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Returning to Orthodoxy

Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 03:30 PM

Dear Friends,

If an Eastern Catholic wished to become Orthodox or return to Orthodoxy, how does Catholicism view that?

Is it something Catholicism would consider a sin, apostasy or the like?

What if an Eastern Catholic simply saw "communion with Rome" as a "no-winner?"

Alex
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 03:57 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Friends,

If an Eastern Catholic wished to become Orthodox or return to Orthodoxy, how does Catholicism view that?

Is it something Catholicism would consider a sin, apostasy or the like?

What if an Eastern Catholic simply saw "communion with Rome" as a "no-winner?"

Alex
Alex,
I hope this doesn't mean that you are thinking about doing this..... frown

I believe that Catholicism views this as a return to our Mother Church. I think it is viewed as being different for Eastern Catholics as it would be for Roman Catholics.

David
Posted By: Fr. Thomas

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 04:14 PM

Interesting that this question would be posted on the feast of St. Alexis Toth.

The Life of St. Alexis

Pictures of St. Alexis\' Glorification

Tropar and Kondak of St. Alexis

Icon of St. Alexis

St. Alexis, pray for us!

Priest Thomas Soroka
Posted By: Hesychios

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 04:43 PM

Dr. Alex,

This is the kind of question I would have thought you already had an answer for. But as a simple layman may I give my opinion? When the issue is the Mystical body of Christ I would guess that individuals would want to be very careful discerning a move like that. The implications are huge, breaking communion is a serious matter.

Many schisms are the result of parochial issues, or political, and often involve pride.

Sometimes the issues are doctrinal in nature, and a person approaching the Mysteries may be a hypocrite if they do not agree with the proclaimed doctrine of the church. Then I would say to approach the Mysteries worthily one must have the integrity of affirming all the doctrines of the church.

I guess the subject individual would have to know the source of the desire for change.

Michael
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 05:02 PM

Bless me a sinner, Fr. Thomas,

I guess great minds really do think alike! smile

Happy Feastday of St Alexis!

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 05:05 PM

Dear Michael,

Yes, I do have my own ideas on this subject, but it's fun to learn and expand one's knowledge base on everything!

I agree that the "why" in such a move is crucial from a moral standpoint.

I've switched parishes when the parish priest got to be too much on things my wife and I have strong views on.

But that isn't switching Churches.

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 05:08 PM

Dear David,

And had I asked about Eastern Catholics going over to the Latin Church - would you be afraid that I was about to go Latin too? wink

Your response raises a crucial point.

Alex
Posted By: Inawe

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 05:13 PM

Dear Alex,

I have other questions. Couldn't one ask what his or her sui juris Church says about this?

For example, what would the Church of Patriarch Joseph and Patriarch Andrew and the current Patriarch say about it to a Ukrainian Greek Catholic.

From my poorly informed perspective, I understand that there was/is a reason that these men did not become Orthodox not in communion with Rome. Was/Is it just a matter of historical or political survival? Is/Was it a belief that the current Catholic Communion of Churches, though most imperfect, reflects somehow the faith of the Church of the Apostles in a way that needs to be reflected in our time?

Has that reason changed?

It seems to me that these are some areas to be considered by an Eastern Catholic contemplating such a move should be?

That is, of course, from the outside looking in. smile

Steve
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 05:59 PM

Dear Steve,

While I don't know what Met. Andrew or Pat. Josef would have actually told me (but I do . . . wink ), we do know that Met. Andrew didn't jump up and down and bite his lip when he found out that his former secretary, Fr. Lev Gillet, was becoming Orthodox.

And he told his GC flock to flock to Orthodox Churches where there were no GC Churches rather than RC Churches.

Pat. Josef considered himself bishop for everyone in Siberia and knew many Orthodox and Old Believers who came to love him.

Pat. Josef was a Confessor for the way the USSR treated him.

But he was also a Confessor for the way Rome later treated him too.

As for the Rome thing - that union with Rome as the first among equals was characteristic of the first millennium of Christianity - that is a "for sure."

The question is whether Rome has a right to that same sort of honour today when its own status has been inflated to the extent it has.

Ultimately, the Orthodox argument that Rome has added on things to the faith that were never there from the beginning still stands on its own.

Alex
Posted By: Inawe

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 06:18 PM

Dear Alex,

I provided questions, not answers, thank God! :rolleyes:

Sounds like there are lots of ins and outs here. Perhaps its time to ask the Jesuits? (Fr. Taft is a Jesuit, isn't he?) biggrin

I hope that we'll get the answers to your own question that initiated the thread. It seems to me that some one has done so previously. But I don't remember where or when.

You posted that, "Ultimately, the Orthodox argument that Rome has added on things to the faith that were never there from the beginning still stands on its own."

Do Orthodox in communion with Rome agree? I think that you have done a remarkable job of showing that much that was "added to the faith" was already in the faith of the East and the West in many of your postings.

You also posted that, "As for the Rome thing - that union with Rome as the first among equals was characteristic of the first millennium of Christianity - that is a "for sure."

"The question is whether Rome has a right to that same sort of honour today when its own status has been inflated to the extent it has."

Does this mean that union with Rome should not be a characteristic now? That's about communion.

About the kind of honor that Rome should have, it seems to me that much of what the Pope has said agrees with some of what you've said above. It'll be interesting to see how the role of the Pope plays out as God brings us together again.

Lumen Orientale is a great tool for casting some light in dark places. So is Lumen Occidentale!

Together, what a light! Could it be that our communion of Churches is a glimmer of that?

Steve
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 06:28 PM

Dear Alex and all,

I am posting this very interesting article. So much of your speculation would not be needed if these blessed talks would come to some mutual fruition. smile


IN DEPTH: CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX VIEWS OF PAPAL PRIMACY
Vatican, Apr. 29 (CWNews.com) - An ecumenical conference, at which Catholic and Orthodox representatives will discuss the primacy of the Pope, is being organized by the Vatican.
The conference, which will be held in Rome in May, is being organized by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, under the guidance of Cardinal Walter Kasper. The meeting will be a closed-door session, at which the participants will be scholars drawn from the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. The exact dates of the conference and the names of the likely participants have not yet been released.

The symposium will carry particular importance for two reasons. First, although it is common for ecumenical working groups to discuss the topic of papal primacy, this will be the first such discussion conducted directly under the auspices of the Holy See. Second, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church are expected to participate, allowing for the first substantial dialogue between Rome and Moscow since a near-breakdown in relations last year.

The symposium that is being planned will include only Catholic and Orthodox scholars. Vatican officials have been pleased with the recent progress in relations with the Eastern churches. And many officials in Rome are convinced that-- as one official put it-- "the example of an eventual reconciliation with the Orthodox will certainly promote reconciliation with the other Christian denominations."

In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint, published in May 1995, Pope John Paul II encouraged scholars to engage in constructive discussions of the papal office. The Holy Father indicated that the Church might find a new "form of exercise of the primacy," which could resolve current conflicts with the Eastern churches without sacrificing any essential element of the Petrine ministry.

In 1996, at the Pope's urging, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger chaired a symposium at which Catholic scholars discussed the papal office from both doctrinal and historical perspectives. The conference ended with a conclusion that the primacy of the Pope is an essential point of Catholic doctrine. However, the scholars observed that there is no doctrinal statement indicating how that primacy should be exercised.

The May conference in Rome is expected to advance that discussion, with 30 Catholic and Orthodox scholars examining Biblical, patristic, and historical perspectives on the office of the Pope. In February, when he first announced tentative plans for the conference, Cardinal Kasper promised: "This symposium will be a contribution to ecumenical dialogue." At the same time, the president of the Pontifical Commission for Christian Unity cautioned against exaggerated expectations, warning that the conference was not expected to generate "any practical propositions" regarding a new approach to the papacy. The discussions at this stage are likely to remain theoretical, he suggested.

Vatican sources indicate that the participants in the May conference are likely to focus on the ways in which the papal office was exercised during the first Christian millennium, prior to the Great Schism of 1054.

The question of papal authority has been one of the main obstacles to ecumenical dialogue, particularly since the First Vatican Council, which in 1870 proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility. While Vatican officials are quick to note that the doctrine itself cannot be opened to question, ecumenical discussions can raise questions about the manner in which infallibility is understood and invoked. One Vatican official observes: "You have to put the dogma in the context of the whole tradition in order to interpret it properly and make it more understandable."

The question of infallibility relates to matters of dogma, Vatican officials point out; whereas many of the concerns raised by Eastern Christians involve questions of Church governance. Pope John Paul II has made it clear that he has no desire to govern the Orthodox churches in the same way that he governs the Roman Catholic Church. Discussions about Church governance could boil down to questions about the respective powers of the Pope and the patriarchs of the Eastern churches.

Before the schism of 1054, one Vatican official notes, the governance of the Church was divided among "the five great patriarchates, managed by five patriarchs who had full authority over their own churches." That historical example might furnish one possible model for the future, in which the Pope-- the Patriarch of Rome-- would be recognized as the "first among equals," with the power to curb the actions of any other patriarch who exceeded his own proper authority. "The question, then," the Vatican official concludes, "is which rights and duties are reserved for the Pope, and which can be left to the other patriarchs."

Another key question-- especially from the Orthodox perspective-- is whether the Pope's primacy should be understood as a primary of honor or a primacy of jurisdiction. The noted French Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement, author of a key work on Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, points out that the two possibilities cannot be entirely separated. He observes: "The primacy of honor-- which, we should note, is granted to the Pope by all the Orthodox churches-- must inevitably convey to the Patriarch of Rome some measure of power as well, even if it is only the power of presiding."

Nevertheless, Clement admits that he is not optimistic that Orthodox and Catholic leaders will come to some common understanding about the nature of papal primacy. The Orthodox scholar welcomes the Vatican's initiative in organizing the May conference, but questions whether Orthodox leaders are ready to take any answering steps. The Russian Orthodox Church, in particular, "is not yet prepared to overcome a crisis of pride and power," he told the Roman news agency I Media. Clement expresses his concern that "the same problems always seem to arise" in discussions between Moscow and Rome. "The problem with the Orthodox churches," the theologian says, "is that they refuse to take into account the role of Peter in the Scriptures."

Bishop Agostino Marchetto is secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants; but he is also the author of a book on papal primacy that was published last year by the Vatican. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the Pope's role in a historical context. To understand how the Patriarch of Rome can exercise his primacy, Bishop Marchetto says, theologians can look to the example of the undivided Church. That historical perspective, he believes, "can help the Catholic Church to make a distinction between her own interior government and her external relations." That distinction, in turn, will help to clarify which powers are appropriate to the individual patriarchs, and which are properly matters for the Holy See. When the particular churches are in full communion, the bishop adds, the authority of each patriarch serves the cause of overall Church unity, and "each one brings to that unity whatever is specific to him, and nothing that is contrary to communion." A careful examination of history, Bishop Marchetto continues, will also serve to emphasize that some questions of Church governance are common to all the Christian churches, and "certain aspects are not exclusively expressions of pontifical primacy."

Having studied the question for 30 years, Bishop Marchetto is excited by the prospects for resolving ancient controversies about the Pope's authority. He points out that the process of globalization has changed the way in which such issues are now approached, and "should encourage all Christians to unite, to present a common witness to the world." While recognizing that it may take time to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties, he insists: "The time for a new way of exercising the primacy has arrived!"

The question of papal primacy has been the object of many debates among different Christian groups through the centuries, involving Protestant as well as Orthodox leaders in the discussions. In recent months, while ecumenical discussions have progressed on a theological plane, many Christian leaders have also looked to Rome for leadership on questions such as the war in Iraq and the future constitution for the European Union. Thus on a practical level, Christians of all denominations have recognized-- at least implicitly-- the role of the Pope as the leader of the Christian world and the focus of Church unity.


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Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 06:31 PM

Dear Steve,

You . . .you . . .! smile smile

You'd be great in the Vatican Ecumenical Offices! wink

I never said the obstacles were insurmountable, just that they need to be formally addressed in some sort of conciliar context.

