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Author Topic: Is theological Dialogue useful?  (Read 8298 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 07, 2006, 07:19:44 PM »

I am starting to wonder. Is theological dialogue useful? I know the Easter Orthodox often feel that it is pointless because they say that Catholicism changes so much that it is impossible to pin down Catholic theology. I know that I, at times, feel like it is pointless because the EO defines so little of it dogma that it is impossible to pin down EO theology. The point it, that maybe in these meetings, all we really do is make nice and talk about theological issues that will never be resolved. I know that you guys don't plan on changing your beliefs. We are in the same boat. If Rome suddenly said, oh we were wrong, and joined up wit the EO, Catholics like me would become sedevacantists. I know that if the patriarchs joined up with Rome, many EO Christians would NOT follow along. So my question is, what is the point? I think that there will probably be schisms until Christ returns. I wish it were not true, but I think that is the sad reality. What do you think?
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 07:30:25 PM »

Its downright pointless.

But remember, according to the ecumenical modernist heretics like Ratzinger (he Rahner and Kung were the principle agents behind the New Religion), the point is not conversion but mutual understanding. Ratzinger himself said this: "THE IDEA OF CONVERSION IS NO LONGER NEEDED."
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 07:34:28 PM »

Its downright pointless.

But remember, according to the ecumenical modernist heretics like Ratzinger (he Rahner and Kung were the principle agents behind the New Religion), the point is not conversion but mutual understanding. Ratzinger himself said this: "THE IDEA OF CONVERSION IS NO LONGER NEEDED."
You do understand that Cardinal Ratzinger grew more and more orthodox as he aged?
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 07:44:19 PM »

If a merge happens and brings the church back to the way it used to be, those who do not follow the merge are heretics.

If people don't join because of grudges, they are heretics.

If they don't join because it requires a change in the way things were done post-schism, they are heretics.

The most important thing in all our lives is to return the church to the way it once was.

And heretics do not enter heaven.

(By the way, I don't see current RCers nor OO as heretics)

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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 08:23:21 PM »

If a merge happens and brings the church back to the way it used to be, those who do not follow the merge are heretics.

If people don't join because of grudges, they are heretics.

If they don't join because it requires a change in the way things were done post-schism, they are heretics.

The most important thing in all our lives is to return the church to the way it once was.

And heretics do not enter heaven.

(By the way, I don't see current RCers nor OO as heretics)


Unless the merge is heretical. LOL.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 10:04:34 PM »

You do understand that Cardinal Ratzinger grew more and more orthodox as he aged?

Yes, wasn't it that other great Englishman who said, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re in your 20s you haven’t got a heart; if you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 40 you haven’t got a brain.” Smiley

To answer your question bluntly, though, I'd say no.  For Orthodox to even consider reunion with Rome the pope has to infallibly declare himself fallible. Wink  That's not going to happen.

Now, in an academic sense, I would say it is useful, just to get past the problems that you spoke of at first.  However, we should understand the vast limitations of such dialogues too.
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 10:54:33 PM »

I am starting to wonder. Is theological dialogue useful? I know the Easter Orthodox often feel that it is pointless because they say that Catholicism changes so much that it is impossible to pin down Catholic theology. I know that I, at times, feel like it is pointless because the EO defines so little of it dogma that it is impossible to pin down EO theology. The point it, that maybe in these meetings, all we really do is make nice and talk about theological issues that will never be resolved. I know that you guys don't plan on changing your beliefs. We are in the same boat. If Rome suddenly said, oh we were wrong, and joined up wit the EO, Catholics like me would become sedevacantists. I know that if the patriarchs joined up with Rome, many EO Christians would NOT follow along. So my question is, what is the point? I think that there will probably be schisms until Christ returns. I wish it were not true, but I think that is the sad reality. What do you think?

I am absolutely committed to dialogue and to what the Holy Father calls "spiritual ecumenism." What will it take for us to unite? A powerful movement of the Holy Spirit. God hasn't seen fit for it to happen yet, but we owe it to God to truly yearn for it in word and action, to be open to it, to communicate with each other as brothers, and through deep prayer, seek that unity, until the time comes. It will be Lord's work. We are not capable of overcoming ourselves the mess we've created. 

The Holy Father's outlining of the purposes of ecumenism is well summarized here: http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=20704
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2006, 11:00:24 PM »

If a merge happens and brings the church back to the way it used to be, those who do not follow the merge are heretics.

If people don't join because of grudges, they are heretics.

If they don't join because it requires a change in the way things were done post-schism, they are heretics.

The most important thing in all our lives is to return the church to the way it once was.

And heretics do not enter heaven.

(By the way, I don't see current RCers nor OO as heretics)

And neither do I.

Good points.
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2006, 11:16:33 PM »

I know the Easter Orthodox often feel that it is pointless because they say that Catholicism changes so much that it is impossible to pin down Catholic theology. I know that I, at times, feel like it is pointless because the EO defines so little of it dogma that it is impossible to pin down EO theology.

I am going to go in for a little self criticism here, meaning considering the approach of my Church.  I fear this might offend some, and please understand that I don't mean to.  I really only want to consider this issue from an angle I just think never gets considered, at least not in the Catholic Church.  If I do cause offense, please accept my apologies.

Reading the above comment caused me to think, and I really can't say that I can see how the latter is a problem, though it would seem the former could easily be so.  I have to think that the real problem is that we Catholics seem to have a hobby of dogmatizing ourselves into a corner.  Basically, I think the Catholic Church has never learned the lesson of "if it ain't broke don't fix it."  We define dogmas when it seems completely unnecessary, and if we compare to the above mentioned reticence of the Orthodox to do this at all, we really look compulsive.  For instance, if we look at the history of the Church, dogmas were always defined in response to a heresy which threatened the faith.  It isn't like the bishops woke up one morning and said, "Hey, let's define some cool Marian dogmas!"  In the early Church all the formal definitions were of already accepted beliefs, but not all accepted beliefs were defined.  It only happened if it was needed, to stem the growth of a heresy.  I think this is a very crucial aspect which I have never seen addressed anywhere by Catholics.

