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Author Topic: Which obstacles?  (Read 10157 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« on: May 31, 2007, 11:04:32 AM »

The question is often asked, What stands in the way of full communion between the RC and EO Churches? And a number of satisfactory answers to this question are readily supplied -- issues like the filioque, papal primacy/supremacy, the immaculate conception, papal infallibility, the number of ecumenical councils, etc.

But I'd like to ask something which is rarely asked and even more rarely answered: What obstacles stand in the way of the RC and EO Churches having the kind of "sister church" relationship that the EO and OO Churches currently have?

-PJ
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 01:10:50 PM »

Representative theologians and clergymen from both the RCC and the EO have proclaimed each other as "sister churches."  The agreements made at Balamand, Lebanon comes to mind, but I'm sure other more recent examples may be found. 

Unfortunately, I see several problems.  The Latin Church still sees herself exclusively as the Catholic Church.  She still refers to other churches (such as the Eastern Catholic Churches) only in relation to the Latin Church, which is equated by many Latin Catholics with the Catholic Church.  A communion of churches ecclesiology must needs be better stressed.  The Latin Church also, traditionally, sees herself, her Pope, her bishops, the theology they all profess and the liturgy they offer as THE Catholic faith, any difference or deviation from which is an indication that one is not fully Catholic.  Yes, there is lip service paid to the equal status of the Eastern rites, but in reality, in practice, Latin Catholics commonly view the Eastern traditions as not as developed (and therefore not as profound or completely true) as the Latin traditions.  In order for the Latin Church to regard the Eastern Churches as sister Churches and not as daughter churches, she needs to better appreciate and accept the full legitimacy of Eastern traditions, as well as the Eastern mindset, which baffles those Western Christians who want to know everything in precise details and who see mystery as obfuscation.     

The Orthodox Church, on its part, would have to recognize that there exists a legitimate Western Orthodoxy that is different in many respects from Eastern Orthodoxy.  The Eastern Orthodox Church would have to allow this theological and liturgical plurality to take place. 
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 02:36:05 PM »

The agreements made at Balamand, Lebanon comes to mind, but I'm sure other more recent examples may be found. 

The Balamand agreement is not worth the paper it is printed on.  Many EO hierarchs, from jurisdictions whose representatives signed the document, have either ignored it or condemned.

On the other hand, publication of the Balamand Agreement was met with undisguised criticism—not only on the part of Orthodox traditionalists, but even among hierarchs and clergy belonging to those Churches which were signatories to the Agreement; some of these were frankly appalled, even embarrassed. Bishop Antoun (Antiochian Archdiocese) told this writer, in outraged tones, that this Agreement "is of no effect," that it is "nothing," that it has in fact been given "no authority," and should be viewed as if it had never happened. This, in spite of the fact the Agreement was signed by official representatives or delegates of nine Orthodox Churches, including the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Moscow, and Romania! Today's Ecumenism...and the "Still, Small Voice", by Priest Alexey [now Hieromonk Ambrose] Young,  Orthodox America, No. 132.  


It has been denounced for what it really is, allowing universal papal supremacy in through the back door and the continued existence of the Eastern Rite Catholic (Unia) parishes in traditionally Orthodox countries to bring the EO under the sole leadership of the Pope of Rome.

Here are some other critiques:

From the monks of Athos: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/athos_bal.aspx
From the Center of Traditionalist Orthodox Studies:  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/balamand.pdf
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 10:39:45 PM »

Representative theologians and clergymen from both the RCC and the EO have proclaimed each other as "sister churches."  The agreements made at Balamand, Lebanon comes to mind, but I'm sure other more recent examples may be found. 

The Balamand agreement is not worth the paper it is printed on.  Many EO hierarchs, from jurisdictions whose representatives signed the document, have either ignored it or condemned.

It wasn't my intention to start an argument about whether the RC and EO Churches are "sister churches" already -- much less an argument about whether the Balamand Statement was a step forward or a step backward (or a flat-out travesty). So let's change the question to simply "What obstacles stand in the way of the RC and EO Churches having the kind of relationship that the EO and OO Churches currently have?" (I think we can all agree that RCs and EOs do not yet have that kind of relationship.)

-PJ
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2007, 10:42:09 PM »

Unfortunately, I see several problems.  The Latin Church still sees herself exclusively as the Catholic Church.  She still refers to other churches (such as the Eastern Catholic Churches) only in relation to the Latin Church, which is equated by many Latin Catholics with the Catholic Church.

Certainly there are many uninformed Catholics out there, just as there are uninformed Orthodox. Yes, you could undoubtedly find Catholics who are completely aware of the EC Churches -- and you could also find some who believe that VCI said that the pope is infallible whenever he says anything about faith or morals, or who are unaware that the filioque was a later addition to the creed, etc. Are we supposed to be surprised at the existence of such people?

-PJ
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 11:39:46 PM »

It wasn't my intention to start an argument about whether the RC and EO Churches are "sister churches" already -- much less an argument about whether the Balamand Statement was a step forward or a step backward (or a flat-out travesty). So let's change the question to simply "What obstacles stand in the way of the RC and EO Churches having the kind of relationship that the EO and OO Churches currently have?" (I think we can all agree that RCs and EOs do not yet have that kind of relationship.)

I hope you understand that, from my perspective, the Balamand agreement is an obstacle simply because it has been both endorsed and repudiated by EO hierarchs in jurisdictions whose leaders did sign it.  An obstacle to unity is simply that there is no singular EO consensus (or RC, for that matter) on what would it would take for there to be actual unity.  Statements such as the Balamand agreement only give more and more ground to the RC, which is then either condemned by hierarchs of the EO or the monks of Mt. Athos or given approval by various Patriarchs.   The Orthodox need to get their house (with regards to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, not in terms of the faith) in order first, BEFORE any discussion of unity with other churches is even considered.
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 10:31:15 AM »

I hope you understand that, from my perspective, the Balamand agreement is an obstacle simply because it has been both endorsed and repudiated by EO hierarchs in jurisdictions whose leaders did sign it.  An obstacle to unity is simply that there is no singular EO consensus (or RC, for that matter) on what would it would take for there to be actual unity.  Statements such as the Balamand agreement only give more and more ground to the RC, which is then either condemned by hierarchs of the EO or the monks of Mt. Athos or given approval by various Patriarchs.   The Orthodox need to get their house (with regards to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, not in terms of the faith) in order first, BEFORE any discussion of unity with other churches is even considered.

How does the Balamand agreement give more ground to papal supremacy? How is it an attempt to smuggle papal supremacy into Orthodoxy through the backdoor?  I just read the fulltext of the document and I don't see any of that.  What I did see what a rejection of "uniatism" as a means of reunion, a rejection of unjust civil and religious actions to manipulate and disrespect religious freedom, and a statement recognizing the Christianity and spirituality of each Church.  The only problem that I see is a lack of clarification of that ambiguous term "Sister Churches"
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 12:11:15 PM »

How does the Balamand agreement give more ground to papal supremacy? How is it an attempt to smuggle papal supremacy into Orthodoxy through the backdoor?  I just read the fulltext of the document and I don't see any of that. 

In the Papal decree Mystici corporis Christi, the RCC pronounce that if one is not faithful to the Pope, that person is not faithful to Christ.  With that, we see throughout the document (i.e Balamand agreement) an implicit recognition of heresies of the RCC that the hierarchs of the EO thought could coexist alongside Orthodox correct teaching, namely, filioque and papal supremacy. Since these heresies were advanced by the Pope of Rome and proclaimed as dogma by him, the recognition of the RCC as a "sister church" of the Body of Christ by the EO essentially gives any pope authority to make dogmatic statements and still be a "sister church" to the EO.  One cannot be in communion with the Orthodox while thinking he has the authority to create doctrine.
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2007, 11:30:10 PM »

No pope, nor anyone else, for that matter, has the authority to "create doctrine."
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 01:48:52 PM »

No pope, nor anyone else, for that matter, has the authority to "create doctrine."

You are absolutely correct.  I probably meant to say "formulate" rather than "create."  However, the sad reality is that the Papacy has "created" doctrines which are outside the phronema patron and have no witness until they were created.  Of course, I refer specifically to such things as 1) papal supremacy 2) insertion of the filioque 3) the dogma of the immaculate conception 4) purgatory 5) created grace, etc.
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 10:03:38 PM »

Sorry, but that is mistaken. The popes did not pull those teachings out of their mitres like rabbits. They all have long pedigrees. I am always amused when some polemical Orthodox present the Immaculate Conception as dating to 1853, implying that somehow Bl. Pius IX just dreamed it up one day a hundred and fifty years ago. The same for the Assumption and other dogmas. Popes don't just create new doctrines. Any pope who believed that would be a heretic.
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 10:47:09 PM »

Sorry, but that is mistaken. The popes did not pull those teachings out of their mitres like rabbits. They all have long pedigrees. I am always amused when some polemical Orthodox present the Immaculate Conception as dating to 1853, implying that somehow Bl. Pius IX just dreamed it up one day a hundred and fifty years ago. The same for the Assumption and other dogmas. Popes don't just create new doctrines. Any pope who believed that would be a heretic.

It is Blasphemy against our Lady in any case Wink
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2007, 02:36:28 AM »

Sorry, but that is mistaken. The popes did not pull those teachings out of their mitres like rabbits. They all have long pedigrees. I am always amused when some polemical Orthodox present the Immaculate Conception as dating to 1853, implying that somehow Bl. Pius IX just dreamed it up one day a hundred and fifty years ago. The same for the Assumption and other dogmas. Popes don't just create new doctrines. Any pope who believed that would be a heretic.

But the point is not that these doctrines were pulled out of nowhere at the time that they were dogmatised that bothers us, but the fact that they were innovations. It doesn't matter one iota whether the Immaculate Conception was first suggested in 1853 or 853, what matters is that it clearly was not believed from the beginning. It, like the filioque and all the other things mentioned, is a later development and, as such, cannot be part of the faith delivered to the Apostles. You're quite right that Popes didn't pull them out of thin air but by trying to paint the issue in such black and white terms as it being either instant creation of dogma by a Pope or part of the faith delivered to the Apostles you make just as laughable an argument as those whose polemics you object to. Take the filioque. We know precisely when and why that was developed and we know that Popes of the time opposed it and continued to do so for centuries to differing degrees, so we're perfectly well aware that it existed prior to its insertion into the Latin creed - and clearly there is a very great difference, which you seem to wish obscure, between a belief held by certain adherents of a church and a dogma promulgated by that church.

James
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2007, 08:29:33 AM »

If you believe all doctrines we hold today were expressed in apostolic times, then your argument is just as laughable as you claim mine to be. One of the reasons I did not become Orthodox was probably (I say probably because I did not intellectualize it) the failure to recognize development of doctrine. But then I've debated doctrinal development many times with Orthodox before, and I don't wish to continue.

(I must add that in Catholicism the filioque is not recognized as a development of doctrine.)
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2007, 08:39:16 AM »

Quote
If you believe all doctrines we hold today were expressed in apostolic times, then your argument is just as laughable as you claim mine to be.

Yep.
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2007, 08:52:24 AM »

If you believe all doctrines we hold today were expressed in apostolic times, then your argument is just as laughable as you claim mine to be. One of the reasons I did not become Orthodox was probably (I say probably because I did not intellectualize it) the failure to recognize development of doctrine. But then I've debated doctrinal development many times with Orthodox before, and I don't wish to continue.

(I must add that in Catholicism the filioque is not recognized as a development of doctrine.)