But turning my own statements in on me - the Jesuits can learn a thing or two from you, Big Guy! smile

Perhaps you shouldn't participate in this thread on the grounds that you are too overwhelming? smile smile

Can't we just have a "for argument's sake" without you coming in and making peace with everyone? smile

Have you considered a career as a legislative speaker?

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 06:35 PM

Dear Alice,

If the Greek Orthodox Church comes to and acts on an agreement with respect to papal authority - would you be against it or for it?

Alex
Posted By: no one

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 06:53 PM

Alex, please check your private messages. Thanks. Don
Posted By: Fr. Thomas

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 07:32 PM

Quote
Originally posted by alice:


IN DEPTH: CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX VIEWS OF PAPAL PRIMACY
Vatican, Apr. 29 (CWNews.com) - (snip)

The Holy Father indicated that the Church might find a new "form of exercise of the primacy," which could resolve current conflicts with the Eastern churches without sacrificing any essential element of the Petrine ministry.
New form? How about the "old form"? We liked that one the best! wink

Priest Thomas
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 07:42 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Thomas!

You are positively SIZZLING today! smile

You must have fully recovered from the effects of the long services of Holy Week and Pascha!! wink

A further question, Father, I notice you sign your name as "Priest Thomas."

What is the convention in Orthodoxy with respect to this?

When is "Father" used etc.?

Layman Alex
Posted By: Fr. Thomas

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 07:55 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Bless me a sinner, Father Thomas!

You are positively SIZZLING today! smile

You must have fully recovered from the effects of the long services of Holy Week and Pascha!! wink

A further question, Father, I notice you sign your name as "Priest Thomas."

What is the convention in Orthodoxy with respect to this?

When is "Father" used etc.?

Layman Alex
Well, layman Alex,

"Father" is more of a term of endearment and respect, whereas "Priest" is my position, my title, if you will.

The case is better made when giving the example of a bishop, but you can use any office you like.

A bishop would never sign his name "Master John," but rather "Bishop John" or "Archbishop John." However, in Orthodoxy, we do not call him "Bishop" or "Archbshop," but rather "Master" or "Vladika." Same with a deacon or a priest.

Also, a priest usually (although it's erroneously done a lot) should not adress himself as "Father" in the presence of another priest, especially an elder brother. And certainly not a bishop - this is a no no. I am not a bishop's Father; he is my Father in Christ. However, many bishops do call priests "Father," however, this is done as deference to the priesthood. When I call the bishop on the phone, I say, "Bless, Master! This is Priest Thomas Soroka."

Since there are priests online here, it is better for me to use the title "Priest Thomas" rather than "Father Thomas" when referring to myself. But also, it is really "who I am." I am a priest.

Priest Thomas
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 09:03 PM

Dear Father Thomas,

Please allow me to add one other scholarly work to those listed regarding the life of St. Alexis Toth. It is the master's dissertation of Bartholomew Wojcik, submitted in 1997 at St. Vladimir's Seminary.

I haven't read it, but the author is a fine man and serves as a priest in Illinois.

Christ is Risen,
Andrew
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 09:52 PM

Dear Alex,

Thanks for your question. I have put alot of time, prayer, research and thought into this.

From from the time I was a small child, and my friend 'down the block' gave me a small statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I had this gut feeling that we must have alot in common. The innocence of a child is, ofcourse, that what we had in common was our Lord, and our Lady Theotokos, and that we both loved them very much. My aunt married and converted to the Anglican Church, and my Greek Orthodox and Greek born grandparents had no problem with it, with going to their church when special occasion called for it, etc. So, neither my parents or grandparents beat me into the submission of Greek Orthodoxy over other Christianity..(remember the 'Big Fat Greek Wedding'...I know alot of men who would say what the father said to his son in law about becoming Greek Orthodox!)So, I have been as free as a bird to come to my own conclusions through prayer and an intense devotion to Christ throughout my life. I married a Greek Orthodox man, so I never had to worry too much about it.

I understand how the papacy evolved into becoming jurisdictionally supreme in the West. I don't think that the West, with its great organizational qualities, could do without his central authority. For the East, ofcourse, in the first millenium, he, who I like to call, 'the Patriarch of Rome', had primacy of honor, and although Orthodox often conveniently leave this out, my research shows that often he was consulted as a 'final word' if you will, at Ecumenical councils. So now what we have, after a thousand years is an estrangement. My conclusion is, that spiritually speaking, in the spirit of the first church, and the one Body of Christ which all Christians of good will should strive for, the Orthodox East is INCOMPLETE without the Bishop or Patriarch of Rome, and the West, is INCOMPLETE without the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs. In true spirit we need each other SPIRTITUALLY. I don't want to be simplistic and say that we don't have differences, but I believe that they can be reconciled...for instance, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the late 1800's (name eludes me) wrote to the Pope and said that he had no problem with the immaculate conception of Mary, but with the fact that the Pope dogmatized it..unilaterally. I am also not unrealistic like many of my brethren who say that the Pope should give up everything that evolved in Roman Catholicism for the last 1000 years and become Orthodox!

I think that this Pope is a saint, and that his intentions and thoughts are on the right track, and that his ideas are similar for 'spiritual union'. Jurisdictional union will never be, and shouldn't be. I believe that Pope John Paul II knows this. I believe that our Ecumenical Patriarch is making good progress too. The Greek Orthodox have been obviously quite suspicious because of the many times the past mentality of 'superiority of the Latins' have encroached upon them in history. Some of them may also think, in their ignorance, that unity would equal assimilation. With this Pope, and his urgings for all of you Byzantine Catholics to go back to all the Eastern traditions, we know that is not true, ofcourse. Yet, even I might wonder, if future Popes will feel this way. (I would like your ideas on this),

Anyway, these ideas of needing each other and the necessity of a spiritual communion between us, have been considered radical by many of my brethren, and sometimes I have suffered insult because of them. There are many different reasons for it; fear, misinformation, theological ignorance, etc. but the worst problem anyone who wishes for union faces is from the more fundamentalist Greek Orthodox. Forget not accepting my ideas, they cannot even accept my Orthodoxy (which is otherwise VERY traditional). So some times I just keep my mouth shut and sometimes I don't. I figure Christ's reward is greater than their acceptance, and He does not want to see His Body, His Church seperated.

What I try to get across to the fundamentalists (the worst are some Protestant converts because they have baggage against the Papacy), is that all this talk of spiritual union could really be so simple if they would just OPEN their hearts and allow their hearts to love Christ rather than just themselves and their own way. I feel such sorrow when I see the 'law' being followed rather than the 'spirit' of Orthodox Christianity, because the factor they sometimes forget in the equation is that Orthodoxy, besides being a beautiful, traditional, original and ancient faith, IS ALSO CHRISTIANITY, and as followers of Christ they need to love, forgive and reconcile.

I have rambled a great deal...forgive me.

In the Risen Christ,
Alice
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 10:04 PM

ear Alex,

Boy,I really did ramble didn't I? Sorry! biggrin (and got off topic!!)...

Papal Authority...No, the Greek Orthodox would not accept that. That was not the way of the first Church. I believe that John Paul II wants things to be in the spirit of the first Church, and would not expect, (from what I have been reading) the Eastern Orthodox churches to accept his authority. It would be more conciliar.

Alice
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/07/03 10:24 PM

Posted By: Inawe

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 02:57 AM

Dear Alice,

Keep on ramblin! Any rambling that contains this:

"My conclusion is, that spiritually speaking, in the spirit of the first church, and the one Body of Christ which all Christians of good will should strive for, the Orthodox East is INCOMPLETE without the Bishop or Patriarch of Rome, and the West, is INCOMPLETE without the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs. In true spirit we need each other SPIRTITUALLY. "

makes eminent good sense to me!

Steve
Posted By: Inawe

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 03:19 AM

Dear Alex,

I think that you overestimate my abilities. Certainly they have not attracted notice by the authorities in the Vatican. (For which I am eternally grateful! :rolleyes: )

I am indeed overwhelmed by your constant kindness and the depth of your incisive insight!

That must be what you meant by my being overwhelming. I participate and I'm overwhelmed by the knowledge and wisdom to be found here! biggrin

In the face of that, all I can do is refer to and defer to the words of the knowledgeable such as yourself! smile

Actually, peace is one option when just having a "for argument's sake." I'm not sure that I made peace.

Perhaps I unintentionally stirred other emotions? confused

Maybe I missed my calling, Legislative speaker, eh? wink

Thanks as usual,

Steve
Posted By: OrthodoxEast

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 06:40 AM

Inawe<<Orthodox East is INCOMPLETE without the Bishop or Patriarch of Rome,>>

Funny, I don't feel incomplete. :-)

OrthodoxEast
Posted By: Diak

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 08:16 AM

Christ is Risen!

The post of Alice above was very profound but I throw out some other considerations just thinking out loud here. The Roman Church has essentially now a sort of split personality with some parts moving back towards the Tridentine tradition, such as the Fraternity of St. Peter et. al., and another part moving towards greater and greater liturgical experimentation and innovation. This is just an observation from a Greek Catholic sort of looking at that situation from a distance.

Also we don't seem to have in Orthodoxy products like Hans Kung or Charles Curran who are willing, publicly as Catholic priests, to say they doubt the divinity of Christ.

In general with Orthodoxy the liturgy is not a question and is an element of commonality. The teachings of the first seven councils are an undeniable and firm basis of Orthodoxy.

Is 'lex orandi, lex crendendi' of St. Prosper of Aquitane true? I certainly believe it is true. If that is the case, then it seems to appear that a theological plurality may be present stemming from the liturgical plurality in the Roman church. I have been in Catholic Masses where I was uncomfortable and unsure I was in a Catholic Church. I have generally not had that same sort of experience with the Orthodox, just occasional discomfort becuase of the disdain of some priests for Greek Catholics. But most Orthodox welcome us when we attend.

But on the other hand primacy is needed (as Orthodox theologians such as Schmemann, Afanasiev and Meyendorff have stated) and the jurisdictional issues plaguing Orthodoxy seem to manifest this need.

Alex, thank you for starting this thread. I am also having great difficulty dealing with some of these very questions and issues at the present and this forum presents an excellent opportunity to voice those issues.
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 12:57 PM

This thread has definitely been a most productive one.

I think that there will naturally be a tension between conciliarity and primacy. If we look at any Eastern Orthodox Synod, we see this. The President of the Synod acts conciliarly with his brethren, yet he may veto elections of new bishops. He is usually the most senior and most respected voice, yet everyone has an equal voice and one vote. He is expected to admonish wayward brethren, yet he himself may be admonished and even removed!

There are clearly theological comparisons to this tension between primacy and conciliarity in our understanding (what little we may assert) of the Most Holy Trinity.

Christ is Risen!
Andrew
Posted By: Andrew J. Rubis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 12:59 PM

But please don't take the comparison to any extreme: I don't mean to say that the Son and Holy Spirit may "remove" the Father!

Christ is Risen!
Andrew
Posted By: Inawe

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/08/03 03:24 PM

Posted by OrthodoxEast,

"Inawe<<Orthodox East is INCOMPLETE without the Bishop or Patriarch of Rome,>>

Funny, I don't feel incomplete. :-)

OrthodoxEast "


Dear OrthodoxEast,

Wish I had said them!

Actually, the words that you attributed to me were written by Alice who is Orthodox. Speaking as a Latin Catholic I can only say that since there is a lack of communion of all of the Patriarchs with each other, I feel the sense of incompleteness of which she speaks.

It seems that communion is at least a part of the what Jesus prayed for in His prayer for unity among His followers.

I think that we all pray for that.

In the meantime, I'm certainly glad that you don't feel incomplete! You seem perfectly whole to me! biggrin

Steve
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 04:36 AM

Good question Orthodox Catholic,

This reminds me of the fact that I've been working on a personal list of reasons why I am Eastern Catholic rather than Eastern Orthodox (or Oriental Orthodox in my case). This list used to be a long one, easy to compile but it has slowly become a very brief list, difficult to compile. In other words, its becoming the incredible shrinking list.