With this idea in mind, if we consider the modern Church we actually seem to be trying to fulfill a dogma quota or something.  Consider papal infallibility.  In 1870 the Pope was like a demi-god.  He could do anything, had people carrying him around in a chair, had a crown the size of South Dakota, wore ermine and furs... It went on and on.  He was super powerful and pretty much all the Catholic world accepted it.  Where was this heresy which demanded the definition of Papal infallibility?   Same thing is true for the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception.  Were there really masses of Catholics storming the streets demanding that Mary was born with original sin (whatever that really means) and wasn't assumed?  The Church never doubted the Assumption and Mary was always referred to as immaculate or "ever pure" and yet we defined this stuff.  Why?  Who exactly was being corrected here?

I see two results of these definitions, and neither look good.  One is, they seek to make the position of the Blessed Virgin and the Pope more secure, and since they were defined, both have become much less important.  Before we had formal definitions of infallibility the Pope was undoubted, but now he is basically nothing more than a diplomat and bureaucrat and Catholics at large ignore him.  Dissent from his teachings is massive.  Considering how much the Pope goes on about Latin in the liturgy, reverence and so on, our churches should be just awesome.  Those around here sure aren't.  And, I don't know about other Catholics here, but I can't recall a Marian devotion or hymn in my parish for the last several years, and it is dedicated to her.   I can remember once seven or eight years ago a Sister who ran the Christian education program at the largest parish in our town was asked by an inquirer about the Rosary and she admitted that she didn't know how to say it.  Would that have happened with a teaching sister in the Catholic Church before these dogmas were defined?  I really doubt it.  So, it would seem that contrary to stemming a serious heresy these dogmas actually created them.  How is that for turning the Church on its head?

The other thing about them is that while they have completely backfired they have also made reunion with the East virtually impossible.  The East seems to have far more respect for authority of heirarchs than we, and much greater understanding of the honor and glory of our Blessed Mother, but yet we would suggest that they are heretics because they don't have our view.  Really, I can't blame them.  Why would they want to be like us and define away all their devotions and reverence?

I also don't really see a problem that the East has not defined anything.  Sure, they haven't defined everything they could come up with to define, which seems our method, but is there really any problem knowing what they believe?   And given the effects of our dogmatizing craze, can we blame them?  I can't help but think, given the historic reasons and methods for defining dogmas used by the early Church, that they are much closer to that than we are.  Perhaps if we had been similar the Pope would still have some influence and Mary would be honored and revered as she deserves.

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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2006, 11:29:08 PM »

I know that I, at times, feel like it is pointless because the EO defines so little of it dogma that it is impossible to pin down EO theology.

How is it a problem to adopt an attiutude of humility towards what we do not understand?   Huh

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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2006, 11:48:03 PM »


The most important thing in all our lives is to return the church to the way it once was.

And heretics do not enter heaven.

(By the way, I don't see current RCers nor OO as heretics)



Um...not to nitpick...but...

What exactly is this "the way it once was" stuff? 

Also, how do you know that heretics do not enter heaven? 

It was always my understanding that God was the final judge on that..but maybe there is some kind of indication in a text or something...i'd be interested in knowing. 

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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2006, 11:50:52 PM »

I am starting to wonder. Is theological dialogue useful? I know the Easter Orthodox often feel that it is pointless because they say that Catholicism changes so much that it is impossible to pin down Catholic theology. I know that I, at times, feel like it is pointless because the EO defines so little of it dogma that it is impossible to pin down EO theology. The point it, that maybe in these meetings, all we really do is make nice and talk about theological issues that will never be resolved. I know that you guys don't plan on changing your beliefs. We are in the same boat. If Rome suddenly said, oh we were wrong, and joined up wit the EO, Catholics like me would become sedevacantists. I know that if the patriarchs joined up with Rome, many EO Christians would NOT follow along. So my question is, what is the point? I think that there will probably be schisms until Christ returns. I wish it were not true, but I think that is the sad reality. What do you think?


I think that there definately is a good point to theological dialogue.  I think the purpose of theological dialogue needs to change, and be more goal and focus oriented. 

But overall the dialogue itself is extremely exciting and I think very beneficial.  When we can sit down and get through all major theological issues, except for Papal Infalibility...I would say that that's pretty productive. 

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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2006, 12:10:28 AM »

Its downright pointless.

But remember, according to the ecumenical modernist heretics like Ratzinger (he Rahner and Kung were the principle agents behind the New Religion), the point is not conversion but mutual understanding. Ratzinger himself said this: "THE IDEA OF CONVERSION IS NO LONGER NEEDED."

Well, the fact seems to be that the RC Church has evolved a bit in some ways back towards us... I mean, the filioque which would never have been dropped in the last few centuries has been indeed not recited by the Pope on a number of occasions around the Orthodox... Considering that we would never consider dropping any of the other clauses, that's a big statement... Anyway, I don't care what Il Papa says about what is or isn't needed - the EP and the other Patriarchates are not going to accept the RC's back into the fold without some serious changes (or, maybe it should be called "returns" to what once was...) and the RC hardliners will not accept the EO's in without us changing (which we're not going to do).
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2006, 12:27:05 AM »

In Pope Benedict XVI I believe the finally have what we have in the person of Patriarch Bartholomew, a charitable realist. Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI were both great and saintly men, but they were idealists, perfect for the great tasks they accomplished but uncapable of dealing with the details and reality of the situation.

Pope Benedict knows, and freely admits, the historical realities of the relationships between the Patriarchates, but he also knows and understands the cultural and social significance of post-schism theological developments (and he will openly admit that they are theological developments, not ancient customs)...understanding both he can begin to seek a solution that will be fathful to the ancient roles, which is what is demanded by the Orthodox, without alienating too many within his own Church (a handful of casualties such as SSPX, and those more radical, are appropriate just so long as there is not a mass schism). Patriarch Bartholomew likewises realizes the reality of the situation, and while willing to suffer a small number of casualties for something as significant and important as reunion will be careful to maintain (and if possible increase) the authority of his Throne, without endangering the fragile communion that currently exists between the various autonomous Chruches; he understands that the significance of conflicting ideologies can be easily diminished, just so long as the administrative details can be worked out.

