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Breathing With Both Lungs #418355 06/28/18 06:27 PM
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Gueranger Offline OP
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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.

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