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Author Topic: Converting to Roman Catholicism from Orthodoxy  (Read 5016 times) Average Rating: 0
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authio
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« on: August 07, 2005, 05:48:46 PM »

Hello everyone.  I've been reading the boards on this site for about a month now, and I commend you all for your very Christian treatment of your brothers and sisters in Christ in all that is discussed.  I come to you this Sunday afternoon with an internal crisis, which I will soon been meeting with a multitude of priests to discuss.  Let me give my theological history briefly: raised in a non-demoninational (read "fundamentalist") church in the suburbs of Seattle, until parents divorced; attended closer non-denominational (read "reformed theology") church; barred from attending church for two years; church "shopped" while attending university (which is Roman Catholic), read church history and much theology (3000 pages) and became Eastern Orthodox in an OCA parish.  Here are some brief mentions of contributors to my dilemma: I read the Gospels in terms of Liberation Theology, and have since that church attendance hiatus where I was unguided in reading the Holy Scriptures; I am hispanic; all of my employers, friends, co-workers, classmates and professors are Roman Catholic; I took the Jesuit rector from my school (Jesuits are men in the Society of Jesus, abreviated by SJ [Society of Jesus], in case you ever come across one of these fine men) to Resurrection Vespers and he talked to me afterwards and then said "so why aren't you Catholic?"; I once went to a Roman Catholic monastery, and one of the monks who converted to Roman Catholicism from Prebyterians said that he joined the Roman Church instead of the Eastern Church because he said that there must be "one Church, one Body, one Bride, with visible unity in the hierarchs here on earth."

I also have several other dilemmas - I was asked to be a godfather to a child of a friend of mine at my parish; I am a lector at the Chapel on campus at school; I am the Eastern Orthodox representative for the Interfaith Council at my university; and I am starting an OCF at my university as well.

Well, that should be all for now.
God be with you all.
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2005, 08:28:32 PM »

So, are you converting or just relaying your history and current theological dilemma?

We have one Church, one Faith, one Confession, one Eucharist, one Bride of Christ, and we haven't added anything to that faith... What else do you need?
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 12:49:17 AM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by authiodionitist:

Here are some brief mentions of contributors to my dilemma: I read the Gospels in terms of Liberation Theology, and have since that church attendance hiatus where I was unguided in reading the Holy Scriptures; I am hispanic; all of my employers, friends, co-workers, classmates and professors are Roman Catholic; I took the Jesuit rector from my school (Jesuits are men in the Society of Jesus, abreviated by SJ [Society of Jesus], in case you ever come across one of these fine men) to Resurrection Vespers and he talked to me afterwards and then said "so why aren't you Catholic?"; I once went to a Roman Catholic monastery, and one of the monks who converted to Roman Catholicism from Prebyterians said that he joined the Roman Church instead of the Eastern Church because he said that there must be "one Church, one Body, one Bride, with visible unity in the hierarchs here on earth."

Presently I am Latin Rite Catholic, although I am thinking about Eastern Catholicism, and possibly even Orthodoxy.ÂÂ  I, like you, am still studying and discerning.ÂÂ  However, I can assuredly tell you, whether I decide to stay Catholic or decide to become Orthodox, is that Liberation Theology, in its strictest sense, is not part of the Catholic faith and in fact has been condemned by John Paul II.ÂÂ  The Society of Jesus is a fine order, and I have no doubt that there are many Jesuits today in South America who are much more educated than me, who mean well and who live fairly moral lives.ÂÂ  However, I am also aware that heresies need not be held by impious men; I have many kind-hearted, upstanding atheist friends, but I still believe they are wrong.ÂÂ  If you do decide to become Catholic, be very much aware of the implications of Liberation Theology, and make sure that you truly believe what the Vatican teaches (which, incidentally, is opposed to Liberation Theology.)ÂÂ  

