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Thank you FR. Joe for your comments and congradulations and thank you all again for the same.

About the use of dead liturgies in the Church, IMHO if the went out of use in the first place, it can be chalked up to either the judgment of God (Whose ways we by no means can always comprehend or understand)or the fact that the people who used them felt they no longer worked for them and moved on to something else that did.

Basically, if you look at all Christian liturgies, they all seem to follow the same formula. Kyrie, scripture readings,sermon,creed,sanctus, prayers of consecration,agnus dei,communion, and bennedictus with the Pater thrown in somewhere towards the end.

Robert K.

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I have a simple question. Or perhaps not so simple. I hope it doesn't start a firestorm.

What makes a person Orthodox?

I ask this because the ROCOR priest who has the church right across the street from us has assured me (by written communication) that we are NOT Orthodox.

Now I find that rather interesting, since if an unlearned person went to his liturgy and then ours, he would find very, very little difference in either architecture, rubrics, or priestly garb. (Not to mention the wonderful way that the liturgy is sung accapella).

My reading material is all Orthodox and our bookstore is filled with the most wonderful selection of Orthodox writings from desert fathers, monks, asectics, and mystics of the faith. And the icons, the candles, the incense, the oils and prayer books. I'm like a kid in a candy store every time I go in the bookstore.

But I'm NOT Orthodox.

I could have sworn that I read, in my study and readings to get into the Church, that the Ante-Nicene and Eastern Fathers reverenced, honored, and SUBMITTED TO the authority vested in the office of St. Peter. No one raised a peep about "impropriety" when the Bishop of Rome acted to depose heretical Eastern bishops.

Anyway, perhaps my question is this: what makes me NOT Orthodox? Is it the fact that I recognize that there is a head of the visible Church on earth just as I recognize that there is a head of the spiritual Church in Heaven?

I be interested in yer feedback. smile

Cordially in Christ,

Brother Ed

PS I just read somewhere that one of the Patriarchs (I think it was the Patriarch of Antioch) insisted that he be addressed as "first among equals" Sound familiar? LOL!!

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Quote
Originally posted by Altar Boy:
I ask this because the ROCOR priest who has the church right across the street from us has assured me (by written communication) that we are NOT Orthodox.


Dear Brother Ed,
Christ is Risen!
A small but significant correction. Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, Pa. is a parish of the Orthodox Church in America. It has never been affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Thank you for your post. All the best to you.

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Robert: I concur with you: there is always a reason, known or unknown to us, why these dead liturgies went out of use in the first place and, like it or not, they have been extinct for generations upon generations. Yes, the will of God must come to play somewhere in all this, not simply the desire of certain people. Dinosours have been extinct for many thousands (or more) of years. Some fantasize about their return to the earth, and this is portrayed in movies and books for entertainment purposes. I think it would be a far fetched idea indeed, to believe that they could ever roam the earth again or that we could try to make this happen in a laboratory. They have simply passed from living reality and it is good that we are able to know as much about them as we do. But, they will never return. Academics and study and/or entertainment and fantasy are the factors at work there.

It is similar with historical rites and liturgies. No matter how much we would like to see a liturgy of the Sarum rite or Celtic rite, or others, performed in its original setting and with the authentic flavor and spirit with which these were celebrated, it simply cannot be done. To try to "recreate" or "reenact" one of these today requires something that we cannot get through books or lessons - a capture of the "dukh" or spirit that existed within these rites. That is lost forever from living memory. Just as one cannot become Orthodox or Greek Catholic merely by reading books, treatises and listening to tapes and other forms of media, but must actually be "grafted" into the community by living participation in its life and worship, no one can sincerely recreate the atmosphere in which these defunct rites functioned. Attempts to convey the attitude that certain churches have reinstated the use of these rites makes them no more authentic to their original spirit than does a reenactment of a battle of the Civil War. Those are simply for entertainment, fantasy or historical study.

