www.byzcath.org
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 01:13 PM
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
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 01:46 PM
It should be no more confusing than Orthodox Christians not in Communion with Rome referring to their Church as "Catholic."

Both terms reflect the ancient nomenclature of the Christian Church. That the Church within each side of the Empire developed a predilection for one term over the other matters not. Both reflect the patrimony of the Church.

For those Byzantine Churches which entered into communion with Rome, all the more reason to refer to ourselves as OICWR.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 02:23 PM
The term has been used by leading Greek Catholic theologians and hierarchs, including Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch, Patriarch Lyubomir of Kyiv, and Fr. Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. We are Orthodox because we do believe all that the Orthodox Church believes; we are in communion with the Church of Rome, because the Bishop of Rome shares the Eucharist with our bishops.

The rest of your post, Alexis, is merely tendentious and intended to foster divisions where none exist.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 03:49 PM
No, Stuart, and that is uncharitable. My questions are honest.

Quote
Gordo said: It should be no more confusing than Orthodox Christians not in Communion with Rome referring to their Church as "Catholic."
.

But, Gordo, this doesn't make any sense, or else Roman Rite Catholics would also be "Orthodox in communion with Rome." It seems clear that for those who use the term, it is meant to imply [Eastern] Orthodox in communion with Rome, for it is often stressed by those who use the label that "we believe all that the Orthodox believe," juxtaposing this to what Roman Catholics believe.

Yes, all Catholics are Orthodox Christians, but of course that has little to do with that this phrase means.

Stuart,

You haven't answered any of my questions. You simply stated facts about the existence of self-described OICWR, and then insulted me. I've been a member of ByzCath for seven years, and love and respect the Eastern Catholic Churches, and would never try to foster division between Christians (that is nothing short of Satanic).

So, back to the [sincere] questions.

Alexis
Posted By: Administrator Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 04:09 PM
Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
But, Gordo, this doesn't make any sense, or else Roman Rite Catholics would also be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."
In one sense, yes, Rome has the same right to call itself "Orthodox" as does Orthodoxy to call itself "Catholic".

But there are other perspectives that are equally valid. I've quoted Vatican II before where it said that: “All this heritage of spirituality and liturgy, of discipline and theology, in its various traditions, this holy synod declares to belong to the full Catholic and apostolic character of the Church." (Unitatis Redintegration) Everything about Orthodoxy is already part of Catholicism except those issues that are disagreed upon.

Further, Pope John Paul the Great specifically told the Eastern Catholic Churches to witness Orthodoxy as completely as is possible within Roman communion.

I do not see why Alexis finds controversy where the Church sees none.

Look at our Liturgy and theology. What do you see? Orthodoxy!
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
But, Gordo, this doesn't make any sense, or else Roman Rite Catholics would also be "Orthodox in communion with Rome." It seems clear that for those who use the term, it is meant to imply [Eastern] Orthodox in communion with Rome, for it is often stressed by those who use the label that "we believe all that the Orthodox believe," juxtaposing this to what Roman Catholics believe.

I think the crux of the issue is whether "Orthodox" necessarily means "not in communion with Rome." I do not think that it does.

For that matter, non-Chalcedonian Christians refer to themselves as Orthodox Christians (Oriental Orthodox). Are we to debate their use of this nomenclature as well? They are not in full communion with the whole sweep of Chalcedonian Orthodox Christians and jurisdictions. Should we deny them the title as well?
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 05:11 PM
Orthodoxy, meaning the Constantinopolitan Tradition, has nothing to do with a particular communion, but rather implies a particular way of living one's faith that covers the totality of life--a liturgy, spirituality, theology, doctrine and discipline. Nobody has yet to indicate just what elements of this Orthodox faith the Greek Catholics do not hold. And Alexis has yet to tell me whether he disagrees with Patriarch Lyubomir when he said (and continues to say), "Between the Greek Catholics and the Orthodox there are no theological differences". Neither has he said whether he believes Patriarch Gregorios was wrong when he described himself as "an Orthodox Christian, with a plus--I am in communion with the Church of Rome". Does he also disagree with Fr. Robert Taft, when he wrote in his essay, "Liturgy in the Life of the Church" that the objective of the Greek Catholic spiritual renewal is to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome".

We who are Greek Catholics have the right to define ourselves without reference to the demands of other Churches. This is how we see ourselves. This is how the Holy See has demanded, for more than a century, that we see ourselves. True, there are those among us who, in their fidelity to the Catholic Church, disagree with the Holy See on this matter, just as there are Roman Catholics who demand that we conform ourselves to the mindset of the Latin Church. But we do not have to comply with their demands, certainly not when they contradict everything that the Holy See has said, written and done in regard to us since the end of the 19th century.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 05:55 PM
As an Eastern Catholic I see myself as an Orthodox Christian, but I must admit that I have growing doubts about whether it is really possible to be doctrinally Orthodox and in communion with Rome.

Can one be Orthodox and accept – as ecumenical and binding upon all Christians – the theological theories proposed at the Latin Church's fourteen local synods?

Can one be Orthodox and accept the theories proposed at the Council of Trent; e.g., the idea that man is "justified" with a justice that is not God's own justice (i.e., a "created" grace); or Trent's theory of "original sin" which holds that the guilt of our first parents is transmitted to all their descendants, even though sin and guilt are personal realities limited to the acting agent; or Trent's rejection of the idea that "divinity" is really present in icons and in the relics of the saints?

Can one be an Orthodox Christian and accept the exaggerated views of the primacy espoused by the bishops assembled at the First Vatican Council, which is no longer seen as primacy within synodality, but is instead turned into a power of supremacy over the Church?

Can one be an Orthodox Christian and 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?

These are just a few examples of problems that Eastern Catholics face in trying to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome."

Latinization, in the final analysis, is inevitable if Eastern Christians are required to accept the theological theories of the Latin Church as dogma.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 06:32 PM
Yes, without accepting all of your characterizations or qualifications as valid.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 06:56 PM
Quote
As an Eastern Catholic I see myself as an Orthodox Christian, but I must admit that I have growing doubts about whether it is really possible to be doctrinally Orthodox and in communion with Rome.

It is, as long as you are determined to do so.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
As an Eastern Catholic I see myself as an Orthodox Christian, but I must admit that I have growing doubts about whether it is really possible to be doctrinally Orthodox and in communion with Rome.

It is, as long as you are determined to do so.
I am determined to be Orthodox in communion with Rome, which is why I cannot accept the theological theories put forward at the Western Councils, but should I (or Eastern Catholics in general) be required to accept those theories . . . it follows that I would have to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.
Posted By: Nelson Chase Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 09:57 PM
I believe that those councils are ment for the Latin Church. I think the Union Brest (treaty of) helps a little in light of this post.

