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Breathing With Both Lungs #418355 06/28/18 06:27 PM
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Is it possible to truly "breathe with both lungs?"

Reading the article, "So You Want to Be a Byzantine? A Guide for Romans (Part Two)," I came across the following statement;

Quote
"The two spiritualities, while celebrating the same dogmatic and universally Catholic beliefs, approach those beliefs from two very different angles that are not compatible to be practiced all together by one person or mish-mashed into some kind of franken-spirituality. This is not only something I have come to learn by my own reasoning and experience but through consultation with an experienced spiritual director as well."

http://catholicmom.com/2014/11/12/so-you-want-to-be-a-byzantine-a-guide-for-romans-part-two-2/

Does anyone agree or disagree strongly with this? I am a Latin Rite Catholic who is strongly drawn to the East. Without making a formal change, I have been trying to live more in the spirit of the quotes below.

Quote
"The whole teaching of the Latin Fathers may be found in the East, just as the whole teaching of the Greek Fathers may be found in the West. Rome has given St. Jerome to Palestine. The East has given Cassian to the West and holds in special veneration that Roman of the Romans, Pope Gregory the Great. St. Basil would have acknowledged St. Benedict of Nursia as his brother and heir. St. Macrina would have found her sister in St Scholastica. St. Alexis the "man of God," "the poor man under the stairs," has been succeeded by the wandering beggar, St. Benedict Labre. St. Nicolas would have felt as very near to him the burning charity of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Vincent d Paul. St. Seraphim of Sarov would have seen the desert blooming under Father Charles de Foucauld's feet, and would have called St. Thérèse of Lisieux "my joy.'" -Fr. Lev Gillet



Quote
"If I can unite in myself the thought and the devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians with the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians. If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other. But if wedo this, the union is not Christian. It is political, and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ." -Fr Thomas Merton

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418356 06/29/18 03:25 AM
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I don't think so, but that's just me. I guess my question would be this - how much does truth matter? Does it matter if the Immaculate Conception is true? If papal infallibility is true? If Indulgences are true? Do these things constitute a necessary belief or you go straight to hell? Roman Catholics of the more conservative bent seem to think so.

Do you understand that Eastern Catholics are supposed to be "Orthodox in Communion with Rome," and if we are, then we hold to those distinctives of Orthodox theology, soteriology, eclessiology, etc. Do you understand that there are some profound differences which cannot be blended together like throwing vegetables into a blender and coming out with a nice smoothie.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #418357 06/29/18 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Does it matter if the Immaculate Conception is true? If papal infallibility is true? If Indulgences are true? Do these things constitute a necessary belief or you go straight to hell?
Except for the "hell" part, yes they matter. They are clearly articulated Catholic dogma --- Catholic, properly unmodified,

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that Eastern Catholics are supposed to be "Orthodox in Communion with Rome,"
I do not as used here.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
...and if we are, then we hold to those distinctives of Orthodox theology, soteriology, eclessiology, etc.
Yes but Eastern, not necessarily Orthodox but very often also Orthodox.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that there are some profound differences which cannot be blended together like throwing vegetables into a blender and coming out with a nice smoothie.
What are the differences within eastern and western Catholic theological understanding that cannot "be blended"?

The excessive Vostochnik who looks deep enough in the mirror should see the eastern-image version of that rightly criticized " Roman Catholics of the more conservative bent." Neither Eastern nor Western triumphalism is the Way.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418358 06/29/18 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Gueranger
Is it possible to truly "breathe with both lungs?"
Yes. If not, the image makes no sense.

Originally Posted by Gueranger
Reading the article, "So You Want to Be a Byzantine? A Guide for Romans (Part Two)," I came across the following statement;

Quote
"The two spiritualities, while celebrating the same dogmatic and universally Catholic beliefs, approach those beliefs from two very different angles that are not compatible to be practiced all together by one person or mish-mashed into some kind of franken-spirituality. This is not only something I have come to learn by my own reasoning and experience but through consultation with an experienced spiritual director as well."

http://catholicmom.com/2014/11/12/so-you-want-to-be-a-byzantine-a-guide-for-romans-part-two-2/

Does anyone agree or disagree strongly with this?
I disagree strongly.

