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#351273 08/17/10 07:09 AM
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my question is why is it that the orthodox are so "anti-ecumenical"? i mean, im guessing that the bishops obviously are looking towards communion (due to fact of the mutual dialogue between the two churches, e.g. ravenna), but at the parish level, the orthodox think they are excusively the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church. im guess is that from what ive seen is that the orthodox thing the byzantine way of thinking is the ONLY true expression of Christianity. i guess my real question is: who expresses the true orthodox point of vie? the bishops ready for dialogue? or the orthodox faithful which so far seem "anti-eucumenical"?

fal-nus-ghee86 #351311 08/18/10 04:03 AM
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fal-nus-ghee,

First of all, welcome to the Byzantine Forum!

It is fundamental for Orthodoxy (Catholicism too, for that matter) that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic--to say that the Church is somehow divided could therefore be considered heresy. We must be sympathetic with this point of view. (By all means, show respect for the Orthodox Church by refraining from Communion if you visit one!)

Yes, there are many Orthodox who see the Byzantine way of thinking as the ONLY true expression of Christianity.

Originally Posted by fal-nus-ghee86
my real question is: who expresses the true orthodox point of view: the bishops ready for dialogue or the orthodox faithful which so far seem "anti-ecumenical"?
Let me first caution you that not all Orthodox bishops are ready for dialogue. There is a significant number who are, but my guess is that they are only about a third of the Orthodox bishops, while some of their fellow bishops consider them to be out-and-out heretics and traitors to Orthodoxy.

IMHO (and I can't speak for the Orthodox Church), it is indeed those bishops who are ready for dialogue that "express the true Orthodox point of view."

So you see, it's a complicated issue. What's not complicated is that God loves us all and Christ died for us all.

So, stick around this forum--it's a great place to discuss and learn about these matters!


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Epiphanius #351728 08/28/10 05:41 AM
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thank you for the welcome!

it just troubles me seeing so much "anti-catholic" views amoung our orth. brothers... ive been thinking about joining the OCA but this prejudice kind of repels me. so far im stayin greek catholic lol.

al-maseeh qam!

Epiphanius #351729 08/28/10 05:50 AM
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btw what does IMHO mean lol(?)

fal-nus-ghee86 #351737 08/28/10 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fal-nus-ghee86
btw what does IMHO mean lol(?)

'in my humble opinion'


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
fal-nus-ghee86 #351752 08/28/10 01:06 PM
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my question is why is it that the orthodox are so "anti-ecumenical"? i mean, im guessing that the bishops obviously are looking towards communion (due to fact of the mutual dialogue between the two churches, e.g. ravenna), but at the parish level, the orthodox think they are excusively the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church. im guess is that from what ive seen is that the orthodox thing the byzantine way of thinking is the ONLY true expression of Christianity. i guess my real question is: who expresses the true orthodox point of vie? the bishops ready for dialogue? or the orthodox faithful which so far seem "anti-eucumenical"?


Why don't you past the word "Catholic" into this same paragraph and see the world through their eyes? The Latin Church has done a lot of damage over the last millenium to our Eastern brethren and the attitude that the Latin way is the only way is still alive and well in many quarters. Just ask our Eastern Catholic brethren.

Bob

theophan #351757 08/28/10 02:24 PM
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Why don't you past the word "Catholic" into this same paragraph and see the world through their eyes? The Latin Church has done a lot of damage over the last millenium to our Eastern brethren and the attitude that the Latin way is the only way is still alive and well in many quarters. Just ask our Eastern Catholic brethren.

Bob [/quote]

We wont get anywhere if we keep on looking at the past ... its time to forgive and look towards the future.

fal-nus-ghee86 #351763 08/28/10 05:13 PM
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my question is why is it that the orthodox are so "anti-ecumenical"?

Ironic, isn't it, considering that the Orthodox Church was in the forefront of the Ecumenical movement throughout most of the 20th century--indeed, right down to the late 1970s. The Orthodox Church was (and still is) a member of the World Council of Churches, while the Catholic Church was (and is) not. There were very fruitful dialogues between the Orthodox and the Anglicans down to the point where the Anglicans began ordaining women ("the end of all dialogue", according to Schmemann).

