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Author Topic: A question about something I read ...  (Read 2160 times) Average Rating: 0
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Carole
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« on: November 06, 2006, 02:10:33 PM »

in the book The Truth by Clark Carlton. 

I did ask this question on another Orthodox message board but I am cross posting it here in case someone posts here that does not post there.  I am hoping to get as wide a response as possible.  If there are Catholic posters here who take issue with my question or the topic of my question please do not turn this into a debate or argument.  I am simply seeking an answer to a question from the Orthodox view.  Thank you.

On a personal level do you, as an Orthodox Christian, agree or disagree with the following position/opion of Clark Carleton expressed in his book, "The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church".

In the chapter titled "The Mother of God", Mr. Carlton briefly touches on apparitions of the Virgin Mary. He specifically addresses the apparition at Fatima. He touches on Fatima specifically because of the impact of the prophecies of Fatima regarding the need to "consecrate Russia" on Orthodox/Catholic relations.

He points to several problems with the apparition from an Orthodox viewpoint. Included in his list of issues with the apparition at Fatima (as well as Lourdes and Medjugorja) is that the visions occurred to children. He compares the phenomenon of children going into a "trance-like state) and seeing visions of the Mother of God in the Catholic Church to the Orthodox experience of those receiving visions of the Mother of Go being ascetics. He also mentions that there is no precedent (of which he is aware) of the Mother of God giving "secrets" such as the Fatima apparition. He further discusses

Mr. Carlton summarizes his opinions in a succinct sentence, "In short, the Fatima "prophecies" are demonic delusions."

I am wondering if the Orthodox posters here:

A - Agree or disagree with Mr. Carlton's assessment and opinion of Fatima (I'm asking for personal opinions).

B - Believe that Mr. Carlton's assessment of Fatima is, at the least, in keeping with Orthodox teaching?

I have no vested belief in or devotion to Fatima. But I am curious about Mr. Carlton's assessment. I find it intriguing and not entirely unconvincing. So I am curious about both the personal opinions of Orthodox individuals and whether or not Mr. Carlton's opinion is either an "official" position of the Orthodox Church (or at the very least not in contradiction to Orthodox theology).

Thank you.
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Carole
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 02:48:31 PM »

I can only respond to -A-

I do agree with the demonic delusion assesment.  I also think the apparitions to children being compared to ascetic experiences is a stretch, if not insulting.  The appearance at Fatima to 'convert Russia' to Roman Catholicism is not of the Lord.  This may have been in connection to the our Lady of Kazan icon being returned to Russia with the conversion of Russia as the prerequisite.  But that's ours!  And HH John Paul II was right to give it back 'no strings attached.'

...that's my bit.
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Carole
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 03:16:47 PM »

I also think the apparitions to children being compared to ascetic experiences is a stretch, if not insulting.

Thank you. 

In reading your response I realize that I inadvertantly misrepresented something that Mr. Carlton wrote.  When I said that he compared the fact compared the phenomenon of these visions appearing to children to the appearances to ascetics ... I meant to say (though I neglected to) that he did so in a very negative manner.  He was stating that the phenom of apparitions appearing to impressionablle young children (who are not generally the most reliable witnesses to an event) is in direct contradiction to the Orthodox experience of visions of the Mother of God appearing to experienced ascetics.  It was, in his opinion, yet another strike against the visions of Fatima (and to a lesser point Lourdes and Medjugorja). 

I apologize if my writing made it appear that he believes that the apparitions that appeared to the children at Fatima are in the "same league" (so-to-speak) as visions that have appeared to ascetics.
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Carole
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2006, 03:20:31 PM »

That Fatima and other Catholic events are "demonic delusions" is a personal view held by Carlton and probably some other Orthodox as well, I think including some clergy and hierachs.  With that said though...

Orthodox POV:  It is outside the Church, so we don't speculate on the prophecies/apparations outside the Church.  Following spritual happenings outside the Church is questionable at best, rather spiritually dangerous or even disasterous at worst.

