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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: shep4569 on April 28, 2009, 03:11:03 AM

Title: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: shep4569 on April 28, 2009, 03:11:03 AM
I was being a typical Orthodox nerd and searching for music from the Lamentations on Great and Holy Friday, and stumbled on a 3-video series on how Ecumenism is wrong. The videos focused on Orthodox bishops participating in the funeral of Pope JPII and enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI. Apparently this was highly heretical and offensive to the Orthodox christian that posted them, so I thought I might get your opinions.

Personally, I have no problem with Ecumenism, and here's why: our faith will never change. The churches of the world could have meetings for the next thousand years, and Orthodoxy, and all the others, will remain the same. No church is going to voluntarily give up its beliefs and join another church. Can you see Orthodox bishops saying "Hey, we've been wrong for the past two thousand years. Let's all be Roman Catholic now!" I don't think so. So I don't think praying with other Christians constitutes heresy.

Discuss!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on April 28, 2009, 03:33:52 AM
Since nobody is going to change their mind, I think that theological dialogues and joint statements are a waste of time.  However, I think that cooperation in charity and defending common social values has its merits.  Joint prayer strikes me as inappropriate, as it appears to validate heresies, or put all Christian creeds on a level playing field with the true Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: LBK on April 28, 2009, 03:59:25 AM
I was being a typical Orthodox nerd and searching for music from the Lamentations on Great and Holy Friday, and stumbled on a 3-video series on how Ecumenism is wrong. The videos focused on Orthodox bishops participating in the funeral of Pope JPII and enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI. Apparently this was highly heretical and offensive to the Orthodox christian that posted them, so I thought I might get your opinions.

This is not the first time such claims have been raised by certain vested interests (aka certain "traditionalist" Orthodox).  ::) I do not recall seeing much footage of the enthronement of Pope Benedict, but the "Orthodox" clergy present in full vestments at the funeral of Pope John Paul II were Byzantine Catholics, as was officially announced on the sountrack provided by the Vatican source which provided the broadcast. All Orthodox clergy present at the funeral were in their black "civvies", i.e. riassa/rasa and headwear appropriate to clerical rank (no mitres) and pectoral crosses/Panaghias, and seated among the ranks of the non-RC clergy in the general audience, not on stage as the Eastern Catholics were.

NEXT!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2009, 04:57:48 AM
I have to ask you what exactly you mean by "ecumenism", since so many different meanings of this word have been used in discussions here at OC.net.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Anastasios on April 28, 2009, 05:27:38 AM
Can we have a link to the videos in question?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Alpo on April 28, 2009, 06:38:04 AM
Oh this turned out quite fine. I was considering starting topic on ecumenism but it seems like shep4569 has read my thoughts. Now the only thing I need is a little patience to just wait that someone will reads my further thoughts on the subject and writes the correct, convincing and orthodox answers for them.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: shep4569 on April 28, 2009, 02:58:10 PM
Can we have a link to the videos in question?

First Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOGQVvEU8vY&feature=related

Second Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXphOYp519o&feature=related

Third Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJqgPUSL-_A&feature=related

The author of said videos gives a definition of Ecumenism at the beginning of the first one.

And I agree with Alveus Lacuna. Nobody will change their minds, so we should just cooperate in a spirit of Christian brotherhood. It doesn't mean we have to sympathize with their views. However I don't think signing "joint faith statements" and such do any good. Great, so the pope and EP signed a document that says they both believe in things on which both churches already agree. I don't think I need a paper signed by the pope to tell me he believes in the Holy Trinity.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: rwprof on April 28, 2009, 03:06:05 PM
Joint prayer strikes me as inappropriate, as it appears to validate heresies, or put all Christian creeds on a level playing field with the true Church.

That strikes me as overgeneralized, unless you would object to, say, Orthodox praying for the lives of the unborn outside abortion clinics next to Catholics and Protestants. If you would object, then, we really needn't go any further here.


Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2009, 04:28:00 PM
Can we have a link to the videos in question?

First Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOGQVvEU8vY&feature=related

Second Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXphOYp519o&feature=related

Third Part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJqgPUSL-_A&feature=related

The author of said videos gives a definition of Ecumenism at the beginning of the first one.
There's certainly ample reason to object to any ecumenical dialogue or interaction with Rome that compromises our belief in the Orthodox Church as the one (and only) holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, but I think it very important that we base our objections on truth and not on extremist propaganda--yes, I acknowledge that many here will disagree with me that these videos constitute extremist propaganda, but that's an argument for another day ;).  For instance, in the first few minutes of the first video I saw a lot of still photos that would have meant nothing to me, separated as they are from the context of events of which I know nothing.  If not for the additional commentary, I would have no idea what the photos displayed.  I kept on wondering how I could know this commentary can be trusted.

And the videos of Orthodox hierarchs attending the funeral service for Pope John Paul II, the enthronement ceremony of Pope Benedict XVI, and other Roman services, together with video of Orthodox dialogue with the Pope, both within and outside the World Council of Churches...  I'm sure some of us will object even to this level of ecumenical activity just for what it is at face value.  But if you're going to object, at least say that you object to the mere presence of Orthodox bishops at Roman Catholic services, the mere dialogue with Rome, or their mere activity in the WCC.  I really won't argue with this honesty.  However, to brand the mere Orthodox presence at these services joint prayer with Roman Catholics is rather disingenuous, IMO.  Sure, they're there in the audience for all the world to see, but are they actively participating in the services with Catholic clergy of both the Latin and Byzantine Rites?  I don't see any such concelebration.  So how is the mere presence of Orthodox prelates at these services the joint prayer condemned by the canons?  We may also object legitimately to Orthodox membership in the WCC based solely on the expressed mission of those Orthodox who choose to participate, but to label this mere presence as explicit or implicit consent to the ecumenical heresies proclaimed within the WCC, despite the many statements to the contrary by our Orthodox participants in the WCC, is also rather duplicitous, IMO.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Anastasios on April 28, 2009, 04:48:21 PM
It looks like they spliced some of the Synod in Resistance videos into their own videos (which have a catchy sinister sounding soundtrack!)

I think the video "Papocentric Globalism" itself is well produced (as opposed to the photo splice job with sinister soundtrack in the beginning). Clearly 2 of the 3 Orthodox bishops are singing the trisagion chanted by the Eastern Rite Catholics (thus praying with heretics).  Also, this funeral was on Orthodox Palm Sunday that year--I wonder if these bishops skipped liturgy to make this funeral?

I think whether Orthodox hierarchs should attend funerals of non-Orthodox hierarchs is a debatable point, but their attending the enthronement of a heretical bishop, let alone the pope is way over the top.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on April 28, 2009, 06:09:26 PM
That strikes me as overgeneralized, unless you would object to, say, Orthodox praying for the lives of the unborn outside abortion clinics next to Catholics and Protestants. If you would object, then, we really needn't go any further here.

Honestly, I do not yet know how I feel about joint prayer.  Normally I would not care too much, but some have told me that this is expressly condemned by certain canons.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: shep4569 on April 28, 2009, 08:00:26 PM
I have no problem with joint prayer. I do disagree a bit with the Orthodox presence at the enthronement of the pope, but other than that I'd say it's okay. If we say that praying with people from other faiths is heresy, then imagine what our lives would be like. I'd have to tell one of my good friends, who is RC, that I can't attend his wedding next year because he is a heretic. I don't imagine that would go over well...
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Anastasios on April 28, 2009, 09:10:15 PM
I have no problem with joint prayer. I do disagree a bit with the Orthodox presence at the enthronement of the pope, but other than that I'd say it's okay. If we say that praying with people from other faiths is heresy, then imagine what our lives would be like. I'd have to tell one of my good friends, who is RC, that I can't attend his wedding next year because he is a heretic. I don't imagine that would go over well...

The canons of the Church are clear that praying with heretics is wrong, so it's not really a question of opinion. There are clear reasons why the Fathers taught this; it is for our protection, and to avoid scandal.

Now, attending weddings and funerals is a different story. Such social events are important, and I agree that it would  be difficult not to attend. When I go to heterodox funerals and weddings, though, I do not pray. I am respectful, but do not pray. I want to show love to my non-Orthodox family and friends by going, but I can't join in their prayers, which are often deficient and sometimes blatantly unOrthodox.

The problem with the pope's funeral, which the video was making, is that there are more far reaching connotations in the pope's funeral and the presence of Orthodox bishops is not a simple "they came to pay their respects" but has consequences.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: AMM on April 28, 2009, 09:29:20 PM
Quote
Since nobody is going to change their mind

Have you ever changed your mind about anything?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: shep4569 on April 28, 2009, 11:18:09 PM
Quote
Since nobody is going to change their mind

Have you ever changed your mind about anything?

Of course, I change my mind everyday. But it's not so easy when it comes to important decisions, like accepting a new faith.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 02, 2009, 05:33:55 PM
The following block of posts originally submitted to this thread:  Old vs. New Calendar? (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2233.msg380997.html#msg380997)  - PtA



For anyone who wants proof that recognition of heterodox baptism is now the official teaching of the 'mainstream', i.e. 'World', Orthodox churches, here is a statement from SCOBA in 1999:

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html


Please read the document more attentively.   It is impossible to draw your conclusion from this American document.

The document is in fact *pleading* with the Churches of Orthodoxy to recognise heterodox Baptism.

In fact not one Orthodox Church has responded to this plea by the Americans and ALL Orthodox Churches may, and do, baptize the heterodox.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 05:55:23 PM

For anyone who wants proof that recognition of heterodox baptism is now the official teaching of the 'mainstream', i.e. 'World', Orthodox churches, here is a statement from SCOBA in 1999:

http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic/baptism-sacramentaleconomy.html


Please read the document more attentively.   It is impossible to draw your conclusion from this American document.

The document is in fact *pleading* with the Churches of Orthodoxy to recognise heterodox Baptism.

In fact not one Orthodox Church has responded to this plea by the Americans and ALL Orthodox Churches may, and do, baptize the heterodox.

"The Orthodox and Catholic members of our Consultation acknowledge, in both of our traditions, a common teaching and a common faith in one baptism, despite some variations in practice which, we believe, do not affect the substance of the mystery. We are therefore moved to declare that we also recognize each other's baptism as one and the same. This recognition has obvious ecclesiological consequences. The Church is itself both the milieu and the effect of baptism, and is not of our making. This recognition requires each side of our dialogue to acknowledge an ecclesial reality in the other, however much we may regard their way of living the Church's reality as flawed or incomplete. In our common reality of baptism, we discover the foundation of our dialogue, as well as the force and urgency of the Lord Jesus' prayer "that all may be one." Here, finally, is the certain basis for the modern use of the phrase, "sister churches." At the same time, since some are unwilling to accept this mutual recognition of baptism with all its consequences, the following investigation and explanation seems necessary."

This is obviously a heretical statement, and I don't think you would dare to deny it. If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 02, 2009, 06:20:40 PM

This is obviously a heretical statement, and I don't think you would dare to deny it. If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.

Every year or so this happy little club of Americans puts out a statement.  The one which caused the most hilarity in Europe was the one which came to be jocosely known as "When is a Christmation  not a Chrismation?"

Do not make the mistake of thinking that what takes place in the American provinces is of much importance in the Orthodox world.  Not everyone in Europe and the Near East is agog to read the latest thoughts from the United States.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 06:29:19 PM

This is obviously a heretical statement, and I don't think you would dare to deny it. If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.

Every year or so this happy little club of Americans puts out a statement.  The one which caused the most hilarity in Europe was the one which came to be jocosely known as "When is a Christmation  not a Chrismation?"

Do not make the mistake of thinking that what takes place in the American provinces is of much importance in the Orthodox world.  Not everyone in Europe and the Near East is agog to read the latest thoughts from the United States.



Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox? Why have they not condemned this heresy in unambiguous language? Why have they not threatened to break communion? Could it possibly be that your bishops in Europe are equally complicit in the ecumenist heresy, and that is why they are silent?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 02, 2009, 06:35:57 PM

 If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.

Does the logic hold water?  If silence implies consent then you and your Church are in heresy by your own self-admission.  In 1983 the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece issued an important statement condemning the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.  I am not aware that your Church has denied this and without a rebuttal from your Church we must conclude that your Church has fallen into heresy.




http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm


Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
ACT OF THE HOLY AND SACRED COUNCIL OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE

Protocol Number: 6/13-7-1983

Theme: Condemnation of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism."

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece in its session of July 13, 1983, addressed the theme of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism", and took into account:

a) That the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" teaches an entirely heretical teaching, to wit, that all the groups and factions that follow the old calendar together consist and belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, and it proposes a union of these [factions] according to an ecumenistic perception and not according to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology.

b) That "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is a fruit and product of antichristian Ecumenism, the pan-heresy of our age, which seeks, through the fractions and divisions and the ecclesiological confusion, to distort the Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology and to introduce this heretical teaching into the Uninnovated Church, in order to thereby suffocate it.

c) That the age, in which we are going through, is an age of general apostasy and ecclesiological confusion, which was caused by antichristian Ecumenism. Thus, the criticality of these times requires [from us] especially, a continuous way of life in the pure Confession of the Orthodox Faith and in the teachings of the Church of Christ.

d) That "the chosen vessel," the divine Apostle Paul, commands us all: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood," and continues: "grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30)

e) That many have arisen, speaking perversely, for the purpose of setting aside the Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ, and turn against the divine and Sacred Canons and generally against the Holy and Sacred Tradition, by preaching "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" with bared head, and disturbing the assembly of the faithful.

Since "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is condemned by the consensus of the divine and Sacred Canons and is something foreign and polemical against the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Church of Christ, for this reason, together with our Holy and God-bearing Fathers, holding the divine and Sacred Canons in embrace, in the Holy Spirit we decide:

1. We judge and condemn the so-called “Old Calendarist Ecumenism,” as something foreign to, and incompatible with, the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ.

2. With one mouth and one heart we confess and preach that the Genuine Orthodox Church, which for reasons of discernment is called "uninnovated" or "Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians," is the continuation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, from which [the following] were torn off: firstly, the innovated new calendarist church, through the introduction of the condemned papist innovation [of the calendar], by which Ecumenism entered in 1924; and secondly, the various old calendarist schisms, which were created by their distortion of the Confession – Ecclesiology of the uninnovated Holy Church of Christ.

3. This Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology was printed and preached since 1924, and was Synodically preached in the historic year of 1935. We also keep it, preach it and confess it.

4. With one voice we disapprove and remove any expressions or publications which, regardless of what context or by whom they were written, are unacceptable from an Orthodox perspective and are foreign to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology, and we order that from now on, anything contradictory, whether it be due to carelessness or through human weakness, we regard it as having not been written.

In the year of salvation 1983, on July the 13th (old calendar).

The President:
+ ANDREW of Athens and all Greece

The Members:
+ GREGORY of Messenia
+ MATTHEW of Megaris
+ LAZARUS of Bresthena
+ PACHOMIUS of Argolis
+ THEODOSIUS of Phthiotis
+ TITUS of Kozane

The Chief Secretary
+ Hieromonk Kirykos (Kontogiannis)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 02, 2009, 06:42:27 PM

Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?

Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 06:43:27 PM

 If the church you belong to truly rejects it, where is the statement of your church condemning this heretical document, and where is the censure of those clergy who participated in drafting it? Silence implies consent, therefore we traditionalists are quite justified in drawing from this document the conclusion that the official Churches have fallen into heresy.

Does the logic hold water?  If silence implies consent then you and your Church are in heresy by your own self-admission.  In 1983 the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece issued an important statement condemning the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.  I am not aware that your Church has denied this and without a rebuttal from your Church we must conclude that your Church has fallen into heresy.




http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm


Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
ACT OF THE HOLY AND SACRED COUNCIL OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE

Protocol Number: 6/13-7-1983

Theme: Condemnation of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism."

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece in its session of July 13, 1983, addressed the theme of the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism", and took into account:

a) That the so-called "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" teaches an entirely heretical teaching, to wit, that all the groups and factions that follow the old calendar together consist and belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, and it proposes a union of these [factions] according to an ecumenistic perception and not according to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology.

b) That "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is a fruit and product of antichristian Ecumenism, the pan-heresy of our age, which seeks, through the fractions and divisions and the ecclesiological confusion, to distort the Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology and to introduce this heretical teaching into the Uninnovated Church, in order to thereby suffocate it.

c) That the age, in which we are going through, is an age of general apostasy and ecclesiological confusion, which was caused by antichristian Ecumenism. Thus, the criticality of these times requires [from us] especially, a continuous way of life in the pure Confession of the Orthodox Faith and in the teachings of the Church of Christ.

d) That "the chosen vessel," the divine Apostle Paul, commands us all: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood," and continues: "grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30)

e) That many have arisen, speaking perversely, for the purpose of setting aside the Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ, and turn against the divine and Sacred Canons and generally against the Holy and Sacred Tradition, by preaching "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" with bared head, and disturbing the assembly of the faithful.

Since "Old Calendarist Ecumenism" is condemned by the consensus of the divine and Sacred Canons and is something foreign and polemical against the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Church of Christ, for this reason, together with our Holy and God-bearing Fathers, holding the divine and Sacred Canons in embrace, in the Holy Spirit we decide:

1. We judge and condemn the so-called “Old Calendarist Ecumenism,” as something foreign to, and incompatible with, the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology of the Holy Church of Christ.

2. With one mouth and one heart we confess and preach that the Genuine Orthodox Church, which for reasons of discernment is called "uninnovated" or "Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians," is the continuation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, from which [the following] were torn off: firstly, the innovated new calendarist church, through the introduction of the condemned papist innovation [of the calendar], by which Ecumenism entered in 1924; and secondly, the various old calendarist schisms, which were created by their distortion of the Confession – Ecclesiology of the uninnovated Holy Church of Christ.

3. This Orthodox Confession – Ecclesiology was printed and preached since 1924, and was Synodically preached in the historic year of 1935. We also keep it, preach it and confess it.

4. With one voice we disapprove and remove any expressions or publications which, regardless of what context or by whom they were written, are unacceptable from an Orthodox perspective and are foreign to the Orthodox Confession and Ecclesiology, and we order that from now on, anything contradictory, whether it be due to carelessness or through human weakness, we regard it as having not been written.

In the year of salvation 1983, on July the 13th (old calendar).

The President:
+ ANDREW of Athens and all Greece

The Members:
+ GREGORY of Messenia
+ MATTHEW of Megaris
+ LAZARUS of Bresthena
+ PACHOMIUS of Argolis
+ THEODOSIUS of Phthiotis
+ TITUS of Kozane

The Chief Secretary
+ Hieromonk Kirykos (Kontogiannis)

Um I don't understand your point. Are you saying that the belief in Old Calendarist Ecumenism is a heresy? Well I don't believe that, and neither does my church. Do you believe that the concept of OC Ecumenism is a heresy?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 06:46:18 PM

Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?

Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?



I am being quite logical, unlike you. If your church believed that heterodox baptism was invalid, your church would have condemned those theologians who taught otherwise. Since your church has not, as far as I can see, your church accepts the teaching, although it may not want to make too much of it lest it scare away traditionalists.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 02, 2009, 06:53:21 PM
.

Um I don't understand your point. Are you saying that the belief in Old Calendarist Ecumenism is a heresy? Well I don't believe that, and neither does my church. Do you believe that the concept of OC Ecumenism is a heresy?

Yee.  Nearly all Old Calendarists are heretics because they have accepted the ecumenistic Branch Theory of an Invisible Church.  They believe that Churches which are not in communion with one another and in many cases their bishops strongly reject one another, form an invisibly united Church.  This is a purely ecumenistic understanding and heretical.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 02, 2009, 07:01:14 PM

I am being quite logical, unlike you. If your church believed that heterodox baptism was invalid, your church would have condemned those theologians who taught otherwise. Since your church has not, as far as I can see, your church accepts the teaching, although it may not want to make too much of it lest it scare away traditionalists.

Are you aware of the Russian Patriarchate's censure of its bishop in Germany who made the mistake of signing an interchurch document which acknowledged Lutheran baptism?


Are you aware that your Church has not rejected the statement by the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that you are heretical by virtue of your Old Calendarist ecumenism?  Are you afraid to upset your traditionalists by offering a rebuttal to this charge of heresy? 
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: LBK on December 02, 2009, 07:04:16 PM

Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?

Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?

More to the point, I dare anyone to provide examples (even just one) of canonical Orthodox churches anywhere in the world who would allow anyone of non-Orthodox baptism to receive Holy Communion, unless such individuals have been canonically received (by baptism or chrismation) into the Church. Therefore, Jonathan, a "formal statement" on the part of any Orthodox church is unnecessary, as it is the praxis of the Churches which speak far more loudly. Conversely, there are many instances of Old Calendarist groups insisting on baptism or chrismation of individuals who wish to join such groups, who have earlier in their lives received an Orthodox baptism. Que?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 10:34:54 PM

Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe. If the bishops here are preaching heresy, as I think you have already implicitly conceded, why are your bishops utterly silent on the matter, presuming they are Orthodox?

Again, you are not being logical.  This is not "the American bishops preaching heresy."  This is a small think tank of American theologians who are flying a kite, as they have on several issues.   They would like to see the Orthodox Churches make statements recognising heterodox baptism.  Have any of the bishops or Churches responded?   No!   Are you aware of even one Church which has made a statement that it accepts heterodox baptism?

More to the point, I dare anyone to provide examples (even just one) of canonical Orthodox churches anywhere in the world who would allow anyone of non-Orthodox baptism to receive Holy Communion, unless such individuals have been canonically received (by baptism or chrismation) into the Church. Therefore, Jonathan, a "formal statement" on the part of any Orthodox church is unnecessary, as it is the praxis of the Churches which speak far more loudly. Conversely, there are many instances of Old Calendarist groups insisting on baptism or chrismation of individuals who wish to join such groups, who have earlier in their lives received an Orthodox baptism. Que?

Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 10:47:41 PM
.

Um I don't understand your point. Are you saying that the belief in Old Calendarist Ecumenism is a heresy? Well I don't believe that, and neither does my church. Do you believe that the concept of OC Ecumenism is a heresy?

Yee.  Nearly all Old Calendarists are heretics because they have accepted the ecumenistic Branch Theory of an Invisible Church.  They believe that Churches which are not in communion with one another and in many cases their bishops strongly reject one another, form an invisibly united Church.  This is a purely ecumenistic understanding and heretical.

That's rich IH. The Old Calendarists are ecumenists, the New Calendarists are not. Care to provide some evidence aside from this 'statement'?

The Matthewite synod that made that proclamation has no authority as far as I'm concerned. They also don't have any authority as far as you're concerned, so I don't understand what you are trying to prove from it. Has the ecumenist synod you're part of ever anathematized the Old Calendarists on the grounds they are ecumenists? I'd be more liable to give heed to that.

We have made no statement on the validity of the mysteries of other OC jurisdictions. The TOC of Greece under Abp Chrysostomos has condemned the teachings of Met Cyprian of Fili on 'sick' and 'healthy' members of the Church (the truth is, you're either a heretic and outside the Church, or you're not), but that's it as far as I know. So since the other TOC jurisdictions apart from the Cyprianites are not under any kind of anathema, on what grounds do you condemn those of us who say their mysteries may be valid?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 11:01:54 PM

I am being quite logical, unlike you. If your church believed that heterodox baptism was invalid, your church would have condemned those theologians who taught otherwise. Since your church has not, as far as I can see, your church accepts the teaching, although it may not want to make too much of it lest it scare away traditionalists.

Are you aware of the Russian Patriarchate's censure of its bishop in Germany who made the mistake of signing an interchurch document which acknowledged Lutheran baptism?


Are you aware that your Church has not rejected the statement by the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that you are heretical by virtue of your Old Calendarist ecumenism?  Are you afraid to upset your traditionalists by offering a rebuttal to this charge of heresy? 


I am also aware that the MP has not censured the American churches for their heretical statements such as the one I cited. I am aware they maintain communion with such open ecumenists, including members of their own synod like Bp Hilarion of Vienna.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: LBK on December 02, 2009, 11:12:41 PM
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx

I do find it difficult to take such an article seriously when the Archbishop of Athens is repeatedly referred to as Anastasios. Last time I checked, the name of the Archbishop of Athens in 2002 was Christodoulos.  :P
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 02, 2009, 11:14:03 PM
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx

I highly doubt it.  In the article the accusation starts as "the EP and Archbishop Anastasios" gave communion to RCs, then the accusation has to be withdrawn because they find themselves to be mistaken when confronted with His Beatitude's testimony.  It is a (infinitely, technically) shorter leap from "wrong once" to "wrong twice" than it is from "never wrong" to "wrong once."
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 02, 2009, 11:14:46 PM
Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx

I do find it difficult to take such an article seriously when the Archbishop of Athens is repeatedly referred to as Anastasios. Last time I checked, the name of the Archbishop of Athens in 2002 was Christodoulos.  :P

The accusation is actually leveled against His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and all Albania.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 02, 2009, 11:53:53 PM
The final concession only refers to Abp Anastasios. The EP is still implicated in administering communion to the heterodox. So LBK, you have your example.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 03, 2009, 12:07:46 AM
[Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx

Why should this worry you, JG?  Has not your Church declared that the Holy Mysteries of the Greeks are nothing but bread and wine in a chalice?

For example, one of your nuns the holy abbess Efrosinia has declared that the Serbian Church is no longer Orthodox and no longer has the Holy Mysteries nor the Holy Spirit. I assume she would extend that denial to all the other Orthodox Churches, which means that grace has virtually disappeared from the world, to be found only among a tiny group of whom she approves.

She admits that these days you can hardly get into any Serbian church, so great are the numbers now attending services - but it is all in vain, she says, because "the Holy Spirit has departed."

May the Lord have mercy on this nun and those who follow her and her bishop in Athens.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 12:10:08 AM
[Hm LBK have you heard of how the EP administered the mysteries to Catholics in Ravenna in 2002?

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ravenna.aspx

Why should this worry you, JG?  Has not your Church declared that the Holy Mysteries of the Greeks are nothing but bread and wine in a chalice?

For example, one of your nuns the holy abbess Efrosinia has declared that the Serbian Church is no longer Orthodox and no longer has the Holy Mysteries nor the Holy Spirit. I assume she would extend that denial to all the other Orthodox Churches, which means that grace has virtually disappeared from the world, to be found only among a tiny group of whom she approves.

She admits that these days you can hardly get into any Serbian church, so great are the numbers now attending services - but it is all in vain, she says, because "the Holy Spirit has departed."

May the Lord have mercy on this nun and those who follow her and her bishop in Athens.



What matters is not what I think about this event. What matters is what YOU think. Do you believe the mysteries of the Patriarch are true mysteries? Do you not object to the fact that he administered them to the Latins?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 03, 2009, 12:17:34 AM

What matters is not what I think about this event. What matters is what YOU think

So I do not really understand why you are making a fuss.

"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own."

Proverbs 26:17
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 12:19:57 AM

What matters is not what I think about this event. What matters is what YOU think

So I do not really understand why you are making a fuss.

"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own."

Proverbs 26:17

So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 03, 2009, 12:55:43 AM
So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.

Dear JG,  I am grateful for your concern.  It worries me that you fall under the 1983 condemnation of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece because you have fallen prey to the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.   
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: John Larocque on December 03, 2009, 01:23:16 AM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 03, 2009, 01:44:52 AM
Actually, Irish Hermit, what the American bishops produce ought to be of very grave concern to you in Europe.

As the good Father pointed out, the document you are pointing too was not produced or signed off on by American bishops. Indeed the index page on the SCOBA website for this document and others produced by the "The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation" explicitly states:
Quote
The members of national bilateral dialogue commissions are sanctioned by the hierarchies of the two churches to examine divisive issues, and to make recommendations regarding ways to overcome them. As such, the agreed statements are issued on the authority of the dialogue commission itself, and do not bind the authorities of either church.

On the other hand, this is the actual teaching of my bishops, synodically agreed upon and easily accessible on the official website:
Quote
Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Christian Unity and Ecumenism
http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=5

Quote
For the Orthodox Church, therefore, the only possible unity for Christians and for the Christian Church is the unity of faith to which the apostles, saints and councils of the Church have witnessed, the faith to which they call all men for the sake of their salvation.

Quote
Genuine Christian unity is possible only where men are one in Christ and the Holy Spirit, fully united in the truth, love and holiness of God. This unity is possible only in the one Church which Christ founded, against which "the gates of hell shall not prevail." (Matthew 16:18) This unity is possible only in that Church which has preserved whole and unchanged the teachings of Christ and His apostles, prophets, martyrs and saints. This unity is possible only in that Church which continues to proclaim the revelation of God in its fullness, not only in its doctrines and morals, but also in the whole order of spiritual, sacramental and hierarchal church life as established in the apostolic Christian community.

Quote
Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, it is our duty as bishops of the Church and guardians of the apostolic faith to confess that the Orthodox Church is the one Church of Christ.

Quote
We further deny the possibility of fusing the hierarchal and sacramental structure of the Orthodox Church with a contradictory form of Christian confession, and we categorically reject the use of eucharistic communion and sacramental "intercommunion" as a means of achieving Christian unity. According to the Orthodox Faith, the sacraments and the liturgy of the Church, most specifically the Holy Eucharist, cannot be separated from the very being of the Church, which they exist to manifest. The sacraments are not devotions or psychological symbols. They are the manifestations of the essence of the Church as the Kingdom of God on earth. Outside the unity of faith in the one Church of Christ, which cannot be divided, there can be no sacramental communion and no liturgical concelebration.

Formal liturgical worship which involves the active participation of clergy and laity of different confessions is contrary to the canons of the Orthodox Church. Such liturgical celebration can only create confusion and scandal and serve to project a false impression of the Christian Faith and the nature of the unity which God has given to men in His Church, both to the Christian faithful and to the non-Christians of the world. According to the Orthodox Faith, such liturgical celebration is also a false presentation of men before the heavenly altar of God.

Or in other words, you have borne false witness against my hierarchs.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: LBK on December 03, 2009, 02:19:50 AM
The final concession only refers to Abp Anastasios. The EP is still implicated in administering communion to the heterodox. So LBK, you have your example.

Hardly much of an example, Jonathan, when there was, and still is, dispute in many quarters as to whether Orthodox communion was even given to non-Orthodox at Ravenna. In addition, to suggest that there is now official intercommunion between the Orthodox Church and the RCC (as strongly suggested by the article you linked to) is blatantly false. You really are clutching at straws to defend your views, my friend.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 12:00:07 PM
The final concession only refers to Abp Anastasios. The EP is still implicated in administering communion to the heterodox. So LBK, you have your example.

Hardly much of an example, Jonathan, when there was, and still is, dispute in many quarters as to whether Orthodox communion was even given to non-Orthodox at Ravenna. In addition, to suggest that there is now official intercommunion between the Orthodox Church and the RCC (as strongly suggested by the article you linked to) is blatantly false. You really are clutching at straws to defend your views, my friend.

LBK, you could dispute any example I offered if you wanted to. The liturgy was celebrated in the presence of many Catholics, and Catholics approaching the chalice were not turned away (I can hardly believe Abp Anastasios' claim that they were merely Orthodox making the sign of the cross the wrong way; how would he know, if on his own admission they were 'too busy' to pay attention to who was approaching the chalice?). I don't know how you can ask for a more solid testimony.

Do you know who Fr Theodore Zisis is? He is a highly respected conservative New Calendarist theologian. He has uncovered enough evidence of new calendarist heresy to justify breaking communion several times over, yet he chooses to remain with the State church (why? you'll have to ask him). But precisely because he is a new calendarist, you really ought to respect his witness.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 12:03:11 PM
witega:

If your bishops disagree with the heresy of this statement, why do they plaster it on their website without a word of critique or condemnation? The SCOBA website is the official voice of the official Orthodox bishops of North America. They have not uttered a word of condemnation, meaning they are complicit in this heresy. I have not borne false witness; it is you who blind yourself to the evidence before your own eyes.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 12:19:00 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 12:21:29 PM
So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.

Dear JG,  I am grateful for your concern.  It worries me that you fall under the 1983 condemnation of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece because you have fallen prey to the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.   

Are you saying you recognize the authority of that condemnation? I didn't know you were a Matthewite Old Calendarist! You should have said something before.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 03, 2009, 12:56:08 PM
So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.

Dear JG,  I am grateful for your concern.  It worries me that you fall under the 1983 condemnation of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece because you have fallen prey to the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.   

Are you saying you recognize the authority of that condemnation? I didn't know you were a Matthewite Old Calendarist! You should have said something before.

Either that was a sad attempt at humor, or you missed the point entirely.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 01:22:42 PM
So if I understand the force of that quotation, you would like us traditionalists to leave you ecumenists alone to administer your so-called 'mysteries' to the heretics, partaking together in damnation, rather than try to warn you of the spiritual peril you are in and urge you to return to the fold of the True Church? All right then.

Dear JG,  I am grateful for your concern.  It worries me that you fall under the 1983 condemnation of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece because you have fallen prey to the heresy of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.   

Are you saying you recognize the authority of that condemnation? I didn't know you were a Matthewite Old Calendarist! You should have said something before.

Either that was a sad attempt at humor, or you missed the point entirely.

Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 03, 2009, 01:26:40 PM
Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?

I actually thought his point was quite clear.

You've stated that his church should have condemned the statement from the Orthodox-RC Consultation, and by not condemning the statement they are complicit.  He then stated that your church should have either condemned or acknowledged the statement from the GOC of Greece that condemns Old Calendar Ecumenism, and by not either condemning nor acknowledging the statement you are complicit.

He's using the point (I presume) to show you that just as you likely don't support "Old Calendar Ecumenism" and yet you haven't come out and stated it publicly, he (and his diocese & archdiocese, etc.) may not support the Ecumenism present in the statement even though they haven't come out and stated it publicly.

More clear?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 01:38:14 PM
Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?

I actually thought his point was quite clear.

You've stated that his church should have condemned the statement from the Orthodox-RC Consultation, and by not condemning the statement they are complicit.  He then stated that your church should have either condemned or acknowledged the statement from the GOC of Greece that condemns Old Calendar Ecumenism, and by not either condemning nor acknowledging the statement you are complicit.

He's using the point (I presume) to show you that just as you likely don't support "Old Calendar Ecumenism" and yet you haven't come out and stated it publicly, he (and his diocese & archdiocese, etc.) may not support the Ecumenism present in the statement even though they haven't come out and stated it publicly.

More clear?

A bit more clear, yes. I don't understand how failing to condemn the Matthewite statement makes us ecumenists, however. Since we are not in communion with them, what does it matter what they say? You, however, are in communion with those heretics who claimed that Orthodox and Catholic baptism are equally valid. How do you justify that?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 03, 2009, 01:41:40 PM
A bit more clear, yes. I don't understand how failing to condemn the Matthewite statement makes us ecumenists, however. Since we are not in communion with them, what does it matter what they say?

He's not accusing you of being an Ecumenist - the document is about Old Calendarist Ecumenism, which you obviously don't believe in seeing as you are not in communion with them.  But this wasn't evident from your self-identification merely as "Greek Old Calendarist," so I think the assumption was that you were in communion with them.

You, however, are in communion with those heretics who claimed that Orthodox and Catholic baptism are equally valid. How do you justify that?

I let the bishops handle it until they enter heresy.  I have more important, local things to worry about than what a group of RC and Orthodox bishops think about baptism.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 01:55:34 PM
A bit more clear, yes. I don't understand how failing to condemn the Matthewite statement makes us ecumenists, however. Since we are not in communion with them, what does it matter what they say?

He's not accusing you of being an Ecumenist - the document is about Old Calendarist Ecumenism, which you obviously don't believe in seeing as you are not in communion with them.  But this wasn't evident from your self-identification merely as "Greek Old Calendarist," so I think the assumption was that you were in communion with them.

You, however, are in communion with those heretics who claimed that Orthodox and Catholic baptism are equally valid. How do you justify that?

I let the bishops handle it until they enter heresy.  I have more important, local things to worry about than what a group of RC and Orthodox bishops think about communion.

All right, it was a misunderstanding about the difference between my jurisdiction and the Matthewites. I thought there was some confusion here.

Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy? OK, well you and the other new calendarists have tried this tactic for about 80 years now, with what results? Hmmm...

If you KNOW that bishops in your church are heretical, you CAN'T justify being in communion with them. Either you have to deny they are heretics, or you have to break communion and join those bishops who are not heretical or in communion with heresy. There's no middle ground here.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 03, 2009, 02:04:41 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 02:17:40 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)

Well what counts as 'formally proclaimed'? And where does it say that a heresy has to be 'formally proclaimed' to be a heresy? Can a bishop 'informally' proclaim a heresy? If a bishop says something heretical, and doesn't retract it, or prays with a heretic, then that's all you need.

The bishops of your church and every church in SCOBA are in heresy because their churches are members of the WCC, a heretical organization. You can see that it is heretical if you read the 'assumptions' in the Toronto statement, which is gives the basic principles of membership. Or how about when the EP invited the Pope to the Phanar in 2006 and prayed with him, which is a clear heretical act? No one broke communion with him over it, and he has never repented of it. I can go on. The evidence is all there; you just choose to ignore it.

The reason I said you had already admitted it is because you said 'I don't have time to worry about what some RC and Orthodox bishops think about communion'. I'm not sure what you're referring to exactly, but it certainly implies some Orthodox bishops you know of have made heretical claims about communion, which are of no concern to you because you have better things to worry about than your spiritual welfare, apparently. I did give an example of a heretical statement about heterodox baptism. This statement is now ten years old and has never been condemned by those bishops of yours, which they surely would have done long ago if they were truly Orthodox. Nothing on the SCOBA website indicates that the errors in the document have ever been addressed. That means to me that the bishops are complicit in the heresy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 03, 2009, 03:15:47 PM
The reason I said you had already admitted it is because you said 'I don't have time to worry about what some RC and Orthodox bishops think about communion'. I'm not sure what you're referring to exactly, but it certainly implies some Orthodox bishops you know of have made heretical claims about communion, which are of no concern to you because you have better things to worry about than your spiritual welfare, apparently. 

Actually it means that I had typed the word "communion" instead of "baptism" because I had typed the word "communion" twice and read it twice and mixed myself up.  I'll correct it.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 03:42:14 PM
The reason I said you had already admitted it is because you said 'I don't have time to worry about what some RC and Orthodox bishops think about communion'. I'm not sure what you're referring to exactly, but it certainly implies some Orthodox bishops you know of have made heretical claims about communion, which are of no concern to you because you have better things to worry about than your spiritual welfare, apparently. 

Actually it means that I had typed the word "communion" instead of "baptism" because I had typed the word "communion" twice and read it twice and mixed myself up.  I'll correct it.

OH I see. Well scratch that part of my response, then. The part about baptism still applies, though!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 03, 2009, 05:49:50 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 03, 2009, 05:54:51 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)

Well what counts as 'formally proclaimed'? And where does it say that a heresy has to be 'formally proclaimed' to be a heresy? Can a bishop 'informally' proclaim a heresy? If a bishop says something heretical, and doesn't retract it, or prays with a heretic, then that's all you need.

The bishops of your church and every church in SCOBA are in heresy because their churches are members of the WCC, a heretical organization. You can see that it is heretical if you read the 'assumptions' in the Toronto statement, which is gives the basic principles of membership. Or how about when the EP invited the Pope to the Phanar in 2006 and prayed with him, which is a clear heretical act? No one broke communion with him over it, and he has never repented of it. I can go on. The evidence is all there; you just choose to ignore it.
We've argued this before with you and shown you that there's more to this canard than simply what you choose to see.  You might therefore want to adopt a different tactic than to accuse us of ignoring the evidence.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 07:29:04 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)

Well what counts as 'formally proclaimed'? And where does it say that a heresy has to be 'formally proclaimed' to be a heresy? Can a bishop 'informally' proclaim a heresy? If a bishop says something heretical, and doesn't retract it, or prays with a heretic, then that's all you need.

The bishops of your church and every church in SCOBA are in heresy because their churches are members of the WCC, a heretical organization. You can see that it is heretical if you read the 'assumptions' in the Toronto statement, which is gives the basic principles of membership. Or how about when the EP invited the Pope to the Phanar in 2006 and prayed with him, which is a clear heretical act? No one broke communion with him over it, and he has never repented of it. I can go on. The evidence is all there; you just choose to ignore it.
We've argued this before with you and shown you that there's more to this canard than simply what you choose to see.  You might therefore want to adopt a different tactic than to accuse us of ignoring the evidence.

Which canard? About the Toronto statement or the Pope's visit?

If I remember right, the objection about the Toronto statement is that there is a part of it which seems to be compatible with Orthodoxy, namely where it specifies that the WCC is not a 'superchurch'. That part is fine on its own. The problem is there's this other part, the 'assumptions', where it says that members must understand that every other member is a part of the Body of Christ. That is not compatible with Orthodoxy, and you can't claim that it is somehow canceled out by the part that can be made compatible with Orthodox teaching. Members of the WCC subscribe to the whole statement, both good parts and bad.

As for the Pope's visit, if you don't think that's something to worry about, I honestly don't know what would worry you. The Athonite fathers, even those who commemorate the Patriarch, thought it was bad enough to warrant protesting letters.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 07:51:21 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 07:52:59 PM
Something by the new calendarist Fr Theodore Zisis on the Pope's 2006 visit:

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/8AC792C1.en.aspx
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 03, 2009, 08:01:46 PM
[Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?

HUH?!    The 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism is quite clear and it does not need me to clarify it for you.

The Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece counts you as an ecumenist.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 03, 2009, 08:26:12 PM
[Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?

HUH?!    The 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism is quite clear and it does not need me to clarify it for you.

The Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece counts you as an ecumenist.

I think there's some confusion or misunderstanding here. This so-called GOC of Greece represents only the Matthewite faction, which I do not belong to. Why should I care what they say any more than you? They think you're an ecumenist, too, and I presume you don't lose sleep over that.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 03, 2009, 08:28:27 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
You miss my point, though.  How did our current teaching on baptism and the sacraments become Church teaching, especially considering that it was not universal to the Church of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome?  At that time, it appears that St. Cyprian and a Firmilian of Asia Minor preached an Eastern view of baptism that is now our [Eastern] Church teaching (a teaching later supported by the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, a 4th century Eastern document we believe to represent the traditions of the Apostles).  Yet St. Stephen taught a different idea that he claimed was passed on to the Church of Rome by the Apostles Peter and Paul themselves.  Which side has faithfully preserved the traditions of the Apostles?  What evidence can you provide to support your argument?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 03, 2009, 08:31:45 PM
[Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?

HUH?!    The 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism is quite clear and it does not need me to clarify it for you.

The Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece counts you as an ecumenist.

I think there's some confusion or misunderstanding here. This so-called GOC of Greece represents only the Matthewite faction, which I do not belong to. Why should I care what they say any more than you? They think you're an ecumenist, too, and I presume you don't lose sleep over that.

Is the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece viewed by your Church as part of the True Church?  Or do you condemn it as a sect without episcopacy and baptism?

If you accept it as part of the True Orthodox Church you fall under the 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 03, 2009, 08:32:50 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)

Well what counts as 'formally proclaimed'? And where does it say that a heresy has to be 'formally proclaimed' to be a heresy? Can a bishop 'informally' proclaim a heresy? If a bishop says something heretical, and doesn't retract it, or prays with a heretic, then that's all you need.

The bishops of your church and every church in SCOBA are in heresy because their churches are members of the WCC, a heretical organization. You can see that it is heretical if you read the 'assumptions' in the Toronto statement, which is gives the basic principles of membership. Or how about when the EP invited the Pope to the Phanar in 2006 and prayed with him, which is a clear heretical act? No one broke communion with him over it, and he has never repented of it. I can go on. The evidence is all there; you just choose to ignore it.
We've argued this before with you and shown you that there's more to this canard than simply what you choose to see.  You might therefore want to adopt a different tactic than to accuse us of ignoring the evidence.

Which canard? About the Toronto statement or the Pope's visit?
Here's the thread where we previously argued about the Toronto Statement of the WCC:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22701.0.html
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ozgeorge on December 03, 2009, 11:42:30 PM
Would the members of the genuine Orthodox Church to please stand up.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 04, 2009, 01:38:59 AM
witega:

If your bishops disagree with the heresy of this statement, why do they plaster it on their website without a word of critique or condemnation? The SCOBA website is the official voice of the official Orthodox bishops of North America. They have not uttered a word of condemnation, meaning they are complicit in this heresy. I have not borne false witness; it is you who blind yourself to the evidence before your own eyes.

If SCOBA is 'the official voice of the official Orthodox bishops of North America' then there wouldn't be constant discussion about what can be done to make unite the American jurisdictions into one administrative church. SCOBA is a consultative body that has NO authority over the separate synods which send representatives to it. As to why the document is on the site, it's because the page is a document archive of all the documents produced by the commission. In order to get to it on the SCOBA site, you have to first go to the 'Resources' page (http://www.scoba.us/resources.html) which leads off with the caveat:
Quote
All texts promulgated on this website are not necessarily official positions of the Orthodox Church or of SCOBA
from that page you can click through to 'The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation' page (http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic.html) which contains some 25+ documents produced by the commission (running back to 1969) in addition to the one you link to. And again the documents are *headed* by the disclaimer I already quoted for you:
Quote
The members of national bilateral dialogue commissions are sanctioned by the hierarchies of the two churches to examine divisive issues, and to make recommendations regarding ways to overcome them. As such, the agreed statements are issued on the authority of the dialogue commission itself, and do not bind the authorities of either church

It is possible you got the direct link from elsewhere and hadn't previously seen the disclaimers. That, after having the disclaimer pointed out to you, you would still claim that the document is an official position of any Orthodox synod, indicates that you are indeed guilty of willful slander and false witness.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 04, 2009, 02:31:48 AM
Quote
The members of national bilateral dialogue commissions are sanctioned by the hierarchies of the two churches to examine divisive issues, and to make recommendations regarding ways to overcome them. As such, the agreed statements are issued on the authority of the dialogue commission itself, and do not bind the authorities of either church

It is possible you got the direct link from elsewhere and hadn't previously seen the disclaimers. That, after having the disclaimer pointed out to you, you would still claim that the document is an official position of any Orthodox synod, indicates that you are indeed guilty of willful slander and false witness.


The baptismal document and others from the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation are also presented on the official Roman Catholic site in the US

http://www.usccb.org/seia/orthodox_index.shtml

By Jonathan's idiosyncratic logic that means that the Catholic bishops accept denial of their baptism and denial of their eucharist.   ???

It's a funny world!   :laugh:
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: observer on December 04, 2009, 02:55:36 PM
Would the sophists please sit down :police:
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 08:04:35 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
You miss my point, though.  How did our current teaching on baptism and the sacraments become Church teaching, especially considering that it was not universal to the Church of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome?  At that time, it appears that St. Cyprian and a Firmilian of Asia Minor preached an Eastern view of baptism that is now our [Eastern] Church teaching (a teaching later supported by the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, a 4th century Eastern document we believe to represent the traditions of the Apostles).  Yet St. Stephen taught a different idea that he claimed was passed on to the Church of Rome by the Apostles Peter and Paul themselves.  Which side has faithfully preserved the traditions of the Apostles?  What evidence can you provide to support your argument?

