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Author Topic: Is there an official Orthodox Church catechism?  (Read 4460 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 16, 2008, 04:44:18 PM »

I am trying to learn about the Orthodox Church and realize that people have different ideas about it. Is there a catechism that officially teaches what the Orthodox believe?
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2008, 05:02:31 PM »

Funny you ask that!  This morning I was reading Volume 14 in the second series of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.  It contains all the canons and teachings from the seven ecumenical councils.  Mine was published by Hendrickson publishing.  It was written over a hundred years, but it is loaded with information.  I'd recommend finding a copy, you can often find the whole series of books pretty cheap.

I am trying to learn about the Orthodox Church and realize that people have different ideas about it. Is there a catechism that officially teaches what the Orthodox believe?
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2008, 05:16:28 PM »

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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2008, 05:21:59 PM »

Funny you ask that!  This morning I was reading Volume 14 in the second series of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.  It contains all the canons and teachings from the seven ecumenical councils.  Mine was published by Hendrickson publishing.  It was written over a hundred years, but it is loaded with information.  I'd recommend finding a copy, you can often find the whole series of books pretty cheap.


Thank you. I'll try to find it!
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2008, 05:32:56 PM »

Here's the on-line entry for Volume XIV of the series:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.html

However, here's a start for on on-line catechism:

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#12

However, you will never learn the faith by reading...it must be experienced, with you engaging in relationships with others at a local Orthodox parish. Just my $0.02...

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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2008, 05:39:39 PM »

Listen to Father Chris and to quote a friend, "it's hard to stumble when you are down on your knees!"

Here's the on-line entry for Volume XIV of the series:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.html

However, here's a start for on on-line catechism:

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#12

However, you will never learn the faith by reading...it must be experienced, with you engaging in relationships with others at a local Orthodox parish. Just my $0.02...


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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2008, 05:46:40 PM »

Here's the on-line entry for Volume XIV of the series:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.html

However, here's a start for on on-line catechism:

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#12

However, you will never learn the faith by reading...it must be experienced, with you engaging in relationships with others at a local Orthodox parish. Just my $0.02...



Thank you! I am trying to understand conflicting reports about church history and church father sayings.
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2008, 06:02:49 PM »

Here's the on-line entry for Volume XIV of the series:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.html

However, here's a start for on on-line catechism:

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#12

However, you will never learn the faith by reading...it must be experienced, with you engaging in relationships with others at a local Orthodox parish. Just my $0.02...



Do these seven councils have both the west and east in agreement? Scartch that...they do.
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2008, 06:09:58 PM »

Bishops from both the East and the West were present, and the canons passed and pronouncements made were agreed in consensus.

However, bear in mind my previously given advice: because the heart of the Christian Faith is being in relationship both with God and with others, for anyone to try to 'learn the faith' in isolation exclusively by reading perverts this faith into something unrecognizable.
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2008, 06:22:45 PM »

Bishops from both the East and the West were present, and the canons passed and pronouncements made were agreed in consensus.

However, bear in mind my previously given advice: because the heart of the Christian Faith is being in relationship both with God and with others, for anyone to try to 'learn the faith' in isolation exclusively by reading perverts this faith into something unrecognizable.

Thank you. I am just trying to sort through all of the contradictory statements made. I want to know if when the church of Rome is being addressed, if that also means that the church od Alexandria is. If the Chair of Peter is addressed, does this mean the Chair of Mark is? When tthe See of Rome is being addressed, does this mean that the See of Alexandria is? etc.

I am trying to avoid asking people's individual opinions, since they vary so much. Thats why I want to look at something official.
God Bless you!
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2008, 06:30:06 PM »

Frankly, I would concentrate more on this:

Quote
However, bear in mind my previously given advice: because the heart of the Christian Faith is being in relationship both with God and with others, for anyone to try to 'learn the faith' in isolation exclusively by reading perverts this faith into something unrecognizable.
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2008, 06:50:16 PM »

Actually, can I ask you what the difference is between:

-the See of Rome and the See of Alexandria?

-the Chair of Peter and the Chair of Mark?

-the Church of Rome and the Church of Alexandria?
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2008, 07:00:53 PM »

^^I guess the problem is: I do not understand where you are confused in these terms, after reading both Ialmisry's and Veniamin's contribution in the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14707.msg209672.html#msg209672

Can you explain (in that thread, not this one, which should not involve this topic since your own OP was a request for a catechism) where you are confused?
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2008, 08:23:15 PM »

^^I guess the problem is: I do not understand where you are confused in these terms, after reading both Ialmisry's and Veniamin's contribution in the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14707.msg209672.html#msg209672

Can you explain (in that thread, not this one, which should not involve this topic since your own OP was a request for a catechism) where you are confused?

