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#114648 10/21/03 03:56 PM
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The recent scandal and debate occuring within the Anglican Communion has prompted me to think about the nature of communion and the limits of collegiality. Obviously, if a Roman Catholic diocese or province was to "break" from the received Tradition and teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, it would be dealt with according to canon law.

But what about Orthodoxy? Realizing that this is a strictly hypothetical situation, what would happen if an autocephalic Orthodox jurisdiction were to approve something that the rest of the Orthodox churches would view as "heretical"? Lacking a centralized authority such as Rome, how would they respond to the crisis?

Also, with regard to the faithful in the offending jurisdiction, what recourse would they have? Would there be such a thing as "alternative episcopal oversight" as is being discussed among the Anglicans? Would the faithful Orthodox be justified in separating from the offending jurisdiction and forming their own orthodox jurisdiction?

From an historical point of view, what did the Orthodox faithful do during the period of the Trinitarian and Christological controversies, when their hierarchs were espousing heresy? What recourse did they have?

I look forward to your replies!

In Christ,

Dave
"Mere Catholic"

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Sea Knight,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Funny that no one has responded to this yet...

This has always been the weakness of Eastenr Orthodoxy-- it's lack of unity, and of a central authority.

To answer your question, it was to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, that the East turned to when the many Christological heresies sprang up. The fact that they have never been able to call an ecumenical council is pretty telling.

Have you ever read "The Russian Church and the Papacy" by Vladimir Soloviev? He was a contemporary of Doestovsky, and an outspoken advocate for the Orthodox to come back inot communion with the Pope-- not a popular thing to be in 19th century Czarist Russia. :-)


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
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Dear Friends,

Actually, the idea that Orthodoxy does not respond to its member Churches or church leaders when they break the canons is utter nonsense!

Most recently, the Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome excommunicated the Patriarch of Jerusalem for an infraction of the canons - until the latter recanted.

In fact, with all the centralization at Rome, there is a great deal of liberalism going on especially in the American Church, unchecked today.

EWTN has had shows discussing this matter, and the existence of a liberal Catholic organization that is out to change the Church's views on birth control, gay unions etc.

In fact, it was said that EVERY diocese in the U.S. has several liberal members of that organization on staff today.

Canada has many more Catholic liberals than I suppose you do in the U.S.

This is why most lay Catholics here don't oppose the idea of gay marriage - and also why the Quebec bishops refused to engage the whole debate on gay marriage saying that the Church is not a political lobby group etc.

I think Roman Catholics should have a serious look at what is happening in their backyard, centralized papacy notwithstanding, before trying to make even an unconscious jab at the Eastern Churches.

The Eastern Churches tend to be very conservative in matters of the faith as defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

It is because the Eastern Churches see faith as being handed down by the entire Church through history that it is adhered to very stringently.

It was because the Roman Church believes it is above the Ecumenical Councils that it has gotten itself into hot water.

Liberal Catholics believe the Catholic faith to be whatever the Pope says it is.

This is one reason why they insist on their clandestine activities within the Latin Church - to try and change the Pope's mind.

It is not a question of changing the Pope's mind - the Pope's mind can ONLY be what is the mind of the Church since the time of Christ.

Alex

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Quote
Originally posted by Saintclare74:
This has always been the weakness of Eastenr Orthodoxy-- it's lack of unity, and of a central authority.

To answer your question, it was to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, that the East turned to when the many Christological heresies sprang up. The fact that they have never been able to call an ecumenical council is pretty telling.

Have you ever read "The Russian Church and the Papacy" by Vladimir Soloviev? He was a contemporary of Doestovsky, and an outspoken advocate for the Orthodox to come back inot communion with the Pope-- not a popular thing to be in 19th century Czarist Russia. :-) [/QB]
Thanks, Saintclare!

I have been watching the self-destruction of the Anglican Communion in recent weeks with some interest, as I was a member of the Episcopal Church until a few years ago.

When I decided I could no longer remain within an increasingly apostate denomination, I knew I had to return to my Christian "roots." The only question was whether I traveled East or West.