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox. I don't feel it's appropriate to debate the teaching on baptism with other Orthodox, since we should all be agreed on what the Orthodox teaching is. If you don't agree with the Orthodox teaching, then you should change churches.

That being said, here is another patristic witness for the Orthodox doctrine of baptism:

"There are many other heresies, too, which use the names only [of the Trinity], but not in the right sense, as I have said, nor with sound faith, and in consequence the water which they administer is unprofitable, as deficient in piety, so that he who is sprinkled by them is rather polluted by irreligion than redeemed." St Athanasius, Second Discourse against the Arians

St Paul also says there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' in the epistle to the Ephesians. I understand this to mean that faith and the mystery of baptism are inseparable, and that by faith is meant Orthodox faith.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 08:13:47 PM
witega:

If your bishops disagree with the heresy of this statement, why do they plaster it on their website without a word of critique or condemnation? The SCOBA website is the official voice of the official Orthodox bishops of North America. They have not uttered a word of condemnation, meaning they are complicit in this heresy. I have not borne false witness; it is you who blind yourself to the evidence before your own eyes.

If SCOBA is 'the official voice of the official Orthodox bishops of North America' then there wouldn't be constant discussion about what can be done to make unite the American jurisdictions into one administrative church. SCOBA is a consultative body that has NO authority over the separate synods which send representatives to it. As to why the document is on the site, it's because the page is a document archive of all the documents produced by the commission. In order to get to it on the SCOBA site, you have to first go to the 'Resources' page (http://www.scoba.us/resources.html) which leads off with the caveat:
Quote
All texts promulgated on this website are not necessarily official positions of the Orthodox Church or of SCOBA
from that page you can click through to 'The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation' page (http://www.scoba.us/resources/orthodox-catholic.html) which contains some 25+ documents produced by the commission (running back to 1969) in addition to the one you link to. And again the documents are *headed* by the disclaimer I already quoted for you:
Quote
The members of national bilateral dialogue commissions are sanctioned by the hierarchies of the two churches to examine divisive issues, and to make recommendations regarding ways to overcome them. As such, the agreed statements are issued on the authority of the dialogue commission itself, and do not bind the authorities of either church

It is possible you got the direct link from elsewhere and hadn't previously seen the disclaimers. That, after having the disclaimer pointed out to you, you would still claim that the document is an official position of any Orthodox synod, indicates that you are indeed guilty of willful slander and false witness.

Well this is where I have to say I don't recognize a distinction between official and unofficial heresy, and neither do the Fathers. This document on the validity of Catholic baptism is not some neutral theological speculation, as you seem to think. It is downright heresy, and an Orthodox bishop should know that it's heresy. Therefore your bishops shouldn't be putting such heretical documents on their site at all, or if they do, they should make it clear they actively oppose what is contained. The disclaimer you keep pointing out to me only says they do not necessarily approve of what is listed there. It doesn't say they disapprove. They might approve of all of it, as far as the disclaimer indicates.

They should have made known their opposition to the heretical commission that produced this statements and enacted appropriate censure against the 'theologians' who drafted it. Only after such unambiguous action would this possibly cease to be a scandal. Therefore I stand by my claim that your bishops are in heresy, since their silence in the face of these heretics indicates consent.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 04, 2009, 08:21:35 PM

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox.

I am Eastern Orthodox and do not see you as my brother.  How could I?  Your Church denies that I am a priest.  You deny that our bishops are bishops.  You deny that our people are baptized; we are unbaptized pagans in your eyes. You deny that we receive the Body and Blood of the Saviour in the Holy Mysteries.  You deny that every Eastern Orthodox Church is genuine.

We know that you are a member of a Greek Old Calendarist Church group but you have turned your back on the Eastern Orthodox.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 04, 2009, 08:31:23 PM
[They should have made known their opposition to the heretical commission that produced this statements and enacted appropriate censure against the 'theologians' who drafted it. Only after such unambiguous action would this possibly cease to be a scandal. Therefore I stand by my claim that your bishops are in heresy, since their silence in the face of these heretics indicates consent.

Your Bishops have never issued any statement contradicting the 1983 statement from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that your Bishops are heretical.

Your Bishops continue to accept the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece as a true Orthodox Church and you accept their baptism as authentic and grace-filled.

So we see that two parts of the True Orthodox Church are in conflict.  One part of the Church has declared another part heretical!   Your Bishops' silence in face of the charge of heresy against them indicates consent.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 08:38:02 PM
[Oh Fr George, why don't you tell me what the point was, seeing as IH is clearly incapable of making it clear himself?

HUH?!    The 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism is quite clear and it does not need me to clarify it for you.

The Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece counts you as an ecumenist.

I think there's some confusion or misunderstanding here. This so-called GOC of Greece represents only the Matthewite faction, which I do not belong to. Why should I care what they say any more than you? They think you're an ecumenist, too, and I presume you don't lose sleep over that.

Is the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece viewed by your Church as part of the True Church?  Or do you condemn it as a sect without episcopacy and baptism?

If you accept it as part of the True Orthodox Church you fall under the 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.

It depends on whether the Matthewites are truly in schism or not. If we believed they were truly schismatic, then we would not accept their mysteries. I'm not sure what our position is at the moment. I think, at least, that we do believe they are schismatic and that we cannot receive communion from them, though they wouldn't let us even if we wanted to. But we at least used to pursue a dialog with them to see what actions could be taken to overcome the schism. It's a bit different from the ecumenist dialogs you're familiar with because there, it is assumed even before the dialog begins that the heterodox party is already part of the Church in some way, through baptism or belief in the Trinity or whatever (see the assumptions of the WCC Toronto statement for an example). Also, ecumenist dialog has to deal with doctrinal divisions, and we have no doctrinal divisions with the Matthewites, only administrative ones, namely the validity of their hierarchy and ordinations with respect to fulfilling the conditions ROCA had set in 1971 for normalizing their consecrations.

The same more or less applies to the other TOC divisions. The reason one can talk at all about unity despite divisions arises from the uncertainty regarding the canonicity of this or that jurisdiction. It's not as if we can tell out of all the Russian TOC jurisdictions which are canonical and which aren't, for example, so we haven't said anything at all about which of them have grace and which do not. The problem can only be resolved by working over each case individually. In terms of the Greek jurisdictions, I believe we are pretty clear that we consider ourselves to be the only canonical jurisdiction. I'm getting this from an interview Abp Chrysostomos II gave back around 2002/2003, which you can find on the website www.ecclesiagoc.gr
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 08:39:20 PM
[They should have made known their opposition to the heretical commission that produced this statements and enacted appropriate censure against the 'theologians' who drafted it. Only after such unambiguous action would this possibly cease to be a scandal. Therefore I stand by my claim that your bishops are in heresy, since their silence in the face of these heretics indicates consent.

Your Bishops have never issued any statement contradicting the 1983 statement from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that your Bishops are heretical.

Your Bishops continue to accept the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece as a true Orthodox Church and you accept their baptism as authentic and grace-filled.

So we see that two parts of the True Orthodox Church are in conflict.  One part of the Church has declared another part heretical!   Your Bishops' silence in face of the charge of heresy against them indicates consent.

Your position is totally different from mine. You are in communion with those heretics that produced that statement about heterodox baptism; I am not, nor am I in communion with the Matthewites or other jurisdictions we view as schismatic.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 08:43:23 PM

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox.

I am Eastern Orthodox and do not see you as my brother.  How could I?  Your Church denies that I am a priest.  You deny that our bishops are bishops.  You deny that our people are baptized; we are unbaptized pagans in your eyes. You deny that we receive the Body and Blood of the Saviour in the Holy Mysteries.  You deny that every Eastern Orthodox Church is genuine.

We know that you are a member of a Greek Old Calendarist Church group but you have turned your back on the Eastern Orthodox.

Are you saying you would believe I am Orthodox if I believed you were Orthodox? If a Catholic ecumenist claimed you as a brother, following his legalistic understanding of sacraments performed outside the Church, would you then be compelled to claim him as a brother in return?

My response of course is that my church is the true Eastern Orthodox church and it is your jurisdiction that has turned its back. So where does that leave us?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 04, 2009, 08:54:32 PM
[They should have made known their opposition to the heretical commission that produced this statements and enacted appropriate censure against the 'theologians' who drafted it. Only after such unambiguous action would this possibly cease to be a scandal. Therefore I stand by my claim that your bishops are in heresy, since their silence in the face of these heretics indicates consent.

Your Bishops have never issued any statement contradicting the 1983 statement from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that your Bishops are heretical.

Your Bishops continue to accept the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece as a true Orthodox Church and you accept their baptism as authentic and grace-filled.

So we see that two parts of the True Orthodox Church are in conflict.  One part of the Church has declared another part heretical!   Your Bishops' silence in face of the charge of heresy against them indicates consent.

Your position is totally different from mine. You are in communion with those heretics that produced that statement about heterodox baptism; I am not, nor am I in communion with the Matthewites or other jurisdictions we view as schismatic.

I notice that you are avoiding the question - is the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece a part of the True Orthoodx Church?  Are its baptism and its other sacraments grace-fillled?  Or do your Bishops count them as meaningless as those of the Eastern Orthodox Churches?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 09:02:25 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)

Well what counts as 'formally proclaimed'? And where does it say that a heresy has to be 'formally proclaimed' to be a heresy? Can a bishop 'informally' proclaim a heresy? If a bishop says something heretical, and doesn't retract it, or prays with a heretic, then that's all you need.

The bishops of your church and every church in SCOBA are in heresy because their churches are members of the WCC, a heretical organization. You can see that it is heretical if you read the 'assumptions' in the Toronto statement, which is gives the basic principles of membership. Or how about when the EP invited the Pope to the Phanar in 2006 and prayed with him, which is a clear heretical act? No one broke communion with him over it, and he has never repented of it. I can go on. The evidence is all there; you just choose to ignore it.
We've argued this before with you and shown you that there's more to this canard than simply what you choose to see.  You might therefore want to adopt a different tactic than to accuse us of ignoring the evidence.

Which canard? About the Toronto statement or the Pope's visit?
Here's the thread where we previously argued about the Toronto Statement of the WCC:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22701.0.html

Thanks for the link. I see that there seemed to be fundamentally different ways of interpreting WCC membership. You believe, I think, that because the Orthodox bishops whose jurisdictions are in the WCC have claimed elsewhere to be following the traditional teaching on the boundaries of the Church, say in their guidelines on ecumenism which can be found on the SCOBA website, that must mean that we can ignore the implications of their WCC membership vis-a-vis the heretical teachings contained in founding documents of the WCC like the Toronto statement.

I can't see, however, how you can be a full WCC member and not subscribe to those teachings. The Orthodox members of the WCC are not mere observers, with no status within the WCC. They are full members, and take part in drafting the common statements and in the assemblies. The SCOBA ecumenism guidelines, despite their professions of Orthodoxy, say that they also consider the Toronto statement to be the statement of the principles of WCC membership, which includes them. They also state that they consider documents like the 1920 encyclical to be 'founding' documents of the ecumenical movement, i.e. documents they consider models of Orthodox ecumenism. At any rate I could not in good conscience join a jurisdiction that was in the WCC because I know perfectly well what the founding principles of the WCC are and I knew that if entered into communion with WCC members, I would be subject to those principles, too.

So we can certainly conclude that they are at the very least contradicting themselves. At one moment they can be Orthodox; at another, heretics. But in my understanding of the history of the Church, prevarication is not considered an acceptable substitute for unwavering Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 04, 2009, 09:06:49 PM
[They should have made known their opposition to the heretical commission that produced this statements and enacted appropriate censure against the 'theologians' who drafted it. Only after such unambiguous action would this possibly cease to be a scandal. Therefore I stand by my claim that your bishops are in heresy, since their silence in the face of these heretics indicates consent.

Your Bishops have never issued any statement contradicting the 1983 statement from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece that your Bishops are heretical.

Your Bishops continue to accept the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece as a true Orthodox Church and you accept their baptism as authentic and grace-filled.

So we see that two parts of the True Orthodox Church are in conflict.  One part of the Church has declared another part heretical!   Your Bishops' silence in face of the charge of heresy against them indicates consent.

Your position is totally different from mine. You are in communion with those heretics that produced that statement about heterodox baptism; I am not, nor am I in communion with the Matthewites or other jurisdictions we view as schismatic.

I notice that you are avoiding the question - is the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece a part of the True Orthoodx Church?  Are its baptism and its other sacraments grace-fillled?  Or do your Bishops count them as meaningless as those of the Eastern Orthodox Churches?

I told you in another post. As far as I know, the 'GOC of Greece', i.e. the Matthewite faction, is not part of the True Church.

How about you come clean about how you can in good conscience remain in communion with those who manifestly believe in different doctrines from you, e.g. the Ecumenical Patriarch who no longer believes the Pope is a heretic, or the Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria who no longer believe the non-Chalcedonians are heretics? You like to point out the contradictions in my church, while comfortably ignoring the much greater contradictions in your own.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 04, 2009, 11:25:59 PM
You like to point out the contradictions in my church, while comfortably ignoring the much greater contradictions in your own.

I point them out because it is a frequent tactic of people who members of various newly founded Churches - GOCs and TOCs and WOCs - to point out discrepancies within the Eastern Orthodox Churches while covering up their own.  For example how many GOCs will admit that the 1983 GOC condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism applies to them?

I'll give a concrete example of the ecumenism practised in your Church.

Archbishop Chrysostomos and your Synod recently made the decision to enter into communion with the True Orthodox Church of Russia (RTOC)  under Archbishop Tikhon Pasechnik of Omsk.

Lat month it reversed that decision and decided not to enter into communion with the True Orthodox Church of Russia (RTOC.)

http://vladmoss.livejournal.com/3027.html


Yet it recognises the True Orthodox Church of Russia (RTOC) as a part of the True Orthodox Church.

This is a real example of the use of the ecumenist principle of the Invisible Church as it is practised by your Synod of Bishops.


[You will find the 1983 GOC condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism in Message 19 of this thread.]

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 04, 2009, 11:56:10 PM
Well this is where I have to say I don't recognize a distinction between official and unofficial heresy, and neither do the Fathers.

And yet:
Quote
The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metropolitans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter's name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgement against him, creates a schism, the holy Synod has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Synods, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it bareheaded in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodical verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.
- Canon 15 of the First-Second Council

So, in other words, if a bishop *officially* teaches a heresy publicly in the church, Christians are to be commended for removing themselves from him. On the other hand, if a bishop *unofficially* holds a heresy as a private opinion but *doesn't* publicly preach it, then those who separate from him are simply schismatics (and to be deposed).

Except that you haven't even gotten so far as demonstrating that a sitting hierarch privately or unofficially holds to a heresy. All you've got is that a consultative body which is not controlled by any particular bishop or synod allowed a mixed group of theologians to post their "recommendations" on a website.

Now, anyone with an ounce of logic, would realize that if Group A makes recommendation X, and Group B *ignores* recommendation X, that that means that Group B does not agree with X. This is not rocket science. If I recommend to you that you stop cutting off your nose to spite your face, and you keep sawing, then even if you don't publish a formal renouncement of my suggestions, you still obviously *do not accept* them.

Especially when, as I already posted for you, Group B (my bishops) on their actual official website have an official synodical epistle ('publicly preaching') which sets forth the clear Orthodox teaching on the nature of the Church that apparently even you can't find fault with.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 01:43:55 AM
OK witega you need stronger medicine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGq0FF_RWZw

Wait till two minutes in, you can see a RC priest and a Franciscan receive communion from the Patriarch of Alexandria.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 01:48:55 AM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 01:55:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6GMNHtjZoA

Here's another one.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 01:56:54 AM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?

What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:00:33 AM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?

What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:08:54 AM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?

What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(

You mean you don't accept my arguments or you don't think that's my aim?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:10:07 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2009, 02:12:35 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

REALLY? IS OUTRAGE!!!!

George, I'm confused, are we supposed to sit down too...shoot!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:14:38 AM
What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(

You mean you don't accept my arguments or you don't think that's my aim?

You are correct.  I don't accept your arguments as much as you haven't accepted what anyone else has said.

I feel your aim is to attract people to "Genuine Orthodox Church" (whatever that means) especially when you post alleged video of a Patriarch distributing the Eucharist to alleged Catholics (which is being discussed in another thread).

Last time I checked, proselytizing on this forum is not allowed for all Religious Denominations.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:15:39 AM
Well this is where I have to say I don't recognize a distinction between official and unofficial heresy, and neither do the Fathers.

And yet:
Quote
The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metropolitans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter's name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgement against him, creates a schism, the holy Synod has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Synods, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it bareheaded in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodical verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.
- Canon 15 of the First-Second Council

So, in other words, if a bishop *officially* teaches a heresy publicly in the church, Christians are to be commended for removing themselves from him. On the other hand, if a bishop *unofficially* holds a heresy as a private opinion but *doesn't* publicly preach it, then those who separate from him are simply schismatics (and to be deposed).

Except that you haven't even gotten so far as demonstrating that a sitting hierarch privately or unofficially holds to a heresy. All you've got is that a consultative body which is not controlled by any particular bishop or synod allowed a mixed group of theologians to post their "recommendations" on a website.

Now, anyone with an ounce of logic, would realize that if Group A makes recommendation X, and Group B *ignores* recommendation X, that that means that Group B does not agree with X. This is not rocket science. If I recommend to you that you stop cutting off your nose to spite your face, and you keep sawing, then even if you don't publish a formal renouncement of my suggestions, you still obviously *do not accept* them.

Especially when, as I already posted for you, Group B (my bishops) on their actual official website have an official synodical epistle ('publicly preaching') which sets forth the clear Orthodox teaching on the nature of the Church that apparently even you can't find fault with.


No, if you ignore something that means you don't want to deal with it. The bishops of SCOBA don't want to address these heresies because that would mean taking a stance. Instead, it's more convenient to sit on the fence: show the traditionalist face to the traditionalists, and the ecumenist face to the ecumenists.

But all right, I'll start giving examples of the bishops themselves preaching heresy. I just gave one of the EP preaching heresy at SCOBA. There are also a couple of videos, one showing intercommunion, the other praying with heretics, which should make LBK happy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:17:01 AM
What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(

You mean you don't accept my arguments or you don't think that's my aim?

You are correct.  I don't accept your arguments as much as you haven't accepted what anyone else has said.

I feel your aim is to attract people to "Genuine Orthodox Church" (whatever that means) especially when you post alleged video of a Patriarch distributing the Eucharist to alleged Catholics (which is being discussed in another thread).

Last time I checked, proselytizing on this forum is not allowed for all Religious Denominations.

OH so that was an Orthodox man who just happened to dress up as a Catholic friar for the liturgy? Gimme a break.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:20:40 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

So?  You don't like the relationship the EP and the Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs have with the Unitied Nations.  Should Joseph had rejected Pharaoh?  Should Daniel have rejected King Nebuchadnezzar?  Do you care only about Calendars and the WCC?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:22:32 AM
What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(

You mean you don't accept my arguments or you don't think that's my aim?

You are correct.  I don't accept your arguments as much as you haven't accepted what anyone else has said.

I feel your aim is to attract people to "Genuine Orthodox Church" (whatever that means) especially when you post alleged video of a Patriarch distributing the Eucharist to alleged Catholics (which is being discussed in another thread).

Last time I checked, proselytizing on this forum is not allowed for all Religious Denominations.

OH so that was an Orthodox man who just happened to dress up as a Catholic friar for the liturgy? Gimme a break.

I never saw the video.  You're drawing the conclusions here, not me.  Why are you even mentioning this video?  How does it further your cause?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 02:25:20 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

What is the theology that divides your Church, the GOC of Archbishop Chrysostomos (Kiousis) from the Russian True Orthodox Church of Archbishop Tikhon (Pasechnik.)

It makes no sense that 5 weeks ago you were all set to enter into communion with the Russian True Orthodox Church and then you reversed that decision.

What was the RTOC theology that made you decide they are heretical?   Why did you discover this only on the very eve of intercommunion?  Why do you still recognise the RTOC as a genuine Church? 

Do you see why we think you are mired in the ecumenist Invisible Church Syndrome and you fall under the 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 02:30:25 AM
But all right, I'll start giving examples of the bishops themselves preaching heresy. I just gave one of the EP preaching heresy at SCOBA.

Aren't your bishops heretical?  Until a few weeks ago they were all set to sign a formal pact of intercommunion with the Russian True Orthodox Church, a Church they consider heretical.    :(
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:32:22 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

What is the theology that divides your Church, the GOC of Archbishop Chrysostomos (Kiousis) from the Russian True Orthodox Church of Archbishop Tikhon (Pasechnik.)

It makes no sense that 5 weeks ago you were all set to enter into communion with the Russian True Orthodox Church and then you reversed that decision.

What was the RTOC theology that made you decide they are heretical?   Why did you discover this only on the very eve of intercommunion?  Why do you still recognise the RTOC as a genuine Church? 

Do you see why we think you are mired in the ecumenist Invisible Church Syndrome and you fall under the 1983 condemnation of Old Calendarist Ecumenism.



IH you're being deliberately obtuse. You know, or ought to know, we have no doctrinal divisions with the RTOC, or any other TOC jurisdiction apart from the Cyprianites. We are simply not yet sure about the canonical status of their bishops: they came out of the ROCA schism of 2001 and we weren't able to keep track of things after then.

Anyway, are you going to answer my question or pretend you didn't see it?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:33:19 AM
What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(

You mean you don't accept my arguments or you don't think that's my aim?

You are correct.  I don't accept your arguments as much as you haven't accepted what anyone else has said.

I feel your aim is to attract people to "Genuine Orthodox Church" (whatever that means) especially when you post alleged video of a Patriarch distributing the Eucharist to alleged Catholics (which is being discussed in another thread).

Last time I checked, proselytizing on this forum is not allowed for all Religious Denominations.

OH so that was an Orthodox man who just happened to dress up as a Catholic friar for the liturgy? Gimme a break.

I never saw the video.  You're drawing the conclusions here, not me.  Why are you even mentioning this video?  How does it further your cause?

You didn't see the video and yet you presume to comment on it. Watch the video, then comment.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:38:11 AM
You didn't see the video and yet you presume to comment on it. Watch the video, then comment.

Where did I comment on the video which I haven't seen?  You have provided your own commentary and as I already stated, I don't believe you.

Let's say that I believed you and non-Orthodox received Holy Communion from the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Ecumenical Patriarch or even your own Hierarchs.  How does that affect the price of tea in China?   ???
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:38:35 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

So?  You don't like the relationship the EP and the Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs have with the Unitied Nations.  Should Joseph had rejected Pharaoh?  Should Daniel have rejected King Nebuchadnezzar?  Do you care only about Calendars and the WCC?

The problem is not the UN. The problem is that the EP publicly stated there is no theological division between the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians, which is not true since the latter continue to confess that Christ has one nature, while the Orthodox doctrine following the council of Chalcedon is that Christ has two natures in one hypostasis. So the EP is preaching heresy.

I'm interested to hear how witega explains this away.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:40:45 AM
You didn't see the video and yet you presume to comment on it. Watch the video, then comment.

Where did I comment on the video which I haven't seen?  You have provided your own commentary and as I already stated, I don't believe you.

Let's say that I believed you and non-Orthodox received Holy Communion from the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Ecumenical Patriarch or even your own Hierarchs.  How does that affect the price of tea in China?   ???

But you should be able to draw your own conclusions if you watch it yourself. Otherwise you have no reason to dispute the conclusions I draw from it.

Don't you know it is forbidden to give the mysteries to non-Orthodox? That's why IH and LBK are trying so hard to pretend the patriarchs are not giving communion to Catholics and others, since they know it is a grave sacrilege and represents partaking in the heresy of those who communed.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:43:00 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

So?  You don't like the relationship the EP and the Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs have with the Unitied Nations.  Should Joseph had rejected Pharaoh?  Should Daniel have rejected King Nebuchadnezzar?  Do you care only about Calendars and the WCC?

The problem is not the UN.

So, the problem is not with the WCC?   ???

The problem is that the EP publicly stated there is no theological division between the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians, which is not true since the latter continue to confess that Christ has one nature, while the Orthodox doctrine following the council of Chalcedon is that Christ has two natures in one hypostasis. So the EP is preaching heresy.

How do your Hierarchs feel about the Oriental Orthodox?  Are your Hierarchs in Communion with them?  Can an Armenian, Copt ot other Oriental Orthodox receive Holy Communion from your Hierarchs?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 05, 2009, 02:45:12 AM
What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

I have no reason to believe you.   >:(

You mean you don't accept my arguments or you don't think that's my aim?

You are correct.  I don't accept your arguments as much as you haven't accepted what anyone else has said.

I feel your aim is to attract people to "Genuine Orthodox Church" (whatever that means) especially when you post alleged video of a Patriarch distributing the Eucharist to alleged Catholics (which is being discussed in another thread).

Last time I checked, proselytizing on this forum is not allowed for all Religious Denominations.
That sounded to me like down right admitting it.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 02:46:13 AM
You didn't see the video and yet you presume to comment on it. Watch the video, then comment.

Where did I comment on the video which I haven't seen?  You have provided your own commentary and as I already stated, I don't believe you.

Let's say that I believed you and non-Orthodox received Holy Communion from the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Ecumenical Patriarch or even your own Hierarchs.  How does that affect the price of tea in China?   ???

But you should be able to draw your own conclusions if you watch it yourself. Otherwise you have no reason to dispute the conclusions I draw from it.

Are you trying to tell me how to think?   ???

Don't you know it is forbidden to give the mysteries to non-Orthodox? That's why IH and LBK are trying so hard to pretend the patriarchs are not giving communion to Catholics and others, since they know it is a grave sacrilege and represents partaking in the heresy of those who communed.

If I went to your Church and said that I was an Orthodox Christian without listing my Jurisdiction, I bet your Clergy and Hierarchs would commune me.  Yet, I'm a heretic in your eyes; although since I don't believe you, I'm not offended at all.   ;)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2009, 02:53:21 AM
How do your Hierarchs feel about the Oriental Orthodox?  Are your Hierarchs in Communion with them?  Can an Armenian, Copt ot other Oriental Orthodox receive Holy Communion from your Hierarchs?

I think we would get stoned if we even set foot in their churches.

j/k...but I do remember that Coptic clergy were not allowed in the Mt. Athos monastery, but the laypeople were okay, which was strange to me.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 05, 2009, 02:54:19 AM
I think we'd be allowed in the narthex.   :)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 05, 2009, 02:56:49 AM
How do your Hierarchs feel about the Oriental Orthodox?  Are your Hierarchs in Communion with them?  Can an Armenian, Copt ot other Oriental Orthodox receive Holy Communion from your Hierarchs?

I think we would get stoned if we even set foot in their churches.

j/k...but I do remember that Coptic clergy were not allowed in the Mt. Athos monastery, but the laypeople were okay, which was strange to me.
That's because, as everbody knows, Coptic Priests are much stronger than Greek Monks. ;D I'm sure it's something in the lentils...
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 05, 2009, 03:01:37 AM
OH so that was an Orthodox man who just happened to dress up as a Catholic friar for the liturgy? Gimme a break.

I never saw the video.  You're drawing the conclusions here, not me.  Why are you even mentioning this video?  How does it further your cause?

I think the video he is referring to is the Vassula one that was discussed earlier today:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24729.0.html#top

I think you commented in that thread, so I think you did see it.  At one point one does see a man who looks kind of like a Catholic friar, with a dark robe and a white belt around his waist.  The problem is, the patriarch may not have realized who he was.  I don't know.  Do EO monks ever dress like that?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 03:04:53 AM
You didn't see the video and yet you presume to comment on it. Watch the video, then comment.

Where did I comment on the video which I haven't seen?  You have provided your own commentary and as I already stated, I don't believe you.

Let's say that I believed you and non-Orthodox received Holy Communion from the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Ecumenical Patriarch or even your own Hierarchs.  How does that affect the price of tea in China?   ???

But you should be able to draw your own conclusions if you watch it yourself. Otherwise you have no reason to dispute the conclusions I draw from it.

Are you trying to tell me how to think?   ???

Don't you know it is forbidden to give the mysteries to non-Orthodox? That's why IH and LBK are trying so hard to pretend the patriarchs are not giving communion to Catholics and others, since they know it is a grave sacrilege and represents partaking in the heresy of those who communed.

If I went to your Church and said that I was an Orthodox Christian without listing my Jurisdiction, I bet your Clergy and Hierarchs would commune me.  Yet, I'm a heretic in your eyes; although since I don't believe you, I'm not offended at all.   ;)

No no no. I'm not telling you how to think. I'm just asking how you know I'm wrong about the video when you haven't seen it yourself?

Actually we do ask if you are with our jurisdiction, since we do not commune new calendarists. And no we don't consider the Armenians or Copts to be Orthodox.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 03:05:55 AM
OH so that was an Orthodox man who just happened to dress up as a Catholic friar for the liturgy? Gimme a break.

I never saw the video.  You're drawing the conclusions here, not me.  Why are you even mentioning this video?  How does it further your cause?

I think the video he is referring to is the Vassula one that was discussed earlier today:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24729.0.html#top

I think you commented in that thread, so I think you did see it. 

Salpy, I never saw the video.  My comments focused on suggesting that communication such as a bulletin or an announcement stating that only Orthodox Christians in "good standing" who have prepared by fasting and Confession can approach the Holy Chalice.  I see and hear such a statement frequently at my Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 05, 2009, 03:06:31 AM
That's because, as everbody knows, Coptic Priests are much stronger than Greek Monks. ;D I'm sure it's something in the lentils...

It's the "foul" (fava beans) that they eat during Lent.  Powerful stuff.   :)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 03:07:45 AM
How do your Hierarchs feel about the Oriental Orthodox?  Are your Hierarchs in Communion with them?  Can an Armenian, Copt ot other Oriental Orthodox receive Holy Communion from your Hierarchs?

I think we would get stoned if we even set foot in their churches.

j/k...but I do remember that Coptic clergy were not allowed in the Mt. Athos monastery, but the laypeople were okay, which was strange to me.
That's because, as everbody knows, Coptic Priests are much stronger than Greek Monks. ;D I'm sure it's something in the lentils...

Well I don't know about stoning, but we wouldn't let you commune. Are you accustomed to communing in Orthodox churches where you are?

Fava beans are definitely how I survive Lent.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2009, 03:09:17 AM
How do your Hierarchs feel about the Oriental Orthodox?  Are your Hierarchs in Communion with them?  Can an Armenian, Copt ot other Oriental Orthodox receive Holy Communion from your Hierarchs?

I think we would get stoned if we even set foot in their churches.

j/k...but I do remember that Coptic clergy were not allowed in the Mt. Athos monastery, but the laypeople were okay, which was strange to me.
That's because, as everbody knows, Coptic Priests are much stronger than Greek Monks. ;D I'm sure it's something in the lentils...

literally LOL (in the library, i guess we'll call that ITL...LOLITL literally)

Good one!  ;D  And they also take Fava beans too.  Only the strong can handle a diet of lentils and fava beans.  Except people like my cousin, who pathologically prefers fava beans over eggs on non-fasting days.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 03:09:27 AM
Sorry I meant to ask minasoliman about whether she could commune in Greek Orthodox churches in Egypt.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 03:11:06 AM
No no no. I'm not telling you how to think. I'm just asking how you know I'm wrong about the video when you haven't seen it yourself?

You like to think that if I see the video for myself, my belief system will change and I will run for the nearest "Genuine Orthodox Church"; however, your belief system in calling everyone heretics remains intact.

Actually we do ask if you are with our jurisdiction, since we do not commune new calendarists. And no we don't consider the Armenians or Copts to be Orthodox.

Based on what (or whose) theology?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 05, 2009, 03:12:35 AM
Salpy, I never saw the video.  My comments focused on suggesting that communication such as a bulletin or an announcement stating that only Orthodox Christians in "good standing" who have prepared by fasting and Confession can approach the Holy Chalice.  I see and hear such a statement frequently at my Church.

You might as well watch the video.  The man in the dark robe with the white belt appears a little after 2 minutes.

Of course no one but God knows what His Beatitude was thinking as he was giving communion that day.  He probably didn't realize that a religiously mixed group of Vassula cultists were coming that day.  If he did recognize the man in the robe as being Catholic, he may have felt that he was being "put on the spot" and didn't want to be rude, or something.  I wouldn't take what happened in the video as evidence that His Beatitude has taken an official position that it's OK to commune Roman Catholics.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2009, 03:12:46 AM
Sorry I meant to ask minasoliman about whether she could commune in Greek Orthodox churches in Egypt.

Well, I don't know anymore. (I'm a he, btw, I think we should add a male/female indicator on the side of our screennames)  I heard a lecture that only the Greek Church of Alexandria such concession has been made, but the only written agreement I know of is one where there's intermarriage.

Nevertheless, we don't practice any other open communion, especially outside of Egypt, that I know of.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 05, 2009, 03:14:35 AM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?

What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

The only problem with your project is that my bishops (the recently retired Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the recently elected Metropolitan Jonah) *do* reject ecumenism completely (at least as you defined ecumenism at the beginning of this thread). And you can't convince me otherwise, because I've stood there Sunday after Sunday and listened to them preach about the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is the Orthodox Church and is only the Orthodox Church. I've seen them tell Roman Catholics and conservative Episcopalians and questing Evangelicals that the only way they can find the Fullness of the Christian Faith is to return to One True Church which has maintained the Apostolic doctrine through the Ages. I have seen them receive non-Orthodox according to the service books of the Russian Church handed down to them by their predecessors--and when they pastorally choose to bend the traditional practice it is to baptize. I've seen the sanctity of their personal lives. And I've never heard one word that could be construed as heretical. I don't deny that there are people (including priests and hierarchs) out there who make mistakes, say stupid things, could use a good remedial course in Ecclesiology 101. But under the text of the canons of the Holy Church, I have zero justification for separating myself from *my* bishop.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 05, 2009, 03:28:52 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

So?  You don't like the relationship the EP and the Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs have with the Unitied Nations.  Should Joseph had rejected Pharaoh?  Should Daniel have rejected King Nebuchadnezzar?  Do you care only about Calendars and the WCC?

The problem is not the UN. The problem is that the EP publicly stated there is no theological division between the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians, which is not true since the latter continue to confess that Christ has one nature, while the Orthodox doctrine following the council of Chalcedon is that Christ has two natures in one hypostasis. So the EP is preaching heresy.

I'm interested to hear how witega explains this away.

Explain what away? You do realize that St. Cyril and the Third Ecumenical Council are considered definitive Orthodox teaching? If the Non-Chalcedonians stick strictly to the terminology of St. Cyril and the Third Ecumenical Council *and* condemn the teachings of Eutyches (and the Three Chapters, and Monotheletism and Iconoclasm), I'm not sure there is any theological difference. And I've had multiple Non-Chalcedonians tell me that that is in fact what they believe. That doesn't mean they are not in schism, since they reject the authority of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, but in that case the EP is right that what divides us is not theology.

As far as I can tell, you and I don't have any actual theological differences either--but that doesn't change the fact that I consider you in schism and outside the Church just like the Non-Chalcedonians.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 04:02:56 AM
http://www.goarch.org/news/patriarchscoba9thprayerservice

According to the EP, theology does not divide the Orthodox from the 'non-Chalcedonians'.

So?  You don't like the relationship the EP and the Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs have with the Unitied Nations.  Should Joseph had rejected Pharaoh?  Should Daniel have rejected King Nebuchadnezzar?  Do you care only about Calendars and the WCC?

The problem is not the UN. The problem is that the EP publicly stated there is no theological division between the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians, which is not true since the latter continue to confess that Christ has one nature, while the Orthodox doctrine following the council of Chalcedon is that Christ has two natures in one hypostasis. So the EP is preaching heresy.

I'm interested to hear how witega explains this away.

Explain what away? You do realize that St. Cyril and the Third Ecumenical Council are considered definitive Orthodox teaching? If the Non-Chalcedonians stick strictly to the terminology of St. Cyril and the Third Ecumenical Council *and* condemn the teachings of Eutyches (and the Three Chapters, and Monotheletism and Iconoclasm), I'm not sure there is any theological difference. And I've had multiple Non-Chalcedonians tell me that that is in fact what they believe. That doesn't mean they are not in schism, since they reject the authority of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, but in that case the EP is right that what divides us is not theology.

As far as I can tell, you and I don't have any actual theological differences either--but that doesn't change the fact that I consider you in schism and outside the Church just like the Non-Chalcedonians.

You can only argue that if you deny that the Chalcedonian definition has any dogmatic import. The Council said that if you believe the truth about Christ, you must confess Him to have two natures. You can't confess him to have one nature and then turn around and say 'well, by one nature I mean two natures'. I doesn't wash.

I'm attaching another article by Fr Zisis on this particular subject.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 04:10:35 AM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?

What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.

The only problem with your project is that my bishops (the recently retired Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the recently elected Metropolitan Jonah) *do* reject ecumenism completely (at least as you defined ecumenism at the beginning of this thread). And you can't convince me otherwise, because I've stood there Sunday after Sunday and listened to them preach about the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is the Orthodox Church and is only the Orthodox Church. I've seen them tell Roman Catholics and conservative Episcopalians and questing Evangelicals that the only way they can find the Fullness of the Christian Faith is to return to One True Church which has maintained the Apostolic doctrine through the Ages. I have seen them receive non-Orthodox according to the service books of the Russian Church handed down to them by their predecessors--and when they pastorally choose to bend the traditional practice it is to baptize. I've seen the sanctity of their personal lives. And I've never heard one word that could be construed as heretical. I don't deny that there are people (including priests and hierarchs) out there who make mistakes, say stupid things, could use a good remedial course in Ecclesiology 101. But under the text of the canons of the Holy Church, I have zero justification for separating myself from *my* bishop.

I know a priest in my church who was formerly in the OCA. He's from Texas and remembers Abp Dimitri fondly, since Dmitri was about the only traditionally minded member of the synod at that time (this priest was cruelly treated and eventually expelled from St Vladimir's seminary for objecting to the heresies being taught there in the 80s).

So I can believe that some Orthodox-minded bishops exist in the ecumenist jurisdictions. Another good example is Bp Artemije of Kosovo, one of my church's few open supporters in the official churches (and who has incurred the wrath of Patriarch Bartholomew for it). Or Met Hierotheos Vlachos. Met Jonah I'm not so sure about, what with his overtures to the conservative Anglicans. But even granting his Orthodoxy, you can't deny the heresy of other hierarchs that you are also in communion with, or the fact that even your 'Orthodox' OCA bishops are WCC members and therefore officially subscribe to the heresies of that organization.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2009, 04:15:05 AM
Suddenly I am possessed to feeling the need of an ecumenical Christian side-hug.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 05, 2009, 04:54:40 AM
You can only argue that if you deny that the Chalcedonian definition has any dogmatic import. The Council said that if you believe the truth about Christ, you must confess Him to have two natures. You can't confess him to have one nature and then turn around and say 'well, by one nature I mean two natures'. I doesn't wash.

Was St. Cyril a heretic?
If not, then anyone who believes exactly as St. Cyril did cannot be a heretic. And if Chalcedon contradicted Ephesus, then the non-Chalcedonians would be correct to reject it. We do not believe in development of dogma; the Holy Fathers of Chalcedon did not introduce any element of Faith which was not already present in the teaching of Ephesus. Chalcedon was correct to the extent and *only* to the extent that it was a clarification of the doctrine already held by St. Cyril and Fathers of Ephesus--who in turn were only correct to the extent and only to the extent that their doctrine was only a clarification of what was held by the Apostles.

If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon because they do not understand that it teaches the same faith as Ephesus, then they are incorrect--but they are incorrect because *they* believe there is a theological difference when there is in fact no such difference. If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon for non-doctrinal reasons, then they are schismatics but not heretics. And if they reject Chalcedon because they misunderstand Ephesus (as Eutyches certainly did), then they are heretics. But I don't read minds. I can only go by what people say, and so far every Non-Chalcedonian I have spoken too has fallen into the first or second groups.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 05, 2009, 05:03:29 AM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
You miss my point, though.  How did our current teaching on baptism and the sacraments become Church teaching, especially considering that it was not universal to the Church of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome?  At that time, it appears that St. Cyprian and a Firmilian of Asia Minor preached an Eastern view of baptism that is now our [Eastern] Church teaching (a teaching later supported by the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, a 4th century Eastern document we believe to represent the traditions of the Apostles).  Yet St. Stephen taught a different idea that he claimed was passed on to the Church of Rome by the Apostles Peter and Paul themselves.  Which side has faithfully preserved the traditions of the Apostles?  What evidence can you provide to support your argument?

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox. I don't feel it's appropriate to debate the teaching on baptism with other Orthodox, since we should all be agreed on what the Orthodox teaching is. If you don't agree with the Orthodox teaching, then you should change churches.

That being said, here is another patristic witness for the Orthodox doctrine of baptism:

"There are many other heresies, too, which use the names only [of the Trinity], but not in the right sense, as I have said, nor with sound faith, and in consequence the water which they administer is unprofitable, as deficient in piety, so that he who is sprinkled by them is rather polluted by irreligion than redeemed." St Athanasius, Second Discourse against the Arians

St Paul also says there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' in the epistle to the Ephesians. I understand this to mean that faith and the mystery of baptism are inseparable, and that by faith is meant Orthodox faith.
By continuing to argue from Fathers subsequent to the first three centuries of the Church's history, you  show that you still miss my point.  How did St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome derive opposite conclusions on baptism from what each claimed was the Tradition of the Apostles?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 05:57:40 AM

Request

Can anyone supply the statement on ecumenism which was issued by the Inter-Orthodox Congress in Thessaloniki in 2004?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 06:29:37 AM
Here is an important policy statement on ecumenism from the Eastern Orthodox Churches at their Inter-Orthodox Meeting in Thessaloniki in 1998.  This statement provides both an authoritative resource and a springboard for our discussion.

Read it on the web at
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/thessaloniki_roc.aspx#thessaloniki


Thessaloniki/Greece, 29 April - 2 May 1998 FINAL DOCUMENT

1. We, delegates of all the canonical Orthodox Churches, by the power of the Risen Christ, gathered at the historical city of Thessaloniki/Greece, from 29 April to 2 May 1998, after an invitation of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, responding to the initiative of the Russian and Serbian Churches and because of the withdrawal of the Georgian Church from the World Council of Churches. The meeting was hosted by the Organization of "Thessaloniki - Cultural Capital of Europe 97" and under the generous hospitality of the Metropolitanate of Thessaloniki.  

2. The meeting was presided over by Chrysostomos, the Senior Metropolitan of the See of Ephesus (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and the sessions were held in a spirit of Christian love, fraternal fellowship and common understanding. The delegates expressed and asked the prayers and blessings of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and all other Venerable Primates of the Orthodox Churches. The participants received telegrams of congratulations from all the Primates. They also expressed their best wishes to His Beatitude Chrystodoulos, the new Archbishop of Athens and of all Greece, for his election.

3. Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Ephesus presented an introductory paper on the theme of the meeting, followed by a presentation from all the delegates on the one hand describing their relations to the ecumenical movement and to the WCC in particular and on the other hand evaluating the critical problems they are facing. The discussions analyzed the participation of the Orthodox Churches in the decision-making bodies of the WCC.

4. The delegates unanimously denounced those groups of schismatics, as well as certain extremist groups within the local Orthodox Churches themselves, that are using the theme of ecumenism in order to criticize the Church leadership and undermine its authority, thus attempting to create divisions and schisms within the Church. They also use non-factual material and misinformation in order to support their unjust criticism.

5. The delegates also emphasized that the Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement has always been based on Orthodox tradition, on the decisions of the Holy Synods of the local Orthodox Churches, and on Pan-Orthodox meetings, such as the Third Pre-Conciliar Conference of 1986 and the meeting of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches in 1992.  

6.  The participants are unanimous in their understanding of the necessity for continuing their participation in various forms of inter-Orthodox activity.
  
7.  We have no right to withdraw from the mission laid upon us by our Lord Jesus Christ, the mission of witnessing the Truth before the non-Orthodox world. We must not interrupt relations with Christians of other confessions who are prepared to work together with us.
  
8.  Indeed the WCC has been a forum where the faith of the Orthodox Church, its mission and its views on a number of issues such as peace, justice, development, and ecology were made more widely known to the non-Orthodox world. A fruitful collaboration was established with the other members of the Council in response to the challenges of modern civilization. Proselytism has been denounced and help extended to Orthodox Churches in difficult situations to enable them to carry forward their mission. Orthodox interests were often defended, especially where the Orthodox as minorities were discriminated against. Orthodox views in the process of political, economic and cultural integration were expressed and Orthodox contributions were made in the relations with other faiths. Schismatic groups and so-called renewal groups within Protestantism were not admitted to membership of the Council at Orthodox request.

9.  However at the same time there are certain developments within some Protestant members of the Council that are reflected in the debates of the WCC and are regarded as unacceptable by the Orthodox. At many WCC meetings the Orthodox were obliged to be involved in the discussion of questions entirely alien to their tradition. At the VII Assembly of Canberra in 1991 and during the meetings of the Central Committee after the year 1992 the Orthodox delegates have taken a vigorous stand against intercommunion with non-Orthodox, against inclusive language, ordination of women, the rights of sexual minorities and certain tendencies relating to religious syncretism. Their statements on these subjects were always considered as minority statements and as such could not influence the procedures and ethos of the WCC.

10.  After a century of Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement, and fifty years in the WCC in particular, we do not perceive sufficient progress in the multilateral theological discussions between Christians. On the contrary, the gap between the Orthodox and the Protestants is becoming wider as the aforementioned tendencies within certain Protestant denominations are becoming stronger.
  
11.  During the Orthodox participation of many decades in the ecumenical movement, Orthodox has never been betrayed by any representative of a local Orthodox Church. On the contrary, these representatives have always been completely faithful and obedient to their respective Church authorities, acted in complete agreement with the canonical rules, the Teaching of the Ecumenical Councils, the Church Fathers and the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

12. We therefore come to the suggestion that the WCC must be radically restructures in order to allow more adequate orthodox participation. Many Orthodox Churches raise questions as to what are the final criteria of the inclusion of a Church in a wider organization such as the WCC. The same questions exist for the inclusion of the Orthodox Church in the Council. Nevertheless, the theme of the criteria for the inclusion is and will remain a fundamental request of Orthodoxy.

13.  All the Orthodox Churches are requested to send official delegates to the VIII Assembly of the WCC with the aim of expressing their concerns as follows:

a) Orthodox delegates participating in Harare will present in common this Statement of the Thessaloniki Inter-Orthodox Meeting.

b) Orthodox delegates will not participate in ecumenical services, common prayers, worship and other religious ceremonies at the Assembly.

c) Orthodox delegates will not take part in the voting procedure except in certain cases that concern the Orthodox and by unanimous agreement. If it is needed, in the plenary and group discussions they will present the Orthodox views and positions.

d) These mandates will be maintained until a radical restructuring of the WCC is accomplished to allow adequate Orthodox participation.

