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#55118 11/04/03 06:45 PM
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Alex:

I thought that this was pretty clear in my post above. Just as Bishop John's criticism was of slavishness, mine is of the straight-jacket - East or West, pro or con. It is not serious to accept or to reject something simply because it originated in the East or in the West. We can and must do our own homework, in light of our own particular tradition.

And what do you mean, Alex, by tradition? Is it what has been handed to us, or is it something that was current in some selected place at some selected time, and that is now elevated as the sine qua non of our Church? Are we a living breathing organismic church or are we a museum fossil? Or worse, are we aspiring to be disregard our particular inheritance and become a sorry clone.

I did note that my insouciant attitude toward indulgences may not be shared by others. And some of them likely have serious, non-slavish reasons for not sharing my attitude. Do you think this is a communion-breaking difference or might I be given toll-house latitude here?

I don't doubt that this notion emerged within our church after the Union. So what? Does that make it ipso facto illegitimate?

PS Your rant on Bishop John was untimely, at the very least.

#55119 11/04/03 07:18 PM
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Dear djs,

I didn't like what Bishop John had to say - there is never a good time to critique someone but it's not personal.

And I didn't "rant" - you should know better than to make groundless accusations like that. You should have, instead, said "I don't agree with that BS of yours, Alex" or words to that effect. I thought about Bishop John's statements for a long time before I made those comments. It is telling that you agree with Bishop John but seem to dismiss the ecumenical efforts of the rest of his colleagues. Why?

OR, you could have countered my arguments and indicated WHY you didn't agree with me. Whenever you're ready!

Both of our Churches have inherited a goodly amount of Latinisms in their lives and we are called by the Apostolic See to "return" to the true spirituality etc. of our Churches.

That is not me, but the Vatican II Council, as you know.

Clearly, Rome itself has a good idea of where we, as EC Churches should be, and where we are and that the two realities should become one.

No, we shouldn't be defending Latin traditions simply because: a) our forefathers had them; b) our Churches have had them for a very long time and let's not upset people c) they are now part of our national identity and d) to have them shows we are not backwards like those Orthodox.

In fact, we are called to have an identical liturgical identity with the Orthodox, with our Mother Orthodox Churches to be exact.

There is nothing in Orthodoxy, by way of spirituality, that cannot satisfy what our current Latin devotions satisfy. And Latin innovations are hardly a sign of progress and development, or at least this is how I'm reading you and others in my Church on this score.

Orthodoxy is our "bench-mark" so to speak. It is no "straight-jacket."

And I'm not saying that private devotions of individuals, like me, should be disturbed or sacrificed on the altar of "Orthodox political correctness."

But we should guard against East-West hybridism - that is definitely not our tradition, even if it has been around for a few hundred years.

It makes a mockery of what we are supposed to be as Eastern Catholics with respect to both the West and the East.

Now, I'm saying this by way of what I perceive you to be saying - and I could very well have misread you.

In that case, I'm speaking to my own confreres in the UGCC who believe this way.

(And I wasn't "fuming" on the other thread - I was just upset and disappointed. How would you take being called "rude, arrogant and unsophisticated?" I'm not arrogant . . .)

Alex

#55120 11/04/03 07:38 PM
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Alex,

With all due respect, you are totally incorrect.

The Latin Church has never dogmatically or doctrinally taught that the Theotokos was perfect, equal to Jesus as the quote from St. Ambrose is used to indicate in the piece Bob quotes from.

The Latin Church has never dogmatically or doctrinally taught that Mary did not need to be saved by her Son as the article implies.

The Latin Church has never dogmatically or doctrinally taught that Mary was unable to choose sin (that she had no free will) as the article claims.

The Latin Church has never taught dogmatically or doctrinally that Mary did not die.

The last comment that is highlighted ("Mary was to become the Mother of God, the Theotokos, not because she was to give birth to divinity, but that through her the Word became true man, God-Man".) is equally the teaching of the Latin Church even though St. John appears to be stating that the Latin Church does not teach this.

Your belief that the things the Latin Church is accused of but which it does not actually teach highlights the greater problem in dialog between East and West. Too often people in both Churches assume that the other believes something that that Church never actually taught.

St John Maximovitch did not have a good grasp on Western theology if he made the comments he made. He states some very good and accurate teachings about the Mother of God but his assumption that the Latins actually taught the stuff he is accusing them of is erroneous.

I am no Latin theologian but I have verified each of the points I made above to be accurate with people who are very prayerfully knowledgeable in Latin theology. At best one must pick and choose comments from various Western theologians through the centuries and interpret them broadly to come up with what St. John assumes the Western theology to be. St. John is a holy saint and obviously knew Byzantine Orthodox theology very well. He was not as well versed in Latin theology.

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#55121 11/04/03 07:51 PM
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Dear Administrator,

Now that I have your attention . . .

If I said any of the things you are accusing me of, then I deserve to be beaten about the calves and ankles.

But I didn't even mention them, and they are truly erroneous as you say.

And I agree that Maximovitch had trouble relating to the Latin theology of Original Sin - which coloured his subsequent overall assessment of it.

