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#55073 11/03/03 03:06 AM
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Bob,

I am delighted with your response.

It is now clear that you actually do understand the difference between the core of dogma and the constructs and language used to describe it. And also understand that differences of opinion outside of the core do not represent a barrier to the unity (Cor 1:10). This very point seemed to elude you when the adminstrator was trying to get it across to you in a couple of other threads.

https://www.byzcath.org/bboard/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000980;p=1#000003

https://www.byzcath.org/bboard/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000971;p=4#000059

Hope this helped.

#55074 11/03/03 03:45 AM
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[Perhaps you would like to rephrase so that you are saying something not obviously incompatible with reality.]

I could say the exact thing for you.

[What goes on in Western rite Orthodoxy? Or are you saying that this is invalid? ]
Now, Bob,

What I felt was unreal was the rigidity with which you were interepreting Cor1:10 with the admin, when it was pretty clear - as was ultimately borne out in your response - that you would take a far more nuanced interpretation when applying it to Orthodoxy. I wanted to establish the fact that you could, in fact, see his point if you wished.

(And by the way, where were you when one of your communion was advancing the idea that the rotting in the ground perspective is completely permissible to "pick and choose" within Orthodoxy!)

As to the Western Rite: your answer now switches back to core rather than "mode" of expression. How naughty. Particularly inasmuch as my comment was made in direct response to yours about keeping a "western mode".

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You base everything on ritual and outward appearances and delegate dogma (which is the very basis of Orthodoxy) to second place.
No. I think that a great part of the genius of Ortho-praxis is the complete coherence between the two. I think that with your comment you are lapsing back to your use of "dogma" to include theological opinions, and modes of expression. It is the latter not dogma, that is delegated, appropriately, to lesser significance. (Your backed-into-the-corner-by-Original-Sin line being a classic example; if I had a nickel for every Orthodox apologist who confused theological opinion and actual dogma of the Catholic church on this subject, I could take very early retirement.)

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Like I said you have lost the very essence of what it means to be Orthodox and have become too western in your outlook.
Well that last part may be true. I am an American. And I hope that you don't think that Eastern Christianity is only for those who eschew Western civilization. And the first part? Only to the extent that you insist a certain Romophobia is essential to Orthodoxy.

#55075 11/03/03 03:52 AM
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[If the Roman Catholics in communion with Constantinople retained the liturgy and Latin approach to theology they would remain Roman Catholic.]

You seemed to have missed the entire point of my post. Which is if they were to in communion with Constantinople they would not be allowed to maintain a Latin approach to theology. You bring up the recent joint statement regarding Filioque. Read it carefully. It says nothing other than once again they agree to disagree.

[Bob�s claim that we are picking and choosing beliefs is false. A prosphora recipe written in Church Slavonic using metric measurements is equivalent to a prosphora recipe written in English using American measurements. The Gospel read in Church Slavonic is just as valid as the Gospel read in English.]

HUH????? I can't even reply to this because it makes no sense to me. What does making Phrosphora and Church Slavonic have to do with the tenets of the faith which are specified within it's DOCTRINES and DOGMAS. Once again your comments are proving that you can't comprehend the difference between tradition, ritual, and doctrine.

[What differs is the theological language each Church uses to proclaim the Trinity. Speaking the same thing does not mean speaking in a universal language. Sadly, however, there are divisions among us due to sin and misunderstanding.]

The Trinity is only the tip of the iceberg my friend! What does language have to do with it? You contradict your first two sentences in your third sentence.

You mean like the RC double talk? Like when we RC's say 'and the Son' we really mean 'Thru the Son' but we're going to continue to say 'and the Son' and when we do you can think 'thru the Son' and therefore WE WILL ALL BE SAYING THE SAME THING! Gemme a break!

[�An Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation� which stated last week that both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches �expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God� and �that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit�s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution�. ]

Which means 'Once again we have agreed to disagree!

[I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her.]

You make a statement like that and then feel insulted when I refer to you as a Papal Catholic! It is the Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church under the authority of the Holy Spirt (not an infallible Pope) that proclaims what is Orthodox.

[I also disagree with your distinction between �in communion� and �under�. If the two terms are equivalent please go and tell one of your Russian Orthodox friends that he is �under� Constantinople or one of your Greek Orthodox friends that he is �under� Moscow.]