14. Thus we state that we are no longer satisfied with the present forms of Orthodox membership in the WCC. If the structures of the WCC are not radically changed, other Orthodox Churches will also withdraw from the WCC, as has the Georgian Orthodox. In addition the Orthodox delegates at the VIIIth General Assembly of WCC in Harare, December 1998, will be forced to protest if the representatives of sexual minorities are admitted to participation structurally in the Assembly.

15. Finally the delegates underline that major decisions concerning participation of the Orthodox Churches in the ecumenical movement must be in accordance with the Pan-Orthodox decisions and must be taken by each local Orthodox Church in consultation with all the other local Orthodox Churches.

16.  The delegates also strongly suggested that a Mixed Theological Commission be created with Orthodox members appointed by their own respective Churches and from WCC nominees. The Mixed Commission will begin its work after the Harare Assembly by discussing the acceptable forms of Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement and the radical restructuring of the WCC.  

17.  May the Risen Lord guide our steps towards the accomplishment of His will and the glory of His Divine name.

At Thessaloniki, 1st of May 1998
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 07:54:52 AM

Anyway, are you going to answer my question or pretend you didn't see it?

I ran back through your messages and these were the first questions I found:

JG:  Are you saying you would believe I am Orthodox if I believed you were Orthodox?

No.

JG: If a Catholic ecumenist claimed you as a brother, following his legalistic understanding of sacraments performed outside the Church, would you then be compelled to claim him as a brother in return?

No.

JG: My response of course is that my church is the true Eastern Orthodox church and it is your jurisdiction that has turned its back. So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with your belief that your Church is the true Eastern Orthodox Church and that my Church has "turned its back" as you phrase it.

Would you substantiate your statement about the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which is my "jurisdiction" with an official statement of your Synod of bishops?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Asteriktos on December 05, 2009, 08:25:01 AM

Request

Can anyone supply the statement on ecumenism which was issued by the Inter-Orthodox Congress in Thessaloniki in 2004?


I'm not sure, but is this it (http://www.synodinresistance.org/Theology_el/3a2021Porismata.pdf) (in Greek)?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 01:15:17 PM
The topics of Chalcedon and Ephesus have been beaten to death on those relevant Oriental Orthodox fora.

Why Jonathan chooses to resurrect the cheval morte (dead horse) is beyond my comprehension.   ???  :(  ???
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 05, 2009, 01:43:58 PM
The topics of Chalcedon and Ephesus have been beaten to death on those relevant Oriental Orthodox fora.

Why Jonathan chooses to resurrect the cheval morte (dead horse) is beyond my comprehension.   ???  :(  ???

He brought it up because the subject of "mainstream" EO hierarchs praying with OO's came up.  This is, after all, a thread on the evils of ecumenism.  I think in that context it's perfectly fair for him to point out that his Church, as well as a number of EO Church Fathers, have considered the people of my Church to be heretics.  However, a discussion on whether the OO's really are heretics, schismatics, or whatever, belongs in the private forum. 

I'm not writing this in green, or saying this in an official moderator capacity, because this is Peter's board.  I'll let him address this more fully.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:13:47 PM
You can only argue that if you deny that the Chalcedonian definition has any dogmatic import. The Council said that if you believe the truth about Christ, you must confess Him to have two natures. You can't confess him to have one nature and then turn around and say 'well, by one nature I mean two natures'. I doesn't wash.

Was St. Cyril a heretic?
If not, then anyone who believes exactly as St. Cyril did cannot be a heretic. And if Chalcedon contradicted Ephesus, then the non-Chalcedonians would be correct to reject it. We do not believe in development of dogma; the Holy Fathers of Chalcedon did not introduce any element of Faith which was not already present in the teaching of Ephesus. Chalcedon was correct to the extent and *only* to the extent that it was a clarification of the doctrine already held by St. Cyril and Fathers of Ephesus--who in turn were only correct to the extent and only to the extent that their doctrine was only a clarification of what was held by the Apostles.

If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon because they do not understand that it teaches the same faith as Ephesus, then they are incorrect--but they are incorrect because *they* believe there is a theological difference when there is in fact no such difference. If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon for non-doctrinal reasons, then they are schismatics but not heretics. And if they reject Chalcedon because they misunderstand Ephesus (as Eutyches certainly did), then they are heretics. But I don't read minds. I can only go by what people say, and so far every Non-Chalcedonian I have spoken too has fallen into the first or second groups.

Your reasoning is very subtle but still doesn't wash. Think about it: if the council of Chalcedon, whose authority you can hardly dispute, had to clarify St Cyril's teaching, then any other interpretation of Cyril not based on Chalcedon is a false interpretation. You can't say 'I believe in St Cyril's teaching' while rejecting the Chalcedonian definition, because the Chalcedonian definition is the only correct way to express St Cyril's teaching.

The following is from St John of Damascus 'Concerning heresies'

83. The Egyptians, who are also called Schematics and Monophysites:
separated from the Orthodox Church on the pretext of the document approved at
Chalcedon and known as the Tome. They have been called Egyptians, because it was
the Egyptians who first started this form of heresy during the reigns of the Emperors
Marcian and Valentinian; in every other way they are Orthodox. Because they were attached to Dioscoros of Alexandria, who was deposed by the Synod in Chalcedon for
advocating the teachings of Eutyches, they opposed the Synod and fabricated countless
charges against it to the best of their ability. We have taken up these charges in this
book and sufficiently refuted them, showing them to be clumsy and stupid. Their
leaders were Theodosios of Alexandria, from whom derive the Theodosians, and James
[Baradaios] of Syria, from whom the Jacobites derive. Privy to them, and supporters and
champions, were Severos, the corrupter from Antioch, and John [Philoponos] the
Tritheite, who toiled on vain things; they denied the mystery of our common salvation.
They wrote many things against the God-inspired teaching of the 630 Fathers of
Chalcedon, and laid many snares, so to speak, and “stumbling blocks by the path”
(Psalm 139:6) for those who were perishing by their pernicious heresy. Nevertheless,
even though they teach that there are particular substances, they confound the mystery
of the Incarnation. We considered it necessary to discuss their impiety in brief, adding
short notes in refutation of their godless and abominable heresy. I shall set forth the
teachings, or rather, ravings, of their champion John, in which they take so much
pride.

Clearly St John does not agree with you or Patriarch Bartholomew on the Orthodoxy of the Copts and Armenians.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:20:25 PM
The topics of Chalcedon and Ephesus have been beaten to death on those relevant Oriental Orthodox fora.

Why Jonathan chooses to resurrect the cheval morte (dead horse) is beyond my comprehension.   ???  :(  ???

We're discussing this because I brought up Patriarch Bartholomew's remarks as an example of publicly preaching heresy, and then, of course, his supporters are trying to argue that it wasn't heresy at all, which means they have to argue that the non-Chalcedonians are not heretics, and now I am proving from St John's authority that the Church has always considered them to be heretics.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:28:20 PM

Anyway, are you going to answer my question or pretend you didn't see it?

I ran back through your messages and these were the first questions I found:

JG:  Are you saying you would believe I am Orthodox if I believed you were Orthodox?

No.

JG: If a Catholic ecumenist claimed you as a brother, following his legalistic understanding of sacraments performed outside the Church, would you then be compelled to claim him as a brother in return?

No.

JG: My response of course is that my church is the true Eastern Orthodox church and it is your jurisdiction that has turned its back. So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with your belief that your Church is the true Eastern Orthodox Church and that my Church has "turned its back" as you phrase it.

Would you substantiate your statement about the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which is my "jurisdiction" with an official statement of your Synod of bishops?

I forgot what statement you're referring to.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:34:42 PM
Oh and the question I want you to answer is: how do you resolve the contradictions in your own church?

To help you answer this question, you might consider the following: Does Patriarch Bartholomew believe that the Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ in and of itself? If so, why does he speak of restoring the unity of the Church, if it was never lost? Why does he say theology does not divide us from the non-Chalcedonians, when they still teach that Christ has one nature, whereas the truth according to the Council of Chalcedon is that He has two natures? Why has the Ecumenical Patriarch lifted the anathemas against the Pope, when the Pope has not renounced the heresies for which he was anathematized? You don't need to answer all of them, but I do want to hear how your conscience allows you to remain in communion with such people.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 05, 2009, 02:46:52 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
You miss my point, though.  How did our current teaching on baptism and the sacraments become Church teaching, especially considering that it was not universal to the Church of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome?  At that time, it appears that St. Cyprian and a Firmilian of Asia Minor preached an Eastern view of baptism that is now our [Eastern] Church teaching (a teaching later supported by the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, a 4th century Eastern document we believe to represent the traditions of the Apostles).  Yet St. Stephen taught a different idea that he claimed was passed on to the Church of Rome by the Apostles Peter and Paul themselves.  Which side has faithfully preserved the traditions of the Apostles?  What evidence can you provide to support your argument?

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox. I don't feel it's appropriate to debate the teaching on baptism with other Orthodox, since we should all be agreed on what the Orthodox teaching is. If you don't agree with the Orthodox teaching, then you should change churches.

That being said, here is another patristic witness for the Orthodox doctrine of baptism:

"There are many other heresies, too, which use the names only [of the Trinity], but not in the right sense, as I have said, nor with sound faith, and in consequence the water which they administer is unprofitable, as deficient in piety, so that he who is sprinkled by them is rather polluted by irreligion than redeemed." St Athanasius, Second Discourse against the Arians

St Paul also says there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' in the epistle to the Ephesians. I understand this to mean that faith and the mystery of baptism are inseparable, and that by faith is meant Orthodox faith.
By continuing to argue from Fathers subsequent to the first three centuries of the Church's history, you  show that you still miss my point.  How did St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome derive opposite conclusions on baptism from what each claimed was the Tradition of the Apostles?

PtA, I don't know what St Stephen was thinking. I am prepared to believe he genuinely thought it was the apostolic tradition, while St Cyprian recognized it to be a misinterpretation of the custom of granting economy in certain situations. Aren't you Orthodox? Don't you believe in what your Church teaches about the unity between faith and baptism? You can often find errors here or there even in the writings of Saints: St Augustine is of course a textbook example. It doesn't mean you can pick and choose which writings suit your personal theological fancy; you have to accept what the Church as a whole has taught.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 05, 2009, 03:48:12 PM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
You miss my point, though.  How did our current teaching on baptism and the sacraments become Church teaching, especially considering that it was not universal to the Church of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome?  At that time, it appears that St. Cyprian and a Firmilian of Asia Minor preached an Eastern view of baptism that is now our [Eastern] Church teaching (a teaching later supported by the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, a 4th century Eastern document we believe to represent the traditions of the Apostles).  Yet St. Stephen taught a different idea that he claimed was passed on to the Church of Rome by the Apostles Peter and Paul themselves.  Which side has faithfully preserved the traditions of the Apostles?  What evidence can you provide to support your argument?

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox. I don't feel it's appropriate to debate the teaching on baptism with other Orthodox, since we should all be agreed on what the Orthodox teaching is. If you don't agree with the Orthodox teaching, then you should change churches.

That being said, here is another patristic witness for the Orthodox doctrine of baptism:

"There are many other heresies, too, which use the names only [of the Trinity], but not in the right sense, as I have said, nor with sound faith, and in consequence the water which they administer is unprofitable, as deficient in piety, so that he who is sprinkled by them is rather polluted by irreligion than redeemed." St Athanasius, Second Discourse against the Arians

St Paul also says there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' in the epistle to the Ephesians. I understand this to mean that faith and the mystery of baptism are inseparable, and that by faith is meant Orthodox faith.
By continuing to argue from Fathers subsequent to the first three centuries of the Church's history, you  show that you still miss my point.  How did St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome derive opposite conclusions on baptism from what each claimed was the Tradition of the Apostles?

PtA, I don't know what St Stephen was thinking. I am prepared to believe he genuinely thought it was the apostolic tradition, while St Cyprian recognized it to be a misinterpretation of the custom of granting economy in certain situations. Aren't you Orthodox? Don't you believe in what your Church teaches about the unity between faith and baptism? You can often find errors here or there even in the writings of Saints: St Augustine is of course a textbook example. It doesn't mean you can pick and choose which writings suit your personal theological fancy; you have to accept what the Church as a whole has taught.
You still miss my point.  I'm not voicing any disbelief in the Church's teaching on the unity between the Church and baptism, so please stop trying to play that card.  My question is focused on how our teaching won out within the Orthodox Church from all the competing understandings of St. Cyprian's and St. Stephen's day.  What evidence can you offer to prove that the Orthodox doctrine on baptism is THE definitive teaching of the Apostles and that the Western understanding argued by Pope St. Stephen is not?  How do you know for certain that they're not both apostolic in their origins (even though their contradictory nature seems to indicate that they cannot both be)?  So far, all you've offered us is a statement of what you are "prepared to believe", which appears to be nothing more than conjecture on your part (not to mention that it also strikes me as little more than an attempt to revise history to make it fit our current beliefs).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: SolEX01 on December 05, 2009, 03:54:47 PM
Oh and the question I want you to answer is: how do you resolve the contradictions in your own church?

To help you answer this question, you might consider the following: Does Patriarch Bartholomew believe that the Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ in and of itself? If so, why does he speak of restoring the unity of the Church, if it was never lost? Why does he say theology does not divide us from the non-Chalcedonians, when they still teach that Christ has one nature, whereas the truth according to the Council of Chalcedon is that He has two natures? Why has the Ecumenical Patriarch lifted the anathemas against the Pope, when the Pope has not renounced the heresies for which he was anathematized? You don't need to answer all of them, but I do want to hear how your conscience allows you to remain in communion with such people.

If you are not in Communion with "such people" does that mean that you wish for everyone else to be in Communion with you instead of "such people?"

I suppose the EP receiving an honorary degree from a Jesuit University (e.g. Fordham), further bolsters your arguments that the EP is a heretic since your Clergy and Hierarchy do not accept honorary degrees from any higher insitution of learning.   ???  If your Hierarchs received an honorary degree from Oxford, the Sorbonne or any other prestigious University, then I'll shut up.   :-X
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 05, 2009, 04:01:02 PM
The topics of Chalcedon and Ephesus have been beaten to death on those relevant Oriental Orthodox fora.

Why Jonathan chooses to resurrect the cheval morte (dead horse) is beyond my comprehension.   ???  :(  ???

He brought it up because the subject of "mainstream" EO hierarchs praying with OO's came up.  This is, after all, a thread on the evils of ecumenism.  I think in that context it's perfectly fair for him to point out that his Church, as well as a number of EO Church Fathers, have considered the people of my Church to be heretics.  However, a discussion on whether the OO's really are heretics, schismatics, or whatever, belongs in the private forum.
Dovetailing with what Salpy said, a discussion of the fact that many EO Fathers have condemned the OO is perfectly appropriate when used to support discussion of the evils of ecumenism.  If anyone wishes, however, to make condemnation of OOs his goal and to cite EO Fathers as objective proofs of his case that the OO are heretics, then that polemic belongs only on the Eastern-Oriental Private board.  Jonathan, seeing how some of your most recent posts have crossed this line, I need to instruct you to refocus your rhetoric on how the traditional EO condemnation of the OO fits your general complaints against ecumenism and warn you that any more discussion focused specifically on why OO are heretics will be moved to the Private Forum.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 05, 2009, 04:13:10 PM
Jonathan, what are you trying to accomplish?

What do you think? I'm trying to persuade you that the official churches are infected with heresy and to save yourself you should sever communion with them and join the bishops who reject ecumenism completely.
Jonathan,

This statement of purpose approaches dangerously close to proselytization if it doesn't cross the line entirely.  Please note in the following policy statement from Fr. Anastasios that this is not permitted on OC.net except via private messages.  Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.



Proselytism and Forum Plugging hereby banned (created "NC" Nov 24, 2003)
Friends,

From now on, banners in signatures to other forums are not allowed although you may link to another forum or website in your signature, without comment.

From now on, you may not advertise your other web forum on our forum.  Links to threads on other forums are allowed, however, if they are pertinent to discussions here.

Proselytizing people to your jurisdiction is no longer allowed.  I don't care if it is the GOA or the ROAC, we don't exist to give spiritual advice, but rather to discuss spiritual matters. There is a healthy distinction.  If you feel the need to plug your group then do it by private message.

You may not private message others to solicit them to join your forum, however.  We have the ability to read other people's private messages (this is disclosed in the member agreement you sign when joining the forum) and we don't do that usually, but we can, and we will, if we think you are trying to lure people away from our site.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.  From a human standpoint I would be lying if I said that some people in particular did not precipitate this action BUT at the same time there have been others over the past 1.5 years who have done this as well, so it is not just based on a knee-jerk reaction.

Stay tuned for an even more indepth statement on proselytism to be issued soon by all of us Admins.

anastasios
ADMIN
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 05, 2009, 05:25:22 PM
The following is from St John of Damascus 'Concerning heresies'

83. The Egyptians, who are also called Schematics and Monophysites:
separated from the Orthodox Church on the pretext of the document approved at
Chalcedon and known as the Tome. They have been called Egyptians, because it was
the Egyptians who first started this form of heresy during the reigns of the Emperors
Marcian and Valentinian; in every other way they are Orthodox. Because they were attached to Dioscoros of Alexandria, who was deposed by the Synod in Chalcedon for
advocating the teachings of Eutyches, they opposed the Synod and fabricated countless
charges against it to the best of their ability. We have taken up these charges in this
book and sufficiently refuted them, showing them to be clumsy and stupid. Their
leaders were Theodosios of Alexandria, from whom derive the Theodosians, and James
[Baradaios] of Syria, from whom the Jacobites derive. Privy to them, and supporters and
champions, were Severos, the corrupter from Antioch, and John [Philoponos] the
Tritheite, who toiled on vain things; they denied the mystery of our common salvation.
They wrote many things against the God-inspired teaching of the 630 Fathers of
Chalcedon, and laid many snares, so to speak, and “stumbling blocks by the path”
(Psalm 139:6) for those who were perishing by their pernicious heresy. Nevertheless,
even though they teach that there are particular substances, they confound the mystery
of the Incarnation. We considered it necessary to discuss their impiety in brief, adding
short notes in refutation of their godless and abominable heresy. I shall set forth the
teachings, or rather, ravings, of their champion John, in which they take so much
pride.

Clearly St John does not agree with you or Patriarch Bartholomew on the Orthodoxy of the Copts and Armenians.

Given the moderator cautions, I am not sure it is possible to productively continue this discussion within the boundaries established for this board. I will only say that St. John of Damascus wrote that 1000 years ago. I certainly assume that he was correct about the Monophysites of his day. But I, and I don't think Patriarch Bartholomew, am not talking about Non-Chalcedonians that lived 1000 years ago. I'm talking about the non-Chalcedonians who are alive today and whom I have spoken to. The Latins of today do not believe the same things they believed 500 years ago much less 1000 years ago. Why presume the non-Chalcedonians do? The only way to demonstrate that the Patriarch is wrong is to find evidence that the theological position of the current non-Chalcedonian Churches are in fact heretical by the standards of all 7 Ecumenical Councils.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 06:12:52 PM

Anyway, are you going to answer my question or pretend you didn't see it?

I ran back through your messages and these were the first questions I found:

JG:  Are you saying you would believe I am Orthodox if I believed you were Orthodox?

No.

JG: If a Catholic ecumenist claimed you as a brother, following his legalistic understanding of sacraments performed outside the Church, would you then be compelled to claim him as a brother in return?

No.

JG: My response of course is that my church is the true Eastern Orthodox church and it is your jurisdiction that has turned its back. So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with your belief that your Church is the true Eastern Orthodox Church and that my Church has "turned its back" as you phrase it.

Would you substantiate your statement about the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which is my "jurisdiction" with an official statement of your Synod of bishops?

I forgot what statement you're referring to.

Your statement above that my "jurisdiction" has "turned its back"  which presumably means that you accuse my Church of having apostasized from Orthodoxy.  As I understand Forum rules, you are required to provide some official substantiating reference when you engage in such accusations and labelling.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 05, 2009, 06:29:47 PM
Oh and the question I want you to answer is: how do you resolve the contradictions in your own church?

To help you answer this question, you might consider the following: Does Patriarch Bartholomew believe that the Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ in and of itself? If so, why does he speak of restoring the unity of the Church, if it was never lost?

I think that he really means the restoration of unity to a divided Christendom.

Quote
Why does he say theology does not divide us from the non-Chalcedonians, when they still teach that Christ has one nature, whereas the truth according to the Council of Chalcedon is that He has two natures?

The non-Chalcedonians have made strenuous efforts, in particular in dialogue with the Church of Rome, to show that their Christology is not what Rome and the Orthodox have always thought it was.    It is obviously important to them to demonstrate that their Christology conforms to ours.   Not being a theologian my head starts to spin when I consider these matters (the madness which Saint Gregory warns awaits those who try to delve into the Trinity?)  I await to hear word from my Church (and also from the Holy Mountain.)   

Quote
Why has the Ecumenical Patriarch lifted the anathemas against the Pope, when the Pope has not renounced the heresies for which he was anathematized?

The Pope was not anathematized back in 1054.   The Patriarch Michael Cerularius excommunicated merely Cardinal Humbert and the other two Roman legates.  It is a piece of mythology that the Pope was anathematized.  It is an even worse piece of nonsense to pretend to "lift" a non-existent anathema.  I take it as a mere PR exercise and a sign of goodwill, a sign that Rome and Constantinople were hoping to establish better future relationships.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 05, 2009, 08:40:25 PM
Just a word in the middle here....non-Chalcedonians never liked John Philoponus either.

Quote
The non-Chalcedonians have made strenuous efforts, in particular in dialogue with the Church of Rome, to show that their Christology is not what Rome and the Orthodox have always thought it was.    It is obviously important to them to demonstrate that their Christology conforms to ours.   Not being a theologian my head starts to spin when I consider these matters (the madness which Saint Gregory warns awaits those who try to delve into the Trinity?)  I await to hear word from my Church (and also from the Holy Mountain.)   

Also, another correction here.  It's not "obviously" important to us to demonstrate that our Christology conforms to yours, but rather it's important to us to clear the air of what we perceive to be misunderstandings of our Christology.  You make it seem as if non-Chalcedonians are desperate for something, Father.

God bless.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 06, 2009, 12:22:51 AM

Quote
The non-Chalcedonians have made strenuous efforts, in particular in dialogue with the Church of Rome, to show that their Christology is not what Rome and the Orthodox have always thought it was.    It is obviously important to them to demonstrate that their Christology conforms to ours.   Not being a theologian my head starts to spin when I consider these matters (the madness which Saint Gregory warns awaits those who try to delve into the Trinity?)  I await to hear word from my Church (and also from the Holy Mountain.)   

Also, another correction here.  It's not "obviously" important to us to demonstrate that our Christology conforms to yours, but rather it's important to us to clear the air of what we perceive to be misunderstandings of our Christology.  You make it seem as if non-Chalcedonians are desperate for something, Father.

God bless.

Apologies.  My prime concern was to "justify" to Jonathan the cordial attitude of the Patriarch of Constantinople towards Oriental Christology and to attempt to show to him that he should not be calling the Patriarch a heretic for "publicly preaching heresy" (message #131.)    This would play into Jonathan's desire to persuade us to abandon the EP and move to a "True Orthodox" Church since the public preaching of heresy permits us to renounce a hierarch, according to the canons.  It was really to cut off that argument that I wrote as I did.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 06, 2009, 01:24:36 AM
You can only argue that if you deny that the Chalcedonian definition has any dogmatic import. The Council said that if you believe the truth about Christ, you must confess Him to have two natures. You can't confess him to have one nature and then turn around and say 'well, by one nature I mean two natures'. I doesn't wash.

Was St. Cyril a heretic?
If not, then anyone who believes exactly as St. Cyril did cannot be a heretic. And if Chalcedon contradicted Ephesus, then the non-Chalcedonians would be correct to reject it. We do not believe in development of dogma; the Holy Fathers of Chalcedon did not introduce any element of Faith which was not already present in the teaching of Ephesus. Chalcedon was correct to the extent and *only* to the extent that it was a clarification of the doctrine already held by St. Cyril and Fathers of Ephesus--who in turn were only correct to the extent and only to the extent that their doctrine was only a clarification of what was held by the Apostles.

If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon because they do not understand that it teaches the same faith as Ephesus, then they are incorrect--but they are incorrect because *they* believe there is a theological difference when there is in fact no such difference. If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon for non-doctrinal reasons, then they are schismatics but not heretics. And if they reject Chalcedon because they misunderstand Ephesus (as Eutyches certainly did), then they are heretics. But I don't read minds. I can only go by what people say, and so far every Non-Chalcedonian I have spoken too has fallen into the first or second groups.

Your reasoning is very subtle but still doesn't wash. Think about it: if the council of Chalcedon, whose authority you can hardly dispute, had to clarify St Cyril's teaching, then any other interpretation of Cyril not based on Chalcedon is a false interpretation. You can't say 'I believe in St Cyril's teaching' while rejecting the Chalcedonian definition, because the Chalcedonian definition is the only correct way to express St Cyril's teaching.

The following is from St John of Damascus 'Concerning heresies'

83. The Egyptians, who are also called Schematics and Monophysites:
separated from the Orthodox Church on the pretext of the document approved at
Chalcedon and known as the Tome. They have been called Egyptians, because it was
the Egyptians who first started this form of heresy during the reigns of the Emperors
Marcian and Valentinian; in every other way they are Orthodox. Because they were attached to Dioscoros of Alexandria, who was deposed by the Synod in Chalcedon for
advocating the teachings of Eutyches, they opposed the Synod and fabricated countless
charges against it to the best of their ability. We have taken up these charges in this
book and sufficiently refuted them, showing them to be clumsy and stupid. Their
leaders were Theodosios of Alexandria, from whom derive the Theodosians, and James
[Baradaios] of Syria, from whom the Jacobites derive. Privy to them, and supporters and
champions, were Severos, the corrupter from Antioch, and John [Philoponos] the
Tritheite, who toiled on vain things; they denied the mystery of our common salvation.
They wrote many things against the God-inspired teaching of the 630 Fathers of
Chalcedon, and laid many snares, so to speak, and “stumbling blocks by the path”
(Psalm 139:6) for those who were perishing by their pernicious heresy. Nevertheless,
even though they teach that there are particular substances, they confound the mystery
of the Incarnation. We considered it necessary to discuss their impiety in brief, adding
short notes in refutation of their godless and abominable heresy. I shall set forth the
teachings, or rather, ravings, of their champion John, in which they take so much
pride.

Clearly St John does not agree with you or Patriarch Bartholomew on the Orthodoxy of the Copts and Armenians.

To get back to your comment on Pope St. Cyril: St. Cyril also called St. John Chrysostom a Judas, and he had taken part in the synod of the Oaks. Obviously, the Church took a different position on St. John, different from that of St. Cyril and his uncle Pope Theophilos.  Yet the Church canonized both Cyril and John.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 06, 2009, 01:49:10 AM
You can only argue that if you deny that the Chalcedonian definition has any dogmatic import. The Council said that if you believe the truth about Christ, you must confess Him to have two natures. You can't confess him to have one nature and then turn around and say 'well, by one nature I mean two natures'. I doesn't wash.

Was St. Cyril a heretic?
If not, then anyone who believes exactly as St. Cyril did cannot be a heretic. And if Chalcedon contradicted Ephesus, then the non-Chalcedonians would be correct to reject it. We do not believe in development of dogma; the Holy Fathers of Chalcedon did not introduce any element of Faith which was not already present in the teaching of Ephesus. Chalcedon was correct to the extent and *only* to the extent that it was a clarification of the doctrine already held by St. Cyril and Fathers of Ephesus--who in turn were only correct to the extent and only to the extent that their doctrine was only a clarification of what was held by the Apostles.

If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon because they do not understand that it teaches the same faith as Ephesus, then they are incorrect--but they are incorrect because *they* believe there is a theological difference when there is in fact no such difference. If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon for non-doctrinal reasons, then they are schismatics but not heretics. And if they reject Chalcedon because they misunderstand Ephesus (as Eutyches certainly did), then they are heretics. But I don't read minds. I can only go by what people say, and so far every Non-Chalcedonian I have spoken too has fallen into the first or second groups.

Your reasoning is very subtle but still doesn't wash. Think about it: if the council of Chalcedon, whose authority you can hardly dispute, had to clarify St Cyril's teaching, then any other interpretation of Cyril not based on Chalcedon is a false interpretation. You can't say 'I believe in St Cyril's teaching' while rejecting the Chalcedonian definition, because the Chalcedonian definition is the only correct way to express St Cyril's teaching.

The following is from St John of Damascus 'Concerning heresies'

83. The Egyptians, who are also called Schematics and Monophysites:
separated from the Orthodox Church on the pretext of the document approved at
Chalcedon and known as the Tome. They have been called Egyptians, because it was
the Egyptians who first started this form of heresy during the reigns of the Emperors
Marcian and Valentinian; in every other way they are Orthodox. Because they were attached to Dioscoros of Alexandria, who was deposed by the Synod in Chalcedon for
advocating the teachings of Eutyches, they opposed the Synod and fabricated countless
charges against it to the best of their ability. We have taken up these charges in this
book and sufficiently refuted them, showing them to be clumsy and stupid. Their
leaders were Theodosios of Alexandria, from whom derive the Theodosians, and James
[Baradaios] of Syria, from whom the Jacobites derive. Privy to them, and supporters and
champions, were Severos, the corrupter from Antioch, and John [Philoponos] the
Tritheite, who toiled on vain things; they denied the mystery of our common salvation.
They wrote many things against the God-inspired teaching of the 630 Fathers of
Chalcedon, and laid many snares, so to speak, and “stumbling blocks by the path”
(Psalm 139:6) for those who were perishing by their pernicious heresy. Nevertheless,
even though they teach that there are particular substances, they confound the mystery
of the Incarnation. We considered it necessary to discuss their impiety in brief, adding
short notes in refutation of their godless and abominable heresy. I shall set forth the
teachings, or rather, ravings, of their champion John, in which they take so much
pride.

Clearly St John does not agree with you or Patriarch Bartholomew on the Orthodoxy of the Copts and Armenians.

To get back to your comment on Pope St. Cyril: St. Cyril also called St. John Chrysostom a Judas, and he had taken part in the synod of the Oaks. Obviously, the Church took a different position on St. John, different from that of St. Cyril and his uncle Pope Theophilos.  Yet the Church canonized both Cyril and John.

I've always thought of the same argument, but from what I understand from the Coptic Church, many Coptic heirarchs have taught that St. Cyril eventually did venerate the memory of St. John Chrysostom.  I don't know how verifiable this claim is though.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 06, 2009, 01:50:32 AM

Anyway, are you going to answer my question or pretend you didn't see it?

I ran back through your messages and these were the first questions I found:

JG:  Are you saying you would believe I am Orthodox if I believed you were Orthodox?

No.

JG: If a Catholic ecumenist claimed you as a brother, following his legalistic understanding of sacraments performed outside the Church, would you then be compelled to claim him as a brother in return?

No.

JG: My response of course is that my church is the true Eastern Orthodox church and it is your jurisdiction that has turned its back. So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with your belief that your Church is the true Eastern Orthodox Church and that my Church has "turned its back" as you phrase it.

Would you substantiate your statement about the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which is my "jurisdiction" with an official statement of your Synod of bishops?

I forgot what statement you're referring to.

Your statement above that my "jurisdiction" has "turned its back"  which presumably means that you accuse my Church of having apostasized from Orthodoxy.  As I understand Forum rules, you are required to provide some official substantiating reference when you engage in such accusations and labelling.
Irish Hermit, please let me handle this situation as I see fit.  I don't want you acting in any way to moderate other participants in this discussion.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 06, 2009, 02:57:49 AM
You can only argue that if you deny that the Chalcedonian definition has any dogmatic import. The Council said that if you believe the truth about Christ, you must confess Him to have two natures. You can't confess him to have one nature and then turn around and say 'well, by one nature I mean two natures'. I doesn't wash.

Was St. Cyril a heretic?
If not, then anyone who believes exactly as St. Cyril did cannot be a heretic. And if Chalcedon contradicted Ephesus, then the non-Chalcedonians would be correct to reject it. We do not believe in development of dogma; the Holy Fathers of Chalcedon did not introduce any element of Faith which was not already present in the teaching of Ephesus. Chalcedon was correct to the extent and *only* to the extent that it was a clarification of the doctrine already held by St. Cyril and Fathers of Ephesus--who in turn were only correct to the extent and only to the extent that their doctrine was only a clarification of what was held by the Apostles.

If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon because they do not understand that it teaches the same faith as Ephesus, then they are incorrect--but they are incorrect because *they* believe there is a theological difference when there is in fact no such difference. If the non-Chalcedonians reject Chalcedon for non-doctrinal reasons, then they are schismatics but not heretics. And if they reject Chalcedon because they misunderstand Ephesus (as Eutyches certainly did), then they are heretics. But I don't read minds. I can only go by what people say, and so far every Non-Chalcedonian I have spoken too has fallen into the first or second groups.

Your reasoning is very subtle but still doesn't wash. Think about it: if the council of Chalcedon, whose authority you can hardly dispute, had to clarify St Cyril's teaching, then any other interpretation of Cyril not based on Chalcedon is a false interpretation. You can't say 'I believe in St Cyril's teaching' while rejecting the Chalcedonian definition, because the Chalcedonian definition is the only correct way to express St Cyril's teaching.

The following is from St John of Damascus 'Concerning heresies'

83. The Egyptians, who are also called Schematics and Monophysites:
separated from the Orthodox Church on the pretext of the document approved at
Chalcedon and known as the Tome. They have been called Egyptians, because it was
the Egyptians who first started this form of heresy during the reigns of the Emperors
Marcian and Valentinian; in every other way they are Orthodox. Because they were attached to Dioscoros of Alexandria, who was deposed by the Synod in Chalcedon for
advocating the teachings of Eutyches, they opposed the Synod and fabricated countless
charges against it to the best of their ability. We have taken up these charges in this
book and sufficiently refuted them, showing them to be clumsy and stupid. Their
leaders were Theodosios of Alexandria, from whom derive the Theodosians, and James
[Baradaios] of Syria, from whom the Jacobites derive. Privy to them, and supporters and
champions, were Severos, the corrupter from Antioch, and John [Philoponos] the
Tritheite, who toiled on vain things; they denied the mystery of our common salvation.
They wrote many things against the God-inspired teaching of the 630 Fathers of
Chalcedon, and laid many snares, so to speak, and “stumbling blocks by the path”
(Psalm 139:6) for those who were perishing by their pernicious heresy. Nevertheless,
even though they teach that there are particular substances, they confound the mystery
of the Incarnation. We considered it necessary to discuss their impiety in brief, adding
short notes in refutation of their godless and abominable heresy. I shall set forth the
teachings, or rather, ravings, of their champion John, in which they take so much
pride.

Clearly St John does not agree with you or Patriarch Bartholomew on the Orthodoxy of the Copts and Armenians.

To get back to your comment on Pope St. Cyril: St. Cyril also called St. John Chrysostom a Judas, and he had taken part in the synod of the Oaks. Obviously, the Church took a different position on St. John, different from that of St. Cyril and his uncle Pope Theophilos.  Yet the Church canonized both Cyril and John.

I've always thought of the same argument, but from what I understand from the Coptic Church, many Coptic heirarchs have taught that St. Cyril eventually did venerate the memory of St. John Chrysostom.  I don't know how verifiable this claim is though.
Mr. Gress doesn't have the Coptic hierarchs to rely upon (heresy and all that), so I want to know how he gets out of this cult-de-sac.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 06, 2009, 05:14:03 PM
I just got a copy of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ."  We of course believe it (us world Orthodox that is).  The Copts believe it.  Care to explain the difference, Mr. Gress?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 06, 2009, 05:16:58 PM
I just got a copy of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ."  We of course believe it (us world Orthodox that is).  The Copts believe it.  Care to explain the difference, Mr. Gress?
Do you wish to discuss Chalcedon, or do you wish to discuss how Chalcedon should shape our understanding of ecumenism?  This is a significant distinction.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 06, 2009, 05:48:35 PM
Here is an excellent article from the Holy Mountain, from the sacred monastery of Gregoriou,  dealing with Ecumenism.  It refutes the argumentation sometimes presented on this Forum that because of the calendar issue and ecumenism -two issues which usually overlap in people's minds - one is justified in leaving the Eastern Orthodox Church.  The article upholds the position of those who do not separate from the canonical Churches.  It is worth serious consideration by those on both sides of the question.

"Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an anti-Patristic stance"
http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm#_Toc135058238

Introduction:
An article by fr. Nicholas Demaras was published in the periodical "Aghioi Kollyvades" (The Kollyvades Saints")[1], in which the Sacred Monastery of Saint Gregory was criticized for its stance against Ecumenism and Zealotry.

The reason for my action was the entirely inappropriate ecclesiological stance that the schismatic Zealots and other, so-called "Genuine Orthodox Christian" Old Calendarists had adopted...

I had first-hand experience near the otherwise sympathetic and virtuous zealot fathers, and I have every respect for their piety, their love for monastic living and their fighting spirit. However, I discerned that they are upholding an anti-canonical schism, and they are also misinterpreting the teaching of the holy Fathers and ecclesiastic history...

Chapter Headings:

A. PATRISTIC TEACHING
·         1. On condemned heretics
·         2. On those who unite themselves to condemned heretics
·         3. On those who preach heresy
·         4. On those who violate the sacred Canons
B. ECUMENISM AND ZEALOTRY
·         1. The Zealots’ misconstrued evaluation of Ecumenism
·         2. Similar phenomena of the past
·         3. Encouraging moves
·         4. Contemporary Zealotry
C. THE CASE OF SAINT SOPHRONIUS
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 06, 2009, 06:01:17 PM

Quote
The non-Chalcedonians have made strenuous efforts, in particular in dialogue with the Church of Rome, to show that their Christology is not what Rome and the Orthodox have always thought it was.    It is obviously important to them to demonstrate that their Christology conforms to ours.   Not being a theologian my head starts to spin when I consider these matters (the madness which Saint Gregory warns awaits those who try to delve into the Trinity?)  I await to hear word from my Church (and also from the Holy Mountain.)   

Also, another correction here.  It's not "obviously" important to us to demonstrate that our Christology conforms to yours, but rather it's important to us to clear the air of what we perceive to be misunderstandings of our Christology.  You make it seem as if non-Chalcedonians are desperate for something, Father.

God bless.

Apologies.  My prime concern was to "justify" to Jonathan the cordial attitude of the Patriarch of Constantinople towards Oriental Christology and to attempt to show to him that he should not be calling the Patriarch a heretic for "publicly preaching heresy" (message #131.)    This would play into Jonathan's desire to persuade us to abandon the EP and move to a "True Orthodox" Church since the public preaching of heresy permits us to renounce a hierarch, according to the canons.  It was really to cut off that argument that I wrote as I did.

Understandable.  Indeed, all we ever began to ask for was simply cordiality in at least discussing these.  One of our Coptic metropolitans offered to have a discussion with the monks of Mt. Athos, and according to this Metropolitan, he received nothing but insults, to him and to the Church.  I always got the impression before that story that they were against making certain decisions.  Now, it seems to me they're against discussions at all.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 07, 2009, 07:04:12 PM
I do not think that in this thread anyone has attempted to define ecumenism.  A definition is needed since ecumenism comes in multiple varieties and ranges from the good to the bad.

We would do well to look to Saint Mark of Ephesus as our holy model of good ecumenism in our dialogue with non-Orthodox Churches.

Was he against isolationism -  Yes!     Saint Mark made the difficult journey of thousands of miles to attend a great  "ecumenical" council of Roman Catholics, Byzantine Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox which had been convened in Italy by the Pope of Rome.  He did not isolate himself and refuse to go into the lion's den and discuss disputed theology.  He was actually chosen by the Pope to deliver the keynote lecture when the Council opened in Florence.  These days he would be anathematized for his attendance at Florence by many of the GOC and TOC Churches.

Was he against confessional mix and confusion:  Yes!     Saint Mark of Ephesus refused to accept that the Church could exist as a confessional mix of all the Churches present at the Council he attended in Florence Italy.  The Church could not be a mix of Catholics under the Pope, the Byzantine Orthodox in communion with Constantinople, the Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox and the other Churches at Florence.


Let us look to Saint Mark as an example and model of how we ourselves should act in a modern "ecumenical" situation - on the one hand, willing to talk so that the desire of Christ to have those who love Him in old sheepfold is alive and able to be realised, and on the other hand not willing to compromise our faith and create theological or confessional mix.

When one looks at the involvement of the Russian Orthodox Church we see that the principles of engagement evidenced by Saint Mark are adhered to by the Russian Church.  The Russian Church has not wavered on one iota of the Orthodox Faith.  And when one looks at the Athonite article I have linked in the previous message above, it is clear that Saint Mark's position is still operative on the Holy Mountain.

See:
"St. Mark of Ephesus: A True Ecumenist"
by Fr. Alexey Young

http://www.roca.org/OA/26/26f.htm

Fr Ambrose
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 07, 2009, 08:07:51 PM
^Man! That was a great article.
Holy St. Mark of E. Pray to God for Us.
Holy St. Justin P. Pray to God for Us.

May we come to a knowledge of the faith, as these men know. +
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 07, 2009, 09:06:35 PM
I absolutely agree that St Mark is a model for us.

There's nothing wrong with dialog. If you think I am against dialog, then I am sorry for the misunderstanding. What I am against is joining organizations whose founding principles contravene the Orthodox faith (i.e. the WCC); lifting the anathemas against the Pope, when the Pope hasn't abandoned the teachings for which he was anathematized, as the Ecumenical Patriarch did in December, 1965; declaring that the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians share the same faith, and that consequently communion between the two is permitted, when the latter have not accepted the Orthodox faith as defined by the Fourth and subsequent Ecumenical Councils (as the Synod of Antioch did in June, 1991).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2009, 10:02:29 PM
I absolutely agree that St Mark is a model for us.

There's nothing wrong with dialog. If you think I am against dialog, then I am sorry for the misunderstanding. What I am against is joining organizations whose founding principles contravene the Orthodox faith (i.e. the WCC); lifting the anathemas against the Pope, when the Pope hasn't abandoned the teachings for which he was anathematized, as the Ecumenical Patriarch did in December, 1965; declaring that the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians share the same faith, and that consequently communion between the two is permitted, when the latter have not accepted the Orthodox faith as defined by the Fourth and subsequent Ecumenical Councils (as the Synod of Antioch did in June, 1991).

To my knowledge the Pro Oriente has nothing to do with the WCC.  This is a specifically unique dialogue in which we don't rush for unity, but we assess the situations carefully.  I think the problem is two things:  1.  No one on the "ultra-traditionalist" side has done honest research to assess the dialogues that occurred between the EO's and OO's, and I stress the word "honest," since some of the articles I read really was filled with dishonesty.  2.  The EO's and OO's seem to be sluggish to trying to address those issues, in my opinion, and find themselves sidetracking into other issues, as well as causing disunity within themselves for various reasons.

I used to be quite active in trying to dispel some of the stuff spewed against us.  Now, I'm just sick and tired of trying because although I am trying to follow in on the recommendations of the results of the meetings, the heirarchs don't seem to do that much.  So forgive me if you perceived from me as some immature jokester earlier in my posts against you.  I do so only because you are not the first in this website to address these issues.  I suggest you read the private thread concerning the EO/OO debates in hopes that it may open your mind a bit to the one-sided vile and deceptions you receive from your own group.  Then maybe, you will be able to humble yourself, and find yourself guilty for bearing false witness against the perceived "ecumenists" in your eyes.  You can't lump sum every single cleric involved in dialogues as an ecumenist.  Do the research, and don't jump to conclusions, or you'll end up embarrassing yourself.

God bless.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 07, 2009, 10:10:09 PM
minasoliman, I am sorry if I have offended you personally. I respect your decision to maintain your own beliefs. I don't believe in lying for the sake of Orthodoxy, and I am not opposed, as I have said, to dialog. I don't believe participation in dialog constitutes ecumenism.

However, one thing I cannot swerve from, and that is my firm belief that the true and saving dogmas of the Orthodox faith have been bequeathed to us by the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and that any deviation from the dogmas defined by those Councils only results in separation from the Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 07, 2009, 10:13:27 PM

To my knowledge the Pro Oriente has nothing to do with the WCC.  This is a specifically unique dialogue in which we don't rush for unity, but we assess the situations carefully.  I think the problem is two things:  1.  No one on the "ultra-traditionalist" side has done honest research to assess the dialogues that occurred between the EO's and OO's, and I stress the word "honest," since some of the articles I read really was filled with dishonesty.  2.  The EO's and OO's seem to be sluggish to trying to address those issues, in my opinion, and find themselves sidetracking into other issues, as well as causing disunity within themselves for various reasons.

I used to be quite active in trying to dispel some of the stuff spewed against us.  Now, I'm just sick and tired of trying because although I am trying to follow in on the recommendations of the results of the meetings, the heirarchs don't seem to do that much.  So forgive me if you perceived from me as some immature jokester earlier in my posts against you.  I do so only because you are not the first in this website to address these issues.  I suggest you read the private thread concerning the EO/OO debates in hopes that it may open your mind a bit to the one-sided vile and deceptions you receive from your own group.  Then maybe, you will be able to humble yourself, and find yourself guilty for bearing false witness against the perceived "ecumenists" in your eyes.  You can't lump sum every single cleric involved in dialogues as an ecumenist.  Do the research, and don't jump to conclusions, or you'll end up embarrassing yourself.

God bless.
We share the same frustrations Minasoliman. Sometimes I wish I could find a good Ethiopian Tewahedo Church in my area to go to. It seems they have a balanced model.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2009, 10:13:49 PM
minasoliman, I am sorry if I have offended you personally. I respect your decision to maintain your own beliefs. I don't believe in lying for the sake of Orthodoxy, and I am not opposed, as I have said, to dialog. I don't believe participation in dialog constitutes ecumenism.

However, one thing I cannot swerve from, and that is my firm belief that the true and saving dogmas of the Orthodox faith have been bequeathed to us by the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and that any deviation from the dogmas defined by those Councils only results in separation from the Church.

That's fair enough.  I am not telling you to leave your faith, nor do I want to convince you to agree with the so-called "Ecumenists."  I just don't want you to blindly follow a bunch of articles without you doing the heavy duty research yourself.  And even if you still maintain your loyalty to your faction, at least I want you to have a sense of a rewarding feeling and a better appreciation of why you believe the things you believe.

God bless you.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 07, 2009, 10:29:24 PM
minasoliman, I am sorry if I have offended you personally. I respect your decision to maintain your own beliefs. I don't believe in lying for the sake of Orthodoxy, and I am not opposed, as I have said, to dialog. I don't believe participation in dialog constitutes ecumenism.

