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Robert
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« on: December 16, 2002, 10:24:37 AM »

Hi Friends!

I haven't posted a potstirrer in awhile, so here it goes. Don't give me any flak for it!


What do you personally believe regarding the apparitions that appeared at Fatima, Portugal?

When I say apparition, I say the apparitions themselves, not the varying interpretations that go along with them.

If you care to add your personal interpretation if you have one, please go ahead.


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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2002, 10:33:19 AM »

As my site says in the changing-text script for Oct. 13, F+ítima condemned Communism, not Russian Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2002, 01:45:32 PM »

The Guiness Book of World Records 2 or 3 years ago listed the event of Fatima as the "largest religious experience" ever recorded.  They mentioned that 70,000 people, not just Catholics, witnessed the Miracle of the Sun.

I think Fatima, just like any apparition, should serve as a warning to us that we need to convert ourselves and our nations to Christ.

All the other stuff associated with apparitions are like dessert--good perhaps but not necessary.  I don't care if the sun moved; I care that the Mother of God had something to say.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2002, 02:04:04 PM »

If "the sun had moved" no one would have survived to record the event. Mass hysteria/delusion is common among primitive minded people.

However, I would agree that the faith message is more than inspiring.

Jude
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2002, 02:25:24 PM »

It was also recorded that Russian would be converted to over to the Blessed Mother's "Immaculate Heart".  Is this Orthodox? Huh

JoeS

As my site says in the changing-text script for Oct. 13, F+ítima condemned Communism, not Russian Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2002, 03:20:09 PM »

[As my site says in the changing-text script for Oct. 13, F+ítima condemned Communism, not Russian Orthodoxy.]

Then how come in the fifties when I was still a kid all my Roman Catholic friends had to attend services to pray for the conversion of Russia TO ROMAN CATHOLICISM?

You mean on all those Friday services they were praying for the wrong thing?  

Orthodoc

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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2002, 03:32:00 PM »

What does Orthodoxy say about apparitions like Fatima and Lourdes? Are they merely things that one can believe personally, or are they forbidden? Also, what are some popular apparitions in Orthodoxy? Must they be "approved" by the Church as the Vatican does? Thanks.

Matt
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2002, 03:49:35 PM »

If "the sun had moved" no one would have survived to record the event. Mass hysteria/delusion is common among primitive minded people.

However, I would agree that the faith message is more than inspiring.

Jude

Primitive-minded? So a group of 70,000--including atheists-- people in *1917* in a Western European Country were "primitive-minded"?  Hardly.

If God wants to move the sun, or at least make it *appear* to move, he can do it without everyone dying off!

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2002, 03:49:44 PM »

Orthodoc: because they wrongly thought all Russians were Communists?

Matt, I'm no expert but privately one can venerate anyone. As Lourdes and F+ítima didn't involve Orthodox people, commemorating such in church is out of the question. Also, apparitions seem to be a Western phenomenon. Miraculous icons, while rare, are commoner in the East. My guess is the Orthodox process of approving such things is less stringent that similar ones in the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2002, 03:50:42 PM »

It was also recorded that Russian would be converted to over to the Blessed Mother's "Immaculate Heart".  Is this Orthodox? Huh

JoeS

As my site says in the changing-text script for Oct. 13, F+ítima condemned Communism, not Russian Orthodoxy.

Yes, because Russia did need to be converted--from communism.  Whatever *later* generations interpreted that to mean does not affect what the message was about, which was that Russia would fall to godless forces and that we should pray for its liberation.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2002, 03:53:08 PM »

[As my site says in the changing-text script for Oct. 13, F+ítima condemned Communism, not Russian Orthodoxy.]

Then how come in the fifties when I was still a kid all my Roman Catholic friends had to attend services to pray for the conversion of Russia TO ROMAN CATHOLICISM?

You mean on all those Friday services they were praying for the wrong thing?  

Orthodoc

Yep.  The apparition had to do with the conversion of Russia from communism.  It was remarkable because 1) communism had not yet occured in Russia (it would come later that year) and 2) young shepherd children in Portugal got the message.

The mindset of Roman Catholics in the 1950's was that "Orthodox Christian = schismatic" so it's only natural that they assumed they should be praying for Russia's conversion to Roman Catholicism.  However, the apparition suggested that Russia would need deliverance from the godless ones, not from the Orthodox.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2002, 05:53:04 PM »

If "the sun had moved" no one would have survived to record the event. Mass hysteria/delusion is common among primitive minded people.

