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Author Topic: Ecumenism & Orthodoxy  (Read 6631 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantine Christian
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« on: November 22, 2003, 04:39:45 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

My question is, what does Orthodoxy have against Ecumenism
and the WCC? Isnt the (Ecumenical) Patriarchate of Constantinople
in favor of it?
 
As I have said on other threads I'm converting to Holy Orthodoxy
and was looking into being recieved by the Greek Orthodox Church,
but I have been hearing that there kind of liberal, Im looking for
a strict and traditional Orthodox jurisdiction. What would your advice be?

Hope you can help

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2003, 05:15:14 PM »

Dear friend.

I would tell you a personal opinion, which is also the opinion of many people. I believe it's very wonderful that the Orthodox Churches, the Patriarchate of Constantinople in particular, who is the the first of all patriarchates, to work and encourage dialogue for Church Unity. Now when we talk about the unity of the Church, we must be talking about Churches (even when not "The Church" since this is the Orthodox Church). Therefore the dialogue with Non-Chalcedoneans and the Church of Rome are the key of Church Unity, to restore the unity that was lost, from our similarities, since all these Churches have preserved the priesthood and the sacraments of the Church of Christ.

Now the WCC is full of Protestant sects, devoid of Apostolic Succession and graceful sacraments. Those sects are the enemies of Christ for they have falsified his doctrine in a horrible way, and have imposed their false religion through violence most of the time. Now they want to cheat us and tell us they have changed, but they continue to proselitize and infiltrate their liberal ideas regarding marriage, contraception and even abortion. The protestant sects represent the worst aspect of the Western Civilization because of its rationalism, its modernism, its liberalism. The Anglican Church in particular offends and makes public mockery of Christian sees and Bishophrics, and by performing sacrilegous ceremonies that resemble masses or liturgies, while they support women "priests" and homosexual clergy. Now, we must be careful. I believe that Churches who participate in the WCC do so because of good intentions and Christian charity.

This is why I respect the decissions of the Ecumenical Patrarchate. we must be very careful when we talk about "liberal" and "traditional" jurisdictions.

This site provides a list of canonical jurisdictions, this is what we must look for. Jurisdictions and Churches that are part of the Orthodox Church and in full Communion with each other and the Ecumenical Patriarch:

http://www.oca.org/pages/orth_chri/Orthodox-Churches/index.htm

Many jurisdictions that call themselves traditional are not part of the Orthodox Church and hurt her gravely by attacking Orthodox hierarchs in a very uncharitable way, or doubting the validity and grace conference of the Church's sacraments.

I hope this works!

Blessings
« Last Edit: November 22, 2003, 05:56:11 PM by Mexican » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2003, 05:16:40 PM »

(Well, I'm still Baptist, at least in name, but I'll step up to the plate)

Having read some books on Orthodoxy, the authors of some express that the Orthodox "mission" to the WCC has been a failure.  This is because the rationale for the Orthodox involvement in the ecumenical movement in the first place was to be a witness to the true faith.  It's obvious, however to some, that this hasn't worked, for the WCC has become more liberal and tended more towards syncretism.  I recall reading that Orthodox theologian Fr. George Florovsky, who initially was in favor of the ecumenical movement for the reason stated above, acknowledged that this effort has more or less failed.  For that reason, I've read, many in Orthodoxy advocate getting out of the WCC.

This is my 2 cents from what I remember reading.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  Any comments?
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2003, 06:22:00 PM »

While im still searching for Gods' will for me in my Journey
into Orthodoxy, I was thinking about entering Holy
Orthodoxy through the ROCOR. Thats why I was wondering
about Ecumenism. I dont want and cannont, follow
A Patriarch that doenst teach Traditional Orthodoxy.

In Christ+
Daniel
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2003, 09:25:48 PM »

(Well, I'm still Baptist, at least in name, but I'll step up to the plate)

Having read some books on Orthodoxy, the authors of some express that the Orthodox "mission" to the WCC has been a failure.  This is because the rationale for the Orthodox involvement in the ecumenical movement in the first place was to be a witness to the true faith.  It's obvious, however to some, that this hasn't worked, for the WCC has become more liberal and tended more towards syncretism.  I recall reading that Orthodox theologian Fr. George Florovsky, who initially was in favor of the ecumenical movement for the reason stated above, acknowledged that this effort has more or less failed.  For that reason, I've read, many in Orthodoxy advocate getting out of the WCC.

This is my 2 cents from what I remember reading.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  Any comments?

I think you got it exactly right, DT.

We must have read some of the same books!  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2003, 09:39:14 PM »

While im still searching for Gods' will for me in my Journey
into Orthodoxy, I was thinking about entering Holy
Orthodoxy through the ROCOR. Thats why I was wondering
about Ecumenism. I dont want and cannont, follow
A Patriarch that doenst teach Traditional Orthodoxy.

In Christ+
Daniel

Which Orthodox Patriarch is not teaching traditional Orthodoxy?

Can you name one?

Beware of sectarians who spend most of their time bad-mouthing Orthodox patriarchs in order to make themselves look like the sole remnant of true believers.