Roman Catholic POV:  I personally don't know if whoever involved was canonized or not.  But if they were not, then it is not official RC dogma and the visions/prophecies ought not to be taken too seriously either.
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Carole
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 03:36:07 PM »

That Fatima and other Catholic events are "demonic delusions" is a personal view held by Carlton and probably some other Orthodox as well, I think including some clergy and hierachs.  With that said though...

Orthodox POV:  It is outside the Church, so we don't speculate on the prophecies/apparations outside the Church.  Following spritual happenings outside the Church is questionable at best, rather spiritually dangerous or even disasterous at worst.

Roman Catholic POV:  I personally don't know if whoever involved was canonized or not.  But if they were not, then it is not official RC dogma and the visions/prophecies ought not to be taken too seriously either.

I understand that this is a personal opinion held by Carlton.  Which is why I asked two questions - one of which was the personal opinions of those responding and one being is there anything in his opinion that is contrary to Orthodox teaching.  I will take it from your response that there is nothing in his personal opinion that is contrary to Orthodox theology.

As for the Roman Catholic POV - I am intentionally not discussing the Catholic POV.  Though as a side note:  Even if one (or all) of the visionaries of the Fatima apparation were canonized it would not make the apparition or the message of the apparition dogma.  Private revelations are, even when approved by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, not binding upon the faithful.  Barring of course, a situation in which a Pope has issued an ex cathedra teaching defining the substance of the vision as dogma.  So it really doesn't matter if any of the children of Fatima have been canonized.
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Carole
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 04:58:38 PM »

I think sometimes that there's a quick jump to the conclusion that something is the result of demonic delusions, especially if it's of an extroardinary nature and does not belong to our own tradition. I think that we are given the Biblical mandate to test the spirits and hence if it is against the Orthodox spirit we might agree as to its contrariness. However, if nothing is suggested that is contrary to Orthodox dogma or praxis how can we ascribe this work to Satan. And what gain would Satan have from such a work and why would he encourage unity within Christianity or evangelism in the world. Seems to me like a house divided against itself. While I'm not verifying such an event since I don't know enough about it, I would rather remain silent on the topic rather than vote either one way or the other and acknowledge that it is very possible that this also could be the hand of God. I would also be confident that the magisterium of the Catholic Church would assess all aspects of such visions before declaring their Orthodoxy...
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2006, 06:46:52 PM »

Carole,

The section of The Truth that you asking about is one of many highly dubious assertions that Carlton makes in this book.  If I recall correctly, he states somewhere else that Orthodox and Catholics do not worship the same Christ.  Carlton's views on Catholicism are undoubtedly shared by many other Orthodox, but they are not universally held.  There are also many Orthodox who recognize that Orthodoxy and Catholicism have a great deal in common and desire reunion.

James
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2006, 03:05:04 PM »

That Fatima and other Catholic events are "demonic delusions" is a personal view held by Carlton and probably some other Orthodox as well, I think including some clergy and hierachs.  With that said though...

Orthodox POV:  It is outside the Church, so we don't speculate on the prophecies/apparations outside the Church.  Following spritual happenings outside the Church is questionable at best, rather spiritually dangerous or even disasterous at worst.

Roman Catholic POV:  I personally don't know if whoever involved was canonized or not.  But if they were not, then it is not official RC dogma and the visions/prophecies ought not to be taken too seriously either.
The apparitions at Fatima were approved by the local Bishop, that is he found enough evidence to conclulde that they are most likely supernatural. This does not mean that every Catholic is requiree to believe in the apparitions because they are not considered matters of public revelation. However, Catholics are free to accept them if they so choose.
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2006, 06:43:46 AM »

The apparitions at Fatima were approved by the local Bishop, that is he found enough evidence to conclulde that they are most likely supernatural. This does not mean that every Catholic is requiree to believe in the apparitions because they are not considered matters of public revelation. However, Catholics are free to accept them if they so choose.
Demons are supernatural Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2006, 11:42:14 AM »

No, demons are preternatural.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2006, 01:16:41 PM »

Demons are supernatural Roll Eyes
I realize this. But in this context, the Church is only refering to the things of God.
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2006, 02:19:19 AM »

I realize this. But in this context, the Church is only refering to the things of God.
How would they know? I think that's the point. Having removed themselves from the Church that Christ established it would be difficult for them to tell
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2006, 02:20:03 AM »

