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[quote=Nelson Chase]I have never been to an Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Church- been to a Eastern Catholic Church.

[/quote]

What you have written is actually a perfect example of the confusiuon created by the constantintly changing terminoloty used to describe non-Latin Catholics.

You would be too young to remember but in my days they were indeed described as "Roman Catholics of the Eastern Rite" or "Roman Catholics of the Greek Rite" or or "Roman Catholics of the Melkite Rite" etc.


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Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
This term is interesting to me, if not somewhat confusing.

There are a few here who describe themselves in this way, and so my thoughts and questions are primarily for them. But, of course, anyone can chime in as he sees fit.

One reason I find the OICWR moniker confusing is that it seems self-negating. To be clearer: to be Orthodox one must believe what Orthodox Christians believe. Orthodox Christians believe that, if one accepts the Orthodox Faith, then one should be a formal member of the Orthodox Churches. Orthodox Churches are not in communion with Rome, and therefore anyone in communion with Rome is not Orthodox, at least from their perspective.

If OICWRers are actually Orthodox, then why do they reject the Orthodox Churches' insistence on being actual, formal members of the Orthodox Churches? Is it because they don't believe the Orthodox have the right to define "Orthodoxy" as just what the leaders, saints, and people of what Eastern Orthodoxy say it is? Are we making a distinction between historical Orthodoxy and the Eastern Orthodoxy of today, so as to define ourselves as part of the latter, but not part of the former? How is it possible to differ with the Orthodox Churches on such a central matter of salvation, and still define oneself as Orthodox?

Alexis

Alexis,

Uggh. I didn't want to get into this today when I'm so tired. Especially so late.

But, I'll give you my view.......

IMHO, OICWR is a essentially a "branding exercise" - for both internal and external audiences. It puts forward the idea that the "Greek Catholic" Churches are/should be just like their Orthodox counterparts, except that they're in union with Rome. This is a contrast to alternative ideas about who "Greek Catholics" should be, ideas which could be held not only by "Greek Catholics" themselves but also by non-"Greek Catholics".

As for me, I don't like OICWR though I realize why it's there. It has problems, which have been mentioned on this thread.

I prefer the (very bulky and more than a bit nerdy) term "Christian Churches of the 'Imperial' Eastern tradition who do not believe the bishop of Rome is heterodox". This makes the "Greek Catholic Churches" different from "Christian Churches of the 'Imperial' Eastern tradition who question Rome's orthodoxy" as well as "Christian Churches of the Western Roman tradition". It's bulky, it's not 100% perfect - "Imperial" is not a great term, but it's better than alternatives like "Chalcedonian", "Constantinopolitan-Sabbaite", or even "Eastern Roman". I think those have even more problems.

What in my view is better about this "branding"? It calls up the entirety of our tradition: the Councils, the fathers and the saints, the liturgy - all of which emerged from the Churches under Constantinople and which was later transmitted to other parts of Eastern Europe- even if it puts too much of a role on Constantinople. It distinguishes us from other Eastern Churches. And it gets to the heart of the question: since around 600AD some members of the Eastern Churches of the "Imperial" tradition have question Rome/the West's Orthodoxy, and the "main line" has left communion with Rome. However, some have either remained in communion with Rome or have decided to return to Communion with Rome and leave communion with the other Churches of this tradition.

As far as the "what Orthodox are" question, the only thing I'd say is that some would argue that the conception of "Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism" as two separate confessions or "religions", put forward in the OP, is one only of very recent years - that is, since approximately the 1500s. Historically, some would argue, based on the sources, the view was different - one of churches falling away from each other for points of dogma. Only after the intellectual trends - some would say innovations - of the Reformation and resulting Counter-reformation, its application to the various Eastern Churches, and the response from the "Eastern Churches of the 'Imperial' tradition" did the idea of "Catholic vs. Orthodox" in a sort of confessional sense appear. I suggest, among other works, Father Boris Gudziak's book on the Union of Brest which describes some of this (be forewarned: it's not "easy" reading, it's not summarizable on the internet, its based on sources far better than anything on the internet, and it blows away many assumptions once held by/held by both sides on the Union).

Does any of that make sense? biggrin Somehow I doubt it. But I hope it's been a bit useful. wink

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
That said, as an Eastern Catholic I reject the idea that Trent is truly ecumenical, and hold instead that its decrees espouse Latin (mainly Scholastic) theological theories, which no one outside the Latin Church is required to accept.

Question: It is my understanding that you reject the doctrines of Trent because you see these as not being in accordance with the Patristic Tradition. Am I correct?

If so, then why should Latins be bound to believe in something that is not in accordance with the Patristic Tradition?

I ask this question as a "stand-alone" question, and I assure you that I'm not digging a rabbit hole somewhere.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Grace is, before all else, the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is to say, the descent and action of the Spirit within each individual person.
Yes, and the action of the Holy Spirit, like His hypostasis, is uncreated. The idea that grace is a created reality is basically Arian or Pneumatomachian.

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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
That said, as an Eastern Catholic I reject the idea that Trent is truly ecumenical, and hold instead that its decrees espouse Latin (mainly Scholastic) theological theories, which no one outside the Latin Church is required to accept.

