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Author Topic: Is Ecumenical Dialogue Really About Conversion?  (Read 10680 times) Average Rating: 0
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Joab Anias
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« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2007, 05:24:19 PM »

Something has just occurred to me, and I'm not sure why it has never occurred to me before.
If a two particular Churches have in their respective Ecclesiologies the belief that:
"The visible boundary of this particular Church is the visible boundary of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church"
then isn't the only way to reunion for one of them to admit they were wrong and be received into the other?

I don't think so. I have come to this opinion due to much dealing with Protestants.

As the community of believers, the Church is the assembly (ekklesia) of all who believe in Jesus Christ; or the fellowship (koinonia) of all who are bound together by their common love for the Savior. As the kingdom (basileia), it is the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies about the reign of the Messiah. And as the Mystical Body it is the communion of all those made holy by the grace of Christ. He is their invisible head and they are his visible members. These include the faithful on earth and the saints in heaven.
....
At the Second Vatican Council this concept of the Church was recognized as the objective reality that identifies the fullness of the Roman Catholic Church. But it was qualified subjectively so as to somehow include all who are baptized and profess their faith in Jesus Christ. They are the People of God, whom he has chosen to be his own and on whom he bestows the special graces of his providence. (Etym. Greek kkyriakon, church; from kyriakos, belonging to the Lord.)

Of course you see this doesn't mean anyones theology is correct or not but all sincere believers in a certain way are still members of the Church.

Is it only on what we agree that we find unity? I think if we look hard enough we can find unity in any fellow believer regardless of their indoctrination and this is where the Faith must begin. Once that Christian ideal is established then we can enter works like those that are currently going on in Ravena. We help the poor gentiles and pagans because its the Christain thing to do right? We don't require them to repent and be asimilated into us to be worthy of the dignity they deserve as a human being and child of God. I see no reason we shouldn't have the same Christian attitude toward each other.

Pax.
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« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2007, 06:27:21 PM »

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

John 10:16
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« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2007, 01:45:53 PM »

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

John 10:16

That's funny, most Mormons I know use that same verse to justify their entire religion!!!
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« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2007, 01:46:50 PM »

I had not heard that - I was simply going by Paul's reports of the ultimate failure of his efforts...  And perhaps he was speaking of the STATE of Israel, not the population...  That would resolve the apparent confliction of claims...

Yes, by Russian immigration...  Because the reports from, say, Darlyimple in the '90s, were not encouraging, as Israel was pretty much engaging in a cover-up of the 2000 year history of the Holy Lands and Christianity, in their zeal to make of it a Jewish land again...  And now, with the Russian Jewish Christians, this may get a reprieve, I pray to God...

I mean, it seems like both the Jews and the Turks are engaged in a clean-up of the very history of the regions they control, where only the evidences of their particular ethnicities are allowed to remain in evidence, and the rest is buried...  I do understand that Israeli archaeological teams are now, finally, at least doing what they can in a professional manner, yet parking garages are being built atop important Christian sites, and obscure Jewish remnants are becoming converted into glorified shrines...  While the Turks are simply obliterating all traces of the Christian presence in that country for two thousand years...

I sure hope not - The great schism gave Satan a clean shot to the jaw of Christianity, and that, coupled with the persecutions in the Middle East of rule under Islamic Law, has landed all of the Christian ethnic refugees into the West...  We live in interesting times...  As a Greek friend of mine says, the problem is not with the Roman Catholics, but with their leadership...  The faithful are more saved than their ruling clergy...  And as my hieromonk ROCOR God-Father likes to point out, the road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests - [So that for him each day is a struggle to keep his skull out of that road!]

Yet in all this, it is God's hand that is guiding creation unto salvation...

I was just given a bunch of sheet music so I can learn the Arabic Trisagion and a bunch of other Arabic ecclesiastical songs, Isa...  Any special instructions in singing them?  Are they sung loud and clear?  Soft and slurred?  At a tempo or slow?  Does it all just vary, like the English Kazan?

