side of the Empire developed a predilection for one term over the other matters not. Both reflect the patrimony of the Church.

For those Byzantine Churches which entered into communion with Rome, all the more reason to refer to ourselves as OICWR.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: ebed melech] #328079
07/22/09 02:23 PM
07/22/09 02:23 PM
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StuartK Offline
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The term has been used by leading Greek Catholic theologians and hierarchs, including Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch, Patriarch Lyubomir of Kyiv, and Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. We are Orthodox because we do believe all that the Orthodox Church believes; we are in communion with the Church of Rome, because the Bishop of Rome shares the Eucharist with our bishops.

The rest of your post, Alexis, is merely tendentious and intended to foster divisions where none exist.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: StuartK] #328086
07/22/09 03:49 PM
07/22/09 03:49 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline OP
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No, Stuart, and that is uncharitable. My questions are honest.

Quote
Gordo said: It should be no more confusing than Orthodox Christians not in Communion with Rome referring to their Church as "Catholic."
.

But, Gordo, this doesn't make any sense, or else Roman Rite Catholics would also be "Orthodox in communion with Rome." It seems clear that for those who use the term, it is meant to imply [Eastern] Orthodox in communion with Rome, for it is often stressed by those who use the label that "we believe all that the Orthodox believe," juxtaposing this to what Roman Catholics believe.

Yes, all Catholics are Orthodox Christians, but of course that has little to do with that this phrase means.

Stuart,

You haven't answered any of my questions. You simply stated facts about the existence of self-described OICWR, and then insulted me. I've been a member of ByzCath for seven years, and love and respect the Eastern Catholic Churches, and would never try to foster division between Christians (that is nothing short of Satanic).

So, back to the [sincere] questions.

Alexis

Last edited by Logos - Alexis; 07/22/09 03:49 PM.
Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: Logos - Alexis] #328089
07/22/09 04:09 PM
07/22/09 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
But, Gordo, this doesn't make any sense, or else Roman Rite Catholics would also be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."

In one sense, yes, Rome has the same right to call itself "Orthodox" as does Orthodoxy to call itself "Catholic".

But there are other perspectives that are equally valid. I've quoted Vatican II before where it said that: “All this heritage of spirituality and liturgy, of discipline and theology, in its various traditions, this holy synod declares to belong to the full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church." (Unitatis Redintegration) Everything about Orthodoxy is already part of Catholicism except those issues that are disagreed upon.

Further, Pope John Paul the Great specifically told the Eastern Catholic Churches to witness Orthodoxy as completely as is possible within Roman communion.

I do not see why Alexis finds controversy where the Church sees none.

Look at our Liturgy and theology. What do you see? Orthodoxy!

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: Logos - Alexis] #328090
07/22/09 04:11 PM
07/22/09 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
But, Gordo, this doesn't make any sense, or else Roman Rite Catholics would also be "Orthodox in communion with Rome." It seems clear that for those who use the term, it is meant to imply [Eastern] Orthodox in communion with Rome, for it is often stressed by those who use the label that "we believe all that the Orthodox believe," juxtaposing this to what Roman Catholics believe.


I think the crux of the issue is whether "Orthodox" necessarily means "not in communion with Rome." I do not think that it does.

For that matter, non-Chalcedonian Christians refer to themselves as Orthodox Christians (Oriental Orthodox). Are we to debate their use of this nomenclature as well? They are not in full communion with the whole sweep of Chalcedonian Orthodox Christians and jurisdictions. Should we deny them the title as well?