Here is a good patristic quote to keep in mind:

"It would be monstrous to feel pleasure in the schisms and divisions of the churches, and not to consider that the greatest of goods consists in the knitting together of the members of Christ's Body" (St. Basil the Great, quoted in Mike Aquilina's The Way of the Fathers, p. 119).

Personally, I agree with Mexican. The Protestant sects are far too heretical to justify working with them. We should focus our efforts on the much more orthodox Roman Catholic Church and the Non-Chalcedonians.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2003, 09:52:20 PM »

Patriarch of Constantinople is i would say not teaching Traditional Orthodoxy
Calling  the Catholic Church, Sister Church, or Heretics like Protestants
Brothers and Sisters in Christ when they are actually not because they
fell out of Christs Body when they went into Heresy. Teaching Ecumeism
and Practicing it on the Patriarchate Level, is not a good example to
Orthodox in my opinion.

In Christ
Daniel
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2003, 10:31:06 PM »

Patriarch of Constantinople is i would say not teaching Traditional Orthodoxy
Calling  the Catholic Church, Sister Church, or Heretics like Protestants
Brothers and Sisters in Christ when they are actually not because they
fell out of Christs Body when they went into Heresy. Teaching Ecumeism
and Practicing it on the Patriarchate Level, is not a good example to
Orthodox in my opinion.

In Christ
Daniel

Source?

Are you sure the EP has really said those things?

If the EP said something like what you say he did, what was the context?

What did he actually mean?

As I said before, beware of sectarians whose claim to fame seems to be their opposition to other Orthodox.
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2003, 11:37:42 PM »

Quote
As I said before, beware of sectarians whose claim to fame seems to be their opposition to other Orthodox.

There are lots of things one can love about the Russian Orthodox Church, for example. (Most important: the Catholic truths contained in all its positive doctrinal statements and behind its practices.)

These folks don't embody any of them.
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2003, 02:10:05 AM »

Ecumenism as dialogue is good. Ecumenism as sycretism is bad.  At times the Orthodox Church was too secluded; at other times too open (in the time of Meletios who received Anglican priests without reordination and when an Anglican priest concelebrated with Orthodox in Jerusalem in 1933ish).

The WCC was good when it started but now I think the Orthodox should renounce full membership and go to observer status as the Catholic Church does.

I always hope that there can be a reconcilation between Orthodoxy and Rome, but am pretty sure there is no point in signing joint declarations with Protestants (sorry friends!)  It's better just to say "we disagree, now let's join together in some social action."

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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2003, 09:52:23 AM »

I always hope that there can be a reconcilation between Orthodoxy and Rome, but am pretty sure there is no point in signing joint declarations with Protestants (sorry friends!)  It's better just to say "we disagree, now let's join together in some social action."

Nobody outside Christianity is fooled by excessive differentiation, so too much emphasis on differentiation comes across as hubris (which it rather often is). And "all those heretics aren't really Christians" rhetoric labels the speaker as a separatist crank, because people can see that this isn't true in the larger taxonomy of things.

Likewise, I think there is everything to be gained by admitting that the divisions are there, but that they occur within a larger and more fundamental similarity.
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2003, 10:09:54 AM »

Personally, I agree with Mexican. The Protestant sects are far too heretical to justify working with them. We should focus our efforts on the much more orthodox Roman Catholic Church and the Non-Chalcedonians.

Could you please clarify this statement.  I do not want to read into it more than is there.  Are you saying that Protestants are unredeemable for their errors?
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2003, 11:08:30 AM »


I think you got it exactly right, DT.

We must have read some of the same books!  Grin

Thanks, Linus.  

I think we probably have.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2003, 04:24:08 PM »

I do believe that Protestantism as a whole is iredeemable from its errors. We can only hope and work for the individual conversion of its members and their entrance in the Church of Christ.

In the case of the Non-Chalcedonians and the Latin Church, they are Churches with sacraments, priesthood, apostolic succession and a unified doctrine. There's always the possibility of finding a way of unity with them (meaning the clarification of some of the doctrines they have innovated in the case of Rome and their "orthodoxification").

That is not possible in the case of Protestants as they have departed too much from Christian doctrine.
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2003, 05:23:44 PM »

Mexican: which doctrines have they departed from?  

Also, Are you aware that many within the Lutheran Church for example that maintain apostolic succession?

As far as deviation from Christian doctrine, most hold to the decrees and definitions of the Ecumenical councils of the undivided church.  Granted they reject the sacraments, and hold interesting notions on many key issues of the faith, but they do Hold to orthodoxy in the person of Jesus Christ.  

I asked this question on the other forum and an interesting discussion ensued - what are the essential doctrines of the Christian faith?
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2003, 06:05:07 PM »

Br Max,

The Lutheran Church of Sweden (and El Salvador which claims likewise) may have maintained apostolic succession but as Serge has pointed out before: 1) it ordains women and 2) it allows other Lutherans not in the succession to offer sacraments in its churches, rendering thus null and void any such claims to apostolicity.

