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Author Topic: Nature of Schism (Valid Sacraments, Fullness, etc)  (Read 12404 times) Average Rating: 0
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Andrea
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« on: December 18, 2007, 01:28:34 PM »

Split from "Catholic (ish)" an explanation.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13799.msg196539.html#msg196539

-- Friul



It is true that the Orthodox faith too has the Sacraments and, in part, the faith of the Apostles and offers much Right Worship,Right Praise and Right Practice. It is a way to Jesus, it is a lung of the Christian body, but it has not the fullness of the body.



Herein lies part of my problem.  The Orthodox have valid Sacraments. That means they have the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, correct? To me, that is the fullness of the faith.  Since they have valid sacraments, would I jepordize my salvation by becoming Orthodox? How so?  If not, then in a way, it does come down to what is more comfortable.  I feel more at home with Divine Liturgy, icons, etc. From what I've read so far, it seems I agree more with the Orthodox beliefs on things. They have the Apostolic faith too. They have great Saints too.  They have apparitions in the form of weeping icons as well.
So, I am confused.

***I hope anyone reading this will go easy on me as I am still learning, so if I have made errors, I apologize.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2007, 03:59:02 PM by Friul » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 02:15:52 PM »

Herein lies part of my problem.  The Orthodox have valid Sacraments. That means they have the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, correct? To me, that is the fullness of the faith.  Since they have valid sacraments, would I jepordize my salvation by becoming Orthodox? How so?  If not, then in a way, it does come down to what is more comfortable.  I feel more at home with Divine Liturgy, icons, etc. From what I've read so far, it seems I agree more with the Orthodox beliefs on things. They have the Apostolic faith too. They have great Saints too.  They have apparitions in the form of weeping icons as well.
So, I am confused.

***I hope anyone reading this will go easy on me as I am still learning, so if I have made errors, I apologize.

Well, from our perspective, the Orthodox churches are in schism. However, it does not mean that all Orthodox are schismatics. In other words, faithful Orthodox may be in schism, but they are not guilty of that rupture that happened long ago. Since the Orthodox churches have kept the sacramental theology and maintained the apostolic succession, they offer true sacraments. In the Catholic Church, sacraments act ex opere operato, meaning that they "work" regardless of the status of the performer, who is only an instrument. Yes, the Orthodox churches are in schism, but Orthodox today are not personally responsible for that break, and since you have maintained apostolic churches, God, you could say, exercises a sort of economia for the Orthodox. Faithful Orthodox are receiving the graces of the sacraments through the love and mercy of God and his Church (which is the Catholic Church).

Now, of course, as with all sacraments, they may be true, but their efficacy depends on the disposition of the person receiving them. As St. Paul writes, the Blessed Sacrament can even pour judgment upon a person improperly disposed. This is where Catholic converts to Orthodoxy may have a problem. As schismatics, they are excommunicated and in a state of mortal sin (unless there are mitigating circumstances, of course; see the three conditions for mortal sin in any catechism). That would raise doubts (from our side) about the efficacy of any sacraments the schismatic would receive in an Orthodox church. The same would go with the sedevacantist groups. There is no doubt that a sedevacantist priest in SSPV or CMRI performs valid (i.e.  true) sacraments, but we would be skeptical about their efficacy in the souls of the sedevacantists who receive them.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding about our perspective. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have. God bless you.


(as a side note, this perspective was a huge influence on my choosing Rome over Constantinople. I saw so many faithful Catholics and Orthodox on both sides, and I could not imagine God entirely denying one side sacramental grace because of the sins of proud prelates from long ago; the most common EO position is that there are no sacraments outside the visible boundaries of Orthodoxy, which I never was able to find tenable).
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 02:23:38 PM »

It is true that the Orthodox faith too has the Sacraments and, in part, the faith of the Apostles and offers much Right Worship,Right Praise and Right Practice. It is a way to Jesus, it is a lung of the Christian body, but it has not the fullness of the body.

This is a non sequitur to me.  I don't understand how Roman Catholic apologists can insist that Orthodox sacraments are valid (whether confession, chrismation, baptism, eucharist, marriage, ordination,etc) but are still schismatics.  The fullness of the faith as confessed by the Fathers is Christ, the rock.  It is not the Pope and Orthodox will never accept that (at least I hope not) as a basis to rid ourselves of the term "schismatic." 

