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Author Topic: Announcement by the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain Athos  (Read 30311 times) Average Rating: 0
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2007, 07:20:55 PM »

only an assembly in unity of mind and heart creates the necessary conditions for the Holy Spirit to descend

There has never been complete “unity of mind and heart” in the Church with respect to the proceedings and decisions of any given Council. Even the sway of the “majority” has at times, been inconsistent with what we in hindsight can acknowledge to be error. The only reliable standard by which the presence of the Holy Spirit can be measured, is Truth, and Truth in turn can only be reliably measured if that Truth is indeed Truth and nothing but the Truth (and hence infallible).

So even if we say that a Council’s authority stems from its inspiration and guidance by the Holy Spirit, we still need a reliable standard by which we can conclusively determine the existence of that very inspiration/guidance; the mere fact of an assembly, whilst necessary, does not suffice.
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« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2007, 07:39:49 PM »

GiC, if you believe your Church can get it wrong with regard to expressing dogma through a particular Synod that is upheld as Ecumenical, then surely it follows that your Church can also get it wrong with regard to upholding a particular Synod as authoritative in the first place. Or is she infallible in this regard?

Authority is a simpler concept than truth. And the authority claimed is not absolute in nature, for the authority of a synod cannot be said to be binding to God, for example. Authority is relative, the Church only has authority over the believers, she cannot rightly dictate the beliefs of the heathen. This authority was expanded by Imperial Authority at once, and though we may symbolically retain the authorities of the Imperial Throne, in practice our Authority is again restricted to those who follow our teachings. So, ultimately, the Church can only claim that Synods are Authoritive over those who follow her teachings, those who do not are outside the institution of the Church and are not her concern.
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« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2007, 07:50:51 PM »

I'm just showing that belief in the infallibility of the Church and of Holy Tradition in matters of faith is quite common among Orthodox.

There are some who hold to those beliefs, but as you might have gathered from Archbishop Stylianos' statement; he may disagree with the opposition to infallibility, but this opposition is the common Orthodox belief. (You will ultimately find that there is nothing we all agree on, for any position you will probably be able to find orthodox sources on both sides if you look hard enough).

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Yet many other Orthodox use this word, even in discussions of Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism, meaning the same thing as Catholics do: unquestionable, irrevocable actions of the Holy Spirit.

Well, to that definition even I will agree in infallibility, yes God is infallible. But in the bestowing of these actions on men the human element is involved, and humans are not infallible. Thus a synod is no less fallible than it's human members; even though a dogma may have been perfectly communicated by God, that does not mean that it was perfectly interpreted and promulgated by men.

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I'm not saying what these guys are saying is infallible, only pointing out that it is common among Orthodox Christians to consider the ecumenical synods as "infallible" (as Catholics understand it---irrevocable and without error) in matters of faith.

By that definition then the synods were certainly not infallible, for it is a fundamental principle of Orthodox Canon Law, that any previous decree can be overturned by a body of equal or greater authority. Thus, the Oecumenical Synods can be overturned by a future Oecumenical Synod.

Furthermore, I dont agree with your distinction between disciplinary matters and matters of faith, both issues were decided upon and promulgated by the same synod, both are equally authoritative. Neither are irrevocable (no that I expect any Oecumenical Synods to be revoked in the near future, though who knows how Chalcedon will fair in the long run).
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« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2007, 07:56:37 PM »

That none of the first seven Oecumenical Councils openly & explicitly declares itself to be teaching infallibly is irrelevant.  To make a case by way of Scriptural infallibility, the fact that the Pentateuch contains no explicit statement to the effect that the entirety of the Pentateuch is infallible does not mean that the first generation of Jews living with those books were under no obligation to recognize their divine inspiration, consequent infallibility.  The fact that on Pentecost S. Peter did not explicitly declare that every word he uttered would be infallible did not mean his words were not so.  In any of these cases, it is clear from the authority of the writer or speaker himself (whose authority can ultimately be verified empirically, i.e., by the accompanying presence of validating miracles), that the words are to be taken as God's, or at least as an unimpeachable representative of God's.  This applies also to the Oecumenical Councils.  When our Holy Fathers, in synod gathered, firmly believing themselves assembled in the Holy Spirit, solemnly anathematize heretics, can there be any doubt - given that the Holy Church, Guardian of Orthodoxy is the "Pillar & Ground of the Truth" (I S. Timothy iii. 15) - that their word is not susceptible to error?

Much of the argument I have made here rests on the assumption of Scriptural infallibility.  If this is contested, I should be happy to see by whom.

God is infallible, but no man is, all men have their own will, and insofar as men were involved in the decisions of synods and the writing of scripture, they can be said to be no less fallible than the human will, which, though I would argue is inherently good, is not perfect...save possibly that of the Theotokos. But as nothing today survives that was written by the hand of either our Lord or our Lady, and as the Holy Spirit, though present in Synods, does not directly preside over them and record the proceedings Himself, we can say that there is nothing infallible under heaven.
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« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2007, 08:00:13 PM »

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we can say that there is nothing infallible under heaven

Is this the emergence of an Orthodox nihilism? 