Originally Posted by Gueranger
I am a Latin Rite Catholic who is strongly drawn to the East. Without making a formal change, I have been trying to live more in the spirit of the quotes below.

Quote
"The whole teaching of the Latin Fathers may be found in the East, just as the whole teaching of the Greek Fathers may be found in the West. Rome has given St. Jerome to Palestine. The East has given Cassian to the West and holds in special veneration that Roman of the Romans, Pope Gregory the Great. St. Basil would have acknowledged St. Benedict of Nursia as his brother and heir. St. Macrina would have found her sister in St Scholastica. St. Alexis the "man of God," "the poor man under the stairs," has been succeeded by the wandering beggar, St. Benedict Labre. St. Nicolas would have felt as very near to him the burning charity of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Vincent d Paul. St. Seraphim of Sarov would have seen the desert blooming under Father Charles de Foucauld's feet, and would have called St. Thérèse of Lisieux "my joy.'" -Fr. Lev Gillet
Well said by Fr. Lev though he could have said it and still remained Catholic. Formal Communion means something but then, we are all in via.


Quote
"If I can unite in myself the thought and the devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians with the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians. If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other. But if wedo this, the union is not Christian. It is political, and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ." -Fr Thomas Merton
Well said also. Distinction, yes, division, no, to use a terminology of Met. John Zizioulas (in another though related context).

Also, as I have said in a broader perspective:
Quote
One can not do better, faced with the ecumenical challenge, than to reflect on the balanced optimism of St Thomas Aquinas concerning faith,
reason, and intellectual challenges:

Cum enim fides infallibili veritati innitatur, impossibile autem sit de vero demonstrari contrarium, manifestum est, probationes, quae contra fidem inducuntur, non esse demonstrationes, sed solubilia argumenta.


-----------------------
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1a.1.8. “Since faith rests upon infallible
truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments
brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.”

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418359 06/29/18 11:43 AM
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For other reasons than the topic here, I have been going through posts of the past. I just happened upon this one from JAN 1999 and thought it pertained. Eighteen years can make a big difference these days and the emphasis and context have changed; and our thoughts evolve, mature and hopefully improve our perspective. But as a snapshot of history in the thought of the Forum -- allowing that posters may write differently today, or not -- I offer it for consideration.

Death of Byzantine Catholicism

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #418360 06/29/18 01:06 PM
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Irish_Ruthenian, thank you for your reply. I was asking more from the angle of praxis, not fundamental beliefs.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Does it matter if the Immaculate Conception is true? If papal infallibility is true? If Indulgences are true? Do these things constitute a necessary belief or you go straight to hell? Roman Catholics of the more conservative bent seem to think so.

Do you understand that Eastern Catholics are supposed to be "Orthodox in Communion with Rome," and if we are, then we hold to those distinctives of Orthodox theology, soteriology, eclessiology, etc. Do you understand that there are some profound differences which cannot be blended together like throwing vegetables into a blender and coming out with a nice smoothie.


Of course it matters if these things are true. If they are not true,why do you choose to be in communion with heretics? I don't mean to be disrespectful, please forgive me if I misunderstood you.

I believe the Immaculate Conception is true. I believe it means she was conceived in a state of union with God that the rest of us were not, that she had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the beginning

I have difficulties with papal infallibility, but I give it the assent of faith, and I understand it as the Holy Spirit protecting the whole Church, that He will not let the universal primate bind us to a heretical belief as a condition for being Catholic.

Indulgences were a stumbling block for me remaining Catholic, but I overcame it, in a way I hope is amenable to Byzantine Catholic thinking. Perhaps I could share in another post.

