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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Catholic Discussion => Topic started by: elijahmaria on January 12, 2012, 12:16:17 PM

Title: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 12, 2012, 12:16:17 PM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on January 12, 2012, 12:26:54 PM
It is my personal belief that it is. I have read the Hagiography of many Catholic saints, and I have witnessed the spirituality of many Catholic family members. These people are much holier than I could ever hope to be.

When I think of someone like Saint Damien of Molokai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Damien), who willingly exposed himself to lepers so that they could have a priest, receive the sacraments, and hear the Gospel, that is a love for God's creation that I could only hope to aspire to. It brings tears to my eyes to think how this man was willing to expose himself to the disease that ultimately killed him just so the lepers could have a priest to love them as Christ would want.

I may not agree with all of the positions or doctrine of Rome, but I do believe there are Catholics in heaven, God hears and answers their prayers, etc., etc.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: moronikos on January 12, 2012, 12:49:26 PM
There came a point where I didn't think I could have a fruitful spiritual life if I was in communion with Rome because I couldn't believe those things that Rome wanted me to believe.  OTOH, some people seem to me to have had a very fruitful spiritual life in communion with Rome--Mother Teresa for instance.  Someone else mentioned Fr. Damien.  It seems like I could only aspire to something like that.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 12, 2012, 12:50:29 PM
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: jah777 on January 12, 2012, 02:22:09 PM
Theosis is indeed possible for those in communion with the Pope of Rome if they turn from their error and enter the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Father H on January 12, 2012, 02:36:47 PM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

I hope so, or else all the fathers of the 4th ecumenical council are in trouble. 

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on January 12, 2012, 02:37:45 PM
Theosis is indeed possible for those in communion with the Pope of Rome if they turn from their error and enter the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

Ahh, There's one in every crowd.  :laugh: ::)

I was fully expecting Stashko to say this.

I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed.  :'(
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on January 12, 2012, 02:38:26 PM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

I hope so, or else all the fathers of the 4th ecumenical council are in trouble. 



Not to mention many of our ancestors from Galicia, right, Father?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 12, 2012, 02:49:49 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

I think that when push really comes to shove the most Orthodox response could be, "Its none of my business."

We've separated, both Orthodox and Oriental, and Orthodox and Latin, and for better or worse that is how it is.  So realistically, we have nothing to say about each other.  So long as Orthodox don't step on Latin toes, and so long as Latins don't step on Orthodox toes, and so long as Orientals don't step on Orthodox/Latin toes, and so long as Orthodox/Latin don't step on Oriental toes, and if any of us does step on anyone's toes we are all mutually all apologies, than that it the best we can pray for at this time.

Any directions we work together should be forward, we've spent enough centuries backpedaling..

I would say that if the Latins teach they their Sacramental life achieves Theosis, who am I to argue? I am grounded in my jurisdiction, I have no business leaving and less business judging the spiritual conditions of folks outside of my jurisdiction.  I can politely invite anyone to come visit and fellowship with us in Oriental Christendom, and hope for the same mutual hospitality elsewhere.

To answer the OP directly, yes, but only for themselves.  Its not an us or them issue, theosis is about an individual's communication with God, and so we can only worry about ourselves individually.  If an individual feels theosis in the Latin or Orthodox, that is where that individual should go.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: jah777 on January 12, 2012, 03:27:14 PM
From the illustrious Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


 “Thus the heretics are incurably rotten limbs of the Church and are therefore cut off from the Body of the Church. The heretics must be examined in this light. In this way one can see the Church’s love for mankind. For, as we have emphasised elsewhere as well, when someone employs erroneous medical teaching, there are no therapeutic results, one can never achieve the cure. The same is true with the doctrines or the erroneous teaching. An erroneous teaching which is based on a wrong methodology can never lead man to deification.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

“The fact that the Latin Tradition came to confuse these hypostatic properties and teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds in essence from the Son as well shows the nonexistence of empirical theology. Also the fact that it reached the point of speaking about created grace, signifies that it does not have experience of the grace of God. For, when a man attains the experience of God, he then realizes well that this grace is uncreated. Since they did not reach this experience, it is obvious that there is no correct therapeutic method there. And, indeed, in the Latin tradition this therapeutic method -which we find in Orthodoxy- does not exist.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm

"And again I must point out that heresy reverses the true way of man’s cure for reaching deification. If we think that purification of the heart, illumination of the nous is therapy in order for man to take the path to deification, then we understand that heresy reverses this way and leaves man permanently without a cure, without hope of cure and salvation."

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 12, 2012, 03:43:52 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

From the illustrious Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


 “Thus the heretics are incurably rotten limbs of the Church and are therefore cut off from the Body of the Church. The heretics must be examined in this light. In this way one can see the Church’s love for mankind. For, as we have emphasised elsewhere as well, when someone employs erroneous medical teaching, there are no therapeutic results, one can never achieve the cure. The same is true with the doctrines or the erroneous teaching. An erroneous teaching which is based on a wrong methodology can never lead man to deification.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

“The fact that the Latin Tradition came to confuse these hypostatic properties and teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds in essence from the Son as well shows the nonexistence of empirical theology. Also the fact that it reached the point of speaking about created grace, signifies that it does not have experience of the grace of God. For, when a man attains the experience of God, he then realizes well that this grace is uncreated. Since they did not reach this experience, it is obvious that there is no correct therapeutic method there. And, indeed, in the Latin tradition this therapeutic method -which we find in Orthodoxy- does not exist.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm

"And again I must point out that heresy reverses the true way of man’s cure for reaching deification. If we think that purification of the heart, illumination of the nous is therapy in order for man to take the path to deification, then we understand that heresy reverses this way and leaves man permanently without a cure, without hope of cure and salvation."

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

 


We're glad you have read the Fathers, but you are perhaps a bit to in their spirit and not enough in God's spirit.  Remember, the Church is supposed to be inviting sinners to repentance, and if you so strongly feel that the Latins are in such grievous sin and error, and you say they need to come back to us in repentance, should you, me, and we all be a bit more hospitable? We don't badger sinners to repentance, we console them in love and polite admonishment.  The Fathers hard-line attitudes are for ourselves, internal housekeeping, so that Orthodox realize to stay loyal to Orthodox, which you faithfully and thankfully are, however, it doesn't give us a free pass to cast scathing blame on others.  Repentance is not about finger pointing (John 8 )

(http://geoffreyholsclaw.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/800px-Jan_Brueghel_the_Elder-Christus_und_die_Ehebrecherin-AP.jpg)
Tradition teaches us that those were our own sins which Jesus was pointing at as He wrote them in the earth..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Michael L on January 12, 2012, 03:55:15 PM
The Wisdom of Metropolitan Philaret of Blessed Memory and St. Theophan the Recluse

Can the heterodox, i.e. those who do, not belong to Orthodoxy—the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church—be saved, has become particularly painful and acute in our days.

In attempting to answer this question, it is necessary, first of all, to recall that in His Gospel the Lord Jesus Christ Himself mentions but one state of the human soul which unfailingly leads to perdition—i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:1-32). The Holy Spirit is, above all, the Spirit of Truth, as the Saviour loved to refer to Him. Accordingly, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy against the Truth, conscious and persistent opposition to it. The same text makes it clear that even blasphemy against the Son of Man—i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God Himself may be forgiven men, as it may be uttered in error or in ignorance and, subsequently may be covered by conversion and repentance (an example of such a converted and repentant blasphemer is the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 26:11 and I Tim. 1:13.) If, however, a man opposes the Truth which he clearly apprehends by his reason and, conscience, he becomes blind and commits spiritual suicide, for he thereby likens himself to the devil, who believes in God and dreads Him, yet hates, blasphemes, and opposes Him.

Thus, man's refusal to accept the Divine Truth and his opposition thereto makes him a son of damnation. Accordingly, in sending His disciples to preach, the Lord told them: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16), for the latter heard the Lord's Truth and was called upon to accept it, yet refused, thereby inheriting the damnation of those who "believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thes. 2:12).

The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matt. 18:17) and of the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:8-9), threatening them with e ternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth...* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

With reference to the above question, it is particularly instructive to recall the answer once given to an inquirer by the Blessed Theophan the Recluse. The blessed one replied more or less thus: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever."

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
Emphasis Mine!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: jah777 on January 12, 2012, 03:57:55 PM
Remember, the Church is supposed to be inviting sinners to repentance, and if you so strongly feel that the Latins are in such grievous sin and error, and you say they need to come back to us in repentance, should you, me, and we all be a bit more hospitable? We don't badger sinners to repentance, we console them in love and polite admonishment.  The Fathers hard-line attitudes are for ourselves, internal housekeeping, so that Orthodox realize to stay loyal to Orthodox, which you faithfully and thankfully are, however, it doesn't give us a free pass to cast scathing blame on others.  Repentance is not about finger pointing (John 8 )

This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups.  The direct question in the OP was deserving of a direct response.  Concerning hospitality, elijahmaria who initiated the thread is not a newbie who is ignorant of Orthodox teaching and interested in asking an innocent question, but a long time member and regular poster (almost 6,000 posts!) who is familiar with these teachings of our saints and Fathers but seems to prefer to ignore them. 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 12, 2012, 04:08:03 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups.  The direct question in the OP was deserving of a direct response.  Concerning hospitality, elijahmaria who initiated the thread is not a newbie who is ignorant of Orthodox teaching and interested in asking an innocent question, but a long time member and regular poster (almost 6,000 posts!) who is familiar with these teachings of our saints and Fathers but seems to prefer to ignore them. 


But you are also seeming to ignore them, because again, the Fathers define sin for internal housekeeping, that we who are already Orthodox properly understand sin, sound doctrine, and acceptable theology.  However, as to regards to outsiders, all such sinners should be treated with kindness, and accepted with hospitality and love that they might be drawn to repentance.  The Church is a spiritual hospital, and when you go the ER the staff doesn't coerce you with finger-pointing and name-calling and a cosmic guilt trip, they simply get straight to work caring for the sick.  Sinners are spiritually sick, they need a little tender love and care, not to have the Book thrown at them ;)

The Fathers demand the repentant members of the Church to follow strict understandings of doctrine and theology, but the outsiders (who Latins are since the schism) are like all sinners, innocent as children, not knowing any better, until God brings them to repentance in His Church.  We are here to facilitate.  Once they repent, then you can pick up again reading folks the riot act and throwing the Book around..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on January 12, 2012, 04:19:43 PM
Short answer, yes.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 12, 2012, 04:29:12 PM
The initiation of theosis commences with the Sacraments of Illumination, with Baptism into Christ and Chrismation, the introduction of the Holy Spirit into the soul internally.

It is then nurtured by many many things but primarily by the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ which increases and strengthens our participation in His divine life.

So I suppose that those who believe Catholics possess the Sacraments would say they are in the process of theosis.  But I suppose the process of divinisation is horribly impeded by prelest, schism and heresy.

On the other hand, those who deny Catholic Sacraments must also deny theosis to Catholics (in this life.)

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: moronikos on January 12, 2012, 04:31:53 PM
Wow, leave the board for 6 years, and nothing much has changed.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 12, 2012, 04:35:52 PM
Wow, leave the board for 6 years, and nothing much has changed.

Well, to paraphrase someone else's comment elsewhere on this board: Change?  In *Orthodoxy*??  Is outrage!!!

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: stashko on January 12, 2012, 04:42:24 PM
From the illustrious Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:


 “Thus the heretics are incurably rotten limbs of the Church and are therefore cut off from the Body of the Church. The heretics must be examined in this light. In this way one can see the Church’s love for mankind. For, as we have emphasised elsewhere as well, when someone employs erroneous medical teaching, there are no therapeutic results, one can never achieve the cure. The same is true with the doctrines or the erroneous teaching. An erroneous teaching which is based on a wrong methodology can never lead man to deification.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

“The fact that the Latin Tradition came to confuse these hypostatic properties and teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds in essence from the Son as well shows the nonexistence of empirical theology. Also the fact that it reached the point of speaking about created grace, signifies that it does not have experience of the grace of God. For, when a man attains the experience of God, he then realizes well that this grace is uncreated. Since they did not reach this experience, it is obvious that there is no correct therapeutic method there. And, indeed, in the Latin tradition this therapeutic method -which we find in Orthodoxy- does not exist.”

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.01.htm

"And again I must point out that heresy reverses the true way of man’s cure for reaching deification. If we think that purification of the heart, illumination of the nous is therapy in order for man to take the path to deification, then we understand that heresy reverses this way and leaves man permanently without a cure, without hope of cure and salvation."

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.09.htm

 


I Agree With.....
Jah777  He said it better than i could...He's Right ,Our Holy Orthodox Fathers Know Best ...... :police:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on January 12, 2012, 05:11:11 PM
I Agree With.....
Jah777  He said it better than i could...He's Right ,Our Holy Orthodox Fathers Know Best ...... :police:

There he is! See, I knew sooner or later he would turn up!!  :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Asteriktos on January 12, 2012, 05:17:43 PM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3eO4L3HV1Q4/TWF8ufr7fbI/AAAAAAAAFKA/VP8gDTU-snE/s1600/magic_8_Ball.jpg)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Shanghaiski on January 12, 2012, 05:27:24 PM
Does theosis equal salvation? I don't know. Does it equal the mercy of God, I don't know. Perhaps we talk about theosis too much, as if it were something in the abstract, and not a dynamic mystery. I believe schism and heresy can offer hindrances, but God is trying to save everyone, not just the Orthodox. And for those who do not have Orthodoxy, whether they be pagans, Jews, heterodox, or deluded Orthodox, there is one word that, my priest says, is not in God's dictionary--hopeless.

St. Silouan the Athonite, IIRC, was troubled over the salvation the Orthodox, the non-Orthodox, indeed all mankind for he was a great saint. Who can tell the vigils and prayers he made on behalf of all men? In prayer, being troubled very much in spirit about the salvation of mankind, the Lord Christ appeared to him that He would have mercy upon each person who asked Him for mercy even once. St. Silouan then asked, what about those who had left all to follow the Lord? The Lord said that these would be His friends, the others he would merely have mercy upon.

Merely. This is not any small thing. The mercy of God is deeper than the ocean, broader than the sky, higher than the heavens, sweeter than honey, and better than life itself, or even many lives. It endures forever.

So, about theosis, I don't even know about myself. But I ask God to have mercy on me and all mankind.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: William on January 12, 2012, 07:06:31 PM
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ebor on January 12, 2012, 08:13:13 PM
Wow, leave the board for 6 years, and nothing much has changed.

Good to read you again, Moronikos.  How have you been?  :)

Ebor
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ebor on January 12, 2012, 08:14:36 PM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3eO4L3HV1Q4/TWF8ufr7fbI/AAAAAAAAFKA/VP8gDTU-snE/s1600/magic_8_Ball.jpg)

/\    /\

Good one  ;)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 12, 2012, 08:44:34 PM
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 12, 2012, 08:50:19 PM
greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 12, 2012, 08:52:28 PM
What is the opinion of the monks of Mount Athos?   These are not your armchair and cocktail party expositors of theosis and hesychasm.   These are the marine corps of Orthodox spiritual life, who live and breathe the journey godwards, who shed blood and endure sleepless nights and a diet of beans, who renounce their own wills to live in obedience to a hesychastic master...... what do they sat about theosis for the non-Orthodox?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 12, 2012, 08:55:28 PM
greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 12, 2012, 10:43:12 PM
greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are definitely damned?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 12, 2012, 10:52:16 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are potentially damned?

I think that the unbaptized being potentially damned as you put it is a given, what I am asking is if theosis is strictly limited to the Divine Mysteries or if it is a process of prayer in general? Is any communication or experience of God theosis in a more gradual sense? I mean this to say that what is it that brings converts and catechumens into Faith if not a connection with God? What is theosis if not a connection with God? These are merely my humble investigations, which is why I asked what the Fathers may have said specifically regarding theosis and prayer. Also what about Acts 11:44-48?

Quote
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

   Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 12, 2012, 10:52:46 PM
Short answer, yes.

Me too...

Thanks!  ;)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 12, 2012, 10:52:46 PM
Does theosis equal salvation? I don't know. Does it equal the mercy of God, I don't know. Perhaps we talk about theosis too much, as if it were something in the abstract, and not a dynamic mystery. I believe schism and heresy can offer hindrances, but God is trying to save everyone, not just the Orthodox. And for those who do not have Orthodoxy, whether they be pagans, Jews, heterodox, or deluded Orthodox, there is one word that, my priest says, is not in God's dictionary--hopeless.

St. Silouan the Athonite, IIRC, was troubled over the salvation the Orthodox, the non-Orthodox, indeed all mankind for he was a great saint. Who can tell the vigils and prayers he made on behalf of all men? In prayer, being troubled very much in spirit about the salvation of mankind, the Lord Christ appeared to him that He would have mercy upon each person who asked Him for mercy even once. St. Silouan then asked, what about those who had left all to follow the Lord? The Lord said that these would be His friends, the others he would merely have mercy upon.

Merely. This is not any small thing. The mercy of God is deeper than the ocean, broader than the sky, higher than the heavens, sweeter than honey, and better than life itself, or even many lives. It endures forever.

So, about theosis, I don't even know about myself. But I ask God to have mercy on me and all mankind.


Beautiful!...just beautiful.  This is edging up to being my most favorite response thus far in a range of excellent responses, and I include the more negative ones as well.  I very much appreciate the thoughtful responses, because as Jah says, I do have some idea what I am asking...and I am humbled by each response that I read.

But this one in particular grabs the spirit of humility firmly and doesn't let go.  It is key to anything we might hope to achieve by grace.

My hope is to achieve brothers and sisters in faith in Orthodoxy...my desire is to be able to do so with humility. 

I get angry and frustrated with the schism.  I want to share the daily struggle that I engage with the world the flesh and the devil and yet I am shy to speak of it to you here...afraid actually...and that fear makes me angry and the anger destroys all hope of humility.

These are the very things I am trying to ask you about in this thread.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 12, 2012, 10:57:20 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are potentially damned?

I think that the unbaptized being potentially damned as you put it is a given, what I am asking is if theosis is strictly limited to the Divine Mysteries or if it is a process of prayer in general? Is any communication or experience of God theosis in a more gradual sense? I mean this to say that what is it that brings converts and catechumens into Faith if not a connection with God? What is theosis if not a connection with God? These are merely my humble investigations, which is why I asked what the Fathers may have said specifically regarding theosis and prayer. Also what about Acts 11:44-48?

Quote
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

   Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

Yes, on second thought, I didn't mean to say potentially in my question. Given that they cannot achieve any measure of theosis, are they definitely damned? I'm curious to see what Fr. Ambrose thinks on this. I have edited the original question to reflect this.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 12, 2012, 11:25:11 PM
greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

Is theosis possible outside the Church?   For those who are not baptized into Christ?  For those who do not have Holy Communion?


So is prayer separate from theosis according to the fathers?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Anybody is able to pray - the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu.  But only the baptized have the Holy Spirit living inside them and without His indwelling there is, IMO, no process of divinisation.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov reveals during the transfiguration which he underwent in the company of Motovilov that theosis and the accompanying phenomena are not available to those outside the Church.

Such things are not accessible to those who have never experienced the Divine Mysteries, especially those of Chrismation as well as the reception of the life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Please see

St. Seraphim of Sarov's Conversation With Nicholas Motovilov
A Wonderful Revelation to the World
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx

Given that the unbaptized cannot experience theosis, do you believe that the unbaptized are definitely damned?

Very definitely not.  Saying the unbaptized are damned is contrary to the teaching of the holy apostles.


Saint Paul has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and told us how it occurs that the non-Christians may be saved:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." 
~ Romans 2:14-16

St. Cyril of Alexandria has a significant passage:

"For if there is one over all, and there is no other besides Him, He would
be master of all, because He was Maker of all. For He is also the God of
the gentiles, and has fully satisfied by laws implanted in their hearts,
which the Maker has engraved in the hearts of all. For when the gentiles,
(Paul) says, not having the law, do by nature the things of the law, they
show the work of the law written on their hearts. But since He is not only
the Maker and God of the Jews, but also of the gentiles . . . He sees fit
by His providence to care not only for those who are of the blood of
Israel, but also for all those upon the earth."

Interpretation of the Epistle to the Romans

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 12, 2012, 11:36:06 PM
I know---very sad, isn't it?  On the other hand, Matt. 18:20--"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  He didn't specify what the "where" should look like.

I know, I was just trying to keep it light and funny before the thread devolved into "All Catholics are going to hell".  ::)

Is this part of your experience when interacting with Orthodox - some of them (many of them?) believe Catholics are going to hell?  I can absolutely assure you that this is not the teaching of the bishops and the priests, so God only knows where the laity are picking this up.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 13, 2012, 12:42:40 AM
Thread locked temporarily for maintenance
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 13, 2012, 12:52:29 AM
The potential bickering storm has been moved to Orthodox-Other Christian Private Discussions (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?board=37).

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=42281.0 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=42281.0)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 13, 2012, 12:57:30 AM
Thread now unlocked. Play nice, y'all.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 13, 2012, 01:23:32 AM
You're asking 2 separate questions.

Gandhi to all external knowledge found a fulfilling spiritual life in his particular version of Hindu ascetism and produced visible fruits of virtue. St. Paul speaks of pagans who produce the fruits of moral virtue through observance of natural law, and the best evidence that some pagan found their beliefs spiritually fulfilling is that they didn't immediately replace them upon hearing the Word of God. But theosis comes only through union with Jesus Christ.

(And no, I'm not saying that Roman Catholics are the same as pagans. I'm using an extreme example to point out that the question of whether they are able to have 'fruitful spiritual lives' is a separate question from whether they experience theosis).

But witega, if someone produces the fruits of theosis how do they not have it?

I didn't say they produced the 'fruits of theosis'. In fact quite the opposite. My point was that the thread title asks about 'theosis' but in the body of her post 'elijahmaria' asked about a fruitful spiritual life. And they are not the same question--at least not without considerable definition of exactly what is meant by 'fruits' and 'spiritual'.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ionnis on January 13, 2012, 01:48:08 AM
I recall an article a while back that quoted Elder Paisios at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. Someone asked him if holiness was possible outside of the Orthodox Church and he replied, "A measure of virtue perhaps, but holiness is not possible."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 02:41:47 AM
I recall an article a while back that quoted Elder Paisios at St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona. Someone asked him if holiness was possible outside of the Orthodox Church and he replied, "A measure of virtue perhaps, but holiness is not possible."

He is expressing the standard teaching of the holy Fathers -

1.  External Righteousness..........Without Baptism and the indwelling of the Spirit, only the righteousness which was/is available to the Jews (and to all unbaptized people) is possible.

2.  Sanctity..................Holiness is possible only within the Church, with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

We have had several quotes recently in various threads on this point.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 07:54:03 AM
He is expressing the standard teaching of the holy Fathers -

1.  External Righteousness..........Without Baptism and the indwelling of the Spirit, only the righteousness which was/is available to the Jews (and to all unbaptized people) is possible.

2.  Sanctity..................Holiness is possible only within the Church, with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Difficult sayings...
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: jah777 on January 13, 2012, 09:12:58 AM

This thread does not have to do with the Orthodox Church’s handling of repentant sinners, but with the Orthodox Church’s understanding of the possibility of theosis for unrepentant members of heretical groups... 

…the Fathers define sin for internal housekeeping, that we who are already Orthodox properly understand sin, sound doctrine, and acceptable theology.  However, as to regards to outsiders, all such sinners should be treated with kindness, and accepted with hospitality and love that they might be drawn to repentance.  The Church is a spiritual hospital, and when you go the ER the staff doesn't coerce you with finger-pointing and name-calling and a cosmic guilt trip, they simply get straight to work caring for the sick.  Sinners are spiritually sick, they need a little tender love and care, not to have the Book thrown at them ;)

I agree that we should treat all with love and kindness.  Yet, when a direct question is asked concerning whether theosis is possible for the heterodox, such a direct question warrants a direct and honest response, and such a response should be truthful.  To bend the truth, or avoid saying what is true, out of so-called “love” does not show real concern or love for a person but rather shows that one cares more about a person’s feelings of self-satisfaction than about the salvation of their soul.

Regarding the truth being an “internal matter”, or a matter of “internal housekeeping”, or that we should keep such beliefs to ourselves and not express them to the non-Orthodox (as if such beliefs are not true in any absolute sense) is not consistent with the teachings and examples of the Fathers.  When an Eastern Rite Catholic priest wrote to St. Paisius (Velichkovsky), a saint who is particularly esteemed for his deep knowledge and understanding of the canons and the writings of the Fathers, he replied saying:

“Depart and flee from the Unia as speedily as possible lest death overtake you in it and you be numbered among the heretics and not among the Christians. And not only go away yourself, but advise others to go away also, if in your conscience you know that they will hear you. And if they will not hear you, then at least depart yourself from the nets of the enemy and be united in soul and heart with the Holy Orthodox Church, and thus, together with all [the faithful] holding the inviolate faith and fulfilling the commandments of Christ, you will be able to be saved.”

The quote above is from a longer letter in which St. Paisius’ love and concern for this heterodox priest is made quite clear, but in showing such love and concern he did not fail to speak truthfully and directly concerning the matter as is characteristic of the Fathers.  An honest question requires an honest reply.

Quote
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

 Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

I am in now way trying to suggest that full theosis is possible outside of the Mysteries, however I am trying to understand what part theosis may have in the conversion experience which brings folks into the Church.

Theosis is concerned with “partaking of the divine nature”, and as such is not possible for the unbaptized.  The fact that the Spirit “came on” Cornelius and his household is not the same as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is made possible by baptism and is necessary for theosis.  Note that in the above quote, even after the Holy Spirit “came on all who heard the message”, they still required baptism so that the grace of the Holy Spirit could enter into their hearts to cleanse and illumine them. The Spirit “blows where it wills” and works in those outside of the Church to bring them into the Church; but the Holy Spirit does not indwell, sanctify, and deify those not baptized in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

After saying the above, it is important to stress the fact that just because a person is a member of the Orthodox Church does not mean that they will be saved or achieve theosis.  They have all the means available to them, but whether they will utilize these means is up to them.  So, for instance, by saying that theosis is not possible for the heterodox, saying such does mean that I will attain theosis or find salvation.  It only indicates that I know with great certainty where the path to theosis is to be found, and there is great evidence for this in the lives and teachings of those who have indeed arrived and been glorified.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 10:32:10 AM
If theosis is not possible for the unbaptized, then does that mean that those who are unbaptized and yet saved, will, after death, be baptized, so that they can proceed into theosis?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 11:37:09 AM
My answer, too, is "Yes" (but then, it would be, wouldn't it  ;)?).

To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church?  Or, is it a matter of opinion, informed by a greater or lesser degree of spiritual maturity and knowledge of  Scripture and the Fathers, not to mention the cultural context in which one lives?  Or....... is it something that is only actually knowable once we depart this life?

Furthermore, how do we know, as jah777 states, that theosis "...is not possible for the unbaptized."?  Do we know what happens to the unbaptized after death? 

If "salvation" is possible for the unbaptized (or those of us in communion with Rome), then why would "theosis" not be possible, too?  (Perhaps someone could explain the difference between salvation and theosis for this ignorant old slob  :-[ ;D.)

 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: jah777 on January 13, 2012, 11:56:48 AM
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 12:04:06 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 12:09:14 PM
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 01:04:22 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 01:12:38 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?  Serious question, by the way, because *I* sure don't know.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 01:47:11 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 13, 2012, 01:56:22 PM
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 01:56:54 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 02:02:51 PM
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)

um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  ;)?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 02:09:37 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the "saved", otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God. Didn't Paul speak of different levels of heaven?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 02:22:10 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 02:25:03 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the saved, otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God.


So, if what you write is true (and I'm *not* saying it isn't!), at what point does theosis kick in?  (I know that's very clumsily worded, but I'm not sure how else to phrase it at the moment-sorry!)  Or must one be *totally* free of *all* "resistance" in order to start or continue experiencing theosis?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 02:54:36 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Okay.  Can you explain how one could live in God's presence for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
Isn't eternal damnation actually living eternally in God's Presence -- a Presence which is felt in a painful way, because of one's resistance to God?

Yes, that is how some have described it.  However, you said that *salvation* is living in God's presence.  I take it, by what you've just written, that it would be living in His presence without "resistance", as you put it.  And my question still stands, with one addition/qualification--Assuming one is living in God's presence voluntarily or without resistance (your term), can you explain how one could do that for eternity *without* "becoming more and more in union with" Him?
It would seem that there are different degrees of resistance to God even amongst the saved, otherwise there would be no possibility of growth into deeper and deeper levels of oneness with God, or growth into lesser and lesser degrees of resistance to God.


So, if what you write is true (and I'm *not* saying it isn't!), at what point does theosis kick in?  (I know that's very clumsily worded, but I'm not sure how else to phrase it at the moment-sorry!)  Or must one be *totally* free of *all* "resistance" in order to start or continue experiencing theosis?
Theosis/Salvation kicks in as soon as you are baptized, when you are full of resistance. Some of us may have more of an intention to sacrifice our resistance to God -- those are the one's who fall faster into theosis; whereas those with a bit less intention (but who are nonetheless "saved") are also "theosizing" but not as quickly perhaps.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 02:56:52 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 03:12:07 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".

So.....if "Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed"." and, if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics  ;D), does it not follow that theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome, just that it's at "a slower speed"?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 13, 2012, 03:23:55 PM
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)

um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  ;)?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.

Actually, I thought I did answer your question (the one in the quoted post, not the ones in your ongoing discussion with Jetavan which is far too hypothetical for my taste, I'll go with St. Theophan and shanghaiski's responses for those) in the last sentence of my previous post.

If multiple Fathers, particularly multiple Fathers scattered over time, say one thing, and no Fathers (or councils) disagree with them, then that one thing is clearly the Patristic consensus and therefore the teaching of the Orthodox Church whatever personal opinions individuals may have.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 03:35:09 PM
To our Orthodox posters: given that some of you have answered with an unqualified "no", saying that *that* is the truth, and others have answered "yes", each side quoting Scripture and the Fathers, how do we actually know what the truth of the matter is according to the Orthodox Church? 

Please share the quotes from the Fathers which indicate that theosis is possible for the non-Orthodox.  I don't recall ever seeing such quotes.

Are they not scattered through the thread?  If not, my mistake and apologies!  I somehow thought they were.  Darn, wrong again??

If I were to delete "each side quoting..." and substitute something like "some quoting Scripture and the Fathers..." would you then more easily be able to address my questions? 


um. I just went back through the thread and could not find a single example of anyone on the 'yes' side quoting a Father or Scripture that backed up their position. Seriously, if I'm overlooking something, please point it out.

Otherwise the only honest way to phrase your question is "one side quoting Scripture and Fathers."

(And yes, that would make it easier to answer your or any other question if there is a clear Patristic and Scriptural concensus)

um.  Okay.  I've already acknowledged and apologized for my lapse--see reply #48 above.  I have no problem whatsoever rephrasing the question, substituting for "both sides", either "one side" or "some" (which, btw, actually is as accurate, but do we need to keep picking the same nit over and over  ;)?).  The substance of the questions remains the same, and no one's addressed them yet.  They are sincere and serious questions.

Actually, I thought I did answer your question (the one in the quoted post, not the ones in your ongoing discussion with Jetavan which is far too hypothetical for my taste, I'll go with St. Theophan and shanghaiski's responses for those) in the last sentence of my previous post.

If multiple Fathers, particularly multiple Fathers scattered over time, say one thing, and no Fathers (or councils) disagree with them, then that one thing is clearly the Patristic consensus and therefore the teaching of the Orthodox Church whatever personal opinions individuals may have.

Yes, I thought shanghaiski's post was excellent, too.  And, I, too prefer things less hypothetical, on the whole.

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 03:50:52 PM
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 03:54:01 PM
You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

Is it not?  ??? Some may resist, but is not God working on everyone?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 13, 2012, 04:01:16 PM
Yes, I thought shanghaiski's post was excellent, too.  And, I, too prefer things less hypothetical, on the whole.

But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  

Oh, the op was too theoretical *and* undefined for my taste. I don't believe I've made a single post trying to actually answer it--it's been more a case of following the discussion out of curiosity and commenting on those aspects of the conversation that strike me (like your question about how tells what the Orthodox position is).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 04:08:57 PM
You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

Is it not?  ??? Some may resist, but is not God working on everyone?

God "wills all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."
1 Timothy 2:4

Does that equate to the Holy Spirit taking up his dwelling in all men and divinising them all?  If we look at what Saint Peter says, he is speaking of participation in the divine nature only for Christians....

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature..."
2 Peter 1:2-4
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 04:10:59 PM
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"   If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 04:15:37 PM
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 04:27:52 PM
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 04:41:59 PM
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.

Theosis is closely entwined with salvation.  But they are not iidentical.  A man baptized this weekend has attained salvation.  There is no doubt of that. He has not attained theosis.

God is leading Roman Catholics to salvation.  In my mind this does not equate to divinisation.  I would guess that this commences for Catholics after death.

I do hope Mary will step in and clarify things for you.  As a Catholic you will find her much more trustworthy.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 13, 2012, 04:43:24 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

So you rather say that the clear miracles performed and spoken of by these folks in the past are from their own human efforts and not give the glory to God? I would say this, when push comes to shove, folks outside the Church have access to theosis, however since we have all accepted theosis as a gradual process, folks outside a Sacramental relationship are obviously moving at a mercilessly slow pace, so we can still accept that our Church is the mechanism of Salvation, and yet not have to condemn God to be stuck exclusively in the Church.

Lets be very mechanical about this.  Theosis is to get closer to God, sin pushes us away from God.  The Grace of God present in the Mysteries sanctifies us away from Sin and brings us closer in Theosis. Sin pushes us away hence the need to Confess and Repent and further for Theosis to be a gradual process instead of some kind of instant becoming.  Realistically then, this is Law vs Grace isn't it? The Dhali Lama or Chief Rabbi or Imam are legalists, and they are trying to stop sinning solely by their own efforts by following their respective Laws.  We know only Grace can achieve this. So what I would suggest is that perhaps theosis is obtainable outside of the Church, but Grace to free us from inevitable Sin is not, and therefore folks outside the Church can get closer to God by theosis however their own sins will continually push back and away.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I can accept either verdict.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 04:50:57 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

So you rather say that the clear miracles performed and spoken of by these folks in the past are from their own human efforts and not give the glory to God? I would say this, when push comes to shove, folks outside the Church have access to theosis, however since we have all accepted theosis as a gradual process, folks outside a Sacramental relationship are obviously moving at a mercilessly slow pace, so we can still accept that our Church is the mechanism of Salvation, and yet not have to condemn God to be stuck exclusively in the Church.

Lets be very mechanical about this.  Theosis is to get closer to God, sin pushes us away from God.  The Grace of God present in the Mysteries sanctifies us away from Sin and brings us closer in Theosis. Sin pushes us away hence the need to Confess and Repent and further for Theosis to be a gradual process instead of some kind of instant becoming.  Realistically then, this is Law vs Grace isn't it? The Dhali Lama or Chief Rabbi or Imam are legalists, and they are trying to stop sinning solely by their own efforts by following their respective Laws.  We know only Grace can achieve this. So what I would suggest is that perhaps theosis is obtainable outside of the Church, but Grace to free us from inevitable Sin is not, and therefore folks outside the Church can get closer to God by theosis however their own sins will continually push back and away.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I can accept either verdict.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I would not accept the idea that divinisation can take place without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  If you wish to say it is possible,  you have a serious obligation to show us this from the teachings of the holy Fathers.