The fact that Liberation Theology is today opposed by much of the Catholic Church (including the bishop of Rome) makes me wonder as to the integrity of this visible unity.ÂÂ  

If visible unity means all the bishops blindly following the believed authority of the bishop of Rome, then this visible unity did not exist for the first 1000 years of Christendom, as the pope was in many cases not seen as the keystone of faith as he is seen today in the Western Church.ÂÂ  I believe that unity in holding to the apostolic faith through the apostolic succession is much central to the early Church's concerns than is a visible unity of adherence to one see's orders.ÂÂ  This is not to say that this see did not have supreme authority over all other sees.  I have yet to determine this, but I know that the bishop of Rome was not accorded all the authority he receives today. 

A book recommendation: Malachi Martin's book, The Jesuits.ÂÂ  Your Jesuit priests will probably discredit the work to pieces, since it attacks heresy in the Jesuit ranks; but it will give you a starting point from which you can better discern the truth of the matter.ÂÂ  The book specifically deals with Liberation Theology and the Jesuits.ÂÂ  

I am sorry if I sounded too blunt, and I feel bad that you seem to be surrounded by priests and monks who propound Liberation Theology; but I had to be honest about Liberation Theology not being Catholic, as the pope has condemned it. 

 



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« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 01:06:08 AM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 01:06:08 AM »

If I believe correctly, liberation theology was condemned as heresy.

Christ came to save souls, not liberate the poor from their political situation.
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2005, 01:49:58 AM »

Christ came to save souls, not liberate the poor from their political situation.

Exactly, He said that the poor will be with us always.

We need to hope that "Liberarion" happens by preaching the Gospel, taking up our crosses and following Christ - not by political activism.
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2005, 04:41:03 AM »

I read the Gospels in terms of Liberation Theology, and have since that church attendance hiatus where I was unguided in reading the Holy Scriptures; I am hispanic; all of my employers, friends, co-workers, classmates and professors are Roman Catholic[.]

Bienvenido al foro.  If I could, I'd like to ask why you were "barred" from church attendance for two years.  Cutting yourself off from fellowship with the rest of whatever fellowship you're a part of is spiritual suicide, no matter where you're a member.  The fact that you were "free" to let your spiritual walk be influenced by LT during that unpastored time is doubly bad.

You said your profe asked why you weren't Catholic.  I assume from your post's title that you're considering it.  What did you say to him in response about being Orthodox?

I once went to a Roman Catholic monastery, and one of the monks who converted to Roman Catholicism from Prebyterians said that he joined the Roman Church instead of the Eastern Church because he said that there must be "one Church, one Body, one Bride, with visible unity in the hierarchs here on earth."

I feel sorry for that monastic; he clearly did not have an accurate picture of the "Eastern Church."  We may have different national churches, but we are most certainly united in something which that monastic did not mention and which, as has been mentioned, seems to be sorely lacking from the "visibly united" Roman Catholic Church these days: one FAITH.  LT, along with several other liberal theological trends within the RCC, attests to the lack of doctrinal unity within the communion.  OTOH, the Orthodox (afaik) have displayed amazing doctrinal unity, and this without one, supreme, visible head on earth.  More than this, we DO have visible unity among our hierarchs, as all Orthodox hierarchs commemorate and recognize each other at each hierarchical Divine Liturgy and are accountable to each other to maintain that unity of doctrine.
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2005, 10:03:56 PM »

Hello all.

Quick responses:

-I said nothing to the Jesuit rector when he asked me why I wasn't Catholic.  I was dumbfounded.  He utilized the moment well.

-I was unaware that LT was condemned.  The reason why it was/(is) attractive is that the problem of the poor dumbfounds me, and it seemed to offer a Christian solution.  To quote the words of Christ that "the poor willl always be with us" I (and I also believe LT) would interpret as meaning that we always have the sinful nature with us, but that should not deter us from attempting to alleviate or eraticae poverty in our homelands or abroad.