I was talking of a dogma, not just any old doctrine. Rome has made dogmatic beliefs that are clearly innovations. Find me one dogma held to by Orthodoxy today that is not found in the writings of the early Fathers (to be clear, it need not be stated dogmatically to qualify - it's my contention that Rome has dogmatised beliefs that are completely absent in any form), and I'll take your claim a little more seriously. Note, as you clearly missed my point earlier, that I'm saying that in my opinion Rome has dogmatised doctrines that have no basis in the Apostolic faith. I do not believe that we have, but perhaps, rather than arguing against a point I never intended to make you could try to find one?

James
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2007, 11:27:52 AM »

scamandrius and jmbejdl,

I might get myself into trouble by saying this, but I just don't see how RCs' saying "from the Father and the Son" in regard to the Holy Spirit is all that much different from OOs' saying "one nature" in regard to Christology.

Now I'm willing to grant that the formulas "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" and "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone" are contradictory if the word "proceeds" means the same in both sentences -- in the same way that "one nature" and "two natures" are contradictory descriptions of Christ, if the word "nature" means the same in both.

But if the word "proceeds" (resp. "nature") means something different in the two statements, then it is possible for both to be correct. In particular, if "proceeds" is understood to mean "ekporeuetai", then it is correct to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone"; and if "proceeds" is understood to mean "proeisi", then it is correct to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son".

-PJ
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2007, 01:05:36 PM »

scamandrius and jmbejdl,

I might get myself into trouble by saying this, but I just don't see how RCs' saying "from the Father and the Son" in regard to the Holy Spirit is all that much different from OOs' saying "one nature" in regard to Christology.

Now I'm willing to grant that the formulas "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" and "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone" are contradictory if the word "proceeds" means the same in both sentences -- in the same way that "one nature" and "two natures" are contradictory descriptions of Christ, if the word "nature" means the same in both.

But if the word "proceeds" (resp. "nature") means something different in the two statements, then it is possible for both to be correct. In particular, if "proceeds" is understood to mean "ekporeuetai", then it is correct to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone"; and if "proceeds" is understood to mean "proeisi", then it is correct to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son".

-PJ

PJ,

The argument about the filioque has been hashed and rehashed on this board for some time.  I really don't wish to get into it; not because I can't debate it, but because I really start to lose my charity and become a jerk.  You can do a search on the site for other threads which have discussed this doctrine.

But one thing I have to address is something that lubeltri once remarked (and he can correct me if I am mistaken) that when he is in a Latin rite RC church, he confesses the filioque but when an Eastern Rite RC, he confesses the creed without it, yet he says the same theology is present.  I don't see how the inclusion or the absence of this pivotal term, filioque, amounts to the same confession.  It cannot.

As for your other questions regarding nature, Christology and vocabulary, check the other threads that have already dealt with this.  But one thing I should emphasize is that the filioque controversy is NOT one of simply vocabulary.  I think there are too many people (not necessarily on this board) who want union and will attempt to say that vocabulary and language differences of Latin and Greek are to blame.  If only that were the case.
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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2007, 10:59:41 PM »

PJ,

The argument about the filioque has been hashed and rehashed on this board for some time.  I really don't wish to get into it; not because I can't debate it, but because I really start to lose my charity and become a jerk.  You can do a search on the site for other threads which have discussed this doctrine.

But one thing I have to address is something that lubeltri once remarked (and he can correct me if I am mistaken) that when he is in a Latin rite RC church, he confesses the filioque but when an Eastern Rite RC, he confesses the creed without it, yet he says the same theology is present.  I don't see how the inclusion or the absence of this pivotal term, filioque, amounts to the same confession.  It cannot.


As you wish.


I don't recall lubeltri's precise words, but for myself I would say that they express two different truths: that the Holy Spirit's ekporeusis is from the Father (alone), and that his proienai is from the Son as well.

As for using different creeds depending on whether it's a Latin-rite or Byzantine-rite church, let me just point out that is true for Liturgies in English (and Latin, French, Spanish ... ) but for Liturgies in Greek there is just one creed for use in any Catholic church, regardless of rite (and it doesn't have the "filioque" in it).


As for your other questions regarding nature, Christology and vocabulary, check the other threads that have already dealt with this. 

I'll look again, but I haven't seen any threads that explain how use of "from the Father and the Son" by RCs is different from the use of "one nature" by OOs. (Other than the obvious difference that OOs didn't modify the creed.)

-PJ
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2007, 02:59:57 AM »

scamandrius and jmbejdl,

I might get myself into trouble by saying this, but I just don't see how RCs' saying "from the Father and the Son" in regard to the Holy Spirit is all that much different from OOs' saying "one nature" in regard to Christology.

Now I'm willing to grant that the formulas "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" and "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone" are contradictory if the word "proceeds" means the same in both sentences -- in the same way that "one nature" and "two natures" are contradictory descriptions of Christ, if the word "nature" means the same in both.

But if the word "proceeds" (resp. "nature") means something different in the two statements, then it is possible for both to be correct. In particular, if "proceeds" is understood to mean "ekporeuetai", then it is correct to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone"; and if "proceeds" is understood to mean "proeisi", then it is correct to say "the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son".

-PJ

I don't disagree completely. The problem here is that your argument does not defend the inclusion of the filioque in the Creed. The Greek means precisely "ekporeuetai" and not "proeisi", a fact which Rome clearly acknowledges by its not using the filioque in the Greek version. If it is the case that the Creed speaks only of eternal procession (and it is) in the original language in which it was written then any translation ought to conform to it. If, on the other hand, the meaning of the procession from the Son is temporal only then it is not heresy (as eastern Fathers have said also) but it should not be in the Creed (at least, not unless another Ecumenical Council is called to insert it). I would have no objection to reunion with Rome whilst the filioque, with a purely temporal understanding (so no eternal procession as of one principal as I've had quoted to me by some RCs), was professed outside the Creed, but I would have serious objections to any reunion with Rome while the filioque remains in the Creed. If Rome really means what many (but by no means all) RCs tell me she means then the filioque has no place in the Creed. That, to me, is the major difference between the semantic differences between EO and OO Christology and those between Latin and Greek Triadology.

James
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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2007, 10:48:36 AM »

I don't disagree completely. The problem here is that your argument does not defend the inclusion of the filioque in the Creed.

I think that Catholics have been defending the insertion of the filioque for so long that it has become inconceivable to many people (Catholics and Orthodox alike) that we should ever decide to go back to the original version. And yet, isn't that exactly what the North American joint commission recommended?

Personally, I agree with the commission's recommendations, i.e. I would like to see us go back to using the original creed -- although I respect the rights of my fellow Catholics to disagree with the commission (including a couple of Catholics on this forum).


If, on the other hand, the meaning of the procession from the Son is temporal only then it is not heresy (as eastern Fathers have said also) but it should not be in the Creed (at least, not unless another Ecumenical Council is called to insert it).

When Catholics speak of the proeisi/processio of the Holy Spirit from the Son, we certainly don't mean ekporeusis. But neither to do we mean only a temporal procession or sending. We are talking about the eternal relationship between the Son and the Spirit. (Orthodox typically prefer to translate proeisi as "eternal manifestation".

Quote from: the Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware
An eternal procession from Father and Son: such is the western position. An eternal procession of the Spirit from the Father alone, a temporal mission from the Son: such was the position upheld by Saint Photius against the west. But Byzantine writers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries — most notably Gregory of Cyprus, Patriarch of Constantinople from 1283 to 1289, and Gregory Palamas — went somewhat further than Photius, in an attempt to bridge the gulf between east and west. They were willing to allow not only a temporal mission, but an eternal manifestation of the Holy Spirit by the Son. While Photius had spoken only of a temporal relation between Son and Spirit, they admitted an eternal relation. Yet on the essential point the two Gregories agreed with Photius: the Spirit is manifested by the Son, but does not proceed from the Son. The Father is the unique origin, source, and cause of Godhead.
)

-PJ
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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2007, 01:34:54 PM »

I think that Catholics have been defending the insertion of the filioque for so long that it has become inconceivable to many people (Catholics and Orthodox alike) that we should ever decide to go back to the original version. And yet, isn't that exactly what the North American joint commission recommended?

In spite of that, the RC theologians still defend the theology of the filioque,although for the sake of church "unity" they agree that it must be excised from any profession of the Creed, especially in public.  This, to my mind, is having your cake and eating it too.  If the filioqueis not in the creed, it should not be taught as dogma, and I believe the RCs will continue to do exactly that.  However, if the RCs would teach the doctrine of perichoresis, i.e. indwelling, which is maintained and taught in the phronema patronrather than eternal procession from the Son, which the insertion of the  filioque does, then I believe the RCs will have made a major step forward in admitting their error and further dialogue can continue.  But, again, to my mind, this is but the first of major overhauls the RC need to enact before any talk of communion can occur.
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« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2007, 08:52:13 PM »

In spite of that, the RC theologians still defend the theology of the filioque,although for the sake of church "unity" they agree that it must be excised from any profession of the Creed, especially in public.  This, to my mind, is having your cake and eating it too. 

Sounds rather like you think that for Catholics to return to the original creed, without any other changes, would be worse than maintaining the status quo.

If the filioqueis not in the creed, it should not be taught as dogma,

I don't think that necessarily follows. Can you really say there is nothing you consider a dogma, but which isn't mentioned in the creed?

-PJ
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« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2007, 10:45:53 PM »

The question is often asked, What stands in the way of full communion between the RC and EO Churches? And a number of satisfactory answers to this question are readily supplied -- issues like the filioque, papal primacy/supremacy, the immaculate conception, papal infallibility, the number of ecumenical councils, etc.

But I'd like to ask something which is rarely asked and even more rarely answered: What obstacles stand in the way of the RC and EO Churches having the kind of "sister church" relationship that the EO and OO Churches currently have?

Adding to StGeorge's good answer in the second post in this thread I think it's to do with the OOs' obvious similarity to the EOs theologically (none of the post-schism Roman definitions of doctrine) and, to be honest, in practice/culture as brothers in the Christian East. (I'm afraid anti-Western cultural prejudice may come into it.) IOW if the row over Chalcedon was really only a big misunderstanding mired in imperial/anti-imperial politics (the Copts hating the Greek emperor and so on) and so the Miaphysites/OOs aren't really Monophysites then voilà: they're Orthodox who use different Eastern rites from the Byzantine.

BTW Fr Alexey/Ambrose (his name as a monk) Young is an ex-RC and so perhaps not the most objective/unbiased source on such matters.
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« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2007, 11:26:08 PM »

In spite of that, the RC theologians still defend the theology of the filioque,although for the sake of church "unity" they agree that it must be excised from any profession of the Creed, especially in public.  This, to my mind, is having your cake and eating it too.  If the filioqueis not in the creed, it should not be taught as dogma, and I believe the RCs will continue to do exactly that.  However, if the RCs would teach the doctrine of perichoresis, i.e. indwelling, which is maintained and taught in the phronema patronrather than eternal procession from the Son, which the insertion of the  filioque does, then I believe the RCs will have made a major step forward in admitting their error and further dialogue can continue.  But, again, to my mind, this is but the first of major overhauls the RC need to enact before any talk of communion can occur.

I never knew the RC church even taught the double procession of the Holy Spirit as dogma.  Maybe as theological opinion, but certainly not as dogma.  Or am I wrong?  Huh
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« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2007, 09:53:51 AM »

I never knew the RC church even taught the double procession of the Holy Spirit as dogma.  Maybe as theological opinion, but certainly not as dogma.  Or am I wrong?  Huh

My understanding is that RCs do, in fact, consider the filioque a dogma. (I won't attempt to address the terminology "double procession".)

