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Author Topic: The Catholics and EO's in the fifth century  (Read 11621 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« on: August 20, 2007, 09:25:58 AM »

This topic was split off from this thread about hurdles to Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox reunification:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.0.html


What makes an Ecumenical Council infallible?  Is the infallibility intrinsic to the Council, such that we must accept EVERY decision of the Council as authoritative?  Or do we recognize an Ecumenical Council as authoritative because that which it proclaims is the faith of the Church?  What if a particular decision of a council recognized as Ecumenical does not represent the faith of the Church as manifested in the catholic consciousness of the faithful?  For instance, can we recognize a council as truly ecumenical if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical?  Is it possible for that half of the Church to reject the council while still holding fast to the faith proclaimed by that council?

Dear PeterTheAleut,

This is completely off-topic, so I apologize in advance, but I just have to ask:
when you say " ... if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical" do you mean to imply that the EO churches and the OO churches were "two halves" of the Church, back in the fifth century? (That is to say, do you mean that the Latin Church didn't count as a part of the Church, as early as the fifth century?)

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 09:33:03 AM »

P.S. This isn't just a spur-of-the-moment question prompted by your post; I have been wondering about this in a more general way for some time.
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2007, 09:33:59 AM »

PtA isn't online right now, but I'm certain he means EO to refer to Chalcedonian Church.
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2007, 10:13:41 AM »

PtA isn't online right now, but I'm certain he means EO to refer to Chalcedonian Church.

Actually, P-the-A never said "EO". (I did.) What he said was:

For instance, can we recognize a council as truly ecumenical if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical?

by which he presumably meant that those who never accepted Chalcedon counted as "one entire half of the church" -- which I thought was something of a stretch, unless he doesn't consider the fifth-century Latin Church to have been part of the Church.

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 10:31:53 AM »

Actually, P-the-A never said "EO". (I did.) What he said was:

by which he presumably meant that those who never accepted Chalcedon counted as "one entire half of the church" -- which I thought was something of a stretch, unless he doesn't consider the fifth-century Latin Church to have been part of the Church.

God bless,
Peter.

Presumably, the "Latin" church still is Chalcedonian, AFAIK. There was no "Latin" church anyway, back then, just "Catholics".
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 01:40:04 PM »

Presumably, the "Latin" church still is Chalcedonian, AFAIK.

Yes, the "Latin" church is still Chalcedonian. What's your point?
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 01:43:19 PM »

No point except to answer you.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 01:57:04 PM »

No point except to answer you.

I never asked whether the Latin Church is Chalcedonian. (Although perhaps the question I should be asking you is: Is it a problem that the Latin Church is Chalcedonian?)
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007, 01:59:03 PM »

I'm not sure what Peter meant, but I have to stress that the OO Church did present a huge chunk of Christianity that rejected Chalcedon, not to mention an even more diverse array of cultural traditions.

I don't disagree with that (since you said "a huge chunk" rather than "one entire half").

Anyhow, I don't wish to talk about PeterTheAleut, but rather to let him explain what he meant.
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2007, 02:09:37 PM »

I never asked whether the Latin Church is Chalcedonian. (Although perhaps the question I should be asking you is: Is it a problem that the Latin Church is Chalcedonian?)
No there isn't.

PtA isn't online right now, but I'm certain he means EO to refer to Chalcedonian Church.

Actually, P-the-A never said "EO". (I did.) What he said was:

by which he presumably meant that those who never accepted Chalcedon counted as "one entire half of the church" -- which I thought was something of a stretch, unless he doesn't consider the fifth-century Latin Church to have been part of the Church.

God bless,
Peter.

To which I replied:
Presumably, the "Latin" church still is Chalcedonian, AFAIK. There was no "Latin" church anyway, back then, just "Catholics".

The Copts probably did not use the term "Chalcedonian" anyway, at that time. WE were the 'Romans' - the Church of the empire to them, which included the Church of Rome. Hence, I don't see any implication that the "Latin" church wasn't part of it. Do you?
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2007, 02:35:46 PM »

Dear PeterTheAleut,

This is completely off-topic, so I apologize in advance, but I just have to ask:
when you say " ... if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical" do you mean to imply that the EO churches and the OO churches were "two halves" of the Church, back in the fifth century? (That is to say, do you mean that the Latin Church didn't count as a part of the Church, as early as the fifth century?)

