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Re: Fr. Alexis Toth

I wrote:

Publicly venerating someone who, though under duress (in a big way he was a victim), left the church, knowingly and defending it in principle, or promoting private veneration of him, crosses the line.

JBenedict wrote:

Quote
Which line exactly?

Between sympathy for his victimhood and promoting schism.

Quote
It's not precisely a clearcut case. Since we can, I think, all agree that he was badly treated by Archbishop Ireland, even if we agree that he committed the material sin of schism, whether he was guilty of the formal sin of schism is a harder question, given that the duress he was under would militate against his consent.

I thought of that but this wasn't a parishioner who didn't understand the niceties of theology, a good-hearted immigrant just trying to protect his neighborhood's place to pray. Fr. Alexis was a seminary professor. He knew what he was doing and spent the rest of his life promoting schism consciously.

Quote
Then the question is, what is a saint... a saint doesn't have to be free from all sins during their lifetime! A saint can make bad decisions and mistakes.

Understood. I'm not saying it's impossible for Fr. Alexis to be in heaven. An excommunication is not "a ticket to hell, no exceptions," contrary to popular belief. It's meant to persuade the person to come back. Canonization is another matter. The church canonizes people who are good examples. So going into schism disqualifies you.

Quote
But if we are to follow the "nec plus" rule of St. Pius X, Russian Catholics at least certainly get a whole host of Saints who certainly knew of Catholicism and didn't join it. It's not clear that Fr. Toth is in a worse position than many of those. St. Mark of Ephesus?

As I like to say, born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt, and a selling point of being Catholic for me is we include them; they don't include us. So I'm all for St. Pius X's nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter (as I am of the old latinized form of the rite our people adopted on their own: Catholicism means you don't have to hate one or the other) as understood at the time, according to Fr. Cyril Korolevsky (né Jean François Charon) translated by our own late Fr. Serge (Keleher): "saints" who actively worked against the church forfeit that benefit. So Mark of Ephesus is right out in my estimation.

Administrator wrote:

Quote
I see respect for those who grew up on either side of the fence, and that same respect for those (like yourself) who have lived on both sides of the fence.

And of course that's great. Like I said, never-Catholic Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt: estranged Catholics.

Quote
But, for the most part, I see people echoing Saint John Paul II when he indicated that the only thing that was needed for communion is communion (together with a "tear down that fence" cry to the bishops).

There's an authentic Catholic version of that - the Orthodox give up schism and we bend over backwards to respect their traditions, making sure that what happened to Fr. Alexis and Fr. Orestes Chornock (and DMD's grandpas and dad) never happens again. You bet this reconciliation is a two-way street!

The trouble is too often here the prevailing view seems to be "Vatican II says Catholicism doesn't claim we're the true church anymore so Fr. Alexis et al. were fine leaving." Tous schismatiques = NO church! Balamand is referred to as though it were doctrine. "Mad at the Catholics? 'Dox! Both are the true church." The new Greek Catholic who loves the unlatinized form of the rite and is frustrated by Ruthenian or Ukrainian Catholic parish life (not where you want to be if you want unlatinized?) is given an "out" that 1) goes against our teachings and 2) is not fair to the Orthodox, trivializing their true-church claim. But very often the person in this mindset is anti-Western anyway so he buys the Orthodox line. Still, I'm convinced forums like this are partly responsible for nudging such people out of the church.

Greek Catholic laity who preach dissent from the magisterium online - siding with Orthodox opinion yet not officially leaving the church - are arrogating to themselves the responsibility of priests. The church is not a micromanaging cult - we don't harass laity with wrong opinions. But when you take on the responsibility of a priest, with the Web as your podium or pulpit, before a worldwide audience, if you dissent, then you deserve the consequences, like a priest or theologian. Such laity deserve to have their bishop or maybe just their parish priest say, "Until you stop, I can't give you Communion."

Quote
While I would not advocate public veneration of Father Alexis, I will note that the Lord certainly is considerate of those who are hurt by sinful events in the church and trust in His mercy.

That's all I'm trying to say, brother.

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When one of the other side's saints has left the church

Good topic.

Church relations grow and develop over time. An example (an extremely advanced one) that I like to look to for perspective is the agreement between the AOC and the Syriac Orthodox Church, according to which (among other things) no one who schisms from other of those two churches can join the other.

(To Stuart, if you're reading this: Yes, I know how much you hate the aforementioned agreement.)

But anyhow, with respect to Catholics venerating St Alexis who discontinued communion with Rome (aka left the Roman Communion) that is certainly ... Unusual.

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They do. The growing "bromance" between the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox may be an example. The EOs persecuted the OOs, yet the OOs seem to be coming into the EOs. Easy for them since their church cultures are nearly identical: both Eastern. We share a body of faith with the Orthodox: Trinity, hypostatic union, Mother of God, bishops, images (allowed but optional - requiring them is a cultural thing), and the Mass/Real Presence. The real difference is we include Western culture.

We include them. They don't include us.

Mr. Koehl should have been excommunicated years ago. Intellectually, he's not Catholic and he preaches online.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
Mr. Koehl should have been excommunicated years ago.

As Professor Kirk said, that's more than I know.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
Re: Fr. Alexis Toth

I wrote:

Publicly venerating someone who, though under duress (in a big way he was a victim), left the church, knowingly and defending it in principle, or promoting private veneration of him, crosses the line.