And please, quit calling us Orthodox a lung of the Church.  I know that is popular especially since JPII used it, but the Church cannot be divided.  Lungs may look the same and have the same function, but they are not the same ontologically.  This is ecumenism run amok and highlights why it is such a dangerous thing.
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 02:42:25 PM »

This is a non sequitur to me.  I don't understand how Roman Catholic apologists can insist that Orthodox sacraments are valid (whether confession, chrismation, baptism, eucharist, marriage, ordination,etc) but are still schismatics. 

In schism, but not guilty of it. See my previous post---you could see it as sort of a divine economia. All depends on the disposition of those who receive it. We would see the common EO position you describe as a kind of Donatism.

(BTW, my intention is not to debate our respective perspectives. I'm well-acquainted with yours, and you are welcome to hold it. I was just explaining the reasoning behind ours to Andrea).
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2007, 03:32:16 PM »

Lubeltri, thank you for your explanation. I really appreciate it and will think on it for a while.  Smiley


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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 04:30:07 PM »

Since they have valid sacraments, would I jepordize my salvation by becoming Orthodox? How so?  If not, then in a way, it does come down to what is more comfortable.  

Hi Andrea,

Could you clarify what your situation is? Are you a Catholic who is considering converting to Orthodoxy? Or are you someone from a Protestant (or non-Christian) background who's considering whether to join the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church? (If you prefer not to say, that's OK too. But more info would be helpful in answering your questions.)

I know that some people would see that as an unimportant distinction, and I respect their opinion. But just for me personally it is an important distinct: I'm a Catholic, and I don't intend to convert to Orthodoxy, but if were a Protestant to begin with would I choose to become Catholic or Orthodox? I haven't really answered that question, and I'm not even sure I can answer it as long as it's a hypothetical question.

That's my $0.02.

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 06:15:18 PM »

Herein lies part of my problem.  The Orthodox have valid Sacraments. That means they have the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, correct? To me, that is the fullness of the faith.  Since they have valid sacraments, would I jepordize my salvation by becoming Orthodox? How so?  If not, then in a way, it does come down to what is more comfortable.  I feel more at home with Divine Liturgy, icons, etc. From what I've read so far, it seems I agree more with the Orthodox beliefs on things. They have the Apostolic faith too. They have great Saints too.  They have apparitions in the form of weeping icons as well.
So, I am confused.

***I hope anyone reading this will go easy on me as I am still learning, so if I have made errors, I apologize.

You can have the fullness of Jesus Christ apart from the Sacraments as well. He is present in them but not limited by them. So possessing the Sacraments is not the same as having the fullness of Christ which is the fullness of the faith. The Catholic Church refers to the Orthodox as Church and the Protestants as Ecclesial Communities precisely because the Orthodox are so richly endowed with jewels from God's Crown. The problem is not that they believe things which are wrong, as Protestants do, but that they fail to accept certain things which are right such as the Primacy of Rome. Being Orthodox is not either a guarantee of damnation nor one of salvation. It all depends why you are Orthodox and how you "do" Orthodoxy and these things are all down to how you discern and respond to the Grace of God.
 
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 06:37:38 PM »

You can have the fullness of Jesus Christ apart from the Sacraments as well.

Non sequitur.  You cannot have the fullness of anything if it lacks something.  Fullness is totality.  One cannot have Christ and not the Sacraments.  To clarify, that does not mean that Evangelicals and Protestants are not Christians but they do not have the fullness.  The sacraments are the bedrock of the Church's work. Without them, there is no fullness.

The problem is not that they believe things which are wrong, as Protestants do, but that they fail to accept certain things which are right such as the Primacy of Rome.

The primacy of the the popes is not nor has ever been "a right thing."  Please get over that.

Being Orthodox is not either a guarantee of damnation nor one of salvation.   