What happened? Two things, I think. First, the general ecumenical dialogue embodied by the WCC degenerated into a smarmy, lowest common denominator, kum-ba-yah feel-goodism that entertained all sorts of heresy and apostasy. The implosion of the Anglican communion, with whom the Orthodox had been closest, amplified their disillusionment with the broader ecumenical movement.

Also, at least part of the Orthodox participation in the movement was motivated by the Communist domination of the Orthodox Church in Russia and Eastern Europe. Participation in ecumenical meetings was encouraged by the CPSU, and also gave Orthodox clergy some of their few chances of making contact with the outside world. It was mutually beneficial both to the Church and the Communists to have an Orthodox ecumenical presence. With the fall of the Soviet Union, that imperative ended.

The second thing that drove anti-ecumenical feelings within the Orthodox Church was the Catholic Church's belated acceptance of ecumenism as one of its central missions. As long as the Catholic Church eschewed ecumenism, participation in ecumenical discussions was a useful way for the Orthodox to discriminate themselves from the Catholics--one which garnered a lot of praise and admiration from the Protestant world. But, with Catholics getting very serious indeed about ecumenism (cf. Unitatis redintegratio of Vatican II), opening a formal dialogue with the Orthodox Churches and issuing a flurry of encyclicals, statements and pastoral letters on the subject, and engaging with substantive issues of doctrine and ecclesiology, I think the Orthodox received a massive psychological shock.

Ecumenism was safe as long as there was no real chance of the Catholic Church being part of it. Now, more than fear of Catholic intransigence, the Orthodox had to deal with their fear of Catholic conciliation. What if Rome really was serious about unity that did not mean subordination or assimilation? What if Papal perquisites were open to reinterpretation? What if Rome gave the Orthodox what they said they had wanted all along?

The only sure way to make certain Rome and the Orthodox would not come to an agreement was to keep Rome at arms length.

And, fortunately for the militant anti-ecumenists, the collapse of the Soviet Union provided them with the ammunition they needed in the form of the resurgent Greek Catholic Churches. This allowed the international Catholic-Orthodox dialogue to be hijacked by the issues of "uniatism" and "proselytism", which managed to waste an entire decade (almost two, in fact), just as the dialogue was beginning to address the core issue of primacy. The fear of uniatism and proselytism played upon Orthodox insecurity (some would say paranoia) and was fertile ground for polemics that occasionally blossomed into violence.

With the uniate issue fading into the background (even the Russians are having trouble keeping it alive on life support), I'm sure new issues will be discovered, some of which managed to escape everybody for close to 1000 years. In dealing with Orthodox demands, one must remember the goal posts are moveable--usually after the ball is kicked. But I have every confidence that Mother Vassa Larin, that extraordinary Russian nun, is correct when she says "Orthodoxy is not a religion of fear", and that the Orthodox Church will have the courage and the self-confidence to engage boldly in discussions with other Christian confessions to find a path to unity that is based on truth, and true communion in the Holy Spirit.

fal-nus-ghee86 #351765 08/28/10 05:18 PM
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I asked you to look at the world through the eyes of our Orthodox and Eastern Catholic brethren. To understand them, you have to learn to view the world as they do--without all the defenses of the Latin Church and without presumptions.

I've been able to do that and it's been a real "eye-opener." Please understand that our brethren have suffered much for the Faith--the same Faith we profess to hold--and that suffering has come not only from the external environments in which they have survived and grown, but also at the hands of us (supposedly their brethren in Christ).

I've suggested to my own brethren in the past--and will do so again--that the best way to approach our Eastern brethren is NOT to go into their temples with a big "C" on your chest. When you go, ask more questions than statements. Try to understand the Faith through their eyes. Don't assume that their understanding and practice is somehow flawed. Be Christian and love your neighbor as yourself.

