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#55043 11/01/03 03:32 AM
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Hi everyone,

Was hoping to get some feedback on a spiritual mini-crisis I've been going through:

I've been unofficially Byzantine Catholic for almost a year now, and love it!

However, lately, I've been feeling drawn to Orthodoxy. "Why," you may ask, "would you want to go Orthodox, when you have the spirituality of Orthodoxy in the truth of Catholicism?"

Well, I don't think my reasons are actually good ones, and there's the problem. Right now, I feel like an amphibian, between Catholicism and Orthodoxy-- and I have more in common with the Orthodox than I do with Roman Catholics. It's like standing on a bridge, and I really don't like the feeling.

However, I believe the Catholic Church is the true Church, and that Christians are supposed to be in communion with the See of Peter.

So intellectually, I can't leave the Church I know was founded by Christ, but emotionally and spiritually, I'm SO tempted to become Orthodox... head vs. heart.

Has any other Byzantine Catholics here experienced this? Any advice or prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Christ is among us!

Karen


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55044 11/01/03 04:15 AM
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[However, I believe the Catholic Church is the true Church, and that Christians are supposed to be in communion with the See of Peter.]

If you believe what you state above, then you answer your own question. Stay where you are.

OrthoMan

#55045 11/01/03 04:55 AM
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Glory to Jesus Christ!

I think I can very much sympathize with being drawn to Orthodoxy. It is like walking a tight rope, or being stuck between two divorced parents. There are times you feel you are going crazy, that you have a split personality. I have my "Latin" mode, and my "Byzantine" mode, and at times it is very hard to juggle them. The natural temptation is to throw oneself to one side and forget the other. But life is often never that easy.
The thing that has helped me most was talking to former Orthodox who have entered into communion with Rome. They can tell you things are not rosier on the other side of the ecclesial divide. Sure, Orthodox ceremonies look like heaven, but you have to get behind the appearances and go to their profound being. As it is written in the Imitation of Christ, location has often deceived many in the spiritual life. You will always be yourself wherever you are in terms of ecclesiology, and so will everybody else. If you take this under consideration, maybe you will realize that where you are is the best place for you.
So I like, in the end, being divided. Even if the Orthodox treat me like some weirdo who is trying to be like them without being them, and thus treat me with distrust, for the time being I can do nothing about it, and I will enjoy being "Orthodox-lite", a Latin in a riassa. At this point, it's not between me and them anyway, it's between me and God.

Arturo

#55046 11/01/03 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by Arturo:

. Sure, Orthodox ceremonies look like heaven, but you have to get behind the appearances and go to their profound being.

Arturo
Are you talking of the reality of Orthodox Church politics (which exist in ANY Faith) or something wrong with with the Nature of Orthodoxy itself??

#55047 11/01/03 05:22 AM
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Politics.

#55048 11/01/03 05:29 PM
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Karen,

The fact that you are feeling drawn to Orthodoxy is a sign that you are becoming "one of us," for real.

I experienced this draw myself several years ago, with great intensity. I was advised by a certain subdeacon that ALL Eastern Catholics should experience a draw toward Orthodoxy, or else something is wrong. Although we are in communion with Rome, the Orthodox Church is our mother Church, from which we came, and we are supposed to feel a longing for her.

At any rate, I made no hasty decisions and remained in Eastern Catholicism. Today I know that I belong exactly where I am, and have no plans to ever become Orthodox. Yet where I am is admittedly NOT comfortable. The draw toward Orthodoxy never vanishes, because it is in reality the draw toward the fulness of our Eastern Christian tradition.

Christianity is not supposed to be comfortable. It is possible for Roman Catholics to feel comfortable with their separation from Orthodoxy, for most of them aren't even consciously aware that the Orthodox exist. Likewise, it is possible for Orthodox Christians to become comfortable with their separation from Rome. But for us Eastern Catholics, we must live day in and day out with the discomfort of being separated from our mother Church. And this discomfort is the work of God, for it compels us to work toward unity.

Being Eastern Catholic isn't easy. It is full of frustration, disappointments, and hardship. But somewhere within this is the cross of Jesus Christ. We get to share in a taste of the pain that Christ feels over the disunity of his disciples.

And as for those Eastern Catholics who feel NO draw toward Orthodoxy, may God mercifully spare us from the damage that they can do.

Anthony

#55049 11/01/03 06:30 PM
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And this discomfort is the work of God, for it compels us to work toward unity.
Mr. Dragani,

This is very, very astute! I definitely agree with this. No draw toward the other church = no draw toward unity (unless one defines "unity" submission of one tradition to another, which it is not).

Logos Teen

#55050 11/01/03 06:35 PM
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dear Karen:

Of course you feel drawn to Orthodox.

WE ARE ORTHODOX!

We are the Orthodox...the Orthodox-in-Communion-with-Rome, that is!

Of course we have more in common with the Orthodox than with Roman Catholics! That's just because....we ARE Orthodox! As Archimandrite Robert Taft says, except for our being in Communion with Rome, we should be in all of our Christian life, basically Orthodox.

We are not a hybrid of both, or as 1 Forum poster put it "Roman Catholics with a different Mass". We are not supposed to be "half and half", or some sort of ecclesiastical "third way".

Rather, we are 1 (Orthodox) and as well, in communion with the other (Latin Church & Armenian & Maronite & etc. Catholic Churches)

That communion with the Catholic family (and all the various churches therein {e.g. Syrian, Chaldean, Ethiopian, Coptic, Latin, etc.), as symbolised via the Bishop of Rome is very precious to us. Indeed working toward full church unity is very precious to us.

And we, despite our unworthiness, have been graced with a very unique and privileged position and vocation of being "Orthodox in communion with Rome". And it is not easy to be in the Catholic Communion without being swallowed or absorbed either entirely or partially by the Latin Church and its theology and spirituality, nor is it easy to be Orthodox and not be in Communion with our mother Churches.

Of course it's an uncomfortable position to be in at times. I personally think that that uncomfortability is a great grace. We are the "burr in the saddle" that disturbs each Communion's self sufficiency.

that's my experience of it, anyways.

Welcome to the holy struggle!

Herb

#55051 11/01/03 08:17 PM
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[WE ARE ORTHODOX!

We are the Orthodox...the Orthodox-in-Communion-with-Rome, that is!]

Herb: Using the same criteria you use to claim you are 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'...then I guess you disagree with those within Latin & Eastern Rite Catholicism who claim the Anglican Church is not Catholic but Protestant. And you would have no objection if they started to call themselves 'Catholics In Communion With The Archbishop of Canterbury'?

After all, the criteria is the same. Your mother church is the Orthodox Church which your church left mainly for political reasons. The Anglican Church similiarly has the Roman Catholic Church as their mother which they also left mainly for political reasons. And the ritual in the High Anglican Church is very similiar to that of their mother. And dogma seems to be placed behind ritual.

OrthoMan

#55052 11/01/03 10:09 PM
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Yes, I do believe that some of them do believe and sincerely try to be Catholics (in Communion with Canterbury). Of course not all claim or want to be "Angle-Catholics".

I would support all their efforts to be AS CATHOLIC as Possible - in theology, spirituality, church discipline, etc.

And if they need any help, I am sure that members of the Forum and all "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" would be more than willing to assist - even though we not be assisting them into our Church (i.e. the Orthodox Churches in Communion with Rome).

I wish them well and pray for them in this difficult time in their church's life. I pray that they would have the consolation of God's love and the courage to stand for God's truth - i.e. I pray that they may be truly Catholic in faith - even though they may not be in Communion with their mother church (our Sister Church).

Herb

#55053 11/02/03 12:13 AM
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SaintClare, See my post to you in "Byzantine Evanglization what do we do thread?".

#55054 11/02/03 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by Herbigny:
Yes, I do believe that some of them do believe and sincerely try to be Catholics (in Communion with Canterbury). Of course not all claim or want to be "Angle-Catholics".

I would support all their efforts to be AS CATHOLIC as Possible - in theology, spirituality, church discipline, etc.

And if they need any help, I am sure that members of the Forum and all "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" would be more than willing to assist - even though we not be assisting them into our Church (i.e. the Orthodox Churches in Communion with Rome).

I wish them well and pray for them in this difficult time in their church's life. I pray that they would have the consolation of God's love and the courage to stand for God's truth - i.e. I pray that they may be truly Catholic in faith - even though they may not be in Communion with their mother church (our Sister Church).

Herb
Dear Herb,

Pardon me for saying so, but that's a darn good answer!

Would that more Orthodox brethren would begin to see US not as imposters or traders but as brothers tyring to be faithful to our common Tradition in the Church Providence has placed us in. Bishop Kallistos talk "Eastern Catholics: Problem or Opportunity" comes to mind here. Thanks for what was to me a brilliant insight into the mind of Christ.

#55055 11/02/03 02:26 AM
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Dear SaintClare74,

I like the question you have reaised becuase I too have/are experiencing very similar feelings. I'm also glad you asked becuase I (as I trust is true for you) have benefited greatly from the answers you have received. Anthony Dragani, whom I greatly esteem, has been especially beneficial to me (as well as Herb).

The schism to me IS like a divorce. Being a child of divorced parents, I know what its like. No matter which parent you think is more right, you still love them both with all your heart. And you want more than anything to see them back together in one happy family again.

Good topic.

Your brother trusting in Christ's Light,
Ghazar

#55056 11/02/03 02:54 AM
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Originally posted by Ghazar:

Bishop Kallistos talk "Eastern Catholics: Problem or Opportunity" comes to mind here. Thanks for what was to me a brilliant insight into the mind of Christ.
Is this available on-line?

#55057 11/02/03 03:40 AM
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Dear everyone,

Thank you very much for your replies-- all of your advice has been very good! I have no plans to leave the Catholic Church. I adore my parish, and have made many wonderful friends there.

Some of you brought up a great point-- that we're not supposed to feel "comfortable", and that although our position isn't easy, it's a real blessing. It's so easy to forget that hardship and suffering can be GOOD for us. confused

I'm also gratified to learn that I'm not the only one who's going through this! I guess it's something I just have to "deal with"-- very much like having divorced parents, which is a wonderful analogy.

God bless you all!

Karen


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55058 11/02/03 03:56 AM
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Thank you Karen, for bringing all of this to light.

My struggle parallels yours, and I have gained a lot of solace from the well reasoned posts on this thread.

Bless you all

#55059 11/02/03 08:56 PM
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Herb writes:

[Yes, I do believe that some of them do believe and sincerely try to be Catholics (in Communion with Canterbury). Of course not all claim or want to be "Angle-Catholics".]

Your answer is very well written and thought out. However, you are evading the question so I will rephrase it -

Based on the same criteria you use to justify identifying yourself as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome', do you agree with those in the Anglican Church who claim they are still part of the Catholic Church? Who could also use the same criteria as you do to identify themselves as 'Catholics In Communion With The Archbishop Of Canterbury'? A simple yes or no will suffice.

OrthoMan

#55060 11/02/03 10:08 PM
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Actually Bob, you, not Herb, listed the criteria.
In any case your analogy has a flaw. We maintained communion with one of the Apostolic Sees. The Anglicans did not. They are thus more akin to HOCNA, RoCiE, ROCA, ...

#55061 11/02/03 10:18 PM
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OrthoMan wrote:
Based on the same criteria you use to justify identifying yourself as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome', do you agree with those in the Anglican Church who claim they are still part of the Catholic Church? Who could also use the same criteria as you do to identify themselves as 'Catholics In Communion With The Archbishop Of Canterbury'? A simple yes or no will suffice.
I’m not sure about the point Bob is trying to make. It is my opinion that the example he offers would only work if applied to the Anglican Church in 1534. King Henry VIII did not seek to change the tenants of the Catholic Church but only wanted a Church recognized divorced so that a male heir could legitimately ascend the throne after him. On other theological points Henry VIII was actually a staunch Catholic and, in general, disapproved of both Martin Luther and Protestantism. Bob’s example does not work today because the Church of England has pretty much ceased to adhere to Catholic Teaching (even if one compares it only to 1534).

Perhaps a better example for Bob to use would be if a group of Roman Catholics broke from Rome and entered into communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. They would be “Roman Catholics in communion with Constantinople” (or Jerusalem, etc.).

#55062 11/02/03 10:42 PM
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Administrator wrote:

Perhaps a better example for Bob to use would be if a group of Roman Catholics broke from Rome and entered into communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. They would be “Roman Catholics in communion with Constantinople” (or Jerusalem, etc.). [/QB][/QUOTE]

This is interesting.

james

#55063 11/02/03 11:14 PM
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James,

I can’t think of a congregation of Roman Catholics that has broken with Rome and entered into communion with one of the other ancient Patriarchates. There are, however, a number of Western parishes that have broken with other Churches (mostly the Anglican Church) who have established communion with one of the Orthodox patriarchates.

Like in Catholicism there is a bit of a terminology issue here. “Anglicans in Communion with Antioch” is a bit of a mouthful just as “Orthodox Christians in Communion with Rome” is a mouthful. Most simply call themselves “Western Orthodox” (just like we call ourselves “Byzantine Catholic”). It is usually best to respect individuals and call them what they call themselves.

Admin

#55064 11/02/03 11:40 PM
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[Perhaps a better example for Bob to use would be if a group of Roman Catholics broke from Rome and entered into communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. They would be “Roman Catholics in communion with Constantinople” (or Jerusalem, etc.).]

If a group of RCs broke with Rome and came under the EP, they would not do so as RCs but as Orthodox newly received through christmation into the Orthodox Faith renouncing all former errors...which of course means the dogmas of purgatory and all those related to RC theology. They would therefore, after renouncing RC theology and dogma, and accepting Orthodox theology and dogma would no longer be RC and therefore it would be wrong to call them RCs in communion with Constantinople. Within valid Orthodoxy one doesn't get to pick and choose what one believes. Nor does one get to reinterpret or definite it in a western mode.

As I have quoted previously St Paul instructs us in I Corinthians 1:10 (Caps are mine)

Now I plead with you, brethern, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, THAT YOU ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING, that there be no divisions among you, BUT THAT YOU BE PERFECTLY JOINED TOGETHER IN THE SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGEMENT.

Doctrines like Filioque and Purgatory are non negotiable. That's what it means to be Orthodox which most of you have yet to understand.

If you all consider yourselves Orthodox that means you do not and can not accept the RC theology and dogma in its entirety and therefore should not be "under" Rome (which being 'In Communion' with Rome means).

It's all very simple!

OrthoMan

#55065 11/02/03 11:42 PM
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[Like in Catholicism there is a bit of a terminology issue here. “Anglicans in Communion with Antioch” is a bit of a mouthful just as “Orthodox Christians in Communion with Rome” is a mouthful.]

And 'rthodox In Communion With Rome' isn't?

Orthoman

#55066 11/02/03 11:56 PM
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Now I plead with you, brethern, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, THAT YOU ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING, that there be no divisions among you, BUT THAT YOU BE PERFECTLY JOINED TOGETHER IN THE SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGEMENT.
I love it every time you post this, Bob. :rolleyes:
Must've gotten this from your participation on the Indiana list.

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Within valid Orthodoxy one doesn't get to pick and choose what one believes.
Theotokos rotted in the grave or not?
Tollhouses or not?
New Calendar is uncanonical/heretical or not?

Perhaps you would like to rephrase so that you are saying something not obviously incompatible with reality.

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Nor does one get to reinterpret or definite it in a western mode.
What goes on in Western rite Orthodoxy? Or are you saying that this is invalid?

#55067 11/03/03 12:42 AM
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Brothers,


What's amazing to me is that ALL these things are the things that I struggled with personally before I became Orthodox. I guess I was wasn't as hard in myself as we are on each other........ I reached the conclusion Orthoman did.....not everyone does.


Peace all
Michael

#55068 11/03/03 01:53 AM
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[Theotokos rotted in the grave or not?]

The Theotokos died and was buried. Christ came down to take her soul into heaven. As you will see him on every Orthodox Icon of the Dormition standing near her body holding an infant that represents her soul.

Tradition tells us that Thomas arrived about three days later and wanted to venerate her body. When they opened the tomb her body was gone and a flower stood where it was. Orthodox believe her body was assumed into heaven but it was a separate event from her Dormition. I know of no Orthodox that believes that her body rotted in the garve.

Roman Catholics on the other hand, backed themselves in a corner with the Immaculate Conception. Because if Mary was conceived without 'Original Sin' then she would have been immortal as Adam & Eve were originally designed before the 'fall'. Thats why the RC's don't emphasize her 'Dormition' rather than both her Dormition and Assumption.

Father Tom: Care to elaborate or correct if need be?

[Tollhouses or not?]

Tollhouses have never been part of Orthodox theology. It is an opinion of certain Orthodox theologians. But not dogma. just like Co-Remdeptorix is an opinion of some Roman Catholic theologians but not offiecial dogma of the RCC.

[New Calendar is uncanonical/heretical or not?]

You all have your RC Fundalmentalists too like the SPPX's, Transalpine Redemptorists, etc. that argue over silly issues. Why can't we Orthodox?

So glad to hear you read my posts on Orthodox Catholic sites. I love that Bibilical quote too. It shows the essence of Orthodox belief. You guys have been under Rome so long you have lost the essence of what it means to be Orthodox!

OrthoMan

#55069 11/03/03 02:09 AM
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OrthoMan,

You're doing fine. Ignore the straw-man arguments.

PT

#55070 11/03/03 02:10 AM
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[Perhaps you would like to rephrase so that you are saying something not obviously incompatible with reality.]

I could say the exact thing for you.

[What goes on in Western rite Orthodoxy? Or are you saying that this is invalid? ]

Now its time for you to get real. Ask any Western Rite Orthodox if they believe in Papal Supremacy, Papal Infallibility, Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, etc. and you will get a definite NO! Ask the same questions to either a Latin Rite or Eastern Rite Papal Catholic and you will get everything from yes, no, maybe, I define it differently, etc. But never an agreed upon answer. Just check the archives here when the questions come up. You guys can't even agree on what being 'In Communion' with the Pope really means.

Your whole comment just proves to me how ya all look at things. You base everything on ritual and outward appearances and delegate dogma (which is the very basis of Orthodoxy) to second place. Like I said you have lost the very essence of what it means to be Orthodox and have become too western in your outlook. Thats why its so ridiculous to try and claim to be 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'.

OrthoMan

#55071 11/03/03 02:50 AM
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OrthoMan wrote:
They would therefore, after renouncing RC theology and dogma, and accepting Orthodox theology and dogma would no longer be RC and therefore it would be wrong to call them RCs in communion with Constantinople. Within valid Orthodoxy one doesn't get to pick and choose what one believes. Nor does one get to reinterpret or definite it in a western mode.
If the Roman Catholics in communion with Constantinople retained the liturgy and Latin approach to theology they would remain Roman Catholic. Bob’s claim that we are picking and choosing beliefs is false. A prosphora recipe written in Church Slavonic using metric measurements is equivalent to a prosphora recipe written in English using American measurements. The Gospel read in Church Slavonic is just as valid as the Gospel read in English.

Bob’s quote from 1 Cor 1:10 is definitely applicable here as there is no real difference in the faith as expressed by East and West. What differs is the theological language each Church uses to proclaim the Trinity. Speaking the same thing does not mean speaking in a universal language. Sadly, however, there are divisions among us due to sin and misunderstanding.

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OrthoMan wrote:
Doctrines like Filioque and Purgatory are non negotiable. That's what it means to be Orthodox which most of you have yet to understand.
Bob, you might wish to read “An Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation” which stated last week that both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches “expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God” and “that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution”. Participants from your own Orthodox Church in America have acknowledged that we are limited in our ability to proclaim who God is and that we must work together to proclaim our theology more clearly for a reunited Church in the Third Millennium. While the document is not binding on either Church it does represent the expressed opinion of your Church as well as mine.

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OrthoMan wrote:
If you all consider yourselves Orthodox that means you do not and can not accept the RC theology and dogma in its entirety and therefore should not be "under" Rome (which being 'In Communion' with Rome means).
I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her.