Arsenios


I've heard all of the above.  My personal favorite in Arabic is the chant like the Greek Chant.  There is a tendency to sing them with operetic precision in pronunciation, to emphasize the standard Arabic.

What are you doing with Arabic sheet music?
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« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2007, 03:19:58 PM »

That's funny, most Mormons I know use that same verse to justify their entire religion!!!

You consider Mormonism to be a religion?  Huh
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« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2007, 03:25:12 PM »

Um, why wouldn't Mormonism be a religion?  It's a false one, to be sure, but it's no less a religion than, say, Islam (ie the Mormonism of the East).

Is your objection referring to its possible status as a cult?
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« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2007, 03:31:51 PM »

That's funny, most Mormons I know use that same verse to justify their entire religion!!!

Ah, but they are the sheep of Joseph Smith. Different shepherds.
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Joab Anias
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« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2007, 05:20:30 PM »

Um, why wouldn't Mormonism be a religion?  It's a false one, to be sure, but it's no less a religion than, say, Islam (ie the Mormonism of the East).

Is your objection referring to its possible status as a cult?

I don't object to it being called a religion per se' but object to the example being made which seems to diminish the truth in the scripture -"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

To answer your last question:

Yes its status as a cult and especially the reasons why its considered a cult and Judaism or Islam is not. The difference there between Cult and Religion isn't always clear on the surface just as its not always clear between other terminology such as Schism and Heresy, Latin or Orthodox, pagan or gentile etc etc.

All such types of rational terminology on their surface if used divisively may actually be contradictory to the above Holy Scripture in the essence of its meaning.

How can any Christian argue with Holy Scripture? Sure, without the Church we cannot know its true fullness but isn't it in its literal hermeneutic translation where its truth begins?

I think we have to look at that Scripture historically as Jesus meant it. To me it says; He will bring many to Him that are not of our apostolic fold who if left to our own human devices we would not, so perhaps we need to try and see what He saw.

Peace.
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« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2007, 05:22:22 PM »

Ah, but they are the sheep of Joseph Smith. Different shepherds.

Different shepherds?  Different universe!  I prefer to believe the Eddie Izzard theory on Mormons... "The Mormons ARE from Mars.  We checked."   Grin
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« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2007, 05:23:15 PM »

Ah, but they are the sheep of Joseph Smith. Different shepherds.

Different pastures.

Don't you mean wolves?
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2007, 05:25:14 PM »

Different shepherds?  Different universe!  I prefer to believe the Eddie Izzard theory on Mormons... "The Mormons ARE from Mars.  We checked."   Grin

Actually, JS Jr. claimed that a race of men (looking like quakers) lived on the moon, and something else about parts of the earth being broken off and flung into space.  I can't remember if the moon people got there this way per the prophet.  His wife (one of the them) wrote hymns on the issue.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2007, 05:27:28 PM »

Actually, JS Jr. claimed that a race of men (looking like quakers) lived on the moon, and something else about parts of the earth being broken off and flung into space.  I can't remember if the moon people got there this way per the prophet.  His wife (one of the them) wrote hymns on the issue.

Thats why they call PA the Keystone state.  Grin
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« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2007, 05:39:14 PM »

I don't object to it being called a religion per se' but object to the example being made which seems to diminish the truth in the scripture -"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

To answer your last question:

Yes its status as a cult and especially the reasons why its considered a cult and Judaism or Islam is not. The difference there between Cult and Religion isn't always clear on the surface just as its not always clear between other terminology such as Schism and Heresy, Latin or Orthodox, pagan or gentile etc etc.

All such types of rational terminology on their surface if used divisively may actually be contradictory to the above Holy Scripture in the essence of its meaning.

How can any Christian argue with Holy Scripture? Sure, without the Church we cannot know its true fullness but isn't it in its literal hermeneutic translation where its truth begins?