The problem has been brought up here already, in which people convert to our churches simply on "book knowledge" feeling that they have all the answers it takes to be an Eastern Christian. Then later, difficulties arise, because these people have not had any living experience of the faith or the worship of our church. Parishes can arise in which Eastern Christianity is grossly misrepresented and liturgies are celebrated with many grave mistakes, false assumptions, poor singing and misguided innovations. To do the same with long extinct rites and liturgies creates the same dilemma and even more so, because not one of us can capture the living experience of these rites since they have not been captured in time for us to participate in, not even on film or tape (even though that would be insufficient anyway to learn the spirit of these rites). There is much to be said for "organic development" of liturgy and customs. Unlike dogma, which, despite the fact that we can continually come to new perspectives and understandings of it, based on the "language" of our times, is a fixed "deposit of faith", liturgy is as ongoing and evolving as spoken language itself. Since it is something that is "in use" by people, there will naturally be changes over time and place. Liturgies of a different era cannot possess this "ongoing" organically developing character.

Fr. Joe

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Bless me a sinner, Father Joe!

Well, I'm not too offended by what you said . . .sniff . . . not too offended - it's O.K., I'll be O.K. smile

Certainly, resurrecting old liturgies for the sake of such is questionable and I have no hard and fast views on this since the Western Orthodox Rite thing is one of my hobbies - I don't like baseball or other sports, you see!

The Russian and Antiochian Orthodox Churches have ONLY adopted the living liturgical traditions of the Tridentine and Anglican/Sarum Rites - period.

St John Maximovitch, however, when he founded the French Orthodox Church, translated the Gallican Liturgy of St Germain of Paris, even though it really hadn't been use for ages, having been suppressed by the Roman Church.

The Mozarabic Rite, used in by some, has continued as a living liturgical tradition in Toledo where it is still celebrated, even though it too was largely suppressed.

The Vatican, however, recognizing this historical injustice, granted provisions for its wider celebration throughout Spain and the Spanish-speaking world.

There are professors who are liturgical experts in the Mozarabic liturgy and there is a full and complete Mass and Divine Office. That is a living liturgical Rite that belongs to both East and West, even though formerly miniscule, that expresses the Spanish spirit, if you will, and there is no reason why this Rite could not be brought back, and indeed it is slowly making a comeback, even though the rubrics of the NO make it impossible to celebrate as such.

The journal "Orthodox Catholic" in the U.S. represents an independent Orthodox church, I don't call it "vagante" since I just don't know too much about them and I won't call them names, at least until I am better educated about them smile .

This group uses the Rite of Pope Paul VI, the Novus Ordo liturgy, as well as the Tridentine Rite. They also have the Milanese Rite and other, adapted as they are to the cultural and spiritual backgrounds of their members.

The Milanese Rite of St Ambrose is also a living liturgy that belongs to East and West. Indeed, liturgists studying the use of the term "Pope" in the diptychs in that liturgy have determined that it refers not at all to the bishop of Rome, but to the Archbishop of Milan! Pope Paul VI and Pope Pius IX were both of the Milanese Rite and Church.

The only major Western Rite that us an old liturgical tradition that has not been around for a long period of time is the Celtic Rite.

Again, we have the full rubrics of the Divine Liturgy of the Lorrha-Stowe Missal and the Celtic Divine Office. It can be found translated into English in its entirety at: Celticchristianity.org

There is nothing in the Celtic Rite that needs to be "concocted" to fill in the blanks created by centuries of disuse.

Many of its traditions entered into the daily lives of the Catholics of Celtic ancestry and continue to this day, as Alexander Carmichael found in his published collections of Celtic prayers and songs.

The Celtic Rite is making a comeback, it is a beautiful Rite that shows a deep connection between East and West and teaches us many other things.

Certainly, liturgical experiments can go awry.

But both the Latin and Byzantine Churches have an unfortunate history of beating down other Churches and Rites, including the Liturgy of St James in the Antiochian Church.

Both Latin and Byzantine Churches have demonstated an historical intolerance for other Churches and Rites and it is high time for a redress here.

It is happening anyway, either within canonical Churches or outside.

The Ukrainian Church as well has had many of its own local religious traditions destroyed by the Russian Orthodox Church, as new studies are showing.

We too are reclaiming what was destroyed in our Church some centuries ago.

They may not be part of our living liturgical heritage now.

But they once were and will be again in time, as you have said.