It is interesting to ponder. 
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« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2007, 08:18:59 PM »

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Is this the emergence of an Orthodox nihilism?

I would rather call it the emergence of Orthodox reason. I really can't understand how some of you, who are obviously very intelligent, hold to an idea like infallibility. I really am not able to enter into this discussion in full, but here are some thoughts that came to mind... a fictional discussion of sorts of how I understand this type of logic. Of course, in real life "Person 1" is the Church Councils, or the Pope, or the Koran, or whatever.

Person 1: I am infallible.
Person 2: Person 1 is infallible.
Person 3: Prove it.
Person 1: I declare that I am infallible. Therefore, since I am infallible, what I just said is true.
Person 2: Yes, I believe him to be infallible. If he wasn't infallible, I wouldn't follow him. I do follow him, ergo he is infallible.
Person 3: Do you not see how many ways this is wrong? For one, it's one of the most obvious cases of circular reasoning I've seen.
Person 1: No. If I am not fallible, then who is? No one. Therefore, since there must be an infallible criterion for determining truth, I am it.
Person 3: But prove that!
Person 2: He has no need to. He is infallible, and this is self evident. Just have faith. Do you want to fall into nihilism? Subjectivism? You must admit that person 1 is infallible!
Person 1: Yes, who will you trust if not I?
Person 3: But you haven't even begun to show that infallibility is possible, let alone that you are infallible.
Person 1: I don't need to prove it, I'm infallible.
Person 3: Ok, let's go at this another way. If I am fallible, what does it matter that you are infallible? Isn't it sort of a meaningless concept?
Person 2: Absolutely not! Even if I can't infallibly understand Person 1, it is still important that he is infallible, just because it is. And besides, after enough time his infallible view will somehow permeate my soul and I will then understand the truth.
Person 3: How will you verify that you have understood correctly?
Person 2: I'll just know.
Person 3: How?
Person 2: Because Person 1 is infallible, and wouldn't lead me astray.
Person 3: Um, ok... that doesn't really deal with how you would know, it just asserts again something you have yet to prove, and something I would submit you couldn't possibly prove.
Person 2: If you will just accept that Person 1 is infallible, he will lead you into truth. You can't use human reason to figure this stuff out, because these are supernatural truths we are dealing with.
Person 1: Yes, I am infallible. Hear me roar.
Person 3: So basically you will somehow, mystically, prove infallibility to me once I stop trying to understand infallibility, and just accept it without examination?
Person 2: Oh no, you don't have to do that. We don't want you to "check your brain at the door". You just have to have faith.
Person 3: My Muslim neighbor says that same thing, why would I "just have faith" in your unverifiably infallible authority and not in his?
Person 1: Because I am infallible.
Person 2: Yep.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 08:22:44 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2007, 08:44:10 PM »

So even if we say that a Council’s authority stems from its inspiration and guidance by the Holy Spirit, we still need a reliable standard by which we can conclusively determine the existence of that very inspiration/guidance; the mere fact of an assembly, whilst necessary, does not suffice.
And that standard is the Unity of the Church.
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« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2007, 08:53:49 PM »

I would rather call it the emergence of Orthodox reason. I really can't understand how some of you, who are obviously very intelligent, hold to an idea like infallibility. I really am not able to enter into this discussion in full, but here are some thoughts that came to mind... a fictional discussion of sorts of how I understand this type of logic. Of course, in real life "Person 1" is the Church Councils, or the Pope, or the Koran, or whatever....

Yeah, that's pretty much how this conversation's been going...
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« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2007, 09:22:21 PM »

I don't think that is disputed. Not every decree or decision in an ecumenical council need be considered infallible---only ones on faith.
Why are decrees on matters of Faith infallible? Surely the requirement of circumcision was a matter of Faith, yet the decree of the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem was directed only to the Gentiles (Acts 15:23). Does this mean that Circumcision is a requirement for the non-Gentiles in the Church? Even the Apostle which some claim was the first Pope was fallible on this matter of Faith, as St. Paul writes:
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." (Galatians 2:11)
So where is your evidence that the Church is infallible on matters of Faith?


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« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2007, 11:54:02 PM »

Authority is a simpler concept than truth.

You cannot divorce authority from the concept of truth, particularly in light of the primary issue that I am drawing you to consider, namely, the truth of rightful claim to authority (particularly the truth of rightful claim to being/expressing the authority of the Church).
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« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2007, 11:54:47 PM »

And that standard is the Unity of the Church.

Which obviously begs the question when there’s a case of two or more communities who comprehend their own independent unanimity—as exercised either in support or resistance of a particular Synod—as representative of the expression of the Unity of the Church.