I would not judge the salvation of anyone, but I do believe these are dogmas, even though they need not always be expressed and articulated the same way.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: ajk] #418361 06/29/18 01:08 PM
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AJK, thank you for your reply. It is reassuring for me. Were you raised Byzantine Catholic?

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: ajk] #418364 06/29/18 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Does it matter if the Immaculate Conception is true? If papal infallibility is true? If Indulgences are true? Do these things constitute a necessary belief or you go straight to hell?
Except for the "hell" part, yes they matter. They are clearly articulated Catholic dogma --- Catholic, properly unmodified,

And you miss the whole point. When I was being catechized into the BCC, I was told that we are "ORTHODOX in Communion with Rome." It wasn't until I went to seminary that I really learned of the profound theological, soteriological, and ecclesiological differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. I also, over the next 10 - 12 years from my entrance into the BCC in 2001, came to learn about how the Roman Catholic Church really viewed the BCC here in America and the shameful way that the BCC was treated by the Roman Church. In short, the promises to the Orthodox before they finalized the Canons of the Union of Brest were spit upon. We were expected to adapt to Roman practices and theology, which is why you will find in America a great number of highly latinized BCC parishes even today. In the 1950's, it was even worse.

The whole point I made and will remake is that Orthodox dogmatics are considerably different than Roman Catholic dogmatics, which we are expected to accept if we are "good BBC" I say this because the term "in communion" means a complete acceptance of beliefs and dogma. To the Roman Church, this means nothing less than subjection to what the Roman Catholic Catechism teaches. If this is not true, then why do we bar Protestants from the Holy Table? If I am truly Orthodox in my dogmatic beliefs (and I am) then do not accept what Rome teaches. I think this understanding is why Pope Francis, in a moment of clear candor, said that the Unia is no longer necessary.


Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that Eastern Catholics are supposed to be "Orthodox in Communion with Rome,"
I do not as used here.

What do you mean "as used here?"

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
...and if we are, then we hold to those distinctives of Orthodox theology, soteriology, eclessiology, etc.
Yes but Eastern, not necessarily Orthodox but very often also Orthodox.

This is waffling, if I am correctly understanding what you are saying. Either we are Orthodox, as were the first to enter into the Unia and the Union of Brest, or we are not. Again, I think this is why Pope Francis sees the Unia as no longer necessary. Pick a side and go there.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that there are some profound differences which cannot be blended together like throwing vegetables into a blender and coming out with a nice smoothie.
What are the differences within eastern and western Catholic theological understanding that cannot "be blended"?

The excessive Vostochnik who looks deep enough in the mirror should see the eastern-image version of that rightly criticized " Roman Catholics of the more conservative bent." Neither Eastern nor Western triumphalism is the Way.


You cannot blend the horrendous Medieval descriptions of hell with the Orthodox understanding that hell is not a place, but a state of being. There is no such place as hell. The "hell" that the wicked experience is the love of God that is poured out freely on the whole world and all human beings who have ever existed. The righteous experience it as joy. The wicked as torment.

You cannot justify the filioque. The Immaculate Conception is a serious anthropological problem. Rome's whole scholastic approach to the faith has in reality destroyed the faith in the minds of many. There is a reason that so many Roman Catholics have abandoned ship, but Rome refuses to acknowledge Her errors nor come to the table of union with a sincere desire to repent.

Honestly, if I had been properly catechized back in the year 2000, I would be Orthodox today, just like 13 of my friends who have left the latinized parish in Harrisburg PA and gone to the Orthodox parish across the street. I only wish that Fr. Dan had sat down with me and talked with me when I was attending Orthodox Vespers at his parish before I converted from Protestantism.

Truth is important. The Early Fathers died for it and to protect its transmission from age to age.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418365 06/29/18 04:19 PM
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IrishRuthenian,

If that is what you believe, why do you stay in communion with Rome? It sounds like you would have much more at peace being Orthodox in communion with Orthodoxy.