I just need support is all.  I feel really isolated, since my area is already anti-Christian, not to mention anti-Catholic (and Orthodox get lumped in with the Catholics quite often).

We are indeed a peculiar people.
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 10:20:41 PM »

Yup, we should be doing everything in our power to help people, but libertation theology teaches that God came to save people from poverty...He came to save us from much worse.

And, after all, if Christians are called to live in poverty, to give all they have to the poor, then who is going to help them? Give no mind to worldly things because they distract from God, help others because they are images of God, and know that God saves no matter what your income Wink
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 10:28:44 PM »


Well said Choirfiend!  Keep praying Authiodionitist, and may it lead you to God's will.  Prayers.   

 :)Juliana
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 07:04:58 AM »

I too was once enamoured with liberation theology. However, if you look at the history of the movement, you can see that its proponents became so obsessed with creating a heaven on Earth (i.e. a Marxist state) that they committed atrocities and began to deny large chunks of orthodox theology. Óscar Romero may seem like a good man, but once you start looking into his writings, which suggest that he no longer believed in the resurrection of the dead and which showed a clear rejection of Holy Tradition, it is certain that he is no longer a Christian role model.
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2005, 11:58:01 AM »

I agree with CRCulver.ÂÂ  Although Liberation Theology may at first seem attractive, in most cases it results in a secularized vision of the Christian faith.ÂÂ  

There is nothing wrong with wanting to give people justice, to feed the hungry and care for the poor.ÂÂ  A large part of the Christian life is dedicated in serving others out of love.ÂÂ  However, when one makes social justice a goal in itself, apart brining the gospel to others for the salvation of their souls,  one no longer focuses on the will of God, on the sinful nature of man, on man's redemption from sin through Christ, and, most importantly, on the spiritual integrity of man; but in such case one simply focuses on the material and social well-being of the human being.ÂÂ  This is the same focus of many pagan philosophers and economists.ÂÂ  
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2005, 12:07:40 PM »

And the root of social injustice is not class conflict, but man's alienation from his God, and therefore from himself and his neighbour.
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2005, 03:10:06 PM »

took the Jesuit rector from my school (Jesuits are men in the Society of Jesus, abreviated by SJ [Society of Jesus], in case you ever come across one of these fine men??) to Resurrection Vespers and he talked to me afterwards and then said "so why aren't you Catholic?";

You should have responded--" I am Catholic, why aren't you?"


Fixed quote - John
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2005, 01:00:14 AM »

The problem is that what they call Liberation Theology, in spite of some good pastors and their social conscience message, is not Christian at all and did not originate as Christian.

It originated inside the offices of the Government Secretariat in Mexico City, whose leaders wanted to create disidency within the Roman Catholic clergy and set up a new hierarchy that would not only be submissive (as the previous ones) but also active in pursueing socialism and changing the mind of the people.

Inside those ofices, leftist priests who were willing to collaborate were grouped together in an asociation named "Priests for the People", who became the voice of the government inside the Catholic Church, strongly pushing reforms directed in this sense:

1) Collaboration with "progressive" governments was mandated as active support would lift restrictions on Church propperty (Cuba, Mexico) and the Catholic Church would have an active role, in spite of the gross human rights violations and religious persecution performed by these States.
2) It was permissible to support violent marxist rebels in the rest of the countries in order to push for revolution and social justice since the experiences of Cuba and Mexico proved that people lived better than in other Latin-American countries.

The errors of the Liberation Theology are linked to those of the Marxist Revolutionaries. Christian theology is esencialy libertarian and revolutionary, but it's esencialy different from the Liberal and Marxist revolutions which are inspired by false egalitarianism.

The true esence of Christian Liberation in political terms can be seen through the teachings of Captain Corneliu Zelea Codreanu in Romania, Michael Augustine Pro (and the Cristero Movement) and the writings of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera. This is for me, the only political movement that fights for social justice and revolution under Christian values.

