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A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church #340178 12/28/09 06:27 PM
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IgnatiusBenedict Offline OP
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http://www.impantokratoros.gr/FA9AF77F.en.aspx

Most Orthodox don't feel this way do they??

Especially:

"2. We proclaim that Papism is the womb of heresies and fallacies....." and "Generally speaking, there has been a radical change in Papism and a turn towards Protestantism after the 2nd Vatican Council, and even an adopting of various "spiritual" movements of the "New Age"."

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: IgnatiusBenedict] #340233 12/29/09 03:07 PM
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Utroque Offline
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I certainly hope not. The Lord had an expression for this attitude. "Leaven of the Pharisees", I think it is, or, perhaps, "Whitened Sepulchers". Either one, it's bad leaven, speaking of azymes.

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: Utroque] #340242 12/29/09 07:19 PM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is Born!! GLorify Him!!

I think we need to step back and assess this Confession of Faith without letting any emotion get in the way. I believe that this is a statement of members of the Orthodox Church that expresses something that we have not heretofore been much aware of. I think we get the impression that if the Ecumenical Patriarch and a number of bishops regularly participate in the ecumenical movement that this is the way that the whole Orthodox Church believes and is moving. Perhaps, not so.

As we have recently seen with the dialogue recently concluded on Cyprus, there seems to be a general awakening, if you will, in the Orthodox Church in which those who have previously ignored the ecumenical movement and the talks with other groups of Christians are now involving themselves and are voicing the opposition that may previously gone unspoken.

The whole mindset that the Orthodox Church is somehow like the Western Church and ecclesial communities is now seen as completely unlike the way that the Orthodox Church sees herself, lives out her pilgrimage, and relates to others. The fact that each individual synod of the autocephalous Churches is now fully engaged and that decisions relating to what we may have considered "official dialogues" ought to give us some pause. The people who have signed this Confession have not been heard from before. And it appears that they are not a small number.

So let's hear them out. Genuine ecumenism, as the Catholic Vatican Council has suggested, is a movement wherein each one speaks the truth in charity without glossing over anything or compromising anything. It might be time to really stare at the idea that the unity that Our Lord prayed for is not possible.

Go over to the thread in East ane West entitled The East and the West and compare what was entered there. For example:
Quote
An Orthodox Reply to the Opinion of Cardinal Walter Kasper:
'The Orthodox Church does not really exist.'
http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/cardinal.htm


In Christ,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 12/29/09 07:27 PM.
Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: theophan] #340246 12/29/09 08:19 PM
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As someone that was raised as a Roman Catholic and has been becoming more and more dismayed by many things I have seen happening in the Roman church I for one welcome any wisdom the Orthodox Church has to offer.

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: Pilgrim66] #340247 12/29/09 09:35 PM
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PeterPeter Offline
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim66
I for one welcome any wisdom the Orthodox Church has to offer.


The question is how much they speak for themselves and how much for the Church.

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: theophan] #340251 12/29/09 11:20 PM
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“So, let’s hear them out.” If I were to write a diatribe against the Orthodox would you want to hear me out? I’m sure the signers of this “Confession” would not. What they have written is a diatribe and an updated rehash of all the polemics heard since the tenth century. Does one have to step back and consider carefully all that we’ve heard before from these circles who envision themselves as the “real” Orthodox Church? In the interests of truth, I think not. You deal with bigotry in all its forms the same way. You call it for what it is, ignore it and press on. That’s as much as His Grace, Bishop John Zizoulas said on Cyprus back in October when confronted by such.

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: Utroque] #340253 12/29/09 11:39 PM
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If it's time to stare at the idea that the unity Our Lord prayed for is not possible, then I think it would be time to deny Our Lord. Heaven forbid that. At the end of the day, when unity of east and west occurs, I am quite sure that there will still be small groups, who think their numbers are "legion", who proclaim they are the "real" Orthodox and/or Catholic Church and stay away from the banquet. Have a blessed and grace-filled New Year!

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: Utroque] #340256 12/30/09 12:13 AM
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theophan Offline
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It's not about denying Our Lord. It's about understanding the dynamic of the Orthodox Church. As Cardinal Kaspar found out, there is no one "official" spokesman for the Orthodox Church as the Latin Church has in the Pope of Rome. In the Orthodox Church, you have to get every bishop on board--unanimously--as we found out at the Council of Florence. In the traditional Orthodox understanding of how the Church works--how the Holy Spirit guides the Church, the Holy Spirit speaks in the unanimous voice of all the bishops in the world OR in the voice of the lone dissenter. And it was the understanding of the Catholic Church until the recent Vatican Council where decisions were taken by majority vote. (On a side note, I can remember the discussions about what that meant in terms of whether the Council was binding and if it could be called ecumenical.)

I fervently pray that Our Lord's prayer that all may be one come true. My point is that we are dealing with a reality that is far removed from what we are used to and that until recently did not really make itself known. I think it telling that one of the Orthodox Churches has not been involved in any of the dialogues at all; on any level. What that means only the Orthodox can explain.