There's also the condemnation against anyone who says otherwise, which was issued by the Second Council of Lyons (1274). BUT in considering that condemnation you should note that one of the recommendations from the 2003 joint statement was:

Quote from: North American Orthodox-Catholic theological consultation
that the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those “who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son” is no longer applicable

Hope that helps.
-PJ
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« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2007, 11:36:46 AM »

I never knew the RC church even taught the double procession of the Holy Spirit as dogma.  Maybe as theological opinion, but certainly not as dogma.  Or am I wrong?  Huh

The Fourth Lateran Council, the Second council of Lyon, and the Council of Florence all mention the Holy Spirit and proceeding from the Father and the Son. 

Depending on how much weight you put into the Council of Florence, it was stated that:

Quote
The Greeks asserted that when they claim that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, they do not intend to exclude the Son; but because it seemed to them that the Latins assert that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles and two spirations, they refrained from saying that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Latins asserted that they say the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son not with the intention of excluding the Father from being the source and principle of all deity, that is of the Son and of the holy Spirit, nor to imply that the Son does not receive from the Father, because the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, nor that they posit two principles or two spirations; but they assert that there is only one principle and a single spiration of the holy Spirit, as they have asserted hitherto.
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« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2007, 12:15:42 PM »

I don't think anything from Lyon or Florence has any traction whatsoever to us.
Basic point is...leaving the Creed unchanged in the first place would have prevented this 'obstacle'.
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« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2007, 12:52:08 PM »

Sounds rather like you think that for Catholics to return to the original creed, without any other changes, would be worse than maintaining the status quo.

As long as the RCs profess the original creed and still teach that the filioque is a theological error in that it does not recognize the arche anarchos, i.e. the monarcy of the Father, then this is not an obstacle.  But despite the retractations from of the Councils of Lyon and Florence which say that the condemnation against those who do not confess filioque is rescinded, the dogma is still taught in catecheism, in seminaries, etc.  The whole thing must be scrapped!

I don't think that necessarily follows. Can you really say there is nothing you consider a dogma, but which isn't mentioned in the creed?

The finer points of detail were clarified in ecumenical councils.  Given that the original Nicene Creed is said in nearly every Orthodox Liturgy and Prayer Office and because of its centrality in each of those, I think those succint three paragraphs provide well for our dogmatic needs.  We don't need to keep systematizing God with more and more dogmas, especially those which are alien to the phronema patron, the Holy Scriptures and the Ecumenical Councils.
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2007, 07:54:21 AM »

OK, here's another question.

I recently read an article, linked from another thread, which talked about the distinction between secessions from the Church and divisions within the Church. (It can be found at http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2006/5endokladsavchenko.html )

Now I'm not going to ask whether which one the schism between RCs and EOs is, because it seems sufficiently clear that most people here consider it to be a secession; but I would like to ask: was there a time when it was not yet a secession, but only a division within the Church (e.g. following the mutual excommunications of Cardinal Humbert and Patriarch Ceralarius in 1954)?

-PJ
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2007, 09:02:10 AM »

Secession, division, schism...too many relative temporal terms for me to tackle this question.
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2007, 06:49:25 PM »

Secession, division, schism...too many relative temporal terms for me to tackle this question.

The article describes the terms thus: "... Ecumenical and Local Councils ruled that these schismatic communities had nothing in common with the Body of the Church. However history also knows many divisions and reconciliations within the Church. Such divisions are essentially different from secessions from the Church. A secession from the Church takes place when heretics or schismatics are excommunicated or leave the Church themselves, while a division within the Church occurs when Orthodox Christians are divided. In a division within the Church both parties are Orthodox, both abide within the Church, although they may be split by machinations of false teachers, violent acts of civil authorities or matters which can eventually be reconciled and healed."

Hope that helps.
-PJ
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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2007, 06:53:33 PM »

I would suggest that the East-West division was a "division within the Church" up until the Council of Florence, after which it became a matter of "secession".
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« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2007, 07:14:49 PM »

I agree that the full break of communion did not occur until the Ottomans were in the picture.
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« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2007, 09:13:53 PM »

I agree that the full break of communion did not occur until the Ottomans were in the picture.

?
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« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2007, 04:31:56 AM »

?
From the Byzantine perspective, one of the finalizing acts of schism was the Latin ransacking of Constantinople in 1204, during the Fourth Crusade--I think, however, you may be thinking of something later.  To the credit of the RC church, Pope John Paul II apologized publicly for this travesty more than once.
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« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2007, 10:43:26 AM »

From the Byzantine perspective, one of the finalizing acts of schism was the Latin ransacking of Constantinople in 1204, during the Fourth Crusade--I think, however, you may be thinking of something later.  To the credit of the RC church, Pope John Paul II apologized publicly for this travesty more than once.

Dear PeterTheAleut,

Let me say first that I don't intend to defend those crusaders or rationalize there evil actions.

Furthermore, I do agree that the negative impact of the Fourth Crusade on East-West relations was huge.

But in terms of category, I don't think the Fourth Crusade could change those relations from the "division within the Church" category to the "secession" category. In fact, I think the crusaders' actions fall precisely under "violent acts of civil authorities", as discussed by the article (see above quotation).

What say you?
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2007, 05:06:33 PM »

Dear PeterTheAleut,

Let me say first that I don't intend to defend those crusaders or rationalize there evil actions.

Furthermore, I do agree that the negative impact of the Fourth Crusade on East-West relations was huge.

But in terms of category, I don't think the Fourth Crusade could change those relations from the "division within the Church" category to the "secession" category. In fact, I think the crusaders' actions fall precisely under "violent acts of civil authorities", as discussed by the article (see above quotation).

What say you?
Let me read the article and think about it for a bit.  Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2007, 05:58:29 PM »

Let me read the article and think about it for a bit.  Smiley

Fair enough. Smiley FYI, most of the article enumerates various examples of divisions in history, except for the first four and last two paragraphs.

-PJ
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« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2007, 07:06:23 PM »

but I would like to ask: was there a time when it was not yet a secession, but only a division within the Church (e.g. following the mutual excommunications of Cardinal Humbert and Patriarch Ceralarius in 1954)?

Some important points need to be made regarding the anathemas.  Cardinal Humbert's Bull of Excommunication had the seal of the pope who had been dead two weeks prior to him slapping it on the altar of Hagia Shopia.  Secondly, Kerularios' excommunication was onlydirected towards Humbert, his delegation and the pope while Humbert's Bull anethamatized the entire Eastern Church.  Of course, this was expanded later on in time.  So I guess you could argue that from Kerularios' perspective, there was a division within the Church.  However, from Humbert's perspective, there was secession of the Eastern Church.  Either way, it's splitting hairs and I don't believe that there can be division in a Church as it is the Body of Christ.  How can that be divided?  You are either part or you are not, not with them only when you want to be.
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« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2007, 08:42:42 PM »

Some important points need to be made regarding the anathemas.  Cardinal Humbert's Bull of Excommunication had the seal of the pope who had been dead two weeks prior to him slapping it on the altar of Hagia Shopia.  Secondly, Kerularios' excommunication was onlydirected towards Humbert, his delegation and the pope while Humbert's Bull anethamatized the entire Eastern Church.  Of course, this was expanded later on in time. 

Both good points.

Of course, this was expanded later on in time.  So I guess you could argue that from Kerularios' perspective, there was a division within the Church.  However, from Humbert's perspective, there was secession of the Eastern Church.  Either way, it's splitting hairs and I don't believe that there can be division in a Church as it is the Body of Christ.  How can that be divided?  You are either part or you are not, not with them only when you want to be.

Well I don't think anyone here is suggesting that it's possible to be "with them only when you want to be". The article's position, as I understand it, is that there can be two groups that are both within the Church but not in full communion with each other (e.g. the ROCOR and MP until recently): "In a division within the Church both parties are Orthodox, both abide within the Church, although they may be split by machinations of false teachers, violent acts of civil authorities or matters which can eventually be reconciled and healed." (Of course, a lot of Catholics would disagree, claiming instead that anyone not in full communion with the pope is schismatic.)

-PJ
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« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2007, 10:11:49 PM »

However, from Humbert's perspective, there was secession of the Eastern Church. 

No doubt he thought that. But I would certainly say he was mistaken. Wouldn't you?

-PJ
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« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2007, 10:25:49 PM »

Quote
(Of course, a lot of Catholics would disagree, claiming instead that anyone not in full communion with the pope is schismatic.)

After trying to follow the line of reasoning both in this thread and that ROCOR article, I must say I'd agree with the Catholics above, except the other way around of course.
I'm a simple guy: out of communion = schism. Hindsight of a healed schism especially a short one seems to make them seem like 'divisions' or separations, but they are schisms no matter how long they persist.
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« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2007, 12:00:44 AM »

I'm a simple guy: out of communion = schism. Hindsight of a healed schism especially a short one seems to make them seem like 'divisions' or separations, but they are schisms no matter how long they persist.

I think that is a reasonable idea. In that case, though, I'd say that a crucial point is that which side is schismatic is not always obvious, even at the time of reconciliation.  For example, at the time of the reconciliation between Patriarch Photius and Pope John (it think it was) in the ninth century, neither side demanded that the other admit to having been schismatic during the previous years. (Of course, you might say it was obvious in the sense that it was obvious to each side that they were the true Church and that the other side wasn't.)

Similarly, I've not seen any statement from either the MP or the ROCOR saying "we been schismatics, but now we aren't".

-PJ
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« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2007, 01:39:47 AM »


Similarly, I've not seen any statement from either the MP or the ROCOR saying "we been schismatics, but now we aren't".

-PJ

Well, my opinion, when the ROCOR synod was formed neither 'side' was in schism, but truly separated for non- ecclesiastical reasons. Later, reasons that one or the other side could be viewed as in schism arose.

A different set of circumstances for the 9th century situation. The Orthodox view of that is St. Photios just wanted the Church back in order without finger pointing, even to the point of not pushing the Council of 879 as being the Ecumenical Council that it was.

From the outside, any schism produces at least two halves. Only those IN each half seek to assign the other as in schism (meaning, I guess, in error).
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« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2007, 09:22:54 AM »

Similarly, I've not seen any statement from either the MP or the ROCOR saying "we been schismatics, but now we aren't".

And, of course, their grammar would probably be better than mine Smiley

Well, my opinion, when the ROCOR synod was formed neither 'side' was in schism, but truly separated for non- ecclesiastical reasons. Later, reasons that one or the other side could be viewed as in schism arose.

After posting my last post, it occurred to me that it was such a good example of the "out of communion = schism" idea, inasmuch as the ROCOR and MP were both in full communion with (IIRC) the Jerusalem Patriarch and the Serbian Patriarch.

A different set of circumstances for the 9th century situation. The Orthodox view of that is St. Photios just wanted the Church back in order without finger pointing, even to the point of not pushing the Council of 879 as being the Ecumenical Council that it was.

From the outside, any schism produces at least two halves. Only those IN each half seek to assign the other as in schism (meaning, I guess, in error).

Could you elaborate on that last sentence?

-PJ
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« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2007, 09:56:52 AM »

This is a little off-topic, but all this talk about "calling the other side schismatic" reminds me of a certain conversation I had with a Catholic priest who's a friend of mine. At one point he said something (I can't recall what) about "the Orthodox", and then added "I mean, the schismatic Orthodox".

(This is probably stating the obvious, but in case anyone doesn't see the logic of the "I mean, the schismatic Orthodox" addendum, I believe it follows from the idea of calling Eastern Catholics "Orthodox in communion with Rome".)
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« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2007, 10:07:45 AM »

Elaborate? Not sure I can. I realize I used 'schism' in perhaps two different ways, but maybe if I said "any split" instead of "any schism" in the first instance it would be clearer.