Thus, in their wisdom, these two great Men work together not towards a revolution but towards an evolution. After 1000 years communion cannot be restored overnight, but over decades relationships can be mended, theologies can be evolved and developed, cultural agreements can be strengthened; when the evolutions are complete the restoration of communion will not be a revolutionary act, but rather people will ask why it was not done decades ago.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2006, 12:32:00 AM »

Dear Simayan,

I admire your desire to see Christians united, and I agree it would a good thing if those who have separated from the Church would return.  However, as you post more on the site, I am noticing a shift in your thinking that seems to be moving towards branch theorism--the idea that the Church of Christ exists in the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, etc., as "parts" of the whole.  The Orthodox Church, of course, teaches that it and it alone is the true Church of Christ, because Christ cannot be divided.  You are young in the faith, so I am hoping you will take the time to familiarize yourself better with some of the Orthodox teachings on the Church and its nature. Here are some good articles:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/inq_church.aspx

If a merge happens and brings the church back to the way it used to be, those who do not follow the merge are heretics.

There can be no merge between Church and nonChurch; there can only be a return to the fullness of faith.   The Orthodox Church already has everything needed for salvation and it alone has maintained in perfection the teachings of the faith, handed down by apostolic succession.  Any union of Churches, which I think would be wonderful, would have to be based on the non Orthodox Churches accepting Orthodoxy--not based on some kind of compromise where we throw some of our teachings out and they theirs, or where we "reword" things until we reach a very base level of agreement.  That was tried before during the 7th century (called the Henotikon and the Acacian schism) and it did not lead to long-lasting Church unity.

Quote
If people don't join because of grudges, they are heretics.

While there certainly people who act on the level of grudges and the like, the fact is that the Fathers of the Orthodox Church have consistently spoken out against hasty Church unions.  Whenever hasty Church unions have happened, there have been more schisms, and the ones who held out from the union (the mean old people who can't get along with anyone else  Tongue) are the ones that end up being declared the Orthodox: at least this is what happened during the Arian controversy, the Acacian controversy, the Iconoclastic Controversy, the hesychastic controversy, etc.  So if it is based on blind hatred, no that is not a good reason to be separate, but if the other Churches have still not accepted Orthodoxy, there is no way we can unify with them.

Quote
If they don't join because it requires a change in the way things were done post-schism, they are heretics.

No, they're not--this is simply not true.  The Church did not stop being the Church in 1054 or 451; it has continued to grow since then and the developments such as hesychasm are true and dogmas.  We cannot go back on the history of the Church--if we could, then that means that from 1054 till today, everything is optional. That is not logical.

Quote
The most important thing in all our lives is to return the church to the way it once was.

There was never a time when all calling themselves Christians were united in one body.  There was also never a time when the Church was divided.  You are either in the body of Christ or out.  We can't make the Church anything, Simayan--the Church makes us.  We cannot change what is not our right to change. We can only pass down the truth as passed on to us.

Quote
And heretics do not enter heaven.

Well that is God's right to judge.

Quote
(By the way, I don't see current RCers nor OO as heretics)

Your Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, has condemned the heresies of the RCC several times in Synod.  Opinions on the OO vary.

We have to maintain the faith purely and pass on this great treasure, offering the fullness of the faith and the holy sacraments to all who will take part in it; but we have no right to compromise this treasure for the sake of "unity."  God hates lukewarmness as is said in Revelation, and in history he has shown that hasty Church unions not based in truth are evil.  In our modern culture everyone wants to always be together, and there is nothing wrong with the desire for unity, but unity is not an end to itself--we shouldn't want unity just for unity, but we should want to be united to those who are Orthodox.

Anastasios
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2006, 01:45:47 AM »

So, it would seem that contrary to stemming a serious heresy these dogmas actually created them. 

You haven't demonstrated a causal connection between the dogmatic definitions and the effects you describe. I would put forth that there are very different causes for them.

I would also point out that devotions and obedience to the Pope have ebbed and flowed over the centuries. Not everybody listened to the Pope before 1870, as history shows.
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2006, 02:02:31 AM »

I know that I, at times, feel like it is pointless because the EO defines so little of it dogma that it is impossible to pin down EO theology.

My difficulty is not really about the lack of solemnly defined dogma but about the lack of official consensus on important issues of faith, like who is in communion with whom, artificial birth control, the permanence of Hell, the status of other churches (Heretical and devoid of all grace? "Sister churches"? Something in between?), prayer with other Christians, etc. Who or what can speak for Orthodoxy? I guess no one, until (unless?) these questions reach consensus. It's not for me to judge Orthodoxy, but in my humble opinion, it would be nice if Constantine XI Palaeologos could come back and call a new ecumenical synod. But that's for you folks to decide Wink
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2006, 02:20:36 AM »

In Pope Benedict XVI I believe the finally have what we have in the person of Patriarch Bartholomew, a charitable realist. Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI were both great and saintly men, but they were idealists, perfect for the great tasks they accomplished but uncapable of dealing with the details and reality of the situation.

Pope Benedict knows, and freely admits, the historical realities of the relationships between the Patriarchates, but he also knows and understands the cultural and social significance of post-schism theological developments (and he will openly admit that they are theological developments, not ancient customs)...understanding both he can begin to seek a solution that will be fathful to the ancient roles, which is what is demanded by the Orthodox, without alienating too many within his own Church (a handful of casualties such as SSPX, and those more radical, are appropriate just so long as there is not a mass schism). Patriarch Bartholomew likewises realizes the reality of the situation, and while willing to suffer a small number of casualties for something as significant and important as reunion will be careful to maintain (and if possible increase) the authority of his Throne, without endangering the fragile communion that currently exists between the various autonomous Chruches; he understands that the significance of conflicting ideologies can be easily diminished, just so long as the administrative details can be worked out.

Thus, in their wisdom, these two great Men work together not towards a revolution but towards an evolution. After 1000 years communion cannot be restored overnight, but over decades relationships can be mended, theologies can be evolved and developed, cultural agreements can be strengthened; when the evolutions are complete the restoration of communion will not be a revolutionary act, but rather people will ask why it was not done decades ago.

