specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism

Posted by: aikiMac

specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/15/08 07:26 PM

From here link

The claim is that many specific paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are "heretical" or "heterodox" whatever, according to an Eastern Orthodox view. I myself cannot think of any such paragraphs, so I ask, what are they? Give me at least three specific paragraphs by number. By giving the paragraph number we can all look them up together and "be on the same page," literally.
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 06:27 PM

Two weeks and 113 views but no response --> just what I suspected. I suspected that there are no differences in the Catechism, that the differences are outside the Catechism. That means that the differences are not dogmas.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 06:48 PM

Originally Posted By: aikiMac
Two weeks and 113 views but no response --> just what I suspected. I suspected that there are no differences in the Catechism, that the differences are outside the Catechism. That means that the differences are not dogmas.


The reason there is silence is that it is probably the case that no Orthodox on this forum want to get into the subject which causes a good bit of tension among those in the forum. I, for one, do not want to get into a discussion where the term "heresy" is going to be thrown out at some point and people are going to be offended. There are numerous teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with which we Orthodox disagree. Some of this has already been discussed in other threads. But if some other Orthodox on the forum wants to respond to your question, I'm sure he or she will. God bless.

Joe
Posted by: Byzantine TX

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 07:31 PM

I, for one, value aikiMac's question. I'd rather have a real discussion than oblique references to unwelcome "popery." Having just attended 3 Orthodox talks given by local parishes, every one had an offhand anti-Roman Catholic comment during the Q&A, but none could substantiate their position when I asked them what they meant.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 08:38 PM

I am by no means interested in shutting down any discussion. I have just felt, personally, reluctant to get involved. Let me spend the rest of the afternoon praying about this and perhaps I'll aikiMac's question.

Joe
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 08:59 PM

What's the point of arguing about it?
Posted by: Epiphanius

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 10:44 PM

Originally Posted By: AMM
What's the point of arguing about it?

To get a better understanding of what the real issues are, and how real people feel about them.

We don't have to come to an agreement on everything, but I don't think we should tiptoe around these issues, either. The questions are there, and they need to be discussed openly and with charity. That's one of the reasons for this forum's existence.

I would caution the Catholic members of this forum to remember that the same rule of charity applies to them.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Posted by: theophan

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 11:26 PM

Quote:
The claim is that many specific paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are "heretical" or "heterodox" whatever, according to an Eastern Orthodox view.


I am wondering if the objections that Orthodox members might have stem from the different way in which we approach many of the same areas of our experience of the Faith and thereby our entry into relationship with Christ.

My own studies have lead me to the hypothesis that the Western approach is to define everything that can be defined. It assumes that there is an answer to every question. It is very uneasy with ambiguity and mystery. The Eastern approach seems to be okay with some areas being left to mystery and ambiguity--not to say that areas of the Faith are not important. In fact, I suspect that some of the areas where there are serious disagreements among us who are down here where the rubber meets the road stem from the application of the Faith, i.e., orthopraxy. Other areas stem from the objection to the two definitions by the Popes that Catholics consider infallible.

Beyond all this, it's well to remember that the CCC was written for bishops and other experts for their reference in developing other catechisms after almost 25 years of confusion about what the Church actually teaches and why. So many Catholics, both learned and no-so-learned got the idea that everything prior to 1965 had been tossed out and, in the absence of official teaching to the contrary, everyone had the right to make up his own mind according to his conscience--authority be "derned." (And sometimes to make up one's own mind according to his conscience even in the face of authoritative pronouncements.)

I call this period of confusion the time when "Kitchen Sink Catholicism" took hold in many quarters. (From the song "Love Potion Number 9: "mixed it up right there in the sink." You know--a little knowledge taken home, mixed with big gaps in one's formation in the Faith, mixed with lots of contrary information obtained in the secular culture, and voila--Kitchen Sink Catholicism.)

In Christ,

BOB
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/28/08 11:51 PM

Well, I want to mention one reason why I'm reluctant to go down this path. The more I study, and the longer that I am Orthodox, the more I see how there are substantial differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. And Bob, while I appreciate what you are saying, I have to say that I have moved to the position that not only does the Roman Church over-define things, but that Church also defines things wrongly. Any discussion that I have on this matter is going to end with my saying that certain doctrines taught by Rome are heretical and then a flame war will erupt or I will be accused of being uncharitable and in the end, nothing will be accomplished.

Joe
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/29/08 02:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Epiphanius
Originally Posted By: AMM
What's the point of arguing about it?
To get a better understanding of what the real issues are, and how real people feel about them.


Okay, I've never read it so I don't know what I would disagree with, and we don't have a catechism. I also don't know what standing the catechism has whether what it contains are dogmas that must be adhered to our just presentations of what are commonly accepted positions.

Our catechism in my mind is the creed, and I believe as little as possible should be defined as doctrine.
Posted by: MarkosC

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/29/08 05:03 AM

aikiMac,

The reason why it doesn't exist is because the Orthodox "objections" have existed for centuries before the publication of the CCC and no one as yet has seen it useful to go through the CCC and criticise it. I think there would be many areas of agreement, but in many sections there probably would subtle and deep distinctions - sometimes even things as deep as ontological differences.

Reading "The Orthodox Way" slowly and digesting it should give you some idea of these differences. There are other books out there which discuss differences between Rome and Orthodoxy head on, but they're either pseudo-intellectual and problematic or are difficult books which are not beginners won't be able to understand.

Markos
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/29/08 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkite
The more I study, and the longer that I am Orthodox, the more I see how there are substantial differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

As I study further I see fewer differences of substance. The differences become stylistic only, like "I prefer this analogy, and you prefer that analogy."


Originally Posted By: MarkosC
The reason why it doesn't exist is because the Orthodox "objections" have existed for centuries before the publication of the CCC and no one as yet has seen it useful to go through the CCC and criticise it.

Are we criticizing when we don't even know what the other guy believes? I don't like that game.


Quote:
Reading "The Orthodox Way" slowly and digesting it should give you some idea of these differences. There are other books out there which discuss differences between Rome and Orthodoxy head on, but they're either pseudo-intellectual and problematic or are difficult books which are not beginners won't be able to understand.

"The Orthodox Way" is a good book for what the author set out to do. I read it. As for the other books -- that's why I'm asking for specific paragraphs in the CCC. I have no interest in dialoging with anyone who just waves his arms and shouts "He's wrong! He's wrong!" without ever stating specifically where the error is.

See, here's the thing: Romans do and say things that are beyond the Catechism, and that which is beyond the Catechism is not binding.

One example is the Assumption of Mary (or the Dormition of Mary, for us Easterners). The Catechism does not say whether or not Mary died before going to heaven. The Catechism only says that she ascended bodily into heaven. Your typical Roman Catholic will tell you that she did not die first, that like Enoch and Elijah she was spared death. But that teaching is not in the Catechism. Thus -- here's the punchline -- the Catechism is compatible with the Eastern tradition (the Melkites, anyway) that she did die and then was resurrected and then ascended into heaven.

Purgatory is a 2nd example. The details commonly taught by Romans are not in the Catechism. That which is in the Catechism is compatible with the Eastern tradition.

Etc etc etc -- we could find further examples where the actual text of the Catholic Catechism does not set forth common Roman distictives, but rather states something that East and West both believe. And therein is the basis for my asking where, specifically, does the actual text of the Catechism diverge from Eastern Orthodox dogma. And I said dogma.
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/30/08 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Epiphanius
Originally Posted By: AMM
What's the point of arguing about it?

To get a better understanding of what the real issues are, and how real people feel about them.

We don't have to come to an agreement on everything, but I don't think we should tiptoe around these issues, either. The questions are there, and they need to be discussed openly and with charity. That's one of the reasons for this forum's existence.

I would caution the Catholic members of this forum to remember that the same rule of charity applies to them.


Peace,
Deacon Richard



I think this can be a constructive and enlightening discussion if we all take a brotherly approach. I would be surprised if many Orthoddox have seen a good Catholic catechism, so here is the link for you to peruse http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

One thing that I hope to learn from this is "how much have we as Eastern Catholics been Latinized?" It is probably somewhere between "more than I think, but less than our Orthodox brothers think." Perhaps the gap is not as large as perceived. Another thought is that we have all become somewhat "Americanized."

Building upon aikiMac's recommendation that we "all be on the same page" it would be helpful that a somewhat official Orthodox reference (online preferably) be cited where pointed out differences between Catholic and Orthodox dogma, theology, doctrine, mindset,etc.

Fr Deacon Paul
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/30/08 08:19 PM

Can you provide some clues as to what may be objectionable? That's a lot to read.
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/30/08 08:38 PM

Well, there's another thread regarding the sacrament of marriage. Paragraphs 1623 and 1626 concern that issue. Is the Catechism wrong? I think not, but if it is wrong in what sense is it wrong?
Posted by: Amadeus

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/30/08 08:41 PM

Dear Andrew:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992 pursuant to Vatican II, is, in book form, around 500 pages!

It is, therefore, rather unfair to expect non-Catholics (even Catholics like myself) to have read the Catechism in its entirety!

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a Compendium of the Catechism, i.e., a shorter version thereof, considered as a synthesis of the voluminous CCC.

Picking a subject from the table of contents might assist those engaged in these discussions to focus on an area of interest one at a time.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html#MOTU%20PROPRIO

Amado

Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/30/08 08:50 PM

1623 and 1626 sound okay, I don't know enough about the subject to say. I was married in a civil ceremony and only had the the marriage blessed by the church many years later. I always considered myself married. I do think people can get divorced and married again by the church. I know several people who have done this. Maybe those are differences.
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/31/08 04:52 AM


Another topic may be indulgences, Chapter 2, Article 4 Sacrament(Mystery of Penance and Reconciliation), section X.

I agree that the Catechism is a huge document and this thread may be open for quite some time. But in the long run I hope that it will bring us to a closer and more knowledgeable relationship.

Understand, that the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches modifies portions of the Catechism, as does Particular Church Law.

The on-line BC Particular Church Law has been posted previously; unfortunately the CCEC is not online in English. At least I can't find it.

Fr. Deacon Paul
Posted by: MarkosC

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/31/08 04:56 AM

aikiMac,

I'll discuss this more later. I don't have the time now. Two quick things:

1. again, the CCC is an expression of Catholicism which is VERY recent - 1980s. Most of the problems between Catholics and Orthodox date to well before the true rupture - 1204. To my knowledge, no Orthodox has sat down since the CCC's publications to put forward a paragraph by paragraph refutation - and I frankly don't see why such a thing would be necessary.

That said, one book I thought of that might be useful to you is "The Byzantine Legacy in the Orthodox Church" by Fr. John Meyendorff. It's one of a collection-of-academic-articles-books, and nowhere does it discuss problems in detail, but it essentially touches on the main issues in several areas. I also believe Archimandrite Vasilios Gondikakis' "Hymn of Entry" is required reading for the really serious Greek Catholic - but it is a VERY difficult book, and one needs a sound grounding in patristic or Byzantine theology or else I personally believe it will just go over one's head.

2. To my mind, the #1 "problem" is the Roman formulation of Primacy, be it in the way Innocent III expressed it or in the way Benedict XVI expresses it (ref: "Called to Communion"). The basic idea is that such a conception of primary is an artificial abrogation of a function that belongs to the Church as a whole - and leads to the idea that everything flows from Rome and which covers Rome's own "errors". As St. Gregory Palamas put it (quoting again Meyendorff's study):

Quote:

Not bishops only, but whole local churches may stray from the path of truth. Palamas recalls that in the course of history all churches have so strayed, but only the Latin Church has not yet returned to Orthodoxy "although it is the greatest and the first, and includes the most exalted of all the patriachal thrones". The Church, pillar and foundation of truth, "nonetheless stands firm and unshaken, resting solidly on those who maintain the truth; and as a fact, those who beling to the Church of Christ dwell in tgeh truth, and those who have once for all abandoned truth, have also left the Church". THe miracle of ecclesiastical infallibility is thus realized in the whole ecclesiastical body....

Ref: A Study of St. Gregory Palamas, p. 180. Quotes from St. Gregory include Apoditic Treatise and Against Akindynos
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/31/08 01:32 PM

Quote:
Another topic may be indulgences, Chapter 2, Article 4 Sacrament(Mystery of Penance and Reconciliation), section X.


Can't relate to any of that.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/31/08 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkosC
...As St. Gregory Palamas put it (quoting again Meyendorff's study):

Quote:

Not bishops only, but whole local churches may stray from the path of truth. Palamas recalls that in the course of history all churches have so strayed, but only the Latin Church has not yet returned to Orthodoxy "although it is the greatest and the first, and includes the most exalted of all the patriachal thrones". ...
Ref: A Study of St. Gregory Palamas, p. 180. Quotes from St. Gregory include Apoditic Treatise and Against Akindynos


What is the specific straying that Meyendorff has Palamas referring to and which, in that view, has "only the Latin Church" as "not yet returned to Orthodoxy"?
Posted by: Mykhayl

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 10/31/08 03:28 PM

Слава Ісусу Христу!

“…problems between Catholics and Orthodox date to well before the true rupture - 1204.” QUOTE MarkosC #303088

Don’t make a milestone out of the plunder of Constantinople without taking credit to its precursor in the 1203 rape of Kyiv. “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones”.
Posted by: MarkosC

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/01/08 05:02 PM

I have to catch a plane and my contribution to this discussion is ended for the next month.

Two quick things:

1. ajk: this was in a short 1-2 page section in Meyendorff's book, discussing St. Gregory's discussion of ecclesiology. I don't believe the primary sources have been translated into English.

2. Mykhayl, I am unaware of what happened to Kyiv in 1203. Second, I am not Orthodox, I am merely putting forward what my understanding of the Orthodox position is.

And, at least according to (again) Meyendorff's history, 1204 is NOT really a milestone in the ecclesial sphere (vice political and popular imagination spheres) because of the taking of Constantinople, BUT because of Pope Innocent III's statement that he had the authority to replace the Roman Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople because of Papal Primacy, etc. This was the first direct experience by the Romans of the Gregorian reforms of the past few centuries, and this was really the key to the rift.

He discusses two anecdotes to support it: in the century before 1200 there were a few attempts to coordinate Papal and Roman policy, which had no undertones that there was any schism. In contrast, after 1204, not only was the appointment an issue, but also talk of reunion appeared. There was even, in the 1200s a proposal of recognizing the Pope's temporal power as a temporary solution to the Nicea-Epirus-Latin Kingdom problem before communion was restored. (i.e. the Pope would be commemorated at the point where the Emperor was commemorated, but not where the Orthodox Patriarchs were commemorated).

Gotta go,

Markos
Posted by: MarkosC

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/01/08 05:08 PM

One last thing,Mykhayl. I am a history buff, I would like to be educated as to what happened in 1203. I'll catch it when I return.

Markos

Posted by: theophan

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/01/08 10:44 PM

Quote:
It is, therefore, rather unfair to expect non-Catholics (even Catholics like myself) to have read the Catechism in its entirety!


AMADO:

I have a read-it-in-a-year outline if you'd like it.

BOB
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/01/08 11:40 PM

Quote:
What is the specific straying that Meyendorff has Palamas referring to and which, in that view, has "only the Latin Church" as "not yet returned to Orthodoxy"?

Yes -- the question is what SPECIFICALLY is the Orthodox objecting to. Vague statements don't help anything!
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/01/08 11:49 PM

Originally Posted By: AMM
Another topic may be indulgences, Chapter 2, Article 4 Sacrament(Mystery of Penance and Reconciliation), section X.

Huh? That's not a valid citation! Look again at the table of contents and try paragraph numbers next time. I think maybe you mean paragraphs 1471-1473. What is the objection to those paragraphs?
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/02/08 01:44 AM

I don't think the citation was mine. I also didn't lodge an objection, I just said those weren't things I personally could relate to.
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 01:22 AM

Originally Posted By: AMM
I don't think the citation was mine. I also didn't lodge an objection, I just said those weren't things I personally could relate to.

But there are seven Chapter Two's in the table of contents, and I asked for specific points of error, not things that you merely can't relate to.
Posted by: Father Anthony

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 01:31 AM

Originally Posted By: aikiMac
Originally Posted By: AMM
I don't think the citation was mine. I also didn't lodge an objection, I just said those weren't things I personally could relate to.

But there are seven Chapter Two's in the table of contents, and I asked for specific points of error, not things that you merely can't relate to.



aikiMac,

Before you go on any further making an accusation towards anyone, I carefully suggest that you read the post you are quoting. AMM was citing someone else's citation. I also strongly suggest you tone down the manner in which you phrase your posts because they are coming across as accusatory and belligerent. This topic has the potential for learning on both sides but not if you are going to be on the attack constantly.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Administrator
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 04:48 PM


Quote:
Another topic may be indulgences, Chapter 2, Article 4 Sacrament(Mystery of Penance and Reconciliation), section X


This was my post; and yes, I should have cited the paragraphs, my apology offered. paragraphs 1471-1479 are the correct references.

Over the centuries "misapplication" of indulgences has been a source of differences between East and West. I believe the Catechism fairly states a common posistion to which East and West can agree. As an Eastern Catholic perhaps Paragraph 1478 is a shade to "legalistic" but not enough that it disturbs me.

For the Orthodox poster out there, is there anything in the document which provokes disagreement?

Endorsing Father Anthony's caution let us all be charitable. This is not a debate, but a brotherly conversation.

Fr. Deacon Paul
Posted by: aikiMac

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 07:38 PM

You're right. You're right.
I'm sorry AMM (and to the rest).
My bad.



Quote:
This is not a debate, but a brotherly conversation.

^^^ That's what I want. ^^^ Yessir.
On specific points rather than vague "they're wrong!" claims that I've heard forever.
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 07:48 PM

Quote:
For the Orthodox poster out there, is there anything in the document which provokes disagreement?