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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2005, 09:50:07 PM »

I'm not sure why this thread has focused on Liberation theology and not on the real issue.

We are the church of the Seven Councils.  We do not believe that the Bishop of Rome has the ability to speak infallibly at any time.  In truth, that has been the prime argument since Chalcedon, if not before.  When Rome decided that she was tired of dealing with the East, and the East certainly had problems, she failed to see her own faults.  Separated from the East, she lost the benefits which she did not comprehend and wandered into faults that the East, with all its own problems, had kept her from embracing. 

It's sad because Rome supported Orthodoxy many times in the councils against some great foes in the East. The West, however, did not and does not appreciate what the East gave in return.  I know there are some Orthodox who curse Rome with no thought of unity.  I praise God for Rome and what has come from the elder brother in days past, and I pray that Rome sees the errors of proclaiming fathership in place of conciliar brotherhood, to which she could and would rightly proclaim the status of elder.  Until that recognition comes, I will remain a member of Christ's Holy and Apostolic Church, even at the expense of a beloved elder brother.
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2005, 10:06:19 PM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:

I'm not sure why this thread has focused on Liberation theology and not on the real issue.

We are the church of the Seven Councils.ÂÂ  We do not believe that the Bishop of Rome has the ability to speak infallibly at any time.ÂÂ  In truth, that has been the prime argument since Chalcedon, if not before.ÂÂ  When Rome decided that she was tired of dealing with the East, and the East certainly had problems, she failed to see her own faults.ÂÂ  Separated from the East, she lost the benefits which she did not comprehend and wandered into faults that the East, with all its own problems, had kept her from embracing.ÂÂ  

It's sad because Rome supported Orthodoxy many times in the councils against some great foes in the East. The West, however, did not and does not appreciate what the East gave in return.ÂÂ  I know there are some Orthodox who curse Rome with no thought of unity.ÂÂ  I praise God for Rome and what has come from the elder brother in days past, and I pray that Rome sees the errors of proclaiming fathership in place of conciliar brotherhood, to which she could and would rightly proclaim the status of elder.ÂÂ  Until that recognition comes, I will remain a member of Christ's Holy and Apostolic Church, even at the expense of a beloved elder brother.

Thanks for addressing the main concerns of the original poster.  I admit that I am primarily at fault in emphasizing Liberation Theology and not focusing enough energy on the original poster's concerns.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Embarrassed

Some kind words towards "brother" RomeÂÂ  Smiley  I finished the book on the First Seven Ecumenical Councils.  It was pretty good.  I can definitely see how Rome helped out (especially with Pope Leo), but also earlier during the Arian controversy.  Unfortunately, all the information is leaking out of my head, and I think that i'll have to re-read the book to regain it Roll Eyes 
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2005, 11:47:10 PM »

Quote
I can definitely see how Rome helped out

Yes, BUT remember that the book was written by a Roman Catholic, so there is information that was, let's not say intentionally left out, overlooked.  The West was not free from all heresy.  The West and East were doing very well together.  The West did a lovely job of helping the East see its faults and in exposing heretics and heresy.  However, the West was not so quick to see its own errors.  There were Arian leanings among Western bishops that were never really addressed.  The West was very uninterested in hearing the East's opinion concerning the Holy Spirit, which was unfortunate.  While the East suffered from errors in Christology the West was experiencing some issues concerning the Holy Spirit. 

Of course, the emperor being a homosexual iconoclast and naming a patriarch of Constantinople didn't help the situation.  There were plenty of monks in the East who could have helped Rome in its understanding had Rome listened.  But then Pepin's donation helped turn the Pope's ears towards Western emperors and away from silly monks in the desert. 

