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DMD #374438 01/18/12 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DMD
Thank you Nelson, I was actually put off by the prior statement of JDC as it reflects the type of Latin-Rite cultural imperialism and superiority that so offended my grandparents and which is supposed to be out of fashion following Vatican 2.


In fact in my case it reflects nothing at all of Latin-rite anything. What I got from reading and discussions with Latin riters, even the kooky trad ones, were romantic ideas about Eastern purity and devotion to ritual, devoid of the politics or animosity that exists regarding culture, language, imperialism, Russification, etc. Certainly it was on this forum that I first (and second and third) read the joke about the Ukrainian lost at sea who built on his deserted island several Churches in order not to attend some of them. This is not a Latin rite joke. It is also not a Latin rite discussion going on now in another thread about how it was possible for a beloved priest with an Irish name and a Russian accent to minister to second-generation Canadian Ukrainians. This stuff is boggling, and most certainly not anything I even glimpsed through my upbringing in the Latin rite.

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Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Originally Posted by StuartK
In both cases, the problems were more political and cultural than substantive, which is what has enabled both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to enter into Agreed Christological Statements with the non-Chalcedonian Churches. As Kyr Elias Zoghby said, "We all believe that Jesus Christ is fully God. We all believe that Jesus Christ is fully man. And we all believe that Jesus Christ is one. Everything else is philosophy".


hence the relevance of the example, I think the Immaculate Conception is more a cultural and political block to eastern Catholics and Orthodox than a substantive one.


You and I and Eastern Christians may think that, but some Roman Catholics certainly do not. Infallibility is a tough corner to paint oneself out of.

JDC #374443 01/18/12 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JDC
That won't do Stuart. It's beside the point. The point was, these groups never agreed to Chalcedon, yet it's still ecumenical and dogmatic, and the Coptic and Assyrian are still true Churches. Chalcedon was no more received by the entire Church than the Immaculate Conception was. The difference is one of numbers, not of type. And you go on to say well, that's different since we pretty much agree anyway and that example was political and cultural when we have already heard that the Immaculate Conception isn't (from the Orthodox position) heretical and when obviously everything in Eastern Christianity is political and cultural.

If you're disputing the point, you should show how the examples are dissimilar, not how they're the same.


Were the Oriental churches always considered true Churches? Or, when Chalcedon was established as "ecumenical" were these churches seen as being outside the "true Church" and only later recognized as fully "Church"?

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Originally Posted by jjp
Were the Oriental churches always considered true Churches? Or, when Chalcedon was established as "ecumenical" were these churches seen as being outside the "true Church" and only later recognized as fully "Church"?


I don't know. I suppose I don't know what they'd be other than Church, inasmuch as they represent the entirety of the Christian community, clergy, and hierarchy in a given place. If you know something else on the topic that does, in fact, render the example dissimilar, I'd like to know.

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Remember that the rejection of Chalcedon did not result in an immediate breaking of communion between Alexandria and Constantinople, and that attempts at reconciliation continued for another two centuries. Moreover, during that period, relations had their ups and downs, but at all times the Church of Alexandria was considered to be very much a part of the Catholic Church. Not even the establishment of a parallel hierarchy under Mar Jakub (hence the term "Jacobite Church"--nothing at all to do with Bonnie Prince Charlie) could change that.

Positions only became rigidly defined after the Muslim Conquest, when the Muslims extended political favor to the Jacobites and oppressed the Melkites as a way of driving a wedge between their Christian subjects and the Byzantine Empire.

As for the Church of the East, after the condemnation of Nestorius, the bulk of the Church of Antioch came back into the Catholic fold, but those elements of it (sometimes called the Church of Edessa) that were outside the boundaries of the Empire (hence under Parthian, and later Persian rule) adopted a more militant form of Antiochene theology, a move encouraged by the Parthians and Persians as a way of driving a wedge between their Christian subjects and the Roman Empire.