As to your following post, I do not have a polite response.  Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2007, 01:20:09 PM »

Elaborate? Not sure I can. I realize I used 'schism' in perhaps two different ways, but maybe if I said "any split" instead of "any schism" in the first instance it would be clearer.

Yes, that does make it a little clearer.

As to your following post, I do not have a polite response.  Smiley

At times like this, I wonder why there's no smiley with red cheeks. Perhaps it would be something like this :-:
Since there isn't one , let me just say:
Lips Sealed
(Whatever that means.) Anyhow, thank you for not shooting the messenger (or stabbing, or blundeoning ...) Smiley

-PJ
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« Reply #49 on: June 25, 2007, 01:53:42 PM »

This is a little off-topic, but all this talk about "calling the other side schismatic" reminds me of a certain conversation I had with a Catholic priest who's a friend of mine. At one point he said something (I can't recall what) about "the Orthodox", and then added "I mean, the schismatic Orthodox".

(This is probably stating the obvious, but in case anyone doesn't see the logic of the "I mean, the schismatic Orthodox" addendum, I believe it follows from the idea of calling Eastern Catholics "Orthodox in communion with Rome".)

I would use "schismatic Orthodox" to describe Haughtydox of a particularly anti-Catholic stripe. The irenic/more ecumenical Orthodox I would not view as having a schismatic spirit. But that's my distinction.
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« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2007, 03:55:25 PM »

I would use "schismatic Orthodox" to describe Haughtydox of a particularly anti-Catholic stripe. The irenic/more ecumenical Orthodox I would not view as having a schismatic spirit. But that's my distinction.

Thanks for clarifying what is your distinction.  But I can't help but wonder if "irenic/more ecumenical Orthodox" is your code for those Orthodoxy who may be willing to submit to the pope?  Then they're not Orthodox, they are Eastern Rite Catholics! Wink
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« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2007, 05:29:32 PM »

Thanks for clarifying what is your distinction.  But I can't help but wonder if "irenic/more ecumenical Orthodox" is your code for those Orthodoxy who may be willing to submit to the pope?  Then they're not Orthodox, they are Eastern Rite Catholics! Wink

No, only those Orthodox who consider the idea that Catholics are in some way part of the Church and receive true sacraments as something at least open to question. Those Orthodox who don't consider the Catholic Church a heretic "church" utterly devoid of all sacramental grace. Those Orthodox who will allow that Pope Benedict is at least a baptized Christian.

Though I do consider the Eastern Rite Catholics as orthodox, of course.  But then so are you EO for the most part Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2007, 11:25:38 PM »

But in terms of category, I don't think the Fourth Crusade could change those relations from the "division within the Church" category to the "secession" category. In fact, I think the crusaders' actions fall precisely under "violent acts of civil authorities", as discussed by the article (see above quotation).

What say you?
Having read the article as I promised, here's what I have to say for right now.  From what little I know of the Fourth Crusade, I will admit that it was probably motivated much more by secular desires such as greed and the political intrigues between Rome and Constantinople, the Carolingian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, than by any genuinely religious interests.  It's quite plausible for one to see that the Church in each empire--if one can still speak of the Latin Church as not having yet seceded completely, making the Church a Body that still spanned both empires--had become so secularized that she saw the good of the Empire and the good of the Church as one and the same.  Seeing the secular and political motivations of the Fourth Crusade, I agree with your pov that this probably didn't tilt the strained relations between the Latin and Eastern halves of the Christian Church totally toward a secession of one half from the Church.  I would have to see a total break of one side from the Faith of the Church, a break at the spiritual and dogmatic level.  Another poster mentioned the failed Reunion of Florence as an example of this.

(As an interesting aside, I remember arguing such logic as I read in the article, that the faithful of two separated communions can be divided against each other without either finding itself outside the Church, in a recent discussion of EO/OO relations.)
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« Reply #53 on: June 26, 2007, 10:18:27 AM »

(As an interesting aside, I remember arguing such logic as I read in the article, that the faithful of two separated communions can be divided against each other without either finding itself outside the Church, in a recent discussion of EO/OO relations.)

(I, too, often thought of EO/OO relations as I read the article.)
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« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2007, 10:24:26 AM »

For example, at the time of the reconciliation between Patriarch Photius and Pope John (it think it was) in the ninth century, neither side demanded that the other admit to having been schismatic during the previous years.

Speaking of the schism between Patriarch Photius and Pope Nicholas I, here's a wee question. Would I be right in think that you Orthodox don't regard Nicholas I as a saint -- since he died during the schism, and hence from your point of view died in schism?

Just wondering.
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« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2007, 02:39:52 PM »

No, only those Orthodox who consider the idea that Catholics are in some way part of the Church and receive true sacraments as something at least open to question. Those Orthodox who don't consider the Catholic Church a heretic "church" utterly devoid of all sacramental grace. Those Orthodox who will allow that Pope Benedict is at least a baptized Christian.

Well, then I guess I'm not in that band of "irenic/ecumenical Orthodox." I'd like to think that I use the "heretic" term when it is appropriate, but the Holy Orthodox Church has denied consistently and historically until the RCs repent of their theological errors and innovations, you are devoid of sacramental grace.  NOt my decision, that is the Church's responsibility. 

Besides, you're a Yankees fan. I might give you a little more leeway if you repent of that first!  Cheesy
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« Reply #56 on: June 27, 2007, 10:14:33 AM »

The regular refrain of EO telling others to repent of their sins is grating. How can I repent of heresy if I am not a baptized Christian? How are we even heretics if we have not even been baptized?
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« Reply #57 on: June 27, 2007, 10:28:21 AM »

How can I repent if I am not a baptized Christian? How are we even heretics if we have not even been baptized?

According to Acts, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
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« Reply #58 on: June 27, 2007, 10:39:37 AM »

According to Acts, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."


Repent of heresy. And sorry, I am already a baptized Christian, your implication notwithstanding.
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« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2007, 08:20:36 AM »

The question is often asked, What stands in the way of full communion between the RC and EO Churches?

The Catholics aren't Orthodox.  That's it in a nutshell.  The praxis, culture and mindset are too different.  Specific issues --papism, the filioque, scholasticism, grace, etc.-- are major parts of that.  Deeper, though:  the Christian West has become mostly cataphatic, but the Christian East (Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonians) remain apophatic. 

just my opinion . . .
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« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2007, 08:50:27 AM »

The Catholics aren't Orthodox.  That's it in a nutshell.  The praxis, culture and mindset are too different.  Specific issues --papism, the filioque, scholasticism, grace, etc.-- are major parts of that.  Deeper, though:  the Christian West has become mostly cataphatic, but the Christian East (Orthodox and Non-Chalcedonians) remain apophatic. 

just my opinion . . .

Would you please define cataphatic and apophatic?  I have never heard those terms before.

Thomas
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« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2007, 10:07:50 AM »

I had the same question because as Greek I know these terms to mean affirmative and deciding (or something similar) respectively: According  to http://www.theopedia.com/Cataphatic_theology :

"Cataphatic theology describes God positively according to what He has revealed of Himself in Scripture and nature. It is usually discussed as the opposite of Apophatic (or negative) theology, which attempts to describe God only in terms of what He is not".

 Smiley
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« Reply #62 on: June 29, 2007, 12:30:53 PM »

Repent of heresy. And sorry, I am already a baptized Christian, your implication notwithstanding.

Lubeltri, if you would get the chip off your shoulder for just a minute, you would see that I was answering your question in your previous post, not attacking you or your faith or implying anything else.  You asked how you could repent if you weren't a baptized Christian, and I quoted Scripture that stated that we should repent and then be baptized.  You must have added the "of heresy" part in the post that I quoted after I quoted it.  I didn't address the second sentence of that post.
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« Reply #63 on: June 29, 2007, 04:32:06 PM »

Re: cataphatic vs. apophatic - ISTM we've got to have both. Apophatic theology can be abused just as well - I think Charles Williams illustrated this in his theological work "The Descent of the Dove: a history of the Holy Spirit in the Church." The connection is that an over-reliance of the apophatic way (in English, the way of negation, or when applied to the Incarnation - the way of negation of the Image of God) had the tendency towards Iconoclasm, while the cataphatic way (the way of affirmation, or as Williams' specifically means - the way of affirmation of images) supports the Orthodox dogma on iconography.

----------------------------------
But to go back to the original question -

I like to work through this often, and have a few answers from my side:

1) The Conciliar Movement in the West will have to bear fruit in restoring the Patriarchate of Rome to its Patristic place, not as a ruler over bishops, but as the Bishop of Rome who by tradition has the preeminence amongst bishops. That would mean a re-evaluation of Gallicanism as well: the real error there being those who would have had the Church under the State (same as Sergianism.) What is also often condemned as Gallicanism was simply the idea that the Pope as a bishop was just as subject to a Council of the Church as any other bishop. At one point the Roman Church agreed with this position, and I believe it was purely politics that moved it towards ultramontanism. Some levels of autonomy and autocephaly in the Roman church would probably be healthy - particularly where there is already some tradition of that which would stand to gain (ie, the English-speaking world: UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand...)

2) The filioque issue isn't going to go away. There has been for at least two centuries now a Western liturgical movement towards restoring the original form of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed. There have been a multitude of statements towards the effect that 'per filium' is what is meant (though 'filioque' does not explicitly read as such.) If dual processionism is not the official Western teaching (and I agree that it is not), then such a ruling needs to be enforced. Its needs to be strenously and explicitly affirmed that dual procession is not meant, and the filioque abandoned for the stumbling block it is.

3) The full blown renewal of the Catholic Tradition will have to happen (which would require a reevaluation of the past two Councils of the Roman Church - Vatican I & II.) A reflowering of monasticism, return of Apostolic fasting practices, return to traditional Orthodox Roman liturgy, etc. Happily - I believe we are seeing a beginning of this in many ways. It wouldn't hurt to reevaluate  Medieval Catholicism either - as well as keep positive developments as regards those same two councils (ie, as regards restoring paedocommunion, baptism by immersion, the 'pain benit', keeping an epiclesis as the modern Roman rite has, the possibility of ordaining married men to the parish priesthood after the ancient customs of England and Spain, restoring the leavened bread after the ancient councils in the West: whole, wheaten, white, round, and leavened, etc.) Personally - I don't think it would hurt to fully reclaim Christian Neo-Platonism/Catholic Ultra-Realism as a cure for excessive Thomism/Scholasticism.

4) Something is going to have to be done about some of the heretical folk - whether amongst the Jesuits, the USCCB, "Zen Catholics" amongst the Benedictines, "Women Priests", Archdiocese of LA, etc. That should be done while also embracing the kind of Christian freedom that Orthodoxy has preserved - not everything has to be defined - leave room for theological opinion that does not touch on matters of dogma.

On the other side, Orthodoxy is going to have to heal:

1) Put away the ethnic hatred of Westerners, just as the West will have to respond in kind. Rome will have to be restored to its canonical place, and that explicitly affirmed as a given. Western jurisdictional territory will have to be respected, and the same given in kind to the East.

2) Coming to terms with the Crusades, and present relations with the sect of Mohammed. That would mean recognizing that other Christians are indeed closer than those of non-Christian faiths, ie - all Christians are potential Orthodox. Related would be putting away bitterness, and regaining a true missionary heart. (Rather than seeking to create ghettos or colonies of the 'Empire'.)

3) Abandoning anti-Westernism so that they can support the West is preserving and restoring its proper moral, ethical, and spiritual heritage. (I believe that certain Russian bishops have been speaking exactly towards a preliminary cooperation in Europe along those lines.)