I don't relate to the whole indulgence thing having read it. I'm not sure I have a specific disagreement per se, but if after reading this I was told that was an indisputable truth or a point of dogma, I could not agree to that.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: aikiMac
You're right. You're right.
I'm sorry AMM (and to the rest).
My bad.



Quote:
This is not a debate, but a brotherly conversation.

^^^ That's what I want. ^^^ Yessir.
On specific points rather than vague "they're wrong!" claims that I've heard forever.


I believe that there are several reasons why indulgences are wrong, or at least unnecessary. I will try to be brief and to the point:

1). If indulgences were a legitimate part of the Church's practice, then it would seem that any Bishop should be allowed to grant them. That only the Pope grants indulgences demonstrates a false view of the papacy, that the Pope has unique powers in addition to his powers as a bishop.

2). Indulgences are redundant. Acts of repentance and prayer already cleanse the soul of its attachments to the passions so there is no need to add anything to them.

3). It has no foundation in the fathers of the Church. If we are talking about lessening canonical penalties for sins, that's one thing, but given that indulgences are applied to the dead (when one is dead, the canonical penalties no longer apply) it seems clear that these indulgences depend upon a certain understanding of the consequences of sin and of the state after death for Christians. In other words, it seems to be tied to the doctrine of purgatory (which according to the Orthodox is a false doctrine) and to the idea that we accumulate temporal punishments for our sins that have to be worked off in purgatory.

4). I believe that the suspicious origins of indulgences makes them questionable. That indulgences were used in the middle ages to fund building projects and crusades shows that they were a way for the Pope to get people to do his bidding.

5). I think the whole idea of a "treasury of merit" is without basis in the Gospel and it threatens to turn salvation into a kind of divine banking system. The notion that the saints could have surplus merit or superogatory works is contrary to the Gospel. We can never do enough works to please God, so we certainly can't do works above and beyond what we owe to God (we owe everthing to God).

Anyway, this is just my opinion.

Joe
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 11:07 PM

Thanks Joe for sharing your thoughts and your sincerity.

The major point of difference (in my opinion) is your point #3. I understand that the specific name "Purgatory" sparks some negativity. But is it the Orthodox Church theology that there is no "place of purging" of a soul after death? Is there an official Orthodox position, and if there is can you (or someone)provide some documentation for the sake of my ignorance?

I quote this from http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/prayer_nonorth.aspx
There is scarcely more than one example in the Orthodox Church of how the personal prayer of a saint of God aided he souls of the deceased non-Orthodox, even of pagans. St. Macarius of Egypt tells the following of himself: "Once, while travelling across the desert, I found the skull of a certain dead person lying on the ground. When I struck the skull with a palm branch, it spoke to me and I asked it: 'Who are you?' The skull replied: 'I was the chief priest of the idols and pagans who were in this place; and you are Macarius, the Spirit-bearer. When you, taking pity on those who suffer in torment, pray for us, we sense a certain relief.'" The elder asked him: "What is the relief and what the torment?" And the skull said to him: "As far as heaven is above the earth, so much is there fire beneath us, and we ourselves stand from head to foot in the midst of the fire. None of us can see another's face, for the face of each of us sees the back of someone else. But when you pray for us, then each of us sees in part the face of another... This is our relief!" The elder began to weep and said: "Unhappy the day on which this man was born!" The elder further inquired: "is there not some other, more terrible torment?" The skull answered: "Beneath us there is a torment still more terrible." The elder asked: "And who is to be found there?" And the skull replied: "As we did not know God, we are shown a measure of mercy, but those who knew God and turned away from Him (of course with false wisdom in matters of faith and with a careless life)—they are beneath us." After this, the elder took the skull and buried it in the earth.

From this story of the blessed father we see first of all that his prayer for the pagans suffering in the fire was not public prayer in church, but private prayer. This was the prayer of the solitary desert-dweller, praying in the secret chamber of his heart. Moreover, this prayer can serve in part as a reason for us Orthodox Christians to pray for the living and deceased non-Orthodox in our private prayers. The saint did not inform us how he prayed for the pagans, but being a great saint of God, he undoubtedly attained great boldness in his prayers to the Lord. St. Macarius prayed for the pagans not in a prayer of his own fancy, but as he was taught by the Spirit of God dwelling in his pure heart, the Spirit Which taught him to pray for the whole world, for all peoples, living and dead, as this is a regular characteristic of the loving hearts of all the saints of God. As the Holy Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: Our heart is enlarged; ye are not straitened in us (2 Cor. 6:11).

Thus can we now agree that Orthodox Christians may indeed pray for the non-Orthodox, both living and dead—in private prayer at home; but here we repeat again and again, not in prayers according to one's own designs, not in such as might come into one's head, but according to the direction of persons experienced in spiritual life.

In this instance the direction of such people is as follows. There was an occasion during the life of the Optina Elder Leonid (Lev in the Great Schema), who died in 1841. The father of one of his disciples, Paul Tambovtsev, had died an unhappy and violent death by suicide. The loving son was deeply grieved by this and poured out his sorrow before the elder thus: "The hapless end of my father is a heavy cross for me. I am now upon a cross whose pain will accompany me to the grave. While imagining the terrible eternity of sinners, where there is no more repentance, I am tortured by the image of the eternal torments that await my father who died without repentance. Tell me, father, how I can console myself in this present grief?" The elder answered, "Entrust both yourself and your father's fate to the will of the Lord, which is all-wise, all powerful. Do not tempt the miracles of the All-high, but strive through humility to strengthen yourself within the bounds of tempered sorrow. Pray to the All-good Creator, thus fulfilling the duty of the love and obligation of a son." Question: "But how is one to pray for such persons?" Answer: "In the spirit of the virtuous and wise, thus: 'Seek out, O Lord, the perishing soul of my father: if it is possible, have mercy! Unfathomable are Thy judgements. Do not account my prayer as sin. But may Thy holy will be done!' Pray simply, without inquiring, entrusting your heart to the right hand of the All-high. Of course, so grievous a death for your father was not the will of God, but now it rests completely in the will of Him Who is able to hurl both soul and body into the fiery furnace, of Him Who both humbles and lifts up, puts to death and brings to life, takes down to Hell and leads up therefrom. And He is so compassionate, almighty and filled with love that before His highest goodness the good qualities of all those born on earth are nothing. You say, 'I love my father, therefore I grieve inconsolably.' That is right. But God loved and loves him incomparably more than you. And so, it remains for you to entrust the eternal lot of your father to the goodness and compassion of God, and if it is His good will to show mercy, who can oppose Him?"

This private prayer for use in one's own room at home, given to this disciple by the Elder Leonid who was experienced in the spiritual life, can serve Orthodox Christians as an example or paradigm of prayer for some non-Orthodox persons close to us. One can pray in the following manner: "Have mercy, O Lord, if it is possible, on the soul of Thy servant (Name), departed this life in separation from Thy Holy Orthodox Church! Unfathomable are Thy judgments. Do not account this prayer of mine as sin. But may Thy holy will be done!"

We do not know (and to no one of us has it been revealed) what or how much benefit such a prayer can bring to the non-Orthodox. But from experience it has been learned that surely it eases the burning sorrow of the person praying for the soul of one close to him who died outside the Orthodox Church. For according to the word of the Psalmist: a broken and contrite heart God will not despise (Ps. 50:19). The more humble and self-abasing the prayer, the more hopeful and beneficial.


Why would we have our funeral services if our prayers didn't make a difference?

Also from the same site St. Theodora's Journey Through the Aerial Toll-Houses very much emphasizes the prayers of St Basil the New and how his prayers served as a "ransom" at the demon's toll-houses. Is the journey through the toll-houses a variation of Purgatory?

As I read the above website I can see a difference between the Catholic and Orthodox Church (as stated in the Orthodox Christian Information Center website). If I remember my Canon Law correctly, the Catholic Church considers ALL baptised in Christ persons to be under the spiritual umbrella of the Church. As I understand in the mentioned website, the Orthodox Church considers non-Orthodox (heretics and schismatics) to be unworthy of official Church prayers.
"Illumine with the light of grace all apostates from the Orthodox Faith, and those blinded by pernicious heresies, and draw them to Thyself, and unite them to Thy Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church." From this it is clear that the Orthodox Church permits prayer for those who have departed from the holy faith—prayer for their conversion. But what can one say about those who have departed from this life? Does the Church pray for such persons in her divine services? In the services of the Orthodox Church there is no prayer for persons who have died in heresy. Quite the opposite, on the First Sunday of Great Lent, in the Service of Orthodoxy, our holy Church pronounces anathema, i.e., excommunication on all heretics and apostates from Orthodoxy. How is it then, we ask, that the Church at one and the same time anathematizes and prays for apostates? "The non-Orthodox by their very non-Orthodoxy have excommunicated themselves from the Mysteries of the Orthodox Church.

Someone please correct me if this is wrong.

Humbly,
Fr Deacon Paul
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/03/08 11:39 PM

Joe,
My post above is way too long to be effective but I didn't see any other way of getting the point across (that there must be something between "the bosom of Abraham" and "eternal fire."

Regarding your point #2, I agree with you but it is because I consider Indulgences to be an "act of repentance and prayer." Is that not the point of "Papal" indulgences? In my mind it is an effective way of calling the faithful to prayer and repentance, especially for the uneducated which populated the Church for many centuries. Does it make a difference whether it is a Pope or early Church Fathers who call us to pray for the dead?
Do we agree?
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 12:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Paul B
Joe,
My post above is way too long to be effective but I didn't see any other way of getting the point across (that there must be something between "the bosom of Abraham" and "eternal fire."

Regarding your point #2, I agree with you but it is because I consider Indulgences to be an "act of repentance and prayer." Is that not the point of "Papal" indulgences? In my mind it is an effective way of calling the faithful to prayer and repentance, especially for the uneducated which populated the Church for many centuries. Does it make a difference whether it is a Pope or early Church Fathers who call us to pray for the dead?
Do we agree?


Dear Fr. Deacon Paul, we do agree that prayer for the dead is efficacious. I just finished reading Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky’s Orthodox Dogmatic Theology and he points out that prayers for those who have died and are saved help them to overcome any attachments that still linger in the soul (and if this is all that purgatory means, then I don't have a problem with it), and also that we may pray for the non-Orthodox privately and even for those who are certainly damned (even though we may not judge who is and is not damned). In fact, Father Michael says that our prayers for those in hell lessens their torment. So we cannot pray someone out of hell but we can pray for mercy and God will lighten their torments. I personally do not see the whole "toll houses" concept as being Dogma. I consider it to be a pious opinion and if purgatory is interpreted along these lines, then I have no problem with it.

With regard to indulgences, even if they are legitimate, then they are legitimately sanctioned by any bishop. I do not see why the Bishop of Rome should have the authority to declare indulgences at his pleasure where no other Bishop can do so.

Anyway these are my thoughts.

In Christ,

Joe
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 01:40 AM

I simply believe that we are judged after death partially, and will be fully so when body is joined again with the soul. We pray for the dead, but I don't think we know exactly what our prayers do in this regard.

I don't think there is actually any dogmatic basis for more than that, though there may be various opinions about all of this.
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 02:01 AM


Joe,
You raised an interesting question about why bishop can't grant indulgences. I came across this in http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm

Who can grant indulgences

The distribution of the merits contained in the treasury of the Church is an exercise of authority (potestas iurisdictionis), not of the power conferred by Holy orders (potestas ordinis). Hence the pope, as supreme head of the Church on earth, can grant all kinds of indulgences to any and all of the faithful; and he alone can grant plenary indulgences. The power of the bishop, previously unrestricted, was limited by Innocent III (1215) to the granting of one year's indulgence at the dedication of a church and of forty days on other occasions. Leo XIII (Rescript of 4 July. 1899) authorized the archbishops of South America to grant eighty days (Acta S. Sedis, XXXI, 758). Pius X (28 August, 1903) allowed cardinals in their titular churches and dioceses to grant 200 days; archbishops, 100; bishops, 50. These indulgences are not applicable to the souls departed. They can be gained by persons not belonging to the diocese, but temporarily within its limits; and by the subjects of the granting bishop, whether these are within the diocese or outside--except when the indulgence is local. Priests, vicars general, abbots, and generals of religious orders cannot grant indulgences unless specially authorized to do so. On the other hand, the pope can empower a cleric who is not a priest to give an indulgence (St. Thomas, "Quodlib.", II, q. viii, a. 16).


I personally wonder about the "number of days" but the concept of encouraging prayer is sound and indeed bishops are permitted to grant indulgences.

AMM, regarding "particular judgment" and "General Judgment" there is no disagreement. We have a common understanding.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
With regard to indulgences, ...

Why would indulgences not fall within the scope of the biblical injunctions (?):

Quote:
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Here the "you" is in the singular, i.e. applying only to Peter. And:

Quote:
Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus,... 3 And [Jesus] said... 15 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


Here the "you" is plural with an indicated unity of application, "you ... the church."

And this in light of the most extraordinary post-resurrectional

Quote:
John 20:21 (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."


Put it all together, not in precisely how it is done, but that it is done.
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 03:28 PM

Quote:
AMM, regarding "particular judgment" and "General Judgment" there is no disagreement. We have a common understanding.


Anything beyond that in my opinion, including indulgences, is speculation and a matter of private theological opinion. So if the thinking was they were an issue of dogma, I indeed would not agree with them.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 04:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Paul B

Joe,
You raised an interesting question about why bishop can't grant indulgences. I came across this in http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm

Who can grant indulgences

The distribution of the merits contained in the treasury of the Church is an exercise of authority (potestas iurisdictionis), not of the power conferred by Holy orders (potestas ordinis). Hence the pope, as supreme head of the Church on earth, can grant all kinds of indulgences to any and all of the faithful; and he alone can grant plenary indulgences. The power of the bishop, previously unrestricted, was limited by Innocent III (1215) to the granting of one year's indulgence at the dedication of a church and of forty days on other occasions. Leo XIII (Rescript of 4 July. 1899) authorized the archbishops of South America to grant eighty days (Acta S. Sedis, XXXI, 758). Pius X (28 August, 1903) allowed cardinals in their titular churches and dioceses to grant 200 days; archbishops, 100; bishops, 50. These indulgences are not applicable to the souls departed. They can be gained by persons not belonging to the diocese, but temporarily within its limits; and by the subjects of the granting bishop, whether these are within the diocese or outside--except when the indulgence is local. Priests, vicars general, abbots, and generals of religious orders cannot grant indulgences unless specially authorized to do so. On the other hand, the pope can empower a cleric who is not a priest to give an indulgence (St. Thomas, "Quodlib.", II, q. viii, a. 16).


I personally wonder about the "number of days" but the concept of encouraging prayer is sound and indeed bishops are permitted to grant indulgences.

AMM, regarding "particular judgment" and "General Judgment" there is no disagreement. We have a common understanding.


Fr. Deacon Paul

And this is why indulgences are unacceptable to Orthodoxy, because they are rooted in a false understanding of the powers of the papacy. We do not accept that the Pope is head of the Church and we do not accept that the Pope has any authority that is also not given to all of the other Bishops.

Joe
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 04:29 PM

Quote:

Why would indulgences not fall within the scope of the biblical injunctions (?):

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Here the "you" is in the singular, i.e. applying only to Peter.


We do not accept that this applies only to Peter. It applies to Peter's confession of faith and later in the same Gospel Christ gives the same authority to all of the Apostles.

Quote:
Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus,... 3 And [Jesus] said... 15 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven

Here the "you" is plural with an indicated unity of application, "you ... the church.".


Quote:
And this in light of the most extraordinary post-resurrectional

John 20:21 (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Put it all together, not in precisely how it is done, but that it is done.


This passage has to do with the sacrament of penance and forgivenss of sins. There is no mention of temporal penalties that must be expiated here or in purgatory.

Joe
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 06:23 PM

Thank you Joe and AMM for your replies. We seem to agree on the place of purging of sins after "falling asleep" but haven't reached reconciliation on indulgences unless the power be granted to all bishops?

Fr Deacon Paul
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 06:27 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Quote:

Why would indulgences not fall within the scope of the biblical injunctions (?):

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Here the "you" is in the singular, i.e. applying only to Peter.


We do not accept that this applies only to Peter. It applies to Peter's confession of faith ...
Right, I'm aware of the intricacies of this point and I follow the arguments of those not accepting while not agreeing. But it is not relevant to the issue I was raising (see below) and I included it for context. Since it was raised, however, whatever the interpretation is, it must be in accord with the minimum reading of the passage: Jesus gives a single someone a name, Peter=Rock (he is called by it any number of times thereafter by others though not by Jesus who always refers to him as Simon), Jesus thus saying:

You (masculine singular ) are Rock (a masculine form of a noun that in Geek is feminine) and upon this rock (usual Greek feminine form) ...

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
... and later in the same Gospel Christ gives the same authority to all of the Apostles.
I'm not sure how what does not apply to Peter but his confession of faith can then become "the same authority [given] to all the Apostles." I don't see how the you in "I will give you the keys" etc. can apply to anyone but Peter in this passage. A profession of faith is not addressed as you.

My point in presenting the passages: Here the "authority" is given only to Peter; later it is given to all the Apostles collectively in the context of "the church."


Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Originally Posted By: ajk
And this in light of the most extraordinary post-resurrectional

John 20:21 (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Put it all together, not in precisely how it is done, but that it is done.


This passage has to do with the sacrament of penance and forgivenss of sins. There is no mention of temporal penalties that must be expiated here or in purgatory.
True and true. It was intended to give "light" because it is to me so extraordinary: An ability properly accorded to God alone, and that same power that Jesus acknowledges of Himself as the Son of Man (Mar 2:7ff, Luk 5:21ff), He now gives to the Apostles. Given that authority, what then of the authority to bind and loose that need be lacking?
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 06:55 PM

Quote:
Thank you Joe and AMM for your replies. We seem to agree on the place of purging of sins after "falling asleep" but haven't reached reconciliation on indulgences unless the power be granted to all bishops?