You simply cannot escape the fact that any ecclesiological system that lacks a concept of infallibility, admits every truth proclaimed by the Church, particularly the Church’s own claim to being the Church in the first place, as being potentially false; in such a case, Agnosticism would be the only reasonable path to follow.
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« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2007, 11:55:26 PM »

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Thus a synod is no less fallible than it's human members; even though a dogma may have been perfectly communicated by God, that does not mean that it was perfectly interpreted and promulgated by men.

How then are we to know which dogmas have been "perfectly communicated by God"?  God works in this world in most cases mediately, and this is especially so in respect to His Church.  We are told by S. Paul that even the angels learn of God's providence through the ministry of the Church: "That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the Church" (Ephesians iii. 10).  If there existed the possibility that the 1st Nicene Council did not 'perfectly interpret' or 'promulgate' the dogma of Christ's Eternal Sonship, then why did such as Athanasios the Great or Vincent of Lerins rely upon it as upon an unshakeable pillar of the Catholic Faith and urge its defense as a defense of the very Word of God?  If there abides nothing in the Church of an infallible character, then how are we even to say as did S. Paul that the Church is the Pillar & Ground of the Truth (I S. Timothy iii. 15)?

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I really can't understand how some of you, who are obviously very intelligent, hold to an idea like infallibility.

Well then, what think you of the four Patriarchs and the suffragans thereof who in their 1848 Encyclical taught Biblical and Synodal Infallibility?

What of the Confession of Dositheos which explicitly taught Biblical infallibility?
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« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2007, 12:07:02 AM »

By the way, Asteriktos, your dialogue is not at all analogous to any Orthodox or Catholic justification for Ecclesial infallibility.  It would possess much more verisimilitude if say Person 1 rose men from the dead, was clairvoyant, bilocated, had solar miracles such as the Mother of God performed in 1917 worked on his behalf, things of this nature...

Catholics and Orthodox who believe in their Churches' infallibility do so not because their Churches merely claim infallibility, but prove it (or so each one respectively thinks or assumes).
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« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2007, 12:41:21 AM »

You simply cannot escape the fact that any ecclesiological system that lacks a concept of infallibility, admits every truth proclaimed by the Church, particularly the Church’s own claim to being the Church in the first place, as being potentially false; in such a case, Agnosticism would be the only reasonable path to follow.
I disagree. In the case of Christianity, the Immutable and Absolute God bowed the Heavens and descended to dwell among us. Christ is the Truth, and He is the Head of the Church, and we are His Body. He has revealed to us certain Absolute Truths (The Trinity, The Resurrection, Eternal Life, His own Divinity etc). These Truths are Absolute no matter what, and anyone who does not accept them cannot honestly be a member of His Body. The purpose of an Oecumenical Synod, therefore, is not to add new doctrines to what has been revealed to us, but to discern what it is that has been revealed to us. For example, the Dogmas about the veneration of Icons as defined in the Seventh Oecumenical Council are not new dogmas, but an explanation of the Absolute Christological and Sotierological dogmas which have been revealed to us by Christ.
An Agnostic has nothing Absolute to go on, whereas the Church has Christ.
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« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2007, 12:46:53 AM »

So for some, truth doesn't matter, what matters is that a priori assumptions-turned-dogma are defended. They need an emoticon for shaking your head in disbelief. This is utterly perplexing to me, though I've believed the same thing myself (so I would have thought I'd have some idea about all of this).
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« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2007, 12:55:35 AM »

Person 1 rose men from the dead, was clairvoyant, bilocated, had solar miracles such as the Mother of God performed in 1917 worked on his behalf, things of this nature...
On the 21st September 1995 and again on 21st August 2006, in Hindu Temples throughout the world, statues of the god Ganesh began drinking milk which was offered to them. Literally gallons of milk disappeared, and the statues drinking milk was videoed and shown on the news worldwide. Is Hinduism therefore the true faith?
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« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2007, 12:58:30 AM »

Here is a website about the Hindu milk miracle: http://www.milkmiracle.com/index.html
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« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2007, 01:24:07 AM »

On the 21st September 1995 and again on 21st August 2006, in Hindu Temples throughout the world, statues of the god Ganesh began drinking milk which was offered to them. Literally gallons of milk disappeared, and the statues drinking milk was videoed and shown on the news worldwide. Is Hinduism therefore the true faith?

It could mean something entirely different, if you get my drift. . .
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« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2007, 01:25:18 AM »

It could mean something entirely different, if you get my drift. . .
And the same can be said of any miracle.
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« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2007, 01:26:36 AM »

Which is why they must be approached skeptically.
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« Reply #65 on: January 14, 2007, 01:33:50 AM »

Which is why they must be approached skeptically, even so-called Christian miracles.
And therefore, miracles cannot be used to prove infallibility as Bl. Leonid Feodorov does so above by attempting to discredit Asterikto's dialogue.
By the way, Asteriktos, your dialogue is not at all analogous to any Orthodox or Catholic justification for Ecclesial infallibility.  It would possess much more verisimilitude if say Person 1 rose men from the dead, was clairvoyant, bilocated, had solar miracles such as the Mother of God performed in 1917 worked on his behalf, things of this nature...