However, one thing I cannot swerve from, and that is my firm belief that the true and saving dogmas of the Orthodox faith have been bequeathed to us by the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and that any deviation from the dogmas defined by those Councils only results in separation from the Church.

That's fair enough.  I am not telling you to leave your faith, nor do I want to convince you to agree with the so-called "Ecumenists."  I just don't want you to blindly follow a bunch of articles without you doing the heavy duty research yourself.  And even if you still maintain your loyalty to your faction, at least I want you to have a sense of a rewarding feeling and a better appreciation of why you believe the things you believe.

God bless you.

One thing I object to in this is that the implication that to uphold the dogmas of Chalcedon and subsequent Councils is the merely the predilection of some 'faction'. It is in fact the traditional teaching of the Orthodox Church. Other than that, I absolutely agree that research is important. The problem comes when certain theologians come to the conclusion that the dogmatic definitions of the Church are mere words and not necessary for salvation.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2009, 10:50:42 PM
minasoliman, I am sorry if I have offended you personally. I respect your decision to maintain your own beliefs. I don't believe in lying for the sake of Orthodoxy, and I am not opposed, as I have said, to dialog. I don't believe participation in dialog constitutes ecumenism.

However, one thing I cannot swerve from, and that is my firm belief that the true and saving dogmas of the Orthodox faith have been bequeathed to us by the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and that any deviation from the dogmas defined by those Councils only results in separation from the Church.

That's fair enough.  I am not telling you to leave your faith, nor do I want to convince you to agree with the so-called "Ecumenists."  I just don't want you to blindly follow a bunch of articles without you doing the heavy duty research yourself.  And even if you still maintain your loyalty to your faction, at least I want you to have a sense of a rewarding feeling and a better appreciation of why you believe the things you believe.

God bless you.

One thing I object to in this is that the implication that to uphold the dogmas of Chalcedon and subsequent Councils is the merely the predilection of some 'faction'. It is in fact the traditional teaching of the Orthodox Church. Other than that, I absolutely agree that research is important. The problem comes when certain theologians come to the conclusion that the dogmatic definitions of the Church are mere words and not necessary for salvation.

I don't understand.  Is the word "faction" offending?  I only meant it as the group you are part of.  Call your group "the Orthodox Church", fine.  The important thing is I'm not debating Chalcedon with you.  That was not my intention.  And you still don't seem to get it.  You agree research is important, but you make an blanket assumption right after that.  There's a whole slew of issues you have to research, such as "Can I verify that 'certain theologians' don't take dogmatic definitions seriously?"  "Can I verify that the concensus of the Orthodox church fathers really wanted people to follow in an inerrant fashion every iota of an ecumenical council?"  "Do I even know what happened in these councils?"  "What does the other side believe in rebuttal to the claims made by their opposing division?"  In other words, don't make blanket claims unless you can back them up yourself.

Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, those "certain theologians" treat the dogmatic definitions of the Church very seriously, instead of stereotypically lump summing everyone again?

God bless.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 07, 2009, 11:06:29 PM
Give it a rest, Mina.   :)  Our EO friends view the 7 Councils the way the Evangelicals view the Bible.  Thus our favorite poster down in the private forum can venerate Nestorius and still be Orthodox, since he has seven councils, whereas you and I are heretics, even if we believe exactly as St. Cyril did.  It's a matter of allegiance to a set number of councils, over what is actually believed.  It's their way, and we're not going to change it.  We just have a different way of viewing councils.

I think what we see among some of our EO friends is an unquestioning allegiance to some of their earlier Church Fathers.  They don't want to question them, or admit the possibility that they may have made some mistakes, along with all the good that they undoubtedly did.  I can kind of respect that, although it is somehow different from how we deal with things.  I think that is what prevents the monks of Mt. Athos from even engaging in dialogue, and why you and I really can't get beyond a certain point in our discussions with some persons here on this forum.

Personally, I think if it is God's will that we are one day reunited, it will happen.  Until then we can try our best to dialogue with those who are willing.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2009, 11:13:19 PM
Ya, but what I don't understand is that there should always be an instinct to be AT LEAST moved with some zeal to defend their Church fathers from being accused of making alleged mistakes with some sound research.  Instead, they just put their fingers in their ears and say "bla bla bla bla" not wanting to know how we justify such claims.  I was always brought up with a curiosity to understand what they said about us, and how I can try to study to defend us and understand why they say that about us.  I was hoping at least our friend Jonathan can get that, rather than make assumptions as if he knows something already.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 07, 2009, 11:14:38 PM
My point about 'certain theologians' needs no other substantiation than the existence of the decision of the Antiochian Synod in 1991 to recognize the mysteries of the non-Chalcedonian church. This was only possible since they had already determined that there was no difference in faith between the Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians, and that determination depends upon the disregard of the Chalcedonian dogma of Christ's two natures as necessary for salvation. If the hierarchs at Antioch had upheld the dogma of Chalcedon, they would not have been able to recognize the mysteries of the non-Chalcedonians, because the non-Chalcedonians, as the label indicates, have not accepted the dogma of Chalcedon.

Regarding your question about iotas:

“…Be it known unto thee that even the slightest rejection of things
which have been transmitted will bring contempt upon the entire
doctrine.” “…Even if one alter the least part of it (religion and the
Faith), one does a great act of unseemliness and immediately receives
censure…” (4th and 6th Epistles of Photius the Great).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We would prefer to shed our blood rather than add one iota” (St.
Sabbas the Sanctified to the Emperor Anastasius).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

“He is a heretic and is subject to the laws concerning heretics who
deviates in the slightest degree from the right Faith” (George
Scholarius, later Patriarch Gennadius of Constantinople).

“It is necessary to drive from the communion of the Church, not only
those who think erroneously concerning primary matters and the essentials concerning the Mysteries, but also those who sin against
secondary things; we reject these likewise as being teachers of ‘evil
doctrines’” (Athanasius of Paros, Epitomy, Ch 7).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 07, 2009, 11:17:13 PM
Give it a rest, Mina.   :)  Our EO friends view the 7 Councils the way the Evangelicals view the Bible.  Thus our favorite poster down in the private forum can venerate Nestorius and still be Orthodox, since he has seven councils, whereas you and I are heretics, even if we believe exactly as St. Cyril did.  It's a matter of allegiance to a set number of councils, over what is actually believed.  It's their way, and we're not going to change it.  We just have a different way of viewing councils.

I think what we see among some of our EO friends is an unquestioning allegiance to some of their earlier Church Fathers.  They don't want to question them, or admit the possibility that they may have made some mistakes, along with all the good that they undoubtedly did.  I can kind of respect that, although it is somehow different from how we deal with things.  I think that is what prevents the monks of Mt. Athos from even engaging in dialogue, and why you and I really can't get beyond a certain point in our discussions with some persons here on this forum.

Personally, I think if it is God's will that we are one day reunited, it will happen.  Until then we can try our best to dialogue with those who are willing.


I know quite a bit of Eo converts on the west coast that view the councils as (although they are tied to them through their particular churches) historical points of reference which even some of the Ec. Councils were predominantly Councils of value to the west and Byzantium...These friends I speak of would also, I'm sure, back me up in saying that the Saints of the church who Anathematized this or that, were still just men. Granted they lived saintly lives but that does not mean that the proclamations made at these Councils were some how Infallible. This is not to say that they somehow got the pronouncement of the faith wrong, but to say that they were hasty in throwing the word heretic aroung without knowing what the other churches were saying.
I have studied much on the OO side of things and can find no fault in the way they speak. But it takes a listening ear, one without preconcieved notions.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 07, 2009, 11:25:10 PM
I know quite a bit of Eo converts on the west coast that view the councils as (although they are tied to them through their particular churches) historical points of reference which even some of the Ec. Councils were predominantly Councils of value to the west and Byzantium...These friends I speak of would also, I'm sure, back me up in saying that the Saints of the church who Anathematized this or that, were still just men. Granted they lived saintly lives but that does not mean that the proclamations made at these Councils were some how Infallible.

Forgive me for over-generalizing.   :)

I do think, however, that the EO's view the concept of an Ecumenical Council and what it is in the life of the Church a little differently than the OO's view it.  I think that may why the OO's tend to be a little more positive toward the idea of ecumenical dialogue.  The difference in how we view ecumenical councils was touched on in a thread in the OO section, but I can't recall where it is.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2009, 11:30:29 PM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 07, 2009, 11:35:35 PM
I know quite a bit of Eo converts on the west coast that view the councils as (although they are tied to them through their particular churches) historical points of reference which even some of the Ec. Councils were predominantly Councils of value to the west and Byzantium...These friends I speak of would also, I'm sure, back me up in saying that the Saints of the church who Anathematized this or that, were still just men. Granted they lived saintly lives but that does not mean that the proclamations made at these Councils were some how Infallible.

Forgive me for over-generalizing.   :)

I do think, however, that the EO's view the concept of an Ecumenical Council and what it is in the life of the Church a little differently than the OO's view it.  I think that may why the OO's tend to be a little more positive toward the idea of ecumenical dialogue.  The difference in how we view ecumenical councils was touched on in a thread in the OO section, but I can't recall where it is.
Salpy - would you give a brief explanation?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 07, 2009, 11:39:19 PM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.

Whether or not they 'feel' they are upholding the dogmas of the Seven Councils, I am demonstrating as an objective fact that they are not upholding them.

I'd be interested to see just how Fr Ambrose uses these quotes against me, considering that I am not in the World Council of Churches, consider the anathemas against the Latin church still to be in force so long as they continue to teach their non-Orthodox doctrines, and that I continue to believe in all the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils and hence do not recognize the Orthodoxy of non-Chalcedonians.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 07, 2009, 11:48:53 PM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.

Whether or not they 'feel' they are upholding the dogmas of the Seven Councils, I am demonstrating as an objective fact that they are not upholding them.

I'd be interested to see just how Fr Ambrose uses these quotes against me, considering that I am not in the World Council of Churches, consider the anathemas against the Latin church still to be in force so long as they continue to teach their non-Orthodox doctrines, and that I continue to believe in all the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils and hence do not recognize the Orthodoxy of non-Chalcedonians.

Objective?  Hardly!  Objective is trying to understand and address WHY....WHY....again...WHY they believe the way they do, and then make your argument.  Otherwise, you enter into the ranks of trolling.

Fr. Ambrose already explained it to you.  He felt his church does it no differently than St. Mark.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 07, 2009, 11:58:47 PM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.

Whether or not they 'feel' they are upholding the dogmas of the Seven Councils, I am demonstrating as an objective fact that they are not upholding them.

I'd be interested to see just how Fr Ambrose uses these quotes against me, considering that I am not in the World Council of Churches, consider the anathemas against the Latin church still to be in force so long as they continue to teach their non-Orthodox doctrines, and that I continue to believe in all the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils and hence do not recognize the Orthodoxy of non-Chalcedonians.

Objective?  Hardly!  Objective is trying to understand and address WHY....WHY....again...WHY they believe the way they do, and then make your argument.

Fr. Ambrose already explained it to you.  He felt his church does it no differently than St. Mark.

Well 'why' the Synod of Antioch did what it did is another matter. For that, you can read their statement, and the theological justifications in earlier documents like the statement of the Chambesy conference. But for my purposes I only need to demonstrate that the Synod made the decision it did, since that is all I need to know that they have trampled on the conciliar dogmas.

I don't know how you feel about the Ecumenical Councils, but among the Orthodox the dogmas of the Seven Councils are considered immutable, since they represent the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 12:16:14 AM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.

Whether or not they 'feel' they are upholding the dogmas of the Seven Councils, I am demonstrating as an objective fact that they are not upholding them.

I'd be interested to see just how Fr Ambrose uses these quotes against me, considering that I am not in the World Council of Churches, consider the anathemas against the Latin church still to be in force so long as they continue to teach their non-Orthodox doctrines, and that I continue to believe in all the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils and hence do not recognize the Orthodoxy of non-Chalcedonians.

Objective?  Hardly!  Objective is trying to understand and address WHY....WHY....again...WHY they believe the way they do, and then make your argument.

Fr. Ambrose already explained it to you.  He felt his church does it no differently than St. Mark.

Well 'why' the Synod of Antioch did what it did is another matter. For that, you can read their statement, and the theological justifications in earlier documents like the statement of the Chambesy conference. But for my purposes I only need to demonstrate that the Synod made the decision it did, since that is all I need to know that they have trampled on the conciliar dogmas.

I don't know how you feel about the Ecumenical Councils, but among the Orthodox the dogmas of the Seven Councils are considered immutable, since they represent the voice of the Holy Spirit.

If you don't know how we feel about the Ecumenical Councils, you have no right to lay judgment on what the Synod of Antioch did in the first place.  Hence, you are proving yourself to be willfully ignorant, and thus being a troll.  Since you're ignorant, you SHOULD HAVE extended your "I don't know" to your "why" on the Synod of Antioch, because the mere reading of the statements is not a clear answer to "why."  They feel they haven't trampled on the conciliar dogmas, and they continue to teach and proclaim those same dogmas (in fact, it even says so in those statements that you allegedly read).

Hmmmm......If I say I profess conciliar dogmas and they say they profess conciliar dogmas, then....

Oh gosh...how am I going to prove to them that they're really not?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 12:19:29 AM
I came across this interesting bit in Bishop Eucharist Church. They were discussing the significance of Novatianist baptism. I've bolded an interesting sentence.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/biblia/episkopos1/kef2_2.htm

Quote
Fortunately, however, there is preserved a contemporary work by an anonymous African Bishop entitled De Rebaptismate, written probably around 256,305 which sets out in detail the arguments against Cyprian's views on baptism. This text expounds not so much the teaching on the Church as that on the sacraments, but it reveals the writer's ecclesiological principles. The writer accepts that there is only one Church outside which the Holy Spirit is not. But he maintains that baptism is performed by Christ at the invocation of His name. Starting from this premise, this writer holds that when the name of the Lord is invoked, even by those who are outside the Catholic Church, in the course of a baptism, the invocation operates in such a way that the baptism which thus takes place is authentic. Exactly what value such a baptism has is not defined by this author. It seems, however, that he too retains many doubts as to its efficacity, since he says that if someone thus baptized outside the Catholic Church dies a schismatic, in other words before he repents and returns to the Catholic Church, his baptism is of no significance for his salvation.306

These views can be taken as those of the Church of Rome and her Bishop Stephen because they come to the conclusion that the rebaptism of those returning to the Catholic Church is not required which is exactly as Stephen of Rome maintained.

Apparently this was the Latin Church view in the Cyprian era. Schismatic baptism is efficacious, but only if you return to the Catholic Church. If you update this by about 1700 years it translates to, "of course, we may recognize your non-Orthodox baptism... if you become Orthodox."


That's an interesting piece of evidence for what SOME Latin bishops taught at the time of Cyprian. Obviously, Cyprian represented another position, a position, moreover, that is actually in accord with the teaching of the universal Church.
But how do you know that it's Bishop St. Cyprian's position that's in accord with the teaching of the universal Church?  At the time of his argument with Pope St. Stephen, Rome was still very much orthodox and claimed as her authority the tradition handed them by the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

This discussion by Met Hierotheos ought to clarify the Church's teaching:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/methierotheos_baptism.aspx
You miss my point, though.  How did our current teaching on baptism and the sacraments become Church teaching, especially considering that it was not universal to the Church of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome?  At that time, it appears that St. Cyprian and a Firmilian of Asia Minor preached an Eastern view of baptism that is now our [Eastern] Church teaching (a teaching later supported by the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, a 4th century Eastern document we believe to represent the traditions of the Apostles).  Yet St. Stephen taught a different idea that he claimed was passed on to the Church of Rome by the Apostles Peter and Paul themselves.  Which side has faithfully preserved the traditions of the Apostles?  What evidence can you provide to support your argument?

Well if I believed the West had faithfully preserved the right teaching on baptism, with their doctrine of ex opere operato, then I would be a Catholic. As it is, I am Eastern Orthodox. I don't feel it's appropriate to debate the teaching on baptism with other Orthodox, since we should all be agreed on what the Orthodox teaching is. If you don't agree with the Orthodox teaching, then you should change churches.

That being said, here is another patristic witness for the Orthodox doctrine of baptism:

"There are many other heresies, too, which use the names only [of the Trinity], but not in the right sense, as I have said, nor with sound faith, and in consequence the water which they administer is unprofitable, as deficient in piety, so that he who is sprinkled by them is rather polluted by irreligion than redeemed." St Athanasius, Second Discourse against the Arians

St Paul also says there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' in the epistle to the Ephesians. I understand this to mean that faith and the mystery of baptism are inseparable, and that by faith is meant Orthodox faith.
By continuing to argue from Fathers subsequent to the first three centuries of the Church's history, you  show that you still miss my point.  How did St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Stephen of Rome derive opposite conclusions on baptism from what each claimed was the Tradition of the Apostles?

PtA, I don't know what St Stephen was thinking. I am prepared to believe he genuinely thought it was the apostolic tradition, while St Cyprian recognized it to be a misinterpretation of the custom of granting economy in certain situations. Aren't you Orthodox? Don't you believe in what your Church teaches about the unity between faith and baptism? You can often find errors here or there even in the writings of Saints: St Augustine is of course a textbook example. It doesn't mean you can pick and choose which writings suit your personal theological fancy; you have to accept what the Church as a whole has taught.
You still miss my point.  I'm not voicing any disbelief in the Church's teaching on the unity between the Church and baptism, so please stop trying to play that card.  My question is focused on how our teaching won out within the Orthodox Church from all the competing understandings of St. Cyprian's and St. Stephen's day.  What evidence can you offer to prove that the Orthodox doctrine on baptism is THE definitive teaching of the Apostles and that the Western understanding argued by Pope St. Stephen is not?  How do you know for certain that they're not both apostolic in their origins (even though their contradictory nature seems to indicate that they cannot both be)?  So far, all you've offered us is a statement of what you are "prepared to believe", which appears to be nothing more than conjecture on your part (not to mention that it also strikes me as little more than an attempt to revise history to make it fit our current beliefs).

Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier on this. I confess I don't know that well the history of the teaching that heretical baptism is valid, other than that the words of St Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians prove that the Church at his time believed faith to be inseparable from baptism, which is hardly compatible with the notion that baptism outside the Church can be salvific. It is a matter of considerable interest I admit. That being said, as an Orthodox Christian I believe the doctrine of the Church doesn't change, and therefore the teaching of the Church now is the teaching of the Apostles.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 12:21:49 AM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.

Whether or not they 'feel' they are upholding the dogmas of the Seven Councils, I am demonstrating as an objective fact that they are not upholding them.

I'd be interested to see just how Fr Ambrose uses these quotes against me, considering that I am not in the World Council of Churches, consider the anathemas against the Latin church still to be in force so long as they continue to teach their non-Orthodox doctrines, and that I continue to believe in all the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils and hence do not recognize the Orthodoxy of non-Chalcedonians.

Objective?  Hardly!  Objective is trying to understand and address WHY....WHY....again...WHY they believe the way they do, and then make your argument.

Fr. Ambrose already explained it to you.  He felt his church does it no differently than St. Mark.

Well 'why' the Synod of Antioch did what it did is another matter. For that, you can read their statement, and the theological justifications in earlier documents like the statement of the Chambesy conference. But for my purposes I only need to demonstrate that the Synod made the decision it did, since that is all I need to know that they have trampled on the conciliar dogmas.

I don't know how you feel about the Ecumenical Councils, but among the Orthodox the dogmas of the Seven Councils are considered immutable, since they represent the voice of the Holy Spirit.

If you don't know how we feel about the Ecumenical Councils, you have no right to lay judgment on what the Synod of Antioch did in the first place.  Hence, you are proving yourself to be willfully ignorant, and thus being a troll.  Since you're ignorant, you SHOULD HAVE extended your "I don't know" to your "why" on the Synod of Antioch, because the mere reading of the statements is not a clear answer to "why."  They feel they haven't trampled on the conciliar dogmas, and they continue to teach and proclaim those same dogmas (in fact, it even says so in those statements that you allegedly read).

Hmmmm......If I say I profess conciliar dogmas and they say they profess conciliar dogmas, then....

Oh gosh...how am I going to prove to them that they're really not?

I believe Christ has two natures in one hypostasis, as the Council of Chalcedon said. Do you believe this?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 12:28:31 AM
Completely sidestepped the focus here, dude.  If you want to know what we believe, read the EO/OO private (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,23.0.html) forum like I told you.  Here's a post  (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8739.msg116061.html#msg116061)that might answer your question.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 12:46:33 AM
Oh and the question I want you to answer is: how do you resolve the contradictions in your own church?

To help you answer this question, you might consider the following: Does Patriarch Bartholomew believe that the Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ in and of itself? If so, why does he speak of restoring the unity of the Church, if it was never lost?

I think that he really means the restoration of unity to a divided Christendom.

Quote
Why does he say theology does not divide us from the non-Chalcedonians, when they still teach that Christ has one nature, whereas the truth according to the Council of Chalcedon is that He has two natures?

The non-Chalcedonians have made strenuous efforts, in particular in dialogue with the Church of Rome, to show that their Christology is not what Rome and the Orthodox have always thought it was.    It is obviously important to them to demonstrate that their Christology conforms to ours.   Not being a theologian my head starts to spin when I consider these matters (the madness which Saint Gregory warns awaits those who try to delve into the Trinity?)  I await to hear word from my Church (and also from the Holy Mountain.)   

Quote
Why has the Ecumenical Patriarch lifted the anathemas against the Pope, when the Pope has not renounced the heresies for which he was anathematized?

The Pope was not anathematized back in 1054.   The Patriarch Michael Cerularius excommunicated merely Cardinal Humbert and the other two Roman legates.  It is a piece of mythology that the Pope was anathematized.  It is an even worse piece of nonsense to pretend to "lift" a non-existent anathema.  I take it as a mere PR exercise and a sign of goodwill, a sign that Rome and Constantinople were hoping to establish better future relationships.


Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier on this. Yes, I think at times the Ecumenical Patriarch may simply mean restoration of unity to divided Christendom, a term that I agree does not necessarily have ecclesiological implications. But at other times he definitely talks of a divided Church, which is, of course, an impossibility given Christ's promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church:

"As you know, these unique encounters are more than merely historical; they are sacred, inasmuch as they restore healing to a broken Church and trust to the people of God. Moreover, they enable us to affirm our shared roots and vision for unity, as well as to deliver common declarations on critical issues of our world and our time, such as the statement in Venice signed by our Modesty with Pope John Paul II on environmental ethics (being the first ever by our two Churches on the burning problem of climate change and ecological degradation) and the statement in Istanbul signed by Pope Benedict and ourselves on our solidarity in the effort for peace and mutual understanding."

These words are from his speech to the Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of Southeastern Europe, held this year in March.

It is interesting to see the lengths to which the non-Chalcedonians go to convince us they believe the same faith as that taught by Chalcedon, without ever, of course, accepting the Christological definition of Chalcedon. As for waiting to hear the voice from the Holy Mountain, they have already spoken:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.aspx

As for the lifting of the anathemas, whether or not we have written evidence of the excommunication itself, it is a fact that the Patriarch ceased to commemorate the Pope after 1054. You may want to consider the words of Metropolitan Philaret of New York (in his protest to Patriarch Athenagoras):

We heard many expressions of perplexity when Your Holiness in the face of the whole world performed something quite new and uncommon to your predecessors as well as inconsistent with the 10th Canon of the Holy Apostles at your meeting with the Pope of Rome, Paul VI, in Jerusalem. We have heard that after that, many monasteries on the Holy Mount of Athos have refused to mention your name at religious services. Let us say frankly, the confusion was great. But now Your Holiness is going even further when, only by your own decision with the bishops of your Synod, you cancel the decision of Patriarch Michael Cerularius accepted by the whole Orthodox East. In that way Your Holiness is acting contrary to the attitude accepted by the whole of our Church in regard to Roman Catholicism. It is not a question of this or that evaluation of the behaviour of Cardinal Humbert. It is not a matter of a personal controversy between the Pope and the Patriarch which could be easily remedied by their mutual Christian forgiveness; no, the essence of the problem is in the deviation from Orthodoxy which took root in the Roman Church during the centuries, beginning with the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope which was definitively formulated at the First Vatican Council. The declaration of Your Holiness and the Pope with good reason recognises your gesture of "mutual pardon" as insufficient to end both old and more recent differences. But more than that, your gesture puts a sign of equality between error and truth. For centuries all the Orthodox Church believed with good reason that it has violated no doctrine of the Holy Ecumenical Councils; whereas the Church of Rome has introduced a number of innovations in its dogmatic teaching. The more such innovations were introduced, the deeper was to become the separation between the East and the West. The doctrinal deviations of Rome in the eleventh century did not yet contain the errors that were added later. Therefore, the cancellation of the mutual excommunication of 1054 could have been of meaning at that time; but now it is only an evidence of indifference in regard to the most important errors, namely new doctrines foreign to the ancient Church, of which some, having been exposed by St. Mark of Ephesus, were the reason why the Church rejected the Union of Florence.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 12:48:13 AM
Completely sidestepped the focus here, dude.  If you want to know what we believe, read the EO/OO private (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,23.0.html) forum like I told you.  Here's a post  (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8739.msg116061.html#msg116061)that might answer your question.

I don't have permission to read posts on that forum, 'dude'. Do you not know how to answer the question yourself? Yes or no will do.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 12:53:48 AM
Completely sidestepped the focus here, dude.  If you want to know what we believe, read the EO/OO private (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,23.0.html) forum like I told you.  Here's a post  (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8739.msg116061.html#msg116061)that might answer your question.

I don't have permission to read posts on that forum, 'dude'. Do you not know how to answer the question yourself? Yes or no will do.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9368.0.html

If I answer the question here, I'd probably turn it into an EO/OO discussion, which doesn't belong here according to forum rules.  So, no, I am unable to answer the question due to forum restrictions smart guy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 08, 2009, 01:12:24 AM
Completely sidestepped the focus here, dude.  If you want to know what we believe, read the EO/OO private (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,23.0.html) forum like I told you.  Here's a post  (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8739.msg116061.html#msg116061)that might answer your question.

I don't have permission to read posts on that forum, 'dude'. Do you not know how to answer the question yourself? Yes or no will do.

Ask Fr. Chris for permission.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 01:38:45 AM
It's all right Fr George. I already have the answer I wanted.

The point I'm trying to make here is this: you, a non-Chalcedonian, obviously have your beliefs about Christ, and I have my beliefs. My beliefs follow the dogma of Chalcedon, which I consider to be an Ecumenical Council and to express the voice of the whole Church, the voice of the Holy Spirit in other words. It's clear you do not accept it as the voice of the Holy Spirit, and I respect your decision. Faith is an act of free will. However, what I cannot accept is the argument that you and I have the same faith, when you can't even answer a simple question like I just gave you. Since we manifestly do not have the same faith, the decision of the Synod of Antioch cannot possibly be correct insofar as it is based on the assumption of shared faith.

Below is an extract from the definition of faith of the Council of Chalcedon:

Following the holy Fathers we teach with one voice that the Son [of God] and our Lord Jesus Christ is to be confessed as one and the same [Person], that he is perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, very God and very man, of a reasonable soul and [human] body consisting, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood; made in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of his Father before the worlds according to his Godhead; but in these last days for us men and for our salvation born [into the world] of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God according to his manhood.  This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Prophets of old time have spoken concerning him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ hath taught us, and as the Creed of the Fathers hath delivered to us.

These things, therefore, having been expressed by us with the greatest accuracy and attention, the holy Ecumenical Synod defines that no one shall be suffered to bring forward a different faith (ἑτέραν πίστιν), nor to write, nor to put together, nor to excogitate, nor to teach it to others.  But such as dare either to put together another faith, or to bring forward or to teach or to deliver a different Creed (ἕτερον σύμβολον) to as wish to be converted to the knowledge of the truth, from the Gentiles, or Jews or any heresy whatever, if they be Bishops or clerics let them be deposed, the Bishops from the Episcopate, and the clerics from the clergy; but if they be monks or laics:  let them be anathematized.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ozgeorge on December 08, 2009, 01:42:10 AM

When Our Lord Jesus Christ told us to become fishers of men, I don't think that He meant that we should bait each other.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 01:46:59 AM

When Our Lord Jesus Christ told us to become fishers of men, I don't think that He meant that we should bait each other.

I apologize for the frustration I've obviously shown.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 08, 2009, 01:54:15 AM
I know quite a bit of Eo converts on the west coast that view the councils as (although they are tied to them through their particular churches) historical points of reference which even some of the Ec. Councils were predominantly Councils of value to the west and Byzantium...These friends I speak of would also, I'm sure, back me up in saying that the Saints of the church who Anathematized this or that, were still just men. Granted they lived saintly lives but that does not mean that the proclamations made at these Councils were some how Infallible.

Forgive me for over-generalizing.   :)

I do think, however, that the EO's view the concept of an Ecumenical Council and what it is in the life of the Church a little differently than the OO's view it.  I think that may why the OO's tend to be a little more positive toward the idea of ecumenical dialogue.  The difference in how we view ecumenical councils was touched on in a thread in the OO section, but I can't recall where it is.
Salpy - would you give a brief explanation?

This is taken from a post by Fr. Peter in another thread:


"I think the whole issue of ecumenicity is different in the OO, and indeed that the EO view is one which developed later during the controversial period as a response to criticisms.

It does not seem to me that the OO tend to say simply 'accept only three councils', in the way that many EO just state 'accept the seven or eight or nine councils'. This is because it seems to me that the OO Fathers have been more concerned to deal with the substance of faith rather than using the councils as either a polemical tool, without reference to their substance. Chalcedon is rejected because it is not considered Orthodox, the issue of ecumenicity is not the main one. Indeed all Imperial councils were called as being ecumenical, this did not mean what it has later come to mean within EOxy.

...

I do consider Ephesus II important within the OO tradition, but ecumenicity is not understood in the same way. Indeed I believe that it is in modern times that the EO has come to consider the councils an infallible authority over and above the Church, in the same way that the Roman Catholic Church have defined the Pope as the infallible authority over and above the Church, and Protestants have defined the Bible as the infallible authority over and above the Church. I believe that OOxy preserves the teaching that it is the Holy Spirit alone who is over and above the Church and who is the only infallible foundation of the life of the Church.

This allows OOxy to recognise both the human and divine aspect in all conciliar activity, while EOxy seems to me to be truly monophysite or docetic in its view of some councils by eliminating the human aspect and making the council little different to the means by which the Koran was apparently produced. I do not say this polemically, but because it does seem to me that this is the case.

...

Within OOxy I believe that councils are accepted as authoritative in so far as they expound the truth, in so far as they are Orthodox, and that which is not Orthodox is passed over and that which is Orthodox is simply a re-iteration of that which has always been true. It is quite possible for me to find some things to criticise in the Acts of the Second Council while also considering it essentially Orthodox and authoritative. It is even possible for me to find those things with which I agree in Chalcedon and pass over the rest, or understand it within a context. This is because the Holy Spirit does not overwhelm human activity but works through human agency.

Yet it seems to me, from over 15 years discussion with many EO, that it is much harder for the EO to be reflective in regard to the councils since they must either be entirely true (though no-one can tell me authoritatively what that includes) or are false. This seems to me to be a wrong attitude towards the councils, indeed any conciliar activity and stands in the way of unity and agreement. It is even necessary to show that if Chalcedon must be accepted entirely as a divine work in all of its statements, and if to reject any part of it is to fail to be Orthodox (and many EO have said this to me) then Pope Leo is not Orthodox because he always rejected Canon 28 of Chalcedon.

This does not seem to me to be absolutely problematic in an OO context, since the OO Fathers, it seems to me, would want to ask what a person did believe about the issue in view, not what they thought about something that a council had said. It was not so important to St Cyril, that John of Antioch accept that Ephesus I was 'ecumenical', it was more important that he thought in an acceptably Orthodox manner about the issue that Ephesus I tried to deal with. This seems to me to be different to the modern EO view which I have often met with, which says 'accept the seven councils' even while the person insisting on this does not actually have a clue what the seven councils stand for.

...

it seems to me that the OO would see that the Holy Spirit can work in such situations, but it does not seem to me that such events should be set up as infallible and above the Church. What does infallible mean? Surely we should be asking only how far the councils represented that which is true, that is all that matters. If the label of infallible is added in modern times simply to mean that no questions can be asked, then it seems that there is something wrong and that there is a difference in view between the EO and OO..."

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21726.msg330316.html#msg330316



See also reply 13 here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15195.msg336034.html#msg336034


"I think that the case of Constantinople 381 allows us to see that ecumenical first had the meaning of a universal gathering of bishops from across the Empire to deal with a matter of concern to the whole Church and Empire. That it then came to mean a council which had a lasting authority throughout the Empire, and then finally to the concept that it was infallible in every word and aspect and must be received as a divine fiat.

...

in my opinion the OO preserve the middle concept in which a council has authority because it is true and because it represents the mind of the universal Church. I don't see that the OO have developed the later concept in regard to councils, though this does not mean that those councils which are considered authoritative are not greatly respected, especially Nicaea and Ephesus I, and then at some time between the 4th and 6th centuries also Constantinople 381. (I don't know when we started using the Nicene-Constantinopolitan version of the creed). But they are understood as events within the life of the Church and as manifestations of the conciliar activity in the Church seen in a continuum from the humblest local synod of a minor bishop, through metropolitan synods, up to universal councils of bishops from the whole empire. It is the same Holy Spirit at work, and the same humanity which sometimes obscures and confuses the work of the Spirit. Yet when there is that which is seen to be true then it is recognised by the Church and has the authority of the truth, no further authority is needed."
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 08, 2009, 02:44:33 AM
Myaphysitism and Dyophysitism are Identical?

As my old Irish brain understands it.

1. We the Dyophysites (Orthodox and Roman Catholic)  believe that Christ has two natures, human and divine.

2. The classical Monophysite position was the Christ had one divine nature.

3. The Myaphysite position is that Christ is human and divine in one nature.

Now, may I ask a question which could cause conniptions in some of our forum members.

During the time of Pope John Paul II the dialogue with the Myaphysite Churches succeeded in demonstrating to Rome that their Christology was identical.  In other words (and this seems a bit of a paradox!)  Myaphysitism and Dyophysitism are one and the same.

Could someone from the Myaphysite Churches guide us through all this -- how was this decision reached theologically with Rome and how has it been expressed/formulated.

And the all important question from the Eastern Orthodox viewpoint:  Is this agreement as to Christology between Rome and the Myaphysites acceptable/convincing for the EO?  Are there any Orthodox responses?

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 08, 2009, 02:58:56 AM
Could someone from the Myaphysite Churches guide us through all this -- how was this decision reached theologically with Rome and how has it been expressed/formulated.

I have absolutely no idea how that all came about.  I really don't know the history.  I think the agreements are online somewhere, but I can't recall where.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 03:11:41 AM
Myaphysitism and Dyophysitism are Identical?

As my old Irish brain understands it.

1. We the Dyophysites (Orthodox and Roman Catholic)  believe that Christ has two natures, human and divine.

2. The classical Monophysite position was the Christ had one divine nature.

3. The Myaphysite position is that Christ is human and divine in one nature.

Now, may I ask a question which could cause conniptions in some of our forum members.

During the time of Pope John Paul II the dialogue with the Myaphysite Churches succeeded in demonstrating to Rome that their Christology was identical.  In other words (and this seems a bit of a paradox!)  Myaphysitism and Dyophysitism are one and the same.

Could someone from the Myaphysite Churches guide us through all this -- how was this decision reached theologically with Rome and how has it been expressed/formulated.

And the all important question from the Eastern Orthodox viewpoint:  Is this agreement as to Christology between Rome and the Myaphysites acceptable/convincing for the EO?  Are there any Orthodox responses?

I've only read the first dialogue that occurred between the Catholics and the OO on Christology.  Basically, they used the OO/EO unofficial agreements as a source of discussion to guide them through an agreement.  From what I understand, the agreement never reached the extent of defining the acceptance of councils with EO/OO dialogues, since the Roman Catholic interpretation of Chalcedon is quite different and requires Petrine Primacy to be mingled in with the beliefs.  Nevertheless, despite these differences, in the end an agreement at least on Christology has been made.

Recently however, the Coptic Church is questioning that agreement due to Catholic/Assyrian agreement on Christology, and so while they haven't officially revoked it, they are working with Catholics to go back to square one on Christology and understand why they made that decision.

The expression of the Catholic/Coptic agreement is actually taken with cross reference to the Coptic Great Confession before the Eucharist, and it goes like this:

Quote
We believe that our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Incarnate-Logos is perfect in His Divinity and perfect in His Humanity. He made His Humanity One with His Divinity without Mixture, nor Mingling, nor Confusion. His Divinity was not separated from His humanity even for a moment or twinkling of an eye.

At the same time, we anathematize the Doctrines of both Nestorius and Eutyches.

That is the only agreement there is between Catholic and Coptic churches, and now the integrity of this agreement is being questioned.

There are other separate similar agreements made by other OO churches, particularly Malankara, Syrian, and Armenian, I believe.  There wasn't really a joint OO/Catholic agreement because other matters were dealt like intermarriage and sacramental unity, where we would not accept.

God bless.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 08, 2009, 03:18:41 AM
Recently however, the Coptic Church is questioning that agreement due to Catholic/Assyrian agreement on Christology, and so while they haven't officially revoked it, they are working with Catholics to go back to square one on Christology and understand why they made that decision.

The appropriate Roman Catholic Christology is that Peter is the Rock of the Church, and his throne is in Rome and he is the vicar of Christ.  Peter = Pope = Christ.  Roman Catholic Christology in a nutshell.  Next!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 03:29:08 AM
Here's what the Ecumenical Patriarch said a while back (I believe almost a decade back this audio), who expressed optimism in theological understanding between the two, but also believed interestingly enough that we should accept the seven councils, but that also the anathemas must be mutually lifted:

http://www.zeitun-eg.net/members_contrib/EcumenicalPatriarchBartholomewIOnE-OUnion.mp3

I think though that the acceptance of councils and the lifting of anathemas seem to contradict.  If he's saying to accept the dogmas behind them without regard of all the canons and all those minutes and condemnations made against our Church, then in my opinion, they have always been accepted.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 08, 2009, 03:29:52 AM
Recently however, the Coptic Church is questioning that agreement due to Catholic/Assyrian agreement on Christology, and so while they haven't officially revoked it, they are working with Catholics to go back to square one on Christology and understand why they made that decision.

The appropriate Roman Catholic Christology is that Peter is the Rock of the Church, and his throne is in Rome and he is the vicar of Christ.  Peter = Pope = Christ.  Roman Catholic Christology in a nutshell.  Next!
Do you intend for anyone to take you seriously? ???
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: witega on December 08, 2009, 04:07:52 AM
Here's what the Ecumenical Patriarch said a while back (I believe almost a decade back this audio), who expressed optimism in theological understanding between the two, but also believed interestingly enough that we should accept the seven councils, but that also the anathemas must be mutually lifted:

http://www.zeitun-eg.net/members_contrib/EcumenicalPatriarchBartholomewIOnE-OUnion.mp3

I think though that the acceptance of councils and the lifting of anathemas seem to contradict.  If he's saying to accept the dogmas behind them without regard of all the canons and all those minutes and condemnations made against our Church, then in my opinion, they have always been accepted.

How so? Setting aside the issue of the individual anathemas (not because I agree or disagree with the Patriarch but simply because I don't feel qualified to make a comment at this point) what do you mean by 'always been accepted'?

I'm thinking in particular of the Tome of Leo which EO's considers an Orthodox text but which I thought I had seen some OO's still considered a heretical or at least highly questionable text. Wouldn't 'formal acceptance' mean a synodical statement (by each OO church) that they agree that the Tome can be and is to be read and understood in an Orthodox manner? (something like the agreement between St. Cyril and John of Antioch about how the decisions of Ephesus were to be understood)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 08, 2009, 04:34:01 AM
I'm thinking in particular of the Tome of Leo which EO's considers an Orthodox text but which I thought I had seen some OO's still considered a heretical

Yes, this is very true of the theologian Fr Paul Verghese (Metropolitan Paulos Gregorios.)  He considers "the Sixth Council which appears to us badly muddled, not to say in grievous error"  Regarding the dogmatic definition of the 6th Council, he states:

Here, as earlier in the decree, the Tome of Leo is expressly affirmed. The decree actually calls the Tome "the pillar of the right faith." You can perhaps understand that all this is rather difficult for us to accept. For us Leo is still a heretic. It may be possible for us to refrain from condemning him by name, in the interests of restoring communion between us. But we cannot in good conscience accept the Tome of Leo as "the pillar of the right faith" or accept a council which made such a declaration. The council approves explicitly what I clearly regard as heresy in the Tome of Leo: "Each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to it, the Word, namely doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which pertains to the flesh." If one rightly understands the hypostatic union, it is not possible to say that the flesh does something on its own, even if it is said to be in union with the Word. The flesh does not have its own hypostasis. It is the hypostasis of the Word which acts through the flesh. It is the same hypostasis of the Word which does the actions of the Word and of his own flesh. The argument of the horos [dogmatic definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us (Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?)

We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.

c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one hypostasis (Review, pp. 140-141; Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?)

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.aspx


Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 05:05:21 AM
Here's what the Ecumenical Patriarch said a while back (I believe almost a decade back this audio), who expressed optimism in theological understanding between the two, but also believed interestingly enough that we should accept the seven councils, but that also the anathemas must be mutually lifted:

http://www.zeitun-eg.net/members_contrib/EcumenicalPatriarchBartholomewIOnE-OUnion.mp3

I think though that the acceptance of councils and the lifting of anathemas seem to contradict.  If he's saying to accept the dogmas behind them without regard of all the canons and all those minutes and condemnations made against our Church, then in my opinion, they have always been accepted.

How so? Setting aside the issue of the individual anathemas (not because I agree or disagree with the Patriarch but simply because I don't feel qualified to make a comment at this point) what do you mean by 'always been accepted'?

I'm thinking in particular of the Tome of Leo which EO's considers an Orthodox text but which I thought I had seen some OO's still considered a heretical or at least highly questionable text. Wouldn't 'formal acceptance' mean a synodical statement (by each OO church) that they agree that the Tome can be and is to be read and understood in an Orthodox manner? (something like the agreement between St. Cyril and John of Antioch about how the decisions of Ephesus were to be understood)

Well, I don't want to get too much detail, but the summary of all the dialogues we had, official and unofficial can be read here:

http://www.coptic.net/articles/OrthodoxUnityDialog.txt

Consider this part made in the 1970 agreement:

Quote
As for the   Councils and their  authority for   the tradition, we  all  agree
that the  Councils should be seen as  charismatic  events in  the life of  the
Church  rather  than as an authority over  the Church; where some Councils are
acknowledged  as true Councils,  whether as  ecumenical or  as  local,  by the
Church's tradition,  their authority is  to  be seen as coming from   the Holy
Spirit. Distinction is to be  made  not only between the doctrinal definitions
and canonical legislations of  a Council, but also  between the true intention
of the dogmatic  definition of a  Council and  the  particular terminology  in
which it is expressed,  which latter has less  authority than  the  intention.

Assuming the EP agrees with this, if he asks us to merely accept the intentions of the councils, then by all means, there's no need to even ask.  If the intentions have always agreed with our faith, as is the case, then we always accepted.  But if it's more than that, then it border-line contradicts the parts where we are to lift anathemas against one another, notably Leo, Dioscorus, and Severus among others:

Quote
The  reuniting  of  the  two  traditions  which  have their  own  separate
continuity poses certain problems  in relation to  certain revered teachers of
one  family being condemned   or anathematized  by the other.   It may  not be
necessary formally to  lift these  anathemas,   nor for these  teachers to  be
recognised as Saints by the condemning side.  But the restoration of Communion
obviously implies, among other  things, that formal anathemas and condemnation
of revered teachers of the other side should be discontinued as in the case of
Leo, Dioscurus, Severus, and others.

And very clearly in 1990:

Quote
A.  The Orthodox  should  lift all  anathemas  and condemnations  against  all
Oriental Orthodox councils and  fathers    whom  they have  anathematised   or
condemned in the past.

B. The  Oriental Orthodox  should at  the  same time  lift all   anathemas and
condemnations against  all  Orthodox  councils and   fathers  whom  they  have
anathematised or condemned in the past.

So honestly, this means our church has to let's lift anathemas from the four councils, from Leo, from his Tome, based on the intention of Orthodoxy.  Likewise, you would probably lift anathemas from Dioscorus, Severus, probably even Ephesus 449 and 475, from their writings, etc.  So it's important to understand that this is not one church joining another, but a mutual recognition of one another's share in the Orthodox faith, at least that's how these dialogues are showing it.  That's what it means to say "always been accepted."

I know I got suckered in to answer this question in a lengthy manner, but I really really really really hope no one takes this as a debate.  This is simply an answer to a question, not an opinion to spark a fight.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 05:10:34 AM
Fr. Ambrose,

I think you opened a can of worms.  I think after that post, I have a feeling everything written will be separated from this discussion and put into the private forum.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 08, 2009, 05:40:07 AM
Fr. Ambrose,

I think you opened a can of worms.  I think after that post, I have a feeling everything written will be separated from this discussion and put into the private forum.

Soprry, I did not mean to do that.   I am really interested in the questions I asked in Message 183, and I appreciated your answers in Message 185.   It is clear that I was thinking a bit naively that the christological matter had been settled with the Roman Catholic Church.   It has become more complicated than I was aware.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 09:16:44 AM
I just got a copy of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ."  We of course believe it (us world Orthodox that is).  The Copts believe it.  Care to explain the difference, Mr. Gress?
Do you wish to discuss Chalcedon, or do you wish to discuss how Chalcedon should shape our understanding of ecumenism?  This is a significant distinction.

Me?  Neither.

Mr. Gress is rather intent on lumpiing the OO with the heretics by revisiting Chalcedon and sloganeering rather than what has happened since then, i.e. the EO discovery that the Miaphysites are not Eutychians.

Yes, the OO"s have a different view on Chalcedon from the EO, which is a problem.  But then so too  does the Vatican which accepts the Council and the Protestants who accept it without knowing.  And yet I would say with share the same Faith with the former, but not with the latter. It seems to me that Mr. Gress would llump myself and other EO's with all of the above, along with New Calendarists and those on the Old Calendar still in communion with them, although no Ecumenical Council has condemned us (with the plausible exception of my defense of the Miaphysites).

Since he insists that there is a difference between us World EOs and the Miaphysites, I just chose "On the Unity of Christ" as a litmus test: written just over a decade before the Fourth Ecumenical Council, and shortly after the Third by its protagonist, both EO ("World Orthodox" and otherwise).  Both Miaphysites and EO claim the work, and St. Cyril (and did so at Chalcedon).  Can they both claim him and this work?  I would say yes, I presume Mr. Gress would say no, and so I ask him to explain why the Copts, for instance, cannot claim St. Cyril on the basis of this pre-Chalcedon work
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&pg=PA1&dq=on+the+unity+of+christ+cyril&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
, as a concrete example.