4) Overlapping jurisdictions would have to be finally done away with: retention of representation parishes in lands which are historically and canonically Rome's (Western Europe, North Africa, the Americas) would have to be reciprocated with allowance of representation parishes of Latin tradition in Eastern countries.

I could think of others items on both sides - if the discussion could stay free of polemics and 'clique maintenance'. I've noted more detail on the Western side (mostly as a Western Christian who is Orthodox, I'm more concerned about what happens in the West - and so what happens in Rome, Canterbury, Utrecht, etc. also concerns me.)
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« Reply #64 on: June 29, 2007, 09:22:22 PM »

The connection is that an over-reliance of the apophatic way (in English, the way of negation, or when applied to the Incarnation - the way of negation of the Image of God) had the tendency towards Iconoclasm, while the cataphatic way (the way of affirmation, or as Williams' specifically means - the way of affirmation of images) supports the Orthodox dogma on iconography.

Interesting point. Rarely in Orthodoxy is there one single "right" way--even though that's what Ortho-doxy means. Sometimes there's two different perspectives on the same subject. Often that's where we and the West disagree--not in substance, but in interpretation.
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« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2007, 02:38:34 AM »

"Cataphatic theology describes God positively according to what He has revealed of Himself in Scripture and nature. It is usually discussed as the opposite of Apophatic (or negative) theology, which attempts to describe God only in terms of what He is not".
Personally, I see value and a usefulness in both theologies. At first, they may sound contradictory, but I don't necessarily see it as so. Apophatic theology was one of the catalysts for me in becoming Eastern Orthodox, and it is a way of keeping the mystery of God's Uncreated Energies. On the other hand, Jesus was a human being who went through recognizable, describable problems and who had tangible attributes. I'm probably not articulating this very well, which may prove Apophatic theology as being more relevant and true.
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« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2007, 11:35:50 AM »

Personally, I see value and a usefulness in both theologies.

Exactly. Too often we think that either the West or the East has to be right, and therefore the other is wrong. And I've never met anyone who genuinely thought the opinion they held was wrong. It's the nature of opinion. So we shout back and forth, persuading, pleading, trying everything we can to convince the other side of the merits of our opinion--when most of the time, both sides are right, they just state their opinion in a way the other is not familiar with. So it is with apophatic/cataphatic theology. God is indeed who He is, and He is not who He is not. Was not the name He gave us, YHWH, a revelation? Even in Orthodoxy we have a saying, "We know where God is; we do not know where He is not." When we get too dogmatic about opinions, schism can occur. It's foolish to cause a break in the Church once again, fractured as she is, over such a silly matter as how we word our theology. As long as the theology is not changed by the new wording, we shouldn't get too upset about it.
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« Reply #67 on: June 30, 2007, 12:22:17 PM »

1) Put away the ethnic hatred of Westerners, just as the West will have to respond in kind.

I think this is a very important point.

As a specific example on my side of the fence, I believe that Catholic-Protestant syncretism is one of the main obstacles to resolving the filioque issue. (I've said before, but I think it's worth repeating, that even though Catholics don't accept the Orthodox notion that the pope has no authority to permit the filioque being adding to the creed, it is important to note that Catholics also don't accept the Protestant notion that no such permission is even necessary.)

4) Overlapping jurisdictions would have to be finally done away with: retention of representation parishes in lands which are historically and canonically Rome's (Western Europe, North Africa, the Americas) would have to be reciprocated with allowance of representation parishes of Latin tradition in Eastern countries.

That may happen eventually, but I don't think it should be made a pre-requisite for reconciliation.

As for the rest of your points, I haven't any particular comments right now except a general "well said".

God bless,
PJ
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« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2007, 12:34:05 PM »

As a specific example on my side of the fence, I believe that Catholic-Protestant syncretism is one of the main obstacles to resolving the filioque issue.

Agreed. I've said on other threads that I think a lot of the trouble with resoving our differences with Rome is that our theological language is so different. We say the same things, but in such different ways that we often misunderstand each other. So it is with filioque. Although I could not accept that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son," I have no trouble saying that He "proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son"--a phrase that I believe Roman Catholics would also agree with.

The Creed is not meant to be an exhaustive list of our beliefs, and that I think is the trouble with the filioque issue. The Orthodox version does not, through its refusal to include filioque, imply in any way that the Son and the Spirit have nothing to do with each other. I believe The Roman church tried to clarify the relationship between the three by adding filioque--but in doing so, they unintentionally set the Spirit up as a lesser part of the Trinity. I believe that "proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son" would be a good compromise that clarifies both positions.

Now, if only we could get the Protestants to join this discussion. I brought it up in a fourth-year theology class at a Protestant university I attended, and no one there had even heard of the filioque debate. Most had no idea what the Nicene Creed even was, and of those who did, none could recite it.
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« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2007, 12:57:54 PM »


 Here's a very good (and short) look at Apophatic Theology:

 In Negative theology, it is accepted that the Divine is ineffable, an abstract experience that can only be recognized - that is, human beings cannot describe the essence of God, and therefore ALL descriptions if attempted will be false and conceptualization should be avoided:

*Neither existence nor nonexistence as we understand it applies to God, i.e., God is beyond existing or not existing. (One cannot say that God exists in the usual sense of the term; nor can we say that God is nonexistent.)
 
*God is divinely simple. (One should not claim that god is one, or three, or any type of being. All that can be said is, whatever God is, is not multiple independent beings)
 
*God is not ignorant. (One should not say that God is wise since that word arrogantly implies we know what wise means on a divine scale, whereas we only know what wise means to a man.)

*Likewise, God is not evil. (To say that God can be described by the word 'good' limits God to what good means to human beings.)
 
*God is not a creation (but beyond this we do not know how God comes to be)
 
*God is not conceptually definable in terms of space and location.
 
*God is not conceptually confinable to assumptions based on time.
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« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2007, 01:15:30 PM »

Would you please define cataphatic and apophatic?  I have never heard those terms before.



In my little understanding . . .  

Cataphatic refers to an approach or an attitude in religion that emphasizes what human beings can know about the Divine.  For example (from the Roman Catholic Mass):  God is One, God is good, God is Love, etc.

Apophatic refers to the opposite: an approach or attitude in religion that emphasizes what human beings cannot know about the Divine.  For example (from the Eastern Divine Liturgy):  God is "ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, always existing and ever the same."  

Western Christianity tends to be cataphatic: especially in its treatment of theology as the product primarily  of intellection.

Eastern Christianity tends to be apophatic: especially in its treatment of theology as the product primarily of direct personal experience of God.

Ideally, both cataphaticism and apophaticism balance each other.  And, in every religion, there is an element of both.  

However, it seems historically that one or the other tends to predominate in a given church or in a given religion.  In Western Christianity, cataphaticism tends to predominate, but apophaticism tends to predominate in Eastern Christianity.  One could argue that Hinduism is the cataphatic side of South Asian religion and Buddhism is the apophatic side of South Asian religion.  Likewise, the same could be argued, respectively, for Confucianism and Taoism for East Asian religion.

But, I am not a scholar; and I might be wrong.  

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« Reply #71 on: June 30, 2007, 07:03:47 PM »

Agreed. I've said on other threads that I think a lot of the trouble with resoving our differences with Rome is that our theological language is so different. We say the same things, but in such different ways that we often misunderstand each other. So it is with filioque. Although I could not accept that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son," I have no trouble saying that He "proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son"--a phrase that I believe Roman Catholics would also agree with.

Dear ytterbiumanalyst,

With regard to the theology of the filioque there are two misconceptions which Orthodox can have about Catholics, and two which Catholics can have about Orthodox.

The two Orthodox can have about Catholics:
(1) that when Catholics say "who proceeds from the Father and the Son" in the creed, they only mean the temporal sending of the Spirit by the Son (which Catholics do believe in, of course, but which isn't what we mean)
(2) that Catholics claim that the ekporeusis of the Holy Spirit is from the Son as well as the Father (which would be heresy)

The two which Catholics can have about Orthodox:
(A) that when Orthodox say "who proceeds from the Father" in the creed, they actually mean "from the Father and the Son".
(B) that Orthodox deny that there is any eternal relation between the Son and the Holy Spirit

Hope that's helpful.
-PJ
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« Reply #72 on: July 01, 2007, 08:52:24 AM »

^

It is. I think we really are saying the same thing, but in terms that the other side has trouble understanding. That was the point of my proposing (and I do not claim originality in this) that we say "who proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son" as I think it clarifies what both sides are already trying to say.

There are many issues such as this, each side's argument bolstered by assumptions of the other. I know the bias in Orthodoxy is that if it is new, it must be anathema. Of course, this is not true, but it has served to keep our theology intact. What is true is that if something changes our theology, is is anathema--and we tend to think that whatever is new must of course change our theology. Not all things do--Orthodox will recognize the hymn after the Second Antiphon and the Cherubic Hymn as being relatively recent, yet these both serve to clarify our theology.

So both sides have a lot to learn from each other. One thing I do know--that there is one Church, one Body of Christ, which cannot be divided. Even though from our perspective we see a fractured Church, we do not understand what God sees as the Church. Hence the saying, "I know where the Church is; I do not know where it is not."
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« Reply #73 on: July 01, 2007, 03:01:16 PM »

It is. I think we really are saying the same thing, but in terms that the other side has trouble understanding.

I agree wholeheartedly. (In fact, I like to compare it to the “one-nature” language vs. “two-nature” language disagreement between EOs and OOs.)

That was the point of my proposing (and I do not claim originality in this) that we say "who proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son" as I think it clarifies what both sides are already trying to say.
   
The thing is that even though Catholics agree that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Son, we also say that “the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son”.

That's all I have time for right now, but maybe more to come ...
-PJ
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« Reply #74 on: July 01, 2007, 04:20:31 PM »

But we still affirm the monarchy of the Father, as far as I know.
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« Reply #75 on: July 01, 2007, 09:48:21 PM »

But we still affirm the monarchy of the Father, as far as I know.

True
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« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2007, 09:13:22 AM »

The thing is that even though Catholics agree that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Son, we also say that “the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son”.

Perhaps the most important point to keep in mind here is that the NA Catholic-Orthodox Consultation recommended:

Quote from: recommendations
that the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those "who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son" is no longer applicable.

In other words, the Catholic Church is now considering that it might be possible for someone to deny that "the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son" without entering into heresy.

God bless,
PJ
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« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2007, 05:57:17 PM »

Which is why I hope for a further Council of the Roman Church that could not only clarify (meaning, to the point where there is no conflict or scandal with Orthodox theology), as well as reevaluate much in Canon law over the past 10 centuries. Not sure whether it should be Vatican III, Trent II, or Lateran VI. Wink

-----------

I'm not really concerned with canons that are historically anachronistic (ie, dealing with the Crusades, the Jewish people, the Tartars, the "Empire of Constantinople", etc.) I do have concerns as a Westerner who is also a member of the Eastern Orthodox churches. My expanded list of expectations for changes to Roman canon law for there to be a true reunion (not just with the East, but with all Westerners Orthodox and Catholic) :

First: revoke the anathema on St. Photius (and he should be added to the Western kalendar.)

Secondly, and again - the removal of the filioque from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, adoption of the original Greek text of the Athanasian Creed, and overturning those canons demanding subscription to the filioque and the Holy Spirit proceeding from two sources (canon 1 of Lateran IV, canon 1 of Lyons II, and similar canons of Florence, Basle, and Trent.) Adopt the canons of the Orthodox Fourth Ecumenical Council against those who alter the Creed.