What an insightful statement.
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2006, 02:45:21 AM »

You do understand that Cardinal Ratzinger grew more and more orthodox as he aged?

What is the evidence?
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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2006, 03:42:44 AM »

What is the evidence?

Did you not hear the endless hissy fits raised by Catholic "progressives" over the 24 years Cardinal Ratzinger ("God's Rottweiler," the "German Shepherd," the "Vatican Enforcer") was Secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith? Or the collective swoons from the Spirit of Vatican IIers in Europe and North America when Ratzinger was called to the See of Peter in April 2005?

Give this 1999 profile of Ratzinger from the liberal National Catholic Reporter a read: http://www.natcath.com/NCR_Online/archives/041699/041699a.htm

Traditionalist Catholics, who generally are very critical of John Paul II's "liberalism," are significantly warmer to Benedict XVI. Traditional Catholics (usually simply called "conservative Catholics") loved John Paul and also love Benedict.

The only Catholic prelate since the 1980s more disliked among liberals than John Paul was Ratzinger, who was seen to do John Paul's dirty work of disciplining heretical priests and religious and silencing dissident theologians with particular relish.
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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2006, 10:55:28 AM »

Did you not hear the endless hissy fits raised by Catholic "progressives" over the 24 years Cardinal Ratzinger ("God's Rottweiler," the "German Shepherd," the "Vatican Enforcer") was Secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith? Or the collective swoons from the Spirit of Vatican IIers in Europe and North America when Ratzinger was called to the See of Peter in April 2005?

Give this 1999 profile of Ratzinger from the liberal National Catholic Reporter a read: http://www.natcath.com/NCR_Online/archives/041699/041699a.htm

Traditionalist Catholics, who generally are very critical of John Paul II's "liberalism," are significantly warmer to Benedict XVI. Traditional Catholics (usually simply called "conservative Catholics") loved John Paul and also love Benedict.

The only Catholic prelate since the 1980s more disliked among liberals than John Paul was Ratzinger, who was seen to do John Paul's dirty work of disciplining heretical priests and religious and silencing dissident theologians with particular relish.
Exactly.
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2006, 11:01:56 AM »

I am going to go in for a little self criticism here, meaning considering the approach of my Church.  I fear this might offend some, and please understand that I don't mean to.  I really only want to consider this issue from an angle I just think never gets considered, at least not in the Catholic Church.  If I do cause offense, please accept my apologies.

Reading the above comment caused me to think, and I really can't say that I can see how the latter is a problem, though it would seem the former could easily be so.  I have to think that the real problem is that we Catholics seem to have a hobby of dogmatizing ourselves into a corner.  Basically, I think the Catholic Church has never learned the lesson of "if it ain't broke don't fix it."  We define dogmas when it seems completely unnecessary, and if we compare to the above mentioned reticence of the Orthodox to do this at all, we really look compulsive.  For instance, if we look at the history of the Church, dogmas were always defined in response to a heresy which threatened the faith.  It isn't like the bishops woke up one morning and said, "Hey, let's define some cool Marian dogmas!"  In the early Church all the formal definitions were of already accepted beliefs, but not all accepted beliefs were defined.  It only happened if it was needed, to stem the growth of a heresy.  I think this is a very crucial aspect which I have never seen addressed anywhere by Catholics.

With this idea in mind, if we consider the modern Church we actually seem to be trying to fulfill a dogma quota or something.  Consider papal infallibility.  In 1870 the Pope was like a demi-god.  He could do anything, had people carrying him around in a chair, had a crown the size of South Dakota, wore ermine and furs... It went on and on.  He was super powerful and pretty much all the Catholic world accepted it.  Where was this heresy which demanded the definition of Papal infallibility?   Same thing is true for the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception.  Were there really masses of Catholics storming the streets demanding that Mary was born with original sin (whatever that really means) and wasn't assumed?  The Church never doubted the Assumption and Mary was always referred to as immaculate or "ever pure" and yet we defined this stuff.  Why?  Who exactly was being corrected here?

I see two results of these definitions, and neither look good.  One is, they seek to make the position of the Blessed Virgin and the Pope more secure, and since they were defined, both have become much less important.  Before we had formal definitions of infallibility the Pope was undoubted, but now he is basically nothing more than a diplomat and bureaucrat and Catholics at large ignore him.  Dissent from his teachings is massive.  Considering how much the Pope goes on about Latin in the liturgy, reverence and so on, our churches should be just awesome.  Those around here sure aren't.  And, I don't know about other Catholics here, but I can't recall a Marian devotion or hymn in my parish for the last several years, and it is dedicated to her.   I can remember once seven or eight years ago a Sister who ran the Christian education program at the largest parish in our town was asked by an inquirer about the Rosary and she admitted that she didn't know how to say it.  Would that have happened with a teaching sister in the Catholic Church before these dogmas were defined?  I really doubt it.  So, it would seem that contrary to stemming a serious heresy these dogmas actually created them.  How is that for turning the Church on its head?

The other thing about them is that while they have completely backfired they have also made reunion with the East virtually impossible.  The East seems to have far more respect for authority of heirarchs than we, and much greater understanding of the honor and glory of our Blessed Mother, but yet we would suggest that they are heretics because they don't have our view.  Really, I can't blame them.  Why would they want to be like us and define away all their devotions and reverence?

I also don't really see a problem that the East has not defined anything.  Sure, they haven't defined everything they could come up with to define, which seems our method, but is there really any problem knowing what they believe?   And given the effects of our dogmatizing craze, can we blame them?  I can't help but think, given the historic reasons and methods for defining dogmas used by the early Church, that they are much closer to that than we are.  Perhaps if we had been similar the Pope would still have some influence and Mary would be honored and revered as she deserves.