However, I would agree that the faith message is more than inspiring.

Jude
Give me a break dude, you sound like you have a superiority complex.

If you're implying western europeans are primitive, you better go back to school. I hope you retract your statement.

Bobby
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2002, 06:02:04 PM »

I agree with Anastasios entirely on the point. Having read a lot of research on Fatima, especially from atheists who later converted to Roman Catholicism, you start to see something remarkable about what went on in Portugal.

As such, I personally believe in the occurances at Fatima, not the conversion of Russia to Catholicism, but the deliverance of Russia from Communism.

What if the USSR had not fallen, and had instead spread across Europe? It is obvious that communism is the epitomie of evil. It sought to crush out all life, individuality, faith, and most importantly God, from every aspect of being. Either way, it's downfall can only be attributed to complete reliance and help from above.

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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2002, 06:08:08 PM »


[Also, what are some popular apparitions in Orthodoxy? ]

How about the appearance of the 'Mother of God' at Pochaev where her footprint still is visible?

http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=180

There are no written records of the establishment and early history of the Pochaev Monastery. In accordance with local historical tradition, however, the beautiful sub-Carpathian wilderness where the monastery is situated was first settled by several disciples of Saint Methodius, Enlightener of the Slavs [+855 AD], towards the end of the ninth century. Several centuries later, during the Mongol invasion of Russia, two monks from the Kiev Caves Monastery settled in the area after the Mongols had sacked their city. The monks, it is said, named their new abode after the river Pochaina, which flowed near the Kiev Caves.

According to tradition, around the year 1340 AD, one of the monks ascended the summit of Mount Pochaev to pray, when suddenly he beheld a pillar of fire burning in the wilderness. Calling out to the other monk to join him, he stood in prayer. The fire was seen also by some shepherds who were tending flocks in the area, among them Ivan Bosoi ["the barefoot"], who joined the monks in prayer. They beheld, surrounded by the flames and standing on a rock, the Most Holy Theotokos, the Mother of God. When the apparition finally disappeared, they saw that the place where the Theotokos had been standing had melted, leaving the imprint of her right foot embedded in the rock. Welling up over the footprint was a spring of clear water.

There are also accounts of the 'Holy Virgin' appearing above the walls of Constantinople to protect it during various invasions.

There are also pictures of the appearance of  'The Virgin'  above a Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo.

There are also countless stories of the 'Theotokos' appearing to the Monks on Mount Athos which is dedicated to her.

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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2002, 06:24:32 PM »

It was also recorded that Russian would be converted to over to the Blessed Mother's "Immaculate Heart".  Is this Orthodox? Huh

JoeS

As my site says in the changing-text script for Oct. 13, F+ítima condemned Communism, not Russian Orthodoxy.

Yes, because Russia did need to be converted--from communism.  Whatever *later* generations interpreted that to mean does not affect what the message was about, which was that Russia would fall to godless forces and that we should pray for its liberation.

In Christ,

anastasios

I've always been curious as to why the conversion of Russia from communism was more important in RC thinking than, let's say, the conversion of the more populous communist China.  And I do remember those days when I attended Polish RC parochial school with required attendance at mass for the students, even if we were not RC's.  At the end of every "low" mass, there were recited prayers for "the conversion of Russia."  In my student days I understood this to be nothing less than the conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism.  The Sisters encouraged this kind of thinking for both communist *and* "schismatic" Russians!  Angry

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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2002, 06:38:23 PM »

Dear Friends:


Since this is a phenomenon peculiar to the Roman Catholic Church, as Serge said, may I invite all who are interested in the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to study the official position of the Catholic Church at:

http://www.ewtn.com/fatima/apparitions/Third_Secret/Fatima.htm

Please take note of the theological differentiation between a "Public Revelation," which ended with the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, and "Private Revelations," which include the appatritions of Our Lady at Lourdes and at Fatima.

I hope this will enliven our discussions on this matter.

AmdG

p.s. Serge, sorry I was unable to locate your Fatima page on your website.  Can you direct us, again, how to reach it?

Thanks.
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2002, 06:44:45 PM »

[In my student days I understood this to be nothing less than the conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism.  The Sisters encouraged this kind of thinking for both communist *and* "schismatic" Russians! ]

That's what I was also told by all my Roman Catholic fiends and playmates.  The same ones who also told me the nuns told them it would be a grave sin if they went into my 'Russian Orthodox Church'.  One nun even told them we had an American flag on the floor that we marched and spit on.  I kid you not!  He would never take my challenge to come see for himself because he was so scared it might be true.