I'm not at all sure in what sense sins are purged from a soul with no body, or in what sort of place or state this would happen. My opinion is that it is essentially an unknowable mystery that lacks any comprehension but still merits our prayers. It is also for this reason, among others, that I would not ascribe to a belief like what I have read about indulgences.

I have a feeling otherwise this may just delve in to the same old arguments, petros/petras, etc.
Posted by: Paul B

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/04/08 09:54 PM

If I may, let me suggest another topic of brotherly discussion -- that of Eucharistic adoration. I reference paragraphs 1178, 1378, and 1418. For a starter, here is a quote of the first reference:

1178 The Liturgy of the Hours, which is like an extension of the Eucharistic celebration, does not exclude but rather in a complementary way calls forth the various devotions of the People of God, especially adoration and worship of the Blessed Sacrament.

We all understand that there are different accepted Traditions in the universal Church, and that the Rite of Benediction as practiced in the Roman Church is not our Byzantine Tradition prior to the 17th century. But, outside of Divine Liturgy, what are the forms of adoration? Is there a similar Eastern tradition? If I understand correctly the Maronites have a Tradition of Adoration. Do other Eastern traditions have some sort of Akathist, Moleben or Benediction?
If not, are the Divine Liturgy and Presanticifed Liturgy the only generally accepted forms?

Finally, is there anything wrong with the Roman Benediction (within the Latin Church)?

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Paul
Posted by: Byzantine TX

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

And this is why indulgences are unacceptable to Orthodoxy, because they are rooted in a false understanding of the powers of the papacy. We do not accept that the Pope is head of the Church and we do not accept that the Pope has any authority that is also not given to all of the other Bishops.

Joe


And you say this understanding that the Orthodox Church has in the past written indulgences and sold them?

On the matter of Petrine position... do you really find it that clear cut? Is primus inter pare simply a quaint phrase? How does that jive with the idea of any patriarchy for that matter?
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Byzantine TX
And you say this understanding that the Orthodox Church has in the past written indulgences and sold them?


Wikipedia says the following which I think is basically accurate:

Like the Western Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes that the only way to be absolved from sins is by the Sacred Mystery of Confession, which in the East is preced by a period of fasting. Because of differences in the underlying doctrine of salvation, indulgences for the remission of temporal punishment of sin do not exist in Eastern Orthodoxy, but until the twentieth century there existed in some places a practice of absolution certificates (συγχωροχάρτια - synchorochartia). While some of these certificates were connected with any patriarch's decrees lifting for the living or the dead some serious ecclesiastical penalty, including excommunication, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, with the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, had the sole privilege, because of the expense of maintaining the Holy Places and paying the many taxes levied on them, of distributing such documents in large numbers to pilgrims or sending them elsewhere, sometimes with a blank space for the name of the beneficiary, living or dead, an individual or a whole family, for whom the prayers would be read.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Dositheos Notaras (1641-1707) wrote: "It is an established custom and ancient tradition, known to all, that the Most Holy Patriarchs give the absolution certificate (συγχωροχάρτιον - synchorochartion) to the faithful people … they have granted them from the beginning and still do."

A Russian Orthodox source says that these certificates were in use among Greek Orthodox until the middle of the twentieth century, and were "certificates which absolved from sins, which anyone could obtain, often for a specified sum of money. The absolution granted by these papers, according to Christos Yannaras, had no connection with any participation of the faithful in the Mystery of Penance, nor in the Mystery of the Eucharist". The same source interprets the Western indulgence also as absolution from sin, not as remission of temporal punishment.


I had read this a while ago. I don't think you would find support anywhere today for absolution certificates, and my guess is they would be seen as a distortion of the church's teaching and an instrument of abuse that was thankfully discontinued.
Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 04:10 PM

Dear Friends,

Certainly, the Orthodox Church believes that following Confession and Absolution with Epitimia there is an opportunity for every Christian to perform works of repentance. I have read, and please correct me if I'm wrong, statements in Orthodox Confessions, such as that of Dositheus, affirming this and also that prayer for the dead, especially in the case of those who had not had an opportunity to fulfill such good works following absolution, can be beneficial to them in bringing them closer to God after their repose.

As for actual indulgences, I've tried to find out what "Otpust" means when used in the Orthodox context. For example, there are many Orthodox "Otpusty" in Orthodox Volyn in western Ukraine associated with miraculous, locally-venerated icons of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Is this synonymous with "pilgrimage?" Does it have anything to do with "indulgence" (it would if used in the UGCC context)? Or is it a term inherited from the Eastern Catholics that simply continues in Orthodox usage there?

Alex
Posted by: Diak

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 04:22 PM

St. Peter Mohyla in his Orthodox Catechism speaks of the efficacy of the Divine Liturgy and other prayers offered for the dead.
Posted by: Miller

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 09:44 PM

Which version of his Catechism?

Also my family is from Volynia and no one of the older generations knows the word otpust. We use the term "vidpust" and yes it is for pilgrimages.
Posted by: Diak

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 10:32 PM

I also never heard anything other than "vidpust" except used by the BCCA pilgrimage.

Regarding Mohyla, first Question 64 from Popivchak's translation:
Quote:
It is evident from these words that the soul after death can neither free itself, nor do penance, nor do any good, by means of which it might be delivered from the prisons of hell, but only through the unbloody sacrifice, the prayers of the Church and almsgiving, which the living are accustomed to perform for them. It is by means of these that the souls receive the greatest aid and are freed from the prisons of hell.


And Question 65:
Quote:
But I say this because of the sacrifices and almsgivings made for the sake of the dead, which works are of no small benefit even for those who have died in grave sins. It is not so certain, therefore, that God sends to hell one who has killed, but rather that he does have the power to send him. And so let us not cease working hard through almsgiving and prayers to win over him, who has indeed the power of sending, so that he may not use this power fully but be able to pardon. And so, it is deduced from the teaching of Sacred Scripture and this Father that we are obliged to pray to God certainly for such deceased, to offer the unbloody sacrifices and give alms, since they cannot do the same for themselves.


Lest one presume this is a peculiarity of a Greek Catholic translation, my English translation of the late 1890s with the letter of approval of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is essentially identical to Popivchak's for these two questions.
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/05/08 11:47 PM

Quote:
Certainly, the Orthodox Church believes that following Confession and Absolution with Epitimia there is an opportunity for every Christian to perform works of repentance.


Any priest can prescribe an act of repentance to be performed after absolution, but I doubt very much anyone would say in what way one could measure the effect of the act or repentance or that the act of repentance in any way removes punishment for our sins.
Posted by: A Simple Sinner

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/24/08 07:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Diak
St. Peter Mohyla in his Orthodox Catechism speaks of the efficacy of the Divine Liturgy and other prayers offered for the dead.


Originally Posted By: Miller
Which version of his Catechism?


I have only seen the one that is online, years ago I printed it...

To your knowlege, are their versions of his catechism that do not speak of the efficacy of the DL and other prayers offered for the dead that would make a specific citation of a specific versions needed and relevent?
Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/24/08 06:06 PM

Dear Friends,

There are TWO versions of Mohyla's Catechism - Mohyla's own, which he sanctioned for use in his own Kyivan Metropolia and the version with amendments approved by the Orthodox Patriarchs (where they definitely removed the word "Purgatory" as one example of an amendment).

"Otpust" is, of course, the Slavonic version and Prof. Poselianin actually lists the many places of pilgrimage and icons in Volyn where such "Otpusty" "Vidpusty" are held.

My question is, however, why "Vidpust" for "pilgrimage?" Why not "proscha" which is what "pilgrimage" means?

Does not "Vidpust" suggest an indulgence of some sort?

I'm asking, not telling, because I do not know.

Alex
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/24/08 06:10 PM

Mohyla was a product of his time.
Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/24/08 06:14 PM

Dear AMM,

So are we! smile

Alex
Posted by: Michael_Thoma

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/25/08 01:37 AM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Originally Posted By: Paul B

Joe,
You raised an interesting question about why bishop can't grant indulgences. I came across this in http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm

Who can grant indulgences

The distribution of the merits contained in the treasury of the Church is an exercise of authority (potestas iurisdictionis), not of the power conferred by Holy orders (potestas ordinis). Hence the pope, as supreme head of the Church on earth, can grant all kinds of indulgences to any and all of the faithful; and he alone can grant plenary indulgences. The power of the bishop, previously unrestricted, was limited by Innocent III (1215) to the granting of one year's indulgence at the dedication of a church and of forty days on other occasions. Leo XIII (Rescript of 4 July. 1899) authorized the archbishops of South America to grant eighty days (Acta S. Sedis, XXXI, 758). Pius X (28 August, 1903) allowed cardinals in their titular churches and dioceses to grant 200 days; archbishops, 100; bishops, 50. These indulgences are not applicable to the souls departed. They can be gained by persons not belonging to the diocese, but temporarily within its limits; and by the subjects of the granting bishop, whether these are within the diocese or outside--except when the indulgence is local. Priests, vicars general, abbots, and generals of religious orders cannot grant indulgences unless specially authorized to do so. On the other hand, the pope can empower a cleric who is not a priest to give an indulgence (St. Thomas, "Quodlib.", II, q. viii, a. 16).


I personally wonder about the "number of days" but the concept of encouraging prayer is sound and indeed bishops are permitted to grant indulgences.

AMM, regarding "particular judgment" and "General Judgment" there is no disagreement. We have a common understanding.


Fr. Deacon Paul

And this is why indulgences are unacceptable to Orthodoxy, because they are rooted in a false understanding of the powers of the papacy. We do not accept that the Pope is head of the Church and we do not accept that the Pope has any authority that is also not given to all of the other Bishops.

Joe
I must interject that this view, while common, is not held by all Orthodox - Eastern or Oriental. For example, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate maintains the same Biblical passages to emphasize the special authority that Peter and his successors have (which the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch maintains, [originally along with the Pope of Alexandria and the Pope of Rome]).
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 11/26/08 08:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Orthodox Catholic
Dear AMM,

So are we! smile

Alex


True, but I think you know what I mean in this instance.
Posted by: mardukm

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/08/08 01:06 AM

The act of giving an "indulgence" is equivalent to what Easterns and Orientals would term "economy." In the early Church, an "indulgence" was the term used for the act of a bishop to lessen or soften the usual penalty for a particular sin (e.g. St.Basil) . This indulgence was given only after evidence of a repentant life - in other words, good works. Latin Catholics still use the word "indulgence" to refer to this practice, while Eastern and Oriental Catholics prefer to use the term "economy" (IOW, the term "indulgence" fell out of use in the vocabulary of Eastern and Oriental Catholics)

Like Latins, Easterns and Orientals also use "indulgences" for the dead. But, once again, Eastern and Orientals don't actually use the term "indulgences" as regards this practice. We prefer to SIMPLY say that our prayers and suffrages can help those in the afterlife.

Different from the Easterns (from my understanding), and similar to the Latins, Orientals also utilize specifically PENITENTIAL ACTS to help those in the afterlife.

The Latin DOGMA on indulgences simply states that 1) indulgences are helpful to the Christian, 2) God has granted the Church the power to give indulgences, and 3) the efficacy of indulgences is derived from the superabundant merits of Christ. Like the specific DOGMA regarding Purgatory, IMHO, there is nothing in the Latin DOGMA on Indulgences that could be objectionable to Eastern or Oriental sensibilities.

However, there is a portion of the general Latin teaching on indulgences - the portion that is NOT dogmatized, AFAIK - that is objectionable to Eastern and Oriental sensibilities. Namely, the idea that indulgences are meant to take away the punishment for sins. To Easterns and Orientals, an "indulgence" - or at least our own version of it - is not applied to take away punishment, but rather to increase holiness.

At this point, there is a difference between the Eastern and Oriental understanding of why this particular facet of the Latin teaching is objectionable. Easterns (from my understanding) don't agree with the penitential aspects of the Latin teaching, and would say that Christians don't need to make up for temporal punishment at all, but would only require increase in holiness. Orientals, on the other hand, generally do agree with the need for temporal punishment as a means to increase holiness. Thus, whereas an Eastern might argue, "why apply an indulgence to take something away that was not there to begin with (i.e., temporal punishsment)?", an Oriental would argue, "why apply an indulgence to take something away that is meant to lead to holiness (i.e., temporal punishment)?"

Blessings,
Marduk
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: mardukm
Like Latins, Easterns and Orientals also use "indulgences" for the dead. But, once again, Eastern and Orientals don't actually use the term "indulgences" as regards this practice. We prefer to SIMPLY say that our prayers and suffrages can help those in the afterlife.
Since the Pope assigns indulgences to specific prayers and acts of piety and charity it makes more sense to have recourse to these indulgenced prayers and acts than to un-indulgenced ones. Applying such indulgenced prayers to the souls in Purgatory is guaranteed to reduce their time there and their suffering. That, after all, is the purpose for which the Pope creates indulgences.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 01:00 PM

>> The Latin DOGMA on indulgences simply states that 1) indulgences are helpful to the Christian, 2) God has granted the Church the power to give indulgences, <<

Why is the Pontiff so "restrained" about handing out indulgences. He offers 300 days off Purgatory for, say, the Memorare and 200 days for the Salve Regina. These are partial indulgences.

Plenary indulgences seem, in the opinion of most educated Catholics, to be completely out of the reach of the faithful since the conditions to obtain one are set so high, e.g., a complete non-attachment to sin. Something even the Saints hardly achieve.

If the Church has access to the infinite merits of Christ and the Pope has authority to apply them as he sees fit, why does he hold back from applying them with more largesse and generosity? Why, for example, does he not make a plenary indulgence an integral part of every funeral service and thereby send all Catholic souls straight to heaven without the need of purgatorial sufferings to repay the debt of temporal punishment. If this power to dispense from purgatorial suffering exists then why is it not exercised more generously?
Posted by: Fr David Straut

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Why is the Pontiff so "restrained" about handing out indulgences. He offers 300 days off Purgatory for, say, the Memorare and 200 days for the Salve Regina. These are partial indulgences.

It's funny. I guess it's all a matter of how you look at it. I've always thought that 300 days indulgence for saying a simple prayer, or even a plenary indulgence for saying a rosary under certain conditions, was actually quite indulgent, especially considering the rather strident penitential discipline of the early Church.

I do agree that the "usual conditions" for granting an indulgence (including a complete detachment from sin) make obtaining a plenary indulgence most unlikely for almost all Christians living in the world today.

Fr David Straut
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Why is the Pontiff so "restrained" ...
Whether restrained or not, such discretion was given to Peter and the Apostles by the Lord.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Plenary indulgences seem, in the opinion of most educated Catholics, to be completely out of the reach of the faithful since the conditions to obtain one are set so high, e.g., a complete non-attachment to sin. Something even the Saints hardly achieve.


I'd like to hear more about this: who and where stated.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
If the Church has access to the infinite merits of Christ...
Not "if": Only the true Church recognizes that it has the plenitude of such and...


Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
...and the Pope has authority to apply them as he sees fit, why does he hold back from applying them with more largesse and generosity?
... can confidently use it.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Plenary indulgences seem, in the opinion of most educated Catholics, to be completely out of the reach of the faithful since the conditions to obtain one are set so high, e.g., a complete non-attachment to sin. Something even the Saints hardly achieve.


I'd like to hear more about this: who and where stated.



http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/indulgences_conditions.htm

The EWTN experts outline the conditions necessary to gain indulgences

"A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

"—have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;"


Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Plenary indulgences seem, in the opinion of most educated Catholics, to be completely out of the reach of the faithful since the conditions to obtain one are set so high, e.g., a complete non-attachment to sin. Something even the Saints hardly achieve.


I'd like to hear more about this: who and where stated.



http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/indulgences_conditions.htm

The EWTN experts outline the conditions necessary to gain indulgences

I'm glad to see this as the "educated Catholic" source since they are committed to giving the Church's teaching.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
"A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

"—have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;"


Whew, that's a relief, that word "disposition" makes all the difference. I think we are capable of forming "the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin." It is, in fact, what should be the case in general. On the other hand, "a complete non-attachment to sin" as originally stated is, well, beyond the normal disposition of Man after the Fall.

Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 03:07 PM

Originally Posted By: mardukm
However, there is a portion of the general Latin teaching on indulgences - the portion that is NOT dogmatized, AFAIK - that is objectionable to Eastern and Oriental sensibilities. Namely, the idea that indulgences are meant to take away the punishment for sins. To Easterns and Orientals, an "indulgence" - or at least our own version of it - is not applied to take away punishment...
You are at odds with the teaching of your Church on this matter. Canon Law explicitly defines an indulgence as a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.

This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (canon 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1471):

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Whew, that's a relief, that word "disposition" makes all the difference. I think we are capable of forming "the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin."
Here are the official requirements from Rome.


Norms on Indulgences
[from the Enchiridion of Indulgences issued on 29 June 1968.]

Plenary Indulgences......

................

"It is further required that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent.

"If the latter disposition is in any way less than perfect or if the prescribed three conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence will be partial only..."

Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 04:13 PM

Bless, Father Hieromonk Ambrose!

Yes, and this is why there are those Catholics who consider that only someone of a certain level of holiness and who has achieved "dispassion" could truly obtain a "plenary indulgence."

If I may ask you two questions regarding indulgences and Orthodoxy:

1) It has been said that some sort of "indulgence" was used in the time of St Nicodemos Hagioritis and sanctioned by local Greek Orthodox Church authorities. Is this true? If so, how was such an "indulgence" understood?

2) In the book on the Mother of God "Bogomater" by the Russian Orthodox scholar, Professor Poselianin, there are numerous pilgrimages listed to Orthodox shrines of locally venerated icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. Poselianin describes them all using the term "Otpust." What is an "Otpust" in Orthodoxy?

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

Alex
Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 04:18 PM

Bless, Father Hieromonk!

Yes, you are right again.

Eastern Catholics like to provide an "Eastern Christian" view on what is Roman Catholic teaching and doctrine.

My own difficulty with that approach i.e. "Easternizing" RC doctrines and practices is that the enterprise appears doomed from the outset.