Btw, for "contrast":
Coptic Christology in practice: incarnation and divine participation in late Antique and Medieval Egypt, By Stephen J. Davis
http://books.google.com/books?id=R9mIHbO_NeIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=chalcedon&f=false
Cyril of Alexandria By Saint Cyril (Patriarch of Alexandria), Norman Russell
http://books.google.com/books?id=PNGrjSsDh1AC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false
The appropriation of divine life in Cyril of Alexandria By Daniel A. Keating
http://books.google.com/books?id=-Kp7lJOGANwC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false
St. Cyril of Alexandria: the Christological controversy : its history, theology and texts, By John Anthony McGuckin
http://books.google.com/books?id=QxhR9ihUAWkC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorian controversy: the making of a saint and a heretic By Susan Wessel
http://books.google.com/books?id=HWpne39PRHAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=on+the+unity+of+christ+cyril&source=gbs_similarbooks_s&cad=1#v=onepage&q=on%20the%20unity%20of%20christ%20cyril&f=false
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 09:27:19 AM
I'm thinking in particular of the Tome of Leo which EO's considers an Orthodox text but which I thought I had seen some OO's still considered a heretical

Yes, this is very true of the theologian Fr Paul Verghese (Metropolitan Paulos Gregorios.)  He considers "the Sixth Council which appears to us badly muddled, not to say in grievous error"  Regarding the dogmatic definition of the 6th Council, he states:

Here, as earlier in the decree, the Tome of Leo is expressly affirmed. The decree actually calls the Tome "the pillar of the right faith." You can perhaps understand that all this is rather difficult for us to accept. For us Leo is still a heretic. It may be possible for us to refrain from condemning him by name, in the interests of restoring communion between us. But we cannot in good conscience accept the Tome of Leo as "the pillar of the right faith" or accept a council which made such a declaration. The council approves explicitly what I clearly regard as heresy in the Tome of Leo: "Each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to it, the Word, namely doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which pertains to the flesh." If one rightly understands the hypostatic union, it is not possible to say that the flesh does something on its own, even if it is said to be in union with the Word. The flesh does not have its own hypostasis. It is the hypostasis of the Word which acts through the flesh. It is the same hypostasis of the Word which does the actions of the Word and of his own flesh. The argument of the horos [dogmatic definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us (Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?)

We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.

c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one hypostasis (Review, pp. 140-141; Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?)

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.aspx




We had a lengthy inter-EO discussion on this in the private forums: " Jesus Christ the God-Man, A Divine Person, Also a Human Person?"  It would seem that this isn't an issue that divides EO from OO (but EO from EO, and OO from OO?).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 09:42:32 AM
Jonathan,

Another question.  Have you considered that maybe these Antiochian theologians feel that they are not contradicting those quotes you are giving?  Have you considered that maybe the "iota" you're quoting from is not the "iota" I was thinking?

No, of course not.  Obviously, once again, you make assumptions.  Do you notice how many EO's here in this thread could use these quotes against you (in fact, have implied that you are outside the true faith), one of them being Fr. Ambrose?

But you still don't get it.  You don't delve much deeper into the issue because either you're afraid or you like to remain ignorant.

If you still don't get it, Jonathan, Salpy is right.  There's no point in trying to make you understand.

Whether or not they 'feel' they are upholding the dogmas of the Seven Councils, I am demonstrating as an objective fact that they are not upholding them.

I'd be interested to see just how Fr Ambrose uses these quotes against me, considering that I am not in the World Council of Churches, consider the anathemas against the Latin church still to be in force so long as they continue to teach their non-Orthodox doctrines, and that I continue to believe in all the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils and hence do not recognize the Orthodoxy of non-Chalcedonians.

Objective?  Hardly!  Objective is trying to understand and address WHY....WHY....again...WHY they believe the way they do, and then make your argument.

Fr. Ambrose already explained it to you.  He felt his church does it no differently than St. Mark.

Well 'why' the Synod of Antioch did what it did is another matter. For that, you can read their statement, and the theological justifications in earlier documents like the statement of the Chambesy conference. But for my purposes I only need to demonstrate that the Synod made the decision it did, since that is all I need to know that they have trampled on the conciliar dogmas.

Is it dogma of the Sixth Council that the Fourth Council anathematized Pope Dioscoros as a heretic?  Because the Fourth Council did no such thing.



Quote
I don't know how you feel about the Ecumenical Councils, but among the Orthodox the dogmas of the Seven Councils are considered immutable, since they represent the voice of the Holy Spirit.
By which Council do you anathematize the Miaphysites, as they are NOT Eutychians?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 09:57:38 AM
It's all right Fr George. I already have the answer I wanted.

The point I'm trying to make here is this: you, a non-Chalcedonian, obviously have your beliefs about Christ, and I have my beliefs. My beliefs follow the dogma of Chalcedon, which I consider to be an Ecumenical Council and to express the voice of the whole Church, the voice of the Holy Spirit in other words. It's clear you do not accept it as the voice of the Holy Spirit, and I respect your decision. Faith is an act of free will. However, what I cannot accept is the argument that you and I have the same faith, when you can't even answer a simple question like I just gave you. Since we manifestly do not have the same faith, the decision of the Synod of Antioch cannot possibly be correct insofar as it is based on the assumption of shared faith.

Then it should be an equally simple question to ask: do the Miaphysites share the same Faith of Pope St. Cyril?

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 10:49:54 AM
I'm sorry the way this has turned into an EO/OO discussion. I am not interested in proving to the OO that they are heretics. I am not even interested in going to special lengths to prove to EO that they do not share the same faith as the OO, because I take it to be self-evident that the EO and the OO do not share the same faith by the simple fact that the EO consider the Chalcedonian dogma to be Orthodox, but the OO do not. As IH noted, this also means the OO do not accept the Orthodox teaching that Christ has two wills corresponding to His two natures. I am interested only in proving to conservative New Calendarist Orthodox, who believe in traditional Orthodox teaching but deny that their hierarchs have fallen into ecumenism, that in fact they are mistaken and that their hierarchs _have_ fallen into ecumenism. One example of their hierarchs' fall is the decision of the Synod of Antioch to recognize the mysteries of the non-Chalcedonians.

If you take it as self-evident that the EO and the OO have different doctrines, as I do, then of course any evidence that EO hierarchs deny this difference is evidence of ecumenism. If you try to claim that the EO hierarchs did nothing wrong, because in fact we do share the same faith as the OO, that only tells me that you have succumbed to ecumenism yourself.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 11:51:22 AM
I'm sorry the way this has turned into an EO/OO discussion. I am not interested in proving to the OO that they are heretics. I am not even interested in going to special lengths to prove to EO that they do not share the same faith as the OO, because I take it to be self-evident that the EO and the OO do not share the same faith by the simple fact that the EO consider the Chalcedonian dogma to be Orthodox, but the OO do not. As IH noted, this also means the OO do not accept the Orthodox teaching that Christ has two wills corresponding to His two natures. I am interested only in proving to conservative New Calendarist Orthodox, who believe in traditional Orthodox teaching but deny that their hierarchs have fallen into ecumenism, that in fact they are mistaken and that their hierarchs _have_ fallen into ecumenism. One example of their hierarchs' fall is the decision of the Synod of Antioch to recognize the mysteries of the non-Chalcedonians.

If you take it as self-evident that the EO and the OO have different doctrines, as I do, then of course any evidence that EO hierarchs deny this difference is evidence of ecumenism. If you try to claim that the EO hierarchs did nothing wrong, because in fact we do share the same faith as the OO, that only tells me that you have succumbed to ecumenism yourself.
You have side stepped the question again.  The question was simple: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 12:04:35 PM
I'm sorry the way this has turned into an EO/OO discussion. I am not interested in proving to the OO that they are heretics. I am not even interested in going to special lengths to prove to EO that they do not share the same faith as the OO, because I take it to be self-evident that the EO and the OO do not share the same faith by the simple fact that the EO consider the Chalcedonian dogma to be Orthodox, but the OO do not. As IH noted, this also means the OO do not accept the Orthodox teaching that Christ has two wills corresponding to His two natures. I am interested only in proving to conservative New Calendarist Orthodox, who believe in traditional Orthodox teaching but deny that their hierarchs have fallen into ecumenism, that in fact they are mistaken and that their hierarchs _have_ fallen into ecumenism. One example of their hierarchs' fall is the decision of the Synod of Antioch to recognize the mysteries of the non-Chalcedonians.

If you take it as self-evident that the EO and the OO have different doctrines, as I do, then of course any evidence that EO hierarchs deny this difference is evidence of ecumenism. If you try to claim that the EO hierarchs did nothing wrong, because in fact we do share the same faith as the OO, that only tells me that you have succumbed to ecumenism yourself.
You have side stepped the question again.  The question was simple: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

As far as I am concerned, and as far as any traditionally minded Orthodox Christian is concerned, no they do not, because the faith of St Cyril, that is, the Orthodox faith, was determined for us by the Ecumenical Councils, including Chalcedon and subsequent councils.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 12:25:32 PM
I'm sorry the way this has turned into an EO/OO discussion. I am not interested in proving to the OO that they are heretics. I am not even interested in going to special lengths to prove to EO that they do not share the same faith as the OO, because I take it to be self-evident that the EO and the OO do not share the same faith by the simple fact that the EO consider the Chalcedonian dogma to be Orthodox, but the OO do not. As IH noted, this also means the OO do not accept the Orthodox teaching that Christ has two wills corresponding to His two natures. I am interested only in proving to conservative New Calendarist Orthodox, who believe in traditional Orthodox teaching but deny that their hierarchs have fallen into ecumenism, that in fact they are mistaken and that their hierarchs _have_ fallen into ecumenism. One example of their hierarchs' fall is the decision of the Synod of Antioch to recognize the mysteries of the non-Chalcedonians.

If you take it as self-evident that the EO and the OO have different doctrines, as I do, then of course any evidence that EO hierarchs deny this difference is evidence of ecumenism. If you try to claim that the EO hierarchs did nothing wrong, because in fact we do share the same faith as the OO, that only tells me that you have succumbed to ecumenism yourself.
You have side stepped the question again.  The question was simple: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

As far as I am concerned, and as far as any traditionally minded Orthodox Christian is concerned,

traditionally minded is distinguished from fossilized and reactionary.

Quote
no they do not, because the faith of St Cyril, that is, the Orthodox faith, was determined for us by the Ecumenical Councils, including Chalcedon and subsequent councils.
St. Cyril taught his last before Chalcedon. Pope Dioscoros defended St. Cyril at Chalcedon, and St. Cyril supplied the Miaphysites with their slogan: μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη, merely parroting about the Ecumenical Councils and Orthodoxy doesn't make your point, any more than Pope Vigilius pointing to the "exhoneration" of Theodoret and Ibas supported his opposition to the Fifth Ecumenical Council.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 12:40:26 PM
ialmisry, I already said that I am not going to debate with those who believe the EO and OO share the same faith, because I take it as self-evident, for the purposes of discussion of ecumenism, that they do not. Some other time I will explain to you why an Orthodox Christian must believe in the dogmas as determined by the Seven Councils: right now, I'm taking that as a given. Can you please respect that?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 01:01:08 PM
ialmisry, I already said that I am not going to debate with those who believe the EO and OO share the same faith, because I take it as self-evident, for the purposes of discussion of ecumenism, that they do not.

I am afraid that parroting slogans doesn't make discussion.



Quote
Some other time I will explain to you why an Orthodox Christian must believe in the dogmas as determined by the Seven Councils: right now, I'm taking that as a given. Can you please respect that?
On a thread entitled "DISCUSSION on Ecumenism?" No.

You state as a given that the OO and the EO do not share the same Faith, yet both claim to share the same Faith as Pope St. Cyril.  The Vatican and Protestants claim the same, but that is easily refuted, as St. Cyril believed neither in Ultramontanism nor Sola Scriptura, the basis of those two communions.  The Nestorians, of course, make no such claim.

So that leaves us EO ("World" and Old Calendarist) and OO.  St. Cyril in his Formula of Reunion to Patriarch John, (and upon which the Definition of Chalcedon explicitely bases itself):
http://books.google.com/books?id=XKrRGhf274YC&pg=PA149&dq=St.+Cyril+Formula+of+Reunion&cd=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false
leaves you one side, and "World" Orthodoxy and the OO on the other, with St. Cyril.

You base your argument on an unproven assumption.  That's a discussion based on sand, not rock.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 08, 2009, 01:22:39 PM
ialmisry, I already said that I am not going to debate with those who believe the EO and OO share the same faith, because I take it as self-evident, for the purposes of discussion of ecumenism, that they do not.

I am afraid that parroting slogans doesn't make discussion.

Indeed.  The non formal-acceptance of the later Synods (4-8 or 9, not merely 4-7) does not indicate a non-acceptance of the theology proclaimed by them; in fact, IIRC many OO clergy (& Saints?) draw upon the Saints of & conclusions of the 5th-8th/9th Synods... Why don't you formally ask any here who are familiar with OO theology whether they accept the theology of Synods 5-8/9 point-by-point (that is, ask them point-by-point)?  I think you'll find Theological agreement; and even Theological agreement on 4 when considered in the context of 3-5.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 01:31:23 PM
It seems there is not one other person posting on this thread who believes in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which I had always thought was necessary to be included in the fold of the Orthodox Church.

If the OO believed in the faith of Chalcedon, they would accept the dogma of Chalcedon. They do not accept the dogma of Chalcedon, therefore they do not hold the faith of Chalcedon. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 08, 2009, 01:35:14 PM
It seems there is not one other person posting on this thread who believes in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which I had always thought was necessary to be included in the fold of the Orthodox Church.

That's unnecessarily polemical - no one here is advocating abrogating the faith in even one small bit.  But before you declare that someone else doesn't have the same faith, you should ask them if they accept the faith.  Ask them.

If the OO believed in the faith of Chalcedon, they would accept the dogma of Chalcedon. They do not accept the dogma of Chalcedon, therefore they do not hold the faith of Chalcedon. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.

Who said they don't accept the dogma of Chalcedon?  They rejected it at first, but do they reject it now?  Ask them.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ROCORthodox on December 08, 2009, 01:40:42 PM
Wait a minute. You let the bishops, who by your admission are already in heresy, handle their own heresy?

Already in heresy how?  You are assuming a fact not in evidence, and certainly not formally proclaimed. ;)
(I know what your answer to this is - you don't have to respond if you don't want to.)

Jonathan, I'll make clear Fr. Ambrose's point with your answer to this question:

Are you exclusively the only Orthodox church left on earth?

Yes or No.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 01:41:45 PM
It seems there is not one other person posting on this thread who believes in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which I had always thought was necessary to be included in the fold of the Orthodox Church.

If the OO believed in the faith of Chalcedon, they would accept the dogma of Chalcedon. They do not accept the dogma of Chalcedon, therefore they do not hold the faith of Chalcedon. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.

I wasn't aware that the Diet of Worms was an Ecumenical Council, or is your ecumenism showing? :P

I for one believe in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, as I swore when I entered the fold of the Orthdoox Church.

The supportes of the Three Chapters made the same argument you do against the Fifth Ecumenical Council.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 02:12:32 PM
It seems there is not one other person posting on this thread who believes in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which I had always thought was necessary to be included in the fold of the Orthodox Church.

If the OO believed in the faith of Chalcedon, they would accept the dogma of Chalcedon. They do not accept the dogma of Chalcedon, therefore they do not hold the faith of Chalcedon. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.

I wasn't aware that the Diet of Worms was an Ecumenical Council, or is your ecumenism showing? :P

I for one believe in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, as I swore when I entered the fold of the Orthdoox Church.

The supportes of the Three Chapters made the same argument you do against the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

Sorry ialmisry I didn't realize that would offend your Orthodox sensibilities. Obviously you are so zealous for Orthodoxy you wouldn't even quote something theologically neutral if it had been said by a heretic.

I'm certainly glad to hear you uphold the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils. I was beginning to wonder, I admit.

I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do. What I am prepared to debate is whether EO hierarchs have in fact denied that the OO have different teachings, that they are in fact Orthodox, and that they have recognized the mysteries of the OO and allowed communion between the OO and the EO. I believe I have proved this by the example of the decision of the Synod of Antioch in 1991, but if anyone wants to dispute this, let them.

Can we please move on to something else? I think the subject of the 1965 lifting of the anathemas against the Pope is an interesting topic. Questions to consider: how do we know that Patriarch Michael Cerularius excommunicated the Pope? On what grounds did he excommunicate the Pope? Is Metropolitan Philaret correct that lifting these anathemas constitutes an assertion of the Orthodoxy of the Pope, at least with respect to the doctrines for which the Pope was supposedly anathematized?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 08, 2009, 02:30:04 PM
^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 02:39:56 PM
Reminds me of a four year old.  No matter what you tell him, he's always right.

It would make sense why Christ did not waste his miracles on Pharisees.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 02:42:24 PM
^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks


Yes sg you have it exactly right. I am an Orthodox Christian, I believe in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 02:46:53 PM
Perhaps, there needs to be an ecumenical council on defining what it means to "accept" a council.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 08, 2009, 02:51:11 PM
I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do.

This is a fundamental presupposition for you, but it has not been proven to others (in fact, it is squarely in the center of the debate now).  As long as the point goes unproven (i.e. until you provide evidence supporting this point), I fear no one can engage in a conversation that uses this point as a presupposition.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ROCORthodox on December 08, 2009, 02:54:01 PM
^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks


Yes sg you have it exactly right. I am an Orthodox Christian, I believe in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings.

Johnathan, according to your unmovable belief in the Seven Ecumenical Councils, do you believe that your particular branch of the GOC is the only remainder of the Orthodox Church on earth?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 08, 2009, 02:55:45 PM
I am an Orthodox Christian, I believe in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Nothing will make me budge.

No one is asking you to budge.  Heck, no one is attempting to argue against the Faith in God expounded by the Seven Ecumenical Councils (BTW: they said "I believe in One God, Father, Almighty..." not "I believe in the First Ecumenical Council").

I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings.

No one is arguing with you against the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon as seen through the lenses of Synods 5-7 + the Fathers + Tradition in this thread, just as no one argues with the Creed of Nicea as seen through the lenses of 2-7 + the Fathers + Tradition, and no one argues with the Scripture as seen through the lenses of 1-7 + the Fathers + Tradition.  The argument is against your assumed fact that the OO "have different teachings."
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 08, 2009, 02:57:53 PM
Thank You Fr. George - I find it interesting how quickly Jonathan can throw stones...

(quote:Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings)

...without asking the people he's discussing with, what their beliefs are.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 02:58:36 PM
I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do.

This is a fundamental presupposition for you, but it has not been proven to others (in fact, it is squarely in the center of the debate now).  As long as the point goes unproven (i.e. until you provide evidence supporting this point), I fear no one can engage in a conversation that uses this point as a presupposition.

Fr George, it's proven by the fact that the OO do not accept the definition of Chalcedon, that I copied and pasted in an earlier post. The dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils are binding on the Orthodox, which I would have thought you knew already, being a priest. Therefore we Orthodox believe in the definition of Chalcedon, while the OO do not. Hence we do not share the same doctrine. Therefore recognition of OO mysteries is an example of ecumenist teaching, which as we know is the teaching that the dogmas of the Orthodox Church are not necessary for salvation and cannot be used to determine who is in the Church and who is outside the Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 08, 2009, 03:06:41 PM
Jonathan Gress.

My friend, it seems no one can show you that the OO are not (for the majority) Monophysite.

Yet you will not ask, look or discover for yourself one way or the other.  ???
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 03:09:42 PM
Jonathan Gress.

My friend, it seems no one can show you that the OO are not (for the majority) Monophysite.

Yet you will not ask, look or discover for yourself one way or the other.  ???

I would be very happy to learn that the OO are not Monophysites. Let me know when they accept Chalcedon ;)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 03:12:28 PM
Jonathan,

What do you think of this confession:

Quote
No man shall say that the holy flesh, which our Lord took from the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, in a manner which He Himself knows, was different to and foreign from our body. And, indeed, since this is so, they who affirm that Christ did not become incarnate for us, give the lie to Paul. For he has said, 'Not from angels did He take (the nature), but from the seed of the House of Abraham'; to which seed Mary was no stranger, as the Scriptures teach us. And again,' It was right that in everything He should be made like unto His brethren,' and that word 'in everything' does not suffer the subtraction of any part of our nature: since in nerves, and hair, and bones, and veins, and belly, and heart, and kidneys, and liver, and lungs, and, in short, in all those things that belong to our nature, the flesh which was born from Mary was compacted with the soul of our Redeemer, that reasonable and intelligent soul, without the seed of man, and the gratification and cohabitation of sleep....For if, as the heretics think, this was not so, how is He named 'our brother,' supposing that He used a body different from ours ? And how, again, is that true which He said to His Father, 'I will declare Thy name to my brethren?' Let us not reject, neither let us despise, those who think in this way. For He was like us, for us, and with us, not in phantasy, nor in mere semblance, according to the heresy of the Manichaeans, but rather in actual reality from Mary, the Theotokos. To comfort the desolate and to repair the vessel that had been broken, He came to us new. And as Emmanuel, indeed, He is confessed; for He became poor for us, according to the saying of Paul, 'that we, by His humiliation, might be made rich.' He became, by the dispensation, like us; that we, by His tender mercy, might be like Him. He became man, and yet He did not destroy that which is His nature, that He is Son of God; that we, by grace, might become the sons of God. This I think and believe; and, if any man does not think thus, he is a stranger to the faith of the apostles.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 08, 2009, 03:13:50 PM
Just a general note based on the most cursory of readings:  Any attempt to show exactly how the OO are not Orthodox beyond what Jonathan is willing to argue technically falls outside the scope of this thread and would be more appropriate in a separate thread on the Eastern-Oriental Private Forum.  I'll look more closely into this later this afternoon, but on the surface it looks as if Jonathan is trying merely to tie his beliefs regarding the OO into his arguments against ecumenism and save his arguments against Oriental Orthodox belief in and of itself for another day.  Please respect that.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 08, 2009, 03:14:21 PM
Fr George, it's proven by the fact that the OO do not accept the definition of Chalcedon, that I copied and pasted in an earlier post.

I didn't bother reading your pages of copied text.  Summarize for me - I'm a bit too busy to get through it all.  Specifically - do your sources claim, based on the position of the OO Church now, that they do not believe in the Faith expounded by the 7 Ecumenical Councils?

The dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils are binding on the Orthodox, which I would have thought you knew already, being a priest.

My, my - how condescending.  I am fully aware of the fact, and have had to re-affirm it no less than almost 2 months ago when I pledged to follow all the Ecumenical Councils, Canons, decisions of my bishop, etc.

Therefore we Orthodox believe in the definition of Chalcedon, while the OO do not. Hence we do not share the same doctrine.

You should say "we Orthodox believe the definition of Chalcedon," or "we Orthodox believe in the faith expounded by the definition of Chalcedon," not "we believe in the definition of Chalcedon," since we "believe IN one God, Father, Almighty..."  Are you sure that the OO Church does not actually believe in the same faith of Chalcedon, Constantinople, Nicea, and Ephesus that we do?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 03:33:41 PM
Thank you, moderator. Please please please can we talk about the anathemas of 1054 or something?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 04:50:20 PM
Jonathan Gress.

My friend, it seems no one can show you that the OO are not (for the majority) Monophysite.

Yet you will not ask, look or discover for yourself one way or the other.  ???

I would be very happy to learn that the OO are not Monophysites. Let me know when they accept Chalcedon ;)

You mean like the Nestorians did, following Nestorius' lead?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 05:03:10 PM
It seems there is not one other person posting on this thread who believes in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which I had always thought was necessary to be included in the fold of the Orthodox Church.

If the OO believed in the faith of Chalcedon, they would accept the dogma of Chalcedon. They do not accept the dogma of Chalcedon, therefore they do not hold the faith of Chalcedon. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.

I wasn't aware that the Diet of Worms was an Ecumenical Council, or is your ecumenism showing? :P

I for one believe in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, as I swore when I entered the fold of the Orthdoox Church.

The supportes of the Three Chapters made the same argument you do against the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

Sorry ialmisry I didn't realize that would offend your Orthodox sensibilities. Obviously you are so zealous for Orthodoxy you wouldn't even quote something theologically neutral if it had been said by a heretic.

I'm certainly glad to hear you uphold the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils. I was beginning to wonder, I admit.

I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do.

Well, I guess Rome has spoken.

Quote
What I am prepared to debate is whether EO hierarchs have in fact denied that the OO have different teachings,

If the OO do not have different teachings, what is there to deny?

Of course, you would have to know what the OO teach to answer that. ::)


Quote
that they are in fact Orthodox,

Which they are.

Quote
and that they have recognized the mysteries of the OO and allowed communion between the OO and the EO.

Since you don't recognize the Holy Mysteries of the New Calendar EO nor allow communion between those on the Old Calendar and the New Calendarists, what difference could recognition of the OO in any way make to you?

Quote
I believe I have proved this by the example of the decision of the Synod of Antioch in 1991, but if anyone wants to dispute this, let them.

I don't dispute it at all. Your point?

Quote
Can we please move on to something else? I think the subject of the 1965 lifting of the anathemas against the Pope is an interesting topic. Questions to consider: how do we know that Patriarch Michael Cerularius excommunicated the Pope?


What difference would it make if he didn't.  Would your diptychs stick bishop Benedict XVI in?

Quote
On what grounds did he excommunicate the Pope? Is Metropolitan Philaret correct that lifting these anathemas constitutes an assertion of the Orthodoxy of the Pope, at least with respect to the doctrines for which the Pope was supposedly anathematized?

It was a meaningless gesture of no practical consequence. Except confusion.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 05:04:32 PM
^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks


In other words, he doesn't want to be confused with facts.

Thank You Fr. George - I find it interesting how quickly Jonathan can throw stones...

(quote:Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings)

...without asking the people he's discussing with, what their beliefs are.

'cuz straw men don't throw back.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 05:05:32 PM
^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks


Yes sg you have it exactly right. I am an Orthodox Christian, I believe in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings.
That's just what the opponents of the Fifth Ecumenical Council said.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 08, 2009, 05:10:43 PM
Isa - You're on a roll! :D
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 05:40:07 PM
I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do.

This is a fundamental presupposition for you, but it has not been proven to others (in fact, it is squarely in the center of the debate now).  As long as the point goes unproven (i.e. until you provide evidence supporting this point), I fear no one can engage in a conversation that uses this point as a presupposition.

Fr George, it's proven by the fact that the OO do not accept the definition of Chalcedon, that I copied and pasted in an earlier post.

The Vatican states that acceptance of Chalcedon means acceptance of its Ultramontanist claims (...Peter has spoken through Leo..., the appeal to Rome by St. Flavian...."Robber Council"...etc.).  I guess your acceptance of the definition of Chalcedon proves you accept the "fact" of Pastor Aetnernus.

Quote
The dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils are binding on the Orthodox, which I would have thought you knew already, being a priest.
Being Orthodox, he/we reject the Vatican's claims.

Quote
Therefore we Orthodox believe in the definition of Chalcedon,

...of the primacy of the Pope of Rome, as the Vatican interpretes it...

Quote
while the OO do not.

...believe in the supremacy of the Pope of Rome...

Quote
Hence we do not share the same doctrine.

Right.  You are on the side with the Vatican, and we Orthodox are on the other side of the Tiber.

Quote
Therefore recognition of OO mysteries is an example of ecumenist teaching,

And prima facie recognition of Rome primacy is an example of Ultramontanist teaching.

Quote
which as we know is the teaching that the dogmas of the Orthodox Church are not necessary for salvation and cannot be used to determine who is in the Church and who is outside the Church.

As Ultramontanism holds that submission to the Vatican is necessary for salvation and one in rebellion to the Apostolic See through which St. Peter speaks ex cathedra is outside the Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 05:48:19 PM
Jonathan Gress.

My friend, it seems no one can show you that the OO are not (for the majority) Monophysite.

Yet you will not ask, look or discover for yourself one way or the other.  ???

I would be very happy to learn that the OO are not Monophysites. Let me know when they accept Chalcedon ;)

We know that Miaphysites weren't Monophysites at Chalcedon. We know that Pope Leo and his legatees there were Ultramontanists.  I would be very happy to learn that you accept the Orthodox view of the matter.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 05:51:31 PM
Thank you, moderator. Please please please can we talk about the anathemas of 1054 or something?

How about your Ultramontanist leanings in accepting the Definition of Chalcedon?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 08, 2009, 08:00:09 PM
Thank you, moderator. Please please please can we talk about the anathemas of 1054 or something?

Having reviewed this thread further, I have come to recognize that many have really been asking you to defend your heretofore unproven premise that acceptance of the formal dogmatic proclamations of the ecumenical councils, as opposed to the substance of the Christological belief expressed therein, is required for membership in the Orthodox Church.  This is actually much different from any question regarding the essence of your belief that the OO are heretics.  Seeing how the real question posed to you on this thread ties in perfectly with the larger discussion on ecumenism, I am prepared to allow others to hammer you with this question without telling them to stop or offering to move the discussion to another thread.  Even though I'm using moderator type to communicate this to you, I am not requiring you to answer this question if you don't want to.  I am just going to allow others to ask you this question on this thread.

So, taking my moderator hat off, I'm going to ask you as a mere poster:  Why must we make acceptance of the text of the dogmatic proclamation of Chalcedon the litmus test for Orthodoxy vs. heresy, as opposed to any evidence that the OO hold to the foundational Christology of Chalcedon despite their rejection of the Chalcedonian articulation of this Christology?  Think of this as a question of the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: John Larocque on December 08, 2009, 08:47:58 PM
Having cruised onto a Catholic forum, some of the Orthodox posters there are also insistent that the Church has to be faithful to what was taught at the seven ecumenical Councils. Thus, the Orthodox church is the "true church" because it was faithful to what was taught at those councils and did not depart from it. Similarly, those who deviated from that could no longer be part of the church. This seems to be the message that is always presented to Catholics - they must not depart from what was taught nor should they add to it. There were councils after Chalcedon - including the fifth (which confirmed the orthodoxy of the St. Cyril's theopaschite formula). I guess the question to ask is this, is there another court of last resort other than the Councils as the basis for unity of faith?

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 08, 2009, 09:59:17 PM
Look somehow two debates have become tangled together here:

Are the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches ecumenists?

Are the non-Chalcedonians Orthodox?

The reason why we have been having the first debate is because both sides of the debate, or so I thought, believe ecumenism to be a heresy. If ecumenism were not a heresy, obviously it wouldn't matter whether or not one's hierarchs were ecumenists. If ecumenism is a heresy, then of course it matters whether or not one's hierarchs are preaching ecumenism.

Obviously we need a definition of ecumenism. I would think that the definition given in ROCA's anathema of 1983 should be taken as the basis for discussion:

"Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!"

We might paraphrase this as saying that ecumenism consists in the teaching that difference in doctrine does not constitute separation from the Church.

Now we need a definition of 'doctrine'. Doctrine is of course not merely that contained in the words of the Bible or the Councils, but the _consensus Patrum_. Ultimately it is not limited to any one text, but is the universal Truth as communicated through the words of the Fathers. The Councils themselves receive their authority from the Church, as does the Bible. However, when the Church determines that a certain dogmatic definition is true, such as concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone, or the two natures and wills of Christ, then She does not take this back at a later date, because the dogmatic definitions express eternal truths and the Church has decided that this is the only way to express the Truth. Since it is the words of the Fathers that give us our doctrine, the precise wording of dogmatic formulas is a crucial matter.

I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.

It's easy to see how modernism leads to ecumenism. Redefining doctrine to exclude the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils leads to the teaching that the non-Chalcedonians or the Latins, who do not share our dogmas, have the same doctrine. Under the traditional Orthodox definition of doctrine, that is ecumenism and a heresy. Under a modernist definition of doctrine, of course you can claim that it isn't ecumenism to claim that the non-Chalcedonians share our doctrine, because you have conveniently redefined doctrine in such a way that there is no longer a difference. The question now is: how far can you redefine doctrine? If we today can arrogate to ourselves the authority to supersede the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils, where are the bounds on our authority? Obviously not the tradition of the Church, since we are able to redefine even Tradition as we please.

I suggest splitting this debate into two. In one thread, I can talk to those traditionally minded Orthodox who need to be convinced that their hierarchs are truly guilty of preaching ecumenism. In the other thread, I can debate with those who hold modernist views on Church doctrine and accept the arguments of ecumenists that those who have been excluded from Orthodoxy through their doctrinal errors may nevertheless be considered part of the Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 08, 2009, 09:59:45 PM
Having cruised onto a Catholic forum, some of the Orthodox posters there are also insistent that the Church has to be faithful to what was taught at the seven ecumenical Councils. Thus, the Orthodox church is the "true church" because it was faithful to what was taught at those councils and did not depart from it. Similarly, those who deviated from that could no longer be part of the church. This seems to be the message that is always presented to Catholics - they must not depart from what was taught nor should they add to it. There were councils after Chalcedon - including the fifth (which confirmed the orthodoxy of the St. Cyril's theopaschite formula). I guess the question to ask is this, is there another court of last resort other than the Councils as the basis for unity of faith?


I don't know.  I suppose that's a good question for Jonathan to answer, since he's the one advancing his claim here on this thread.  Otherwise, I really don't see your question being the topic of discussion here. ;)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 08, 2009, 10:05:21 PM
Jonathan, can you answer this question for me.  The following quote, does it in your opinion agree with the doctrines of Chalcedon?

Jonathan,

What do you think of this confession:

Quote
No man shall say that the holy flesh, which our Lord took from the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, in a manner which He Himself knows, was different to and foreign from our body. And, indeed, since this is so, they who affirm that Christ did not become incarnate for us, give the lie to Paul. For he has said, 'Not from angels did He take (the nature), but from the seed of the House of Abraham'; to which seed Mary was no stranger, as the Scriptures teach us. And again,' It was right that in everything He should be made like unto His brethren,' and that word 'in everything' does not suffer the subtraction of any part of our nature: since in nerves, and hair, and bones, and veins, and belly, and heart, and kidneys, and liver, and lungs, and, in short, in all those things that belong to our nature, the flesh which was born from Mary was compacted with the soul of our Redeemer, that reasonable and intelligent soul, without the seed of man, and the gratification and cohabitation of sleep....For if, as the heretics think, this was not so, how is He named 'our brother,' supposing that He used a body different from ours ? And how, again, is that true which He said to His Father, 'I will declare Thy name to my brethren?' Let us not reject, neither let us despise, those who think in this way. For He was like us, for us, and with us, not in phantasy, nor in mere semblance, according to the heresy of the Manichaeans, but rather in actual reality from Mary, the Theotokos. To comfort the desolate and to repair the vessel that had been broken, He came to us new. And as Emmanuel, indeed, He is confessed; for He became poor for us, according to the saying of Paul, 'that we, by His humiliation, might be made rich.' He became, by the dispensation, like us; that we, by His tender mercy, might be like Him. He became man, and yet He did not destroy that which is His nature, that He is Son of God; that we, by grace, might become the sons of God. This I think and believe; and, if any man does not think thus, he is a stranger to the faith of the apostles.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 08, 2009, 10:07:35 PM
I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". ::)  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 08, 2009, 10:27:30 PM

Obviously we need a definition of ecumenism. I would think that the definition given in ROCA's anathema of 1983 should be taken as the basis for discussion:

"Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church .... does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations,..."

This is the central point of Old Calendarist Ecumenism and it does indeed constitute an attack on the Church of Christ.   The 1983 Anathema formulated by ROCA encompasses Old Calendarists.

This is cogently pointed out in both the 1983 statement condemning Old Calendarist Ecumenism issued by the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece and by the 2000 AD article coming from the Holy Mountain

Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm


"Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an anti-Patristic stance"
http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm#_Toc135058238

If you have not taken time to acquaint yourself with these articles, I would recommend them, and especially the latter.

We can appreciate that a photo of Pat Bartholomew kissing the Pope of Rome has a dramatic visual effect but it is superficial and does not touch on ecclesiology.   On the other hand, the invisible ecumenism of the Old Calendarists is more subtle and more destructive of Orthodox ecclesiology.  And we could say that it is in its own way "modernist" since it is a type of ecclesiology which has never been known in the Church before.

Read the articles and you will apprehend the ecumenical errors found in Old Calendarist thinking on the Church.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 08, 2009, 11:02:19 PM
Having cruised onto a Catholic forum, some of the Orthodox posters there are also insistent that the Church has to be faithful to what was taught at the seven ecumenical Councils. Thus, the Orthodox church is the "true church" because it was faithful to what was taught at those councils and did not depart from it. Similarly, those who deviated from that could no longer be part of the church. This seems to be the message that is always presented to Catholics - they must not depart from what was taught nor should they add to it. There were councils after Chalcedon - including the fifth (which confirmed the orthodoxy of the St. Cyril's theopaschite formula). I guess the question to ask is this, is there another court of last resort other than the Councils as the basis for unity of faith?


No.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 09, 2009, 12:42:34 AM
I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". ::)  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".

You need to read what I said at the end. If you want to debate the dogmas of the Church, we can do that. If you want to debate whether or not the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches are ecumenists, we can debate that, too. But if you wish to dispute the dogmas, know that I already consider you an ecumenist, and therefore I consider debating with you over the second question pointless, since you clearly fully support what the ecumenist hierarchs are doing anyway.

I do believe that it is "modernist" to deny the necessity of holding to the dogmas of those Councils accepted by the Church as Ecumenical. I don't know what else to call it; I certainly don't think it's Orthodox.

Do you all believe the spirit of the law is better expressed by the teachings of the Armenians? Why don't you go to them for salvation, then?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 09, 2009, 01:11:49 AM
All I'm asking for Jonathan is a simple yes or no question, and you're not answering that  ;)

I guess you don't believe Christ has a real body then, right?  By not answering, I assume you're saying no, just as you assumed of me?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 09, 2009, 01:27:33 AM
I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". ::)  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".

You need to read what I said at the end. If you want to debate the dogmas of the Church, we can do that. If you want to debate whether or not the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches are ecumenists, we can debate that, too. But if you wish to dispute the dogmas, know that I already consider you an ecumenist, and therefore I consider debating with you over the second question pointless, since you clearly fully support what the ecumenist hierarchs are doing anyway.
1.  Please don't attribute to me any desires that I have not expressed.  I asked YOU a question to challenge YOU to examine why YOU think the way YOU do.  It has nothing to do with the dogmas themselves.
2.  Please stop with the ad hominems and simply answer the question I and so many others here have asked of you.  If you don't want to, just say so, but stop with the ad hominems.
3.  Please don't put words in my mouth by accusing me of supporting what the "ecumenist" hierarchs are doing, since I never admitted to any such thing.

I do believe that it is "modernist" to deny the necessity of holding to the dogmas of those Councils accepted by the Church as Ecumenical. I don't know what else to call it; I certainly don't think it's Orthodox.
You keep on saying that it's necessary for us to hold to the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils as if this is some self-evident conclusion that needs no proof.  You also keep on accusing those who disagree with you of being modernist, ecumenist heretics.  Yet you continue to stubbornly refuse to explain WHY it's so necessary to adhere to the letter of these dogmas, despite our continued questioning.  As self-evident as you think your conclusion is, it is not self-evident to us.  You therefore need to prove to us why your conclusion is the only one possible for Orthodox Christians, and without dismissing us as heretics for questioning you.

Do you all believe the spirit of the law is better expressed by the teachings of the Armenians? Why don't you go to them for salvation, then?
Irrelevant, for I never argued that the wording of one articulation of dogma is any better than another at representing the spirit of the dogma--you're putting words in my mouth, and you need to stop.  Again, Jonathan Gress, this isn't an argument over dogma.  This is an argument with YOU about YOU.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 09, 2009, 10:01:01 AM
I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". ::)  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".

You need to read what I said at the end. If you want to debate the dogmas of the Church, we can do that.

No one is debating the dogmas of the Church.  Except perhaps you.

Quote
If you want to debate whether or not the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches are ecumenists, we can debate that, too.

Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm

Quote
But if you wish to dispute the dogmas,

No one is disputing the dogmas.  Except perhaps you.

Quote
know that I already consider you an ecumenist,

Rome speaks again.  Was that ex cathedra?

Quote
and therefore I consider debating with you over the second question pointless, since you clearly fully support what the ecumenist hierarchs are doing anyway.

Due to your obfuscation, I don't think we have gotten to the point of discussing what the Orthodox hierarchs are doing.

Quote
I do believe that it is "modernist" to deny the necessity of holding to the dogmas of those Councils accepted by the Church as Ecumenical. I don't know what else to call it; I certainly don't think it's Orthodox.

Again, no one has denied the necessity of holding ot the dogmas of the Ecumeical Councils.

Quote
Do you all believe the spirit of the law is better expressed by the teachings of the Armenians?

Armenians are a nation. The OO are a Church.

No one said (except the OO) that the OO wording better express the teaching of the Church.  At least they don't parrot, though.

Quote
Why don't you go to them for salvation, then?

You are the one inviting us down your rat hole.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 09, 2009, 08:43:13 PM
PtA, I said I will discuss why an Orthodox Christian must hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. What I said is that I consider anyone who does not believe in the dogmatic definitions not to be Orthodox, so I don't see the point in trying to prove to them that their hierarchs have abandoned Orthodoxy, since they have abandoned Orthodoxy themselves.

So, make your choice. Do you want to discuss whether or not it's necessary to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Councils? Or do you want to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy? If you want to discuss the latter, you have to convince me you accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church, since the discussion will proceed on that assumption.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Fr. George on December 09, 2009, 08:51:01 PM
PtA, I said I will discuss why an Orthodox Christian must hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.

Why would you want to discuss the one point that isn't under debate?

What I said is that I consider anyone who does not believe in the dogmatic definitions not to be Orthodox, so I don't see the point in trying to prove to them that their hierarchs have abandoned Orthodoxy, since they have abandoned Orthodoxy themselves.

If you're referring to the OO, then none of them have "abandoned Orthodoxy" - from our perspective, they were born outside of it, and from their perspective we were born outside of it.  Either way, the current EO and OO have not "left" each other - their ancestors did nearly 1,600 years ago! If you're referring to EO "World Orthodox," then that's a different story.

So, make your choice. Do you want to discuss whether or not it's necessary to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Councils?

No one in this thread is debating it.

Or do you want to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy? If you want to discuss the latter, you have to convince me you accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church, since the discussion will proceed on that assumption.

Ah, judge and jury you are.  If I had known so, I would have called you "Your Honor."  Or at least "Your Grace."
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 09, 2009, 10:35:50 PM
PtA, I said I will discuss why an Orthodox Christian must hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. What I said is that I consider anyone who does not believe in the dogmatic definitions not to be Orthodox, so I don't see the point in trying to prove to them that their hierarchs have abandoned Orthodoxy, since they have abandoned Orthodoxy themselves.
No one is arguing that an Orthodox Christian is free to not hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.

So, make your choice. Do you want to discuss whether or not it's necessary to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Councils?
I now accept and have always accepted the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.  I just don't consider myself so slavishly devoted to the letter of these dogmatic definitions that I fail to recognize the spirit of the faith they were articulated to defend.

Or do you want to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy?
I'm not here to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy.

If you want to discuss the latter, you have to convince me you accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church, since the discussion will proceed on that assumption.
I'm here to challenge your assumption that acceptance of the dogmatic definitions of the Church means slavish adherence to their very letter.  As long as you make this definition of "acceptance of the dogmatic definitions of the Church" your operating premise, then I'm afraid you either need to defend this definition or have your arguments that the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy be seen as coming from the foundation of dead legalism.


A house (i.e., your argument that the World Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy) built on a foundation of sand (i.e., your legalistic definition of what it means to accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church) will fall.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 09, 2009, 11:28:01 PM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:

Chapter III.—Concerning Christ’s two natures, in opposition to those who hold that He has only one

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two. For the compound nature cannot be of the same essence as either of the natures out of which it is compounded, as made one thing out of others: for example, the body is composed of the four elements, but is not of the same essence as fire or air, or water or earth, nor does it keep these names. If, therefore, after the union, Christ’s nature was, as the heretics hold, a compound unity, He had changed from a simple into a compound nature, and is not of the same essence as the Father Whose nature is simple, nor as the mother, who is not a compound of divinity and humanity. Nor will He then be in divinity and humanity: nor will He be called either God or Man, but simply Christ: and the word Christ will be the name not of the subsistence, but of what in their view is the one nature.

We, however, do not give it as our view that Christ’s nature is compound, nor yet that He is one thing made of other things and differing from them as man is made of soul and body, or as the body is made of the four elements, but hold that, though He is constituted of these different parts He is yet the same. For we confess that He alike in His divinity and in His humanity both is and is said to be perfect God, the same Being, and that He consists of two natures, and exists in two natures. Further, by the word “Christ” we understand the name of the subsistence, not in the sense of one kind, but as signifying the existence of two natures. For in His own person He anointed Himself; as God anointing His body with His own divinity, and as Man being anointed. For He is Himself both God and Man. And the anointing is the divinity of His humanity. For if Christ, being of one compound nature, is of like essence to the Father, then the Father also must be compound and of like essence with the flesh, which is absurd and extremely blasphemous.

How, indeed, could one and the same nature come to embrace opposing and essential differences? For how is it possible that the same nature should be at once created and uncreated, mortal and immortal, circumscribed and uncircumscribed?

But if those who declare that Christ has only one nature should say also that that nature is a simple one, they must admit either that He is God pure and simple, and thus reduce the incarnation to a mere pretence, or that He is only man, according to Nestorius. And how then about His being “perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity”? And when can Christ be said to be of two natures, if they hold that He is of one composite nature after the union? For it is surely clear to every one that before the union Christ’s nature was one.

But this is what leads the heretics, that they look upon nature and subsistence as the same thing. For when we speak of the nature of men as one, observe that in saying this we are not looking to the question of soul and body. For when we compare together the soul and the body it cannot be said that they are of one nature. But since there are very many subsistences of men, and yet all have the same kind of nature: for all are composed of soul and body, and all have part in the nature of the soul, and possess the essence of the body, and the common form: we speak of the one nature of these very many and different subsistences; while each subsistence, to wit, has two natures, and fulfils itself in two natures, namely, soul and body.

But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus, and all that impious company: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe: but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that in two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential, moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remaineth created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remaineth mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. “The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults.”