And we simply get stuck in the same cyclical reasoning if we use miracles to prove infallibility. Since only an infallible authority can  Absolutely declare something to be a Divine Miracle.
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« Reply #66 on: January 14, 2007, 05:45:43 AM »

who can deny that milk is good?
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« Reply #67 on: January 14, 2007, 07:15:22 AM »

And you believe that?  Shocked
I do as a matter of fact.  Id find it much more incredible that someone would try to surrender themselves to God with utter trust and devotion while reading the bible and at the same time having in the back of their mind that 90% of what they are reading is wrong.  Surely you accept the teachings or you dont.  You cant read the scriptures with that much doubt and expect to gain anything from them.  If you think 90% might be wrong, and you dont know which 90%, that makes 100% of it doubtful, which means that you cant take ANY inspiration from the bible at all.
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« Reply #68 on: January 14, 2007, 09:17:11 AM »

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The purpose of an Oecumenical Synod, therefore, is not to add new doctrines to what has been revealed to us

The fact of the matter remains that objective and proper discernment as to whether a certain Council confirms doctrines that have already been revealed, can only be exercised if there already exist infallible sources revealing the content and nature of this true revelation which the said Council is alleged to have confirmed. The Ecumenicity of the Council of Nicaea stands, because the Consubstantial Divinity of Christ to which the Council testifies is absolutely true, precisely because the Holy Scriptures, in which this doctrine is grounded, are infallible in matters of Faith. If the Holy Scriptures are fallible in regard to matters of Faith, then the doctrine of Christ’s Divinity is not absolutely true, thus the Council of Nicaea must be stripped of the binding authority assigned to it.
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« Reply #69 on: January 14, 2007, 11:02:39 AM »

OzGeorge

On the 21st September 1995 and again on 21st August 2006, in Hindu Temples throughout the world, statues of the god Ganesh began drinking milk which was offered to them. Literally gallons of milk disappeared, and the statues drinking milk was videoed and shown on the news worldwide. Is Hinduism therefore the true faith?

I recall seeing something like this on T.V. a while back.  The television show tried to disprove supposed miracles (the name of the show, sadly, has slipped my mind).  However, skeptics brought in a statue of Micky Mouse, who "miraculously" performed the same miracle as the statue of the Hindu god  I can't recall how they explained the statues "consumed" the milk, but what I'm trying to say is that this "miracle" has already been proven to be false.

For what I would consider authentic "non-Orthodox" miracles, I would encourage you to objectively read the life of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.  If I may, I'll suggest this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Padre-Stigmatist-Charles-Mortimer-Carty/dp/0895553554/sr=1-11/qid=1168786332/ref=sr_1_11/105-6289544-9412420?ie=UTF8&s=books

Within the book, there are stories of many miracles, studied by respected doctors around the world (many of them atheist, who turned towards God after meeting with the friar of San Giovanni).  If you read this book, I'd like to discuss with you his stigmata in particular.  How he bore the stigmata for 50 years, how doctors around the world studied his wounds, and how miraculously they (the wound) healed up just before he died, leaving no scars (and the wounds weren't closed by doctors).  I believe also within this book, there is a story of a young woman (there is a picture of her) who was born blind and without pupils.  She went to Padre Pio, who licked his thumbs and placed them on the young woman's eyes.  Soon after, she was able to see.  It baffled doctors, since after this supposed miracle, she still didn't have pupils but was able to see.  Just a suggestion, sorry to direct this thread into directions unintended.

Shawn 
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« Reply #70 on: January 14, 2007, 12:47:32 PM »

Santo Padre Pio is a great example. Putative miracles need to be approached with skepticism, but it does not mean miracles do not occur. The good fruits of Padre Pio's ministry and miracles have been tremendous.

The original miracles of Christ underlay the salvation of the world, and the Holy Spirit has ensured that the work of salvation continues unimpeded by speaking infallibly in essential matters of faith through the Church.
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« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2007, 01:15:58 PM »

I do as a matter of fact.  Id find it much more incredible that someone would try to surrender themselves to God with utter trust and devotion while reading the bible and at the same time having in the back of their mind that 90% of what they are reading is wrong.  Surely you accept the teachings or you dont.  You cant read the scriptures with that much doubt and expect to gain anything from them.  If you think 90% might be wrong, and you dont know which 90%, that makes 100% of it doubtful, which means that you cant take ANY inspiration from the bible at all.