For if the doctrine or practice is founded on RC theological praxis from the start, how successful may Eastern Catholics be in their effort to "Easternize" something that is based on an issue arising from a different praxis?

Our old parish priest found indulgences to be too legalistic and the product of what he called "accountancy theology."

We are obliged to perform works of holiness, charity and conversion throughout our lives, praying unceasingly to God and turning away from sin. IF indulgences are meant to be some sort of an "exemption" from that, then they are not only undesireable - but dangerous to our spiritual life as well.

Alex
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 04:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Whew, that's a relief, that word "disposition" makes all the difference. I think we are capable of forming "the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin."
Here are the official requirements from Rome.


Norms on Indulgences
[from the Enchiridion of Indulgences issued on 29 June 1968.]

Plenary Indulgences......

................

"It is further required that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent.

"If the latter disposition is in any way less than perfect or if the prescribed three conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence will be partial only..."



I again note the word "disposition." And again I can only say that the Church is not teaching here an anthropology contrary to all that it teaches in its soteriology:

Originally Posted By: ajk
Whew, that's a relief, that word "disposition" makes all the difference. I think we are capable of forming "the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin." It is, in fact, what should be the case in general. On the other hand, "a complete non-attachment to sin" as originally stated is, well, beyond the normal disposition of Man after the Fall.


Also, the CIC was quoted:

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (canon 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1471)...


What does the CCEO have to say on this?

Posted by: Byzantine TX

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 11:12 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (canon 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1471)...


What does the CCEO have to say on this?



I don't see any reference to it after a brief review.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Orthodox Catholic
1) It has been said that some sort of "indulgence" was used in the time of St Nicodemos Hagioritis and sanctioned by local Greek Orthodox Church authorities. Is this true? If so, how was such an "indulgence" understood?
Unfortunately yes, but it was not indulgences which were being sold but pardons for sin. Thank the Lord that practice did not last long.

Quote:
2) In the book on the Mother of God "Bogomater" by the Russian Orthodox scholar, Professor Poselianin, there are numerous pilgrimages listed to Orthodox shrines of locally venerated icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. Poselianin describes them all using the term "Otpust." What is an "Otpust" in Orthodoxy?
The term "Otpust" means "dismissal" and is used liturgically to designate the dismissal prayer which always concludes a service - "May Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all holy Mother.... etc." It varies a little every day because it includes the name of the saints being commemorated. I don't know the word "otpust" used to mean a pilgrimage but then I am not a native Russian speaker.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/10/08 11:55 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
What does the CCEO have to say on this?
I really don't see how it matters. There cannot be two varying afterlife realities - one for Roman Catholics whose purgatory time may be shortened and even eliminated entirely by indulgences and one for Eastern Catholics whose purgatory time cannot be shortened by indulgences. That would disadvantage Eastern Catholics enormously. And after all, who can forbid God applying an indulgence to a Eastern Catholic soul suffering in Purgatory?

Is not the Catechism of the Catholic Church the universal Catechism for the universal Church and applicable to all Catholics?

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/11/08 12:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
What does the CCEO have to say on this?
I really don't see how it matters.
It is a question; the CIC was quoted. Someone knowledgeable of these matters might be expected to know.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
There cannot be two varying afterlife realities - one for Roman Catholics whose purgatory time may be shortened and even eliminated entirely by indulgences and one for Eastern Catholics whose purgatory time cannot be shortened by indulgences.
See, it can matter!

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
That would disadvantage Eastern Catholics enormously.

Indeed; an important point.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
And after all, who can forbid God applying an indulgence to a Eastern Catholic soul suffering in Purgatory?
You? Certainly not the Church.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Is not the Catechism of the Catholic Church the universal Catechism for the universal Church and applicable to all Catholics?

I would say so, allowing that it speaks for both East and West as a catechism.

Is there still a point? The Church has the authority to dispense indulgences; it has edifying though not unattainable criteria to obtain them. The faithful are not discriminated against on the basis of particular church or rite.



Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:00 AM

It seems to me the Latin understanding of indulgences and purgatory then applies across the board.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 06:14 AM

Originally Posted By: AMM
It seems to me the Latin understanding of indulgences and purgatory then applies across the board.
A Coptic Catholic writing in this thread denies the Latin teaching:

" there is a portion of the general Latin teaching on indulgences .... that is objectionable to Eastern and Oriental sensibilities. Namely, the idea that indulgences are meant to take away the punishment for sins"

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/306785/7

This however is radically contradicted by the Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 1471 (which is word for word a repetition of Canon 992.)

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

Eastern and Oriental Catholics deny Roman Catholic teaching. How is this reconciled?
Posted by: mardukm

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 10:37 AM

I think I have been misunderstood. I have no objection with para. 1471 quoted above - for certainly the early Church also utilized indulgences to lessen the canonical penalties for sins after evidence of sincere reprentance (demonstrated by good works). What I don't accept (partly because I don't understand it completely), as well as other Eastern and Oriental Catholics (though not all), is the idea that it can be applied to souls in the afterlife (i.e., Purgatory).
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: AMM
It seems to me the Latin understanding of indulgences and purgatory then applies across the board.
A Coptic Catholic writing in this thread denies the Latin teaching:...
Not necessarily so; we are informed link :

Originally Posted By: AMM
Quote:
The theology and ecclesiology must be orthodox.
... It is not the word that is important, but the underlying precepts. It is also not about being Eastern.


Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
A Coptic Catholic ...

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/306785/7

... contradicted by the Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 1471 (which is word for word a repetition of Canon 992.)
Just to be clear, the CIC Canon does not apply to members of Eastern Catholic churches. Also, the link is to the post's page, not the quote.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Eastern and Oriental Catholics deny Roman Catholic teaching. How is this reconciled?


Much more readily than reconciling the divergent Orthodox practices of the reception of converts from other Christian communities and churches without thought of the theological ramifications. These, as divergent practices, include re-baptism, re-chrismation and re-ordination. These are not the opinions of individuals on a forum but the practices of Orthodox churches. These divergent practices at the very least in the case of baptism, likely in the case of chrismation, and conceivably for ordination, in Orthodox theology, impart a sphragis and therefore are not repeatable. As such, they are ontological and thus go to the very identity of the person. And yet Orthodox churches, formally in communion - one has to wonder what that must mean as lex credendi - demonstrate a clear divergence in this essential lex orandi of the sacred mysteries. Now that is something to reconcile.

Also, the going from one post to the false generalization "Eastern and Oriental Catholics deny..."

And then the (Coptic Orthodox ?) poster who is taken to speak for "Eastern and Oriental Catholics" has, it seems, explained himself quite well after all.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

... contradicted by the Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 1471 (which is word for word a repetition of Canon 992.)

Just to be clear, the CIC Canon does not apply to members of Eastern Catholic churches.

Dear Father Deacon, is it not quibbling, in this case, to say that Canon 992 does not apply to the Eastern and Oriental Catholics since the Canon is repeated verbatim in the Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 1471 which is obligatory teaching for all Catholics, Roman and Oriental.

But we have an inexplicable instance where a theologically sensitive Catholic Oriental is denying that indulgences are for the remission of temporal punishment due to sins. And yet the universal CCC of Pope John Paul states explicitly that they are for exactly that purpose!!! frown

Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Eastern and Oriental Catholics deny Roman Catholic teaching. How is this reconciled?


Much more readily than reconciling the divergent Orthodox practices of the reception of converts from other Christian communities and churches without thought of the theological ramifications. These, as divergent practices, include re-baptism, re-chrismation and re-ordination. These are not the opinions of individuals on a forum but the practices of Orthodox churches.

Dear Father Deacon,

What appears to you as a dichotomy and a confusion has always been the practice of the Church since the earliest days, mediated through both the Holy Fathers and also the many and complex decisions of the Councils.

Here is a patristic viewpoint -from Saint Basil the Great. Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may be used if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.


Epistle to Amphilochius (which is, in a shorter form the First Canon of St Basil)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own Firmilian-to subject all of these-Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae-to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.

"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be accepted."

These principles of charitable condescension and compassion (economia, relaxation of the strict application) strive not to place an impediment in the way of those coming into the Church. Their application explains the diversity in these matters of baptism, etc. which you see in Orthodoxy today.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Dear Father Deacon, is it not quibbling, in this case, to say that Canon 992 does not apply to the Eastern and Oriental Catholics since the Canon is repeated verbatim in the Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 1471 which is obligatory teaching for all Catholics, Roman and Oriental.
No Father, not quibbling, just stating a fact for clarity. The CIC applies to Western Catholics; the CCEO applies to Eastern Catholics. The CCC is a Catechism and not a treatise on disputed fine points of theology. I've written here of my acceptance and understanding of its teaching, that I say what I believe to be correct but speak only for myself; and so will not repeat myself further.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
But we have an inexplicable instance where a theologically sensitive Catholic Oriental is denying that indulgences are for the remission of temporal punishment due to sins. And yet the universal CCC of Pope John Paul states explicitly that they are for exactly that purpose!!! frown
For clarification, "denying" is your word is it not? Also, what in fact is the religious affiliation of the person to whom you refer?
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
These divergent practices at the very least in the case of baptism, likely in the case of chrismation, and conceivably for ordination, in Orthodox theology, impart a sphragis and therefore are not repeatable.

Dear Father Deacon,

Agreed, Baptism is irrepeatable.

Our Churches impose slightly differing criteria as to what constitutes valid Baptism. In the case of the Orthodox the criteria include not only the matter and form (as of course it does for Catholics also) but also the minister - who must be a member of the Orthodox Church.

Chrismation has always been repeatable in the Eastern Church. Chrismation is repeated if a man lapses into apostasy (say, by becoming a Mormon) and needs to be taken back into the Church. I do not know the parallel history of Confirmation in the West.

Orders - also irrepeatable within Orthodoxy.


A quick note on the notion of the indelible mark - sphragis. It seems to be a fairly recent notion of the Scholastics....

No Indelible Mark of the Priesthood in Patristic Teaching

"....no evidence concerning the indelible mark theory can be found in
Patristic teaching. On the contrary, the canonical data leave no doubt that
a defrocked priest or bishop, after the decision of the Church to take back
his priesthood, returns to the rank of the laity. The anathematized or the
defrocked are in no way considered to maintain their priesthood."
___________________________________________

"Christian Priesthood and Ecclesial Unity: Some Theological and Canonical
Considerations"

By Professor Constantine Scouteris
School of Theology of the University of Athens

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/canon_law/scouteris_priesthood\
_unity.htm


This.... comes to point that the priest does not possess in himself an indelible mark as if it were a magical seal which grant him a private efficacy to perform the Eucharist or any other liturgical action, apart from the ecclesial body. The priestly ministry is rather a charismatic gift to serve and edify the body of the Church. It is a permanent rank of service only in union and by the discerning authority of the Church.

The doctrine of the "indelible mark" attained at ordination to the priesthood seems to have originated in the Scholastic period of the Western Church. This same conception was at times borrowed by Eastern theologians thereafter. The teaching purports the grace of ordination as an indelible irrevocable mark upon the soul of the ordained individual that sets him apart for priestly service analogous to the Levite rank and the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek in the Old Testament. It is interesting to mention here that the sixth Ecumenical Council in its 33rd canon condemns the practice of Armenian Christians who had embraced the Old Testament custom concerning the Levitic rank and did not accept for the priesthood anyone who was not of this so called "priestly lineage". The reasoning for the adoption of the Old Testament typology in both cases seems to be that an identification mark is a constitutive element of priesthood. In the later case it is conceived as an inherited trait, while in the former which concerns us here, it is viewed as irrevocably and individually attained at the ordination rite.

The logical conclusion of the "indelible mark" is that the ordained individual possesses forever this peculiar mark of priesthood which can never be removed by anyone nor can it be surrendered in any circumstance. It is evident that such a doctrinal consideration absolutizes and isolates priesthood from the event itself of the ecclesial communion. Priesthood here is distortingly objectified and over-estimated assuming a totalitarian magnitude. It is imposed over the Church which is unable to deprive the
ordained. individual of its characteristic mark, even if he is unworthy to maintain the ecclesial grace. In fact this doctrine concerning the indelible mark divorces the priesthood from its organic context of the ecclesial life. Thus the ordained person possess a self sufficient power which is higher than the Church itself And the Church is not able to take back the indelible mark from an individual even if he is defrocked and excommunicated.

Interpreting the 68th Apostolic Cannon which refers to the impossibility of repeating the sacrament of ordination16, St. Nicodimos the Agiorite explains that ordination cannot be repeated because it is done according to the Type of the First and Great Priest who entered once and for all into the holy of holies and there granted eternal salvation. Yet, he unswervingly rejects the doctrine of the "indelible mark" of priesthood and attests that it is the "invention of scholastics"17. Nevertheless, according to St. Nicodimos, the doctrine is borrowed by Nicholas Bulgaris, Koresios and many other theologians of the past century and some still somehow adhere to it today.

Despite the fact that the indelible mark theory acquired dogmatic formulation in the Council of Trent18, in most circles of the Roman Catholic Church, after the Second Vatican Council, the foundational framework of effecient causality and ex opere operato, which gave rise to such an understanding of priesthood, is reckoned as belonging to a bygone age and abandoned for a more dynamic and ecclesiological approach of sacrament19.

It should be mentioned in this connection that as far as we know, no evidence concerning the indelible mark theory can be found in Patristic teaching. On the contrary, the canonical data leave no doubt that a defrocked priest or bishop, after the decision of the Church to take back his priesthood, returns to the rank of the laity. The anathematized or the defrocked are in no way considered to maintain their priesthood. The canonical tradition that in the case of his ministerial rehabilitation this person is not re-ordained does not imply a recognition that he was a priest during the period of his punishment20. It simply means that the Church recognizes that which had been sacramentally performed and the grace of
ecclesiastical ministry is restored upon his assignment to an ecclesial community with no other sacramental sign or rite.





Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 01:33 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
For clarification, "denying" is your word is it not?


Yes, it is my word. Place the statement of the Catholic concerned alongside the teaching of the CCC. Nuance it a hundred ways, but it remains a denial of the Catechism's teaching.

" there is a portion of the general Latin teaching on indulgences .... that is objectionable to Eastern and Oriental sensibilities. Namely, the idea that indulgences are meant to take away the punishment for sins"

The Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 1471:

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

Quote:
Also, what in fact is the religious affiliation of the person to whom you refer?
A Catholic under the authority of the Pope. See his post at the top of Page 7 in this thread.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Quote:
Also, what in fact is the religious affiliation of the person to whom you refer?
A Catholic under the authority of the Pope. See his post at the top of Page 7 in this thread.


I have no page 7 and the link you provided before does not point to the correct post. What are you referring to, name or post number please.

Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 02:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambroseof Christ and the saints".[/i


Quote:
Also, what in fact is the religious affiliation of the person to whom you refer?
A Catholic under the authority of the Pope. See his post at the top of Page 7 in this thread.
Here is a direct link to the post
http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/306316/Re:%20specific%20Orthodox%20disagree#Post306316

Not sure if I have got the hang of the Forum's working yet though. Hope it takes you to the post. smile
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Quote:
Also, what in fact is the religious affiliation of the person to whom you refer?
A Catholic under the authority of the Pope. See his post at the top of Page 7 in this thread.


I have no page 7 and the link you provided before does not point to the correct post. What are you referring to, name or post number please.

Mardukm. It shows, on my computer, as post #306316 in this thread.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
These divergent practices at the very least in the case of baptism, likely in the case of chrismation, and conceivably for ordination, in Orthodox theology, impart a sphragis and therefore are not repeatable.

Dear Father Deacon,

Agreed, Baptism is irrepeatable....


Father,

I can't respond to this because it presents a very narrow and specific view of Orthodox theology, I take it your own, when in fact there is considerable diversity. Consequently it is possible to quote one's supporting theological opinion which cannot be judged against specific Orthodox church teaching because the latter is nonexistent. The situation for chrismation as sacrament or as an anointing (for reception)is a case in point.

As to the scholastic-sphragis dismissal, see J. Zizioulas, Being and Communion, (St. Vlad's), pages 234-234 passim, to the contrary.

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Quote:
Also, what in fact is the religious affiliation of the person to whom you refer?
A Catholic under the authority of the Pope. See his post at the top of Page 7 in this thread.


I have no page 7 and the link you provided before does not point to the correct post. What are you referring to, name or post number please.

Mardukm. It shows, on my computer, as post #306316 in this thread.


Then please understand my bewilderment. See his profile:

Religious Affiliation: Coptic Orthodox
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk

Then please understand my bewilderment. See his profile:

Religious Affiliation: Coptic Orthodox

My bewilderment too!

Marduk writes on CAF as a member of the sui juris Coptic Catholic Church.

He may have left Catholicism and returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church? confused
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
[ The situation for chrismation as sacrament or as an anointing (for reception)is a case in point.
The ancient tradition is embodied in our Service books. Lex orandi, lex credendi. For example see this English translation of the Russian Service Book for receiving Roman Catholics and Lutherans by Chrismation.

The idea of Chrismation as a mere "anointing" for conversion is something innovative (and therefore already dead in the water) has been proposed by the American Catholic-Orthodox Seminar but it has been laughed out of court by the Orthodox bishops. "When is a Chrismation not a Chrismation?" grin


Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic (Greco-Russian) Church
By Orthodox Eastern Church, Isabel Florence Hapgood


Compiled by Isabel Florence Hapgood
Published by Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1906
Original from the University of Wisconsin - Madison
Digitized Mar 13, 2008
615 pages

15.8 M

http://books.google.com/books?id=bHpbAAAAMAAJ&pgis=1

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
He may have ...


Before proceeding further then, since you have characterized him and his response, I would ask that the actual facts be ascertained, and I would think it is incumbent upon you to do so.

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 03:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

The idea of Chrismation as a mere "anointing" for conversion is something innovative (and therefore already dead in the water) has been proposed by the American Catholic-Orthodox Seminar but it has been laughed out of court by the Orthodox bishops.