Moreover, the Word appropriates to Himself the attributes of humanity: for all that pertains to His holy flesh is His: and He imparts to the flesh His own attributes by way of communication in virtue of the interpenetration of the parts one with another, and the oneness according to subsistence, and inasmuch as He Who lived and acted both as God and as man, taking to Himself either form and holding intercourse with the other form, was one and the same. Hence it is that the Lord of Glory is said to have been crucified, although His divine nature never endured the Cross, and that the Son of Man is allowed to have been in heaven before the Passion, as the Lord Himself said. For the Lord of Glory is one and the same with Him Who is in nature and in truth the Son of Man, that is, Who became man, and both His wonders and His sufferings are known to us, although His wonders were worked in His divine capacity, and His sufferings endured as man. For we know that, just as is His one subsistence, so is the essential difference of the nature preserved. For how could difference be preserved if the very things that differ from one another are not preserved? For difference is the difference between things that differ. In so far as Christ’s natures differ from one another, that is, in the matter of essence, we hold that Christ unites in Himself two extremes: in respect of His divinity He is connected with the Father and the Spirit, while in respect of His humanity He is connected with His mother and all mankind. And in so far as His natures are united, we hold that He differs from the Father and the Spirit on the one hand, and from the mother and the rest of mankind on the other. For the natures are united in His subsistence, having one compound subsistence, in which He differs from the Father and the Spirit, and also from the mother and us.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 09, 2009, 11:40:35 PM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. I don't know if you accept this authority either, but I'm trying my best here:

Chapter III.—Concerning Christ’s two natures, in opposition to those who hold that He has only one

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two.

The intriguing question before us is HOW did the Roman Catholic Church come to accept that the Myaphysite position (Christ is human and divine in one nature) as the equivalent of the Dyophysite position (Christ has two natures, human and divine)?

I am not so mean to the Catholics as to believe that they sold out on Chalcedon in recent years.

Could somebody from the OO Churches or from the Catholic Church please explain how these two beliefs were reconciled to the satisfaction of the dyophysite Catholics?

This is THE major question in  the ecumenical dialogue between the Orientals and the Catholics.

And it's a major question for the Orthodox who hold the same Chalcedonian Christology as the Roman Catholics.


Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 09, 2009, 11:45:49 PM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. I don't know if you accept this authority either, but I'm trying my best here:

We accept his authority, we just don't accept yours.

Btw, have you told us who your bishops are?

Quote
Chapter III.—Concerning Christ’s two natures, in opposition to those who hold that He has only one

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two. For the compound nature cannot be of the same essence as either of the natures out of which it is compounded, as made one thing out of others: for example, the body is composed of the four elements, but is not of the same essence as fire or air, or water or earth, nor does it keep these names. If, therefore, after the union, Christ’s nature was, as the heretics hold, a compound unity, He had changed from a simple into a compound nature, and is not of the same essence as the Father Whose nature is simple, nor as the mother, who is not a compound of divinity and humanity. Nor will He then be in divinity and humanity: nor will He be called either God or Man, but simply Christ: and the word Christ will be the name not of the subsistence, but of what in their view is the one nature.

We, however, do not give it as our view that Christ’s nature is compound, nor yet that He is one thing made of other things and differing from them as man is made of soul and body, or as the body is made of the four elements, but hold that, though He is constituted of these different parts He is yet the same. For we confess that He alike in His divinity and in His humanity both is and is said to be perfect God, the same Being, and that He consists of two natures, and exists in two natures. Further, by the word “Christ” we understand the name of the subsistence, not in the sense of one kind, but as signifying the existence of two natures. For in His own person He anointed Himself; as God anointing His body with His own divinity, and as Man being anointed. For He is Himself both God and Man. And the anointing is the divinity of His humanity. For if Christ, being of one compound nature, is of like essence to the Father, then the Father also must be compound and of like essence with the flesh, which is absurd and extremely blasphemous.

How, indeed, could one and the same nature come to embrace opposing and essential differences? For how is it possible that the same nature should be at once created and uncreated, mortal and immortal, circumscribed and uncircumscribed?

But if those who declare that Christ has only one nature should say also that that nature is a simple one, they must admit either that He is God pure and simple, and thus reduce the incarnation to a mere pretence, or that He is only man, according to Nestorius. And how then about His being “perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity”? And when can Christ be said to be of two natures, if they hold that He is of one composite nature after the union? For it is surely clear to every one that before the union Christ’s nature was one.

But this is what leads the heretics, that they look upon nature and subsistence as the same thing. For when we speak of the nature of men as one, observe that in saying this we are not looking to the question of soul and body. For when we compare together the soul and the body it cannot be said that they are of one nature. But since there are very many subsistences of men, and yet all have the same kind of nature: for all are composed of soul and body, and all have part in the nature of the soul, and possess the essence of the body, and the common form: we speak of the one nature of these very many and different subsistences; while each subsistence, to wit, has two natures, and fulfils itself in two natures, namely, soul and body.

But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus, and all that impious company: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe: but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that in two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential, moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remaineth created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remaineth mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. “The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults.”

Moreover, the Word appropriates to Himself the attributes of humanity: for all that pertains to His holy flesh is His: and He imparts to the flesh His own attributes by way of communication in virtue of the interpenetration of the parts one with another, and the oneness according to subsistence, and inasmuch as He Who lived and acted both as God and as man, taking to Himself either form and holding intercourse with the other form, was one and the same. Hence it is that the Lord of Glory is said to have been crucified, although His divine nature never endured the Cross, and that the Son of Man is allowed to have been in heaven before the Passion, as the Lord Himself said. For the Lord of Glory is one and the same with Him Who is in nature and in truth the Son of Man, that is, Who became man, and both His wonders and His sufferings are known to us, although His wonders were worked in His divine capacity, and His sufferings endured as man. For we know that, just as is His one subsistence, so is the essential difference of the nature preserved. For how could difference be preserved if the very things that differ from one another are not preserved? For difference is the difference between things that differ. In so far as Christ’s natures differ from one another, that is, in the matter of essence, we hold that Christ unites in Himself two extremes: in respect of His divinity He is connected with the Father and the Spirit, while in respect of His humanity He is connected with His mother and all mankind. And in so far as His natures are united, we hold that He differs from the Father and the Spirit on the one hand, and from the mother and the rest of mankind on the other. For the natures are united in His subsistence, having one compound subsistence, in which He differs from the Father and the Spirit, and also from the mother and us.

μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 10, 2009, 12:03:20 AM
The intriguing question before us is HOW did the Roman Catholic Church come to accept that the Myaphysite position (Christ is human and divine in one nature) as the equivalent of the Dyophysite position (Christ has two natures, human and divine)?


It could be because the Roman Catholics venerate St. Cyril, even though he taught one nature:

"We say that there is one Son, and that he has one nature even when he is considered as having assumed flesh endowed with a rational soul."

"My friend, if anyone says that when we speak of the single nature of God the Word incarnate and made man we imply that a confusion or mixture has occured, then they are talking utter rubbish."

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21068.msg316866.html#msg316866

I don't know.  I wasn't there when the Catholics signed all the agreements.  I'm just assuming that might have been one of the things going through their minds at the time.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 10, 2009, 12:13:59 AM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 12:27:25 AM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?

Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally, and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally. Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: John Larocque on December 10, 2009, 12:29:35 AM
There's a description here:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/CHANEAST.HTM

Quote
At the level of faith, Christological Declarations were signed by Pope Paul VI and John Paul II with almost all the Patriarchs and Leaders of the Ancient Churches of the East. Such Christological agreements have represented the most decisive step in the development of ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the aforementioned Eastern Churches which, at the time of the Council of Chalcedon (451), did not receive certain doctrinal formulas of the Council.

Despite certain differences in terminology that had caused misunderstandings and even deep-seated doctrinal disagreements, the qualified Authorities of the Catholic Church and the Churches known as Pre-Chalcedonian were able to declare their full communion in faith in Jesus Christ, who is perfect in his divinity and in his humanity.

The above-mentioned Christological agreements have put an end, if not to all the contentious theological disputes between the Catholic Church and the Ancient Churches of the East, at least to those with the most fundamental, doctrinal difficulty: "so much so that we have been able to profess together the faith which we have in common", as Pope John Paul II was able to affirm.3

These very Christological agreements form a secure and firm basis for every rapprochement on the other two levels of the dialogue, namely, those of the sacraments and the constitution of the Church.

The meeting at Cairo acknowledged some improvements in the content and form that could be brought to such Christological agreements, so that with even greater clarity and authority they may express the common faith of the Catholic Church and of all the Ancient Churches of the East. Such a supplementary task was not given the highest priority with respect to the numerous issues to be examined in other areas, especially those of the sacraments and of ecclesiology.

I don't know what was exactly signed at Cairo in January 2003, but this touches on the above issue. It seems like a "work in process."
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 12:34:27 AM
I believe there's a new wave of Catholic theologians that seem to be quite open now for taking the spirit of the Law very seriously, and in such extremes as to look upon other Apostolic churches perhaps with a sort of open arms approach, and try to establish perhaps a true Papal Catholicity, instead of keeping it Latin all these centuries.  Despite what has been condemned in the past, Papal authority seems to now allow one to believe in two natures, of two natures, two natures, one nature, or two persons in one honor, so long as they seem to interpret it the Pope's way.  Many today have been arguing that Nestorius and Theodore of Mopsuestia really didn't believe in two persons the way we see it.  However, there is no consensus on this, and after reading Fr. John Romanides' article on revisiting Theodore of Mopsuestia and not finding anyone challenging his conclusions, I continue to find it valid enough to find Nestorians still believing two Christs essentially.  I'm amazed to hear from people like Marduk as well that the Coptic Catholic Church still holds post-Chalcedonian anti-Chalcedonian fathers as saints.

But that is what we as Copts also want to know.  How did the Catholic Church reconcile themselves both to our beliefs and to the Assyrian church's beliefs?  Many Coptic bishops have sparked old polemical flames and called it something along the lines of "Leo has reincarnated and taken Theodoret and Ibas back into his fold," and consider the agreement with the Catholics to be null and void.  So there's an issue these days.

God bless.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: simplygermain on December 10, 2009, 12:37:26 AM
μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη

Isa - What does this say? And how do you write in Greek on your computer?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 12:40:04 AM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?

Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally, and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally. Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.

From the Council of Constantinople 553:

Quote
If anyone confesses a belief that a union has been made out of the two natures divinity and humanity, or speaks about the one nature of God the Word made flesh, but does not understand these things according to what the fathers have taught, namely that from the divine and human natures a union was made according to subsistence, and that one Christ was formed, and from these expressions tries to introduce one nature or substance made of the deity and human flesh of Christ: let him be anathema. In saying that it was in respect of subsistence that the only-begotten God the Word was united, we are not alleging that there was a confusion made of each of the natures into one another, but rather that each of the two remained what it was, and in this way we understand that the Word was united to human flesh. So there is only one Christ, God and man, the same being consubstantial with the Father in respect of his divinity, and also consubstantial with us in respect of our humanity. Both those who divide or split up the mystery of the divine dispensation of Christ and those who introduce into that mystery some confusion are equally rejected and anathematized by the church of God.

I want you to note here, that your own ecumenical council has allowed that those who want to keep the expression of "one nature" without changing humanity and divinity and inventing one new nature where there's no consubstantiality with Christ, either in his divine or human side.  So, your ecumenical council has made a distinction here between saying "One nature" and "inventing a new nature."

So, it seems, the Eastern Orthodox here who are talking about not taking the letter of the Law is basing their beliefs on the ecumenical councils, something you contradict Jonathan.  Perhaps, you're a Chalcedonian anti-Constantinopolitan, which did occur, with the North African Chalcedonian churches at the time, and Pope Vigilius at one point, who had to get beaten up just to agree.

By the way, you still haven't answered my question.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: John Larocque on December 10, 2009, 12:43:22 AM
OK... I dug up some more stuff on RCC/OO ecumenism. I don't know if it will answer minasoliman's query but I hope it helps. There's also a bit more with the Assyrians.

Big Ecumenical Link (http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=5&ved=0CBMQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.publications.villanova.edu%2FConcept%2F2005%2FNestorius_and_Cyril.doc&rct=j&q=%22Catholic+Church+and+the+Ancient+Churches+of+the+East%22&ei=-HkgS73gAceWtgfI0sDLBw&usg=AFQjCNE6gUY_0m7_YgFqu-d9PN6NguHcsQ)

Quote
In 1973, Pope Paul VI took the next step in this direction by formulating a new, extensive Christological statement along with the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The “Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and of the Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III” states:

Quote
In accordance with our apostolic traditions transmitted to our Churches and preserved therein, and in conformity with the early three ecumenical councils, we confess one faith in the One Triune God, the divinity of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word of God, the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance, who for us was incarnate, assuming for Himself a real body with a rational soul, and who shared with us our humanity but without sin. We confess that our Lord and God and Saviour and King of us all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant, not for the twinkling of an eye. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.44

Here we have agreement upon an expression that is “along the lines of” Chalcedon. The essence of Chalcedon, including some of the language, has been retained without requiring all of the language. Divinity and humanity are both preserved without using “in two natures” or “from two natures” or any other statement that one or the other party would consider objectionable. In fact, the problematic word “nature” is nowhere used. In place of this is simpler language that avoids the historical confusion—“humanity” instead of “human nature” and “divinity” instead of “divine nature.” Moreover, Pope Paul VI respected the heritage of the Coptic tradition by agreeing to language that takes great pains to emphasize the unity of Christ, including the metaphor that, in Christ, divinity and humanity did not separate even “for the twinkling of an eye.” It is worth noting that elsewhere the declaration also affirms the use of θεοτόκος for Mary.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 12:44:03 AM
Here's something else that might be of interest. St John speaks directly about St Cyril's formulation:

 Chapter XI.—Concerning the Nature as viewed in Species and in Individual, and concerning the difference between Union and Incarnation: and how this is to be understood, “The one Nature of God the Word Incarnate.”

Nature is regarded either abstractly as a matter of pure thought (for it has no independent existence): or commonly in all subsistences of the same species as their bond of union, and is then spoken of as nature viewed in species: or universally as the same, but with the addition of accidents, in one subsistence, and is spoken of as nature viewed in the individual, this being identical with nature viewed in species. God the Word Incarnate, therefore, did not assume the nature that is regarded as an abstraction in pure thought (for this is not incarnation, but only an imposture and a figment of incarnation), nor the nature viewed in species (for He did not assume all the subsistences): but the nature viewed in the individual, which is identical with that viewed in species. For He took on Himself the elements of our compound nature, and these not as having an independent existence or as being originally an individual, and in this way assumed by Him, but as existing in His own subsistence. For the subsistence of God the Word in itself became the subsistence of the flesh, and accordingly “the Word became flesh” clearly without any change, and likewise the flesh became Word without alteration, and God became man. For the Word is God, and man is God, through having one and the same subsistence. And so it is possible to speak of the same thing as being the nature of the Word and the nature in the individual. For it signifies strictly and exclusively neither the individual, that is, the subsistence, nor the common nature of the subsistences, but the common nature as viewed and presented in one of the subsistences.

Union, then, is one thing, and incarnation is something quite different. For union signifies only the conjunction, but not at all that with which union is effected. But incarnation (which is just the same as if one said “the putting on of man’s nature”) signifies that the conjunction is with flesh, that is to say, with man, just as the heating of iron implies its union with fire. Indeed, the blessed Cyril himself, when he is interpreting the phrase, “one nature of God the Word Incarnate,” says in the second epistle to Sucensus, “For if we simply said ‘the one nature of the Word’ and then were silent, and did not add the word ‘incarnate,’ but, so to speak, quite excluded the dispensation, there would be some plausibility in the question they feign to ask, ‘If one nature is the whole, what becomes of the perfection in humanity, or how has the essence like us come to exist?’ But inasmuch as the perfection in humanity and the disclosure of the essence like us are conveyed in the word ‘incarnate,’ they must cease from relying on a mere straw.” Here, then, he placed the nature of the Word over nature itself. For if He had received nature instead of subsistence, it would not have been absurd to have omitted the “incarnate.” For when we say simply one subsistence of God the Word, we do not err. In like manner, also, Leontius the Byzantine considered this phrase to refer to nature, and not to subsistence. But in the Defence which he wrote in reply to the attacks that Theodoret made on the second anathema, the blessed Cyril says this: “The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself.” So that “the nature of the Word” means neither the subsistence alone, nor “the common nature of the subsistence,” but “the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word.”

It has been said, then, that the nature of the Word became flesh, that is, was united to flesh: but that the nature of the Word suffered in the flesh we have never heard up till now, though we have been taught that Christ suffered in the flesh. So that “the nature of the Word” does not mean “the subsistence.” It remains, therefore, to say that to become flesh is to be united with the flesh, while the Word having become flesh means that the very subsistence of the Word became without change the subsistence of the flesh. It has also been said that God became man, and man God. For the Word which is God became without alteration man. But that the Godhead became man, or became flesh, or put on the nature of man, this we have never heard. This, indeed, we have learned, that the Godhead was united to humanity in one of its subsistences, and it has been stated that God took on a different form or essence, to wit our own. For the name God is applicable to each of the subsistences, but we cannot use the term Godhead in reference to subsistence. For we are never told that the Godhead is the Father alone, or the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone. For “Godhead” implies “nature,” while “Father” implies subsistence, just as “Humanity” implies nature, and “Peter” subsistence. But “God” indicates the common element of the nature, and is applicable derivatively to each of the subsistences, just as “man” is. For He Who has divine nature is God, and he who has human nature is man.

Besides all this, notice that the Father and the Holy Spirit take no part at all in the incarnation of the Word except in connection with the miracles, and in respect of good will and purpose.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 10, 2009, 12:46:22 AM
From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?

Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally,
And St. John of Damascus is an infallible authority on how to understand Chalcedonian dogma properly?  I don't think so.

As an aside, why do you go to St. John of Damascus to tell you what the Oriental Orthodox believe when you can ask the Oriental Orthodox for yourself, right here on this forum?  Is someone who was never OO more qualified to tell you what OO believe than the OO themselves?

and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally.
Spare me. ::)  I've already argued with someone else that a list of all those Fathers who support your case does not make an authoritative consensus.

Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.
You still miss the point that the words are merely an attempt to express a Christology that is essentially inexpressible.  So why do you hold so stubbornly to such a literalist interpretation of dogma that you fail to see its spirit?  Isn't this what we accuse fundamentalists of doing?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 12:54:04 AM
PtA, I don't presume to know what the 'spirit' behind the Chalcedonian dogma is. As you say yourself, the Truth in its fullness is ineffable. Therefore, what hope have I to know the Truth? By holding unswervingly to the dogmas in the precise wording the Fathers have bequeathed me, since the Holy Spirit has deemed it right to express the Truth to me in those words. Therefore, if the OO don't accept the words of the Ecumenical Synods, I don't consider them Orthodox.

If you don't trust St John of Damascus, who do you trust? Please, I want to know what authority you are drawing upon.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 10, 2009, 12:56:50 AM
PtA, I don't presume to know what the 'spirit' behind the Chalcedonian dogma is. As you say yourself, the Truth in its fullness is ineffable. Therefore, what hope have I to know the Truth? By holding unswervingly to the dogmas in the precise wording the Fathers have bequeathed me, since the Holy Spirit has deemed it right to express the Truth to me in those words.
Can the fullest essence of a Christology be summed up in its entirety by a few words?

Please, I want to know what authority you are drawing upon.
The authority to ask questions.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 01:02:07 AM
“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on December 10, 2009, 01:11:41 AM
As an aside, why do you go to St. John of Damascus to tell you what the Oriental Orthodox believe when you can ask the Oriental Orthodox for yourself, right here on this forum?  Is someone who was never OO more qualified to tell you what OO believe than the OO themselves?


What Jonathan is doing supports what I said earlier about some people treating the Fathers of their Church as infallible.  I can understand and even respect their not wanting to admit too easily that one of the Fathers of their Church was wrong about something.  

However, like you I have a problem with someone trusting a non-OO over an OO to tell them what the OO Church believes when it is a misrepresentation of our beliefs.  I feel like asking them, "If you believe your Church Fathers to be incapable of error, how can you blame the Roman Catholics for having a similar belief about their popes."  People can make errors.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 01:18:48 AM
OK... I dug up some more stuff on RCC/OO ecumenism. I don't know if it will answer minasoliman's query but I hope it helps. There's also a bit more with the Assyrians.

Big Ecumenical Link (http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=5&ved=0CBMQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.publications.villanova.edu%2FConcept%2F2005%2FNestorius_and_Cyril.doc&rct=j&q=%22Catholic+Church+and+the+Ancient+Churches+of+the+East%22&ei=-HkgS73gAceWtgfI0sDLBw&usg=AFQjCNE6gUY_0m7_YgFqu-d9PN6NguHcsQ)

Quote
In 1973, Pope Paul VI took the next step in this direction by formulating a new, extensive Christological statement along with the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The “Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and of the Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III” states:

Quote
In accordance with our apostolic traditions transmitted to our Churches and preserved therein, and in conformity with the early three ecumenical councils, we confess one faith in the One Triune God, the divinity of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word of God, the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance, who for us was incarnate, assuming for Himself a real body with a rational soul, and who shared with us our humanity but without sin. We confess that our Lord and God and Saviour and King of us all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant, not for the twinkling of an eye. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.44

Here we have agreement upon an expression that is “along the lines of” Chalcedon. The essence of Chalcedon, including some of the language, has been retained without requiring all of the language. Divinity and humanity are both preserved without using “in two natures” or “from two natures” or any other statement that one or the other party would consider objectionable. In fact, the problematic word “nature” is nowhere used. In place of this is simpler language that avoids the historical confusion—“humanity” instead of “human nature” and “divinity” instead of “divine nature.” Moreover, Pope Paul VI respected the heritage of the Coptic tradition by agreeing to language that takes great pains to emphasize the unity of Christ, including the metaphor that, in Christ, divinity and humanity did not separate even “for the twinkling of an eye.” It is worth noting that elsewhere the declaration also affirms the use of θεοτόκος for Mary.

That's the agreement that is being questioned right now, not that it's wrong, but the sincerity behind it.

Here's a recent article by a Copt in California:

http://www.lacopts.org/news/a-report-concerning-the-dialogue-of-the-syrian-and-the-assyrian-churches
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 10, 2009, 01:27:36 AM
“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8 ), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
So I guess there's no use then in discussing whether the official Orthodox churches have fallen to the heresy of ecumenism (as regards specifically their relations with the OO), since you and we can't even agree as to how to properly understand the dogmatic proclamations of Chalcedon that are so foundational to both sides of this debate.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 01:35:23 AM
It's all right Fr George. I already have the answer I wanted.

I think we have to back and read this sentence very carefully.  It's no longer about the truth, it's about what "he wants."  He wants the OO's to be Monophysites and Eutychians.  He wants the OO's to profess a heterodox belief against Christ, against his own church.  He wants that, and no matter what proofs you can give him, he wants that delusion.  And what a delusion it is, because despite the fact that NO ANSWER was given, somehow, no answer to him meant a "no."

So, perhaps we have his answer too.  The answer is what he wants, not what is true.  If that is the case, then there's no more point in asking him anything.  Let him want destruction and non-salvation on others, because it pleases his own heart, and any other question therefore would trouble him.

Lord have mercy on any soul who wishes heresy upon others.  May we never want to murder other souls.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2009, 01:53:31 AM
“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
You really should read these things, or check them out before you post. You just make our point.


The last one is indeed from the Fourth Council, but it is the reading of the transcript of the Council of Constantinople of 448, which in turn is reading the Formula of Reunion, the statement of the Antiochian bishops who rejected Ephesus I which Theodoret of Cyrus put together and St. Cyril adopted in his epistle to Patriarch John of Antioch.  And it is refering to the Creed of Nicea I, quite a few syllables of which were changed at Constantinople I
http://books.google.com/books?id=6IUaOOT1G3UC&pg=PA182&dq=Council+of+Chalcedon+single+syllable&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It is rather odd that you should quote what in essense is a document like the ones we have signed with the OO, getting behind terminology to the Faith the terminology is supposed to express.  Terms were made for the Faith, and not the Faith for terms.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 01:56:25 AM
Terms were made for the Faith, and not the Faith for terms.

Indeed!  'Was the Sabbath for man, or man for the Sabbath?' (Christ)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 10, 2009, 01:59:00 AM
Here's something else that might be of interest. St John speaks directly about St Cyril's formulation:

 Chapter XI.—Concerning the Nature as viewed in Species and in Individual, and concerning the difference between Union and Incarnation: and how this is to be understood, “The one Nature of God the Word Incarnate.”

Nature is regarded either abstractly as a matter of pure thought (for it has no independent existence): or commonly in all subsistences of the same species as their bond of union, and is then spoken of as nature viewed in species: or universally as the same, but with the addition of accidents, in one subsistence, and is spoken of as nature viewed in the individual, this being identical with nature viewed in species. God the Word Incarnate, therefore, did not assume the nature that is regarded as an abstraction in pure thought (for this is not incarnation, but only an imposture and a figment of incarnation), nor the nature viewed in species (for He did not assume all the subsistences): but the nature viewed in the individual, which is identical with that viewed in species. For He took on Himself the elements of our compound nature, and these not as having an independent existence or as being originally an individual, and in this way assumed by Him, but as existing in His own subsistence. For the subsistence of God the Word in itself became the subsistence of the flesh, and accordingly “the Word became flesh” clearly without any change, and likewise the flesh became Word without alteration, and God became man. For the Word is God, and man is God, through having one and the same subsistence. And so it is possible to speak of the same thing as being the nature of the Word and the nature in the individual. For it signifies strictly and exclusively neither the individual, that is, the subsistence, nor the common nature of the subsistences, but the common nature as viewed and presented in one of the subsistences.

Union, then, is one thing, and incarnation is something quite different. For union signifies only the conjunction, but not at all that with which union is effected. But incarnation (which is just the same as if one said “the putting on of man’s nature”) signifies that the conjunction is with flesh, that is to say, with man, just as the heating of iron implies its union with fire. Indeed, the blessed Cyril himself, when he is interpreting the phrase, “one nature of God the Word Incarnate,” says in the second epistle to Sucensus, “For if we simply said ‘the one nature of the Word’ and then were silent, and did not add the word ‘incarnate,’ but, so to speak, quite excluded the dispensation, there would be some plausibility in the question they feign to ask, ‘If one nature is the whole, what becomes of the perfection in humanity, or how has the essence like us come to exist?’ But inasmuch as the perfection in humanity and the disclosure of the essence like us are conveyed in the word ‘incarnate,’ they must cease from relying on a mere straw.” Here, then, he placed the nature of the Word over nature itself. For if He had received nature instead of subsistence, it would not have been absurd to have omitted the “incarnate.” For when we say simply one subsistence of God the Word, we do not err. In like manner, also, Leontius the Byzantine considered this phrase to refer to nature, and not to subsistence. But in the Defence which he wrote in reply to the attacks that Theodoret made on the second anathema, the blessed Cyril says this: “The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself.” So that “the nature of the Word” means neither the subsistence alone, nor “the common nature of the subsistence,” but “the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word.”

It has been said, then, that the nature of the Word became flesh, that is, was united to flesh: but that the nature of the Word suffered in the flesh we have never heard up till now, though we have been taught that Christ suffered in the flesh. So that “the nature of the Word” does not mean “the subsistence.” It remains, therefore, to say that to become flesh is to be united with the flesh, while the Word having become flesh means that the very subsistence of the Word became without change the subsistence of the flesh. It has also been said that God became man, and man God. For the Word which is God became without alteration man. But that the Godhead became man, or became flesh, or put on the nature of man, this we have never heard. This, indeed, we have learned, that the Godhead was united to humanity in one of its subsistences, and it has been stated that God took on a different form or essence, to wit our own. For the name God is applicable to each of the subsistences, but we cannot use the term Godhead in reference to subsistence. For we are never told that the Godhead is the Father alone, or the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone. For “Godhead” implies “nature,” while “Father” implies subsistence, just as “Humanity” implies nature, and “Peter” subsistence. But “God” indicates the common element of the nature, and is applicable derivatively to each of the subsistences, just as “man” is. For He Who has divine nature is God, and he who has human nature is man.

Besides all this, notice that the Father and the Holy Spirit take no part at all in the incarnation of the Word except in connection with the miracles, and in respect of good will and purpose.

That's nice.  Now, that contradicts the OO understanding of nature how?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 04:51:26 PM
Well then, we can agree to talk about the EO/OO discussions some other time and place. While there are many conservative New Calendarists who agree with the Old Calendarists that the OO are not Orthodox, and that therefore the decision of the Synod of Antioch constitutes granting communion to heretics, you may disagree with that, although you'd have to agree it constitutes granting communion to schismatics.

Two other principle pieces of evidence for ecumenism are the WCC and the lifting of the anathemas by Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965. We can discuss those.

I know that the latter has been disputed by those who claim that the anathemas never existed. This seems to me very strange: why didn't they make that argument back in 1965? It would surely have been a more straightforward way of claiming that the Roman Church had never been anathematized by the Eastern Church, and that therefore the two could be considered estranged 'sister' churches, as the Balamand conference determined.

Another argument is that they did exist, but that they were only leveled against the legates, Cardinal Humbert et al. This seems a little disingenuous, since the papal legates were not representing themselves, but the Pope. And that argument needs to confront the fact that the Patriarch ceased to commemorate the Pope from that time on. Was that just a coincidence, and did the Patriarch simply forget to mention the Pope's name?

The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 10, 2009, 06:24:59 PM
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 06:59:14 PM
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.

I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 07:04:32 PM
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.

I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.

I think the WCC failed to force its decisions on the Orthodox.  For instance, the late HE Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios wrote on article on why the Orthodox Church does not believe in "Eucharistic hospitality" and his tone was quite unforgiving.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 10, 2009, 07:09:42 PM
I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.

I think the WCC failed to force its decisions on the Orthodox.  For instance, the late HE Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios wrote on article on why the Orthodox Church does not believe in "Eucharistic hospitality" and his tone was quite unforgiving.

You would probably remember that a few years back the Secretary General of the WCC launched an unexpected and stinging attack on the Orthodox at the WCC for not taking communion at WCC services nor offering it to other members.   Most likely what Paulous Mar Gregorios wrote was in response to that.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 10, 2009, 07:18:38 PM
Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html

The Orthodox churches were part of the WCC from its beginning. Along the way, they raised certain questions about WCC positions and practices. In response to these questions, the WCC's 8th assembly in December 1998 created a Special Commission to address Orthodox concerns about WCC membership and the council's decision-making style, public statements, worship practices and other issues.

The commission's report was received in 2002 and key recommendations went to the WCC's 9th assembly for approval. Its main recommendations related to:

- the centrality of ecclesiology: the commission reminded WCC member churches that their commitment to the fellowship of churches implies a corresponding commitment to the study of ecclesiology, or what it means to be the church;
- praying together: having affirmed the need to pray together, the commission suggested that worship at WCC gatherings like assemblies, central committee meetings and other large-profile meetings be clearly defined as either "confessional" or "interconfessional" common prayer;
- taking decisions: the council was to move from majority rule to a "consensus" form of decision-making.

The commission also challenged the WCC to design new categories of membership through which churches may participate in the council.

The commission's suggestions and recommendations provide WCC member churches with new opportunities for growing together. The period until the 2006 assembly allowed the council to test how these recommendations would work in practice.

The special commission's proposals on consensus decision-making, for example, were tested at the 2005 central committee meeting, and the method was then used at the WCC's 9th assembly in 2006. Recommendations on common prayer were also applied at the 9th assembly, where the prayer life was organized as either inter-confessional or confessional services.

The 9th assembly affirmed "this important achievement of the Council deepens the relationships among member churches and helps dispel misperceptions between families of churches".

It stressed the importance of the commission's work and of subsequent efforts to "grow into the consensus process of discernment for decision-making, and engage in the reconfiguration of the ecumenical movement". It also welcomed revisions to the constitution and rules of the WCC on consensus and a clarified understanding of membership in the WCC.

Click to read more on the process and documentation

 
Related documents

Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC
The report of the Special Commission was submitted to the central committee at its meeting in September 2002. The meeting received the report and recommended a series of actions. Subsequently, in following up the work of the Special Commission, the central committee took concrete actions on decision-making and membership matters in its meeting in February 2005.

The importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC
Public lecture by Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser at an international symposium on "Orthodox theology and the future of ecumenical dialogue: perspectives and problems", Thessaloniki, Greece, 1-3 June 2003

Interim report of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation
Report to the WCC central committee, Potsdam, Germany, 2001

More documents
 
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Papist on December 10, 2009, 07:21:04 PM
Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html

The Orthodox churches were part of the WCC from its beginning. Along the way, they raised certain questions about WCC positions and practices. In response to these questions, the WCC's 8th assembly in December 1998 created a Special Commission to address Orthodox concerns about WCC membership and the council's decision-making style, public statements, worship practices and other issues.

The commission's report was received in 2002 and key recommendations went to the WCC's 9th assembly for approval. Its main recommendations related to:

- the centrality of ecclesiology: the commission reminded WCC member churches that their commitment to the fellowship of churches implies a corresponding commitment to the study of ecclesiology, or what it means to be the church;
- praying together: having affirmed the need to pray together, the commission suggested that worship at WCC gatherings like assemblies, central committee meetings and other large-profile meetings be clearly defined as either "confessional" or "interconfessional" common prayer;
- taking decisions: the council was to move from majority rule to a "consensus" form of decision-making.

The commission also challenged the WCC to design new categories of membership through which churches may participate in the council.

The commission's suggestions and recommendations provide WCC member churches with new opportunities for growing together. The period until the 2006 assembly allowed the council to test how these recommendations would work in practice.

The special commission's proposals on consensus decision-making, for example, were tested at the 2005 central committee meeting, and the method was then used at the WCC's 9th assembly in 2006. Recommendations on common prayer were also applied at the 9th assembly, where the prayer life was organized as either inter-confessional or confessional services.

The 9th assembly affirmed "this important achievement of the Council deepens the relationships among member churches and helps dispel misperceptions between families of churches".

It stressed the importance of the commission's work and of subsequent efforts to "grow into the consensus process of discernment for decision-making, and engage in the reconfiguration of the ecumenical movement". It also welcomed revisions to the constitution and rules of the WCC on consensus and a clarified understanding of membership in the WCC.

Click to read more on the process and documentation

 
Related documents

Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC
The report of the Special Commission was submitted to the central committee at its meeting in September 2002. The meeting received the report and recommended a series of actions. Subsequently, in following up the work of the Special Commission, the central committee took concrete actions on decision-making and membership matters in its meeting in February 2005.

The importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC
Public lecture by Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser at an international symposium on "Orthodox theology and the future of ecumenical dialogue: perspectives and problems", Thessaloniki, Greece, 1-3 June 2003

Interim report of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation
Report to the WCC central committee, Potsdam, Germany, 2001

More documents
 

Cool.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 10, 2009, 07:32:44 PM
Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html

Cool.

Well, the documents show the error in the contention that the Orthodox have been willing to compromise their ecclesiological understanding by participating in the WCC. 
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 10, 2009, 07:38:51 PM
The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
Maybe if we're trying to convince you of this.  However, you also need to convince us of your thesis that the Orthodox members of the WCC are bound by these principles.  Insofar as you are trying to convince us of anything, the burden of proof is on you to offer up evidence for your point of view.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Papist on December 10, 2009, 07:50:19 PM
Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the WCC

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/self-understanding-vision/orthodox-participation.html

Cool.

Well, the documents show the error in the contention that the Orthodox have been willing to compromise their ecclesiological understanding by participating in the WCC. 
Yup. Its good to see the OC standing up for its principles.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 08:03:31 PM
Well, let's imagine a hypothetical situation. Some body called the 'Church' proclaims that it believes it is the Body of Christ, and that only members of the 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Let's say this 'Church' joins an organization with other bodies, whose members are not members of the 'Church', and that a condition of membership of this organization is that each member considers each other member to be members of the Body of Christ. The original 'Church' joins this organization, thereby accepting this condition. So as a condition of membership the 'Church' accepts the other bodies as members of the Body of Christ, even though it continues to proclaim that only members of the original 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Wouldn't you say there's something inconsistent about this situation?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 10, 2009, 08:12:14 PM
Well, let's imagine a hypothetical situation. Some body called the 'Church' proclaims that it believes it is the Body of Christ, and that only members of the 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Let's say this 'Church' joins an organization with other bodies, whose members are not members of the 'Church', and that a condition of membership of this organization is that each member considers each other member to be members of the Body of Christ. The original 'Church' joins this organization, thereby accepting this condition. So as a condition of membership the 'Church' accepts the other bodies as members of the Body of Christ, even though it continues to proclaim that only members of the original 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Wouldn't you say there's something inconsistent about this situation?

Even assuming that your assessment of the situation is correct (and your assessment is very unnuanced) the Church has no great fear of inconsistency.   Several examples of it in the history of the Church in its contact with heterodox groups are documented in "Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an anti-Patristic stance"  Give it a read.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm#_Toc135058238
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 08:18:33 PM
I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.

I think the WCC failed to force its decisions on the Orthodox.  For instance, the late HE Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios wrote on article on why the Orthodox Church does not believe in "Eucharistic hospitality" and his tone was quite unforgiving.

You would probably remember that a few years back the Secretary General of the WCC launched an unexpected and stinging attack on the Orthodox at the WCC for not taking communion at WCC services nor offering it to other members.   Most likely what Paulous Mar Gregorios wrote was in response to that.

Yes, indeed.  Here's the article by His Eminence:

http://paulosmargregorios.info/English%20Articles/Euchasristic_Hospitality.html

I also heard that many Coptic bishops have launched attacks back at the secretary general for his heterodox teachings, since they felt their faith were attacked.  But I can't verify that.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 08:22:00 PM
Well, let's imagine a hypothetical situation. Some body called the 'Church' proclaims that it believes it is the Body of Christ, and that only members of the 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Let's say this 'Church' joins an organization with other bodies, whose members are not members of the 'Church', and that a condition of membership of this organization is that each member considers each other member to be members of the Body of Christ. The original 'Church' joins this organization, thereby accepting this condition. So as a condition of membership the 'Church' accepts the other bodies as members of the Body of Christ, even though it continues to proclaim that only members of the original 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Wouldn't you say there's something inconsistent about this situation?

I don't think the WCC began as an organization that claims that its members must conform to a branch theory of church.  Wasn't Fr. Florovsky a founding member?  It wasn't until later when Protestant organizations wanted to have a monopoly over other members and force their beliefs on them.  Many in the Orthodox side and the Oriental Orthodox side have rejected such moves.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 10:45:05 PM
Well, the Toronto statement is from 1950. Here is the section about assumptions. As far as I can tell these are quite irreconcilable with Orthodoxy:

IV. THE ASSUMPTIONS UNDERLYING THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

We must now try to define the positive assumptions which underlie the World Council of Churches and the ecclesiological implications of membership in it.

1) The member Churches of the Council believe that conversation, cooperation, and common witness of the Churches must be based on the common recognition that Christ is the Divine Head of the Body.

The Basis of the World Council is the acknowledgment of the central fact that "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, even Jesus Christ." It is the expression of the conviction that the Lord of the Church is God-among us Who continues to gather His children and to build His Church Himself. Therefore, no relationship between the Churches can have any substance or promise unless it starts with the common submission of the Churches to the Headship of Jesus Christ in His Church. From different points of view Churches ask "How can men with opposite convictions belong to one and the same federation of the faithful?" A clear answer to that question was given by the Orthodox delegates in Edinburgh 1937 when they said: "In spite of all our differences, our common Master and Lord is one—Jesus Christ who will lead us to a more and more close collaboration for the edifying of the Body of Christ." [From statement by Archb. Germanos on behalf of the Orthodox delegates.] The fact of Christ's Headship over His people compels all those who acknowledge Him to enter into real and close relationships with each other—even though they differ in many important points.

2) The member Churches of the World Council believe on the basis of the New Testament that the Church of Christ is one.

The ecumenical movement owes its existence to the fact that this article of the faith has again come home to men and women in many Churches with an inescapable force. As they face the discrepancy between the truth that there is and can be only one Church of Christ, and the fact that there exist so many Churches which claim to be Churches of Christ but are not in living unity with each other, they feel a holy dissatisfaction with the present situation. The Churches realize that it is a matter of simple Christian duty for each Church to do its utmost for the manifestation of the Church in its oneness, and to work and pray that Christ's purpose for His Church should be fulfilled.

3) The member Churches recognize that the membership of the Church of Christ is more inclusive than the membership of their own Church body. They seek, therefore, to enter into living contact with those outside their own ranks who confess the Lordship of Christ.

All the Christian Churches, including the Church of Rome, hold that there is no complete identity between the membership of the Church Universal and the membership of their own Church. They recognize that there are Church members extra muros, that these belong aliquo modo to the Church, or even that there is an ecclesia extra ecclesiam. This recognition finds expression in the fact that with very few exceptions the Christian Churches accept the baptism administered by other Churches as valid.

But the question arises what consequences are to be drawn from this teaching. Most often in Church history the Churches have only drawn the negative consequence that they should have no dealings with those outside their membership. The underlying assumption of the ecumenical movement is that each Church has a positive task to fulfill in this realm. That task is to seek fellowship with all those who, while not members of the same visible body, belong together as members of the mystical body. And the ecumenical movement is the place where this search and discovery take place.

4) The member Churches of the World Council consider the relationship of other Churches to the Holy Catholic Church which the Creeds profess as a subject for mutual consideration. Nevertheless, membership does not imply that each Church must regard the other member Churches as Churches in the true and full sense of the word.

There is a place in the World Council both for those Churches which recognize other Churches as Churches in the full and true sense, and for those who do not. But these divided Churches, even if they cannot yet accept each other as true and pure Churches, believe that they should not remain in isolation from each other, and consequently they have associated themselves in the World Council of Churches.

They know that differences of faith and order exist, but they recognize one another as serving the One Lord, and they wish to explore their differences in mutual respect, trusting that they may thus be led by the Holy Spirit to manifest their unity in Christ.

5) The member Churches of the World Council recognize in other Churches elements of the true Church. They consider that this mutual recognition obliges them to enter into a serious conversation with each other in the hope that these elements of truth will lead to the recognition of the full truth and to unity based on the full truth.

It is generally taught in the different Churches that other Churches have certain elements of the true Church, in some traditions called vestigia ecclesiae. Such elements are the preaching of the Word, the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and the administration of the sacraments. These elements are more than pale shadows of the life of the true Church. They are a fact of real promise and provide an opportunity to strive by frank and brotherly intercourse for the realization of a fuller unity. Moreover, Christians of all ecclesiological views throughout the world, by the preaching of the Gospel, brought men and women to salvation by Christ, to newness of life in Him, and into Christian fellowship with one another.

The ecumenical movement is based upon the conviction that these "traces" are to be followed. The Churches should not despise them as mere elements of truth but rejoice in them as hopeful signs pointing toward real unity. For what are these elements? Not dead remnants of the past but powerful means by which God works. Questions may and must be raised about the validity and purity of teaching and sacramental life, but there can be no question that such dynamic elements of Church life justify the hope that the Churches which maintain them will be led into fuller truth. It is through the ecumenical conversation that this recognition of truth is facilitated.

6) The member Churches of the Council are willing to consult together in seeking to learn of the Lord Jesus Christ what witness He would have them to bear to the world in His Name.

Since the very raison d'tre of the Church is to witness to Christ, Churches cannot meet together without seeking from their common Lord a common witness before the world. This will not always be possible. But when it proves possible thus to speak or act together, the Churches can gratefully accept it as God's gracious gift that in spite of their disunity He has enabled them to render one and the same witness and that they may thus manifest something of the unity, the purpose of which is precisely "that the world may believe," and that they may "testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world."

7) A further practical implication of common membership in the World Council is that the member Churches should recognize their solidarity with each other, render assistance to each other in case of need, and refrain from such actions as are incompatible with brotherly relationships.

Within the Council the Churches seek to deal with each other with a brotherly concern. This does not exclude extremely frank speaking to each other, in which within the Council the Churches ask each other searching questions and face their differences. But this is to be done for the building up the Body of Christ. This excludes a purely negative attitude of one Church to another. The positive affirmation of each Church's faith is to be welcomed, but actions incompatible with brotherly relationships towards other member Churches defeat the very purpose for which the Council has been created. On the contrary, these Churches should help each other in removing all obstacles to the free exercise of the Church's normal functions. And whenever a Church is in need or under persecution, it should be able to count on the help of the other Churches through the Council.

8) The member Churches enter into spiritual relationships through which they seek to learn from each other and to give help to each other in order that the Body of Christ may be built up and that the life of the Churches may be renewed.

It is the common teaching of the Churches that the Church as the temple of God is at the same time a building which has been built and a building which is being built. The Church has, therefore, aspects which belong to its very structure and essence and cannot be changed. But it has other aspects, which are subject to change. Thus the life of the Church, as it expresses itself in its witness to its own members and to the world, needs constant renewal.

The Churches can and should help each other in this realm by a mutual exchange of thought and of experience. This is the significance of the study-work of the World Council and of many other of its activities. There is no intention to impose any particular pattern of thought or life upon the Churches. But whatever insight has been received by one or more Churches is to be made available to all the Churches for the sake of the "building up of the Body of Christ."

None of these positive assumptions, implied in the existence of the World Council, is in conflict with the teachings of the member Churches. We believe therefore that no Church need fear that by entering into the World Council it is in danger of denying its heritage.

As the conversation between the Churches develops and as the Churches enter into closer contact with each other, they will no doubt have to face new decisions and problems. For the Council exists to break the deadlock between the Churches. But in no case can or will any Church be pressed to take a decision against its own conviction or desire. The Churches remain wholly free in the action which, on the basis of their convictions and in the light of their ecumenical contacts, they will or will not take.

A very real unity has been discovered in ecumenical meetings which is, to all who collaborate in the World Council, the most precious element of its life. It exists and we receive it again and again as an unmerited gift from the Lord. We praise God for this foretaste of the unity of His People and continue hopefully with the work to which He has called us together. For the Council exists to serve the Churches as they prepare to meet their Lord Who knows only one flock.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 11:04:11 PM
Does this 1950 Toronto Statement still hold water for the WCC?  I cannot imagine my own Coptic Church would accept such a statement.  I remember when I was a little boy, where it was taken to the extreme that the Coptic Church is the only true Church of God because of Coptic pride and Orthodox dogma.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 10, 2009, 11:27:42 PM
Well, this is what the official Orthodox churches were saying twenty years ago:

from Section III of the report of the Third Pan-Orthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy, 1986

7. The Orthodox member Churches of the WCC, accept its Constitutional Basis, as well as its aims and goals. They firmly believe that the ecclesiological presuppositions of the Toronto Statement (1950) on "The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches" are of paramount importance for the Orthodox participation in the Council. It is therefore self-understood that the WCC is not and must never become a "super-Church". "The purpose of the WCC is not to negotiate unions between Churches, which can only be done by the Churches themselves, acting on their own initiatives, but to bring the Churches into living contact with each other and to promote the study and discussion of the issues of Church unity" (Toronto Statement, 2).

As you can see, they focus on the part of the statement that appears Orthodox, but neglect to mention the part I quoted above that is clearly not Orthodox.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 10, 2009, 11:42:53 PM
Well, perhaps it wasn't that they focused on that, but clearly 46 years passed by with serious discussion, and the Orthodox seemed to reply precisely the opposite of the gist of the Toronto meeting, i.e. that the WCC should NOT act as a super-Church, neither to promote unions, but rather to have discussions that pertain to ways and impediments to unity.  Perhaps, this the Orthodox Church in a nice way talking to the WCC, "Don't push it.  We like this part of your Toronto agreement, but the rest is rubbish."