This led them to the same errors that the East was learning to avoid.  An emperor may well be emperor, but that did not make him Orthodox.  Just as the East was beginning to be triumphant in its Orthodoxy, regardless of the emperor, the West was fusing itself to corporeal pieces of property and temporal power.  For this transition the popes needed theological reasoning.  They justified it, once again, in my opinion, by claiming powers only held by the Triune God.  That is why, after the "council" of Florence and the resulting unions of Brest and Uzhorod the Vatican can't seem to keep its agreements even there.  The Vatican has to dictate all things great and small, even when they have agreed on paper to do otherwise.  The priests are allowed to be married . . . and then there was St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre . . .
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2005, 11:53:32 PM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:

Yes, BUT remember that the book was written by a Roman Catholic, so there is information that was, let's not say intentionally left out, overlooked.


True.ÂÂ  

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:

However, the West was not so quick to see its own errors.ÂÂ  There were Arian leanings among Western bishops that were never really addressed.ÂÂ  The West was very uninterested in hearing the East's opinion concerning the Holy Spirit, which was unfortunate.ÂÂ  While the East suffered from errors in Christology the West was experiencing some issues concerning the Holy Spirit.ÂÂ  


That is correct, although I think that Leo Davis did a pretty good job in not not masking over the errors of Honronius and Vigilius.ÂÂ  

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but the procession of the Holy Spirit was not a major issue at the first seven ecumenical councils, which is the topic of the book to which I believe you are refering.ÂÂ  If the topic of the book were Heresy in The First 1000 years of Christendom, then yeah, it definitely would merit more attention.ÂÂ  Smiley

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:

But then Pepin's donation helped turn the Pope's ears towards Western emperors and away from silly monks in the desert.ÂÂ  


You reminded me of something very important I noticed when reading the book you and I have both recently read, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils.ÂÂ  Many Catholic apologists, in an attempt to defend the idea that the Western Church is the true Church, will point to the fact that for the first millienium most heresies had their origins in the East.ÂÂ  However, what they fail to recognize is that there were several (those less numerous) orthodox bishops and monks in the East who valiantly attempted to defend orthodox belief.ÂÂ  

In writing this post, I have acted under the assumption that you are commenting in reference to the first seven ecumenical councils, or to the book of that name.  Please correct me if I'm wrong. 
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2005, 03:09:31 PM »

I empathize with your concern with the poor, Authiodionitist, but I don't think that it alone is cause for you to jump ship and switch churches. If you do jump ship, then I implore you to do it for reasons of faith, not because you agree or disagree with a church's political leanings. Those change like the rise and fall of the tides, but faith - true faith -remains unchanging.

The Orthodox Church - like the Catholic church - has emphasized care and concern for the poor. However, the Catholic Church has, throughout its history, performed more missions work for the poor, in part I think, because the Orthodox Church has operated in countries that were hostile to it (such as Communist Russia or majority Muslim countries). So, I think the apparent lack of concern the Orthodox churches had for the poor was not the result of theological failings, but the failing of the political climates in which the Orthodox church operated up to recent times.

To find out the real teachings of the Orthodox Church on the state of the poor, we must consider the lives and writings of its saints. Consider this quotation from St. John Chrysostom. (Although he is considered a doctor of the Catholic Church, we Orthodox like to claim him as one of our own):

"How think you that you obey Christ's commandments, when you spend your time collecting interest, piling up loans, buying slaves like livestock, and merging business with business? ... Upon this you heap injustice, taking possession of lands and houses, and multiplying poverty and hunger."

St. John Chrysostom spent his life preaching against the wealthy in Constantinople, and urged them to give their possessions to the poor. He's one amongst many saints who had concern for the poor.