I know that you would not count Saint Seraphim but he is specific in his conversation with Motovilov that theosis and its effects  are impossible for the non-Orthodox.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 05:05:18 PM
This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am not able to provide any patristic witness that the Fathers understood theosis and prayer as the same thing.  Maybe I am not understanding your question?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 05:11:29 PM
This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 13, 2012, 05:15:34 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am not able to provide any patristic witness that the Fathers understood theosis and prayer as the same thing.  Maybe I am not understanding your question?

No, you understand it just fine :)

Its just that I am also having trouble finding the specific reference, maybe somebody out there can help us both out.

This is why I again asked the very specific and unanswered question, as to what do the Fathers define theosis and prayer as and are these separate according to the Fathers?

I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.

I am not familiar with this aside from gossip.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 13, 2012, 05:16:54 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Ok, what you've said here (and since this post) does make sense to me. I guess where I'm struggling is that I've always considered theosis to be synonymous with salvation, such that I wouldn't say (if I were phrasing things) that someone can't experience theosis, but rather that they don't experience it in the same manner, or to the same extent, or perhaps haven't worked out their salvation in the same way.
I would agree. Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed".

So.....if "Salvation is theosis, but theosis occurring at a slower "speed"." and, if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics  ;D), does it not follow that theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome, just that it's at "a slower speed"?
Yes. Then again, I'm not Orthodox. :o
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 05:21:54 PM
But, what was the op? "Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?"  If (I know, that nasty little "if"  ;D) salvation is possible for the unbaptized and salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then, as I wrote theosis is, indeed, possible for those in communion with Rome.  Now, if you disagree that salvation is possible for the unbaptized (or Catholics); if you disagree that salvation and theosis are more or less identical, then I guess we have another discussion.

What I am hearing is that if salvation is possible for the unbaptized (and it is) then the corollary has to be that people such as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem are also in the process of divinisation just as all the baptized are.

I find that illogical.  Why are you supporting it?  You're basically saying that the entire human race is undergoing theosis.

I would heartily agree with what you say the corollary is.  I'm no academic, much less a logician, but it would seem to me that the premise is only "illogical", as you say, if theosis is *not* in some way identical with salvation.  If I'm wrong about that, I'm happy to be corrected.  And if I am wrong, can you clarify for me the difference between theosis and salvation?  Some here have identified the two as being more or less the same.
 

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

I eagerly await Mary's response, and trust her answer will be well thought out and true to Catholic teaching!  In the meantime, however, while we're waiting, what would the answer be from *your* Orthodox  perspective?  I'm quite sure it will be as true to Orthodox teaching as Mary's will be to Catholic.

Theosis is closely entwined with salvation.  But they are not iidentical.  A man baptized this weekend has attained salvation.  There is no doubt of that. He has not attained theosis.

God is leading Roman Catholics to salvation.  In my mind this does not equate to divinisation.  I would guess that this commences for Catholics after death.

I do hope Mary will step in and clarify things for you.  As a Catholic you will find her much more trustworthy.

My understanding of theosis is that it is an ongoing, eternal process.  That being the case, of course the man baptized this weekend will not have attained theosis as in reaching some final destination.  None of us has.

I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

While I certainly find Mary quite trustworthy, why would I find you, as an Orthodox priest, any less so?  I would be most interested in your explanation of how theosis and salvation are intertwined yet somehow not the same.

By the way, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #460 states: "The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.""
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 05:24:44 PM

I am really interested to know the problem in the Oriental Orthodox Church with theosis.  I know the dispute between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta el Meskeen was so bitter and so prolonged that it destroyed their relationship.  Fr Matthew had been the Pope's spiritual father.  Such a relationship would not be sacrificed except for very serious reasons.

I am not familiar with this aside from gossip.


It is more than gossip.

“In brief, H.H. Pope Shenouda wrote about 30 articles to refute the errors in his books [Father Matthew the Poor’s books]. “

Message 7
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=5978.0
“Does the Oriental Orthodox Church affirm theosis?"
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 05:36:20 PM
Quote
I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

Nobody is experiencing divinisation unless he or she has received the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit by virtue of the Sacraments of Illumination.  Without these initiatory Sacraments there is no theosis because the Spirit has not been received.

For those who are not baptized and chrismated there is no theosis on this earthly plane.   I am assuming that for such people it kicks off at death since the afterlife is, for those who are saved, an eternal theosis, an eternal movement into deeper participation.

So my answer is:

1. Baptism and Chrismation initiate theosis

2.  If not baptized and chrismated, theosis will commence in the afterlife.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 05:52:31 PM
Quote
I find it somewhat curious that you say "I would guess that this [theosis/divinization] commences for Catholics after death".  It's more than possible that I've misunderstood things but I thought that the process of theosis begins for all of us at some point in this life and continues after death.  Perhaps Mary will clarify that.  In the meantime, I would ask, why would theosis commence for Catholics after death and commence for Orthodox before death?  Does commencement of the process depend on whether one is Catholic or Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox?

Nobody is experiencing divinisation unless he or she has received the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit by virtue of the Sacraments of Illumination.  Without these initiatory Sacraments there is no theosis because the Spirit has not been received.

For those who are not baptized and chrismated there is no theosis on this earthly plane.   I am assuming that for such people it kicks off at death since the afterlife is, for those who are saved, an eternal theosis, an eternal movement into deeper participation.

So my answer is:

1. Baptism and Chrismation initiate theosis

2.  If not baptized and chrismated, theosis will commence in the afterlife.


Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

By the way, thanks for your answer!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 06:15:45 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: primuspilus on January 13, 2012, 06:19:31 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 06:23:52 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  ;D
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: primuspilus on January 13, 2012, 06:24:52 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  ;D

2 words.....rabbit...trail

:P

PP
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 06:26:50 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments.  To the very best of my knowledge, though, the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be valid.  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 13, 2012, 06:27:42 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).
  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

I have no idea if the Catholic Church has a teaching on that or what it is.  Besides, I thought this was an "Orthodox-Catholic" discussion forum.  Did I hit a wrong tab or something?  ;D

2 words.....rabbit...trail

:P

PP

Looks like 2 words and a bunch of rabbit droppings  :P
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 06:27:57 PM
Here is the teaching from Saint Basil the Great ...this is in the 4th century, after the Church had emerged from its 300 long years of persecution under the Roman Empire.  His teaching was later incorporated into the canon law of the Catholic Church at an Ecumenical Council.

(Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may beused if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.)


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter
version)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own
Firmilian-to subject all of these (Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae)
to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose
through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in
them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the
severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and
through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those
who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing
nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy
Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded
those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the
Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.


"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia
that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be
accepted."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 06:28:32 PM
The question boils down to - do bishops exist outside the Church and out of communion with the Church?. I believe that the episcopate -the College of the Apostles- cannot exist outside the Church. Without the episcopate there can be no Sacraments. Do you know the writings of Fr Justin Popovich? - I tend to be a follower of his.

Have a look at message 37
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401052.html#msg401052
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 06:31:26 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: James2 on January 13, 2012, 06:35:40 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Shanghaiski on January 13, 2012, 06:43:07 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.

In Orthodoxy, at least, the formula is only half of what makes the form of baptism. Three-fold immersion is equally important, but is often sadly overlooked for the exercise of economy.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 13, 2012, 09:09:23 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

The RCC recognizes the sacraments of the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox. Also the PNCC.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 13, 2012, 09:13:20 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 

That's the case with confirmation, Communion, penance, and ordination, but not with Baptism, as long as it was done using an orthodox trinitarian formula.

Indeed, I was going to say much the same thing.

As a matter of fact, the RCC recognizes most Protestant baptism, and marriage. (LDS is a good example of a group whose baptism we do not recognize.)

Incidentally, the issue of Anglican orders is a pretty sore spot in Catholic-Anglican relations.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 13, 2012, 09:14:57 PM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 13, 2012, 09:18:27 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

The RCC recognizes the sacraments of the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox. Also the PNCC.

This is true:

Quote
" Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).
1996 US Catholic Conference

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 13, 2012, 09:22:49 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is that similar to the Baptism of Blood by martyrs? The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church recognizes the "Baptism by Blood" of the Martyrs..

Quote
Our Orthodox Church accepts equally that those who suffer death for the sake of faith without having received water baptism are nevertheless baptized by their death into Christ. The Baptism of Blood brings about the fruits of baptism without being itself a sacrament.
Teachings of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by Abba Melketsedek

Unfortunately I am not very familiar with this concept myself to explain any further.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 13, 2012, 09:55:42 PM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 13, 2012, 11:02:38 PM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Riddikulus on January 13, 2012, 11:07:05 PM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 13, 2012, 11:37:08 PM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D

I had to read the post 3 times before I realized that Fr. Ambrose was serious.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on January 13, 2012, 11:45:08 PM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D

You mean, like this:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_e529C8IQH7w/SXdTkVQAGUI/AAAAAAAAAjs/GfSmySoji6E/s400/Theophany+in+Russia.jpg)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 14, 2012, 01:05:01 AM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

So it would seem that all mankind which is not in the Church, and save for the really wicked, are saved by Dismal Baptism.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Riddikulus on January 14, 2012, 01:09:42 AM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D

You mean, like this:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_e529C8IQH7w/SXdTkVQAGUI/AAAAAAAAAjs/GfSmySoji6E/s400/Theophany+in+Russia.jpg)

 :laugh: Yes, Handmaiden. Just like that! (BRRRRRRRRR) God bless that brave soul!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 14, 2012, 01:10:39 AM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

So it would seem that all mankind which is not in the Church, and save for the really wicked, are saved by Dismal Baptism.
Sounds good to me. God is love.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 14, 2012, 01:29:54 AM
Fr. Ambrose, is there an Orthodox teaching on "Baptism of Desire"?

Is this what is known as Dismal Baptism? 

Saint Dismas was not baptized on the cross beside our Lord but his repentance and desire saved him.

I don't believe I've ever heard it called Dismal Baptism before, but your comparison with St. Dismas sounds right on the money.

I can't get the image out of my mind of a Dismal Baptism as being a triple immersion done in near freezing lake.  :D

I had to read the post 3 times before I realized that Fr. Ambrose was serious.

Well, I am uncertain if I have ever encountered the term "Baptism of Desire" among the Orthodox and so I cast around in the dusty loft of my mind to see if there might not be something scriptural..... and Saint Dismas leapt out.   And there it was - Dismal Baptism.  :laugh:

But see message 335
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg460293.html#msg460293
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 14, 2012, 10:42:27 AM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Can you say more about "forms of salvation"?

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 14, 2012, 10:42:27 AM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.

You are not willing to concede grace to the papal Church...so I could never really speak to you of my life in Christ.

I am so sorry I am on moderation.  Many of my notes are not making it to this particular thread.  I think they are getting lost in the bit bucket, and I don't know if this will get to you or not.  I am keeping a copy so that if it does not show up I can send it to you and J Michael privately.  It is tough to participate with the lag time in any event.

I do have some things to say to J Michael but this is key to the response to my original question.

M.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: maqhth on January 14, 2012, 10:53:13 AM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

Romans 9:15
"For I will have mercy on whomsoever I should have mercy upon,
and I shall have compassion on whomsoever I should have compassion upon...
"

There are those not looking for Him who have found God...

But far more find Him who ARE looking...

And the vast majority of these are Orthodox Christians...

For narrow is the Way...

And who can follow it?

Arsenios
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 14, 2012, 11:08:44 AM
Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: mabsoota on January 14, 2012, 11:31:50 AM
to original question:
yes, if you are willing to leave everything that pulls you away from God (riches, comfort, pride, lust, rebellion etc), rely totally on the grace given to us by God through the death and resurrection of God the Son and if you chase (seek) to be close to God above all other things.

in the oriental orthodox churches, theosis is taught as something we should attain (to answer father irish hermit), but the word 'theosis' is not usually used because we don't come across it often in the english translations of the oriental orthodox fathers.

we talk about partaking in the divine nature (2 peter 1 verse 4) without using the term 'theosis' as used by the greek and slavic fathers. it is our highest aim to become so disconnected from the love of the world that we radiate God's love to all things (people and animals) around us. this achieved through partaking in the sacrements, through a dynamic relationship with God, through extreme humility (really emphasized in the coptic church - we believe in it; we don't all have it!) and through meditating on the glory of God.
those copts who are educated in the catholic and eastern fathers do sometimes talk about achieving 'theosis' or 'deification'. they mean the same thing as i outlined above.
we meditate on the psalms, pray the 'our Father' prayer often and take time to always pray God.

i used to know someone who seemed to have achieved this state. i met him while he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour that later, eventually killed him. despite his suffering, he was whispering to himself 'thank you God' all day, and when asked about his health replied 'we thank God for His goodness to us, that today i am a little better'.
just being in the same room with him, a person could feel the love of God radiating from him. this is how i want to be, and i pray we can all achieve this deep relationship with God.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: maqhth on January 14, 2012, 11:46:56 AM

i used to know someone who seemed to have achieved this state. i met him while he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour that later, eventually killed him. despite his suffering, he was whispering to himself 'thank you God' all day, and when asked about his health replied 'we thank God for His goodness to us, that today i am a little better'.
just being in the same room with him, a person could feel the love of God radiating from him. this is how i want to be, and i pray we can all achieve this deep relationship with God.

Did you know this man in Cairo?

Arsenios
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 14, 2012, 12:31:46 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Okay, I can accept that, as far as it goes in my poor little mind  ;).  If, however, the link between salvation and theosis is unbreakable (is it?), and the unbaptized can be saved, would that not somehow contradict your statement?  Again, I ask, because I don't know, and these are the questions that come to mind.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 14, 2012, 12:34:07 PM
Here is the teaching from Saint Basil the Great ...this is in the 4th century, after the Church had emerged from its 300 long years of persecution under the Roman Empire.  His teaching was later incorporated into the canon law of the Catholic Church at an Ecumenical Council.

(Notice the typical balance of the Church Fathers - while the principle of no Sacraments and no Apostolic Succession outside the Church is clearly enunciated, Saint Basil also states very clearly that for the sake of the good of the Church "economy" may beused if it is thought necessary in the case of Baptism.)


Epistle to Amphilochius (of which the "First Canon" of Saint Basil is a shorter
version)

---- "It seemed best to the ancients-I refer to Cyprian and our own
Firmilian-to subject all of these (Cathari, and Encratites, and Hydroparastatae)
to one vote of condemnation, because the beginning of this separation arose
through schism, and those who had broken away from the Church no longer had in
them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the imparting of it failed because of the
severance of continuity.

"For those who separated first had ordination from the Fathers, and
through the imposition of their hands possessed the spiritual gift; but those
who had been cut off, becoming laymen, possessed the power neither of baptizing
nor of ordaining, being able no longer to impart to others the grace of the Holy
Spirit from which they themselves had fallen away. Therefore they commanded
those who had been baptized by them, as baptized by laymen, to come to the
Church and be purified by the true baptism of the Church.


"But since on the whole it has seemed best to some of those in Asia
that, by economy for the sake of the many, their baptism be accepted, let it be
accepted."


I haven't had time to read this and absorb it to even partial understanding.  Hopefully, I'll get back to you about it!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 14, 2012, 12:57:19 PM
For people who seem to be differentiating between theosis and salvation, such that they mean two different things: could you explain what the difference is and define/describe each?
I'm defining salvation as living in God's presence, without necessarily entering into deeper and deeper oneness with God. Theosis would be a form of salvation in which one lives the process of becoming more and more in union with God, a process that would continue forever, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, I believe.

Can you say more about "forms of salvation"?

M.
Actually, I would clarify and say that salvation and theosis are synonyms, but with a slight distinction: the term "theosis" implies (1) the state of being in a very deep union with the Energies of God, and (2) the never-ending process of entering even more deeply into that union.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 14, 2012, 01:11:56 PM
Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 14, 2012, 02:22:00 PM
The question boils down to - do bishops exist outside the Church and out of communion with the Church?. I believe that the episcopate -the College of the Apostles- cannot exist outside the Church. Without the episcopate there can be no Sacraments. Do you know the writings of Fr Justin Popovich? - I tend to be a follower of his.

Have a look at message 37
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25542.msg401052.html#msg401052

I know *of* him but haven't read any of his writings.  For some reason or other, they just never appealed to me.  I'll have another look--once I get through the small mountain of books all begging me to read them  ;).

As far as the validity or lack thereof of Catholic Sacraments, I find it far, far easier to accept an answer from the Orthodox Church of "We just do not know", than some saying they are valid and some saying they are not.  From where I sit, either they are or they are not--whether recognized as such by your Church or not.  It doesn't seem to me that it can be both ways from the same Church.  So, if you just plain don't know, that's fine, and a perfectly acceptable answer.  Does that make sense? 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 14, 2012, 02:24:17 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans? 
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.

You are not willing to concede grace to the papal Church...so I could never really speak to you of my life in Christ.

I am so sorry I am on moderation.  Many of my notes are not making it to this particular thread.  I think they are getting lost in the bit bucket, and I don't know if this will get to you or not.  I am keeping a copy so that if it does not show up I can send it to you and J Michael privately.  It is tough to participate with the lag time in any event.

I do have some things to say to J Michael but this is key to the response to my original question.

M.



I eagerly await hearing from you, Mary  ;)!  If it's easier for you to email me, go ahead, you have my email address.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 14, 2012, 02:27:41 PM
Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.

On this basis, can one be "saved", then, and *not* experience theosis?  For some reason, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that.  I'm sure that is more a failing on my part than on the part of anyone trying to explain this.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 14, 2012, 04:16:49 PM
Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)

This is a natural (and necessary) corollary of belief in One Church, whether one believes that Church to be the Roman communion or Orthodoxy. If there is One Church, then there is a clear line of distinction between that and everything else. One can take a broad perspective of that distinction and focus on how everything that is not the Church shares that basic quality of being 'not-Church' and thus differs from the Church, or one can take a detailed perspective that looks at how some things (Churches/beliefs/practices) are very close to that line while others are very distant, but that's fundamentally a matter of perspective. And while some people get very doctrinaire about their choice of perspective, to the point of getting angry with those looking at it from a different perspective, the fact is they are not mutually exclusive. Just as a photographer switches lenses depending on what exactly he wants to focus on in a particular picture, one can switch perspectives depending on the context of the issue being addressed.

That is completely on-topic to this thread. Orthodoxy believes that it is that One True Church, and that Rome is in schism from it. Accordingly, the original question(s) is actually a subset of the larger question 'is theosis (or a fruitful spiritual life) possible outside the Church"? If the answer to the larger, broad-perspective, question is 'no', then the answer to the narrower question would also be 'no'. If the answer to the larger question is 'yes', then the answer to the narrower question is almost certainly 'yes', since Rome is clearly much closer to Orthodoxy than Buddhists, Hindus, etc.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: mabsoota on January 14, 2012, 04:21:03 PM
maqth,
the man i described was a priest from egypt, who i met in uk.
he was a family friend, so i heard a lot about him before i met him, so i got to know him quite quickly.

as for the discussion of the church, i believe Christians from all mainstream (not mormons etc) denominations can come close to God and be purified by His mercy and grace; however the depths of Christian experience are found primarily in the orthodox church.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 14, 2012, 06:22:55 PM
[Catholics receive the Sacraments of Illumination-baptism and chrismation, so I guess the process for us begins on this earthly plane.  (Now, I'm more than well aware that *some* Orthodox believe our sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent, but that's another "discussion"  ;)).

Catholics believe Anglican sacraments to be devoid of grace, invalid, and for all intents and purposes non-existent. They cannot administer confirmation.  Do Catholics say theosis is impossible for Anglicans?  
Do Roman Catholics also say Orthodox sacraments are invalid? I really dont know.

PP

I really did *not* mean for this to devolve into a discussion of who recognizes who or what with regards to Sacraments..............  Maybe we can just leave it at that, for this thread anyway?


Since theosis cannot commence without the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation, the validity of these Sacraments in the Catholic Church has direct relevance to the OP.

Absolutely!  For those Orthodox who are willing to concede that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are graced then the answer to my question about theosis is "yes"...it is indeed possible for a papal Catholic to experience the Indwelling, which is the sum and substance of a fruitful life of the spirit.


It would not necessarily be a Yes answer.  There are factors of heretical teachings as well as prelest which would seriously impede divinisation.

Bassically I would think that our holy father Saint Seraphim of Sarov is correct when he says it is impossible for the non-Orthodox.

In me opinion it is even less possible for Catholics who are on such a deep level of prelest that they believe themselves to be "Orthodox in communiion with Rome."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 14, 2012, 06:33:42 PM
The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.


I think this may be another Dixit Maria statement.  I have never read Catholic theology which speaks of “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Could you prove this?  Maybe take something like Tanquery’s “The Spiritual Life” and quote the chapters where he speaks about it.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 14, 2012, 06:38:14 PM
Somewhere there was a question of the relationship of salvation to theosis.

Baptism is the principle moment of sanctification/justification/salvation in the Christian life for it is through Baptism that the soul is illumined by the light of the Indwelling Trinity.  It is by this illumination that we are able to interact with the Indwelling through the actions of the intellect and the soul.  Prior to Baptism, fallen humanity is not capable of experiencing the light and life of the Indwelling Trinity.  It takes a special grace to restore the illumination of the intellect/nous.  The grace of Baptism is a saving grace, an illuminating grace, a cleansing grace, a healing grace and a strengthening grace which opens us fully to the life of the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is the interaction between the divine indwelling, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the individual person wherein the creature is able to participate in the divine life of the Trinity.

Salvation/justification/sanctification and Theosis are not identical nor are they mutually exclusive.

The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.

However we do not have the ability to know what God does in the hearts and souls of those who have not formally received the sacraments of Initiation into salvation and communion in the Body of Christ.

** I don't mean this to be an exhaustive set of propositions but they are a place to begin with a sort of order attached.

M.

On this basis, can one be "saved", then, and *not* experience theosis?  For some reason, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that.  I'm sure that is more a failing on my part than on the part of anyone trying to explain this.

As long as you can begin with the idea that God moves as He wills whether we understand his movements or not, then you have a pretty good foundation for grasping the teachings of either Orthodoxy or the Catholic Church.

The saints and fathers of the Church speak of what they understand from revelation in conjunction with their own lived experiences or the close watchfulness of the experiences of others.

In the spiritual writings of both east and west it is possible to find references, generally about those in the consecrated life, to those who are not long in the life yet experience deep prayer and contemplation and display great holiness...while others long in the consecrated life who slog along day by day hoping for some sign of holiness and finding nothing but dry bones...as far as they can see.

So the recommendation is, the strong recommendation is in the monastic life or consecrated life, not to compare oneself with others.

So you simply live your life in prayer, alms giving and sacrifice and don't worry about whether or not one can be saved or not...and experience theosis or not.  If the Holy Spirit wishes to move in the life of one who knows nothing of God, then that is possible because we know all things are possible with God.  That is all that is necessary to know.

Those who are in shared traditions can, with caution, share those traditions however...and it is that which I am trying to discern here.  Can a Catholic share his or her life in the Spirit with those who also seek to live the life of the Spirit in Orthodoxy...The question was only meant to open the conversation.

M.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 14, 2012, 07:01:44 PM
The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.


I think this may be another Dixit Maria statement.  I have never read Catholic theology which speaks of “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Could you prove this?  Maybe take something like Tanquery’s “The Spiritual Life” and quote the chapters where he speaks about it.



 :) I think its time we turn this around and you show me where the Catholic Church says that the spiritual life [sanctification and divinization in the life of unceasing prayer] is not necessary in the life of the Body of Christ.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 15, 2012, 08:43:07 AM
Not only the Latins but Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and anyone else...

This is a little off-topic, but it's interesting to note the similarity between your thinking and the thinking at the Catholic Answers Forum -- specifically, the way they lump Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants together with Buddhists, Hindus etc. under the title "Non-Catholic Religions". (There were various conversations about this when I use to participate there (and probably still are). I recall, in one such conversation, I was told that we cannot really say who is Christian and who isn't Christian, but we can say who is Catholic and who isn't Catholic.)

I don't usually respond to my own posts, but in this case I think I need to fault myself a little bit: the "similarity" that I thought I saw seems like a bit of a stretch, now that I re-read maqhth's post.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 03:35:17 PM
The idea that sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church.


I think this may be another Dixit Maria statement.  I have never read Catholic theology which speaks of “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Could you prove this?  Maybe take something like Tanquery’s “The Spiritual Life” and quote the chapters where he speaks about it.



 :) I think its time we turn this around and you show me where the Catholic Church says that the spiritual life [sanctification and divinization in the life of unceasing prayer] is not necessary in the life of the Body of Christ.

You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 15, 2012, 04:18:30 PM
You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 04:24:14 PM
Removed duplicate post
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 04:27:11 PM
You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 15, 2012, 04:46:59 PM
You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.

Still seems a little peculiar to me. But then, I don't want to be a back-seat poster.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 04:57:54 PM
You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.

Still seems a little peculiar to me. But then, I don't want to be a back-seat poster.

Peter,  perhaps you as a traditional Catholic can speak about Mary's statement and show us if it is Roman Catholic (magisterial) teaching.  I say "magisterial"  because the Orthodox have been cautioned time and time again that if it is not magisterial teaching it means nothing.

"....sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 15, 2012, 05:58:17 PM
You made the assertion.  *YOU* need to support it.    Show us where the Roman Catholic Church teaches that “sanctification and theosis” as “ necessary for the salvation of the Christian.”

Papal statements will be fine.   Magisterial statements will be acceptable.  Or take such notable theologians as Tanquery,  or even simply from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Whatever happened to

Since you are a Catholic the best person to answer your question and provide a satisfactory Catholic answer is another Catholic, of the Eastern rite.  Mary is well trained in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic theology.  Mary, over to you... help a brother Catholic.

?

That is precisely why I expect Mary to support what she has written.

Still seems a little peculiar to me. But then, I don't want to be a back-seat poster.

Peter,  perhaps you as a traditional Catholic can speak about Mary's statement and show us if it is Roman Catholic (magisterial) teaching.  I say "magisterial"  because the Orthodox have been cautioned time and time again that if it is not magisterial teaching it means nothing.

"....sanctification and theosis are necessary for the salvation of the Christian is supported without question in the communal life of the Church."

No, I can't recall hearing any precise teaching on that, one way or the other.

Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 06:03:32 PM
Wrong thread.  My computer jumped.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 06:05:39 PM
Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?

Never interested me much.  We have only 3 or 4 Lutheran churches in this country.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Asteriktos on January 15, 2012, 06:08:36 PM
Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-S7_7kHWmUf4/TgEo2ylm83I/AAAAAAAAB6o/kAhWvL-2ZXM/s1600/notanother1.jpg)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 06:21:32 PM
Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-S7_7kHWmUf4/TgEo2ylm83I/AAAAAAAAB6o/kAhWvL-2ZXM/s1600/notanother1.jpg)

 :) ;D :laugh: ;D :) :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 15, 2012, 06:52:46 PM
Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?

Never interested me much.  We have only 3 or 4 Lutheran churches in this country.

Actually, I was more wondering whether it's any help in understanding the Catholic position on salvation & theosis.

BTW, would that be England?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 15, 2012, 07:09:13 PM
Forgive me for the lengthy quote, but Fr. Cleenewert says this much better than I.  I also realize that he's not a "Church Father" so many might just dismiss him as another "modern theologian" whom we can ignore, but I believe it to be germane to the subject at hand, since this is ultimately an issue of ecclesiology.

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi is a powerful and truthful maxim. We learn a lot about a community’s beliefs and consciousness by studying its prayer life. As we have seen, the Orthodox Churches consider liturgical tradition to be a basic and reliable manifestation of doctrine. With this principle in mind, what the liturgy of St. Basil has to say about the unity of the Church is quite relevant. The passage in question is part of a post-epiclesis prayer (therefore a very solem one):

Cause the schisms in the Church to cease...

If our question is “Can His Body be broken?” the answer given by St. Basil seems to be, yes. He himself experienced the consequences of the Arian heresy and was the sorrowful witness of many tragic splits. We may therefore say that the (local) Church can go through periods of apparent schism or even heresy when one wonders who the true bishop is and where the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church can be found. Sometimes, the confusion is temporary and does not lead to a lasting schism, both within the catholic Church and in the common union. But there are thresholds and circumstances when the schism becomes organic and permanent.

This discussion opens the door to a serious and vast topic...What is the nature of salvation? What are the means of salvation? Can one be saved outside the visible manifestation of the Church and without her sacraments? Can the pre-eternal Church be made manifest where there is heresy, schism, corruption and sin? Further, can the pre-eternal Church be made manifest in the same city by means of two competing bishops?

In the case of Cornelius and Novation (in the wake of persuctions in the late 3rd century, Rome found herself without a bishop. Cornelius was elected to the episcopacy by the Roman clergy, but a few days later the controversial presbyter Novation announced his own claims and managed to get himself consecrated by three distant Italian bishops) it was obvious who the “real” bishop of Rome was: the one who was recognized by all the other bishops, starting with those who represented the ancient and principal Churches. But what would happen if the episcopate was in fact divided on which bishop to be in communion with? (This happened in Antioch)

Where was the Church? How could one tell which one of the orthodox bishops was to be sided with? With the strict and pure (Novationists)? With those who went along with the governmental appointees (the Arians)? With those who were in communion with Rome (Paulinus)? Or with those who received support from neighboring bishops (Meletius)? In hindsight, it seems that Meletius can be recognized as the true orthodox and catholic bishop of the Church in Antioch, but does it mean that those who participated in the other Eucharists did not also participate in the invisible and transcendent communion of saints? (After all, St. Jerome was ordained by Paulinus). Is it personal holiness, orthodoxy of faith, legitimacy of election and consecration or communion with other Churches that determines the true manifestation of Christ’s body in a community?

If the Church is a divine organism fully revealed in the local catholic Church, what happened to the worldwide communion of Churches, however tragic, is only organizational - indeed a political - issue. In other words, the means of salvation are not at stake, but the faithfulness of our witness to Christ “the unifier” is compromised. We could also say that the holographic “whole-units,” instead of being organized in such a way as to create a beautiful icon of the Lord, have instead produced a distorted image.

The local Church is the whole Church. What we see (and need) beyond the local Church are structures of common union, communication and harmony. The main point is that these structures do not belong to the Eucharistic ontology of the catholic Church...In this context, every Church is the same catholic Church as every other, and their bishops have full ontological equality.

If the local Church (the “diocese”) is “the Catholic Church”, it contains in itself the fullness of means of grace, sanctification and salvation, whether or not “united” into a particular geopolitical superstructure. In other words, Cyprian of Carthage, Stephen of Rome and Firmilian of Caesarea can still be bishops of the catholic Church and saints in spite of their ruptures of communion. The Churches of St. Thomas in India, or those of Ethiopia were always one, holy, catholic and apostolic even when disconnected from Rome or Constantinople. It also means that the saints (of East and West, for instance St. Francis of Assisi and St. Sergius) do not drop in and out of the catholic Church because their patriarchs are quarreling over who knows what. Likewise, the idea that salvation is tied to a particular worldwide organism becomes obsolete.


- His Broken Body:  Understanding and Healing the Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 07:14:19 PM
Although, on a related note, have you read the Joint Declaration on Justification?

Never interested me much.  We have only 3 or 4 Lutheran churches in this country.

Actually, I was more wondering whether it's any help in understanding the Catholic position on salvation & theosis.

BTW, would that be England?

New Zealand
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 07:32:31 PM
- His Broken Body:  Understanding and Healing the Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

As a counterbalance to the book by Priest Cleenewerck...

 This brilliant defence of traditional Orthodox ecclesiology by the Holy New-Martyr
Archbishop Hilarion Troitsky — who received a martyr's crown on December 15th, 1929.

“Christianity or the Church?”
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/christchurchilarion.htm

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 15, 2012, 07:41:56 PM

 ... the idea that salvation is tied to a particular worldwide organism becomes obsolete.

Are there bishops and synods who have signified their agreement with this?  or is it just a weird thought from Priest Cleenewerck?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 15, 2012, 10:40:49 PM
If "traditional Orthodox ecclesiology" differs from the obvious ecclesiology of the first 3 centuries, we've got problems.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: John Larocque on January 16, 2012, 12:01:00 AM
I'm currently reading a book by a traditional Catholic who had this to offer on the Athanasian period (Banished Heart pg 143):

Quote
Pope Liberius offended against justice and against the Faith itself, when, harassed by Arian heretics and by the Emperor Constantius, he excommunicated St. Athanasius and added his signature to the Arian creed drawn up at Sirmium. Though Liberius was personally orthodox and signed under coercion, this betrayal caused him to be excluded from the Roman Martyrology. When he entered into communion with the heretical Eastern bishops, St. Ambrose's dictum 'ubi Petris ibi Ecclesia' ('where Peter is, there is the Church') ceased temporarily to apply, and the true Church became the small band of Christians gathered around the persecuted and excommunicated Bishop of Alexandria.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 12:56:10 AM
If "traditional Orthodox ecclesiology" differs from the obvious ecclesiology of the first 3 centuries, we've got problems.

Saint Justin Popovic hits the nail on the head.  As it was in the 3rd centurty, so it is in the 21st....


"...the Orthodox Church, in its nature and its dogmatically unchanging
constitution is episcopal and centered in the bishops. For the bishop and
the faithful gathered around him are the expression and
manifestation of the Church as the Body of Christ, especially in the Holy
Liturgy; the Church is Apostolic and Catholic only by virtue of its bishops,
insofar as they are the heads of true ecclesiastical
units, the dioceses.


"At the same time, the other, historically later and variable forms of
church organization of the Orthodox Church: the metropolias, archdioceses,
patriarchates, pentarchies, autocephalies, autonomies, etc., however many
there may be or shall be, cannot have and do not have a determining and
decisive significance in the conciliar system of the Orthodox Church.
Furthermore, they may constitute an obstacle in the correct functioning of
the conciliary principle if they obstruct and reject the episcopal character
and structure of the Church and of the Churches.


"Here, undoubtedly, is to be found the primary difference between Orthodox
and Papal ecclesiology."

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 16, 2012, 01:01:14 AM
That's precisely what Fr. Cleenewert said, Irish Hermit. Why did you think his book needed a "counter balance"?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Shiny on January 16, 2012, 01:11:34 AM
Can I ask a general theosis question or should I just make a new thread? It's not really related to the thread topic...
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 16, 2012, 02:15:05 AM
Forgive me for the lengthy quote, but Fr. Cleenewert says this much better than I.  I also realize that he's not a "Church Father" so many might just dismiss him as another "modern theologian" whom we can ignore, but I believe it to be germane to the subject at hand, since this is ultimately an issue of ecclesiology.