I love the Lutheran Church of my childhood but it just isn't an apostolic church.  Dialogue with them is not fruitful because the liberals ordain women and those practicing homosexual acts openly and the conservatives view Catholics (and Orthodox) as total heretics so why bother?

anastasios
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2003, 11:06:40 PM »

Because dialogue always keeps the doors open for unity and reconciliation. Smiley You never know when repentance will come - do you?
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2003, 11:53:53 PM »

I always hope that there can be a reconcilation between Orthodoxy and Rome, but am pretty sure there is no point in signing joint declarations with Protestants (sorry friends!)  It's better just to say "we disagree, now let's join together in some social action."

Nobody outside Christianity is fooled by excessive differentiation, so too much emphasis on differentiation comes across as hubris (which it rather often is). And "all those heretics aren't really Christians" rhetoric labels the speaker as a separatist crank, because people can see that this isn't true in the larger taxonomy of things.

Likewise, I think there is everything to be gained by admitting that the divisions are there, but that they occur within a larger and more fundamental similarity.


And few within Christianity are fooled by sappy ecumenism.

Apparent similarities can mask more significant incompatibilities.

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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2003, 11:57:02 PM »

Personally, I agree with Mexican. The Protestant sects are far too heretical to justify working with them. We should focus our efforts on the much more orthodox Roman Catholic Church and the Non-Chalcedonians.

Could you please clarify this statement.  I do not want to read into it more than is there.  Are you saying that Protestants are unredeemable for their errors?

Individual Protestants can always repent and abandon their errors.

Protestantism, however, is false and cannot itself be redeemed. It must be abandoned and committed to the scrap heap of history.

I agree with this quote from Mexican:

Quote
Mexican: I do believe that Protestantism as a whole is iredeemable from its errors. We can only hope and work for the individual conversion of its members and their entrance in the Church of Christ.

In the case of the Non-Chalcedonians and the Latin Church, they are Churches with sacraments, priesthood, apostolic succession and a unified doctrine. There's always the possibility of finding a way of unity with them (meaning the clarification of some of the doctrines they have innovated in the case of Rome and their "orthodoxification").

That is not possible in the case of Protestants as they have departed too much from Christian doctrine.

Well put!
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2003, 09:03:06 AM »


Personally, I agree with Mexican. The Protestant sects are far too heretical to justify working with them. We should focus our efforts on the much more orthodox Roman Catholic Church and the Non-Chalcedonians.
Quote

I agree that many of the Protestant sects are too heretical for a dialog.  

I agree that the focus of discussions should be with the Roman Catholics and Non-Chalcedonians, but the Orthodox Church should not make any comprimises on its theology and doctrine.  The Orthodox Church needs to hold firm to what it held to for the last 2000 years.
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2003, 10:34:52 AM »

but that is the exact same position of Rome.  If you both enter into "dialogue convinced of your own correctness and your opponents wrongness, is it really a dialogue? Or it is merely a diatribe under a veil?
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2003, 02:57:39 PM »

but that is the exact same position of Rome.  If you both enter into "dialogue convinced of your own correctness and your opponents wrongness, is it really a dialogue? Or it is merely a diatribe under a veil?

Yeah, but we are both convinced of our own correctness!

Better to know that up front.

We can still get together and learn about each other, perhaps clearing up misconceptions and finding out we agree more than we disagree.

If we adhere firmly to what we believe, the Holy Spirit will work in us and with those who are also Christ's sheep to bring us all into the One Fold under the One Shepherd (John  10:16).
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2003, 03:17:09 PM »

Quote
We can still get together and learn about each other, perhaps clearing up misconceptions and finding out we agree more than we disagree.

You might find that true also of Protestants if you talk long enough. Cheesy I find that all Christians share key doctrines be you - prot, cath, or orth.  Yes there are differences, but many of them grew up out of liturgical and authoritative abuses.  If not for the abuses of indulgences and of nepotism, etc., there would never have been a “reformation” in the west.  The need of reformation is obvious in that less than half of Luther’s 95 theses were ultimately condemned by the RCC.  If not for the abuses that existed, there could never have been deviation on other issues, in which the RCC was not in error.
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2003, 03:40:50 PM »

Greetings Byzantine Christian!

Quote
My question is, what does Orthodoxy have against Ecumenism
and the WCC?

I'm glad you phrased it this way - for genuine Orthodoxy is incompatable with the theory and deeds of the ecumenical movement.

Quote
Isnt the (Ecumenical) Patriarchate of Constantinople
in favor of it?

Well, men claiming this title for themselves have been, yes, and for some time now - to the point of pretending to "lift" the anathemas against the Papists back in 1965 (so this is actually old news).

Of course, the problem with such a gesture (besides his lack of ability to do this) is that these "anathemas" cannot change - what was anathema to the Church of Christ 10 centuries ago, remains such (along with subsequent Latin innovations which have been condemned by the Church.).

The only way for these anathemas to cease being "relevent", would be if the Roman Catholics corporately rejected the matters condemned by them.  However, this has obviously not happened.  Hence, these false gestures of charity by Patriarch Athenagoras (and similar acts since), were acts of apostacy - acts which were either met with silence by many in the Orthodox world, or worse yet, very clear support.  Please keep in mind it wasn't until old fashioned Russian distrust of the Roman Catholics caught wind of the policy, that the Moscow Patriarchate ceased it's experimentation with giving communion to Roman Catholics back in the 60's.