Another was Mother Maria Skobstova, a Russian nun who lived in France in the 1940s, who gave her life sheltering Jews from the Nazis. Here's a site that's devoted to her:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/4541/

There are many other saints who spent their lives helping the poor. There are numerous accounts in Constantinople of Emporesses who gave vast sums of their own money to build shelters for battered and homeless women. One more recent example was St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, who although she was the mother of the Tsar, gave her money and time to found convents and visited wounded soldiers in hospitals:

http://www.pms.orthodoxy.ru/st-elizabeth/zhitie_e.htm

Next, I urge you to visit this site:

http://www.ocmc.org/

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center is involved in missions work both here in the U.S., as well as overseas, including the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage in Guatamala. They are always looking for volunteers and donations.

The work of the OCMC is to me, is the essence of the best intents of proponents of liberation theology (though I'm not sure that its volunteers would consider themselves to be liberation theologians): Putting Christ's Sermon on the Mount into actions.

-Eugenios (not a member of the OCMC, nor am I one who volunteers to help his fellow man as much as I should)
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2005, 11:44:16 PM »

StGeorge

Yes and no.  I've also recently read "The Church Fathers on the Bible," which is very interesting, and Credo by Jaroslav Pelikan.  I'm currently reading "Whose Bible Is It?" by Pelikan, but I don't think that would influence what I've said here. 

The more I read the more things fit together.  In this case, I think it is the East's error to claim the West has always been in heresy, which is a claim I constantly combat with the converts and some of the Serbs at our church.  They seem to think that Rome = bad and that East = good.  The opposite is true of some Latins I know.  The simple fact is that the Church united in Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Rome and any other school of though was the means by which the Holy Spirit demonstrated the truth.  Every school alone was weak UNTIL the end of the councils.

At that point you either accepted what the Holy Spirit gave us or you didn't.  The Romans wanted a bigger piece of the pie and rearranged the truth of things so that some facts were more apparent than others to support their claim.  As time has gone on, they strayed further and further until we now have rock and roll and mariachi mass.  It's okay to be involved with things expressly condemned in Scripture and it's okay to reject matters of Christology determined in the Seven Councils.  No, you won't find that in the catechism books, but you will find it supported by priests in some of the largest RC churches in Texas.
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2005, 09:25:22 AM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:
Yes and no.


To which parts of my previous post are you referring?ÂÂ  Huh

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:

I've also recently read "The Church Fathers on the Bible," which is very interesting, and Credo by Jaroslav Pelikan.ÂÂ  I'm currently reading "Whose Bible Is It?" by Pelikan, but I don't think that would influence what I've said here.ÂÂ  


Yeah, well I'm reading The History of Theology by Yves Congar.ÂÂ  So, there! ÂÂ Cheesy

But seriously, I haven't read a whole lot else on the ecumenical councils, at least those books which focus on the theological aspects, as opposed to simply the historical aspects.ÂÂ  I want to read Pelikan, but I have to wait until I get to school, since his books are expensiveÂÂ  SmileyÂÂ  

Quote
Originally Quoted by cizinec:

At that point you either accepted what the Holy Spirit gave us or you didn't.ÂÂ  The Romans wanted a bigger piece of the pie and rearranged the truth of things so that some facts were more apparent than others to support their claim.ÂÂ  As time has gone on, they strayed further and further until we now have rock and roll and mariachi mass.ÂÂ  It's okay to be involved with things expressly condemned in Scripture and it's okay to reject matters of Christology determined in the Seven Councils.ÂÂ  No, you won't find that in the catechism books, but you will find it supported by priests in some of the largest RC churches in Texas.

Interesting.ÂÂ  I have no doubt that things are now amok in the Roman Catholic Church.ÂÂ  I won't argue with you there.ÂÂ  What I find interesting is that you say that the "Romans wanted a bigger piece of the pie."ÂÂ  Do you think it was Latin Christians in general that wanted a bigger piece of the pie, or do you think this tendency was limited to the pope and a few others?ÂÂ  Just curious. CoolÂÂ  

I also wonder how a Copt might see the ecumenical councils in a different light, but I don't know of any Coptic theologians whose books on the subject are available in English.  Most Christians today hold to the Chalcedonian faith concerning the two natures of Christ, so I just wonder what a non-Chalcedonian has to say about that.  Of course, I'm sure that people on this forum have had a lot more contact with the Copts than me, so perhaps they can offer a suggested reading list.  Grin
« Last Edit: August 17, 2005, 09:30:30 AM by StGeorge » Logged
cizinec
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2005, 08:41:43 PM »

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Yeah, well I'm reading The History of Theology  by Yves Congar.  So, there! 