I didn't say that it wasn't inspired, only that it wasn't all correct. That is the problem with trying to reveal an infinite Deity through the finite minds of Men. A revelation of the infinite through the finite will always be imperfect; they will be limited by the intellectual capacity of those who write them down. Then, they will be limited again by the finite human mind that reads them and interpreters them. As for faith, I would have a much harder time believing in a God who was entirely subject to human thought and reason.
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« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2007, 02:53:57 PM »

I didn't say that it wasn't inspired, only that it wasn't all correct. That is the problem with trying to reveal an infinite Deity through the finite minds of Men. A revelation of the infinite through the finite will always be imperfect; they will be limited by the intellectual capacity of those who write them down. Then, they will be limited again by the finite human mind that reads them and interpreters them. As for faith, I would have a much harder time believing in a God who was entirely subject to human thought and reason.
A revelation of the infinite through the finite will be incomplete not imperfect.  The fact that revelation is not all-encompassing, does not make that which is revealed imperfect.  Also the human mind which reads and interprets the scriptures is indeed fallible, but this in no way affects the infallibility of the scriptures.  My failure to interpret them correctly or to comprehend them does not mean that no one is capable of doing so.  Nor does it mean that scripture is fallible.  I agree that God cannot be entirely subject to human thought and reason.  I dont think that my position implies this.
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« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2007, 04:31:17 PM »

A revelation of the infinite through the finite will be incomplete not imperfect.

Ummm...the two words are synonyms.

Quote
The fact that revelation is not all-encompassing, does not make that which is revealed imperfect.  Also the human mind which reads and interprets the scriptures is indeed fallible, but this in no way affects the infallibility of the scriptures.  My failure to interpret them correctly or to comprehend them does not mean that no one is capable of doing so.  Nor does it mean that scripture is fallible.  I agree that God cannot be entirely subject to human thought and reason.  I dont think that my position implies this.

No, the revelation is not necessarily imperfect, but the humans who received the revelation and wrote the scriptures are imperfect, and thus in the writing of the scriptures there is imperfection, before you even have a chance to interpret them, interpretation just adds an additional layer of imperfection.
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« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2007, 06:10:03 PM »

I think it is extremely difficult to rationalise a doctrine such as infallibility...However, at the same time I think it would be very difficult to simply dismiss it as well...Especially in the light of such emphatic scripture as that here:

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." (Gal 1:8, 9)

Such a forceful statement I would suppose would indicate that the apostle held to some criterion of absolute or infallible truth proclaimed by himself.

The same could be said also for the ecumenical councils that boldly with the same authority of the apostle pronounced anathemas on all those who disagreed with their articles of faith.

However, a problem would then arise as to who qualifies for infallibility and when and what and which ecumenical councils and what makes an ecumenical council ecumenical and thus infallible.

I suppose that the ecumenical councils then would somewhat be analogous to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church for those who would subscribe to a doctrine of infallibility... 
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« Reply #75 on: January 14, 2007, 06:40:18 PM »

For what I would consider authentic "non-Orthodox" miracles, I would encourage you to objectively read the life of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.  If I may, I'll suggest this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Padre-Stigmatist-Charles-Mortimer-Carty/dp/0895553554/sr=1-11/qid=1168786332/ref=sr_1_11/105-6289544-9412420?ie=UTF8&s=books
If you want me to study the life of Padre Pio objectively, then why suggest a book written by a Catholic Priest who already assumes Padre Pio is a Saint?
If we really want to be objective about things like this, then we also have to study the Spiritual phenomenon of prelest (See http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/sign/deception.shtml for an introoduction to the concept).
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« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2007, 08:00:37 PM »

If you want me to study the life of Padre Pio objectively, then why suggest a book written by a Catholic Priest who already assumes Padre Pio is a Saint?
If we really want to be objective about things like this, then we also have to study the Spiritual phenomenon of prelest (See http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/sign/deception.shtml for an introoduction to the concept).

Padre Pio was no charismatic.

He was legendary for his severe asceticism.
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« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2007, 08:38:05 PM »

Padre Pio was no charismatic.
He was legendary for his severe asceticism.
Prelest is not charismaticism, although, the Charaismatic movement may be a form of prelest from the Orthodox perspective.
Prelest is spiritual delusion and takes many forms.
To some degree, we are all in prelest, however, we have examples of even Saints in the Orthodox Church who experienced extreme forms of prelest in their earlier life (false visions, false clairvoyance, false insight etc.). One example involves St. Martin of Tours. A young monastic was visited by "Angels" who told him that he was greatly spiritually advanced, and in "confirmation" of this, he was given a "heavenly" cloak made from a material never seen on earth. The Abbot and the other monks were able to see and touch this "cloak", and the Abbot decided that the young man should be taken to the Bishop of Tours (St. Martin) who could discern what it meant. The young monk resisted, and had to be taken by force. On the way the cloak suddenly disappeared. When they arrived, they told the Bishop what had happened, and St. Martin explained that it was a case of prelest. As a result, the young monk was humbled and began to truly advance in sanctity.
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« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2007, 06:27:02 AM »

Ummm...the two words are synonyms.
I dont believe they are.  Just because something hasnt been revealed in its entirety (God), doesnt mean that that which has been revealed is imperfect or fallible.  Thats what I mean when I say that revelation may be incomplete, but not imperfect.