They are the things one never gets over when it comes to the RCC and her so called new outlook.

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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2002, 07:27:26 PM »

Mr Guerrero,

There is no F+ítima page on my site, just a blurb that shows up occasionally stating what I typed here.
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2002, 07:51:36 PM »

I agree that this type of Marian apparation is predominantly a western phenomenon, although the Copts had a famous apparation at Zeitoun in Egypt not too many years ago. I find Orthodox views of the Theotokos in general more healthy than the Catholic ones I was raised with. I don't hanker after Fatima-type spirituality at all. A Catholic priest said at a lecture I attended

'the gospel says "and they found the child with His mother". In Catholicism we all too often find the mother without the child'

I think too that the context to apparations must also be taken into account. They often tend to occur at times of great social and political upheaval, exactly the circumstances of Portugal when this apparation took place. We were supposed to have had an apparation of our very own at Knock, County Mayo in 1879 when not only Our Lady but St Joseph and St John the Evangelist appeared as a triptych on the gable wall of the parish church. At this time Ireland was going through huge social and political upheavals of its own, and call me an old cynic but it always seemed to me that since we regarded ourselves as the suffering  Catholic people bar none, it was almost obligatory to have a visitation of our very own. Personally I have never believed in Knock or the whole  'Mary, Queen of Ireland' thing (doesn't she love the English too?) and feel that the distinction between private and public revelation is a valuable one. Would things like the Vision of St John of Kronstadt come under the same kind of heading?


BTW, when I prayed for the 'conversion of Russia' as a child I knew it was from godless communism, but to what was never actually made clear.

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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2002, 08:15:06 PM »

If "the sun had moved" no one would have survived to record the event. Mass hysteria/delusion is common among primitive minded people.

However, I would agree that the faith message is more than inspiring.

Jude
Give me a break dude, you sound like you have a superiority complex.

If you're implying western europeans are primitive, you better go back to school. I hope you retract your statement.

Bobby

Certainly not all Western Europeans are persons susceptible to mass hysteria/delusion, which is a universal phenomenon that can afflict any racial/ethnic group.

 Jude
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2002, 09:10:07 PM »

I must admit a soft spot in my heart for Our Lady of Fatima, as I attribute my "conversion" to her.

For a good part of my life, I grew up without too much interest in religion.  I'd go to church, I'd go to Sunday School, I'd read the Bible, but we never had family prayer growing up, or anything like that, so I was "barely" religious, or a "Sunday Christian".  

A bunch of things happened when I was in the seventh grade (I was about twelve or thirteen at the time), and among them were 1) hearing a presentation from a lady whose mother was at Fatima on 13 October 1917 and saw with her own eyes the "Miracle of the Sun", and 2) seeing a TV special about the apparitions.  The idea of a "solar miracle", as the TV programme called it, and the idea that the Virgin Mary would actually visit human beings so many hundreds of years later to tell us things intrigued me.  So I got books, I read them, they inspired questions, and I read more and more.  Eventually, I "converted"; I didn't become a Roman Catholic, but I found myself falling in love with the faith which I didn't really have much of a devotion for beforehand.  Before, I was "barely" religious.  Now, I was delving ever deeper into the faith, into prayer, into religious practice, etc.  

And, some seven or eight years later, here I am.  I am a changed man (in spite of being much more sinful than I was at that tender age) because of the messages given at Fatima by Our Lady the Mother of God.  I've never been particularly close to "the Immaculate Heart"; I still don't understand the point of such a devotion.  I didn't really think the "conversion of Russia" had to do with Roman Catholicism when I first read the messages; that "meaning" was given to me by other Roman Catholics.  But the fundamental message of Fatima, as I understand it, is repentance, turning away from sin, and drawing close to God and to the Virgin.  

How could any of us have a problem with that?
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« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2002, 02:00:18 PM »

I agree that we should be cautious of apparitions which occur outside the church, especially after reading the testimony of Matushka Katherine Swanson on her visit to Medjugorje.