Alex

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Robert K:

I think you are moving too hastily, in my humble personal opinion. I don't see how a Latin apologist on the internet could make you rethink the papacy. After I read "Primacy of Peter" by John Meyendorff, "The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy" by Aristeides Papadakis, "The Photian Schism" by Francis Dvornik, "Byzantium and the Roman Primacy" by Francis Dvornik, "Christian Unity and Imperial Divisions" by John Meyendorff, and started "Eucharist Bishop Church" by John Zizioulas, I came to the conclusion that the Roman Papacy arguments as forwarded by Latins are weak. I am not saying I'm ready to jump ship yet for Orthodoxy, but the thought has crossed my mind.

I think you should stay Orthodox for 1 more year and just try to take things slowly.

In Christ,

anastasios

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Dear Anastasios,

Well, I think that anyone, like Robert, who seems to be more papal than myself, should definitely think about getting into "union with Rome!"

If anything, I don't know how the ROCOR and That Ilk tolerate him!

If I were a ROCOR, I'd be very concerned about Robert spreading "Catholic heresy" and otherwise leading astray my flock . . .

The books you cited are excellent.

But again, like a lot of theology, they offer a very idealized picture of history.

The same things that were said in those texts about the Roman patriarch, can also apply to the way the Moscow Patriarchate understands itself as the Third Rome and its bureaucratic operation, which is no less, I believe, than what one would find at the Vatican.

The Pope of Alexandria, in fact, is the one who historically developed the idea of immediate jurisdiction over every church and priest throughout the length and breadth of Africa, something that was adopted by the Pope of Rome at a time when his actual jurisdiction didn't cover the whole of Italy and when his title was "His Beatitude."

If I were Orthodox, frankly I would prefer a strong Patriarch like the Moscow one, rather than one of those "first among equals" guys who can't seem to get others to respond when they so much as say "good morning."

But apart from my own personal hangups on this matter, Robert sincerely believes in the theological and spiritual leadership of the Pope of Rome.

I think his sojourn among the ROCOR is what is bring him back to the ROCK.

Did you see the way he goes after me every time I say anything critical of Rome or the Basilians et al.? smile

I think he'll go after you next, Big Guy.

Come on, the guy is a liability to the Orthodox! smile

If you care about our Orthodox brothers and sisters, you will join me in welcoming Robert to union with Rome as soon as possible!

Right Robert?

Alex

[ 04-19-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

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Dear anastasios:

Don't cast a spell on Robert K! mad

Or, I'll pinch you on your behind till it hurts! :p

He was/is Latin, remember?

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Dear Amado,

Robert was a Latin then a member of the ROCOR and now he's opting for the Eastern Catholic Church.

He's tried the rest, now he's going for the best! smile

Alex

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Dear brother Ed,

from an Orthodox point of view, you're not Orthodox because you are in communion with a hierarch(the Pope of Rome), whose confession is faith is not Orthodox...

A person who enters into communion with someone who is not Orthodox, seperates himself from Orthodoxy, therefore to be Orthodox "in communion with Rome" is not possible, not as long Rome itself is not Orthodox.

Like it or not, but that's the orthodox point of view...

Christian

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Dear Christian and Ed,

This is an important topic that has been discussed here off and on. Here's my take on it. But why don't you both go get a cold drink first? smile

Everything in language, I believe, depends on usage.

"Orthodox Catholic" was a term that was accepted by East and West in pre-Schism times.

St Benedict of Nursia used it in his Rule, for example.

"Orthodox" referred to "Orthodox faith" as used by the Fathers of the First Council.

"Catholic" was and is used to define the Church, the part being present in the whole et al.

After the Schism, "Orthodox" came to be used by the Eastern Church to define itself, most likely because the root cause of the schism from the Eastern point of view was a doctrinal issue i.e. the Filioque and others that were related to it.

"Catholic" came to be underscored in the West at the time, again because the main issue of the Schism was, from the Roman POV, was the ecclesial one of the East refusing to submit to papal authority.

But the churches kept using both terms in different contexts. To this day, the Pope prays for all who "teach the Orthodox Faith" and this isn't an ecumenical invocation . . .