The question posed in ajk’s repost of an old thread seems very appropriate.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: ajk] #418366 06/29/18 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk

For other reasons than the topic here, I have been going through posts of the past. I just happened upon this one from JAN 1999 and thought it pertained. Eighteen years can make a big difference these days and the emphasis and context have changed; and our thoughts evolve, mature and hopefully improve our perspective. But as a snapshot of history in the thought of the Forum -- allowing that posters may write differently today, or not -- I offer it for consideration.

Death of Byzantine Catholicism



Well, I am glad you posted that link. Of course, I have much to say about it, beginning with the fact that at the time, the OP, a very highly respected member of this community, was nonetheless a wet-behind-the-ears 21 year old man. There is a reason that the Sacred Scriptures tell us to revere the man with the gray hair - wisdom and knowledge of truth come with years of study, learning, errors, corrections, and prayer. A man of 21 years of age has not had the time to deeply delve into all the issues of life, and especially those myriad and complicated issues of the Christian faith.

Antony posted the following:

1. Rome has a messed up ecclesiology, and is wrong to micromanage so much. (I have to agree with this one, at least to some extent). The only problematic ecclesiology I see is the issue of the power and authority of the Holy Father of Rome. This is something that the last couple of popes have spoken of as needing to be addressed. Other than that, I'm not sure I see a big difference, but then again, ecclesiology is not my strong suit of study.

2. Orthodox ecclesiology is the right model. Again, I think this has more to do with claims of papal power than the actual structure of the Church, therefore I think this to be a bit misleading.

3. The claims of the Pope to infallibility in specific instances are false. The history of the Church, as well as the statement of Sacred Scripture in 1 Timothy 3:15 appear to validate that. The Church, that is, the unified body meeting in council, was the manner in which truth was established for 1000 years. No single man was listened to, and the troubles in the West began when Augustine's strange anthropological views were accepted as dogma and promoted, eventually becoming the foundation of the Calvinist TULIP heresy. No single man is spoken of in Scripture as having the same authority as the Church, and Christ stated that he who would not listen to the Church should be viewed as a pagan. Therefore, I have to agree that the Roman declaration of papal infallibility is a circular and self-serving argument.

4. There is no substantial benefit to being Byzantine Catholic as opposed to being Eastern Orthodox. I think 100 years of the 20th century in America kind of clearly showed this. As I entered more and more deeply into understanding the BCC that I had joined in 2001, I heard from forum groups such as this one, from historic study, and from the old-timers in the Church all about the way the Latin Church literally spit on the BCC here in America. In addition, for some strange reason, the BCC in America lost its Orthodox identity and the people stopped thinking about themselves as theologically Orthodox, accepting Roman dogmas as truth. Of course, sad to say, most lay people aren't terribly theologically astute in the first place in Catholic and Byzantine parishes, so that is understandable. They know what they have inherited from their parents and that's really all they care to know.

Which brings me back to my original point. What exactly IS the point of being BCC? The idea of being "in communion" means, as I have stated ad nauseum, you agree on all points of doctrine! If this is not the case, then what the heck, let's just allow Protestants to our Holy Table and give them the Eucharist, which they don't believe in. Had I known in 1999 what I know now, I would be Orthodox today.

I think that in that link you provided, "Moose" provided a very balanced view of the issue of "communion with Peter." When I entered the BCC, it was because I had been looking for some time as an Evangelical, for the worship which was authentic to the first century. That worship is found in the Old Roman Rite of the Antiochian Orthodox and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, both of which were in communion with Rome. But here's my problem: if Rome has pushed forth doctrines which are heretical (and this is the first question, are they truly heretical?) then what should our response be? Stay in communion or disassociate? Rome's self-serving answer is that Rome is the Church and therefore "the gates of hell have not prevailed against her." Which brings me to the last question I am praying about before I leave for Holy Orthodoxy - which way did the Church go?