Read here:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/medjugorje.htm
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« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2002, 04:50:31 PM »

I thought it might be of interest to this discussion to read the views on Fatima of the first Orthodox priest to serve regularly in Ireland in post-schism times, Father Nicholas Couris, who died in 1977. There was an article written about Father Nicholas  in a local history magazine, reproduced in our parish newsletter. The author, a local solicitor, tells of his first meeting with the priest and how when he arrived he was greeted with the words:

'Paddy, do you know what I'm reading? I'm reading about Fatima and how Our Lady told those children to whom she had appeared in 1917 at the height of our Russian Revolution, when religion had been banished from my country and all people connected with it driven out "Pray and Russia will return to her faith". You do not know how that consoles me to read about it.'

You can read the full article at http://www.orthodoxireland.com/lausperennis0999.pdf

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« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2002, 05:29:53 PM »

That URL above doesn't work  Cry

Can you repost when u get the chance?

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« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2002, 08:49:52 AM »

My apologies, I quoted the url wrongly. The correct address is:

http://holytrinity.orthodoxireland.com/lausperennis0999.pdf

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« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2002, 09:48:40 AM »

Regarding the "Dancing Sun" miracle at Fatima, you might like to consider it in light of other apparitions seen by large numbers of people.
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/hinduism_e.htm#_A_Fakir's_“Miracle”
The ascetics in the orthodox church have provided us with vast experience and resources for the purpose of avoiding spiritual deception and it doesn't seem to me that much of any kind of spiritual discernment is being exercised at any of the popular Marian apparitions. We should immediately be concerned by the almost complete lack of any mention of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, except with reference to him being angry and offended by our sin. Does this sound Orthodox? Does this sound like our beloved Theotokos, who spoke little and always directed us towards her Son? When did Mary ever take centre stage in the Gospels or Holy Tradition?
There have been many times where Panagia has appeared to individuals in the Orthodox church throughout its life, but none of those visitations share anything in common with the apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje.

Sorry Ephrem if this in any way takes away some of the sweetness of your conversion experience. It is certainly not my intention to do so. I rather praise God that He used this to plant a seed of faith in your heart which He then nurtured and brought to fruition by His Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2002, 11:00:42 AM »

Prodromos,

While I read what you wrote with an open mind, I can't help but disagree.

Maybe I have a Latin mindset, but isn't the Theotokos the one who sits enthroned next to her son? I notice that among certain Orthodox especially those who converted from protestantism, there is a tendency to downplay the role our most holy Theotokos plays in our every day life. She is an integral role in our salvation.

Without the Theotokos, Christ wouldn't have been born.

It is true that some apparitions can be spiritually deceiving, or even demonic, but I fail to see how the occurances at Fatima fall into that category. In fact, I think interpreted properly, the messages there can be applied to our every day life. We must live in healthy fear of God. Doesn't the priest admonish us during Divine Liturgy to "approach with FEAR of God and with faith and love?"

You mentioned that the appearnces of the Theotokos in the Orthodox Church don't share anything in common with the appearances in Lourdes or Fatima. Can you please elaborate a bit more on this, and explain why they don't share anything in common?

Bobby


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« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2002, 11:38:41 AM »

Prodromos,

While I read what you wrote with an open mind, I can't help but disagree.

Maybe I have a Latin mindset, but isn't the Theotokos the one who sits enthroned next to her son? I notice that among certain Orthodox especially those who converted from protestantism, there is a tendency to downplay the role our most holy Theotokos plays in our every day life. She is an integral role in our salvation.

Without the Theotokos, Christ wouldn't have been born.

It is true that some apparitions can be spiritually deceiving, or even demonic, but I fail to see how the occurances at Fatima fall into that category. In fact, I think interpreted properly, the messages there can be applied to our every day life. We must live in healthy fear of God. Doesn't the priest admonish us during Divine Liturgy to "approach with FEAR of God and with faith and love?"

You mentioned that the appearnces of the Theotokos in the Orthodox Church don't share anything in common with the appearances in Lourdes or Fatima. Can you please elaborate a bit more on this, and explain why they don't share anything in common?

Bobby

Without getting into a theological disputation, Bobby, as I do not feel that I am *that* theologically literate (as perhaps, the far more loquacious Serge, or Fr. Thomas), I think that it would be safe to say that from an Orthodox POV that we venerate the Mother *because of the Son.*  In Orthodox iconography, it is extremely rare for the Mother to be portrayed without the Son, and, where they are portrayed together, the Mother points to the Son.  We *never* see her pointing to herself in any way.