But for us to ignore this is to delude ourselves. This same thing happened some centuries ago and produced the idea of Moscow, the Third Rome, a place where Orthodoxy was not compromised when other parts entered a short-lived union with the West.

BOB

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: theophan] #340267 12/30/09 03:13 AM
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I think that one has to look at the document for what it is, without western glasses on. This document came about in Greece in response to the the efforts of EP that run contrary to the "salt" of Orthodoxy. It really just puts forth the basic precepts of Orthodoxy, which some within the Church appear to have forgotten. All of the bishops, with the exception of one are from the Greek Church, as well as most of the signatories. A very high percentage are either from the Holy Mountain or from the monasteries of the Holy Land. Once this document makes the rounds of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia, it will multiply many times over. ( I do find it ironic that the 6th bishop is Bishop George of Pennsylvania (the Holy Land!)

Part of the problem, and one that his been perpetuated by the Phanar, is the notion that Constantinople speaks for Orthodoxy, when in reality, the Phanar speaks for the Phanar. This is something that the West appears to have difficulty in grasping. +Bartholemew has no more authority than the local Orthodox bishop in any city near you. If tomorrow, +Bartholomew came into communion with Rome, it would not mean that the Rome and Orthodoxy are in communion. Rather there would just be one more (And I hate this term, and only use it because it fits best) uniate bishop. A new patriarch would be elected within short order and in reality nothing has changed.

The unfortunate thing is that the west really has no real contact with Orthodoxy. To the great shame of the Orthodox, the Orthodoxy that exists in the west is so watered down and embroiled in scandals of every sort, that it has failed to be a light to the West, rather becoming a stonghold of ethnic ghettos, power seeking non monastic bishops and Sunday morning country clubs. The number of true Orthodox monasteries in the west can be counted on two hands with fingers left over. This is our (the Orthodox) fault, and if the West remains uneducated in the Faith, it is because of our sin in not being an example unto them.

In the past, I have presented theoretical synopses of actual reunion of Rome with Orthodoxy, as seen from an Orthodox perspective. And each time, it has been roundly condemned as being at best, unworkable to at worst, uncharitable. So be that as it may, the onus now lies on us, the East, to live Orthodoxy and teach by example, and not by lecture. We have to stop compromising the faith by falling prey to the mammon of this world, becoming comfortable in our easy lives. Perhaps the best thing that can happen is for the Church to be persecuted. For then, when washed in the blood of martyrs it becomes purified like brass in the furnace. Maybe then the light that is the Church can be seen for what it is by those in darkness, and all can become as one.

My 2 kopechki,

Alexandr

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: Slavipodvizhnik] #340271 12/30/09 03:54 AM
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Hi Alexandr, everyone,

I am Roman Catholic, and joined to know you, to know the Church. It is edifying. It doesn't seem possible to look forward without looking back, however painful. I won't despair, though I don't have a clue as to how things will shape-up. God will help us as we go because our faith and love are true.
Columba

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: columba] #340282 12/30/09 05:49 AM
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I hate taking part in arguments, especially at 12:30 at night when I need to be going to bed......

.... but I'd strongly disagree that this exact opinion is held by a broad array of Orthodox. You'll find lots of different opinions on things within Orthodoxy. Even on Mount Athos there are a wide variety of opinions on various matters, and you find people ranging from zealots who don't even want Catholics around to places that will house Latin priests for months. And I find the ones with the most compelling "spiritual output" - books, recordings, etc. - sometimes will have nothing to do with controversies of this sort.

The "confession", to my mind, is not the unified Orthodox position - note that only 5 bishops (and a bishop-abbot of a monastery in West VA) are on the list. Beyond that are five Athonite abbots (of monasteries that are definitely on the more "zealot" side) and the abbots of several other monasteries. You also have much of the population of St. Anna skete on Mount Athos and St. Sabas monastery in Palestine (despite this apparent distastes for Catholicism, I know Palestinian Catholics who have visited St. Sabas). Beyond that, it seems to be to be the signatures of maybe 500 Orthodox.

This is certainly a position that needs to be seriously considered and can't be dismissed. Many people do hold it. But, at least in my experience, it's a bit of an extreme position and the majority of Orthodox wouldn't go quite this far. And this includes people who are not wimpy, wishy washy ecumenists or false monks - some of these people are "as good as" any other Orthodox monk, bishop, or layman.

I also strongly disagree with the assertion that Orthodoxy in the US is mostly corrupt and that there are only a few good monasteries (presumably Elder Ephraim's monasteries and a few ROCOR monasteries).

Last edited by MarkosC; 12/30/09 05:52 AM.
Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: MarkosC] #340303 12/30/09 06:12 PM
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At least the document didn't mention the dread heresy of "New Calendarism." Then again, the first signers were Greeks, and thus prone to that same heresy. That's sarcasm, by the way. But still, I'm actually surprised the calendar didn't come up.