The Toronto meeting wanted WCC to be a super-Church, and the Orthodox Church seemed to reject it in 1986, and in a very clever way I must admit.  You should rejoice, Jonathan.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 12:12:58 AM
Well, perhaps it wasn't that they focused on that, but clearly 46 years passed by with serious discussion, and the Orthodox seemed to reply precisely the opposite of the gist of the Toronto meeting, i.e. that the WCC should NOT act as a super-Church, neither to promote unions, but rather to have discussions that pertain to ways and impediments to unity.  Perhaps, this the Orthodox Church in a nice way talking to the WCC, "Don't push it.  We like this part of your Toronto agreement, but the rest is rubbish."

The Toronto meeting wanted WCC to be a super-Church, and the Orthodox Church seemed to reject it in 1986, and in a very clever way I must admit.  You should rejoice, Jonathan.

Actually you're reading that into what they said. They said nothing about what they think about the 'assumptions', which you correctly discerned are not compatible with Orthodoxy, of either the Oriental or Eastern variety. They said they accept the presuppositions of the WCC, which can be taken as compatible with Orthodoxy in isolation. But being members of the WCC, they technically subscribe to the whole statement. So while subscribing to the whole statement, they trick the reader into thinking that the statement contains only what is compatible with Orthodox participation, while not mentioning what is incompatible.

But I certainly agree with you about the clever part.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 12:13:23 AM
Well then, we can agree to talk about the EO/OO discussions some other time and place. While there are many conservative New Calendarists who agree with the Old Calendarists that the OO are not Orthodox, and that therefore the decision of the Synod of Antioch constitutes granting communion to heretics, you may disagree with that, although you'd have to agree it constitutes granting communion to schismatics.

So would giving communion to you. Your point?

Quote
Two other principle pieces of evidence for ecumenism are the WCC and the lifting of the anathemas by Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965. We can discuss those.

I know that the latter has been disputed by those who claim that the anathemas never existed. This seems to me very strange: why didn't they make that argument back in 1965? It would surely have been a more straightforward way of claiming that the Roman Church had never been anathematized by the Eastern Church, and that therefore the two could be considered estranged 'sister' churches, as the Balamand conference determined.

Another argument is that they did exist, but that they were only leveled against the legates, Cardinal Humbert et al. This seems a little disingenuous, since the papal legates were not representing themselves, but the Pope. And that argument needs to confront the fact that the Patriarch ceased to commemorate the Pope from that time on. Was that just a coincidence, and did the Patriarch simply forget to mention the Pope's name?

The pope of Rome had been stricken from the diptychs before, around 1019.  As for excommunicating just the legates, that is because Humbert was acting 1) on this own, 2) the pope was already dead so Humbert represented no one and  3) the Patriarch decided to not make sweeping generalizations, unlike some.



Quote
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.

You're right: this has been thrashed out.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 12:14:56 AM
The question of WCC membership has been thrashed out before. The problem is that the Toronto statement, which all WCC members consider to be the definitive statement of the principles of the WCC, makes apparently opposite claims about just what membership implies ecclesiologically. In one part, it says that the WCC is not a superchurch, and that members need not consider other members part of the one Church. But then later it says that it is an assumption of the WCC that all members be considered part of the Body of Christ! It is the latter part which forms the basis for our refusal to join the WCC or have communion with those who do.
But are we agreed on the idea that membership in an organization means de facto submission to all of the organization's founding principles?  I know you've argued this with us before, but I'm not sure we had ever come to an agreement with you on this.  Until we agree on what membership in the WCC really means, I'm not sure an argument equating membership in the WCC with ecumenist heresy will be very convincing.

I guess I'd like to hear the arguments that WCC membership does not imply acceptance of its founding principles. I would have thought that, unless Orthodox membership had some special stipulation attached excusing them from subscribing to certain of the founding principles, all the founding principles should be assumed to apply. The burden of proof is on those who say that the Orthodox members are not bound by these principles.
No, the burden is on you to proove your assumptions.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 12:29:01 AM
Well, this is what the official Orthodox churches were saying twenty years ago:

from Section III of the report of the Third Pan-Orthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy, 1986

7. The Orthodox member Churches of the WCC, accept its Constitutional Basis, as well as its aims and goals. They firmly believe that the ecclesiological presuppositions of the Toronto Statement (1950) on "The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches" are of paramount importance for the Orthodox participation in the Council. It is therefore self-understood that the WCC is not and must never become a "super-Church". "The purpose of the WCC is not to negotiate unions between Churches, which can only be done by the Churches themselves, acting on their own initiatives, but to bring the Churches into living contact with each other and to promote the study and discussion of the issues of Church unity" (Toronto Statement, 2).

As you can see, they focus on the part of the statement that appears Orthodox, but neglect to mention the part I quoted above that is clearly not Orthodox.
That's because they are affirming what is comparable to Orthodoxy, and denying validity to what cannot be reconciled to Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 11, 2009, 12:38:33 AM
Does this 1950 Toronto Statement still hold water for the WCC?  I cannot imagine my own Coptic Church would accept such a statement.  I remember when I was a little boy, where it was taken to the extreme that the Coptic Church is the only true Church of God because of Coptic pride and Orthodox dogma.

The 1950 Toronto Statement has never held true for the Copts.

His Holiness Pope Shenouda is quite clear that baptism dies not exist in the Protestant Churches.  The majority of members of WCC are not only NOT members of any Church, they are unbaptized.

His second-in-command Secretary of the Holy Synod Mar Bishoy went even further and declared that baptism does not exist in the Roman Catholic Church.  This caused quite a kerfluffle in Egyptian newspapers.

Given these teachings by the senior hierarchs of the Copts who would ever imagine that the Copts see themselves as in any way obliged to accept the "assumptions" of the Toronto Statement.  ;D

Jonathan, you need to get out more among the Orthodox and you will see that your logically derived contention that the Orthodox must accept such as the WCC Toronto Statement would be met with laughter by Orthodox hierarchs.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 12:45:22 AM
Well I know plenty of Orthodox. Since none of them are in the WCC, funnily enough we don't even need to address this problem.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 11, 2009, 12:48:41 AM
Well, this is what the official Orthodox churches were saying twenty years ago:

from Section III of the report of the Third Pan-Orthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy, 1986

7. The Orthodox member Churches of the WCC, accept its Constitutional Basis, as well as its aims and goals. They firmly believe that the ecclesiological presuppositions of the Toronto Statement (1950) on "The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches" are of paramount importance for the Orthodox participation in the Council. It is therefore self-understood that the WCC is not and must never become a "super-Church". "The purpose of the WCC is not to negotiate unions between Churches, which can only be done by the Churches themselves, acting on their own initiatives, but to bring the Churches into living contact with each other and to promote the study and discussion of the issues of Church unity" (Toronto Statement, 2).

As you can see, they focus on the part of the statement that appears Orthodox, but neglect to mention the part I quoted above that is clearly not Orthodox.

I invite readers to look at the full statement issued by the Orthodox and you will get a different impression than simply the one quote which Jonathan has culled from it.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/chambesy_1986.aspx

For a balanced understanding, let us look at the paragraph which precedes the one quoted by Jonathan:

6. The Orthodox Church, however, faithful to her ecclesiology, to the identity of her internal structure and to the teaching of the undivided Church, while participating in the WCC, does not accept the idea of the "equality of confessions" and cannot consider Church unity as an inter-confessional adjustment. In this spirit, the unity which is sought within the WCC cannot simply be the product of theological agreements alone. God calls every Christian to the unity of faith which is lived in the sacraments and the tradition, as experienced in the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 12:51:08 AM
Well I know plenty of Orthodox. Since none of them are in the WCC, funnily enough we don't even need to address this problem.
and yet you continue to feel the need to do so.  Odd.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 11, 2009, 12:52:13 AM
Well I know plenty of Orthodox. Since none of them are in the WCC, funnily enough we don't even need to address this problem.

Well, if a Church is not involved with assisting the poor and the ailing, those in prison and those in hospital, it does not need to address these problems either.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 12:55:53 AM
Well, this is what the official Orthodox churches were saying twenty years ago:

from Section III of the report of the Third Pan-Orthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy, 1986

7. The Orthodox member Churches of the WCC, accept its Constitutional Basis, as well as its aims and goals. They firmly believe that the ecclesiological presuppositions of the Toronto Statement (1950) on "The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches" are of paramount importance for the Orthodox participation in the Council. It is therefore self-understood that the WCC is not and must never become a "super-Church". "The purpose of the WCC is not to negotiate unions between Churches, which can only be done by the Churches themselves, acting on their own initiatives, but to bring the Churches into living contact with each other and to promote the study and discussion of the issues of Church unity" (Toronto Statement, 2).

As you can see, they focus on the part of the statement that appears Orthodox, but neglect to mention the part I quoted above that is clearly not Orthodox.

I invite readers to look at the full statement issued by the Orthodox and you will get a different impression than simply the one quote which Jonathan has culled from it.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/chambesy_1986.aspx

For a balanced understanding, let us look at the paragraph which precedes the one quoted by Jonathan:

6. The Orthodox Church, however, faithful to her ecclesiology, to the identity of her internal structure and to the teaching of the undivided Church, while participating in the WCC, does not accept the idea of the "equality of confessions" and cannot consider Church unity as an inter-confessional adjustment. In this spirit, the unity which is sought within the WCC cannot simply be the product of theological agreements alone. God calls every Christian to the unity of faith which is lived in the sacraments and the tradition, as experienced in the Orthodox Church.
Father, didn't we spend an excrutiating amount of time filling in Mr. Gress' blanks on this topic on another thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg342964/topicseen.html#msg342964
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 11, 2009, 01:10:11 AM
Yes, exactly!  The Coptic Church's Pope had many times taken leading positions in the WCC.  He would be quite irate if he was forced to accept such heretical beliefs.  He and HE Metropolitan Bishoy would not be afraid to proclaim anathema to any theologian who would believe such.

Indeed, we are very strict about baptism.  Only recently have we accepted Eastern Orthodox baptism as valid.

Jonathan, every Orthodox you said that you talked to was not part of the WCC.  Why not ask someone who is to their their view of the story?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 01:20:22 AM
I don't think any of you realize what hypocrisy is. Did the Pharisees openly preach they were serving Satan? Of course not, they claimed to serve God. But we know as Christians that they served Satan despite their words, because we know them by their deeds. The same goes for the WCC Orthodox. They say they are Orthodox, but their deeds, i.e. their WCC membership, tell us different.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 11, 2009, 01:23:39 AM
I don't think any of you realize what hypocrisy is. Did the Pharisees openly preach they were serving Satan? Of course not, they claimed to serve God. But we know as Christians that they served Satan despite their words, because we know them by their deeds. The same goes for the WCC Orthodox. They say they are Orthodox, but their deeds, i.e. their WCC membership, tell us different.

But mere membership of the WCC doesn't prove anything.  It could very well be that the Toronto agreement is a failure and the Orthodox never accepted it, and thus the WCC back was bent to not force the Orthodox to accept it.

The Coptic Church for instance, is a member, but it has not been afraid to condemn what it knows as heresy, such as things like these.  Do you know how many Coptic bishops, priests, and laity would completely banish our Pope if this was true?  We are a very traditionalist Church, and we take statements like these very seriously.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 11, 2009, 01:24:56 AM
Well, let's imagine a hypothetical situation. Some body called the 'Church' proclaims that it believes it is the Body of Christ, and that only members of the 'Church' are members of the Body of Christ. Let's say this 'Church' joins an organization with other bodies, whose members are not members of the 'Church', and that a condition of membership of this organization is that each member considers each other member to be members of the Body of Christ.
FULL STOP HERE!  Can you prove that the WCC has ever made recognition of the Body of Christ in other member churches a condition for membership?

You see, Jonathan, you have this way of arguing from foundational presuppositions that are themselves quite questionable, yet you will allow no one to question you.  You keep on talking past us because your fundamental assumptions strike us as faulty.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 11, 2009, 01:25:22 AM
Father, didn't we spend an excrutiating amount of time filling in Mr. Gress' blanks on this topic on another thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg342964/topicseen.html#msg342964

That is a very good statement to balance out Jonathan's view of WCC involvement.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 11, 2009, 01:38:39 AM
Chalcedon debate moved here on the Private Forum:  answer questions (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24860.0.html)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 11:20:00 AM
PtA, what you quoted was technically hypothetical, so technically you can't accuse me of error. But we'll leave that aside. This is what the WCC says about the relationship between member churches:

"Therefore, no relationship between the Churches can have any substance or promise unless it starts with the common submission of the Churches to the Headship of Jesus Christ in His Church."

The truth about what the WCC believes can be found in their Basis and the Toronto statement. I showed you earlier what the Toronto statement contains, and anyone with a basic knowledge of Orthodox ecclesiology can see that it is not Orthodox. Even our resident Copt could see it was heretical. So the Body of Christ issue is a red herring and we should leave it.

Patrick Barnes notes in his article on ecumenist 'double-speak' how Orthodox ecumenists attempt to deceive us by pointing out the passages from these WCC documents that can appear reconcilable with Orthodoxy when viewed in isolation, but that when you see the whole documents it's clear that they are not Orthodox. These documents are the expressions of the WCC's understanding of itself; they describe the REALITY of what the WCC is, i.e. a heretical organization. The FANTASY that these Orthodox ecumenists want to project is that the WCC is not heretical, so that the Orthodox may be WCC members without compromising their faith, but as you can see, there is a difference between this fantasy and the reality about the WCC. Are you now honestly going to tell me that the way the Orthodox ecumenists present the WCC is the reality, after I showed you what the WCC documents actually say?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: John Larocque on December 11, 2009, 12:11:39 PM
This might amuse you. Many, many years ago, one of the plus signs for Cathoilcs (and negative for Orthodox) for me was... non-membership in the WCC! Relations with the WCC simply didn't exist in the pre-Vatican II era. Catholics have never been a member of the organization. Membership in the organization implied a belief that one church is as good as any other, and Catholics were "bad ecumenists" for not joining.

It's kind of funny now that the Mosow Patriarchy has flipped on the WCC - I have a quote from the future Patriarch Kyrill where he describes the WCC as the "The World Council of Churches is the cradle of the One church of the future... it is our common home... and we bear a special responsibility for its destiny." (This is off that anti-MP ROCOR). These days they talk less and less with liberal Protestants. This interview with Bishop Hilarion seems to represent the current attitude.

http://incommunion.org/?p=428

Quote
Q: In your opinion, what forms of ecumenism are acceptable, and which are utterly unacceptable in church life?

Intercommunion is unacceptable, the performance of “ecumenical services” together with churches with which we do not have Eucharistic communion is unacceptable, the “branch theory” is unacceptable, unacceptable are any compromises in theological, ecclesiological or moral matters. Unacceptable is theological syncretism, when the foundations of the Christian doctrine are diluted, when the fundamental postulates of the Orthodox faith are questioned.

Allowable, and necessary, are those forms of inter-Christian dialogue which give the Orthodox Church the possibility of freely witnessing the truth in the face of the non-orthodox world. One shouldn’t forget what the “Basic Principles” states: “Witness cannot be a monologue, since it assumes the existence of listeners and therefore of communication. Dialogue implies two sides, a mutual openness to communication, a willingness to understand, not only an “open mouth,” but also a “heart enlarged” (II Cor. 6:11).

There's a common cause with Catholics ("our strategic partners") on the social front because they do not compromise on abortion, same sex marriage etc... unlike the WCC.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 12:26:43 PM
The problem for Moscow is that they are still in the WCC. Like the other Orthodox ecumenists, they wish to present their fantasy of what the WCC is in place of the reality of what the WCC is. If you want to know the fantasy, read what the MP says about the WCC. If you want the reality, read what the WCC says about itself.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 11, 2009, 12:40:47 PM
PtA, what you quoted was technically hypothetical, so technically you can't accuse me of error. But we'll leave that aside. This is what the WCC says about the relationship between member churches:

"Therefore, no relationship between the Churches can have any substance or promise unless it starts with the common submission of the Churches to the Headship of Jesus Christ in His Church."

The truth about what the WCC believes can be found in their Basis and the Toronto statement. I showed you earlier what the Toronto statement contains, and anyone with a basic knowledge of Orthodox ecclesiology can see that it is not Orthodox. Even our resident Copt could see it was heretical. So the Body of Christ issue is a red herring and we should leave it.

Patrick Barnes notes in his article on ecumenist 'double-speak' how Orthodox ecumenists attempt to deceive us by pointing out the passages from these WCC documents that can appear reconcilable with Orthodoxy when viewed in isolation, but that when you see the whole documents it's clear that they are not Orthodox. These documents are the expressions of the WCC's understanding of itself; they describe the REALITY of what the WCC is, i.e. a heretical organization. The FANTASY that these Orthodox ecumenists want to project is that the WCC is not heretical, so that the Orthodox may be WCC members without compromising their faith, but as you can see, there is a difference between this fantasy and the reality about the WCC. Are you now honestly going to tell me that the way the Orthodox ecumenists present the WCC is the reality, after I showed you what the WCC documents actually say?
It doesn't seem to me that that's what you were originally arguing, though.  Your original argument is that membership in the WCC necessarily means submission to the WCC's founding principles.  Now you're arguing that the WCC's founding principles are heretical, which I neither deny nor confirm.  If you can't prove that we have submitted to the founding principles of the WCC by our mere presence there, what does it matter what those founding principles are?

IOW, why are you changing the direction of the argument?  Can you just not stand still?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 12:48:03 PM
Well I have just demonstrated that the WCC is a heretical organization per se. Therefore it follows that membership of the WCC is membership of a heretical organization. So the official Orthodox churches in the WCC are members of a heretical organization. How can you possibly maintain that this is not a betrayal of Orthodoxy?

Asking me to explain why membership of the WCC involves accepting its heretical principles is like asking me whether membership of the Orthodox Church involves accepting the Orthodox faith.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 02:33:05 PM
Well I have just demonstrated that the WCC is a heretical organization per se. Therefore it follows that membership of the WCC is membership of a heretical organization. So the official Orthodox churches in the WCC are members of a heretical organization. How can you possibly maintain that this is not a betrayal of Orthodoxy?

Asking me to explain why membership of the WCC involves accepting its heretical principles is like asking me whether membership of the Orthodox Church involves accepting the Orthodox faith.
The Soviet Union was a heretical organization per se, and yet the Russian Church was a institution within it.  The Church of Greece was headed by a communicant of the Vatican, as was the Church of Romania, and the Bulgarian Exarchate.  And then there is the EP: an arm of an infidel state.  You are going to have to do better than simplistic equations.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 02:36:20 PM
PtA, what you quoted was technically hypothetical, so technically you can't accuse me of error. But we'll leave that aside. This is what the WCC says about the relationship between member churches:

"Therefore, no relationship between the Churches can have any substance or promise unless it starts with the common submission of the Churches to the Headship of Jesus Christ in His Church."

What is unorthodox about that?

Quote
The truth about what the WCC believes can be found in their Basis and the Toronto statement. I showed you earlier what the Toronto statement contains, and anyone with a basic knowledge of Orthodox ecclesiology can see that it is not Orthodox. Even our resident Copt could see it was heretical. So the Body of Christ issue is a red herring and we should leave it.

Patrick Barnes notes in his article on ecumenist 'double-speak' how Orthodox ecumenists attempt to deceive us by pointing out the passages from these WCC documents that can appear reconcilable with Orthodoxy when viewed in isolation, but that when you see the whole documents it's clear that they are not Orthodox. These documents are the expressions of the WCC's understanding of itself; they describe the REALITY of what the WCC is, i.e. a heretical organization. The FANTASY that these Orthodox ecumenists want to project is that the WCC is not heretical, so that the Orthodox may be WCC members without compromising their faith, but as you can see, there is a difference between this fantasy and the reality about the WCC. Are you now honestly going to tell me that the way the Orthodox ecumenists present the WCC is the reality, after I showed you what the WCC documents actually say?
Like this?
Quote
The Orthodox churches and the World Council of Churches
I. Presuppositions of involvement for the Orthodox in the ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches
1. For the Orthodox, Eastern and Oriental, the primary purpose of the World Council of Churches is its work for the restoration of unity among Christians. In the Orthodox understanding, this means full ecclesial unity, that is, unity in doctrinal teaching, sacramental life and polity. The Orthodox recognize other important dimensions of ecumenical work and activity. Cooperative ecumenical efforts that contribute toward growing unity, the establishment or restoration of justice and peace, toward coherence in theological expression, toward mission and common witness, toward deepening the churches' self-understanding and toward growth of community in confessing, learning and service are important in themselves and as means for divided Christians to move toward ultimate doctrinal and sacramental union. But for the Orthodox, the ultimate goal and justification of the ecumenical movement in general, and for their participation in the WCC in particular, is the full ecclesial unity of Christians. It is thus an urgent task for the meaning of church unity to be clearly articulated and frequently repeated in the deliberations and work of the WCC, while concurrently striving to clarify appropriate and legitimate aspects of diversity in expressing the apostolic faith in worship and discipline within that ecclesial unity.

2. Toward this purpose, the Orthodox call all Christians and member churches, all WCC programme units and administrative organs to "a re-commitment to the constitutional ‘Basis' of the existence and work of the Council. The Basis Statement of the WCC is: "The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." This fundamental statement highlights the Trinitarian, Incarnational and salvific understanding of Christian faith, worship and life in the response of Christians to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox affirm it and insist on its centrality for the Christian churches gathered in fellowship for the purpose of working toward uniting all Christians. The Basis should be repeatedly displayed and frequently reaffirmed in the undertakings of the WCC so that all involved in its work and activities are constantly reminded of its contents.

3. In particular, the Basis and the Christian teaching historically related to it, should provide the theological underpinning of ecumenical reflection within the WCC and the documents and statements issued in its name. These fundamental Christian truths have come to the Church from God through the scriptures as divine revelation. We refer to the central affirmations of the apostolic faith and the credal statements of the Early Church, such as the Trinitarian understanding of God, the divine-human personhood of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of redemption and salvation in the work of Jesus Christ, creation and calling of humankind as the image and likeness of God, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in Church, etc. These fundamental beliefs of revelation need to be repeatedly referred to as such and respected by the WCC and its participants, and kept at the centre of WCC thinking and activities. Violations of the Basis and the concomitant faith affirmations arising from divine revelation as understood and taught in the historical undivided Church should be corrected or not admitted in the official work of the WCC.

4. The Orthodox Churches participate in the WCC's life and activities only on the understanding that the WCC "Is a council of churches" (koinonia/fellowship/conseil) and not a council of individuals, groups, movements or religious bodies which are involved in the Council's goal, tasks and vision.

5. They consider seriously that their membership and participation in the WCC is based upon an encounter, cooperation and a dialogue of churches. The WCC cannot become a forum for the exchange of individual ideas. We together with other churches seek "... a conciliar fellowship of local churches which are themselves truly united..." and aim "... at maintaining sustained and sustaining relationships with [our] sister churches, expressed in conciliar gatherings wherever required for fulfilment of their common calling" (Nairobi Assembly 1975).

6. Participating thus in a dialogue structure, the Orthodox Churches should be the only responsible agents for their representation. Each member church has the right to decide how to be represented, in accordance with the criteria that apply to a council of churches. These decisions are made on an equal basis with the other member churches in respect to quotas, voting procedures, church polity issues, etc.

7. The Orthodox Churches strongly re-affirm that doctrinal issues in the WCC structures should be considered as an essential element of each church's membership. Such doctrinal or ecclesiological issues cannot be decided through a voting or parliamentary procedure (cf. WCC Constitution and Rules, XV/6,b). For the Orthodox, issues such as ordination of women, eucharistic hospitality, inclusive language with reference to God, are doctrinal.

8. In the past the Orthodox felt obliged to make their own "separate statements" on matters debated in the WCC. In the last decades, growing together in ecumenical fellowship, they abandoned this practice and took part in the production of common statements. The present situation causes some uneasiness among the Orthodox. This has led them to issue some reminders about the basic criteria of their participation. Some suggest a resumption of "separate statements" because the Orthodox point of view is insufficiently reflected. Most feel that separate statements would be unfortunate for the nature of ecumenical work. New ways have to be found to implement the Orthodox view in drafting committees, issue-related consultations and WCC governing bodies.

9. Another source of uneasiness is the fact that membership in the Council of non-Orthodox churches is constantly increasing, thus rendering the Orthodox witness more difficult. The process of receiving new member churches and their representation in the Central Committee and Assemblies of the WCC deserves serious consideration.

10. The WCC describes itself, its ecclesial nature and significance by means of its Basis and with the safeguard of the Toronto Statement of the Central Committee on "The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches" (1950). There it is clearly affirmed: "The member churches of the WCC consider the relationship of other churches to the Holy Catholic Church which the Creeds profess as a subject for mutual consideration. Nevertheless, membership does not imply that each church must regard the other member churches as churches in the true and full sense of the word."

11. Our understanding of this statement is that the member churches of the WCC, and the Orthodox Churches in particular, respect the sovereignty of each other's ecclesiological teachings. The Council has no ecclesiological position of its own.

12. The Orthodox perceive that the WCC is drifting away from the Toronto Statement through some of its programmes and methodologies. For us the Toronto Statement remains as an essential criterion for our participation and membership in the WCC. Any eventual re-assessment of the Toronto Statement in the light of the experience of the forty years in the ecumenical movement should not undermine or contradict this fundamental criterion.

13. The Orthodox have a common understanding in relation to their participation in the WCC. They follow the recommendations of the Third Preconciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference (1986): "The Orthodox Church ... faithful to her ecclesiology, to the identity of her internal structure and to the teaching of the undivided Church, while participating in the WCC, does not accept the idea of the ‘equality of confessions' and cannot consider Church unity as an inter-confessional adjustment. In this spirit, the unity which is sought within the WCC cannot simply be the product of theological agreements. God alone calls every Christian to the unity of faith which is lived in the sacraments and the tradition, as experienced in the Orthodox Church." (para. 6)

14. The Orthodox Church believes its own teaching and hierarchical structure to be based on an unbroken Tradition, which has been transmitted from generation to generation since the Apostolic times through the centuries. It participates in bilateral and multilateral dialogues through the WCC and the ecumenical movement. It does this because it is committed to the search for Christian unity. Therefore its presence and active participation is not merely a matter of "courtesy".

15. "The Orthodox Church. which unceasingly prays ‘for the union of all', has taken part in the ecumenical movement since its inception and has contributed to its formation and further development. In fact, the Orthodox Church, due to the ecumenical spirit by which she is distinguished, has, throughout history, fought for the restoration of Christian unity. Therefore, the Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement does not run counter to the nature and history of the Orthodox Church. It constitutes the consistent expression of the apostolic faith within new historical conditions, in order to respond to new existential demands." (Third Preconciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, 1986, para. 3)

16. The Orthodox Churches understand the WCC as churches gathered in faithfulness to the calling of the Holy Spirit that we are all invoking. The WCC in a unique way has become part of the life and experience of our churches.

II. Some problems for the Orthodox in the WCC
17. It is in this spirit that the Orthodox consider the issue of the involvement of the WCC with other religions. Commitment to dialogue among Churches with the goal of the unity of all Christians can and should be extended to dialogue with other religious traditions. The Orthodox have a long and living experience with members of other religions. Respect for the humanity of others and their sincerely held convictions calls for increased efforts at understanding and peaceful relations, and, wherever possible and appropriate, cooperation in areas of mutual concern. But this cannot mean that Christian churches acting through WCC agencies should be compromised in their central Christian commitments. The Orthodox hold that any syncretistic accommodation in WCC activities is inappropriate and contradicts the central affirmations and goals of the ecumenical endeavour. In particular, the recent practice of having representatives of other faith traditions at Assemblies and other expressions of ecumenical endeavour is welcomed, so long as the representatives of other religions are not invited to serve on drafting committees for the preparation of WCC documents. The dialogue with other religions ought not to compromise the identity of the WCC as a council of Christian churches, as it serves to broaden the understanding of the member churches regarding the variety of religious and non-religious stances in the world today and in promoting dialogue between Christians and members of other religions.

18. The Orthodox welcome the efforts of the WCC to address the question of the relationship of the churches to the world and are grateful for the many opportunities given us to explore that relationship in programmes such as "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation". However, the theme of the Seventh Assembly, "Come, Holy Spirit - Renew the Whole Creation", as it was developed in some expressions, provokes us to express convictions about the topic. The Orthodox understand the Kingdom of God as God's ruling power over the whole world. The saving work of Jesus Christ has broken the power of evil and the demonic in the world, and the work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest God's Kingdom and lordship as an active reality transforming and transfiguring the world to the full service of God and His purposes. Thus, the whole creation is sustained and renewed by the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit dwells uniquely and in fullness in the life of the Church enabling the fullness of communion between God and humanity together with the rest of creation. The Orthodox hold that extreme emphasis on either of these poles is a distortion of the Christian faith and would call upon the WCC to cultivate an awareness in its deliberations of the Holy Spirit's action both within the Church and in the whole of creation. Further, acknowledgement of the Holy Spirit's leading of the churches to new and fresh understandings and experiences ought not to be presented as invalidating or contradicting the guidance of the Holy Spirit given to the Church in the past as embodied in the Church's Tradition. God's Kingdom is a reality already present, but which must also be progressively fulfilled and revealed. We urge the WCC through its agencies not to allow itself to succumb to extremist tendencies in either direction when it considers the relationship of the churches to the world.

19. The Orthodox Tradition is full of examples of involvement in activities of a social character and in an active defense of the dignity of the human person. This is recalled in the "Decisions of the Third Preconciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference" where it is stated that "The Orthodox Church appreciates this multidimensional activity of the WCC and fully cooperates in [these] fields, within the limits of her possibilities" (para. 9). However, on several occasions, the Orthodox have had to react against a tendency within the WCC towards a one-sided "horizontalism" which tends to disconnect social, political, environmental problems from our commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Such one-sided horizontalism suggests an acceptance of an autonomy of secular life. The Orthodox believe that no aspect of life is autonomous or disconnected from the Christians' confession of the Incarnation and its consequence: the gift of the divine life in the image of the Holy Trinity. It is because we believe in the Incarnation and the Trinity that we are committed to problems of justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

20. The Orthodox must once again reiterate their position on the meaning of the eucharistic communion as it regards the nature of the Church and the ecumenical endeavour. The Eucharist is the supreme expression of the unity of the Church and not a means towards Christian unity. Shared belief, shared ecclesial order, shared ecclesial identity are manifested and expressed in their fullness through the Eucharist. Given this understanding of the Eucharist there is only Eucharistic Communion, and there cannot be something called "Inter-communion" since that term together with the practice it designates is a contradiction. To share in the common cup while still maintaining fundamental differences in faith, order and ministry does not make sense to the Orthodox, because it violates a major element of the meaning and significance of the Eucharist. We genuinely suffer about the fact that sharing the chalice is not yet possible in our ecumenical striving and regret misunderstandings on this matter which may have occurred during our ecumenical pilgrimage in the WCC. Thus, in our presently still divided condition, the Orthodox may not in conscience extend or respond to invitations involving "eucharistic hospitality". We look forward to the day when our shared faith, order and fellowship will require and permit sharing the common cup as the highest manifestation of our unity.

III. Towards an improved Orthodox participation in the ecumenical movement
21. The Orthodox Church as a koinonia of local churches transmits the teaching of the Church to the people of God (pleroma) on the local and regional levels. Its contribution to the ecumenical vision can only be articulated and fulfilled when it is involved on the "ground" level sharing and exchanging relationships with other Christian churches and movements in a common action, witness, concerns, etc.

22. The Orthodox think that their participation in the ecumenical movement would be greatly improved if more attention were devoted to a preparation of clergy and lay men and women in ecumenical issues. Living as we do in pluralistic societies, all aspects of our Christian life have an ecumenical dimension which requires training and education at all levels. Ecumenical participation would also be helped if the Orthodox learned to know more about one another to make inter-Orthodox collaboration more fruitful.

23. In the last decades, there has been a new interest in the Orthodox faith on the part of many. It is the duty of the Orthodox to respond to this by taking very seriously their responsibility to witness to Orthodoxy in its purity. This implies a permanent distinction between the fundamental and the secondary, a continuous effort to live in accordance with the doctrines confessed in the concrete aspects of daily life. In other words, an improved Orthodox participation in the ecumenical search for the unity of Christians so that our witness to the world may be credible implies a continuous conversion of the Orthodox to a permanently purified Orthodoxy.

24. The process of a continuous deepening of their own Orthodoxy should lead the Orthodox not simply to respond to the questioning of an ever renewed historical context but to take initiatives themselves in many areas of modem life. This would certainly contribute to improve Orthodox involvement in the WCC and prevent some of the misunderstandings that the Orthodox so often deplore.

25. It is our belief that the Orthodox have much to contribute in the ecumenical movement. It is therefore highly desirable that they develop more and more a witnessing, missionary mentality.

26. This is all the more necessary in a context where proselytism in various forms is rife. Many Orthodox churches, due to persecution, have been weakened and their weakness is a prey to these various form of proselytism. The latter should be denounced with utmost vigour. In particular, the Orthodox should call their partners in ecumenical dialogue to denounce themselves the unfair action of some of their own "missionaries", thus avoiding a flagrant contradiction between official language among "sister churches" called to a "common witness" and actual practice which amounts to "unchurching" the Orthodox Christians.

27. However, apart from the indispensable protests, the most potent answer to these deplorable situations is a recovery of a purified, well-informed, responsible Orthodoxy on the part of the Orthodox concerned. In carrying out this work, they need the help of all, in particular the assurance of their partners in the WCC.

"May we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be sustained to renew the commitment of all Christians towards the visible unity."
I will repeat: I just find it very odd that someone who believes that the WCC bodies are not churches in any sense of the word and devoid of grace, and yet believes that are powerful enough with enough authority, so he believes, to dictate terms to the Orthodox Churches in the WCC, when they make it quite clear, in BLACK AND WHITE, that like Hebrew National, they answer to a higher authority.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: augustin717 on December 11, 2009, 02:38:19 PM
 
Quote
The Church of Greece was headed by a communicant of the Vatican, as was the Church of Romania, and the Bulgarian Exarchate
.
And who were these exactly, may I ask?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 02:45:07 PM
Quote
The Church of Greece was headed by a communicant of the Vatican, as was the Church of Romania, and the Bulgarian Exarchate
.
And who were these exactly, may I ask?
King Otto, King Carol I and Ferdinand I, Prince Alexander I and Czar Ferdinand I.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 02:46:25 PM
The problem for Moscow is that they are still in the WCC. Like the other Orthodox ecumenists, they wish to present their fantasy of what the WCC is in place of the reality of what the WCC is. If you want to know the fantasy, read what the MP says about the WCC. If you want the reality, read what the WCC says about itself.
And you, of course, are an authentic interpreter of what either says.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: augustin717 on December 11, 2009, 02:48:03 PM
Quote
The Church of Greece was headed by a communicant of the Vatican, as was the Church of Romania, and the Bulgarian Exarchate
.
And who were these exactly, may I ask?
King Otto, King Carol I and Ferdinand I, Prince Alexander I and Czar Ferdinand I.
No big deal. I thought you were talking about the clergy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 11, 2009, 02:49:28 PM
Rereading PtA's last post, I see that he doesn't recognize the difference between member and observer. Sure, representatives of an Orthodox church may just turn up to a WCC meeting. As long as they don't sign up for membership or take part in proceedings, I wouldn't say they have compromised their faith by joining a heretical organization (although it may still scandalize the faithful). This is what ROCA representatives did in the early years of the WCC, and also there were ROCA representatives observing the Second Vatican Council. They didn't join the Roman Church, of course, or take part; they were just sitting in as guests.

With the Orthodox members of the WCC, we're dealing with something totally different. These guys have 'signed on the dotted line'. They bought the right to participate in WCC meetings with a compromise of Orthodox ecclesiology. They aren't neutral observers; they are full members. That's why we can hold them to account. And especially when they start pointing to certain passages of the WCC Toronto statement taken out of context in order to prove they are not taking part in heresy, we are quite justified in pointing out the other, heretical parts of the statement.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 02:50:05 PM
Quote
The Church of Greece was headed by a communicant of the Vatican, as was the Church of Romania, and the Bulgarian Exarchate
.
And who were these exactly, may I ask?
King Otto, King Carol I and Ferdinand I, Prince Alexander I and Czar Ferdinand I.
No big deal. I thought you were talking about the clergy.
No.  I don't even think that describing the king as head of the Church was valid, but it was the set up within which the Church operated under their organic statutes (which are subject to the canons and dogma).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2009, 02:56:30 PM
Rereading PtA's last post, I see that he doesn't recognize the difference between member and observer. Sure, representatives of an Orthodox church may just turn up to a WCC meeting. As long as they don't sign up for membership or take part in proceedings, I wouldn't say they have compromised their faith by joining a heretical organization (although it may still scandalize the faithful). This is what ROCA representatives did in the early years of the WCC, and also there were ROCA representatives observing the Second Vatican Council. They didn't join the Roman Church, of course, or take part; they were just sitting in as guests.

With the Orthodox members of the WCC, we're dealing with something totally different. These guys have 'signed on the dotted line'. They bought the right to participate in WCC meetings with a compromise of Orthodox ecclesiology.

No, they have not, and your parroting the allegation does not make it so.


Quote
They aren't neutral observers; they are full members.

Like St. Mark at the council of Florence?

Quote
That's why we can hold them to account.

You would have to be in the Church to do that.

Quote
And especially when they start pointing to certain passages of the WCC Toronto statement taken out of context in order to prove they are not taking part in heresy, we are quite justified in pointing out the other, heretical parts of the statement.

By what authority do you interpret it, and the Orthodox participation in the WCC?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 11, 2009, 06:58:10 PM
Well I have just demonstrated that the WCC is a heretical organization per se. Therefore it follows that membership of the WCC is membership of a heretical organization. So the official Orthodox churches in the WCC are members of a heretical organization. How can you possibly maintain that this is not a betrayal of Orthodoxy?
How can you say with such authority that it is?

Asking me to explain why membership of the WCC involves accepting its heretical principles is like asking me whether membership of the Orthodox Church involves accepting the Orthodox faith.
Why?  You're the only one here trying to make the WCC out to be some superchurch.  I don't see anyone else arguing that.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 11, 2009, 07:00:30 PM
Rereading PtA's last post, I see that he doesn't recognize the difference between member and observer.
Putting words in my mouth again, I see. ::)  Jonathan, you really need to stop doing that.

Sure, representatives of an Orthodox church may just turn up to a WCC meeting. As long as they don't sign up for membership or take part in proceedings, I wouldn't say they have compromised their faith by joining a heretical organization (although it may still scandalize the faithful). This is what ROCA representatives did in the early years of the WCC, and also there were ROCA representatives observing the Second Vatican Council. They didn't join the Roman Church, of course, or take part; they were just sitting in as guests.

With the Orthodox members of the WCC, we're dealing with something totally different. These guys have 'signed on the dotted line'. They bought the right to participate in WCC meetings with a compromise of Orthodox ecclesiology. They aren't neutral observers; they are full members. That's why we can hold them to account. And especially when they start pointing to certain passages of the WCC Toronto statement taken out of context in order to prove they are not taking part in heresy, we are quite justified in pointing out the other, heretical parts of the statement.
As Isa already pointed out, merely repeating the same assertion often enough isn't going to prove it true.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 11, 2009, 08:28:57 PM
Perhaps other people than Jonathan should go ask their own bishop or priest who are involved or knows their own fellow bishops or priests who are involved to see if the WCC requires them to be part of their "superchurch" for membership.  When I get back to the US next week, that will be surely be one question I will ask my priest.

God bless.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 11, 2009, 09:38:45 PM
Perhaps other people than Jonathan should go ask their own bishop or priest who are involved or knows their own fellow bishops or priests who are involved to see if the WCC requires them to be part of their "superchurch" for membership.  When I get back to the US next week, that will be surely be one question I will ask my priest.

There is no SuperChurch.

From the 1950 Toronto Statement
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/central-committee/toronto-1950/toronto-statement.html

III. What the World Council of Churches is not
1. The World Council of Churches is not and must never become a superchurch.

It is not a superchurch. It is not the world church. It is not the Una Sancta of which the Creeds speak. This misunderstanding arises again and again although it has been denied as clearly as possible in official pronouncements of the Council. It is based on complete ignorance of the real situation within the Council. For if the Council should in any way violate its own constitutional principle, that it cannot legislate or act for its member churches, it would cease to maintain the support of its membership.

In speaking of "member churches", we repeat a phrase from the Constitution of the World Council of Churches; but membership in the Council does not in any sense mean that the churches belong to a body which can take decisions for them. Each church retains the constitutional right to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council. The "authority" of the Council consists only "in the weight which it carries with the churches by its own wisdom" (William Temple).

Please note that Jonathan is wrong about member Churches having to accept what the WWW says. The Statement is clear: "...membership in the Council does not in any sense mean that the churches belong to a body which can take decisions for them. Each church retains the constitutional right to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council.'
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 11, 2009, 09:41:25 PM
That's what I thought.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 12, 2009, 02:20:39 AM
I can't believe you people. You truly only accept the part of the statement that you can make to fit your beliefs about the WCC, and even when I do your work for you and copy out the heretical parts before your very eyes you pretend it's not there. I've never seen a more blatant case of denial. Be honest with yourselves: do you pretend it's not there because perhaps you just don't want it to be there? Why not? Are your consciences perhaps bothered by the revelations? Maybe if you close your eyes it will go away? Sure, that always worked when I was four years old.

I didn't say 'superchurch', PtA. You're putting words in my mouth this time. I'm saying nothing more than what the WCC says in its assumptions. Do you want me to copy it for you yet again? Didn't even Mina see that it was heretical? Didn't he admit he would expect there to be an enormous outcry if his people knew that his bishops had accepted such assumptions? So why hasn't there been an outcry? Is it because perhaps the participants have been successful in suppressing this information? Like with those Orthodox ecumenists I cited earlier, quoting the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement while conveniently forgetting to mention the unacceptable parts? No, of course it can't be that! Surely the bishops would have noticed the heresy and condemned it openly and explicitly, right? And they would have demanded the removal of those assumptions before they would ever dream of joining the WCC, right? Right, of course. Let me just go looking to see where these condemnations and demands are. Hm, I can't seem to find them anywhere! Maybe they just forgot. Oh well, life's hard for the ecumenist these days. So many dialogs to participate in, so many conferences, so many agreements and statements. No wonder they forgot to read that part of the statement. After all, it's so recent! It's only been around almost since the beginning of the WCC. We can hardly expect the hierarchs to have familiarized themselves with everything, least of all the document that actually outlines all the presuppositions, goals and assumptions of the WCC!

Mina, ask your priest what he knows about these assumptions. Be specific about that. I wonder if his reaction will be the same as yours.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2009, 02:47:54 AM
I can't believe you people. You truly only accept the part of the statement that you can make to fit your beliefs about the WCC, and even when I do your work for you and copy out the heretical parts before your very eyes you pretend it's not there. I've never seen a more blatant case of denial. Be honest with yourselves: do you pretend it's not there because perhaps you just don't want it to be there? Why not? Are your consciences perhaps bothered by the revelations? Maybe if you close your eyes it will go away? Sure, that always worked when I was four years old.

Jonathan,

You don't seem to realise that we are quite aware that the Churches in the WCC are heretical, some more and some less.   Acting as if this is a new and surprising discovery is a bit odd.   Neither we nor our bishops are brain damaged enough to believe that the Protestant Churches do not contain large amounts of heresy.  Read, for example, the 2000 Russian Statement on relationships with heterodox Churches.

You are also overlooking the fact that the Toronto Statement says with absolute clarity that no Church which is a member of the WCC is bound by any statements or acts of the WCC.

You have a knack for setting up strawmen.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2009, 02:57:04 AM
I didn't say 'superchurch', PtA. You're putting words in my mouth this time.
Nah!  YOU were the one who compared membership in the WCC with membership in the Church.

I'm saying nothing more than what the WCC says in its assumptions. Do you want me to copy it for you yet again? Didn't even Mina see that it was heretical? Didn't he admit he would expect there to be an enormous outcry if his people knew that his bishops had accepted such assumptions? So why hasn't there been an outcry? Is it because perhaps the participants have been successful in suppressing this information? Like with those Orthodox ecumenists I cited earlier, quoting the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement while conveniently forgetting to mention the unacceptable parts? No, of course it can't be that! Surely the bishops would have noticed the heresy and condemned it openly and explicitly, right? And they would have demanded the removal of those assumptions before they would ever dream of joining the WCC, right? Right, of course. Let me just go looking to see where these condemnations and demands are. Hm, I can't seem to find them anywhere! Maybe they just forgot. Oh well, life's hard for the ecumenist these days. So many dialogs to participate in, so many conferences, so many agreements and statements. No wonder they forgot to read that part of the statement. After all, it's so recent! It's only been around almost since the beginning of the WCC. We can hardly expect the hierarchs to have familiarized themselves with everything, least of all the document that actually outlines all the presuppositions, goals and assumptions of the WCC!
What does it matter if the WCC is a heretical organization if you can't prove that membership in the WCC requires submission to the founding principles that make the organization heretical?  After all, that is the point YOU originally brought up.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2009, 03:27:49 AM
I can't believe you people. You truly only accept the part of the statement that you can make to fit your beliefs about the WCC, and even when I do your work for you and copy out the heretical parts before your very eyes you pretend it's not there. I've never seen a more blatant case of denial.

You mean denial of this?:"....membership in the Council does not in any sense mean that the churches belong to a body which can take decisions for them. Each church retains the constitutional right to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council."


Quote
Be honest with yourselves: do you pretend it's not there because perhaps you just don't want it to be there?

Each church retains the constitutional right to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council
You don't want that to be there?

Quote
Why not? Are your consciences perhaps bothered by the revelations?

Is your proganda what motivates your selective editing?


Quote
Maybe if you close your eyes it will go away? Sure, that always worked when I was four years old.

If I may ask, how long ago was that?

Quote
I didn't say 'superchurch', PtA. You're putting words in my mouth this time. I'm saying nothing more than what the WCC says in its assumptions.


That the Orthodox Churches retain their constitutional right to reject utterances or actions of the WCC.

Quote
Do you want me to copy it for you yet again? Didn't even Mina see that it was heretical?


LOL.  Yes, even Mina, that arch-heretic. LOL.

Quote
Didn't he admit he would expect there to be an enormous outcry if his people knew that his bishops had accepted such assumptions?


I think he said IF his bishops had accepted such assumptions.

Quote
So why hasn't there been an outcry?

Because they didn't.

Quote
Is it because perhaps the participants have been successful in suppressing this information?


Yes, just like they have been successful in suppressing the names of your bishops.  Can you tell us who they are?