And WHY WOULD THAT BE? Could it be because being 'in communion with' and 'under the authority of' mean two separate and distinct things to an Orthodox. While under current Roman Catholic governing practices to be 'in communion with' her automatically means to be under her ultimate authority and accept her theology. The Latin Catholics here and elsewhere keep telling you this but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. What do you think titles like 'Vicar of Christ', Supreme Pontiff', 'Universal Bishop' means? Maybe you should sit down and read the 'Canons of the Eastern Churches' which specify just what you communion with the Pope means!

I would never tell a GO he or she was 'under Moscow' because being 'In Communion' with Moscow in no way implies being under Moscows authority. However, as stated it means smething entirely different within the RCC. Its amazing to what lengths some of you will go to just to deny the reality of your situation with Rome.

[We are not now and never have referred to ourselves as �Eastern Rite Papal Catholics�. The term �Papal Catholic� is always a pejorative and an insult. When you use such terms you present yourself as a bitter person incapable of arguing intelligently.]

Beg to differ. I see the reality of your churches communion with Rome. You, on the other hand, choose to live in a fantasy world regarding what that communion really means. Perfect example is your claim that Rome has the authority to decide what is Orthodox and then say the term Papal Catholic is insulting to you makes absolutely no sense to me. It is you who isn't able to argue intelligently because you, once again, deny the reality of your situation.

OrthMan

#55076 11/03/03 04:29 AM
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djs:

Pulling at straws, and twisting my words, throwing in strawmen, won't get you anywhere. Others can read what I wrote and judge for themselves.

I stand by everything I wrote and don't take one word or sentence back.

Now where I am it's 11:30 and I'm tired.

Goodnight all,
Orthoman

#55077 11/03/03 04:40 AM
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Orthoman:

I am not trying to get anywhere.

Just illuminating the bias with which you wield the Corinthians passage. And that fact that you could understand the administrator's point if you wanted to.

Goodnight.

#55078 11/03/03 04:56 AM
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OrthoMan wrote:
You seemed to have missed the entire point of my post. Which is if they were to in communion with Constantinople they would not be allowed to maintain a Latin approach to theology. You bring up the recent joint statement regarding Filioque. Read it carefully. It says nothing other than once again they agree to disagree.
Bob,

I understood your post but I disagree with your point. We are primarily catechized by prayer (liturgy). Those who use a Latin liturgy are catechized into a Latin spirituality and a Latin approach to theology. There is no getting past this point unless you wish to claim that Orthodox / Byzantine theology is not primarily expressed in the liturgy. People using a Latin liturgy who are in communion with Constantinople are still formed in the Latin approach to theology.

Regarding the Joint Statement, please read it again. The fact that your own Church agreed to a statement that it [we] �expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God� and �that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit�s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution� totally blows away your argument.

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OrthoMan wrote:
HUH????? I can't even reply to this because it makes no sense to me. What does making Phrosphora and Church Slavonic have to do with the tenets of the faith which are specified within it's DOCTRINES and DOGMAS. Once again your comments are proving that you can't comprehend the difference between tradition, ritual, and doctrine.
Look for the parallel to ways of speaking theology! Just because the West speaks in a theological language that is different from us Byzantines does not mean that what she speaks is false. Seeing her speak the truth in her own language and acknowledging does not mean that we cease to speak our own theological language.

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OrthoMan wrote:
The Trinity is only the tip of the iceberg my friend! What does language have to do with it? You contradict your first two sentences in your third sentence.
No! There is no contradiction whatsoever. Language has everything to do with it. The West speaks a theological language that is different than ours. Some concepts translate from one theological language to another quite readily. Some do not. The theological issues that separate East from West are not ones of having a different belief in who God is but rather ones of �our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God� (to quote a joint document of our Churches).


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OrthoMan wrote:
You make a statement like that and then feel insulted when I refer to you as a Papal Catholic! It is the Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church under the authority of the Holy Spirt (not an infallible Pope) that proclaims what is Orthodox.
Yes I do fee insulted. The term �Papal Catholic� is only used by those who intend insult. There are similar pejoratives for African-Americans and Jews that people who are charitable refrain from using.

Further, if you are going to disagree you should at least be factual in your disagreement. The Catholic Church has never taught or even hinted that the an Ecumenical Council is under the authority of the pope instead of the Holy Spirit. Please at least attempt to accurate state the teaching before you disagree with it.