Quote
As I have said on other threads I'm converting to Holy Orthodoxy
and was looking into being recieved by the Greek Orthodox Church,
but I have been hearing that there kind of liberal, Im looking for
a strict and traditional Orthodox jurisdiction. What would your advice be?

Well, "strictness" is a relative matter.  While there are holy canons at the desposal of Bishops to govern the Church, how strictly they are enforced can be a matter of prudential choice on their part - this is the same with all pastoral care.

However, for a Church to be "canonical", these rules cannot be ignored or be treated with contempt.

However, "tradition" is very much relevent.  Tradition best describes the totality of what the Church carries from generation to generation - it includes the Holy Scriptures, the Fathers, the Divine Services, etc.  It is everything - and it is the grave task of a Bishop to receive this, teach it, and pass it on into the future.  The truth is eternal, but it must be temporally expressed through the flow of time.  This is the most important task of the Bishop, and of his assisting Priests - for without the Holy Tradition, you do not have the means of salvation.

As for where you should look, I am going to be biased in my answer (but we all are, for better or for worse).  I would recommend you get in contact with Dormition Skete, which is where the ROAC's (Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church) heirarch in America, Bishop Gregory, resides.  The ROAC is the remnant of the Russian Orthodox Church in our troubled times - She is a little flock, and much persecuted both within and without Russia, and not particularly well esteemed by the world (and worldly "Christianities" who will without doubt tell you all sorts of bad things about Her Bishops, Her laity...everything, save the purity of Her confession, oddly enough, a subject said enemies will avoid like the plague.)

In Bishop Gregory, you will find an understanding pastor, who genuinely cares about souls.  He is not above trading e-mails, or even spending time on the phone talking to inquirers, and I know the monastery is very welcoming towards visitors.  He, or Fr.George will be more than happy to take the time out to speak to you, and answer all of your questions as best as they can.

You can contact Vladyka at the following e-mail...

bishopgregory@russianorthodoxautonomouschurchinamerica.com

Though it is ugly, for some very clear illustrations of "ecumenism in action", as well as some extremely disheartening statements by allegedly "Orthodox" heirarchs, the following website may be worth your while looking into...

Judas' Kiss

It's a morose thing to look at, but necessary if you are truly interested in getting to the bottom of just where the EP, the GOA, or those in communion with them really stand on the subject of ecumenism (which directly touches upon the Church's ecclessiology - that is to say, what She believes to be true of Herself, and what claims She makes.)

On a more positive note, when you e-mail Vladyka, I'd recommend you ask him to e-mail you a copy of the brief catechism they make available to inquirers.  It is quite good, and should not take long to make your way through.

God bless you Byzantine Christian!

Seraphim
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2003, 03:48:07 PM »

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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2003, 04:13:59 PM »

Dear Mexican,

Quote
Therefore the dialogue with Non-Chalcedoneans and the Church of Rome are the key of Church Unity, to restore the unity that was lost, from our similarities, since all these Churches have preserved the priesthood and the sacraments of the Church of Christ.

Though you qualify that the Orthodox Church is "THE Church", the use of the phrase "Church Unity", at least as it is so often used in our days, is troubling.  The Body of Christ can not loose it's unity - men can choose to break from Him, but the Church (which is the Body of Christ) cannot cease to be one.  Hence, the departure of the Papacy from this unity was tragic, but did not diminish the Church or maker Her any less "one."

As for the "sacraments" and "priesthood", it's doubtful whether they (the Roman Catholics) have even preserved the outward forms of these.

- Their normative baptism is by effusion, which is a matter of economy in emergencies within the Church

- They use azymes in their eucharist, which has been previously condemned by pan-Orthodox Synods; the practice of "communion under one kind" is also still very common.  Most significantly, the basic "form" of their consecratory prayer is faulty - it lacks a proper epiklesis (calling for the Holy Spirit to transform the gifts of bread in wine into the Body and Blood of Christ), which we know for a fact the Roman liturgy once had.

- praxis wise, on the whole, with a few notable exceptions, their liturgical cycle is now hard to differentiate in text and tone from what you would find in a conservative Lutheran community.

But aside from these rather "legal" issues, is the matter of whether we can speak of a community possessing the "apostolic succession" in any meaningful way, apart from the true faith and communion in the true Church?  Apostolic succession spoken of solely as the laying on of hands to bestow priestly powers, is a late Latin notion on how the sacraments work - in Orthodoxy, there Church is the one true Holy Mystery, all things She does for the salvation of souls being parts of that single Mystery (hence, we speak of "Mysteries", in the plural.)  This is why traditionally, deposed priests have never been recognized as being able to do anything priestly...not even so much as give a blessing.  Their priesthood was a charge from the Church, which cannot exist outside of Her.

Well, this same principle (and it is to be found in the Holy Canons - ex. Apostolic Canons, or the Canons of St.Basil) would certainly apply to heterodox bodies, like the Roman Catholic church.