Quote
Like with those Orthodox ecumenists I cited earlier, quoting the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement while conveniently forgetting to mention the unacceptable parts? No, of course it can't be that! Surely the bishops would have noticed the heresy and condemned it openly and explicitly, right? And they would have demanded the removal of those assumptions before they would ever dream of joining the WCC, right? Right, of course. Let me just go looking to see where these condemnations and demands are. Hm, I can't seem to find them anywhere!


Let me help you (AGAIN!) there:
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/ecumenical-movement-in-the-21st-century/member-churches/special-commission-on-participation-of-orthodox-churches/sub-committee-ii-style-ethos-of-our-life-together/16-09-91-inter-orthodox-consultation-after-the-canberra-assembly.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22406.msg342964.html#msg342964

Quote
Maybe they just forgot. Oh well, life's hard for the ecumenist these days.

Not as hard as a member of the sole solitary unique exclusive only true orthodox church....

Quote
So many dialogs to participate in, so many conferences, so many agreements and statements.


....so many windmills to fight....

Quote
No wonder they forgot to read that part of the statement.

No problem, here's a second chance:

Each church retains the constitutional right to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council

Quote
After all, it's so recent! It's only been around almost since the beginning of the WCC.

Indeed it has.  But the Russian Orthodox Church's participation hasn't, and IIRC that participation is what set off this quixotic campaign.


Quote
We can hardly expect the hierarchs to have familiarized themselves with everything, least of all the document that actually outlines all the presuppositions, goals and assumptions of the WCC!

Including the constitutional right of each Church to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council.

Quote
Mina, ask your priest what he knows about these assumptions. Be specific about that. I wonder if his reaction will be the same as yours.
Careful now Gress.  Cavourting with heretics....LOL.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2009, 04:04:42 AM

Quote
We can hardly expect the hierarchs to have familiarized themselves with everything, least of all the document that actually outlines all the presuppositions, goals and assumptions of the WCC!

Including the constitutional right of each Church to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council.

Ialmisry,  don't you see it is worse than we thought.  >:(  The WCC is forcing us to accept the "assumption" that we have a "constitutional right....to ratify or to reject utterances or actions of the Council."  What a nightmare!  They're giving us permision to disagree with them!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 12, 2009, 04:18:35 AM
Trust me when I say this.  The Coptic Church is one of the strictest Oriental churches in ecclesiological theology.  My own priest is very very traditionalist (Jonathan, you would love to have a discussion on Chalcedon with him; he is borderline untrustworthy of Eastern Orthodox, and I enjoy debating that with him).  The Pope would get very very angry if a priest in public did not wear his "imma" (priestly hat).  No one is allowed to change the priestly clothing (one priest tried to where the suit with the collar a long time ago, like the Catholics, and it caused outrage).  Very strict sacramental theology, as well.  It's only recently when they became comfortable enough to open up to the Orthodox, but other than that, baptism is not recognized at all.

If they are a member of the WCC, I can guarantee 100% that if they were forced to accept the WCC as a Church and membership would require to be part of that church, they would not only leave, but make sure they leave a scar in the WCC, and things would go on without any cordiality for a loooong time.  And then, I am well aware, at least the Genuine Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church has something to agree with; they will proclaim Ecumenism is a heresy.

Knowing that my Coptic Church is still a strong member of the WCC, what you believe can't be true.  It just can't.  But trust me, if it is, I personally wouldn't be quiet about it, and I know many who would join me for that matter.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2009, 05:31:58 AM
Jonathan, I have to give you credit for one thing.  Irish Hermit, Ialmisry, and I are all on the same side of a debate for once.  That doesn't happen very often. ;D

Come to think of it, this month is a month with a blue moon. :laugh:
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 24, 2009, 07:24:54 PM
Well I guess I can't fathom how you can question whether membership of an organization requires acceptance of the membership principles of that organization. To me it's just one of those self-evident things. It's the reason I decided not to join a jurisdiction that was in the WCC. I mean, my conscience would not give me peace if I joined an organization whose principles were incompatible with Orthodoxy, like Freemasonry.  I wouldn't be able to convince myself that I could mentally 'opt out' of the 'un-Orthodox' principles, only accepting the 'Orthodox' ones, if I had openly declared I had accepted all of them. A Jesuit using the doctrine of 'reservatio mentalis' might be able to convince himself of this, but as far as I can tell, reservatio mentalis, meaning not accepting inwardly what you profess outwardly, is just hypocrisy and betrayal. Couldn't the martyrs have used this argument to avoid condemnation for refusal to offer incense to idols? Why did the Church condemn those who betrayed the faith, like the lone soldier in Sebaste who took up the offer of the hot bath rather than freeze to death on the lake? How do we know the soldier didn't secretly practice 'reservatio mentalis' when he left the other thirty-nine?

It's especially odd when you consider how IH and company are eagerly citing the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement to prove that WCC membership is compatible with Orthodoxy. They rely on the text itself under the assumption that the Orthodox members have accepted this text and the principles contained therein; obviously if the Orthodox members had not accepted the Toronto statement, there wouldn't be any point in appealing to the statement to prove that membership was compatible with Orthodoxy. But when I point out that accepting the text also means accepting the heretical principles found elsewhere in the statement, you then try to claim that the members may possibly have opted out of them. But since there is no record of them having been granted the option to reject those principles in gaining membership, we have to assume they have accepted them along with rest of the statement. This forces you to appeal to this concept that the Orthodox members may have 'secretly' opted out. Well, I don't buy it. If they had opted out, we would have known about it, or we should have known about it.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 24, 2009, 11:39:40 PM
Well I guess I can't fathom how you can question whether membership of an organization requires acceptance of the membership principles of that organization.
You mean to say you're so entrenched in the way you see things that you can't see them from any perspective other than your own? It's as if you're saying, "My mind's made up; don't confuse me with the facts."

To me it's just one of those self-evident things.
But WHY is it self-evident?

It's the reason I decided not to join a jurisdiction that was in the WCC. I mean, my conscience would not give me peace if I joined an organization whose principles were incompatible with Orthodoxy, like Freemasonry.  I wouldn't be able to convince myself that I could mentally 'opt out' of the 'un-Orthodox' principles, only accepting the 'Orthodox' ones, if I had openly declared I had accepted all of them. A Jesuit using the doctrine of 'reservatio mentalis' might be able to convince himself of this, but as far as I can tell, reservatio mentalis, meaning not accepting inwardly what you profess outwardly, is just hypocrisy and betrayal. Couldn't the martyrs have used this argument to avoid condemnation for refusal to offer incense to idols? Why did the Church condemn those who betrayed the faith, like the lone soldier in Sebaste who took up the offer of the hot bath rather than freeze to death on the lake? How do we know the soldier didn't secretly practice 'reservatio mentalis' when he left the other thirty-nine?
But this idea still perpetuates the untested assumption that membership in an organization necessarily means submission to all of the organization's founding principles, the very assumption that we are now questioning.  Why is this self-evident to you yet not to us?

It's especially odd when you consider how IH and company are eagerly citing the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement to prove that WCC membership is compatible with Orthodoxy. They rely on the text itself under the assumption that the Orthodox members have accepted this text and the principles contained therein;
Have you asked Irish Hermit about his assumptions?  That might work a lot better than reading your own assumptions into his words and projecting them onto him.

obviously if the Orthodox members had not accepted the Toronto statement, there wouldn't be any point in appealing to the statement to prove that membership was compatible with Orthodoxy.
The only thing that's obvious is that nothing in this discussion is obvious.

But when I point out that accepting the text also means accepting the heretical principles found elsewhere in the statement, you then try to claim that the members may possibly have opted out of them.
Proof that maybe your paradigm isn't exactly faithful to the truth of what's really happening.

But since there is no record of them having been granted the option to reject those principles in gaining membership, we have to assume they have accepted them along with rest of the statement. This forces you to appeal to this concept that the Orthodox members may have 'secretly' opted out. Well, I don't buy it. If they had opted out, we would have known about it, or we should have known about it.
Again, you're defining Orthodox membership in the WCC according to your paradigms and your terms and judging us against them.  But when your paradigms are questioned, you argue that they're self-evident and continue to use them to frame your verdict.  There has to be some foundation for your continued assertion that your premises are self-evident.  What is that foundation?  If you can't answer that question, then you're merely here to tout your own authority to define the terms of debate, an authority you need to establish before anyone will recognize it.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 24, 2009, 11:49:30 PM
Well I guess I can't fathom how you can question whether membership of an organization requires acceptance of the membership principles of that organization. To me it's just one of those self-evident things.

Like it is self-evident that outsiders don't interpret the principles for insiders?

Quote
It's the reason I decided not to join a jurisdiction that was in the WCC. I mean, my conscience would not give me peace if I joined an organization whose principles were incompatible with Orthodoxy, like Freemasonry.  I wouldn't be able to convince myself that I could mentally 'opt out' of the 'un-Orthodox' principles, only accepting the 'Orthodox' ones, if I had openly declared I had accepted all of them. A Jesuit using the doctrine of 'reservatio mentalis' might be able to convince himself of this, but as far as I can tell, reservatio mentalis, meaning not accepting inwardly what you profess outwardly, is just hypocrisy and betrayal. Couldn't the martyrs have used this argument to avoid condemnation for refusal to offer incense to idols? Why did the Church condemn those who betrayed the faith, like the lone soldier in Sebaste who took up the offer of the hot bath rather than freeze to death on the lake? How do we know the soldier didn't secretly practice 'reservatio mentalis' when he left the other thirty-nine?

We know why St. Mark of Ephesus went to Florence, why Arius spoke a the First Ecumenical Council, why St. Meletius, previously seen as a semi-Arian, opened the Second Ecumenical Council, why Nestorius was seated at the Third, why Dioscoros and Theodoret spoke at the Fourth, etc.

Quote
t's especially odd when you consider how IH and company are eagerly citing the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement to prove that WCC membership is compatible with Orthodoxy. They rely on the text itself under the assumption that the Orthodox members have accepted this text and the principles contained therein; obviously if the Orthodox members had not accepted the Toronto statement, there wouldn't be any point in appealing to the statement to prove that membership was compatible with Orthodoxy. But when I point out that accepting the text also means accepting the heretical principles found elsewhere in the statement, you then try to claim that the members may possibly have opted out of them. But since there is no record of them having been granted the option to reject those principles in gaining membership, we have to assume they have accepted them along with rest of the statement. This forces you to appeal to this concept that the Orthodox members may have 'secretly' opted out. Well, I don't buy it. If they had opted out, we would have known about it, or we should have known about it.
It's no secret: the Orthodox statements, EO and OO, have been linked, cited, etc.  Read them.

Well, I'm off to Church, in two hours "Christ is Born!"  I'll be shoving my face full of steak tommorrow, thinking of you.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 24, 2009, 11:50:10 PM
Jonathan, I have to give you credit for one thing.  Irish Hermit, Ialmisry, and I are all on the same side of a debate for once.  

We must do this more often. ;D
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on December 25, 2009, 03:47:18 AM
Well I guess I can't fathom how you can question whether membership of an organization requires acceptance of the membership principles of that organization. To me it's just one of those self-evident things.

Like it is self-evident that outsiders don't interpret the principles for insiders?

Quote
It's the reason I decided not to join a jurisdiction that was in the WCC. I mean, my conscience would not give me peace if I joined an organization whose principles were incompatible with Orthodoxy, like Freemasonry.  I wouldn't be able to convince myself that I could mentally 'opt out' of the 'un-Orthodox' principles, only accepting the 'Orthodox' ones, if I had openly declared I had accepted all of them. A Jesuit using the doctrine of 'reservatio mentalis' might be able to convince himself of this, but as far as I can tell, reservatio mentalis, meaning not accepting inwardly what you profess outwardly, is just hypocrisy and betrayal. Couldn't the martyrs have used this argument to avoid condemnation for refusal to offer incense to idols? Why did the Church condemn those who betrayed the faith, like the lone soldier in Sebaste who took up the offer of the hot bath rather than freeze to death on the lake? How do we know the soldier didn't secretly practice 'reservatio mentalis' when he left the other thirty-nine?

We know why St. Mark of Ephesus went to Florence, why Arius spoke a the First Ecumenical Council, why St. Meletius, previously seen as a semi-Arian, opened the Second Ecumenical Council, why Nestorius was seated at the Third, why Dioscoros and Theodoret spoke at the Fourth, etc.

Quote
t's especially odd when you consider how IH and company are eagerly citing the 'acceptable' parts of the Toronto statement to prove that WCC membership is compatible with Orthodoxy. They rely on the text itself under the assumption that the Orthodox members have accepted this text and the principles contained therein; obviously if the Orthodox members had not accepted the Toronto statement, there wouldn't be any point in appealing to the statement to prove that membership was compatible with Orthodoxy. But when I point out that accepting the text also means accepting the heretical principles found elsewhere in the statement, you then try to claim that the members may possibly have opted out of them. But since there is no record of them having been granted the option to reject those principles in gaining membership, we have to assume they have accepted them along with rest of the statement. This forces you to appeal to this concept that the Orthodox members may have 'secretly' opted out. Well, I don't buy it. If they had opted out, we would have known about it, or we should have known about it.
It's no secret: the Orthodox statements, EO and OO, have been linked, cited, etc.  Read them.

Well, I'm off to Church, in two hours "Christ is Born!"  I'll be shoving my face full of steak tommorrow, thinking of you.
Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

Merry Christmas to all!  Except Fr. Ambrose, Ozgeorge, Mark and Stashko et alia: for you I will hold the thought.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Rafa999 on December 25, 2009, 04:35:28 AM
The Savior is Born! Glory to the Messiah, may his enemies bite the dust!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on December 25, 2009, 08:17:16 AM
Jonathan, you say, "How convenient for others to quote acceptable parts of the Toronto statement and leave out the context" whereas we reply, "It's not convenient.  It clearly says in the statement and many others every WCC member is not required to accept these statements" in which you reply, "How convenient for others to quote..." in which we reply "Stop being annoyingly evasive."

You continue to believe Orthodox have accepted all these statements.  Fine!  If you feel much more secure about yourself with such a delusion then go right ahead.  I think it's very clear everyone here who has discussed with you the Toronto Statement that this would be unacceptable.  The center of the argument is whether Orthodox actually did accept it, in which you stubbornly continue to believe "Yes" while we say "No."  Fr. Ambrose and Isa showed you proof for the "No," that really just destroys your so-called "proof" for "Yes."  If you're not going to provide any rebuttal with new information and proof, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Jonathan Gress on December 25, 2009, 09:49:38 AM
No Mina. The Toronto statement does NOT say that members may be selective in which parts of the same statement may be accepted and which parts may be rejected. The whole statement taken together presents the presuppositions of WCC membership. I have shown that this statement contains heretical assumptions, and there is no 'get out' clause in the statement allowing Orthodox, or any other members to ignore those heretical assumptions. All you can point to is one part of the statement where, if taken alone and out of context, one might be fooled into thinking WCC membership did not involve compromise with Orthodox ecclesiology. But my argument rests on the principle that things can't be taken out of context. If you think it's permissible to do so, then I guess we do have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 25, 2009, 12:34:08 PM
No Mina. The Toronto statement does NOT say that members may be selective in which parts of the same statement may be accepted and which parts may be rejected. The whole statement taken together presents the presuppositions of WCC membership. I have shown that this statement contains heretical assumptions, and there is no 'get out' clause in the statement allowing Orthodox, or any other members to ignore those heretical assumptions. All you can point to is one part of the statement where, if taken alone and out of context, one might be fooled into thinking WCC membership did not involve compromise with Orthodox ecclesiology. But my argument rests on the principle that things can't be taken out of context. If you think it's permissible to do so, then I guess we do have to agree to disagree.
And this statement from you continues to present the same old unproven presupposition you keep preaching here as self-evident.  Until you can prove this "obvious" assumption that membership in the WCC means unwavering submission to her "heretical" principles, then I guess we'll just have to agree that you have no case to defend.

In fact, in the light of evidence others have provided that your fundamental premise may be just flat wrong, it makes no sense to keep saying, "No, YOU're wrong," and offer nothing more than the refuted premise as your argument.  You need to come at this problem from a different angle.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 25, 2009, 08:04:30 PM
Dear Jonathan,

You make serious but very vague charges against the Orthodox Church but you do not provide any specifics.

Could you be specific about the doctrinal and ecclesiological compromises which you believe have come upon the Russian Church because of involvement in ecumenism? Could you please list them?

I honestly have not the foggiest idea what they might be, and believe me, as a member of the Russian Church I am dead keen to know and have been paying close attention to what you have been writing.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 26, 2009, 07:15:55 AM
This forces you to appeal to this concept that the Orthodox members may have 'secretly' opted out. Well, I don't buy it. If they had opted out, we would have known about it, or we should have known about it.

Dear Jonathon,

You speak of the Orthodox not opting out of the Toronto Statement.  Well, the WCC itself says that the Orthodox have never bought in!!

The WCC itself acknowledges that the Toronto Statement is something inconclusive and something unsettled for the Orthodox.   They have not embraced it at all.  It hangs in limbo for the Orthodox.

This is from "The importance of the Orthodox contribution to the WCC" by Konrad Raiser who at the time was the General Secretary of the WCC:

"The Special Commission which was established after the Harare assembly has given attention
to critical questions which have arisen regarding the theological and in particular ecclesiological
basis of Orthodox participation in the life of the WCC. The commission has tried to address once
again the basic "ecclesiological challenge" which is implied in Orthodox participation in the WCC.
This was articulated clearly at the time of the discussion of the Toronto Declaration by Fr Georges
Florovsky and we do not seem to have moved much beyond the point of stating an open question
for which an acceptable answer or solution has not yet been found."

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/ecumenical-movement-in-the-21st-century/member-churches/special-commission-on-participation-of-orthodox-churches/03-06-03-orthodox-contribution-to-the-wcc.html
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Get_Behind_Me_Satan on February 20, 2010, 02:33:53 PM
Against Ecumenism

This verse clearly and directly states that Christians must stay together, speaking, thinking and believing the same things. Orthodoxy, which has held the Christian faithful together in one divine body for two millennia, is the perfect fulfillment of these instructions. In the Orthodox Church, the faithful conform their minds and will to the sacred teachings of the faith, and this brings perfect spiritual unity.

A fatal heresy, increasing in prevalence today, directly counters these instructions that St. Paul commands us to follow. This heresy appears not to divide the church, but rather unite it; it appears to be loving, accepting and good. But this is not the case - what it really does is undermine the foundations of the Church and tear it apart internally, allowing for innovations and changes in traditions and practice, putting physical unity above truth, and preparing for the antichrist. It is the heresy of ecumenism, a terrible and false teaching as deceitful and destructive as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Rather than attacking the Church though the open teaching of heresy, as did Arianism, Monophysitism and Iconoclasm, ecumenism poses a different and even more terrible assault to the church; it gathers power and a following while still appearing to remain in the bounds of the Church and adhere to her traditional dogmas. In accepting all beliefs, ecumenism divides the church, as we cannot be perfectly of one mind with those who believe false heresies ad have false ways of life.

The above verse from Corinthians explicitly teaches against the heresy of ecumenism and is an unshakable defense against it. We are told here to be not only of one body, which the ecumenists strive for by trying to bring all religions into communion with one another, but also to "be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement." This means that we must think and believe the same way. Ecumenism attempts to join everyone together into one body, while their minds, their beliefs, and their practices remain dissimilar and contradictory. This is not unity! How can there be one body but different minds? This is impossible! Colossians 1:18 states, "And he is the head of the body, the church." In order to belong to this body of which Christ is the head, we must be of one body, believing the same things. For as a head cannot have multiple bodies, so we cannot differ in beliefs yet belong to the same head. Ecumenism tries to make one church, but yet it does not truly unite. It turns a blind eye to differences in fath, belief, doctrine, and practice, as if these things do not matter. On the contrary, these things are of the utmost importance! These things are the very basis and foundation of our lives; they are the Church. If we cast these things aside, what is left? All that is left is a shallow, hollow shell of what was formerly the fullness of the Church. If we cast these things aside, we are casting aside our own salvation.

It simply does not work to bring everything down to the lowest common denominator and say that the only criteria for being a Christian is that we all believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Or some will even go so far as to say that, if even this is not true of everyone, at least everyone believes in a god, and that's enough - it doesn't matter that some do not even believe in the Christian God. It is fine for Christians and Moslems and Jews and pagans all to join together; the important thing is simply that we all love each other. The differences do not matter; only the similarities. So the ecumenists argue. But this is not true! This is not the apostolic teaching. This is not the true faith. This is ecumenism! The apostles taught us to be of one mind and one body by believing, speaking, and doing all the same things that have been handed down to us ever since the first followers of Christ. We must be completely united in all our beliefs, being perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgement. To reduce the requirements for being a Christian to a mere statement of faith in a god, thus minimalizing Christianity, severs this unity that we are commanded to abide by.

There are, in essence, two levels of ecumenism. In the extreme case, the highest level of ecumenism even encompasses non-Christian faiths. Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, American Indians…they all unite in worship. These religions do not even claim to worship the same God, and yet they serve together. Venerate both Christ and Buddha as God in one service?! This is impossible! There are appalling videos showing all these different faiths performing their religious ceremonies as part of one big inter-communal service. Then there are those who attempt to join together all Christian religions into one faith. They would be horrified at the idea of a service with Hindus and Christians celebrating together, yet they do not bat an eyelash at the idea of Orthodox celebrating with Roman Catholics, who with no authority broke off from the Church close to a thousand years ago.

It is tragic that Orthodoxy has not remained completely free of ecumenism. The ecumenistic spirit has permeated almost all of society, and even some jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church have adopted it. There are Orthodox involved in the World Council of Churches. When some Orthodox joined the WCC, they said it was in an effort to convert those of other faiths to Orthodoxy; however, this has not happened, and the faith of these ecumenistic Orthodox has been watered down. The ecumenical patriarch and the pope have prayed and worshipped side by side in services. There are Orthodox who fully consider the Roman Catholics our brothers and sisters in Christ. With this disregard for the importance of theology, practice is diminished, fasting is often not observed, and the rigor of the Christian life is rarely taught, and the list goes on and on. Much of this is done in the name of brotherly love, on the pretext of acceptance of all people as brothers and sisters in Christ, excluding no one and offering the same love and acceptance to all without discrimination due to theological differences -- but this is not so. It does not work this way. By being involved with those of other religions, and accepting their beliefs as alright if not true, Orthodoxy is weakened and the line between it, the true faith, and other religions blurred. Of course true Orthodoxy will always remain pure and unaltered, but the faithful can be weakened by seeing ecumenism spread like wild fire, gathering momentum and appearing to be good in the midst of all the destruction it leaves. We cannot even appear to accept other doctrines and faiths that differ from our own divinely revealed Orthodoxy! The word Orthodox means "true belief" (and, according to its Greek roots, "correct opinion") - we must not corrupt this true belief or correct opinion by mixing it with false beliefs and personal, human opinion.

If there is to be true spiritual unity, it must be within the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church: the Orthodox Church. While other religions weaken from attempting to please everybody and pass off theology as unimportant, Orthodoxy alone remains firm and unshaken, a rampart unyielding to the turmoil of the world, illustrating the way of the straight and narrow path. In Orthodoxy, we strive to conform our sinful human nature to the teachings and lifestyle of the Church, as opposed to the "suit-yourself" attitude many other religions have, in which people create their own set of beliefs that accommodate their lifestyle. Orthodoxy is that rock upon which Christ has built His Church. Let us cling to that holy rock and not allow for innovations to come into the Orthodox Church. We have been given so much in the Faith, and we must preserve it uncorrupted by modern practices and ways of thinking, such as minimalism and compromising our faith to the world. We must be in the world but not of the world, and this is done by remaining in the embrace of the Orthodox Church.

The saints and holy fathers of the ages past died rather than surrender their faith. Countless martyrs chose death over renouncing Christ in even the smallest way. We hear of martyrs who were told to sacrifice to idols and had burning coals placed in their hands - yet they held these hot coals until their hands burned off rather than throw them before the idols, thus sacrificing to them. Men, women, and even young children were tortured in diverse, cruel and unimaginable ways because they refused to renounce our Lord and Savior. Their stories fill us with awe for their supreme love and unwavering zeal for the faith. The holy fathers are shinning examples of how we ought to protect the faith. They fought and refuted the heresies of Arius, the Iconoclasts, Monophysites, and many others. At the First Council, St. Nicholas of Myra, filled with holy anger, struck the heretic Arius. St. John Chrysostom was exiled for teaching the truth. Many other saints and their heroic deeds for the sake of the church could be mntioned. How precious the faith was to these holy men and women! Let us imitate them as fully as we are able as we strive to hold fast to the Church, the same church for which they willingly gave their lives and sacrificed themselves, and not give way to the ecumenistic spirit that fills the world today.

If we are not of one mind, we are in direct disobedience to the Gospel, to the Church, and to Christ. To be of one mind, we must follow the teachings of and conform ourselves to the ancient Christian Church, the true Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church.

O Holy Lord Jesus Christ, help us to remain steadfast in the holy teachings of Thy church and disallow false ways of believing, thinking and living to corrupt and scatter Thy flock! Grant that we may preserve unsullied the pearl of great price given unto us, keeping it inviolate for all generations to come, through the prayers of Thy most pure Mother and of all the saints. Amen.

By Christina Holland.

This article appears in the Winter 1999 Issue of "Children of the Church", a Traditional Orthodox Youth's Newsletter. Yearly subscriptions are only $6.00 US, $8.00 Canadian. E-mail ChildrenOfTheChurch@rocor.org , or call 972 529-2754 and ask for Christina.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Get_Behind_Me_Satan on February 20, 2010, 02:40:20 PM
This is about Ecumenism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv2svBG5OH8&feature=PlayList&p=FF63E7993E5ACC25&index=0
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on May 03, 2010, 03:15:44 PM
Speaking of all of the lovely ecumenical ravings that have come up in other threads, I just wanted to throw this in the hat as well, as it seems to echo some of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's statements distinguishing "proselytism" and "evangelism."

In the book Eastern Orthodox Compared: Her Main Teachings and Significant Differences with Roman Catholicism and the Major Protestant Denominations by Protopresbyter Constantine Mathews, there is a page which explains the Orthodox view of missionary work:

Quote
p. 98 - Missions and Evangelism

Many Protestant Churches have organized foreign missionary programs in many parts of the world, often trying to gain converts out of Christians who are active members of another church. The Eastern Orthodox Church believes that this method of gaining members, called "proselytism," runs contrary to Christ's teachings and is of grave concern. A real missionary is one who goes where the gospel has not yet been preached or is not being truly lived.

Every day I get more and more uncomfortable with the agenda that these sorts of ecumenists are pushing. How can we say that the gospel is "truly being lived" by those who reject the most foundational teachings about His Holy Body and Blood? If our whole Christian life is indeed Sacramental/Mysterious, then how can a non-Sacramental and anti-materialist understanding be another reflection of the same gospel? If there is no bishopric, then where is the Catholic Church?

This book is endorsed by Archbishop Demetrios of the GOA, and is clearly in line with the EP teachings on the matter. But what do such teachings have to do with the faith of the apostles? I can't but suspect that these sorts of statements are aimed at keeping the Protestants out of the "Orthodox Lands", basically so that they can say, "Hey, we're not trying to convert your flock, so leave ours alone." It's a statement from a position of weakness, which assumes that Truth cannot withstand the tide of the sectarians. But rather than engaging in apologetics and training the faithful to know their own faith to be able to resist the heretics, it's far easier to pretend that you're playing the good guy by ignoring the necessity of those heterodox to be reunited to the True Church.

These things might look good to some on paper, but to me they reek of betray of the faith once delivered. Can't such people see that they betray the one thing that Orthodoxy retains, which is the purity of Truth? If we give that up, then the liturgy is just a nice show with pretty antiques; some kind of museum piece of rituals and customs. It's relegated to culture rather than the Truth itself. We must oppose these betrayals, or we will lose the very savor of Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Asteriktos on May 03, 2010, 03:38:46 PM
What safe harbor exists? Should we world Orthodox stay and work for reform from within? What Church should we work through--Serbian, Antiochian, OCA, etc.? Or should we join old calendarist groups--either the more moderate ones like the group headed by Met. Cyprian, or the less moderate ones like that headed by Archbp. Chrysostomos II?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Iconodule on May 03, 2010, 05:07:34 PM
What safe harbor exists? Should we world Orthodox stay and work for reform from within? What Church should we work through--Serbian, Antiochian, OCA, etc.? Or should we join old calendarist groups--either the more moderate ones like the group headed by Met. Cyprian, or the less moderate ones like that headed by Archbp. Chrysostomos II?

As curious as I am to visit the Agafangelite parish near me, I really don't think it's reached that point. I try to give many hierarchs the benefit of the doubt- I oftentimes think muddled thinking, misguided politeness, or just poor word choice is to blame for many ecumenist gaffes, rather than genuine heresy. I also don't see these opinions being proclaimed as official Orthodox teaching and imposed on the faithful. Above all, I think a glance at the Church's history shows that the Church has weathered much worse without all the Orthodox needing to break away into supposedly pure groups. 
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on May 03, 2010, 08:23:27 PM
But where does this notion come from that we do not proactively try to convert the sectarians? After all, we canonize those individuals which helped to bring back the Eastern Catholics through "proselytism."

St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, anyone?

(http://sainttikhons.org/St._Alexis_Toth_files/StAlexisTothLifeIkon.jpg)


Use of forbidden word replaced with acceptable alternative  -PtA
(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/Pascha2010/images/warnwarn.gif) You've been warned repeatedly before that the use of the "U" word is, with few exceptions, forbidden on this forum and that you need to exercise greater care in your selection of words in general.  For your continued apparent carelessness in this matter, you are receiving this formal warning to last for the next week.  If you think I'm giving you this warning wrongly, please appeal my decision via PM to Fr. George.

- PeterTheAleut
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Iconodule on May 03, 2010, 08:30:49 PM
But where does this notion come from that we do not proactively try to convert the sectarians?

It's certainly heretical in its full implications, but I don't think it's being enforced anywhere. It's just the misguided opinion of a few ecumenists, some of whom admittedly are very influential but none of whom have been able to make this official policy. We continue to receive converts from protestantism and Papism, and to proselytize in areas where these traditions are predominant.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 11, 2011, 09:58:14 PM
Quote
And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus
Now, I am not going to insult people's Saints, but, it shows that John Damascene certainly never read the writings of either Saints Severus or Dioscorus.

Did Dioscorus teach a commingling of the substances in Christ?
Quote
...They have banished [and anathemized] from the hope of Christians those who do not confess God the Word to be consubstantial with the Father, because He became consubstantial with man, taking flesh, although He remained unchangeably what He was before...
~Letter to the Monks of the Hennaton (http://www.orthodox-library.com/dios_02.htm)

Did Severus teach a commingling of the substances in Christ?
Quote
...[Christ] became incarnate of [the Virgin] without variation, in flesh which is of our nature, endowed with a living, rational, intelligent soul, and became perfectly man, while he remained what he is, God; in order to do away the offence of our father Adam, and deliver and restore the lost one, according to the riches of his great mercy.
~Hymn to the Theotokos (http://erkohet.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126:the-virgin-m)

I have feeling no one is going to respond to my post  :(
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: deusveritasest on July 13, 2011, 06:21:26 PM
Quote
And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus
Now, I am not going to insult people's Saints, but, it shows that John Damascene certainly never read the writings of either Saints Severus or Dioscorus.

Did Dioscorus teach a commingling of the substances in Christ?
Quote
...They have banished [and anathemized] from the hope of Christians those who do not confess God the Word to be consubstantial with the Father, because He became consubstantial with man, taking flesh, although He remained unchangeably what He was before...
~Letter to the Monks of the Hennaton (http://www.orthodox-library.com/dios_02.htm)

Did Severus teach a commingling of the substances in Christ?
Quote
...[Christ] became incarnate of [the Virgin] without variation, in flesh which is of our nature, endowed with a living, rational, intelligent soul, and became perfectly man, while he remained what he is, God; in order to do away the offence of our father Adam, and deliver and restore the lost one, according to the riches of his great mercy.
~Hymn to the Theotokos (http://erkohet.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126:the-virgin-m)

I have feeling no one is going to respond to my post  :(

*thumbs up*
Title: MOVED: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: mike on July 14, 2011, 01:17:46 PM
EO vs. OO polemical post has been moved to Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Private Discussions (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?board=23). If you don't have an access there ask FrChris.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=37909.0 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=37909.0)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 01:24:10 PM
(Null) I messed up this post, ignore it. I hate my computer!
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on July 14, 2011, 01:36:52 PM
Quote
And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus
Now, I am not going to insult people's Saints, but, it shows that John Damascene certainly never read the writings of either Saints Severus or Dioscorus.

Did Dioscorus teach a commingling of the substances in Christ?
Quote
...They have banished [and anathemized] from the hope of Christians those who do not confess God the Word to be consubstantial with the Father, because He became consubstantial with man, taking flesh, although He remained unchangeably what He was before...
~Letter to the Monks of the Hennaton (http://www.orthodox-library.com/dios_02.htm)

Did Severus teach a commingling of the substances in Christ?
Quote
...[Christ] became incarnate of [the Virgin] without variation, in flesh which is of our nature, endowed with a living, rational, intelligent soul, and became perfectly man, while he remained what he is, God; in order to do away the offence of our father Adam, and deliver and restore the lost one, according to the riches of his great mercy.
~Hymn to the Theotokos (http://erkohet.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126:the-virgin-m)

I have feeling no one is going to respond to my post  :(
Perhaps not here.

As for St. John of Damascus, he seems to have depended too much, perhaps in retrospect, on John the Grammarian for the views of the non-Chalcedonians
http://books.google.com/books?id=H9wlrya9lXYC&pg=PA140&dq=%22John+the+Grammarian+and+Tritheite%22&hl=en&ei=VScfTrqzD7D9sQLzibGTAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22John%20the%20Grammarian%20and%20Tritheite%22&f=false
as I don't know how much, if at all, the OO follow John the Grammarian, who was more of a philosopher (which is how he got in trouble) than a theologian (for which he was condemned as a Thriheite). But he was popular in St. John's day in his native Syria

John Philoponus and the controversies over Chalcedon in the sixth century: a study and translation of the Arbiter By Uwe Michael Lang, John Philoponus
http://books.google.com/books?id=342CNwaH8vsC&pg=PA20&dq=John+of+Damascus+Severus&hl=en&ei=iSkfTsGwBuuqsALXrJ2sAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=John%20of%20Damascus%20Severus&f=false
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 01:41:03 PM
I think I remember St Severus of Antioch condemning John the Grammarian, so we don't follow him. But, one of my posts was moved to the private forum and the moderator of this board, Micha Kalina, was nice enough to warn me without actually placing a green warning label on my account. With that considered, Isa, if you would like to contine this discussion with me let's do it via PMs. I want to respect the moderator's decision.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on July 14, 2011, 01:43:31 PM
I think I remember St Severus of Antioch condemning John the Grammarian, so we don't follow him. But, one of my posts was moved to the private forum and the moderator of this board, Micha Kalina, was nice enough to warn me without actually placing a green warning label on my account. With that considered, Isa, if you would like to contine this discussion with me let's do it via PMs. I want to respect the moderator's decision.
You don't have access to the private fora?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 01:46:15 PM
I think I remember St Severus of Antioch condemning John the Grammarian, so we don't follow him. But, one of my posts was moved to the private forum and the moderator of this board, Micha Kalina, was nice enough to warn me without actually placing a green warning label on my account. With that considered, Isa, if you would like to contine this discussion with me let's do it via PMs. I want to respect the moderator's decision.
You don't have access to the private fora?
I was told I have to be here a month. I haven't asked FrChris yet. Do you think I should ask him permission despite the fact I have only been here 10 days?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 01:49:18 PM
I think I remember St Severus of Antioch condemning John the Grammarian, so we don't follow him. But, one of my posts was moved to the private forum and the moderator of this board, Micha Kalina, was nice enough to warn me without actually placing a green warning label on my account. With that considered, Isa, if you would like to contine this discussion with me let's do it via PMs. I want to respect the moderator's decision.
St Severus condemns someone whom he calls "the wicked grammarian", and thus I assume he's reffering to John the Grammarian.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Father Peter on July 14, 2011, 02:04:22 PM
St Severus writes against the Grammarian in one of his major works - Severi Antiocheni liber contra impium Grammaticum

If John of Damascus used him as his source for information about the non-Chalcedonians then he was in error in doing so.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 02:06:55 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Iconodule on July 14, 2011, 02:21:46 PM
So, the consensus: Grammarians, not to be trusted?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Father Peter on July 14, 2011, 02:25:18 PM
Well St Severus also disagreed with Sergius the Grammarian, who was a non-Chacledonian but with incorrect ideas.

Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 02:33:10 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
So... should I? I just want to get advice from more experienced posters on OC.net so I don't look like a complete fool for asking him prematurely. But, I assume 'one month' means 'one month'. I was just wondering if there were any exceptions.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 02:34:43 PM
Well St Severus also disagreed with Sergius the Grammarian, who was a non-Chacledonian but with incorrect ideas.


Ah yes, I think I remember him. Wasn't he the non-Chalcedonian who refused to confess the difference/distinction of Christ's divinity and humanity, thus mixing the two together (I.e. Eutychian heresy).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Iconodule on July 14, 2011, 02:35:40 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
So... should I? I just want to get advice from more experienced posters on OC.net so I don't look like a complete fool for asking him prematurely. But, I assume 'one month' means 'one month'. I was just wondering if there were any exceptions.

I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Father Peter on July 14, 2011, 02:37:37 PM
I wouldn't want to call Sergius the Grammarian a Eutychian, not least because Eutyches didn't say anything like that.

He was a bit out of his depth though, Sergius and Eutyches to be honest. And he was in error.

The letters between St Severus and Sergius are in English and you can purchase them. The translation is very good. It's by Iain Torrance.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on July 14, 2011, 02:46:14 PM
St Severus writes against the Grammarian in one of his major works - Severi Antiocheni liber contra impium Grammaticum

If John of Damascus used him as his source for information about the non-Chalcedonians then he was in error in doing so.
Not quite: as Lang points out, John the Grammarian remained popular among the non-Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox for a century after St. John of Damascus' repose.  As has been pointed out
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4996.msg65100.html#msg65100
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21382.msg323267.html#msg323267
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37678.msg597072.html#msg597072
the Armenian Church chose Julian of Halicarnassus over Pat. Severus, causing a breach with the non-Chalcedonian Syrian (and Coptic?)Orthodox until the Council of Manzikert in 726 (and apparently keeping Severus off the Armenian Calendar).
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37678.msg597072.html#msg597072
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=29494.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=4996.0
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13141.msg280292.html#msg280292

This is interesting, as it is stated that the Emperor Justianian took to Julianism, and deposed the EP St. Eutychus (who had presided over the Fifth Ecumenical Council, and opposed Julianism and the  Aphthartodocetae) and replaced him with EP St. John Scholasticus, but the emperor died before he could promote Julianism. EP St. John thereupon forged an understanding with the non-Chalcedonians (at least some of them) in 567, briefly reuniting the Church in 571.  I wonder what Julian and Philoponus did to the dynamic between St. John of Damascus and Pat. Severus via the media of the nascent EO and OO.


Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 02:47:37 PM
I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.
Putting the disturbing sarcasm aside, do you think I should ask or not?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on July 14, 2011, 02:48:29 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
Ask... seek...knock....Someone said that. :D
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on July 14, 2011, 02:51:22 PM
So, the consensus: Grammarians, not to be trusted?
Seems like since the nineth century, we've agreed to that.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 02:52:37 PM
I wouldn't want to call Sergius the Grammarian a Eutychian, not least because Eutyches didn't say anything like that.

He was a bit out of his depth though, Sergius and Eutyches to be honest. And he was in error.

The letters between St Severus and Sergius are in English and you can purchase them. The translation is very good. It's by Iain Torrance.
I do realize that there really is no evidence Eutyches really said anything like that. When I speak of "the Eutychian heresy" I am referring to the heresy attributed (falsely?) to him. Eutyches was probably just a confused old man who had no idea what he was talking about. I read that he was hesitant to confess that Christ's humanity was consubstantial with man and yet he confessed him to be "perfect God and perfect man" (for reasons I am not ignorant of).
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 02:54:23 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
Ask... seek...knock....Someone said that. :D
Well, I can't disagree with scripture, so I'll try. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm refused, though.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: ialmisry on July 14, 2011, 02:59:55 PM
I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.
Putting the disturbing sarcasm aside, do you think I should ask or not?
Entangled threads
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24367.45.html
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 03:09:59 PM
Well, I asked him. I wouldn't be surprised if I am refused, but anyway...  :-\
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 03:22:26 PM
If it means anything, I am not an ecumenist. I believe that the Church should hold dialogues with schismatics, if anything, just to introduce them to the Orthodox faith and try to bring them back to the fold, but I don't truly expect to reunite with them. The only group I think the Church can unite with without compromising her faith is the Eastern Orthodox Church. She (the EOC) is the only church outside the canonical boundaries of the OOC whose sacraments I recognize. I pray for all schisms to end, but, if we were to reunite with the Protestants and the Latins, they will have to submit themselves to the Orthodox faith. The EOC has faithfully maintained the correct faith despite her schism from the OOC. And it is for that reason I don't mind my hierarchs communing EOs who approach an OO chalice. If I am being arrogant or rude I am sorry. I really am trying to present my view of things as respectfully as I can.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: vamrat on July 14, 2011, 03:46:50 PM
I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.
Putting the disturbing sarcasm aside, do you think I should ask or not?

I never saw the 1 Month warning so I asked at 11 days.  FrChris showed up at my house but no one was home, so he just gave me access.   ;)  Just be polite and respectful and you should be fine, though from the looks of it this is already your habit.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: deusveritasest on July 14, 2011, 03:51:37 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
So... should I? I just want to get advice from more experienced posters on OC.net so I don't look like a complete fool for asking him prematurely. But, I assume 'one month' means 'one month'. I was just wondering if there were any exceptions.

I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.

 :laugh:
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: deusveritasest on July 14, 2011, 03:53:01 PM
Eutyches was probably just a confused old man who had no idea what he was talking about.

 :laugh:
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 03:53:36 PM
I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.
Putting the disturbing sarcasm aside, do you think I should ask or not?

I never saw the 1 Month warning so I asked at 11 days.  FrChris showed up at my house but no one was home, so he just gave me access.   ;)  Just be polite and respectful and you should be fine, though from the looks of it this is already your habit.
Why, thank you. I do try to be as polite as possible.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: PeterTheAleut on July 14, 2011, 04:29:51 PM
Well, I asked him. I wouldn't be surprised if I am refused, but anyway...  :-\
Don't worry about it. You can't possibly make yourself look like more of a fool than I have.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 04:34:49 PM
Well, I asked him. I wouldn't be surprised if I am refused, but anyway...  :-\
Don't worry about it. You can't possibly make yourself look like more of a fool than I have.
Thanks for your kind words of reassurance. But trust me, both on the internet and in real life, I make a complete fool out of myself, lol.  :laugh:

Thanks again,
Severian
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Salpy on July 14, 2011, 05:39:01 PM
What were "Grammarians?"  Were they people who taught grammar to kids in school?  Did they write books about grammar?  If you were a Grammarian, what did you do for a living?
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 05:42:43 PM
What were "Grammarians?"  Were they people who taught grammar to kids in school?  Did they write books about grammar?  If you were a Grammarian, what did you do for a living?
Good question actually...

The word grammarian usually describes a grammar teacher. But I'm not sure if Sergius or John fit these descriptions.
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: FrChris on July 14, 2011, 06:47:11 PM
Does anyone think I should just ask FrChris permission to access the private fora even though I haven't even been here for two weeks? I guess it couldn't hurt to try.
So... should I? I just want to get advice from more experienced posters on OC.net so I don't look like a complete fool for asking him prematurely. But, I assume 'one month' means 'one month'. I was just wondering if there were any exceptions.

I heard a story about someone who was here 3 weeks and asked FrChris to join the private fora. FrChris showed up at his house and murdered his entire family.

How did you hear about that event? I thought all the witnesses had 'disappeared'.... ;)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: FrChris on July 14, 2011, 06:51:11 PM
Well, I asked him. I wouldn't be surprised if I am refused, but anyway...  :-\

Well, it is a bit early, but based on your previous posts (very well constructed, displaying examples of thought as well as courtesy)....I'm going to take the chance you will continue in that mode.

You have access to the Private Forums. Use this access for good, and not evil.  :)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: deusveritasest on July 14, 2011, 07:00:57 PM
Well, I asked him. I wouldn't be surprised if I am refused, but anyway...  :-\

Well, it is a bit early, but based on your previous posts (very well constructed, displaying examples of thought as well as courtesy)....I'm going to take the chance you will continue in that mode.

You have access to the Private Forums. Use this access for good, and not evil.  :)

I had a feeling you would accept him.  :)
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: Severian on July 14, 2011, 07:24:06 PM
Well, I asked him. I wouldn't be surprised if I am refused, but anyway...  :-\

Well, it is a bit early, but based on your previous posts (very well constructed, displaying examples of thought as well as courtesy)....I'm going to take the chance you will continue in that mode.

You have access to the Private Forums. Use this access for good, and not evil.  :)
Thanks FrChris.

God bless,
Severian
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: CoptoGeek on August 24, 2011, 10:44:24 AM
I think I remember St Severus of Antioch condemning John the Grammarian, so we don't follow him. But, one of my posts was moved to the private forum and the moderator of this board, Micha Kalina, was nice enough to warn me without actually placing a green warning label on my account. With that considered, Isa, if you would like to contine this discussion with me let's do it via PMs. I want to respect the moderator's decision.

I think the John the Grammarian that St. Severus wrote against was the Chalcedonian John of Caesarea not John Philoponus.

Quote
About the time that Severus was returning to Maiuma from Constantinople in 511, a presbyter and grammarian, John of Caesarea, composed an Apology for the Synod of Chalcedon (CPG 6855), demonstrating a more structured approach to the topic than that found in Nephalius’s work of the same name. Like Nephalius, John was motivated by the neo-Chalcedonian movement; in particular his aim was to reconcile Severus and his party to the Council of Chalcedon, using Cyril as the basis for argument. John’s work is mostly lost to us, but its argument can largely be reconstructed from Severus’s rebuttal of it, provocatively entitled Against the Impious Grammarian, which does not survive complete.

SEVERUS OF ANTIOCH, Pauline Allen and C.T.R.Hayward, Routledge 2004
Title: Re: Discussion on Ecumenism
Post by: minasoliman on September 20, 2011, 12:37:19 PM
Some of John the Grammarian's writings seem to have been recently found and analyzed, particularly lectures against Manichaeanism:

http://oxfordpatristics.blogspot.com/2011/04/byard-bennett-john-grammarians-first.html


Quote
Byard Bennett, “John the Grammarian’s First and Second Homilies against the Manichaeans: An Early Sixth-Century Christian Neoplatonist on the Problem of Evil”