Question: It is my understanding that you reject the doctrines of Trent because you see these as not being in accordance with the Patristic Tradition. Am I correct?

If so, then why should Latins be bound to believe in something that is not in accordance with the Patristic Tradition?

I ask this question as a "stand-alone" question, and I assure you that I'm not digging a rabbit hole somewhere.
I suppose it depends upon what you mean by the word "bound," because I do not think that the West is bound to the philosophical theology of the Scholastics, which is embodied in the local synods of the Latin Church, and in my opinion the patristic ressourcement movement during the 20th century proves that to be the case.

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Originally Posted by Administrator
Always consider that there is a difference between saying that a Latin dogma or doctrine (whether given by a Council or other method) is poorly defined and in need of better definition and saying it is heresy. You can do the first but not the latter. In the end the latter does not really matter as we have an obligation to help the Church express its theology in the clearest terms that are possible. East and West can have different ways of expressing this just like Italians and Greeks speak different languages.

John,

Precisely and very well said. We need never say that the Church, principally the Latin Church, has expressed Catholic truths in the best and most comprehensive or balanced ways, but nor should we accuse it of heresy. As St. Maximos the Confessor once wrote (paraphrase), "I have the faith of the Latins but in the language of the Greeks." (I should hope that the opposite could be said by a Western Christian: "I have the faith of the Greeks/Syrians but the language of the Latins." The East has its own forms of expression and emphases which differ from the Latin West, and insofar as these forms do not explicitly and formally contradict what is defined dogmatically by the Church's magisterium, there is no issue.

That said, very clearly Trent, for instance, has very little if any direct bearing on my life as an OICWR. It was called to address pastoral and theological issues in the West. That said, I am not therefore free to begin espousing Sola Scriptura without being subject to the canons. But in terms of my spiritual and liturgical life, Ephesus and Chalcedon do have a definitive and direct influence in a way that Trent does not and should not.

It seems that we can waste a great deal of time and energy engaged in fighting the polemical battles that have divided the churches historically. But what concerns me is how Todd seems to relegate official Catholic magisterial definitions (albeit defined principally by Latins) to the level of theory and opinion while elevating particular Byzantine theological opinions to the level and status of magisterial dogma.

Regarding steaks and drinks, you're on! I'll bring the Bacardi...

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Thanks Father- I am to young I guess to remember that. Pray for me. smile

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Originally Posted by ebed melech
It seems that we can waste a great deal of time and energy engaged in fighting the polemical battles that have divided the churches historically. But what concerns me is how Todd seems to relegate official Catholic magisterial definitions (albeit defined principally by Latins) to the level of theory and opinion while elevating particular Byzantine theological opinions to the level and status of magisterial dogma.
The concept of a "magisterium" is a 19th century Latin idea. That being said, why would I want to push the idea that the East has a "magisterium"?

You still have not supplied any kind of answer to the questions I put forward in my earlier post; instead, you have simply attacked a position that I have not advocated.

1. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Tridentine theory that says that a man is "justified" with a justice that is not God's own justice (i.e., that "justification" is brought about by some kind of a "created" grace)?

2. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Tridentine theory that holds that "original sin" involves the transmission of guilt (and sin) from Adam to all his descendants?

3. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Council of Trent's rejection of the idea that "divinity" is really present in icons and in the relics of the saints?

4. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the exaggerated views of the primacy espoused by the bishops assembled at the First Vatican Council, which turned primacy within synodality into a power of supremacy over the Church?

5. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to hold that the Latin Church's theories in connection with the procession of the Holy Spirit are truly Orthodox, even though those theories have historically confused the Spirit's ekporeusis as person from the Father alone with His proienai as energy from the Father through the Son?

Of course I could go on with more questions, and should you finally answer these questions, I no doubt will have more for you to answer in the future, because I have given a lot of thought to these theological issues over the past 22 years.

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
That said, as an Eastern Catholic I reject the idea that Trent is truly ecumenical, and hold instead that its decrees espouse Latin (mainly Scholastic) theological theories, which no one outside the Latin Church is required to accept.

Question: It is my understanding that you reject the doctrines of Trent because you see these as not being in accordance with the Patristic Tradition. Am I correct?

If so, then why should Latins be bound to believe in something that is not in accordance with the Patristic Tradition?

I ask this question as a "stand-alone" question, and I assure you that I'm not digging a rabbit hole somewhere.
I suppose it depends upon what you mean by the word "bound," because I do not think that the West is bound to the philosophical theology of the Scholastics, which is embodied in the local synods of the Latin Church, and in my opinion the patristic ressourcement movement during the 20th century proves that to be the case.

Your answer is sufficient. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ebed melech
It seems that we can waste a great deal of time and energy engaged in fighting the polemical battles that have divided the churches historically. But what concerns me is how Todd seems to relegate official Catholic magisterial definitions (albeit defined principally by Latins) to the level of theory and opinion while elevating particular Byzantine theological opinions to the level and status of magisterial dogma.
The concept of a "magisterium" is a 19th century Latin idea. That being said, why would I want to push the idea that the East has a "magisterium"?