In Latin religious art, OTOH, the Mother is very often portrayed *alone* WITHOUT the Son, i.e., in her own right, it would seem, e.g, "Our Lady of Fatima," "of Lourdes," "of Grace," and the "Immaculate Heart of Mary" (wherein she points to her own disembodied heart), but she is also *sometimes* portrayed *with* the Son, with which we Orthodox feel more comfortable, e.g., Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of Czestochowa (which is actually a Byzantine icon).

You say: "Without the Theotokos, Christ wouldn't have been born."  Yet, without the Eternal Father, His Co-Eternal Son and the All-Holy Spirit, there would have been no Theotokos, a creature like us, albeit without actually having sinned during her life!  Indeed, without God, none of us would exist.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

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« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2002, 01:04:11 PM »

Dear prodromos and Hypo-Ortho:


Our devotion to the Theotokos is summed up simply as: "To Jesus through Mary!"

Be it at Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe and elsewhere, the Holy Mother of God always points to Her Son as the "center."  

She brings to us the wishes of Her Son, Jesus Christ.  In this sense, She is a "messenger" of God.  And what a messenger She is!

At Fatima, the conversion of Russia FROM atheism (communism) to her faith (Christianity) was one of the messages;  the Catholic Church never officially teaches or taught that that conversion is/was to Roman Catholicism.

More telling is Fatima's message for our OWN conversion from sin:  Penance, penance, and penance as the angel(s)with Her admonished.

Of course, these messages are set to naught if one does not believe in any of Our Lady's apparitions.


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« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2002, 01:13:40 PM »


There are many of us here and elsewhere who still get a bad taste in our mouths when the issue of Fatima comes up.  Why?  Because we were kids in the fifties when we were constantly being told  by our Roman Catholic friends and classmates that the Theotokos had appeared and asked them to pray for the conversion of Russia TO ROMAN CATHOLICISM!

What we were being told, in essence, is that she had appeared primarily for the sole purpose of asking for prayers for the destruction of our Holy Orthodox Catholic faith!  Now here we are approximately 50 years later being told what she meant was for the destruction of communism and the return to the faith.  The question becomes WHAT FAITH?  I'm sorry, but at the time, there were just too many Roman Catholics from too many different RC parishes, all telling me the same story - Prayers had to be said for the conversion of Russia to RCism - for me to believe THEY ALL misinterpreted what their various priests and nuns were telling them.

As far as Lourdes, there have been too many healings for me to dicredit it.  However, wasn't it at Lourdes the Blessed Mother was supposed to have told the children - "I am the Immaculate Conception"?  Sorry people, but it is highly suspect for me to believe that the Holy Virgin would identify herself as such.  Especially when it was near the time that new doctrine was proclaimed by Rome.

Bob
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« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2002, 02:39:38 PM »


There are many of us here and elsewhere who still get a bad taste in our mouths when the issue of Fatima comes up.  Why?  Because we were kids in the fifties when we were constantly being told  by our Roman Catholic friends and classmates that the Theotokos had appeared and asked them to pray for the conversion of Russia TO ROMAN CATHOLICISM!

What we were being told, in essence, is that she had appeared primarily for the sole purpose of asking for prayers for the destruction of our Holy Orthodox Catholic faith!  Now here we are approximately 50 years later being told what she meant was for the destruction of communism and the return to the faith.  The question becomes WHAT FAITH?  I'm sorry, but at the time, there were just too many Roman Catholics from too many different RC parishes, all telling me the same story - Prayers had to be said for the conversion of Russia to RCism - for me to believe THEY ALL misinterpreted what their various priests and nuns were telling them.
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I gotta go with what you said in your paragraphs above, Bob, and my parents had placed my brother and me in a very strict, traditional Polish RC parochial "grammar" school at the time, even though we were "BC's" then.  No revisionist history will work for me now.

I still have to question this Fatima fixation for the "conversion of Russia."  Again I ask: Why not a concern for conversion of the more populous and mostly non-Christian Communist China?  At least in Russia, where Christians were being persecuted for the Faith--where many, yes thousands even!, Orthodox (and EC) bishops, priests, monastics and laity were executed or sent to the Gulags--the Faith was being kept alive, even if in secret.  Is not the blood of martyrs the seed of Faith?

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« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2002, 03:52:51 PM »

Hypo-Ortho,

You raise interesting poings, and I agree history and events do get contorted to fit a particular agenda.

I personally think though that something out of the ordinary happened at Fatima, although I'm not sure if you would concede to that or not.