I also disagree with your distinction between “in communion” and “under”. If the two terms are equivalent please go and tell one of your Russian Orthodox friends that he is “under” Constantinople or one of your Greek Orthodox friends that he is “under” Moscow.

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OrthoMan wrote:
Ask the same questions to either a Latin Rite or Eastern Rite Papal Catholic and you will get everything from yes, no, maybe, I define it differently, etc.
Bob,

I have given you far more freedom to express your views on this forum than I have given to those who speak against Orthodoxy. On this forum the first rule is charity. One of the signs of charity and respect is to call one another by the terms they use to refer to themselves. We are officially titled as “Byzantine Catholic” (or “Ukrainian Catholic”, “Ruthenian Catholic” and etc.). We are not now and never have referred to ourselves as “Eastern Rite Papal Catholics”. The term “Papal Catholic” is always a pejorative and an insult. When you use such terms you present yourself as a bitter person incapable of arguing intelligently. I have read your posts for long enough to know that you are very intelligent indeed. I request that you not engage in such open insults.

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Bob,

I am delighted with your response.

It is now clear that you actually do understand the difference between the core of dogma and the constructs and language used to describe it. And also understand that differences of opinion outside of the core do not represent a barrier to the unity (Cor 1:10). This very point seemed to elude you when the adminstrator was trying to get it across to you in a couple of other threads.

http://www.byzcath.org/bboard/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000980;p=1#000003

http://www.byzcath.org/bboard/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000971;p=4#000059

Hope this helped.

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[Perhaps you would like to rephrase so that you are saying something not obviously incompatible with reality.]

I could say the exact thing for you.

[What goes on in Western rite Orthodoxy? Or are you saying that this is invalid? ]
Now, Bob,

What I felt was unreal was the rigidity with which you were interepreting Cor1:10 with the admin, when it was pretty clear - as was ultimately borne out in your response - that you would take a far more nuanced interpretation when applying it to Orthodoxy. I wanted to establish the fact that you could, in fact, see his point if you wished.

(And by the way, where were you when one of your communion was advancing the idea that the rotting in the ground perspective is completely permissible to "pick and choose" within Orthodoxy!)

As to the Western Rite: your answer now switches back to core rather than "mode" of expression. How naughty. Particularly inasmuch as my comment was made in direct response to yours about keeping a "western mode".

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You base everything on ritual and outward appearances and delegate dogma (which is the very basis of Orthodoxy) to second place.
No. I think that a great part of the genius of Ortho-praxis is the complete coherence between the two. I think that with your comment you are lapsing back to your use of "dogma" to include theological opinions, and modes of expression. It is the latter not dogma, that is delegated, appropriately, to lesser significance. (Your backed-into-the-corner-by-Original-Sin line being a classic example; if I had a nickel for every Orthodox apologist who confused theological opinion and actual dogma of the Catholic church on this subject, I could take very early retirement.)

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Like I said you have lost the very essence of what it means to be Orthodox and have become too western in your outlook.
Well that last part may be true. I am an American. And I hope that you don't think that Eastern Christianity is only for those who eschew Western civilization. And the first part? Only to the extent that you insist a certain Romophobia is essential to Orthodoxy.

#55075 11/03/03 03:52 AM
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[If the Roman Catholics in communion with Constantinople retained the liturgy and Latin approach to theology they would remain Roman Catholic.]

You seemed to have missed the entire point of my post. Which is if they were to in communion with Constantinople they would not be allowed to maintain a Latin approach to theology. You bring up the recent joint statement regarding Filioque. Read it carefully. It says nothing other than once again they agree to disagree.

[Bob’s claim that we are picking and choosing beliefs is false. A prosphora recipe written in Church Slavonic using metric measurements is equivalent to a prosphora recipe written in English using American measurements. The Gospel read in Church Slavonic is just as valid as the Gospel read in English.]

HUH????? I can't even reply to this because it makes no sense to me. What does making Phrosphora and Church Slavonic have to do with the tenets of the faith which are specified within it's DOCTRINES and DOGMAS. Once again your comments are proving that you can't comprehend the difference between tradition, ritual, and doctrine.

[What differs is the theological language each Church uses to proclaim the Trinity. Speaking the same thing does not mean speaking in a universal language. Sadly, however, there are divisions among us due to sin and misunderstanding.]

The Trinity is only the tip of the iceberg my friend! What does language have to do with it? You contradict your first two sentences in your third sentence.

You mean like the RC double talk? Like when we RC's say 'and the Son' we really mean 'Thru the Son' but we're going to continue to say 'and the Son' and when we do you can think 'thru the Son' and therefore WE WILL ALL BE SAYING THE SAME THING! Gemme a break!

[“An Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation” which stated last week that both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches “expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God” and “that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution”. ]

Which means 'Once again we have agreed to disagree!

[I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her.]

You make a statement like that and then feel insulted when I refer to you as a Papal Catholic! It is the Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church under the authority of the Holy Spirt (not an infallible Pope) that proclaims what is Orthodox.

[I also disagree with your distinction between “in communion” and “under”. If the two terms are equivalent please go and tell one of your Russian Orthodox friends that he is “under” Constantinople or one of your Greek Orthodox friends that he is “under” Moscow.]

And WHY WOULD THAT BE? Could it be because being 'in communion with' and 'under the authority of' mean two separate and distinct things to an Orthodox. While under current Roman Catholic governing practices to be 'in communion with' her automatically means to be under her ultimate authority and accept her theology. The Latin Catholics here and elsewhere keep telling you this but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. What do you think titles like 'Vicar of Christ', Supreme Pontiff', 'Universal Bishop' means? Maybe you should sit down and read the 'Canons of the Eastern Churches' which specify just what you communion with the Pope means!

I would never tell a GO he or she was 'under Moscow' because being 'In Communion' with Moscow in no way implies being under Moscows authority. However, as stated it means smething entirely different within the RCC. Its amazing to what lengths some of you will go to just to deny the reality of your situation with Rome.

[We are not now and never have referred to ourselves as “Eastern Rite Papal Catholics”. The term “Papal Catholic” is always a pejorative and an insult. When you use such terms you present yourself as a bitter person incapable of arguing intelligently.]

Beg to differ. I see the reality of your churches communion with Rome. You, on the other hand, choose to live in a fantasy world regarding what that communion really means. Perfect example is your claim that Rome has the authority to decide what is Orthodox and then say the term Papal Catholic is insulting to you makes absolutely no sense to me. It is you who isn't able to argue intelligently because you, once again, deny the reality of your situation.

OrthMan

#55076 11/03/03 04:29 AM
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djs:

Pulling at straws, and twisting my words, throwing in strawmen, won't get you anywhere. Others can read what I wrote and judge for themselves.

I stand by everything I wrote and don't take one word or sentence back.

Now where I am it's 11:30 and I'm tired.

Goodnight all,
Orthoman

#55077 11/03/03 04:40 AM
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Orthoman:

I am not trying to get anywhere.

Just illuminating the bias with which you wield the Corinthians passage. And that fact that you could understand the administrator's point if you wanted to.

Goodnight.

#55078 11/03/03 04:56 AM
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OrthoMan wrote:
You seemed to have missed the entire point of my post. Which is if they were to in communion with Constantinople they would not be allowed to maintain a Latin approach to theology. You bring up the recent joint statement regarding Filioque. Read it carefully. It says nothing other than once again they agree to disagree.
Bob,

I understood your post but I disagree with your point. We are primarily catechized by prayer (liturgy). Those who use a Latin liturgy are catechized into a Latin spirituality and a Latin approach to theology. There is no getting past this point unless you wish to claim that Orthodox / Byzantine theology is not primarily expressed in the liturgy. People using a Latin liturgy who are in communion with Constantinople are still formed in the Latin approach to theology.

Regarding the Joint Statement, please read it again. The fact that your own Church agreed to a statement that it [we] “expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God” and “that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution” totally blows away your argument.

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OrthoMan wrote:
HUH????? I can't even reply to this because it makes no sense to me. What does making Phrosphora and Church Slavonic have to do with the tenets of the faith which are specified within it's DOCTRINES and DOGMAS. Once again your comments are proving that you can't comprehend the difference between tradition, ritual, and doctrine.
Look for the parallel to ways of speaking theology! Just because the West speaks in a theological language that is different from us Byzantines does not mean that what she speaks is false. Seeing her speak the truth in her own language and acknowledging does not mean that we cease to speak our own theological language.

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OrthoMan wrote:
The Trinity is only the tip of the iceberg my friend! What does language have to do with it? You contradict your first two sentences in your third sentence.
No! There is no contradiction whatsoever. Language has everything to do with it. The West speaks a theological language that is different than ours. Some concepts translate from one theological language to another quite readily. Some do not. The theological issues that separate East from West are not ones of having a different belief in who God is but rather ones of ”our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God” (to quote a joint document of our Churches).


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OrthoMan wrote:
You make a statement like that and then feel insulted when I refer to you as a Papal Catholic! It is the Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church under the authority of the Holy Spirt (not an infallible Pope) that proclaims what is Orthodox.
Yes I do fee insulted. The term “Papal Catholic” is only used by those who intend insult. There are similar pejoratives for African-Americans and Jews that people who are charitable refrain from using.

Further, if you are going to disagree you should at least be factual in your disagreement. The Catholic Church has never taught or even hinted that the an Ecumenical Council is under the authority of the pope instead of the Holy Spirit. Please at least attempt to accurate state the teaching before you disagree with it.

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OrthoMan wrote:
I would never tell a GO he or she was 'under Moscow' because being 'In Communion' with Moscow in no way implies being under Moscows authority. However, as stated it means smething entirely different within the RCC. Its amazing to what lengths some of you will go to just to deny the reality of your situation with Rome.
Multiple definitions? And you accuse the Roman Catholics of double speak?

I’m sorry, Bob, but when you select the best of Orthodox theology and place it against the worst of Roman theology, when you apply different meanings to terms that are favorable when speaking about Orthodoxy and unfavorable when speaking about Catholicism, you accomplish nothing and earn no respect for your arguments.

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OrthoMan wrote:
Perfect example is your claim that Rome has the authority to decide what is Orthodox and then say the term Papal Catholic is insulting to you makes absolutely no sense to me. It is you who isn't able to argue intelligently because you, once again, deny the reality of your situation.
This is an area on which we must agree to disagree. Our world is filled with pejoratives (words people would never use to describe themselves but are used by others as insults). Charitable people refer to people using the terminology that people use to refer to themselves. The term “Papal Catholic” has never been used by anyone in the Catholic Church to describe themselves. It is an invented term used as an insult. Nothing else.

#55079 11/03/03 03:27 PM
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[There is no getting past this point unless you wish to claim that Orthodox / Byzantine theology is not primarily expressed in the liturgy. People using a Latin liturgy who are in communion with Constantinople are still formed in the Latin approach to theology.]

We seem o be talking past each other. I never claimed that Orthodox theology isn't expressed in the Liturgy. But it is not the Liturgy alone that defines my Orthodoxy. It is the Apostles, early Church Fathers, and the ecumenical councils of the undivided church that formulated the doctrines that proclaim what is Orthodox. It is that basis and background which formulated the Liturgy. And it certainly is not the Pope that defines what is Orthodox as you have stated!

Thats why for the Unia to maintain Orthodox Ritual after turning their backs on Orthodoxy and accepting Roman Catholicism is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Everyone of those western rites within Orthodoxy you speak of were not accepted as is. They were modified to project Orthodox theology. They no longer project a Latin approach to theology! Why do you think the ritual in your own church began to be latinized? Its ironic that you defend the idea that you are still Orthodox BUT IT WAS THE POPE HIMSELF THAT INSTRUCTED YOU TO GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS. You were never Orthodox enough to want to do it on your own!

[ [we] “expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God” and “that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution” totally blows away your argument.]

It doesn't blow away my arguement. It confirms it. What do you think statements like - "We expressly recognize THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR ABILITY TO MAKE DEFINIIVE ASSERTIONS ABOUT THE INNER LIFE OF GOD" and 'and the manner of the spirits, WHICH STILL AWAITS FULL AND FINAL ECUMENICAL RESOLUTION" means?

Translated it means that once again we agree to disagree until that time we can come together in a truly ecumenical council to resolve the issue. Until then, the status quo remains! More double talk with no substance!

[Look for the parallel to ways of speaking theology! Just because the West speaks in a theological language that is different from us Byzantines does not mean that what she speaks is false. Seeing her speak the truth in her own language and acknowledging does not mean that we cease to speak our own theological language.]

Either the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and infallible or he isn't? Either the CONCEPTION of Mary was Immaculate making her humanity different than ours or it wasn't. Either there is a Purgatory or there isn't. I find your analogy full of holes and double talk to enable you to justify the position your church is in. You no longer have a defined theology. You have a mixed breed theology that is neither completely eastern or western. And thats why you get such flax from both sides!

[The Catholic Church has never taught or even hinted that the an Ecumenical Council is under the authority of the pope instead of the Holy Spirit. Please at least attempt to accurate state the teaching before you disagree with it.]

Are you or are you not, the person who made the folowing statement? -

"I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her."

[The term “Papal Catholic” has never been used by anyone in the Catholic Church to describe themselves. It is an invented term used as an insult. Nothing else.]

I'm equally insulted when those who turned their backs on Orthodoxy try and pass themselves off as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'!

[when you apply different meanings to terms that are favorable when speaking about Orthodoxy and unfavorable when speaking about Catholicism, you accomplish nothing and earn no respect for your arguments.]

What the heck are you talking about? It has nothing to do with being favorable to Orthodoxy. Within Orthodoxy to be 'in communion' means to share the same faith. To be 'under the authority' of a hiearch means exactly what it says. Within Roman Catholicism to be 'in communion' with it not only means to share the same faith but to be under its authority thru what they call the 'Vicar of Christ' on earth. I DIDNT MAKE THOSE RULES, THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DID.

OrthoMan

#55080 11/03/03 04:51 PM
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Bob, thanks for the post.

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Bob wrote:
We seem o be talking past each other. I never claimed that Orthodox theology isn't expressed in the Liturgy. But it is not the Liturgy alone that defines my Orthodoxy. It is the Apostles, early Church Fathers, and the ecumenical councils of the undivided church that formulated the doctrines that proclaim what is Orthodox. It is that basis and background which formulated the Liturgy. And it certainly is not the Pope that defines what is Orthodox as you have stated!
In an earlier post (which I was replying to) you stated: “Which is if they were to in communion with Constantinople they would not be allowed to maintain a Latin approach to theology.” Because we are primarily catechized by prayer (liturgy) that statement can only mean that Roman Catholics who entered into communion with Constantinople would not be allowed to retain Latin liturgy (which is the formative source for Latin spirituality and theology). I respect that you are now restating your definition of what defines Orthodoxy and I think that your restatement makes much more sense. I continue to disagree with your statement regarding the Holy Father. It is the Holy Spirit leading a council of bishops presided by the Holy Father that is the ultimate arbiter of Orthodoxy. This is, of course, the meat of the disagreement between East and West and I respect this disagreement.

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Bob wrote:
Thats why for the Unia to maintain Orthodox Ritual after turning their backs on Orthodoxy and accepting Roman Catholicism is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
This statement makes no sense unless one believes that prayer (liturgy) is not the primary means of catechesis.

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Bob wrote:
Everyone of those western rites within Orthodoxy you speak of were not accepted as is. They were modified to project Orthodox theology. They no longer project a Latin approach to theology!
If they are using a liturgy that is from the Latin (Western) tradition then they are projecting a Latin approach to theology. There is no getting around this point, Bob. If one modifies a few major points in French grammar and replace them with the parallel Greek points one cannot say that French is now Greek. Likewise, making some theological changes to Latin (Roman) Catholicism does not mean that it ceases to be Latin (Roman) Catholicism.

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Bob wrote:
Why do you think the ritual in your own church began to be latinized? Its ironic that you defend the idea that you are still Orthodox BUT IT WAS THE POPE HIMSELF THAT INSTRUCTED YOU TO GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS. You were never Orthodox enough to want to do it on your own!
I’m not sure what you mean here. At one point you are stating that ritual has nothing to do with Orthodoxy. Now you are suggesting that it has everything to do with Orthodoxy?

Orthodoxy cannot be confused with Byzantine-ness. One can be Orthodox without being Byzantine. Our Byzantine Catholic Church did certainly adopt numerous rituals and spiritual customs that were not part of our Byzantine inheritance and Pope John Paul II is correct in asking us to restore a more authentic Byzantine life. We are merely following the example set by the (now) OCA a hundred years ago. The Russian Orthodox Greek Catholics of that era took many generations to become more faithful to their Byzantine inheritance.

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Bob wrote:
What do you think statements like - "We expressly recognize THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR ABILITY TO MAKE DEFINIIVE ASSERTIONS ABOUT THE INNER LIFE OF GOD" and 'and the manner of the spirits, WHICH STILL AWAITS FULL AND FINAL ECUMENICAL RESOLUTION" means?
The statement means that both of our Churches are acknowledging that we cannot fully understand the inner life of the Trinity, that we must continue to pray, that we must continue to work together until we reach a resolution. Are you suggesting that both of our Churches are only engaging in polite fiction when they issue these statements? Why would either Church continue in a dialog if it is so obvious that it is nothing but fictional and there is no hope of resolving the issues that separate us? Are you suggesting that prior to an ecumenical council there is to be no prayerful research and dialog over the issue? The very fact that the Orthodox Church is willing to trust in a fresh ecumenical council to resolve these issues is an acknowledgment that the theologies of either Church are not carved in stone and can mature further.

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Bob wrote:
Either the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and infallible or he isn't? Either the CONCEPTION of Mary was Immaculate making her humanity different than ours or it wasn't. Either there is a Purgatory or there isn't. I find your analogy full of holes and double talk to enable you to justify the position your church is in. You no longer have a defined theology. You have a mixed breed theology that is neither completely eastern or western. And thats why you get such flax from both sides!
One really needs to define things in order to understand them. Let’s look at your first comment. Christ is the only head of the Church. The pope cannot replace him and the Catholic Church has never taught that he does. But Christ is not physically present on this earth so he entrusted the keys to the chief apostle, Peter (and, in a lesser way to all bishops). A vicar is one who represents another. Each bishop is in this sense a Vicar of Christ to the people under his care (his diocese). The Holy Father, being the first of the apostles, is the preeminent Vicar of Christ.

Does the conception of the Theotokos make her humanity different than ours? No. The Western theology on this point is predicated on a different starting point than ours (for us the inheritance from Adam is mortality). The resultant theology is necessarily going to be expressed differently. This does not mean that only one formula can be right and the others therefore must be wrong.

Is there a purgatory? If one believes that there is a purifying journey of the soul upon death that may continue until the Final Judgment then one must state yes. This is really the essence of the Latin Church’s definition of purgatory. The theological overlay that is particular to the Latin tradition is comparable to the Byzantine idea of toll houses. Acceptable and good but not the last word on the subject.

Are we guilty of not having a defined theology? No! Our theology is very nicely defined by the Church Fathers of the Byzantine Tradition. Our acknowledgement that there are other legitimate ways to speak about God does not mean that we have no defined theology.

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I wrote: [The Catholic Church has never taught or even hinted that the an Ecumenical Council is under the authority of the pope instead of the Holy Spirit. Please at least attempt to accurate state the teaching before you disagree with it.]
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Bob wrote: Are you or are you not, the person who made the folowing statement? –
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I wrote: "I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her."
In what way does the belief that the Holy Father is the final earthly voice of a council remove all possibility of the Holy Spirit to lead the Church in council?

How does a statement that there is one bishop who calls the council, resolves the disputes if they are irresolvable, and has the final word remove all possibility of him being led by the Spirit? If you are stating that then you must also believe that a council that is co-chaired by all the bishops present also does not submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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Bob wrote:
I'm equally insulted when those who turned their backs on Orthodoxy try and pass themselves off as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'!
I can respect that you do not like the term “Orthodox in communion with Rome” and that you find it very distasteful. There is a difference here. The term “Orthodox in communion with Rome” has a history that comes from Orthodoxy itself. The term “Uniate” originated with the Orthodox Poles and was adopted by the Russians to refer to Orthodox Christians who were in union with Rome. “Uniate” is shorthand for “Orthodox Christians in union with Rome”. The terms “Orthodox in communion with Rome” and “Uniate” have a legitimacy gained over 400 years of use and there is ample historical evidence to support this. The term “Papal Catholic” was unknown until very recently and was invented as a pejorative.