You still have not supplied any kind of answer to the questions I put forward in my earlier post; instead, you have simply attacked a position that I have not advocated.

1. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Tridentine theory that says that a man is "justified" with a justice that is not God's own justice (i.e., that "justification" is brought about by some kind of a "created" grace)?

2. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Tridentine theory that holds that "original sin" involves the transmission of guilt (and sin) from Adam to all his descendants?

3. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Council of Trent's rejection of the idea that "divinity" is really present in icons and in the relics of the saints?

4. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the exaggerated views of the primacy espoused by the bishops assembled at the First Vatican Council, which turned primacy within synodality into a power of supremacy over the Church?

5. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to hold that the Latin Church's theories in connection with the procession of the Holy Spirit are truly Orthodox, even though those theories have historically confused the Spirit's ekporeusis as person from the Father alone with His proienai as energy from the Father through the Son?

Of course I could go on with more questions, and should you finally answer these questions, I no doubt will have more for you to answer in the future, because I have given a lot of thought to these theological issues over the past 22 years.

Has the West -- or, to be precise, the Western Councils such as Trent and Vatican I -- fallen into heresy? Yes or No? I'm not trying to make life difficult for you: I'm just trying to understand your position.

Again, a simple answer will suffice.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
I have never been to an Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Church- been to a Eastern Catholic Church.

What you have written is actually a perfect example of the confusiuon created by the constantintly changing terminoloty used to describe non-Latin Catholics.

You would be too young to remember but in my days they were indeed described as "Roman Catholics of the Eastern Rite" or "Roman Catholics of the Greek Rite" or or "Roman Catholics of the Melkite Rite" etc.

I've seen recent instances of the use of this term.

In addition, the Hispanic and Philippine world, "Roman" is often used to define the True Church along with "One", "Holy", "Catholic" and "Apostolic". I readily concede that this is a wrong use of terminology, though.

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I think the short answer is Eastern Catholics are not bound to accept the doctrines of Trent because they reflect a purely Latin expression of doctrine not consistent with the Eastern Traditions. That said, Latins are not bound to accept the doctrines of Trent as they are written because the Latin Church itself has "developed" beyond these doctrines, and thus does not consider itself bound by them.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
I think the short answer is Eastern Catholics are not bound to accept the doctrines of Trent because they reflect a purely Latin expression of doctrine not consistent with the Eastern Traditions. That said, Latins are not bound to accept the doctrines of Trent as they are written because the Latin Church itself has "developed" beyond these doctrines, and thus does not consider itself bound by them.


There's wiggle room as the Administrator said - an expression of dogma may not be the best but one can't condemn the actual meaning - but what I wrote holds. As for the second, it sounds like the ageing liberal 'Call to Action' RCs who are wannabe mainline Protestants but on their own cultural terms (proletarian reverse snobbery: Our Lady of the A-Frame and Marty Haugen not Gothic Revival and organ diapasons) and the Episcopalians who now have women priests and, locally, gay weddings. Slippery slope and all that.

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This is eminently silly.

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
The concept of a "magisterium" is a 19th century Latin idea. That being said, why would I want to push the idea that the East has a "magisterium"?

You still have not supplied any kind of answer to the questions I put forward in my earlier post; instead, you have simply attacked a position that I have not advocated.

1. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Tridentine theory that says that a man is "justified" with a justice that is not God's own justice (i.e., that "justification" is brought about by some kind of a "created" grace)?

2. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Tridentine theory that holds that "original sin" involves the transmission of guilt (and sin) from Adam to all his descendants?

3. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the Council of Trent's rejection of the idea that "divinity" is really present in icons and in the relics of the saints?

4. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to accept the exaggerated views of the primacy espoused by the bishops assembled at the First Vatican Council, which turned primacy within synodality into a power of supremacy over the Church?

5. Do I as an Eastern Catholic have to hold that the Latin Church's theories in connection with the procession of the Holy Spirit are truly Orthodox, even though those theories have historically confused the Spirit's ekporeusis as person from the Father alone with His proienai as energy from the Father through the Son?

Of course I could go on with more questions, and should you finally answer these questions, I no doubt will have more for you to answer in the future, because I have given a lot of thought to these theological issues over the past 22 years.

Todd,

Sorry, but your original litany of issues asked the question "Can one be an Orthodox Christian if..." and I responded "yes, without accepting all of your premises, characterizations, etc."

I did not realize you expected me (or anyone else) to reply to each issue or argument since you have really made no argument, only assertions based on your own personal conclusions after, as you say, 22 years of personal study.

Additionally, you have supplied no evidence here based on history, theology or certainly apostolic authority to support your characterization of each of your issues with Catholic teaching. The burden of proving your assertions with each point is on you.

As to your practice of relegating the teachings of the Catholic magisterium in the 2nd millennium to the level of Latin theologumena and elevating Byzantine theologumena to the level of canonical, apostolic or magisterial authority is based on your history of discussing these issues. If you are able to cite an ecumenically binding canonical authority for your assertions, by all means do so. I'd like to see your sources.

God bless.

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