Permit me to step out on a limb with some conjecture though.

Russia (and eastern europe) is/was a bastion of Orthodoxy. Under the yoke of communism, persecution, and martyrdom, the faith grew alive and well, and the blood of matyrs flowed deep, so to speak. The Faith always prospers the most under persecution.

As we speak, in our present day, I see a growing and vibrant interest in the east from the west. In perusing catalogs I get, many from Roman Catholic companies(Ignatius, Autom, etc), I see everything, from icons to old believer crosses. This wouldn't be possible had not communism fallen and the world opened to Orthodoxy.

I'm at work now so I have to hurry, perhaps this doesn't make sense., but I think that the east is going to play an integral role in the salvation of mankind, and restoration of the west will only occur if they follow the east.


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« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2002, 05:09:24 PM »

Dear Bob:

Originally posted by Orthodoc:

Quote
As far as Lourdes, there have been too many healings for me to dicredit it.  However, wasn't it at Lourdes the Blessed Mother was supposed to have told the children - "I am the Immaculate Conception"?  Sorry people, but it is highly suspect for me to believe that the Holy Virgin would identify herself as such.  Especially when it was near the time that new doctrine was proclaimed by Rome.

Yes, Our Blessed Mother told them, in their Southern France Basque language, that She was the "Immaculate Conception."

How could they know about the name before it is proclaim as that of the Blessed Mother by Rome?

Anyway, that's beside the point perhaps.

What I wish you to evaluate is St. Bernadette's incorrupt body up to the present, which underwent three previous exhumations during the process of her canonization.

Is it for real or is it a hoax foisted by the Catholic Church on us, the  gullible:

http://www.catholicpilgrims.com/lourdes/lourdes_photo_aa.htm

Are the cures attributable to intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes miraculous or not?


AmdG

BTW, I forgot to mention that Our Lady of Fatima identified Herself to the children as the "Lady of the Rosary."
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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2002, 05:24:24 PM »

Actually St Bernadette didn't speak Basque (a prehistoric language unrelated to anything else in Europe), or French for that matter, but Proven+ºal, which is like Catalan in Spain: sort of a transitional language between French and Spanish, so the apparition said something like, 'Que era soy la Immaculada Concepcion'. (Looks a lot like distorted Spanish, doesn't it?)

Quote
The ascetics in the orthodox church have provided us with vast experience and resources for the purpose of avoiding spiritual deception and it doesn't seem to me that much of any kind of spiritual discernment is being exercised at any of the popular Marian apparitions. We should immediately be concerned by the almost complete lack of any mention of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, except with reference to him being angry and offended by our sin. Does this sound Orthodox? Does this sound like our beloved Theotokos, who spoke little and always directed us towards her Son? When did Mary ever take centre stage in the Gospels or Holy Tradition?
There have been many times where Panagia has appeared to individuals in the Orthodox church throughout its life, but none of those visitations share anything in common with the apparitions at Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje.

No surprise here: I'm with Bobby on all this.

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When did Mary ever take centre stage in the Gospels or Holy Tradition?

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.

Most holy Mother of God, save us.

Quote
Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje

I believe in the first two (and I understand Russians visit the first) and not the last - the local bishop has condemned it and it is mixed up with the charismatic movement.

The common man can plainly see that devotion to Mary is really the same on both sides. It's the converts who've got something to prove who muddy the waters.
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« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2002, 06:27:09 PM »

The following website has the texts of the approved Marian apparitions.  I think it would be better to judge them based on the words themselves than others interpretations of them.

http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/approved.html
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« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2002, 08:43:11 PM »

The Theotokos refered to the conversion of Russia to the Orthodox Faith and through the Eastern Rites, as sister Lucia herself stated, and even John Paul II has agreed. I have met some Orthodox priests who believe in Fatima and suscribe to this possition.

People (specially anti-orthodox latin traditionalists) who claim that Russia must become Roman Catholic are not really informed about the original situation of Russia under communism.
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« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2002, 09:31:04 PM »

The Theotokos refered to the conversion of Russia to the Orthodox Faith and through the Eastern Rites, as sister Lucia herself stated, and even John Paul II has agreed. I have met some Orthodox priests who believe in Fatima and suscribe to this possition.

People (specially anti-orthodox latin traditionalists) who claim that Russia must become Roman Catholic are not really informed about the original situation of Russia under communism.

