Author Topic: Paradox  (Read 4002 times)

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Offline sohma_hatori

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Paradox
« on: November 14, 2007, 07:02:21 AM »
I got this from a friend, and just wanted to share this with you:

"If the pope is the patriarch of rome, then therefore his decision is infallible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, therefore, the schism is legitimate.
Then if the Patriarch of Constantinople's decision is infallible, then his decision not to bow to the pope is also infallible, then the schism is still legitimate. Can Christ be divided? did the Holy Spirit instruct the Head/s of the Church to divide? is this God's will?"

By the way, my friend is Catholic.. just want to hear your opininons about this,,  :)

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Offline prodromas

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 07:06:28 AM »
No man is infallible whomever they are! The Orthodox don't see any patriarch or person as infallible.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 07:06:58 AM by prodromas »
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 07:20:46 AM »
What is infallible by the way?  ;D
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 07:25:33 AM »
The ability to do or say something which will never be wrong by virtue of you saying it.
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 07:37:46 AM »
Were the apostles infallible?
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 07:42:58 AM »
Thats a tough one! The teachings the Lord handed down to them were infallible but they were not.
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 07:58:22 AM »
So Only God is infallible?
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 08:07:02 AM »
Yes or if your Catholic God and some stuff the Pope says.
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

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2007, 09:13:37 AM »
I got this from a friend, and just wanted to share this with you:

"If the pope is the patriarch of rome, then therefore his decision is infallible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, therefore, the schism is legitimate.
Then if the Patriarch of Constantinople's decision is infallible, then his decision not to bow to the pope is also infallible, then the schism is still legitimate. Can Christ be divided? did the Holy Spirit instruct the Head/s of the Church to divide? is this God's will?"

By the way, my friend is Catholic.. just want to hear your opininons about this,,  :) 

Oh yeah, I'm going to echo prodromas here:

The Orthodox do not consider our leaders infallible.  There have been Patriarchs and Popes who have fallen into heresy.  There have been councils called for good intentions that have fallen into heresy.  The only one that is unerring is God Himself.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 10:49:21 PM »
Hello,

What is infallible by the way?  ;D
Yes, it is always good to start off with definitions so that we know we are speaking the same language.

A quick glance of what infallibility is NOT: it doesn't mean the the Pope never sins - that would be impeccability; it doesn't mean that everything he says is true and free from error; it doesn't mean that he puts forth all the truth.

Infallibility means that when the Pope and Magisterium (yes, the Magisterium can teach infallibly, too), under certain circumstances, are prevented by the Holy Spirit from teaching error. It is a negative protection. It doesn't mean that they will teach the entirety of Truth, but that what they say under its protection is true. It is a special gift of the Holy Spirit to protect the Church and prevent the gates of hell from overtaking Her.
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Offline Jimmy

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 11:00:04 PM »
Are the Ecumenical Councils Infallible? 

Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2007, 11:02:54 PM »
Hello,

Are the Ecumenical Councils Infallible?
As approved by the Council Fathers and the Pope, and touching areas of faith and morals - yes.
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Pray that we may be one, as Christ and His Father are one. (John 17:20ff)

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Offline Jimmy

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 11:09:19 PM »
Hello,
As approved by the Council Fathers and the Pope, and touching areas of faith and morals - yes.

I realize what the Catholic opinion is.  I am looking for what the Orthodox say of them though.  They say that no one is infallible.  Are councils protected from error or is it simply a statement by the Church that is deemed to have no errors in it?

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 11:11:43 PM »
Actually, what Anastasios has said is correct for the Orthodox as well, with one major difference. As approved by the Council Fathers and received by the Church, and touching areas of faith and morals--yes.

EDIT: I should clarify that it is only an Ecumenical Council that is deemed infallible. Local councils are not esteemed as highly. Also, you are correct that no one is infallible: only the statement of the Ecumenical Council is infallible; the participants in that Council are certainly fallible.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 11:15:06 PM by ytterbiumanalyst »
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Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2007, 11:13:04 PM »
Hello,

Actually, what Anastasios has said is correct for the Orthodox as well, with one major difference. As approved by the Council Fathers and received by the Church, and touching areas of faith and morals--yes.
What does "received by the Church" mean?
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Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2007, 11:15:45 PM »
Hello,

How about the writers of Sacred Scripture - do the Orthodox consider them infallible?
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Offline Jimmy

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2007, 11:26:57 PM »
Which of these two would be more accurate from the Orthodox perspective. 