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OrthoMan wrote:
I would never tell a GO he or she was 'under Moscow' because being 'In Communion' with Moscow in no way implies being under Moscows authority. However, as stated it means smething entirely different within the RCC. Its amazing to what lengths some of you will go to just to deny the reality of your situation with Rome.
Multiple definitions? And you accuse the Roman Catholics of double speak?

I�m sorry, Bob, but when you select the best of Orthodox theology and place it against the worst of Roman theology, when you apply different meanings to terms that are favorable when speaking about Orthodoxy and unfavorable when speaking about Catholicism, you accomplish nothing and earn no respect for your arguments.

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OrthoMan wrote:
Perfect example is your claim that Rome has the authority to decide what is Orthodox and then say the term Papal Catholic is insulting to you makes absolutely no sense to me. It is you who isn't able to argue intelligently because you, once again, deny the reality of your situation.
This is an area on which we must agree to disagree. Our world is filled with pejoratives (words people would never use to describe themselves but are used by others as insults). Charitable people refer to people using the terminology that people use to refer to themselves. The term �Papal Catholic� has never been used by anyone in the Catholic Church to describe themselves. It is an invented term used as an insult. Nothing else.

#55079 11/03/03 03:27 PM
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[There is no getting past this point unless you wish to claim that Orthodox / Byzantine theology is not primarily expressed in the liturgy. People using a Latin liturgy who are in communion with Constantinople are still formed in the Latin approach to theology.]

We seem o be talking past each other. I never claimed that Orthodox theology isn't expressed in the Liturgy. But it is not the Liturgy alone that defines my Orthodoxy. It is the Apostles, early Church Fathers, and the ecumenical councils of the undivided church that formulated the doctrines that proclaim what is Orthodox. It is that basis and background which formulated the Liturgy. And it certainly is not the Pope that defines what is Orthodox as you have stated!

Thats why for the Unia to maintain Orthodox Ritual after turning their backs on Orthodoxy and accepting Roman Catholicism is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Everyone of those western rites within Orthodoxy you speak of were not accepted as is. They were modified to project Orthodox theology. They no longer project a Latin approach to theology! Why do you think the ritual in your own church began to be latinized? Its ironic that you defend the idea that you are still Orthodox BUT IT WAS THE POPE HIMSELF THAT INSTRUCTED YOU TO GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS. You were never Orthodox enough to want to do it on your own!

[ [we] �expressly recognize the limitations of our ability to make definitive assertions about the inner life of God� and �that Orthodox and Catholic theologians distinguish more clearly between the divinity and hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit, which is a received dogma of our Churches, and the manner of the Spirit�s origin, which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution� totally blows away your argument.]

It doesn't blow away my arguement. It confirms it. What do you think statements like - "We expressly recognize THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR ABILITY TO MAKE DEFINIIVE ASSERTIONS ABOUT THE INNER LIFE OF GOD" and 'and the manner of the spirits, WHICH STILL AWAITS FULL AND FINAL ECUMENICAL RESOLUTION" means?

Translated it means that once again we agree to disagree until that time we can come together in a truly ecumenical council to resolve the issue. Until then, the status quo remains! More double talk with no substance!

[Look for the parallel to ways of speaking theology! Just because the West speaks in a theological language that is different from us Byzantines does not mean that what she speaks is false. Seeing her speak the truth in her own language and acknowledging does not mean that we cease to speak our own theological language.]

Either the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and infallible or he isn't? Either the CONCEPTION of Mary was Immaculate making her humanity different than ours or it wasn't. Either there is a Purgatory or there isn't. I find your analogy full of holes and double talk to enable you to justify the position your church is in. You no longer have a defined theology. You have a mixed breed theology that is neither completely eastern or western. And thats why you get such flax from both sides!

[The Catholic Church has never taught or even hinted that the an Ecumenical Council is under the authority of the pope instead of the Holy Spirit. Please at least attempt to accurate state the teaching before you disagree with it.]

Are you or are you not, the person who made the folowing statement? -

"I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her."

[The term �Papal Catholic� has never been used by anyone in the Catholic Church to describe themselves. It is an invented term used as an insult. Nothing else.]

I'm equally insulted when those who turned their backs on Orthodoxy try and pass themselves off as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'!

[when you apply different meanings to terms that are favorable when speaking about Orthodoxy and unfavorable when speaking about Catholicism, you accomplish nothing and earn no respect for your arguments.]