Remie, I'm not at all sure what you mean by your first paragraph above, especially "through the Eastern Rites."  

Btw, no one has yet answered me as to why there is/was the Fatima fixation on Communist, but still nominally Orthodox, Russia, a Communism which has since fallen, yet the conversion of the very populous Communist, mostly atheistic, China, a Communism still very much alive today, is totally ignored in the Fatima "message."  Will there be a Fatima II?

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« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2002, 10:39:53 PM »

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The common man can plainly see that devotion to Mary is really the same on both sides. It's the converts who've got something to prove who muddy the waters.

Things are hardly the same.  Orthodoxy iconography almost always depicts the Theotokos WITH the Lord.  Mary is seen much more as an end in herself in common Latin piety (I was RC, so I know this).  Then there are some modernist circles that almost completly ignore her.  Then there is the entire issue of the "Immaculate Conception."

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« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2002, 11:25:57 PM »

Btw, no one has yet answered me as to why there is/was the Fatima fixation on Communist, but still nominally Orthodox, Russia, a Communism which has since fallen, yet the conversion of the very populous Communist, mostly atheistic, China, a Communism still very much alive today, is totally ignored in the Fatima "message."  Will there be a Fatima II?

Dear Hypo-Ortho,

The messages that Our Lady gave to the children at Fatima specifically mentioned Russia.  Remember, this was 1917; China didn't become Red until the 1940's, if I'm not mistaken.  The messages said that Russia would "spread her errors" in the world.  In the sense that Communism was first adopted by Russia in 1917 and then spread to China decades later, one could say that this prophecy was fulfilled.  As to why the RC's have concentrated on Russia in spite of China and other places, I guess it's probably because the messages only mentioned Russia.
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« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2002, 11:47:01 PM »

Btw, no one has yet answered me as to why there is/was the Fatima fixation on Communist, but still nominally Orthodox, Russia, a Communism which has since fallen, yet the conversion of the very populous Communist, mostly atheistic, China, a Communism still very much alive today, is totally ignored in the Fatima "message."  Will there be a Fatima II?

Dear Hypo-Ortho,

The messages that Our Lady gave to the children at Fatima specifically mentioned Russia.  Remember, this was 1917; China didn't become Red until the 1940's, if I'm not mistaken.  The messages said that Russia would "spread her errors" in the world.  In the sense that Communism was first adopted by Russia in 1917 and then spread to China decades later, one could say that this prophecy was fulfilled.  As to why the RC's have concentrated on Russia in spite of China and other places, I guess it's probably because the messages only mentioned Russia.        

Thanks for the clarification, Mor, and your usually erudite and respectful replies.

As for me, these quasi-political Fatima messages with their "secrets" remain "alleged."  Why do I need to look *outside* of the Holy Orthodox Church to hear what God or His Most Holy Mother have to say to me when I hear their messages in church each time that I attend?  Why should I need signs and wonders if I have but a mustard-seed of Faith?  Miracles occur each time I attend the Divine Liturgy and the offered bread and wine are transmuted into the Body and Blood of Christ by the invisible action of the Holy Spirit.  What greater miracle can there be?

Private revelations, if indeed the alleged Fatima apparitions were that, do not have to be accepted by the Faithful in either the RC or EO Churches, AFAIK, to remain in good standing.  But if one were to make them dogmatic from the RC side, e.g., Immaculate Conception, I think you'd see many more Orthodox rejecting them outright without feeling a need to be so "PC."

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« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2002, 10:16:42 AM »

As for me, these quasi-political Fatima messages with their "secrets" remain "alleged."  Why do I need to look *outside* of the Holy Orthodox Church to hear what God or His Most Holy Mother have to say to me when I hear their messages in church each time that I attend?  Why should I need signs and wonders if I have but a mustard-seed of Faith?  Miracles occur each time I attend the Divine Liturgy and the offered bread and wine are transmuted into the Body and Blood of Christ by the invisible action of the Holy Spirit.  What greater miracle can there be?

True enough, Hypo-Ortho; I agree with you.  But when these things do happen, why reject them outright?  Why not "test everything and retain what is good", as Saint Paul admonishes us?  No one needs private revelations; we already have the public revelation that is Scripture and Holy Tradition.  But that doesn't mean one has to ignore private revelations as inconsequential, just as one does not have to accept them all either.  