1.  Is it by virtue of the fact that the whole Church has come together and the Holy Spirit protects the council? 

2.  Or, is it that the bishops came together and decided on the issue and this decision was accepted by the whole Church.  God guides the Church therefore the council is infallible.

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2007, 11:35:28 PM »
What does "received by the Church" mean?
How do I explain it? First of all, "receive"--to adopt a doctrine as being from the Lord, and therefore infallible.

The harder part, "by the Church." Since we don't have an equivalent to the Pope--the ones we call Popes are more like what the Catholics would call bishops--we rely on the various bishops to give us direction. People like the Ecumenical Patriarch can issue statements recommending that we receive a doctrine, but he has no authority to tell any other bishop what that bishop must do in his own diocese. Each diocese is largely self-governing in this respect.

Of course, this is complicated in that some diocese never receive some doctrines that others do; for example, some Oriental Orthodox churches receive only three of the Ecumenical Councils, whereas most Eastern Orthodox churches receive seven. So I guess it depends on whom you ask as to which doctrines are infallible and which ones are not.
"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

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2007, 11:38:35 PM »
Which of these two would be more accurate from the Orthodox perspective. 

1.  Is it by virtue of the fact that the whole Church has come together and the Holy Spirit protects the council? 

2.  Or, is it that the bishops came together and decided on the issue and this decision was accepted by the whole Church.  God guides the Church therefore the council is infallible.
It's somewhere in between these two. I think more Orthodox would be at ease with the first option than the second. Bishops don't really "decide" but rather "recognise" a doctrine as being pure and true.
"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

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2007, 11:39:02 PM »
EDIT: I should clarify that it is only an Ecumenical Council that is deemed infallible. Local councils are not esteemed as highly. Also, you are correct that no one is infallible: only the statement of the Ecumenical Council is infallible; the participants in that Council are certainly fallible.

I don't believe that the Orthodox do regard Ecumenical councils as being infallible.  It is an (albeit remote) possibility that another Ecumenical council could be held that redefines or repudiates assertions of a former council.  We do regard the body of Christ in its entirety as inerrant.  
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Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2007, 11:42:16 PM »
Hello,

I don't believe that the Orthodox do regard Ecumenical councils as being infallible.  It is an (albeit remote) possibility that another Ecumenical council could be held that redefines or repudiates assertions of a former council.  We do regard the body of Christ in its entirety as inerrant. 
So another Ecumenical Council could come along and declare that Christ is not divine?! Tell me it ain't so, Joe! :o
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2007, 11:43:22 PM »
I think if another Council reached a decision that conflicted with a previous one, I would argue for one or the other not being a true Ecumenical Council.
"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

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2007, 11:45:23 PM »
I don't believe that the Orthodox do regard Ecumenical councils as being infallible.  It is an (albeit remote) possibility that another Ecumenical council could be held that redefines or repudiates assertions of a former council.  We do regard the body of Christ in its entirety as inerrant.  

This is basically what I am asking.  Is it a matter of Gods providence not allowing the Church to fall into error?  Kind of like the high priests statement in John11 I think where he mentions that if Jesus is not of God then His following will come of nothing but if it is of God then there is nothing they can do about it.  Or is the council itself specifically protected by God?  My perception has been that it is the the first option that is more accurate to the EO but that is only my perception.  It seems that the councils would just be gatherings of bishops but when they are accepted through time by the Church it becomes about Gods divine providence guiding the Church.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 11:48:48 PM by Jimmy »

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2007, 11:46:51 PM »
I should say that I am coming from the perspective of the EO (specifially, OCA), and that there is some variation on this doctrine within Orthodoxy.
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2007, 11:48:26 PM »
Hello,
What does "received by the Church" mean?

The Orthodox belief is that the Church in its entirety is inerrant.  The Church is conciliar: this is what we mean when we say that the Church is Catholic.  We don't mean "universal" when we say Catholic, but are more Ignatian in our understanding of what "Catholic" means.  It is the Church as a whole that proclaims, receives, and protects doctrine.  The whole people of God: bishops, priests, deacons, minor orders and laypeople make up the Church.   There have been times in Orthodox history when bishops have accepted new doctrinal pronouncements and the laity and other clergy have rejected them; these pronouncements were thus rejected by the Church, because the whole Church did not receive them.
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2007, 11:51:10 PM »
I should say that I am coming from the perspective of the EO (specifially, OCA), and that there is some variation on this doctrine within Orthodoxy.