Thus, there is a danger in speaking as if their outward preservation (which is not at all certain, but let's grant it for the moment) of the "laying on of hands" is of itself all that apostolic succession is, and that this somehow makes their priests genuine ministers of God.

While we know that formally the RCC has the idea of "priesthood", we can also say the same thing about other groups (such as the Anglicans).  While we can say perhaps one group is "more" or "less" far gone, this is a very subjective assessment, often based more on political (in this case, a basically "conservative" outlook) biases than actual doctrinal assessments.  For example, while it is offensive that the Anglicans have women clerics or openly homosexual clerics who portray their lifestyle as Godly, the Roman Catholics have blasphemous teachings, and perhaps can be seen as being more dangerous in the sense that they make far more strident claims to being "the true Church" than the Anglicans or similar groups ever would (hence, their counterfeit is being forced into unwitting hands far more forcefully than that offered by Anglicans, or other groups.)

So, the assessment that this or that non-Orthodox group is "better" or "closer" is very subjective...and is ultimatly only born out, when they actually return to the Orthodox fold...which as of yet, none of these ecumenical activities emphasizing "how much we have in common" (as if that was what created these schisms from the Church!) has ever accomplished, and I would be so bold as to say, ever will.

Quote
This site provides a list of canonical jurisdictions, this is what we must look for. Jurisdictions and Churches that are part of the Orthodox Church and in full Communion with each other and the Ecumenical Patriarch:

Is praying with heretics, or even publically partaking in their liturgical rites "canonical"?  Can the new calendar really be called "canonical"?  Teaching things wildly out of step with Orthodox ecclessiology, "canonical"?

You see, that word is a tricky one.  Too often when it it is used, what people really mean to say "we have the pretense of being official" (for whatever reason.)  Not because they have an unquestionably canonical foundation (anyone in America claiming to be absolutely pristine in this regard is clearly out to lunch), and certainly not because they regard the Holy Canons as the measure for ecclessial activities.

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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2003, 04:56:40 PM »

Seraphim,

I am rather concerned about your post to Byzantine Christian.

I am very glad you say you are biased in your answer - yes to ROAC [as you make it very plain ] because you so very obviously are biased

To me you appear to be pushing a young man who has not been a Byzantine Catholic for very long [ may be 2 years ?] , who is asking questions and seeking answers from both ROCOR and GOA , towards a group about whom there has been much controversy recently on several threads here. These threads have all been sooner or later locked. He is also posting very similar questions on other boards as well .

I think this [ your post]  can best be described as proselytsm.

I would hope that any priest - whether he be RC, Orthodox , BC or whatever, would be very careful with his dealings with a young man - who is thinking deeply. Too many people appear to be seeking and going from one group to another looking for what seems to be their view of the correct place for them. In fact they need time , time to pray, time to listen [ to God - not necessarily to what others are telling them] time to think , time to read and inwardly digest and time to evaluate

Byzantine Christian needs to be presented with truths , facts and given basic knowledge to allow him to discern for himself where the God who made him intends him to be .

We should be very very careful about making suggestions in case we influence him with our personal views.

I think all of us here have somewhat uncomfortable memories of another young man who has recently been involved with more than one jurisdiction in a very short space of time .

Please note I make no comments about where you personally stand at present

I am canonically an RC - I have no desire to convert to Orthodoxy but I will defend the right of anyone to make up their own mind where they should be.

 I feel very very strongly that guidance to Byzantine Christian should be given face to face by a priest - one who is accustomed to these problems  and can guide a young person with the sensitivity that is required here.

I would ask the Administrators/ Moderators to read these posts carefully and take any action they feel is necessary.
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2003, 06:21:53 PM »

You know, I have been rather tame as of late. But I think it is really rude to come to other people's forums and advertise yours.  I never said anything about the signatures some have in their posts but I am not going to let people come and suggest that others visit their web forums.  If you link to threads on other forums, fine; but blatantly advertising? Come on!

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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2003, 09:09:01 PM »

You know, I have been rather tame as of late. But I think it is really rude to come to other people's forums and advertise yours.  I never said anything about the signatures some have in their posts but I am not going to let people come and suggest that others visit their web forums.  If you link to threads on other forums, fine; but blatantly advertising? Come on!

anastasios

Well said.

I also really like what Slave wrote.

Man, I hate to see a young person directed to that horrible Kiss of Judas link.

Aaarrrggghhh!
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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2003, 12:47:55 AM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

My question is, what does Orthodoxy have against Ecumenism
and the WCC? Isnt the (Ecumenical) Patriarchate of Constantinople
in favor of it?
 
As I have said on other threads I'm converting to Holy Orthodoxy
and was looking into being recieved by the Greek Orthodox Church,
but I have been hearing that there kind of liberal, Im looking for
a strict and traditional Orthodox jurisdiction. What would your advice be?

Hope you can help


What difference should it make if all Orthodox Churches are parts of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? Don't they all teach the same dogmas? Don't they all call certain things like abortion a sin? Don't they all hold to the same teachings and standards on issues regarding faith and morals?
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2003, 01:36:14 AM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

My question is, what does Orthodoxy have against Ecumenism
and the WCC? Isnt the (Ecumenical) Patriarchate of Constantinople
in favor of it?
 