While some are laughing, others are not, and doing otherwise; hence my point on diversity of practice (as lex orandi) but more so the understanding of the underlying theology and implications for the faith.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk

I can't respond to this because it presents a very narrow and specific view of Orthodox theology, I take it your own, when in fact there is considerable diversity.

Dear Father Deacon,

Yes, there is diversity. It is caused by the use of the principle of economia. While this is internally consistent, outsiders do not always grasp how it works and they will ask, "Why did you receive this person by Chrismation and this one by Baptism? Their situations look identical."

All Orthodox Churches will baptize Roman Catholics, some of them frequently, others less frequently.

Take the case of the French Cistercian patristic scholar Dom Placide Deseille. When he and 6 or 7 other Cistercian monks converted to Orthodoxy in the 1970s, they went to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. They were received by Baptism by a bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Then, for those who had been in RC Orders, this was followed by Ordination .

This caused such an uproar in the Catholic world of France that the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris issued instructions that Catholics were not to visit the small monasteries which these former Cistercians established in France.

I have chosen this example, from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, because Constantinople is considered the most ecumenical of all the Orthodox Churches yet they will re-baptize and re-ordain Roman Catholics. It is not a symptom of some fundamentalist mindset. When I was a young monk in Serbia all converts were received by Baptism.

Here is one of the French monasteries built by these Orthodox monks, in this case, by Fr Placide in the Rhone valley and dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great.

http://www.pagesorthodoxes.net/ressources/images/stantoine-eglise.jpg
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Before proceeding further then, since you have characterized him and his response, I would ask that the actual facts be ascertained, and I would think it is incumbent upon you to do so.


Well, the facts are that Marduk has self-described himself in his Profile as Coptic Orthodox, as we have both seen. This is sufficient certainty for me. He is Coptic Orthodox.

I have known him for the last three years on CAF only as a member of the Catholic Church. Things have changed.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Take the case of the French Cistercian patristic scholar Dom Placide Deseille. When he and 6 or 7 other Cistercian monks converted to Orthodoxy in the 1970s, they went to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. They were received by Baptism by a bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Then, for those who had been in RC Orders, this was followed by Ordination.
I understand the intent and purpose of the explanation but not the ramifications.

Prior to their reception:

Were the monks baptized Christians; could it be said of them that they had "put on Christ"?

There is no mention of chrismation; why?

Those in RC orders: What were they doing as priests when celebrating Mass and administering the other sacraments?



Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:04 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

The idea of Chrismation as a mere "anointing" for conversion is something innovative (and therefore already dead in the water) has been proposed by the American Catholic-Orthodox Seminar but it has been laughed out of court by the Orthodox bishops.


While some are laughing, others are not, and doing otherwise; hence my point on diversity of practice (as lex orandi) but more so the understanding of the underlying theology and implications for the faith.

No, dear Father. The fact of the matter is that many, if not all, of the Joint Statements put out by this American Catholic-Orthodox dialogue are left to gather dust on the shelf by by the Orthodox Patriarchates.

For example, here is their 1999 Statement on "Baptism and "Sacramental Economy"

http://www.usccb.org/seia/agreed.shtml


An Agreed Statement
of The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation
St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Crestwood, New York
June 3, 1999

The document appeals to the Orthodox Churches to recognise Catholic Baptism. It appeals in particular to the Patriarchate of Constantinople to annul its canon law requiring the rebaptism of Catholics. But in the past 9 years no Orthodox Church has responded to this document.

I believe that the Orthodox Church will not depart from its age-old Cyprianic approach to the Sacraments and while the use of economia is seen to a great extent in the West and it allows compassion to work for the salvation of souls, there will be no tinkering with our actual theology. To do so creates a real danger of provoking schism amonmg the Orthodox.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Prior to their reception:

Were the monks baptized Christians; could it be said of them that they had "put on Christ"?
This is not a question the Orthodox would dwell on very much. The intent is to bring them into the grace of the Church rather than fuss about their previous religious status.

Quote:
There is no mention of chrismation; why?
Baptism is always followed by Chrismation in the East. They form one inseparable ceremony of Christian initiation. If a person is baptized one may take it for granted they were chrismated in the same ceremony.

Quote:
Those in RC orders: What were they doing as priests when celebrating Mass and administering the other sacraments?
Again, this is something the Orthodox would not muse upon. The intent was to make them grace-filled Orthodox priests.
Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:25 PM

Bless, Father Hieromonk!

Thank you for such informative posts which bring great (and much needed, for me at least) clarification to these important points!

What is to be truly admired is how Orthodox theology links the sacramental mysteries to the life of the Church herself as being ultimately necessary for their "efficacy" (sorry!)

When I was reading your words, the image of a fountain with seven strems flowing out of them came to mind where the Church is the fountain and the sacramental Mysteries are the streams that come from it and depend on it for their fluidity.

Would this be a legitimate image, Father?

We once had four freed Russian military prisoners here at the legislature who were accompanied by a Russian Orthodox priest. They had become Muslims while in captivity but now asked to be received back into Orthodoxy - by Chrismation which is the first time I came across this matter of the repeatability of Chrismation.

Your writing brings much clarity to the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, Father, which is needed in any forum where we Eastern Catholics are tempted to "gloss over" those differences (or as one person once said, "we just want to lock arms and sing "kumbaya - we are one!" smile ).

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

Alex
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Prior to their reception:

Were the monks baptized Christians; could it be said of them that they had "put on Christ"?
This is not a question the Orthodox would dwell on very much. The intent is to bring them into the grace of the Church rather than fuss about their previous religious status.
But what of their ontological status?

Quote:
Quote:
There is no mention of chrismation; why?
Baptism is always followed by Chrismation in the East. They form one inseparable ceremony of Christian initiation. If a person is baptized one may take it for granted they were chrismated in the same ceremony.
I though so but didn't want to presume since as you say chrismation is used alone, without re-baptism, in some situations.

Quote:
Quote:
Those in RC orders: What were they doing as priests when celebrating Mass and administering the other sacraments?
Again, this is something the Orthodox would not muse upon. The intent was to make them grace-filled Orthodox priests.
Sounds a bit to me like a rather "touchy-feely" statement for so important a bestowal of status/order.
Posted by: Alice

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:43 PM

Dear Father Ambrose,

Bless.

Quote:
The document appeals to the Orthodox Churches to recognise Catholic Baptism. It appeals in particular to the Patriarchate of Constantinople to annul its canon law requiring the rebaptism of Catholics. But in the past 9 years no Orthodox Church has responded to this document.



Forgive me if I am misunderstanding the above, but in the Greek Orthodox church of America, Catholics who convert to Orthodoxy are not rebaptised, just chrismated.

In Christ our Lord,
Alice
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
I believe that the Orthodox Church will not depart from its age-old Cyprianic approach to the Sacraments and while the use of economia is seen to a great extent in the West and it allows compassion to work for the salvation of souls, there will be no tinkering with our actual theology. To do so creates a real danger of provoking schism amonmg the Orthodox.
" To do so creates a real danger of provoking schism amonmg the Orthodox." That is even clear to me.

"... there will be no tinkering with our actual theology." This is the issue for me: as practiced or stated? Perhaps a difference of nuance in understanding lex orandi, lex credendi. It is a Latin dictum after all. For the Orthodox position that you have described, however, and which I understand and accept as your view and perhaps all of Orthodoxy, my conclusion is to ask, would you care for some more theology with your economia?

Posted by: mardukm

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 11:35 PM

Sorry. I joined this Board many years ago when I was NOT in communion with Rome. Now, I am, and happily, a member of the Catholic Church.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk

Then please understand my bewilderment. See his profile:

Religious Affiliation: Coptic Orthodox

My bewilderment too!

Marduk writes on CAF as a member of the sui juris Coptic Catholic Church.

He may have left Catholicism and returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church? confused
Posted by: mardukm

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/12/08 11:59 PM

Dearest Hieromonk Ambrose,

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
[quote=Hieromonk Ambrose] Eastern and Oriental Catholics deny Roman Catholic teaching. How is this reconciled?

Epistle to Amphilochius (which is, in a shorter form the First Canon of St Basil)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own Firmilian-to subject all of these-Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae-to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.

"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be accepted."

These principles of charitable condescension and compassion (economia, relaxation of the strict application) strive not to place an impediment in the way of those coming into the Church. Their application explains the diversity in these matters of baptism, etc. which you see in Orthodoxy today.

I think you have selectively quoted St. Basil. He specifically states in an earlier portion of the same letter that he accepts the baptism of schismatics (which St. Cyprian did not do). Of the three that you mention in your quote - the Encratites, the Hydroparastatae, and the Cathari - he only rejected the baptism of the Encratites. Further, he mentions in another portion of the same letter, the very same position that Pope St. Stephen affirmed - that those who baptise in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have performed a valid baptism. I am puzzled how Eastern Orthodox can use this letter from St. Basil in support of your "Cyprianic" ecclesiology.

Can you also answer a question for me. I have not found anything in the early Church to indicate that the principle of oikonimia can be applied to accomodate what is lacking in an invalid baptism or invalid ordination. I understand that oikonomia only applies to the reduction of canonical penalties for those who are already saved - that is, for those who are already validly baptized. Oikonomia only properly applies to canonical matter, and does not extend to matters pertaining to salvation, and cannot absolve the Church of the responsibility to baptize those who have not had a valid baptism, or ordain those who have not had a valid ordination. It seems that among all the apostolic Churches, it is only the Eastern Orthodox Church that has this peculiar belief. So I am wondering if you can explain it to me, or at least provide ECF proof for the belief.

Thank you.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 12:07 AM

Originally Posted By: mardukm
Sorry. I joined this Board many years ago when I was NOT in communion with Rome. Now, I am, and happily, a member of the Catholic Church.

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk

Then please understand my bewilderment. See his profile:

Religious Affiliation: Coptic Orthodox

My bewilderment too!

Marduk writes on CAF as a member of the sui juris Coptic Catholic Church.

He may have left Catholicism and returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church? confused


Our good fortune to have someone here with experience of the issue from both perspectives.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:14 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Prior to their reception:

Were the monks baptized Christians; could it be said of them that they had "put on Christ"?
This is not a question the Orthodox would dwell on very much. The intent is to bring them into the grace of the Church rather than fuss about their previous religious status.
But what of their ontological status?

This is not a question which agitates the Orthodox. I suppose though that they had whatever ontological status the Roman Catholic Church was able to confer on them. The Orthodox, who have no systems of validity/invalidity or liceity/illicitness, have no interest in determining if they were in possession of "valid" Orders prior to their reception into Orthodoxy because the concept of "validity" is alien to the East.

(I feel the need coming on to repost Irish Melkite's essay which succintly explains these different Catholic and Orthodox approaches to the "validity" of the Sacraments and of Ordination in particular smile )

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Those in RC orders: What were they doing as priests when celebrating Mass and administering the other sacraments?
Again, this is something the Orthodox would not muse upon. The intent was to make them grace-filled Orthodox priests.
Sounds a bit to me like a rather "touchy-feely" statement for so important a bestowal of status/order.

I suppose the bottom line is that the Orthodox see the episcopate as existing only within the Church and as a function of the Church. There can be no rival or alternative episcopate outside the Church. And since the Sacraments flow from the episcopate the ramifications are obvious.

The "touchy-feely" area comes into play when a man wishes to be received into Orthodoxy. At that time the bishops may apply, through the use of economia, some "touchy-feely" decisions which tone down the strict requirements of the canons and smooth his way into the Church.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:22 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk?
Our good fortune to have someone here with experience of the issue from both perspectives.

I suspect that there are a good many people on the Forum who have many years of experience from both perspectives. grin
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: mardukm
Can you also answer a question for me. I have not found anything in the early Church to indicate that the principle of oikonimia can be applied to accomodate what is lacking in an invalid baptism or invalid ordination. I understand that oikonomia only applies to the reduction of canonical penalties for those who are already saved - that is, for those who are already validly baptized. Oikonomia only properly applies to canonical matter, and does not extend to matters pertaining to salvation, and cannot absolve the Church of the responsibility to baptize those who have not had a valid baptism, or ordain those who have not had a valid ordination. It seems that among all the apostolic Churches, it is only the Eastern Orthodox Church that has this peculiar belief. So I am wondering if you can explain it to me, or at least provide ECF proof for the belief.

The principles at work behind economia are many and complex. Most people, including fresh converts, find them difficult to understand since they are are often, seemingly, outside the rational application of canonical requirements - this can distress the logical Western mind!

Economia is in effect the power and grace of the Holy Spirit which dwells in the Church in super abundance. This limitless measure of grace which suffuses the Church enables miracles to happen and irresolvable situations to be resolved. Economia is the triumph of charity over the canons!

None of that is probably very helpful since I know you have a mind which likes to be precise and analytical. I'll look around the Net and see if there is something which will speak to you.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Alice
Dear Father Ambrose,
Forgive me if I am misunderstanding the above, but in the Greek Orthodox church of America, Catholics who convert to Orthodoxy are not rebaptised, just chrismated.

Yes, you are right. Although the canon law of the Patriarchate of Constantinople requires the rebaptism of Catholics this happens only rarely in America. In the great majority of cases American Catholics are not baptized by the Greeks.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:44 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
"... there will be no tinkering with our actual theology." This is the issue for me: as practiced or stated? Perhaps a difference of nuance in understanding lex orandi, lex credendi. It is a Latin dictum after all. For the Orthodox position that you have described, however, and which I understand and accept as your view and perhaps all of Orthodoxy, my conclusion is to ask, would you care for some more theology with your economia?

The monograph below was written a few years back by Irish Melkite.


The Orthodox (Cyprianite) and Catholic (Augustinian) Theology
of Sacraments outside the Church

by Irish Melkite
________________________________________

I apologize if the following is rambling or seen as not completely relevant to the points being debated here, but I perceive the arguments as going in opposing circles and ignoring several basic considerations, on the part of both my Catholic and Orthodox brethren. The theological praxis of Catholics and Orthodox as to the validity of orders and the dependent issue of the validity of sacraments differs significantly. That is fact and we can discuss, debate, and disagree over whether the other's stance is or is not
rational, but it won't change the fact that it is what it is. The resolution of such will only occur, if it ever does and hopefully it ultimately will, in circles more august than this revered forum. This leads me to presumptuously suggest that it is time to move on to other things.

There are basically two theories of apostolic succession and, in most instances, the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, whether presbyteral and/or episcopal (putting aside issues as to form and intent, since if there is no validity to the orders of the sacrament's minister, other considerations are of no consequence to either Church).

If the orders claimed to be possessed are themselves invalid, the sacraments derived from him who claims to possess orders will, in turn, be invalid if the sacrament is one which requires administration by an ordained minister - essentially any except baptism in extremis in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and marriage in the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox.

The Augustinian theory................ effectively holds that valid episcopal ordination confers an indelible character that is not affected by any schismatic or heretical act or excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order, though he may have been deprived juridically of the office or jurisdiction by which he performed episcopal acts. The latter considerations affect only
the licitness of his acts.

The Cyprianic theory...................... effectively holds that a valid episcopal ordination is affected by schismatic or heretical acts and by excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order only so long as he continues in communion with the jurisdiction under the authority of which he was ordained to the episcopate (or such other jurisdiction into which he may have subsequently been accepted) and is exercising the office or
jurisdiction by which he has the right to perform those acts. There is no distinction made as to licitness.

The Catholic Church adheres to the Augustinian theory; the Orthodox Churches to the Cyprianic theory,

(although they have exercised oekonomia in application of it to instances in which schismatic bodies have returned to communion).

Frankly, the Augustinian theory has been or certainly has become a thorn in the side of the Catholic Church. It effectively assures that all manner of independent hierarchs, both those who pursue their perceived vocation with spiritual and intellectual honesty and those who are episcopi vagante in the most perjorative connotation accorded to the phrase, can sleep at night with at least a modicum of assurance that they possess valid episcopal orders, unless form or intent are at issue. The time-honored practice in the so-called "independent" Catholic and Orthodox movements of garnering multiple episcopal consecrations or, subsequently, being re-consecrated sub conditione is effectively a means of leveraging the Augustinian theory.

.......>
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk?
Our good fortune to have someone here with experience of the issue from both perspectives.

I suspect that there are a good many people on the Forum who have many years of experience from both perspectives. grin
By here I meant participating in this thread; regarding the forum though, it's good to have one more.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 02:46 AM


Most such hierarchs operate on the premise that "more is better" or "there has to be at least one good one here somewhere". With most having an episcopal genealogy that traces back through an average of 30 ancestral lines of succession, from a combination of dissident Latin Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs, they can feel reasonably secure. Those lines which cannot be proven valid because there is serious doubt as to the validity of one actor (e.g., the so-called Melkite-Aneed Line) can and do feel comfortably buffered by Duarte and Thuc Lines.

People sometimes point to subsequent acts by bishops of these "Churches" which break faith with Catholic doctrine and erroneously perceive these as breaking the line of apostolic succession. For instance, no bishop, regardless of the validity of his episcopal orders, can validly ordain a woman. But, that he did so would not invalidate his subsequent ordination of a man, with proper intent and according to proper form. So, it is possible to go rather far afield theologically yet still retain apostolic succession.

None of this is to say that all such entities have valid orders or sacraments, the Liberal Catholic Church is certainly suspect, but an inordinate amount of effort has to be put into tracing and verifying or rejecting such when presbyters or hierarchs of these Churches are received into communion.

The Orthodox Churches, relying on the canonically legal status of the hierarch conferring orders (his status in communion with a recognized jurisdiction to which the Church accords canonical status), have a much simpler task before them in assessing validity and, since they do not make the distinction of licitness, the end result is clear-cut.

Given its historical ties to the Cyprianic theory, it stands to reason that the Orthodox would not accord validity to Catholic orders or sacraments and that any do so must be seen as an exercise of charity on their part, applying a measure of recognition to the common historical origins of Catholicity and Orthodoxy. We, as Catholics, can dislike the fact that all do not choose to do so, but it is not our place to impose upon others our
theological precepts and require that they adopt them.