God bless,
Peter.
When I spoke of "two halves" of the Church in relation to the 4th - 7th Ecumenical Councils, I spoke of those who accepted Chalcedon vs. those who didn't.  Considering that the EO and Latin churches were united through the end of the furor following the 7th Council, and that Chalcedon wasn't the issue that eventually divided the Latins from the EO, I was thinking of the Latin Church and the EO Church as being one and the same "half" of the Church that accepted Chalcedon.
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2007, 03:35:51 PM »

Exactly. Sorry I tried to 'help'.  Undecided
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 03:44:15 PM »

When I spoke of "two halves" of the Church in relation to the 4th - 7th Ecumenical Councils, I spoke of those who accepted Chalcedon vs. those who didn't.  Considering that the EO and Latin churches were united through the end of the furor following the 7th Council, and that Chalcedon wasn't the issue that eventually divided the Latins from the EO, I was thinking of the Latin Church and the EO Church as being one and the same "half" of the Church that accepted Chalcedon.

PeterTheAleut,

Thanks for your response; now that I know what you meant, however, I must say that I find your reasoning to be completely unconvincing, and even a little disturbing.

On the one hand, you challenge the ecumenicity of Chalcedon on the basis that it wasn't accepted by "one entire half of the church"; then you back that claim up with the statement that the Latin and EO Churches together only count as half of the Church BECAUSE they both accepted Chalcedon (and three later councils).

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2007, 05:42:38 PM »

I certainly hope God grants His Orthodox Church to be completely re-unified before the 2,000 year anniversary of Christ's Ascension!

So for some Orthodox, the Church can be separated?
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2007, 05:46:25 PM »

"the [Oriental] Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the [Eastern Orthodox] call the Seventh Council."

I find it very interesting that the "crisis" of iconoclasm did not even effect western europe (which at the time was VERY Eastern Orthodox).  Until this current discussion, it never occurred to me that there was yet another "body" of Christians that never had to deal with the crisis of iconoclasm: which is the "Oriental" Orthodox. 

I have felt that we Catholics are at last dealing with our own iconoclastic crisis in the present era. Praise God for our recent victories.
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2007, 06:26:03 PM »

So for some Orthodox, the Church can be separated?
No. The Church can be fractured, but she is never fragmented. Any divisions in her are merely superficial, and will only last until God sets things aright. This is the reason we still hold Rome as one of the five Holy Sees. The Catholic Church is not a separate religion, it is an estranged part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2007, 07:06:54 PM »

This is the reason we still hold Rome as one of the five Holy Sees. The Catholic Church is not a separate religion, it is an estranged part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

If the "we" in your statement refers to the Orthodox Church as a whole, I'd consider revising it. If it refers to a small liberal fringe within the Church, then by all means keep it as it is.
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2007, 07:31:43 PM »

If the "we" in your statement refers to the Orthodox Church as a whole, I'd consider revising it. If it refers to a small liberal fringe within the Church, then by all means keep it as it is.

I second this.
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2007, 08:13:27 PM »

If the "we" in your statement refers to the Orthodox Church as a whole, I'd consider revising it. If it refers to a small liberal fringe within the Church, then by all means keep it as it is.

My sentiments exactly when I read the original statement.
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2007, 08:25:21 PM »

So then, how do you account for divisions in the Church? Is Christ divided? Does He have two, or even three bodies? Surely this cannot be what you mean.
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2007, 08:36:47 PM »

So then, how do you account for divisions in the Church? Is Christ divided? Does He have two, or even three bodies? Surely this cannot be what you mean.

He only has one Body. The Catholic Church is not part of it according to any Orthodox ecclesiology.
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2007, 08:41:55 PM »

Your answer was fully expected, but disheartening at the same time. How unfortunate that you would throw away good Christians simply because they misunderstand the role of their bishop. Nevertheless, he is of apostolic succession, same as the four in the East.
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2007, 10:11:42 PM »

No. The Church can be fractured, but she is never fragmented. Any divisions in her are merely superficial, and will only last until God sets things aright. This is the reason we still hold Rome as one of the five Holy Sees. The Catholic Church is not a separate religion, it is an estranged part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I agree (from my Catholic perspective, of course.). It is a blessing to hear this from some Orthodox like you.
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2007, 10:15:09 PM »

So then, how do you account for divisions in the Church? Is Christ divided? Does He have two, or even three bodies? Surely this cannot be what you mean.

Nope, it isn't. They mean that me and many others are unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates.
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2007, 01:59:17 AM »

Your answer was fully expected, but disheartening at the same time. How unfortunate that you would throw away good Christians simply because they misunderstand the role of their bishop. Nevertheless, he is of apostolic succession, same as the four in the East.
You might have to take up your argument with St. Mark of Ephesus.
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2007, 09:36:19 AM »

Quote
This topic was split off from this thread about hurdles to Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox reunification:

Good idea, Salpy. (Incidentally, though, I think it's a Chalcedon discussion as well as a Catholic-Orthodox discussion, but you're the moderator.)

In any case, I definitely want to thank you for giving this thread a neutral (i.e. not anti-Chalcedon) title.

