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A balanced response to the Bulgarian Church's withdrawal from the upcoming council from Public Orthodoxy .

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By limiting the Church to a visible institution, the Orthodox (Byzantine rite) Church, the Bulgarian approach negates the Pauline notion, taken up by many Fathers of the Church, of the Church as “the Body of Christ” (1 Co 12:12-31; Eph.4:11-13; Col. 1:24 etc.). In much patristic and modern reflection on the Church, this came to be expressed as the “mystical Body of Christ,” emphasizing that the Church extends well beyond the limits of the limits of the Orthodox Church. Christ is “the Way and the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6). The three characteristics form one whole. Thus wherever there is Truth, there also are the Way and Life – the way and life that are Christ Jesus. The essence of Church is the possession of Truth, the witness to Truth, and access to the means of salvation. While non-Orthodox Churches and communities do not possess the fullness of the Truth found only in the Orthodox Church, they nonetheless possess elements of the Truth, to the degree to which they witness to Jesus Christ and manifest his teachings. They thus participate in the Church of Christ and hence are indeed members of the Body of Christ, which entitles them to refer to themselves and to be referred to as “Church.”

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I find it difficult to imagine how this Great Council can succeed when already such a small mindset has emerged and whole churches are withdrawing from participation. Indeed, these
churches are orthodox, but hardly Catholic. They'll need a Pope Leo to get through this one!

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I find it difficult to imagine how this Great Council can succeed when already such a small mindset has emerged and whole churches are withdrawing from participation.


Yes, it is looking bleak.

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Indeed, these churches are orthodox, but hardly Catholic. They'll need a Pope Leo to get through this one


A Pope St. Leo indeed or, in my opinion, just a Pope. That is why I became a Catholic and remain one.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 06/06/16 08:08 PM.
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Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
That is why I became a Catholic and remain one.


Ya, tozha. By the bye, the whole draft to which the Bulgarian Church objects to, is a very weak one at that; not for the reasons they site, but because it not once mentions the churches with whom the Orthodox would have the most affinity. Puzzling that the draft spends a paragraph or two about their relations with the WCC! I guess if the Russians withdraw, it's all over.

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The Patriarchate of Antioch has withdrawn over the issue of Qatar. Here is the Statement of the Secretariat of the Antiochian Holy Synod: http://www.antiochpatriarchate.org/...holy-synod-on-the-6th-of-june-2016/1436/

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Sister Vassa provides a great answer as to why old men divorced from the world should listen to women. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5x3IEi1C7w

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Let's be honest. This is ONLY an Ecumenical council for "Eastern Orthodox" churches. I this were a true "Ecumenical Council" like we had with the first three Ecumenical Councils. The Pope of Rome, the Pope of the Coptic Church (Alexandria) along with the Coptic Catholics, the Syriac Orthodox and Catholics, the Ethiopian Orthodox and Ethiopian Catholic Churches as well as the Eastern Orthodox and the rest of the Eastern Catholics would all be represented. It's just a Vatican 1 and Vatican 2 for Eastern Orthodox Christians. I read that The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch will probably not attend either. So much for the Great Council. At least the Orthodox faith and traditions will still be intact. For the differences are once again jurisdictional issues. Like the past, with the Byzantine east.

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Unity at any cost is not a virtue. The Catholic Church's ability to unite in so-called ecumenical councils has not done them any favors, as the doctrinal and liturgical chaos of that communion makes clear.

I would like to see the Orthodox Churches unite in a council and earnestly discuss the many problems facing the Church in the world today. Unfortunately this council was engineered to avoid any serious discussion or resolution of these problems. Instead, documents were drawn up by committees to be either rubber-stamped or rejected at the council, on the basis of consensus of the church delegations. Any amendments would require consensus for approval, and "off-topic" discussions would be banned.

The council is essentially aimed to present a picture of unity to the world while putting the real problems and disagreements on the back burner. This is a backwards way of doing a council. The main aim seems to be to enhance the prestige of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in his ability to unite the churches, rather than substantively address the problems facing the Church. Not even the imperial councils (and it was the emperor, not the Pope, who convoked them) had such predetermination.

By all means, let's have a council but one which doesn't sweep everything under the rug. Address the problems and disagreements honestly- then unity can be really expressed without underlying rancor.

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So far, Antioch, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Georgia are out, so, unless something dramatic happens at the last minute to bring them back, this thing is either not going to happen or will be a farce.

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Usually I don't comment but this time I will.. I am Eastern Orthodox by choice;I was born a Latin and converted of my own free will. I am a retired late antique historian. Some of you have been waxing poetic about this council and how this disorder would never happen under Rome. I would point out that this is not an ecumenical council. A council can only be called ecumenical by a subsequent council. in light of the 28 canon of the council of Chalcedon, The lockstep mentality of one of the comments above is rather cheeky. The council was meant for Eastern Orthodox only and it was not surprising that the documents were the way they were because the matters dealt with have been under discussion for my entire lifetime and there was need to impose some order on the matter. the fact that some churches did not attend...hmmm if I remember correctly, in 325 at Nicaea, there were few members of the western church present and the Bishop of Rome had only legates there. I for one rejoice in the disunity because it represents the true nature of the Eastern church and the way it has been since the time that Constantine the Great founded the Church which, in those days, consisted of both east and west.

We are all entitled to our own opinions and I expressed mine .


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Originally Posted by johnzonaras
Constantine the Great founded the Church


Huh...

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I for one rejoice in the disunity because it represents the true nature of the Eastern church


How can one rejoice over disunity?

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nd the way it has been since the time that Constantine the Great founded the Church which, in those days, consisted of both east and west.


St. Constantine founded the Church? Hmmmmm...

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 06/10/16 12:35 PM.
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Originally Posted by bkovacs
Let's be honest. This is ONLY an Ecumenical council for "Eastern Orthodox" churches.

What are you responding to, exactly?

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Well now, there's not much to look forward to these coming days in Crete as the Synod of the ROC has also decided to withdraw from the Council, as I had predicted, after Bulgaria declined. I have the feeling that they never had any real intention of attending in the first place as they always seem to find excuses. "Ut unum sint!"

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https://www.facebook.com/eremitic.ambles/posts/1267975633231827

An interesting point of view of just what is going on with the various parties.

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