I'm getting to the point, where I'm doubting whether I'm being theologically honest with myself (and God) by maintaing communion with Old Rome. I'm beginning to wonder whether the faith I hold is acceptable to my Catholic hierarchy and compatible with Catholicism (even EC). Perhaps I should have a meeting with my pastor to discuss this? Sometimes it seems like all I am doing is kicking against the goad.

Well anyways, these are thoughts that come to mind when I read your provacative question.

Ghazar DerGhazarian
Posted By: Three Cents

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 12:34 PM

This thread is personally very interesting, since this is exactly what I did. There are a number of personal pastoral effects that resulted, but I have absolutely no regrets. First, the family reaction, my Mother's Family is Italian RC and my Father's mixed Orthodox, BC and RC (as they were founders of of the Johnstown jurisdiction). My Mom's Family had a hard accepting that I chose to "not be under the Pope", and the Catholics remaining in my Dad's (significant percentage both RC and BC) as well. The funniest thing is when I told Bubba that I was now Pravoslavnie Christiani (like her), she said something like "I don't think so". (lol) May Her memory be eternal!

In Boston, Our Lady of Kazan and Father Alexis Floridi I think very probably understood my convictions. (May His memory be eternal). The same with my dear Campus Minister at Northeastern, although I think that she had more regrets and I will always appreciate her TLC. Finally a leading worldwide Greek Catholic (whom shall remain anonymous) theologian who lived there and whom I used to visit said to me, "I'm too old to become Orthodox. But if was Orthodox, I wouldn't become Catholic. Catholic Theology needs defending. Orthodox does not." I will never forget the personal support that I got from this holy Father of the Greek Catholic Church (and in fact, of any Christian persuasion). It was much easier to stay blended into the hugh Catholic Church and have try my best to function daily within that enormous unbrella. But I'm couldn't that, I follow my convictions when they are that strong. So, there are very personal issues that you will encounter, not matter what you decide to do (or not to do). I'm sure that your numerous friends on the this Forum (and elsewhere in your personal life) would join me in praying that whatever path you choose, it will be one that will give you peace in your heart. Psalm 22 reads. "May your heart live forever."

Christ Is Risen!

Three Cents
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 12:49 PM

....thus my conviction. If we could all be in spiritual harmony like the first church was, there would be no regrets of becoming Orthodox, because in essence, you would not then be turning your back on the Pope, (although not under his jurisdictional supremacy).

The Patriarchs are like a family of brothers where one has been estranged from the others for too long.

May God's Divine intervention and guidance change this soon. smile

In the Risen Christ,
Alice
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 05:39 PM

I think that there are some interesting thoughts here.

As a former Catholic, I don't really agree that Catholicism is approaching the idea of union with Orthodoxy in a way that excludes jurisdictional union. As I understand it, this is a significant problem for Catholicism, because the jurisdictional issues have been dogmatized at the First Vatican Council and, as such, are considered to be "de fide", of "of the faith" by Catholicism. I recall this well when a few of the senior curial Cardinals very gently rebuked the Melkite Eastern Catholics for publically declaring that they believed everything Orthodoxy teaches -- and the curials specifically pointed out that this wasn't possible because Orthodoxy doesn't hold to the post-separation Catholic developments relating to the Papacy, which are a matter of faith for Catholics, regardless of rite.

I think it is useful to think about things on the spiritual level, for if we are to draw closer together over time it will only be on this level that we can make initial progress, and perhaps if progress is made on that level, progress can be made on other levels. At this point, however, I don't think it's accurate that Catholicism seems willing to "budge" on its jurisdictional claims ... it can't, in a way, without compromising its own teachings. What is possible is for Catholicism to redefine, over time, its understanding of these teachings in a way that is more acceptable to the Orthodox ... perhaps "developing further" the teachings of the First Vatican Council to the effect that the Pope's jursidction outside the Latin Church is appellate and not direct, for example. And it should also be possible for Orthodox to open their own eyes to history and recognize that there was certainly a time in the history of the Church when the Eastern Sees recognized some kind of right of appeal to Rome. For its part, Catholicism teaches the development of doctrine, so this kind of development is certainly possible in theory, at least. So there is some hope there.

Brendan
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 06:15 PM

Dear Brendan,

Please read the article I posted from the Vatican regarding this topic, about half way down the first page of this thread. I think that you will find it interesting.

Christ is Risen!
Alice
Posted By: amonasticbeginner

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 07:27 PM

Oh, this topic is s-o-o-o-o interesting!!!

Isn't it true that the Orthodox accept other Orthodox who are under other Patriarchs, i.e., Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem?

As a Byzantine Catholic, I am Orthodox under the Patriarch of Rome. We used to be under the Patriarch of Constantinople. I do understand the historical reasons for the change. The doctrine issues were developed later to justify the split. (the doctrine issue are real; but they were not so important in the past)

I think the biggest obstacle to any kind of Christian unity is the bad feelings of some Orthodox toward the Papacy and the bad feelings of some Roman Catholics toward the Orthodox. That's the biggest obstacle in my little opinion.

:p :p :p
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 07:27 PM

Alice --

I agree that this is an interesting piece, but I think that beyond the "exercise of the Primacy" is the notion expressed in a dogmatic fashion at Vatican I that the universal direct jurisdiction of the Pope over the entire church is a matter of de fide dogma. That's a real obstacle, I think, because I don't think the Orthodox will sign on to that as being a part of the faith. Primacy yes, universal direct jurisdiction, no. Now, as I noted above, it's possible that Rome could develop this dogma further so that it is only appellate jurisdiction (although this goes against the wording of Pastor Aeternus, nevertheless Catholic theology embraces a concept of the development of doctrine over time), and *that* might be acceptable to the Orthodox, but as it currently is formulated it won't work, regardless of what "pragmatic" arrangements might be discussed.

Now, another fruitful avenue would be for Rome to revisit its own relationship with the Eastern Christians who are currently in communion with it. That would establish some degree of credibility with the Orthodox, even if only on the level of "pragmatic" issues.

Having said that, I won't give you the impression that I am belittling what you have written. I agree that the idea of growing closer spiritually is a fruitful way to begin to think about this, and as someone who has a lot of Catholics in the family this would be welcome personally. However, I also think that the issues of dogma and faith -- especially from the Catholic perspective -- aren't so easy to sweep away, or unimportant, despite pragmatic agreement on a number of issues.

Brendan
Posted By: Mexican

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 08:10 PM

The recent attitudes of the Roman Church are far different from those of Vatican I. I doubt that Pope John Paul II in his Ecumenical efforts has ever thought about a strong and square jurisdictional unity which in fact does not fully exist among the Orthodox.

The example is the Agreement between the Catholic Church and the Church of Assyria ("nestorians"). No jurisdictional or hierarchical unity was imposed to any of the groups (Chaldeans and Assyrians) but a full spiritual comunion was established (sacraments, concelebration, mass attendance, etc).

I believe that the dialogues for Church Unity should focus more on faith issues and the mysteries, in order to find a spiritual communion, and I think that's what the Bishops and theologians engaged in the dialogues are doing. A jurisdictional unity would be the fruit of a spiritual unity.

But now, even if Rome proposed a spiritual unity (meaning intercommunion, common mysteries, common prayer, etc.) without any Vatican I standard or jurisdictional commitment, the Orthodox would not be able to accept it unless all the Churches agree and this is very difficult. The Greeks would strongly oppose to that because of their prejuidces toward Rome.

It is my undestanding that the Orthodox Churches of Eastern Europe would have no problem in accepting unity with Rome as long as their "status quo" is respected and this would mean the desintegration of the Unia. And that kind of agreement would be unfair for those Christians who have suffered persecutions becauyse of their communion with Rome.
Posted By: Brian

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 08:48 PM

I believe that Eastern Orthodoxy's priority should be the formal restoration of communion with the Oriental Orthodox. Heal the effects of Chalcedon before moving on to others.
Posted By: OrthodoxEast

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/09/03 09:40 PM

Brian<<I believe that Eastern Orthodoxy's priority should be the formal restoration of communion with the Oriental Orthodox. Heal the effects of Chalcedon before moving on to others.>>

I agree with you, Brian. With the Oriental Orthodox we Eastern Orthodox already share and have always shared the same ecclesiology. With Rome, OTOH, one thousand years of separation has only accentuated the differences in our ecclesiologies, which reflect further differences in our approach to canons, spirituality, dogmatic development, etc.

CHRIST IS RISEN!

OrthodoxEast
Posted By: ZoeTheodora

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 06:06 AM

Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
[b] Dear Friends,

If an Eastern Catholic wished to become Orthodox or return to Orthodoxy, how does Catholicism view that?

Is it something Catholicism would consider a sin, apostasy or the like?

What if an Eastern Catholic simply saw "communion with Rome" as a "no-winner?"

Alex
Alex,
I hope this doesn't mean that you are thinking about doing this..... frown

I believe that Catholicism views this as a return to our Mother Church. I think it is viewed as being different for Eastern Catholics as it would be for Roman Catholics.

David [/b]
Dear David: I think you are wrong here. I believe it would be regaerded as a tragedy. Vatican II (which applies to the entire Church, East and West) says that the True Church subsists in the Catholic Church. According to Lumen Gentium, he who knows that Catholicism is the True Church yet refuses to join her (or insists on leaving her) cannot be saved. Someone who doesn't know that Catholicism is the True Church is in a different situation, of course. But we are all called to form our consciences with integrity and in sincere supplication that God's Will be done.

I hope Alex will not take this step; I will pray and pray that he will remain united with our Holy Father, Christ's true Vicar and servant-leader of the Church Universal.

Blessings,

ZT
Posted By: Danj

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 01:47 PM

ZT,
Christ is Risen!

What if one believes the true church subsists in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both are Apostolic Churches? Technically, the true church is both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both were undivided until the Schism. And at the Schism, both excommunicated each other, so it was a mutual thing, so to speak.

Dan
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 02:00 PM

Danj,

Then he denies Truth.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 02:12 PM

Dear Friends,

I think both views are present in Roman Catholicism. The extreme hard-lined one which Zoe presented and the moderate one which David presented.

Some would have you think, if you follow your formed conscience -which might include the belief that the Orthodox Churches are an integral part of the one true Catholic Church, that if you act according to this belief (e.g. by becoming Orthodox) that the RC nuns are going to track you down and beat your knuckles with a ruler until you repent. smile

Yet, this is very opposite of the well known report that the "Vicar of Christ" himself refused the Macedonian Orthodox Church the restoration of full Communion due to ecumenical concerns with world Orthodoxy. The Pope of Rome, it seems, would rather see unity established with the entire Orthodox Communion rather than with individual Churches. This is in keeping with the agreements of Balamand.

In so doing, His Holiness, himself manifests the fact that Orthodoxy has all the necessary means of sanctification and holiness a Christian needs to inherit everlasting life.

Incidently, the more people tell me how I have to believe, the less open I am to that belief. The mere fact they are attempting to dictate my faith to me, has the reverse effect of making one want to reject that faith they are trying to impose. I wonder if people who do this even realize that the very thing they are arguing for is being undermined by their approach?

I remember the first time I had a big discussion with some RC friends about this topic, I was so disgusted by their attitude and their depiction of Orthodoxy, I was ready to break communion with the Latin Church, right there on the spot. But then, when I read documents coming from the official Latin hierarchy, I was disuaded from doing this. In them, I found that more moderate view presented by David. But as a result of this bad experience with RC's I created a page for my web-site especially dedicated to presenting such documents in hopes of their modifying their views a little.
see: http://www.geocities.com/wmwolfe_48044/EC_Links.html

And I'm happy to report a few of them have warmed up to the East over the years. Shnorhagel em Asdvadz eem (I Thank you my God!)