As is perhaps true for many Anglicans, the East was a powerful draw. I had read a fair amount about Eastern Orthodoxy, and once spent a summer in western PA where I attended a Carpatho-Russian Orthodox church. But a funny thing happened to me on the road to Constantinople.

About the time I was ready to cross the Bosphorus, I became aware of the controversy between the EP and the MP over the Estonian Church. In the news reports at the time, a schism was threatened over jurisdiction. I saw the "weakness" of which you spoke in your reply, and it gave me pause. God forbid that anything remotely similar to what is happening among the Anglicans should raise the specter of disunity among the Orthodox. But if it did, how would they respond?

In short, this episode led me to turn "westward" and return to the Church in which I was baptized, the Roman Catholic Church. Though I agree it's not perfect in every respect (how I do miss the magnificent Anglican liturgy and hymns!), I am grateful for the gift of the Magisterium.

I haven't read the book by Soloviev, but I would like to. Was he Russian Orthodox, or did he convert to Catholicism?

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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
[QB] Dear Friends,

Actually, the idea that Orthodoxy does not respond to its member Churches or church leaders when they break the canons is utter nonsense!

Most recently, the Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome excommunicated the Patriarch of Jerusalem for an infraction of the canons - until the latter recanted.

In fact, with all the centralization at Rome, there is a great deal of liberalism going on especially in the American Church, unchecked today.

EWTN has had shows discussing this matter, and the existence of a liberal Catholic organization that is out to change the Church's views on birth control, gay unions etc.

In fact, it was said that EVERY diocese in the U.S. has several liberal members of that organization on staff today.
Thanks, Alex!

I'm curious to know more about the recent excommunication of the Patriarch of Jerusalem by the EP. Was this recognized by other Orthodox jurisdictions and patriarchs (eg. the MP)?

Also, what is the liberal organization to which you refer? This concerns me greatly.

Dave

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Dear Dave,

I forgot its official name - but it is apparently a formal entity.

You might wish to visit EWTN's site and even ask them about this group - it was the marvellous show run by the wonderfully traditional laywoman.

I had no idea they were THAT organized.

The excommunication of the Patriarch of Jerusalem happened some years back - the excommunication was a valid and legitimate one and no other Orthodox Church would touch Jerusalem, but the patriarch there quickly made up his mind to adhere to the canons and recant.

In addition, Orthodox priests sometimes excommunicate penitents in confession (i.e. not allow them to approach Communion for a period of time) if they, for example, continue to repeat serious sins without sign of change.

My former employer was so excommunicated and was told to come back to confession when he made up his mind to quit a particular sin of his . . .

Of course, that was none of my business . . .

Alex

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Hey Sea Knight!

So you were born Catholic, turned Episcopalian, then came back? Cool.

I was a non-practicing Roman Catholic until 1999, when I started regularly attending Mass and learning about my faith, and got heavy into Catholic apologetics. I was confirmed Easter Vigil of 2000.

I was exposed to Eastern Orthodoxy a couple of years ago, and was deeply impressed by the beauty of their liturgy, churches, and traditions. I was becoming increasingly disgusted with the Protestantization and secularization of the Roman Catholic church, how we seemed to be going out of our way to kiss the behinds of heretics and to not offend them (God forbid!)

Not quite a year ago, I began to explore the Eastern Catholic churches, and started attending a Byzantine Ruthenian church, where I'm now an offical parishoner. Though the Orthodox have their problems, honestly, I'd go Orthodox before I'd ever go back to the Roman church... unless perhaps they scrap the Novus Ordo Mass and start building churches that don't look like secular auditoriums or the west wing of the Death Star.

To answer your question about Soloviev, I don't know if he ever offically converted to Catholicism, but he was certainly a "closet" Papist. :-)

God bless.


Slava Isusu Christu!

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Dear SaintClare,

Aren't we being a bit hard on the Latin Church?

There are also liberal Orthodox jurisdictions.

And if you like a lot of incense and ritual, that's fine.

But could it also be that you need to get out more?

Alex

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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear SaintClare,

Aren't we being a bit hard on the Latin Church?