No, the revelation is not necessarily imperfect, but the humans who received the revelation and wrote the scriptures are imperfect, and thus in the writing of the scriptures there is imperfection, before you even have a chance to interpret them, interpretation just adds an additional layer of imperfection.
Well Id agree that its almost impossible to completely describe and portray spiritual feelings and such non-physical phenomena through the written word.  I dont think that makes what is written any less accurate.  In as much as these things can be explained by the written word, they have been in the Holy Scriptures.  We're not going to find God by surrendering just our mind to a book, it has to be by surrendering our heart.  But its the words in the Scriptures that will guide us.  Using the traditional interpretation that the Orthodox Church fathers have, I dont think you can be misguided.  Surely that would be the result in some cases if the Bible was fallible in some areas?
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« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2007, 10:16:15 PM »

Quote
Prelest is spiritual delusion and takes many forms.

How does spiritual delusion manifest itself in the life of St. Padre Pio? 

I might also add conerning Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov's claim regarding St. Thomas a Kempis' The Imitation of Christ - that

Quote
There reigns [therein] and breathes from its pages the unction of the evil spirit, flattering the reader, intoxicating him... The book conducts the reader directly to communion with God, without previous purification by repentance... From it carnal people enter into rapture from a delight and intoxication attained without difficulty, without self-renunciation, without repentance, without crucifixion of the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24), with flattery of their fallen state."

   - that it can be adequately refuted by anyone who gives the book but even a cursory read.  I have read the work through at least once and spent many hours besides poring over it, and can affirm that the book is replete with exhortation to abject humility, complete obedience, unflinching penance, and the patient carrying of the Cross of Christ.  The bishop's claim that it "conducts the reader directly to communion with God, without previous purification by repentance" is manifestly false.  If anyone would defend the bishop's sentiment and care to show wherein St. Thomas' work betrays these signs of spritiual delusion, I would be more than willing to investigate the legitimacy of the accusation.  Until then, I stand amazed at the bishop's baseless and even ironic accusation.
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« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2007, 10:28:58 PM »

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And therefore, miracles cannot be used to prove infallibility as Bl. Leonid Feodorov does so above by attempting to discredit Asterikto's dialogue.

Do you hold it for infallible truth that Christ rose from the dead?

I know at least that His Holy Apostles did, and they did so because they witnessed the Miracle of His Resurrected Body.  Ozgeorge claims that miracles cannot be used to prove infallibility.  What was it then that proved to the Apostles the fulfillment in their Master of the the infallible word of the Prophets of Old Law concerning the Resurrection of the Christ? 

S. Paul says
 
Quote
How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? which having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.  God also bearing them witness by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.  (Hebrews ii. 3-4)

God has seen fit to bear witness to the truth of His Church by means of miracles.  I for one will accept the testimony of a God who cannot decieve or be decieved concerning His Church which is the "pillar & ground of the truth".

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« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2007, 11:24:07 PM »

"Immitatio Christi" has been printed with the blessing of various bishops, archbishops and metropolitans of the Romanian Church for many times in 200 years or so.
Is there any similar situation in other Orthodox Churches (Serbia, Greece, Russia etc)?
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« Reply #82 on: January 16, 2007, 12:23:22 AM »

The Serbs don't print anything that isn't Serbian... Wink Grin

Actually that's pretty true, unfortunately.  I'm pretty sure its not in Serbian...but i'll double check for you.  We tend to be hard-liners when it comes to theological texts. 
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« Reply #83 on: January 16, 2007, 05:17:25 AM »

"Immitatio Christi" has been printed with the blessing of various bishops, archbishops and metropolitans of the Romanian Church for many times in 200 years or so.
Is there any similar situation in other Orthodox Churches (Serbia, Greece, Russia etc)?
The Book "Unseen Warfare" which has become an Orthodox spiritual classic, (especially loved in Greece and the Holy Mountain) is the edited version of a work by the Roman Catholic priest, Lorenzo Scupoli published in 1589. St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain combined Scupoli's work with another shorter work of his and added numerous notes and scriptural references and adapted it for Orthodox readers.
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« Reply #84 on: January 17, 2007, 11:32:55 PM »

Since this deals with both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox, I thought this was the best place to put this.  However, moderators, feel free to move it if you feel it goes elsewhere.