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi is a powerful and truthful maxim. We learn a lot about a community’s beliefs and consciousness by studying its prayer life. As we have seen, the Orthodox Churches consider liturgical tradition to be a basic and reliable manifestation of doctrine. With this principle in mind, what the liturgy of St. Basil has to say about the unity of the Church is quite relevant. The passage in question is part of a post-epiclesis prayer (therefore a very solem one):

Cause the schisms in the Church to cease...

If our question is “Can His Body be broken?” the answer given by St. Basil seems to be, yes. He himself experienced the consequences of the Arian heresy and was the sorrowful witness of many tragic splits. We may therefore say that the (local) Church can go through periods of apparent schism or even heresy when one wonders who the true bishop is and where the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church can be found. Sometimes, the confusion is temporary and does not lead to a lasting schism, both within the catholic Church and in the common union. But there are thresholds and circumstances when the schism becomes organic and permanent.

This would be the same St. Basil who wrote the 'First Canonical Epistle of St. Basil', yes? So, if we wish to understand what St. Basil meant by his brief reference to schism in one place, the most obvious place to start would be to look at what he says about schism in other places (particularly if the 'other place' has been universally received by the Church via an Ecumenical council), yes?

And there we find that St. Basil starts off by clearly distinguishing heresies and schisms: "By heresies they [the ancient authorities] meant men who were altogether broken off and alienated in matters relating to the actual faith; by schisms men who had separated for some ecclesiastical reasons and questions capable of mutual solution." Therefore, I'm not sure how Fr. Cleenewert justifies tossing 'even heresy' into a discussion that is supposedly based on St. Basil's reference to schisms.

Then, after some words about the Fathers attitudes towards heretics (and converts therefrom), St. Basil continues on about schisms: "the origin of separation arose through schism, and those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken. The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands. But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain. And therefore those who were from time to time baptized by them, were ordered, as though baptized by laymen, to come to the church to be purified by the Church's true baptism."

So St. Basil clearly states that heretics are 'altogether broken off and alienated', and schismatics have no true baptism and no ability to confer the Grace of the Holy Spirit. And yet Fr. Cleenewert thinks that St. Basil's prayer opens the door to the question 'Can the pre-eternal Church be made manifest where there is heresy, schism?' and that 'what happened to the worldwide communion of Churches, however tragic, is only organizational - indeed a political - issue.'

If I say, '1+1=2. And 1+2 does not equal 4,' and you come along and say '1+1=2, and therefore 1+2=4', then two thing are clearly true. One is that you cannot cite my support for the proposition that 1+1=2 as support for your conclusion that 1+2=4. And the other is that one of us clearly misunderstands what the relationship of 1, 2, and 3 is. In this case, my money is firmly on St. Basil, and the Ecumenical Council that made his letter an official document of the Universal Church, as correctly understanding the implications of his own prayer as opposed to Fr. Cleenewert.

In fact, most of the rest of Fr. Cleenewert's argument is a large bait-and-switch. (Prefigured by his lining up heresy, schism, corruption and sin in parallel when in fact the Patristic answer to the question is sharply different when asked of 'corruption and sin' as opposed to 'heresy and schism'). He cites St. Basil's prayer for 'schisms in the Church' and two examples of such from the early period and then tries to leap from there to the schism between East and West, ignoring the crucial distinction between 'in' and 'from'.

The Meletian schism is an example of the type of schism 'in the Church' of which examples can be found throughout history. Bishops A and B are out of communion. Bishop C is in communion with A, Bishop D is communion with B, and therefore bishops C and D are also out of communion. But bishops C and D are both still in communion with bishops E, F, and G. In other words, while there is a visible problem within the Body, there is still only One Body, not two clearly separate communions with no sacramental bond at all. Thus it can be clearly distinguished from the Novation schism (which St. Basil specifically cites as an example in his letter) where there were the Churches in communion with Pope Cornelius on the one side, and the schismatics in communion with Novatian on the other side--two visibly distinct and definable bodies.

Based on the Meletian schism (and others like it), many have pointed out that 1054 is at best a useful historical marker and not a true 'bright line' for when Rome left the Church. Bishops A and B (Rome and Constantinople) were out of communion but there were bishops/patriarchs C and D who tried to retain communion with both.  So Rome in 1064 or 1084 was no more completely outside the Church than Bishop Paulicius was. But the analogy eventually breaks down. The Meletian schism (and other schsims 'in' the Church) was healed within a generation or two. The Roman schism on the other hand was not healed, but continued to deepen until it reached the point where, as with the Novations, there were two visibly distinct and definable bodies marking a clear schism 'from' the Church. (And that's only if one takes the postion that the filioque and papal doctrines developed by Rome since the schism are not actually heretical, 'alienated in matters relating to the actual faith').

(And the Pope Stephen-St. Cyprian example is even less on point. I don't recall at the moment if Pope Stephen ever went through with his threat to break communion, but St. Cyprian and the Church of Carthage, in their synodal response to the controversy, specifically stated that they were *not* breaking communion with anyone. So in that case there was never even a mutual break in communion between Rome and Carthage much less a division into separate Stephenite and Cyprian communions).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 02:21:19 AM
That's precisely what Fr. Cleenewert said, Irish Hermit. Why did you think his book needed a "counter balance"?

The Priest Cleeenewerk denies the traditional orthodox understanding of "Church" when he says "the idea that salvation is tied to a particular worldwide organism becomes obsolete."

He also denies that Orthodoxy is the Church when he claims that Francis of Assisi was a member of the Church.   Our Church denies this and so, by the Priest Cleenewerck's reasoning, that kind of exclusiveness would place us outside the Church as he conceives it or at the very least it places a question mark over Orthodox membership in the Church.




Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 16, 2012, 02:25:27 AM
That's precisely what Fr. Cleenewert said, Irish Hermit. Why did you think his book needed a "counter balance"?

Actually Fr. Cleenewert's reasoning completely abandons the conciliar model emphasized by St. Justin. For St. Justin (and the 3rd century Fathers), "the local Church contains in itself the fullness of means of grace, sanctification and salvation". But contra Fr. Cleenewert, this catholicity was fully bound up with the local Church's unity with all the other local Churches maintaining the same fullness (St. Justin's 'conciliarity'). Any break in the full communion was a serious problem, an injury to the Church, that needed to be addressed by the bishops working in council with one another--and if any group removed itself completely from that conciliarity, it removed itself from the Catholic Church. But according to Fr. Cleenewert's reasoning, such breaks in communion were 'merely' political with no relevance to salvation. A single local diocese could wander off completely on its own, break communion with everyone, completely remove itself from the conciliar model--and yet still be 'the Catholic Church' without possessing any conciliar aspect at all.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 02:25:39 AM
Can I ask a general theosis question or should I just make a new thread? It's not really related to the thread topic...

One suggestion.... if you think it is not the right place here, then click on theosis in the tags at the page bottom and see if it fits into any of the other threads.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 02:35:44 AM
Dear Sleeper,

How widely does Fr Cleenewerck interpret the word "Church"?  At the moment I would think that he includes:

1.  The Orthodox Church
2.  The Oriental Orthodox Church
3.  The Assyrian Church of the East
4.  The Roman Catholic Church
5.  The Anglican/Episcopalian Church
6.  The Lutheran Church
7.  The Old Catholic Church
8.  The Polish National Catholic Church
9.  All the many dissident Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Would it be fair to say that in his estimation all these Churches comprise the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church"?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 16, 2012, 02:49:33 AM
He defines it thus: 

"The Church of Christ is first and foremost an eternal, divine and human organism - the Body of Christ, a unity of many that transcends space and time. The Church of Christ, like the Eucharist (which is also the Body of Christ), is manifested by the Holy Spirit in space and time. It intersects with our reality and is revealed in the catholic Church. The catholic Church, the “whole Church,” is the local Eucharistic assembly, presided over by its bishop who is the icon of the Father, steward of Christ, and as St. Peter, primate of the assembly and symbol of unity. This simultaneous manifestation of the catholic Church in many places at the same time calls for a manifestation of identity and communion between all the catholic Churches. This so-called “universal Church” (or “Catholic Church” or “common union”), inasmuch as the political realities of our world permit its manifestation, should express the unity of the common union of Churches. This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity, not unlike to bishop of the (local) catholic Church, but functionally, not ontologically."

In other words, precisely what St. Justin Popovic said.

What do you and Witega say in regards to the churches founded by St. Thomas in India, since they were completely isolated geographically and politically from Rome and Constantinople? Were they not manifestations of the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 16, 2012, 02:58:39 AM
Is it possible to have a fruitful spiritual life if one is in communion with Rome?

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3eO4L3HV1Q4/TWF8ufr7fbI/AAAAAAAAFKA/VP8gDTU-snE/s1600/magic_8_Ball.jpg)

ah, i was hoping for this one:

(http://clarkbunch.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/8ballaskagain.gif)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 03:10:08 AM
He defines it thus:  

"The Church of Christ is first and foremost an eternal, divine and human organism - the Body of Christ, a unity of many that transcends space and time. The Church of Christ, like the Eucharist (which is also the Body of Christ), is manifested by the Holy Spirit in space and time. It intersects with our reality and is revealed in the catholic Church. The catholic Church, the “whole Church,” is the local Eucharistic assembly, presided over by its bishop who is the icon of the Father, steward of Christ, and as St. Peter, primate of the assembly and symbol of unity. This simultaneous manifestation of the catholic Church in many places at the same time calls for a manifestation of identity and communion between all the catholic Churches. This so-called “universal Church” (or “Catholic Church” or “common union”), inasmuch as the political realities of our world permit its manifestation, should express the unity of the common union of Churches. This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity, not unlike to bishop of the (local) catholic Church, but functionally, not ontologically."

In other words, precisely what St. Justin Popovic said.

Saint Justin would be turning in his grave to hear that the Priest Cleenewerck asserts:  "This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity, not unlike to bishop of the (local) catholic Church, but functionally, not ontologically."

If there is no unity without a "worldwide primate" then The Priest Cleenewerck is saying that the Orthodox Church is excluded from the unity of the Church.  We have no such primate.  Never did have and never will.  

Some might be tempted to whisper the big-H word about such an assertion.  The ecclesiology of Fr Cleenewerck seems incompatible with orthodox ecclesiology.

Here are the words of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) who is the doyen of Russian theologians and always heads our delegations to Orthodox-Catholic dialogue.   

Metropolitan  Hilarion, speaking to "Inside The Vatican", 15 November 2007:

"We do not have any theology of the Petrine office on the level of the
Universal Church. Our ecclesiology does not have room for such a concept.
This is why the Orthodox Church has for centuries opposed the idea of the
universal jurisdiction of any bishop, including the Bishop of Rome.

"We recognize that there is a certain order in which the primates of the
Local Churches should be mentioned. In this order the Bishop of Rome
occupied the first place until 1054, and then the primacy of order in the
Orthodox Church was shifted to the Patriarch of Constantinople, who until
the schism had been the second in order. But we believe that all primates of
the Local Churches are equal to one another, and none of them has
jurisdiction over any other."


From
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1925822/posts

And elsewhere he speaks even more strongly of the Russian Church NEVER accepting any concept of global primacy.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 16, 2012, 03:17:16 AM
More from Fr. Cleenewert's book (now that I'm back home :)):

If we search the New Testament for every occurrence of the word "Church" (or "Churches"), we an quickly get a picture of what it is that God established "by the price of the blood of his own Son." Essentially, the Church is an eschatological reality that transcends space and time. It could be said that God knows, foreknows and has a relationship with our eternal self. He knows his elect from "before the foundation of the world." The early Christian (and therefore orthodox) doctrine of the "pre-existence" of the Church is well established. For instance, the Shepherd of Hermas teaches that "She (the Church) was the first of all creation and the world was made for her." The early homily known as 2 Clement was even more explicit, "Moreover, the books and the Apostles declare that the Church belongs not to the present, but existed from the beginning."

In the perspective of our experience of time, of our eon or "age," the Church is the "body of Christ," the means by which temporal creatures can be united to the eternal God-Man, and become "partakers of the divine nature" now and in "the age to come." The purpose of the Church is that many creatures would be one with God the Father in Jesus Christ, so that "God may be all in all." The Church is the means by which human beings can enter in this new mode of existence not "born of the flesh" but "of the Spirit." This is what we can call "the eschatological, pre-eternal, fulfilled or supra-temporal Church."

Again, what I would like to emphasize here is the risk of equating (and confusing) the eschatological Church with the sum of all the local Churches in existence on earth at one particular point in time, i.e., the so-called "universal Church." The idea that all Christians alive on earth form a universal organism or society called "Church" seems to be at the heart of Roman Catholic ecclesiology. In this view, the Church, the "whole Church" is first and foremost "the faithful everywhere." The unity of the Church then depends on all the local Churches being joined to their ontological head, the Roman Church, to form a single body called "the Catholic Church."

The part in red, unless I'm misunderstanding the both of you (Irish Hermit and Witega), is how you are seeming to define the Church, since you disagree with Fr. Cleenewert. Do you reject the notion that the catholic Church is in and of itself a whole, complete unit, the very One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church confessed in the creed, in and of itself? Or do you view them as "parts of the whole" in which case separation from the "whole" would indeed cause one to be outside the Church?

I suppose I don't see how you reconcile the eucharistic ecclesiology held by the early Church with the notion that the catholic whole units aren't really whole unless part of the superstructure.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 16, 2012, 03:30:58 AM
He defines it thus:  

"The Church of Christ is first and foremost an eternal, divine and human organism - the Body of Christ, a unity of many that transcends space and time. The Church of Christ, like the Eucharist (which is also the Body of Christ), is manifested by the Holy Spirit in space and time. It intersects with our reality and is revealed in the catholic Church. The catholic Church, the “whole Church,” is the local Eucharistic assembly, presided over by its bishop who is the icon of the Father, steward of Christ, and as St. Peter, primate of the assembly and symbol of unity. This simultaneous manifestation of the catholic Church in many places at the same time calls for a manifestation of identity and communion between all the catholic Churches. This so-called “universal Church” (or “Catholic Church” or “common union”), inasmuch as the political realities of our world permit its manifestation, should express the unity of the common union of Churches. This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity, not unlike to bishop of the (local) catholic Church, but functionally, not ontologically."

In other words, precisely what St. Justin Popovic said.

Saint Justin would be turning in his grave to hear that the Priest Cleenewerck asserts:  "This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity, not unlike to bishop of the (local) catholic Church, but functionally, not ontologically."

If there is no unity without a "worldwide primate" then The Priest Cleenewerck is saying that the Orthodox Church is excluded from the unity of the Church.  We have no such primate.  Never did have and never will.  

Some might be tempted to whisper the big-H word about such an assertion.  The ecclesiology of Fr Cleenewerck seems incompatible with orthodox ecclesiology.

Here are the words of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) who is the doyen of Russian theologians and always heads our delegations to Orthodox-Catholic dialogue.    

Metropolitan  Hilarion, speaking to "Inside The Vatican", 15 November 2007:

"We do not have any theology of the Petrine office on the level of the
Universal Church. Our ecclesiology does not have room for such a concept.
This is why the Orthodox Church has for centuries opposed the idea of the
universal jurisdiction of any bishop, including the Bishop of Rome.

"We recognize that there is a certain order in which the primates of the
Local Churches should be mentioned. In this order the Bishop of Rome
occupied the first place until 1054, and then the primacy of order in the
Orthodox Church was shifted to the Patriarch of Constantinople, who until
the schism had been the second in order. But we believe that all primates of
the Local Churches are equal to one another, and none of them has
jurisdiction over any other."


From
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1925822/posts

And elsewhere he speaks even more strongly of the Russian Church NEVER accepting any concept of global primacy.


I can see that my quoting of this book is only confusing people more, so I'll stop now. I encourage you to read the whole thing yourself, Priest Ambrose (is that what we're calling Orthodox priests now, instead of "Father"?)

Actually, I'll end with one more, to maybe clarify where FATHER Cleenewert is coming from.

I am quite certain that this title "Peter, head of the catholic Church" may cause jubilation among Roman Catholics and consternation among some of my fellow Orthodox Christians. How can an Orthodox theologian write such a thing? The reason is quite simple. If we have a correct understanding of what the catholic Church is, we shall be able to think with the mind of the Fathers on this issue, without being affected by the so-called "Peter syndrome" or "unreasonable dread."

We have already expressed primitive Orthodox ecclesiology with this formula:

INCARNATION > EUCHARIST <> CATHOLIC CHURCH > PETER > PRESIDENT-BISHOP = ESSENTIAL/ONTOLOGICAL/DIVINE ORDER

By comparison, it is significant that in Jesus, Peter and the Keys (a Roman Catholic book), the introduction by Kenneth Howell offers the universalist equivalent in which the bishop is unavoidably absorbed by the papacy: INCARNATION > CHURCH > PAPACY

The major difference, as we can see, resides in what we mean by Church. If the Church is in fact a universal, worldwide organism or society, then the Roman Catholic model makes sense. Orthodox scholar Alexander Schmemann was very lucid on this point:

"If the Church is a universal organism, she must have at her head a universal bishop as the focus of her unity and the organ of supreme power. The idea, popular in Orthodox apologetics, that the Church can have no visible head because Christ is her invisible head is theological nonsense. If applied consistently, it should also eliminate the necessity for the visible head of each local Church, i.e. the bishop."

Of course, saying that St. Peter is the "head" of the catholic Church or that the Patriarch of Moscow is the "head" of the Russian Orthodox Church requires some clarification. This headship is that of a representative or primate, according to the spirit of the 34th apostolic canon which reads:

"It is the duty of the bishops of every ethnic area to know who among them is the first, and to recognize him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything unnecessary without his advice and approval. Instead, each bishop should do only whatever is necessitated by his own district and by the territories under him. But let not [the primate] do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For only thus there can be concord, and will God be glorified through the Lord..."

It is beyond the scope of this study to present a full blown analyisis of the strength and weaknesses of both Eucharistic and universal ecclesiology. I have tried, however, briefly, to show that the New Testament and pre-Nicene use of "Church," "whole Church" and "catholic Church" assumes Eucharistic ecclesiology.

- His Broken Body, pg. 78-79 in the Kindle version
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 03:32:57 AM
Do you reject the notion that the catholic Church is in and of itself a whole, complete unit, the ver yconfessed in the creed, in and of itself? Or do you view them as "parts of the whole" in which case separation from the "whole" would indeed cause one to be outside the Church?

I suppose I don't see how you reconcile the eucharistic ecclesiology held by the early Church with the notion that the catholic whole units aren't really whole unless part of the superstructure.

When we recite “I believe in One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church” in our parish I would swear that not one parishioner means “I believe in One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church which is our diocese headed by Metropolitan Hilarion.”
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 16, 2012, 03:36:21 AM
Do you reject the notion that the catholic Church is in and of itself a whole, complete unit, the ver yconfessed in the creed, in and of itself? Or do you view them as "parts of the whole" in which case separation from the "whole" would indeed cause one to be outside the Church?

I suppose I don't see how you reconcile the eucharistic ecclesiology held by the early Church with the notion that the catholic whole units aren't really whole unless part of the superstructure.

When we recite “I believe in One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church” in our parish I would swear that not one parishioner means “I believe in One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church which is our diocese headed by Metropolitan Hilarion.”


Hopefully some of them are at least having the pre-eternal, eschatological Church in mind, and not "the faithful everywhere on earth right now."

At any rate, is it safe to assume, then, that you define "Church" in the "universal" way, i.e, Roman Catholic ecclesiology? Because I'm still not quite understanding what your bone of contention is with FATHER Cleenewert.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 03:45:25 AM

Priest Ambrose (is that what we're calling Orthodox priests now, instead of "Father"?

It is not really correct to write “Father” for a priest or monk unless you are addressing him directly or speaking of him as the “Father” of his community.

At other times he should be addressed by his identifying rank in the Church.

Bishop Tikhon (emeritus of San Francisco) is a great stickler for this.

My personal opinion is that priests who are known authors and academics can be identified simply by their surname as is the norm in academia.   But there are some Orthodox who are offended by that.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 03:49:57 AM
At any rate, is it safe to assume, then, that you define "Church" in the "universal" way, i.e, Roman Catholic ecclesiology? Because I'm still not quite understanding what your bone of contention is with FATHER Cleenewert.

It is Father Cleenewerck who dips his toe into ecclesiological heresy with the Roman Catholic teaching that a universal primate is essential for the unity of the Church.  In effect he is excluding Orthodoxy from the Church since we have no global primate.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Sleeper on January 16, 2012, 03:53:24 AM
At any rate, is it safe to assume, then, that you define "Church" in the "universal" way, i.e, Roman Catholic ecclesiology? Because I'm still not quite understanding what your bone of contention is with FATHER Cleenewert.

It is Father Cleenewerck who dips his toe into heresy with the Roman Catholic teaching that a universal primate is essential for the unity of the Church.  In effect he is excluding Orthodoxy from the Church since we have no global primate.

That's not what he's saying at all. Please, re-read, Father.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 04:01:04 AM
At any rate, is it safe to assume, then, that you define "Church" in the "universal" way, i.e, Roman Catholic ecclesiology? Because I'm still not quite understanding what your bone of contention is with FATHER Cleenewert.

It is Father Cleenewerck who dips his toe into heresy with the Roman Catholic teaching that a universal primate is essential for the unity of the Church.  In effect he is excluding Orthodoxy from the Church since we have no global primate.

That's not what he's saying at all. Please, re-read, Father.

From message 152:

"This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity..."

Purely Papal Ecclesiology.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: John Larocque on January 16, 2012, 08:55:14 AM
Having read the book, I can state it's not an endorsement of the Roman concept of the papacy. In effect, Fr. Laurent's proposal of a universal primate is for New Rome to give way for Rome in terms of all the existing privileges it has today, and even a reduction of those privileges. Rome would resume its right as a see to which various parties would appeal, based as it was on pre-schism practice. Essentially a local-church ecclesiology with a visible symbol of unity. The problem of that (which Father recognizes) is that Rome views the papacy as a divinely ordained ministry separate from that of bishop/priest/deacon, with more than symbolic powers and privileges.

I went to Google to scan ahead a few pages and noticed a reference to Rome establishing Latin patriarchates of Jerusalem and Antioch. According to this book I'm reading now, this indirectly led to the destruction of the Anitochene (and Alexandrian?) liturgies. When the Orthodox bisohps of those sees went into exile (as the Romans attempted to impose the Latin liturgies against their local liturgies), they fled to the protection of Byzantium, and when they returned to those sees, they brought back with them the liturgy of Byzantium, and imposed it on their see. I see earlier in this thread discussion of the Syro-Malabars. Again, a sad history of the attempted destruction of the liturgy of the Thomas Catholics when they were brought into communion with Rome.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 16, 2012, 10:43:45 AM
Having read the book, I can state it's not an endorsement of the Roman concept of the papacy. In effect, Fr. Laurent's proposal of a universal primate is for New Rome to give way for Rome in terms of all the existing privileges it has today, and even a reduction of those privileges. Rome would resume its right as a see to which various parties would appeal, based as it was on pre-schism practice. Essentially a local-church ecclesiology with a visible symbol of unity.

Interesting discussion. When I read Father Cleenewerck's statement
"This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity..."
I thought of This Rock's grand claim that Patriarch Bartholomew is blazing a trail toward Rome and that most Orthodox are on said trail.

The problem of that (which Father recognizes) is that Rome views the papacy as a divinely ordained ministry separate from that of bishop/priest/deacon, with more than symbolic powers and privileges.

I'll just chime in that I think that many Orthodox would be bothered by the "is made possible" -- implying that unity wouldn't be possible without a "worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity".
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 04:59:29 PM
Interesting discussion. When I read Father Cleenewerck's statement
"This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity..."
I thought of This Rock's grand claim that Patriarch Bartholomew is blazing a trail toward Rome and that most Orthodox are on said trail.

The trail petered out two years ago because of precisely this point - a worldwide primate.  Patriarch Bartholomew and his man at the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue Metropolitan John Zizioulas were ambushed and severely wounded by the Church of Greece.

Before the meeting of the Joint International Commission
for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the
Orthodox Church on Cyprus in October 2009 the bishops of the Greek Church
studied the Ravenna document and also the "Cretan Unia" a document composed
a year earlier on Crete which was created to form the basis of the
discussion on Cyprus -- and they were horrified by the extent to which the
documents are receptive to unorthodox teaching and especially on
ecclesiology and the concept of a universal primacy.

So they clamped down on the Dialogue, and hard. At their Synod prior to Cyprus the
bishops ordered that Statements must not be issued by the International
Dialogue until they had been examined and approved by the bishops.

Metropolitan Zizioulas was thoroughly alarmed by this, and the word enraged
is not unfitting for his angry reaction. He wrote a nasty letter to the
Greek bishops accusing them of being obscurantist and of making themselves
look medieval in front of their flocks. His letter is on the web and I
shall find it. The bishops replied; they had the good sense to ignore
+Zizioulas' anger and crassness and simply rejected his accusations.

Since then you will notice that neither Cyprus 2009 nor Vienna 2010 have
released any Joint Statements. They cannot do so without explicit approval
from the Greek bishops.  The Meeting scheduled for 2011 did not take place.

The bishops, hardliners on matters doctrinal, are now the adjudicators of
the Dialogue. Glory to God!

Hierom.Ambrose


PS.  You can find that letter, and the response of the Greek Synod of Bishops and
quite a lot of other documentation here

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/root.en.aspx

and here

http://www.oodegr.com/english/index.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ionnis on January 16, 2012, 05:15:59 PM
Thank you, Father!  This is all good information to have.  I am pleased to know that the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece is remaining vigilant in these confusing times.  

Is this the statement you were referring to?

Announcement by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece regarding the Dialogues with the Latins:

http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/synodoi/Greece_Synod_Announcement_re_Dialogue.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 16, 2012, 05:27:10 PM
Interesting discussion. When I read Father Cleenewerck's statement
"This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity..."
I thought of This Rock's grand claim that Patriarch Bartholomew is blazing a trail toward Rome and that most Orthodox are on said trail.

The trail petered out two years ago because of precisely this point - a worldwide primate.

That's an interesting take. I would have expected Orthodox to deny that "blazing a trail toward Rome" happened at all.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 05:39:40 PM
Thank you, Father!  This is all good information to have.  I am pleased to know that the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece is remaining vigilant in these confusing times. 

Is this the statement you were referring to?

Announcement by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece regarding the Dialogues with the Latins:

http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/synodoi/Greece_Synod_Announcement_re_Dialogue.htm

Yes, it is an excellent statement by the bishops of Greece (although the English translation could be improved.) 

It places the bishops in the driving seat with the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and that is where they should always have been.  But I believe that they saw ecumenism as the hobby horse of an few enthusiastic theologians and bishops.   However when they realised, after Ravenna, that the dialogue was steering into dangerous waters with the discussion of a “worldwide primate” they felt they had to take control.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 05:42:08 PM
Interesting discussion. When I read Father Cleenewerck's statement
"This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity..."
I thought of This Rock's grand claim that Patriarch Bartholomew is blazing a trail toward Rome and that most Orthodox are on said trail.

The trail petered out two years ago because of precisely this point - a worldwide primate.

That's an interesting take. I would have expected Orthodox to deny that "blazing a trail toward Rome" happened at all.
 
When one examines the evidence I agree that there was never any "blazing."   :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 16, 2012, 06:08:06 PM
The major difference, as we can see, resides in what we mean by Church. If the Church is in fact a universal, worldwide organism or society, then the Roman Catholic model makes sense. Orthodox scholar Alexander Schmemann was very lucid on this point:

"If the Church is a universal organism, she must have at her head a universal bishop as the focus of her unity and the organ of supreme power. The idea, popular in Orthodox apologetics, that the Church can have no visible head because Christ is her invisible head is theological nonsense. If applied consistently, it should also eliminate the necessity for the visible head of each local Church, i.e. the bishop."
This quotation, from Fr. Schmemann's The Primacy of Peter, p. 151, is lifted out of context; in the original work it is a description of a particular ecclesiology, "this ecclesiology," viz. stemming from "the Vatican dogma of 1870" (The Primacy of Peter, p. 150).[1]

Fr. Schmemann, however, plainly describes as a "DISTORTION" and an "ERROR":
"...the understanding and practice of primacy as “supreme power” and, therefore, to a universal bishop as source and foundation of jurisdiction in the whole ecclesiastical structure. The Orthodox Church has condemned this distortion in its pure and explicit Roman Catholic form."
(Schmemann, op cit, pp. 163)

Fr. Schmemann also relates that "The ecclesiastical error of Rome lies not in the affirmation of universal primacy [which Fr. Schmemann says is a quality of *Orthodox truth*]. Rather, the error lies in her identification of this primacy with 'supreme power,' which transforms Rome into the principium radix et origio of the unity of the Church and of the Church herself..." (Schmemann, op cit, pp. 165).

"Universal primacy" exists, says Fr. Schmemann, because it is a quality NOT of a particular bishop because he is in a particular office, and NOT of a particular city as a function of a "divine right" of the city, but because universal primacy is a quality of ***Orthodox truth*** It could be, and was, focused in certain cities at certain times. Rome we must remember didn't even have a monarchical bishop until the late second century! Fr. Schmemann doesn't forget.

What are the implications of Fr. Schmemann saying the Roman Catholic understanding is ERROR AND DISTORTION when it supposes primacy as power, and when it supposes a universal bishop as a source and foundation of jurisdiction in the whole ecclesiastical structure? What are the implications of the Roman Catholic understanding of primacy and infallibility being something which Fr. Schmemann does precisely REJECT?

These are the kinds of questions which should be addressed by those sympathetic to the claims of Rome rather than -as many internet apologists are doing with Fr. Schmemann's book- appearing to quote mine and proof text like a Protestant fundamentalist both from books like Schmemann's The Primacy of Peter and the early fathers in support of realities that the vast majority of contemporary church historians admit were unknown in the actual early post-apostolic Universal Church before the Great Schism.
__________________
[1]The full context of Fr. Alexander Schmemann's original remarks can be reviewed here (http://books.google.com/books?id=hMjoJx8FD2wC&pg=PA151&lpg=PA151&dq=%22If+the+Church+is+a+universal+organism,+she+must+have+at+her+head+a+universal+bishop+as+the+focus+of+her+unity+and+the+organ+of+supreme+power.+The+idea,+popular+in+Orthodox+apologetics,+that+the+Church+can+have+no+visible+head+because+Christ+is+her+invisible+head+is+theological+nonsense.+If+applied+consistently,+it+should+also+eliminate+the+necessity+for+the+visible+head+of+each+local+Church,+i.e.+the+bishop.%22&source=bl&ots=IMoFMGOP4P&sig=60caA7VtOPalaNNa3IkMT4rZkWw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=p54UT9iyIof0ggfgg5iCBA&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22If%20the%20Church%20is%20a%20universal%20organism%2C%20she%20must%20have%20at%20her%20head%20a%20universal%20bishop%20as%20the%20focus%20of%20her%20unity%20and%20the%20organ%20of%20supreme%20power.%20The%20idea%2C%20popular%20in%20Orthodox%20apologetics%2C%20that%20the%20Church%20can%20have%20no%20visible%20head%20because%20Christ%20is%20her%20invisible%20head%20is%20theological%20nonsense.%20If%20applied%20consistently%2C%20it%20should%20also%20eliminate%20the%20necessity%20for%20the%20visible%20head%20of%20each%20local%20Church%2C%20i.e.%20the%20bishop.%22&f=false).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 16, 2012, 06:10:32 PM
He defines it thus: 
 This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity, not unlike to bishop of the (local) catholic Church, but functionally, not ontologically."

In other words, precisely what St. Justin Popovic said.

What do you and Witega say in regards to the churches founded by St. Thomas in India, since they were completely isolated geographically and politically from Rome and Constantinople? Were they not manifestations of the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church?

That the Indian Church was not in contact with Rome or Constantinople is irrelevant. They were in contact with the Christians in Persia and Modern Iraq, and as late as the 6th century received hierarchs from the non-Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria. They were (and are) part of the Oriental Orthodox communion.

At this point, I think about all I can do is recommend getting hold of and reading the writings of St. Justin--a 'modern theologian' like Fr. Cleenewerck, but one whose glorification shows a general recognition by the Church that his works are in line with the Tradition, a recognition Fr. Cleenewerck lacks.

I generally don't like to take this tack in an internet discussion ("go spend your own time and money to back up my assertions"), but in this case I simply do not have the time to go through and post large extracts of St. Justin demonstrating as one of his major theses that 'conciliarity' is part of the Apostolic nature of the Church, but that *any* structure of primacy among the individual bishops of the Church, even Nicea's assignment of the permanent chairmanship of the local synod to the Metropolitan, much less higher-level developments like the Pentarchy or prerogatives of the 'first in honor', is a pragmatic addition (like Episcopal celibacy or the use of intinction to distribute communion) which is in no way *necessary* to the Church--and can be changed if/when the Church finds another pragmatic superstructure to be more useful. As Fr. Ambrose says, St. Justin would be rolling in his grave to hear "This unity is made possible by the existence of a worldwide primate as visible symbol of unity" being asserted as the 'same thing' as what he wrote.

In addition, even if I had the time, there doesn't seem much point when my most basic criticism has yet to be addressed. I see nothing in the additional quotes or in Sleeper's responses which addresses the fact that Fr. Cleenewerck's theorizing does not appear to have made any attempt to take St. Basil's actual teaching into account. I don't know that I have a personal opinion on the topic of this thread or some its related divergences. There does seem to be some ambiguity in the total corpus of the Fathers and existing synodical decisions--which is why I personally prefer St. Theophan's answer, and am open to instruction. But one thing I know for certain is that any answer that claims to be an Orthodox answer *has* to take such foundational documents as St. Basil's First Canonical Epistle into account and not simply toss out St. Basil's name while taking a position he clearly would not have supported.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 16, 2012, 06:48:39 PM
Apparently not everyone in Orthodoxy is agreed with the interpretation of Ecclesia and Ecumenism that is displayed in this thread:

http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/challenges%20of%20ecumenism.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 16, 2012, 06:58:22 PM
Thank you, Father!  This is all good information to have.  I am pleased to know that the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece is remaining vigilant in these confusing times. 

Is this the statement you were referring to?

Announcement by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece regarding the Dialogues with the Latins:

http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/synodoi/Greece_Synod_Announcement_re_Dialogue.htm

Yes, it is an excellent statement by the bishops of Greece (although the English translation could be improved.) 

It places the bishops in the driving seat with the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and that is where they should always have been.  But I believe that they saw ecumenism as the hobby horse of an few enthusiastic theologians and bishops.   However when they realised, after Ravenna, that the dialogue was steering into dangerous waters with the discussion of a “worldwide primate” they felt they had to take control.

It's been a little while since I read the Ravenna document, and I don't feel like rereading the whole thing. Is this the relevant part:

Quote
42. Conciliarity at the universal level, exercised in the ecumenical councils, implies an active role of the bishop of Rome, as protos of the bishops of the major sees, in the consensus of the assembled bishops. Although the bishop of Rome did not convene the ecumenical councils of the early centuries and never personally presided over them, he nevertheless was closely involved in the process of decision-making by the councils.

43. Primacy and conciliarity are mutually interdependent. That is why primacy at the different levels of the life of the Church, local, regional and universal, must always be considered in the context of conciliarity, and conciliarity likewise in the context of primacy.