I think part of the problem non-Orthodox may have with the statement is that they use the word "heretic" to describe non-Orthodox. The Orthodox Church believes that she is the True Church, established by Christ, through the Apostles and Church Fathers, through whom the Faith has been handed down to us. She believes that all other Christian groups have sundered themselves from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, including Rome. She also wishes this weren't so. Thus, any group not in communion with Holy Orthodoxy, and thus holding differing theological opinions from Holy Orthodoxy, is heretical.

Some bishops, priests, deacons, monks, nuns, and laity are more vocal about this than others. Some try to maintain cordial relations with non-Orthodox Christian brethren, others see them as sort of "untouchables." I know some Catholics who will gladly explain how the Orthodox are heretics, too.

The fear of Ecumenism is that in order to have Christian unity, the Orthodoxy Church will have to "water down" some of her beliefs. Certainly, there can be no communion with the Latin Church while it holds (irreconcilably) differing beliefs than the Orthodox Church. The Protestant churches have fallen far afield of the Truth. This being the case, there can be no true unity until these other Christian groups accept the Holy Orthodox Faith (note this does not mean following her traditions or liturgies).

As hard as it is for Catholics to believe, the Orthodox Church does not see herself as the "other lung" so beloved by Pope John Paul II. She sees herself as the only true Body of Christ (no doubt containing both lungs already). This upsets some in our modern (or post-modern) "let's all get along" world. We are taught to think that whatever one wishes to believe about God and faith is valid in the discovery and approach to God. You believe what you believe, and I believe what I believe, and all is well as long as you don't force your belief of me, and vice versa. All well and good in a free society, but remember that both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church think they've really got the Truth. It's more like, "believe whatever you guys want, but actually we're the ones who are believing what it is right and proper to believe. You guys are wrong (i.e. heretics, fyi)." So then we have the Catholics and Orthodox butting heads on who actually has the Truth. Of course the Orthodox will proclaim they have it. Certainly the Catholics have proclaimed this as well (remember Benedict's encyclical where the cited the Orthodox as imperfect?).

Play ball!

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: domilsean] #340329 12/31/09 01:49 AM
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I'm glad to have a couple of Orthodox posters turn up among the Catholics. smile

It is important to be aware of this Confession. I'm familiar with most, all, of what it contains. The context to place it in is a challenge, not in order to dismiss it at all, I don't, but just that it IS difficult to get a handle on Orthodoxy. smile Thanks to those who already are trying to help do that here.

Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik

Part of the problem, and one that his been perpetuated by the Phanar, is the notion that Constantinople speaks for Orthodoxy, when in reality, the Phanar speaks for the Phanar. This is something that the West appears to have difficulty in grasping. +Bartholemew has no more authority than the local Orthodox bishop in any city near you. If tomorrow, +Bartholomew came into communion with Rome, it would not mean that the Rome and Orthodoxy are in communion. Rather there would just be one more (And I hate this term, and only use it because it fits best) uniate bishop. A new patriarch would be elected within short order and in reality nothing has changed.
Alexandr


This is indeed confusing for me, since in all honesty I have understood that His All Holiness himself in being "first among equals" has more authority even if it is "only" in honor, still that place of honor I understood was a more significance. It is a difference in understanding what it means to be the leader of X million Orthodox. This is partly a Latin vs Eastern mindset, and I'm still enough Latin in the head to continue struggling with such things. smile

Also, if I understood him in the 60 Minutes interview, the EP of Constantinople has to be a native of Turkey and has to be educated at Halki. This was a major point in his speaking out, that the government of Turkey is systematically creating a situation where there will be no one left who can fulfill that position. At some point "elected within short order" seems to not be in the cards, tho I understand the point you are making here about his seat being just that of a bishop, and that were he to somehow declare union between Constantinople/the Phanar and Rome he could be anathematized (?).

It's only recently that I realized that Blessed John Paul II meant also the Orthodox when he spoke of the "other lung" as I'd always read it to mean only the Eastern and Oriental CCs. I had a sort of resistance to hearing it as including Orthodox I think because it seemed a presumption to appear, to me, to almost speak for the Orthodox in speaking that way.

It's somewhat ironic that yesterday Chtec posted an old documentary on Old Believers in Canada. They would call those signing the Confession pagans, as they called the Orthodox film makers.

I consider everything in the Confession to be very serious and I hope nothing I am saying will be taken as antagonizing in any way, nor do I want my comments in any way to encourage any hijacking the discussion. Are the signers of the Confession not basically concerned about the eternal souls of the faithful? We may or may not agree with their conclusions (obviously as a Catholic I don't agree) but who here can't but fully respect that intent?

Last edited by likethethief; 12/31/09 01:50 AM.
Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: likethethief] #340330 12/31/09 02:08 AM
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Would these Orthodox be inclined to sign the Manhattan Declaration or unite with non-Christians (anyone not Orthodox) on any shared concerns (relief for refugees, for example), or would that be a kind of Ecumenism/heresy?

Re: A CONFESSION OF FAITH - Orthodox Church [Re: columba] #340333 12/31/09 02:15 AM
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I don't know if this fits here, but I can see Orthodoxy has indeed made a inroad to the Catholic world, Father Mark @ Vultus Christi blog has a link now to Bishop Hilarion's web page...I like it


http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/

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