Third: restoration of the Apostolic custom of married clergy as retained in the discipline and canons of the Eastern churches (not going into the errors of many Anglicans and Old Catholics who allow those already ordained to marry, or consecrate bishops who remain living with their wives.) Overturn canon 21 of Lateran II barring sons of priests from ordination, and canon 7 of the same against those attending liturgies celebrated by married clergy.

Fourth: purge canons of anti-Greek ethnocentrism (ie, canon 4 of Lateran IV), hopefully they would reciprocate. If much else that I suggest were changed, there would be no need for the Greeks to "cleanse altars" or "rebaptize".

Fifth: respect the dignity of all the Patriarchs - they have their own omophorion, and don't need a pallium from Rome (canon 5 Lateran IV). Reevaluate the Council of Siena's conciliarism. Overturn Papal Infallibility, and immediate universal jurisdiction over the whole Church (Trent.)

Sixth: overturn Vienna's suppression of the Knights Templar of Jerusalem. Cheesy

Seventh: overturn Constance's condemnation of communion under both kinds for the laity, as well as restoring paedocommunion (condemned by Trent.) Restore confirmation by chrismation at baptism. Restore Holy Unction for sickness, and not just once at the Extreme end.

Eighth: restore leavened bread to Western use (admitted as valid matter at Florence, and has been traditional at least in the English speaking world.) Respect other local customs (Western as well as Eastern.) IE: overturn canon 50 of Lateran IV in the English-speaking world, where a canon reinforcing the custom there of following the Levitical rules as to degrees of relation for marriage as found in the various BCPs, Books of Discipline, etc. (as Pope St. Gregory had allowed exception for the Anglo-Saxons in that area with St. Augustine of Canterbury.)

Ninth: Reaffirm the use of the "vulgar tongue" in the Liturgy. Expand the Canon of Scripture to include those books still found in the Eastern canon (after Council of Jerusalem).

Tenth: anathematization of Calvinist ideas on Original Sin, Justification, Predestination, etc. while returning the Roman church to the norm still expressed by the Eastern churches. Beyond dogma of the Judgement, returning post-Thomistic purgatory and transubstation theories to theolougmena (contra Trent, but after Jerusalem). Ratify the Orthodox Fifth Council of Constantinople (much needed here in the West - I sincerely believe the Methodist/Pentecostal/Charismatic movements are reactions/yearnings towards what St. Gregory Palamas expressed.) Included in this is my statement about reclaiming Christian neo-Platonism from the attempted Thomistic hegemony.

I hope that might provide some talking points rather than just the typical debate. I would say that pretty much covers Western Orthodoxy as well (with two exceptions - I have other reasons for thinking the Templars should be cleared and reinstated - I'd like to see the Hospitallers 'de-ecumenicized' as well, and I do believe the Levitical laws have provided a sound basis for valid marriage in the West.) Of course - I'd likeother things as well: East and West on one Paschalion and reckoning, for instance.
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« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2007, 06:20:38 PM »

Wow. ozgeorge, the New Theologian, won last month's Post-of-the-Month in my book.
The one above is a real contender for this month.
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Which is why I hope for a further Council of the Roman Church that could not only clarify (meaning, to the point where there is no conflict or scandal with Orthodox theology), as well as reevaluate much in Canon law over the past 10 centuries. Not sure whether it should be Vatican III, Trent II, or Lateran VI. Wink

Why not Constantinople IV or V (or VI or VII, depending on how we count)  Wink ...get them in the mood?
Which brings up their 8th council...
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« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2007, 06:46:52 PM »

Half of those requirements would make the Latin Church more Eastern, not more Orthodox (though it is true that many EO insist that Orthodox=Eastern). They are non-starters. Thankfully, most Orthodox willing to discuss reunion do not insist on these easternizations.
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« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2007, 08:06:05 PM »

And I insist that none of what I'm suggesting is Eastern nor Easternizations - I'm rather suggesting them as the best way, the most faithful to the Apostolic tradition, and specifically as a return to true Western traditions for many Westerners (esp. Northwesterners, Gallicans and Iberians.) Rather - almost every point is something that has been insisted upon by Westerners (Old Catholics, Anglican Non-Jurors, Anglo-Catholics, Hussites, some Catholic Orders.) Again - I'm a Westerner, of Western Rite. Smiley I plan to also discuss what would be helpful in the East towards that end (though, I must write carefully - most of the changes there matter by church rather than across Orthodoxy - things that many Orthodox do not realize are particular to their being Greek, Russian, Serbian, Antiochian, etc.)

The original creeds, married clergy, vernacular language, use of Scripture at present only preserved in the East, Conciliarism, leavened bread, the Father as monarche of the Trinity, toleration of diversity in rites, the Knights Templar, communion in both kinds, paedocommunion, chrismation at baptism, autonomous/autocephalous local churches, the local Church being holistic, Levitical marriage laws, unction for sickness, anti-Calvinism, Christian neo-Platonism : these are all specifically and foundationally Western ideas. Just because Rome suppressed many of them during either the Medieval or Renaissance period (many of them have already been put in place in the Contemporary Roman Church.) Interestingly enough, these are all concepts I was interested in as a Western Christian before I ever darkened the door of an 'Eastern church'.

The only things I might see as liable to attract the 'Eastern label' are the rehabilitation of St. Photius in the Western mind, and the introduction of Palamite theology. Why I don't believe they'd be 'Easternizations' is:

a) we've always had the process in the West of integrating Eastern theologians: St. Ephrem the Syrian was very popular in England. The Cappadocian Fathers are as essential to Western theology as is St. John Cassian, St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Augustine of Hippo. I go to a Cistercian Monastery - they talk about St. Gregory Palamas, Fr. Alexander Men, St. Seraphim of Sarov, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, etc.

b) adopting Eastern saints like St. Photius is an integral part of being in the Universal Church. The Kalendar my family follows is traditional. Like the calendar of Sarum and the old Roman rite it has feasts for such entirely Eastern saints as:  St. Basil the Great, St. Anthony the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. John Climacus, and others. The reason for the calendars being the way they are is not for preserving ethnic culture, but for the Divine Work of glorifying God and making Christians out of the worshippers. This is something universal - so, we also now have feasts for St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. John of Kronstadt, etc. Not for their Easternness, but because they are Saints of the Church Triumphant - universal Orthodox Catholic.

The reason I suggest including Palamite theology is two-fold as well: a) I believe it is true because it is Orthodox full stop - being Eastern has nothing to do with it (or, maybe in spite of it.) b) As I noted again - Palamite theology is a fully developed clarification of the Orthodox life in the Holy Spirit which in the West was often suppressed or hidden during the past century. I believe it is already present: in the Welsh medieval writers, in Julian of Norwich, in John Scotus Eriugena, and many others.
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« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2007, 09:08:20 PM »

The reason I suggest including Palamite theology is two-fold as well: a) I believe it is true because it is Orthodox full stop - being Eastern has nothing to do with it (or, maybe in spite of it.) b) As I noted again - Palamite theology is a fully developed clarification of the Orthodox life in the Holy Spirit which in the West was often suppressed or hidden during the past century. I believe it is already present: in the Welsh medieval writers, in Julian of Norwich, in John Scotus Eriugena, and many others.

Western Christendom, as you said, has a multitude of mystical writers who would not be wholly alien to the Eastern ethos.  however, these writers are often on the back burner.  The Roman Catholic Church continually defines herself from her scholastic heritage, touting Anselm and Aquinas along with their predecessor St. Augustine.  By accepting Palamite theology, the RC will be admitting that the attacks waged on Orthodoxy by Barlaam and his gang were theologically in error and should be repudiated.  Though I doubt the RC will ever do this, I must admit that I am amazed at how Pope Benedict XVI is in many ways trying to restore some of the ancient traditions of his church.  There may be hope yet.
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« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2007, 10:15:31 PM »

leavened bread

Leavened bread has yeast in it.  The Orthodox Church uses leavened bread, the RCC uses the unleavened wafers.
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« Reply #83 on: July 02, 2007, 10:30:43 PM »

Wow. ozgeorge, the New Theologian, won last month's Post-of-the-Month in my book.
The one above is a real contender for this month.
And I agree. This post gives some genuine talking points beyond the run-of-the-mill stuff one usually sees. Well done Aristibule.
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« Reply #84 on: July 03, 2007, 12:40:07 AM »

Rather - almost every point is something that has been insisted upon by Westerners (Old Catholics, Anglican Non-Jurors, Anglo-Catholics, Hussites, some Catholic Orders.)

Take marching orders from schismatics and heretics? No thanks  Wink The Old Catholics certainly are concerned about ancient tradition, as shown here:
  Smiley

-

Deciding what was "original" is often a matter for debate, something both Protestants and Bugnini-ites have ventured into with bad results.

The point is, practices such as priestly celibacy and unleavened bread are perfectly legitimate Western practices, which go back to long before the schism, and I don't see how insisting on Latins to adopt Eastern practices does any good. Of course, Eastern practices are already accepted as fully legitimate in our Church---for the Eastern Catholics.

I'll tell you what---we will give up our celibate priests and unleavened bread when you give up your celibate bishops and iconostases.

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« Reply #85 on: July 03, 2007, 06:28:18 AM »

Take marching orders from schismatics and heretics? No thanks  Wink The Old Catholics certainly are concerned about ancient tradition, as shown here:

That's actually from 1996 and I already referred to that excess - that some Old Catholics (the Dutch, Germans and Swiss) have lost their way does not mean that the Old Catholic custom of married clergy is in itself 'schismatic' and 'heretical'. The Orthodox are neither, and have married clergy. Rather - the PNCC and Slovakian Old Catholics still maintain a male priesthood that includes those who have normal Christian marriages.

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Deciding what was "original" is often a matter for debate, something both Protestants and Bugnini-ites have ventured into with bad results.

So did the Council of Trent. Wink In any case, it isn't taking "marching orders". The point is that many of the things the original Protestants protested against were legitimate complaints. Many of them (intentionally or unintentionally) demanded or preserved things that were simply Apostolic custom.

Quote
The point is, practices such as priestly celibacy and unleavened bread are perfectly legitimate Western practices, which go back to long before the schism,

No one said anything against priestly celibacy - rather, the pre-schism practice was that some priests were married, some were celibate. Only with Lateran II was there an attempt to suppress the married clergy. They continued, however, in Spain and Britain up until the 1500s (and, the Anglicans continued with that custom, and rightly so.) Having married clergy is not anti-celibacy: one has and would have married clergy alongside celibate clergy. After all - the Roman Church already has married clergy: by Indult. Leavened bread is the canonical, legitimate pre-Schism practice - we have local Western councils demanding it (as Dr. Thomas O'Loughlin has pointed out - he's no Eastern Orthodox.) It had become normal Anglican practice long ago as well.

Quote
I'll tell you what---we will give up our celibate priests and unleavened bread when you give up your celibate bishops and iconostases.

Fine with me - we Western Orthodox don't have a bishop of our own rite, nor iconostases. Wink But I'm afraid you'd have to give up your celibate bishops too. Cheesy
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« Reply #86 on: July 03, 2007, 09:34:48 AM »

Dear Aristibule,

Let me start by thanking you for that well thought-out post.

Secondly, and again - the removal of the filioque from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, adoption of the original Greek text of the Athanasian Creed, and overturning those canons demanding subscription to the filioque and the Holy Spirit proceeding from two sources (canon 1 of Lateran IV, canon 1 of Lyons II, and similar canons of Florence, Basle, and Trent.)

Can you provide a link or elaborate concerning the "original Greek text of the Athanasian Creed"?