As I have said on other threads I'm converting to Holy Orthodoxy
and was looking into being recieved by the Greek Orthodox Church,
but I have been hearing that there kind of liberal, Im looking for
a strict and traditional Orthodox jurisdiction. What would your advice be?

Hope you can help


What difference should it make if all Orthodox Churches are parts of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? Don't they all teach the same dogmas? Don't they all call certain things like abortion a sin? Don't they all hold to the same teachings and standards on issues regarding faith and morals?
Peace,
Polycarp


Point taken.

However, as you know well, there are also splinter groups calling themselves Roman Catholic with web sites as venomous as ROAC's Kiss of Judas.

They bad-mouth Pope John Paul II the way ROAC bad-mouths the EP (and all the other patriarchs, it seems!).

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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2003, 04:30:22 AM »

Linus,

Thank you for your support - even though I had poked my big RC nose into what should be Orthodoxy business Cheesy

I was just so concerned that pressure seemd to be being exerted.

Conversion should be a sloooooooooow process - it was almost 20 years in my case before I allowed myself to recognise where my path [at that time] should lead  and 6 months of hell before I took the final step.

I don't like seeing anyone, no matter their age, being 'pushed' into making a decision.

I have not even looked at the Site mentioned - and from what you have said I have no intention of so doing.

Let us all pray that any potential converts are given time - wothout limit, to read, study, pray and talk about it, remembering that there is no substitue for face to face contact for this. Storing up questions to ask them in e-mails is no substitute for actually asking them as they arise.

Thank you all for your courtesy in listening to me
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« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2003, 01:22:42 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

My question is, what does Orthodoxy have against Ecumenism
and the WCC? Isnt the (Ecumenical) Patriarchate of Constantinople
in favor of it?
 
As I have said on other threads I'm converting to Holy Orthodoxy
and was looking into being recieved by the Greek Orthodox Church,
but I have been hearing that there kind of liberal, Im looking for
a strict and traditional Orthodox jurisdiction. What would your advice be?

Hope you can help


What difference should it make if all Orthodox Churches are parts of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? Don't they all teach the same dogmas? Don't they all call certain things like abortion a sin? Don't they all hold to the same teachings and standards on issues regarding faith and morals?
Peace,
Polycarp


Point taken.

However, as you know well, there are also splinter groups calling themselves Roman Catholic with web sites as venomous as ROAC's Kiss of Judas.

They bad-mouth Pope John Paul II the way ROAC bad-mouths the EP (and all the other patriarchs, it seems!).


Hi Linus,
However these groups are schismatic or heretical and are not in communion with the Catholic Church. So there is no comparison. In Orthodoxy you have several churches who are in communion with eachother, yet it has been said in this forum that they have some differences in their teaching or application of teachings. If that is true then it is not consistant with being the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church because it has always had unity of teaching it's doctrines. As Saint Paul said I teach the same things everywhere.
So if The Greek Orthodox are "too liberal" then why? Why don't they teach things and apply them same as The Russians or Romanians or Serbians or Armenians? They all say they are in full communion and are One Church. How can One Church teach different truths?
It seems to me it shouldn't matter which branch of Orthodoxy one belongs too except for personal reasons such as national identity or language that kind of thing.
Peace,
Polycarp

Follow this link to Sunday Mass at my parrish. http://media.stonerivermedia.com/stm/OnlineMass.wmv
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2003, 01:35:58 PM »

Quote
What difference should it make if all Orthodox Churches are parts of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? Don't they all teach the same dogmas? Don't they all call certain things like abortion a sin? Don't they all hold to the same teachings and standards on issues regarding faith and morals?

Right - logically it boils down to which churches are in your area and of these, which language and music do you like better and which nondoctrinal matters of discipline (such as the calendar) do you prefer?

Quote
However these groups are schismatic or heretical and are not in communion with the Catholic Church. So there is no comparison.


True.

It's very clear cut. Since one can't prove the man in the Vatican isn't really the Pope (it can happen but these people can't prove it's happening right now), if the Pope disowns them, they're out. End of story.

Quote
In Orthodoxy you have several churches who are in communion with eachother, yet it has been said in this forum that they have some differences in their teaching or application of teachings.

Some churches differ in their application of teachings - like which calendar to use, etc.

Quote
If that is true then it is not consistant with being the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church because it has always had unity of teaching its doctrines. As Saint Paul said I teach the same things everywhere. So if The Greek Orthodox are "too liberal" then why? Why don't they teach things and apply them same as The Russians or Romanians or Serbians or Armenians? They all say they are in full communion and are One Church. How can One Church teach different truths?

You've got a point re: selling out on contraception. Parts of the Orthodox communion really let the side down on that one.

Quote
It seems to me it shouldn't matter which branch of Orthodoxy one belongs too except for personal reasons such as national identity or language that kind of thing.

Right.