 Really ???  Now that I think about it, you're right.  Many might not agree with the opinion I put forth here, which I think is quite recent, and perhaps on shaky ground...
« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 01:57:36 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Catholig

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2007, 11:51:47 PM »
I got this from a friend, and just wanted to share this with you:

"If the pope is the patriarch of rome, then therefore his decision is infallible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, therefore, the schism is legitimate.
Then if the Patriarch of Constantinople's decision is infallible, then his decision not to bow to the pope is also infallible, then the schism is still legitimate. Can Christ be divided? did the Holy Spirit instruct the Head/s of the Church to divide? is this God's will?"

By the way, my friend is Catholic.. just want to hear your opininons about this,,  :)

What decision is your friend talking about? The decision to excommunicate some Patriarchs after the Great Schism (I'm sorry I don't know which ones)? If that's is what he means I'd answer by saying that excommunication is a religious censure not a matter of faith and morals (or a dogma/doctrine). It is not infallible.

Catholig

Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2007, 11:52:05 PM »
Hello,

The Orthodox belief is that the Church in its entirety is inerrant.
I don't believe that the Orthodox do regard Ecumenical councils as being infallible.
???Now I'm confused. Did you just mis-type in one of these posts?
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Offline Catholig

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2007, 11:52:51 PM »
I got this from a friend, and just wanted to share this with you:

"If the pope is the patriarch of rome, then therefore his decision is infallible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, therefore, the schism is legitimate.
Then if the Patriarch of Constantinople's decision is infallible, then his decision not to bow to the pope is also infallible, then the schism is still legitimate. Can Christ be divided? did the Holy Spirit instruct the Head/s of the Church to divide? is this God's will?"

By the way, my friend is Catholic.. just want to hear your opininons about this,,  :)

What decision is your friend talking about? The decision to excommunicate some Patriarchs after the Great Schism (I'm sorry I don't know which ones)? If that's is what he means I'd answer by saying that excommunication is a religious censure not a matter of faith and morals (or a dogma/doctrine). It is not infallible.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2007, 11:55:49 PM »
Hello,
 ???Now I'm confused. Did you just mis-type in one of these posts?

I think his view is basically the other option that was in my post.  God will protect the Church as a whole from follow into error.  It is basically the indefectibility of the Church.  But this does not mean that any specific council has divine protection from error.  What it means is simply that the Church will never accept any council that is erroneous.  The Church will never defect from the truth.

Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2007, 11:57:46 PM »
Hello,

I think his view is basically the other option that was in my post.  God will protect the Church as a whole from follow into error.  It is basically the indefectibility of the Church.  But this does not mean that any specific council has divine protection from error.  What it means is simply that the Church will never accept any council that is erroneous.  The Church will never defect from the truth.
Actually, I think I mis-read the two post. I think I thought I saw a not where it was not. I even mis-quoted one of the quotes.  :-[ Oops.
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Offline Athanasios

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2007, 11:59:20 PM »
Hello,

Hello,
Actually, I think I mis-read the two post. I think I thought I saw a not where it was not. I even mis-quoted one of the quotes.  :-[ Oops.
That means its time for me to get some rest. Goodnight.
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Offline Catholig

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2007, 12:00:11 AM »
I got this from a friend, and just wanted to share this with you:

"If the pope is the patriarch of rome, then therefore his decision is infallible by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, therefore, the schism is legitimate.
Then if the Patriarch of Constantinople's decision is infallible, then his decision not to bow to the pope is also infallible, then the schism is still legitimate. Can Christ be divided? did the Holy Spirit instruct the Head/s of the Church to divide? is this God's will?"

By the way, my friend is Catholic.. just want to hear your opininons about this,,  :)

What decision is your friend talking about? The decision to excommunicate some Patriarchs after the Great Schism (I'm sorry I don't know which ones)? If that's is what he means I'd answer by saying that excommunication is a religious censure not a matter of faith and morals (or a dogma/doctrine). It is not infallible.

Catholig

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2007, 12:07:34 AM »
Hello,
 ???Now I'm confused. Did you just mis-type in one of these posts?