Patrick
My dear brother in Christ. I must say that disagree with you about the reasons why we should define dogma. If we only define dogma in reaction to heretics, then our Church is nothing more than a reactionary institution. However, if we define dogma because we are desire to delve more deeply into the mystery of Jesus Christ, then that is love of God and of his faith.
As for the current problems in the Church, I believe they have nothing to do with the solemn definitions of the infallibility and universal Jurisdiction of the Pope, the Immaculate Conception, or the Assumption. I rather believe, that the problems that exist today exist because the progressive attitude that gripped the Church after Vatican II with everyone running around talking about the "Spirit of Vatican II", whatever that means. They seem to think that Vatican II changed everything, which it did not; one need only read the documents themselves to find out that Vatican II was not a change in faith, but rather an exposition of the faith in non cannonical language so that the world could understand what we believe.
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2006, 11:03:57 AM »



  The Church did not stop being the Church in 1054 or 451; it has continued to grow since then and the developments such as hesychasm are true and dogmas.  We cannot go back on the history of the Church--if we could, then that means that from 1054 till today, everything is optional. That is not logical.

So the Eastern Orthodox DO believe in the development of dogma.  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2006, 11:06:31 AM »

In Pope Benedict XVI I believe the finally have what we have in the person of Patriarch Bartholomew, a charitable realist. Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI were both great and saintly men, but they were idealists, perfect for the great tasks they accomplished but uncapable of dealing with the details and reality of the situation.

Pope Benedict knows, and freely admits, the historical realities of the relationships between the Patriarchates, but he also knows and understands the cultural and social significance of post-schism theological developments (and he will openly admit that they are theological developments, not ancient customs)...understanding both he can begin to seek a solution that will be fathful to the ancient roles, which is what is demanded by the Orthodox, without alienating too many within his own Church (a handful of casualties such as SSPX, and those more radical, are appropriate just so long as there is not a mass schism). Patriarch Bartholomew likewises realizes the reality of the situation, and while willing to suffer a small number of casualties for something as significant and important as reunion will be careful to maintain (and if possible increase) the authority of his Throne, without endangering the fragile communion that currently exists between the various autonomous Chruches; he understands that the significance of conflicting ideologies can be easily diminished, just so long as the administrative details can be worked out.

Thus, in their wisdom, these two great Men work together not towards a revolution but towards an evolution. After 1000 years communion cannot be restored overnight, but over decades relationships can be mended, theologies can be evolved and developed, cultural agreements can be strengthened; when the evolutions are complete the restoration of communion will not be a revolutionary act, but rather people will ask why it was not done decades ago.
This seems like the most plausible description of how communion could occur. However, if it meant a genuine change in the Catholic faith, then orhtodox Catholics like myself could not follow. We are not a cook fringe and we are not members of schismatic groups like SSPX. We just love the faith.
Many Blessings in Christ
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2006, 11:09:42 AM »

You haven't demonstrated a causal connection between the dogmatic definitions and the effects you describe. I would put forth that there are very different causes for them.

I would also point out that devotions and obedience to the Pope have ebbed and flowed over the centuries. Not everybody listened to the Pope before 1870, as history shows.

Sure, obedience to the Pope is not constant, but we cannot ignore the situations pre and post definitions.  After the definitions of all these dogmas the areas concerned have become extremely weak in the Church.  We cannot avoid that, in the best case scenario, the definitions themselves had no affect.  And since they don't seem to have been defined in response to some major heresy, it is very possible to attach some of the cause of the declines afterwards to the actual definitions.  There is certainly nothing more significant concerning these matters which occurred during the period in question.

But, really, what matters most is why we defined them.  This is what I cannot figure out, and I have asked in other places.  Why did we ignore the approach of the early Church?  What was being sought?  We defined these dogmas in response to no real heresy at all, and I cannot think of any other cases where that occurred.  All the major councils seemed to be in response to some major events, like the Protestant Reformation, and everything around the time of the Vatican Councils seems to be different.  Why is that?

Patrick
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2006, 11:14:04 AM »

Sure, obedience to the Pope is not constant, but we cannot ignore the situations pre and post definitions.  After the definitions of all these dogmas the areas concerned have become extremely weak in the Church.  We cannot avoid that, in the best case scenario, the definitions themselves had no affect.  And since they don't seem to have been defined in response to some major heresy, it is very possible to attach some of the cause of the declines afterwards to the actual definitions.  There is certainly nothing more significant concerning these matters which occurred during the period in question.

But, really, what matters most is why we defined them.  This is what I cannot figure out, and I have asked in other places.  Why did we ignore the approach of the early Church?  What was being sought?  We defined these dogmas in response to no real heresy at all, and I cannot think of any other cases where that occurred.  All the major councils seemed to be in response to some major events, like the Protestant Reformation, and everything around the time of the Vatican Councils seems to be different.  Why is that?

Patrick
Actually, I think that the disobedience that began in the late 1800s and the early 1900s had more to do with a shift in cultural attitudes. There was an extreme liberalizing of society in general due to the works of Frued, Darwin, Marx, and many others. This even affected the average Catholic layman.
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« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2006, 12:01:33 PM »

Sure, obedience to the Pope is not constant, but we cannot ignore the situations pre and post definitions.  After the definitions of all these dogmas the areas concerned have become extremely weak in the Church.  We cannot avoid that, in the best case scenario, the definitions themselves had no affect.  And since they don't seem to have been defined in response to some major heresy, it is very possible to attach some of the cause of the declines afterwards to the actual definitions.  There is certainly nothing more significant concerning these matters which occurred during the period in question.

I would submit that there was no decline in Marian devotions after 1851. Any decline really occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, and the reasons for it are different than the fact that her Assumption and Immaculate Conception were defined. And Marian devotions are becoming more common these days.

There also is not a discernable difference in obedience to the pope immediately before or after 1870. More widespread disobedience came much later, for different reasons.

The heresy of modernism is the problem, certainly not the doctrine of the Church.
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2006, 12:02:38 PM »

Actually, I think that the disobedience that began in the late 1800s and the early 1900s had more to do with a shift in cultural attitudes. There was an extreme liberalizing of society in general due to the works of Frued, Darwin, Marx, and many others. This even affected the average Catholic layman.

Indeed, they had been democratized by the late 20th century.