Concerning primacy at the different levels, we wish to affirm the following points:

1. Primacy at all levels is a practice firmly grounded in the canonical tradition of the Church.

2. While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West, there are differences of understanding with regard to the manner in which it is to be exercised, and also with regard to its scriptural and theological foundations.

44. In the history of the East and of the West, at least until the ninth century, a series of prerogatives was recognised, always in the context of conciliarity, according to the conditions of the times, for the protos or kephale at each of the established ecclesiastical levels: locally, for the bishop as protos of his diocese with regard to his presbyters and people; regionally, for the protos of each metropolis with regard to the bishops of his province, and for the protos of each of the five patriarchates, with regard to the metropolitans of each circumscription; and universally, for the bishop of Rome as protos among the patriarchs. This distinction of levels does not diminish the sacramental equality of every bishop or the catholicity of each local Church.
?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 07:19:55 PM
Apparently not everyone in Orthodoxy is agreed with the interpretation of Ecclesia and Ecumenism that is displayed in this thread:

http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/challenges%20of%20ecumenism.htm

With the exception of the Churches of Jerusalem (participates to a very limited extent) and Bulgaria I think that all Orthodox Churches participate in dialogue with Catholics and to a lesser extent with Protestants.


Let me recycle an older post dealing with our involvement with the various dialogues.


Orthodox Ecumenism:  The 50 Years from Oberlin 1957 to Ravenna 2007

To get some sense of balance and background knowledge into this conversation I
want to present a few official examples which show the consistency and
ultra-conservatism of the official Orthodox viewpoint throughout the years of
ecumenism... the unbending and inflexible insistence that Orthodoxy alone
constitutes the One Church. Yes, there were weird lapses at some events such as
the pagan smoke ceremony but on a deeper level the Orthodox have not strayed
from their own reality.




1. 1957.... The Statement of the Representatives of the Greek Orthodox
Church in the USA at the North American Faith and Order Study
Conference, Oberlin, Ohio, September 1957. This is quite unequivocal
about the uniqueness of Orthodoxy as the Church.

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/gocamerica_faith_order_sept_1957.htm



2. 1980s.... The contretemps in the 1980s at the International Roman
Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue which saw a walk-out of the
Catholic participants when the Orthodox delegates declared that they
were unable to accept Catholic baptism per se. These were not fringy
palaeohiemerologhites but the most ecumenically minded bishops and
theologians of the canonical Orthodox Churches. This question has
never been revisited in the international dialogue but one day it will
need to be faced head on.


3. 1986.... Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar (WCC)
Conference, Chambesy, 1986:

"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."

Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy,
1986

Section III, Paragraph 6
http://www.incommunion.org/articles/ecumenical-movement/chambesy-1986


4. 1997..... Even the most ecumenical Patriarch of Micklegarth His
Divine All-Holiness Bartholomew scandalised the Catholics with his
presentation at the Jesuit University of Georgetown in 1997 when he
declared:

"The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different.
Unless our ontological transfiguration and transformation toward one
common model of life is achieved, not only in form but also in
substance, unity and its accompanying realization become impossible."

Full text at
http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/bartholomew_phos.html


The Jesuits declared morosely that Patr. Bartholomew had set the
dialogue back 10 years.  Nobody else really understood what
the Patriarch had said,


5. 2000..... The important Statement on Orthodoxy and its ecumenical
relationships with non-Orthodox Churches issued by the 2000
Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church:

"Basic Principles of the Attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Toward the
Other Christian Confessions"

It basically repeats what the Greeks said at Oberlin Ohio in 1957
and even more emphatically - the boundaries of the Church are
the Orthodox Church herself.

Concerning the Branch Theory...
2.5. "The so-called "branch theory", which is connected with the conception
referred to above and asserts the normal and even providential nature of
Christianity existing in the form of particular "branches", is also totally
unacceptable."

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/roc_other_christian_confessions.htm



6. 2007..... Catholic-Orthodox International Theological Meeting Ravenna
Sept 07

"Note [1] Orthodox participants felt it important to emphasize that
the use of the terms "the Church", "the universal Church", "the
indivisible Church" and "the Body of Christ" in this document and in
similar documents produced by the Joint Commission in no way
undermines the self-understanding of the Orthodox Church as the one,
holy, catholic and apostolic Church, of which the Nicene Creed
speaks."

http://www.orthodoxeurope.org/page/14/130.aspx#2

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 07:26:53 PM
Apparently not everyone in Orthodoxy is agreed with the interpretation of Ecclesia and Ecumenism that is displayed in this thread:

http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/challenges%20of%20ecumenism.htm

Do not trust anyone who claims to be an academic and consistently writes "it's" for "its."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 16, 2012, 07:37:47 PM
If "traditional Orthodox ecclesiology" differs from the obvious ecclesiology of the first 3 centuries, we've got problems.
Rather it is modern Roman Catholic ecclesiology which differs from the "obvious ecclesiology" of the first 3 centuries, if by "obvious ecclesiology" we mean the picture related by the vast majority of contemporary historians. If "obvious ecclesiology" refers to something other than that, then how is it "obvious" or who are we to suppose it is obvious to?

Clearly/obviously the bishop of Rome in the first centuries of the United Church was in the judgment of the vast majority of contemporary scholars (internet and amateur apologists notwithstanding!) NOT head of the whole church on earth with immediate jurisdiction over local regions, but is simply one of several man-made ranks, like other monarchical bishops, diocesan bishops, metropolitans, and patriarchs. Such offices are, of course, pragmatically warranted, however the notion that the "office" of the pope as conceived by the Latin church e.g. in 1870 reflects the historical reality of the early Undivided Church is simply out of the question in the considered opinion of the vast majority of serious contemporary academic investigators.


Gradual historical progression from local Elder/Bishop to Diocesan Bishop to Metropolitan to Patriarch (381 AD)
1. Early NT Period: presbyters were at first identical to bishops (ἐπίσκοποι/episkopoi; compare Acts 20:17 and vs. 28; Titus 1:5 and vs. 7; 1 Pet 5:1 and vs. 2 (cf. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 2005, p. 211); compare Jewish synagogues governed by a council of elders (Greek: πρεσβύτεροι presbyteroi).
2. 49 AD: Jerusalem Council (Acts 15); leadership of James at Jerusalem; 62 AD: martyrdom of James; martyrdom of Paul (c. 67 AD); 70 AD: destruction of Jerusalem by then general (later emperor) Titus. The Jerusalem Council was, of course, paradigmatic for later Councils.
3. 57/58:  Book of Romans (composed winter AD 56 or 57 from Corinth): no apparent community order with episkopos.
4. Later NT Period: "Early Catholicism," viz. single ruling bishops (Pastoral Epistles/AD 65 and afterward; Timothy and Titus to are told by Paul to ordain presbyters/bishops and e.g. "exhort with all authority" -Titus 2:15) with respect to Ephesus and Crete respectively.
5. Early writings including 1 Clement (c. 90 AD; Clement was directly appointed by the apostles) and the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve, variously dated 60-100AD -cf. subsequent redactions) also speak of two *local* offices (viz. (1) presbyter/bishop and (2) deacon). The Didache speaks of prophets and teachers as celebrants of the Eucharist, and only after them bishops and deacons.  Ignatius c. 110 AD did not address a bishop of all or of all Rome any more than Paul did. Only later would the local presbyter -as a distinct category from the bishop- and deacon be understood as local *prests* (not a mis-spelling) and deacons. A monarchical episcopate -only possible when the bishopric and eldership became dstinct entities- can be demonstrated for Rome only from around the middle of the second century; the lack of the same previously -as has already been seen above- is multiply attested in all earlier extant sources.
6. 142 AD: One Diocesan Bishop (proper) over other Bishops. The first single bishop presiding over the diocese of Rome was Pius I (142 - 155). That later official lists of early "popes" (an alternate term for bishop not originally exclusive to the bishop of Rome) actually presided only over a council of elders is the unanimous verdict of all major academic historians (including Roman Catholic historians).
7. 325 AD Metropolitan Bishop over Diocesan Bishops. Metropolitan bishops are first mentioned in the canons of the Council of Nicea. Bishops in the great cities tended to have more education and prestige; country bishops (called chorespicopi) were described as lacking education and more vulnerable to heretical ideas. The colloquial Greek pappa (from which our rendering "pope" derived) was from the beginning of the third century used for Eastern metropolitans, diocesan bishops, regular bishops, abbots, and eventually parish priest. The title of "pope" early on was used by several Metropolitan Bishops at once. Later in the West, after Old Rome had been conquered and ceased to be bilingual, the Greek pappa became more obscure to the Latin speakers in the West and fell into disuse outside of the immediate environment of Old Rome in the West. The term then became increasingly reserved for the bishop of Rome until this was made an official demand by Gregory VII in the later eleventh century. The term papacy (papatus) -designed to sharply demarcate the office of the Roman bishop from  all bishops also originated at the end of the eleventh century.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 16, 2012, 08:44:15 PM

It's been a little while since I read the Ravenna document, and I don't feel like rereading the whole thing. Is this the relevant part:

Concerning primacy at the different levels, we wish to affirm the following points:

1. Primacy at all levels is a practice firmly grounded in the canonical tradition of the Church.

2. While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West
,

This is such an egregious lie that it takes the breath away.  They cannot produce one canon which speaks of primacy at the universal level.   It is really distressing to see the Orthodox present at this meeting promulgate such a gross lie.  God forgive them!  Is it any wonder the Greek bishops decided to put an end to this!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 16, 2012, 08:53:05 PM
If "traditional Orthodox ecclesiology" differs from the obvious ecclesiology of the first 3 centuries, we've got problems.
Rather it is modern Roman Catholic ecclesiology which differs from the "obvious ecclesiology" of the first 3 centuries, if by "obvious ecclesiology" we mean the picture related by the vast majority of contemporary historians. If "obvious ecclesiology" refers to something other than that, then how is it "obvious" or who are we to suppose it is obvious to?

To be fair, with the additional quotes/explanations, it seems clear Fr. Cleenewerck is not arguing for 'modern Roman Catholic ecclesiology'. But one of the problems with his argument is that if one wants a 'worldwide primate' then Rome is the only actual game in town. They are the only ones who have ever instantiated such a concept. Fr. Cleenewerck seems to be implying that the EP has filled that role for Orthodox since the departure of Rome, but I don't think even the majority of Greeks would agree with that assessment much less the other Churches which make up our communion (and that's assuming I'm correctly understanding Fr. cleenewerck from the excerpts provided). So your options are Rome, a new ecclesiology no ones ever actually seen before, or abandoning talk of a 'worldwide primate' and getting back to the (unquestionably messy) actualities of Orthodox history.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 16, 2012, 11:50:47 PM
With the exception of the Churches of Jerusalem (participates to a very limited extent) and Bulgaria I think that all Orthodox Churches participate in dialogue with Catholics and to a lesser extent with Protestants.


Let me recycle an older post dealing with our involvement with the various dialogues.


Orthodox Ecumenism:  The 50 Years from Oberlin 1957 to Ravenna 2007

To get some sense of balance and background knowledge into this conversation I
want to present a few official examples which show the consistency and
ultra-conservatism of the official Orthodox viewpoint throughout the years of
ecumenism... the unbending and inflexible insistence that Orthodoxy alone
constitutes the One Church. Yes, there were weird lapses at some events such as
the pagan smoke ceremony but on a deeper level the Orthodox have not strayed
from their own reality.




1. 1957.... The Statement of the Representatives of the Greek Orthodox
Church in the USA at the North American Faith and Order Study
Conference, Oberlin, Ohio, September 1957. This is quite unequivocal
about the uniqueness of Orthodoxy as the Church.

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/gocamerica_faith_order_sept_1957.htm



2. 1980s.... The contretemps in the 1980s at the International Roman
Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue which saw a walk-out of the
Catholic participants when the Orthodox delegates declared that they
were unable to accept Catholic baptism per se. These were not fringy
palaeohiemerologhites but the most ecumenically minded bishops and
theologians of the canonical Orthodox Churches. This question has
never been revisited in the international dialogue but one day it will
need to be faced head on.


3. 1986.... Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar (WCC)
Conference, Chambesy, 1986:

"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."

Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy,
1986

Section III, Paragraph 6
http://www.incommunion.org/articles/ecumenical-movement/chambesy-1986


4. 1997..... Even the most ecumenical Patriarch of Micklegarth His
Divine All-Holiness Bartholomew scandalised the Catholics with his
presentation at the Jesuit University of Georgetown in 1997 when he
declared:

"The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different.
Unless our ontological transfiguration and transformation toward one
common model of life is achieved, not only in form but also in
substance, unity and its accompanying realization become impossible."

Full text at
http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/bartholomew_phos.html


The Jesuits declared morosely that Patr. Bartholomew had set the
dialogue back 10 years.  Nobody else really understood what
the Patriarch had said,


5. 2000..... The important Statement on Orthodoxy and its ecumenical
relationships with non-Orthodox Churches issued by the 2000
Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church:

"Basic Principles of the Attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Toward the
Other Christian Confessions"

It basically repeats what the Greeks said at Oberlin Ohio in 1957
and even more emphatically - the boundaries of the Church are
the Orthodox Church herself.

Concerning the Branch Theory...
2.5. "The so-called "branch theory", which is connected with the conception
referred to above and asserts the normal and even providential nature of
Christianity existing in the form of particular "branches", is also totally
unacceptable."

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/roc_other_christian_confessions.htm



6. 2007..... Catholic-Orthodox International Theological Meeting Ravenna
Sept 07

"Note [1] Orthodox participants felt it important to emphasize that
the use of the terms "the Church", "the universal Church", "the
indivisible Church" and "the Body of Christ" in this document and in
similar documents produced by the Joint Commission in no way
undermines the self-understanding of the Orthodox Church as the one,
holy, catholic and apostolic Church, of which the Nicene Creed
speaks."

http://www.orthodoxeurope.org/page/14/130.aspx#2

Granted, that's an impressive list of quotes.

If I'm not mistaken, however, there's no agreement on whether the Oriental Orthodox are "outside of the Church". (Not that I've ever been Oriental Orthodox.)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 17, 2012, 12:06:04 AM
With the exception of the Churches of Jerusalem (participates to a very limited extent) and Bulgaria I think that all Orthodox Churches participate in dialogue with Catholics and to a lesser extent with Protestants.


Let me recycle an older post dealing with our involvement with the various dialogues.


Orthodox Ecumenism:  The 50 Years from Oberlin 1957 to Ravenna 2007

To get some sense of balance and background knowledge into this conversation I
want to present a few official examples which show the consistency and
ultra-conservatism of the official Orthodox viewpoint throughout the years of
ecumenism... the unbending and inflexible insistence that Orthodoxy alone
constitutes the One Church. Yes, there were weird lapses at some events such as
the pagan smoke ceremony but on a deeper level the Orthodox have not strayed
from their own reality.




1. 1957.... The Statement of the Representatives of the Greek Orthodox
Church in the USA at the North American Faith and Order Study
Conference, Oberlin, Ohio, September 1957. This is quite unequivocal
about the uniqueness of Orthodoxy as the Church.

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/gocamerica_faith_order_sept_1957.htm



2. 1980s.... The contretemps in the 1980s at the International Roman
Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue which saw a walk-out of the
Catholic participants when the Orthodox delegates declared that they
were unable to accept Catholic baptism per se. These were not fringy
palaeohiemerologhites but the most ecumenically minded bishops and
theologians of the canonical Orthodox Churches. This question has
never been revisited in the international dialogue but one day it will
need to be faced head on.


3. 1986.... Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar (WCC)
Conference, Chambesy, 1986:

"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."

Report of the Third Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference, Chambesy,
1986

Section III, Paragraph 6
http://www.incommunion.org/articles/ecumenical-movement/chambesy-1986


4. 1997..... Even the most ecumenical Patriarch of Micklegarth His
Divine All-Holiness Bartholomew scandalised the Catholics with his
presentation at the Jesuit University of Georgetown in 1997 when he
declared:

"The manner in which we exist has become ontologically different.
Unless our ontological transfiguration and transformation toward one
common model of life is achieved, not only in form but also in
substance, unity and its accompanying realization become impossible."

Full text at
http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/bartholomew_phos.html


The Jesuits declared morosely that Patr. Bartholomew had set the
dialogue back 10 years.  Nobody else really understood what
the Patriarch had said,


5. 2000..... The important Statement on Orthodoxy and its ecumenical
relationships with non-Orthodox Churches issued by the 2000
Millennial Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church:

"Basic Principles of the Attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Toward the
Other Christian Confessions"

It basically repeats what the Greeks said at Oberlin Ohio in 1957
and even more emphatically - the boundaries of the Church are
the Orthodox Church herself.

Concerning the Branch Theory...
2.5. "The so-called "branch theory", which is connected with the conception
referred to above and asserts the normal and even providential nature of
Christianity existing in the form of particular "branches", is also totally
unacceptable."

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/roc_other_christian_confessions.htm



6. 2007..... Catholic-Orthodox International Theological Meeting Ravenna
Sept 07

"Note [1] Orthodox participants felt it important to emphasize that
the use of the terms "the Church", "the universal Church", "the
indivisible Church" and "the Body of Christ" in this document and in
similar documents produced by the Joint Commission in no way
undermines the self-understanding of the Orthodox Church as the one,
holy, catholic and apostolic Church, of which the Nicene Creed
speaks."

http://www.orthodoxeurope.org/page/14/130.aspx#2

Granted, that's an impressive list of quotes.

If I'm not mistaken, however, there's no agreement on whether the Oriental Orthodox are "outside of the Church". (Not that I've ever been Oriental Orthodox.)

I think there is agreement.  I have never seen a statement from an Orthodox Synod that the Oriental Orthodox are members of our Church and that we are in communion with them.  I have never heard of a bishop of our Church serving Liturgy with an Oriental bishop.

If I am wrong on this I stand to be corrected.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 17, 2012, 12:13:04 AM
I think there is agreement. 

Well, that's possible. I'm no expert on the subject.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 17, 2012, 04:46:02 AM

It's been a little while since I read the Ravenna document, and I don't feel like rereading the whole thing. Is this the relevant part:

Concerning primacy at the different levels, we wish to affirm the following points:

1. Primacy at all levels is a practice firmly grounded in the canonical tradition of the Church.

2. While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West
,

This is such an egregious lie that it takes the breath away.  They cannot produce one canon which speaks of primacy at the universal level.   It is really distressing to see the Orthodox present at this meeting promulgate such a gross lie.  God forgive them!

As far as I can see they are simply presenting another possible Orthodox perspective and understanding of history.

God forgive you for condemning them falsely.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 18, 2012, 03:12:03 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 18, 2012, 04:55:28 PM

It's been a little while since I read the Ravenna document, and I don't feel like rereading the whole thing. Is this the relevant part:

Concerning primacy at the different levels, we wish to affirm the following points:

1. Primacy at all levels is a practice firmly grounded in the canonical tradition of the Church.

2. While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West
,

This is such an egregious lie that it takes the breath away.  They cannot produce one canon which speaks of primacy at the universal level.   It is really distressing to see the Orthodox present at this meeting promulgate such a gross lie.  God forgive them!

As far as I can see they are simply presenting another possible Orthodox perspective and understanding of history.

God forgive you for condemning them falsely
.


Let me repeat...

It is a lie for any Orthodox to state "Primacy at all levels is a practice firmly grounded in the canonical tradition of the Church."

It is another lie to state "While the fact of primacy at the universal level is accepted by both East and West."

Show us the canons or in fact anything from an Ecumenical Council dealing with primacy on the universal level.

Show us even just one canon which describes universal primacy, which designates who exercises it and how he exercises it, which speaks of the relationship of that person to the Church and his authority over the Church.

It was precisely this erroneous and deceptive statement in the Ravenna Statement which horrified the bishops of Greece and made them forbid the issuing of any further Joint Statements without the approval of their Synod.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 18, 2012, 04:57:53 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 18, 2012, 05:08:00 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon.  As we have been repeatedly told by our Catholic friends here:  if it is not magisterial teaching (limbo, etc.) do not claim it as part of Catholic doctrinal teaching.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 18, 2012, 05:27:13 PM
A related question to the OP regarding the possibility of theosis is the question of the way. Is there a difference of way, as described by Vladimir Lossky? :

"Since the separation, the ways which lead to sanctity are not the same in the West as in the East. The one proves its fidelity to Christ in the solitude and abandonment of the night of Gethsemane, the other gains certainty of union with God in the light of the Transfiguration." -Vladimir Lossky, MTEC (this is but one example of how Lossky considers the ways which lead to sanctity to differ W vs. E; judicial merit theology -dogmatically integral only in the West- also comes to mind among other things).

Also the question of what one might be moving toward along the way is worth discussing, it seems to me, e.g. do Roman Catholics embrace the Orthodox view of union with the uncreated energies of God as affirmed by St. Gregory Palamas? (which is, of course, what theosis is from an Orthodox POV).


Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Deacon Lance on January 18, 2012, 06:03:05 PM
I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon.  As we have been repeatedly told by our Catholic friends here:  if it is not magisterial teaching (limbo, etc.) do not claim it as part of Catholic doctrinal teaching.

Now you have, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
 
759   ”The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life,” to which he calls all men in his Son. “The Father . . . determined to call together in a holy Church those who should believe in Christ.” This “family of God” is gradually formed and takes shape during the stages of human history, in keeping with the Father’s plan. In fact, “already present in figure at the beginning of the world, this Church was prepared in marvelous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and the old Advance. Established in this last age of the world and made manifest in the outpouring of the Spirit, it will be brought to glorious completion at the end of time.”

1988  Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ’s Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which is the Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself: [God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature. . . . For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.

1999  The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification: Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.
 
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 18, 2012, 06:07:03 PM
As far as I can see they are simply presenting another possible Orthodox perspective and understanding of history.

Well, it's certainly another possible perspective and understanding of history. Whether it's Orthodox or not would be a separate question that can only validated by checking it against things Orthodox actually consider authoritative, like synodical decisions, the declarations of ecumenical councils, etc.

This is going to take this thread even further off-topic but I think it's important to clarify how Orthodox view these joint statements because one of the strongest non-traditionalist arguments against the way Orthodoxy currently conducts ecumenism is that it is actually very misleading to those we are dialoguing with.

When Rome sends representatives to one of these consultations, those representatives actually ‘represent’ Rome, in the sense that even if the Pope didn’t hand-pick them, someone who answers to the Pope, or someone who answers to someone who answers to the Pope did so. And if the Pope doesn’t feel they are doing a good job representing the Roman position, they can and will be replaced. Orthodoxy doesn’t work like that—even if you think of it in terms of each representative representing only his own autocephalous church, he does not do so in the same sense that Roman representatives represent the Pope.

Orthodox synods like to do things by consensus when possible. One practical consequence of this is that when an issue comes before the synod and a minority of bishops feel very strongly about it, while the majority don’t have strong feelings one way or the other (or are even slightly negative, but to a lesser degree than the positive side is positive), it is not at all uncommon for the synod to let the minority have their way. So when the administrative synod of a local Church meets and the topic comes up ‘we’re invited to such-and-such consultation’, there may be only two or three bishops who have strong feelings that the Church should send a representative, while the rest of the bishops think, “I’m not interested, but I suppose there’s no harm in talking.’ And thus the synod decides to send representatives in a decision that really amounts to ‘well, let Bishops X & Y do what they want, it doesn’t really matter’. And so representatives ‘from Local Church X’ are selected and go to the consultation. But they don’t actually represent the primate, or the entire synod, or even the entire administrative synod. They actually represent the 2 or 3 bishops who are most pro-dialogue in the entire Church. If the representative actually is a hierarch, then he at least represents 1 vote in the synod. But If he’s not a hierarch then he’s generally a compromise candidates, meaning that while he was selected by the bishops who were pro-dialogue, he doesn’t actually representative any of them individually, and he may disagree with each on a number of individual topics.

This is why Orthodox rarely treat ‘Joint Statements’ as particularly persuasive much less authoritative. For us, they are little more than the personal opinions of the attendees—attendees that are largely self-selected from the most extreme pro-ecumenical margin of the Church in the first place. If the opinions are Orthodox, they can be supported the same way any other Orthodox opinion is—by reference to Scripture, the Fathers, and the formal decisions of synods. If they are not, there presence in a ‘Joint Statement’ doesn’t make them any more Orthodox. As many problems as I have with Lyons and Florence they represent the only type of ecumenical dialogue whose pronouncements can actually mean anything—because the synod actually participated rather than simply acquiescing to someone going off to talk.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 18, 2012, 11:03:58 PM
As far as I can see they are simply presenting another possible Orthodox perspective and understanding of history.

Well, it's certainly another possible perspective and understanding of history. Whether it's Orthodox or not would be a separate question that can only validated by checking it against things Orthodox actually consider authoritative, like synodical decisions, the declarations of ecumenical councils, etc.

This is going to take this thread even further off-topic but I think it's important to clarify how Orthodox view these joint statements because one of the strongest non-traditionalist arguments against the way Orthodoxy currently conducts ecumenism is that it is actually very misleading to those we are dialoguing with.

When Rome sends representatives to one of these consultations, those representatives actually ‘represent’ Rome, in the sense that even if the Pope didn’t hand-pick them, someone who answers to the Pope, or someone who answers to someone who answers to the Pope did so. And if the Pope doesn’t feel they are doing a good job representing the Roman position, they can and will be replaced. Orthodoxy doesn’t work like that—even if you think of it in terms of each representative representing only his own autocephalous church, he does not do so in the same sense that Roman representatives represent the Pope.

Orthodox synods like to do things by consensus when possible. One practical consequence of this is that when an issue comes before the synod and a minority of bishops feel very strongly about it, while the majority don’t have strong feelings one way or the other (or are even slightly negative, but to a lesser degree than the positive side is positive), it is not at all uncommon for the synod to let the minority have their way. So when the administrative synod of a local Church meets and the topic comes up ‘we’re invited to such-and-such consultation’, there may be only two or three bishops who have strong feelings that the Church should send a representative, while the rest of the bishops think, “I’m not interested, but I suppose there’s no harm in talking.’ And thus the synod decides to send representatives in a decision that really amounts to ‘well, let Bishops X & Y do what they want, it doesn’t really matter’. And so representatives ‘from Local Church X’ are selected and go to the consultation. But they don’t actually represent the primate, or the entire synod, or even the entire administrative synod. They actually represent the 2 or 3 bishops who are most pro-dialogue in the entire Church. If the representative actually is a hierarch, then he at least represents 1 vote in the synod. But If he’s not a hierarch then he’s generally a compromise candidates, meaning that while he was selected by the bishops who were pro-dialogue, he doesn’t actually representative any of them individually, and he may disagree with each on a number of individual topics.

This is why Orthodox rarely treat ‘Joint Statements’ as particularly persuasive much less authoritative. For us, they are little more than the personal opinions of the attendees—attendees that are largely self-selected from the most extreme pro-ecumenical margin of the Church in the first place. If the opinions are Orthodox, they can be supported the same way any other Orthodox opinion is—by reference to Scripture, the Fathers, and the formal decisions of synods. If they are not, there presence in a ‘Joint Statement’ doesn’t make them any more Orthodox. As many problems as I have with Lyons and Florence they represent the only type of ecumenical dialogue whose pronouncements can actually mean anything—because the synod actually participated rather than simply acquiescing to someone going off to talk.

Thanks for that post, witega. I don't think I've ever heard it described like that before.

One question (for now, maybe more tomorrow): Does what you said apply strictly to EO-RC dialogue, or does it also apply to EO-OO dialogue?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 18, 2012, 11:59:48 PM
Thanks for that post, witega. I don't think I've ever heard it described like that before.

One question (for now, maybe more tomorrow): Does what you said apply strictly to EO-RC dialogue, or does it also apply to EO-OO dialogue?

I would say yes and no.

Objectively yes. What I described above is basically systemic and applies to any ecumenical activity the EO participate in.

The no part of my answer is more subjective, but my perception is that while the 'Joint Declarations' themselves aren't any more authoritative than the ones from the EO-RC dialogue, the contents aren't nearly so controversial. That is, when people who aren't direct participants in the dialogue start to compare them "Scripture, the Fathers, and the formal decisions of synods" they stand up much better, and one doesn't see the kind of extended critiques by hierarchs and theologians one sees of the EO-RC declarations. Beyond that, our hieararchs seem much more directly engaged with that dialogue--which might a product of circumstance (much more shared geography, language, and culture between whole synods) or a chicken-and-egg thing (initial meetings were particularly positive which resulted in more hierarchical attention which resulted in more real progress, etc). Indeed, my impression of the EO-OO dialogue is that at this point its almost the opposite of what I described above--that is, that the majority of bishops are positive or very positive, but since the next step really *will* matter, no one wants to make the final move without complete unanimity which hasn't quite been achieved yet.

(And I don't want to speak for the OO's but I rather get the impression that most of what I said in the first and this post would apply to them as well).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 12:33:39 AM
A related question to the OP regarding the possibility of theosis is the question of the way. Is there a difference of way, as described by Vladimir Lossky? :

"Since the separation, the ways which lead to sanctity are not the same in the West as in the East. The one proves its fidelity to Christ in the solitude and abandonment of the night of Gethsemane, the other gains certainty of union with God in the light of the Transfiguration." -Vladimir Lossky, MTEC (this is but one example of how Lossky considers the ways which lead to sanctity to differ W vs. E; judicial merit theology -dogmatically integral only in the West- also comes to mind among other things).

Also the question of what one might be moving toward along the way is worth discussing, it seems to me, e.g. do Roman Catholics embrace the Orthodox view of union with the uncreated energies of God as affirmed by St. Gregory Palamas? (which is, of course, what theosis is from an Orthodox POV).


Dear Xariskai,

I think you are moving into the heart of the matter...... the question, for Catholics, hinges on whether theosis is seen as possible within their theology.

In fact it does not appear to bepossible  since in order for theosis to “work” one must accept several important theological understandings which are strongly denied in classic Roman Catholic theology – the distinction within the Divinity of Essence and Energies being the most crucial.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Hesychasm written by Father Adrian Fortescue http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07301a.htm highlights why Hesychasm (and hence theosis) cannot work in Catholic theology.  It is contrary to the foundational Catholic understanding of the simplicity of God and to Catholic understandings of grace (created vs. uncreated.)

The OP’s question is therefore answered with a No!  - not by the Orthodox but by the theology of Catholicism itself.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 12:46:21 AM
The citations from the Catechism are not entirely apropos since they do not address the Essence-Energy distinction, nor do they explicilty state that grace is God.  It coyly avoids that since this idea only began to be acceptable in the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner and was seen as a revolutionary approach at the time.  It is still not welcomed in much of Catholicism.

It is also worrying that they appear to be at odds with what the Catholic Encyclopedia writes.   One or the other must be erroneous teaching.  Is this an example of the Catholic Church changing its teaching after Vatican II and , in this instance, moving their people closer to Orthodoxy? It must be welcomed.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon.  As we have been repeatedly told by our Catholic friends here:  if it is not magisterial teaching (limbo, etc.) do not claim it as part of Catholic doctrinal teaching.

Now you have, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
 
759   ”The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life,” to which he calls all men in his Son. “The Father . . . determined to call together in a holy Church those who should believe in Christ.” This “family of God” is gradually formed and takes shape during the stages of human history, in keeping with the Father’s plan. In fact, “already present in figure at the beginning of the world, this Church was prepared in marvelous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and the old Advance. Established in this last age of the world and made manifest in the outpouring of the Spirit, it will be brought to glorious completion at the end of time.”

1988  Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ’s Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which is the Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself: [God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature. . . . For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.

1999  The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification: Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.
 
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 12:58:57 AM
As far as I can see they are simply presenting another possible Orthodox perspective and understanding of history.

Well, it's certainly another possible perspective and understanding of history. Whether it's Orthodox or not would be a separate question that can only validated by checking it against things Orthodox actually consider authoritative, like synodical decisions, the declarations of ecumenical councils, etc.

This is going to take this thread even further off-topic but I think it's important to clarify how Orthodox view these joint statements because one of the strongest non-traditionalist arguments against the way Orthodoxy currently conducts ecumenism is that it is actually very misleading to those we are dialoguing with.

When Rome sends representatives to one of these consultations, those representatives actually ‘represent’ Rome, in the sense that even if the Pope didn’t hand-pick them, someone who answers to the Pope, or someone who answers to someone who answers to the Pope did so. And if the Pope doesn’t feel they are doing a good job representing the Roman position, they can and will be replaced. Orthodoxy doesn’t work like that—even if you think of it in terms of each representative representing only his own autocephalous church, he does not do so in the same sense that Roman representatives represent the Pope.

Orthodox synods like to do things by consensus when possible. One practical consequence of this is that when an issue comes before the synod and a minority of bishops feel very strongly about it, while the majority don’t have strong feelings one way or the other (or are even slightly negative, but to a lesser degree than the positive side is positive), it is not at all uncommon for the synod to let the minority have their way. So when the administrative synod of a local Church meets and the topic comes up ‘we’re invited to such-and-such consultation’, there may be only two or three bishops who have strong feelings that the Church should send a representative, while the rest of the bishops think, “I’m not interested, but I suppose there’s no harm in talking.’ And thus the synod decides to send representatives in a decision that really amounts to ‘well, let Bishops X & Y do what they want, it doesn’t really matter’. And so representatives ‘from Local Church X’ are selected and go to the consultation. But they don’t actually represent the primate, or the entire synod, or even the entire administrative synod. They actually represent the 2 or 3 bishops who are most pro-dialogue in the entire Church. If the representative actually is a hierarch, then he at least represents 1 vote in the synod. But If he’s not a hierarch then he’s generally a compromise candidates, meaning that while he was selected by the bishops who were pro-dialogue, he doesn’t actually representative any of them individually, and he may disagree with each on a number of individual topics.

This is why Orthodox rarely treat ‘Joint Statements’ as particularly persuasive much less authoritative. For us, they are little more than the personal opinions of the attendees—attendees that are largely self-selected from the most extreme pro-ecumenical margin of the Church in the first place. If the opinions are Orthodox, they can be supported the same way any other Orthodox opinion is—by reference to Scripture, the Fathers, and the formal decisions of synods. If they are not, there presence in a ‘Joint Statement’ doesn’t make them any more Orthodox. As many problems as I have with Lyons and Florence they represent the only type of ecumenical dialogue whose pronouncements can actually mean anything—because the synod actually participated rather than simply acquiescing to someone going off to talk.

Thanks for that post, witega. I don't think I've ever heard it described like that before.

I made mention of it in post 168, and have written of it in several places in other threads.   Not as eloquently as Witega though.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 19, 2012, 01:20:13 AM
460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

yep, that's theosis :)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 01:28:53 AM
460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

yep, that's theosis :)

Then somebody should announce the glad tidings to the Catholic faithful.   Talk of theosis and becoming "partakers of the divine nature" generally astounds them and they ask, with a glazed look in their eyes "Father, have you become a Buddhist?"   :laugh:

They will then try to explain to you that eternal life is NOT about participation in Divinity but about the Beatific Vision of God.  And that is indeed the authentic Catholic teaching.