Athanasios,

To respond to both you and one of Jimmy's question/assertions, the Church as a whole cannot err, because She is the Body of Christ, and not because God protects Her.  (As the Body of Christ, having such "protection" is redundant.)  However, when it comes to councils, I think that there is a remote possibility that individuals could have made mistakes in making pronouncements that were overlooked, and later on the Church may have to come back to them and correct them.  This has happened a few times with large councils that were not Ecumenical, but large.  But I make the point about this not really because of the possiblity that people erred in promulgating councils, which some may find disingenuous on my part, but rather to point out that there is a deeper inerrancy inherent in the Church than councils, an inerrancy that resides in Her as the Body of Christ.  Recently this argument has been expanded because theologians are looking for ways to unite the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox in such a way that the Oriental Orthodox would not have to "swallow" all the defintions of the councils from Chalcedon onwards, and the two Churches could still reunite.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 12:10:49 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Paradosis

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2007, 02:30:16 AM »
Which of these two would be more accurate from the Orthodox perspective. 

1.  Is it by virtue of the fact that the whole Church has come together and the Holy Spirit protects the council? 

2.  Or, is it that the bishops came together and decided on the issue and this decision was accepted by the whole Church.  God guides the Church therefore the council is infallible.

I believe both of these are correct.  In Orthodoxy, the bishop always functions in symphony with his flock.  Therefore, when the bishops come together in an Ecumenical Council to teach the Faith in an authoritative fashion, they are not only bringing themselves to the Council, they carry the faithful entrusted to them there also.  The decisions arrived at are that of all the Church and are received by all the Church in the person of the bishops.  The Holy Spirit guides all the Body of Christ into a defense of the truth at an Ecumenical Council, not only the bishops.  :)   

God bless,

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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2007, 11:14:09 AM »
The Orthodox belief is that the Church in its entirety is inerrant.  The Church is conciliar: this is what we mean when we say that the Church is Catholic.  We don't mean "universal" when we say Catholic, but are more Ignatian in our understanding of what "Catholic" means.  It is the Church as a whole that proclaims, receives, and protects doctrine.  The whole people of God: bishops, priests, deacons, minor orders and laypeople make up the Church.   There have been times in Orthodox history when bishops have accepted new doctrinal pronouncements and the laity and other clergy have rejected them; these pronouncements were thus rejected by the Church, because the whole Church did not receive them.
Thanks for explaining this more clearly than I could. Haven't been getting much sleep recently. :)

My priest uses the "three-legged stool" analogy, which does not originate with him, but I can't remember who devised it. Essentially, the three "legs" are the clergy, the laity, and the monastics. If one or two of the legs fall into error, the third will keep the stool up, so that the church continues to be Orthodox--"right-believing." At times the leg which has proclaimed the truth has been the clergy; other times it is the monastics; and still other times it is the laity. Yet always the Church of God has been Right-Believing; it has always been Orthodox.
"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

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2007, 11:17:09 AM »
What decision is your friend talking about? The decision to excommunicate some Patriarchs after the Great Schism (I'm sorry I don't know which ones)? If that's is what he means I'd answer by saying that excommunication is a religious censure not a matter of faith and morals (or a dogma/doctrine). It is not infallible.
AFAIK, it was only the Pope who was excommunicated during the Schism, and this was done by a local council, not an Ecumenical one. So it's not infallible. Also, nothing the EP does by himself can ever be infallible.
"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

Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2007, 10:20:15 PM »
What decision is your friend talking about? The decision to excommunicate some Patriarchs after the Great Schism (I'm sorry I don't know which ones)? If that's is what he means I'd answer by saying that excommunication is a religious censure not a matter of faith and morals (or a dogma/doctrine). It is not infallible.

Catholig

My friend means about the excommunication
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2007, 10:22:23 PM »
AFAIK, it was only the Pope who was excommunicated during the Schism, and this was done by a local council, not an Ecumenical one. So it's not infallible. Also, nothing the EP does by himself can ever be infallible.

I definitely agree.. This was not done as a decision by the entire church but rather by the Patriarchy of Rome alone..
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Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2007, 01:04:10 AM »
Thanks for explaining this more clearly than I could. Haven't been getting much sleep recently. :)

No problem!  :)

Quote
My priest uses the "three-legged stool" analogy, which does not originate with him, but I can't remember who devised it. Essentially, the three "legs" are the clergy, the laity, and the monastics.

Gotta like that analogy!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 01:04:57 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Paisius

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Re: Paradox
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2007, 01:29:41 AM »
I realize what the Catholic opinion is.  I am looking for what the Orthodox say of them though.  They say that no one is infallible.  Are councils protected from error or is it simply a statement by the Church that is deemed to have no errors in it?
No individual is infallible simply by virtue of their office and no council, regardless of it's outward ecumenicity is infallible simply by virtue of it's existence. As to your question it is the latter, a council is only declared infallible after it's findings have been tested by the Church.