---

Speaking of Immaculate Conception, yikes, I've got to get ready for mass! I'll have to catch up with the posts later.
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2006, 12:55:14 PM »

I would submit that there was no decline in Marian devotions after 1851. Any decline really occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, and the reasons for it are different than the fact that her Assumption and Immaculate Conception were defined. And Marian devotions are becoming more common these days.

There also is not a discernable difference in obedience to the pope immediately before or after 1870. More widespread disobedience came much later, for different reasons.

The heresy of modernism is the problem, certainly not the doctrine of the Church.

You may very likely be right here.  I certainly cannot attest to the exact timing of declines in Marian devotion, or any changes in Papal obedience, but I cannot help but be aware that right now these are in terrible condition, and at one time prior to these definitions things were very different.  Therefore I just cannot see how the definitions themselves have really helped.

And I am still somewhat baffled by the decision to begin defining things at that time.  What prompted this stuff?  It just doesn't seem to have occurred under conditions similar to the many declarations and conciliar definitions of the earlier Church.  While devotions may wax and wane, that doesn't really give us a good reason to define dogmas.  Actually, it suggests against it as it would seem to indicate that the waxing and waning are natural and to be expected, therefore any particular wane is nothing to overreact to.  It all just strikes me as a bit too proactive rather than reactive, and perhaps that is less than wise.

Just my thoughts on it all,

Patrick
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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2006, 01:13:30 PM »

You may very likely be right here.  I certainly cannot attest to the exact timing of declines in Marian devotion, or any changes in Papal obedience, but I cannot help but be aware that right now these are in terrible condition, and at one time prior to these definitions things were very different.  Therefore I just cannot see how the definitions themselves have really helped.

And I am still somewhat baffled by the decision to begin defining things at that time.  What prompted this stuff?  It just doesn't seem to have occurred under conditions similar to the many declarations and conciliar definitions of the earlier Church.  While devotions may wax and wane, that doesn't really give us a good reason to define dogmas.  Actually, it suggests against it as it would seem to indicate that the waxing and waning are natural and to be expected, therefore any particular wane is nothing to overreact to.  It all just strikes me as a bit too proactive rather than reactive, and perhaps that is less than wise.

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace and much filial affection,

I don't have access to my library, at the moment, but I believe there actually are very good reasons why these doctrines were declared when they were and I do believe it was continued criticism from Protestantism which motivated the Church to articulate these dogmas. Remember, in the West Original Sin is not only a Roman Catholic Dogma but a very normative teaching of the Sacred Scriptures. Protestantism has a very difficult time understanding Mary as Immaculate and Sinless because of our shared understanding of the effect passed over to all men by Adam's Sin.

Within the Western Church there is a definite understanding of the Holy Spirit 'continuing' to guide and led us 'into all truth'. This guidance is renewed with every generation and did not end with Pentecost but is a 'living' guidance in the 'life' of the Church. Amen.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2006, 03:17:43 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace and much filial affection,

I don't have access to my library, at the moment, but I believe there actually are very good reasons why these doctrines were declared when they were and I do believe it was continued criticism from Protestantism which motivated the Church to articulate these dogmas. Remember, in the West Original Sin is not only a Roman Catholic Dogma but a very normative teaching of the Sacred Scriptures. Protestantism has a very difficult time understanding Mary as Immaculate and Sinless because of our shared understanding of the effect passed over to all men by Adam's Sin.

I really can't buy into a response to Protestantism, though that may have been the reasoning during the push for these things.  But, if we consider all that Protestantism denies how can we select these two areas and start defining and leave it at that?  It just doesn't quite hold up in my view.

Quote
Within the Western Church there is a definite understanding of the Holy Spirit 'continuing' to guide and led us 'into all truth'. This guidance is renewed with every generation and did not end with Pentecost but is a 'living' guidance in the 'life' of the Church. Amen.

And I surely don't doubt the continued activity of the Spirit in the Church today.  I don't accept any concepts of new revelation, but as for preserving and guiding in understanding I am of course certain.  And, just in case the wrong idea might arise, I was not intending to question the validity of the definitions, but rather the wisdom of when it was done, and why.  History seems to cast great doubt on whether these definitions have helped the Church through these times, and I am confident that a reunion with the East, with their great reverence, deep spirituality and attentiveness to tradition, would have been of greater benefit to all the faithful than the definitions of the dogmas themselves have been.  Of course, this is just my opinion, and is mostly the process of my wondering about this rather than having decided on some particular point and deciding to convince others.  I hope that makes some sense, though considering my thought processes, probably not...  Smiley

Patrick
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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2006, 03:39:07 PM »

I really can't buy into a response to Protestantism, though that may have been the reasoning during the push for these things.  But, if we consider all that Protestantism denies how can we select these two areas and start defining and leave it at that?  It just doesn't quite hold up in my view.

Well, most of what Protestantism denies was already defined by that time, at Trent and earlier.

By the way, I always thought it was interesting that Martin Luther was strongly devoted to Mary. He believed she was ever-virgin, the Mother of God, even conceived without original sin. He didn't deny the Assumption but said that we do not know. Much in him remained Catholic. Lutheranism, of course, ended up moving away from this.
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2006, 03:44:18 PM »

I really can't buy into a response to Protestantism, though that may have been the reasoning during the push for these things.  But, if we consider all that Protestantism denies how can we select these two areas and start defining and leave it at that?  It just doesn't quite hold up in my view.

In nomine Iesu I offer peace,

Well before you make up your mind allow me to tap into my library and offer up a thorough post on the matter. I feel strongly that I've read a very reasonable explanation for the timing but we must remember God chooses His own time to make clear His revelation. The Western Church sought in it's wisdom to assert the truths of the faith ever with consistancy within the overall framework of the rest of the Deposit of the Faith. Clearly the Western Church offers us a very Ignatian perspective while the Eastern Church offers us a very Alexandrian perspective. Opposing perspectives need not be oppositional but complimentary. We need not be ashamed of a pursuit of consistancy within the whole of the revealed message. Such is a very noble endeavor and one which should never be thought wrong, in my humble opinion but I believe that such can never be the end goal.