What the heck are you talking about? It has nothing to do with being favorable to Orthodoxy. Within Orthodoxy to be 'in communion' means to share the same faith. To be 'under the authority' of a hiearch means exactly what it says. Within Roman Catholicism to be 'in communion' with it not only means to share the same faith but to be under its authority thru what they call the 'Vicar of Christ' on earth. I DIDNT MAKE THOSE RULES, THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DID.

OrthoMan

#55080 11/03/03 04:51 PM
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Bob, thanks for the post.

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Bob wrote:
We seem o be talking past each other. I never claimed that Orthodox theology isn't expressed in the Liturgy. But it is not the Liturgy alone that defines my Orthodoxy. It is the Apostles, early Church Fathers, and the ecumenical councils of the undivided church that formulated the doctrines that proclaim what is Orthodox. It is that basis and background which formulated the Liturgy. And it certainly is not the Pope that defines what is Orthodox as you have stated!
In an earlier post (which I was replying to) you stated: �Which is if they were to in communion with Constantinople they would not be allowed to maintain a Latin approach to theology.� Because we are primarily catechized by prayer (liturgy) that statement can only mean that Roman Catholics who entered into communion with Constantinople would not be allowed to retain Latin liturgy (which is the formative source for Latin spirituality and theology). I respect that you are now restating your definition of what defines Orthodoxy and I think that your restatement makes much more sense. I continue to disagree with your statement regarding the Holy Father. It is the Holy Spirit leading a council of bishops presided by the Holy Father that is the ultimate arbiter of Orthodoxy. This is, of course, the meat of the disagreement between East and West and I respect this disagreement.

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Bob wrote:
Thats why for the Unia to maintain Orthodox Ritual after turning their backs on Orthodoxy and accepting Roman Catholicism is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
This statement makes no sense unless one believes that prayer (liturgy) is not the primary means of catechesis.

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Bob wrote:
Everyone of those western rites within Orthodoxy you speak of were not accepted as is. They were modified to project Orthodox theology. They no longer project a Latin approach to theology!
If they are using a liturgy that is from the Latin (Western) tradition then they are projecting a Latin approach to theology. There is no getting around this point, Bob. If one modifies a few major points in French grammar and replace them with the parallel Greek points one cannot say that French is now Greek. Likewise, making some theological changes to Latin (Roman) Catholicism does not mean that it ceases to be Latin (Roman) Catholicism.

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Bob wrote:
Why do you think the ritual in your own church began to be latinized? Its ironic that you defend the idea that you are still Orthodox BUT IT WAS THE POPE HIMSELF THAT INSTRUCTED YOU TO GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS. You were never Orthodox enough to want to do it on your own!
I�m not sure what you mean here. At one point you are stating that ritual has nothing to do with Orthodoxy. Now you are suggesting that it has everything to do with Orthodoxy?

Orthodoxy cannot be confused with Byzantine-ness. One can be Orthodox without being Byzantine. Our Byzantine Catholic Church did certainly adopt numerous rituals and spiritual customs that were not part of our Byzantine inheritance and Pope John Paul II is correct in asking us to restore a more authentic Byzantine life. We are merely following the example set by the (now) OCA a hundred years ago. The Russian Orthodox Greek Catholics of that era took many generations to become more faithful to their Byzantine inheritance.

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Bob wrote:
What do you think statements like - "We expressly recognize THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR ABILITY TO MAKE DEFINIIVE ASSERTIONS ABOUT THE INNER LIFE OF GOD" and 'and the manner of the spirits, WHICH STILL AWAITS FULL AND FINAL ECUMENICAL RESOLUTION" means?
The statement means that both of our Churches are acknowledging that we cannot fully understand the inner life of the Trinity, that we must continue to pray, that we must continue to work together until we reach a resolution. Are you suggesting that both of our Churches are only engaging in polite fiction when they issue these statements? Why would either Church continue in a dialog if it is so obvious that it is nothing but fictional and there is no hope of resolving the issues that separate us? Are you suggesting that prior to an ecumenical council there is to be no prayerful research and dialog over the issue? The very fact that the Orthodox Church is willing to trust in a fresh ecumenical council to resolve these issues is an acknowledgment that the theologies of either Church are not carved in stone and can mature further.