Sorry. I have my threads confused! Can you answer the following in the appropiate thread:

Actually, can I ask you what the difference is between:

-the See of Rome and the See of Alexandria?

-the Chair of Peter and the Chair of Mark?

-the Church of Rome and the Church of Alexandria?

Sorry again for the confusion. God bless all of you.
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2008, 08:46:34 PM »

If I understand you correctly, I think the answer would be that when they were founded they were the same Church, just in different locations.  And of course they were established by different Apostles (St. Peter and St. Mark.)
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2008, 09:26:19 PM »

If I understand you correctly, I think the answer would be that when they were founded they were the same Church, just in different locations.  And of course they were established by different Apostles (St. Peter and St. Mark.)

I answered in the other forum. See you there!
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2008, 09:49:43 PM »

I am trying to learn about the Orthodox Church and realize that people have different ideas about it. Is there a catechism that officially teaches what the Orthodox believe?

The Longer Catechism of Philaret:
http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

It's simple enough to read and understand PLUS it comes with my recommendation (a $0.02 value--your's FREE Wink)

--Sorry, too much television...Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2010, 05:35:25 AM »

I am trying to learn about the Orthodox Church and realize that people have different ideas about it. Is there a catechism that officially teaches what the Orthodox believe?

The Longer Catechism of Philaret:
http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

Dear Alexius,

Thank you for this! I have a friend searching for same...
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 07:51:24 AM »

Orthodoxy as a whole doesn't have an official catechism, but local Church synods have approved such catechisms. I know of at least 2, written in the 19th century.

There's the catechism by St. Philaret of Moscow, "Examined and Approved by the Most Holy Governing Synod, and Published for the Use of Schools, and of all Orthodox Christians, by Order of His Imperial Majesty"

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

There's also the catechism of Demetrios Vernardakis, which was approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This is available in English from the Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.

None of these are as comprehensive as the recent Roman Catholic tome.

For something approaching that, I would recommend Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy's The Law of God, which is the catechism associated with ROCOR but which in wider Russian circles.

Recently the Russian Orthodox Church announced they were putting together a new comprehensive catechism. This might be something great, but I wonder why they don't simply revise and augment The Law of God.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 10:11:58 AM »

Somewhere here I've posted the links to St. John of Damascus' "Font of Knowledge: the Orthodox Faith."
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2010, 03:49:03 PM »

While there is nothing St. John of Damascus can't answer, this book: "Introducing the Orthodox Church," by Fr. Anthony Koniaris is pretty good and comprehensive.
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2010, 04:43:42 PM »

Iconodule, ialmisry, Shanghaiski,

Many thanks to all of you!...

Very happy to have found this forum!

God bless!
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2010, 10:05:30 AM »

Another catechism I forgot to mention is St. Nikolai Velimirovic's The Faith of the Saints. Looking over it, I would say that it's the best of the shorter catechisms (as opposed to the big, comprehensive Law of God).

One weird thing about it is that St. Nikolai chooses to translate "Catholic" (as in, "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church") as "ecumenical"  Undecided. Other than that, though, it's a very well-written and comprehensive catechism for its size.

Also, St. Tikhon's is re-publishing their These Truths We Hold, which is a large catechism comparable to The Law of God. The text is actually online here:http://www.stots.edu/these_truths_we_hold.html

One problem I see with this catechism is its section on Holy Tradition, which borrows some problematic concepts from Bishop Kallistos Ware. It says:
Quote
As Orthodox, however, while giving it due respect, we realize that not everything received from the past is of equal value. The Holy Scriptures, the Creed and the dogmatic and doctrinal definitions of the Ecumenical Councils hold the primary place in Holy Tradition and cannot be discarded or revised. The other parts of Holy Tradition are not placed on an equal level, nor do they possess the same authority as the above. The decrees of the Councils since the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787) obviously do not stand on the same level as the Nicene Creed, nor do the writings of, for example, the Byzantine theologians, hold equal rank with St. John's Gospel.
 

Does this mean that the teachings of St. Gregory Palamas on hesychasm, the essence and energies of God, and the uncreated Light, can be "discarded or revised"? Does this mean that a large body of our hymnody can be "discarded or revised"? I'd say there's a vast amount of Tradition that is not contained in the definitions of the Councils, the creed, or (explicitly) in Holy Scriptures but which is nonetheless important. I don't think it's very helpful to rank Tradition this way.
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