From the treaty- From Byzcath.org
1.—Since there is a quarrel between the Romans and Greeks about the procession of the Holy Spirit, which greatly impede unity really for no other reason than that we do not wish to understand one another—we ask that we should not be compelled to any other creed but that we should remain with that which was handed down to us in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospel, and in the writings of the holy Greek Doctors, that is, that the Holy Spirit proceeds, not from two sources and not by a double procession, but from one origin, from the Father through the Son.

5-We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church.

31.—And when the Lord God by His will and holy grace shall permit the rest of our brothers of the Eastern Church of the Greek tradition to come to the holy unity with the Western Church, and later in this common union and by the permission of the Universal Church there should be any change in the ceremonies and Typicon of the Greek Church, we shall share all this as people of the same religion.

I think that the treaty of Brest allow gives us the guides for being Orthodox in Communion with Rome. The Holy See agreeded to it. Has it been perfect since, no. Has it been better since the late 19th century-yes. We may not agree on everything but we can live in peace and communion with Rome. (even though it can be rocky at times)
Posted By: The young fogey Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 09:58 PM
A perennial topic in online fora like this.

Alexis's OP is right.

Rome says Greek Catholics (most of whom are Slavs, Galician Ukrainians) are externally to be exactly like the OicwRs, Orthodox, but must accept all post-schism Roman definitions of doctrine including what seems to be the one insurmountable difference between the two churches, the scope of the Pope (divinely instituted channel of the church's infallibility with universal jurisdiction as opposed to a man-made rank of the infallible church's divinely instituted episcopate, a rank for the good order of the church). It's why I can't see corporate reunion happening. You'll never move beyond the long-standing intercommunion in the Middle East. (The Melkites there are probably the born Greek Catholics closest to being OicwRs; technically many of them are baptised Orthodox!) It's a zero-sum game: either the RCs become WRO or the Orthodox become Greek Catholics. To be Greek Catholic and say RC doctrine isn't true or doesn't apply to you is, IMO, intellectually dishonest.

The competing one-true-church claims make hash of the OicwR position. To Orthodox, OicwR are to them as Rome sees Anglo-Catholic Anglicans (who likewise have dreamt of corporate reunion of their churches).

OicwRs: Greek Catholic converts online.

Eastern Rite Roman Catholics: latinised, rank-and-file, Slavic born Greek Catholics, who are not online.

Some OicwRs soldier on for a lifetime; more than a few get fed up and convert to Orthodoxy after a few years.

In 25 years of following this stuff I've never met a born Greek Catholic who identified as Orthodox. I think in America the Toth and Chornock splits and their aftermath among the Greek Catholics, and the forced mergers and persecutions under the Communists in Eastern Europe, killed any of that among ethnic born Greek Catholics long before I came along.
Posted By: Nelson Chase Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 10:06 PM
I have met many- including Priests, who identify themselves as such- Orthodox Christians in communion with Rome. Also if the Ukrainian Patriarch (Greek Catholic) and the Melkite Patriarch also use such a title I think that says enough. I believe they are craddle born Greek Catholics. smile

I have never been to an Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Church- been to a Eastern Catholic Church.

All the best and please pray for me.
Posted By: Administrator Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
I am determined to be Orthodox in communion with Rome, which is why I cannot accept the theological theories put forward at the Western Councils, but should I (or Eastern Catholics in general) be required to accept those theories . . . it follows that I would have to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.
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.

I can see problems on both sides. They are clearly the result of one Church that is wounded and currently divided into separate households. This living in separate households and partaking from different chalices will not last forever. We - East and West, Catholic and Orthodox - need to repent of our sin (personal and as Churches) and pray the Lord God to lead us in His will that we again be one.

"I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:20-21)

PS: Anyone wishing to meet an Orthodox in Communion with Rome is welcome to stop by my house. I keep cold drinks and with a bit of notice I could put some chicken or steak on the grill. The deck is shady after about 4 PM. Very nice!
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 10:14 PM
Quote
Rome says Greek Catholics (most of whom are Slavs, Galician Ukrainians) are externally to be exactly like the OicwRs, Orthodox, but must accept all post-schism Roman definitions of doctrine including what seems to be the one insurmountable difference between the two churches, the scope of the Pope (divinely instituted channel of the church's infallibility with universal jurisdiction as opposed to a man-made rank of the infallible church's divinely instituted episcopate, a rank for the good order of the church).

Where--precisely--does it say this? And if there is such a document, please explain why the Holy See would allow the primates of two of its largest Eastern Churches to dissent from it? And all this being the case, does it not mean that Rome is being cynically disingenuous in its dialogue with the Orthodox, particularly when it repeatedly asserts that communion with Rome would mean neither subordination nor assimilation, but true communion in the Holy Spirit? And what, precisely, did John Paul II mean, in Ut Unum Sint, when he called for assistance from the "separated brethren" in finding a definition and modality of primacy suitable for the third millennium? Window dressing?

If so, I certainly don't want to be in communion with a Church that deals in falsehoods.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 10:23 PM
Quote
I have never been to an Eastern Rite Roman Catholic Church- been to a Eastern Catholic Church.

Visit some of the older churches in the Metropolia--it usually says something of that sort on the cornerstone or lintel of the building--"St. So-and-So Roman Catholic Church (Greek Rite)".

On the other hand, if you look in some of the old Slavonic Trebniki and Sluzhebniki, they almost always refer to the "Greek Catholic Orthodox Church"--which, interestingly, is precisely how the Johnstown Archdiocese refers to itself: The Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic Orthodox Archdiocese (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

So, what's in a name?
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 10:52 PM
Quote
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.

One also has to consider that, as a result of its ecclesiastical separation from the Eastern Churches, the Church of Rome became rather sloppy in its theological terminology, assigning the word "dogma" to matters that pertain only to the usage of that particular Church, or its own specific interpretation and enunciation of a universal doctrine of the Church.

This was precisely the point Pope John Paul II was explaining when he said that we must be careful not to confuse the underlying truth of doctrine with its linguistically, socially and historically conditioned modes of expression. There is only one way in which to do this: objective and ecumenical analysis of the development of doctrine. Unless you understand the conditions under which a particular doctrine or statement was made--its historical, social and ecclesiastical context--it is impossible to determine whether it is in fact a statement that pertains to dogma, to the doctrinal expression of a particular Church, or merely to its proper liturgical usage.