There are also liberal Orthodox jurisdictions.

And if you like a lot of incense and ritual, that's fine.

But could it also be that you need to get out more?

Alex
No, I don't think I'm being too hard on the Roman church... I call 'em as I see 'em. Of course there are liberals in EVERY church. The key thing is whether the modernism/dissent is tolerated (encouraged?) by the bishops or not.

And could you please clarify what you mean by your last question?


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
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Dear SaintClare,

Yes, I mean go out to see other Churches and parishes.

Alex

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Originally posted by Saintclare74:
Hey Sea Knight!

So you were born Catholic, turned Episcopalian, then came back? Cool.
Saintclare,

My story is actually a little more complicated than that, even. I was baptized as a Catholic, but my mother left the Church shortly after my birth, when my father left her. She had a "born-again" experience, and joined the Assemblies of God (Jimmy Swaggart's denomination). She turned virulently anti-Catholic for a while, and I grew up with the standard "Pope is the anti-Christ" crap. She eventually mellowed towards the Church, and even enrolled me in parochial school. This was my first exposure to the Catholic faith. I was deeply drawn to it, particularly the Mass. Even the Novus Ordo is better than what I had to endure in the pentecostal churches I attended with my Mom. When I was in the sixth grade, my mom consented to allow me to be confirmed in the Catholic Church.

I didn't become an Episcopalian until I was in high school. I wanted to become a priest, but the idea of celibacy didn't naturally commend itself to my adolescent thinking. I also had some issues with what I (mis)understood about Catholic doctrine, namely the Marian dogmas and papal infallibility. So the Episcopal Church seemed like a logical "fit". I was a very active Episcopalian throughout high school and college.
Although my wife and I were married in the Episcopal Church, I became very distressed over the direction of Anglicanism, and I realized that I didn't want to raise our children in that denomination.

Your comment about the Novus Ordo Mass and the dreadful state of church architecture is well-made. However, I'd take the REAL Mass (Novus Ordo or not) in the heart of the Death Star over the Episcopal "mass" in the National Cathedral. Granted, the liturgical practice in most RC parishes is in great need of reform (actually, it's in great need of a great many things - chief among them a recovery of reverence, awe and worship). And I dearly love the liturgy out of the Episcopal/Anglican Prayer Book, and the beauty of the gothic cathedrals and churches so common among the Anglicans. But whether in Latin, English, or Slavonic, the Mass as it is celebrated in the Catholic Church is the "real deal", the Presence of God among us. For that I am most grateful.

Dave
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Dave,

Yes, Soloviev, arguably one of the most brilliant minds in Russian literature in the last couple centuries, officially converted to Catholicism.

Let's not bash the Novus Ordo, everybody. It can be celebrated beautifully and solemnly.

What about the supposedly forthcoming "Great Orthodox Council," 30+ years in the making? Has the idea been scrapped yet?

Logos Teen

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Originally posted by Sea Knight:


From an historical point of view, what did the Orthodox faithful do during the period of the Trinitarian and Christological controversies, when their hierarchs were espousing heresy? What recourse did they have?

Sea Knight,

The major way the Orthodox Church handled doctrinal controversies is by having what are called "ecumenical councils." There have been seven in the Orthodox Christian faith, the first being in 325 AD in Nicea. Other local councils have also been held which are later recognized by the church as having doctrinal authority, although not necessarily gathered as "ecumenical" (the inhabited world).

Priest Thomas

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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear SaintClare,

Yes, I mean go out to see other Churches and parishes.

Alex
And what makes you think I haven't seen other churches and parishes?


Slava Isusu Christu!

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Hey Logos Teen,

Re the Novus Ordo mass, I have problems not only with the common abuses in it, I'm talking about the mass itself-- what it is in a nutshell is a banal, Protestantized, and theologically ambiguous rite that was pretty much written by a Freemason and several Protestants. Do some research on the history behind the Novus Ordo and compare it to the Tridentine Mass, and you'll see why I don't like it.


Slava Isusu Christu!

Karen
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