The Orthodox claim they are the Church. The Roman Church, with her 23 in communion sister churches, claim they are the Church. And I am getting a migraine trying to figure it out. I find myself wondering, looking at the fact that both sides have

HOLY SAINTS
INCORRUPT SAINTS
MIRACLES
EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES
SAINTS WHO BILOCATE
PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF GOD IN TRINITY
95% AGREEMENT ON DOGMA

if the Church is still one and just in a state of estrangement rather than schism. If that is the case, then I am staying put and working to get the people in my UCC parish to start acting Orthodox. I have a lot of praying and studying to do before I actually make the leap.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #418367 06/29/18 04:33 PM
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I wish to retract a comment I made toward Irish_Ruthenian which has not yet been approved.

Also, I would also very much like to Private Message him. I believe we have similar struggles, and live in the same area. It would be good to speak over the phone or in person.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418369 06/30/18 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gueranger
IrishRuthenian,

If that is what you believe, why do you stay in communion with Rome? It sounds like you would have much more at peace being Orthodox in communion with Orthodoxy.

The question posed in ajk’s repost of an old thread seems very appropriate.


I am looking for the door out right now. I would have to go into rather long detail as to why I haven't already done what 13 of my other friends have done and bolted for the Orthodox door. It has really become an issue of prayer and waiting for the Lord to open the door for me....that is the short answer. But theologically, I am already Orthodox. I just need to get my body in the nearest parish.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418370 06/30/18 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gueranger
Irish_Ruthenian, thank you for your reply. I was asking more from the angle of praxis, not fundamental beliefs.


Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi, Lex Vivendi

Fundamental belief very much affects praxis.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #418371 06/30/18 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Originally Posted by Gueranger
Irish_Ruthenian, thank you for your reply. I was asking more from the angle of praxis, not fundamental beliefs.


Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi, Lex Vivendi

Fundamental belief very much affects praxis.


This is certainly true.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418372 06/30/18 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Originally Posted by Gueranger
IrishRuthenian,

If that is what you believe, why do you stay in communion with Rome? It sounds like you would have much more at peace being Orthodox in communion with Orthodoxy.

The question posed in ajk’s repost of an old thread seems very appropriate.


I am looking for the door out right now. I would have to go into rather long detail as to why I haven't already done what 13 of my other friends have done and bolted for the Orthodox door. It has really become an issue of prayer and waiting for the Lord to open the door for me....that is the short answer. But theologically, I am already Orthodox. I just need to get my body in the nearest parish.


That was the post I wished to retract. Your later post clarified you were struggling with that question. I will pray for you and your discernment.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #418373 06/30/18 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that Eastern Catholics are supposed to be "Orthodox in Communion with Rome,"
Originally Posted by ajk
I do not as used here.
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
What do you mean "as used here?"
With your understanding as you have amply demonstrated here in your diatribe. In my opinion. based on your response, it set you on the wrong course. There is an approach that I have observed -- in the BBC especially -- that would have it that we demonstrate how Eastern, or even Orthodox, we are by disparaging the West. I believe in a different path, for instance:

Originally Posted by ajk

Several years ago I had occasion to prepare talks on the general topic of dogma. One of the first slides of my talk asked:

Quote
A Failure of our Church ?

To effectively articulate why, as eastern, orthodox Christians we are, and why one should be Catholic – we, who are living (though perhaps rather imperfectly) the desired unity.


And as I have posted elsewhere on this forum:

Quote
I do think that in general an adequate Eastern Catholic articulation of the Catholic faith, which I profess to be orthodox, is lacking.
link
A Failure of our Church ? link 1 , also A Failure of our Church ? link 2

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
...and if we are, then we hold to those distinctives of Orthodox theology, soteriology, eclessiology, etc.
Originally Posted by ajk
Yes but Eastern, not necessarily Orthodox but very often also Orthodox.
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
This is waffling, if I am correctly understanding what you are saying.
There is a large area of agreement but not total. If all that is required is an Eastern articulation of theology one can dispense with the West and even more so if not in communion with the West. So the presentation that results is one sided: Here is the worst of plodding Western, Catholic theological opinion and here the purity and eloquence of the Orthodox faith -- now choose. As you put it.:

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Either we are Orthodox, as were the first to enter into the Unia and the Union of Brest, or we are not ... Pick a side and go there. [/b]
So you're not a two lung guy; that they all may be one then, choose "a side" of the Body of Christ, the one with the lung. I say again:

Originally Posted by ajk
The excessive Vostochnik who looks deep enough in the mirror should see the eastern-image version of that rightly criticized " Roman Catholics of the more conservative bent." Neither Eastern nor Western triumphalism is the Way.
Keep looking in that mirror.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418374 06/30/18 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gueranger
AJK, thank you for your reply. It is reassuring for me. Were you raised Byzantine Catholic?
I'm Eastern Catholic "Ruthenian" (but from the other side of the Carpathian mountains by birth and law), grew up in the Latin church but with Eastern exposure.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #418538 09/07/18 01:16 AM
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Having read this article now, I have some pretty significant issues with other aspects of it as well as the quote you've highlighted in the OP. To whit:

Quote
The fundamentals of this spirituality are absolutely beautiful, but it’s a beauty can’t be found by living merely on–or for–the bells and the incense and the blessed grapes and all the other relatively trivial stuff.


I am very certain that for someone like, say, Saint John Chrysostom who dedicated tremendous time and effort to codifying the Divine Liturgy, those blessings, bells, incense, vestments etc. are pretty bloody important. To claim that the "external" is somehow trivial is to say that Sacraments are, deep down, trivial. It is to say that wedding bands are trivial. It is to say that Icons are trivial. They are not trivial since their external signs reveal to our sinful eyes the great reality which they contain themselves--realities which we, in our weakness, could never grasp. These are extremely useful helpmates in our path to theosis, not mere ornamentation, decoration and triviality.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #419234 05/20/19 06:40 AM
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I was impressed by your confession.

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Thomas Merton says that if we want to bring the divided Churches together we cannot do so by imposing one (set of doctrines) upon the other because this would not work. It would be political rather than spiritual. But I don't see if Thomas Merton is suggesting how this is to be done. In my opinion, there must be a way that the Orthodox Churches and the Eastern and Western Catholic Churches can COOPERATE with each other, regard each other as TRUE AND VALID APOSTOLIC CHURCHES, and begin to SHARE EUCHARIST and Divine Liturgies.
Signed by: Anaphora, July 30, 2019

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: ajk] #419416 08/21/19 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Does it matter if the Immaculate Conception is true? If papal infallibility is true? If Indulgences are true? Do these things constitute a necessary belief or you go straight to hell?
Except for the "hell" part, yes they matter. They are clearly articulated Catholic dogma --- Catholic, properly unmodified,

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that Eastern Catholics are supposed to be "Orthodox in Communion with Rome,"
I do not as used here.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
...and if we are, then we hold to those distinctives of Orthodox theology, soteriology, eclessiology, etc.
Yes but Eastern, not necessarily Orthodox but very often also Orthodox.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Do you understand that there are some profound differences which cannot be blended together like throwing vegetables into a blender and coming out with a nice smoothie.
What are the differences within eastern and western Catholic theological understanding that cannot "be blended"?

The excessive Vostochnik who looks deep enough in the mirror should see the eastern-image version of that rightly criticized " Roman Catholics of the more conservative bent." Neither Eastern nor Western triumphalism is the Way.


Several things come to mind in reviewing this thread:

1. The Filioque was added to the Creed over and above the objections of Pope Leo III, who had it engraved on silver tablets and placed in the tomb of St. Peter [bold]without the Filioque[/bold]. In addition, not one but two ecumenical councils of the united Church, East and West, pronounced anathema on anyone who would tamper with the Creed. Apparently, that was of little concern to Charlemagne and the Frankish bishops who pushed this through.