Posted By: dochawk Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/22/09 11:22 PM
Originally Posted by Administrator
PS: Anyone wishing to meet an Orthodox in Communion with Rome is welcome to stop by my house. I keep cold drinks and with a bit of notice I could put some chicken or steak on the grill. The deck is shady after about 4 PM. Very nice!

Unfortunately, the map just keeps getting in the way . . .

hawk, struggling for a reason to be near Virginia . . .
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:13 AM
Originally Posted by ebed melech
Yes, without accepting all of your characterizations or qualifications as valid.
Which "characterizations" or "qualifications" do you reject?

By the way, I remain open to hearing your defense of the Tridentine theories, and even those of Vatican I, but I expect your answers to founded upon the teachings of the Eastern Fathers, and not simply a reiteration of the views of the Scholastics.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by The young fogey
OicwRs: Greek Catholic converts online.
This is a common method used by some Latin apologists in order to try and marginalize Eastern Catholics who reject the idea that Latin theories are dogmas.

I assure you that I exist off-line.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:28 AM
Apotheoun,

Here is a link to a Latin Catholic's explanation and reconciliation of "created" grace: http://mliccione.blogspot.com/2008/03/that-little-black-spot.html

Stuart, I do plan to answer your questions later (though it is the first time you've asked them, and you sneakily framed it as if you've asked them of me tons of times, and that I'm resisting). Very sly!

Alexis
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:35 AM
Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
Apotheoun,

Here is a link to a Latin Catholic's explanation and reconciliation of "created" grace: http://mliccione.blogspot.com/2008/03/that-little-black-spot.html

Stuart, I do plan to answer your questions later (though it is the first time you've asked them, and you sneakily framed it as if you've asked them of me tons of times, and that I'm resisting). Very sly!

Alexis
Thank you for the link, but alas I have already read Liccione's articles.

As an Eastern Christian I believe that grace is God Himself given to man as energy, and so there is no such thing as "created" grace. In fact, the Scholastic theories surrounding "created" grace have Arian and Pneumatomachian tendencies in that the Scholastics proposed their theory of grace as a created habitus as a buffer between God and man, while the Eastern teaching – as proposed by St. Gregory Palamas – holds that man becomes uncreated by grace (see St. Gregory's "Third Letter to Akindynos").

P.S. - A better treatment (and defense) of "created" grace can be found in a book called "The Theology of Grace" by C. Moeller and G. Philips, but even that book reveals the truth that the ancient Church had no concept of "created" grace, and that Eastern Orthodox theology has worked fine without such a concept for two thousand years.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:38 AM
Why is "created grace" a theological issue, unless one side or the other elevates it to one? Things that were not issues in the first millennium should not be issues today. Latins should be allowed to theologize as Latins; Greeks should be allowed to theologize as Greeks; Orientals should be allowed to theologize as Orientals; and Assyrians should be allowed to theologize as Assyrians. No one Tradition can impose its modes of expression on any other Tradition. It is one of the more annoying traits of some Orthodox that they do not seem to recognize the legitimacy of any theology that is not explicitly Byzantine; in this, they are no better than certain Latins who do not recognize the legitimacy of any theology that is not explicitly Latin.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:41 AM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Why is "created grace" a theological issue, unless one side or the other elevates it to one? Things that were not issues in the first millennium should not be issues today. Latins should be allowed to theologize as Latins; Greeks should be allowed to theologize as Greeks; Orientals should be allowed to theologize as Orientals; and Assyrians should be allowed to theologize as Assyrians. No one Tradition can impose its modes of expression on any other Tradition. It is one of the more annoying traits of some Orthodox that they do not seem to recognize the legitimacy of any theology that is not explicitly Byzantine; in this, they are no better than certain Latins who do not recognize the legitimacy of any theology that is not explicitly Latin.
I agree, but sadly there are Latin Catholics, and even some Eastern Catholics, who accept the teaching of Trent as dogma, and Trent does teach a concept of "created" grace in its decree on Justification.

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.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:51 AM
Well, so much for Trent (which taught a lot of things that have nothing to do with the Eastern Churches). But the Catholic Church has accepted Palamism as an acceptable mode of theology for Churches of the Byzantine Tradition, and has recognized Palamas as a saint of the universal Church, and since we commemorate him on the Second Sunday of Lent, the issue is entirely moot--the nature of grace is not a worthy subject for dogmatization.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:53 AM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Well, so much for Trent (which taught a lot of things that have nothing to do with the Eastern Churches). But the Catholic Church has accepted Palamism as an acceptable mode of theology for Churches of the Byzantine Tradition, and has recognized Palamas as a saint of the universal Church, and since we commemorate him on the Second Sunday of Lent, the issue is entirely moot--the nature of grace is not a worthy subject for dogmatization.
Although I agree with you, I am concerned by many of the posts that I read here at the Byzantine Forum which seem to take a contrary view.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:56 AM
I can only say that I believe that grace is God, because nothing other than participation in the uncreated divinity itself could divinize a man.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 01:14 AM
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.
Posted By: Chtec Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 01:41 AM
Originally Posted by StuartK
On the other hand, if you look in some of the old Slavonic Trebniki and Sluzhebniki, they almost always refer to the "Greek Catholic Orthodox Church"--which, interestingly, is precisely how the Johnstown Archdiocese refers to itself: The Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic Orthodox Archdiocese (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

If I remember correctly, the original name was the "American Carpatho-Russian Greek Catholic Diocese of the Eastern Rite." Soon after its reception into the EP--although not immediately after--the word "Orthodox" was added; I think that the official title is still the "American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese of the USA."

Today, "American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese" or ACROD is most common.

Dave
[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.

Posted By: MarkosC Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:51 AM
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
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:06 AM
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.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 04:01 AM
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.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 04:07 AM
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.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 04:19 AM
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...
Posted By: Nelson Chase Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 06:47 AM
Thanks Father- I am to young I guess to remember that. Pray for me. smile
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 07:26 AM
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.
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 08:43 AM
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.
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 08:44 AM
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.
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 08:48 AM
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.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 09:38 AM
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.
Posted By: The young fogey Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 12:51 PM
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.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 01:07 PM
This is eminently silly.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 01:54 PM
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.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:15 PM
Magisterium is merely a Latin word that refers to the teaching authority of the Church. As such, it resides within the entire Body of Christ, in each person, according to his gifts and status. Bishops have a special charism to teach the true faith, but they do not have a monopoly on truth. The Pope has a special vocation, both as bishop and as pope, to expound upon the universal truth of Jesus Christ--but again, that must be understood within the context of the magisterium of the Church as a whole.