But he was correct in pointing out the dynamic process of holiness that the Mother of God underwent throughout her life - at her Conception, at her Annunciaton, at Pentecost and now in Heaven.

The Latin Church had a much more "static" view of her holiness and sinlessness - St John's identification of this in his book on the Theotokos is quite correct.

As for the Theotokos not dying, the Latin Church at least allowed for Catholics to believe that. There is no mention of her dying in the dogmatic decree on the Assumption - Fr. Hardon discusses this in his Catechism.

And on that score, my friend Bob, is too.

What do you have against us? wink

Alex

#55122 11/04/03 07:57 PM
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Quote
Alex wrote:
If I said any of the things you are accusing me of, then I deserve to be beaten about the calves and ankles.
Alex,

Forty lashes over your calves and ankles with a wet noodle seems appropriate (unless someone can suggest a more appropriate instrument biggrin ).

You wrote: Not to want to be seen to be picky, but I think St John Maximovitch was correct here!

You endorsed St. John�s teachings as presented by Bob and stated that were correct. In fact his teaching about what the Latins believe was incorrect.

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#55123 11/04/03 08:02 PM
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Dear Administrator,

Ah, Sire, but notice the word "here!"

Not "everywhere," but "here!"

And where is "here?"

It is on the score of seeing the dynamic aspect of the Theotokos' sanctification that went from "sanctified in the womb of St Anne" to even greater heights throughout her life.

She was filled by the Holy Spirit on more than one occasion, as we know.

And St John M was reacting against the Latin static view and against the Augustinian Original Sin perspective, as we know as well.

And as for ecumenical relations, I at least made friends with Orthoman.

Can you say the same? wink

And if there really is such divergence of Orthodox thought on the subject - then what becomes of your "Orthodox in communion with Rome" hypothesis? Shouldn't you be giving that up? Wouldn't that confuse our people - as if they need more confusion?

Alex

#55124 11/04/03 08:13 PM
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Orthodox Catholic posted:

"And our union with Rome has already been discredited by RC theologians themselves - it is considered an historical mistake that should not be repeated again. (Thanks for all your support, Your Eminences!)"


Dear Alex and Fellow Posters,

I really have a tough time understanding this.

It seems to me that this is an instance of historians and theologians taking an anachronistic approach to theology and church history! I may be way out of line here, but I don't understand how one can call the union a mistake in terms of history and theology.

The times were what they were. The believers of the time, Eastern and Western, were just that. Those entering union with Rome, those opposed to their entering union with Rome, and those in Rome which entered into communion with them had only their visions and understandings to guide them. Given the historical circumstances, the state of communications, etc. they all did what they saw as the right thing to do for the good of the people and the Church.

The rest is history.

Of course, it seems to me that the Spirit had some part to play in it, too.

If Catholic historians and theologians discredit the Union of our Churches, what does it matter? It seems that the logical conclusion to what they say is that the existence of the Churches, including our own, as they are as a communion, is a mistake.

That makes no sense to me.

I don't understand how that can be. Let me share a train of thought that may illustrate my thinking and perhaps help you to help me understand.

The Eastern Churches of our communion have rekindled in the Western Church an emphasis on understanding ecclesiology as being a matter of communion. Given the current state of our understanding of the faith, it does make sense for Rome to say that to engage in that kind of union with segments of Orthodoxy today would be a mistake. I can't see how that justifies reinterpreting history and discrediting the historical union.

So the Western Church works for the reunion of all of the Churches using an approach that might in time show that it has changed and respects Eastern beliefs and ways of thinking and doing things. It seems that following the lead of the current Pope, she is trying to do so.

Couldn't that be seen as a working out of the plan of the Spirit for the Churches?. The role of the Eastern Catholic Churches is, it seems to me, an invaluable one to both East and West on the road to reunion. Our communion is not mistake.

I wonder where we would be on the road if the Union had not happened?

Am I missing something?

Thanks for your insights.

Steve

#55125 11/04/03 08:34 PM
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Dear Steve,

An excellent point!

I wish I understood Rome's politicking and posturing toward the East as well . . .

A lot of this is squarely the fault of the Ukrainians.

That Patriarch Josef Slipyj - they had to bring him out of Siberia didn't they?

And then he goes on and on about a . . ."Patriarchate" excuse the word . . .

Who did he think he was? The Russians would never speak to Rome if it approved a UGCC Patriarchate!

Never mind that the Vatican II Council document on the Eastern Churches affirmed that new Patriarchates ought to be established.

Never mind that the UGCC is a direct descendant of the St Andrew tradition of Kyiv.

Never mind that size-wise the UGCC makes other Patriarchal EC Churches look like overly-formalized parishes . . .

But when the Patriarchate thingy was denied to Patri . . oh, sorry, "Cardinal Slipyj," then Ukies began to make their own assessments about the Union of Brest-Litovske.

They affirmed the positive vision of the founders of the Union.

They also affirmed the many negative consequences the union had - it divided a nation against itself, it led to endless inner squabbles and court battles over church property, it alienated entire families etc.

One person once wrote that the great contribution of Brest-Litovske was the tremendous literature (of antagonism), Trenos, Palinodia etc.) that it produced.