Quote
Follow this link to Sunday Mass at my parish. media.stonerivermedia.com/stm/.../OnlineMass.wmv

I'm not interested in protestant worship, and really don't like the way RCs (in practice, mainline Protestantism for non-Anglo-Saxons) do it.
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2003, 02:09:30 PM »

Quote
In Orthodoxy you have several churches who are in communion with eachother, yet it has been said in this forum that they have some differences in their teaching or application of teachings.

Some churches differ in their application of teachings - like which calendar to use, etc.

Quote
If that is true then it is not consistant with being the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church because it has always had unity of teaching its doctrines. As Saint Paul said I teach the same things everywhere. So if The Greek Orthodox are "too liberal" then why? Why don't they teach things and apply them same as The Russians or Romanians or Serbians or Armenians? They all say they are in full communion and are One Church. How can One Church teach different truths?

You've got a point re: selling out on contraception. Parts of the Orthodox communion really let the side down on that one.

Quote
It seems to me it shouldn't matter which branch of Orthodoxy one belongs too except for personal reasons such as national identity or language that kind of thing.

Right.


Poly,

More to a high-level and I'm sure you can relate better, this liberal/conservative thing is a praxis NOT dogma or theology issue.  It's up to the individual Bishop's pastoring their flock.  You can't honestly tell me with a straight face that all the RC bishops practice and preach the same in their respective dioceses.  Ideally, even though they should, they in reality don't (take that Bishop or whoever that was in the car accident in Arizona a few months back).  When we say (so and so is more liberal), we're telling it how it is from experience - not necessarily because of any official statements or positions.
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« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2003, 02:18:06 PM »

Quote
More to a high-level and I'm sure you can relate better, this liberal/conservative thing is a praxis NOT dogma or theology issue.  It's up to the individual Bishop's pastoring their flock.  You can't honestly tell me with a straight face that all the RC bishops practice and preach the same in their respective dioceses.  Ideally, even though they should, they in reality don't (take that Bishop or whoever that was in the car accident in Arizona a few months back).  When we say (so and so is more liberal), we're telling it how it is from experience - not necessarily because of any official statements or positions.

To be fair to Saint Polycarp, RCs have a gold standard to which they easily can refer - the magisterium as spelt out in the catechism.

Are all Eastern Orthodox bishops holding the patristic line on artificial birth control? A far weightier matter than which calendar to use.

As for the man who ran somebody down while drunk, SP can just as easily point to the Eastern Orthodox bishop who got squiffy in a casino and grabbed a little 'Bristol' a while back. And it's equally irrelevant to this argument.
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« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2003, 02:27:55 PM »

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Serge: To be fair to Saint Polycarp, RCs have a gold standard to which they easily can refer - the magisterium as spelt out in the catechism.

That is an excellent point and one that often occurs to me.

Orthodoxy certainly does seem to be somewhat "free-wheeling."

Take our recent discussions of the Eucharist over on the Faith forum, for examples.
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« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2003, 02:37:27 PM »

Quote
That is an excellent point and one that often occurs to me.

Orthodoxy certainly does seem to be somewhat "free-wheeling."

To be fair to that venerable communion, it really isn't - certainly not +á la Anglican comprehensiveness!

The default EO answer is almost always 'read the Fathers', almost in mantra fashion. And it's true that if you dig around enough you'll find that EOxy contains the full faith - entirely Catholic both in this and the Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) senses.

However:

GÇóMany Eastern Orthodox are abysmally catechized (which is why you don't see them much in prolife), and
GÇóThe theologians who ought to know better have sold the fort on contraception, blowing the Orthodox claim to be patristic perhaps without intending to.

Quote
Take our recent discussions of the Eucharist over on the Faith forum, for examples.

Thanks for holding the line there. As venerable brother Keble hinted there, it does seem to be an RC vs. Protestant battle by proxy! And like I wrote over there, let's see if any knowledgeable born Orthodox write anything there. Still, we agree that EOxy holds 100% to Answer No. 1 over there.
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« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2003, 02:52:16 PM »

Quote
Linus7: That is an excellent point and one that often occurs to me.

Orthodoxy certainly does seem to be somewhat "free-wheeling."

Quote
Serge: To be fair to that venerable communion, it really isn't - certainly not +á la Anglican comprehensiveness!

The default EO answer is almost always 'read the Fathers', almost in mantra fashion. And it's true that if you dig around enough you'll find that EOxy contains the full faith - entirely Catholic both in this and the Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) senses.

Oh, I am Orthodox; don't get me wrong. But indulge me while I discuss some of my thoughts.

I love the Fathers of the Church, but their writings, like all writings, are subject to interpretation and manipulation.

I have seen diehard, fatalistic, heretic Calvinists line up prooftext after prooftext from the Fathers. Some of them are quite adept at it.

And, let's face it, our RC brothers and sisters also come well supplied with patristic passages.

It seems to me that, just as with the Bible, the living, teaching Church must be the final authority on the interpretation of the Fathers. After all, they are not here so that we can ask them, "What did you mean by that?"

Quote
Serge: However:

GÇóMany Eastern Orthodox are abysmally catechized (which is why you don't see them much in prolife), and
GÇóThe theologians who ought to know better have sold the fort on contraception, blowing the Orthodox claim to be patristic perhaps without intending to.