#55081 11/03/03 05:42 PM
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Dear OrthoMan,

Not wanting to add any more fuel to the fire burning here, however, when clarifying Eastern Orthodox beliefs you really do need to allow for the variety of valid opinions expressed within our communion, both now and historically.

Epiphanios, the famous heresy-hunter from Cyprus chased after divergent groups in the early Church who either denigrated our Most Holy Theotokos or elevated her to the level of Goddess. One of the things that he wrote, and against which you will be hard-pressed to find any contemporary or later repudiation of was the following in Chapetr 78 of his "Panarion," a veritable mainstay of heresiological texts for centuries up until the present:

"If the holy Virgin died and was buried, her falling asleep was honorable and her end holy; her crown consisted in her virginity. Or if she was put to death, according to the scripture, 'a sword shall pierce her soul,' her fame is among the martyrs and her holy body should be an object of our veneration, since through it light came into the world. Or else she remained alive; for it is not impossible for God to do whatever he wills. In fact, no one knows her end."

The fact is that there are many acceptable opinions, but dogmatically, the Church has not spoken on this issue.

With love in Christ,
Andrew

#55082 11/03/03 07:47 PM
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Administrator:

We've gone around in so many circles and here there and everywhere that my head is spinning. Partly because we are attempting to discuss various issue all at once. So its time to regroup.

Please confirm or deny the following questions so I know where you stand -

1) You are stll Orthodox in spite of your union with Rome because you still utilize the Orthodox Ritual in some form?

2) That the Orthodox Liturgy expounds Orthodox theology and is therefore the primary tool used to teach that Orthodox Theology. Which is another justification for you to retain your so called Orthodox identity? [The same for the Latin Liturgy which expounds the theology of the Roman Catholic Church? Therefore, if a Roman Catholic Church enters Orthodoxy and is allowed to maintain their Liturgy they will remain 'Roman Catholics In Communion With Constantinople (or any other recognized Orhodox Patriarchate) because their Liturgy still proclaims Latin theology?]

3) That your being 'in communion' with Rome does not imply that you are under Rome's authority?

4) That the theology of both the eastern and western churches is still basically the same. It is only expressed differently because of language and culture?

Please give a yes are no reply to each of the questions so we can go on from there and take each question individually. I'm asking the questions because I want to be definite on where you stand. Because right now, I'm not really sure.

Maybe we can start the above four questions as for separate threads that can be discussed individually on the East-West Form.

OrthoMan

#55083 11/03/03 07:53 PM
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[The fact is that there are many acceptable opinions, but dogmatically, the Church has not spoken on this issue.]

I assume that you are talking about the Assumption. Reread what I wrote. Especially the part that states HOLY TRADITION TELLS US etc.

The Assumption is not a specified belief in the Orthodox Church. The Dormition is. It's just the opposite in the Roman Catholic Church. Their emphasis is on the Assumption.

OrthoMan

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Bob,

I agree that these discussions can get quite complex. I have provided a brief response to each of your points that we can discuss in further detail if you wish. I am sorry that I could not provide a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but it was not possible with the way your questions are worded.

1) You are stll Orthodox in spite of your union with Rome because you still utilize the Orthodox Ritual in some form?

No. [I must take issue with the question itself.]

We are Orthodox because we preserve the fullness of the Orthodox Faith (theology of the Councils and the Church Fathers especially as prayed in the liturgy). It is the larger body of Byzantine Orthodox Christians who are missing something (and that something being full communion with Rome).

We are continually formed into Byzantine Orthodoxy because we pray according to the liturgy of the Byzantine Orthodox Church. People are primarily formed through prayer (liturgy). Our liturgy is that of Byzantine Orthodoxy (Vespers, Matins, the Divine Liturgy) so our formation must necessarily be that of Byzantine Orthodoxy.

You could counter with the powerful argument that the celebration of Vespers and Matins is missing from many (if not most) of our parishes. But such an argument would also be powerful against most Slavic Orthodox parishes (which don’t have a regular celebration of Matins) and most Greek Orthodox parishes (which don’t have a regular celebration of Vespers).


2) That the Orthodox Liturgy expounds Orthodox theology and is therefore the primary tool used to teach that Orthodox Theology. Which is another justification for you to retain your so called Orthodox identity? [The same for the Latin Liturgy which expounds the theology of the Roman Catholic Church? Therefore, if a Roman Catholic Church enters Orthodoxy and is allowed to maintain their Liturgy they will remain 'Roman Catholics In Communion With Constantinople (or any other recognized Orhodox Patriarchate) because their Liturgy still proclaims Latin theology?]

Yes. Let me offer another example. An Italian who moves to Greece and takes Greek citizenship yet still speaks Italian at home, cooks Italian at home, and spends his time reading from Italian books is still an Italian.


3) That your being 'in communion' with Rome does not imply that you are under Rome's authority?

No. “In communion” and “under” mean two different things (as you have noted within your own Church).

Are we in communion with Rome? Yes. But this will always be true, even after full communion between East and West is restored.

Are we under the authority of Rome? Yes. Until there is full communion between East and West and we are once again under the Patriarch of Constantinople. But, there is another way in which all Christians are to be “under Rome”.

A question here that really must be addressed is “What does it mean to be under Rome?”

Ideally, this means that we submit to our own patriarch and he is in communion with Rome. Since we are not currently in communion with Constantinople our status is irregular and you are correct to look askance at it. To understand the point, however, look at the example of the Melkites and the developing example of the Ukrainians. The Melkite Patriarchate operates independently and, when a bishop or patriarch is elected the patriarchate informs Rome of the election. Rome can interfere with the election (universal jurisdiction) but should not do so without just cause (say there was a fraudulent election). The other Eastern Catholic patriarchates operate the same way and the developing Ukrainian patriarchate is also following this pattern.

This brings us back to the question “What does it mean to be under Rome?” For us it means believing in and trusting that Rome always has authority to intervene (universal jurisdiction) but that she will do so only when absolutely necessary. In this sense we believe that all Christians should be “under Rome”.

Of course, this is the crux of the difference between East and West. Byzantine Orthodoxy (not in communion with Rome) believes that the primacy of Rome is merely one of honor and that Rome never has the right to interfere in another Church. Catholicism (Rome, which is the real and final arbiter of Orthodoxy) believes that it has this immediate jurisdiction. History, not surprisingly, can be used to support both positions. There are examples of the Eastern Churches welcoming Rome’s intervention as well as examples of the Eastern Churches condemning Rome’s intervention. I believe that Rome does have this authority and should have this authority and that one is not really Orthodox if one does not accept this. [Yes, I believe this even though we have oftentimes been mistreated by Rome.] You believe differently (as does the greater body of Byzantine Orthodox Christians.] I respect this disagreement and pray that it will soon be resolved.


4) That the theology of both the eastern and western churches is still basically the same. It is only expressed differently because of language and culture?

Yes to the first statement. No to the question.

I believe that the only real issue preventing the reestablishment of full communion between East (including Byzantine Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy) is that of the question of the authority of Rome. Everything else (the procession of the Holy Spirit, the definition of original sin and its effect upon the Theotokos, etc.) is not really a disagreement about matters of faith (what we believe about God) but rather one of how we have expressed the same faith (how we state what is a shared belief). As an example consider the christological issues between Rome/Constantinople/etc. and the Oriental Orthodox. Recent (separate) dialogues between the Catholic Church and the Byzantine Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church have shown that there is really not a difference in belief but of how the faith is expressed. Looking for the moment at the Catholic / OO discussions we see several common declarations where there is a joint profession “that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, one person in two natures”. The issue arising from their rejection of the ecumenical councils was not a rejection of the theology but one of the way the theology was expressed. In these cases there are definitely cultural and language barriers that cause difficulty.

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#55085 11/03/03 09:45 PM
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Orthoman,
What Fathers of the undivided Church are you referring to?
I thought Jerome, Ambrose, Tertullian and Augustine were a part of the Chutch and they were certainly latin in the theological perspectives.
I suggest you re think you thinking.
Stephanos I

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Dear OrthoMan,


On 11-02-03 you posted:

"Tradition tells us that Thomas arrived about three days later and wanted to venerate her body. When they opened the tomb her body was gone and a flower stood where it was. Orthodox believe her body was assumed into heaven but it was a separate event from her Dormition. I know of no Orthodox that believes that her body rotted in the grave."

I was concerned that your post may have reinforced the idea frequently expressed on this esteemed site that there is no difference between the RC dogma of the Assumption and the Holy tradition of Orthodoxy on the same subject. My point is to remind all that there are several valid holy traditions on this subject within Orthodoxy.

There is no particular problem if an Orthodox Christian does believe that (that her body rotted in the grave), although it would likely be a minority opinion, even a controversial one, but not demonstrably erroneous and certainly not heretical. I wouldn't have reason to assert it myself, but I wouldn't be alarmed if a brother OC did.

I have made an effort in the past to point out that the RC dogma of the bodily Assumption of the Theotokos and the OC lack of a dogma on the same subject remain a barrier to the unity that we so cherish.

Unity implies dogmatic consistency, even if expressed in different terms.

In Christ,
Andrew

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Originally posted by OrthoMan:

I would never tell a GO he or she was 'under Moscow' because being 'In Communion' with Moscow in no way implies being under Moscows authority. However, as stated it means smething entirely different within the RCC. Its amazing to what lengths some of you will go to just to deny the reality of your situation with Rome.


OrthMan
Orthoman,

you are correct in stating that "in communion" means something entirely different than "under", but the Catholic Churches' understanding of "in communion" would include the ability to receive the Eucharist (Holy Communion) from eachother as a visble sign of that communion. I hardly think this is the norm in the various Orthodox jurisdictions. Could a GO Christian receive the Eucharist in the RO Church or vice-versa? Even within the same Church the Orthodox faithful may not be able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese.

#55088 11/03/03 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by Deacon John Montalvo:

Orthoman,

Could a GO Christian receive the Eucharist in the RO Church or vice-versa? Even within the same Church the Orthodox faithful may not be able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese. [/QB][/QUOTE]


Of course, because the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate (as well as the Church of Greece) are in communion with each other, so there is no impediment to the reception of the Eucharist.

#55089 11/03/03 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by Deacon John Montalvo:
Could a GO Christian receive the Eucharist in the RO Church or vice-versa? Even within the same Church the Orthodox faithful may not be able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese.
This is absolutely not the case. Intercommunion between the various Orthodox Churches is defacto. Although canonicity *is* an issue with various groups (HOCNA, et al) even then the practical implications are not as clearly adhered to as one might think. Most of the adherants of these groups tend to stay to themselves and would not think of taking communion in the majority of Orthodox Churches.

Suffice it to say that nearly all of those who call themselves Orthodox Christians are in communion with one another. These various fringe groups are insignificant numerically, with the possible exception of the Old Calendarist Church of Greece.

Me thinks there is much too much made of these fringe groups on this board, and certain posters (not you, Deacon) like to play the "non-cannonical card" when pointing out what they see as Orthodoxy's weaknesses.

PT

#55090 11/03/03 11:50 PM
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Administrator:

I have read through your response and have compiled the following sentences which you have supplied:

" It is the larger body of Byzantine Orthodox Christians who are missing something (and that something being full communion with Rome)."

"Are we in communion with Rome? Yes."

"Are we under the authority of Rome? Yes."

"Rome can interfere with the election (universal jurisdiction) but should not do so
without just cause (say there was a fraudulent election)."

"This brings us back to the question “What does it mean to be under Rome?” For us
this means believing in and trusting that Rome always has authority to intervene (universal jurisdiction) but that she will do so only when absolutely necessary. In this sense we believe that all Christians should be “under Rome”."

"Catholicism (Rome, which is the real and final arbiter of Orthodoxy) believes that it has this immediate jurisdiction."

" I believe that Rome does have this authority and should have this authority and that one is not really Orthodox if one does not accept this. [Yes, I believe this even though we have oftentimes been mistreated by Rome.]"

Response:

And yet you take offense at being called either an 'Eastern Rite Roman Catholic' or more importantly, a 'Papal Catholic'.

I wish I could understand the logic and make sense out of that, but in all honesty, I cant. To me, it only shows a complete denial of your true identity.

You tell me that you agree that you are both 'in commnion' with Rome and also 'under its authority'. You go on to state that your so called Orthodoxy is more complete than mine because of that authority. You further tell me that my Orthodoxy is incomplete because I am not under Romes authority. And then go on to state being identified as a 'Papal Catholic' is insulting and derogatory. In all honesty, that even lacks common sense!

In your 400+ years from your mother you have completely lost touch with the reality about what she is all about! Because you center everything around Rome and then continue to be offended by being identified with her in any way, shape, or form.

OrthoMan

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Let's try this one Bob.

What is does it mean to be in communion with the EP, not to the Russian Orhtodox - who by history, geography, and demographics were always pretty much outside the reach of Constantinople - but to the Antiochian, Alexandrian, and Serbian Patriarchates, for example.

Are you sufficiently in touch with you Mother to know what I am talking about?

#55092 11/04/03 12:15 AM
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[Let's try this one Bob.

What is does it mean to be in communion with the EP, not to the Russian Orhtodox - who by history, geography, and demographics were always pretty much outside the reach of Constantinople - but to the Antiochian, Alexandrian, and Serbian Patriarchates, for example.]

I'm not sure what your point is or what your question is all about for that matter. To be in communion with the EP (or any other canonical automonous or autocephalous Church) means to be within canonical Orthodoxy!

What is your point about the MP being out of reach with Constantinople? The Russian Orthodox Church received their autocephally from Constantinople. I really don't know how answer your questions because they make no sense to me. Unless you are trying to make the EP out to be some kind of Orthodox Pope which he isn't and never was.

And my mother church is the MP which I am both in communion with and in touch with. However, I still don't understand the point you are trying to make.

Why don't you just make your point so it can be addressed?


OrthoMan

#55093 11/04/03 12:35 AM
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OrthoMan wrote:
And yet you take offense at being called either an 'Eastern Rite Roman Catholic' or more importantly, a 'Papal Catholic'.

I wish I could understand the logic and make sense out of that, but in all honesty, I cant. To me, it only shows a complete denial of your true identity.
Bob,

I respect that you cannot see the logic. I also know that your understanding is incorrect. The use of a pejorative is always an insult. I’m sure that you disagree with this as you do not consider the term “Papal Catholic” to be insulting.

Regarding the use of the term “Eastern Rite Roman Catholic” the term itself doesn’t make sense. What is a Roman Catholic? A Roman Catholic is one (or a Church) that uses the theology and liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. Our theology and liturgy is not that of the Roman Church but that of the Byzantine Church. There is no way that the term “Roman Catholic” would apply to us. I know that many Orthodox believe that because we acknowledge the Latin Catholic doctrines as legitimate and Orthodox and believe that Rome is the ultimate arbiter of Orthodoxy that there is no possible way that we can remain Orthodox. I respect such a position but I know it to be an incorrect one.

Quote
OrthoMan wrote:
You tell me that you agree that you are both 'in commnion' with Rome and also 'under its authority'. You go on to state that your so called Orthodoxy is more complete than mine because of that authority. You further tell me that my Orthodoxy is incomplete because I am not under Romes authority. And then go on to state being identified as a 'Papal Catholic' is insulting and derogatory. In all honesty, that even lacks common sense!
No. It makes perfect sense. Any term that was invented as a pejorative is always offensive. I don’t know why you can’t understand this. Use of the term “Papal Catholic” is no different than the use of the term “papist”. “Papist” may be recognized by everyone worldwide as a term for Catholics but it is considered offensive because it is always used disparagingly. Charitable people simply choose not to use terminology that is offensive. It is always best to use the terminology that people use to describe themselves. Since you find the term “Orthodox in communion with Rome” to be distasteful why not simply refer to us as “Byzantine Catholics” since that is our chosen title?

Quote
OrthoMan wrote:
In your 400+ years from your mother you have completely lost touch with the reality about what she is all about! Because you center everything around Rome and then continue to be offended by being identified with her in any way, shape, or form.
No! Nice try but it really doesn’t work. Actually, in our 400 years as Orthodox in communion with Rome we have seen from a unique vantage point just how wounded both East and West have become because of their separation from one another.


Admin

#55094 11/04/03 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by Deacon John Montalvo:

I hardly think this is the norm in the various Orthodox jurisdictions. Could a GO Christian receive the Eucharist in the RO Church or vice-versa? Even within the same Church the Orthodox faithful may not be able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese.
Where do ideas like these come from?

Do you believe that Jews put the blood of Christian babies in matzoh too?

Or was that meant to be some joke?

(Never, never think you have heard it all...just check on byzcath.org to hear somthing crazier than you ever imagined!)

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The bottom line, and the only one that matters to this old warrior, is this: "For the first 1,000 years the Church East and West was in communion. It wasn't perfect. Some things, many things, were overlooked. Live and let live was the rule of the day as long as it wasn't a dogma. Even the Liturgy was quite different. Still we were in communion with each other.

Now the union between East and West Catholicism isn't perfect. The East has too often allowed itself to be intimidated by the West, but we are coming out of that period. But we are in communion. We are working through our differences.

Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are not in communion. Most of the time the arguments are over non-dogmatic matters.

Given that none of these situations is perfect let me ask this: "Which situation is closer to Christ's prayer in John 17?"

I know how I've answered that and no amount of polemic will convince me otherwise.

Dan Lauffer

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Yes Dan that is lovely and to the point. But, spurious statments such as the one above really do nothing helpful and on the contrary harm what unity there is. The statement I quoted above is simply false, bottom line.

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Tony wrote:
Where do ideas like these come from?
Do you believe that Jews put the blood of Christian babies in matzoh too?
Or was that meant to be some joke?
(Never, never think you have heard it all...just check on byzcath.org to hear somthing crazier than you ever imagined!)
First, the comments about putting the blood of Christians in matzos is uncalled for.

Second, the conclusion made by Father Deacon John is understandable, even if inaccurate. I have several Orthodox friends who will not communicate in a parish that is not their own because of the real expectation that they will be refused the chalice because they had not first approached the priest to either go to confession or to ask his permission to receive. Back in the 1980’s a very good friend of mine (who is OCA) and I often used to take whatever weekend special the airlines offered (they were extremely cheap back then). Oftentimes we attended both an Orthodox and a Byzantine Catholic parish on a Sunday for their respective Divine Liturgies. The only time I remember my friend communicating was in parishes where he had already established a relationship with the priest. I know that this has changed very much over the past 20 years but there are still many people who hold this practice and to people not “in the know” it does appear as if they are not welcome to receive in another jurisdiction.

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Me thinks there is much too much made of these fringe groups on this board, and certain posters (not you, Deacon) like to play the "non-cannonical card" when pointing out what they see as Orthodoxy's weaknesses.
Dear Father Thomas,
Sorry if my references earlier in this thread caused offense. I also made such reference in one other thread, when I asked if "mainline" Orthodox have a similar objection to the use of the "Orthodox" by non-canonical groups (or Oriental Orthodox) as they do with our use of the word. I don't make such reference to point out any "weakness" of Orthodoxy; I have no interest in that at all.

My criticism of Orthoman's posts is simple. He posts with some pretense as a great illuminator of perceived weaknesses of my church. Sometimes his facts are just plain wrong. More often, however, he make a very tendentious interpretation of the facts. I like to point out to him, that the same difficulties apply within Orthodoxy, and if he would take the trouble to get the log out of his own eyes, he might be better able to see and comment thoughfully on ours.

He likes to quote Cor.1:10 to us. But it is clear that the text cannot be taken at face value, in light the range of expression within Orthodoxy. So it really is a discussion over discerning core dogma against expression and illustration of the core. Here I'd like to invoke a corrollary to Ghazar's principle: Orthoman should be more restrained about telling Catholics what is and what is not Catholic dogma.