Scamandrius

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SACRED COMMUNITY OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN ATHOS

About the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Ecumenical
Patriarchate on the occasion of the feast-day of Saint Andrew (30th
November 2006)


http://www.oodegr.com/english/oikoumenismos/athos1.htm




This statement is revolting.  What incredible hatred and Luciferian pride.  Where is the love of Lord Jesus in this ?  Is love foreign to the  monks of Mount Athos ?
If this is the spirit of Mount Athos, then Satan has been enthroned there.

It is a sin to form opinions on people we know little or nothing about.  It is also idiocy.  Pope John Paul II was a genuinely holy man.  He wasn't perfect; he wasn't always right, but he tried very hard.  He was a great witness to the sanctity of the individual human person; he was a great reconciler.  He worked himself to death.  How many people who were brilliant, charismatic, natural athletes would appear on the world stage when their bodies had betrayed them through Parkinson's, confined to a wheelchair, incapable of making themselves understood, drooling at the end  ?  Very, very few.  He did.  That shows incredible courage and humility.

Patriarch Bartholomew is holy ?!?  Patriarch Bartholomew is pro-abortion.  Not once, in 15 years as Patriarch of Constantinople, has this man said "boo" against slaughtering our own innocent, defenseless children by abortion.  He made a very pro-abortion statement  in a speech he made in San Francisco in 1990, a year before he was elected patriarch (do a google search and read it).

Orthodoxy Christianity is the worship of Father-Jesus-Spirit, Trinity, the One God; it is receiving His love for us and returning that love to Him and to our neighbor.  Everyone is our neighbor.

This statement has made me deeply ashamed of the monks of Mount Athos.
Such people will wallow in their spiritual pride, anathematizing each other in hell for all eternity, never realizing they missed the point ---- LOVE.


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« Reply #85 on: January 17, 2007, 11:39:31 PM »

I will repost what I said earlier, which I think should help you understand why Mt. Athos did what it did:

We must be careful.  One thing that I don't think some realize is that what the EP is doing is not practicing love but rather practicing acceptance, and the two do not equal each other.  As a bishop, he must first love the Truth, which is the Church, and all of her teachings, which he is failing to do by praying with those who are outside the Church.  True love means sometimes telling someone they are wrong, even when they may not want to hear it.  However, we can tell someone they are wrong in a loving way as well, which doesn't necessarily require harshness, and this we should all practice as Orthodox Christians. 

This, I believe, is what Mt. Athos is doing.  Acceptance does NOT equal love. 
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« Reply #86 on: February 09, 2009, 06:15:49 PM »

The issue about "unproved accusations" has been brought here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19628.msg290910/topicseen.html

Quote
Irish Hermit made an unfounded accusation against the EP which was documented. The letter from Mt Athos did not prove the accusation.

Here are the key points in the letter

Quote
...
The visits of the Pope at Fanarion and the Archbishop’s visit at the Vatican may have secured certain benefits of a secular nature, however, during those visits, various other events took place which were not according to the customs of Orthodox Ecclesiology, or commitments were made that would neither benefit the Orthodox Church, nor any other heterodox Christians.

First of all, the Pope was received as though he were a canonical (proper) bishop of Rome.  During the service, the Pope wore an omophoron; he was addressed by the Ecumenical Patriarch with the greeting “blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” as though it were Christ the Lord; he blessed the congregation and he was commemorated as “most holy” and “His Beatitude the Bishop of Rome”.  Furthermore, all of the Pope’s officiating clergy wore an omophoron during the Orthodox Divine Liturgy; also, the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer, his liturgical embrace with the Patriarch, were displays of something more than common prayer.

There are even more harsh words in the letter of Koinotes, something I wasn't able to find at the moment.

My questions are:

1) Is there a canonical response to the letter by the addresee?

I couldn't have found it.

2) Is repeating the words of Athonites, provided it hasn't been cannonically refuted by the addressee (and it hasn't been), worthy of label of "unfounded accusation"? (That regardless the one who is labeled is a hieromonk with decades of practice...while I'll refrain from saying a word about the personalities of any of the three who labelled his words such.)
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« Reply #87 on: February 09, 2009, 06:48:49 PM »

The issue about "unproved accusations" has been brought here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19628.msg290910/topicseen.html

Quote
Irish Hermit made an unfounded accusation against the EP which was documented. The letter from Mt Athos did not prove the accusation.

Here are the key points in the letter

Quote
...
The visits of the Pope at Fanarion and the Archbishop’s visit at the Vatican may have secured certain benefits of a secular nature, however, during those visits, various other events took place which were not according to the customs of Orthodox Ecclesiology, or commitments were made that would neither benefit the Orthodox Church, nor any other heterodox Christians.

First of all, the Pope was received as though he were a canonical (proper) bishop of Rome.  During the service, the Pope wore an omophoron; he was addressed by the Ecumenical Patriarch with the greeting “blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” as though it were Christ the Lord; he blessed the congregation and he was commemorated as “most holy” and “His Beatitude the Bishop of Rome”.  Furthermore, all of the Pope’s officiating clergy wore an omophoron during the Orthodox Divine Liturgy; also, the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer, his liturgical embrace with the Patriarch, were displays of something more than common prayer.