An annoying aspect of Catholics is their reference to "The Magisterium", as though it was an office or an institution, rather than a function or gift. Go to Rome, visit the Vatican City, and ask one of the guides to direct you to "The Magisterium". Lots of luck.

The problem with the notion of an overarching and extrinsic "Magisterium" (big M) is it absolves the rest of the Church both of its responsibility to seek out and teach the truth, and conversely, of its responsibility to defend the truth against error--because that, after all, is the responsibility of The Magisterium. When Catholics talk of The Magisterium, they tend to mean either (a) the Pope (with or without the Curia Romana); or (b) the Pope and the bishops. But in fact, all of us possess a portion of the magisterium of the Church, and far too few of us act upon it.

Now, with regard to all of Todd's objections to Scholastic and neo-Scholastic theologizing, I think it safe to say that, as far as the "real Catholic Church" is concerned, he's either flogging a dead horse or knocking over a straw man. The Latin Church itself doesn't hold to that, anymore, let alone try to impose it upon the Eastern Churches. The flow of theology since the middle of the last century has been in the opposite direction, from the Christian East to the Christian West, as the Latin Church rediscovered the Fathers and began abandoning wholesale the bulk of its medieval accretions. Find me a reputable Latin theologian who accepts a scholastic, hylomorphic understanding of the sacraments, for a starter.

Sure, there are some on the fringes, but a Latin traditionalist with a copy of Ott or Denzinger is almost as dangerous as an Orthodox convert with a copy of the Pedalion.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:16 PM
Quote
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.

Theologumena are theologumena, whether Latin or Eastern. The only things which are dogma are those elements of Tradition which are the common patrimony of the undivided Church.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:20 PM
Quote
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.
When your only tool is a hammer, every job looks like a nail. When your only concern is modernism, everyone who disagrees with you is a modernist. And I would appreciate if you would stop telling me what I, as a Greek Catholic, "must believe". I don't tell you, as an Orthodox, what you "must believe".

But I do find it interesting that both Latins and Orthodox want to put the Greek Catholics into a nice little box that fits in with their own conceptions of what we must or ought to be--Latins in drag.
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:24 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
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.

I am not going to waste time debating this. However, I have to say that the consistent teaching of all the Popes from John XXIII to Benedict XVI is that the doctrines defined Trent and Vatican I still stand; the Vatican has been repeating this ad nauseam. Credo of the People of God, anyone?

You don't have to agree with the Latin Church to at least represent its actual thought correctly.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:26 PM
Stuart,

I have often said that the "Magisterium" is not a department of the Vatican! Though some would have it so...

Fr. Deacon Daniel
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:27 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
And I would appreciate if you would stop telling me what I, as a Greek Catholic, "must believe". I don't tell you, as an Orthodox, what you "must believe".

I thought you shared the same faith?
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:35 PM
Quote
I thought you shared the same faith?

Some people don't like to share.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
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.

Theologumena are theologumena, whether Latin or Eastern. The only things which are dogma are those elements of Tradition which are the common patrimony of the undivided Church.

Would that reference to the common patrimony of the undivided Church then lead us inexorably to the conclusion that the teachings of every Council from Chalcedon forward are not canonically binding, since the Alexandrians, who were up until the 4th council part of the undivided Church, had no part in defining or receiving any of them subsequent to Chalcedon?

At some point determining canonical authority has to be the definitive issue, rather than simply a reference to "common patrimony"...
Posted By: Administrator Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 02:40 PM
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by StuartK
And I would appreciate if you would stop telling me what I, as a Greek Catholic, "must believe". I don't tell you, as an Orthodox, what you "must believe".
I thought you shared the same faith?
An analogy: Sharing the same faith does not mean that Greeks must forget Greek and defer to Latin, and speak Latin. It does not mean that we give up our perfectly good Greek theological 'recipes' and replace them with Latin ones. We do not need the theology of the Latin Church to be Catholic. We accept the theology of the Latin Church as Catholic, but not as the standard of Catholic theology to which we must compare our theology to. Those who read the documents of the Catholic Church should be able to see this easily.
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:01 PM
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by StuartK
And I would appreciate if you would stop telling me what I, as a Greek Catholic, "must believe". I don't tell you, as an Orthodox, what you "must believe".
I thought you shared the same faith?
An analogy: Sharing the same faith does not mean that Greeks must forget Greek and defer to Latin, and speak Latin. It does not mean that we give up our perfectly good Greek theological 'recipes' and replace them with Latin ones. We do not need the theology of the Latin Church to be Catholic. We accept the theology of the Latin Church as Catholic, but not as the standard of Catholic theology to which we must compare our theology to. Those who read the documents of the Catholic Church should be able to see this easily.

I am not referring to Greek and Latin Catholics, but to Greek Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. As you will note, my puzzlement refers to the exchange between Serge "the young fogey" (Orthodox) and Stuart (Greek Catholic).
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:01 PM
Quote
Would that reference to the common patrimony of the undivided Church then lead us inexorably to the conclusion that the teachings of every Council from Chalcedon forward are not canonically binding, since the Alexandrians, who were up until the 4th council part of the undivided Church, had no part in defining or receiving any of them subsequent to Chalcedon?

The point is moot, as it is commonly recognized that both the Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Churches all share the same belief about the nature of Jesus Christ. As long as there is unity in faith, unity in expression is not necessary.

Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Would that reference to the common patrimony of the undivided Church then lead us inexorably to the conclusion that the teachings of every Council from Chalcedon forward are not canonically binding, since the Alexandrians, who were up until the 4th council part of the undivided Church, had no part in defining or receiving any of them subsequent to Chalcedon?

The point is moot, as it is commonly recognized that both the Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Churches all share the same belief about the nature of Jesus Christ. As long as there is unity in faith, unity in expression is not necessary.

Not entirely...they do not accept nor have they received as authoritative the decisions of other councils. Although I agree that uniformity of expression is not necessary...
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:13 PM
I
Quote
am not referring to Greek and Latin Catholics, but to Greek Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. As you will note, my puzzlement refers to the exchange between Serge "the young fogey" (Orthodox) and Stuart (Greek Catholic).

I believe everything the Orthodox Church believes in matters of faith. Young Fogey insists that, as a Greek Catholic, this is not possible. He wants me to be an Oreo Cookie, black on the outside, white on the inside. So, I think, do you. Both of you want Greek Catholics to be ritually Orthodox and spiritually and doctrinally Latin, albeit for different reasons. Some Orthodox wants that as a way of differentiating the Orthodox from the Greek Catholics and thus maintaining a wall of separation that never really existed in the first place. And some Latins want it that way because it maintains the praestantia ritus latini and keeps us in our place.