Orthoman likes to point out the grave differences between "in communion with" and "under". It would be nice if such distinctions were, however, grounded in reality. If Orthoman had a better idea, from historical facts, just how very much "in communion with" the EP, during his millenium as first among equals, has actually meant "under", then he would be more circumspect about harping on our relationship to Rome.

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Dear Andrew,

Thanks for your post here.
I know that the phrase I used arose a hyperbolic extension of your words by someone else on the Dormition thread. I am very glad that that is a view that you would not assert yourself.

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Originally posted by Administrator:
Quote
Tony wrote:
Where do ideas like these come from?
Do you believe that Jews put the blood of Christian babies in matzoh too?
Or was that meant to be some joke?
(Never, never think you have heard it all...just check on byzcath.org to hear somthing crazier than you ever imagined!)
First, the comments about putting the blood of Christians in matzos is uncalled for.

Second, the conclusion made by Father Deacon John is understandable, even if inaccurate. I have several Orthodox friends who will not communicate in a parish that is not their own because of the real expectation that they will be refused the chalice because they had not first approached the priest to either go to confession or to ask his permission to receive. Back in the 1980’s a very good friend of mine (who is OCA) and I often used to take whatever weekend special the airlines offered (they were extremely cheap back then). Oftentimes we attended both an Orthodox and a Byzantine Catholic parish on a Sunday for their respective Divine Liturgies. The only time I remember my friend communicating was in parishes where he had already established a relationship with the priest. I know that this has changed very much over the past 20 years but there are still many people who hold this practice and to people not “in the know” it does appear as if they are not welcome to receive in another jurisdiction.
Administrator,

Yes, it was absurd? Good, that is my point. Which is why I allowed the option of it being a joke, albeit in poor taste.

Thanks for the lessons on the issues of communicating in Orthodoxy, I am somewhat aware of them, I had hoped you could imagine. I undersand the matter of etiquette and the issue of being refused (much greater among some than others) but the point is how his post was presented.

Perhaps it was phrased poorly, it is hard to tell. Since the word used when referring to the Catholic Church was "ability" I took it as that. If I call ahead and speak to the priest in another parish I am certainly ABLE to communicate there, in some I can just walk up. I know that...I think most Orthodx do as well, not all especially if they have not left their own parish much. But, the issue is they CAN, they are able to.

The original post (responded to by Fr. Thomas in the same understanding I ascribed to it) could only be read by me (perhaps my small mind) as saying that they cannot since the words "ability" and "could" are used.

I try to read carefully, call it what you like. I can't read the mind of the posters, only the posts.

Tony

#55101 11/04/03 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by Administrator:

Second, the conclusion made by Father Deacon John is understandable, even if inaccurate. I have several Orthodox friends who will not communicate in a parish that is not their own because of the real expectation that they will be refused the chalice because they had not first approached the priest to either go to confession or to ask his permission to receive. Back in the 1980's a very good friend of mine (who is OCA) and I often used to take whatever weekend special the airlines offered (they were extremely cheap back then). Oftentimes we attended both an Orthodox and a Byzantine Catholic parish on a Sunday for their respective Divine Liturgies.
[/QB]
It is common practice to contact the priest before going to a different parish and introducing yourself and telling of your intention to receive the Mysteries. A priest at his ordination is told to guard the Mysteries as he will have to render an account before GOd in behalf of those he has communicated. It is a Sacred trust.

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djs writes:

[If Orthoman had a better idea, from historical facts, just how very much "in communion with" the EP, during his millenium as first among equals, has actually meant "under", then he would be more circumspect about harping on our relationship to Rome.]

Being 'in communion' with the EP HAS NEVER meant being "under" the EP's authority. First amongst equals means just that and nothing more. It gives the EP the authority to call a council and preside over that council as a kind of CEO. But HE ONLY HAS ONE VOTE ON ANY DECISIONS MADE. THE SAME AS ALL THE OTHER BISHOPS PRESENT. NOR DOES HE HAVE THE POWER AND AUTHORITY TO OVERRIDE OR VETO AND DECISION MADE.

HE IS NOT NOW, NOR HAS HE EVER BEEN THE EASTERN VERSION OF THE POPE AMONGST ORTHODOXY.

For some one who accuses me of trying to tell Catholics what Catholic dogma is, aren't you doing the same thing in the above statement?

[My criticism of Orthoman's posts is simple. He posts with some pretense as a great illuminator of perceived weaknesses of my church. Sometimes his facts are just plain wrong.]

Care to elaborate?

[He likes to quote Cor.1:10 to us. But it is clear that the text cannot be taken at face value, in light the range of expression within Orthodoxy. So it really is a discussion over discerning core dogma against expression and illustration of the core. Here I'd like to invoke a corrollary to Ghazar's principle: Orthoman should be more restrained about telling Catholics what is and what is not Catholic dogma.]

And just what particular Catholic dogma are we speaking of?

OrthoMan

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[It is common practice to contact the priest before going to a different parish and introducing yourself and telling of your intention to receive the Mysteries. A priest at his ordination is told to guard the Mysteries as he will have to render an account before GOd in behalf of those he has communicated. It is a Sacred trust.]

That's exactly true! My priest will question any stranger who approaches the Chalice. And will refuse those Orthodox who are not prepared. I have even seen him refuse people with cigarette breath and those who admit they have not fasted or received Confession and/or Absolution because of that Sacred trust to protect the Body & Blood or Our Lord.

I have never seen him refuse anyone who is properly prepared because of a jurisdictional issue.

I have received in many Orthodox Jurisdictions but make arrangements with the priest before hand.

OrthoMan

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2003.10.31 Slate:
<http://slate.msn.com/id/2090526/>
faith-based
"Property of Rome"?

Does the Vatican have exclusive rights to the word "Catholic"?

By Michael McGough
Posted Friday, October 31, 2003, at 3:59 AM PT
They say the pope's infallible, but does he also hold a trademark on the
word "Catholic"? Readers of a dispatch from the Associated Press last month
might well have wondered. The story reported that "a lawsuit filed by the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta accuses a network of Spanish-speaking
churches of falsely claiming to be Catholic."

Fox News was laughed out of court when it sued Al Franken for including the
phrase "fair and balanced" in the subtitle of his satirical book Lies and
the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. But the Archdiocese of Atlanta fared better
in its attempt, as intellectual-property lawyers put it, to "protect the
mark." In October, a Fulton County judge entered a consent order that
permanently enjoins the "Mision Catolica: Capilla de la Fe" (Catholic
Mission: Chapel of Faith) from "representing themselves to be a part of or
associated with or sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman
Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta or Archbishop John Francis Donoghue."

The lawsuit didn't exactly chisel a TM under the word "Catholic"; rather,
it alleged that the Chapel of Faith was "intentionally or recklessly"
creating the impression that its clerics and services "are sanctioned by
the Roman Catholic Church." That is a weightier complaint than Fox's brief
against Al Franken; you don't need to be a federal judge to understand that
"fair and balanced" in Franken's title was a joke, not the appropriation of
a trademark for fraudulent purposes.

Mark Chopko, the general counsel of the United States Catholic Conference,
said as far as he knows the Atlanta lawsuit is one of a kind and that the
national church took no official position on it. The American Roman
Catholic Church is not declaring open season on other groups that use the
"C" word in their names.

That's just as well, because it could prove impossible under the First
Amendment to cabin the terms "Catholic" or even "Roman Catholic."

Lots of people who don't recognize the Bishop of Rome consider themselves
just as Catholic as John Paul II. Many Protestants on Sunday recite the
Apostles Creed, which contains the affirmation "I believe Š in the holy
catholic church."

Whether the "c" is capitalized or not, "Catholic"-the etymology is from the
Greek katholikos for "universal"-has been a contested term in Christian
theological polemics for centuries. After the churches of Rome and
Constantinople split in a schism usually dated to the 11th century, the
Church of the West became known as the Roman Catholic Church, and the
Church of the East as the Orthodox Church. (To complicate matters further,
there are other ancient churches that went their own way because of
doctrinal disputes even before Rome and Constantinople split.)

The Eastern Orthodox Church believes that it is not only orthodox (correct
in its teaching), but also Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church likewise
considers itself to be orthodox in doctrine. In emphasizing one term over
another in their "trademarks," these two branches of Christianity are not
relinquishing their claims to both attributes. (For a secular analogy,
consider the names of the two major political parties in America: Democrats
would tell you that they believe in a republican form of government;
Republicans like President Bush trumpet the virtues of small-d democracy,
at least in Iraq.)

Of course, "Catholic"-especially when the "C" is capitalized-has other
connotations besides "universal." As a result of the 19th-century Oxford
Movement in the Church of England, some Anglicans began to identify
themselves as "Catholics" in the sense of incorporating Roman Catholic
rituals and vestments (what some called the "rags of popery") in their
worship. To this day some so-called Anglo-Catholic churches are "more
Catholic than the pope" in the sense that they preserve older practices
(like priests celebrating Mass with their backs to the congregation) that
have been suppressed in post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. Some High-Church
Anglicans even offer prayers during Mass for the pope (and for the
patriarch of Constantinople, for good measure).

Long before the Archdiocese of Atlanta cried foul about the Mision
Catolica, Roman Catholics were rejecting the notion that one could be a
Catholic and not be in communion with Rome. And aggrieved Anglicans
responded in kind. Consider this sniffy entry in Fowler's Modern Usage,
published by Oxford University Press: "Catholic. It is open to Roman
Catholics to use C. by itself in a sense that excludes all but themselves,
but it is not open to a Protestant to use it instead of Roman-Catholic
without implying that his own Church has no right to the name of C."

So there. But Roman Catholics were unimpressed by this point of order. When
I studied religion at the University of Kent, one of my classmates, a Roman
Catholic priest in training, mocked this hair-splitting. When you asked an
Englishman for directions to the local "Catholic church," he told me, you
would always be pointed to the Roman Catholic church.

To add to the confusion, some Eastern Rite Catholics-whose churches
recognize the authority of the pope in Rome but follow rituals similar to
those of Eastern Orthodoxy-don't like to be referred to as Roman Catholics.
Then there are the churches that don't acknowledge the pope in Rome but
incorporate the term "Catholic" in their title. Some, like the "Old
Catholic" churches that broke from Rome over papal infallibility, have what
the Vatican considers "valid" holy orders. That means that an Old Catholic
(or, in this country, Polish National Catholic) priest has the power to
consecrate the Eucharist.

Even the presence of "Roman" in a church's name doesn't guarantee a
connection to the Vatican. According to the Web site of the Old Roman
Catholic Church in North America, schisms in its flock produced the Old
Roman Catholic Church in North America-Diocese of Michigan and the Central
States; the North American Old Roman Catholic Church; and the Old Roman
Catholic Church-Diocese of Florida within the Historic See of Caer Glow (!).

Lest that litany seem fantastic or facetious, consider the "Catholic Mass"
celebrated every Sunday evening at the Episcopal church in my Dupont Circle
neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The Mass is sponsored by Dignity, a group
of gay and lesbian Catholics that takes issue with the Vatican's
condemnation of homosexual acts.

Peggy Hays, a spokeswoman for Dignity says, that "we never hide our status"
as an autonomous group or pretend to be approved by the American hierarchy
(though some priests who celebrate Mass for Dignity are members in good
standing of religious orders who are acting with the tacit approval of
their superiors). Hayes says she knows of no attempt by the hierarchy to
move against Dignity for (mis)use of the term "Catholic." Given the
multiplicity of meanings of "Catholic," that seems like a prudent policy
even after the Archdiocese of Atlanta's legal victory
.
Michael McGough is a Washington-based editor at large for the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette.
Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2090526/

#55105 11/04/03 05:12 AM
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Being 'in communion' with the EP HAS NEVER meant being "under" the EP's authority.
Do a little reading on the history of, say, the Serbian Patriarchate, then revisit you remarks.

Quote
For some one who accuses me of trying to tell Catholics what Catholic dogma is, aren't you doing the same thing in the above statement?
Not at all. I am not referring to dogma. Or doctrine, or theological opinion, or canons or any such thing. Just uncontested historical facts.

Quote
And just what particular Catholic dogma are we speaking of
For example:
"Roman Catholics on the other hand, backed themselves in a corner with the Immaculate Conception. Because if Mary was conceived without 'Original Sin' then she would have been immortal as Adam & Eve were originally designed before the 'fall'. Thats why the RC's don't emphasize her 'Dormition' rather than both her Dormition and Assumption."
This is errant nonsense. Likewise, you have been resisted the administrator's careful dissection of core dogma from mode of expression and illustration in the case of Purgatory, and have suggested a wholesale acceptance of Latin tradition. Etc.

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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Being 'in communion' with the EP HAS NEVER meant being "under" the EP's authority.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do a little reading on the history of, say, the Serbian Patriarchate, then revisit you remarks.

------------

As an Orthodox Catholic I stand by what I wrote. BEING 'IN COMMUNION WITH THE EP' DOES NOT MEAN BEING UNDER HIS AUTHORITY! HE IS NOT THE ORTHODOX VERSION OF THE VATICAN POPE!

[For example:
"Roman Catholics on the other hand, backed themselves in a corner with the Immaculate Conception. Because if Mary was conceived without 'Original Sin' then she would have been immortal as Adam & Eve were originally designed before the 'fall'. Thats why the RC's don't emphasize her 'Dormition' rather than both her Dormition and Assumption."
This is errant nonsense.]

It's a fact. Adam and Eve were originally created by God to be immortal and live forever in the Garden of Eden. When they sinned they were banished from the garden and THEIR IMMORTALITY WAS TAKEN FROM THEM! We Orthodox refer to it as the 'fall' of Adam & Eve. We, as their descendents carry the result of their 'fall' by being subject to death. If Mary was conceived Immaculately (without the stain of that fall) then she would not only have have been immortal and as such, would have been a higher breed of human than we are. Which would also affect the doctrine of the Incarnation - {If the Holy Virgin Mary's human will was interfered with (ed.?as in Roman Catholic doctrine) She would not be totally human and therefore Jesus Christ would not be totally man (ed.?human) and totally God."}


"Original Sin" and
the Mother of God
By a Priest of the Orthodox Church in America

See Also:The Meeting of Our Lord in the Temple (The Purification of Mary)

By Fr. Thomas HopkoandOur Most Holy Lady Theotokos


First: The use of the term the stain of Original Sin is exclusive Roman Catholic Church terminology and is NOT Orthodox.

The Orthodox position is that we are all born into a sinful world made sinful by the Fall of Adam. No one is or ever has been conceived and born with a "stain" resulting from Adam's sin. In her lifetime, the Blessed Virgin Mary did not sin by her own choice with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Because Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that all people bear the stain and guilt of original sin from the moment of their conception in the womb, the Roman Catholic Church had to devise a "Doctrine of Immaculate Conception" to confirm that the Holy Mother was sinless because, the Vatican rationalized, our Lord could not be born of someone sinful. The immaculate conception doctrine makes her different from the rest of humankind; it makes her not fully human because she was not by her own choice sinless but by the will of God.

If Mary were sinless by God's choice, not hers, then by virtue of the fact that she was as fully human as all of humankind is and has been, then God could make us all sinless and take away the free will given to us by our being created in His image and likeness.

The following is from the book Life of the Virgin Mary, The Theotokos by Blessed John Maximovitch, published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, CA:

The Heterodox Teaching
of "Immaculate Conception" and "Original Sin"

"Saint Ambrose (339-397), Bishop of Milan, comments that, 'Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ...'

"The Orthodox Church teaches that the Virgin Mary was conceived by Joachim's seed and the period of gestation was nine months. None of the ancient holy Fathers (ed.?only the Roman Catholic Church) say that God in miraculous fashion purified the Virgin Mary while yet in Anna's womb.

Only Jesus Christ is completely pure of every sin, while all men, being born of Adam, have borne a flesh subject to the law of sin. Many have correctly indicated that the Virgin Mary, just as all men, endured a battle with sinfulness, but was victorious over temptations and was saved by her Divine Son."

Blessed John Maximovitch (1896-1966) affirms that The Church teaches that "through the fall of Adam and Eve, all of the human race inherited death, becoming enslaved to the devil through the passions.
The progeny of Adam and Eve are not guilty of their first parents' tasting of the fruit; we are not being punished for this first sin or 'original sin.' If, for the sake of argument, we maintain the invalid heterodox teaching that the Theotokos was preserved from this 'original sin,' that would make God unmerciful and unjust. If God preserved her, why then does He not purify all men?
But then that would have meant saving men before their birth, apart from their will. This teaching would then deny all her virtues. After all, if Mary, even in the womb of Anna, when she could not even desire anything either good or evil, was preserved by God's grace from every impurity, and then by that grace was preserved from sin even after her birth, then in what does her virtue consist? She would have been placed in the state of being unable to sin.

"The Virgin, as a true daughter of Adam and Eve, also inherited death. She was not in a state of never being able to die. Thus, St. John of Damascus writes on the occasion of her Dormition,


'O pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, thine end was conformable to nature.'"

Blessed Archbishop John continues to comment that the Virgin was not placed in the state of being unable to sin, but continued to take care for her salvation and overcame all temptations. The righteousness and sanctity of the Virgin Mary was manifested in the fact that she, being "human with passions?like us," so loved God and gave herself over to Him, that by her purity she was exalted above all other creatures. Mary was to become the Mother of God, the Theotokos, not because she was to give birth to divinity, but that through her the Word became true man, God-Man.
The last comment made by St. John is so important -- "Mary was to become the Mother of God, the Theotokos, not because she was to give birth to divinity, but that through her the Word became true man, God-Man".

If the Holy Virgin Mary's human will was interfered with (ed.?as in Roman Catholic doctrine) She would not be totally human and therefore Jesus Christ would not be totally man (ed.?human) and totally God."

[ Likewise, you have been resisted the administrator's careful dissection of core dogma from mode of expression and illustration in the case of Purgatory, and have suggested a wholesale acceptance of Latin tradition. Etc.]

No. What I did was point out that you agreed to accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of 'Purgatory' right from the get go. And even copied and pasted the article it refrences in the 'Union of Brest'.

--------

Now, before someone comes back and quotes the ecumenist Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware in the latest edition of his book 'The Orthodox Church' where he says 'An Orthodox can believe in the Immaculate Conception and not be considered a heretic.' Let me just say that is one Bishops opinion, nothing more. I don't know of any other Orthodox bishop (well maybe one Ukrainian one) that agrees with him. It's no different than the RC bishops who go around preaching Mary as Co-redemptorix. It's just their opinion rather than an accepted view of the RCC.

Since this has gotten off the subject matter, than maybe someone should start a new thread. But I bet its already been rehashed a few times.

djs: I'm not trying to define Roman Cathoilc doctrine, I'm refuting it! There's a difference!

OrthoMan

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Dear Orthoman,

And a top of the morning to you too, Big Guy! smile

(We are getting a lot of Irish here of late, you know . . .).

You really shouldn't be upsetting yourself over these matters - it's not as if we haven't talked about them before.

I know - but we Eastern Catholics don't seem to learn, we still keep calling ourselves "Orthodox in communion with Rome" and affirming all kinds of things that aren't true.

As the Irish would say, "Quite right - they're a bad lot!"

Here is my own take on the matter, for what it's worth (I know it's unsophisticated, but I'll try and hold off on my usual arrogance, rudeness et al!)

1) I agree that the term "Orthodox in communion with Rome" is both confusing to many Eastern Catholics and upsetting to Orthodox. I don't know of even one Ukie Church that would ever allow this term to be used to describe even one parish. The fact that it is upsetting to Orthodox is a good reason to not use it or at least keep it to ourselves. "Orthodoxy" today means the Orthodox Catholic Church that has nothing to do with Rome. The word can also mean "Russian Church" to a number of Eastern Catholics.