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2007, 09:56:08 AM »

No. The Church can be fractured, but she is never fragmented. Any divisions in her are merely superficial, and will only last until God sets things aright. This is the reason we still hold Rome as one of the five Holy Sees. The Catholic Church is not a separate religion, it is an estranged part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

ytterbiumanalyst,

I appreciate the thought, but I can also understand the position of those Orthodox who are (shall we say) less Catholic-friendly -- they have much the same feeling towards me, in fact, that I have towards Protestants.

The way I see it, if Orthodox are willing to receive Catholic converts by re-chrismation, rather than re-baptism, that's pretty good (for now).

God bless you,
Peter.
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2007, 09:56:44 AM »

I, on the other hand, do have an issue with topic label.
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2007, 11:27:44 AM »

I, on the other hand, do have an issue with topic label.

I know what you mean, but I didn't want to split hairs. (Would "The Latins and Byzantines in the fifth century" be more acceptable?)
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« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2007, 11:47:36 AM »

Your answer was fully expected, but disheartening at the same time. How unfortunate that you would throw away good Christians simply because they misunderstand the role of their bishop. Nevertheless, he is of apostolic succession, same as the four in the East. 

Mmmm, I don't think so.  Apostolic Succession implies staying in the Church that the Apostles founded - i.e. remaining in Communion.  What good is Apostolic Succession if the successors are separated from the Body of Christ that they yearned and died for?

True, we haven't set up another Pope to take Rome's place.  But the territories that the Pope had jurisdiction over at the time (except the Vatican itself) have been left in the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarchate - and there are bishops in each of these nations.  If the Pope comes back to the fold (and with him the rest of the RC Church) then the division of labor will change again. If not, then it will stay as it is.
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« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2007, 11:49:10 AM »

I know what you mean, but I didn't want to split hairs. (Would "The Latins and Byzantines in the fifth century" be more acceptable?)

What about the Eastern Romans and the Azymites?
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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2007, 12:02:07 PM »

What about the Eastern Romans and the Azymites?

<smile>...
Prefer eastern and western Catholics myself, but then the anti-Chalcedonians will object to that depending on what date in 5th century.
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« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2007, 12:05:38 PM »

True, we haven't set up another Pope to take Rome's place.  But the territories that the Pope had jurisdiction over at the time (except the Vatican itself) have been left in the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarchate - and there are bishops in each of these nations.  If the Pope comes back to the fold (and with him the rest of the RC Church) then the division of labor will change again. If not, then it will stay as it is.

Fair enough. Similarly, Catholics looks forward to the day when the Patriarch of Constantinople will come back into the fold, at which point he will resume his position as second-ranking patriarch.
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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2007, 12:06:40 PM »

Fair enough. Similarly, Catholics looks forward to the day when the Patriarch of Constantinople will come back into the fold, at which point he will resume his position as second-ranking patriarch.

Don't hold your breath, vre.
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2007, 12:19:12 PM »

Fair enough. Similarly, Catholics looks forward to the day when the Patriarch of Constantinople will come back into the fold, at which point he will resume his position as second-ranking patriarch.

yeah, when the pope alights from his high horse and re-assumes his proper place...i.e., when pigs (and dogs) fly. (See private forums  Cheesy )
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« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2007, 12:44:42 PM »

Quote
Your answer was fully expected, but disheartening at the same time. How unfortunate that you would throw away good Christians simply because they misunderstand the role of their bishop. Nevertheless, he is of apostolic succession, same as the four in the East.
First of all, we're not "throwing away good Christians," and I think that's pretty well understood. What we are doing is declaring that the Latins are in heresy and refuse to renounce it, and as such cannot possibly be considered a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Apostolic Succession is a necessary but not sufficient condition to be in the Church.
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« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2007, 12:55:11 PM »

Don't hold your breath, vre.

Dude, did you just call me a Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus?

Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath (except when I swim underwater).

yeah, when the pope alights from his high horse and re-assumes his proper place...i.e., when pigs (and dogs) fly. (See private forums  Cheesy )

Well I don't know much about pigs flying, but I think that "the pope alight[ing] from his high horse and re-assum[ing] his proper place" has begun to happen already. (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI all come to mind.)

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2007, 04:53:10 PM »

True, we haven't set up another Pope to take Rome's place.  But the territories that the Pope had jurisdiction over at the time (except the Vatican itself) have been left in the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarchate - and there are bishops in each of these nations.  If the Pope comes back to the fold (and with him the rest of the RC Church) then the division of labor will change again. If not, then it will stay as it is.