Amen and amen!

Quote
Linus7: Take our recent discussions of the Eucharist over on the Faith forum, for examples.

Quote
Serge: Thanks for holding the line there. As venerable brother Keble hinted there, it does seem to be an RC vs. Protestant battle by proxy! And like I wrote over there, let's see if any knowledgeable born Orthodox write anything there. Still, we agree that EOxy holds 100% to Answer No. 1 over there.

Thanks. I sometimes felt that I was perhaps making myself extremely unpopular and seeming like a know-it-all (when I in fact know little).

I feel very strongly about the Holy Eucharist, however. I don't think there is room for compromise on it.

I am glad you believe as I do and are not afraid of the dreaded word transubstantiation.
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« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2003, 02:57:47 PM »

You're welcome.

Quote
But indulge me while I discuss some of my thoughts.

I love the Fathers of the Church, but their writings, like all writings, are subject to interpretation and manipulation.

I have seen diehard, fatalistic, heretic Calvinists line up prooftext after prooftext from the Fathers. Some of them are quite adept at it.

And, let's face it, our RC brothers and sisters also come well supplied with patristic passages.

It seems to me that, just as with the Bible, the living, teaching Church must be the final authority on the interpretation of the Fathers. After all, they are not here so that we can ask them, "What did you mean by that?"

Amen.
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« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2003, 03:03:37 PM »

Quote
That is an excellent point and one that often occurs to me.

Orthodoxy certainly does seem to be somewhat "free-wheeling."

To be fair to that venerable communion, it really isn't - certainly not +á la Anglican comprehensiveness!

The default EO answer is almost always 'read the Fathers', almost in mantra fashion. And it's true that if you dig around enough you'll find that EOxy contains the full faith - entirely Catholic both in this and the Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) senses.

However:

GÇóMany Eastern Orthodox are abysmally catechized (which is why you don't see them much in prolife), and
GÇóThe theologians who ought to know better have sold the fort on contraception, blowing the Orthodox claim to be patristic perhaps without intending to.

Quote
Take our recent discussions of the Eucharist over on the Faith forum, for examples.

Thanks for holding the line there. As venerable brother Keble hinted there, it does seem to be an RC vs. Protestant battle by proxy! And like I wrote over there, let's see if any knowledgeable born Orthodox write anything there. Still, we agree that EOxy holds 100% to Answer No. 1 over there.
Hi Serge,
Thanks for your input. As usual you are honest and objective. I though that there were some other differences besides contraception too. Don't the Greek Orthodox allow divorce, essentially no questions asked, even as many as three?
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2003, 03:13:23 PM »


Hi Serge,
Thanks for your input. As usual you are honest and objective. I though that there were some other differences besides contraception too. Don't the Greek Orthodox allow divorce, essentially no questions asked, even as many as three?
Peace,
Polycarp


Beating Serge to the punch, I think all Orthodox do (I'm pretty sure the OCA is).  I don't know about 'No questions asked though'.  But three is the limit AFAIK.  I think an 'anulment' is a later RC invention.
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« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2003, 03:13:26 PM »

Quote
Thanks for your input. As usual you are honest and objective.


YW and thanks.

Quote
I though that there were some other differences besides contraception too.


None that I know of.

Quote
Don't the Greek Orthodox allow divorce, essentially no questions asked, even as many as three?

GÇó All Eastern Orthodox, not just the Greeks, allow second and third marriages after church divorces.
GÇó 'No questions asked' is incorrect. The Orthodox grant church divorces for reasons about as stringent as for annulments but with different theologizing behind them (rather than saying there was no valid marriage, it's an acknowledgement that functionally the marriage is dead) and for slightly different reasons: for example I think abandonment is grounds for the Orthodox but not for the Pope's Church. Civil divorce doesn't count in the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2003, 03:25:05 PM »

Quote
Thanks for your input. As usual you are honest and objective.


YW and thanks.

Quote
I though that there were some other differences besides contraception too.


None that I know of.

Quote
Don't the Greek Orthodox allow divorce, essentially no questions asked, even as many as three?

GÇó All Eastern Orthodox, not just the Greeks, allow second and third marriages after church divorces.
GÇó 'No questions asked' is incorrect. The Orthodox grant church divorces for reasons about as stringent as for annulments but with different theologizing behind them (rather than saying there was no valid marriage, it's an acknowledgement that functionally the marriage is dead) and for slightly different reasons: for example I think abandonment is grounds for the Orthodox but not for the Pope's Church. Civil divorce doesn't count in the Orthodox Church.
Ok I see Serge,
The Pope's Church? The Pope has his own Church? LOL I thought it's Jesus' Church. LOL
Thanks for the clarifications on the divorce issue.
Peace,
Polycarp
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« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2003, 03:38:05 PM »

Dear  Serge and Linus:

I echo St. P's sentiments on your "fair and balanced" exposition of things Catholic.

It speaks well of your Orthodoxy! Cool

(BTW, according to the Vatican Information Service, Pope John Paul II has just appointed Bishop Thomas James Olmsted of Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A., as bishop of Phoenix, replacing the hit-and-run former Bishop.)

AmdG
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