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And I surely don't doubt the continued activity of the Spirit in the Church today.  I don't accept any concepts of new revelation, but as for preserving and guiding in understanding I am of course certain.  And, just in case the wrong idea might arise, I was not intending to question the validity of the definitions, but rather the wisdom of when it was done, and why.  History seems to cast great doubt on whether these definitions have helped the Church through these times, and I am confident that a reunion with the East, with their great reverence, deep spirituality and attentiveness to tradition, would have been of greater benefit to all the faithful than the definitions of the dogmas themselves have been.  Of course, this is just my opinion, and is mostly the process of my wondering about this rather than having decided on some particular point and deciding to convince others.  I hope that makes some sense, though considering my thought processes, probably not...  Smiley

I don't believe that the Church expresses 'complete' Clarity in its concepts to rationalize the Divine Revelation, be it through Aristotelian or Platonic Philosophic articulations. Satisfactory... Yes but not 'complete'.

We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12

Just as our intellect and insight has pierced more deeply the mundane world so such can and will pierce more deeply the revelation handed down to us from on high. Again such is not the end goal I would assert that Union with the Divine Nature is and such union is not at such a limited fashion as merely reasoning but deeper and more intimate.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2006, 03:58:12 PM »

Well, most of what Protestantism denies was already defined by that time, at Trent and earlier.

By the way, I always thought it was interesting that Martin Luther was strongly devoted to Mary. He believed she was ever-virgin, the Mother of God, even conceived without original sin. He didn't deny the Assumption but said that we do not know. Much in him remained Catholic. Lutheranism, of course, ended up moving away from this.
Actually, it is all about the intellect. The intellect becomes comformed to God and it is through the intellect, even in the beatific vision that we experience God.
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« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2006, 04:07:58 PM »

Actually, it is all about the intellect. The intellect becomes comformed to God and it is through the intellect, even in the beatific vision that we experience God.

Yeah, but you should also specify (for those who don't Latin), that intelligere, especially in Medieval Catholic thought, specifically describes the higher faculties of the human soul. Thus, "intellect" is a spiritual organ and faculty, which we call nous in the Orthodox spiritual tradition.
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« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2006, 04:26:39 PM »

Yeah, but you should also specify (for those who don't Latin), that intelligere, especially in Medieval Catholic thought, specifically describes the higher faculties of the human soul. Thus, "intellect" is a spiritual organ and faculty, which we call nous in the Orthodox spiritual tradition.

In nomine Iesu I offer you peace,

Yes we should be clear to make the distinction between intellection and reasoning.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2006, 04:28:08 PM »

Yeah, but you should also specify (for those who don't Latin), that intelligere, especially in Medieval Catholic thought, specifically describes the higher faculties of the human soul. Thus, "intellect" is a spiritual organ and faculty, which we call nous in the Orthodox spiritual tradition.
Sorry, I forget at times that I am speaking on a forum that uses a different theological languange than I am used to. On a side node, many different philosophical traditions use the term "nous" in a variety of ways, am I correct?
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2006, 04:30:12 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you peace,

Yes we should be clear to make the distinction between intellection and reasoning.

Pax Vobiscum
Francis, reasoning IS one of the higher functions of the soul. Thus, in heaven, our ability to reason will even be purified and will delve as deeply as is humanly possible into the mysteries of God. But it won't stop with reason. Remember, Grace perfects nature.
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« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2006, 04:41:22 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer peace,

Well before you make up your mind allow me to tap into my library and offer up a thorough post on the matter. I feel strongly that I've read a very reasonable explanation for the timing but we must remember God chooses His own time to make clear His revelation.

I would love to hear more about the timing in these things.  While I don't believe that this can nullify the declarations, I obviously have had doubts about the wisdom of it.  I would love to have my mind put to rest on that, and I would be anything but surprised to find that I have been completely wrong about my thoughts on this issue.

Quote
The Western Church sought in it's wisdom to assert the truths of the faith ever with consistancy within the overall framework of the rest of the Deposit of the Faith. Clearly the Western Church offers us a very Ignatian perspective while the Eastern Church offers us a very Alexandrian perspective. Opposing perspectives need not be oppositional but complimentary.

I agree in this completely.  Though I am ignorant of Ignatian vs. Alexandrian perspectives.  Just how would these be defined, and how do they compare and contrast? 

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I don't believe that the Church expresses 'complete' Clarity in its concepts to rationalize the Divine Revelation, be it through Aristotelian or Platonic Philosophic articulations. Satisfactory... Yes but not 'complete'.

I agree entirely.  And, as you know, I am of the opinion that dogma is essential to the faith, even to each believer.  We must understand, both corporately and individually, the faith in order to truly live it.  That is why the failure in catechesis in our parishes has been so detrimental and led to so many falling away to strange beliefs.  But, while I uphold the necessity of dogma, I try not to be dogmatic about it.  Perhaps that sounds silly, but what I mean is that while the dogmas are completely true, they are not complete truth.  Just as we will grow eternally in our knowledge of God in the next life, since we can never understand what is eternal, we also can never fully plumb the depths of dogma.  Therefore there is always another way of seeing it, or clarifying it, or coming at it.  We should persist in holding the defined teachings of the Church, but not in such a way that we cannot be conscious of the depth of truth lying just beyond our reach or just over the horizon.  Further, we should be aware that those on the other side of the horizon will see our teachings another way around and we can both learn about and from that difference in perspective.

Patrick
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« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2006, 05:06:22 PM »

I would love to hear more about the timing in these things.  While I don't believe that this can nullify the declarations, I obviously have had doubts about the wisdom of it.  I would love to have my mind put to rest on that, and I would be anything but surprised to find that I have been completely wrong about my thoughts on this issue.

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace,

I will endeavor to do so this weekend.

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I agree in this completely.  Though I am ignorant of Ignatian vs. Alexandrian perspectives.  Just how would these be defined, and how do they compare and contrast?

Perhaps I should have said 'Antiochian' School vs. 'Alexandrian'  School...

The Antiochian emphasized the literal interpretation of Sacred Scripture and the Alexandrian emphasized the mystical interpretation of Sacred Scripture. In my opinion, neither is 'wrong' but I believe each can easily be antagionistic toward one another.