Trusting In Christ's Light,
Wm. DerGhazarian
Armenian Catholic Christian
www.geocities.com/derghazar
Posted By: ZoeTheodora

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 06:40 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ghazar:
Dear Friends,

I think both views are present in Roman Catholicism. The extreme hard-lined one which Zoe presented and the moderate one which David presented.

Some would have you think, if you follow your formed conscience -which might include the belief that the Orthodox Churches are an integral part of the one true Catholic Church, that if you act according to this belief (e.g. by becoming Orthodox) that the RC nuns are going to track you down and beat your knuckles with a ruler until you repent. smile

Yet, this is very opposite of the well known report that the "Vicar of Christ" himself refused the Macedonian Orthodox Church the restoration of full Communion due to ecumenical concerns with world Orthodoxy. The Pope of Rome, it seems, would rather see unity established with the entire Orthodox Communion rather than with individual Churches. This is in keeping with the agreements of Balamand.

In so doing, His Holiness, himself manifests the fact that Orthodoxy has all the necessary means of sanctification and holiness a Christian needs to inherit everlasting life.

Incidently, the more people tell me how I have to believe, the less open I am to that belief. The mere fact they are attempting to dictate my faith to me, has the reverse effect of making one want to reject that faith they are trying to impose. I wonder if people who do this even realize that the very thing they are arguing for is being undermined by their approach?

I remember the first time I had a big discussion with some RC friends about this topic, I was so disgusted by their attitude and their depiction of Orthodoxy, I was ready to break communion with the Latin Church, right there on the spot. But then, when I read documents coming from the official Latin hierarchy, I was disuaded from doing this. In them, I found that more moderate view presented by David. But as a result of this bad experience with RC's I created a page for my web-site especially dedicated to presenting such documents in hopes of their modifying their views a little.
see: http://www.geocities.com/wmwolfe_48044/EC_Links.html

And I'm happy to report a few of them have warmed up to the East over the years. Shnorhagel em Asdvadz eem (I Thank you my God!)

Trusting In Christ's Light,
Wm. DerGhazarian
Armenian Catholic Christian
www.geocities.com/derghazar
This is the first time I've ever heard the Vatican II view described as "hard line"!!!!

Whew! What a board! :rolleyes

Blessings,

ZT
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 07:20 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Danj:
ZT,
Christ is Risen!

What if one believes the true church subsists in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both are Apostolic Churches? Technically, the true church is both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both were undivided until the Schism. And at the Schism, both excommunicated each other, so it was a mutual thing, so to speak.

Dan
Christ is Risen Indeed !!!

Actually, one would have to be Catholic to hold that view. Not that all Catholics believe that the Orthodox are really "Church", but that seems to be the official point of view.

It seems to me that to be "Orthodox" would mean holding to a belief that the "Roman Catholics" including the "Uniates" are outside the Church. frown

The excommunications of 1054 were between the Honchos and Poobahs of the Church. We the faithful have just been dragged around separately ever since.

Sometimes the "Servants of God" spill the soup before they get to the table. Or worse, spill it on the flock while we wait for leadership. shocked

I'm reminded of a comic strip I saw not long ago. A team of sheep was playing basketball. The sheep dog was the coach. One of the sheep was saying:

"I hate this coach.
You make a mistake, he barks at you!
You miss a basket, he barks at you!
You drop the ball, he barks at you!
He treats us like we're a bunch of darn ...

OH!!! biggrin


John
Pilgrim and Odd Duck
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 08:21 PM

I just don't see how ZT's stance is "hard-line" in the least. It seems to be in perfect accord with Catholic teaching.

Quote
838. "'The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.'[LG 15.] Those 'who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.'[UR 3.] With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound 'that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist.'[Paul VI, Discourse, December 14, 1975; cf. UR 13-18.]"
This paragraph clearly says that the Orthodox Churches lack 'little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist' with THE Church.

I have yet to see an official Church document that denies that the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ.

Logos Teen
Posted By: AntonI

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 08:38 PM

But then one can argue that the Orthodox Church is the True Church of Christ, with the Catholics tragically seperating themselves from the Body of the Mother Church....
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 08:41 PM

Nobody denies this Logos Teen. What is being denied by the RC hardliners is that the Orthodox and other authentic Apostolic Churches are also part of the true Church.
Posted By: Mexican

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/11/03 11:13 PM

But... are we really complete without the West? The West separated or both East and West separated? We could have expected a more moderated attitude from the leaders at the time of the schism. If the Latins incurred in innovations later it was because the Church was no longer united and if east and West were in communion, none of the innovations would have happened. The undivided Church was formed by Byzantines, Copts, Syriacs, and Latins; East and West together. I do not mean that Catholics and Orthodox are the same because there are differences, but I don't think that only the East was authenticaly Christian.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 02:55 AM

AntonI said:

Quote
But then one can argue that the Orthodox Church is the True Church of Christ, with the Catholics tragically seperating themselves from the Body of the Mother Church....
Absolutely. 100% agreement here.

Ghazar said:

Quote
Nobody denies this Logos Teen. What is being denied by the RC hardliners is that the Orthodox and other authentic Apostolic Churches are also part of the true Church.
Ghazar, do you mean to say that no one denies (except for "RC hardliners") that Eastern Orthodox Christians share a special bond with the Church (i.e. the Catholic Communion of sui iuris Churches)? Or do you mean to say that Eastern Orthodox are in fact, part of the True Church?

If your position is more closely in line with the latter, I must say I've never seen any official Church document that states that Eastern Orthodox (or any non-Catholic) is a complete member of the Church of Christ, since the Church of Christ is the Catholic Communion of sui iuris Churches.

Logos Teen
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 02:19 PM

Yes, another thumbs down! :p

Quote
Originally posted by ZoeTheodora:
Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
[b]
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
[b] Dear Friends,

If an Eastern Catholic wished to become Orthodox or return to Orthodoxy, how does Catholicism view that?

Is it something Catholicism would consider a sin, apostasy or the like?

What if an Eastern Catholic simply saw "communion with Rome" as a "no-winner?"

Alex
Alex,
I hope this doesn't mean that you are thinking about doing this..... frown

I believe that Catholicism views this as a return to our Mother Church. I think it is viewed as being different for Eastern Catholics as it would be for Roman Catholics.

David [/b]
Dear David: I think you are wrong here. I believe it would be regaerded as a tragedy. Vatican II (which applies to the entire Church, East and West) says that the True Church subsists in the Catholic Church. According to Lumen Gentium, he who knows that Catholicism is the True Church yet refuses to join her (or insists on leaving her) cannot be saved. Someone who doesn't know that Catholicism is the True Church is in a different situation, of course. But we are all called to form our consciences with integrity and in sincere supplication that God's Will be done.

I hope Alex will not take this step; I will pray and pray that he will remain united with our Holy Father, Christ's true Vicar and servant-leader of the Church Universal.

Blessings,

ZT [/b]
I believe that you are wrong here. Can you supply the document and all references where the Catholic Church says that True Church subsists in the Catholic Church and only the Catholic Church.

I am of the belief that the Catholic Church is the True Church, so is the Orthodox Church. That the schism happened both ways, the Orthodox leaving communion with Rome and Rome leaving communion with the Orthodox.

I believe that the Holy Father recognizes this. Are not the Orthodox Churches called sister churches to the Catholic Church?

Quote
Originally posted by Danj:
ZT,
Christ is Risen!

What if one believes the true church subsists in both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both are Apostolic Churches? Technically, the true church is both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as both were undivided until the Schism. And at the Schism, both excommunicated each other, so it was a mutual thing, so to speak.

Dan
Quote
Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
Danj,

Then he denies Truth.

Logos Teen
Logos Teen,
If you make this claim, that (I for one) someone denies the Truth, then it falls upon you to state the Truth. What documents of the Church lead you to say this?

I agree with Ghazar, that Rome denying the Macedonian Orthodox Church the restoration of full Communion shows that they are already part of the True Church. How could the Holy Father deny the faithful of the Macedonian Orthodox communion with the True Church if they already do not have it?

Again, I ask for exact references that support your argument.

I do agree with the hard liner comments, as it seems that many Roman Catholics think that the True Church is them and no one else. Most of the time this spills over to us Byzantine Catholics in the way that they say we aren't true catholics because we are not Roman.


David
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 03:03 PM

I don't remember the particulars, but in the Agreement of Balamand, 1995, Pope John Paul II, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed a joint declaration of being SISTER churches. smile

In the Risen Christ,
Alice

P.S. TO ALEX: (ORTHODOX-CATHOLIC), IF YOU ARE OUT THERE, IS EVERYTHING O.K.??? YOU STARTED THIS THREAD AND WE HAVEN'T HEARD FROM YOU IN A WHILE frown I MISS YOUR INPUT!!
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 03:07 PM

Dear Friends,

I would hope that I could pose the question I have here without people think that I am about to leave communion with Rome . . . wink

But, please, no more parcels with papal pins and pictures! I have plenty already! smile

From the RC POV, I think there is no doubt that the Orthodox Church IS the Church of Christ (although separated from full communion with the West).

The same sacraments, the same Apostolic Faith, Apostolic Succession - sounds like the true Church to me!

The issue of the Papacy is one that still divides us, but we should remember that the Orthodox don't reject the papacy per se - only the later Roman Catholic understanding of it.

So the idea that one Church is true and the other must not be is just not what the RC Church holds.

p.s. Alice - I just had to take care of some important business that occupied me for a few days - it's nice to know when one is missed!!

Alex
Posted By: Brian

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 03:12 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:


But, please, no more parcels with papal pins and pictures! I have plenty already! smile


Alex
Christ is Risen!

Alex!

What about pins and pictures of St Seraphim and St Mark of Ephesus from the other side???

Peace,
Brian
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 03:27 PM

Dear Brian,

I wear a beautiful antique medal of the Mother of God "Joy of all Joys" on one side and of St Seraphim of Sarov on the other around my neck at all times! (I'm very happy to have this relic from Sarov!).

But if you know where to get a pin of St Mark of Ephesus, I would be pleased to send for it too!

(BTW, I really appreciated your comments to Anastasius on the other thread. When an Orthodox Christian speaks like that to an Eastern Catholic, you know the Spirit is moving hearts!)

Alex
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 03:58 PM

I think that there has been some confusion about this issue of what the Catholic Church really teaches about the Orthodox. In 2000, shortly *after* I became Orthodox, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (for those who aren't Catholics, this is the Vatican Dicastery that is responsible for doctrinal, theological matters, acting on delegated authority from the Pope) released a very important document in this regard called "Dominus Iesus". It was controversial when it was released, because some ecumenically-minded Catholics didn't like what it said, but rest assured that this document, promulgated as it was, was not done so without the knowledge and permission of the Pope.

IIRC, there was some discussion about this on this forum when the document was released, and perhaps a search for it would be fruitful. In any case, the document basically says that only Catholicism is fully the Church. It implies that Orthodoxy is less than fully the Church because we do not hold to all of the teachings of Catholicism. Specifically, in a now somewhat famous footnote, it specifically refers to the Vatican II langauge about "subsisting in" and interprets this to mean that the Church subsists in the Catholic Church only -- and that the Church does not subsist in other "churches" (like the Orthodox) or "ecclesiastical communities" (like the Protestants). Rather, the latter are distinguished from Catholicism depending on how many "ecclesial elments" (elementa ecclesiae) they share with the Catholic Church ... such that the Orthodox, who share many "ecclesial elements" can be called lower-case "churches" in that sense, but because they do not share *all* ecclesial elements with the Catholic Church, the upper-case "Church" does not subsist in them. This is what Catholicism presently teaches about Orthodoxy, and to construe it as otherwise is basically to say I don't care what CDF says (which is to ignore the folks that have been given the Pope's blessing to teach doctrine). I don't think that Dominus Iesus marks a departure of any kind for Catholic theology, or is a "hard-line" document, but is simply the logical conclusion of Catholic ecclesiology.

Brendan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 04:11 PM

Dear father Brendan, wink

Yes, but as a former papist, smile you well know that Latin Catholicism's "theological nuances" can swing from Left to Right over time.