2) The Immaculate Conception as a doctrine is purely RC and relates to the Latin view of Original Sin. I'm not sure, anymore, WHAT the Latin view on Original Sin is, what it used to be, what it now is - one book I saw said RC's can believe in TWO versions of Original Sin and TWO versions of the Immaculate Conception. In any event, many of our Eastern Catholics believe in TWO versions all the same. There are those who accept the RC versions all the way. Others, like myself, who say that both East and West believe the Mother of God to have been completely sanctified by the Spirit from her Conception (the Feast of the Conception) but that this does not exempt her from the effects of Original Sin - which, in her, were mitigated i.e. she felt no pain in giving birth to her Son, her death was a "falling-asleep" etc. The theology of the IC is definitely Western - but the reason the West has sought to impose it on Eastern Catholics in the past is because the West always assumed that everyone had the same understanding of Original Sin as it (and St Augustine) did. And that is not so.

3) Purgatory was formerly conceived as a "place" by RC theology between heaven and hell. This is clear from the documents of the Council of Florence - something that horrified the Greeks, especially our Father among the Saints, Mark of Ephesus. It was formerly the case that Eastern Catholics were obliged to accept the Latin terminology and theological context of Purgatory, I have an old Greek Catholic text that outlines the Catholic oath of loyalty for Eastern Catholics and this is mentioned. But the "pith and substance" of what the East believes about prayer for the dead is similar, if not exactly the same, to what the West believes. We pray for the dead much more than the West today does. And we don't pray for the dead who are consigned to a destiny in hell, and we don't pray for the dead who are consigned to a destiny in heaven. We pray for those who have yet to enter heaven, who need our prayers to get closer to God, as Fr. Meyendorff states in his Byzantine theology. We don't define who is where in the afterlife, we pray and we're done with it.

4) I think that much of the Latinization we see in the Eastern Catholic Churches is our own fault. When Rome told our churches to be more faithful to our Eastern tradition, many of our priests and laity said, or words to the effect: "We stand by our Stations of the Cross etc.!" One priest of ours actually told me this.

There are many, even on this forum, who don't like "vostochniks" like you and me wink . I don't need to tell you who that is either!

I don't agree that Rome is the crown of Orthodoxy. Rome and Orthodoxy, to use the common parlance, are separated from each other.

And our union with Rome has already been discredited by RC theologians themselves - it is considered an historical mistake that should not be repeated again. (Thanks for all your support, Your Eminences!)

So when East unites together with West, according to God's Will, we, as uniates, will disappear back into our Mother Orthodox Churches.

So get ready - we'll be coming with our Stations of the Cross, our monstrances and rosaries, our miraculous medals and scapulars.

In fact, all of the above devotions have been practiced by many Orthodox Saints in the last few centuries any way.

So there you have it, Bob. I hope you'll come to my defence when the "Orthodox in communion with Rome" crowd read this and feel the need to come after me for spoiling their arguments. wink

I know you will!

Who da man?

YOU da man!

You da ORTHOMAN!

Alex

#55108 11/04/03 04:19 PM
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Alex writes:

[Dear Orthoman,

And a top of the morning to you too, Big Guy!

(We are getting a lot of Irish here of late, you know . . .).]

Welcome back Alex! I knew you couldn't stay away from here any more than I can! IT IS STILL THE BEST DISCUSSION WEBSITE AROUND. Even though I disagree with a ot of whats discussed.

Can't really disagree with anything you posted except mabe waiting until east and west reunite to 'come home'. COME HOME NOW! The calf is fatted and the pierogis are cooking. It just awaits the prodigal sons return!

[So there you have it, Bob. I hope you'll come to my defence when the "Orthodox in communion with Rome" crowd read this and feel the need to come after me for spoiling their arguments.

I know you will!]

Ya got that right!

OrthoMan

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Dear Orthoman:

You have evidenced on this thread an ability to distinguish between dogma and illustrative modes of expression. So why do you lapse and scramble things here.

OS & IC has been discussed exhaustively in other threads. Search the archives. Let me just treat your quote from Fr. Hopko.

Quote
Because Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that all people bear the stain and guilt of original sin from the moment of their conception in the womb, the Roman Catholic Church had to devise a "Doctrine of Immaculate Conception" to confirm that the Holy Mother was sinless because, the Vatican rationalized, our Lord could not be born of someone sinful. The immaculate conception doctrine makes her different from the rest of humankind; it makes her not fully human because she was not by her own choice sinless but by the will of God.
First, is Father being careful to avoid saying that his descriptions of RC ideas on OS correspond to dogma? Is he aware that his idea about "guilt" while it may have been terminology used by some writers is not only not dogma but not doctrine, and in fact is specifically stated as not being the Catholic teaching in the CCC? Does he understand precisely what is entailed by the use of the word "stain" both in the Catholic OS and IC teachings? Or is he attaching meanings inconsistent with Catholic teaching? Building straw men to knock down? Etc.

I am happy to learn of the Orhtodox view of OS.
I have, however, previously posted clips from various Orthoodox websites that in fact use terminology that Fr. Hopko might consider Orthodox, if the quoted remark were to be taken rigidly. Moreover, there are Orthodox sites that list not only mortality but other fallen attributes as part of our legacy from Adam. I would not presuppose to tell you what is Orthodox teaching, but would ask for clarification when there appears to be more latitude in the teaching than you are suggesting.

Quote
No. What I did was point out that you agreed to accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of 'Purgatory' right from the get go. And even copied and pasted the article it refrences in the 'Union of Brest'.
I won't speak for others on Purgatory. I have posted the same article from Brest myself here and have enjoined others to post the whole article. I readily and thankfully accept the idea that our salvation may be advanced even after death, through prayers and offerings. I would even go further than many here and say that I am grateful for the little bit of guidance that the the church gives in attaching an accounting scheme to such acts - in early training anyway - insofar as they help motivate them.

Of course the East and West have argued about lofty expressions: is it a place (Catholic teaching allows different opinions here); does it involve fire (a traitional metaphor but not dogma in Catholicism); is it the same fire as hell-fire or another fire (sheesh!). And here, we have sunk to issues of fuzzy grammar: is it a noun or a verb. These lie outside the core; they lie outside what must be believed. So when you talk about what we accept, it would be nice if you would attach the same wisdom that you do in understanding the allowable range of opinions on analogous subjects within Orthodoxy.

#55110 11/04/03 05:01 PM
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Tony wrote:
Yes, it was absurd? Good, that is my point. Which is why I allowed the option of it being a joke, albeit in poor taste.

Thanks for the lessons on the issues of communicating in Orthodoxy, I am somewhat aware of them, I had hoped you could imagine. I undersand the matter of etiquette and the issue of being refused (much greater among some than others) but the point is how his post was presented.
Yes, I agree that your comment was in poor taste.

I don’t think that Father Deacon John’s assumption was in any way absurd but rather a fair conclusion based upon observation. If you add to the mix that there were actually news articles stating that Greek priests could not serve with MP priests back during the Estonian crisis and that some may have read a news account of it the conclusion is a fair one. If anything I am surprised that you had responded without offering the same explanation that I offered.

Quote
Tony wrote:
The original post (responded to by Fr. Thomas in the same understanding I ascribed to it) could only be read by me (perhaps my small mind) as saying that they cannot since the words "ability" and "could" are used.

I try to read carefully, call it what you like. I can't read the mind of the posters, only the posts.
It appears to me that you seek out the worst interpretation and then purposely use it as an instrument to clobber someone.

If you were an OCA pastor and one of your parishioners came up to you and asked:

“Fr. Tony, I’m going on vacation next week and will be going to the Greek Orthodox parish in Florida. Can I receive the Eucharist in a Greek Orthodox Church? Are Orthodox able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese?”

Would you respond:

”Where did you get such an idea? Do you believe that Jews put the blood of Christian babies in matzoh too? Or was that meant to be some joke? Is this something crazy you read on byzcath.org?”

I sincerely doubt that you would ridicule your parishioner. My guess is that you would either offer an appropriate explanation or ask a few questions to determine the real question.

You are studying to be a priest. You should always go the extra mile to see behind the words to the real question and minister to everyone you speak with.

Admin

#55111 11/04/03 05:09 PM
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I think that much of the Latinization we see in the Eastern Catholic Churches is our own fault. When Rome told our churches to be more faithful to our Eastern tradition, many of our priests and laity said, or words to the effect: "We stand by our Stations of the Cross etc.!" One priest of ours actually told me this.
There are many, even on this forum, who don't like "vostochniks" like you and me . I don't need to tell you who that is either!
Who are you thinking about with this?
Vostochnik is a loaded word of course.

I like very much what Diak wrote on another thread. I respond negatively to ad hoc standards originating from either RC or EO consensus practice. I am completely in favor of and committed to continuing efforts to invigorate our our practice, our cathechesis, our church. But I don't like, at all, any copy-cat defaults that say do this to be more like other Catholics; or do that to be more like other Orthodox. We have a long and beautiful tradition. One that goes directly back, arguably to Sts. C&M. We are not a church that was "created" with the Unia.

We can and we must be faithful to our patrimony, our way, and the way of our saints. We who had nothing as the world judges these things, were riotously wealthy in our church. Nothing short of amazing, when you think of all of the obstacles we faced, to have created such beauty and such goodness.

We can and we must do our own homework to solve our own problems - to discern our particular authentic tradition, and our particular organic growth, and to do so with particular pastoral sensitivity. We cannnot just copy. Any hint otherwise, contains, deep inside, the idea that we are not a church at all. Is outrage.

#55112 11/04/03 05:14 PM
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OrthoMan posted a news article:
Does the Vatican have exclusive rights to the word "Catholic"?
By Michael McGough
Posted Friday, October 31, 2003, at 3:59 AM PT
Bob,

Please don’t post such stuff in the middle of a thread unless you are also explain why you are posting it.

No one has disputed that others have the right to use the term “Catholic”. It is perfectly acceptable for the Moscow Patriarchate, for example, to identify itself as “The Catholic Church at Moscow”. [Although it would be technically very correct I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the place if they did. biggrin ]

The issue in the story you linked is the purposeful use of the term “Catholic” to insinuate that they were part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta and were operating under its authority. This is a quite different issue than the one under discussion in this thread.

Admin

#55113 11/04/03 05:25 PM
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I apologize to the learned Orthodox brethren for my previous post, however, as the Admin stated, if my statement is inaccurate, it is certainly understandable. This was not some rash conclusion based upon urban legend. Perhaps the following will put it in perspective.

This weekend at the Divine Liturgy, I noticed a young couple who were visting. As it is my practice with all visitors, after the Divine Liturgy I approached them, introduce myself and welcomed them to our parish. I discovered they were an engaged couple (he is RC, she is GO), and they are planning to move to Phoenix from Boston. Both are committed to their Faith, and it was from the GO Christian, that I was informed of how the Eucharist is received (or not) within Orthodoxy. Her comment followed my comment about how any Catholic, properly prepared, may receive the Eucharist. My comment was in response to her fiance's question if whether or not he could receive the Eucharist in our Byzantine Church since he is a Roman Catholic. I guess this is a sign that we need to better educate the faithful.

#55114 11/04/03 05:31 PM
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Dear Administrator,

Part of the problem, Sir, is that I think you just don't understand my brother, Orthoman, as I have come to!

We've had our wars, but we've come to admire each other as the brothers we are.

Sometimes I think there are those who provoke him here.

He represents the "straight goods" of Orthodoxy here without wishy-washy ecumenical "feel good" views.

He is, in fact, our Mark of Ephesus who, as you know, when he left Florence without signing the instrument of union, prompted Pope Eugenius to say, "We have accomplished nothing."

To work out these issues with Orthoman to his satisfaction and his standards of what Orthodoxy is - now that is to accomplish something!

Orthoman - the Defender of Orthodoxy!

Alex

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OrthoMan quoted:
"Saint Ambrose (339-397), Bishop of Milan, comments that, 'Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ...'
Bob,

There is no statement anywhere in Latin Catholic theology indicating that Mary is “perfectly holy” on the same level as Jesus Christ himself.

There are certainly differences in the Eastern and Western theologies of original sin and the effect or non-effect on the Theotokos. It does not help, however, when you post stuff claiming that the West actually believes something that it doesn’t and then attempt to shoot it down. It renders the rest of your argument powerless.

I have a personal devotion to St. John Maximovitch. His teaching on this issue, however, demonstrates that he had an erroneous understanding of Latin theology. He makes some classic assumptions that are simply not true. It is very easy to distort someone else’s belief and then shoot it down. The challenge is to actually understand what someone else believes and then respond to it. We can re-examine this new topic if you want under a new thread with an appropriate title.

Admin

#55116 11/04/03 05:36 PM
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Dear djs,

Actually, you are right, I was thinking of you!!

You yourself referred to the "Vostochnyk straightjacket."

Now that I found interesting!

It's part of a debate that exists in the UGCC as well.

I don't know what you mean by "Vostochnyk" but in our community it tends to mean two things: a) a Russifier and b) someone who has a general, if vague, commitment to "easternizing" our church.

So what I don't understand, and would ask you to comment on, is what constitutes a Vostochnyk Straight Jacket?

You say that you are for our Church maintaining its old traditions - are indulgences et al. part of those traditions?

If so, then this means you really do consider your Church to have begun at the time of its union with Rome.

There are others in my church who would say the Ukrainian Church was always in union with Rome etc.

So I'm just not clear where you are coming from.

I'm all ears!

Alex

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Dear Administrator,

Not to want to be seen to be picky, but I think St John Maximovitch was correct here!

St John of Shanghai was well acquainted with Western theology - he saw many positive things in it and began the trend back to placing Western saints into the Orthodox calendar.

His view was that the Mother of God grew dynamically in holiness - and he rightly critiqued the West's more static view of Mary's holiness.

Orthoman is correct in what he says on this point even from Eastern Catholic standards.

Alex

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Alex:

I thought that this was pretty clear in my post above. Just as Bishop John's criticism was of slavishness, mine is of the straight-jacket - East or West, pro or con. It is not serious to accept or to reject something simply because it originated in the East or in the West. We can and must do our own homework, in light of our own particular tradition.

And what do you mean, Alex, by tradition? Is it what has been handed to us, or is it something that was current in some selected place at some selected time, and that is now elevated as the sine qua non of our Church? Are we a living breathing organismic church or are we a museum fossil? Or worse, are we aspiring to be disregard our particular inheritance and become a sorry clone.

I did note that my insouciant attitude toward indulgences may not be shared by others. And some of them likely have serious, non-slavish reasons for not sharing my attitude. Do you think this is a communion-breaking difference or might I be given toll-house latitude here?

I don't doubt that this notion emerged within our church after the Union. So what? Does that make it ipso facto illegitimate?

PS Your rant on Bishop John was untimely, at the very least.

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Dear djs,

I didn't like what Bishop John had to say - there is never a good time to critique someone but it's not personal.

And I didn't "rant" - you should know better than to make groundless accusations like that. You should have, instead, said "I don't agree with that BS of yours, Alex" or words to that effect. I thought about Bishop John's statements for a long time before I made those comments. It is telling that you agree with Bishop John but seem to dismiss the ecumenical efforts of the rest of his colleagues. Why?

OR, you could have countered my arguments and indicated WHY you didn't agree with me. Whenever you're ready!

Both of our Churches have inherited a goodly amount of Latinisms in their lives and we are called by the Apostolic See to "return" to the true spirituality etc. of our Churches.

That is not me, but the Vatican II Council, as you know.

Clearly, Rome itself has a good idea of where we, as EC Churches should be, and where we are and that the two realities should become one.

No, we shouldn't be defending Latin traditions simply because: a) our forefathers had them; b) our Churches have had them for a very long time and let's not upset people c) they are now part of our national identity and d) to have them shows we are not backwards like those Orthodox.

In fact, we are called to have an identical liturgical identity with the Orthodox, with our Mother Orthodox Churches to be exact.

There is nothing in Orthodoxy, by way of spirituality, that cannot satisfy what our current Latin devotions satisfy. And Latin innovations are hardly a sign of progress and development, or at least this is how I'm reading you and others in my Church on this score.

Orthodoxy is our "bench-mark" so to speak. It is no "straight-jacket."

And I'm not saying that private devotions of individuals, like me, should be disturbed or sacrificed on the altar of "Orthodox political correctness."

But we should guard against East-West hybridism - that is definitely not our tradition, even if it has been around for a few hundred years.

It makes a mockery of what we are supposed to be as Eastern Catholics with respect to both the West and the East.

Now, I'm saying this by way of what I perceive you to be saying - and I could very well have misread you.

In that case, I'm speaking to my own confreres in the UGCC who believe this way.

(And I wasn't "fuming" on the other thread - I was just upset and disappointed. How would you take being called "rude, arrogant and unsophisticated?" I'm not arrogant . . .)

Alex

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Alex,

With all due respect, you are totally incorrect.

The Latin Church has never dogmatically or doctrinally taught that the Theotokos was perfect, equal to Jesus as the quote from St. Ambrose is used to indicate in the piece Bob quotes from.

The Latin Church has never dogmatically or doctrinally taught that Mary did not need to be saved by her Son as the article implies.

The Latin Church has never dogmatically or doctrinally taught that Mary was unable to choose sin (that she had no free will) as the article claims.

The Latin Church has never taught dogmatically or doctrinally that Mary did not die.

The last comment that is highlighted ("Mary was to become the Mother of God, the Theotokos, not because she was to give birth to divinity, but that through her the Word became true man, God-Man".) is equally the teaching of the Latin Church even though St. John appears to be stating that the Latin Church does not teach this.

Your belief that the things the Latin Church is accused of but which it does not actually teach highlights the greater problem in dialog between East and West. Too often people in both Churches assume that the other believes something that that Church never actually taught.

St John Maximovitch did not have a good grasp on Western theology if he made the comments he made. He states some very good and accurate teachings about the Mother of God but his assumption that the Latins actually taught the stuff he is accusing them of is erroneous.

I am no Latin theologian but I have verified each of the points I made above to be accurate with people who are very prayerfully knowledgeable in Latin theology. At best one must pick and choose comments from various Western theologians through the centuries and interpret them broadly to come up with what St. John assumes the Western theology to be. St. John is a holy saint and obviously knew Byzantine Orthodox theology very well. He was not as well versed in Latin theology.

Admin

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Dear Administrator,

Now that I have your attention . . .

If I said any of the things you are accusing me of, then I deserve to be beaten about the calves and ankles.

But I didn't even mention them, and they are truly erroneous as you say.

And I agree that Maximovitch had trouble relating to the Latin theology of Original Sin - which coloured his subsequent overall assessment of it.

But he was correct in pointing out the dynamic process of holiness that the Mother of God underwent throughout her life - at her Conception, at her Annunciaton, at Pentecost and now in Heaven.

The Latin Church had a much more "static" view of her holiness and sinlessness - St John's identification of this in his book on the Theotokos is quite correct.

As for the Theotokos not dying, the Latin Church at least allowed for Catholics to believe that. There is no mention of her dying in the dogmatic decree on the Assumption - Fr. Hardon discusses this in his Catechism.

And on that score, my friend Bob, is too.

What do you have against us? wink

Alex

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Alex wrote:
If I said any of the things you are accusing me of, then I deserve to be beaten about the calves and ankles.
Alex,

Forty lashes over your calves and ankles with a wet noodle seems appropriate (unless someone can suggest a more appropriate instrument biggrin ).

You wrote: Not to want to be seen to be picky, but I think St John Maximovitch was correct here!

You endorsed St. John’s teachings as presented by Bob and stated that were correct. In fact his teaching about what the Latins believe was incorrect.

Admin

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Dear Administrator,

Ah, Sire, but notice the word "here!"

Not "everywhere," but "here!"

And where is "here?"

It is on the score of seeing the dynamic aspect of the Theotokos' sanctification that went from "sanctified in the womb of St Anne" to even greater heights throughout her life.

She was filled by the Holy Spirit on more than one occasion, as we know.

And St John M was reacting against the Latin static view and against the Augustinian Original Sin perspective, as we know as well.

And as for ecumenical relations, I at least made friends with Orthoman.

Can you say the same? wink

And if there really is such divergence of Orthodox thought on the subject - then what becomes of your "Orthodox in communion with Rome" hypothesis? Shouldn't you be giving that up? Wouldn't that confuse our people - as if they need more confusion?