There are even more harsh words in the letter of Koinotes, something I wasn't able to find at the moment.

My questions are:

1) Is there a canonical response to the letter by the addresee?

I couldn't have found it.

2) Is repeating the words of Athonites, provided it hasn't been cannonically refuted by the addressee (and it hasn't been), worthy of label of "unfounded accusation"? (That regardless the one who is labeled is a hieromonk with decades of practice...while I'll refrain from saying a word about the personalities of any of the three who labelled his words such.)



Now, my question is simple orthodoxlurker.
How do you account for the fact that the Athonite Monks allegedly claim that the Pope was commemorated as :
“most holy” and “His Beatitude the Bishop of Rome”
Yet Irish Hermit says he was commemorated as:
"the Archbishop and Pope of Rome Benedict"

?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 06:53:34 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #88 on: February 09, 2009, 08:45:50 PM »

The issue about "unproved accusations" has been brought here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19628.msg290910/topicseen.html
Actually, lurker, we're not talking about accusations that haven't been proven; we're talking about accusations that have been proven FALSE, as can be seen in the following locations:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19437.msg289603.html#msg289603 and the replies following

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19559.0.html and the thread following


Quote
Irish Hermit made an unfounded accusation against the EP which was documented. The letter from Mt Athos did not prove the accusation.

Here are the key points in the letter

Quote
...
The visits of the Pope at Fanarion and the Archbishop’s visit at the Vatican may have secured certain benefits of a secular nature, however, during those visits, various other events took place which were not according to the customs of Orthodox Ecclesiology, or commitments were made that would neither benefit the Orthodox Church, nor any other heterodox Christians.

First of all, the Pope was received as though he were a canonical (proper) bishop of Rome.  During the service, the Pope wore an omophoron; he was addressed by the Ecumenical Patriarch with the greeting “blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” as though it were Christ the Lord; he blessed the congregation and he was commemorated as “most holy” and “His Beatitude the Bishop of Rome”.  Furthermore, all of the Pope’s officiating clergy wore an omophoron during the Orthodox Divine Liturgy; also, the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer, his liturgical embrace with the Patriarch, were displays of something more than common prayer.

There are even more harsh words in the letter of Koinotes, something I wasn't able to find at the moment.

My questions are:

1) Is there a canonical response to the letter by the addresee?

I couldn't have found it.

2) Is repeating the words of Athonites, provided it hasn't been cannonically refuted by the addressee (and it hasn't been), worthy of label of "unfounded accusation"? (That regardless the one who is labeled is a hieromonk with decades of practice...while I'll refrain from saying a word about the personalities of any of the three who labelled his words such.)
What would you define to be the process of "canonically" refuting the Athonite monks who wrote the letter?  In this day and age, why is it even necessary for the EP to refute the monks in any canonical way when there are certainly enough videos in circulation today to do the job for him?  Wouldn't it be a waste of his time?  I doubt that you would believe His All Holiness even if he did.

Do you understand that the letter is just as much interpretation of the symbolic meaning of the EP's actions as it is mere statement of what the EP did?  Do you also recognize that the letter says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about His All Holiness commemorating Pope Benedict within the prayers of the Liturgy?  You are aware that it is Irish Hermit who has made this claim here on OC.net and has used this letter from Mt. Athos as evidence to support his claim?  You are aware that there are on youtube videos other than the one Irish Hermit linked on this forum--this video takes a devil of a lot of coaxing just to get it to work--that show something entirely different from what Irish Hermit has alleged?  The most recent OC.net controversy to which you have referred is really not about the letter from the monks of Mt. Athos to the EP; rather, it is all about how a particular poster has misused this letter to support his own since-refuted accusations.
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« Reply #89 on: February 10, 2009, 03:20:47 AM »


Now, my question is simple orthodoxlurker.
How do you account for the fact that the Athonite Monks allegedly claim that the Pope was commemorated as :
“most holy” and “His Beatitude the Bishop of Rome”
Yet Irish Hermit says he was commemorated as:
"the Archbishop and Pope of Rome Benedict"

?


My answer is even more simple.

I account it as a detail of importance only in "mincing words" (I believe that's the appropriate word), used by those who want to step-side the main issue.

A hieromonk repeated it, adding the word "Archbishop" (that would account to something awful?), receiving the avalanche of insults. All of that ended in various arbitrary conclusions, such as: "unbased accusations", "accusations being proven false", etc, as if we are all expected to accept the final word of a "Greek Old Calendarist" priest, whose jurisdiction is "even more conservative than ROCOR".

After reading everything by ourselves, some of us will prefer using that bit of reason God gave us for our own salvation instead of accepting otherone's conclusion as final, even if the conclusions were supported by a Greek Old Calendarist.
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