I don't know, but I think we could have done without such a "literary legacy."

But, over time, the UGCC became, as the Ukrainian Orthodox historian, Dr. Doroshenko wrote, the "church of Western Ukraine."

It became "our Church" and we defended it, our martyrs died for it, and our hierarchs struggled to maintain it.

Our Church is certainly not a "mistake" - and we don't care what Rome thinks on this score.

Actually, I do have some views on the matter - but the Administrator is already keeping me on a short leash today . . .

Alex

#55126 11/04/03 08:40 PM
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Dear Alex,

The issue at hand was Bishop John's being out of sync. There was no documentation of the reason why he was an opponent of the initiative. Was it because he viewed it as inapproapriate in the aftermath of Balamand where both the Catholic and Orhtodox participants argued against particular versus corporate re-unions? Did he think that the statement of Bishop Zoghby was too elliptical and prone to misinterpretation (What exactly is included in "everything" that the Orthodox church teaches?) Or was it, as you suggested, and expose' of his Latinizing tendencies. Your attack was made without any foundation being presented, and was in any case ad hominem and therefore not probative of his opposition. I think that "rant" was therefore justified.

I am delighted that Rome at Vatican II and beyond has advice for our chuirch, but surely we should not accept it slavishly. That would be true Latinism.

I have no problem with removing Latinizations. The problem is that the term is used rather vaguely. Just like the bench-mark of "Orthodoxy". What Orthodox and where? Present Orthodoxy in the US? Do we then admit organ music at the liturgy? Reinforce kneeling on Sundays, pews? Of course, these practices have been termed "westernizations" in Orthodoxy; while, at the same time they are viewed imposed with coercive force by Latins in EC churches.

We have lots of opinions that often don't go far beyond American Bandstand (It's got a good beat, I can dance to it I give it a 98) evaluations. And whenever I asked for norms and criteria - thud! Well that's OK, we're just an opinion forum, but if we haven't done the homework, then we should be a little less rigid about our opinions. That's what I ask for. One notorious example, let's not call the use of pre-cut prosphora a liturgical abuse, and attribute it to laziness of our priests, without first seeking to know the how and why of its origin within our church. If we do not do this, then we are really are becoming copy-cat churches - the most viscious accusation that is hurled against us.

Quote
"Orthodox political correctness."
That would be the slavishness, the straight-jacket.

Quote
But we should guard against East-West hybridism...It makes a mockery of what we are supposed to be as Eastern Catholics with respect to both the West and the East.
First and foremost our obligation as a church is to advance the salvation of our faithful. What we are for the East or West, mnust be seen as of secondary. We are not a pawn, we are not a demo, we are not bait, we are a church. I've asked before, in similar contexts - what is a church. Thud!

I would like, moreover, to ask about this "hybridism". What does this entail? Must we blind ourselves to ideas "not invented here"? Must we utterly forsake of the idea of enculturation: we are of Western culture? This is a complex matter.

Quote
And I wasn't "fuming" on the other thread - I was just upset and disappointed. How would you take being called "rude, arrogant and unsophisticated?" I'm not arrogant . .
I would be fuming. I have never been called unsophisticated. wink

#55127 11/04/03 08:55 PM
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Dear djs,

You are definitely sophisticated, Big Guy!

My critique of Bishop John was based on his own words that to "walk with the Pope" necessitated acceptance of Latin church theological traditions over and above our own - that is what he said. If I've misinterpreted, well then, the rest of the Melkite Synod can't be wrong.

And for RC's to be always quoting Bishop John, and not the other members of the Synod with their Patriarch - what can that suggest if not that they've found one bishop who agrees with them and are using him as (falsely) representing the entire Melkite Synod - the Melkites being, as always, the exemplar of Eastern Catholic identity and praxis.

And we have our own theologians and historians who can truly identify what is a "natural" ecclesial development in our Churches' history and what is a "Latinization" or an "inorganic" development.

And we have bishops who sometimes prefer the "inorganic" development.

Slavishness exists among bishops who think that way, who, because of their loyalty to Rome as they understand it, find themselves to have blurred vision that fails to distinguish between Catholic faith, that is universal for all Catholics in communion with Rome, and what is simply Latin tradition - valid for the Latin Church but "inorganic" for the Eastern Churches.

That is what I objected to Bishop John's remarks - I think he was quite clear and articulate in making them.

And I think he goes against the spirit of Vatican II with respect to the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Too bad we no longer live in the age of the inquisition.

I'd be in trouble, if we did - perhaps you'd even see to it. wink

Alex

#55128 11/04/03 09:05 PM
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Alex, your post gets my nihil obstat. biggrin

#55129 11/04/03 09:06 PM
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Dear djs,

Then a "Slava Isusu Khrystu" and a good evening to you and yours!

Alex

#55130 11/04/03 09:07 PM
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#55131 11/04/03 09:08 PM
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Sorry for the multiple posting.
As a Johnstown native, I guess I am unclear on the concept of flood protection.

#55132 11/04/03 09:12 PM
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You said that already.

Thank you!

Alex

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