I think we have to look at that Scripture historically as Jesus meant it. To me it says; He will bring many to Him that are not of our apostolic fold who if left to our own human devices we would not, so perhaps we need to try and see what He saw.

Peace.

Wow.  My intent was certainly not to diminish the truth of scripture, and frankly, I think reading that into my little elbow-jab of a post is just a little extreme.  I didn't give a second thought to the use of "cult" vs. "religion" in my post because that wasn't my point!  My point was a wink-nudge jab at Lub because I think that the use of that verse in this particular sense is a cop out, because frankly, everyone uses that verse, but we are NOT united. 


Is it only on what we agree that we find unity? I think if we look hard enough we can find unity in any fellow believer regardless of their indoctrination and this is where the Faith must begin. Once that Christian ideal is established then we can enter works like those that are currently going on in Ravena. We help the poor gentiles and pagans because its the Christain thing to do right? We don't require them to repent and be asimilated into us to be worthy of the dignity they deserve as a human being and child of God. I see no reason we shouldn't have the same Christian attitude toward each other.


This is not the type of unity that the EO church objects to, obviously, since the church participates in all kinds of Ecumenical movements.  The unity that is at issue is unity in the Eucharist, the acceptance of dogma that will bring the churches back into communion, such that we as EO and you as Catholics can commune in the same church, which we currently can not.

Now you might tell me, "but you can commune in the Catholic church."  My response to that would be no, I cannot.  The Catholic church allows those of "like faith" to commune, but the EO church does not.  Others may not commune in the EO church, and we EO may not commune in other churches.  Why?  Because in our theology, the chalice is not a TOOL for unity, as the Catholic church uses it.  The chalice CONTAINS our unity.  Our churches are mystically united IN the chalice.  Receiving from the chalice either sanctifies or burns.  If one does not believe in the fullness of the truth, if one is not in good standing with the church sacramentally, then they are burned.  This is what we believe, this is why those of other faiths do not commune in the EOC.  If there is no unity in dogma and confession, there is no unity in the chalice.  Period.  End of story.
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« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2007, 05:55:38 PM »

I like the way you cook, GreekChef.
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« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2007, 06:20:39 PM »

I like the way you cook, GreekChef.

Thanks, Αριστοκλής!!
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« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2007, 06:28:44 PM »

I like the way you cook, GreekChef.

You have no idea.  She's a fantastic chef (I miss visiting their apartment at Seminary for the occasional meal).
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« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2007, 06:46:13 PM »

Wow.  My intent was certainly not to diminish the truth of scripture, and frankly, I think reading that into my little elbow-jab of a post is just a little extreme.  I didn't give a second thought to the use of "cult" vs. "religion" in my post because that wasn't my point!  My point was a wink-nudge jab at Lub because I think that the use of that verse in this particular sense is a cop out, because frankly, everyone uses that verse, but we are NOT united.
 

Ah I see. I don't think you had that intent either. My point was on the Scripture and how the word of God cannot be diminished even inadvertently. Nothing personal intended there. I hope I am not thinking of the verse as a cop-out but with the mind of Christs Mercy. Wordisms often pop out at me only because I want truth. Also nothing personal inferred my brother.

Quote
This is not the type of unity that the EO church objects to, obviously, since the church participates in all kinds of Ecumenical movements.  The unity that is at issue is unity in the Eucharist, the acceptance of dogma that will bring the churches back into communion, such that we as EO and you as Catholics can commune in the same church, which we currently can not.

Agreed. Yet Jesus implies He will bring others to Him who are not of our apostolic fold. To me that speaks volumes while we bicker over laws and divide over theologies that express the same thing in different ways. This seems to be the mind of the Church in Ravena. Maybe yours is not of the same accord as theirs I don't know.