"That the blessed see God is a dogma of faith, expressly defined by Benedict XII (1336):

"We define that the souls of all the saints in heaven have seen and do see the Divine Essence by direct intuition and face to face [visione intuitivâ et etiam faciali], in such wise that nothing created intervenes as an object of vision, but the Divine Essence presents itself to their immediate gaze, unveiled, clearly and openly; moreover, that in this vision they enjoy the Divine Essence, and that, in virtue of this vision and this enjoyment, they are truly blessed and possess eternal life and eternal rest" (Denzinger, Enchiridion, ed. 10, n. 530--old edition, n, 456; cf. nn. 693, 1084, 1458 old, nn. 588, 868)."

"Supernatural character of heaven and the beatific vision"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07170a.htm

There is no need to point out how entirely antithetical the papal teaching is for the Orthodox.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 09:28:36 AM
The citations from the Catechism are not entirely apropos since they do not address the Essence-Energy distinction, nor do they explicilty state that grace is God.  It coyly avoids that since this idea only began to be acceptable in the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner and was seen as a revolutionary approach at the time.  It is still not welcomed in much of Catholicism.

It is also worrying that they appear to be at odds with what the Catholic Encyclopedia writes.   One or the other must be erroneous teaching.  Is this an example of the Catholic Church changing its teaching after Vatican II and , in this instance, moving their people closer to Orthodoxy? It must be welcomed.

The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia is popular because of the websites that promote it: Newadvent, Catholic.com, and Catholicity (also Catholic.org IIRC).

I don't really know what Newadvent's owner's persuasion is (the website seems to have only one mission: promoting the Catholic Encyclopedia) but Catholic.com and Catholicity are definitely neo-conservative Catholic.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 09:29:26 AM
Thanks for that post, witega. I don't think I've ever heard it described like that before.

One question (for now, maybe more tomorrow): Does what you said apply strictly to EO-RC dialogue, or does it also apply to EO-OO dialogue?

I would say yes and no.

Objectively yes. What I described above is basically systemic and applies to any ecumenical activity the EO participate in.

The no part of my answer is more subjective, but my perception is that while the 'Joint Declarations' themselves aren't any more authoritative than the ones from the EO-RC dialogue, the contents aren't nearly so controversial. That is, when people who aren't direct participants in the dialogue start to compare them "Scripture, the Fathers, and the formal decisions of synods" they stand up much better, and one doesn't see the kind of extended critiques by hierarchs and theologians one sees of the EO-RC declarations. Beyond that, our hieararchs seem much more directly engaged with that dialogue--which might a product of circumstance (much more shared geography, language, and culture between whole synods) or a chicken-and-egg thing (initial meetings were particularly positive which resulted in more hierarchical attention which resulted in more real progress, etc). Indeed, my impression of the EO-OO dialogue is that at this point its almost the opposite of what I described above--that is, that the majority of bishops are positive or very positive, but since the next step really *will* matter, no one wants to make the final move without complete unanimity which hasn't quite been achieved yet.

(And I don't want to speak for the OO's but I rather get the impression that most of what I said in the first and this post would apply to them as well).

Alright, that makes sense.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 09:39:00 AM
As far as I can see they are simply presenting another possible Orthodox perspective and understanding of history.

Well, it's certainly another possible perspective and understanding of history. Whether it's Orthodox or not would be a separate question that can only validated by checking it against things Orthodox actually consider authoritative, like synodical decisions, the declarations of ecumenical councils, etc.

This is going to take this thread even further off-topic but I think it's important to clarify how Orthodox view these joint statements because one of the strongest non-traditionalist arguments against the way Orthodoxy currently conducts ecumenism is that it is actually very misleading to those we are dialoguing with.

When Rome sends representatives to one of these consultations, those representatives actually ‘represent’ Rome, in the sense that even if the Pope didn’t hand-pick them, someone who answers to the Pope, or someone who answers to someone who answers to the Pope did so. And if the Pope doesn’t feel they are doing a good job representing the Roman position, they can and will be replaced. Orthodoxy doesn’t work like that—even if you think of it in terms of each representative representing only his own autocephalous church, he does not do so in the same sense that Roman representatives represent the Pope.

Orthodox synods like to do things by consensus when possible. One practical consequence of this is that when an issue comes before the synod and a minority of bishops feel very strongly about it, while the majority don’t have strong feelings one way or the other (or are even slightly negative, but to a lesser degree than the positive side is positive), it is not at all uncommon for the synod to let the minority have their way. So when the administrative synod of a local Church meets and the topic comes up ‘we’re invited to such-and-such consultation’, there may be only two or three bishops who have strong feelings that the Church should send a representative, while the rest of the bishops think, “I’m not interested, but I suppose there’s no harm in talking.’ And thus the synod decides to send representatives in a decision that really amounts to ‘well, let Bishops X & Y do what they want, it doesn’t really matter’. And so representatives ‘from Local Church X’ are selected and go to the consultation. But they don’t actually represent the primate, or the entire synod, or even the entire administrative synod. They actually represent the 2 or 3 bishops who are most pro-dialogue in the entire Church. If the representative actually is a hierarch, then he at least represents 1 vote in the synod. But If he’s not a hierarch then he’s generally a compromise candidates, meaning that while he was selected by the bishops who were pro-dialogue, he doesn’t actually representative any of them individually, and he may disagree with each on a number of individual topics.

This is why Orthodox rarely treat ‘Joint Statements’ as particularly persuasive much less authoritative. For us, they are little more than the personal opinions of the attendees—attendees that are largely self-selected from the most extreme pro-ecumenical margin of the Church in the first place. If the opinions are Orthodox, they can be supported the same way any other Orthodox opinion is—by reference to Scripture, the Fathers, and the formal decisions of synods. If they are not, there presence in a ‘Joint Statement’ doesn’t make them any more Orthodox. As many problems as I have with Lyons and Florence they represent the only type of ecumenical dialogue whose pronouncements can actually mean anything—because the synod actually participated rather than simply acquiescing to someone going off to talk.

Thanks for that post, witega. I don't think I've ever heard it described like that before.

I made mention of it in post 168,

Perhaps, although I can't say it is easy for me to see how it's the same as what witega said ...

Yes, it is an excellent statement by the bishops of Greece (although the English translation could be improved.) 

It places the bishops in the driving seat with the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and that is where they should always have been.  But I believe that they saw ecumenism as the hobby horse of an few enthusiastic theologians and bishops.   However when they realised, after Ravenna, that the dialogue was steering into dangerous waters with the discussion of a “worldwide primate” they felt they had to take control.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 01:10:04 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon. 

Nonsense.  It is Scriptural.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 03:29:10 PM
The citations from the Catechism are not entirely apropos since they do not address the Essence-Energy distinction, nor do they explicilty state that grace is God.  It coyly avoids that since this idea only began to be acceptable in the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner and was seen as a revolutionary approach at the time.  It is still not welcomed in much of Catholicism.

This too is nonsense.  Grace is God...Grace is the Indwelling in communication with each person individually.

Ask St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross...

Your Catholic formation leaves a great deal to be desired.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 03:47:21 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon. 

Nonsense.  It is Scriptural.

Nonsense.  The ordinary Catholic priest has never heard of it.  Are they scripturally challenged?   It was completely unknown when I went through the Catholic educational system, primary to tertiary.

Father Adrian Fortescue writes (in the Encyclopedia article) of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration.  That comes with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 04:00:05 PM
The citations from the Catechism are not entirely apropos since they do not address the Essence-Energy distinction, nor do they explicilty state that grace is God.  It coyly avoids that since this idea only began to be acceptable in the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner and was seen as a revolutionary approach at the time.  It is still not welcomed in much of Catholicism.

This too is nonsense.  Grace is God...Grace is the Indwelling in communication with each person individually.

Ask St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross...

Your Catholic formation leaves a great deal to be desired.

I invite you to read the work of the great theologian of last century Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago. You will discover that he brought back into the Catholic Church the patristic understanding of grace as God.  But you will also discover that this was not a welcome teaching in much of the Catholic Church.  In part the Catholic Church is hampered by a lack of developed knowledge of created and uncreated and it works within the categories of natural, praeternatural, supernatural, God (categories not known in the East.)

As far as I am aware ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within RC theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Catholic doctrine.

For more details please see message 916 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436474.html#msg436474

It speaks of the "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commencing in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 04:02:46 PM
460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

yep, that's theosis :)

Then somebody should announce the glad tidings to the Catholic faithful.   Talk of theosis and becoming "partakers of the divine nature" generally astounds them and they ask, with a glazed look in their eyes "Father, have you become a Buddhist?"   :laugh:


More nonsense.  I am surrounded by tens of thousands of Roman rite Catholics who read Scripture and know that divinization is participation in the divine life...as it is told them in Scripture.

You make yourself look silly when you do this kind of thing.  I pray you outgrow the need.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 04:02:46 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon. 

Nonsense.  It is Scriptural.

Nonsense.  The ordinary Catholic priest has never heard of it.  Are they scripturally challenged?   It was completely unknown when I went through the Catholic educational system, primary to tertiary.

Father Adrian Fortescue writes (in the Encyclopedia article) of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration.  That comes with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

You elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.

Father Adrian did not understand that the breathing exercise of hesychasm was not the same thing as the breathing exercise of the oriental monks of Tibet.  His response was culture-bound.

And yes...Your assertion that Catholics do not know that divinization/theosis is our participation in the divine life is indeed nonsense. 

PS: I know a few ignorant priests myself.  I don't evaluate Catholic teaching because of their idiocies.  I remember being told by one that the Church no longer teaches anything about grace because it is too confusing.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 04:28:43 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon. 

Nonsense.  It is Scriptural.

Nonsense.  The ordinary Catholic priest has never heard of it.  Are they scripturally challenged?   It was completely unknown when I went through the Catholic educational system, primary to tertiary.

Father Adrian Fortescue writes (in the Encyclopedia article) of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration.  That comes with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 04:41:30 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon. 

Nonsense.  It is Scriptural.

Nonsense.  The ordinary Catholic priest has never heard of it.  Are they scripturally challenged?   It was completely unknown when I went through the Catholic educational system, primary to tertiary.

Father Adrian Fortescue writes (in the Encyclopedia article) of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration.  That comes with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

You elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.

Father Adrian did not understand that the breathing exercise of hesychasm was not the same thing as the breathing exercise of the oriental monks of Tibet.  His response was culture-bound.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07301a.htm

Fortescue:  There was a very faint echo of Hesychasm in the West. Latin theology on the whole was too deeply impregnated with the Aristotelean Scholastic system to tolerate a theory that opposed its very foundation. That all created beings are composed of actus and potentia, that God alone is actus purus, simple as He is infinite — this is the root of all Scholastic natural theology. Nevertheless one or two Latins seem to have had ideas similar to Hesychasm. Gilbertus Porretanus (de la Porrée, d. 1154) is quoted as having said that the Divine essence is not God — implying some kind of real distinction; John of Varennes, a hermit in the Diocese of Reims (c. 1396), said that the Apostles at the Transfiguration had seen the Divine essence as clearly as it is seen in heaven. About the same time John of Brescain made a proposition: Creatam lucem infinitam et immensam esse. But these isolated opinions formed no school. We know of them chiefly through the indignant condemnations they at once provoked. St. Bernard wrote to refute Gilbert de la Porrée; the University of Paris and the legate Odo condemned John of Brescain's proposition. Hesychasm has never had a party among Catholics. In the Orthodox Church the controversy, waged furiously just at the time when the enemies of the empire were finally overturning it and unity among its last defenders was the most crying need, is a significant witness of the decay of a lost cause.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 19, 2012, 04:43:48 PM
The citations from the Catechism are not entirely apropos since they do not address the Essence-Energy distinction, nor do they explicilty state that grace is God.  It coyly avoids that since this idea only began to be acceptable in the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner and was seen as a revolutionary approach at the time.  It is still not welcomed in much of Catholicism.

This too is nonsense.  Grace is God...Grace is the Indwelling in communication with each person individually.

Ask St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross...

Your Catholic formation leaves a great deal to be desired.

I thought grace was created according to Catholics?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 04:46:15 PM
Do Catholics understand theosis in the same way that we do?

If you understand it as a creature's share in the divine life?...yes.

I've never seen any magisterial proclamation on theosis from the Catholic Church.  I suspect that it is not Catholic teaching but something borrowed from the Orthodox by Catholics of the Eastern Rites as a kind of personal theologoumenon.  

Nonsense.  It is Scriptural.

Nonsense.  The ordinary Catholic priest has never heard of it.  Are they scripturally challenged?   It was completely unknown when I went through the Catholic educational system, primary to tertiary.

Father Adrian Fortescue writes (in the Encyclopedia article) of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration.  That comes with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.    Absent something from the Magisterium it is pie in the sky - and this is what we see here.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 19, 2012, 04:47:38 PM
460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

yep, that's theosis :)

Then somebody should announce the glad tidings to the Catholic faithful.   Talk of theosis and becoming "partakers of the divine nature" generally astounds them and they ask, with a glazed look in their eyes "Father, have you become a Buddhist?"   :laugh:


More nonsense.  I am surrounded by tens of thousands of Roman rite Catholics who read Scripture and know that divinization is participation in the divine life...as it is told them in Scripture.

You make yourself look silly when you do this kind of thing.  I pray you outgrow the need.

Please be mindful that you are talking to a member of our clergy... :(
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 19, 2012, 04:51:44 PM
They will then try to explain to you that eternal life is NOT about participation in Divinity but about the Beatific Vision of God.  And that is indeed the authentic Catholic teaching.

"That the blessed see God is a dogma of faith, expressly defined by Benedict XII (1336):

"We define that the souls of all the saints in heaven have seen and do see the Divine Essence by direct intuition and face to face [visione intuitivâ et etiam faciali], in such wise that nothing created intervenes as an object of vision, but the Divine Essence presents itself to their immediate gaze, unveiled, clearly and openly; moreover, that in this vision they enjoy the Divine Essence, and that, in virtue of this vision and this enjoyment, they are truly blessed and possess eternal life and eternal rest" (Denzinger, Enchiridion, ed. 10, n. 530--old edition, n, 456; cf. nn. 693, 1084, 1458 old, nn. 588, 868)."

"Supernatural character of heaven and the beatific vision"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07170a.htm

There is no need to point out how entirely antithetical the papal teaching is for the Orthodox.

Wow that is completely opposed to EO thought...so if Catholics believe in theosis, would they believe that they participate in the essence of God (i.e. become God by nature)?  :o Sounds like a slippery slope for me...if they can clearly see and "enjoy" the Divine Essence, then what stops them from participating in it?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 05:02:10 PM
The citations from the Catechism are not entirely apropos since they do not address the Essence-Energy distinction, nor do they explicilty state that grace is God.  It coyly avoids that since this idea only began to be acceptable in the 1940s with the writings of Karl Rahner and was seen as a revolutionary approach at the time.  It is still not welcomed in much of Catholicism.

This too is nonsense.  Grace is God...Grace is the Indwelling in communication with each person individually.

Ask St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross...

Your Catholic formation leaves a great deal to be desired.

I thought grace was created according to Catholics?

"Created grace" is a manner of speaking.  It does not mean that grace is something that is created by God, that is aside from God.  It means that God imparts himself to us in such a way so as we are not burned to a crisp by His gift of grace...so to speak.  Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".  The west does not use the language of essence and energies but he speaks in terms the sun and the sun's rays by analogy.  It became common in the more recent centuries to refer to "created grace"...but the meaning is as I have described it here.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 05:02:10 PM
460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

yep, that's theosis :)

Then somebody should announce the glad tidings to the Catholic faithful.   Talk of theosis and becoming "partakers of the divine nature" generally astounds them and they ask, with a glazed look in their eyes "Father, have you become a Buddhist?"   :laugh:


More nonsense.  I am surrounded by tens of thousands of Roman rite Catholics who read Scripture and know that divinization is participation in the divine life...as it is told them in Scripture.

You make yourself look silly when you do this kind of thing.  I pray you outgrow the need.

Please be mindful that you are talking to a member of our clergy... :(

I am mindful.  That is precisely what upsets me.   
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 05:12:36 PM
They will then try to explain to you that eternal life is NOT about participation in Divinity but about the Beatific Vision of God.  And that is indeed the authentic Catholic teaching.

"That the blessed see God is a dogma of faith, expressly defined by Benedict XII (1336):

"We define that the souls of all the saints in heaven have seen and do see the Divine Essence by direct intuition and face to face [visione intuitivâ et etiam faciali], in such wise that nothing created intervenes as an object of vision, but the Divine Essence presents itself to their immediate gaze, unveiled, clearly and openly; moreover, that in this vision they enjoy the Divine Essence, and that, in virtue of this vision and this enjoyment, they are truly blessed and possess eternal life and eternal rest" (Denzinger, Enchiridion, ed. 10, n. 530--old edition, n, 456; cf. nn. 693, 1084, 1458 old, nn. 588, 868)."

"Supernatural character of heaven and the beatific vision"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07170a.htm

There is no need to point out how entirely antithetical the papal teaching is for the Orthodox.


Wow that is completely opposed to EO thought...so if Catholics believe in theosis, would they believe that they participate in the essence of God (i.e. become God by nature)?  :o Sounds like a slippery slope for me...if they can clearly see and "enjoy" the Divine Essence, then what stops them from participating in it?

There we see something clearly defined by the Pope as dogma - the blessed in heaven see and enjoy the Divine Essence.

If theosis is also a dogma we would expect a similar dogmatic statement.  Theosis is, after all. a major truth. As far as I am aware there is no papal or magisterial statement and those promoting it are really flying by the seat of their pants.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 05:15:44 PM
 Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 05:20:39 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 05:28:21 PM
460  The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

yep, that's theosis :)

Then somebody should announce the glad tidings to the Catholic faithful.   Talk of theosis and becoming "partakers of the divine nature" generally astounds them and they ask, with a glazed look in their eyes "Father, have you become a Buddhist?"   :laugh:


More nonsense.  I am surrounded by tens of thousands of Roman rite Catholics who read Scripture and know that divinization is participation in the divine life...as it is told them in Scripture.

You make yourself look silly when you do this kind of thing.  I pray you outgrow the need.

Please be mindful that you are talking to a member of our clergy... :(

I am mindful.  That is precisely what upsets me.   

What upsets me is that you project, at least on this forum, a piecemeal view of Catholic theology.  Play up theosis as a personal predilicton.  Never mention that the Beatific Vision of the Divine Essence is the authentic Catholic teaching on life after death.  When we were kids the Beatific Vision was a frequent topic in catechism classes.   

The Baltimore Catechism....

420. Q. What is Heaven?

A. Heaven is the state of everlasting life in which we see God face to face, are made like unto Him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness.


"God face to face,"--that is, as He is. We shall not see Him with the eyes of the body, but of the soul. That we may see with our natural eyes, two things are necessary: first, an object to look at, and secondly, light to see it. Now, to see God in Heaven we need a special light, which is called the "light of glory." God Himself gives us this light and thus enables us to see Him as He is. This beautiful vision of God in Heaven is called the "beatific vision," and thus our whole life in Heaven--our joy and happiness--consists in the enjoyment of the beatific vision.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 05:32:33 PM
 Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Who would expect him to?

Catholic understanding is...

Natural
Praeternatural
Supernatural
God

There has been no comprehension of the very important orthodox distinction of

Created
Uncreated.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 05:34:04 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

If you or Mary could claim it, you would have the statement on the table in two seconds flat.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 19, 2012, 05:47:02 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 05:54:53 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 05:58:04 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Btw, I see you use "Deacon Lance."  A few days ago I was taken to task for using "Priest Cleenewerck."  It is correct terminology.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 05:59:55 PM

What upsets me is that you project, at least on this forum, a piecemeal view of Catholic theology. 


What I project here can readily be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the writings of saints and doctors of the Church and in the Holy Fathers of the Church, east and west.  

You seem to deny that the Holy Fathers of the east are also the patrimony of the Catholic Church.  They are not the sole property of Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 05:59:55 PM


Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Absolutely false witness to Catholic teaching concerning divinization.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 06:08:14 PM


Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Absolutely false witness to Catholic teaching concerning divinization.



What's your attitude to divine filiation?   Magisterial teaching?  Junk?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 06:13:35 PM


Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Absolutely false witness to Catholic teaching concerning divinization.



Catholic dogma is that in heaven you will enjoy the Beatific Vision and gaze unhindered upon the Divine Essence.

Not even theosis can offer that .... so maybe Catholics should hold to their own teaching which appears to be the better option.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 19, 2012, 06:20:12 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Btw, I see you use "Deacon Lance."  A few days ago I was taken to task for using "Priest Cleenewerck."  It is correct terminology.

 ???  Of course I use "Deacon Lance"--that's his moniker here, and I know of no other way to address him. 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 06:24:04 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Btw, I see you use "Deacon Lance."  A few days ago I was taken to task for using "Priest Cleenewerck."  It is correct terminology.

 ???  Of course I use "Deacon Lance"--that's his moniker here, and I know of no other way to address him. 

I was agreeing with you. :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 19, 2012, 06:25:15 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 19, 2012, 06:26:00 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Btw, I see you use "Deacon Lance."  A few days ago I was taken to task for using "Priest Cleenewerck."  It is correct terminology.

 ???  Of course I use "Deacon Lance"--that's his moniker here, and I know of no other way to address him. 

I was agreeing with you. :laugh:

Break open the champagne!!! ;D ;D :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 06:29:32 PM
 Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.

Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 06:38:51 PM


But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

Nonsense.  Please as an example see the teachings of St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross...and all subsequent teachings of the reformed Carmels...which is also the teachings of the Dominicans and Franciscans, uninterrupted to the present day, as well as the Benedictines who had some interruption from about the 1760's to the beginning of the 20th century.  Any good Catholic history of spirituality will give you that history...

Try Dom Jordan Aumann: www.domcentral.org/study/aumann/st/default.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 06:38:51 PM
 Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.

Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?

There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 06:44:52 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis?  

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.

I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: James2 on January 19, 2012, 06:48:23 PM

What upsets me is that you project, at least on this forum, a piecemeal view of Catholic theology. 


What I project here can readily be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the writings of saints and doctors of the Church and in the Holy Fathers of the Church, east and west.  

You seem to deny that the Holy Fathers of the east are also the patrimony of the Catholic Church.  They are not the sole property of Orthodoxy.


I think you've hit on something here.  Some Orthodox tend to restrict theology to the eastern tradition, whereas Catholic theology tends to encompass east as well as west, i.e., it's more catholic in the "universal" sense.

Maybe I'm just dense, but I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different.  Maybe they are in philosophical terms, but to the average layman and to potential converts, it sounds a lot like "tomayto" vs. "tomahto".  The experience of God is what really counts, and that's clear in both traditions.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 19, 2012, 08:02:18 PM

What upsets me is that you project, at least on this forum, a piecemeal view of Catholic theology. 


What I project here can readily be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the writings of saints and doctors of the Church and in the Holy Fathers of the Church, east and west.  

You seem to deny that the Holy Fathers of the east are also the patrimony of the Catholic Church.  They are not the sole property of Orthodoxy.


I think you've hit on something here.  Some Orthodox tend to restrict theology to the eastern tradition, whereas Catholic theology tends to encompass east as well as west, i.e., it's more catholic in the "universal" sense.

Maybe I'm just dense, but I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different.  Maybe they are in philosophical terms, but to the average layman and to potential converts, it sounds a lot like "tomayto" vs. "tomahto".  The experience of God is what really counts, and that's clear in both traditions.


Here is an interesting start on things:

http://erud-awakening.blogspot.com/2008/01/aristotle-east-and-west-energeia-in_11.html

From the close of this article we move forward to the respective saints, Aquinas in the west and Palamas in the east, who employ the works of Dionysius the Aeropagite in their understandings of God's essence and grace or energies.

Fast forward to the present:  It is my poor understanding that neither St. Denis, nor St. Thomas are well understood in the present...by many.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 08:56:21 PM
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different. 

Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.

Orthodox theosis is a train journey.

Catholic Beatific Vision is static, gazing upon a beautiful painting of a train and enjoying its beauty.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 09:37:49 PM
Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.

Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?

There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.

I was under the impression that he did talk about "created grace", so I took a look (not a very thorough look tbh). I managed to find "Is there created grace in Christ?" (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer29.htm) Now I haven't analysed this very thoroughly, and I can think of a number of possible alternatives (I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that "created grace" is actually a bad translation of something Aquinas said -- just consider situation with the phrase "praying to the saints"). But it appears to go against the idea that 'The phrase "created grace" comes later' than Aquinas.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Deacon Lance on January 19, 2012, 10:29:03 PM
II. Heaven

1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face:596

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.597

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is "to be with Christ." the elect live "in Christ,"598 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.599

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.600

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. the life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."601

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. the Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision":

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.602


1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."603





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
596 ⇒ 1 Jn 3:2; cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 13:12; ⇒ Rev 22:4.


597 Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49.


598 ⇒ Phil 1:23; cf. ⇒ Jn 14:3; ⇒ 1 Thess 4:17.


599 Cf. ⇒ Rev 2:17.


600 St. Ambrose, In Luc., 10, 121: PL 15, 1834A.


601 ⇒ 1 Cor 2:9.


602 St. Cyprian, Ep. 58, 10, 1: CSEL 3/2, 665.


603 ⇒ Rev 22:5; cf. ⇒ Mt 25:21, ⇒ 23.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2M.HTM#$1BU
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 19, 2012, 10:48:24 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?

II. Heaven

1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face:596

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.597

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is "to be with Christ." the elect live "in Christ,"598 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.599

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.600

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. the life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."601

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. the Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision":

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.602


1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."603





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
596 ⇒ 1 Jn 3:2; cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 13:12; ⇒ Rev 22:4.


597 Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49.


598 ⇒ Phil 1:23; cf. ⇒ Jn 14:3; ⇒ 1 Thess 4:17.


599 Cf. ⇒ Rev 2:17.


600 St. Ambrose, In Luc., 10, 121: PL 15, 1834A.


601 ⇒ 1 Cor 2:9.


602 St. Cyprian, Ep. 58, 10, 1: CSEL 3/2, 665.


603 ⇒ Rev 22:5; cf. ⇒ Mt 25:21, ⇒ 23.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2M.HTM#$1BU
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 19, 2012, 10:53:10 PM
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different.  

Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.

Orthodox theosis is a train journey.

Catholic Beatific Vision is static, gazing upon a beautiful painting of a train and enjoying its beauty.

JOHN MEYERENDORFF/EASTERN ORTHODOXY: THE ESSENCE OF GOD IS INACCESSIBLE

"The true purpose of creation is, therefore, not contemplation of divine essence (which is inaccessible), but communion in divine energy, transfiguration, and transparency to divine action in the world." (John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, p. 133).

AQUINAS/ROMAN CATHOLICISM: THE ESSENCE OF GOD IS SUPREMELY KNOWABLE

"Since everything is knowable according as it is actual, God, Who is pure act without any admixture of potentiality, is in Himself supremely knowable….Hence, it must be absolutely granted that the blessed see the essence of God." (ST I, Q.12, A.1).

Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.

Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?

There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.
The concept is there.

AQUINAS/ROMAN CATHOLICISM: GRACE TO SEE GOD'S ESSENCE IS A SUPERADDITION TO THE INTELLECT OF MAN
"On the contrary, It is written: In thy light we shall see light (Ps. xxxv. 10).
I answer that, Everything which is raised up to what exceeds its nature, must be prepared by some disposition above its nature; as, for example, if air is to receive the form of fire, it must be prepared by some disposition for such a form. But when any created intellect sees the essence of God, the essence of God itself becomes the intelligible form of the intellect. Hence it is necessary that some supernatural disposition should be added to the intellect in order that it may be raised up to such a great and sublime height. Now since the natural power of the created intellect does not avail to enable it to see the essence of God, as was shown in the preceding article, it is necessary that the power of understanding should be added by divine grace. Now this increase of the intellectual powers is called the illumination of the intellect, as we also call the intelligible object itself by the name of light of illumination. And this is the light spoken of in the Apocalypse (xxi. 23). The glory of God hath enlightened it – vis. the society of the blessed who see God. By this light the blessed are made deiform – that is, like to God. -Summa Theologica, First part/Art 5 of Q 12

To search further for created grace in Aquinas, click here (http://www.ccel.org/search/fulltext/created%20grace%20authorID%3Aaquinas%20bookID%3Asumma?authorID=aquinas&bookID=summa&advanced=). [to Christian Classics/Aquinas/ search]
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 19, 2012, 11:05:19 PM

You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.
Not for you, perhaps. But if so, as it seems, for Fr. Ambrose, then your theosis is his "theosis," and his theosis is your "theosis."

St. Gregory Palamas and hesychasm are paradigmatic for what theosis is for most Eastern Orthodox Christians. Do you affirm these traditions as they are understood and affirmed by most Orthodox Christians or not?

Do you fully and unreservedly agree with John Meyerendorff when he writes Meyendorff writes: "The true purpose of creation is, therefore, not contemplation of divine essence (which is inaccessible), but communion in divine energy, transfiguration, and transparency to divine action in the world." (Byzantine Theology, p. 133).

A related question to the OP regarding the possibility of theosis is the question of the way. Is there a difference of way, as described by Vladimir Lossky? :

"Since the separation, the ways which lead to sanctity are not the same in the West as in the East. The one proves its fidelity to Christ in the solitude and abandonment of the night of Gethsemane, the other gains certainty of union with God in the light of the Transfiguration." -Vladimir Lossky, MTEC (this is but one example of how Lossky considers the ways which lead to sanctity to differ W vs. E; judicial merit theology -dogmatically integral only in the West- also comes to mind among other things).

Also the question of what one might be moving toward along the way is worth discussing, it seems to me, e.g. do Roman Catholics embrace the Orthodox view of union with the uncreated energies of God as affirmed by St. Gregory Palamas? (which is, of course, what theosis is from an Orthodox POV).


Dear Xariskai,

I think you are moving into the heart of the matter...... the question, for Catholics, hinges on whether theosis is seen as possible within their theology.

In fact it does not appear to be possible  since in order for theosis to “work” one must accept several important theological understandings which are strongly denied in classic Roman Catholic theology – the distinction within the Divinity of Essence and Energies being the most crucial.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Hesychasm written by Father Adrian Fortescue http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07301a.htm highlights why Hesychasm (and hence theosis) cannot work in Catholic theology.  It is contrary to the foundational Catholic understanding of the simplicity of God and to Catholic understandings of grace (created vs. uncreated.)

The OP’s question is therefore answered with a No!  - not by the Orthodox but by the theology of Catholicism itself.
Oil and water it seems to me. We could call oil and water by the same name, but one would not work in an engine; the other would taste horrible with Kool Aid mix.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: James2 on January 19, 2012, 11:30:57 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Deacon Lance on January 19, 2012, 11:37:48 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

Don't know about the Ukrainian Catechism.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 11:39:21 PM
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different. 

Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.

In the dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans (LWF) in the late 20th century, it was found that various condemnations of each side against the other actually stemmed from using the same term in different ways. I won't go into great detail -- both because I don't think it would help this conversation much, and because I'm a bit rusty on them -- but I have to wonder if the situation we are discussing might be similar. Is it possible that the RCC means something different then EOs by "divine essence", and thus can speak of "seeing the divine essence" without contradicting EO dogma?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 19, 2012, 11:42:41 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?

I don't have any quotes to provide at the moment, but I think what Fr A is saying is the standard EO position. FWMTCIW.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ionnis on January 20, 2012, 12:03:29 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.

Oh yes, it is heresy.  It is in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy.  Read the chapters against Barlaam and Akindynus.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 20, 2012, 12:05:14 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.

The Palamite councils. And it's always been on the list--the Cappadocian Fathers, pseudo-Dionysius, St. Maximus, St. John of Damascus and indeed pretty much any Father who has written more than a couple of pages on the Trinity, not to mention multiple mentions in the Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom. And I can't think of a single text on Orthodox theology that doesn't put the unknowability of God in His Essence front and center because its axiomatic for our Trinitarian theology. I'm willing to leave the door open for Peter J's suggestion that Aquinas in Latin or modern Roman Catholics are using essence with a different meaning than it holds in the Orthodox Tradition, but if you are unaware of such a basic part of Orthodox thought, I'd strongly suggest reading a little bit about our theology before making claims about what we are or are not different from.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 12:54:20 AM

You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.

Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 12:57:59 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.

James, we are not looking for reasons to continue the schism.  Please do not be offended.  We are discussing the question about theosis raised by the OP, the question of theosis outside the Church.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 01:15:38 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that? 

The Synodikon of Orthodoxy

On those who admit, even against their will, the prophetic visions, but will not accept the making of images of what they saw—O wonder!—even before the Incarnation of the Word, but emptily say that the incomprehensible and unseen essence itself was seen by those who beheld it, or conclude that these things make manifest images, figures and forms of the truth to those who see them, but will not accept that the Word become man, and his sufferings for our sake, may be depicted in icons:

Anathema!


http://www.anastasis.org.uk/synodikon.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 20, 2012, 01:26:36 AM
we are not looking for reasons to continue the schism.  Please do not be offended.
+∞
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 06:44:45 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 06:55:27 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 20, 2012, 08:55:27 AM
It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.

Tut tut. I've conceded (or at least I meant to) that Dr. Dragani made a mistake by saying that "the transition from death to Heaven" is called "the Final Theosis", and that his later correction of this mistake was rather stingy. But I think it's silly of you to act as though he still persists in his mistake and never corrected it at all.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: James2 on January 20, 2012, 09:40:12 AM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

Heresy?  Really?  When did that get added to the list?  What council says that?  Seems like you're just looking for more reasons that the Orthodox and Catholic churches should remain divided.  We're really not all that different.

James, we are not looking for reasons to continue the schism.  Please do not be offended.  We are discussing the question about theosis raised by the OP, the question of theosis outside the Church.

I'm not offended, but it is not helpful to fling charges of heresy in a matter where, as Peter J has suggested, there may be misunderstandings between east and west due to "using the same term in different ways."  Many EO seem to cut the OO a lot of slack on the semantics of "nature".  We should do the same with Catholics and Protestants on salvation and other theological issues that appear to divide us.  And, quite frankly, whether in the afterlife one will behold the essence of God or communicate with His energies is a matter of speculative theology that has no consequences for how we live in this world.  Both views express the importance of people living in a loving relationship with God, and that's what really counts.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 10:17:23 AM
....I have a hard time grasping how eastern theosis and western beatific vision are so radically different. 

Orthodox Theosis..... an ever increasing participation in the divine energies.

Catholic Beatific Vision...... a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence.

These seem two different concepts of the afterlife.

Orthodox theosis is a train journey.

Catholic Beatific Vision is static, gazing upon a beautiful painting of a train and enjoying its beauty.

 :P  Nonsense...