I think that RCism took a definite turn to the "Right" with that doctrine.

However, I also believe you are a bit off in your interpretation of that papist document.

The model of the church presented there is more or less consistent with that of recent decades in Catholicism where the 'true Church' is likened to a series of glasses of milk.

From this point of view, the RC church is filled to the top with milk, but that doesn't mean there isn't any milk in other churches or glasses.

Orthodoxy comes closest to being filled "almost" to the top with milk and then Protestant communities have varying levels of milk depending on how much of the Apostolic tradition they have.

RCism has never denied that Orthodoxy isn't the true Church, but, from its papist perspective (with which you are very acquainted, being a former papist yourself wink ), Orthodoxy still needs communion with Rome to be filled with "milk to the very top."

But Orthodoxy views the papal jurisdictional and infallible milk as being largely curdled . . .

And this is why it refuses to cow-tow to Rome . . .

Alex
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 05:08 PM

I don't disagree with the milk analogy offered by Alex -- I think it is the same as I was saying. If milk = ecclesial elements per DI, then the Catholic Churches simply have more milk than the Orthodox churches do -- meaning our Orthodox glass is less than full, and that therefore there is something lacking in us as compared with Catholicism. DI does call us "churches" because we share so many "ecclesial elements" with Catholicism, but our glass is less than full, so I think a fair reading of DI is that we are less than fully the Church (only Catholicism is fully the Church). I agree that this isn't a departure for Catholic theology - but it did surprise some (I remember a particularly stinging quip from the otherwise very ecumenical GO Metr Maximos of Pittsburgh, for example).

Brendan
Posted By: Alice

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 05:20 PM

Dear Brendon,

Ahhh...Metropolitan Maximos! There is a difficult hierarch to figure out! wink

I heard him say some anti-ecumenical things at an ecumenical workshop no less! frown

He seems to have a tendency (which is VERY Greek shocked )towards emotionalism and passion!

Go figure! :rolleyes:

Alice
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 05:26 PM

Alice --

Yes, I recall fairly well such a display from the GO Metr. of Melbourne a few years ago during his sermon at St. Sophia's Cathedral here in Washington. It was an ecumenical DL with the RC members of the international dialogue in attendance ... and the good Metr. was, shall we say, rather "exercised" during his homily, even to the point of banging his staff on the ground at points to emphasize his words. :-)

Brendan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 05:35 PM

Dear Brendan,

Well, perhaps an ecumenical way out here is for Orthodoxy to tell Rome that, even though Rome thinks its glass is slightly under-filled, ITS milk is of a consistently higher quality than Rome's . . .

Quality over quantity . . .

Eastern Catholics, for one, have always said that too much (Roman bureaucratic) milk can be bad for you!

(Now if you and Alice really think that my previous post on the milk glasses is good, please do write the Administrator and tell him so! smile ).

Alex
Posted By: Fr Mark

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 05:49 PM

But Orthodoxy views the papal jurisdictional and infallible milk as being largely... soya substitute.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 05:58 PM

Quote
If you make this claim, that (I for one) someone denies the Truth, then it falls upon you to state the Truth. What documents of the Church lead you to say this?
First of all, I could say that because you make your claim, it falls upon you, or both of us, to provide official Catholic documents to clear this up. I believe Brendan has done this.

I get the feeling you're trying to twist and misconstrue my motives here. I'm not trying to bear ill will against anyone, simply trying to follow the Church teaches regarding this.

Logos Teen
Posted By: ZoeTheodora

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:04 PM

Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
Yes, another thumbs down! :p

Quote
Originally posted by ZoeTheodora:
[b]
Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
[b] </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial,sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial,sans-serif">Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
[qb] Dear Friends,

If an Eastern Catholic wished to become Orthodox or return to Orthodoxy, how does Catholicism view that?

Is it something Catholicism would consider a sin, apostasy or the like?

What if an Eastern Catholic simply saw "communion with Rome" as a "no-winner?"

Alex
Alex,
I hope this doesn't mean that you are thinking about doing this..... frown

I believe that Catholicism views this as a return to our Mother Church. I think it is viewed as being different for Eastern Catholics as it would be for Roman Catholics.

David [/b]
Dear David: I think you are wrong here. I believe it would be regaerded as a tragedy. Vatican II (which applies to the entire Church, East and West) says that the True Church subsists in the Catholic Church. According to Lumen Gentium, he who knows that Catholicism is the True Church yet refuses to join her (or insists on leaving her) cannot be saved. Someone who doesn't know that Catholicism is the True Church is in a different situation, of course. But we are all called to form our consciences with integrity and in sincere supplication that God's Will be done.

I hope Alex will not take this step; I will pray and pray that he will remain united with our Holy Father, Christ's true Vicar and servant-leader of the Church Universal.

Blessings,

ZT [/b]
I believe that you are wrong here. Can you supply the document and all references where the Catholic Church says that True Church subsists in the Catholic Church and only the Catholic Church.

I am of the belief that the Catholic Church is the True Church, so is the Orthodox Church. That the schism happened both ways, the Orthodox leaving communion with Rome and Rome leaving communion with the Orthodox.

I believe that the Holy Father recognizes this. Are not the Orthodox Churches called sister churches to the Catholic Church?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial,sans-serif">Please, y'all, stop calling me a "hard-liner" because I believe Vatican II, for goodness sakes. This poisons the well like crazy. Pklease stop it. Thanks!!

The relevant documents are Lumen Gentium and The Decree on Ecumenism. Both are available on-line.

You might also want to check out Dominus Iesus, also available on-line. This recent official Vatican document says the EO Churches are very close to us and "lack little" that would be required for full union. But they still do lack something -- communion with the successor of Peter. And that's a fairly crucial thing. :p

For the record, this is waaaaaaaaaaaay more ecumenical than the typical Orthodox attitude toward us. Many Orthodox, as you know, deny that we even have valid Orders and Sacraments...and some deny that we even have Grace. I know no Catholic who would say the same about the Orthodox. So, if you're looking for "hard-liners," look at ROCOR or even at the MP...not at little ole me, a follower of Vatican II!

ZT
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:13 PM

ZT --

I think that last bit is a little harsh on Orthodoxy.

Orthodoxy and Catholicism have different views of each other because they each view sacramentality differently. Catholicism uses external criteria like apostolic succession to determine whether one's sacramental life is "valid" -- so, of course they don't doubt the "validity" of Orthodox sacramental life because they recognize the continued apostolic succession in Orthodox bishops despite the lack of communion with Rome.

Orthodoxy doesn't look to the same external criteria, and doesn't see, for example, how sacramental life and apostolic succession can be said to *definitively* exist outside the boundaries of the communion of the Church -- but we don't KNOW that, and we do know that the Holy Spirit can be active where He pleases, so we can't exclude the possibility of it, either. That's the real Orthodox position -- meaning that individuals, including individual clerics -- are free to believe either way, while the Church doesn't make a definitive conclusion about what is taking place outside of what she sees as the limits of her own communion.

This simply arises from two different conceptions of what it means to be "Church", and I don't think its proper to characterize one as less ecumenical than the other (while there are some very anti-ecumenical Orthhodox, there are anti-ecumenical Catholics, too, like Steve Ray and James Likoudis, to name a few, who have some pretty harsh things to say about Orthodoxy).

Brendan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:16 PM

Dear Zoe Theodora,

Since the Latin Church has done away with the Office of Devil's Advocate, let me play one here for your edification wink .

WHY is communion with the Successor of Peter important to being "the Church?"

Tell me from the heart - I do read a lot of theological stuff, believe me!

In other words, what does such communion give a Church that it would otherwise not have?

If we can show, and we can, that doctrinally there is nothing the Roman Church teaches that the East doesn't already believe, what do the Eastern Churches really gain from communion with Rome?

So if Rome is to be a "teacher," what can it teach the East? (I'm going to hear from Fr. Kimel, I just know it!)

As you are pondering an answer to that one, do you think it is fair for the Eastern Churches to accept a Primacy of Rome that is radically different from the one they were "in communion with" for the first millennium of Christianity?

In other words, is it fair to expect the Eastern Churches to be in some sort of jurisdictional relationship with Rome when such was completely absent in the first millennium when the Church was one and when the Pope was "First among Equals?"

Do take your time and, remember, no throwing out of bibliographies!

Alex
Posted By: Perichoresis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:37 PM

Question: Are folks really surprised to find that Catholicism understands that the Catholic Church subsists within the Roman Communion? In fact, the use of the word "subsists" with the Vatican II documents was really quite notable and revolutionary at the time, as it made possible the subsequent ecumenical dialogues with Orthodoxy and the Protestant "ecclesial communities."

I certainly do not understand why Orthodox should be offended by this, as Orthodox eucharistic ecclesiology and practice decisively restricts the Church catholic to the Orthodox communion. Even Pope John Paul II's "two lungs" metaphor of East and West needing each other for wholeness--a truly remarkable ecumenical overture!--has been rejected as just another form of the branch theory.

Regarding Dominus Iesus , as Father Brendan has noted, this document is thoroughly consistent with the ecclesiology of Vatican II, despite the howls of Protestant ecumenists. But Fr Brendan is, I think, incorrect when he says that Catholicism only regards Orthodoxy as church in lower-case. See the Vatican II document Unitatis Redintegratio , where the Orthodox Churches are referred to as "particular Churches." Indeed, Catholicism has even gone so far as to speak of the Orthodox churches as sister churches . And can anyone produce an Orthodox document that speaks as highly of the Latin Churches as Orientale Lumen speaks of the Eastern Churches?

Be happy! Anglicanism, along with the rest of Protestantism, is just an "ecclesial community." wink
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:46 PM

Fr. Kimel --

I think that's where the inherent tension comes from Dominus Iesus. It seems to be saying that there is a sliding scale of some sort such that some are "ecclesiastical communities", some are "particular Churches" and others are "fully the Church", or, perhaps more precisely, "particular Churches in which the Catholic Church fully subsists". So it may be that we Orthodox are "true particular Churches", but per Dominus Iesus we are not "full", or at least, we are "true particular Churches in which the Catholic Church nevertheless does not subsist". That raises the question of what it means to be such a "true particular Church" and how one can be "Church" fully without the Catholic Church subsisting in it. It is a bit of a thorny issue from the perspective of Catholic ecclesiology, and I think that I tried to express this by using lower case (as I think was the case in Dominus Iesus, but I could be misremembering on that) as opposed to upper case ... but in any case there is this strange distinction whereby one can be a true particular Church without having the Catholic Church fully subsist.

I think that the Orthodox reacted negatively -- at least some of them did -- because it kind of demoted the idea of sister churches. Sister churches could have been taken to mean that the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are sister churches (and I think that this was often the way it was interpreted). DI makes it clear that this isn't the case, and that only the particular Churches are sisters, and, further, that some of these sisters are less full than others. In a way, it felt like a "demotion". I do agree that we got off easier than the Protestants did (who were told basically that they were non-churches!), but it still felt like it went against the grain -- in tone if not in theory, of earlier ecumenical documents during the 90s.

Brendan
Posted By: Perichoresis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:47 PM

Quote
So if Rome is to be a "teacher," what can it teach the East? (I'm going to hear from Fr. Kimel, I just know it!)
Well, I certainly do not want to disappoint you, Alex!

Methodist Stanley Hauerwas once quipped, the Pope is the only person that could have kept the Italians and Irish in the same Church!
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:50 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel,

And I'm really serious about the "sinner" thing this time . . . wink

I referred to Brendan as "father" only in the biological sense - which is why I spelled it with the lower case "f."

Who says Easterners don't have a sense of humour? smile

On the one hand, and as someone who had a precious opportunity to speak with the Pope himself about some ecumenical issues, I couldn't agree with you more about RC ecumenical theology.

I think this Pope is not only a saint, but a leader who was taken many far-reaching steps, the impact of which we have yet to fully feel.

I think, though, that Rome itself isn't ready to actually implement the full extent of what it has said about the Orthodox "sister Churches."