Quote
Now you might tell me, "but you can commune in the Catholic church."  My response to that would be no, I cannot.  The Catholic church allows those of "like faith" to commune, but the EO church does not.  Others may not commune in the EO church, and we EO may not commune in other churches.  Why?  Because in our theology, the chalice is not a TOOL for unity, as the Catholic church uses it.  The chalice CONTAINS our unity.  Our churches are mystically united IN the chalice.  Receiving from the chalice either sanctifies or burns.  If one does not believe in the fullness of the truth, if one is not in good standing with the church sacramentally, then they are burned.  This is what we believe, this is why those of other faiths do not commune in the EOC.  If there is no unity in dogma and confession, there is no unity in the chalice.  Period.  End of story.

I wouldn't have said that. We do not use the Chalice as a tool. Though I know this is not your intent either I find that statement a bit sacrilegious and evident of disdain toward my praxis. We extend communion to you in recognition of valid orders and sacraments, nothing more. I can commune at a divine liturgy if I so choose in any rite without being burned if I know I do so in good conscience. 
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« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2007, 06:47:11 PM »

You have no idea.  She's a fantastic chef (I miss visiting their apartment at Seminary for the occasional meal).

Thanks, George!  We miss that as well!  
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« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2007, 06:49:12 PM »

You have no idea.  She's a fantastic chef (I miss visiting their apartment at Seminary for the occasional meal).

What are some good Greek dishes one could try?
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« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2007, 07:04:20 PM »


Agreed. Yet Jesus implies He will bring others to Him who are not of our apostolic fold. To me that speaks volumes while we bicker over laws and divide over theologies that express the same thing in different ways. This seems to be the mind of the Church in Ravena. Maybe yours is not of the same accord as theirs I don't know.


First off, let me say that I mean no offense in anything I say.  But I will say that this is part of the reason that unity has not been realized... You view it as bickering over laws and dividing over theologies that express the same thing in different ways.  We do not view it this way (of course I can't speak for EVERYONE, this is a generality).  Those theologies are the essence of what we believe.  Just as an example (I know it's a tired one, but humor me for a minute), I will never confess the filioque.  It completely changes the nature of the Holy Trinity, there's no scriptural basis for it, and I won't do it.  That's just one of MANY issues that keep the churches divided.  


I wouldn't have said that. We do not use the Chalice as a tool. Though I know this is not your intent either I find that statement a bit sacrilegious and evident of disdain toward my praxis. We extend communion to you in recognition of valid orders and sacraments, nothing more. I can commune at a divine liturgy if I so choose in any rite without being burned if I know I do so in good conscience. 

You are correct, that is not my intent.  My mother is a former Catholic, I was baptized Catholic.  I have NO disdain whatsoever for the Catholic Church.  I have been to my share of masses, and I do have a great love for Pope Benedict.  My mother taught me to love the Catholic Church.  She has also said to me many times that the Catholic Church is the "same faith, different practice."  And she used to express sadness and confusion over why the EO church would not accept communion and reunify with the RCC.  After I started classes at our seminary and began a diologue with her about it, her view changed.  She understands why now.  I'm not saying this to mean that the churches shouldn't reunify, or that it's because Catholics are wrong, or mistaken, or don't understand.  I'm just saying that there are SOOOOOO many issues to overcome that seem to many like "little issues."  But they are all symptoms of a larger illness.  A pain in the neck is nothing by itself, but when combined with other symptoms, it becomes meningitis.  Am I making sense?  It's not any one little thing.  It's all of them that, when combined, make the churches two ENTIRELY different belief systems, two ENTIRELY different churches, not little laws or theologies that are essentially the same thing.  They are not the same thing.  And as soon as EVERYONE involved in the Ecumenical discussions recognizes that, we'll get a lot further.
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« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2007, 07:04:58 PM »

What are some good Greek dishes one could try?