The labels themselves don't have a patent by either side.

For Eastern Catholics who use this term, "Orthodoxy" is not so much about obedience to Rome and all its latter-day doctrines about the Immaculate Conception, papal authority and the like, but a restoration to a union that existed, in one form or another, prior to the Schism.

"Orthodoxy" is a generic term that should always be qualified to discover who we are talking about.

The Oriental Christians use it, as Meyendorff discussed. Rome uses it, to be sure.

For us, it is a term that points not only to what we have come to believe is the fullness of Orthodox faith, in union with Rome, but a "cultural" definition that defines our Eastern spirituality and identity apart from the Latin Church.

This has proven so in history.

Whenever our Eastern Catholic ancestors cherished the term "Orthodox" either "in union with Rome" or otherwise, their Eastern spirituality flourished.

When they neglected that name, their identity as Eastern Christians seems to have weakened, the dam burst, the draw-bridge came down and in flowed Latinization!

For us, then, "Orthodox" is a composite term that reflects the Particular Eastern Catholic spirituality and spiritual culture/identity that is integrally a part of it.

A ROCOR priest, seeing that it was hopeless to try and get me to become Orthodox smile , ended our cordial conversation with, "Well, stay Catholic then, but keep to the purity of the Eastern traditions!"

I told him that I would and that was why I was calling myself, "Orthodox Catholic."

"Good," he said. "The day when you people will be ashamed to admit your Orthodox roots, identity and life will be the day you truly become Latins."

RC's don't regard Orthodox as "Orthodox" and vice-versa on a level of conversation that involves faith issues alone.

By calling ourselves "Orthodox in union with Rome" or else "Orthodox Catholics," we imply much more, religion, spirituality, culture and even nationality.

I ask our Orthodox brothers and sisters not to be offended by our use of this term.

It is what has preserved our identity and will continue to do so, keeping us linked with our Mother Orthodox Churches.

Alex

[ 04-19-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

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Originally posted by anastasios:
Robert K:

I think you are moving too hastily, in my humble personal opinion. I don't see how a Latin apologist on the internet could make you rethink the papacy. After I read "Primacy of Peter" by John Meyendorff, "The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy" by Aristeides Papadakis, "The Photian Schism" by Francis Dvornik, "Byzantium and the Roman Primacy" by Francis Dvornik, "Christian Unity and Imperial Divisions" by John Meyendorff, and started "Eucharist Bishop Church" by John Zizioulas, I came to the conclusion that the Roman Papacy arguments as forwarded by Latins are weak. I am not saying I'm ready to jump ship yet for Orthodoxy, but the thought has crossed my mind.

I think you should stay Orthodox for 1 more year and just try to take things slowly.

In Christ,

anastasios


The truth is that my decision to return to the Catholic fold has to do with many issues, first of which is the amazing simplicity and practicality of the concept of the Papacy. Our Lord clearly wanted unity in his Church and not just a spiritual one at that. The idea of the Pope as a universal vicar of Christ on the Earth just makes more sense then the concept of 15 (Or is it 17-18-22?) local Churches each ruling their own spheres of influence and unable to at times to even speak with one authentic voice.

Most of Orthodoxy seems to be based on theory rather then grounded in fact. For instance, the Orthodox claim that they could call another ecumenical council if they so desired but yet they have not done so in over a thousand years. If Orthodoxy was really the one true religion founded by Christ then she would have, like our blessed Catholic Church, surly have called numerous councils to decide what could be considered pressing problems in Church life since the first millinium.

While I have the greatest amount of respect for Orthodoxy as a genuine barrer of the apostolic East, it is clear though that she is still basically stuck (For the most part) in the eleventh century. Only union with Rome could bring her out of this tomb to new life and ressurection.

Robert K.

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Dear Anastasios the Academician,

If, after Robert's post above, you are still in any doubt that we have a RESPONSIBILITY to help him leave Orthodoxy as soon as possible, well . . .

Robert! Over here! This way! That's it, just come toward the papal flag I'm waving . . . smile

God bless!