But I've raised those issues on another thread and I won't get into it here - I hope you will contribute to that thread, Reverend and Esteemed Father in Christ!

As for the Anglican ecclesial community smile , I think that RC ecumenical theologians engaging in dialogue with both Anglicans and Lutherans have called both "true Christian Churches" in their deliberations and conclusions.

There was the suggestion made, by way of historical reflection, that Canterbury acted very much like a Patriarchate. The Lutheran-Catholic commission also raised the notion of a Patriarchate for "Lutherans in communion with Rome."

Even though the "Churchy" status of both may be an issue strictly speaking for Rome, there is no doubt but that once any "deficiencies" with respect to your ecclesial/sacramental status is dealt with to Rome's satisfaction, the acknowledgement of Particular Anglican and Lutheran Churches "in communion with Rome" replete with their own patriarchates - would be a matter of course.

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:53 PM

Dear Brendan,

You are more than correct, but I think the Pope and Rome felt they needed to avoid the impression, given by earlier ecumenical RC theology, that both RC and Orthodoxy were "equals."

Something had to be done to quell the flow of more Catholic Brendans over to Orthodoxy!

Alex
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 06:55 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
Quote
[b]If you make this claim, that (I for one) someone denies the Truth, then it falls upon you to state the Truth. What documents of the Church lead you to say this?
First of all, I could say that because you make your claim, it falls upon you, or both of us, to provide official Catholic documents to clear this up. I believe Brendan has done this.

I get the feeling you're trying to twist and misconstrue my motives here. I'm not trying to bear ill will against anyone, simply trying to follow the Church teaches regarding this.

Logos Teen [/b]
I can see where your comming from here, but I still would submit that the burden of proof lies in your court by the very fact of your negative (and borderline uncharitable) comment of "Then he denies Truth"


Quote
Originally posted by ZoeTheodora:
Please, y'all, stop calling me a "hard-liner" because I believe Vatican II, for goodness sakes. This poisons the well like crazy. Pklease stop it. Thanks!!

The relevant documents are Lumen Gentium and The Decree on Ecumenism. Both are available on-line.

You might also want to check out Dominus Iesus, also available on-line. This recent official Vatican document says the EO Churches are very close to us and "lack little" that would be required for full union. But they still do lack something -- communion with the successor of Peter. And that's a fairly crucial thing. :p

For the record, this is waaaaaaaaaaaay more ecumenical than the typical Orthodox attitude toward us. Many Orthodox, as you know, deny that we even have valid Orders and Sacraments...and some deny that we even have Grace. I know no Catholic who would say the same about the Orthodox. So, if you're looking for "hard-liners," look at ROCOR or even at the MP...not at little ole me, a follower of Vatican II!

ZT
Zoe,
I have seen Brendan's reply and am going to look at Dominus Iesus tonight, the footnote Brendan coments about does seem to support your stand.

And please, let me apologize about my hard-liner comment.....

Can you please point me to the parts of Lumen Gentium and The Decree on Ecumenism that say what you are saying they say? Only when one looks to Dominus Iesus does one see what you are saying.

Granted that Dominus Iesus may be clairfing this point from Vatican II but it is not a document of that council and does Dominus Iesus qualify as a dogma (a de fide) of the Church?


David
Posted By: amonasticbeginner

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:02 PM

This gets m-o-o-o-r-e interesting all the time!

The metaphor that I like is that Christianity has been divorced. The two "parents" (Roman Catholic and Orthodox) have started speaking to each other again!!!!!! :p

The Eastern Catholics are among the "children" who are trying to bring the parents back together again: one canonical Christian "family."

Of course, like all metaphors this one only goes so far. I, for one, love both "parents." Both are canonical and both have the fullness of Christianity. Period. No if's, and's, or but's!!!

:p
Posted By: Perichoresis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:10 PM

I feel odd being the one to defend the Catholic position; but Fr Brendan, I do not believe that you are being fair and just here either to Catholic ecclesiology or to Dominus Iesus.

How in the world could the Catholic Church declare the Orthodox Churches to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in the way that you want without at the same time embracing the kind of branch theory of the Church that Orthodox theologians have always firmly rejected? From my Anglican perspective, it looks like you have them coming and going. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. You really can't have it both ways, you know. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

So tell me, which ecclesiology is more ecumenical? The Catholic view that recognizes that the Church catholic actually exists beyond the visible boundaries of the Roman communion, or the Orthodox view that restricts the Church catholic to the visible Orthodox communion?

BTW, Alex, here is one argument in favor of the Papacy. It makes possible a eucharistic ecclesiology that transcends the either/or eucharistic ecclesiology of Orthodoxy. Thus Tillard's Church of Churches.

One thing for sure: We Protestants come off a lot better under a Catholic ecclesiology, which at least recognizes that we exist "in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church," than under an Orthodox ecclesiology, which cannot even recognize us as Christian. A Catholic priest can accept an invitation to preach in my pulpit. Can an Orthodox priest? Nope.
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:10 PM

David --

I don't think that DI qualifies as a "dogma", but it seems unlikely that much of the decrees adopted at Vatican II qualify for that either. Still, conciliar decrees are higher on the hierarchy of norms for Catholic church documents than documents produced by the CDF, so that is something to consider.

The Catholic Church, IIRC, however, also teaches that all aspects of the ordinary magisterium -- and I believe this would include a document like Dominus Iesus -- must be firmly assented to and accepted by all Catholics spiritually and intellectually. As a side note, the latter seems somewhat strange, as it appears to set up -- or at least potentially to set up -- a kind of creeping infallibility whereby for the regular Catholic believer as a practical matter it doesn't matter whether something has been infallibly proclaimed or not.

Brendan
Posted By: Brian

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:10 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
ZT --

I think that last bit is a little harsh on Orthodoxy.

Orthodoxy and Catholicism have different views of each other because they each view sacramentality differently. Catholicism uses external criteria like apostolic succession to determine whether one's sacramental life is "valid" -- so, of course they don't doubt the "validity" of Orthodox sacramental life because they recognize the continued apostolic succession in Orthodox bishops despite the lack of communion with Rome.

Brendan
Brendan,

Quite true. Orthodoxy does not really use those juridical concepts of "validity" "licit" etc that the Western Church can sometimes get bogged down in. The Orthodox Church does not see beyond itself and does not judge beyond itself on other Churches. It seems to allow more for the Freedom of the Holy Spirit and does not deny that the Spirit can work in other communities.
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:19 PM

"How in the world could the Catholic Church declare the Orthodox Churches to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in the way that you want without at the same time embracing the kind of branch theory of the Church that Orthodox theologians have always firmly rejected?"

Actually, what I said was that I thought Dominus Iesus was consistent with Catholic ecclesiology and was helpful from the perspective of clearing up any confusion that may have been the case (and seems to have been the case, based on the reactions to Domninus Iesus) regarding the Catholic view of Orthodoxy. Catholicism is free to have its own ecclesiology, of course, which I disagree with.

"So tell me, which ecclesiology is more ecumenical? The Catholic view that recognizes that the Church catholic actually exists beyond the visible boundaries of the Roman communion, or the Orthodox view that restricts the Church catholic to the visible Orthodox communion?"

To me it's about whose ecclesiology is right. I believe in the Orthodox view on this, if I didn't I would not have joined the Orthodox Church. But is the Catholic view really that the "Church catholic" exists outside the boundaries of the Roman communion? Is that what DI says? I thought it said that the Catholic Church subsists only in the churches of the Roman communion. Or are you saying that for those "true particular Churches in which the Catholic Church nevertheless does not subsist" are nevertheless part of the "Church catholic", and if so, what does that "Church catholic" mean, really?

And does the Orthodox view really restrict the Church to the visible communion? I think that the Orthodox view is that we don't know about what is happening outside of the visible communion -- it could be graced, and it might not be. We can't control the Holy Spirit, obviously! But at the same time we can't say something that is clearly separated from the visible communion is *definitively* Church either .. how can we say that? The RCs get there by using external criteria, but to us the ecclesial context is what is critical, and so it's really not possible for the Church to affirm that any more than it for it to deny it with any degree of definitiveness. I'd say that's the Orthodox view.

Brendan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:21 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel,

I'm in the middle of a political battle at work, but had to respond to your challenging post wink .

Brendan didn't make his comments within the context of a "Catholicism vs Orthodoxy" comparison, but within the context of the very ecumenical issue that you yourself raised.

Brendan simply showed that the Catholic Church too has its standards about what is the "Church" as does Orthodoxy.

And whether Protestantism comes off "better" with Catholicism than with Orthodoxy is a moot point - neither Apostolic Church would consider membership in Protestantism as a "good thing" to borrow from Martha Stewart.

Orthodox Fathers have never denied that Protestants can be saved etc. And Orthodox theologians have had fruitful discussions with Anglicans and Lutherans, the "highest" of the Protestant Churches. Jaroslav Pelikan is one Lutheran scholar who has written widely on the Eastern Church - and who is today an Orthodox Christian.

Brendan was, I believe, simply saying that Catholicism is like Orthodoxy in the final analysis - both believe themselves to be the true Church.

And if Catholicism believes other Churches and communities to have some of its own "milk" of Divine Grace - that is nice but it still means "missing the (fullness of the) mark."

And, FYI, I don't deny the value of the papacy. I am an Eastern Catholic with relatives who have either been beatified or who are on the roster to be for their martyrdom for communion with Rome. FYI . . .

If you mean that the Papacy allows for a more universal outreach of and respect for traditions in both East and West - that is debatable and it is only recently that Rome has raised the issue of the return of the Eastern Catholic Churches to their patrimony.

The Vatican document of January 6, 1996 is brilliant in pointing out Latinizations and how things should be with the East.

But it also admits that the reason why things are not the way they should be is because of Latinization.

The papacy is ultimately an ideal that has yet to be fully realized.

Anglican theologians have sometimes called Rome up on the carpet for overtures to the Anglican communion for union with Rome.

"Yes, we know what happened with the Eastern Churches" some of them said.

Alex
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:32 PM

Dear Brendan,

Sorry for the earlier confusion when I quipped that you were "father Brendan."

You are right and I wanted to say that the way in which Orthodoxy sees the "validity" of other churches et al. is intrinsically linked up with "Communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" in this case, Orthodoxy.

So, while the Orthodox Catholic Church would have refused to comment on the validity of Assyrian ("Nestorian") sacraments et al., it does not do so when Assyrian Churches and individual Assyrians came into communion with it.

We know that Orthodoxy simply required that Assyrians coming into communion with it repudiate the notion of "Two Persons" in Christ - and that was the only requirement before they were received into Orthodoxy.

People coming to Orthodoxy from various communions et al. are assessed individually and as communities AT THAT TIME and we know that Orthodoxy WILL recognize sacramental validity in numerous cases IN CONNECTION with this.

Orthodoxy takes very seriously the idea that the Church is all about "Communion." (Frankly, I was a bit put-off by Fr. Kimel's somewhat disparaging comment on the limitations of Orthodoxy's "Eucharistic" model of the Church. Is that just me?)

There is only One Church. And communion with it means full Eucharistic, doctrinal and sacramental union with it.

Anything less is simply not the Will of Christ for His Body which is the Church.

Alex
Posted By: Perichoresis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:39 PM

My apologies to (formerly "Father") Brendan. Upon re-reading his posts, I do find that I misinterpreted them, as Alex has suggested. Sorry about that. I got caught up in the thread and thought he was bemoaning the failure of Catholic ecclesiology to acknowledge Orthodoxy as Church in the fullest sense of the word.
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:47 PM

Not a problem, it is a limitation of the medium. :p

I think Alex describes it well in that both Orthodoxy and Catholicism considers itself to be the Church, but reaches different conclusions (or, chooses not to reach a conclusion) about what is going on outside themselves.

Brendan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 07:53 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel and father Brendan!

What would you people do without me? smile smile

Alex
Posted By: Perichoresis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 08:23 PM

Quote
Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel and father Brendan! What would you people do without me?
Can Brendan and I get back to you on that? wink
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 08:25 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel!