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I agree entirely.  And, as you know, I am of the opinion that dogma is essential to the faith, even to each believer.  We must understand, both corporately and individually, the faith in order to truly live it.  That is why the failure in catechesis in our parishes has been so detrimental and led to so many falling away to strange beliefs.  But, while I uphold the necessity of dogma, I try not to be dogmatic about it.  Perhaps that sounds silly, but what I mean is that while the dogmas are completely true, they are not complete truth.  Just as we will grow eternally in our knowledge of God in the next life, since we can never understand what is eternal, we also can never fully plumb the depths of dogma.  Therefore there is always another way of seeing it, or clarifying it, or coming at it.  We should persist in holding the defined teachings of the Church, but not in such a way that we cannot be conscious of the depth of truth lying just beyond our reach or just over the horizon.  Further, we should be aware that those on the other side of the horizon will see our teachings another way around and we can both learn about and from that difference in perspective.

I believe we are of 'one mind' in your statement here and I am very pleased to read it.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2006, 05:42:47 PM »

Perhaps I should have said 'Antiochian' School vs. 'Alexandrian'  School...

The Antiochian emphasized the literal interpretation of Sacred Scripture and the Alexandrian emphasized the mystical interpretation of Sacred Scripture. In my opinion, neither is 'wrong' but I believe each can easily be antagionistic toward one another.

Thanks much for this.  I must admit ignorance on these labels, having not run across them before.   I am used to Augustine being mentioned in regard to the West, though I also don't much about how that is being used, but this one is new to me.

Patrick
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« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2006, 06:35:28 PM »

Perhaps I should have said 'Antiochian' School vs. 'Alexandrian'  School...

The Antiochian emphasized the literal interpretation of Sacred Scripture and the Alexandrian emphasized the mystical interpretation of Sacred Scripture. In my opinion, neither is 'wrong' but I believe each can easily be antagionistic toward one another.

This "controversy" between these ancient Patriarchates was not limited to only Holy Scripture but also became apparent in the Christological debates of the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries.  Whereas the Alexandrian school tended to emphasize the divinity of Christ, the Antiochene favored the humanity of Christ.  These respective emphases became opposed because it was an either...or conundrum.  Orthodoxy is about the fullness of the faith, organic and being holistic, giving emphases to one established ubique, ab principio, ab omnibus tenents no more than others.  The truth is in this fullness, though it is very easy to start favoring one over another valid theological truth. 

Of course, the Orthodox problem with Catholics is that they have added additional truths which have no grounding in the Patristic Mindset.  With Protestants, we protest (no pun intended) that they have no base upon which to prop up their faith because it is innovative.  Rediscovering the patristic mindset, the both..and ethos is absolutely necessary for the Orthodox to teach themselves and live in their Liturgies and prayer lives before venturing once again into the dangerous seas of ecumenical dialogue.

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« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2006, 07:19:14 PM »

Francis, reasoning IS one of the higher functions of the soul. Thus, in heaven, our ability to reason will even be purified and will delve as deeply as is humanly possible into the mysteries of God. But it won't stop with reason. Remember, Grace perfects nature.

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace and much filial affection Papist,

Perhaps I might offer a distinction between reason (dianoia) and intellection (noisis) taken from the Philokalia:

Reason: the discursive, conceptualizing and logical faculty in man, the function of which is to draw conclusions or formulate concepts deriving from data provided either by revlation or spiritual knowledge or by sense-observation. The knowledge of the reason is consequently of a lower order than spiritual knowledge and does not imply any direct apprehension or perception of the inner essenses or principles of created beings, still less of divine truth itself. Indeed, such apprehension or perception, which is the function of the intellect, is beyond the scope of reason.

Intellect: the highest faculty in man, through which, provided it is purified, he knows God or the inner essenses or principles of created things by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Unlike the dianoia or reason, from which it must be carefully distinguished, the intellect does not function by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning, but it understands divine truth by means of immediate expression, intuition or 'simple cognition' (the term used by St. Isaac the Syrian). The intellect dwells in the 'depths of the soul'; it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart (St. Diadochos), the 'eye of the heart' (Makarian Homilies).

So you see 'gnosis' i.e. spiritual knowledge is the product of the Intellect as distinct form that of the reason. As such it is knowledge inspired by God, and so linked with contemplation and immediate spiritual perception.

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2006, 06:28:26 PM »

In nomine Iesu I offer you continued peace and much filial affection Papist,

Perhaps I might offer a distinction between reason (dianoia) and intellection (noisis) taken from the Philokalia:

Reason: the discursive, conceptualizing and logical faculty in man, the function of which is to draw conclusions or formulate concepts deriving from data provided either by revlation or spiritual knowledge or by sense-observation. The knowledge of the reason is consequently of a lower order than spiritual knowledge and does not imply any direct apprehension or perception of the inner essenses or principles of created beings, still less of divine truth itself. Indeed, such apprehension or perception, which is the function of the intellect, is beyond the scope of reason.

Intellect: the highest faculty in man, through which, provided it is purified, he knows God or the inner essenses or principles of created things by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Unlike the dianoia or reason, from which it must be carefully distinguished, the intellect does not function by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning, but it understands divine truth by means of immediate expression, intuition or 'simple cognition' (the term used by St. Isaac the Syrian). The intellect dwells in the 'depths of the soul'; it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart (St. Diadochos), the 'eye of the heart' (Makarian Homilies).

So you see 'gnosis' i.e. spiritual knowledge is the product of the Intellect as distinct form that of the reason. As such it is knowledge inspired by God, and so linked with contemplation and immediate spiritual perception.

Pax Vobiscum

I still maintain that reason, although not identical with the intellect, is a function of the intellect.
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« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2012, 11:41:51 PM »

If a merge happens and brings the church back to the way it used to be, those who do not follow the merge are heretics.

If people don't join because of grudges, they are heretics.

If they don't join because it requires a change in the way things were done post-schism, they are heretics.

The most important thing in all our lives is to return the church to the way it once was.

And heretics do not enter heaven.

(By the way, I don't see current RCers nor OO as heretics)



who do you see as heretics?
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