Follows but a tiny taste of the resources available just on-line...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Treats with love and understanding, the intellect and the will, human nature as static and divine nature as dynamic, with the beatific vision and union with God being dynamic:

http://books.google.com/books?id=f42d87wDafYC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=Is+the+Beatific+Vision+Static+or+Dynamic&source=bl&ots=Doxen_SkX-&sig=YVciuNIMICaQw2LJG5LmoYmYD0c&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rL4YT8nWLML10gG37tjPCw&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Is%20the%20Beatific%20Vision%20Static%20or%20Dynamic&f=false

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Father George Maloney on the dynamism of the beatific vision:

http://books.google.com/books?id=C_tBtPLaT-oC&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=Is+the+Beatific+Vision+Static+or+Dynamic&source=bl&ots=der0aprzbw&sig=hFAtFMTgxYPUiN-6MIYKiqhZSx0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rL4YT8nWLML10gG37tjPCw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Is%20the%20Beatific%20Vision%20Static%20or%20Dynamic&f=false

+++++++++++++++++

Peter Kreeft on the dynamism of the beatific vision:

http://books.google.com/books?id=qVqJetnPT4QC&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq=Is+the+Beatific+Vision+Static+or+Dynamic&source=bl&ots=f5zk9U7-Kb&sig=7IWF6JNQnnzmt5aXvy6g0VD5afc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rL4YT8nWLML10gG37tjPCw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Is%20the%20Beatific%20Vision%20Static%20or%20Dynamic&f=false

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Father John Hardon on the dynamism of divine essence/nature:

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm

Nature. Is an ultimate principle always a nature? The term "essence" is also used to designate an ultimate principle; but the nature of a being is the essence considered as a principle of operation, considered as the ultimate principle in the order of activity. Essence rather connotes something static, nature something dynamic. Will the Beatific Vision, love and enjoyment, ultimately "flow out of" sanctifying grace? Yes. It does not actually "flow out" here and now, because we lack the necessary proximate principle of the Beatific Vision, love and enjoyment, the light of glory. Similarly, in us every thought flows from the soul through the intellect, every will-act through the will, every sensation through the sense-faculties. What thinks? The sup posit, the person, ultimately through the soul and proximately through the intellect. In us, the thinking power must have a properly disposed thinking apparatus: a person with defective material organs or connections in certain areas will find his thinking ability impaired or completely inhibited. Children born with such deficiencies could get sanctifying grace by baptism and (perhaps) by Confirmation got an increase of it; they could not lose sanctifying grace but they could not merit an increase of it or of light of glory.

Deiform Nature. A parallel between our human nature and deiform nature may be helpful. In a human nature, the soul, the form of the body, is the ultimate operative principle. From this ultimate operative principle flow all the powers of the soul, the faculties, which are the proximate operative principles. Instincts we may call proximate or immediate responsive principles. Flowing from all these principles are human acts. Man is made to act, to be more fully man by using his powers; his nature is dynamic, and he becomes more fully man by acting as man. But this is not enough,

For God wanted man to live a deiform life. For this he needs an ultimate deiform principle of operation: sanctifying grace.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

An exceptionally dense article on the dynamism of Faith and the Beatific Visioin:

http://woodstock.georgetown.edu/library/Murray/1937-1.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 10:17:24 AM
Aquinas, who offers the teaching, never uses the phrase "created grace".

Heck, I don't think he even spoke English.

Seriously, though, I'm hoping either you are Fr. Ambrose (or both) could clarify this: what was the exact term that Aquinas used? Is "created grace" just a poor translation (wouldn't be the first time), or what?

There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.

I was under the impression that he did talk about "created grace", so I took a look (not a very thorough look tbh). I managed to find "Is there created grace in Christ?" (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer29.htm) Now I haven't analysed this very thoroughly, and I can think of a number of possible alternatives (I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that "created grace" is actually a bad translation of something Aquinas said -- just consider situation with the phrase "praying to the saints"). But it appears to go against the idea that 'The phrase "created grace" comes later' than Aquinas.

Torrell would agree with you.  I suppose what I was remembering was the text of a lecture where the instructor indicated that the phrase created grace was never used by St. Thomas without the explanation that is offered in Torrell's text below.  I went back and listened to the pertinent section of the lecture and found that I had conflated two ideas and drawn the wrong conclusion.  Nevertheless the notion of created grace is not what Orthodox believers generally say that it is in fact:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9s4qJ78nzW8C&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=Does+Aquinas+use+the+phrase+created+grace&source=bl&ots=rfgAVqHU82&sig=JdWlRNi-OYBUbDno6ITjxzUji4k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QMcYT6O6JuHx0gGg2rjqCw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Does%20Aquinas%20use%20the%20phrase%20created%20grace&f=false
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 11:36:12 AM

You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.

Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.

In this we are agreed.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 20, 2012, 12:18:43 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.  

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis?  

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.

I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.


You know, I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something that really strikes a discordant note with this "answer".  It's almost as though having asked and been answered you *still* seem to want to try to continue on what Mary terms as a "search and destroy" mission.  You say you "concede" but somehow, and again, I can't put my finger on it, it *seems* as though you do not.

You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.  Would that I were.  So, would you mind very much indulging me and providing sources/references for each of them?  I think Deacon Lance's reply in #188 covers the fact that the Catholic Church does, indeed, teach "theosis", albeit without using that specific term.

The rest of this thread has moved on into intellectual and theological territory that, quite frankly, is over my head and beyond my educational limits, and I include what you have said above in that.  That's why I've asked you to cite some recognized Catholic sources.

Apologies for being a p.i.t.a.  ;).

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 02:48:43 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

Mary
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 04:47:44 PM
It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.

Tut tut. I've conceded (or at least I meant to) that Dr. Dragani made a mistake by saying that "the transition from death to Heaven" is called "the Final Theosis", and that his later correction of this mistake was rather stingy. But I think it's silly of you to act as though he still persists in his mistake and never corrected it at all.

What Dragani says, in equating the Final Theosis with Purgatory makes sense, somewhat, if he sees it as the final stage of purgation before a man is able to contemplate the Divine Essence in the Beatific Vision.

Btw,  he has not corrected his statement.  It still is there in his webpage.  http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Purgatory What he has done is create confusion by adding a footnote.  The essay says Purgatory is the Final Theosis.  The footnote says that theosis is eternal

Essay:
Rather than "Purgatory," we [Eastern Catholics] prefer to call it "the Final Theosis."

Footnote:
Please note: Eastern theology teaches that theosis is an infinite process, and does not cease when a person enters into heaven. The term "final theosis" is not intended to imply otherwise.

Is Dragani telling the truth when he claims that Eastern Catholics prefer to call Purgatory "the Final Theosis"?  No. Eastern Catholics have never heard the term.  Just  remember Mary's reaction to the term.  A competent Eastern Catholic catechist,  she had never encountered it.  Why Dragani had to assert a falsehood is anybody's guess. 
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 04:55:33 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.   

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.

I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.

You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.

If it is not magisterial teaching then it is pretty much worthless.

As I have said, time and again on this forum the Orthodox have been rebuked for assuming this or that is Catholic teaching.  We are told,  “It is not.  The Magisterium has not said it is.”

One would expect Catholics to know these magisterial teachings and be able to say which of the above statements are magisterial and which are not.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 05:05:14 PM

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

The Beatific Vision has been defined de fide as the contemplation and enjoyment of the Divine Essence.  Now you have extended that to participation in the Divine Essence!!?  Of course your additional assertion is not de fide and carries no significance beyond your personal opinion.

All the same it is astounding that we find a Ruthenian Catholic proclaiming something which is heretical in orthodox theology.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 20, 2012, 05:07:31 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here.  Perhaps it is because I just got back from four days at a Carmelite retreat house our Diocese rented for our clergy meeting (the nuns there were awesome).  But, it is also because I have been wrestling with this topic for some time now and I think I'm getting a handle on it.  Anyway, you can shoot away afterwards and I won't be offended.

Theosis is the transformation we have when we encounter God.  We cannot encounter God without being transformed by Him.

God is a Person, and so this encounter with God is an encounter with His Person: the Uncreated energy of God, the Body and Blood of His Son, etc.

He is also The Truth, which we begin to approach through truth.  Therefore, wherever truth is found, then we begin to approach God.  Truth changes us, it makes us better.  'Healthy people' are people who spend the most time in the truth.  They do not believe in false images of themselves (therefore they are humble and kind, etc.) nor do they live in emotional chaos driven by fear.

Therefore, all people to some extent experience Theosis as they seek spiritual truth and find it.  They encounter the True God in small glimpses, and they are changed as a result.  Those faiths closer to the Orthodox Faith (Orthodox being a replacement adjective for 'True') are naturally going to bring adherents more of these transformative opportunities.

Does this make sense?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 05:07:55 PM
You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

How many times have we been told, when we quote Aquinas,  that he is not part of the Magisterium and his opinions are just that.. his opinions.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 20, 2012, 06:06:55 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.   

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.

I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.

You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.

If it is not magisterial teaching then it is pretty much worthless.

As I have said, time and again on this forum the Orthodox have been rebuked for assuming this or that is Catholic teaching.  We are told,  “It is not.  The Magisterium has not said it is.”

One would expect Catholics to know these magisterial teachings and be able to say which of the above statements are magisterial and which are not.

1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion!!

2.  I'm not the world's most well-educated or informed Catholic--far, far from it--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  As such, no, I don't know everything that is included or excluded from magisterial teachings--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  I'm sure many other Catholics are in the same position--but please don't blast them for their ignorance, okay--I'm sure they're workin' on it, too  ;D.

3.  *You* stated that those were all magisterial teachings.  I'm only asking *you* to substantiate that.  If you can't, just say so.  Then perhaps we could ask Mary :).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: mabsoota on January 20, 2012, 06:23:58 PM
i am hearing the sound of hairs being split...
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 06:33:34 PM

Fr. Ambrose, RCs aren't as united as you seem to believe we are. The fact that Fortescue wrote of hesychasm/theosis theology as a weird aberration -- even with the Imprimatur of John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York -- doesn't mean that the Catholic Church officially sees it that way.


Then please give us the official magisterial teaching.

I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I can.

As I have mentioned the Orthodox have been rebuked here repeatedly for assuming things are Catholic teaching when in fact there is no basis in magisterial teaching.   

If it makes you feel any better, I have many times witness Catholics making that same assumption.

Exactly.  And that is why we cannot claim that theosis is part of Catholicism's magisterial teaching.

Was Deacon Lance's reply in #188 above from yesterday not sufficient?  If not, how was it deficient?

Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

But it is a very positive thing, imho, because it is one of the examples of the Vatican slowly and quietly shifting its faithful eastwards in theology.

You asked for magisterial teaching about theosis.  He provided it.  How is it insufficient?  Most Catholics I know, especially Western ones, are not even familiar with the term "theosis".  Many are, however, familiar with what is written in the CCC, which Deacon Lance has quoted.  But you say that is insufficient.  Confusing, really.

I concede....

Catholics teach theosis as the goal for man.

Catholics teach that the Final Theosis takes place in purgatory.

Catholics teach that God is Essence and Energies.

Catholics no longer teach the Divine Simplicity.

Catholic teach that we shall know only the Divine Energies**

Catholics teach there is no created grace.

Catholics teach that all grace is God.

All the above is magisterial teaching.


** This would be heresy for Catholics since Catholic dogma says we may see and enjoy the Divine Essence.

You make a list and then, as an Orthodox priest, say "all the above is [Catholic] magisterial teaching".  Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to either confirm or deny that.

If it is not magisterial teaching then it is pretty much worthless.

As I have said, time and again on this forum the Orthodox have been rebuked for assuming this or that is Catholic teaching.  We are told,  “It is not.  The Magisterium has not said it is.”

One would expect Catholics to know these magisterial teachings and be able to say which of the above statements are magisterial and which are not.

1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion!!

2.  I'm not the world's most well-educated or informed Catholic--far, far from it--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  As such, no, I don't know everything that is included or excluded from magisterial teachings--but I'm workin' on it  ;D.  I'm sure many other Catholics are in the same position--but please don't blast them for their ignorance, okay--I'm sure they're workin' on it, too  ;D.

3.  *You* stated that those were all magisterial teachings.  I'm only asking *you* to substantiate that.  If you can't, just say so.  Then perhaps we could ask Mary :).

I cannot substantiate it.   The list is a hodgepodge.  Some may be and some won't be.  But it is what I have garnered from the contributions of Catholics in this thread.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 06:42:46 PM
  And, quite frankly, whether in the afterlife one will behold the essence of God or communicate with His energies is a matter of speculative theology that has no consequences for how we live in this world. 

I imagine that those who live out of the world, people like the monks of Mount Athos, would not agree with you. :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 06:45:35 PM

1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion
!!

I am not asserting it personally.  This is what we are told frequently on this forum by Catholic members.   Go back and find a thread on limbo, to take one example.


The Orthodox often forget the importance of the Magisterium for Catholics.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Tradition and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their tradition has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as "the Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 20, 2012, 07:42:23 PM
I was under the impression that he did talk about "created grace", so I took a look (not a very thorough look tbh). I managed to find "Is there created grace in Christ?" (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer29.htm) Now I haven't analysed this very thoroughly, and I can think of a number of possible alternatives (I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that "created grace" is actually a bad translation of something Aquinas said -- just consider situation with the phrase "praying to the saints"). But it appears to go against the idea that 'The phrase "created grace" comes later' than Aquinas.

Torrell would agree with you.  I suppose what I was remembering was the text of a lecture where the instructor indicated that the phrase created grace was never used by St. Thomas without the explanation that is offered in Torrell's text below.  I went back and listened to the pertinent section of the lecture and found that I had conflated two ideas and drawn the wrong conclusion.  Nevertheless the notion of created grace is not what Orthodox believers generally say that it is in fact:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9s4qJ78nzW8C&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=Does+Aquinas+use+the+phrase+created+grace&source=bl&ots=rfgAVqHU82&sig=JdWlRNi-OYBUbDno6ITjxzUji4k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QMcYT6O6JuHx0gGg2rjqCw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Does%20Aquinas%20use%20the%20phrase%20created%20grace&f=false


I clicked on the link, but then I decided not to wade through several paragraphs. Perhaps you could tell us what conclusion you draw from that article. Does it support:

There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.

?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 07:46:02 PM
i am hearing the sound of hairs being split...

My brain has been working for decades, for sixty five years now!   I think it is quite grateful for the polemical interaction here because it may assist it to stave off the inevitable for more years to come.   :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Deacon Lance on January 20, 2012, 10:10:05 PM


Insufficient.  How many Catholics understand that as an exposition of the Eastern teaching of theosis? 

How many Orthodox would?  The ignorance of the majority does not make or break a teaching.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Deacon Lance on January 20, 2012, 10:24:13 PM

You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.

Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.

I thought the Holy Mysteries were the means of theosis on this earth.  Given that 99.9% of all Orthodox aren't hesychasts I find your assertation unsustainable.  Saying the Jesus Prayer, even devoutly and often, does not make one a hesychast.  Only the monastic, poustinik, and pilgrim can attain the non-attachment, silence, and stillness necessary to become  a hesychast.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 20, 2012, 10:37:23 PM
We were taught that hesychasm is the fast track of theosis.  it brings a greater measure of theosis into the earthly life of the hesychast than of your average Christian.

Think of it in a monastic environment...... yes, both monastics and laymen have access to the exact same Sacraments but the monastic benefits by living inside a system focused entirely on spiritual progress and the elimination of all extraneous hindrances.


You [Fr. Ambrose] elide hesychasm with theosis as though they are the same thing.  They are not equivalent.

Hesychasm is the means of progressing in theosis on this earth. They are not equivalent but they are inseparable.   I do not know about progress in theosis in the afterlife.

I thought the Holy Mysteries were the means of theosis on this earth.  Given that 99.9% of all Orthodox aren't hesychasts I find your assertation unsustainable.  Saying the Jesus Prayer, even devoutly and often, does not make one a hesychast.  Only the monastic, poustinik, and pilgrim can attain the non-attachment, silence, and stillness necessary to become  a hesychast.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 11:56:34 PM

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

The Beatific Vision has been defined de fide as the contemplation and enjoyment of the Divine Essence.  Now you have extended that to participation in the Divine Essence!!?  Of course your additional assertion is not de fide and carries no significance beyond your personal opinion.

All the same it is astounding that we find a Ruthenian Catholic proclaiming something which is heretical in orthodox theology.

I guess I am only competent when you want to use me to attack Dragani...

Your tilting at Catholic magisterial teaching is pretty infantile...IMNSHO

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 11:56:34 PM
  And, quite frankly, whether in the afterlife one will behold the essence of God or communicate with His energies is a matter of speculative theology that has no consequences for how we live in this world. 

I imagine that those who live out of the world, people like the monks of Mount Athos, would not agree with you. :laugh:

I have always found it to be of great interest that St. Symeon the New Theologian, one of the very very few to be given the title "Theologian" stated quite clearly that only monastics were sufficiently disciplined to achieve the kind of sanctity required for theosis.  Not even bishops were automatically capable of being taken up into the union of theosis.

So your exemplars seem to be quite apt.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 20, 2012, 11:56:34 PM

1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion
!!

I am not asserting it personally.  This is what we are told frequently on this forum by Catholic members.   Go back and find a thread on limbo, to take one example.


The Orthodox often forget the importance of the Magisterium for Catholics.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Tradition and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their tradition has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as "the Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.


Nice cartoon but it doesn't say much about any Catholic reality.

If it entertains then I suppose there's no real harm done.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 12:40:19 AM
Mary, my sense is that we Orthodox see the Magisterium of Rome as the 'lynch pin' of Roman Catholic teachings.  There is a single point of reference, a single authority, for all teachings.

This has given the RCC the ability to conduct major changes in theology and practice in a very brief period of time, such as the Novo Ordo, which the Orthodox Church simply could never do even if a majority of the bishops resolved to do just that.  Our diversification of authority, through the notion of common Apostolic succession to all bishops, prevents such changes.

For this reason, we tend to look at RCC tradition as a dictate of the Magisterium.  All saints, all writings, all teachings come through this single entity, whereas Orthodox teachings come from a consensus perspective: we don't have a single interpretive office.

Now, there may be particulars in how that single office conducts business, and I imagine that given the size and history of the Vatican makes even small changes rather difficult, but they are certainly easier to accomplish than getting a room full of Russians and Greeks to sit down and agree to anything!    :police:



1.  So you are saying that all Catholic utterances, in word or print, unless part of the magisterium, are worthless?  Kinda sounds that way.  That's quite an assertion
!!

I am not asserting it personally.  This is what we are told frequently on this forum by Catholic members.   Go back and find a thread on limbo, to take one example.


The Orthodox often forget the importance of the Magisterium for Catholics.

1.  The Orthodox receive their faith through the transmission of the sacred Tradition which takes a variety of forms.   Bishops, priests and laity alike are all guardians of the Tradition and must be obedient to it.

2.  Catholics on the other hand are expected to be submissive to the Magisterium and to its official Magisterial teachings.  Whatever of their tradition has not been codified into a Magisterial teaching is really nothing more than what the Orthodox might call theologoumena-opinion.  Up until the Bull Munificentissimus Deus Catholics were quite entitled to deny that Mary the Mother of God was assumed into heaven, just as they had been able to deny she was immaculately conceived.  Ditto for the Pope's infallibility - until 1870 nobody really knew if he were infallible or not.

I have learnt this major difference between our Churches in the way we approach the faith the hard way.   I instinctively fall into the error of thinking that Catholics are subject to Tradition and I have often written of their traditional beliefs as if they are a certain part of their faith.  In the absence of a magisterial teaching they are not.  They are only an interim belief/opinion on which you cannot place much reliance.

I think I have written about this here previously?  Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of Tradition within Catholicism may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

There actually is a great gulf between our Churches on this matter.  The certainty of our faith is grounded in our Tradition,.  The certainty of the Roman Catholic faith is grounded in magisterial statements.  In other words, the faith is effectively taken out of the hands of the Church as a whole.  The faithful are disenfranchised and the faith is posited in the hands of a small elite group known as "the Magisterium."  I frankly would not wish to be in communion with a Church which has this disjunct between its upper echelon and the great majority of its members.


Nice cartoon but it doesn't say much about any Catholic reality.

If it entertains then I suppose there's no real harm done.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 12:51:40 AM
Your tilting at Catholic magisterial teaching is pretty infantile...IMNSHO

M.



To a well formed Catholic conscience, the so-called Magisterium IS the teaching voice of Scripture and Tradition.

Mary
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 21, 2012, 01:56:05 AM
Mary, my sense is that we Orthodox see the Magisterium of Rome as the 'lynch pin' of Roman Catholic teachings.  There is a single point of reference, a single authority, for all teachings.

This has given the RCC the ability to conduct major changes in theology and practice in a very brief period of time, such as the Novo Ordo, which the Orthodox Church simply could never do even if a majority of the bishops resolved to do just that.  Our diversification of authority, through the notion of common Apostolic succession to all bishops, prevents such changes.
Glory to God!

This for me is pivotal. There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians. There is no trace of papal infallibility or even the germ of what developed into it according to their own Cardinal/historian Yves Congar for over a thousand years. The notion that certain truths of morality may be arrived at by discursive reason apart from Roman Catholic faith, a dogma of the Catholic Church, is met with almost universal denial of this alleged ability by philosophers who are not Roman Catholics with the paradoxical result that Roman Catholics today are virtually alone in defending it. Aquinas according to Jesuit philosopher Fr. Frederick Copleston was majorly controversial in his own day, but all that changed after a single proclamation after 1869. It has formed the "basis" for Magisterial ethical pronouncements that have been rejected even by the vast majority of practicing Roman Catholics themselves. The notion that we can see the essence of God in Beatific Vision, which no first millennium father ever taught, is Roman Catholic dogma. We even have Roman Catholics on this forum arguing they reach "parity" with God in their own "theosis." Prooftexting from the fathers by amateur Catholic apologists with horrible attention to context is indistinguishable from fundamentalist prooftexting from the Bible (it begins to look like the same species a of fundamentalism). The recent fling with Calvinistic modeled liturgical innovation is a travesty to many thoughtful Roman Catholics themselves. Their concept of merit theology has been shown to have originated in the medieval period and all major contemporary Pauline scholars have abandoned the notion that it is found in the NT or the first Christian millennium, or that it is reasonable to suppose it properly interprets NT data. There are many other examples, but almost any one of the above alone would be a deal breaker for me personally. In the Orthodox Church I can worship with no dissent; in the Roman Catholic Church I would have to be a dissenter (with 90% of other Roman Catholics according to the most recent poll, but that still would give me little personal comfort). The Roman Catholic Church, its papacy, its Magisterium, its dogma, is a product of cultural development (to my mind devolution by accretion) *away* from the early church in the same way Protestantism is -no wonder Alexis Khomiakov  said Protestantism was hatched from the egg Rome laid- and despite the continual protests from Roman Catholics who say over and over again "we are the same! I see no difference between us! Let us redefine it all for you! What definition would you find acceptable? Why do you not join us under the pope?" The Roman Catholics excoriate the Protestants on a continual basis for departing from the faith of the early fathers and with hardly a blink tell Orthodox how foolish they are for questioning major aspects of their own faith of even more recent origin than the Reformation! All I can say -from a personal point of view- is thank God for the Orthodox Church!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 21, 2012, 09:01:25 AM
i am hearing the sound of hairs being split...

I honestly would expect that such a sound would involve much fewer words than what I see here. :P
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: mabsoota on January 21, 2012, 09:33:07 AM
it's actually very tricky to split hairs, this is why i used that image.
 ;)
may we all spend lots of time in prayer to God so He reveals to us all how we can and should get closer to Him.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 21, 2012, 09:39:09 AM
The Roman Catholics excoriate the Protestants on a continual basis for departing from the faith of the early fathers and with hardly a blink tell Orthodox how foolish they are for questioning major aspects of their own faith of even more recent origin than the Reformation!

That's one of the main things that troubles me about my fellow Roman Catholics (also one of the reasons I no longer participate on the Catholic Answers Forum).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 21, 2012, 01:06:49 PM
Your tilting at Catholic magisterial teaching is pretty infantile...IMNSHO

M.



To a well formed Catholic conscience, the so-called Magisterium IS the teaching voice of Scripture and Tradition.

Mary

That's right and I mean both statements. 

You demonstrate a clear ignorance of a principled and schooled understanding of the magisterial charge in the Catholic Church.

I do not know if that ignorance is real or contrived but you spend an awful load of words that signify nothing but a pandering to the cartoon of what makes the Catholic Church one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach?  There are excellent texts on the Internet to which I have directed your line of sight many times and you brush it all off like the texts are just so many flies on scat.

So if I show a dearth of respect for your presentation of Catholic truths...I believe there is justification for that lack which is real and profound.

If I were you I'd be shamed to have to hold a position by having to tell falsehoods about someone else.

When I started this journey of mine seventeen years ago, I thought Orthodoxy and the Orthodox were better than that.  Today I do not hold that same confidence.

Mary
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 01:28:03 PM
What is also fascinating is that, despite a centralized system for recognizing and proclaiming dogmas, there is still a great deal of dissent and disagreement within RCC circles.  We have seen Mary and other RCs go at it here in ways that we Orthodox do without a single magisterium. 

I think the larger problem of the RCC and the protestants is one of approach: there is a great deal more emphasis on a singularity of authority, which led to extremes of Papal authority versus strictly personal authority. 

A few years ago, I heard a story about a convert Orthodox priest who took a doctorate in a European university.  His focus was on the writings of St. John Chrysostom. A member of his defense board asked him what was the compelling reason for reading St. John and, in essence, why should anyone care what St. John has to say about anything.  The priest, never having attended an Orthodox seminary and in many ways self-taught, replied that St. John was 'authoritative' in the Orthodox Church and that was enough of a reason.  The faculty, having little knowledge of Orthodoxy, went along with his argument.  If they had asked him for proof, he might well have flunked.  There is no 'authoritative declaration' on St. John, though any fool knows that St. John is taken extremely seriously.

Without a magisterium, we have done rather well with staying on a single theological track.  Even the RCC recognizes this.  I think their primary objections to us boils down to the acceptance of their magisterium, and are willing to even accept our rebellion against some of their dogmas (i.e. filioque, no purgatory, original sin as guilt, etc.).  But, herein lies the problem: if a dogma is a dogma, then shouldn't everyone follow it?  Is it true or isn't it?

And so we have the problem: it seems like the priority within the RCC is the magisterium, which can both pronounce and exempt dogmas, enforcing them here but permit their renunciation elsewhere.  So, a RCC priest may serve in a Latin Rite parish for many years and utter the filioque as fact, but then be reassigned to an Byz-Rite Catholic parish and skip over that dogma thus rejecting it.

This gets into the matter of authority: in the Orthodox Church, fact and authority are on an equal level.  Thus, an Orthodox bishop does not have the right by nature of his office to make theological pronouncements to redefine the faith.  At best, he can only defend what he has received, but to compose new revelations is outside his bounds.  Once he strays, he comes under scrutiny of all the other bishops.  Not even a patriarch can avoid being scrutinized. 

Whereas in the RCC, the bishop of Rome has supremacy over the communication of fact, since he defines and revises these communications.  The pope cannot be scrutinized.  His cardinals cannot disagree and forbid him in camera or out.  It is his name, not that of his synod, that is attached to doctrinal statements.

This relation of authority and fact is what is the primal separation between the RCC and the OC.


Mary, my sense is that we Orthodox see the Magisterium of Rome as the 'lynch pin' of Roman Catholic teachings.  There is a single point of reference, a single authority, for all teachings.

This has given the RCC the ability to conduct major changes in theology and practice in a very brief period of time, such as the Novo Ordo, which the Orthodox Church simply could never do even if a majority of the bishops resolved to do just that.  Our diversification of authority, through the notion of common Apostolic succession to all bishops, prevents such changes.
Glory to God!

This for me is pivotal. There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians. There is no trace of papal infallibility or even the germ of what developed into it according to their own Cardinal/historian Yves Congar for over a thousand years. The notion that certain truths of morality may be arrived at by discursive reason apart from Roman Catholic faith, a dogma of the Catholic Church, is met with almost universal denial of this alleged ability by philosophers who are not Roman Catholics with the paradoxical result that Roman Catholics today are virtually alone in defending it. Aquinas according to Jesuit philosopher Fr. Frederick Copleston was majorly controversial in his own day, but all that changed after a single proclamation after 1869. It has formed the "basis" for Magisterial ethical pronouncements that have been rejected even by the vast majority of practicing Roman Catholics themselves. The notion that we can see the essence of God in Beatific Vision, which no first millennium father ever taught, is Roman Catholic dogma. We even have Roman Catholics on this forum arguing they reach "parity" with God in their own "theosis." Prooftexting from the fathers by amateur Catholic apologists with horrible attention to context is indistinguishable from fundamentalist prooftexting from the Bible (it begins to look like the same species a of fundamentalism). The recent fling with Calvinistic modeled liturgical innovation is a travesty to many thoughtful Roman Catholics themselves. Their concept of merit theology has been shown to have originated in the medieval period and all major contemporary Pauline scholars have abandoned the notion that it is found in the NT or the first Christian millennium, or that it is reasonable to suppose it properly interprets NT data. There are many other examples, but almost any one of the above alone would be a deal breaker for me personally. In the Orthodox Church I can worship with no dissent; in the Roman Catholic Church I would have to be a dissenter (with 90% of other Roman Catholics according to the most recent poll, but that still would give me little personal comfort). The Roman Catholic Church, its papacy, its Magisterium, its dogma, is a product of cultural development (to my mind devolution by accretion) *away* from the early church in the same way Protestantism is -no wonder Alexis Khomiakov  said Protestantism was hatched from the egg Rome laid- and despite the continual protests from Roman Catholics who say over and over again "we are the same! I see no difference between us! Let us redefine it all for you! What definition would you find acceptable? Why do you not join us under the pope?" The Roman Catholics excoriate the Protestants on a continual basis for departing from the faith of the early fathers and with hardly a blink tell Orthodox how foolish they are for questioning major aspects of their own faith of even more recent origin than the Reformation! All I can say -from a personal point of view- is thank God for the Orthodox Church!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 01:31:08 PM
So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach? 
<snip>
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 21, 2012, 03:13:58 PM
Your tilting at Catholic magisterial teaching is pretty infantile...IMNSHO

M.



To a well formed Catholic conscience, the so-called Magisterium IS the teaching voice of Scripture and Tradition.

Mary

What is your point here?

These two statements from Mary are unrelated and in no way mutually exclusive.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 21, 2012, 03:17:14 PM
So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach? 
<snip>

I know I'm slow and somewhat dense at times, but...how on earth did you reach *that* conclusion?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 04:06:12 PM

You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach? 

But that is a horrendous thing to say of me and I expect that what you are doing is reflecting your own behaviour and assuming I act in the same way.  Just because one believes that one's Church is the true Church does not imply they will lie about other Churches  and their teaching.  I am astounded that you would have such a thought in your head.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 04:54:13 PM
I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

Do we need a parallel thread to this one?

Is the contemplation of and participation in the Essence of God possible for the Orthodox?

"That the blessed see God is a dogma of faith, expressly defined by Benedict XII (1336):

"We define that the souls of all the saints in heaven have seen and do see the Divine Essence by direct intuition and face to face [visione intuitivâ et etiam faciali], in such wise that nothing created intervenes as an object of vision, but the Divine Essence presents itself to their immediate gaze, unveiled, clearly and openly; moreover, that in this vision they enjoy the Divine Essence, and that, in virtue of this vision and this enjoyment, they are truly blessed and possess eternal life and eternal rest" (Denzinger, Enchiridion, ed. 10, n. 530--old edition, n, 456; cf. nn. 693, 1084, 1458 old, nn. 588, 868)."

"Supernatural character of heaven and the beatific vision"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07170a.htm
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 05:03:39 PM
Your tilting at Catholic magisterial teaching is pretty infantile...IMNSHO

M.



To a well formed Catholic conscience, the so-called Magisterium IS the teaching voice of Scripture and Tradition.

Mary

What is your point here?


I am not "tilting" at the Magisterium.

My point is that I am describing the Magisterium and its function in a way consistent with what Mary wrote of it.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Deacon Lance on January 21, 2012, 05:46:41 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

I am saying I don't think the Eastern and Western traditions are opposed although they use different terminology and framework.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 06:05:51 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

I am saying I don't think the Eastern and Western traditions are opposed although they use different terminology and framework.

The dogmatic teaching of Rome is clear - your people in heaven contemplate and enjoy the Divine Essence and Mary says they participate in it.

This goes way beyond terminology.

One presumes that Eastern Catholics have been obliged to accept this?  It has after all received papal definition.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:10:39 PM
Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 06:17:42 PM
Because she said, '...so why would you...'  She equated his disbelief with principles.

So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach? 
<snip>

I know I'm slow and somewhat dense at times, but...how on earth did you reach *that* conclusion?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 06:18:29 PM
Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

The teaching of the Catholic belief has been defined by the Pope.  See message 292.  I do at least afford him the courtesy of believing he is knowledgeable about his own belief system.   And I am not going to fudge it.  I know Roman Catholic belief somewhat thanks to passing through their primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 06:33:12 PM

If I were you I'd be shamed to have to hold a position by having to tell falsehoods about someone else.

I'd be shamed too, if I did it!
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 06:35:10 PM
You and I have the distinction of both having defended Roman Catholic bishops against Mary!   :angel:

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

The teaching of the Catholic belief has been defined by the Pope.  See message 292.  I do at least afford him the courtesy of believing he is knowledgeable about his own belief system.   And I am not going to fudge it.  I know Roman Catholic belief somewhat thanks to passing through their primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:36:15 PM
Quote from: Irish Hermit
The teaching of the Catholic belief has been defined by the Pope.  See message 292.  I do at least afford him the courtesy of believing he is knowledgeable about his own belief system.   And I am not going to fudge it.  I know Roman Catholic belief somewhat thanks to passing through their primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

...such as The College of Stuff You Heard Somewhere from Somebody.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:38:32 PM
Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 06:38:52 PM

There are excellent texts on the Internet to which I have directed your line of sight many times and you brush it all off like the texts are just so many flies on scat.

Mary,  I am not going to spend time reading through 40 pages of webtext, and I am not even sure that I will find whatever you want me to see.

You want to quote something?  Quote it.  Don't ask your correspondent to spend half an hour reading web material.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 06:40:00 PM
Quote from: Irish Hermit
The teaching of the Catholic belief has been defined by the Pope.  See message 292.  I do at least afford him the courtesy of believing he is knowledgeable about his own belief system.   And I am not going to fudge it.  I know Roman Catholic belief somewhat thanks to passing through their primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

...such as The College of Stuff You Heard Somewhere from Somebody.

Whatever! What an insolent little monkey...  :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 06:40:58 PM
Ah, well, you know that the Church recognizes St. Augustine as a martyr, not as a theologian.  Sainthood does not make everything a saint did or said perfect...

Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:42:02 PM
Wow. You just called me a monkey.

The cake has been duly taken.

It's about time for that letter to my priest- and I'm sorry but neither him nor I are going to like it very much.

I just don't know what I'm going to do about the last two years of my life.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:42:56 PM
Ah, well, you know that the Church recognizes St. Augustine as a martyr, not as a theologian.  Sainthood does not make everything a saint did or said perfect...

Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.

Ah, the old codicil, the ever-so-valuable eraser: "When is a saint not a saint? When I don't like him very much..."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 06:44:11 PM
Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.

Here is a listing...

The Holy Orthodox Popes of Rome

See message 128
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13801.msg305418.html#msg305418
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 06:50:20 PM
How about this one: 'Never confuse a Holy Father with the Holy Spirit.'?