Still, the EP seems pretty friendly, or at least a little too friendly for the "true" Orthodox. As the monks on the Holy Mountain complained after the papal visit to the Phanar last year,

First of all, the Pope was received as though he were a canonical (proper) bishop of Rome. During the service, the Pope wore an omophoron; he was addressed by the Ecumenical Patriarch with the greeting "blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord" as though it were Christ the Lord; he blessed the congregation and he was commemorated as "most holy" and "His Beatitude the Bishop of Rome". Furthermore, all of the Pope's officiating clergy wore an omophoron during the Orthodox Divine Liturgy; also, the reciting of the Lord's Prayer, his liturgical embrace with the Patriarch, were displays of something more than common prayer. And all of this, when the papist institution has not budged at all from its heretical teachings and its policy. . .


Of course, we are softening on our end. The diocese there used to be called the Vicariate Apostolic of Constantinople. In 1990 the Holy See changed the name to the Vicariate Apostolic of Istanbul. Interesting, eh?

Of course, at the restoration of the Catholic episcopacy in England in the 19th century, none of the restored dioceses were named for the historic sees that were lost in the Reformation (no Canterbury, London, Lincoln, etc.). However (YoungFogey, correct me if I'm wrong), I think this was largely because Parliament forbid it.
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2007, 04:54:42 PM »

Dude, did you just call me a Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus?

Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath (except when I swim underwater).

Well I don't know much about pigs flying, but I think that "the pope alight[ing] from his high horse and re-assum[ing] his proper place" has begun to happen already. (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI all come to mind.)

Right. Now, all we need is for the respective EO Churches to release their prayer ropes from each others' necks and we'll make some progress!  Grin
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2007, 07:58:10 PM »


Of course, we are softening on our end. The diocese there used to be called the Vicariate Apostolic of Constantinople. In 1990 the Holy See changed the name to the Vicariate Apostolic of Istanbul. Interesting, eh?


About as interesting as the pope dropping his 'Patriarch of the West' title.  Wink
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« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2007, 08:33:00 PM »

In any case, I definitely want to thank you for giving this thread a neutral (i.e. not anti-Chalcedon) title.

Darn!  I did this really late last night and I made a mistake.  I intended to call it "Western and Eastern Diophysite Heretics in the Fifth Century."  Oh well, next time...        Grin

(You know I'm kidding, right?  Smiley )
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« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2007, 10:09:44 PM »

Darn!  I did this really late last night and I made a mistake.  I intended to call it "Western and Eastern Diophysite Heretics in the Fifth Century."  Oh well, next time...        Grin

(You know I'm kidding, right?  Smiley )

Yes, I know you're kidding; I just don't find it funny.

How is your "Horror of Chalcedon" thread doing? Progressing to your satisfaction?

-Peter.
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« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2007, 10:28:44 PM »

I think this thread just illustrates how difficult it would be for the average lay person, or even theologian, to determine which of the Apostolic Churches is the true Church and which one is right. I mean,
The Catholic says, "We're right because the Fathers say..."
The Eastern Orthodox Christian says, "We're right because the Fathers say..."
The Oriental Orhtodox Christian says, "We're right because the Fathers say..."
I can sympathize with each group. Don't get me wrong. I do believe that the Catholic Church is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church refered to in the Creed, and that the Bishop of Rome is the successor of Sts. Peter and Paul. However, I do see how one might believe in one of the other two Churches. For that reason, I don't think that any Christian can stand in harsh judgement over another Christian because he or she does or does not accept Chalcedon or Palamite theology, or Scholasticism, etc. The issues that divide us are difficult to wade through, and apart from a powerful divine intervention, none us can fix the problem here and now.
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« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2007, 10:47:18 PM »

Right. Now, all we need is for the respective EO Churches to release their prayer ropes from each others' necks and we'll make some progress!  Grin

And if you can reign in your schismatic bishops who ordain women or keep the Tridentine Rite down, maybe we'll have time for tea!  Get your own house in order, then come talk to us!  Your call will be ignored in the order it was received. Cheesy
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« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2007, 10:53:10 PM »

I think this thread just illustrates how difficult it would be for the average lay person, or even theologian, to determine which of the Apostolic Churches is the true Church and which one is right. I mean,
The Catholic says, "We're right because the Fathers say..."
The Eastern Orthodox Christian says, "We're right because the Fathers say..."
The Oriental Orhtodox Christian says, "We're right because the Fathers say..."
I can sympathize with each group. Don't get me wrong. I do believe that the Catholic Church is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church refered to in the Creed, and that the Bishop of Rome is the successor of Sts. Peter and Paul. However, I do see how one might believe in one of the other two Churches. For that reason, I don't think that any Christian can stand in harsh judgement over another Christian because he or she does or does not accept Chalcedon or Palamite theology, or Scholasticism, etc. The issues that divide us are difficult to wade through, and apart from a powerful divine intervention, none us can fix the problem here and now.
Excellent food for thought, Papist.  I'm actually mulling over this very insight in relation to another situation I'm addressing.  Thank you.
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