Take all the time you need! smile

Alex
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 09:13 PM

Quote
...do you think it is fair for the Eastern Churches to accept a Primacy of Rome that is radically different from the one they were "in communion with" for the first millennium of Christianity?

In other words, is it fair to expect the Eastern Churches to be in some sort of jurisdictional relationship with Rome when such was completely absent in the first millennium when the Church was one and when the Pope was "First among Equals?"
But, conversely, Alex, do you think it is fair for the Catholic Church to accept a Primacy of Rome that is radically different from the one that it is now and has been for centuries past?

In other words, is it fair to not expect the Catholic Church to be in some sort of jurisdictional relationship with Orthodoxy when this is the way the Church ha operated in the past few hundred years of Catholicism (and many argue even in the First Millenium)?

Logos Teen
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 09:21 PM

Quote
I can see where your comming from here, but I still would submit that the burden of proof lies in your court by the very fact of your negative (and borderline uncharitable) comment of "Then he denies Truth"
I'm sorry if you found my remark uncharitable, it was not meant to be. I still think that Brendan, ironically an Eastern Orthodox, shows this to be a case of quad est demonstratum.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 09:38 PM

Fr Kimel,

Why do refer to the Catholic Communion as the "Roman Communion?" Just curious, please don't take it the wrong way.

By the way, I don't think that the "Lung Theory" refers to the actual communion between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but rather simply the respective traditions and theologies of each. The Catholic Church has both Lungs, though it is primarily the Western Lung. Orthodoxy is almost totally devoid of the Western Lung, except if one includes the controversial Western Rite of Antiochian Orthodoxy. I think the Holy Father was simply saying that the Church needs both Eastern and Western theologies (regardless of communion lines) to "breathe" properly.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Perichoresis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/12/03 10:50 PM

Logos Teen, I think it is probably best to let the Pope explain what he means by his two lungs metaphor. Consider, for example, the following:
Quote
The universal Church needs a synergy between the particular [Catholic] Churches of East and West so that she may breathe with her two lungs, in the hope of one day doing so in perfect communion between the Catholic Church and the separated Eastern [Orthodox] Churches. Therefore, we cannot but rejoice that the Eastern [Catholic] Churches have in recent times taken root in America alongside the Latin Churches present there from the beginning, thus making the catholicity of the Lord's Church appear more clearly. (Jan 22, 1999)
This sure sounds to me that the Pope sees the schism between East and West as rendering the Catholic Church as "incomplete" or impoverished in some real sense. Perhaps you might do some research on this for us.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 01:30 AM

I'll look into it, Father. In the mean time, all I can say is that without all of humanity embracing the Faith, the Church is indeed incomplete in some sense of the word, and is definitely impoverished by other Christians who place themselves outside of her boundaries.

Logos Teen
Posted By: moe

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 01:46 AM

"the Church is indeed incomplete in some sense of the word, and is definitely impoverished by other Christians who place themselves outside of her boundaries."

Like yourself? Moe
Posted By: ZoeTheodora

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 03:35 AM

Quote
Originally posted by moe:
"the Church is indeed incomplete in some sense of the word, and is definitely impoverished by other Christians who place themselves outside of her boundaries."

Like yourself? Moe
Man, this is vicious. It confirms me in my increasing conviction that there's something seriously wrong with this board.

frown

ZT
Posted By: Mexican

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 06:12 AM

I am explained that the term "sister Church" is misunderstood, and that while the Church of Rome is ther sister Church of the Church of Constantinople, and the Church of Rome is the sister Church of the Chuch of Antioch, the Orthodox Church cannot be the sister Church of the Catholic Church. confused
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 11:40 AM

Quote
Like yourself?
In a way, but not exactly. At the moment I am outside the visible boundaries of the Church, but I wish to enter her. This is unlike 99.99999% of those outside of the Church, who wish to stay outside of her.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 12:45 PM

Snoopy --

The reason for that is that per Catholic theology (which makes sense if you believe Roman Catholicism is the Church) there can be only *one* Catholic Church, by definition that Church cannot be divided against itself. So to speak of the "Catholic Church" as having "sisters" is misleading .... rather the "Catholic Church" is the "mother" of all the particular "Catholic Churches" in which she subsists (ie, the churches of the Roman communion). Therefore per Catholic ecclesiology if you take non-Catholic churches that share enough "ecclesial elements" with the Catholic Church such that they are true "churches" one can say that these are "sister churches" to the true particular churches of the Catholic communion, but to say that there is another "Church" out there (ie, the "Orthodox Church") that is, taken together, the "sister Church" of the "Catholic Church" is to admit that the Catholic Church is divided in some way, which of course neither Orthodox nor Catholic ecclesiology would support.

The Catholic view articulated in Dominus Iesus makes perfectr sense per Catholic ecclesiology. While the Orthodox Church has not taught about this in a dogmatic or binding way, there are certainly many Orthodox Christians who have a view of the Church that is essentially the converse of that taught in Dominus Iesus (ie the Catholic Churches are still in some sense perhaps "churches" but not fully so because they believe things that aren't "Orthodox" per "Orthodoxy" and that, in any case, the Church is not divided and exists in its fullness in the Orthodox Church).

The contra view is that the reality is that the Catholic Church is divided. This is a view held privately by many persons, but not supported by either Catholic or Orthodox ecclesiology, at least as formulated to date.

Brendan
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 01:09 PM

Quote
(which makes sense if you believe Roman Catholicism is the Church)
You mean Catholicism?

Logos Teen
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 01:45 PM

Teen Logos --

I use the phrase "Roman Catholicism" to delineate the group of churches that are in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Nomenclature is always a thorny issue here, as Orthodoxy considers itself to be "Catholicism". The pragmatic shorthand, I think, is "Roman Catholicism" and "Orthodox Catholicism" to delineate between these two communions. By "Roman Catholicism", I do not mean to exclude or demean Eastern Catholics, or to limit the expression in any way to Latin Catholics, but simply to delineate the communion of churches that is in communion with Rome as opposed to the communion of churches which is not but which considers itself to be the "Catholic Church" as well.

Brendan
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 05:42 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
Teen Logos --

I use the phrase "Roman Catholicism" to delineate the group of churches that are in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Nomenclature is always a thorny issue here, as Orthodoxy considers itself to be "Catholicism". The pragmatic shorthand, I think, is "Roman Catholicism" and "Orthodox Catholicism" to delineate between these two communions. By "Roman Catholicism", I do not mean to exclude or demean Eastern Catholics, or to limit the expression in any way to Latin Catholics, but simply to delineate the communion of churches that is in communion with Rome as opposed to the communion of churches which is not but which considers itself to be the "Catholic Church" as well.

Brendan
Brendan,
I hate to do this but I have to disagree with your usage here as you seem to make a distinction for Catholics, that is calling us all Roman Catholics by virtue of our being in communion with Rome, yet you do not make the same distinction for the Orthodox Churches.

Not all of "Orthodox Catholicism" are in communion with each other. As I have heard, the Serbian Orthodox are not in communion with every other Orthodox Church, the same goes for ROCOR.

I have also never heard any Orthodox describe themselves as "Orthodox Catholicism".

With that being said, you are also aware that calling Byzantine Catholics Roman is not taken well by us.

So I must say it, another thumbs down! :p

David
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 06:26 PM

David --

Sorry, I mean no offense, but the Orthodox Church does call itself the "Orthodox Catholic Church" in full usage. The common shorthand of Orthodox Church is precisely that, a shorthand.

On the Catholic side, Roman means simply in communion with Rome, to me, whereas "Latin" mean of the Church of Rome itself. I would never terminologize in a way that lumps Byzantine or other Eastern Catholics in together with Latin Catholics, but if Rome is not a proper way to refer to the linkage of these groups, I am at somewhat of a loss, for it is precisely the linkage with Rome that defines the identity of these groups as "Catholic" using their own terminology.

Brendan
Posted By: Brian

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 06:36 PM

Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brendan:
[qb]
Not all of "Orthodox Catholicism" are in communion with each other. As I have heard, the Serbian Orthodox are not in communion with every other Orthodox Church, the same goes for ROCOR.

Whatever may be the case with ROCOR, the Serbian Church is INDEED in communion with every other canonical Orthodox Church!!!!
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 06:48 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Brian:
Quote
Originally posted by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic:
[b] [QUOTE]Originally posted by Brendan:
[qb]
Not all of "Orthodox Catholicism" are in communion with each other. As I have heard, the Serbian Orthodox are not in communion with every other Orthodox Church, the same goes for ROCOR.

Whatever may be the case with ROCOR, the Serbian Church is INDEED in communion with every other canonical Orthodox Church!!!! [/b]
Brian,
My understanding is....

That yes, technically they are in communion with every other canonical Orthodox Church but they are only this way by virture of being in communion with another Church.

That ROCOR and the Serbians are not "personally" (for lack of a better word) in communion with every Orthodox Church themself, but they are in communion with a specific Church that is in communion with every Orthodox Church.

David
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 06:57 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
David --

Sorry, I mean no offense, but the Orthodox Church does call itself the "Orthodox Catholic Church" in full usage. The common shorthand of Orthodox Church is precisely that, a shorthand.
Yes, common, widely accepted, short hand is Catholic Church and Orthodox Church.

How many people think you mean the Orthodox Church when you say Catholic Church?

I can only take your word that you mean no offense but it does seem that you took a jab at us.

Quote

On the Catholic side, Roman means simply in communion with Rome, to me, whereas "Latin" mean of the Church of Rome itself. I would never terminologize in a way that lumps Byzantine or other Eastern Catholics in together with Latin Catholics, but if Rome is not a proper way to refer to the linkage of these groups, I am at somewhat of a loss, for it is precisely the linkage with Rome that defines the identity of these groups as "Catholic" using their own terminology.

Brendan
But here Brendan, you ignore the common short hand of the Latin Catholic Church is Roman Catholic.

You seem to want to lump us together.

Or that's the way it looks when I read your replies.


David
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:00 PM

Quote
Teen Logos --

I use the phrase "Roman Catholicism" to delineate the group of churches that are in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Nomenclature is always a thorny issue here, as Orthodoxy considers itself to be "Catholicism". The pragmatic shorthand, I think, is "Roman Catholicism" and "Orthodox Catholicism" to delineate between these two communions. By "Roman Catholicism", I do not mean to exclude or demean Eastern Catholics, or to limit the expression in any way to Latin Catholics, but simply to delineate the communion of churches that is in communion with Rome as opposed to the communion of churches which is not but which considers itself to be the "Catholic Church" as well.

Brendan
But the thing is, "Roman" Catholicism also understands itself to be Catholicism. Why couldn't the the nomenclature be "Catholicism" in place of "Roman Catholicism" and "Constantinopolitan Orthodox", "Muscovite Orthodox", "Antiochian Orthodox", etc. for the various Orthodox Churches? I don't see how the Catholic Orthodox Church is deserving of a prefix and the Eastern Orthodox Churches are not- - -it's an either/both IMHO.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:17 PM

David and Logos Teen --

The issue is that the communion of churches in union with Rome has no exclusive right to use the word "Catholic", as this is what the Orthodox Church conceives of itself to be. Therefore, it is not correct from the Orthodox ecclesiological perspective to cede the right to use the word "Catholic" to the communion of churches that is in union with Rome, regardless of what the common parlance may be.

I recognize well the common shorthands and accept them as such. What I was trying to do was to come up with a way to refer to each communion that allows each to refer to itself as "Catholic", because each considers itself in ecclesiological and theological terms to be the "Catholic Church", regardless of the standard nomenclature in use.