You wouldn't want a group of Eastern Christians coming into your parish and criticizing, so don't do it.

As far as the Orthodox claim to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church on their own, they have the same right as Catholics. It's a matter of who is writing history when the question is answered as to who left whom. It's interesting to me to hear howls from Catholics when someone else is making the same claims to exclusivity that we have been making for the past millenium.

Bob

theophan #351769 08/28/10 05:49 PM
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You wouldn't want a group of Eastern Christians coming into your parish and criticizing, so don't do it.

That would be rude. We are well bred, so we do it behind their backs.

theophan #351771 08/28/10 05:57 PM
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As a Lutheran looking to get confirmed in the Catholic Church, not sure which rite, although my wife is Roman. I find it interesting to see the protests strong on both sides, at least with regards to the traditionalists. One of the reasons I decided to turn to the Catholic Church is because my Lutheran church was imploding due to no central authority. To many people deciding what was true, that they lost the truth. The clincher for me was after I had looked at some of Martin Luther's writings on contraception. I realized that the Lutheran Church had drifted so far that it was not really part of the little c catholic Church, even if they think they are. In actuality I think if Martin Luther were living today he would likely be an Orthodox, but not a Lutheran. They do not respect life with regards to contraception, they do not venerate Mary and although he had issues with confession I think he would have a heart attack seeing women and gays ordained. In any event I want to go to an Eastern Rite Mass as soon as I am able, as I want to experience the other lung of the Church.

Besides Papal Authority, which I really find I like now, what other issues do you think have to be overcome?

theophan #351887 08/30/10 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan
I asked you to look at the world through the eyes of our Orthodox and Eastern Catholic brethren. To understand them, you have to learn to view the world as they do--without all the defenses of the Latin Church and without presumptions.

I've been able to do that and it's been a real "eye-opener." Please understand that our brethren have suffered much for the Faith--the same Faith we profess to hold--and that suffering has come not only from the external environments in which they have survived and grown, but also at the hands of us (supposedly their brethren in Christ).

I've suggested to my own brethren in the past--and will do so again--that the best way to approach our Eastern brethren is NOT to go into their temples with a big "C" on your chest. When you go, ask more questions than statements. Try to understand the Faith through their eyes. Don't assume that their understanding and practice is somehow flawed. Be Christian and love your neighbor as yourself.

You wouldn't want a group of Eastern Christians coming into your parish and criticizing, so don't do it.

As far as the Orthodox claim to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church on their own, they have the same right as Catholics. It's a matter of who is writing history when the question is answered as to who left whom. It's interesting to me to hear howls from Catholics when someone else is making the same claims to exclusivity that we have been making for the past millenium.

Bob

but i am eastern catholic biggrin
and i understand what you mean, where youre coming from, and you are right. im not trying to say "lets forget about the past" but rather learn from the past without holding on to grudges and also next time the Latins want to load over us for us we need to step up as EQUAL brothers. what comes to mind is when that latin bishop, forgot his name, wanted greek catholic priest to remain celibate and i cant believe rome actually allowed this. but anyways thats the past, and we gotta learn from it.

much love and respect

LYPHER #351889 08/30/10 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LYPHER
Besides Papal Authority, which I really find I like now, what other issues do you think have to be overcome?

i think Latins and Greeks have to realize also that both their theology are equal and deserving of respect. and one shouldnt try to impose one to the other or criticize one another...

dont forget the love! lol

Epiphanius #351895 08/30/10 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Epiphanius
fal-nus-ghee,
Yes, there are many Orthodox who see the Byzantine way of thinking as the ONLY true expression of Christianity.
Unfortunately, MANY Latin Rite Catholics feel this way too. I think there are several reasons for this. Some smack of pride; Some is just simple ignorance of the breadth of the Christian Tradition.

StuartK #351903 08/30/10 07:26 PM
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That would be rude. We are well bred, so we do it behind their backs.


Stuart:

Christ is in our midst!!

Please step up and speak up when you see some of the 1960s highjinks still going on.

Bob

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