The potentially most ironic consideration here is that, applying the Augustinian theory, the Catholic Church would in some instances likely have to accept the validity of presbyteral and episcopal orders, and, consequently, sacraments, of "independent Orthodox" (and by that I do not mean those essentially mainstream Orthodox Churches which are typically termed "non-canonical" or "of iregular status", but those of the so-called "independent movement") whom the Orthodox themselves would, rightfully, never deem to be of their Communion, under even the most liberal of interpretations.

My apologies to those in whom I have induced narcolepsy.

Many years,

Neil
Posted by: Apotheoun

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 08:51 AM

I found the article linked below on "economia" to be both interesting and informative:

The Ecclesiastical Principle of oikonomia and the ROCOR under Metropolitan Anastassy
Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 07:56 PM

Having read the sections on Purgatory and Indulgences, and having participated in the discussions here recently, I can say I agree with neither of them.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 10:51 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Prior to their reception:

Were the monks baptized Christians; could it be said of them that they had "put on Christ"?
This is not a question the Orthodox would dwell on very much. The intent is to bring them into the grace of the Church rather than fuss about their previous religious status.
But what of their ontological status?
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

This is not a question which agitates the Orthodox. I suppose though that they had whatever ontological status the Roman Catholic Church was able to confer on them. The Orthodox, who have no systems of validity/invalidity or liceity/illicitness, have no interest in determining if they were in possession of "valid" Orders prior to their reception into Orthodoxy because the concept of "validity" is alien to the East.

(I feel the need coming on to repost Irish Melkite's essay which succintly explains these different Catholic and Orthodox approaches to the "validity" of the Sacraments and of Ordination in particular smile )


That feeling the need coming on must have been a distraction from the actual question. I asked about baptism not ordination.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/13/08 11:29 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
[quote=ajk]Prior to their reception:

Were the monks baptized Christians; could it be said of them that they had "put on Christ"?
This is not a question the Orthodox would dwell on very much. The intent is to bring them into the grace of the Church rather than fuss about their previous religious status.
But what of their ontological status?
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

This is not a question which agitates the Orthodox. I suppose though that they had whatever ontological status the Roman Catholic Church was able to confer on them. The Orthodox, who have no systems of validity/invalidity or liceity/illicitness, have no interest in determining if they were in possession of "valid" Orders prior to their reception into Orthodoxy because the concept of "validity" is alien to the East.

(I feel the need coming on to repost Irish Melkite's essay which succintly explains these different Catholic and Orthodox approaches to the "validity" of the Sacraments and of Ordination in particular smile )


Quote:
That feeling the need coming on must have been a distraction from the actual question. I asked about baptism not ordination.

The French Catholic Cistercians were baptized at their reception into Orthodoxy. What that says about their ontological status prior to Orthodoxy is unclear to me. I doubt if many Orthodox would attempt an answer.

I understand why it seems hurtful to Catholics (and Anglicans and Lutherans), since the Catholic Church recognises the Churchness of the Orthodox, but again, understand where the Orthodox are coming from. We are only sure by faith that Orthodoxy is the Church; giving Sacraments to somebody outside that visible Church and acknowledging Sacraments outside that visible Church is unthinkable to us.

----
In the interests of full disclosure....

When I was a Serbian priest (most of my 'working' life) I baptized almost every convert. This was done at the direction of my bishop.

When I moved over into the Russian Church Abroad (the Australian diocese) 12 years ago I was told to stop doing this and instead to follow the customs of the pre-Revoluntionary Russian Church (found in English in the Hapgood Service Book.) So I ceased baptizing Catholics and receive them by confession of faith and chrismation.

You will find that many in the American segment of the Russian Church Abroad baptize Catholics. I imagine that will fade out as they come into conformity with standard Russian practice back in the 'homeland.' However, Baptism always remains an option and any Catholic desirous of baptism would probably not be denied it.

Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 04:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Paul B
Thank you Joe and AMM for your replies. We seem to agree on the place of purging of sins after "falling asleep" but haven't reached reconciliation on indulgences unless the power be granted to all bishops?

Fr Deacon Paul


No, as I've stated I believe indulgences are a mistaken idea. Also, in Orthodoxy there is no determination that I'm aware of which "direction" someone is going during the particular judgment. It is generally held that this will be determined at the final judgment. The way I read the CCC, only the elect go through purgation. Another difference, and another thing I would find problematic about the theory of purgatory.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 04:53 AM

Originally Posted By: AMMNo
as I've stated I believe indulgences are a mistaken idea. Also, in Orthodoxy there is no determination that I'm aware of which "direction" someone is going during the particular judgment. It is generally held that this will be determined at the final judgment. The way I read the CCC, only the elect go through purgation. Another difference, and another thing I would find problematic about the theory of purgatory.

Síocháin, a chara!

Yes, it is problematic because it eliminates the possibility of grief for sin and repentance and forgiveness after death.

The fate of souls is not finally determined until the great day of the final Judgement. It is then that we will all stand before the Judgement Seat of the Saviour. While we would be certain that the souls who are saved cannot be lost while they await this day, we are not so certain that the souls that may seem to be damned cannot find salvation (in ways about which we honestly have no idea.)


Posted by: Irish Melkite

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 05:06 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
(I feel the need coming on to repost Irish Melkite's essay which succintly explains these different Catholic and Orthodox approaches to the "validity" of the Sacraments and of Ordination in particular smile )


That feeling the need coming on must have been a distraction from the actual question. I asked about baptism not ordination.


Deacon,

I think Father Ambrose's 'feeling of the need coming on' - besides that he's been much enamored of that particular post of mine for some years - relates to the following prefatory remarks contained in it:

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
... the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, ...


which is the underlying premise - that the administration of a Mystery by one whose presbyteral right to do so might be seen as flawed calls into question the efficacy of the Mystery which he administered.

Many years,

Neil
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
I think Father Ambrose's 'feeling of the need coming on' - besides that he's been much enamored of that particular post of mine for some years - relates to the following prefatory remarks contained in it:

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
... the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, ...


which is the underlying premise - that the administration of a Mystery by one whose presbyteral right to do so might be seen as flawed calls into question the efficacy of the Mystery which he administered.

Síocháin, Neil a chara!

Well, that's partly it. But your whole monograph is written so well - when the mood is upon thee the mellifluosity flows! It says the difficult things about the Orthodox uncertainty (treading very politely here) concerning non-Orthodox Sacraments. The fact that people hear it from a fellow Catholic lessens the impact. But you also point out, quite fairly, that not all Orthodox share this uncertainty although when they are obliged to speak more deeply out of traditonal Orthodoxy mysteriology they may find it difficult to maintain their more generous position.

I wonder if there are Orthodox here who would like to argue for the Augustinian position? It would be good to hear from them too.

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
Deacon,

I think Father Ambrose's 'feeling of the need coming on' - besides that he's been much enamored of that particular post of mine for some years - relates to the following prefatory remarks contained in it:

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
... the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders, ...


which is the underlying premise - that the administration of a Mystery by one whose presbyteral right to do so might be seen as flawed calls into question the efficacy of the Mystery which he administered.


My question was specifically in the application not the theory. I believe I comprehend the basics of the theory, but I inquired further about a specific application using an example that Father had raised.

Rather than my inferring and possibly misapplying the theory to the actual case, and wanting to get it direct from the other's actual perspective*, I reiterated the focus, which it seemed had been lost, of the question. As can be seen, Father gave a very thorough and informative answer (and he did not even once say economia -- I accept that it is working behind the scenes in his answer). I was quite gratified by the tone and substance of his response.


-----------------
* I think this is proper intellectually. While it is legitimate with restraint to draw inferences from another's remarks, all too often words and intentions and conclusions are ascribed without seeking clarification first.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 03:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Síocháin, Neil a chara!

Well, that's partly it. But your whole monograph is written so well - when the mood is upon thee the mellifluosity flows! It says the difficult things about the Orthodox uncertainty (treading very politely here) concerning non-Orthodox Sacraments. The fact that people hear it from a fellow Catholic lessens the impact. But you also point out, quite fairly, that not all Orthodox share this uncertainty although when they are obliged to speak more deeply out of traditonal Orthodoxy mysteriology they may find it difficult to maintain their more generous position.

I wonder if there are Orthodox here who would like to argue for the Augustinian position? It would be good to hear from them too.




Let me ask then: applying the theory, answers please of yes, no, maybe, I don't know; but elaborate on the answers at will.

Questions:


Fr. Ambrose, is Neil a Christian? Has he been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?


Neil, are you a Christian? Have you been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?






Posted by: Apotheoun

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 08:21 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Neil, are you a Christian? Have you been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?

I think that it is pretty clear that Neil believes that his baptism in the Catholic Church is valid, and so the question as stated is rather pointless, but would it not be better to ask Neil a completely different question.

Perhaps something more like this: Neil according to Eastern Orthodox sacramental theology (as you understand it) are you a baptized Christian?

And in addition to this question another could be asked: Neil, would you say that perhaps some Eastern Orthodox bishops might accept your baptism in the Catholic Church as valid as an act of charity, while others might require that you submit to baptism by an Orthodox priest, that is, if you were to convert to Orthodoxy?

And one final question for Neil: Is the question directed to Fr. Ambrose something that he is competent – as a presbyter – to answer, or should the question be addressed to an Orthodox bishop?

I ask this question because Fr. Ambrose himself indicated that while he was a priest in one jurisdiction (I believe it was the Serbian Orthodox Church) he was required to baptize converts from other Christian ecclesial communities, while as a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia he – at the request of his bishop – merely requires that converts from non-Orthodox Churches make a profession of faith and receive the mystery of chrismation.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Apotheoun
Originally Posted By: ajk
Neil, are you a Christian? Have you been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?

...but would it not be better to ask Neil a completely different question.


No, I'll stick with my question. Actually, maybe you can help:


Apotheoun, is Neil a Christian? Has he been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?


Apotheoun, are you a Christian? Have you been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?
Posted by: Apotheoun

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/14/08 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
No, I'll stick with my question. Actually, maybe you can help:

Apotheoun, is Neil a Christian? Has he been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?

Apotheoun, are you a Christian? Have you been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?

Seeing that I am a Catholic these are rather foolish questions, but in order to satisfy your curiosity I will answer both of them.

Now, as far as Neil's baptism is concerned, I believe that he was baptized in the Catholic Church (in fact I think he was raised a Latin Catholic), and so my answer to your first question is: yes, I accept Neil's baptism as valid, and as a consequence he is in my opinion a baptized Christian. Nevertheless, many of my Orthodox friends would not agree with my answer to your first question, because they connect grace more firmly to the Orthodox Church and to the profession of the Orthodox faith, and so for them the validity of the holy mysteries performed outside the Orthodox Church is questionable at best.

Finally, as far as my own baptism is concerned, I was baptized in the Methodist Church, and when I converted to Roman Catholicism in 1987/88 my Methodist baptism was accepted as valid, even though I would have preferred to be baptized as a Catholic since I have my own doubts about the validity of the baptism that I received as a Methodist based on what I know about the minister who baptized me. But my doubts about the validity of my Methodist baptism were brushed aside by the priest at my parish because I was told that the Catholic Church accepts the validity of heretical baptism as long as the matter, form, and intention (a very general intention to say the least) were correct. So am I a baptized Christian? I have been told that I am by the Catholic Church, and as a Catholic I will accept that decision.

Nevertheless, I find it interesting that many years later the Catholic Church has declared Mormon baptism to be invalid because it is heretical, even though Mormons use the proper matter and form, and they have the same general intention to do what the minister at the Methodist Church did when I was baptized. Yet evidently that is not sufficient for valid baptism anymore. That said, perhaps the Catholic Church is moving in a more Cyprianic direction these days.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 01:24 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Let me ask then: applying the theory, answers please of yes, no, maybe, I don't know; but elaborate on the answers at will.

Questions:


Fr. Ambrose, is Neil a Christian? Has he been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?

My personal opinion -

I want to say yes, but then the Church could make a liar our of me by baptizing him if he ever wanted to come into the Orthodox Church.


"..elaborating on the answers at will."

A few anecdotal things...


1. At one of the 1980s meetings of the Roman Catholic-Orthodox International Theological Dialogue (the same body as met recently in Belgrade and Ravenna) the Orthodox delegates refused to accept the validity of Roman Catholic baptism per se. This speaks volumes.

These were representative from all the Orthodox Churches, bishops and theologians, men well seasoned in the ecumenical dialogue and full of goodwill towards the Catholic Church. Not a fanatical palaeolohimerologhite anywhere in sight! But when push came to shove and the Catholics put them on the spot about baptism they found it necessary to express a "cyprianic" position regarding sacraments outside the Church.

No subsequent meeting has ventured to address this knotty question.. There was of course the 1999 American Catholic-Orthodox Consultation at Saint Vladimir's which issued a statement appealing to the Orthodox Churches to recognise Catholic baptism. No Orthodox Church has responded. Again, that speaks volumes. They will exercise economia quite frequently but they will not alter basic traditional mysteriology.

2. I am reminded of an incident in the UK recorded by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself (Lord Runcie if I remember) in an issue of Eastern Churches Quarterly. At a meeting in England of Anglican and Russian
Orthodox bishops, the Anglican bishops asked at supper: "Do you believe we are baptized?" The Orthodox asked to have the night to think about it. At breakfast in the morning the Anglicans asked: "So, what do you think? Are we baptized?" The Orthodox replied, "We do not know"

--- "Non scimus" - I would personally adopt this agnostic position.

3. Lastly, you may remember that a couple of years ago the Russian bishop in Germany was foolish enough to sign his name to a statement recognising Lutheran baptism. The reaction from Moscow was swift and they pointed out that this was the private opinion of the particular bishop and not the teaching of the Russian Church.

The bottom line is that the Orthodox adhere to the cyprianic position concerning Sacraments outside the Church. However, this is frequently mollified, by economia, at the time when an individual person approaches the Church for reception.

Posted by: Irish Melkite

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 07:33 AM

Deacon,

In answer to the query posed, yes, I consider myself a Christian, having been baptized. The point of your question is lost on me, however, if one discards Steve's logical follow-up queries, which boil down to - were I to embrace Orthodoxy, how would I react to a decision that required me to be baptized anew because the Catholic Mystery administered to me was deemed to lack sacramental grace? I would likely resent it, as I believe the Mysteries of both Churches to be valid.

Otoh, as I believe that each of the Churches appropriately (and, in good conscience must - a poor expression of what I mean, but I'm tired) judges the efficacy of what has gone before - so as to do what it believes right, I'd almost assuredly accept the decision. However, believing as I do about the Mysteries of both Churches, is it logical to expect that I would embrace Orthodoxy via the medium of a jurisdiction in which such was not also the belief? Hardly. So, unless all of Orthodoxy was asserting an unwillingness to accept Catholic Baptism at a time when I were to decide to embrace it, the question becomes moot.

Let me add that, despite answering the query posted, I find the personalization of the discussion to be a bit inappropriate. The piece which I wrote some years back has appeared both here and on other fora and Father Ambrose presented it as what he kindly considers to be a partcularly clear exposition of the generally opposite attitudes taken by the two Churches. That said, and I am flattered by my friend's opinion, I am unconvinced that my personal thoughts on the points expressed, were such views applied to me, are particularly relevant. The stances taken by the two Churches are what they are - the presentation is factually accurate and verifiable by any number of examples in real life - it is not opinion. Thus, that I should be asked to defend it, by analyzing how I would react were it applied to me, seems to be neither here nor there, wholly speculative, and - frankly - no one's business.

(I would note, however, that, in the very recent past, the Catholic Church has, wisely, begun to take a more Cyprianic view in reacting to episcopal acts undertaken by a few established hierarchs who have wandered from the reservation. Whether it will do so when next faced with a request for entry into communion by an independent or vagante bishop with a half-way respectable claim to a valid episcopal genealogy remains to be seen.)

Many years,

Neil

PS - On re-reading and reflection. I also find inappropriate the suggestion that Father Ambrose, in obeying the differing decisions of two hierarchs to whom he was in obedience at different times, was somehow lacking in consistent application of Orthodox tenets. The situation he faced is no different than that encountered by any presbyter who excardinates from one jurisdiction and incardinates to another, or whose hierarch retires and is replaced by another of differing opinion. Father did as he was bound to do by his vows - give obedience to the instructions of his canonical superior.
Posted by: Apotheoun

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 08:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
PS - On re-reading and reflection. I also find inappropriate the suggestion that Father Ambrose, in obeying the differing decisions of two hierarchs to whom he was in obedience at different times, was somehow lacking in consistent application of Orthodox tenets. The situation he faced is no different than that encountered by any presbyter who excardinates from one jurisdiction and incardinates to another, or whose hierarch retires and is replaced by another of differing opinion. Father did as he was bound to do by his vows - give obedience to the instructions of his canonical superior.

If this is in reference to my post, I did not mean to intend any offense against Fr. Ambrose, who merely did what he was supposed to do in receiving converts to Orthodoxy, i.e., obey his bishop. If what I said has been read by anyone at this forum as an attack on Fr. Ambrose I apologize for my poor skills in conveying my point, which simply was that the Orthodox connect the grace of the holy mysteries more directly to the Church, although an Orthodox bishop has the authority to exercise a certain degree of "economy" when it comes to accepting converts from non-Orthodox ecclesial communities.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Apotheoun
[If this is in reference to my post...


Dear Todd and Neil,

I have not noticed anything intended to be offensive. Please believe me, no offence has been given or taken. I am having a great time on the Forum and hope that we all are.

The deacon (is that Steve?) is insistent that questions receive an answer but there's nothing wrong with that.

Peace and good will to all!

Fr Ambrose

Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 09:51 AM


It would be great if other Orthodox participated in answering Father Deacon's questions. It would be interesting to hear other views and other ways of expressing things.