No saint is infallible.


Ah, well, you know that the Church recognizes St. Augustine as a martyr, not as a theologian.  Sainthood does not make everything a saint did or said perfect...

Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.

Ah, the old codicil, the ever-so-valuable eraser: "When is a saint not a saint? When I don't like him very much..."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:51:23 PM
How about this one: 'Never confuse a Holy Father with the Holy Spirit.'?

No saint is infallible.


Ah, well, you know that the Church recognizes St. Augustine as a martyr, not as a theologian.  Sainthood does not make everything a saint did or said perfect...

Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.

Ah, the old codicil, the ever-so-valuable eraser: "When is a saint not a saint? When I don't like him very much..."

Okay. I give up. Shame we make all those saints when they're not saints, or something.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 21, 2012, 06:56:36 PM
Biro, saints aren't perfect.  They are 'being perfected' and are much further along than we generally are, but that does not make them 'perfect.'  They are humans who lived as we do and had their own shares of defeats as we all do.

As you progress in your catechism, you'll understand this.  We cannot idealize anyone.  Only God is perfect: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


How about this one: 'Never confuse a Holy Father with the Holy Spirit.'?

No saint is infallible.


Ah, well, you know that the Church recognizes St. Augustine as a martyr, not as a theologian.  Sainthood does not make everything a saint did or said perfect...

Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.

Ah, the old codicil, the ever-so-valuable eraser: "When is a saint not a saint? When I don't like him very much..."

Okay. I give up. Shame we make all those saints when they're not saints, or something.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 21, 2012, 06:57:18 PM
I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 06:58:24 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 21, 2012, 07:01:08 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 07:01:52 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Oy, oy, oy.  :-[ :'(
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 21, 2012, 07:05:25 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

Mary

If we participate in his nature as you claim, how does this understanding safeguard against teaching that we become God himself or become absorbed into the Godhead?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 21, 2012, 07:12:54 PM
I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.

Just speaking for myself, I don't call it splitting hairs.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 07:14:27 PM
Since the teaching that we can contemplate the divine essence is tantamount to heresy for the Orthodox how do Catholics of the Easterrn rite handle this claim in the universal Catechism?

What says the section on heaven in the new Ukrainian Catechism?  Do they follow Rome and speak of contemplating God's essence?


1 John 3:2 - Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

You are saying that the Roman Catholic teaching that eternity is the contemplation of the divine essence in the Beatific Vision is also the teaching of the Eastern Catholic Churches?

It's beginning to make sense why Dragani sees Purgatory as the Final Theosis.  The theosis leads to a perfect purgation which makes it possible to enter heaven with the capacity to see and contemplate the Divine Essence.

You and most of the Orthodox that I know treat the beatific vision as though it is a movie on a screen or a lovely sunrise or something to be viewed.  I suppose it is because of the word "vision"...

I've sent several links to this thread where it is clear that the beatific vision refers to our participation in the divine life, in life everlasting...We become both the image and likeness of God and we participate in his essential nature as adopted sons and daughters...greater even than the angels.

You cannot read Aquinas on existence and essence, act and potentiality, nature and being at the level of "See John run...Run John run"  Literal and unschooled readings will simply will lead you to the kinds of stiff and inaccurate conclusions that are in evidence here in this thread.

Mary

If we participate in his nature as you claim, how does this understanding safeguard against teaching that we become God himself or become absorbed into the Godhead?

When you take part in a concert, does that mean you become a member of the band?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 21, 2012, 07:14:52 PM
I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.

Just speaking for myself, I don't call it splitting hairs.

ok thanks :)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 07:16:30 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 21, 2012, 07:19:35 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 21, 2012, 07:20:01 PM
I knwo enough about Orthodoxy to say that "contemplating and seeing the divine essence of God" is completely opposite/heretical to Orthodox teaching. Some may call it splitting hairs, but if I ever heard an Orthodox person teach or claim such, I would be dumbfounded.

Just speaking for myself, I don't call it splitting hairs.

ok thanks :)

No need for thanks.

Speaking of splitting hairs, I don't understand the distinction between saying "enjoying the Divine Essence" and "participating in the Divine Essence". I guess I might call that "splitting hairs".

The dogmatic teaching of Rome is clear - your people in heaven contemplate and enjoy the Divine Essence and Mary says they participate in it.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: biro on January 21, 2012, 07:23:50 PM
(http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c24/neon000/cantbrain.jpg)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 21, 2012, 08:55:02 PM
I don't understand how people think we can see or experience an essence without actually becoming an object within the general group of things which have the essence in common. Would anybody be so absurd to presume that because we have seen the operations of cows or swine that we can understand and experience what being a cow or a pig is like?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM
Mary, my sense is that we Orthodox see the Magisterium of Rome as the 'lynch pin' of Roman Catholic teachings.  There is a single point of reference, a single authority, for all teachings.

This has given the RCC the ability to conduct major changes in theology and practice in a very brief period of time, such as the Novo Ordo, which the Orthodox Church simply could never do even if a majority of the bishops resolved to do just that.  Our diversification of authority, through the notion of common Apostolic succession to all bishops, prevents such changes.

For this reason, we tend to look at RCC tradition as a dictate of the Magisterium.  All saints, all writings, all teachings come through this single entity, whereas Orthodox teachings come from a consensus perspective: we don't have a single interpretive office.

Now, there may be particulars in how that single office conducts business, and I imagine that given the size and history of the Vatican makes even small changes rather difficult, but they are certainly easier to accomplish than getting a room full of Russians and Greeks to sit down and agree to anything! 
  :police:

Father,

I do understand what you are saying and appreciate the impact that vision would have on those outside of the Church.  

But I must add this to what you have said.  The very fact that the Novus Ordo and many many of the changes that are comprised today, by the normative Roman rite, actually were implemented on the orders of various bishop's delegates in committee and not by the papal office nor even the documents from a general council, ought to make it plain as day that there is a fearsome amount of power in the office of bishop in the Catholic Church.

The truth is that there is no one single locus of magisterial teaching.  There is indeed one single locus for collecting the documents and teachings of the ages, coming from councils and synodal meetings and curial texts so that it becomes that much more efficient to devise a catechism or a code of canons...but to think that the contents of those tomes come from one single point on some triangle of a hierarchy is simply a delusion.

But the magisterial charge was given to the bishops and that is where the locus of power in the Church remains to this day.  The source of the petrine authority may indeed be divine, but the successful daily and pedestrian exercise of that authority is absolutely dependent upon the good will of Catholic bishops all over the world.

Short of an act of God there is nothing that can break the power of a bishop.

In that spirit, I believe that the cracking open of the sexual scandal in the Church is such and act of divine providence.  For all of the ensuing distress, I believe there will be great good emerge from it.  God help those who have been accused falsely however.  Lord have mercy.

Without that understanding then it is impossible to grasp the glory of the Catholic Church.  It is also impossible to really understand and forgive those who bear the magisterial ugliness that too often resides within.

There's more but that's enough for the moment.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM

And so we have the problem: it seems like the priority within the RCC is the magisterium, which can both pronounce and exempt dogmas, enforcing them here but permit their renunciation elsewhere.  So, a RCC priest may serve in a Latin Rite parish for many years and utter the filioque as fact, but then be reassigned to an Byz-Rite Catholic parish and skip over that dogma thus rejecting it.


This is where a huge portion of the problem lies.  There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The magisterial charge is the charge to go and make disciples.  In order to do that the Apostles and those who came after were given the Spirit led power and authority to discern and teach the truths of revelation.

I find it difficult to believe that Orthodoxy does not claim such a charge for itself.

HOW that magisterial charge is executed and whether or not there's room for discussion on points of doctrine/truth and their expression is what we are really talking about here.

Dogma is a manner of defining that which is already recognized as truth.  It is not some super-Truth or hyper-Truth that trumps all other truths.  The truth of revelation is the truth.

The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM
So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach? 
<snip>

My comments to Father Ambrose come from his periodic assertions that the Catholic Church is out to destroy Orthodoxy and therefore must be attacked with vigor and it's so-called lies and duplicity exposed to Orthodox believers.  Father Ambrose does an excellent job of doing just that...very often at the expense of the truth. 

If that is what you are asking me about...sure...I think that one can easily bear false witness if one is so inclined, and justify it as being for the greater good.

I say only God has that power and authority to use evil to do good.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM
Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

Or that words should have meaning beyond the literal meaning or the contemporary meaning...or whatever meaning Father Ambrose needs to suit his purpose.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 21, 2012, 10:17:13 PM
Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

Let's remember, only Irish Hermit knows what Roman and Eastern Catholics actually teach and believe, and never mind if the actual experiences of those people should differ.  ::)

The teaching of the Catholic belief has been defined by the Pope.  See message 292.  I do at least afford him the courtesy of believing he is knowledgeable about his own belief system.   And I am not going to fudge it.  I know Roman Catholic belief somewhat thanks to passing through their primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

Often, knowing a thing makes it all the more easy to distort it.  

That's how individuals most often do the worst damage to the ones they know best...'

It's almost axiomatic.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 21, 2012, 10:22:28 PM
Speaking of splitting hairs, I don't understand the distinction between saying "enjoying the Divine Essence" and "participating in the Divine Essence". I guess I might call that "splitting hairs".
(http://ih1.redbubble.net/image.3576769.4071/fc,135x135,white.jpg)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 21, 2012, 10:30:10 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 10:39:12 PM
So, what you are saying is that in order to be fair about addressing something, one must first believe it to be true?

<snip>You are quick to say that you don't believe we are one, holy, catholic or apostolic, so why would you express her teaching with anything approximating a principled approach?
<snip>

My comments to Father Ambrose come from his periodic assertions that the Catholic Church is out to destroy Orthodoxy

Yes, I believe that.

See message 109 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41126.msg675922.html#msg675922

Quote
and therefore must be attacked with vigor

I do not believe I have said that.  So far the attacks are coming from Rome, via the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Croatian Franciscans, etc.


Quote
and it's so-called lies and duplicity exposed to Orthodox believers.

I do not believe I have said that either, although I agree with it.

Quote
 Father Ambrose does an excellent job of doing just that...very often at the expense of the truth.

That is not true.  But I know a certain Cartholic lady of whom it is true... who falsely accuses the Orthodox of sexual liberalism, of approving abortion,  of lying by suppressing our supposed earlier belief in the Immaculate Conception.

Quote
If that is what you are asking me about...sure...I think that one can easily bear false witness if one is so inclined,

Congratulations.  You have demonstrated the truth of your words.


Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 10:41:00 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 21, 2012, 10:43:28 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 21, 2012, 11:11:33 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 21, 2012, 11:33:33 PM
I believe that us receiving Christ in the eucharist can be likened to Mary receiving Christ in her womb...she received the fullness of God in her womb, and we receive him similarly in the eucharist. That does not mean that we participate in God's nature or essence however.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 21, 2012, 11:50:01 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

To know God's essence is basically equivalent to saying that we will come to comprehend what it is to be uncreated, infinite and uncircumscribed. It would imply some sort of pantheism.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 12:05:31 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 22, 2012, 12:06:01 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

In context of this thread to date, this question appears to be trying to imply some sort of contradiction between the Orthodox insistence that we cannot know God in His essence and the Orthodox belief that Christ Himself is present in the Eucharist? If I've misunderstood where you are going with that I apologize, but there is no contradiction. I can 'receive' something without 'understanding' it--as RCs should understand as well as we do since we both practice infant baptism. Or to Cavaradossi's point, I know my wife, and interact with her regularly on multiple levels. But that doesn't mean I understand her 'in her essence' (a claim that would make her laugh and laugh and laugh if I was silly enough to make it).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 22, 2012, 12:07:44 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

Above posted while I was posting my last answer, but no, that's not what it's saying at all. In the Eucharist and in Heaven we are in the Presence of God in His Essence. That doesn't mean that we are actually capable of comprehending it. We know God in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in His Essence.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 12:08:54 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

In context of this thread to date, this question appears to be trying to imply some sort of contradiction between the Orthodox insistence that we cannot know God in His essence and the Orthodox belief that Christ Himself is present in the Eucharist? If I've misunderstood where you are going with that I apologize, but there is no contradiction. I can 'receive' something without 'understanding' it--as RCs should understand as well as we do since we both practice infant baptism. Or to Cavaradossi's point, I know my wife, and interact with her regularly on multiple levels. But that doesn't mean I understand her 'in her essence' (a claim that would make her laugh and laugh and laugh if I was silly enough to make it).
A flawed analogy since you will never have perfect communion with your wife, but we will have perfect communion with God in heaven, which contradicts the teaching that some part of Him will forever be hidden from us.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 12:09:56 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

Above posted while I was posting my last answer, but no, that's not what it's saying at all. In the Eucharist and in Heaven we are in the Presence of God in His Essence. That doesn't mean that we are actually capable of comprehending it. We know God in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in His Essence.
I was always under the impression that when we get to heaven we will be in perfect union with (and thus know) God. To say that part of God will be forever unknowable does not sound like heaven.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 22, 2012, 12:17:10 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

Above posted while I was posting my last answer, but no, that's not what it's saying at all. In the Eucharist and in Heaven we are in the Presence of God in His Essence. That doesn't mean that we are actually capable of comprehending it. We know God in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in His Essence.
I was always under the impression that when we get to heaven we will be in perfect union with (and thus know) God. To say that part of God will be forever unknowable does not sound like heaven.

As Cavaradossi points out, God is Infinite and Transcendent. The only way that we could have 'perfect knowledge' of the Infinite would be if we ourselves became Omnisicient (i.e. Infinite). IOW, while theosis teaches that we become 'by Grace' what He is 'by Nature', to attain perfect knowledge of His transcendant Nature, we would have to cross that line and become Transcendent by Nature just as He is. Which leads to either polytheism (as God is no longer Unique but only the first of His kind) or a Hindu-style Monism in which the distinction between Created and Creator is wiped out and there is only Creator.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 22, 2012, 12:27:02 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 22, 2012, 12:33:35 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?


Quote
Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.

So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?


I've asked this same question to the EO on the forum and been told that the Essence is present in the Eucharist.

Quote
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

No, isn't our Communion with God in the Eucharist the same as our communion with God in heaven as the Divine Liturgy is the Kingdom of God intruding upon the seemingly ordinary world?

stay blessed
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 12:37:24 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 22, 2012, 12:54:55 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies),

Not me, but the great Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Chuch.  Read for example what I referenced from Saint Basil the Great. 


Quote
but then when asked to explain your needless distinction,

It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 01:02:39 AM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

Everything that Jesus Christ is, is present in the Holy Mysteries.
So...essence and energies or just energies, Father?

E~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g    :laugh:
So then our communion with God in the Eucharist is more complete than our communion with God in heaven?

We call them "the Holy Mysteries" and there is good reason for calling them that. I do not comprehend the Mysteries.
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies),

Not me, but the great Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Chuch.  Read for example what I referenced from Saint Basil the Great.
Done:

I looked through the link you provided, but where exactly does St. Basil teach, in the link provided or anywhere for that matter, that the essence of God will remain veiled and unknowable even in heaven?


Quote
but then when asked to explain your needless distinction,

It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 22, 2012, 01:06:48 AM
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 02:14:10 AM
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.
Yes...a rather ironic distinction.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Oh really...what Scriptures and Fathers draw such a sharp distinction (to the point where it sounds dangerously close to dividing God into parts) between God's essence and energies? Was this defined in an ecumenical council? Also, if you are insinuating that transubstantiation is "speculation in a vacuum" I will have to disagree. Transubstantiation means there is a transformation (or a change) in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ...which is no different than what the Eastern Orthodox believe since they believe in the real presence.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 22, 2012, 08:31:28 AM
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.
Yes...a rather ironic distinction.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Oh really...what Scriptures and Fathers draw such a sharp distinction (to the point where it sounds dangerously close to dividing God into parts) between God's essence and energies? Was this defined in an ecumenical council? Also, if you are insinuating that transubstantiation is "speculation in a vacuum" I will have to disagree. Transubstantiation means there is a transformation (or a change) in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ...which is no different than what the Eastern Orthodox believe since they believe in the real presence.

Where in the bible may I find God not being composed of parts? I know it might be confusing, but Aristotle is not a book in the bible.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 08:41:49 AM
I recall reading many of these sorts of explanations of the Orthodox position on the essence/energies distinction.

Does anyone know of a good Roman Catholic treatise that responds to the Orthodox position?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 08:44:43 AM
It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You have to understand, of course, what Fr. Ambrose means by "the Catholic Church".
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 22, 2012, 09:05:45 AM
It's not 'my' distinction but that of the Catholic Church, from the earliest centuries.
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You have to understand, of course, what Fr. Ambrose means by "the Catholic Church".

In this instance it refers to the undivided Church of East and West and the great Church Fathers I referenced who teach of essence and energies are from that glorious undivided period.  They belong to the theological heritage of each of our contemporary Churches.  And in fact by the light of Roman Catholic history they were bishops whose ultimate authority was the Supreme Pontiff in Rome.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Jetavan on January 22, 2012, 10:26:37 AM
Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Does the Church speak of the "Godhead" as "He", as a Person?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 11:25:14 AM
So...you pry into the inner workings of God by speculating and deciding that He exists in two parts (essence and energies), but then when asked to explain your needless distinction, you revert back to saying "it's just a mystery." Isn't that the very thing you accuse us of doing with transubstantiation with regards to the Holy Eucharist (e.g. you say that "real presence" is enough and that that anything else is needless speculation)?

If you think 'essence and energies' is prying into the inner working of God, then you've completely misunderstood the topic. The whole point of that distinction is a recognition that we *cannot* pry into the inner workings of God, and yet we do interact with Him; that is, it is about the Divine Economy, about how God interacts with His creation and not about Him in His Essence.
Yes...a rather ironic distinction.

Also, while the concept can be found in the Fathers running all the way back to scripture, it was formally defined in council in response to a specific heresy (i.e., it wasn't speculation in a vacuum)
Oh really...what Scriptures and Fathers draw such a sharp distinction (to the point where it sounds dangerously close to dividing God into parts) between God's essence and energies? Was this defined in an ecumenical council? Also, if you are insinuating that transubstantiation is "speculation in a vacuum" I will have to disagree. Transubstantiation means there is a transformation (or a change) in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ...which is no different than what the Eastern Orthodox believe since they believe in the real presence.

Where in the bible may I find God not being composed of parts? I know it might be confusing, but Aristotle is not a book in the bible.
Then where do you get the notion?

I recall reading many of these sorts of explanations of the Orthodox position on the essence/energies distinction.

Does anyone know of a good Roman Catholic treatise that responds to the Orthodox position?
I would be interested in reading it if it exists.

Really? It's been my experience that the Catholic Church doesn't make any further distinctions to the Godhead than saying He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Does the Church speak of the "Godhead" as "He", as a Person?
Can only persons be referred to as "he?"
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 22, 2012, 02:08:13 PM
So when you 'go to Heaven'  ??? and 'enter the Presence of God,' what is it? A test pattern?  :P
Apparently you won't ever get to fully experience God, not even in heaven, since there is a part of God known as His "essence" that is forever hidden from us.

Saint Basil the Great, answering the objection that Christians are idiots because they worship a God who cannot be known in His essence...

http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html

this part sums it up for me:

"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach."
That makes sense when speaking of our experience on Earth, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that we will never know God's essence even in heaven. Do the Eastern Orthodox believe God is fully present in the Holy Eucharist, or just His "energies"?

To know God's essence is basically equivalent to saying that we will come to comprehend what it is to be uncreated, infinite and uncircumscribed. It would imply some sort of pantheism.

His essence and His energies are not two separate things.  Not even St. Gregory goes that far.

IF they were indeed...in reality...two separate things then you would actually have a created reality in the energies.   But it is not said that you do.   Any more than there is some separate created reality in the "created grace" of the west. 

Also when the east says essence and the west says essence, I do not believe we are talking about quite the same thing...So the fact remains that to know the energies is to know something of the essence, otherwise we cannot speak of a share in the divine life and have it mean anything at all.

So when the west speaks of His essence they speak in terms of the essence that we can know something of by virtue of His dwelling in us and us dwelling in Him.

And the first way that we being to know is through and by His Word.

M.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 22, 2012, 02:08:25 PM

As Cavaradossi points out, God is Infinite and Transcendent. The only way that we could have 'perfect knowledge' of the Infinite would be if we ourselves became Omnisicient (i.e. Infinite). IOW, while theosis teaches that we become 'by Grace' what He is 'by Nature', to attain perfect knowledge of His transcendant Nature, we would have to cross that line and become Transcendent by Nature just as He is. Which leads to either polytheism (as God is no longer Unique but only the first of His kind) or a Hindu-style Monism in which the distinction between Created and Creator is wiped out and there is only Creator.

This, of course, is the perennial error of most lay Orthodox who engage this kind of assertion in these conversations.

There is NOTHING in Catholic teaching that says we come to a full understanding of divinity.

Period.

Go from there and maybe you can stop making these silly kinds of conclusions about Catholic teaching.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 22, 2012, 02:39:41 PM

As Cavaradossi points out, God is Infinite and Transcendent. The only way that we could have 'perfect knowledge' of the Infinite would be if we ourselves became Omnisicient (i.e. Infinite). IOW, while theosis teaches that we become 'by Grace' what He is 'by Nature', to attain perfect knowledge of His transcendant Nature, we would have to cross that line and become Transcendent by Nature just as He is. Which leads to either polytheism (as God is no longer Unique but only the first of His kind) or a Hindu-style Monism in which the distinction between Created and Creator is wiped out and there is only Creator.

This, of course, is the perennial error of most lay Orthodox who engage this kind of assertion in these conversations.

There is NOTHING in Catholic teaching that says we come to a full understanding of divinity.

Period.

Go from there and maybe you can stop making these silly kinds of conclusions about Catholic teaching.



That quote from Pope B16 seemed to imply something  similar to this though....

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 22, 2012, 02:43:37 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 02:55:30 PM
I recall reading many of these sorts of explanations of the Orthodox position on the essence/energies distinction.

Does anyone know of a good Roman Catholic treatise that responds to the Orthodox position?
I would be interested in reading it if it exists.

This seems to be Papist's department, but I don't know if he is around.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 02:57:36 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 02:59:56 PM
I recall reading many of these sorts of explanations of the Orthodox position on the essence/energies distinction.

Does anyone know of a good Roman Catholic treatise that responds to the Orthodox position?
I would be interested in reading it if it exists.

This seems to be Papist's department, but I don't know if he is around.
I seem to recall that he didn't agree with Palamism either. The more I hear the more I agree with Papist.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 03:01:05 PM
Hi elijahmaria. I'm glad to see the conversation has come back to created grace -- I was worried that you had missed or forgotten my question:

I was under the impression that he did talk about "created grace", so I took a look (not a very thorough look tbh). I managed to find "Is there created grace in Christ?" (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer29.htm) Now I haven't analysed this very thoroughly, and I can think of a number of possible alternatives (I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that "created grace" is actually a bad translation of something Aquinas said -- just consider situation with the phrase "praying to the saints"). But it appears to go against the idea that 'The phrase "created grace" comes later' than Aquinas.

Torrell would agree with you.  I suppose what I was remembering was the text of a lecture where the instructor indicated that the phrase created grace was never used by St. Thomas without the explanation that is offered in Torrell's text below.  I went back and listened to the pertinent section of the lecture and found that I had conflated two ideas and drawn the wrong conclusion.  Nevertheless the notion of created grace is not what Orthodox believers generally say that it is in fact:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9s4qJ78nzW8C&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=Does+Aquinas+use+the+phrase+created+grace&source=bl&ots=rfgAVqHU82&sig=JdWlRNi-OYBUbDno6ITjxzUji4k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QMcYT6O6JuHx0gGg2rjqCw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Does%20Aquinas%20use%20the%20phrase%20created%20grace&f=false


I clicked on the link, but then I decided not to wade through several paragraphs. Perhaps you could tell us what conclusion you draw from that article. Does it support:

There is no particular phrase to be translated.  He speaks of grace that comes to us in a manner that we, as God's human creatures, are capable of receiving it.  The phrase "created grace" comes later.

?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 22, 2012, 03:24:49 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 03:44:31 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Why wouldn't God want us to have this knowledge and experience?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 22, 2012, 04:15:21 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Why wouldn't God want us to have this knowledge and experience?

There are laws of the universe.  God cannot contradict them.  He made us creatures.  We remain creatures.  It is not about "want"...It is about "is".
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Cavaradossi on January 22, 2012, 04:26:02 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Why wouldn't God want us to have this knowledge and experience?

As Mary said, it's not about want. It's simply a limitation of our being. Humans and angels alike do not and will not ever fully know God. For God to make it so would destroy what we are, created beings.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 05:22:59 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Why wouldn't God want us to have this knowledge and experience?

There are laws of the universe.  God cannot contradict them.  He made us creatures.  We remain creatures.  It is not about "want"...It is about "is".
So you're saying that an all powerful God is limited by laws of the universe...laws that He himself created?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 22, 2012, 05:24:24 PM
The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...


M.
The notion that a universal papacy "can be drawn from a reading of scripture" -though inferred and/or claimed enough among amateur apologists- is an anachronistic myth held by not a single major contemporary scholar. No informed major historian today believes such an office even existed in the earliest centuries of Christianity, even in Rome -yes that includes intellectually honest and/or responsible contemporary Roman Catholic historians.[1]

The *actual* petrine ministry as it was understood in earliest Christianity is another thing entirely. The earliest witnesses conceived of it as operative in all bishops, as St. Cyprian and other early witnesses and all Orthodox writers who address it maintain. This historic early view of the petrine ministry in fact has continued unbroken after the Schism and to this present day. It is amateur Roman Catholic apologists who here as elsewhere wish to maintain a POV which was actually unknown, unheard of, and unspoken of in earliest Christianity even in Rome (I use the phrase amateur Roman Catholic apologists to demarcate this group -so furiously active on the internet and in print- from academic Roman Catholic historians and theologians who these days sound more like the mainstream scholars on such matters).

Any claim, therefore, that Orthodox Christians regard the biblical petrine ministry as "a load of crap" would constitute crass misrepresentation and/or gross ignorance of the Orthodox POV.

"The 'Peter Syndrome' is the automatic (and unjustified) application of anything about Peter to the bishop of Rome exclusively." (Fr. Cleenwerke, His Broken Body,p. 78).

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
It is you rather than the Orthodox who sound like the Protestant fundamentalist -on the basis of scripture indeed! As if the position you advocate even existed in either early post-apostolic Christianity or scripture.
_________________________
[1] There was nothing corresponding to even the level of Metropolitan Bishop until the Council of Nicea in AD 325. An outline of the usual picture was given here; http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42259.msg694815.html#msg694815  

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 22, 2012, 05:32:46 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Why wouldn't God want us to have this knowledge and experience?

As Mary said, it's not about want. It's simply a limitation of our being. Humans and angels alike do not and will not ever fully know God. For God to make it so would destroy what we are, created beings.

It is not just a limitation, it is also a gift from God to be unique, distinct, and independent.  If we were all particles of God as the Brahmans suggest, then our own individual personalities would merely be circumstantial and temporal, our identity, our nature, would be inconsequential in the scheme of eternity.  However, by the Grace of God, He has created us all as individuals, who exist as individuals, while sharing a common human nature, we are individual souls.  This is how we can exist, contemplate, and either accept or reject God's reality at any given moment.  If in Heaven we were to completely "know" God then we would lose this distinction, we would no longer remain independent organs of the Body of Christ, and we would be like the Brahmans say, "A drop of the Godhead coming together as many drops of water form the oneness of the Seas."  It is a gift from God, that through the Resurrection, we are allowed to exist by His Will (again we are not self-existing even as spirits) for the potential of Eternity, as ourselves and all that entails.  We do not merge with the Godhead, we remain our distinctive human nature, sanctified and glorified just as Jesus Christ by the Union as perfected human nature.  So our distinction from God is not strictly a limitation or a punishment, rather it is a wonderful gift from God, the very gift of life.  We return the favor through worship, gratitude, and love to God.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Wyatt on January 22, 2012, 05:36:21 PM
How exactly would our knowing and experiencing God fully necessarily mean that we fully merge into Him in such a way that we are no longer individuals? I'm sorry but to me this all sounds very speculative.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 05:39:05 PM
I've heard it stated this way: we can know God so much as He reveals Himself to us, be we cannot know God as He knows Himself.
Not even in heaven when we are glorified, our minds are restored and we are in perfect union with God?

Right.  Not even in heaven.  We remain creatures and in that way there will always be something of the divinity that can neither be experienced nor known. 

We have a creature's share in the divine life.

M.
Why wouldn't God want us to have this knowledge and experience?

There are laws of the universe.  God cannot contradict them.  He made us creatures.  We remain creatures.  It is not about "want"...It is about "is".
So you're saying that an all powerful God is limited by laws of the universe...laws that He himself created?

After explaining the idea that Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, whereas we can be adopted children of God, C.S. Lewis addresses the question of why God did not simply "beget many sons at the outset":

Quote
All Christians are agreed that there is, in the full and original sense, only one "Son of God." If we insist on asking "But could there have been many?" we find ourselves in very deep water. Have the words "Could have been" any sense at all when applied to God? You can say that one particular finite thing "could have been" different from what it is, because it would have been different if something else had been different, and the something else would have been different if some third thing had been different, and so on. (The letters on this page would have been red if the printer had used red ink, and he would have used red ink if he had been instructed to, and so on.) But when you are talking about God-i.e. about the rock bottom, irreducible Fact on which all other facts depend- it is nonsensical to ask if It could have been otherwise. It is what It is, and there is an end of the matter.

-Mere Christianity

P.S. Thanks, Wyatt, for this rare opportunity to bring in Lewis. (And take that anyone who thought that Anglicans never did anything worthwhile.)
 :laugh:
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 22, 2012, 05:56:40 PM
Quote from: St. Basil the Great
"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach." -St. Basil
http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html
His essence and His energies are not two separate things.  Not even St. Gregory goes that far...

M.
St. Gregory writes:

"According to the true faith of God's Church which by His grace we hold, God possess inherent energy that makes Him manifest and is in this respect distinct from His essence..." (Philokalia: The Complete Texts, Vol. 4, p. 411)

IF they were indeed...in reality...two separate things then you would actually have a created reality in the energies...

M.
St. Gregory continues:

"Because those diseased in soul with Akindynos's delusions say that the energy that is distinct from God's essence is created, they conclude that God's creative power is created. For it is impossible to act and create without an energy, just as it is impossible to exist without existence. Therefore just as one cannot say that God's existence is created and at the same time affirm that His being is uncreated, so also one cannot say that God's energy is created and at the same time affirm that his power to act and create is uncreated" (ibid, p. 412)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 22, 2012, 06:18:33 PM
From Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way (NY: SVS, 2002)

ESSENCE AND ENERGIES
To indicate the two “poles” of God’s relationship to us —unknown yet well known, hidden yet revealed— the Orthodox tradition draws a distinction between the essence, nature or inner being of God, on the one hand, and his energies, operations or acts of power, on the other.

“He is outside all things according to his essence,” writes St Athanasius, “but he is in all things through his acts of power.”12 “We know the essence through the energy”, St Basil affirms. “No one has ever seen the essence of God, but we believe in the essence because we experience the energy.”13 By the essence of God is meant his otherness, by the energies his nearness. Because God is a mystery beyond our understanding, we shall never know his essence or inner being, either in this life or in the Age to come. If we knew the divine essence, it would follow that we knew God in the same way as he knows himself; and this we cannot ever do, since he is Creator and we are created. But, while God’s inner essence is for ever beyond our comprehension, his energies, grace, life and power fill the whole universe, and are directly accessible to us.

The essence, then, signifies the radical transcendence of God; the energies, his immanence and omnipresence. When Orthodox speak of the divine energies, they do not mean by this an emana­tion from God, an “intermediary” between God and man, or a “thing” or “gift” that God bestows. On the contrary, the energies are God himself in his activity and self-manifestation. When a man knows or participates in the divine energies, he truly knows or participates in God himself, so far as this is possible for a created being. But God is God, and we are human; and so, while he possesses us, we cannot in the same way possess him.

Just as it would be wrong to think of the energies as a “thing” bestowed on us by God, so it would be equally misleading to regard the energies as a “part” of God. The Godhead is simple and indivisible, and has no parts. The essence signifies the whole God as he is in himself; the energies signify the whole God as he is in action. God in his entirety is completely present in each of his divine energies. Thus the essence-energies distinction is a way of stating simultaneously that the whole God is inaccessible, and that the whole God in his outgoing love has rendered himself accessible to man.

By virtue of this distinction between the divine essence and the divine energies, we are able to affirm the possibility of a direct or mystical union between man and God—what the Greek Fathers term the theosis of man, his “deification”—but at the same time we exclude any pantheistic identification between the two: for man participates in the energies of God, not in the essence. There is union, but not fusion or confusion. Although “oned” with the di­vine, man still remains man; he is not swallowed up or annihilated, but between him and God there continues always to exist an “I— Thou” relationship of person to person.

Such, then, is our God: unknowable in his essence, yet known in his energies; beyond and above all that we can think or ex­press, yet closer to us than our own heart. Through the apophatic way we smash in pieces all the idols or mental images that we form of him, for we know that all are unworthy of his surpassing greatness. Yet at the same time, through our prayer and through our active service in the world, we discover at every moment his divine energies, his immediate presence in each person and each thing. Daily, hourly we touch him. We are, as Francis Thompson said, “in no strange land.” All around us is the “many-splen-doured thing”; Jacob’s ladder is “pitched betwixt heaven and Charing Cross”:

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee.

In the words of John Scotus Eriugena, “Every visible or invisible creature is a theophany or appearance of God.” The Christian is the one who, wherever he looks, sees God every­where and rejoices in him. Not without reason did the early Christians attribute to Christ this saying: “Lift the stone and you will find me; cut the wood in two and there am I.”

(http://i.imgur.com/rTHq8.png)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ionnis on January 22, 2012, 07:07:49 PM
I wish Metropolitan Kallistos was present every time I had a question.  So good. :)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 22, 2012, 11:28:51 PM
But, there are plenty of RCC sources that state there is a magisterium: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm)

I'm not inventing this.



And so we have the problem: it seems like the priority within the RCC is the magisterium, which can both pronounce and exempt dogmas, enforcing them here but permit their renunciation elsewhere.  So, a RCC priest may serve in a Latin Rite parish for many years and utter the filioque as fact, but then be reassigned to an Byz-Rite Catholic parish and skip over that dogma thus rejecting it.


This is where a huge portion of the problem lies.  There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The magisterial charge is the charge to go and make disciples.  In order to do that the Apostles and those who came after were given the Spirit led power and authority to discern and teach the truths of revelation.

I find it difficult to believe that Orthodoxy does not claim such a charge for itself.

HOW that magisterial charge is executed and whether or not there's room for discussion on points of doctrine/truth and their expression is what we are really talking about here.

Dogma is a manner of defining that which is already recognized as truth.  It is not some super-Truth or hyper-Truth that trumps all other truths.  The truth of revelation is the truth.

The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 22, 2012, 11:32:54 PM
Perhaps you are not seeing my point.  The problem we see is that the Pope grants the Eastern Catholics to maintain Orthodox dogmatic theology, which contradicts Rome's dogmas.  It seems to us, through cause and effect, that the priority is not in the theology but in the authority.