Alex

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Orthodox Catholic posted:

"And our union with Rome has already been discredited by RC theologians themselves - it is considered an historical mistake that should not be repeated again. (Thanks for all your support, Your Eminences!)"


Dear Alex and Fellow Posters,

I really have a tough time understanding this.

It seems to me that this is an instance of historians and theologians taking an anachronistic approach to theology and church history! I may be way out of line here, but I don't understand how one can call the union a mistake in terms of history and theology.

The times were what they were. The believers of the time, Eastern and Western, were just that. Those entering union with Rome, those opposed to their entering union with Rome, and those in Rome which entered into communion with them had only their visions and understandings to guide them. Given the historical circumstances, the state of communications, etc. they all did what they saw as the right thing to do for the good of the people and the Church.

The rest is history.

Of course, it seems to me that the Spirit had some part to play in it, too.

If Catholic historians and theologians discredit the Union of our Churches, what does it matter? It seems that the logical conclusion to what they say is that the existence of the Churches, including our own, as they are as a communion, is a mistake.

That makes no sense to me.

I don't understand how that can be. Let me share a train of thought that may illustrate my thinking and perhaps help you to help me understand.

The Eastern Churches of our communion have rekindled in the Western Church an emphasis on understanding ecclesiology as being a matter of communion. Given the current state of our understanding of the faith, it does make sense for Rome to say that to engage in that kind of union with segments of Orthodoxy today would be a mistake. I can't see how that justifies reinterpreting history and discrediting the historical union.

So the Western Church works for the reunion of all of the Churches using an approach that might in time show that it has changed and respects Eastern beliefs and ways of thinking and doing things. It seems that following the lead of the current Pope, she is trying to do so.

Couldn't that be seen as a working out of the plan of the Spirit for the Churches?. The role of the Eastern Catholic Churches is, it seems to me, an invaluable one to both East and West on the road to reunion. Our communion is not mistake.

I wonder where we would be on the road if the Union had not happened?

Am I missing something?

Thanks for your insights.

Steve

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Dear Steve,

An excellent point!

I wish I understood Rome's politicking and posturing toward the East as well . . .

A lot of this is squarely the fault of the Ukrainians.

That Patriarch Josef Slipyj - they had to bring him out of Siberia didn't they?

And then he goes on and on about a . . ."Patriarchate" excuse the word . . .

Who did he think he was? The Russians would never speak to Rome if it approved a UGCC Patriarchate!

Never mind that the Vatican II Council document on the Eastern Churches affirmed that new Patriarchates ought to be established.

Never mind that the UGCC is a direct descendant of the St Andrew tradition of Kyiv.

Never mind that size-wise the UGCC makes other Patriarchal EC Churches look like overly-formalized parishes . . .

But when the Patriarchate thingy was denied to Patri . . oh, sorry, "Cardinal Slipyj," then Ukies began to make their own assessments about the Union of Brest-Litovske.

They affirmed the positive vision of the founders of the Union.

They also affirmed the many negative consequences the union had - it divided a nation against itself, it led to endless inner squabbles and court battles over church property, it alienated entire families etc.

One person once wrote that the great contribution of Brest-Litovske was the tremendous literature (of antagonism), Trenos, Palinodia etc.) that it produced.

I don't know, but I think we could have done without such a "literary legacy."

But, over time, the UGCC became, as the Ukrainian Orthodox historian, Dr. Doroshenko wrote, the "church of Western Ukraine."

It became "our Church" and we defended it, our martyrs died for it, and our hierarchs struggled to maintain it.

Our Church is certainly not a "mistake" - and we don't care what Rome thinks on this score.

Actually, I do have some views on the matter - but the Administrator is already keeping me on a short leash today . . .

Alex

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Dear Alex,

The issue at hand was Bishop John's being out of sync. There was no documentation of the reason why he was an opponent of the initiative. Was it because he viewed it as inapproapriate in the aftermath of Balamand where both the Catholic and Orhtodox participants argued against particular versus corporate re-unions? Did he think that the statement of Bishop Zoghby was too elliptical and prone to misinterpretation (What exactly is included in "everything" that the Orthodox church teaches?) Or was it, as you suggested, and expose' of his Latinizing tendencies. Your attack was made without any foundation being presented, and was in any case ad hominem and therefore not probative of his opposition. I think that "rant" was therefore justified.

I am delighted that Rome at Vatican II and beyond has advice for our chuirch, but surely we should not accept it slavishly. That would be true Latinism.

I have no problem with removing Latinizations. The problem is that the term is used rather vaguely. Just like the bench-mark of "Orthodoxy". What Orthodox and where? Present Orthodoxy in the US? Do we then admit organ music at the liturgy? Reinforce kneeling on Sundays, pews? Of course, these practices have been termed "westernizations" in Orthodoxy; while, at the same time they are viewed imposed with coercive force by Latins in EC churches.

We have lots of opinions that often don't go far beyond American Bandstand (It's got a good beat, I can dance to it I give it a 98) evaluations. And whenever I asked for norms and criteria - thud! Well that's OK, we're just an opinion forum, but if we haven't done the homework, then we should be a little less rigid about our opinions. That's what I ask for. One notorious example, let's not call the use of pre-cut prosphora a liturgical abuse, and attribute it to laziness of our priests, without first seeking to know the how and why of its origin within our church. If we do not do this, then we are really are becoming copy-cat churches - the most viscious accusation that is hurled against us.

Quote
"Orthodox political correctness."
That would be the slavishness, the straight-jacket.

Quote
But we should guard against East-West hybridism...It makes a mockery of what we are supposed to be as Eastern Catholics with respect to both the West and the East.
First and foremost our obligation as a church is to advance the salvation of our faithful. What we are for the East or West, mnust be seen as of secondary. We are not a pawn, we are not a demo, we are not bait, we are a church. I've asked before, in similar contexts - what is a church. Thud!

I would like, moreover, to ask about this "hybridism". What does this entail? Must we blind ourselves to ideas "not invented here"? Must we utterly forsake of the idea of enculturation: we are of Western culture? This is a complex matter.

Quote
And I wasn't "fuming" on the other thread - I was just upset and disappointed. How would you take being called "rude, arrogant and unsophisticated?" I'm not arrogant . .
I would be fuming. I have never been called unsophisticated. wink

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Dear djs,

You are definitely sophisticated, Big Guy!

My critique of Bishop John was based on his own words that to "walk with the Pope" necessitated acceptance of Latin church theological traditions over and above our own - that is what he said. If I've misinterpreted, well then, the rest of the Melkite Synod can't be wrong.

And for RC's to be always quoting Bishop John, and not the other members of the Synod with their Patriarch - what can that suggest if not that they've found one bishop who agrees with them and are using him as (falsely) representing the entire Melkite Synod - the Melkites being, as always, the exemplar of Eastern Catholic identity and praxis.

And we have our own theologians and historians who can truly identify what is a "natural" ecclesial development in our Churches' history and what is a "Latinization" or an "inorganic" development.

And we have bishops who sometimes prefer the "inorganic" development.

Slavishness exists among bishops who think that way, who, because of their loyalty to Rome as they understand it, find themselves to have blurred vision that fails to distinguish between Catholic faith, that is universal for all Catholics in communion with Rome, and what is simply Latin tradition - valid for the Latin Church but "inorganic" for the Eastern Churches.

That is what I objected to Bishop John's remarks - I think he was quite clear and articulate in making them.

And I think he goes against the spirit of Vatican II with respect to the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Too bad we no longer live in the age of the inquisition.

I'd be in trouble, if we did - perhaps you'd even see to it. wink

Alex

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Alex, your post gets my nihil obstat. biggrin

#55129 11/04/03 09:06 PM
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Dear djs,

Then a "Slava Isusu Khrystu" and a good evening to you and yours!

Alex

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Sorry for the multiple posting.
As a Johnstown native, I guess I am unclear on the concept of flood protection.

#55132 11/04/03 09:12 PM
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You said that already.

Thank you!

Alex

#55133 11/04/03 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by Administrator:
If anything I am surprised that you had responded without offering the same explanation that I offered.
Snip!
It appears to me that you seek out the worst interpretation and then purposely use it as an instrument to clobber someone.

If you were an OCA pastor and one of your parishioners came up to you and asked:

“Fr. Tony, I’m going on vacation next week and will be going to the Greek Orthodox parish in Florida. Can I receive the Eucharist in a Greek Orthodox Church? Are Orthodox able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese?”

Would you respond:

”Where did you get such an idea? Do you believe that Jews put the blood of Christian babies in matzoh too? Or was that meant to be some joke? Is this something crazy you read on byzcath.org?”

You are studying to be a priest. You should always go the extra mile to see behind the words to the real question and minister to everyone you speak with.

Admin
Administrator,

I imagine then that you are as surprised by Fr. Thomas and the others who responded with the same understanding of what was being said as I did.

I really liked the use of the word "clobber!" It made me laugh...and that is a good thing. If it is so, I only have this board to thank in honing that skill even more. biggrin

As for how I would respond to my parishioner, who knows, if he/she read this board I might say that. :p I would have, however, likely a better notion of how that individual thinks than I do about someone on this board.

As for "studying to be a priest," I don't recall saying that to you, you have deduced it. There are many students here who will not be priests, I may be one of them.

I would however hope that the already ordained clergy (who have had a seminary education supposedly equal to that of priests) of "Orthodox-in-communion-with-Rome" would have a clearer notion of what truly is the practice of Orthodoxy before making such erroneous statements. One cannot be mislead by news articles or by an isolated conversation with a poorly informed faithful or clergy.

If I were to isolate the many comments made to me when I was BC by the faithful and by the clergy it might make your hair stand on end. One should hopefully be able to sort through all of that before parroting those same statements back.

Oh, and I still don't and wont read minds.

Tony

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Posted by Orthodox Catholic:

"he rightly critiqued the West's more static view of Mary's holiness."


Dear Alex,

Could you point me to a resource in Latin Catholic theology or doctrine or dogma that supports this assertion?

I'm asking because on a purely human level, Mary grew. I've always been taught that she grew Spiritually in her realtionship with God. The dynamic nature of her loving relationship with God, especially in the person of Her Son, has been a core of the teaching about Mary that I've learned.

You are asserting something different and I'd like to confirm that statement from Latin sources.

Thanks for the help.

Steve

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Since I have been corrected by more learned Orthodox faithful here on this forum than the woman I spoke with on Sunday, I have come to realize that inter-Communion among the Orthodox is allowed, if and only if the communicant has made prior arrangements with the pastor. This is due because the priest is charged with protecting the Sacred Mysteries at his ordination, and he cannot communicate heretics, schismatics, excommunicated persons, i.e, those who are unworthy to partake of the Holy Mysteries.

Tony, would this be a correct statement?

#55136 11/04/03 11:05 PM
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[He represents the "straight goods" of Orthodoxy here without wishy-washy ecumenical "feel good" views.]

[He is, in fact, our Mark of Ephesus who, as you know, when he left Florence without signing the instrument of union, prompted Pope Eugenius to say, "We have accomplished nothing."]

Why thank you Alex! That's one one the nicest things anyone has said to me in a long time.

Not only have we learned to respect each other but to understand each other.

Just came back from being out all afternoon. There's some good stuff being discussed here. I may p*** a lot of you off. But I do get your juices running. At least give me credit for that.

And, once again, though I don't agree with a lot of what is posted here, it is still the best discussion site around!

OrthoMan

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And it is always enlivened by your presence Orthoman!

#55138 11/05/03 01:30 AM
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Tony,

Thanks for the post.

Yes, I was rather surprised by Fr. Thomas’ post. I note, however, that he did not make the disparaging comments about blood that you made. biggrin

You are quite correct in stating that you have not told me that you are “studying to be a priest”. It seems rather apparent to me that this is the Lord’s will for you. I am often wrong and may be in this instance, but I don’t think so.

I am not surprised that the GOA person that Father Deacon John talked with assumed that he could not take communion in another jurisdiction. There is a woeful lack of education among all Christians.

I wouldn’t put such a high expectation on clergy. I’ve seen all kinds of unique takes on theology come out of the mouth of clergy. Everyone is a product of their formation and it is no secret that the priestly formation has been less than excellent in our Church during the past century. Restoring a proper Orthodox Byzantine formation of our people and clergy is a multigenerational process.

Regarding reading minds, I certainly can’t do it. Experience, however, tells me that when someone posts something really strange that it is either poorly worded or based on inaccurate information. The best response is to ask for a restatement of the question.

Admin

PS: I’m glad you liked my use of the word “clobber”. I just bought a Looney Tunes DVD as a Christmas present and that was probably what put it into my mind. biggrin

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Originally posted by Administrator:

I am not surprised that the GOA person that Father Deacon John talked with assumed that he could not take communion in another jurisdiction. There is a woeful lack of education among all Christians.
Administrator,

I would say that the level of education among many Christians of any and all persuasions is catastrophic. I do think however that in the case of those Orthodox faithful who go to church regularly and participate in the life of the church they would be aware that they can at least receive communion in another Orthodox church. That is not only my guess, it is backed up with a conversation with a cradle GOA communicant. I asked her if the least informed GOA communicant would think he/she could receive communion in another Orthodox parish, she said most certainly. Enough of that.

Tony

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Tony wrote:
That is not only my guess, it is backed up with a conversation with a cradle GOA communicant. I asked her if the least informed GOA communicant would think he/she could receive communion in another Orthodox parish, she said most certainly. Enough of that.
Tony,

Father Deacon John appears to have found a member of the GOA who believes otherwise and told him so. His first hand experience with an actual member of the GOA trumps your cradle GOA friend’s opinion. Maybe we can introduce her to your friend and she can explain the Orthodox teaching on this matter.

Admin

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Originally posted by Deacon John Montalvo:
Since I have been corrected by more learned Orthodox faithful here on this forum than the woman I spoke with on Sunday, I have come to realize that inter-Communion among the Orthodox is allowed, if and only if the communicant has made prior arrangements with the pastor. This is due because the priest is charged with protecting the Sacred Mysteries at his ordination, and he cannot communicate heretics, schismatics, excommunicated persons, i.e, those who are unworthy to partake of the Holy Mysteries.

Tony, would this be a correct statement?
Fr. Deacon John,

No, that is partly problematic still, "if and only if the communicant has made prior arrangements with the pastor." As Brian said "because the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate (as well as the Church of Greece) are in communion with each other, so there is no impediment to the reception of the Eucharist." And then Fr. Thomas "Intercommunion between the various Orthodox Churches is defacto." It is part of being Orthodox.

The problem that arises and is usually overlooked by non-Orthodox, and some Orthodox, is that the situation in the so-called diaspora is woeful. Since 1917 the situation of the Orthodox outside of the traditionally Orthodox lands has been subject to much difficulty. There is no precedent for the overlapping jurisdictions in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. Also, as you note schism and other problems have arisen together with this. In Greece there is one jurisdiction, in Russia the same (Ukraine is another sad story), but that is the case in most Orthodox lands..even the ones not as historically strong within Orthodxy such as Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Japan and elsewhere, there is only one Orthodox jurisdiction in those places, thank God. Of course in Moscow people are not impeded when approaching the chalice in the proper way, it is presumed they are Orthodox, the same in other places.

Here it is another story. Besides the "chaos that passes for Orthodoxy" as one of my professors refers to the jurisdictional confusion, there is the issue that there are many non-Orthodox who for one reason or another wish to approach the chalice. The response to these difficulties has been different in different jurisdictions. In the GOA, Orthodox, even those unknown to the pastor, approach and are communicated. Within the churches of the Russian tradition this is not quite the case. People are sometimes questioned and may be refused. This is why I was told that one always informs ahead of time that one will be approaching, either at the candle-stand or by phone or email or some way. It is a matter of the local practice of that jurisdiction.

Further, "heretics, schismatics, excommunicated persons" are not unworthy, they are simply no longer part of the Orthodox church and as such are not communicated. One may be communicated to his salvation or condemnation. One of the motives for inquiring about the last confession is not to ascertain the worthiness of anyone but his canonical state. He may be a sinner yet Orthodox and (gasp!) a saint yet outside of Orthodoxy.

So, "if and only if" is too limiting. I learned in undergrad Psych that "abnormal situations elicit abnormal responses." If we keep that in mind, that will help us see that the picture of Orthodoxy presented here in North American, for example, is not indicative of how things should be.

Tony

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Originally posted by Administrator:
Quote
Tony wrote:
That is not only my guess, it is backed up with a conversation with a cradle GOA communicant. I asked her if the least informed GOA communicant would think he/she could receive communion in another Orthodox parish, she said most certainly. Enough of that.
Tony,

Father Deacon John appears to have found a member of the GOA who believes otherwise and told him so. His first hand experience with an actual member of the GOA trumps your cradle GOA friend’s opinion. Maybe we can introduce her to your friend and she can explain the Orthodox teaching on this matter.

Admin
Administrator,

We can play this game until the ages of ages..or forever and ever if you wish wink

What I did not tell you is that my friend said she thinks most layfolk in the GOA think they can go to RC communion since that is what the RC priests tell them. Yet that certainly does not make it so. Nor does Fr. Deacon's acquaintance apparently think that way.

If you want to play one-upmanship I can find BCs/GCs on both sides of the Atlantic that would make your head spin.

If that is the point just tell me and we can start a new thread "Let the games begin!"

Tony

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Dear Orthoman,

Did you see djs compliment you too? smile

Will wonders never cease?

The Administrator has obviously thought better of targetting you and I and is going after Tony right now.

He is right, though, that he is always bad at predicting ecclesial careers for people.

I think he once predicted I'd turn out to be an archimandrite for a vagante order or something . . .

That't not gonna happen either! smile

God bless you, Orthodox Man of God!

Alex

#55144 11/05/03 02:34 PM
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Dear Tony,

I see you have your hands full with the Administrator - just a note to say you were right about the litia verses.

Alex

#55145 11/05/03 07:12 PM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Tony,

I see you have your hands full with the Administrator - just a note to say you were right about the litia verses.

Alex
Alex,

Thanks for the note. This, however, belongs in the other thread where this was discussed.

Tony

#55146 11/05/03 11:05 PM
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Yes or No! wink

I my personal opinion if they believe what the Latin Catholic Church proclaims (theologically, spiritually etc.), if they are sincerely trying to live out that Catholic faith comprehensively and authentically, then I have no problem with them thinking themselves still somehow part of the Catholic Tradition - albeit tragically and (please God) temporarily not in communion with their Mother Church, whose faith they are trying their very best to accept and live.

And where they still lack full Catholic faith or praxis, I support their efforts to regain them and live them out.

And I support their efforts to return to full communion with their Mother Church.

And I understand their relunctance to break communion with those they are presently in communion with and I understand the terrible pain and difficulty that they find themselves in at this present time in their church's history.

May God be with them and guide them.

Herb

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Originally posted by OrthoMan:
Herb writes:

However, you are evading the question so I will rephrase it -

Based on the same criteria you use to justify identifying yourself as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome', do you agree with those in the Anglican Church who claim they are still part of the Catholic Church? A simple yes or no will suffice.

OrthoMan

#55147 11/06/03 05:40 AM
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Deacon John Montalvo,

It has been brought to my attention in a private communication that one of my posts may have been misinterpreted as implying that I believe you lied regarding the situation we most recently discussed in this thread. I have not at any time believed that. I can't see how that was arrived at but however it may have been misconstrued I want to correct that amd apologize for that misunderstading. I believed then and now that you accepted faulty information.

Tony

#55148 11/06/03 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by OrthoMan:
[Theotokos rotted in the grave or not?]

The Theotokos died and was buried. Christ came down to take her soul into heaven. As you will see him on every Orthodox Icon of the Dormition standing near her body holding an infant that represents her soul.

Tradition tells us that Thomas arrived about three days later and wanted to venerate her body. When they opened the tomb her body was gone and a flower stood where it was. Orthodox believe her body was assumed into heaven but it was a separate event from her Dormition. I know of no Orthodox that believes that her body rotted in the garve.