My backgound is basically Serbian and if you wanted to place me in a pigeonhole, I guess it would be in the tradition of Fr Justin Popovich. We could do with input from Greeks and Antiochians, etc. I should maybe apologise for spending so much time on the Forum.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 12:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
The deacon (is that Steve?) is insistent that questions receive an answer but there's nothing wrong with that.


ajk is Deacon Anthony.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 01:54 PM

I've been wrestling with this issue of sacramental validity and economia in the past few weeks. I just finished reading Patrick Barnes' book, "The Non Orthodox," and I've been reading numerous articles. The topic affects me personally, since I was baptized by single immersion in the Southern Baptist Church. And as many know, the Southern Baptist Church does not regard baptism as a sacrament. I was received into the Melkite Church (12 years ago) by Chrismation and then I was received into the Orthodox Church, Antiochian (2 years ago) by Chrismation. I confess that I wish I had been baptized Orthodox. I have read some articles suggesting that converts who are not baptized in the Orthodox Church have a harder spiritual struggle. On the other hand, I've heard that even if a Church's use of economia is too liberal, it is still valid. In other words, there are many who criticize the Antiochian Church's blanket policy of receiving all converts (who have been baptized with water in the name of the Trinity) by Chrismation. But it is not the convert's fault that this is the policy and even if it is a bad policy, the convert sill receives all of the necessary baptismal grace in chrismation. What is confusing though is that, at least in my jurisdiction, I've heard Orthodox clergy say that non-Orthodox baptisms are valid and that we accept them. This doesn't seem, however, to be in accord with the canons and with our theology.

To make matters more confusing, we simply have to look at our practice of allowing Orthodox to marry non-Orthodox Christians. The Church forbids an Orthodox from marrying an unbaptized person. But an Orthodox can marry, with permission, a baptized non-Orthodox Christian. Now, if non-Orthodox baptisms are universally invalid, then why the permission? The non-Orthodox Christian would be in the same boat as the muslim or Jew. It seems to me that if there is ever a pan-Orthodox/Ecumenical council, that this is one of the first issues that needs to be addressed and settled definitively.

Oh, and I've also recently discovered that not all Orthodox Churches baptize adults by triple immersion. I know at least one Orthodox in my Church (Antiochian) who was baptized by an Orthodox priest by having water poured over his head. Is this valid?

Joe
Posted by: Orthodox Catholic

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 02:40 PM

Dear Friends,

The position of Orthodoxy with respect to the "efficacy" of the sacramental Mysteries resting on the foundation of actual, real communion with the Holy Orthodox Church is one that is not about "questioning" anyone's life of Grace.

It is one that simply professes agnosticism with respect to that life of Grace since it is experienced outside the Church.

One may be baptised but when one enters the Orthodox Church - that and other sacraments received outside the Church COULD be affirmed as legitimate.

For example, Ukrainian Catholics who join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada are never rebaptised or rechrismated - they simply express their desire to be Orthodox and are received by Confession.

And heterodoxy/schism are not the old reasons for rejecting someone's Baptism in Orthodoxy.

For years, Orthodox Christians baptised in the Kyivan Orthodox Metropolia needed to be rebaptised when they went to live in Russia since the Kyivan Metropolia admitted to baptism by pouring.

Alex
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Oh, and I've also recently discovered that not all Orthodox Churches baptize adults by triple immersion. I know at least one Orthodox in my Church (Antiochian) who was baptized by an Orthodox priest by having water poured over his head. Is this valid?

Yes, but really not the preferable way.

See

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/pouring.aspx

What is very interesting is that this article was written in 1754 and predates the discovery of the Didache and its instruction of how to baptize under varying conditions. The Didache was rediscovered in 1873 by Bishop Philotheos Bryennios, bishop of Nicomedia.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Oh, and I've also recently discovered that not all Orthodox Churches baptize adults by triple immersion. I know at least one Orthodox in my Church (Antiochian) who was baptized by an Orthodox priest by having water poured over his head. Is this valid?

Yes, but really not the preferable way.

See

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/pouring.aspx

What is very interesting is that this article was written in 1754 and predates the discovery of the Didache and its instruction of how to baptize under varying conditions. The Didache was rediscovered in 1873 by Bishop Philotheos Bryennios, bishop of Nicomedia.


Dear Father Ambrose, thank you for pointing out this article to me. I take it also that because I was received by Chrismation that my baptism was then made efficacious? Am I right in thinking that all Orthodox jurisdictions that are in communion with each other accept the decisions (based on "economia") of the various jurisdictions even when they don't entirely agree? What I mean to ask is this, let us suppose a jurisdiction decides to receive all converts by Baptism. Will they also accept the fact that other jurisdictions receive converts by Chrismation and honor the decisions of those churches?

Joe
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
[I take it also that because I was received by Chrismation that my baptism was then made efficacious? Am I right in thinking that all Orthodox jurisdictions that are in communion with each other accept the decisions (based on "economia") of the various jurisdictions even when they don't entirely agree? What I mean to ask is this, let us suppose a jurisdiction decides to receive all converts by Baptism. Will they also accept the fact that other jurisdictions receive converts by Chrismation and honor the decisions of those churches?
Joe


Yes, I doubt if there is a bishop in the world who will not accept Chrismation performed in another Church even if he himself would prefer to baptize.

The only people who dissent from this are not bishops but some (not all) of the monasteries on Mt Athos and a very few monasteries in Russia who will want to baptize a man received only by Chrismation before they offer him Holy Communion.
Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
[I take it also that because I was received by Chrismation that my baptism was then made efficacious? Am I right in thinking that all Orthodox jurisdictions that are in communion with each other accept the decisions (based on "economia") of the various jurisdictions even when they don't entirely agree? What I mean to ask is this, let us suppose a jurisdiction decides to receive all converts by Baptism. Will they also accept the fact that other jurisdictions receive converts by Chrismation and honor the decisions of those churches?
Joe


Yes, I doubt if there is a bishop in the world who will not accept Chrismation performed in another Church even if he himself would prefer to baptize.

The only people who dissent from this are not bishops but some (not all) of the monasteries on Mt Athos and a very few monasteries in Russia who will want to baptize a man received only by Chrismation before they offer him Holy Communion.


Dear Father,

Thank you for the clarification. Since it is unlikely that I'll ever have the opportunity to visit Mt. Athos or some of these other monasteries, I'm not going to worry too much. I am curious though. Are there really a number of Orthodox Churches in the west that are baptizing by pouring instead of immersion? I was shocked to find out that this has been done in at least a few Antiochian parishes.

Joe
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
I've been wrestling with this issue of sacramental validity and economia in the past few weeks.... Is this valid?


I answer here for myself only, but as a Catholic (Byzantine).

If you were water baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and if it was not against your will, and whatever the defect in the minister or the theology, then you received baptism. God, through the Church, would not allow such a defect or even deception to affect you and the integrity of the mystery/sacrament. The Church supplies the intent and proper theology. One cannot give what one doesn't have [Qui non habet, ille non dat - He who has not, does not give.], but the Church can always give what it always has. If a defect were known then properly it would need to be addressed and corrected. If it wasn't properly addressed and corrected then the needed corrective is supplied by the Church.

I can not see the insistence on the triple immersion. I think it is a very powerful sign as a ritual element, but as I recall early practices do not require it and seem to put the emphasis instead on the fact that the water must be "living", that is, running, fresh, not stagnant. Water poured is running, "living."

Baptism is a real rebirth, and not a figurative one. We are born only once as a son of Adam, and born only once of the second Adam, Christ. After baptism you are a new and different person. Of the various images, the symbolic shapes of the baptismal font, the round one representing the womb of the Church is quite expressive. Having experienced this rebirth it would be improper to have it repeated. From the Catholic viewpoint, a known or indiscriminate repetition violates the lex orandi thereby implying an incorrect lex credendi.

So the approach is to acknowledge and deal with problems and issues as best as possible and not sweep them under the carpet. We do our best, we acknowledge there can be defects. We have the Church, the Holy Spirit, even as the prayer of ordination puts it “Divine grace, always healing what is weak and supplying what is deficient, ordains... Let us therefore pray for him, that the grace of the Holy Spirit may come upon him...” Only then do we properly say Axios.

Baptism as a real rebirth, and not just a metaphor for faith came to the fore in the west concerning the theology of “justification”, and the “Decree Concerning Justification” of the sixth session of Trent* resulted and expresses a theology that can be embraced by east (although not itself emphasizing justification per se) and west. It is amazingly concise but focuses on and corrects the core principle of Protestant theology:

Quote:
In which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as being a translation from that state in which man [homo] is born a son [filius] of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons [filiorum] of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior. This translation however cannot, since the promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.



- - - - - - - - - - -
* “...celebrated on the thirteenth day of January, 1547.” The decree is presented in 16 short Chapters and 33 Canons, of which Chapter 4 can be considered the essence. H. R. Schroeder, Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1950), 31 (English, slightly modified by me); 310 (Latin):Quibus verbis justificationis impii descriptio insinuatur, ut sit translatio ab eo statu, in quo homo nascitur filius primi Adae, in statum gratiae et adoptionis filiorum Dei [Rom. 8:23] per secundum Adam Jesum Christum salvatorem nostrum; quae quidem translatio post evangelium promulgatum sine lavacro regenerationis aut ejus voto fieri non potest, sicut scriptum est: Nisi quis renatus fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, non potest introire in regnum Dei.[John 3:5].

Posted by: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 04:47 PM

Thank you Father Deacon. What you write here also makes much sense. Of course, the question of whether my baptism was efficacious in itself (prior to becoming Orthodox) is precisely a question that doesn't seem settled for me. I understand that the Catholic Church does have an answer that is logical and has some justification.

Joe
Posted by: MrsMW

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 05:15 PM

I have not really been following this talk but has anyone mentioned to you that St Elizabeth was never rebaptized when she joined the Orthodox Church? She was baptized a Lutheran.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 05:17 PM

Originally Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Thank you Father Deacon. What you write here also makes much sense. Of course, the question of whether my baptism was efficacious in itself (prior to becoming Orthodox) is precisely a question that doesn't seem settled for me. I understand that the Catholic Church does have an answer that is logical and has some justification.

Joe
You raise here a very interesting and focused point that I hadn't thought about although I've encountered the question of efficacy. So just thinking it through on the basis of what I wrote:

The sacraments are not isolated from one another and are personal encounters with Christ, oriented to the Church and sustained by the Church. The efficacy is not primarily determined by considering the individual, but the person in the Church, in a faith community, in a relationship. The efficacy, the good, of the baptism (not the baptism itself) would be expected to be influenced by how well the church/community is able, fundamentally, i.e. by the sacraments, to support it. So a baptism (a baptized person) in a Christian community that does not have, or care much to have, or cannot have the Eucharist is in a sense deprived. On the other hand, one in a Church with true sacraments is in its element and would be expected to thrive. At any rate, that is where it belongs, where it is intended to be.

So the well-being and growth and potential of the child, the baptized, is influenced and significantly determined by the quality and integrity of the mother, the church/community.

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
Deacon,
...The stances taken by the two Churches are what they are - the presentation is factually accurate and verifiable by any number of examples in real life - it is not opinion. Thus, that I should be asked to defend it, by analyzing how I would react were it applied to me, seems to be neither here nor there, wholly speculative, and - frankly - no one's business.


Neil,

I thought your essay/monograph was very well written, a model of clarity and economy of words in what it addresses. I do not question the accuracy of the facts. While those facts are not opinion, your opinion was expressed in the essay as in the post to which I am responding here. And opinion is - well - opinion.

You say: "Thus, that I should be asked to defend it, by analyzing how I would react were it applied to me, seems to be neither here nor there, wholly speculative, and - frankly - no one's business."

It should hardly be speculative in applying it to yourself. You did write that it is "no one's business" but I presumed the intent was no one else's business, since it should be eminently yours.

Regarding the piece (essay/monograph): You wrote it, and as you say it has been generously and knowingly disseminated. It is quite legitimate that you as the author be challenged to defend it. I have not done so explicitly, I have merely asked you to apply what you wrote to well known concrete circumstances, ones that illustrate that the theory is, as you say, "verifiable by any number of examples in real life." What is more verifiable and real life than the truth one expresses about himself?

You are certainly free to retract or modify what you have written, or request it not be further disseminated or presented as your conclusions or opinion.

I don't see why asking anyone if they are a Christian, especially in the context of this forum and this discussion, is inappropriate. Even to ask you if some one else is a Christian (as elaborated in the question) regarding a situation known to you, is to ask no more than a particular about which you have written both definitively and with expressed opinion, in general.

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

Father Ambrose sees no intended offense. There is no offense intended on my part. He has in fact urged further participation by "other Orthodox" and I would suggest the same from other Catholics.

Consequently, while open to all, it would be especially informative to have the answers of those who have expressed well-considered views on the theories and their application. So to complete the round of questions (asking of all, but Apotheoun and Neil in particular) applying the appropriate theory, answers please of yes, no, maybe, I don't know:

Apotheoun, Neil: Is Fr. Ambrose a Christian? Has he been baptized, thereby putting on Christ?

Also, what theory was applied in making the determination? Do you consider this to be the correct theory and application? If not, what theory and application would you consider correct and then in applying it, how would you answer the question?

Posted by: Administrator

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 06:00 PM

Several posters have referenced specific individuals - whether they are Christian, whether they are baptized. This crosses the line into uncharity. I had originally closed this thread for that reason but a poster has asked me to reopen the thread. I will do so with the requirement that the discussions and questions be kept generic. It is not necessary to reference any specific individual. If it happens again the thread will be closed. Pose your questions generically: "An individual who (was baptized by X Church)", etc.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
I can not see the insistence on the triple immersion. I think it is a very powerful sign as a ritual element, but as I recall early practices do not require it

Dear Father Deacon,

Here are some things from an old Irishman....

Triple immersion and full immersion was considered essential in the Church of the British Isles and this emphasis was maintained up to the 17th c.

1. St. Theodore, 7th c. Archbishop of Canterbury, has in his Penitential:

"If any Bishop or Presbyter shall celebrate in Baptism not a threefold submerging, but shall submerse one time, which would seem to give it in the death of Christ, he shall be deposed, for the Lord did not say to us, "Baptize in My death," but "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (cap. xxxviii. 1, xlviii.20), Thorpe, Vol. 2, pp. 45, 58.

Saint Theodore, on the authority of the Pope, ordered that any Celtic priest who had received only a single immersion had himself received an invalid baptism and such priests were rebaptized with a triple immersion by the new missionaries from Rome. The Celts (Welsh in the main) did not accept this and the indigenous British Church went into schism for a while.


2. A Canon of the Council of Calchuth (or Cloveshoo or Chalkheath, take your pick) in the year 816, says:

"Also let the Presbyters know, when they administer Sacred Baptism, that they shall not pour water over the infants' heads, but they shall always be submerged in the font, as the Son of God offered example in Himself to every believer, when He was thrice immersed in the waves of Jordan."



3. Gerald of Wales, in his early 12th c. "Jewel of the Church," says:

"Midwives, friends, and advisors of a wife who is with child ought to assist her in preparing a trough of water in the home, so that if she should give birth unexpectedly, and the infant be in danger of death,
they may immerse (him) straightway three times, saying: I baptize thee in the name of the Father (immerse) and of the Son (immerse) and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (immerse)"

Does anybody have information about the practice on the Continent? When did the Church of the West cease baptizing by triple immersion? Could this not be revalourized?


Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 09:23 PM

Quote:
It would be great if other Orthodox participated in answering Father Deacon's questions. It would be interesting to hear other views and other ways of expressing things.


My own opinion, which is nothing more than my own opinion, is that Catholic baptism is valid and grace filled. My understanding is Chrismation is normal for reception now.

On a historical note, everyone is probably aware of the history of the Carpatho-Russian diocese to which I belong. In my reading of the history, it would seem to me that all of the faithful were received as they were, and the clergy in their orders as well. I could be mistaken though.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/15/08 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
[Does anybody have information about the practice on the Continent? When did the Church of the West cease baptizing by triple immersion? Could this not be revalourized?

An answer in the Catholic Encyclopedia... about immersion but not about the triple aspect of it.

"The most ancient form usually employed was unquestionably immersion. This is not only evident from the writings of the Fathers and the early rituals of both the Latin and Oriental Churches, but it can also be gathered from the Epistles of St. Paul, who speaks of baptism as a bath (Ephesians 5:26; Romans 6:4; Titus 3:5).

"In the Latin Church, immersion seems to have prevailed until the twelfth century. After that time it is found in some places even as late as the sixteenth century. Infusion and aspersion, however, were growing common in the thirteenth century and gradually prevailed in the Western Church."

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm#VI
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/16/08 08:15 AM

Originally Posted By: AMM
My own opinion, which is nothing more than my own opinion, is that Catholic baptism is valid and grace filled. My understanding is Chrismation is normal for reception now.

In the United States, yes.

Throughout the Orthodox world there is a variety of practices...

Church of Jerusalem - Baptism, always

Church of Serbia, - Baptism, most always

Mt Athos - Baptism, always

Church of Greece - Baptism, most always.

Here is a letter from earlier this year from a Greek Catholic priest protesting the Orthodox baptizing Catholics
http://www.elcathex.com/eke/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1040&Itemid=

Russia - Chrismation, nearly always

Bulgaria - ?

Romania - ?
Posted by: Irish Melkite

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/16/08 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite
Deacon,
...The stances taken by the two Churches are what they are - the presentation is factually accurate and verifiable by any number of examples in real life - it is not opinion. Thus, that I should be asked to defend it, by analyzing how I would react were it applied to me, seems to be neither here nor there, wholly speculative, and - frankly - no one's business.


Neil,

I thought your essay/monograph was very well written, a model of clarity and economy of words in what it addresses. I do not question the accuracy of the facts. While those facts are not opinion, your opinion was expressed in the essay as in the post to which I am responding here. And opinion is - well - opinion.

You say: "Thus, that I should be asked to defend it, by analyzing how I would react were it applied to me, seems to be neither here nor there, wholly speculative, and - frankly - no one's business."