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Bob wrote:
Either the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and infallible or he isn't? Either the CONCEPTION of Mary was Immaculate making her humanity different than ours or it wasn't. Either there is a Purgatory or there isn't. I find your analogy full of holes and double talk to enable you to justify the position your church is in. You no longer have a defined theology. You have a mixed breed theology that is neither completely eastern or western. And thats why you get such flax from both sides!
One really needs to define things in order to understand them. Let�s look at your first comment. Christ is the only head of the Church. The pope cannot replace him and the Catholic Church has never taught that he does. But Christ is not physically present on this earth so he entrusted the keys to the chief apostle, Peter (and, in a lesser way to all bishops). A vicar is one who represents another. Each bishop is in this sense a Vicar of Christ to the people under his care (his diocese). The Holy Father, being the first of the apostles, is the preeminent Vicar of Christ.

Does the conception of the Theotokos make her humanity different than ours? No. The Western theology on this point is predicated on a different starting point than ours (for us the inheritance from Adam is mortality). The resultant theology is necessarily going to be expressed differently. This does not mean that only one formula can be right and the others therefore must be wrong.

Is there a purgatory? If one believes that there is a purifying journey of the soul upon death that may continue until the Final Judgment then one must state yes. This is really the essence of the Latin Church�s definition of purgatory. The theological overlay that is particular to the Latin tradition is comparable to the Byzantine idea of toll houses. Acceptable and good but not the last word on the subject.

Are we guilty of not having a defined theology? No! Our theology is very nicely defined by the Church Fathers of the Byzantine Tradition. Our acknowledgement that there are other legitimate ways to speak about God does not mean that we have no defined theology.

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I wrote: [The Catholic Church has never taught or even hinted that the an Ecumenical Council is under the authority of the pope instead of the Holy Spirit. Please at least attempt to accurate state the teaching before you disagree with it.]
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Bob wrote: Are you or are you not, the person who made the folowing statement? �
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I wrote: "I respectfully disagree. Rome is the ultimate judge of what is Orthodox, not the larger body of Orthodox Christians who are not in full communion with her."
In what way does the belief that the Holy Father is the final earthly voice of a council remove all possibility of the Holy Spirit to lead the Church in council?

How does a statement that there is one bishop who calls the council, resolves the disputes if they are irresolvable, and has the final word remove all possibility of him being led by the Spirit? If you are stating that then you must also believe that a council that is co-chaired by all the bishops present also does not submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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Bob wrote:
I'm equally insulted when those who turned their backs on Orthodoxy try and pass themselves off as 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome'!
I can respect that you do not like the term �Orthodox in communion with Rome� and that you find it very distasteful. There is a difference here. The term �Orthodox in communion with Rome� has a history that comes from Orthodoxy itself. The term �Uniate� originated with the Orthodox Poles and was adopted by the Russians to refer to Orthodox Christians who were in union with Rome. �Uniate� is shorthand for �Orthodox Christians in union with Rome�. The terms �Orthodox in communion with Rome� and �Uniate� have a legitimacy gained over 400 years of use and there is ample historical evidence to support this. The term �Papal Catholic� was unknown until very recently and was invented as a pejorative.

#55081 11/03/03 05:42 PM
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Dear OrthoMan,

Not wanting to add any more fuel to the fire burning here, however, when clarifying Eastern Orthodox beliefs you really do need to allow for the variety of valid opinions expressed within our communion, both now and historically.

Epiphanios, the famous heresy-hunter from Cyprus chased after divergent groups in the early Church who either denigrated our Most Holy Theotokos or elevated her to the level of Goddess. One of the things that he wrote, and against which you will be hard-pressed to find any contemporary or later repudiation of was the following in Chapetr 78 of his "Panarion," a veritable mainstay of heresiological texts for centuries up until the present:

"If the holy Virgin died and was buried, her falling asleep was honorable and her end holy; her crown consisted in her virginity. Or if she was put to death, according to the scripture, 'a sword shall pierce her soul,' her fame is among the martyrs and her holy body should be an object of our veneration, since through it light came into the world. Or else she remained alive; for it is not impossible for God to do whatever he wills. In fact, no one knows her end."

The fact is that there are many acceptable opinions, but dogmatically, the Church has not spoken on this issue.

With love in Christ,
Andrew

#55082 11/03/03 07:47 PM
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Administrator:

We've gone around in so many circles and here there and everywhere that my head is spinning. Partly because we are attempting to discuss various issue all at once. So its time to regroup.