If the use of "Roman Catholic" is offensive to those non-Latin Christians who are in communion with Rome (even though that link to Rome is the sine qua non of their "Catholic" identity), I would invite others to come up with a way to refer to the communion of churches that is in communion with Rome in a way that does not use the term "Catholic" (which we all know is an ecclesiological term) in an exclusive way for that communion. By using the terminology "Roman Catholic" and "Orthodox Catholic", I was using a formulation that allows each communion to refer to itself as Catholic while at the same time linking that "Catholicism" to the other element that link the churches of the respective communion to each other -- namely Rome, on the one hand (or, rather, communion with Rome) and "Orthodoxy" on the other hand as that is understood by the churches of the Orthodox Catholic communion. Again, if the issue is offense at the use of the term "Roman Catholic" as a generic term for the communion of churches that is in communion with Rome, then I would invite others to devise a formulation for that communion which does not suggest the exclusive right to use the word "Catholic", a word which has ecclesiological significance, in connection with the Roman communion solely.

Brendan
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:28 PM

Brendan,

I understand what you were trying to do, but it can't be done with the way things stand today.

Becuase when you use Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic to reference the communion of churchs of each group, you are acting as though the meaning of communion is the same.

As both Churches want to use Catholic but have somewhat different ideas as to what that means, so both Churches speak of being a group of Churches in communion with each other, but this communion they each talk about are two different things, are they not?

After your extensive experiences here Brendan, you can not claim ignorance to what your use of the term Roman Catholic would cause here.


David
Posted By: Mor Ephrem

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:33 PM

Dear David,

Christ is risen!

It's been a while, how are you?

I think you may be mistaken. The Serbian Orthodox Church is in communion with the other Orthodox Churches "personally". ROCOR is not, although because ROCOR is in communion with the Serbian Orthodox Church, there is some sort of third party connection.
Posted By: Fr Mark

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:39 PM

But, my understanding is that ROCOR is NOT in formal communion with the Serb's. Anyone one cannot be selectively in communion with anyone. Communion with the Serbs results in communion with all of the other Orthodox jurisdictions that one may not necessarily like - at least that's the theory - although the Baltic fall-out between Moscow and Constantinople semed to prove otherwise!

Spasi Khristos -
Mark, monk and sinner.
Posted By: DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:40 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Mor Ephrem:
Dear David,

Christ is risen!

It's been a while, how are you?

I think you may be mistaken. The Serbian Orthodox Church is in communion with the other Orthodox Churches "personally". ROCOR is not, although because ROCOR is in communion with the Serbian Orthodox Church, there is some sort of third party connection.
Thanks Phil,
Things are going ok, how about yourself?

I knew that there was something between the Serbian Orthodox and ROCOR, but I couldn't remember which way it it, thanks for straightening that out for me!


David
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:46 PM

David --

Really I am not meaning to offend at all, because to me Roman does not equal Latin. I realize well that Byzantine Catholics and Latin Catholics are different and ought not be lumped together.

If there is a different way to refer to it, I am open to ideas as long as they allow the Orthodox Catholic Church to refer to itself as such.

I'm not sure I understand your point about differences in concept of communion between the two communions, but I'd be interested to hear more about that.

Brendan
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:50 PM

Fr. Mark --

I actually saw with my own eyes about two years ago a Divine Liturgy concelebrated at the ROCOR Cathedral in Washington with a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church -- specifically the priest that runs the communications office of the SOC in the U.S. I had also heard that this communion between ROCOR and the SOC was in theory more than practice, but I have seen otherwise with my own eyes.

And I agree that this means that, in effect, ROCOR is in communion with everyone else, even though ROCOR itself may act as if it is otherwise. It's always been a strange position .... ROCOR has never taken the position formally that the other Orthodox with whom they do not act as if they are in communion are not "Orthodox", so it's a bit hard to figure out what the actual deal is.

Brendan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 07:52 PM

Dear David,

Just calm down, Big Guy - Brendan is most sensitive to this issue!

It is true that both East and West have different understandings of "Catholic."

The Russian usage spells "Catholic" with an "F" as in "Kafolik" when referring to Orthodoxy and "Catholic" with a "T" as in "Katolik" when referring to RC's.

One Russian holy man once said that the difference between us is in "one letter only!"

But I think we all know who we are referring to here.

Alex
Posted By: Fr Mark

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 08:09 PM

Dear Brendan, we see the same here in Britain! But, that realy isn't the same as official communion, even though the selebrant may be an Archbishop, such as Mark of Brlin! For how many years have ROCOR priests on the West Coast communicated members of jurisdictions with which they do NOT share communion? The whole issue is full of anomilies. I know of many priests who share communion with those with whom they shouldn't, but standing back from jurisdictionalism and following the movements of their hearts they do otherwise.

Spasi Khristos -
Mark, monk and sinner
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 08:12 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Mark,

In the Jordanville book on the New Martyrs of Russia, the introduction does indeed confirm that pastorally extenuating circumstances must be taken into account with respect to Communion.

Alex
Posted By: Fr Mark

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 08:21 PM

I agree with this Alex.

This can be seen in the cooperation of Old Believers and Catacomb Orthodox. At the fall of Constantinople it was seen in the relationship between trapped westerners and easteners. What I object to are the Jesuitical games played by some Orthodox hierarchs in respect to this question of communion - and in some cases, the diobedience of bishops who flout the orders of their synod and first-hierarch. We cannot play games with communion. This is the fault of the likes of Kyprianos of Oropos and Fili. It brings discredit and confusion to many.

Spasi Khristos -
Mark, monk and sinner.
Posted By: OrthodoxEast

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 08:44 PM

Fr Mark<<We cannot play games with communion. This is the fault of the likes of Kyprianos of Oropos and Fili. It brings discredit and confusion to many.>>

I do not understand, Father Mark. What is the role of His Eminence, Metropolitan +CYPRIAN of Oropos and Fili (Attica), Greece, of the True (i.e., Old Calendar) Orthodox Church of Greece in all this? AFAIK, it is Metropolitan +CYPRIAN's moderate Synod, and his sober (to my mind) Synod only, of all the confusing, disorderly and anathamatizing Greek Old Calendar Synods, with which the ROCOR is presently officially in communion.

OrthodoxEast
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 08:46 PM

Bless me a sinner, Father Mark,

Yes, and I know that our Patriarch Josef Slipyj, when in Siberia, was bishop to the Old Believers that he found there.

Siberia unifies Christians in a way that Bishops, Synods and Councils cannot . . .

But, through Andrij Sheptytsky, he was already familiar with Old Believer traditions.

The Russian Catholic St Leonid Fyodorov was apparently a member of an Old Believer group that was in communion with Rome - I don't know if he came from an Old Believer family or whether he attached himself to the Old Believers in union with Rome.

But he did receive a letter from the Tsar Nicholas II which thanked him and his community for praying for the health of his son the Tsarevich.

Whenever Russian police were about to evict him and his community, St Leonid would show them the personally signed letter . . .

Alex
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 09:07 PM

Terminology can sometimes be problematic.

I can understand and respect that the Orthodox Churches have the right to the term &#8220;Catholic&#8221;. Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church and all Churches in communion with the Church at Rome have the right to use the term &#8220;Orthodox&#8221;, even though it was more used by the Church of Byzantium. We Byzantine Catholics are Orthodox Christians in communion with the Church at Rome and rightly use the term &#8220;Orthodox&#8221; as self-identification, even if the term &#8220;Orthodox&#8221; was not popular or normative among Byzantine Catholics for many generations. We obviously cannot deny the use of the term &#8220;Catholic&#8221; to the Orthodox Church since clearly it is a term that we believe is appropriate.

Since the use of the term &#8220;Roman Catholic&#8221; is definitely considered to be offensive by Byzantine Catholics and other Eastern Christians in communion with Rome, and since it is the general policy of this forum to identify people according to the name they choose to identify themselves, I suggest the following:

-Use the term &#8220;Roman Catholic&#8221; to refer to the Latin Catholic Church and the term &#8220;Churches in Communion with Rome&#8221; to refer to any Church that is in communion with Rome. [Yes, it is a mouthful but I think it is the only way to be clear while avoiding offense.] Further, use the terms each local Church uses to refer to itself (i.e., Byzantine Catholic, Chaldean Catholic, and etc.).

-Use the term &#8220;Orthodox&#8221; to refer to a specific Orthodox Church (i.e., &#8220;Russian Orthodox Church&#8221;) and the term &#8220;Churches of the Orthodox Communion&#8221; to refer to all of the Orthodox Churches. [Yes, this is also a mouthful but I really don't see any other way.]

The parallel to the term &#8220;Roman Catholic&#8221; would not be &#8220;Orthodox Catholic&#8221; but rather &#8220;Constantinopolitan Catholic&#8221;, &#8220;Russian Catholic&#8221; or etc. Could you imagine the confusion if the Greek Orthodox started using the term &#8220;Greek Catholic&#8221;, even though she has legitimate use of the term? biggrin

Now, to entirely confuse the matter, we should remember that in the Mid-East the use of term &#8220;Catholic&#8221; refers to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Roman Catholics are called &#8220;Latin Catholics&#8221;. biggrin

In the end, it is best to call people what they call themselves.
Posted By: Fr. Thomas

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 09:17 PM

The cornerstone of our church (which was always Orthodox, never Catholic) says:

"St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church"

(in Russian, of course).
Posted By: Logos - Alexis

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 10:01 PM

I say we call the "Roman Communion" the Orthodox Catholic Church, and call the Eastern "Orthodox" Churches "Eastern Churches separated from Rome", since it is only our right to use the terms "Catholic" and "Orthodox."

Of course, around this neck of the woods, I woudn't put that to a vote. wink

Logos Teen
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 10:42 PM

Woops!

My apologies to Fr. Thomas. I thought I clicked on "Reply with Quote" and instead I clicked "Edit Thread". I hope he will forgive me and repost his message as I could not get it exactly as he wrote it.

Again, my apologies.
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/13/03 10:45 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
I say we call the "Roman Communion" the Orthodox Catholic Church, and call the Eastern "Orthodox" Churches "Eastern Churches separated from Rome", since it is only our right to use the terms "Catholic" and "Orthodox."
Actually, if you really wanted to get confusing, Orthodox Byzantium has every right to call itself "Roman Catholic" as one of the titles of the city is "New Rome". biggrin
Posted By: Fr. Thomas

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/14/03 12:27 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Administrator:
Woops!

My apologies to Fr. Thomas. I thought I clicked on "Reply with Quote" and instead I clicked "Edit Thread". I hope he will forgive me and repost his message as I could not get it exactly as he wrote it.

Again, my apologies.
Hey, no problem! I've been much too verbose lately and I'm glad that people are editing me! wink

PT
Posted By: elexeie

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/14/03 03:16 AM

Quote
Originally posted by alice:
SPIRTITUALLY. I don't want to be simplistic and say that we don't have differences, but I believe that they can be reconciled...for instance, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the late 1800's (name eludes me) wrote to the Pope and said that he had no problem with the immaculate conception of Mary, but with the fact that the Pope dogmatized it..unilaterally. Alice
Dear Alice,

That is a false claim. I have read the patriarchal letter of Patriarch Anthimos to Pope Leo xiii up and down and sideways and I can't find that the EP has no problem with the Immaculate Conception.

Ruel
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/14/03 03:25 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Administrator:
[QUOTE]. . . Orthodox Byzantium has every right to call itself "Roman Catholic" as one of the titles of the city is "New Rome". biggrin
In other words, the Byzantine Catholic Church in America should actually be the "New Roman Catholic Church in America" :p
Posted By: Hieromonk Elias

Re: Returning to Orthodoxy - 05/14/03 03:37 AM

Christ is Risen!

I thank our esteemed Administrator for his suggestion about Church titles. His suggestions seem reasonable, and I commend them to all. I also agree with the policy of the forum, and see the wiseom in always addressing all Churches with the title that they themselves employ, this essentially a courtesy more than a theological statement.

Adjusting titles of other churches or ecclesial groups to make a critical point or express a judgement is not courteous.

This is an interesting discussion, but this thread was originally about conversion to Orthodoxy. Perhaps as there are now more than 120 posts, and none have recently addressed the topic of the title it is time to close this large thread, and invite anyone who wishes to address the original question, or continue the discussion about titles and the "communion" of churches, to begin new threads with helpful and accurate titles.

Thank you!

Elias
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