Serge has also changed his position significantly since the last time we met in person. Then, he fully accepted that I was an Orthodox Christian in communion with Rome, and believed that was what Greek Catholics should aspire to become. Why he takes a disparaging view of those Greek Catholics who live in the fullness of Tradition, I don't know. It was not always so.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:17 PM
Quote
Not entirely...they do not accept nor have they received as authoritative the decisions of other councils. Although I agree that uniformity of expression is not necessary...

There is a Joint Christological Statement between the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches (and a parallel one between the Oriental Orthodox and Catholic Churches) that acknowledge the common faith regarding Jesus Christ. The failure to reestablish communion between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox results from secondary issues, including revocation of anathemas, commemoration of martyrs on both sides, and disciplinary issues.

As always when common sense and reason fail to prevail, monastic extremists on both sides are the stumbling block. Which is why we need to keep monasticism and humanism in dynamic tension. After all, both Patriarch Ignatios and Patriarch Photios are saints, even though they stood on opposite sides regarding the reintegration of former iconoclasts into the Church.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:18 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
As always when common sense and reason fail to prevail, monastic extremists on both sides are the stumbling block. Which is why we need to keep monasticism and humanism in dynamic tension. After all, both Patriarch Ignatios and Patriarch Photios are saints, even though they stood on opposite sides regarding the reintegration of former iconoclasts into the Church.

Excellent points and example!
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:37 PM
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.

I'd like to ask how the Latin Church has "developed" beyond certain expressions of doctrine. More fine tuning of terminology and, as a result, clearer expressions may have come along, but the ones that were "developed beyond," as you say, are always valid and free to be used.

Anyway, my bigger question is: you say that Latins are not bound to accept Tridentine doctrines because the Latin Church has "developed" beyond these, and in your mind because the Latin Church doesn't consider itself bound to them (I think it does, but anyway...)....so, before this "development beyond," you seems to be saying that Latins were required to accept them; in other words, for a time Latins were bound to accept, as faithful members of the Church, certain expressions of doctrine that non-Latin Catholics were not. Is this correct?

Alexis
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by StuartK
I[quote] He wants me to be an Oreo Cookie, black on the outside, white on the inside. So, I think, do you. Both of you want Greek Catholics to be ritually Orthodox and spiritually and doctrinally Latin, albeit for different reasons.

As someone who has repeatedly attacked "Praestantia ritus latini" including in the blog that I contribute to, your characterization is totally unfair. Enough said.

"Spiritually Latin"? I've been repeatedly attacked on this forum for daring to criticize liturgical and devotional latinizations. "Doctrinally Latin"? Only insofar as I personally uphold the complete compatibility of what you consider to be purely Latin innovations with the traditional Eastern expression of the Catholic faith. You don't have to agree with me to at least not distort my thinking.

The problem, I think, is that you do not seem to want to distinguish between those who fully respect the Eastern tradition and who oppose any dilution of the Eastern spiritual and liturgical tradition but not to the extent of calling Latin doctrines "innovations" that are foreign to the East, and those who want to thoroughly Latinize the spiritual and liturgical lives of Eastern Catholics.
Posted By: Administrator Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 03:58 PM
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Originally Posted by StuartK
And I would appreciate if you would stop telling me what I, as a Greek Catholic, "must believe". I don't tell you, as an Orthodox, what you "must believe".
I thought you shared the same faith?
An analogy: Sharing the same faith does not mean that Greeks must forget Greek and defer to Latin, and speak Latin. It does not mean that we give up our perfectly good Greek theological 'recipes' and replace them with Latin ones. We do not need the theology of the Latin Church to be Catholic. We accept the theology of the Latin Church as Catholic, but not as the standard of Catholic theology to which we must compare our theology to. Those who read the documents of the Catholic Church should be able to see this easily.
I am not referring to Greek and Latin Catholics, but to Greek Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. As you will note, my puzzlement refers to the exchange between Serge "the young fogey" (Orthodox) and Stuart (Greek Catholic).
Byzantine theology - both Greek Catholic and Orthodox - is unchanged since 1054. Orthodox reject some of the developments in the Latin Church since then (but even here we can look to Pope John Paul the Great called the degree of communion 'profound' and stated that the only thing needed for full communion is full communion, and he was well aware of the unresolved issues). Greek Catholics accept these later Latin developments as valid but oftentimes useless to us or even poorly stated. Vatican II (as I've quoted before) said that our Orthodox spirituality and liturgy, discipline and theology is fully Catholic. Why do you reject this? You claim to accept Vatican II? It seems that you are trying to set standards of what it means to be Catholic that are far more strenuous and different than does the Church itself. You're coming off as a super-Latin here to judge our Catholicism.
Posted By: The young fogey Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 04:22 PM
Pope Benedict may surprise us all and come up with a form of primacy that saves face for Rome and that the Orthodox can accept but again I don't see how. Then again I haven't been a professor of theology since 1958 like him.

Sure my approach to ecumenism has changed a bit over the years but my ecumenism rightly understood is still there so I'm still here.

'Orthodox on the outside, Latin doctrine on the inside' is how Rome envisages Greek Catholics (and the reconciled Orthodoxy it wants). Given church infallibility it can say nothing else with integrity. Stuart sees that as an Oreo approach.

(There used to be a bumper sticker that said something like 'Byzantine Catholic: Orthodox in worship, Catholic in doctrine'.)

Again Stuart's and other OicwRs' theology (again an online convert phenom) reminds me a lot of Anglo-Catholicism: orthodox (yes, small-o), and in the OicwRs' case claiming to be Orthodox, but on whose authority? His own church's view isn't good enough for him ('Oreo') and 'the Orthodox are meanies' (a lot of them are but that's beside the point). You're left with... like Newman pre-1845, a fantasy church, a paper church, a theological invention in Stuart's head based on his opinions (got from many years of study but still opinions), as removed from the reality of most Slavic Greek Catholics (who are fine with calling them anything but Russian or Orthodox) as Newman's high-flying theology was from the Protestant and Erastian Church of England of his day and ours. In which he can dissent from his church just like the liberals and claim to be in good standing. Sure, you can live in a parish for a lifetime like that but intellectually it doesn't work.

Simply logical really and nothing to do with online Orthodox (likewise a convert phenom, largely not a Greek, Russian or Arab one) foaming at the mouth against ecumenism and putting down Greek Catholics, which I still don't like any more than you do.