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: ebed melech] #328092
07/22/09 05:11 PM
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Orthodoxy, meaning the Constantinopolitan Tradition, has nothing to do with a particular communion, but rather implies a particular way of living one's faith that covers the totality of life--a liturgy, spirituality, theology, doctrine and discipline. Nobody has yet to indicate just what elements of this Orthodox faith the Greek Catholics do not hold. And Alexis has yet to tell me whether he disagrees with Patriarch Lyubomir when he said (and continues to say), "Between the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox there are no theological differences". Neither has he said whether he believes Patriarch Gregorios was wrong when he described himself as "an Orthodox Christian, with a plus--I am in communion with the Church of Rome". Does he also disagree with Fr. Robert Taft, when he wrote in his essay, "Liturgy in the Life of the Church" that the objective of the Greek Catholic spiritual renewal is to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

We who are Greek Catholics have the right to define ourselves without reference to the demands of other Churches. This is how we see ourselves. This is how the Holy See has demanded, for more than a century, that we see ourselves. True, there are those among us who, in their fidelity to the Catholic Church, disagree with the Holy See on this matter, just as there are Roman Catholics who demand that we conform ourselves to the mindset of the Latin Church. But we do not have to comply with their demands, certainly not when they contradict everything that the Holy See has said, written and done in regard to us since the end of the 19th century.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: StuartK] #328099
07/22/09 05:55 PM
07/22/09 05:55 PM
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As an Eastern Catholic I see myself as an Orthodox Christian, but I must admit that I have growing doubts about whether it is really possible to be doctrinally Orthodox and in communion with Rome.

Can one be Orthodox and accept – as ecumenical and binding upon all Christians – the theological theories proposed at the Latin Church's fourteen local synods?

Can one be Orthodox and accept the theories proposed at the Council of Trent; e.g., the idea that man is "justified" with a justice that is not God's own justice (i.e., a "created" grace); or Trent's theory of "original sin" which holds that the guilt of our first parents is transmitted to all their descendants, even though sin and guilt are personal realities limited to the acting agent; or Trent's rejection of the idea that "divinity" is really present in icons and in the relics of the saints?

Can one be an Orthodox Christian and accept the exaggerated views of the primacy espoused by the bishops assembled at the First Vatican Council, which is no longer seen as primacy within synodality, but is instead turned into a power of supremacy over the Church?

Can one be an Orthodox Christian and hold that the Latin Church's theories in connection with the procession of the Holy Spirit are truly Orthodox, even though those theories have historically confused the Spirit's ekporeusis as person from the Father alone with His proienai as energy from the Father through the Son?

These are just a few examples of problems that Eastern Catholics face in trying to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."

Latinization, in the final analysis, is inevitable if Eastern Christians are required to accept the theological theories of the Latin Church as dogma.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: Apotheoun] #328103
07/22/09 06:32 PM
07/22/09 06:32 PM
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Yes, without accepting all of your characterizations or qualifications as valid.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: ebed melech] #328104
07/22/09 06:56 PM
07/22/09 06:56 PM
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Quote
As an Eastern Catholic I see myself as an Orthodox Christian, but I must admit that I have growing doubts about whether it is really possible to be doctrinally Orthodox and in communion with Rome.


It is, as long as you are determined to do so.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: StuartK] #328127
07/22/09 09:17 PM
07/22/09 09:17 PM
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Apotheoun Offline
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Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
As an Eastern Catholic I see myself as an Orthodox Christian, but I must admit that I have growing doubts about whether it is really possible to be doctrinally Orthodox and in communion with Rome.


It is, as long as you are determined to do so.

I am determined to be Orthodox in communion with Rome, which is why I cannot accept the theological theories put forward at the Western Councils, but should I (or Eastern Catholics in general) be required to accept those theories . . . it follows that I would have to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: Apotheoun] #328133
07/22/09 09:57 PM
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I believe that those councils are ment for the Latin Church. I think the Union Brest (treaty of) helps a little in light of this post.

From the treaty- From Byzcath.org
1.—Since there is a quarrel between the Romans and Greeks about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly impede unity really for no other reason than that we do not wish to understand one another—we ask that we should not be compelled to any other creed but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son.

5-We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church.