2. Roman Catholic theology is in a great deal based on the theological and anthropological musings of Augustine, who not only had a very pessimistic view of mankind and our relationship to God (the "massa damnata") but whose writings are beloved by heretical Presbyterian Calvinists. Oh! Am I not supposed to say the word "heretic" here? Sorry. They are heretics. End of discussion.

3. Roman triumphalism, which began with the Papal Reformation of the eleventh century, has been at times extremely violent towards the East, as in not only the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, but the most recently activities of the Ustashi during WWII and the cooperation of the Roman Catholic Church with any governmental form which would attack and destroy Orthodoxy. Is this the kind of action that is founded in the work of the Holy Spirit?

4. Breathe with both lungs? How? A cannot be B and A cannot be Not A. Either Mary was immaculately conceived or She was not. Either baptism should be by threefold immersion, as done in the Early Church, or it should not. Either communion bread should be with leaven, symbolizing the Resurrection of Christ, in wine warmed with warm water, symbolizing the warmth of a living body, the Resurrected and living Christ, or it should not.

5. Either the Church is the "pillar and ground of truth" as the Scriptures state, or one single man, the Patriarch of Rome, is. Interestingly enough, every single heresy which started began with the opinion of a single man, from Arius right up to Calvin. If the Church is the pillar and ground of truth, then papal infallibility is not.

I could go on and on, but why? The Unia was a thinly veiled attempt to bring Orthodox under the submission of Rome, and subsequent actions by the Roman Church showed their true intention, especially here in the United States. This is not to attack individual Roman Catholics who most likely are not fanatics like I am and therefore have not studied deeply the history and theology of both sides, therefore not coming to understand the who complexity of this rift and who started it. Any Roman Catholic who claims that the Orthodox Church is in schism either A.) does not know history, B.) has a limited understanding of theology or C.) doesn't give a $#(#$^*!. Most, however, are good people who are just unstudied and ignorant of all the facts. Most don't even know that "Catholic" means 24 different rites under one central authority.

And it is not "Eastern Triumphalism" at all to stand for the truth once given to the Early Church and defended, even unto death, by the Fathers.

Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #419417 08/22/19 03:18 PM
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I am also following this thread. My experience is that our Eastern Catholic parish is "populated" by 3 distinct "groups" of people:

1. Latin Catholics who attend DL because they are not happy with the Novus Ordo so much.....but they still attend Novus Ordo, often taking communion twice in the same day.....

For the most part, these folks know next to zero about Eastern Theology. When I say zero, I mean zero.

2. Converts from protestantism.

3. Eastern Catholics

Examples: In the Eastern Tradition, we do not kneel on Sunday, neither do we kneel during Eucharistic liturgy. But the Latin folks kneel......

In the Eastern Tradition, use of the prayer rope is private and not to be done in public. Praying the Latin Rosary isn't part of our tradition---nothing wrong with it, just stating fact----but people will publicly pray the Latin Rosary out loud prior to DL.

In the East, we fast Wednesday and Friday, sometimes more. I have been utterly surprised that not a single Latin in our parish was aware that Eastern Catholics fast on Wednesdays too......

Clearly Eastern Catholics are not required to "believe" in Purgatory, IC, etc. Yet, if you ask one of the Latins in our parish they'll tell you, "If you're Catholic, you have to believe all this, and teach it. "

Divine Liturgy is NOT Mass.....but the Latins call it mass.....

And it goes on. It's not a matter of catechesis, or evidence that the priest isn't educating the flock......not at all. Father can mention in his homily this week that we don't kneel in the Byzantine Church, put it in the bulletin for 2 weeks straight, mention it yet again.....and still people can't help themselves and must kneel.

This used to be confusing to me, as a convert. I've come to realize that there is nothing to be done about it. The Latin's are "parked" here until a Latin Mass shows up at the right time and place and they'll jump ship pronto. They won't adapt, won't learn something new and won't show respect for an older tradition than theirs. It's not in their DNA. Many of them seem to pretend that they're in Latin Mass, despite being in Greek DL.....as if they have to settle for something slightly better than Novus Ordo, but not as good as a "real" catholic mass.