Please confirm or deny the following questions so I know where you stand -

1) You are stll Orthodox in spite of your union with Rome because you still utilize the Orthodox Ritual in some form?

2) That the Orthodox Liturgy expounds Orthodox theology and is therefore the primary tool used to teach that Orthodox Theology. Which is another justification for you to retain your so called Orthodox identity? [The same for the Latin Liturgy which expounds the theology of the Roman Catholic Church? Therefore, if a Roman Catholic Church enters Orthodoxy and is allowed to maintain their Liturgy they will remain 'Roman Catholics In Communion With Constantinople (or any other recognized Orhodox Patriarchate) because their Liturgy still proclaims Latin theology?]

3) That your being 'in communion' with Rome does not imply that you are under Rome's authority?

4) That the theology of both the eastern and western churches is still basically the same. It is only expressed differently because of language and culture?

Please give a yes are no reply to each of the questions so we can go on from there and take each question individually. I'm asking the questions because I want to be definite on where you stand. Because right now, I'm not really sure.

Maybe we can start the above four questions as for separate threads that can be discussed individually on the East-West Form.

OrthoMan

#55083 11/03/03 07:53 PM
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[The fact is that there are many acceptable opinions, but dogmatically, the Church has not spoken on this issue.]

I assume that you are talking about the Assumption. Reread what I wrote. Especially the part that states HOLY TRADITION TELLS US etc.

The Assumption is not a specified belief in the Orthodox Church. The Dormition is. It's just the opposite in the Roman Catholic Church. Their emphasis is on the Assumption.

OrthoMan

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Bob,

I agree that these discussions can get quite complex. I have provided a brief response to each of your points that we can discuss in further detail if you wish. I am sorry that I could not provide a simple �yes� or �no� but it was not possible with the way your questions are worded.

1) You are stll Orthodox in spite of your union with Rome because you still utilize the Orthodox Ritual in some form?

No. [I must take issue with the question itself.]

We are Orthodox because we preserve the fullness of the Orthodox Faith (theology of the Councils and the Church Fathers especially as prayed in the liturgy). It is the larger body of Byzantine Orthodox Christians who are missing something (and that something being full communion with Rome).

We are continually formed into Byzantine Orthodoxy because we pray according to the liturgy of the Byzantine Orthodox Church. People are primarily formed through prayer (liturgy). Our liturgy is that of Byzantine Orthodoxy (Vespers, Matins, the Divine Liturgy) so our formation must necessarily be that of Byzantine Orthodoxy.

You could counter with the powerful argument that the celebration of Vespers and Matins is missing from many (if not most) of our parishes. But such an argument would also be powerful against most Slavic Orthodox parishes (which don�t have a regular celebration of Matins) and most Greek Orthodox parishes (which don�t have a regular celebration of Vespers).


2) That the Orthodox Liturgy expounds Orthodox theology and is therefore the primary tool used to teach that Orthodox Theology. Which is another justification for you to retain your so called Orthodox identity? [The same for the Latin Liturgy which expounds the theology of the Roman Catholic Church? Therefore, if a Roman Catholic Church enters Orthodoxy and is allowed to maintain their Liturgy they will remain 'Roman Catholics In Communion With Constantinople (or any other recognized Orhodox Patriarchate) because their Liturgy still proclaims Latin theology?]

Yes. Let me offer another example. An Italian who moves to Greece and takes Greek citizenship yet still speaks Italian at home, cooks Italian at home, and spends his time reading from Italian books is still an Italian.


3) That your being 'in communion' with Rome does not imply that you are under Rome's authority?

No. �In communion� and �under� mean two different things (as you have noted within your own Church).

Are we in communion with Rome? Yes. But this will always be true, even after full communion between East and West is restored.

Are we under the authority of Rome? Yes. Until there is full communion between East and West and we are once again under the Patriarch of Constantinople. But, there is another way in which all Christians are to be �under Rome�.

A question here that really must be addressed is �What does it mean to be under Rome?�

Ideally, this means that we submit to our own patriarch and he is in communion with Rome. Since we are not currently in communion with Constantinople our status is irregular and you are correct to look askance at it. To understand the point, however, look at the example of the Melkites and the developing example of the Ukrainians. The Melkite Patriarchate operates independently and, when a bishop or patriarch is elected the patriarchate informs Rome of the election. Rome can interfere with the election (universal jurisdiction) but should not do so without just cause (say there was a fraudulent election). The other Eastern Catholic patriarchates operate the same way and the developing Ukrainian patriarchate is also following this pattern.