Tous schismatiques = branch theory = no true church = doesn't fly with Rome or the Orthodox.
Posted By: ByzBob Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 05:14 PM
If it is on a shirt it must be true.

http://www.cafepress.com/byzcath/6555741

Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 05:17 PM
Quote
'Orthodox on the outside, Latin doctrine on the inside' is how Rome envisages Greek Catholics (and the reconciled Orthodoxy it wants). Given church infallibility it can say nothing else with integrity. Stuart sees that as an Oreo approach.

If I believed that, I would be gone in a flash. This is certainly not what Rome professes in its ecumenical outreach to the Orthodox Church, and is certainly not what Joseph Ratzinger has written (see, e.g., his Graz Lecture of 1977). As I said elsewhere, if what you say is true, then Rome is disingenuous at best and cynically manipulative at worst. Why would anyone associate with such a Church?

Quote
There used to be a bumper sticker that said something like 'Byzantine Catholic: Orthodox in worship, Catholic in doctrine'.

Obviously applies mainly to Ruthenians. But Melkites and even Ukrainians are a very different kettle of fish.

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Again Stuart's and other OicwRs' theology (again an online convert phenom)

So, I'll ask you what someone else did: Is Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch an "online convert"? What about the rest of the Melkite Synod? How about Patriarch Lyubomir of Kyiv, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod? Also online converts? Or are you implying that our hierarchs are leading us astray?

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Tous schismatiques = branch theory = no true church = doesn't fly with Rome or the Orthodox.

So, what size hammer does this problem require?
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 05:31 PM
Administrator

With all due respect, did you read what I actually wrote?

I was reacting to an exchange between Stuart (Greek Catholic) and Serge the young fogey (Orthodox). My response to the exchange has NOTHING to do with the relationship between Latin and Eastern theology! So I don't see why you are suddenly lecturing me on the relationship between the two.

I am sorry to see that you severely misunderstood my super-simple reaction. At least, Stuart's response to my post ("Some people don't like to share") evidently got it.
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 05:51 PM
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An analogy: Sharing the same faith does not mean that Greeks must forget Greek and defer to Latin, and speak Latin. It does not mean that we give up our perfectly good Greek theological 'recipes' and replace them with Latin ones. We do not need the theology of the Latin Church to be Catholic. We accept the theology of the Latin Church as Catholic, but not as the standard of Catholic theology to which we must compare our theology to. Those who read the documents of the Catholic Church should be able to see this easily.


I completely agree. Show me where I've denied these points.

I have never denied that the Eastern Churches must continue to speak "Eastern". What I do not accept is that doctrines such as papal infallibility are not part of the properly "Eastern" expression of faith. This does not make me a Latinizer anymore than it makes any defender of the essential orthodoxy of papal infallibility among Eastern Catholics a Latinizer, and if I uphold it, it is NOT because it is a "Latin thing"


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Byzantine theology - both Greek Catholic and Orthodox - is unchanged since 1054. Orthodox reject some of the developments in the Latin Church since then (but even here we can look to Pope John Paul the Great called the degree of communion 'profound' and stated that the only thing needed for full communion is full communion, and he was well aware of the unresolved issues). Greek Catholics accept these later Latin developments as valid but oftentimes useless to us or even poorly stated. Vatican II (as I've quoted before) said that our Orthodox spirituality and liturgy, discipline and theology is fully Catholic.

I completely agree, with the important distinction that I am not convinced that Latin theology is full of innovations that are contrary to the teachings of the Fathers -- which seems to be the point made by some commentators here.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 06:19 PM
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Byzantine theology - both Greek Catholic and Orthodox - is unchanged since 1054.

This can hardly be true, considering that the hesychast revival took place in the thirteenth century, and the Byzantine Liturgy did not reach its final form until the fourteenth century monastic synthesis.
Posted By: Administrator Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Administrator

With all due respect, did you read what I actually wrote?

I was reacting to an exchange between Stuart (Greek Catholic) and Serge the young fogey (Orthodox). My response to the exchange has NOTHING to do with the relationship between Latin and Eastern theology! So I don't see why you are suddenly lecturing me on the relationship between the two.

I am sorry to see that you severely misunderstood my super-simple reaction. At least, Stuart's response to my post ("Some people don't like to share") evidently got it.
Yes. I read what you wrote. It is clear you don't understand the Christian East! Sorry if that is offensive to you.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/23/09 11:56 PM
Originally Posted by ebed melech
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.
The "assertions" within my questions are not my own; instead, they are the assertions of the Latin bishops assembled in council, or do you deny that Trent taught that the formal cause of man's justification ". . . is the justice of God, not that whereby He Himself is just, but that whereby He makes us just."

Now, what is the "justice" that is not God's own justice?

If it is not the uncreated justice of God Himself . . . is it some kind of "created" justice? And if it is a "created" justice, how can it truly make a man just?

Moreover, do I as an Eastern Catholic have to believe in this justice that is not God's own justice?

Theosis is after all a real participation in all of God's energies (i.e., His own uncreated justice, His uncreated glory, His eternal and uncreated love, etc.), and not in some kind of created similitude, which simply mirrors His life and glory.

I would appreciate an answer to the question, because I want to know whether you believe that Eastern Catholics must accept theological theories that have no foundation in our own tradition.

My other questions, like the one above, are based on the theories proposed at Trent, and several other local synods of the Latin Church, but if you do not believe me on this issue, you can look up the texts for yourself. Trent speaks of the "guilt" of original sin in its decree on "Original Sin" during its fifth session, or do you deny that it speaks in this way?

As far as the Tridentine teaching on icons and relics not containing divinity within them, that is found in the decree "On the Invocation, Veneration, and Relics, of Saints, and On Sacred Images," during the twenty-fifth session of the council. The denial that there is any divinity or virtue in relics and icons comes in the second paragraph, or do you deny that Trent actually said what it is purported to have said, and what is contained in the written texts issued by that synod?

Finally, as far as the filioque is concerned, I wrote a paper on that topic and so you might want to read it to see why it is that I reject the Western understanding of the procession of the Holy Spirit. Click the link below to peruse that paper:

The Filioque Controversy [sites.google.com]

I would truly appreciate it if you would provide a thoughtful response to the questions that I have posted, rather than simply brushing them off as unfounded assertions.

God bless,
Todd

When I have time I will re-post my question on the exaggerated claims of the West in reference to the primacy.
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:20 AM
Todd,

Thank you. I will read this when I have time later this evening.

By assertions, I meant not the teachings of the Councils per se, but your own criticisms of the teachings. I was hoping that you would present evidence for the points you were making.

God bless,

Fr. Deacon Daniel
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:27 AM
Fr. Deacon Daniel,

I guess you will never respond to my questions. Such is life.

Nevertheless . . .

I believe that man is made just by the justice whereby God Himself is just.