No, demons are preternatural.
de·mon (dmn)   
n.
An evil supernatural being; a devil.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/demon
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2006, 03:09:23 AM »

How would they know? I think that's the point. Having removed themselves from the Church that Christ established it would be difficult for them to tell
You know what this reply of yours leads to right? I'll just cut through all the red tape and give you all a preview of what the next few posts would look like:
Papist: No, the Eastern Orthodox left the true Church.
Montalban: No the Roman Catholics left the true Church.
Papist: No, the Eastern Orthodox left the Catholic Church.
Montalban: The Eastern Orthodox are Catholic.
Papist: No, only the Churches in communion with Rome and the Pontiff or Rome are Catholic.
Montalban: No you guys changed beliefs.
Papist: No, you guys changed beliefs.
ad infinitum.
Just thought I would save every one some time and perhaps some space on the forum. Wink
Many blessings in Christ
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2006, 04:34:47 AM »

You know what this reply of yours leads to right? I'll just cut through all the red tape and give you all a preview of what the next few posts would look like:
Papist: No, the Eastern Orthodox left the true Church.
Montalban: No the Roman Catholics left the true Church.
Papist: No, the Eastern Orthodox left the Catholic Church.
Montalban: The Eastern Orthodox are Catholic.
Papist: No, only the Churches in communion with Rome and the Pontiff or Rome are Catholic.
Montalban: No you guys changed beliefs.
Papist: No, you guys changed beliefs.
ad infinitum.
Just thought I would save every one some time and perhaps some space on the forum.
Many blessings in Christ
Nice of you to have been able to ascertain my mind.

If you want to discuss about your church and how it moved away from the Church Christ established, you're more than welcome to discuss about the keys, and how they were given to all the Apostles, not just Peter
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2006, 11:16:22 AM »

Carole,

I don't know anything about the validity or real veracity of the Fatima Apparitions and, quite frankly, they have never even been on my radar.  However, I will ask this - what good has come from them?

One of the interesting things about Fatima is the fact that the Catholic Church apparently did not even take it seriously until John Paul II led the Catholic Church.  Then, it was elevated to a real level of concern.  Why was it elevated to this level during his pontificate?  Because he saw the Catholic Church spinning horribly out of control and he saw the Fatima promises as a way to right the ship.  The prophecies were an answer to him about all that was wrong in and with the Catholic Church.  Sort of a last ditch effort to fix things.

So; while I wouldn't have agreed with Mr. Carlton a few years back, I agree with him now.  I think that Fatima was/is correct in one regard - that the enemy would enter the Catholic Church and use it for his own designs.  Furthermore, rather than being a prophecy fortelling what would have to happen to stem the tide of demonic posession/infiltration in the Catholic Church, I think it was one of the first signs that the enemy had taken over the Catholic Church.  I know this may sound harsh but the fact remains that all is not well in the the Catholic Church and the depths of deception/corruption seem to go very deep and broad.  In fact, I am becoming more convinced that Satan is alive and well in the Catholic Church and that it was a deliberate effort on the part of some members of the hierarchy to ensure this would happen.  Without going into great detail, look at what the Catholic Church has propegated on the world over the last 40+ years - liberation theology, neopaganism within the Mass and religious communities, rampant homosexuality, pedastery among the clerics, etc.  Do these really sound like things of God?  All the while, the Orthodox Church plugs away and remains faithful to its past.  You don't see the same kind of issues/problems within Orthodoxy that you do in Catholicism.  Oh sure, the Orthodox have their own unique problems but they aren't as evil as those within Catholicism.

Understand, I am a Catholic layman.  I don't like to admit that these things exist within Catholicism but it is time for everyone, and I mean everyone, to take a good hard look at what the Catholic Church professes to be and what she actually is.  From my perspective, it is quite clear that the gates of hell have prevailed against the Catholic Church and that she cannot lay claim to being the true Church of Christ.  Seriously, this brings to mind the old saying, "By their fruits you shall know them."  Just llok at the fruits of Catholicism and you will realize what it is all about.

Rob
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