As for the other two things, I would say the Catholic Church is considering doing precisely what you are suggesting -- see the recommendations of the NA joint consultation. (BTW, I don't think "the Holy Spirit proceeding from two sources" is a fair description of Catholic theology in any case.)

This ties in with:

First: revoke the anathema on St. Photius (and he should be added to the Western kalendar.)

Specifically, if Catholic Church decides that she has no problem with "those who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son" then I wouldn't see any need to condemn Patriarch Photius. (Although I wouldn't mind being educated a little more about the specific anathema you're referring to -- what did it say, and when?)

As far as the RCC adding Saint Photius to the calendar ... well, one step at a time, eh?

Adopt the canons of the Orthodox Fourth Ecumenical Council against those who alter the Creed.

The main question here is whether is the Ecumenical Creed has been altered, or whether Catholics simply made an additional local creed. (Note that the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed are examples of local creeds.)

On the one hand, most Catholics (especially lay-persons) speak of the creed-with-the-filioque as being the Ecumenical Creed of the Church: I mean statements like "Well of course everyone has to believe that [the filioque] it's in the Creed". Plus whenever most Catholics discuss the issue of the filioque being in the creed, there's generally an obvious subtext not only that the Ecumenical Creed was changed, but also that the possibility of returning to the original version (which they see as a far-fetched or even absurd suggestion) would mean changing it a second time. Need I go on?

On the other hand, the Vatican's document, The Greek and Latin Traditions Regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit included this statement:

Quote
The Catholic Church acknowledges the conciliar, ecumenical, normative and irrevocable value, as expression of the one common faith of the Church and of all Christians, of the Symbol professed in Greek at Constantinople in 381 by the Second Ecumenical Council. No profession of faith peculiar to a particular liturgical tradition can contradict this expression of the faith taught and professed by the undivided Church.

It seems clear to me that this implies that Ecumenical Creed is the same as it has been since 381, and that the "creed with the filioque" is not the ecumenical creed, but merely a "profession of faith peculiar to a particular liturgical tradition", i.e. a local creed (notwithstanding any individual Catholics making claims to the contrary).

God bless,
PJ
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« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2007, 10:06:44 AM »

It seems clear to me that this implies that Ecumenical Creed is the same as it has been since 381, and that the "creed with the filioque" is not the ecumenical creed, but merely a "profession of faith peculiar to a particular liturgical tradition", i.e. a local creed (notwithstanding any individual Catholics making claims to the contrary).

Indeed. If it were otherwise, it would make our recent popes (who have recited the creed sans filioque) and millions of Eastern Catholics anathema.
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« Reply #88 on: July 03, 2007, 11:41:32 AM »

Indeed. If it were otherwise, it would make our recent popes (who have recited the creed sans filioque) and millions of Eastern Catholics anathema.

I don't follow your logic.

 Huh
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« Reply #89 on: July 03, 2007, 12:45:33 PM »

If the Creed with the filioque were the standard of faith, and the Creed without it anathema, our recent popes and millions of Eastern Catholics would be anathema for reciting the Creed without it.
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« Reply #90 on: July 04, 2007, 11:23:23 AM »

Aristibule,

Concerning the various canons you mention from Lateran II and Lateran IV, it seems clear to me that not all of those things are still in force (which is a relief to me, since I have many times attended a liturgy celebrated by a married Melkite priest). Hence your complaints are reasonable, but just a couple centuries late. Cool

as well as restoring paedocommunion (condemned by Trent.) Restore confirmation by chrismation at baptism.

Well, I absolutely agree with you that, if that condemnation is still in place (I'm pretty sure it isn't seeing as the Melkite routinely practice paedocommunion), then it should be overturned. However, I don't see any need for the west to practice paedocommunion or paedoconfirmation, seeing as it isn't their tradition. If anything, Orthodox and ECs should instead be complaining about the fact the Latin Church currently gives communion to children who have not yet been chrismated/confirmed -- contrary to the traditional order, baptism-confirmation-eucharist.

Tenth: anathematization of Calvinist ideas on Original Sin, Justification, Predestination, etc. while returning the Roman church to the norm still expressed by the Eastern churches.

I'm surprised to hear you say that -- I should have thought it was abundantly clear that Catholics don't accept Calvinist doctrine.

Happy Independence Day and God bless,
PJ
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« Reply #91 on: July 04, 2007, 11:39:16 AM »

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paedocommunion (condemned by Trent.)


Trent did not condemn paedocommunion.
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« Reply #92 on: July 04, 2007, 01:12:04 PM »

What is paedocommunion?
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« Reply #93 on: July 04, 2007, 01:14:23 PM »

What is paedocommunion?
Communion of baptised infants and small children.
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« Reply #94 on: July 04, 2007, 02:01:31 PM »

Communion of baptised infants and small children.
So I guess the root paedo is the same as what we find in the term pediatrician (physician to children).
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« Reply #95 on: July 04, 2007, 02:21:09 PM »

Thanks PJ, that's the kind of discussion I was going for. I'm not anti-Roman (no more than I am anti-Eastern or Orientalist ... though I admit to being a former Orientophile, or maybe Reformed Orientophile? Wink .) I do have a broad view towards reunion of the churches, and as to the origins of us Western Orthodox tend to feel very close to both the Old Catholic and Anglo-Catholic traditions (which is why I am protective of the Anglican Use against those who don't understand, though Anglican Use Catholic liturgy isn't quite my 'cup of tea'.)

Can you provide a link or elaborate concerning the "original Greek text of the Athanasian Creed"?

Yes - the Athanasian creed exists in many Greek and Slavonic manuscripts, though it eventually fell out of use - the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed replacing it in liturgical use due to application of the canons of the Ecumenical Councils. The original version found in the Greek and Russian Horologion is that found in The "Saint Dunstan's Plainsong Psalter" of Lancelot Andrewes Press (co-developed by Western rite Orthodox and Continuing Anglicans.) In that version of the Quicunque vult the original phrasing is translated into English as "The Holy Ghost is of the Father: neither made nor created nor begotten but proceeding." The surviving Latin texts (which are all later) have the filioque inserted before "neither made nor created." Which is why I don't agree with those who consider the Athanasian creed as 'local', it is in fact universal in the Church - and is a Greek creed originally (and it was a source, I believe, for the development of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.) Now - I'll agree that the Apostle's Creed is a local creed (Roman), as is the Patrician creed (Irish) as well as other local creeds.

Quote
As for the other two things, I would say the Catholic Church is considering doing precisely what you are suggesting -- see the recommendations of the NA joint consultation. (BTW, I don't think "the Holy Spirit proceeding from two sources" is a fair description of Catholic theology in any case.)

Yes. However, I'm unsure how the USCCB's statement on the filioque from the joint consultation is being taken worldwide in the Catholic Church. I do agree that "procession from two sources" is not the Catholic theology: though, education being what it is in the modern Roman Catholic Church, there are plenty of clergy and laity who still hold to that idea. (Same way I agree that most Oriental Non-Chalcedonians are absolutely not Monophysites - but I've come across clergy and laity specifically in the Ethiopian church who will insist that they are.) I think the Orthodox do need to understand this difficulty in educating people.

Quote
...then I wouldn't see any need to condemn Patriarch Photius. (Although I wouldn't mind being educated a little more about the specific anathema you're referring to -- what did it say, and when?)

The condemnation is in the RCC's 8th Council which reads in part: "... as well as for the expulsion and condemnation of Photius, the upstart and usurper, should be maintained and observed together with the canons there set forth, unchanged and unaltered, and no bishop, priest or deacon or anyone from the ranks of the clergy should dare to overturn or reject any of these things." (From the Legion of Mary website.)

That I would hope to be officially overturned (as was the excommunication of Constantinople back in the 1960s), and St. Photius added to the universal calendar (to share in common with Eastern Catholics as well as Orthodox.) I don't believe St. Photius is just some 'local Eastern hero', but a universal Saint.

Quote
Concerning the various canons you mention from Lateran II and Lateran IV, it seems clear to me that not all of those things are still in force (which is a relief to me, since I have many times attended a liturgy celebrated by a married Melkite priest). Hence your complaints are reasonable, but just a couple centuries late.

Yes - but I'm looking for canons to be ratified which officially overturn those canons. Smiley Merely allowing it to Byzantine Catholics or Anglican Use convert clergy by Indult isn't enough of a guarantee. (And, for the Melkites - they only have it again because the recent trend has been to encourage them to follow the Pedalion and Byzantine typikon.) The Lateran canons are still in full force as regards the clergy of the West - again, which us Western Orthodox, Old Catholics, and many Anglo-Catholics disagree with (and agree with the East rather.)

Quote
However, I don't see any need for the west to practice paedocommunion or paedoconfirmation, seeing as it isn't their tradition. If anything, Orthodox and ECs should instead be complaining about the fact the Latin Church currently gives communion to children who have not yet been chrismated/confirmed -- contrary to the traditional order, baptism-confirmation-eucharist.

Well, it is our Western tradition - but it was supressed (though part of it was also because at one point in history our response to having few bishops with large territories was different than the East's response to the same issue - the East allows priest's to confirm by anointing with the chrism and laying on of hands as the Bishop's vicar.) The end of paedocommunion in the Roman church was cointerminus with the communing of the laity with only one of the species (the Body of Christ, and not the Blood of Christ.) The disingenous answer to the latter was to condemn them for the supposed 'implication' that they were only getting 'part of Christ' (which wasn't the point.) Communing in one kind was the departure from tradition, and the return to communing in both kinds a return to tradition (which I must applaud.)

As regards paedocommunion - the Twent-First session of the Council of Trent in Canon IV says : "-If any one saith, that the communion of the Eucharist is necessary for little children, before they have arrived at years of discretion; let him be anathema." That 'years of discretion' item is a bit odd - allowing adults to deny children the sacrament of communion arbitrarily (for their age? for their lack of reason? I know plenty of unreasonable or unintelligent folk - some adults worse than my own children, who still commune of necessity.) That is exactly what I refer to.

I do agree that the abuse of giving communion to children who have not been confirmed/chrismated should be addressed: but I firmly believe the best step is to institute what we Western Orthodox do... chrismation given at the baptism, as it was anciently in the West, and where the bishop is not available the priest to do so as the vicar of the Bishop. (Which I think is another think that Rome needs to discuss further in council, Vatican II partly doing that work - more discussion on what is the ministry of the bishop.) If the local bishop commands it, or allows it of his clergy, and it is not contrary to the Apostolic tradition - I don't see why it should present a problem.

My words about Calvinism - I was probably unclear on that point. There does need to be a more strenuous condemnation on certain heresies of the Protestants, and from my perspective the canons of Trent on those same issues approach Jansenism or Calvinism to a certain degree. (Of course, much of it might not be in the texts of Trent itself, but in how I read it - as there is much in the ethos of American and Irish Catholicism - and English Catholicism, which seems to still reflect Jansenism. Things might be, and are probably different among Hispanic, Italian, French, Spanish or other Catholics.) In that way, I believe that the Orthodox churches preserved the Apostolic tradition concerning such things as Justification, Original Sin, and Predestination. I'm not suggesting the extreme of the 'Orthodox is totally different' crowd that tries to make an exotic quasi-Buddhist counter-cultural religion out of Orthodoxy - I am suggesting that in the Counter-Reformation, the attempt to separate from the Protestants unintentionally tainted Roman theology as expressed in the council (ie, becoming the enemy.) Again - I don't say that as an attack, but as a fellow Westerner who am just as concerned about the damage done by the Reformation - and would undo it as much as possible, while also repenting of the errors of the Medieval church (nominalism, collaboration with the State in oppression, over-definition of the Faith to the point of error, etc.)
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« Reply #96 on: July 06, 2007, 10:16:53 AM »

Yes. However, I'm unsure how the USCCB's statement on the filioque from the joint consultation is being taken worldwide in the Catholic Church.