JBenedict wrote:

Quote
Which line exactly?

Between sympathy for his victimhood and promoting schism.

Quote
It's not precisely a clearcut case. Since we can, I think, all agree that he was badly treated by Archbishop Ireland, even if we agree that he committed the material sin of schism, whether he was guilty of the formal sin of schism is a harder question, given that the duress he was under would militate against his consent.

I thought of that but this wasn't a parishioner who didn't understand the niceties of theology, a good-hearted immigrant just trying to protect his neighborhood's place to pray. Fr. Alexis was a seminary professor. He knew what he was doing and spent the rest of his life promoting schism consciously.

Quote
Then the question is, what is a saint... a saint doesn't have to be free from all sins during their lifetime! A saint can make bad decisions and mistakes.

Understood. I'm not saying it's impossible for Fr. Alexis to be in heaven. An excommunication is not "a ticket to hell, no exceptions," contrary to popular belief. It's meant to persuade the person to come back. Canonization is another matter. The church canonizes people who are good examples. So going into schism disqualifies you.

Quote
But if we are to follow the "nec plus" rule of St. Pius X, Russian Catholics at least certainly get a whole host of Saints who certainly knew of Catholicism and didn't join it. It's not clear that Fr. Toth is in a worse position than many of those. St. Mark of Ephesus?

As I like to say, born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt, and a selling point of being Catholic for me is we include them; they don't include us. So I'm all for St. Pius X's nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter (as I am of the old latinized form of the rite our people adopted on their own: Catholicism means you don't have to hate one or the other) as understood at the time, according to Fr. Cyril Korolevsky (né Jean François Charon) translated by our own late Fr. Serge (Keleher): "saints" who actively worked against the church forfeit that benefit. So Mark of Ephesus is right out in my estimation.

Administrator wrote:

Quote
I see respect for those who grew up on either side of the fence, and that same respect for those (like yourself) who have lived on both sides of the fence.

And of course that's great. Like I said, never-Catholic Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt: estranged Catholics.

Quote
But, for the most part, I see people echoing Saint John Paul II when he indicated that the only thing that was needed for communion is communion (together with a "tear down that fence" cry to the bishops).

There's an authentic Catholic version of that - the Orthodox give up schism and we bend over backwards to respect their traditions, making sure that what happened to Fr. Alexis and Fr. Orestes Chornock (and DMD's grandpas and dad) never happens again. You bet this reconciliation is a two-way street!

The trouble is too often here the prevailing view seems to be "Vatican II says Catholicism doesn't claim we're the true church anymore so Fr. Alexis et al. were fine leaving." Tous schismatiques = NO church! Balamand is referred to as though it were doctrine. "Mad at the Catholics? 'Dox! Both are the true church." The new Greek Catholic who loves the unlatinized form of the rite and is frustrated by Ruthenian or Ukrainian Catholic parish life (not where you want to be if you want unlatinized?) is given an "out" that 1) goes against our teachings and 2) is not fair to the Orthodox, trivializing their true-church claim. But very often the person in this mindset is anti-Western anyway so he buys the Orthodox line. Still, I'm convinced forums like this are partly responsible for nudging such people out of the church.

Greek Catholic laity who preach dissent from the magisterium online - siding with Orthodox opinion yet not officially leaving the church - are arrogating to themselves the responsibility of priests. The church is not a micromanaging cult - we don't harass laity with wrong opinions. But when you take on the responsibility of a priest, with the Web as your podium or pulpit, before a worldwide audience, if you dissent, then you deserve the consequences, like a priest or theologian. Such laity deserve to have their bishop or maybe just their parish priest say, "Until you stop, I can't give you Communion."

Quote
While I would not advocate public veneration of Father Alexis, I will note that the Lord certainly is considerate of those who are hurt by sinful events in the church and trust in His mercy.

That's all I'm trying to say, brother.


Christ is in our midst!!

I suggest you go to Town Hall and read the thread entitled "Who We Are." This is an Eastern Christian Board, not a strictly Catholic board and certainly not a Latin Catholic board. The attitude you have brought here is one that has caused the breaches in the Body of Christ. This attitude is offensive to many members here and to me, a moderator of this section. It certainly is not representative of the Latin Catholic Church in the past fifty years.

We are long past the time when Orthodox saints are questioned as to the reason for their being named as suchby their respective Churches. We are long past the time when Sister Churches are treated as less than full members of the Body of Christ.

If you don't like the conciliatory approach which this board has striven to promote, it may be that this place is not a good fit for you and it may be time to move on. We are here to learn about the Eastern Churches, their history, their liturgical traditions, their theology, their spirituality, and the way they look at reality and history--especially our shared history. There are always two sides to every set of events--often more than two if one looks with honesty and openness. We will never have full communion unless we learn to see the world as others see it. And a good dose of humility comes in when we understand that our brethren do not need us, now or ever, if this is still the attitude of the Latin Catholic Church. I, for one , don't believe that it is, given the words and teachings of the last four Popes.

Your last line is breathtaking. You acid comments certainly don't fit what you seem to say in this line and your addressing of one you have addressed with less than Christian charity as "brother" is sarcasm at its worst.

That said, I am locking this thread.

Bob
Modera
tor


Moderated by  Alice, Father Deacon Ed, theophan 

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