In short, politics and culture, in both instances. No substantive differences existed, and though it took about 1500 years, without any political or cultural barriers to get in the way, both sides understood and accepted this reality. A sign of just how peripheral the Christological differences were in reality--and where they stood in the great scheme of things--after the Synod of Diamper about half of the Syro-Malabarese Church (nominally "Nestorian") decided to switch its communion from the Church of the East to the Syrian Orthodox Church (nominally "Monophysite") without missing a beat, becoming the Syro-Malankarese Orthodox Church.

JDC #374449 01/18/12 11:48 PM
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Edit: Stuart said it better than I did, which in these matters is typically the case.

Last edited by jjp; 01/18/12 11:48 PM.
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Re: the St. Thomas Christians of India

The switch made under an oppressive Portuguese dominated Jesuit regime, but the two separated bodies never questioned the Apostolic Succession of the other (once the incomplete blessing was formally made complete), the Scripture (all 72 books of the Pesetto and New Testament), or the origin of the Community.

The group which left Communion with Rome even used the same Liturgy for decades, in the 'wrong' dialect with no interruption or 'correction'.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Remember that the rejection of Chalcedon did not result in an immediate breaking of communion between Alexandria and Constantinople, and that attempts at reconciliation continued for another two centuries. Moreover, during that period, relations had their ups and downs, but at all times the Church of Alexandria was considered to be very much a part of the Catholic Church. Not even the establishment of a parallel hierarchy under Mar Jakub (hence the term "Jacobite Church"--nothing at all to do with Bonnie Prince Charlie) could change that.

Positions only became rigidly defined after the Muslim Conquest, when the Muslims extended political favor to the Jacobites and oppressed the Melkites as a way of driving a wedge between their Christian subjects and the Byzantine Empire.

As for the Church of the East, after the condemnation of Nestorius, the bulk of the Church of Antioch came back into the Catholic fold, but those elements of it (sometimes called the Church of Edessa) that were outside the boundaries of the Empire (hence under Parthian, and later Persian rule) adopted a more militant form of Antiochene theology, a move encouraged by the Parthians and Persians as a way of driving a wedge between their Christian subjects and the Roman Empire.

In short, politics and culture, in both instances. No substantive differences existed, and though it took about 1500 years, without any political or cultural barriers to get in the way, both sides understood and accepted this reality. A sign of just how peripheral the Christological differences were in reality--and where they stood in the great scheme of things--after the Synod of Diamper about half of the Syro-Malabarese Church (nominally "Nestorian") decided to switch its communion from the Church of the East to the Syrian Orthodox Church (nominally "Monophysite") without missing a beat, becoming the Syro-Malankarese Orthodox Church.


I don't really know what any of this does to contradict my point that there is nothing particularly wrong with one Church having a different definition of tradition than another.

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It depends on what you mean by "Tradition". All the Churches share the same Christology, regardless of how they express it. So they all have the same Tradition. But no one Church has the right to impose its mode of expression on any other Church against its will. So, Rome will just have to get over itself regarding things it declared "dogmatic" without asking anybody else.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
It depends on what you mean by "Tradition". All the Churches share the same Christology, regardless of how they express it. So they all have the same Tradition. But no one Church has the right to impose its mode of expression on any other Church against its will. So, Rome will just have to get over itself regarding things it declared "dogmatic" without asking anybody else.


Don't be too hard on them, the Orthodox who incorporated elements of this thought and practice have found it hard to shed the 'trappings' of that thinking - hence 'First confession' classes etc....Even some parents still resist infant communion, although that is waning.

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My mind keeps coming to an example of a dogmatic claim that "2+2=4."

Others would react that, "sure, thats true, but why is it a dogma?"

hawk

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The problem comes when someone points out that 1 + 3 also equals four, but the first person insists that 2 + 2 is the only right and proper, divinely ordained way of getting to four, and anathematizes all those who believe in 1 + 3, or 3 + 1, or 4 + 0, for that matter.

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