31.—And when the Lord God by His will and holy grace shall permit the rest of our brothers of the Eastern Church of the Greek tradition to come to the holy unity with the Western Church, and later in this common union and by the permission of the Universal Church there should be any change in the ceremonies and Typicon of the Greek Church, we shall share all this as people of the same religion.

I think that the treaty of Brest allow gives us the guides for being Orthodox in Communion with Rome. The Holy See agreeded to it. Has it been perfect since, no. Has it been better since the late 19th century-yes. We may not agree on everything but we can live in peace and communion with Rome. (even though it can be rocky at times)

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/22/09 09:58 PM.
Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: StuartK] #328134
07/22/09 09:58 PM
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A perennial topic in online fora like this.

Alexis's OP is right.

Rome says Greek Catholics (most of whom are Slavs, Galician Ukrainians) are externally to be exactly like the OicwRs, Orthodox, but must accept all post-schism Roman definitions of doctrine including what seems to be the one insurmountable difference between the two churches, the scope of the Pope (divinely instituted channel of the church's infallibility with universal jurisdiction as opposed to a man-made rank of the infallible church's divinely instituted episcopate, a rank for the good order of the church). It's why I can't see corporate reunion happening. You'll never move beyond the long-standing intercommunion in the Middle East. (The Melkites there are probably the born Greek Catholics closest to being OicwRs; technically many of them are baptised Orthodox!) It's a zero-sum game: either the RCs become WRO or the Orthodox become Greek Catholics. To be Greek Catholic and say RC doctrine isn't true or doesn't apply to you is, IMO, intellectually dishonest.

The competing one-true-church claims make hash of the OicwR position. To Orthodox, OicwR are to them as Rome sees Anglo-Catholic Anglicans (who likewise have dreamt of corporate reunion of their churches).

OicwRs: Greek Catholic converts online.

Eastern Rite Roman Catholics: latinised, rank-and-file, Slavic born Greek Catholics, who are not online.

Some OicwRs soldier on for a lifetime; more than a few get fed up and convert to Orthodoxy after a few years.

In 25 years of following this stuff I've never met a born Greek Catholic who identified as Orthodox. I think in America the Toth and Chornock splits and their aftermath among the Greek Catholics, and the forced mergers and persecutions under the Communists in Eastern Europe, killed any of that among ethnic born Greek Catholics long before I came along.

Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: The young fogey] #328135
07/22/09 10:06 PM
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I have met many- including Priests, who identify themselves as such- Orthodox Christians in communion with Rome. Also if the Ukrainian Patriarch (Greek Catholic) and the Melkite Patriarch also use such a title I think that says enough. I believe they are craddle born Greek Catholics. smile

I have never been to an Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Church- been to a Eastern Catholic Church.

All the best and please pray for me.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/22/09 10:15 PM.
Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome [Re: Apotheoun] #328137
07/22/09 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
I am determined to be Orthodox in communion with Rome, which is why I cannot accept the theological theories put forward at the Western Councils, but should I (or Eastern Catholics in general) be required to accept those theories . . . it follows that I would have to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Always consider that there is a difference between saying that a Latin dogma or doctrine (whether given by a Council or other method) is poorly defined and in need of better definition and saying it is heresy. You can do the first but not the latter. In the end the latter does not really matter as we have an obligation to help the Church express its theology in the clearest terms that are possible. East and West can have different ways of expressing this just like Italians and Greeks speak different languages.

I can see problems on both sides. They are clearly the result of one Church that is wounded and currently divided into separate households. This living in separate households and partaking from different chalices will not last forever. We - East and West, Catholic and Orthodox - need to repent of our sin (personal and as Churches) and pray the Lord God to lead us in His will that we again be one.

"I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:20-21)

PS: Anyone wishing to meet an Orthodox in Communion with Rome is welcome to stop by my house. I keep cold drinks and with a bit of notice I could put some chicken or steak on the grill. The deck is shady after about 4 PM. Very nice!

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