Oohhhhh is it good?

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Do you think it was Latin Christians in general that wanted a bigger piece of the pie, or do you think this tendency was limited to the pope and a few others?

To be fair, during the councils and for a time after, I think all the groups had people that wanted a bigger piece of the pie, incuding Constantinople.

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I also wonder how a Copt might see the ecumenical councils in a different light, but I don't know of any Coptic theologians whose books on the subject are available in English.
 

Well, we got them debates a ragin' all the time 'round here.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2005, 08:42:02 PM by cizinec » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2005, 12:00:14 AM »

This has turned into an East-West debate more than a discussion of the liberation of the poor, but many good points have been made.  I can appreciate the political atmospheres of the East as opposed to the West, but in my parish (perhaps this is peculiar to my parish) the people are interested in experiencing the Kingdom of God, but they don't seem interested in sharing that, or embracing the poor who are often in despair.

I'm doing better with this struggle, but only because of the mystique of the East.
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2005, 04:32:35 PM »

AuthioD,

I guess I don't get it. 

We have the IOCC and have so many fasts when we are supposed to be helping the poor that it covers at least 1/3 of the year.

You won't find the Orthodox Church supporting Marxist ideology because Marxism is a product of the depths of Hell.  We are on the other side.

I don't support the stealing of wealth from one person to give to the poor because I believe in free will.  Christ himself said the poor would always be with us and, furthermore, they're more likely to enter the Kindom of Heaven than the rich.  Perhaps the East is too focused on eternity than on the breath of time we live on this planet.  We help the poor, to be sure.  That doesn't translate into Marxist ideology sprinkled with quotes from Scripture.  We also don't ring loud bells when we give. 

Our church here in Houston has helped many who were forced from their homes in Bosnia, Serbs and Croats alike.  It doesn't make the news because our parish is poor.  Some of those folks give a lot of their income to the church which helps others who are even less fortunate.  We helped an orphanage in Serbia because no one else in the world gives a dang about the Serbian children left parentless from Bosnia and Kosovo.  That doesn't make the news either, and we don't try to make it huge publicity.

As to those "experiencing the Kingdom of God" without helping the poor, how are they managing that? 

Once again, Marxism does not equal "helping the poor."  It usually means teaching them to produce drugs or shooting them in purges.  May I suggest you read Hernando de Soto.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465016154/qid=1124569853/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-7779005-7839117?v=glance&s=books
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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2007, 01:01:03 PM »

I'm going through my old posts, and everyone was surprisingly charitable in this.  Thank you all Smiley

If anyone is interested in my exploits in liberation theology, read on...
I took the Latin American Liberation Theology class at my university.  We began at Vatican II, CELAM (Latin American bishops' association, basically) meetings, and worked our way to today.  The whole time I was very reserved.  At the end of the quarter, I asked my professor for a recommendation for graduate school, and she asked me to consider applying for theology.  I was very surprised - she is a Full Professor at a Jesuit University.  Well, I declined her proposition, but it made me wonder...I went from being pro-Liberation Theology to coming to this board and becoming Orthodox in my thoughts (and later on, in my life), and feeling like Liberation Theology was the one with less liturgical freedom, less freedom in Christ.
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Thomas
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« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2007, 01:50:15 PM »

This is a very old topic that just had an update that appears to open another topic on Catholic Liberation Theology. I am locking this topic so it may be reopened the Orthodox-Catholic Forum if  Liberation Theology wishes to be discussed.

Thomas
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