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Dear Royal Stuart,

I stand corrected then!

Thank you for removing the vestigial remnants of my personal guilt for continuing to have (well made) religious statues.

So where does the "prohibition" if there is one against statues in our churches originate from?

Why do my "more Orthodox than the Orthodox" colleagues and priest-friends have it in for statues?

I've seen a statue of a form of the Pieta in a Russian Orthodox Church, also a statue of what is known in the West as "Our Lady of the Pillar" and some others.

I've a statue of Our Lady of Montserrat on my desk right here, together with several others.

So I won't have to go into self-imposed banishment for having admitted all this? Could you do everyone a great favour and expound a bit on the statues issue in your usual erudite and overwhelmingly educated and crisp style?

Alex

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Hello everyone! It's been some time since I posted - in fact, I think my last exchange was with the much-loved and much-missed Father Serge on matters Irish! Go raibh a h-anam uasal ar dheis De.

So...statues. Stuart is quite right - there is no prohibition in the East. Diarmaid MacCulloch, in his "A History of Christianity" certainly hints at such a ban, but the definitive answer seems to be as set out in an article at http://westernorthodox.blogspot.co.uk/2006/06/eastern-orthodox-statues.html (hope that link works!)

Happy Assumption/Dormition to all!

Craig

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Why do my "more Orthodox than the Orthodox" colleagues and priest-friends have it in for statues?

I think you just answered your own question. wink

But seriously, you're trying to understand people who are "more Orthodox than the Orthodox"? (Your mention of "more Orthodox than the Orthodox" reminds me of an article (presumptuously?) titled "I love Orthodoxy too much to be Orthodox" ... but from what I recall of it I don't think it would help this thread very much. smile )

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So where does the "prohibition" if there is one against statues in our churches originate from?

The need of some Orthodox to define their Orthodoxy entirely in terms of opposition to the Latin Church. Latin Church has statues, ergo statues = bad, evil, heretical idol worship, while icons = good, holy, Orthodox affirmation of the incarnation.

The truth is, there was never a formal prohibition, but--as I said--after the iconoclasm, Byzantium lost the skill set, to say nothing of the resources needed, to make large scale sculpture. The preferred medium--and the popular taste--had shifted to painting, though, as I also noted, ivory reliefs continued to be made up to the very end.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
So where does the "prohibition" if there is one against statues in our churches originate from?

The need of some Orthodox to define their Orthodoxy entirely in terms of opposition to the Latin Church. Latin Church has statues, ergo statues = bad, evil, heretical idol worship, while icons = good, holy, Orthodox affirmation of the incarnation.

The truth is, there was never a formal prohibition, but--as I said--after the iconoclasm, Byzantium lost the skill set, to say nothing of the resources needed, to make large scale sculpture. The preferred medium--and the popular taste--had shifted to painting, though, as I also noted, ivory reliefs continued to be made up to the very end.

The reconstructed Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow has plenty of exterior reliefs.

The Orthodox camp church of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Mercer, Pa has a wooden exterior relief of the two saints above the main entrance which was carved in 2002 in eastern Slovakia.

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Dear Peter - you Rock in more ways than one!

Alex

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Dear Royal Stuart,

They should make a statue of yourself one day!

I'm not against statues. I've always been a closet statue-keeper.

Thank you for relieving me of the stress that comes with being around the "more Orthodox than the Orthodox" EC's who have always told me that the "canons forbid them."

Perhaps they were thinking of "cannons?"

Alex

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Not cannons, just sledgehammers.

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Dear Royal Stuart,

You remind me of the time our old parish priest gave a talk at our religion class about how pews are entirely not in keeping with the Eastern Church tradition.

Immediately afterwards, some stalwarts from the class (attempting to garner "brownie points" no doubt) went and got hammers and other tools as they made their way to the church for the purpose of removing the pews . . .

It took all of Father's exertions to head them off that the pass . . .

A good night to you sir!

Alex

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Originally Posted by Peter J
Hi anticlimacus. The first thing I want to say possibly goes without saying: that, as Catholics, we don't proselytize (especially w.r.t. Orthodox, but also wrt protestants), or at least aren't suppose to, but if you of your own accord want to be in communion with us then we'd love to have you. smile

I was wondering if you could comment on this. I know we're directed not to proselyte the Orthodox, but in regards to Protestants, there is not a single Church document which suggests that they ought not to convert and that we ought not to evangelize to them...

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Pardon my slow response -- I just now saw your post.
Originally Posted by VTCatholic
Originally Posted by Peter J
Hi anticlimacus. The first thing I want to say possibly goes without saying: that, as Catholics, we don't proselytize (especially w.r.t. Orthodox, but also wrt protestants), or at least aren't suppose to, but if you of your own accord want to be in communion with us then we'd love to have you. smile
I was wondering if you could comment on this. I know we're directed not to proselyte the Orthodox, but in regards to Protestants, there is not a single Church document which suggests that they ought not to convert and that we ought not to evangelize to them...
Well, I'm not saying that protestants ought not to convert, but only that we ought not to proselytize them. I realize some might point to e.g. the Anglican Ordinariates and ask, isn't that proselytizing Anglicans? In my opinion, no it isn't.

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