I believe that the original sin made man mortal (both spiritually and physically), but that no one is born guilty.

I believe that icons and relics contain divine energy, and that is precisely why they can be venerated.

And as far as the filioque is concerned, I reject any theory that would make the Son a cause of the Spirit's ekporeusis, for the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, and this belief conforms perfectly to the teaching contained in St. Maximos the Confessor's letter to Marinus.

God bless,
Todd
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:29 AM
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Fr. Deacon Daniel,

I guess you will never respond to my questions. Such is life.

No need to act childishly, Todd. I have to take my daughter to the pool. That I do not have time to respond to you immediately is not a sign that I will never respond.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:30 AM
Originally Posted by ebed melech
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Fr. Deacon Daniel,

I guess you will never respond to my questions. Such is life.

No need to act childish, Todd. I have to take my daughter to the pool. That I do not have time to respond to you immediately is not a sign that I will never respond.
Thank you for the clarification. I await your response.

God bless,
Todd
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 02:56 AM
Todd,

I read your paper, and while it is interesting, it makes the fundamental error of assuming that the Latin Church still stands by the decrees of Florence (it does not) and still relies exclusively on scholastic theological methods and categories (ditto). In short, you have successfully butchered a straw man. What I do not understand was the point of the exercise.
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 04:04 AM
Stuart,

What decrees of Florence are you talking about? All of them, or specifically some disciplinary decrees, or ones doctrinal in nature?

By the way, where did your questions to me go? I can't seem to locate them.

Alexis
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 04:12 AM
Todd,

Could you elaborate on your views on divinity being found in relics of the saints? Since they are deified, is that why their relics would "have divinity in them"? But why wouldn't simply their souls "have divinity in them"? Does it tie into the notion of Christ's Incarnation as being an event whereby all of nature is deified (or have I got that wrong)?

By the way, Mike Liccione, in the article I referenced (and that you already read), takes pains to explain that sometimes, among many quarters of the Latin Church, the language used to describe the grace of God got sloppy, and was extended to the means by which the grace is poured out/given to humans.

Alexis
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 04:24 AM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Todd,

I read your paper, and while it is interesting, it makes the fundamental error of assuming that the Latin Church still stands by the decrees of Florence (it does not) and still relies exclusively on scholastic theological methods and categories (ditto). In short, you have successfully butchered a straw man. What I do not understand was the point of the exercise.
The paper as a whole concerns the theology of St. Gregory Palamas, while the uploaded section concerns only the filioque, so the point of the "exercise" was broader than simply that particular issue.

Nevertheless, as far as butchering a straw man is concerned, I doubt my professors at Franciscan University would agree with you on that, since they – except for one man – hold the Florentine decrees as ecumenical and binding on all Catholics. And even the one who was open to the idea that Eastern Catholics are no longer bound to hold the teaching of Florence as truly ecumenical still believed that he – as a Latin Catholic – was bound by its decrees.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 04:42 AM
Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
Could you elaborate on your views on divinity being found in relics of the saints? Since they are deified, is that why their relics would "have divinity in them"? But why wouldn't simply their souls "have divinity in them"?
Theosis involves the whole man, body and soul. That is why the relics (bones, etc.) of the saints are holy, because the bodies of the saints have been divinized along with their souls.

Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
Does it tie into the notion of Christ's Incarnation as being an event whereby all of nature is deified (or have I got that wrong)?
Yes, it is connected to that idea (i.e., the idea that the whole cosmic order is brought into union with God through the incarnation and paschal mystery), but it is even more closely connected to the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, for as St. Irenaeus points out . . . a man is not simply his soul, nor is he simply his body; instead, he is both body and soul together, with the addition of the spirit of God animating him to everlasting life, as a single living being (see St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, Book V, Chapter 6).

Originally Posted by Logos - Alexis
By the way, Mike Liccione, in the article I referenced (and that you already read), takes pains to explain that sometimes, among many quarters of the Latin Church, the language used to describe the grace of God got sloppy, and was extended to the means by which the grace is poured out/given to humans.
Yes, the book that I referred to in an earlier post makes that same claim, but from my perspective "created" grace – even when explained in a less inaccurate or offensive manner – is really unnecessary. The doctrine of energies makes "created" grace pointless.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 06:26 AM
Some of the decrees of Florence are of serious interest; others (such as the decree for the Armenians) are often misunderstood.

A couple of decades ago there was a worth-while scholarly conference somewhere in northern Italy about the Council of Florence. I think the papers were published in Louvain.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: asianpilgrim Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 08:00 AM
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
Administrator

With all due respect, did you read what I actually wrote?

I was reacting to an exchange between Stuart (Greek Catholic) and Serge the young fogey (Orthodox). My response to the exchange has NOTHING to do with the relationship between Latin and Eastern theology! So I don't see why you are suddenly lecturing me on the relationship between the two.

I am sorry to see that you severely misunderstood my super-simple reaction. At least, Stuart's response to my post ("Some people don't like to share") evidently got it.
Yes. I read what you wrote. It is clear you don't understand the Christian East! Sorry if that is offensive to you.

Perhaps what I "don't understand" is the highly idiosyncratic and far from common view of the Christian East that you and Stuart K propose, and which is rejected by so many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics in this forum and outside it.

By the way, there is a big difference between "agreement" and "understanding." I understand what you are saying, but I don't agree that your or Stuart's presentation of the "facts" is accurate.

Unfortunately -- and I know that I am speaking for some other lurkers here in saying this -- there seems to be a tendency now to accuse of "lack of understanding" those who merely disagree with what you or Stuart say.

That is the last that I will say on this topic, which is really getting tiresome and unproductive.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 09:47 AM
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Nevertheless, as far as butchering a straw man is concerned, I doubt my professors at Franciscan University would agree with you on that, since they – except for one man – hold the Florentine decrees as ecumenical and binding on all Catholics. And even the one who was open to the idea that Eastern Catholics are no longer bound to hold the teaching of Florence as truly ecumenical still believed that he – as a Latin Catholic – was bound by its decrees.

Steubie U is a funny place (back in their charismatic phase, I found many of its graduates rather scary) but hardly representative of Catholic scholarship. You would have been far better to look at what the Church does, rather than what one small group of academics says. The fact remains, regardless of Florence, that the Latin Church has conceded the matter of the Filioque to the Orthodox and is merely looking for a face-saving way of eliminating it from the Creed (already done in official Vatican documents, as well as in celebrations of the Roman rite when Eastern hierarchs are present). In addition, with Palamas firmly established in the roll of the saints of the universal Church and in the Lenten Triodion for the Second Sunday in Lent, hesychia and Palamism are accepted forms of spirituality and theology in the Catholic Church, as are Thomism, neo-Scholasticism, and h dozen other schools of theology. I have no issue with the Latins doing theology their way, as long as we are free to do theology our way. I see no attempt on the part of the Catholic Church to interfere with our unique theology, even if individual Latins think they should. I see far more of that, in fact, from Greek Catholics who insist that we adhere to Latin forms and categories, against the wishes of the Holy See.

Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 09:54 AM
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Could you elaborate on your views on divinity being found in relics of the saints? Since they are deified, is that why their relics would "have divinity in them"? But why wouldn't simply their souls "have divinity in them"? Does it tie into the notion of Christ's Incarnation as being an event whereby all of nature is deified (or have I got that wrong)?

I think Todd's attempt to apply Palamite energist theoria to the theology of sacred images is confusing, a bit of a stretch, and goes beyond anything said by the Seventh Ecumenical Council, John Damascene or Theodore Studites on the matter. Icons can be venerated because, in patristic thought, image and reality are interpenetrated; each participates in the reality of the other so that honor offered to the image is transferred to the prototype. The Christological rationale for images is even simpler: Christ appeared on earth as a man, who could be seen, touched and represented iconographically. Icons are an affirmation of the reality of the incarnation; conversely, to deny icons is to deny the incarnation, a form of docetism. I fail to see why Palamism has to be brought into the matter at all.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 10:16 AM
The fact that icons are filled with divine energy is in perfect conformity with the teaching of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, with St. Photios, and St. Gregory Palamas.

I am not saying anything controversial, and for confirmation of my position I recommend reading Ambrosios Giakalis' book "Images of the Divine: The Theology of Icons at the Seventh Ecumenical Council" and Fr. Casimir Kucharek's book entitled "Byzantine Slav Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom", since both books confirm my position with liturgical and patristical citations.

That said, I do agree that image and reality are interpenetrated; in fact, they are interpenetrated with divine energy, and by extension with the created energies of the saint depicted in the icon.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 11:02 AM
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The fact that icons are filled with divine energy is in perfect conformity with the teaching of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, with St. Photios, and St. Gregory Palamas.


Maybe. Yet it is not necessary to accept this in order to understand and accept the theology of sacred images as espoused by the Fathers and the Council. If you wish to explain it this way, I see it as an acceptable theologumenon, but not an official teaching of the Church (by which I mean all the Churches of the Byzantine Tradition, whether Catholic or Orthodox). This is why I find it puzzling that you would choose to raise this to a "dogmatic" issue. Since nobody in authority denies the legitimacy of Palamism, what precisely is your beef? Why pick fights where there is no issue?
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 11:06 AM
Divinity (i.e., divine energy) is present in all the holy mysteries (icons included), for that is how God communicates His uncreated life and glory to us, as St. John Damascene and St. Theodore Studite taught, to name just two illustrious Fathers.

By the way, I do not accept the idea that there is such a thing as "Palamism"; instead, there is simply Orthodoxy, which has always made a distinction between essence, energy, and hypostasis in God. And of course, only energy is communicable as St. Basil, and the other Fathers, taught.

Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:08 PM
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By the way, I do not accept the idea that there is such a thing as "Palamism"; instead, there is simply Orthodoxy, which has always made a distinction between essence, energy, and hypostasis in God. And of course, only energy is communicable as St. Basil, and the other Fathers, taught.

So, are you saying you reject any theology that is not explicitly Byzantine, and Byzantine of a particular sort, at that?
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:28 PM
I am saying that the doctrine of energies is a biblical and patristical truth.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/24/09 12:50 PM
Fine. Are you saying explicit acceptance of this doctrine and its particular mode of expression is mandatory for all Christians? If so, the answer to my question is "yes".
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/25/09 01:57 PM
*Crickets.*

Alexis
Posted By: Predanije Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/25/09 02:33 PM
For me personally, as a Byzantine Catholic, I believe that to be truly Orthodox one must be in union with the Roman See.

I have debated whether I am a Catholic of Eastern custom, or Orthodox in communion with Rome for a couple years. Spiritually I find myself growing more "Orthodox" and the more I idenitfy with my Eastern religious roots the more I see the neccesity of being in union with the Roman Patriachate (despite the dropping of that title in 2006).

When religiously educated perople ask me what faith I am I say "Orthodox in union with Rome" otherwise I just say Catholic.

I have contemplated converting to Orthodoxy a few times, sometimes out of my own impulsion, and other times I believe that is where the Holy Spirit was taking me. I have reached a point now (the RDL notwithstanding) where I can't imagine belonging to a Church not in union with Rome. I love the Orthodox Church, and without her I think Christendom would be incomplete, but for me, on a sheer pragmatic level, the nationalism and internecine strife that Orthodoxy is prone towards validates the need for a Supreme Pontiff.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/26/09 02:57 AM
Originally Posted by StuartK
Fine. Are you saying explicit acceptance of this doctrine and its particular mode of expression is mandatory for all Christians? If so, the answer to my question is "yes".
Yes, acceptance of the uncreated nature of the divine activity is necessary, and also of the idea that it is this uncreated activity (or energy) that is conveyed to man in the holy mysteries (which includes icons), and not some kind of "created" grace, which is an idea that arose only in the West during the 12th and 13th centuries. Only the uncreated can divinize a man.

Now, as far as language is concerned, even St. Gregory himself -- at the councils that took place in the mid-14th century -- indicated that the particular mode of expression was secondary, as long as the theological truth (theologia) of the distinction was made. That being the case, so long as one distinguishes between essence, activity, and person in God (to use the most common Trinitarian expressions in English), there is unity within the Orthodox faith.
Posted By: Apotheoun Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/26/09 02:59 AM
Originally Posted by Predanije
For me personally, as a Byzantine Catholic, I believe that to be truly Orthodox one must be in union with the Roman See.
Communion with Rome is important, just as Rome's communion with the other Apostolic Sees is important, but communion with a single Church or bishop does not in itself guarantee Orthodoxy.
Posted By: StuartK Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/26/09 12:35 PM
I dislike the word "union", which implies organizational integration. I much prefer the term "communion", which is a bilateral relationship of love, not one of subordination or assimilation.
Posted By: theophan Re: Orthodox in Communion with Rome - 07/26/09 01:59 PM
Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

I think it's always good to remember, too, that "communion" as relationship is not only horizontal but also must involve the vertical. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is always a bit borken, too, when we are broken away from each other. To me, that is the ultimate tragedy of the breaks in communion among the Apostolic Churches. May the Lord heal these breaks soon.

BOB
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