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Author Topic: Orhodox arguments  (Read 1986 times) Average Rating: 0
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prodromas
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« on: July 18, 2007, 04:19:08 AM »

I am slightly aware of the theological arguments against the Catholic church (infallability of the pope, primacy of bishop of Rome , The adding of the filouque clause in the Nicene creed and the immaculate conception) but I have so far not heard of any arguments against Orthodoxy (from Catholics not ignorant protestants) except a word flung from on a catholic forum calling us superstitious mystics! If anyone is well versed in these arguments or refutations I would love to hear them!  Smiley
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 09:39:49 AM »

What I've heard from a good friend who is Catholic is that we are schismatics who refused to be under the authority of the Pope, and that we were excommunicated for attempting to excommunicate the Pope (which she doesn't see as legitimate, since the Pope, in her opinion, is higher than the other bishops). It should be noted that she is finishing a Master's degree in history, with an emphasis in the Spanish Inquisition and medieval Catholicism in general, so she's more well-versed in the Great Schism than most Catholics are.
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prodromas
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007, 09:42:42 AM »

ok yeah i get that but is there like arguments or refutations laid down like the ones I mentioned before? or is it just based on the pope excommunicating the eastern church and they leave it at that?
 
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2007, 09:55:07 AM »

That's why I mentioned she her interest in history--I'm sure her arguments will be largely historical, whereas other Catholics not so well-versed in the Schism may have other complaints.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 10:26:58 AM »

Well, only Michael Cerularius was excommunicated, and he excommunicated only the papal legates, including Cardinal Humbert. There is doubt about the validity of the first excommunication, since the Pope had died before it was issued by the legates. So it was a whole bunch of nothing, hot air between two hotheads. Of course, it later took on a symbolic significance, and Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras "rescinded" the excommunications in 1965.

In answer to your question, Prodromas, there is not much of a cottage industry of Catholic arguments against Orthodoxy because we do not tend to define ourselves against Orthodoxy. The big difference, to us, is Orthodox failure to recognize papal primacy, something we believe was mutually recognized before the schism. That is something we would insist on for reunion. We would also insist that the Orthodox churches affirm that Catholicism is not in heresy. We certainly have very little problem with Orthodox theology and practice---read John Paul II's encyclical Orientale Lumen ("Light of the East") to see that---the exceptions would include the acceptance of divorce and remarriage and softening of the stance on artificial birth control.

Outside of that, if you want a perspective of somebody who chose Catholicism over Orthodoxy, here is one: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0504bt.asp

There is also James Likoudis, the prominent (and controversial, from the Orthodox perspective) convert from Orthodoxy to Catholicism:
http://credo.stormloader.com/jlindex.htm

The apologist Dave Armstrong also has numerous articles about Orthodoxy. http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/orthodoxy-eastern-index-page.html

Keep in mind this is apologetics, not measured scholarly discussion.
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 10:48:04 AM »

Well, only Michael Cerularius was excommunicated, and he excommunicated only the papal legates, including Cardinal Humbert. There is doubt about the validity of the first excommunication, since the Pope had died before it was issued by the legates. So it was a whole bunch of nothing, hot air between two hotheads. Of course, it later took on a symbolic significance, and Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras "rescinded" the excommunications in 1965.
We are quite in agreement about the unimportance of the argument, but isn't it interesting how big of an issue it's become?

We certainly have very little problem with Orthodox theology and practice---read John Paul II's encyclical Orientale Lumen ("Light of the East") to see that---the exceptions would include the acceptance of divorce and remarriage and softening of the stance on artificial birth control.
These things you mention are hardly important to us, and are actually concessions. Our theology of marriage would lead us to say that only one marriage is permissible; our stance on divorce is that it should be used only as a last resort, and that remarriage is permissible only twice, never more in any circumstance--and these, as I said, are concessions for human frailty, not commands. The same is true with birth control: we believe very strongly against any form of birth control that causes death to an actual fetus, though we sometimes allow forms of birth control that do not. Again, this is a concession; a reading of our marriage ceremony will reveal that we consider children to be an integral part of a marriage.

I would say that our ideas about these two things, which are really wrapped up in the theology of marriage, are actually the same. The only difference is that we are not as strict in these matters, nor as vocal, as the Catholic Church is. IMO, that has a lot to do with the persecution of the Church under Islam and Communism. Perhaps if it pleased God to have us live in a free society, as he has allowed for the West, we might be more vocal on these issues too.
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 10:54:46 AM »

Don't worry, I'm not trying to argue these issues, just pointing out things some Catholics might point to. I don't think either has been mentioned as a barrier to full communion.
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 10:58:04 AM »

We are quite in agreement about the unimportance of the argument, but isn't it interesting how big of an issue it's become?

After the eventual estrangement, people had to go back and find some nice, clean, clear date to mark the separation. Real history is always messier and less clear-cut. You're right about it being blown up to some sort of importance---even after 1965, it is still spoken about.
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Fr. George
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 11:00:21 AM »

IMO, that has a lot to do with the persecution of the Church under Islam and Communism. Perhaps if it pleased God to have us live in a free society, as he has allowed for the West, we might be more vocal on these issues too. 

I'm sure Imperial politics had something to do with it (the extension of the Divorce rule was because of the Emperors).
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lubeltri
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2007, 11:12:26 AM »

I'm sure Imperial politics had something to do with it (the extension of the Divorce rule was because of the Emperors).

Of course, we Catholics in the USA should not talk, considering how so many of our diocesan marriage tribunals have become annulment mills. The US bishops are asleep at the switch (as usual), which is very unfortunate for the couples participating in this, because these tribunals' decisions are NOT infallible (most American declarations of nullity appealed to Rome are overturned, for good reason). God will sort out who is in adultery and who is not.
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Fr. George
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2007, 11:25:18 AM »

Of course, we Catholics in the USA should not talk, considering how so many of our diocesan marriage tribunals have become annulment mills. The US bishops are asleep at the switch (as usual), which is very unfortunate for the couples participating in this, because these tribunals' decisions are NOT infallible (most American declarations of nullity appealed to Rome are overturned, for good reason). God will sort out who is in adultery and who is not. 

We do have similar complaints on the GO side, but our divorces are not overturned all that often (not like people appeal them anyway).
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2007, 11:31:03 AM »

I'm sure Imperial politics had something to do with it (the extension of the Divorce rule was because of the Emperors).

Oh, yes--that is where the extension of the rule originated; I was talking more recently, about why we've not restored it to the original rule, as the RC have.
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"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
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