This brings us back to the question �What does it mean to be under Rome?� For us it means believing in and trusting that Rome always has authority to intervene (universal jurisdiction) but that she will do so only when absolutely necessary. In this sense we believe that all Christians should be �under Rome�.

Of course, this is the crux of the difference between East and West. Byzantine Orthodoxy (not in communion with Rome) believes that the primacy of Rome is merely one of honor and that Rome never has the right to interfere in another Church. Catholicism (Rome, which is the real and final arbiter of Orthodoxy) believes that it has this immediate jurisdiction. History, not surprisingly, can be used to support both positions. There are examples of the Eastern Churches welcoming Rome�s intervention as well as examples of the Eastern Churches condemning Rome�s intervention. I believe that Rome does have this authority and should have this authority and that one is not really Orthodox if one does not accept this. [Yes, I believe this even though we have oftentimes been mistreated by Rome.] You believe differently (as does the greater body of Byzantine Orthodox Christians.] I respect this disagreement and pray that it will soon be resolved.


4) That the theology of both the eastern and western churches is still basically the same. It is only expressed differently because of language and culture?

Yes to the first statement. No to the question.

I believe that the only real issue preventing the reestablishment of full communion between East (including Byzantine Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy) is that of the question of the authority of Rome. Everything else (the procession of the Holy Spirit, the definition of original sin and its effect upon the Theotokos, etc.) is not really a disagreement about matters of faith (what we believe about God) but rather one of how we have expressed the same faith (how we state what is a shared belief). As an example consider the christological issues between Rome/Constantinople/etc. and the Oriental Orthodox. Recent (separate) dialogues between the Catholic Church and the Byzantine Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church have shown that there is really not a difference in belief but of how the faith is expressed. Looking for the moment at the Catholic / OO discussions we see several common declarations where there is a joint profession �that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, one person in two natures�. The issue arising from their rejection of the ecumenical councils was not a rejection of the theology but one of the way the theology was expressed. In these cases there are definitely cultural and language barriers that cause difficulty.

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#55085 11/03/03 09:45 PM
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Orthoman,
What Fathers of the undivided Church are you referring to?
I thought Jerome, Ambrose, Tertullian and Augustine were a part of the Chutch and they were certainly latin in the theological perspectives.
I suggest you re think you thinking.
Stephanos I

#55086 11/03/03 10:16 PM
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Dear OrthoMan,


On 11-02-03 you posted:

"Tradition tells us that Thomas arrived about three days later and wanted to venerate her body. When they opened the tomb her body was gone and a flower stood where it was. Orthodox believe her body was assumed into heaven but it was a separate event from her Dormition. I know of no Orthodox that believes that her body rotted in the grave."

I was concerned that your post may have reinforced the idea frequently expressed on this esteemed site that there is no difference between the RC dogma of the Assumption and the Holy tradition of Orthodoxy on the same subject. My point is to remind all that there are several valid holy traditions on this subject within Orthodoxy.

There is no particular problem if an Orthodox Christian does believe that (that her body rotted in the grave), although it would likely be a minority opinion, even a controversial one, but not demonstrably erroneous and certainly not heretical. I wouldn't have reason to assert it myself, but I wouldn't be alarmed if a brother OC did.

I have made an effort in the past to point out that the RC dogma of the bodily Assumption of the Theotokos and the OC lack of a dogma on the same subject remain a barrier to the unity that we so cherish.

Unity implies dogmatic consistency, even if expressed in different terms.

In Christ,
Andrew

#55087 11/03/03 10:31 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by OrthoMan:

I would never tell a GO he or she was 'under Moscow' because being 'In Communion' with Moscow in no way implies being under Moscows authority. However, as stated it means smething entirely different within the RCC. Its amazing to what lengths some of you will go to just to deny the reality of your situation with Rome.


OrthMan
Orthoman,

you are correct in stating that "in communion" means something entirely different than "under", but the Catholic Churches' understanding of "in communion" would include the ability to receive the Eucharist (Holy Communion) from eachother as a visble sign of that communion. I hardly think this is the norm in the various Orthodox jurisdictions. Could a GO Christian receive the Eucharist in the RO Church or vice-versa? Even within the same Church the Orthodox faithful may not be able to receive the Eucharist in another diocese.

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