Roman Catholics on the other hand, backed themselves in a corner with the Immaculate Conception. Because if Mary was conceived without 'Original Sin' then she would have been immortal as Adam & Eve were originally designed before the 'fall'. Thats why the RC's don't emphasize her 'Dormition' rather than both her Dormition and Assumption.

OrthoMan
The RC is silent on the death part. I wonder, is the Prophet St. Elijah and Enoch who did not experience death appears much privilege than the Theotokos? Isn't the taking up into heaven of St. Elijah foreshadows the Assumption of the Virgin Mary?

#55149 11/06/03 02:46 PM
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Dear elexie,

Yes, Pope Pius deliberately made no reference to whether the Theotokos died or not in his definition of the Assumption - there were and are Catholics who believe that since Maryam was conceived without the "stain of original sin" then she could not have died, death being a consequence of original sin.

And that is, in fact, taking the Roman IC doctrine to its logical conclusion.

What it shows is a gap in RC Mariology that could possibly be filled with the Eastern Patristic perspective.

That perspective sees Original Sin in terms of its effects on our nature, that Maryam was under the same law of these effects as we were, but that the Holy Spirit sanctified her from her Conception as the Temple of God the Word Incarnate.

The sanctification Maryam experienced mitigated the effects of Original Sin, however, as the Orthodox liturgical tradition shows - she felt no pain in giving birth to Christ.

And though she did die, as the same liturgical tradition indicates, her death was but a "falling-asleep," peaceful and gentle as befits the Most Holy Theotokos.

The RC IC doctrine was really intended NOT to deny that Maryam was not under the law of Original Sin, but that she had no "stain" of any kind.

In effect, the RC Church was forced into a corner with the IC doctrine to respond to Augustine's "stain of Original Sin" view.

The East never accepted that view, but emphasizes, instead, the great holiness and glory of Maryam, the Mother of God.

Alex

#55150 11/06/03 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear elexie,

Yes, Pope Pius deliberately made no reference to whether the Theotokos died or not in his definition of the Assumption - there were and are Catholics who believe that since Maryam was conceived without the "stain of original sin" then she could not have died, death being a consequence of original sin.

And that is, in fact, taking the Roman IC doctrine to its logical conclusion.

What it shows is a gap in RC Mariology that could possibly be filled with the Eastern Patristic perspective.

That perspective sees Original Sin in terms of its effects on our nature, that Maryam was under the same law of these effects as we were, but that the Holy Spirit sanctified her from her Conception as the Temple of God the Word Incarnate.

The sanctification Maryam experienced mitigated the effects of Original Sin, however, as the Orthodox liturgical tradition shows - she felt no pain in giving birth to Christ.

And though she did die, as the same liturgical tradition indicates, her death was but a "falling-asleep," peaceful and gentle as befits the Most Holy Theotokos.

The RC IC doctrine was really intended NOT to deny that Maryam was not under the law of Original Sin, but that she had no "stain" of any kind.

In effect, the RC Church was forced into a corner with the IC doctrine to respond to Augustine's "stain of Original Sin" view.

The East never accepted that view, but emphasizes, instead, the great holiness and glory of Maryam, the Mother of God.

Alex
Just a little comment, Alex: the Roman Catholic Church has never subscribed to the "stain" view of Original Sin. I often hear OS explained this way, and it's a very BAD explanation. Original sin is not a "stain", it's not a THING that must be REMOVED, but a DEFICIENCY of sanctifying grace. I cringe whenever I hear the phrase "stain of original sin."

IT'S NOT A STAIN!!!

Okay, I'll hop down off my soapbox now. Thanks.
:-)


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55151 11/06/03 05:22 PM
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Dear SaintClare,

The CCC no longer teaches the "stained" Augustinian view of Original Sin - that's because it has returned to the Patristic, Eastern perspective.

But St Augustine did, in fact, teach the stain of Original Sin - and I was taught that throughout my RC and Basilian (same difference) schooling.

The doctrine of the IC was precisely defined to prevent Our Lady to be spoken of as ever having had a "stain" of any kind of sin on her soul.

If the RC Church never taught that stained view of Original Sin, the IC doctrine would never have been proclaimed.

What would have been the point then?

And what does the papal definition of the Immaculate Conception say? Does it not affirm the stained view? Please check for yourself and you will see that the stain of original sin is a papal definition.

RC doctrine is not just what the CCC today says - there is a history of Augustinianism in your Church which it is, thankfully, slowly expunging.

Alex

#55152 11/06/03 06:03 PM
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... then she could not have died, death being a consequence of original sin. And that is, in fact, taking the Roman IC doctrine to its logical conclusion.
This is an illogical conclusion.

You are quite right that the word "stain" is used, but what this concept entails in the context of OS and IC is more specific: it is what SC74 says; not every consequence of the ancestral sin.

http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000756

If you hybridize AN Orthodox view of OS, namely, that its immediate consequence is mortality, and, then, because of mortality sinfulness, etc., then of course there one would might connsider the IC to raise the question of the mortality of the Theotokos.

Such a hybridization, however, constitutes logical error (victory by definition). If one held to the CCC on the OS, or for that matter OTHER Orthodox views compatible with it (the consequences of OS include death and ...), and held also to the particular meaning attached to "stain" then the issue does not arise at all.

I hasten to add, that my interpretation of Orthodox views on OS are informed, as detailed at the above link, by statments on the subject made at websites of Orthodox churches. And will repeat a request for clarification if I am missing the point on "death and therefore ..." versus "death and ..." in understanding gamut the Orthodox perspectives on OS.

#55153 11/06/03 07:50 PM
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Posted by Saintclare74:

"the Roman Catholic Church has never subscribed to the "stain" view of Original Sin."

Dear SaintClare 74,

I respectfully disagree with this statement. Alex is correct.

The terminology about inheriting the stain of original sin was taught in Catechisms used by the Latin Church before Vatican II. It was taught in elementary school and high school religious studies classes that I went to in schools sponsored by the Latin Chruch. It was taught in Latin Catholic minor and major seminary where I studied. In fact, I taught using those terms in CCD classes and classes in Catholic schools following their curriculua.

So I guess that my perspective from experience, is different from yours. At least my memory in regard to the Chruch teaching using the terminology "stain of Original Sin" is different.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Steve

#55154 11/06/03 07:59 PM
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If anybody wants to give St. Augustine a fair shake, I might be able to start a thread over the weekend.


St. Augustine, pray for us!

__________________________

Thou hast made us for Thyself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.

Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty ever-ancient, ever-new; late have I loved Thee!!

#55155 11/06/03 08:00 PM
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The link that I postd above in which the consequences of OS are parsed, and in which the meaning of "stain" is specificed, is from the ca. 1900 Catholic Encyclopedia - long before Vaican II.

#55156 11/07/03 02:29 PM
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Dear Alex and Steve,

I know the stain thing was popularly taught IN the Latin Church, but my contention is that is was never *formally* taught BY the Church-- and St. Augustine, wonderful as he was, wasn't infallible. In other words, many Catholics were taught a misconception about Original Sin that the Church never actually taught.

I have a copy of both the Catechism of Trent and the Baltimore Catechism, as well as the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, and there is no reference to the "stain" of original sin. In fact, the Baltimore Catechism actually defines OS as a deficiency of grace. Now, granted, I might be missing something-- if I am, please let me know.

Alex, you said something about the Immaculate Conception being dependent on the "stain" view of original sin-- I don't see how. The Immaculate Conception simply means that Mary, at her conception, was endowed with the fullness of sanctifying grace-- the grace the rest of us are conceived without-- and maintained it throughout her life. Gabriel didn't greet her, "Hail, full of grace" for nothing. :-)

God bless,

Karen


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55157 11/07/03 03:50 PM
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Dear Karen,

Anything you can show to indicate the RC Church now has the good sense to agree with Eastern theology on the Mother of God (or "Theotokology") will be most warmly applauded by myself and many others here! wink

One thing I don't understand is why there is a tendency, especially among RC's to deny the whole "stain" thing as if it is agreed it was all a bad idea that was never taught by Rome, but was misinterpreted for centuries by laity and clergy alike.

Augustine was certainly not infallible and his views on the impact of Original Sin on our human nature were never well received by the Christian East - which is one reason why he is today generally called "Blessed Augustine" only.

But if the "stain" view of Original Sin was not taught by the Roman Church then why: 1) is it explicitly mentioned in the papal definition of the IC; and why 2) do we even need a papal definition of the IC at all?

The fact is that the East, since early times, celebrated the Conception of St Anne liturgically - the English Church was the first Western church to adopt it.

The services for the Holy Conception of St Anne show the Church's strong affirmation that the Mother of God was a saint, sanctified at her Conception by the Holy Spirit.

This is also why the East did not, and still does not, understand why the West needed to dogmatize about this or about the Dormition of the Mother of God and her being taken to heaven in both body and soul.

I've also read that RC's may legitimately believe in "two" versions of the Immaculate Conception, the Western and the Eastern.

But ultimately, if "Stain" was not implied, then why is "Stain" even used as a word in the entire debate?

And if, as Aquinas, showed, "And the Son" meant "Through the Son," then why not use the latter and avoid the pitfall of the former whose use could suggest that there are two Origins of the Spirit within the Trinity.

I've often heard from my RC profs that the RC Church let bad theology and bad theological terminology go on unchecked for long periods of time.

No kidding . . .

Alex

#55158 11/07/03 04:15 PM
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Alex write:

[And if, as Aquinas, showed, "And the Son" meant "Through the Son," then why not use the latter and avoid the pitfall of the former whose use could suggest that there are two Origins of the Spirit within the Trinity.]

Alex you get to sound more like me every day! I have been trying to get that across for yesrs!

Keep up the good work!

OrthoMan

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Maybe I am missing something. I must be missing something entirely.

Anyway . . .

What is wrong with using the word "stain" to refer to Original Sin?

For real . . .

I for one am not at all ashamed of the title "Regina sine labe originali concepta." The Church is not saying that the soul is a corporeal thing with a literal stain on it--the "stain" is an image, a reference to the soul without grace. And we know that the Theotokos was filled with grace from the first moment of her existence.

Why does everybody here take it as a foregone conclusion that St. Augustine was wrong to use that terminology? Mortality, concupiscience, passibility, etc., cannot be considered a stain on our existence? Original sin DOES stain us!


Okay, now shoot me.

#55160 11/07/03 04:24 PM
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Dear Orthoman,

You are my Father in faith too - not just all those other tykes whose Spiritual Guide you are!

Please accept my deep spiritual bow of reverence to you, my Father!

Alex

#55161 11/07/03 04:29 PM
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Dear LatinTrad,

I don't have to tell you to "come clean" - since you are into cold showers these days . . . wink

IF that is what "stain" is all about, then fine. But Original Sin does more than "stain" us - it weakens our nature etc. and baptism can't wipe out that kind of "stain" that is with us throughout our lives.

But it is still poor theological language that leads to imprecisions and so . . .

Just like the "Filioque," from the Greek perspective, immediately suggests "two Origins" or Principles in the Trinity.

Whether that is actually implied or not is not really the issue - bad theological language is.

Speaking of Original Sin, who won your latest bout with the concupiscence of the flesh? smile

If it's any of our business - but I think Dolly might like some extra inspiration from you just about now . . . wink

Alex

#55162 11/07/03 04:32 PM
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Dr. Roman--can you clean out your inbox so I can PM you?

#55163 11/07/03 04:34 PM
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Dear LT,

I tried, but after my tiff with the Administrator yesterday, my profile is blocked.

When I've gotten upset before, I've messed around with it etc.

I think the Administrator is on to me, so he blocked it and I can't get in now.

If you want to privately tell me to shut up about the shower thing - I will!

Alex

#55164 11/07/03 04:46 PM
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No, I wanted to talk about something else. smile

#55165 11/07/03 04:54 PM
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Dear LT,

The Administrator came through once again . . . wink

Alex

#55166 11/07/03 05:39 PM
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Dear Alex,

I would venture to say that St. Augustine's views were an influence in the "stain" of OS idea. We agree that he was a great theologian and Bishop, but not perfect. :-) BTW, I didn't know that he's only considered "Blessed" in the Orthodox Churches.

To answer your first question about why the Original Sin is mentioned in the definition of the IC, it's because they are linked. The Theotokos did not have the deficiency of sanctifying grace-- her state of grace was perfect, just as Eve's was before the fall. Pope Pius IX DID use the phrase "free from all stain of original sin" to define the IC, that's true.

Perhaps the problem isn't with the word "stain", but what is meant by "stain." Along with loss of sanctifying grace, there were other consequences of OS-- the darkening of our intellect, concupicence, physical suffering and death. "Stain" COULD be applied to these consequences, indicating the imperfection of our original nature.

And I know that the Eastern Orthodox don't so much disagree with the IC as they simply don't see a need to dogmatize it.

Sigh... we say the same thing, but in veyr different languages.


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55167 11/07/03 05:54 PM
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Dear Karen,

You say "to-MAY-to" and I say "to-MAH-to."

It didn't help to have catechism books that portrayed black marks on one's heart . . .

To go to confession, I used to take a good bath (scrubbed all over), wore a pure white shirt and then after my penance, tried hard to picture a snow-white peaked mountain . . .

O.K., I need help . . .

Have a great weekend.

Alex

#55168 11/07/03 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by Saintclare74:
Dear Alex,

BTW, I didn't know that he's only considered "Blessed" in the Orthodox Churches.

I believe that in the Orthodox Church there really isn't a distinction between blessed and saint. In the same way, in the Roman Church it is common to refer to St. Bede and Venerable Bede. I have seen some Orthodox writers who refer to Augustine as "Saint".

Justin

#55169 11/08/03 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Karen,

You say "to-MAY-to" and I say "to-MAH-to."

It didn't help to have catechism books that portrayed black marks on one's heart . . .

To go to confession, I used to take a good bath (scrubbed all over), wore a pure white shirt and then after my penance, tried hard to picture a snow-white peaked mountain . . .

O.K., I need help . . .

Have a great weekend.

Alex
LOL, thanks Alex, you too!


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55170 11/10/03 12:13 AM
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I am having a Great Draw towardy Orthodoxy right not especially when I was reading that some of the Wests most Predomiant saints agree that Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church not Peter himself. So I am contimplating embracing Orthodoxy with in the next 2-3yrs.

In Christ+
Daniel

#55171 11/10/03 12:33 AM
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Justin:

If my memory serves me, Venerable Bede was not canonized until this past century. He was not considered a saint but merely "on the way," awaiting documented miracles to complete the canonization process.

If I'm not mistaken, the streamlining of the process may have been what moved St. Bede from Venerable to Saint. I believe that St. Bede's previous status was equivalent to that of Mother Theresa of Calcutta who was recently proclaimed "Blessed."

In Christ,

BOB

#55172 11/10/03 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:
I am having a Great Draw towardy Orthodoxy right not especially when I was reading that some of the Wests most Predomiant saints agree that Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church not Peter himself. So I am contimplating embracing Orthodoxy with in the next 2-3yrs.

In Christ+
Daniel
Dear Daniel,

Peter's confession is not the rock, an error Protestants believe, Peter is-- Peter MEANS "Rock." The grammatical structure of the original Greek makes that really clear-- there's simply no one and nothing else that Jesus could have been referring to. I'd be happy to give you a link to an article I wrote explaining this.

If some Western saints thought that Peter was not the rock... well, they were simply wrong.


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55173 11/10/03 04:02 PM
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I would like to see the link.

Thanks
Rose

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Originally posted by Rose:
I would like to see the link.

Thanks
Rose
I'll post the whole thing here... It'll be in the Scripture section of the forum, though.


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55175 11/10/03 04:25 PM
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Dear StClare,

Yes, I believe there are Orthodox who also confess that it is Peter who is the rock in that passage.

The problem arises when both sides interpret what that means with respect to church jurisdiction.

The scriptures also bear out that the other Apostles likewise followed Peter in making the same confession.

And Peter founded the Church of Antioch and that of Alexandria (through his assistant, St Mark) before founding Rome etc.

It was because there was only one Apostolic See in the West, Rome, that the West focused its attention on that See alone.

But Peter founded two major Sees in the East - not to mention Peter's role in Jerusalem - and in many towns and villages.

It was inevitable that "collegiality" would develop strongly in the East as a result.

Alex

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Hi Alex,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Yep, I know... I'm not really concerned about how the confession that Peter is the rock on which Christ built His Church is understood, I'm more concerned that we as Apostolic Christians believe it! :-)

I just posted my article in the Focus On Scritpure section... it's called "Peter Is the Rock" or something like that...


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55177 11/10/03 04:31 PM
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Dear Justin,

In fact, medieval Catholicism made no distinction between "Blessed" and "Saint" before canonization procedures became formalized under the popes.

The term "Blessed" in Orthodoxy could have three different meanings.

It could mean the same as "Venerable" does in the West, that private veneration of someone on the way to canonization is to be had. (The Orthodox don't beatify, as you know, but canonize Saints in accordance with levels of public veneration - thus St so and so could only be a saint for an eparchy and when his or her cult "expands" they are canonized again or else placed in a wider calendar).

The term "Blessed" could also mean a category of Saint whose sanctity was unknown to the public, but was revealed by others after the Saint's repose. And this cannot apply to the famous Augustine of Hippo.

Finally, this term is sometimes used as a form of "diminished canonization" for a Father who, in the view of the Orthodox Church, held views that were, in some sense, at variance with what the Church later came to codify.

Thus, Blessed Jerome, Blessd Theodoret, Blessed Gregory of Nyssa and Blessed Augustine.

But, you are right, not every Orthodox Church agrees on the subject of the same saint.

The Greek Church calls Augustine: "St Augustine the Great" - a title that exceeds even that of the Latin Church for him.

Alex

#55178 11/10/03 04:33 PM
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Dear Saintclare,

O.K. - I've no problem with St Peter!

The question is how can the RC Church move forward to a more "servant" model of ecclesial stewardship on the basis of Peter the Apostle and away from autocratic notions based on medieval models.

Alex

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Dear: SaintClare,

My conclusion and decision to embrace Orthodoxy comes from some of the western fathers here is the quote.

Quote
Ambrose of Milan (&#8224; 397) speaks indeed in very high terms of the Roman church, and concedes to its bishops a religious magistracy like the political power of the emperors of pagan Rome;557 yet he calls the primacy of Peter only a "primacy of confession, not of honor; of faith, not of rank,"558 and places the apostle Paul on an equality with Peter.559 Of any dependence of Ambrose, or of the bishops of Milan in general during the first six centuries, on the jurisdiction of Rome, no trace is to be found.

Jerome (&#8224; 419), the most learned commentator among the Latin fathers, vacillates in his explanation of the petra; now, like Augustine, referring it to Christ,560 now to Peter and his confession.561 In his commentary on Matt. xvi., he combines the two interpretations thus: "As Christ gave light to the apostles, so that they were called, after him, the light of the world, and as they received other designations from the Lord; so Simon, because he believed on the rock, Christ, received the name Peter, and in accordance with the figure of the rock, it is justly said to him: 'I will build my church upon thee (super te),' " He recognizes in the Roman bishop the successor of Peter, but advocates elsewhere the equal rights of the bishops,562 and in fact derives even the episcopal office, not from direct divine institution, but from the usage of the church and from the presidency in the presbyterium.563 He can therefore be cited as a witness, at most, for a primacy of honor, not for a supremacy of jurisdiction. Beyond this even the strongest passage of his writings, in a letter to his friend, Pope Damasus (a.d. 376), does not go: "Away with the ambition of the Roman head; I speak with the successor of the fisherman and disciple of the cross. Following no other head than Christ, I am joined in the communion of faith with thy holiness, that is, with the chair of Peter. On that rock I know the church to be built."564 Subsequently this father, who himself had an eye on the papal chair, fell out with the Roman clergy, and retired to the ascetic and literary solitude of Bethlehem, where he served the church by his pen far better than he would have done as the successor of Damasus.