See how this looks?



And so we have the problem: it seems like the priority within the RCC is the magisterium, which can both pronounce and exempt dogmas, enforcing them here but permit their renunciation elsewhere.  So, a RCC priest may serve in a Latin Rite parish for many years and utter the filioque as fact, but then be reassigned to an Byz-Rite Catholic parish and skip over that dogma thus rejecting it.


This is where a huge portion of the problem lies.  There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The magisterial charge is the charge to go and make disciples.  In order to do that the Apostles and those who came after were given the Spirit led power and authority to discern and teach the truths of revelation.

I find it difficult to believe that Orthodoxy does not claim such a charge for itself.

HOW that magisterial charge is executed and whether or not there's room for discussion on points of doctrine/truth and their expression is what we are really talking about here.

Dogma is a manner of defining that which is already recognized as truth.  It is not some super-Truth or hyper-Truth that trumps all other truths.  The truth of revelation is the truth.

The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 11:37:29 PM
But, there are plenty of RCC sources that state there is a magisterium

I don't think anyone is denying that. The post you're responding to said that there is no magisterium "as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church".
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 22, 2012, 11:44:22 PM
Perhaps you are not seeing my point.  The problem we see is that the Pope grants the Eastern Catholics to maintain Orthodox dogmatic theology, which contradicts Rome's dogmas.  It seems to us, through cause and effect, that the priority is not in the theology but in the authority.

See how this looks?

Well, the example you gave was:

So, a RCC priest may serve in a Latin Rite parish for many years and utter the filioque as fact, but then be reassigned to an Byz-Rite Catholic parish and skip over that dogma thus rejecting it.

but I have a problem with the logic of assuming that everyone who doesn't say the filioque in the creed, rejects it.

As a matter of fact, I know a number of people who doesn't say the filioque in the creed, but accept the dogma (and said so explicitly).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 23, 2012, 12:48:08 AM
 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 04:58:15 AM
It is you rather than the Orthodox who sound like the Protestant fundamentalist -on the basis of scripture indeed! As if the position you advocate even existed in either early post-apostolic Christianity or scripture.
_________________________
[1] There was nothing corresponding to even the level of Metropolitan Bishop until the Council of Nicea in AD 325. An outline of the usual picture was given here; http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42259.msg694815.html#msg694815  

PRECISELY!!

You got yours about the same way we got ours.

Thanks for making it so apparent.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 04:58:15 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


It is not just a limitation, it is also a gift from God to be unique, distinct, and independent. 

This is an exceptionally important element of the entire question.  Our unique personhood which remains with us through everlasting life.

However we dare not dwell on this without noting that we must exercise a different way of looking at nature and person hood. 

In the case prior to your comment we were looking almost strictly at the human and the divine natures which are NOT interpenetrate as we witness in the True God, and True Man, incarnate.

Now that you have introduced person hood we can discuss even more profoundly that which IS interpenetrate. 

M.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 04:58:15 AM
Quote from: St. Basil the Great
"But we say that we know our God from His operations,
But do not undertake to approach near to His essence.
His operations come down to us,
But His essence remains beyond our reach." -St. Basil
http://www.voskrese.info/spl/basil234.html
His essence and His energies are not two separate things.  Not even St. Gregory goes that far...

M.
St. Gregory writes:

"According to the true faith of God's Church which by His grace we hold, God possess inherent energy that makes Him manifest and is in this respect distinct from His essence..." (Philokalia: The Complete Texts, Vol. 4, p. 411)

IF they were indeed...in reality...two separate things then you would actually have a created reality in the energies...

M.
St. Gregory continues:

"Because those diseased in soul with Akindynos's delusions say that the energy that is distinct from God's essence is created, they conclude that God's creative power is created. For it is impossible to act and create without an energy, just as it is impossible to exist without existence. Therefore just as one cannot say that God's existence is created and at the same time affirm that His being is uncreated, so also one cannot say that God's energy is created and at the same time affirm that his power to act and create is uncreated" (ibid, p. 412)

Have you never heard of a distinction without a difference?

I didn't say they were not distinct.  I said they were not different.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 23, 2012, 11:10:44 AM
The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...


M.
The notion that a universal papacy "can be drawn from a reading of scripture" -though inferred and/or claimed enough among amateur apologists- is an anachronistic myth held by not a single major contemporary scholar. No informed major historian today believes such an office even existed in the earliest centuries of Christianity, even in Rome -yes that includes intellectually honest and/or responsible contemporary Roman Catholic historians.[1]

The *actual* petrine ministry as it was understood in earliest Christianity is another thing entirely. The earliest witnesses conceived of it as operative in all bishops, as St. Cyprian and other early witnesses and all Orthodox writers who address it maintain. This historic early view of the petrine ministry in fact has continued unbroken after the Schism and to this present day. It is amateur Roman Catholic apologists who here as elsewhere wish to maintain a POV which was actually unknown, unheard of, and unspoken of in earliest Christianity even in Rome (I use the phrase amateur Roman Catholic apologists to demarcate this group -so furiously active on the internet and in print- from academic Roman Catholic historians and theologians who these days sound more like the mainstream scholars on such matters).

Any claim, therefore, that Orthodox Christians regard the biblical petrine ministry as "a load of crap" would constitute crass misrepresentation and/or gross ignorance of the Orthodox POV.

"The 'Peter Syndrome' is the automatic (and unjustified) application of anything about Peter to the bishop of Rome exclusively." (Fr. Cleenwerke, His Broken Body,p. 78).

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
It is you rather than the Orthodox who sound like the Protestant fundamentalist -on the basis of scripture indeed! As if the position you advocate even existed in either early post-apostolic Christianity or scripture.
_________________________
[1] There was nothing corresponding to even the level of Metropolitan Bishop until the Council of Nicea in AD 325. An outline of the usual picture was given here; http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42259.msg694815.html#msg694815  



PRECISELY!!

You got yours about the same way we got ours.

Thanks for making it so apparent.


Precisely; the difference is that all of the above fits in quite nicely with the historic view of the Orthodox regarding the offices of the Church but very poorly with medieval to second millennium Roman Catholic views.  

(A) RC insists that offices above local bishop to have been instituted by divine right from the beginning, which is obscurantist historical nonsense no major contemporary scholar accepts, as described in detail above.

(B) Orthodox by contrast accept St. Justin's argument that all developments of office beyond the local bishop are not divinely ordained or necessary to the Church although they are justifiably adopted for pragmatic reasons; this is essentially the same thing writers like Fr. Laurent Cleenwercke mean when they distinguish functional from ontological primacy  ("ontological" in the sense of supposedly corresponding to actual divine mandate rather than just for practical reasons) in the Church. Functional primacy is fine -for purely human/practical reasons, so long as it does not violate the necessity of the Church to be of the same mind on the issue.

1 Cor 1:10:   "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought."

It is historically obscurantist to claim a divinely instituted office actually existed from the beginning which looked anything like the papacy even of the 4th century -absolutely unbelievable from an academic perspective without committing intellectual suicide. Dissenting Roman Catholics holding a more Conciliar perspective have argued this point very well. This fits in just fine with what the Orthodox Church believes and practices.

Meanwhile we still have amateur Roman Catholic apologists flooding the internet with "proofs" from the Gospel of Matthew etc. ad nauseum as supposedly buttressing what amounts to historical nonsense. Go figure!

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 11:24:46 AM
The Catholic Church says that the petrine ministry, the power and authority of the office, is of divine origin.  Protestants and Orthodox say that is a load of crap.

But that idea certainly can be drawn from a reading of scripture.  

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...


M.
The notion that a universal papacy "can be drawn from a reading of scripture" -though inferred and/or claimed enough among amateur apologists- is an anachronistic myth held by not a single major contemporary scholar. No informed major historian today believes such an office even existed in the earliest centuries of Christianity, even in Rome -yes that includes intellectually honest and/or responsible contemporary Roman Catholic historians.[1]

The *actual* petrine ministry as it was understood in earliest Christianity is another thing entirely. The earliest witnesses conceived of it as operative in all bishops, as St. Cyprian and other early witnesses and all Orthodox writers who address it maintain. This historic early view of the petrine ministry in fact has continued unbroken after the Schism and to this present day. It is amateur Roman Catholic apologists who here as elsewhere wish to maintain a POV which was actually unknown, unheard of, and unspoken of in earliest Christianity even in Rome (I use the phrase amateur Roman Catholic apologists to demarcate this group -so furiously active on the internet and in print- from academic Roman Catholic historians and theologians who these days sound more like the mainstream scholars on such matters).

Any claim, therefore, that Orthodox Christians regard the biblical petrine ministry as "a load of crap" would constitute crass misrepresentation and/or gross ignorance of the Orthodox POV.

"The 'Peter Syndrome' is the automatic (and unjustified) application of anything about Peter to the bishop of Rome exclusively." (Fr. Cleenwerke, His Broken Body,p. 78).

I'd certainly like to see the basis in Scripture from which one can assert without fear of contradiction that the conciliar path is the ONLY path...

M.
It is you rather than the Orthodox who sound like the Protestant fundamentalist -on the basis of scripture indeed! As if the position you advocate even existed in either early post-apostolic Christianity or scripture.
_________________________
[1] There was nothing corresponding to even the level of Metropolitan Bishop until the Council of Nicea in AD 325. An outline of the usual picture was given here; http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42259.msg694815.html#msg694815  



PRECISELY!!

You got yours about the same way we got ours.

Thanks for making it so apparent.


Precisely; the difference is that all of the above fits in quite nicely with the historic view of the Orthodox regarding the offices of the Church but very poorly with medieval to second millennium Roman Catholic views.  

(A) RC insists that offices above local bishop to have been instituted by divine right from the beginning, which is obscurantist historical nonsense no major contemporary scholar accepts, as described in detail above.

(B) Orthodox by contrast accept St. Justin's argument that all developments of office beyond the local bishop are not divinely ordained or necessary to the Church although they are justifiably adopted for pragmatic reasons; this is essentially the same thing writers like Fr. Laurent Cleenwercke mean when they distinguish functional from ontological primacy  ("ontological" in the sense of supposedly corresponding to actual divine mandate rather than just for practical reasons) in the Church. Functional primacy is fine -for purely human/practical reasons, so long as it does not violate the necessity of the Church to be of the same mind on the issue.

1 Cor 1:10:   "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought."

It is historically obscurantist to claim a divinely instituted office actually existed from the beginning which looked anything like the papacy even of the 4th century -absolutely unbelievable from an academic perspective without committing intellectual suicide. Dissenting Roman Catholics holding a more Conciliar perspective have argued this point very well. This fits in just fine with what the Orthodox Church believes and practices.

Meanwhile we still have amateur Roman Catholic apologists flooding the internet with "proofs" from the Gospel of Matthew etc. ad nauseum. Go figure!



 :D :D :D :D

Always comes down to this.

All you've got are the intellectual arguments of the dissenters.

Father Ambrose can't get out of left field without them either.

 :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 23, 2012, 11:28:49 AM
Not just your dissenters; all major contemporary historians. And the Holy Orthodox Church!

The sun does not revolve around the earth; you just don't get it.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 23, 2012, 11:45:11 AM
Not just your dissenters; all major contemporary historians. And the Holy Orthodox Church!

Wait, so are you saying that the Orthodox don't consider themselves dissenters from Catholicism? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 23, 2012, 11:59:21 AM
Not just your dissenters; all major contemporary historians. And the Holy Orthodox Church!

Wait, so are you saying that the Orthodox don't consider themselves dissenters from Catholicism? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

Is that a serious question?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: primuspilus on January 23, 2012, 12:01:40 PM
Not just your dissenters; all major contemporary historians. And the Holy Orthodox Church!

Wait, so are you saying that the Orthodox don't consider themselves dissenters from Catholicism? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?
Wow.

PP
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 12:03:48 PM
 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:09:16 PM
But, Peter, the whole purpose of a creed is to state one's beliefs!  Why would someone believe something, but purposefully refuse to say it at the proper time?  This makes no sense.  This is as if to say that confessing one's faith is unimportant.  I think that is very wrong.

If I were RC, then I would always say the 'filioque' because it would be a dogma for me.  Why would I hide my own dogmatic beliefs?


but I have a problem with the logic of assuming that everyone who doesn't say the filioque in the creed, rejects it.

As a matter of fact, I know a number of people who doesn't say the filioque in the creed, but accept the dogma (and said so explicitly).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:10:57 PM
What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Knee V on January 23, 2012, 12:14:00 PM
With regard to our ability (or lack thereof) to fully know God, our limitation is not one of "nature" per se, as if by virtue of being not-God we'd somehow explode or something if we fully knew God. Rather, God would have us know Him as fully as possible, even if it were possible to fully know Him. The hold back is that He is eternal and infinite and we are not. No matter how long eternity lasts, we, as finite beings, will never fully know the Infinite God. Otherwise God would be finite - HUGE - but finite.

With regard to the OP: I don't know if this was already shared, but St Isaac the Syrian was part of the Church that was officially Nestorian (separated from us at the Council of Ephesus), but he is still regarded as a canonical Orthodox saint. Since there is at least one "non-Orthodox" person who is an Orthodox saint, it is impossible to know what God does outside the Orthodox Church. As Christ said, "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:18:25 PM
This is very illuminating!

OK, here's the Orthodox perspective: notice how we talk a lot about 'Rome.'  For us, Rome was one of a number of ancient cities with Apostolic communities.  There was even an order: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.  When the Schism occurred, only one of the churches left... Rome.

This is how we see it.  So, the dissenter is the one who left, not the rest who remained.


Wait, so are you saying that the Orthodox don't consider themselves dissenters from Catholicism? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 12:20:17 PM
Fr. Ambrose's fingers typing on the keyboard  ;D ;D!

What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 23, 2012, 12:21:44 PM
Not just your dissenters; all major contemporary historians. And the Holy Orthodox Church!

Wait, so are you saying that the Orthodox don't consider themselves dissenters from Catholicism? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

Is that a serious question?

Well of course it is! No wait, the other thing ... isn't.

(Sorry, I guess Futurama has warped me sense of humor a little.)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: witega on January 23, 2012, 12:24:22 PM
Not just your dissenters; all major contemporary historians. And the Holy Orthodox Church!

Wait, so are you saying that the Orthodox don't consider themselves dissenters from Catholicism? Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

Is that a serious question?

Well of course it is! No wait, the other thing ... isn't.

(Sorry, I guess Futurama has warped me sense of humor a little.)

It's Monday morning and I was only half-way through my first cup of coffee. I think I'm following now.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 12:24:26 PM
But, there are plenty of RCC sources that state there is a magisterium: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm)

I'm not inventing this.



I gave you a thumbnail sketch of what it was and what it was NOT...

So I am not sure how to respond to this comment which indicates, apparently, that you think I've said that the magisterial charge, and the teaching of those with the power and authority to interpret the truths of revelation...don't exist.

All I can say to you is that I never said what it appears to me that you are saying I said by your question.

How confusing... ;)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:27:34 PM
Er, no, he's been making pretty clear points.

Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.

Such a contention is clearly dodgy.  Perhaps a 'red herring' to stray off the earlier point?  ;)


Fr. Ambrose's fingers typing on the keyboard  ;D ;D!

What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:29:20 PM
So, Mary, why was it so important to talk about this to begin with since you brought it up?

But, there are plenty of RCC sources that state there is a magisterium: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15006b.htm)

I'm not inventing this.



I gave you a thumbnail sketch of what it was and what it was NOT...

So I am not sure how to respond to this comment which indicates, apparently, that you think I've said that the magisterial charge, and the teaching of those with the power and authority to interpret the truths of revelation...don't exist.

All I can say to you is that I never said what it appears to me that you are saying I said by your question.

How confusing... ;)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:37:39 PM
This post contains several problematic assertions that the argument over 'magisterium' derailed:

First, would you agree that RC bishops are governed by canon law?

Second, would you agree that the Pope regulates the expression of RC doctrine and its teaching?

Third, would you not agree that the Pope has 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction' over all bishop and laity in the RCC?

You might want to rephrase your post.


Mary, my sense is that we Orthodox see the Magisterium of Rome as the 'lynch pin' of Roman Catholic teachings.  There is a single point of reference, a single authority, for all teachings.

This has given the RCC the ability to conduct major changes in theology and practice in a very brief period of time, such as the Novo Ordo, which the Orthodox Church simply could never do even if a majority of the bishops resolved to do just that.  Our diversification of authority, through the notion of common Apostolic succession to all bishops, prevents such changes.

For this reason, we tend to look at RCC tradition as a dictate of the Magisterium.  All saints, all writings, all teachings come through this single entity, whereas Orthodox teachings come from a consensus perspective: we don't have a single interpretive office.

Now, there may be particulars in how that single office conducts business, and I imagine that given the size and history of the Vatican makes even small changes rather difficult, but they are certainly easier to accomplish than getting a room full of Russians and Greeks to sit down and agree to anything! 
  :police:

Father,

I do understand what you are saying and appreciate the impact that vision would have on those outside of the Church.  

But I must add this to what you have said.  The very fact that the Novus Ordo and many many of the changes that are comprised today, by the normative Roman rite, actually were implemented on the orders of various bishop's delegates in committee and not by the papal office nor even the documents from a general council, ought to make it plain as day that there is a fearsome amount of power in the office of bishop in the Catholic Church.

The truth is that there is no one single locus of magisterial teaching.  There is indeed one single locus for collecting the documents and teachings of the ages, coming from councils and synodal meetings and curial texts so that it becomes that much more efficient to devise a catechism or a code of canons...but to think that the contents of those tomes come from one single point on some triangle of a hierarchy is simply a delusion.

But the magisterial charge was given to the bishops and that is where the locus of power in the Church remains to this day.  The source of the petrine authority may indeed be divine, but the successful daily and pedestrian exercise of that authority is absolutely dependent upon the good will of Catholic bishops all over the world.

Short of an act of God there is nothing that can break the power of a bishop.

In that spirit, I believe that the cracking open of the sexual scandal in the Church is such and act of divine providence.  For all of the ensuing distress, I believe there will be great good emerge from it.  God help those who have been accused falsely however.  Lord have mercy.

Without that understanding then it is impossible to grasp the glory of the Catholic Church.  It is also impossible to really understand and forgive those who bear the magisterial ugliness that too often resides within.

There's more but that's enough for the moment.

M.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 12:41:56 PM
Er, yes.

He's taking a sentence completely out of context and making of it a non-truth.  It certainly gives the impression of hair-splitting and pot-stirring.  And I think he knows better.  So, he really should put his hair in the pot, heat, stir, and serve.  What you'll get is a bowl full of nonsense.  See Mary's comment above.

No one ever denied the existence of the Magisterium.  It's just that it doesn't have a physical address and all that goes along with that.  C'mon, now!

Er, no, he's been making pretty clear points.

Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.

Such a contention is clearly dodgy.  Perhaps a 'red herring' to stray off the earlier point?  ;)


Fr. Ambrose's fingers typing on the keyboard  ;D ;D!

What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 23, 2012, 12:43:47 PM
another difference in opinion is that most RC's believe theosis is complete once one reaches heaven, but most Orthodox believe that theosis continues forever.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 12:48:09 PM
another difference in opinion is that most RC's believe theosis is complete once one reaches heaven, but most Orthodox believe that theosis continues forever.

They do?  Where'd you get that idea?  As I said before, most RC's (and probably not a few Orthodox) have never even heard the term, let alone know whether it is complete or continues forever.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 23, 2012, 12:49:25 PM
another difference in opinion is that most RC's believe theosis is complete once one reaches heaven, but most Orthodox believe that theosis continues forever.

They do?  Where'd you get that idea?  As I said before, most RC's (and probably not a few Orthodox) have never even heard the term, let alone know whether it is complete or continues forever.

of the RC's who hold to some understanding of theosis, I meant.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 12:51:29 PM
Why is that important?

Er, yes.

He's taking a sentence completely out of context and making of it a non-truth.  It certainly gives the impression of hair-splitting and pot-stirring.  And I think he knows better.  So, he really should put his hair in the pot, heat, stir, and serve.  What you'll get is a bowl full of nonsense.  See Mary's comment above.

No one ever denied the existence of the Magisterium.  It's just that it doesn't have a physical address and all that goes along with that.  C'mon, now!

Er, no, he's been making pretty clear points.

Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.

Such a contention is clearly dodgy.  Perhaps a 'red herring' to stray off the earlier point?  ;)


Fr. Ambrose's fingers typing on the keyboard  ;D ;D!

What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 12:52:03 PM
another difference in opinion is that most RC's believe theosis is complete once one reaches heaven, but most Orthodox believe that theosis continues forever.

They do?  Where'd you get that idea?  As I said before, most RC's (and probably not a few Orthodox) have never even heard the term, let alone know whether it is complete or continues forever.

of the RC's who hold to some understanding of theosis, I meant.

That'd be a *far* cry from "most RC's", now, wouldn't it?  Not to mention a bunch of Orthodox, too.

Seems to me that the merry-go-round is gathering speed  ::) ;D ::).
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 01:02:04 PM
What is the "that" that you're referring to?  That Fr. A. would take something out of context and spin it?  Or that there is, in fact, a Magisterium that exists beyond the confines of a single physical space, contrary to the impression he and one or two others would like to give?

Why is that important?

Er, yes.

He's taking a sentence completely out of context and making of it a non-truth.  It certainly gives the impression of hair-splitting and pot-stirring.  And I think he knows better.  So, he really should put his hair in the pot, heat, stir, and serve.  What you'll get is a bowl full of nonsense.  See Mary's comment above.

No one ever denied the existence of the Magisterium.  It's just that it doesn't have a physical address and all that goes along with that.  C'mon, now!

Er, no, he's been making pretty clear points.

Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.

Such a contention is clearly dodgy.  Perhaps a 'red herring' to stray off the earlier point?  ;)


Fr. Ambrose's fingers typing on the keyboard  ;D ;D!

What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 23, 2012, 01:33:01 PM
I think we should all take a breath and give elijahmaria a chance to explain what she means by

 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Ortho_cat on January 23, 2012, 01:35:35 PM
another difference in opinion is that most RC's believe theosis is complete once one reaches heaven, but most Orthodox believe that theosis continues forever.

They do?  Where'd you get that idea?  As I said before, most RC's (and probably not a few Orthodox) have never even heard the term, let alone know whether it is complete or continues forever.

of the RC's who hold to some understanding of theosis, I meant.

That'd be a *far* cry from "most RC's", now, wouldn't it?  Not to mention a bunch of Orthodox, too.

Seems to me that the merry-go-round is gathering speed  ::) ;D ::).

of course, i'm implying that those i have included are familiar with the concept/understanding of such...
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: J Michael on January 23, 2012, 01:45:26 PM
deleted
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 02:01:50 PM
This post contains several problematic assertions that the argument over 'magisterium' derailed:

First, would you agree that RC bishops are governed by canon law?

Second, would you agree that the Pope regulates the expression of RC doctrine and its teaching?

Third, would you not agree that the Pope has 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction' over all bishop and laity in the RCC?

You might want to rephrase your post.



You might want to take a better, closer and more detailed and accurate look at Catholic reality, and a more nuanced look at her teachings.

And no.  The pope does not "regulate" the "expression" of RC doctrine and its teaching.   The papacy is NOT a regulatory office.

And no I do not want to rephrase my note to you concerning the magisterial charge, the bishops, the papacy and revealed truth...
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 02:01:50 PM
another difference in opinion is that most RC's believe theosis is complete once one reaches heaven

There are over a billion Catholics worldwide...I think you are over-reaching here... ;)

There is a formal teaching that says we continue to grow in grace and wisdom, knowledge and understanding by sharing in the divine life throughout everlasting life. 

So...you can start your head count on how many have read the memo any time you like... ;)
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: elijahmaria on January 23, 2012, 02:01:50 PM
Pope Benedict on the Petrine Ministry:

"The Catholic Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church. This ministry should not be interpreted in the perspective of power, but within an ecclesiology of communion, as a service to unity in truth and charity. The Bishop of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity ... is understood to be the 'Servus Servorum Dei' (Servant of the Servants of God). ... It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all".

http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/338524_pope_on_understanding_the_petrine_ministry.html
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: James2 on January 23, 2012, 02:02:09 PM
Ah, well, you know that the Church recognizes St. Augustine as a martyr, not as a theologian.  Sainthood does not make everything a saint did or said perfect...

Quote from: xariskai
There are far too many things taught by the Roman Catholic Magisterium as dogma that there is no scrap of whatsoever in the entire first Christian millennium. The notion that the papacy in the form amateur Catholic apologists argue for goes back to the first centuries of Christianity is an anachronistic myth according to all major contemporary church historians.

Somebody better tell St. Pope Martin and the other Roman Popes who are still commemorated in the Orthodox Church.

St. Augustine is a confessor, not a martyr.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 03:35:47 PM
Yes, the Pope regulates RC teachings.  He is infallible when he chooses to speak ex cathedra, correct?  Therefore, he has the ultimate veto-power over RC doctrine.

He is at the head of the magisterium, and has 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction' over all RCs.  To have this claim, but then say he does not have regulatory power is a failure either of logic or one's choice in understanding the term 'regulate.'  He regulates in the sense that he has supreme authority over all the RCC.

Mary, let me ask you this as a matter of clarification: can a RC deny the accuracy and truthfulness of a proclamation of the Pope and still be considered a RC in good standing?

You can't have it both ways: either the Pope has 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction' or he does not.  While he may choose to not exercise it or to follow certain procedures (i.e. protocols, canon law, etc.) he does have the final say.  This is at the heart of 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction'.  Procedures and protocols are not nuances because they are subject to alteration, whereas the claims of Petrine supremacy are ontological: 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction' gives the Pope the ability to amend these processes, since they are established under his authority.


This post contains several problematic assertions that the argument over 'magisterium' derailed:

First, would you agree that RC bishops are governed by canon law?

Second, would you agree that the Pope regulates the expression of RC doctrine and its teaching?

Third, would you not agree that the Pope has 'ordinary and immediate jurisdiction' over all bishop and laity in the RCC?

You might want to rephrase your post.



You might want to take a better, closer and more detailed and accurate look at Catholic reality, and a more nuanced look at her teachings.

And no.  The pope does not "regulate" the "expression" of RC doctrine and its teaching.   The papacy is NOT a regulatory office.

And no I do not want to rephrase my note to you concerning the magisterial charge, the bishops, the papacy and revealed truth...

Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 03:52:44 PM
I'm still trying to figure out what all the controversy is over the existence of the magisterium?  It is pretty clear that it exists as an expression of papal administration.

What is the "that" that you're referring to?  That Fr. A. would take something out of context and spin it?  Or that there is, in fact, a Magisterium that exists beyond the confines of a single physical space, contrary to the impression he and one or two others would like to give?

Why is that important?

Er, yes.

He's taking a sentence completely out of context and making of it a non-truth.  It certainly gives the impression of hair-splitting and pot-stirring.  And I think he knows better.  So, he really should put his hair in the pot, heat, stir, and serve.  What you'll get is a bowl full of nonsense.  See Mary's comment above.

No one ever denied the existence of the Magisterium.  It's just that it doesn't have a physical address and all that goes along with that.  C'mon, now!

Er, no, he's been making pretty clear points.

Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.

Such a contention is clearly dodgy.  Perhaps a 'red herring' to stray off the earlier point?  ;)


Fr. Ambrose's fingers typing on the keyboard  ;D ;D!

What is the sound of one hair splitting?    :D

There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

The Code of Canon Law certainly speaks of the Magisterium.  Canon Law speaks of its acts and it requires submission and obedience to its teachings and decisions.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/LX.HTM

Did anyone say there was *not* a Magisterium?
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 03:55:29 PM
A beautiful statement, and something Orthodox Church agrees with in terms of the equality of all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome.

Pope Benedict on the Petrine Ministry:

"The Catholic Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church. This ministry should not be interpreted in the perspective of power, but within an ecclesiology of communion, as a service to unity in truth and charity. The Bishop of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity ... is understood to be the 'Servus Servorum Dei' (Servant of the Servants of God). ... It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all".

http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/338524_pope_on_understanding_the_petrine_ministry.html
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: primuspilus on January 23, 2012, 03:59:23 PM
A beautiful statement, and something Orthodox Church agrees with in terms of the equality of all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome.

Pope Benedict on the Petrine Ministry:

"The Catholic Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church. This ministry should not be interpreted in the perspective of power, but within an ecclesiology of communion, as a service to unity in truth and charity. The Bishop of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity ... is understood to be the 'Servus Servorum Dei' (Servant of the Servants of God). ... It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all".

http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/338524_pope_on_understanding_the_petrine_ministry.html
Thats the problem. It is equality, but some..or one is MORE equal than others.

PP
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 23, 2012, 04:06:07 PM
I think we should all take a breath and give elijahmaria a chance to explain what she means by

 There is no "magisterium" as in an office or organization in the Catholic Church.

P.S. EM, I think you should do it soon. The crowd here seems to be getting a little restless.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 23, 2012, 04:13:56 PM
Which part of the quote are you referring to, when you speak of equality of bishops?

A beautiful statement, and something Orthodox Church agrees with in terms of the equality of all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome.

Pope Benedict on the Petrine Ministry:

"The Catholic Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church. This ministry should not be interpreted in the perspective of power, but within an ecclesiology of communion, as a service to unity in truth and charity. The Bishop of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity ... is understood to be the 'Servus Servorum Dei' (Servant of the Servants of God). ... It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all".

http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/338524_pope_on_understanding_the_petrine_ministry.html
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: stanley123 on January 23, 2012, 04:15:08 PM
Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.
Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."
 

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#III
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: xariskai on January 23, 2012, 04:20:34 PM
Pope Benedict on the Petrine Ministry:

"The Catholic Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church. This ministry should not be interpreted in the perspective of power, but within an ecclesiology of communion, as a service to unity in truth and charity. The Bishop of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity ... is understood to be the 'Servus Servorum Dei' (Servant of the Servants of God). ... It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all".

http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/338524_pope_on_understanding_the_petrine_ministry.html

A beautiful statement, and something Orthodox Church agrees with in terms of the equality of all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome.
+++

"The “Peter Syndrome” is the automatic (and unjustified) application of anything about Peter to the bishop of Rome exclusively." (Fr. Cleenwerke, His Broken Body,p. 78).

"Cyprian, along with his synod of North African bishops, left no room for doubt: 'For neither does any of us set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terror does any compel his colleague to the necessity of obedience; since every bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he himself can judge another' (Acts of the Seventh Council of Carthage under Cyprian, The Judgment of Eighty-Seven Bishops on the Baptism of Heretics).     -Fr. Laurent Cleenewerke, His Broken Body

As Fr. John Meyendorff affirms
"...a very clear patristic tradition sees the succession of Peter in the episcopal ministry. The doctrine of St Cyprian of Carthage on the 'See of Peter' being present in every local Church, and not only in Rome, is well-known. It is also found in the East, among people who certainly never read the De unitate ecclesia of Cyprian, but who share its main idea, thus witnessing to it as part of the catholic tradition of the Church. St Gregory of Nyssa, for example, affirms that Christ “through Peter gave to the bishops the keys of the heavenly honors,” and the author of the Areopagitica, when speaking of the “hierarchs” of the Church, refers immediately to the image of St Peter. A careful analysis of ecclesiastical literature both Eastern and Western, of the first millennium, including such documents as the lives of the saint, would certainly show that this tradition was a persistent one; and indeed it belongs to the essence of Christian ecclesiology to consider any local bishop to be the teacher of his flock and therefore to fulfill sacramentally, through apostolic succession, the office of the first true believer, Peter.' (On the Unity of the Catholic Church)

"Origen tells us that it was the standard claim of all bishops to have received the power of the keys: Consider how great power the rock has upon which the church is built by Christ, and how great power every one has who says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”… But when those who maintain the function of the episcopate make use of this word as Peter, and, having received the keys of the kingdom of heaven from the Savior, teach that things bound by them, that is to say, condemned, are also bound in heaven, and that those which have obtained remission by them are also loosed in heaven, we must say that they speak wholesomely if they have the way of life on account of which it was said to that Peter, “Thou art Peter...” But if he is tightly bound with the cords of his sins, to no purpose does he bind and loose." It seems that Origen had traveled extensively by the time he wrote his Second Commentary on Matthew. As a result, we must assume that he accurately reported what he heard: bishops were quoting Matthew 16 to establish the prerogatives of their office.

 "Chrysostom also calls Ignatius of Antioch successor of Peter. There is no doubt that his reference to “Peter and his successors” applies to the bishops everywhere, not to the bishops of Rome exclusively. In fact, there is a real possibility that Chrysostom’s perception of Peter’s role stems from his view of the episcopate (not the other way around)." -Fr. Laurent Cleerenwerke, His Broken Body, p. 84.
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 04:34:52 PM
When the statement says, "the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all," we would state this is the ministry of all bishops, rather than it being particular to the Bishop of Rome exclusively.

Let's look at it this way: within an eparchy/diocese, the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishop is exclusive.  No other bishop has jurisdiction, except in the case of Rome, where the Church of Rome has decided that its bishop has immediate and ordinary jurisdiction in all dioceses.  This is the ultimate divide between Rome and the other Churches: we would say that if the Church of Rome would not attempt to exercise immediate and ordinary jurisdiction in all dioceses outside its own territory, then we could probably enter into a more constructive dialog about the theological differences between our churches, since there would be a restoration of the original mechanism by which dogma and disciplinary canons were developed.


Which part of the quote are you referring to, when you speak of equality of bishops?

A beautiful statement, and something Orthodox Church agrees with in terms of the equality of all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome.

Pope Benedict on the Petrine Ministry:

"The Catholic Church understands the Petrine ministry as a gift of the Lord to His Church. This ministry should not be interpreted in the perspective of power, but within an ecclesiology of communion, as a service to unity in truth and charity. The Bishop of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity ... is understood to be the 'Servus Servorum Dei' (Servant of the Servants of God). ... It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all".

http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/338524_pope_on_understanding_the_petrine_ministry.html
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: FatherGiryus on January 23, 2012, 04:35:55 PM
Thank you for the confirmation.

Denying the existence of the magisterium in RC teaching is bizarre, simply because there isn't an office with a desk called 'the magisterium.'  It clearly exists, just as we say here in the US that there is an 'Obama Administration' even though no such thing as that 'exists' as a separate office.
Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."
 

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#III
Title: Re: Is theosis possible for those in communion with Rome?
Post by: Peter J on January 23, 2012, 04:56:23 PM
Okay, I see now. I thought you had misread the quote, but now I see twas I who misread you.

When the statement says, "the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognised by one and all," we would state this is the ministry of all bishops, rather than it being particular to the Bishop of Rome exclusively.

Let's look at it this way: within an eparchy/diocese, the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishop is exclusive.  No other bishop has jurisdiction, except in the case of Rome, where the Church of Rome has decided that its bishop has immediate and ordinary jurisdiction in all dioceses.  This is the ultimate divide between Rome and the other Churches: we would say that if the Church of Rome would not attempt to exercise immediate and ordinary jurisdiction in all dioceses outside its own territory, then we could probably enter into a more con