Alex

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>>>The truth is that my decision to return to the Catholic fold has to do with many issues, first of which is the amazing simplicity and practicality of the concept of the Papacy. Our Lord clearly wanted unity in his Church and not just a spiritual one at that. The idea of the Pope as a universal vicar of Christ on the Earth just makes more sense then the concept of 15 (Or is it 17-18-22?) local Churches each ruling their own spheres of influence and unable to at times to even speak with one authentic voice.

>>>Most of Orthodoxy seems to be based on theory rather then grounded in fact. For instance, the Orthodox claim that they could call another ecumenical council if they so desired but yet they have not done so in over a thousand years. If Orthodoxy was really the one true religion founded by Christ then she would have, like our blessed Catholic Church, surly have called numerous councils to decide what could be considered pressing problems in Church life since the first millinium.

eh, WRONG!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

Orthodoxy has had councils in 1285, 1347, the 1500's, the 1700's, and a pan-Orthodox Synod in 1922. "ecumenical" has to do with the Roman empire. It doesn't exist anymore. So Pan-Orthodox Synods are the way to go.

>>>While I have the greatest amount of respect for Orthodoxy as a genuine barrer of the apostolic East, it is clear though that she is still basically stuck (For the most part) in the eleventh century. Only union with Rome could bring her out of this tomb to new life and ressurection.

Orthodoxy is stuck in the timeless liturgy of Heaven, the timeless expression of doctrine: NOT the "11th century". Why did you even pick the 11th century when St. Gregory Palamas made a revolutionary doctrinal developement in the 14th century?? The Latin Church has fell in SOME areas to the "20th century mentality" with its changing to suite the culture mentality. Why try and knock Orthodoxy and make Catholicism the answer? It's not! Both have their problems, my friend, as you know. I guess if you prefer Catholicism, go for it, but I see you "taking sides" again, when there really isn't a side to take in this darn schism.

In Christ,

anastasios

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Orthodoxy is stuck in the timeless liturgy of Heaven, the timeless expression of doctrine: NOT the "11th century". Why did you even pick the 11th century when St. Gregory Palamas made a revolutionary doctrinal developement in the 14th century?? The Latin Church has fell in SOME areas to the "20th century mentality" with its changing to suite the culture mentality. Why try and knock Orthodoxy and make Catholicism the answer? It's not! Both have their problems, my friend, as you know. I guess if you prefer Catholicism, go for it, but I see you "taking sides" again, when there really isn't a side to take in this darn schism.

In Christ,

anastasios[/QB][/QUOTE]

Oh, but there is a side to take in deed in this unfortunate schism. That side is with the Church of the blessed apostles and martyrs, that which was founded on a ROCK!

Yes, Orthodoxy has had pan-synods but what relevance have they had and what binding effects have they created for that Church? Is there a Sunday of the pan Orthodox Synods celebrated by the Orthodox Church?

Why are ecumenical counclis only possible within the context of the Byzantine-Roman emipre, and if so, why wasnt one held after the seventh? Byzantium lasted till 1453 after all!

Who speaks for Orthodoxy with a relevant and united voice for this day and age? THe fathers are okay spiritual reading for sure but they, as fallible men living in many centuries past from the present day, cannot be expected to be able to deal with the complex issues of the modern world as well as be held relevant by todays standards for all issues. Why is Orthodoxy so hung up with the idea of a holy empire as a necessity for the Church to flourish under? Notice how difficult it is for most Orthodox Churches to survive without state support?

Like it or not, the Orthodox Church, although a beautiful and ascetic part of our Holy and undivided Christian tradition is none the less a faith of ancient things. It has little or no relevance by itself to todays complex society and the problems of our everyday lives. I tend to notice that people who become Orthodox are people who, although sincere, wish to find a refuge from the modern world and its complexities. Orthodoxy offers that since in the west, she is hardly even known by most people. Therefore they feel safe from the very world that is crashing down unto their former churches. This is how I was when I converted. You jusy want to find a rock to hide under instead of to stand on and face these complex problems.

The sad thing about the present state of Orthodoxy is that she could do so much and indeed mean so much to the Church universal only if she is rebron, both theologically and eclessiastically. This regeneration could only ocur when she is reconnected to the true vine, the See of Peter.

Robert K.

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