I accept Fatima, Lourdes, and Guadalupe, for example, and these have been approved by the RCC.  But there are other "private revelations", such as that of the "Lady of All Nations", that I have a harder time with (and have also been approved by the RCC).  In the former three, I find nothing objectionable, really, in the messages (the Virgin's declaration of herself as "the Immaculate Conception" at Lourdes certainly gives you something to think about, but I'm not sure how I feel about this: is there a sense in which the IC can be true?  That is for another thread, perhaps).  In the "Lady of All Nations" apparitions, however, I find quite a few things I take issue with.  

This is where it is good for everyone -- especially RC's -- to remember, as you said, that no one has to accept all private revelations.  You can reject them all, you can accept them all, you can pick and choose (as I have done).  It is not like public, or Holy Tradition, which you must accept.  The problem I see with many faithful Roman Catholics is that they tend to run after apparitions and locutions and weeping statues and what not blindly, and sometimes end up finding themselves at odds with their own Church, but for the most part just start basing their faith on these things...they couldn't tell you about the Second Ecumenical Council, but they'll tell you everything you wanted to know about an apparition of Saint Joseph occuring somewhere in West Africa, for example.  The problem I see with many faithful Orthodox, on the other hand, is that they all too easily dismiss such things as apparitions, locutions, and what not.  As with most things, I think the way to go is probably to be found somewhere in the middle.
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« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2002, 02:00:11 AM »

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I'm not sure how I feel about this: is there a sense in which the IC can be true?  

It is an insult to the most holy Theotokos above all else.  It is her full coperation in her free will that allowed the Saviour to become incarnate.  The "immaculate conception" makes the Theotokos more than human, thus lessoning her role in the incarnation.  If she were a sort of "super-human" and the rest of us mere humans that seperates us then ipso facto from the human nature of the Lord - ruining the concept of the incarnation in the process.  If the Holy Theotokos were removed from the effects of original sin then should would not die, sorrow, etc. etc.

Another thing about accepting RC "apparations" is that is a de facto acceptance of the branch theory or worse.  Rather than looking to Rome for Marian Piety why not look to the very heart of Orthodoxy, the Holy Mountain?  There are awsome miracles of miraculous icons and true apparitions from the Holy Mountain.
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« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2002, 10:13:33 AM »

Quote
I'm not sure how I feel about this: is there a sense in which the IC can be true?  

It is an insult to the most holy Theotokos above all else.  It is her full coperation in her free will that allowed the Saviour to become incarnate.  The "immaculate conception" makes the Theotokos more than human, thus lessoning her role in the incarnation.  If she were a sort of "super-human" and the rest of us mere humans that seperates us then ipso facto from the human nature of the Lord - ruining the concept of the incarnation in the process.  If the Holy Theotokos were removed from the effects of original sin then should would not die, sorrow, etc. etc.

Another thing about accepting RC "apparations" is that is a de facto acceptance of the branch theory or worse.  Rather than looking to Rome for Marian Piety why not look to the very heart of Orthodoxy, the Holy Mountain?  There are awsome miracles of miraculous icons and true apparitions from the Holy Mountain.  

An excellent "apologia" for the Orthodox, Derek.  Thank you.

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« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2002, 11:24:47 AM »

Another thing about accepting RC "apparations" is that is a de facto acceptance of the branch theory or worse.  

Having understood your point on the IC, how does accepting Roman Catholic apparitions become a de facto acceptance of the branch theory "or worse"?  In Eastern Orthodoxy, is there a sense that one must accept such "private revelations", if their source is the Holy Mountain?  If one does not believe in this or that or in all miraculous icons, is this not correct in some way?  What about phenomena occurring elsewhere?  Must an Eastern Orthodox Christian accept the miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem, for example?  What about miraculous phenomena occurring within the sphere of the Oriental Orthodox Churches?  I'm curious as to what you meant by your point above...
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« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2002, 11:53:08 AM »

Regarding the IC and free will, I'd say that Mary was like Eve, sinless, immaculate, only in Mary's case made so retroactively by Christ's grace. She had a choice at the Annunciation, just like Eve did in the garden. Free will. And Mary's fiat - 'be it done unto me according to Thy word' - was the choice that made the Incarnation possible in her.

As for the Holy Mountain, one can be orthodox but loony. (Having all one's marbles isn't necessary for salvation!) For all its good points - the holiness, the medieval mindset and society as a living reality - at least some of what's on Athos falls into that, I think - the monks only in communion with four other people, etc.
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