I could go on.....but I'll just say that not only do I fully agree with Irish Ruthenian, but we have people in our parish who feel the same way. Some stopped attending and are driving 2 hours to go to a Melkite Church that is 100% faithful to their Eastern traditions. Others, like me, are looking to become Orthodox......and we certainly will do so when the door opens.

The two cannot be "mixed." Should they exist as different "expressions" of the Christian faith? Yes.....but let's not try to smother the East in Western trappings.

Imagine attending a Latin parish and standing the whole time, never kneeling......not participating in what the other folks are doing, but trying to pretend it's Divine Liturgy. Weird and Rude come to mind.....but somehow this "Latin make-believe" is allowed (encouraged?) in the Eastern Catholic Church.


It's NOT OK to mix Latin sentiments and spirituality with Eastern spirituality. It drives me nuts and I've had just about enough!

Last edited by DocT; 08/22/19 03:22 PM.
Re: Breathing With Both Lungs [Re: Gueranger] #419650 11/20/19 01:38 PM
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I would like to say that not all Eastern Catholics are as strict about East/West spirituality as seen here. In my country Greek Catholics (they never call themselves "Eastern Catholics" only Greek Catholics) do pray the Rosary and say the Creed WITH filioque (translated). They also celebrate St. John Chrysosthom's liturgy and read Akathists sometimes. So they do both.

When the Pope visited Romania they went to the Roman Catholic cathedral to celebrate together with him and other Roman Catholics.

This could be caused by the fact that most Eastern Orthodox here no longer consider them Orthodox, so their only friends are the Roman Catholics. Could be.

However, with all due to respect to those who disagree, their attitude is correct in my eyes. If the Schism is over (and in their eyes it is) then both sides matter. There can no more "I never pray the Rosary because we don't do that", or "I only pray the Rosary, what is that silly rope?" I mean sure, people will always have preferences but there can no longer be a theological reason for these preferences. The Rosary isn't even part of the Roman Liturgy. It specifically listed as private devotion. Even if a group of 1,000 pray it at the same time and in the same place, is still a private devotion done together by more people.

The theological difference got founded though the Schism. There were certain misunderstandings between East and West as many traditionalists insist today, but clearly they never mattered until the Schism. I don't think the Schism did any good to clarify anything like many claim, even if it's logical that only one side was correct on certain matters disputed now. Before the Schism, the discussion continued even after disagreement. Today after the Schism it is very important from where the Holy Spirit proceeds with the importance that if you think otherwise than what I think God is angry at you because you don't just SEE the Holy Trinity with the clarity the Prophets saw their messages. So He must be angry with me too because I also don't just SEE it, I learned about it and thought about. I didn't see the Holy Trinity as St. Moses saw the burning bush.

I don't think that the Truth Christ refers to is some spiritual gimmick we must guess, and theology a labyrinth that we must solve in order to please God.
God shares some of His unseen works with us as a friend, to comfort us, to make us miss Him and to amuse our good curiosity. Sometimes the Enemy distorts these messages and one hears something and the other another. But these are details. In the case of His Commandments, morality, the core of what He expects from us, I think those are more important than the color of garments during the Liturgy (which even in the East differs from St. John's anyway). Did St. John Chrysosthom make a fuss about theology? No, he made a fuss about a case of abuse, of immorality, of power being misused.

Breathing with both lungs just seems like a metaphor taking over the meaning its trying to convey. Why both lungs and not both eyes, or arms, or legs, or kidneys, or any other body part that the Lord made generally symmetrical in the human body?

Once Communion is being restored by the EOC also, it makes perfect sense that praying a Rosary or an Akathist is a matter of preference since the Schism would then be over.
God prefers a honest heart above all. Jesus Christ said He loves the Truth and criticized the Saducees and Pharisees for pricing method above meaning.

I am sorry for the rant and that I sounded like complaining too loudly, like a mega-pathetic, impatient, emotional nihilist of the whole discussion.

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