It should hardly be speculative in applying it to yourself. You did write that it is "no one's business" but I presumed the intent was no one else's business, since it should be eminently yours.

Regarding the piece (essay/monograph): You wrote it, and as you say it has been generously and knowingly disseminated. It is quite legitimate that you as the author be challenged to defend it. I have not done so explicitly, I have merely asked you to apply what you wrote to well known concrete circumstances, ones that illustrate that the theory is, as you say, "verifiable by any number of examples in real life." What is more verifiable and real life than the truth one expresses about himself?

You are certainly free to retract or modify what you have written, or request it not be further disseminated or presented as your conclusions or opinion.


Deacon Anthony,

My final thoughts on the matters you raise above. I have neither intention, desire, nor need to retract or modify what I've written, nor am I in the least concerned regarding its further dissemination or attribution to me. It's not my habit to take fingers to keyboard lightly, a self-discipline that helps me avoid eating crow, a taste that I've never developed.

As best I can recollect, the piece was 1st offered (and, I believe, this to have been the case in its 2nd and 3rd iterations as well) to explain the differing interpretations of the two Communions toward apostolic succession in the specific context of discussions regarding vagante and "independent" hierarchs.

I have just re-read the essay, in its entirety, and even copied it into a WP document, to facilitate highlighting what might pass for opinion. What I discovered was that there were more lines of text than I had thought which could be construed as "opinion". However, in no instance did I discern myself to have voiced opinion as to which Church was correct in its choice as to which theory to apply.

My opinions repeatedly expressed that the then-prevalent Catholic viewpoint was generally more problematic in its application than that of the Orthodox - for the simple reason that it potentially accorded validity, if not licity, to any number of individuals whose claim to such was tenuous at best. In that context (the vagante and "independent" movements), regarding which I have particular interest and am acknowledged some measure of expertise, I hold to that opinion.

As to application of the differing theories to the efficacy accorded to the Mysteries administered by priests of our respective Churches, I offered no opinion as to which Church was correct in its stance. Rather, I noted only that I considered it understandable - given its historic views on the matter - that the Orthodox Church might be reluctant or disinclined to acknowledge Catholic Mysteries as grace-filled.

Whether right or wrong on their part to do so (and that would be a matter of opinion, had I elected to voice one - which I did not), it is a logical conclusion that they would do so - not an opinion.

You'll find that I am not much given to public expression of opinion on matters theological. I am, by nature and by choice, an information-mongerer. My interest lies in educating and being educated, those are objectives best achieved with facts from which others can then formulate their own informed opinions.

Oh, I do have opinions - hit me up on the topic of "self-governance" in the sui iuris Churches sometime, in an appropriate thread or ask my opinion as to the episcopal genealogy of some obscure vagante sect that you discover. But, in the ordinary course of events, I am basically one of those inscrutable Melkites. As I once expressed, it's easy to imagine a Catholic-Orthodox dialogue session in which the attendees sit across the table from one another, glance toward the Melkite representatives, and ask - in unison - "what's with those Melkites anyway?"

Many years,

Neil
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 04:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: AMM
My own opinion, which is nothing more than my own opinion, is that Catholic baptism is valid and grace filled. My understanding is Chrismation is normal for reception now.

In the United States, yes.

Throughout the Orthodox world there is a variety of practices...


This gives new meaning to "God bless America." For a grace filled Catholic baptism by Orthodox standards, come to America; as for the rest of the world: take your chances?

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 05:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
I can not see the insistence on the triple immersion. I think it is a very powerful sign as a ritual element, but as I recall early practices do not require it

Dear Father Deacon,

Here are some things from an old Irishman....

Triple immersion and full immersion was considered essential in the Church of the British Isles and this emphasis was maintained up to the 17th c.

1. St. Theodore, 7th c. Archbishop of Canterbury, has in his Penitential:...
2. A Canon of the Council of Calchuth (or Cloveshoo or Chalkheath, take your pick) in the year 816, says:...
3. Gerald of Wales, in his early 12th c. "Jewel of the Church," says:...

Does anybody have information about the practice on the Continent? When did the Church of the West cease baptizing by triple immersion? Could this not be revalourized?

Legitimate local custom is always to have a place of honor. Demands of certain practices as necessary, however, must defer to well documented legitimate practices of greater antiquity:

The Didache(7). ca. AD 100
Quote:
Concerning Baptism
Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in running water. 2 But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. 3 But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. 4 And before the baptism let the one baptizing and the one who is to be baptized fast, as well as any others who are able. Also, you must instruct the one who is to be baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand.
-- from The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 3rd edition, edited and translated by Michael W. Holmes after the earlier work of J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, Baker Academic (2007), 355.

Also from ST VLADIMIR'S THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY, 41, 77 (1997)
BOOK REVIEW of GEORGE D. METALLINOS, I Confess One Baptism...: Interpretation and Application of Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council by the Kollyvades and Constantine Oikonomos. This excerpt from John (now Fr. John) Erickson's review:


Quote:
While in some places and in certain circumstances total immersion very likely was practiced, all the evidence (and there is much more!) points to baptism in most cases by partial immersion or affusion (dunking of the head or pouring water over the head, typically when the baptizand was standing in the baptismal pool). Here the words of St. John Chrysostom might be noted: "It is as in a tomb that we immerse our heads in the water... then when we lift our heads back the new man comes forth" (On John 25.2, PG 59:151).


Here is the context of the excerpt. Based on historical and archeological evidence, Erikson here is quite critical of Metallinos and the need to rebaptize Latins:

Quote:
Several arguments, not always clearly distinguished, as to why Latins should be rebaptized are advanced in the sources cited so approvingly by Fr. Metallinos:


1. Latin "baptism " is formally defective. In fact it is no baptism at all, because by definition baptism must be performed by threefold submersion (total immersion). But as abundant archeological and other evidence indicates, the Church has not insisted, always and everywhere, that baptism be performed by submersion (total immersion). The oldest known baptismal vessel, at Dura-Europos, is a raised container 1.63 meters long, roughly 1.00 meter wide, and .95 meter high, installed in a niche (thus C.H. Kraeling, "The Christian Building," in The Excavations at Dura-Europos: Final Report VIII, Part II, ed. C. Bradford Welles (New Haven CT, 1967) 26-27. It very appropriately has the shape of a sarcophagus (baptism as death and burial), but its dimensions and positioning would have made total immersion difficult to accomplish. Of the dozen or more early Christian (3rd and 4th century) baptistries excavated in Greece, only two have fonts (typically sunken or raised pools) of a meter or more in depth, and most are under 50 centimeters (i.e., knee-deep if filled to the very top). Evidence from Palestine, Syria, Egypt and North Africa tells much the same story. Fonts are generally very shallow. That of the famous Eleona church in Palestine is only 24 centimeters deep. Very few are more than a meter deep, and in most cases the other dimensions or positioning of these would have made total immersion as envisioned by Fr. Metallinos very difficult if not impossible. While in some places and in certain circumstances total immersion very likely was practiced, all the evidence (and there is much more!) points to baptism in most cases by partial immersion or affusion (dunking of the head or pouring water over the head, typically when the baptizand was standing in the baptismal pool). Here the words of St. John Chrysostom might be noted: "It is as in a tomb that we immerse our heads in the water... then when we lift our heads back the new man comes forth" (On John 25.2, PG 59:151). In a word, while early Christians were very attentive to symbolism relating to baptism (cf. the funerary shape of the baptistry building; the steps, typically three, for descending and rising from the font; the iconography relating to regeneration, etc.), they show few signs of preoccupation with total immersion. (For bibliographical details and further evidence see J.G. Davies, The Architectural Setting of Baptism [Barrie and Rockliff: London, 1962] 18-26, and S. Anita Stauffer, On Baptismal Fonts: Ancient and Modern [Alcuin Club and Group for Renewal of Worship, Grove Books Limited: Bramcote, Nottingham, 1994].)


Posted by: AMM

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 05:35 AM

Fr. Deacon, as noted in this article

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html

There has historically been variance on both sides. Obviously the situation is different now, but it's worth noting.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: AMM
Fr. Deacon, as noted in this article

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html

There has historically been variance on both sides. Obviously the situation is different now, but it's worth noting.


Thanks. This is a very fine document containing many interesting points of discussion. Concerning the consistency of Catholic practices and regrettable departures from its proper norm it notes:
Quote:
From the fifth-century writings of St. Augustine on the Donatist Schism, the Latin tradition has been able to draw on a clearly articulated rationale for recognizing the validity, though not necessarily the fruitfulness, of trinitarian baptism outside the bounds of the visible church. This does not mean, however, that the rebaptism of Orthodox has never occurred in the Catholic Church; it appears, in fact, to have occurred rather frequently in the Middle Ages. Pope Alexander VI affirmed the validity of Orthodox baptism just after the turn of the sixteenth century, and Rome has periodically confirmed this ruling since then.

I would trace the Catholic norm back to at least the Pope Stephen - St. Cyprian controversy, ca. AD 254. In the middle ages, Lateran Council IV (portions of Canons 1 and 4) of AD 1215 indirectly affirms the same by blasting "the Greeks" for doing otherwise :
Quote:
But the sacrament of baptism, which by the invocation of each Person of the Trinity, namely, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is effected in water, duly conferred on children and adults in the form prescribed by the Church by anyone whatsoever, leads to salvation. And should anyone after the reception of baptism have fallen into sin, by true repentance he can always be restored… Also, those baptized by the Latins the Greeks rashly presume to rebaptize, and even till now, as we understand, there are some who do not hesitate to do this.

The Canons on Baptism from the Council of Trent (1547), Canons 4 and 11, are representative of the once-only practice of the Catholic Church:
Quote:

Can. 4. If anyone says that the baptism which is given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church does, is not true baptism, let him be anathema.
Can. 11. If anyone says that baptism, truly and rightly administered, must be repeated in the one converted to repentance after having denied the faith of Christ among the infidels, let him be anathema.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 08:44 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Throughout the Orthodox world there is a variety of practices...


This gives new meaning to "God bless America." For a grace filled Catholic baptism by Orthodox standards, come to America..
Fr Deacon,

Think economia!

Every Orthodox Church in America may, if it chooses, baptize. They can, they do.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 08:55 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
The Didache(7). ca. AD 100

Quote:
Concerning Baptism
Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in running water. 2 But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. 3 But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. 4 And before the baptism let the one baptizing and the one who is to be baptized fast, as well as any others who are able. Also, you must instruct the one who is to be baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand.


Yes, the Didache and its contents are thoroughly orthodox and accepted as such by both our Churches.

HOWEVER, the world did not even have a single copy of the Didache until the year 1883.

In 1873 Metropolitan Philotheos Briennios of Nicomedia discovered a manuscript.

While he was head of the Patriarchal School in Constantinople, he discovered a manuscript in the Jerusalem Monastery of the Most Holy Sepulchre. It contained

a synopsis of the Old and New Testaments arranged by St. Chrysostom

the Epistle of Barnabas

the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

the Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Didache)

the spurious letter of Mary of Cassoboli

twelve pseudo-Ignatian Epistles.


The letters were published in 1875, and the Didache in 1883.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 09:15 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Legitimate local custom is always to have a place of honor. Demands of certain practices as necessary, however, must defer to well documented legitimate practices of greater antiquity


Leavened bread all round? grin
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 09:35 AM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: AMM
Fr. Deacon, as noted in this article

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html

There has historically been variance on both sides. Obviously the situation is different now, but it's worth noting.


Thanks. This is a very fine document containing many interesting points of discussion.

I made reference to this American document earlier in our discussions, on the website of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Its recommendations have not been received by the Orthodox Churches.

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/306858/Re:%20specific%20Orthodox%20disagree#Post306858
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 12:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Yes, the Didache and its contents are thoroughly orthodox and accepted as such by both our Churches.

HOWEVER, the world did not even have a single copy of the Didache until the year 1883.

In 1873 Metropolitan Philotheos Briennios of Nicomedia discovered a manuscript...
Yes, of course. HOWEVER, as found it serves as confirmation (for those with questionable opinions) of what must be proper, Holy Tradition.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Legitimate local custom is always to have a place of honor. Demands of certain practices as necessary, however, must defer to well documented legitimate practices of greater antiquity


Leavened bread all round? grin


Cute, but a topic best avoided; no need to rehash yet again what kind of bread was used at the Last Supper.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: AMM
Fr. Deacon, as noted in this article

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html

There has historically been variance on both sides. Obviously the situation is different now, but it's worth noting.


Thanks. This is a very fine document containing many interesting points of discussion.

I made reference to this American document earlier in our discussions, on the website of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Its recommendations have not been received by the Orthodox Churches.

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/306858/Re:%20specific%20Orthodox%20disagree#Post306858

Yes, you did. In your post and here, however, the referenced link is to the SCOBA website (not the USCCB) where the document resides.
Posted by: Secret Squirrel

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 12:37 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Legitimate local custom is always to have a place of honor. Demands of certain practices as necessary, however, must defer to well documented legitimate practices of greater antiquity


Leavened bread all round? grin


Cute, but a topic best avoided; no need to rehashed yet again what kind of bread was used at the Last Supper.

I thought it was a loaf of seedless Jewish rye bread myself. wink

Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 12:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Think economia!

Every Orthodox Church in America may, if it chooses, baptize. They can, they do.
Yes, "if it chooses." The Catholic Church is constrained here, having no choice: It must baptize the unbaptized, and not baptize the baptized.


Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 01:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Irish Melkite


Deacon Anthony,

My final thoughts on the matters you raise above. I have neither intention, desire, nor need to retract or modify what I've written, nor am I in the least concerned regarding its further dissemination or attribution to me. It's not my habit to take fingers to keyboard lightly, a self-discipline that helps me avoid eating crow, a taste that I've never developed ...

Many years,

Neil
What an odd thing to write. I have never in any of my posts said that you have eaten crow. As to your noting the taste, you must tell me sometime what it is like.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Legitimate local custom is always to have a place of honor. Demands of certain practices as necessary, however, must defer to well documented legitimate practices of greater antiquity


Leavened bread all round? grin


Cute, but a topic best avoided; no need to rehash yet again what kind of bread was used at the Last Supper.

Have we already done leavened bread? confused

But you see the point? That if your proposition is axiomatic and we must defer to the practices of greater antiquity (which in most cases we should), then the Church of Rome has to retire those wafers and start baking leavened bread again.
Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Think economia!

Every Orthodox Church in America may, if it chooses, baptize. They can, they do.
Yes, "if it chooses." The Catholic Church is constrained here, having no choice: It must baptize the unbaptized, and not baptize the baptized.

Same with the Easterners. It is a great sin to baptize someone already baptized. It is actually a defrocking offence for a priest.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose


Leavened bread all round? grin


Cute, but a topic best avoided; no need to rehash yet again what kind of bread was used at the Last Supper.

Have we already done leavened bread? confused

But you see the point? That if your propositioon is axiomatic and we must defer to the practices of greater antiquity, then the Church of Rome has to retire those wafers and start baking leavened bread again.


No, I do not see the point at all, not one bit. As I said/implied, start another thread on this if you want. If I see the point in posts there, then I may choose to participate also.


(I don't know what the proposition is that you are referring to.)
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted By: ajk
Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Think economia!

Every Orthodox Church in America may, if it chooses, baptize. They can, they do.
Yes, "if it chooses." The Catholic Church is constrained here, having no choice: It must baptize the unbaptized, and not baptize the baptized.

Same with the Easterners. It is a great sin to baptize someone already baptized. It is actually a defrocking offence for a priest.


A clarification: There are "Easterners" in the Catholic Church also.

So a "baptized-Catholic" who is then baptized in the Orthodox church, was not in fact really baptized (as a Catholic), and therefore, was not a Christian, one who had put on Christ? That's a question.

Posted by: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: ajk
So a "baptized-Catholic" who is then baptized in the Orthodox church, was not in fact really baptized (as a Catholic), and therefore, was not a Christian? That's a question.

You'd have to ask my bishop. I would say that those who claim a baptism outside the Church (which is, as I have been taught, the big-O one) would be in the category of "Other sheep do I have which are not of this fold. Them also must I bring and there will be one fold and one shepherd."

I am intrigued.... Catholics have no trouble at all denying the existence of the Sacraments in, say the Anglican and Lutheran Churches. They deny that the Archbishop of Canterbury is anything more than a layman. They deny that anything happens at his eucharistic service. He cannot forgive sins. He cannot confirm. He cannot ordain. So why is it that you allow the baptism of these ecclesial communities when you deny them the other Sacraments? Why is baptism the only Sacrament which exists outside the Church?

[OK, I think that you may now allow their Marriage as sacramental but did this leniency commence only recently with Vatican II?]
Posted by: Michael_Thoma

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 03:25 PM

Hieromonk Father Ambrose, bless,

I think the only reason is historical - the Church has always accepted the Baptism of Arian/non-orthodox bishops and clergy, as well those performed by, for example, pagan and/or non-Christian slaves/servants of Christans.
Posted by: ajk

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 09:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose
Why is baptism the only Sacrament which exists outside the Church?
Since sacraments are encounters with Christ they do not exist outside the church. The very terminology seems strange to me. The Catholic practice regarding baptism results from Holy Tradition.

As a very crude analogy I'd say baptizing is something like opening a special door for entering the Church (in the broadest sense) and putting on Christ. A person can't open the door for himself (can't baptize oneself) and properly it is done by a minister of the Church according to custom. Because of the importance of entering, however, because of ignorance or inability or other mitigating circumstances, anyone can as necessary open the door for the person seeking/needing to be baptized. It must be the right door and opened the right way, the Church supplying what is possible and lacking, if required.

Posted by: Father Anthony

Re: specific Orthodox disagreements with the Catholic Catechism - 12/17/08 10:05 PM

Valid complaints are starting to come in on this and other threads. In reviewing this thread, posts have steered off-topic from the original post. There are several different themes and topics going on here that could have been developed in separate threads. This thread is now closed.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Administrator