Quite right. In particular, I expect that many Catholics (at least at first) will be opposed to or even offended by the recommendation "that the Catholic Church, as a consequence of the normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381, use the original Greek text alone in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use" and the recommendation "that the Catholic Church, following a growing theological consensus, and in particular the statements made by Pope Paul VI, declare that the condemnation made at the Second Council of Lyons (1274) of those 'who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son' is no longer applicable." (In much the same way that many Orthodox will oppose the recommendation that they not label the Catholic position as heretical.)

I'm even more worried that many Catholics will look at the document and say "Ah, it's not a church-dividing issue anymore. That means the Orthodox are admitting that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son", hence harding their attitude even more.

I do agree that "procession from two sources" is not the Catholic theology: though, education being what it is in the modern Roman Catholic Church, there are plenty of clergy and laity who still hold to that idea. (Same way I agree that most Oriental Non-Chalcedonians are absolutely not Monophysites - but I've come across clergy and laity specifically in the Ethiopian church who will insist that they are.) I think the Orthodox do need to understand this difficulty in educating people.

Good point.

The condemnation is in the RCC's 8th Council ...

Well that really makes a big difference. You're citing the 869-870 condemnation of Photios during the reign of Pope Nicholas I; but Photios was reconciled with Pope John VIII in 877. So I think the question is, has there been any condemnation of Photios after 877? (There is, of course, the general condemnation of those "who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son"; but we've discussed that.)

That I would hope to be officially overturned (as was the excommunication of Constantinople back in the 1960s),

...

Yes - but I'm looking for canons to be ratified which officially overturn those canons. Smiley Merely allowing it to Byzantine Catholics or Anglican Use convert clergy by Indult isn't enough of a guarantee.

I'll have to agree with you there. It would be best if there were an official statement, especially since the Catholic websites which have the condemnation of Photios and other conciliar texts don't include a footnote about the later reconciliation of Photios with John VIII.

and St. Photius added to the universal calendar (to share in common with Eastern Catholics as well as Orthodox.) I don't believe St. Photius is just some 'local Eastern hero', but a universal Saint.

Well ... put it this way: I, a Catholic, would very much like to see the Orthodox recognize that Thomas Aquinas was a saint; but for now I'd be happy if they would just recognize him as a good man not deserving condemnation.

The end of paedocommunion in the Roman church was cointerminus with the communing of the laity with only one of the species (the Body of Christ, and not the Blood of Christ.)

Really? I was under the impression that the former was much earlier than the latter?

As regards paedocommunion - the Twent-First session of the Council of Trent in Canon IV says : "-If any one saith, that the communion of the Eucharist is necessary for little children, before they have arrived at years of discretion; let him be anathema." That 'years of discretion' item is a bit odd - allowing adults to deny children the sacrament of communion arbitrarily (for their age? for their lack of reason? I know plenty of unreasonable or unintelligent folk - some adults worse than my own children, who still commune of necessity.) That is exactly what I refer to.

The passage you quoted doesn't condemn paedocommunion, but only those who saith that paedocommunion is necessary.

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Peter (J)
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« Reply #97 on: July 07, 2007, 01:16:00 PM »

Regarding Aquinas - the local priests here do say that he was not a 'Thomist', nor is he responsible for much he is accused of. Aquinas himself, as I like to point out, was a Christian Neo-Platonist and followed the Fathers more than Aristotle - he is less a 'Thomist', ironically, than is Albertus Magnus, Robert Bellarmine, or Karl Rahner. Either way, he was canonised by Rome for his saintly life, and not for his writings (the same can be said of many others.)

Regarding St. Photius - if you say so, however all the literature I've read in English (Catholic or Protestant) written in the past 200 years still tend to be condemnatory towards St. Photius - which I truly believe to be unfair.

I don't have all my materials on paedocommunion here, but I do recall that it continued in some areas until quite late - as did communion under both species. The memory of both is what led to some demands by 'proto-Reformers' such as the Bohemians. Trent discussed both in the same session accordingly. However, I do believe Trent is in error - it is a necessity for a Christian to commune, and children should be communed. The error, I think, is with the 'age of accountability' reasoning. We're taught as Orthodox (Eastern or Western) the necessity of communing, and children are communed accordingly. It is only confession that waits until they are old enough - similar to the Roman canonical age of 7. So, again - I believe that paedocommunion should be restored for the spiritual health of Christian children - the chalice should only be kept back from those excommunicant (and being young should not be cause enough to ecommunicate).
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« Reply #98 on: July 07, 2007, 03:22:45 PM »

Regarding St. Photius - if you say so, however all the literature I've read in English (Catholic or Protestant) written in the past 200 years still tend to be condemnatory towards St. Photius

You're telling me! Like have you ever read Adrian Fortescue's article on the subject? Here are the first several sentences:

Quote
Photius of Constantinople, chief author of the great schism between East and West, was b. at Constantinople c. 815 (Hergenröther says "not much earlier than 827", "Photius", I, 316; others, about 810); d. probably 6 Feb., 897. His father was a spatharios (lifeguard) named Sergius. Symeon Magister ("De Mich. et Theod.", Bonn ed., 1838, xxix, 668) says that his mother was an escaped nun and that he was illegitimate . He further relates that a holy bishop , Michael of Synnada , before his birth foretold that he would become patriarch, but would work so much evil that it would be better that he should not be born. His father then wanted to kill him and his mother, but the bishop said: "You cannot hinder what God has ordained . Take care for yourself." His mother also dreamed that she would give birth to a demon . When he was born the abbot of the Maximine monastery baptized him and gave him the name Photius (Enlightened), saying: "Perhaps the anger of God will be turned from him" (Symeon Magister, ibid., cf. Hergenröther , "Photius", I, 318-19). These stories need not be taken seriously.

But the real kicker is that this article, including what I just quoted, was published as part of the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia!

(Not to change the subject, but I strongly suspect that if I had lived 100 years ago, I would have left the RCC and become Orthodox. Then again, you never really know -- perhaps I would have been so brainwashed that I would have considered every word of the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia to be written by God's own hand.)

- which I truly believe to be unfair.

With that statement I find myself in complete agreement, Aristibule.

-Peter.
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« Reply #99 on: July 07, 2007, 04:28:21 PM »

Quote
But the real kicker is that this article, including what I just quoted, was published as part of the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia!

Well, to be fair - the Catholic Encyclopedia was put together by mostly recent converts from Anglicanism, and for the most part those who were most strident against the Anglicans they left behind (including the Philorthodox.) I wonder if the Encyclopedia would have read different on some articles if it had been put together by English old Catholics (which, given, by that time had had almost everything they had taken away - I think only the Old Chapter survived by that time, as today.) Much of the attitude in the articles, I believe, was traceable to the great tension between the recent converts (who became much enamored of the Irish immigrant Catholicism) and the English old Catholics, who found the new converts both excessive and disrespectful of their traditions. Or - maybe if such a project had first been attempted in Maryland or Kentucky. But - we can't really go back.

Also - there are many who depend on the Catholic Encyclopedia (even recent converts) without understanding that much in it has been superceded by more solid information during the past century. Some things they wrote off, Catholic scholars have rather reaffirmed since.

My favorite articles, of course, are those touching on Celtic subjects (I get a real giggle out of them sometimes.) Though the articles on Quietism are just sad (wherein they condemn Hesychasm as Quietist heresy and 'the only spiritual movement the Orthodox ever produced' or something along that line.)

That's not to say I don't like the Catholic Encyclopedia - there is much of worth in it, if one can read past the late 19th c. English convert Ultramontanist bias. Grin
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« Reply #100 on: July 09, 2007, 09:00:39 AM »

The end of paedocommunion in the Roman church was cointerminus with the communing of the laity with only one of the species (the Body of Christ, and not the Blood of Christ.)

Really? I was under the impression that the former was much earlier than the latter?

Sorry, I guess I misspoke a little. What I should have said is that the practice of having confirmation on separate occasion than baptism goes back to the early centuries in the west. From that, I seem to have jumped to the conclusion that there wasn't paedocommunion.

I guess it would be more accurate to say that the ancient western practice was to confirm and commune children at an early age, but just not quite so early as their baptism. (Since, of course, in the west it was usually the bishop who performed the confirmations.)

When did paedocommunion end in the west? The (old) Catholic Encyclopedia saith:

Quote
In the reign of Charlemagne an edict was published by a Council of Tours (813) prohibiting the reception by young children of Communion unless they were in danger of death (Zaccaria, Bibl. Rit., II, p. 161) and Odo, Bishop of Paris , renewed this prohibition in 1175. Still the custom died hard, for we find traces of it in Hugh of St. Victor (De Sacr., I, c. 20) and Martène (De Ant. Ecc. Rit., I bk., I, c. 15) alleges that it had not altogether disappeared in his own day.

Hugh of St. Victor and Martène are, respectively, 11th- and 17th- century figures.

-Peter.
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« Reply #101 on: July 09, 2007, 10:15:15 AM »

Yes - and I think communion in one kind has the same sort of 'gradual' history (as one can also find with mandatory celibacy for the priesthood, use of azymes, loss of epiclesis) - and other uses that all used to hold in common. In fact, I believe that the triumph of one tradition over others was part of the environment that lead to the various Reformations (along with widespread corruption in the Roman church, and a resurgence of pagan thought - which lead to the theological errors of the Protestants.) The point being, that besides the theological errors, the Reformers had some very legitimate complaints as to the behavior of clergy and involvement in the State, as well as liturgical practices (ie, married clergy, communion in both kinds, etc.) And of course - it only being fair to discuss the various Protestants if one means by the 'East' both Eastern Orthodox, Non-Chalcedonians, Nestorians, Old Believers and other groups.

The issue of confirmation, though, is different. I think what changed there was the Barbarian invasions. It was a simple thing to confirm (chrismate) when one had a bishop within a day's travel. (I can't remember off the top of my head, but originally in Britain dioceses were no more than about 3,000 square miles - an area that from the center one may reach the fringe in a day's travel.) When bishops became rarer, covering much larger territories - then confirmation became delayed. A child could be baptized, but the bishop was not there to confirm (which again, is the chrismation.) Later, abuses developed with 'absentee clergy' - so, it became a custom to schedule at a later date. Deprivation trauma becomes liturgical culture - like folks of an older generation who 'like' to eat cowpeas, black toast, or collect cardboard boxes (the impact of the Great Depression, or Reconstruction, or some other period of extreme hardship.) In comparison, I think the maintenance of a late confirmation is similar to those who really, really prefer the 'Irish Low Mass' - they only did it that way so as to lessen the chances of getting caught, it had nothing to do with being the 'right way' or 'ideal way' to worship, far less to do with being 'Irish' - it had everything to do with a necessity of the times (not dying for celebrating Mass with a Romish priest.) Things change, but still some folk want to live like Cromwell is hunting them... or like their bishop is off on permanent vacation in Avignon. Wink

However, as universal Christian witness goes, I believe it would be wise for the West to allow its priests to act as the vicars of their Bishop. They do in other things, why not confirmation?
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« Reply #102 on: July 10, 2007, 12:41:44 AM »

They do in many cases. I was confirmed by the bishop (having been confirmed in a diocese of only 160,000 Catholics), but many friends of mine were confirmed by a priest acting in the bishop's stead. It's quite common today, along with Confirmation and First Communion being administered at the same time.
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