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Author Topic: Which obstacles?  (Read 10564 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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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.

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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.
Quote
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.

Quote
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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