Augustine (&#8224; 430), the greatest theological authority of the Latin church, at first referred the words, "On this rock I will build my church," to the person of Peter, but afterward expressly retracted this interpretation, and considered the petra to be Christ, on the ground of a distinction between petra (&#949;&#787;&#960;&#953;&#768; &#964;&#945;&#965;&#769;&#964;&#951;&#837; &#964;&#951;&#785;&#837; &#960;&#949;&#769;&#964;&#961;&#945;&#837;) and Petrus (&#963;&#965;&#768; &#949;&#953;&#788;&#785; &#928;&#949;&#769;&#964;&#961;&#959;&#962;); a distinction which Jerome also makes, though with the intimation that it is not properly applicable to the Hebrew and Syriac Cephas.565 "I have somewhere said of St. Peter" thus Augustine corrects himself in his Retractations at the close of his life566&#8212;"that the church is built upon him as the rock; a thought which is sung by many in the verses of St. Ambrose:


'Hoc ipsa petra ecclesiae

Canente, culpam diluit.'567


(The Rock of the church himself

In the cock-crowing atones his guilt.)


But I know that I have since frequently said, that the word of the Lord, 'Thou art Petrus, and on this petra I will build my church,' must be understood of him, whom Peter confessed as Son of the living God; and Peter, so named after this rock, represents the person of the church, which is founded on this rock and has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. For it was not said to him: 'Thou art a rock' (petra), but, 'Thou art Peter' (Petrus); and the rock was Christ, through confession of whom Simon received the name of Peter.
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History of the Christian Church Vol III
You can find all the quotes supporting Orthodoxy from www.ccel.org type in the search box "Papal Authority"

In Christ+
Daniel

#55180 11/10/03 06:33 PM
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Dear Daniel,

I would also have a look at Fr. John Meyendorff and his explanation of the Petrine Primacy.

That the Bishop of Rome exercised such a Primacy in the first thousand years of the undivided Church - no one disputes that.

That this Primacy was related to Peter in Rome, that he was martyred there with St Paul, that Rome was the centre of the veneration of the relics of the Chief Apostles - this even Orthodox liturgical prayers proclaim.

The issue over Peter and Rome is not Peter's confession of faith and how one is to understand it (on another level, each one of us can be said to be "Peter" when we even say the Jesus Prayer).

The issue is whether you believe that the Church of Rome has maintained the Apostolic faith unbroken since the first millenium of the Church.

If you can honestly say that you believe the Pope of Rome to be an heretic over the filioque etc. - then there is no question but that you are headed toward Orthodoxy.

But if the Pope of Rome is not, in your view, a view that should be nourished by reading and especially by prayer, an heretic then, as Meyendorff quotes an Orthodox theologian as saying: "let him (the pope) enjoy the privileges of Peter."

I see the Filioque and other issues as being part of the Western heritage of faith and another way of expressing what the East believes.

And whatever difficult issues remain to be resolved, I just can't imagine them to be such as to justify the separation of Churches.

In short, when the Churches finally do unite, in accordance with God's Will, the place of the Pope of Rome will continue to be one of "First."

Those of us in communion with Rome are already at that final stage.

God bless you on your journey, Friend, and remember, whatever you choose, we are here to support you in your faith commitment and walk with God.

Alex

#55181 11/10/03 06:33 PM
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Hi Daniel,

My arguement is based strictly on the Aramaic and Greek grammatical structure of Mt 16:18, amd the conclusion is that it is impossible for Jesus to have been referring to anything else but Peter himself. Please rea it when you get a chance (it's in the Focus on Scripture folder).

Thanks,

Karen


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
#55182 11/10/03 06:49 PM
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For an Orthodox Catholic take on 'Peter & the Rock' access -

http://aggreen.net/peter/st_peter.html

---------

______________________________

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/10/story_1016_1.html

Q. How do you interpret Jesus' words to Peter about being the "rock"
of the Church? Does the Blessed Theophylact contradict Orthodox
teaching when he writes: "The Lord gives Peter a great reward, that
the Church will be built on him?" Do the Orthodox see the Pope as the
world's Christian leader?
___________________________________

The verse to which you refer is one of the most controversial in the
entire Bible: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my
Church" (Mt 16:18). Peter in Aramaic is Cephas, meaning "Rock"
or "Rocky," a play on words by Jesus. Roman Catholics see this verse
as applying to Peter himself and passing on the privilege to all the
popes in history. Many centuries later, popes began to claim not only
universal authority over the whole Church but also infallibility when
speaking officially ("ex cathedra") on matters of faith and morals.
In contrast, Protestants have insisted that Jesus' words applied only
to Peter's confession of faith. They would say that every Christian
can make a similar confession, and this has nothing to do with
privileges accrued to Popes centuries later. It seems that in their
mutual antagonisms and search for ultimate authority Protestants
looked to the Bible as an infallible book, whereas the Roman
Catholics found it in an infallible Pope.

The Eastern Orthodox tradition, developing apart from Western
controversies, offers a "golden mean" between the two extremes.
Orthodox theologians mainly interpret Jesus' words as referring to
Peter's confession of faith, but they also attribute special
privileges to Peter and his successors. The popes, we say, serve as
bishops of the greatest of all Christian centers--Rome.

Neilos Kabasilas, Archbishop of Thessalonike (14th century),
writes: "As long as the pope observes due order and remains in the
truth, he preserves the first place which belongs to him by right; he
is the [earthly] head of the Church and supreme pontiff; the
successor of Peter and of all the apostles." This rhetorically
generous and weighty statement goes along with two assumptions: (a)
that the true head, rock, and foundation of the Church is Christ
himself; and (b) that the Popes have not quite kept "due order" nor
have "remained in the truth," since they first claimed a universal
monarchy over the Church, and then erroneously covered it with the
mantle of infallibility.

When Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria (11th century) implies in his
commentary on the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus is speaking about
Peter himself, not only Peter's faith, it is within the Orthodox
tradition. But Theophylact's very next sentence addresses the essence
of the matter: "Since Peter confessed him as Son of God, the Lord
says, 'this confession which you have made shall be the foundation of
those who believe, so that every man who intends to build the house
of faith shall lay down this confession as the foundation.'"

The Apostle Peter was Jesus' chief disciple. After the resurrection,
Jesus honored him with a special commission with the triple
charge "Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17). Peter was clearly the leader
of the earliest Church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14; 15:7), however, he
was neither the only nor the absolute leader (Gal. 2:9). If the Pope
would truly follow the example of Peter and would share leadership
with his fellow bishops according to the precedent of the first
Christian Council (Acts 15), then the Orthodox (and many other
Christians besides) could once again accord the Pope full honors as
the world's Christian leader signifying the Church's universal unity
in Christ.
-----------

OrthoMan

#55183 11/10/03 07:03 PM
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Dear Orthoman,

You took the words right out of my library!

Alex

#55184 11/10/03 07:47 PM
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Dear: SaintClare,

Glory To Jesus Christ!

I used to be a Catholic Apologist, like really into Catholic Apologetics. I am very familiar with the Aramaic and Greek, translation of Peters Confession. I used to believe exactly what you do in regards to this issue. But the fact of the matter is that even the Western Fathers such as Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose, who I do believe that Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church and that all bishops are equal not one has more authority over the other. So I do know were you are coming from.

In Christ+
Daniel

#55185 11/10/03 07:50 PM
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Id like to add that even in St. John Chrysostom whos liturgy we use, in his homily

St. John Chrysostom 53/54 Homily on Matthew
He says Peters Confession is the Rock. I cant live and believe in a teaching and live my spirituality with in this saints liturgy and believe in what he did not. God Bless

In Christ+
Daniel

#55186 11/10/03 07:56 PM
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Dear: Alex,

Slava Isusu Christu!

My understanding is that in the Catholic Interpretation of Peters Confession, if peter was
the Rock of the Church, St. Peters Successor would have universal jurisdiction and would indeed be a "Universal Pope".

Since the Western Church Fathers agree that Peters Confession is the Rock, it would seem that he is not held in such a High Authority as the papacy claims today. If they did not have the authority they claim, then all of their papal doctrines would be false correct?

If am wrong in my understanding please correct me.
If I am wrong what is the true significance of Peter being the Rock & Peters Confession being the Rock?

Another byzantine catholic friend of mind is going to lend me her copy of "Primacy of Peter" on thursday. It looks good.

In Christ+
Daniel

#55187 11/11/03 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

The term "Blessed" in Orthodoxy could have three different meanings.

It could mean the same as "Venerable" does in the West...

The term "Blessed" could also mean a category of Saint whose sanctity was unknown to the public...

Finally, this term is sometimes used as a form of "diminished canonization" ...
Alex,

I would like to add to these categories what seems to me the most common, that of applying "Blessed" to the Fools-for-Christ. St. Xenia of Petersburg comes to mind immediately.

Tony

#55188 11/11/03 01:05 AM
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Christ is in our midst!


This thread is awesome, I must say. Everyone is being so polite and listening to each others viewpoints. Keep up the good work all, everone has something to say.

Daniel, send me an email here at the forum, I would like to talk to you.


Blessings,
Michael

#55189 11/11/03 01:15 AM
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I have sent you a private e-mail

In Christ+
Daniel

#55190 11/11/03 01:24 AM
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Glory to Jesus Christ!


Daniel, the book The primacy of peter is awesome.
Lots of good reading. let me know what you think.

Michael

#55191 11/11/03 01:44 AM
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Originally posted by theophan:
Justin:

If my memory serves me, Venerable Bede was not canonized until this past century. He was not considered a saint but merely "on the way," awaiting documented miracles to complete the canonization process.

If I'm not mistaken, the streamlining of the process may have been what moved St. Bede from Venerable to Saint. I believe that St. Bede's previous status was equivalent to that of Mother Theresa of Calcutta who was recently proclaimed "Blessed."

In Christ,

BOB
Just like to correct. St. Bede the Venerable is a Saint and Doctor of the Church. It is just common for the Roman Church to use Venerable. In the Liturgy of the Hours, his feast is celebrated.

#55192 11/11/03 01:57 AM
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Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:
Dear: SaintClare,

Glory To Jesus Christ!

I used to be a Catholic Apologist, like really into Catholic Apologetics. I am very familiar with the Aramaic and Greek, translation of Peters Confession. I used to believe exactly what you do in regards to this issue. But the fact of the matter is that even the Western Fathers such as Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose, who I do believe that Peters Confession is the Rock of the Church and that all bishops are equal not one has more authority over the other. So I do know were you are coming from.

In Christ+
Daniel
Dear Daniel,
I believe that the Western Fathers has two beliefs regarding the "rock" in Matthew. Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose sometimes refer to the rock as Peter himself and sometimes to his confession. There are also Eastern Fathers refer to the rock interchangeably.

The question would be, if the Rock in the Matthean passage refers to the Confession of Peter, is this confession inseparable to the person of Peter? Isn't Peter's confession dependent on the person of Peter? cool

There are Protestant scholars who supports the view that the Matthean passage favors more the interpretation that the Rock is Peter himself rather than his confession.

elexeie

#55193 11/11/03 02:15 AM
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Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:

My understanding is that in the Catholic Interpretation of Peters Confession, if peter was
the Rock of the Church, St. Peters Successor would have universal jurisdiction and would indeed be a "Universal Pope".

Since the Western Church Fathers agree that Peters Confession is the Rock, it would seem that he is not held in such a High Authority as the papacy claims today. If they did not have the authority they claim, then all of their papal doctrines would be false correct?

If am wrong in my understanding please correct me.
If I am wrong what is the true significance of Peter being the Rock & Peters Confession being the Rock?

Another byzantine catholic friend of mind is going to lend me her copy of "Primacy of Peter" on thursday. It looks good.
Just like to share this thought that I've found in another list

elexeie

Quote
Questions which Orthodox liturgiologists and theologians need to ask are: 1) Does the Orthodox liturgical tradition ever refer to anyone other than the Bishops of Rome as the Successor of Peter and as exercising Peter's presidency? 2) If not, why not? If it does, in what sense does it use these terms? 3) If the liturgical tradition does not, in fact, refer to anyone other than the Bishops of Rome as the Successor of Peter, what are the implications of this for that theological understanding which would interpret the Chair of Peter as existing in every episcopal see but without a contemporary source and locus in the Church of Rome?

Can we not overcome the dilemna between a single Successor of Peter in Rome and many successors in every episcopal see, as Paul McPartlan has suggested, by understanding the Pope not as "Peter" and other bishops as "apostles", but by understanding the Pope as a definitive Peter in his own local Church, constituting and enabling the presence of Peter in the various local Churches? The universal ministry of the Pope exists in order to serve each local Eucharist. To assert that the Chair of Peter is found in each episcopal see and that it has a particular locus and source in the Church of Rome is to affirm that the "one-many" configuration in God, which includes both the "monarchy" of the Father and the equality of the three divine persons, is the basis for the worldwide communion and configuration of local Churches.

The Pope is no more above the bishops, who head their own local Churches, than the Father is above the Son and the Spirit. The uniqueness of papal primacy is to be located among the bishops, not above or apart from them. It can, however, be affirmed that the Pope is the source of the episcopal ministry in each local Church just as the Father is the source of the Son and the Spirit, as the "one" who simultaneously is one among the "many" and yet constitutes the "many". It seems that we must say this if we are to affirm that the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church" refers to both the local Church and to the universal, worldwide communion of Churches and that every authentic, catholic local Church is a manifestation of the universal Church in a particular place. To limit the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church to either the local Church or to the worldwide Church would result in either an inappropriate localism or an inappropriate universalism in ecclesiology.

Although the Pope is a bishop like all other bishops, exercising the Petrine ministry in his own local Church of Rome, the worldwide communion of bishops depends existentially upon him as the "one" without whom the "many" are inconceivable. As Bishop Zizioulas has asserted, "there can be no communion of local Churches without some form of universal synodality, and no universal synodality without some form of universal primacy".

This is the specific ministry of the Bishop of Rome, and as such he is uniquely styled the Successor of Peter, without denying that every bishop, as head of a local Church, shares in this Petrine ministry. An appropriate Orthodox understanding of papal primacy must, I would argue, take into account two factors: 1) the source of all episcopal ministry derives from the Chair of Peter and this Chair is to be found in every catholic episcopal see, and 2) there is a perpetual contemporary source and locus Petri, and these are found in Rome. Both the conciliarity of bishops and the primacy of Rome derive from the apostolic Tradition.

The idea that the papal presidency is entirely due to the socio-political status of the city of Old Rome within the structure of the ancient Roman Empire, the so-called "principle of accomodation", is not a sufficient interpretation, either historically or theologically. Rome, no less than the rest of the Church, did indeed accept ecclesiastical accomodation to imperial structures, and as Francis Dvornik has argued, it is quite possible that up until the fourth century the bishops of Rome drew sufficient authority and prestige from the fact that their residence was in the imperial capital that it was unnecessary for them to invoke continually the Petrine origin of their see. Nonetheless, this origin was not forgotten, and its significance gradually developed in Christian thinking. By the second half of the fourth century the "principle of apostolicity" was so widely accepted that the See of Rome simply was known as the See of Peter. The principle of apostolicity means that the Roman Pope exercises his ministry of presidency because he is the successor of Peter, and not simply because he is bishop of a city which at one time was the capital of a large empire.

Nor is the Pope simply an ecclesiastically appointed head with a "primacy of honor" (a diplomatic, political category), such as Canon 3 of the Council of Constantinople I (381) and Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon (451) might suggest, if read in isolation from the wider tradition. As Bishop John Zizioulas has asserted, no patriarch has a mere primacy of honor in relation to a synod. His presence is a sine qua non condition for all canonical deliberations. The synod, in fact, cannot function without its head; the "many" without the "one" are inconceivable. The primus, therefore, gives its theological status to the synod, and not simply honor. This claim, I would argue, must certainly apply to the universal primate in relation to the worldwide communion of bishops, especially when they meet in synod, but not only on such occasions. The relationship between bishops and their primates, both regional and universal, is an ongoing one.

The problem with Canon 28 of Chalcedon is that it makes no mention of the apostolic and Petrine origin of the Roman presidency, but reflects only the principle of accomodation to imperial structures. The council fathers, however, did not deny this origin, since in their deliberations and correspondence they clearly acknowledged Rome as the "Apostolic See" and the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Peter. One need only recall the acclamation by eastern bishops, "St. Peter has spoken through Leo", after the reading of Leo's famous tome. The eastern bishops who signed the Libellus Hormisdae of 519, which ended the Schism of Acacius, moreover, clearly acknowledged the Pope's Petrine ministry of ensuring doctrinal orthodoxy and unity:

We cannot pass over in silence the affirmation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who said: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. . . ." These words are borne out by the facts: it is in the Apostolic See that the Catholic religion has always been preserved without stain. . . it is for this reason that I hope to achieve communion with the Apostolic See in which is found the entire, true, and perfect stability of the Christian religion. (47)

One finds, then, eastern bishops relating to the Roman See in terms of both the principle of accomodation and the principle of apostolicity. Depending on their current needs and situation, they emphasized one or the other. This produced an ambiguity which has tended to characterize eastern Christian thought with regard to the Roman presidency. The most balanced position, it seems to me, is that of the eastern Father, St. Maximus the Confessor, who in 643/644 acknowledged both the synodically-determined and divinely-given origin of Roman See:

. . . the very holy Church of Rome, the apostolic see, which God the Word Himself and likewise all the holy Synods, according to the holy canons and the sacred definitions, have received, and which owns the power in all things and for all, over all the saints who are there for the whole inhabited earth, and likewise the power to unite and to dissolve...

One of the main problems with an understanding of primacy or presidency based on the principle of accomodation (which still tends to dominate Orthodox thinking on this issue) is that it is no longer applicable. The empire is gone. We have canons which speak of the old taxis of patriarchal sees and primacy but which no longer reflect the world in which we live. Constantinople and Alexandria, for example, are no longer even Christian centers. They are beleaguered sees, basically serving ethnic communities. If the origin of their status was socio-political, and that socio-political order is now gone, on what basis can they rank first and second in the hierarchy of patriarchal Churches other than being simply a relic of the past?

The reluctance of Orthodox even to reconsider this ancient taxis is perhaps partly due to the fear that there is, in fact, no basis upon which to rely for establishing order and unity other than the ancient socio-politically determined one. Another principle, however, is needed in Church life, and that principle is the apostolic one. The Orthodox liturgical texts cited above direct us to this principle and provide us with a basic framework for a renewed understanding of the Roman presidency as one based on the succession of Peter. It was this very principle which Patriarch Athenagoras once again evoked when in 1967 he greeted Pope Paul VI as "holy brother and successor of Peter".

A renewed Orthodox understanding of Roman primacy must, it seems to me, include the clear acknowledgment that as heir to the apostolic throne of Peter the Bishop of Rome is the visible, identifable "chief" (&#954;o&#961;&#965;&#966;&#945;_o&#962;) and "president" (&#960;&#961;&#972;&#949;&#948;&#961;o&#962;), who exercises the ministry of presiding within the ecumenical orthodox catholic Church. I would, therefore, seriously take issue with the position espoused by some Orthodox theologians such as the eminent Vladimir Lossky that "Orthodoxy recognizes no visible head of the Church", but only a "certain primacy of honour" because "The unity of the Church expresses itself through the communion of the heads of local churches among themselves". Here, it seems to me, Lossky has fallen into a reductionist position in which he pits a visible head of the Church over against the Church's conciliarity, that is, he suggests that an effective universal presidency is contrary to the Church understood as the communion of local Churches.

#55194 11/11/03 03:05 AM
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Hi folks,

I realize I am a late-comer to this conversation...and realizing how in-depth and complicated the whole subject matter is, I hesitate to jump in.....

Anyway, here is my humble comment.....

I have this interesting book to recommend to those interested in a somewhat ecumenical study. It has an imprimatur, the approval of an Orthodox Priest, and a favorable comment by an Episcopal, and another Protestant or two.

The title of this book is Jesus, Peter, & The Keys A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy

The authors are: Scott Butler Norman Dahlgren and David Hess

Now, I wonder if this "ad" will have any affect on the conversation, or if it will simply be considered an interruption (excuse me biggrin )


Let us pray for Unity In Christ!
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