I love to make Spanakopita.  And I love to eat my mother-in-law's dolmades!!!  Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2007, 09:03:42 PM »

First off, let me say that I mean no offense in anything I say.  But I will say that this is part of the reason that unity has not been realized... You view it as bickering over laws and dividing over theologies that express the same thing in different ways.  We do not view it this way (of course I can't speak for EVERYONE, this is a generality).  Those theologies are the essence of what we believe.  Just as an example (I know it's a tired one, but humor me for a minute), I will never confess the filioque.  It completely changes the nature of the Holy Trinity, there's no scriptural basis for it, and I won't do it.  That's just one of MANY issues that keep the churches divided. 

Yea, bickering was a poor choice of words on my part. I understand your concerns. For me the filoque clause does not change the nature of the Trinity for me and in fact re-enforces the gift of the Holy Spirit from Jesus as described in Holy Scripture. Matter of perspective I guess. You see, we in the West are brought up viewing the Trinity in its unity instead of in its separate persons. This is why I don't see the Eastern perspective as wrong at all, just out of a different perspective but still completely viable. This is also how I can understand one not wanting to ascend to it though I often feel the same consideration is rarely given to me for doing so, especially if anathemas as slung.

Quote
You are correct, that is not my intent.  My mother is a former Catholic, I was baptized Catholic.  I have NO disdain whatsoever for the Catholic Church.  I have been to my share of masses, and I do have a great love for Pope Benedict.  My mother taught me to love the Catholic Church.  She has also said to me many times that the Catholic Church is the "same faith, different practice."  And she used to express sadness and confusion over why the EO church would not accept communion and reunify with the RCC.  After I started classes at our seminary and began a diologue with her about it, her view changed.  She understands why now.  I'm not saying this to mean that the churches shouldn't reunify, or that it's because Catholics are wrong, or mistaken, or don't understand.  I'm just saying that there are SOOOOOO many issues to overcome that seem to many like "little issues."  But they are all symptoms of a larger illness.  A pain in the neck is nothing by itself, but when combined with other symptoms, it becomes meningitis.  Am I making sense?  It's not any one little thing.  It's all of them that, when combined, make the churches two ENTIRELY different belief systems, two ENTIRELY different churches, not little laws or theologies that are essentially the same thing.  They are not the same thing.  And as soon as EVERYONE involved in the Ecumenical discussions recognizes that, we'll get a lot further.

You make complete sense though I think the emphasis on "entirely different" is the extreme. Surely what’s most important is similar. Isn't what’s going on in Ravenna noteworthy? Do you think Rome’s statements denouncing Latinizations is evident of this understanding you mention? With a substantial intellectual effort I can reconcile most Eastern theology with Catholic dogma in all good conscience.

Peace.
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« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2007, 09:05:31 PM »

I love to make Spanakopita.  And I love to eat my mother-in-law's dolmades!!!  Smiley

Interesting culture. I don't know what they are though.  laugh

Would they be considered an aquired taste to an American?

Peace.
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« Reply #68 on: May 30, 2008, 10:28:21 PM »

Something has just occurred to me, and I'm not sure why it has never occurred to me before.
If a two particular Churches have in their respective Ecclesiologies the belief that:
"The visible boundary of this particular Church is the visible boundary of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church"
then isn't the only way to reunion for one of them to admit they were wrong and be received into the other?
It just so happens there are faults on both sides and we all must be humble and admit it. We also cannot do this alone. We need the help of the Holy Spirit.
The split didn't just happen for theological reasons. There was a lot of politics both governmental politics and church politics involved. Plus especially in the 1054 incident there was a lot of hotheaded personalities involved on both sides. There is a lot of language and cultural difficulties and misunderstandings. There is much distrust of ecumenism.  I think the approach of Alexy and Benedict can bear fruit. Work together on mutual problems. This will promote trust. Unity will not be overnight. 
More than anything we must invoke the help of the Holy Spirit and desire unity as a necessity not as a whim.
PS I believe the only defect of the Orthodox mentioned was unity with the bishop of Rome.
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