True enough or Roman Catholic or Baptist or Lutheran or even Muslim.  God decides that, but the fullness of what God has revealed and taught to mankind  by our Lord is found only in the Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 07:06:13 PM »

Non sequitur.  You cannot have the fullness of anything if it lacks something.  Fullness is totality.  One cannot have Christ and not the Sacraments.  To clarify, that does not mean that Evangelicals and Protestants are not Christians but they do not have the fullness.  The sacraments are the bedrock of the Church's work. Without them, there is no fullness.


What I mean is that Christ can be fully present to you in an infinite number of ways since He is infinitely powerful. The fact that He is present in the Eucharist does not mean that He is absent from your heart or vice versa. The fullness of Jesus Christ is contained nowhere although He is fully present in His Sacraments. I think it must be what they call a mystery. 

Possessing Christ in the Eucharist is not the same as possessing the fullness of faith since God in His Mercy does not hide Himself from those who do not wholly understand Him. The Orthodox in unbroken succession to the Apostles have retained so much of what Jesus passed on to them that they have not lost these gifts He has granted them. But they have not all the gifts that He has granted to His Church. The Holy Spirit has guided the Church infallibly through the Roman See and the Oecumenical Councils in union with him to discern more clearly the truths of faith than the Orthodox have as yet percieved.
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 09:06:32 PM »

The fullness of Jesus Christ is contained nowhere although He is fully present in His Sacraments.

 Huh
What a strange thing for a Roman Catholic to say. The argument that Christ is fully present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in each of the Species of the Eucharist is the RC argument for the administration of the Species of Bread alone- now you are telling us that this is only a partial Presence since "the fullness of Jesus Christ is contained nowhere".......
This doesn't seem very consistent.
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 09:33:42 PM »

Quote
It is true that the Orthodox faith too has the Sacraments and, in part, the faith of the Apostles and offers much Right Worship,Right Praise and Right Practice. It is a way to Jesus, it is a lung of the Christian body, but it has not the fullness of the body.

To say we don't have the fullness of the faith but valid sacraments is like saying "Christ is there, but not fully there."  Jesus did not say "I'm only 'fully' there for Roman Catholics."   His words were " Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of time."  To say God gives himself only halfway is to make the words of Christ a lie, and that is why I am continually frustrated by that very caustic and confusing explanation. 

Just a century ago, we were calling eachother heretics, separated from eachother by divergent views of salvation, sacrament, and eclesial structure.  As far as I can tell, nothing has changed between us save dialogue.  The anathemas have been lifted, but the differences remains the same.  We are never going to give into Papal Infalability and Universal Jurisdiction of the Pope, and you are never going to relinquish it.  At least thats how it seems to me.  And there are many more issues than these that we simply differ on, which we will not come to the table on, save to confirm or abrigate them.

I don't mean to be trite or rude, but it seems to me that we are at a permanent impasse.  And I have given up hope, save by Divine Intervention, of us ever sitting as a family at table again, because we have a different vision of the setting. 

So in my mind, Christ is with us or He isn't.  It's the same on your side.  It can;t be both.


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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2007, 11:00:58 PM »

Huh
What a strange thing for a Roman Catholic to say. The argument that Christ is fully present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in each of the Species of the Eucharist is the RC argument for the administration of the Species of Bread alone- now you are telling us that this is only a partial Presence since "the fullness of Jesus Christ is contained nowhere".......
This doesn't seem very consistent.

I agree with you George.

Like I said, my understanding is that the graces of Christ's Church flow in EO sacraments despite the EO being in schism because of the principle of ex opere operato and the unfathomable mercy of God. These sacraments can be efficacious to EO because they are not personally guilty of schism and God desires not to forsake those with faithful intentions. I believe a dissenting (i.e. heretical) Catholic receives less (or no) grace from Catholic sacraments than an obedient EO does from EO sacraments (all other things being equal). As always, the efficacy of sacraments depends on one's disposition.

(MTA: I would say that Philokalia would be right if he wrote that nobody receives the fullness of potential grace offered by Christ in the Blessed Sacrament; in other words, we are receiving Christ in his fullness, but attachments to sin will always impair (to varying degrees) the full efficacy of the graces offered. The deeper we grow in theosis, the deeper we can experience Christ in the Eucharist, though it's a bottomless well of grace).
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2007, 11:42:34 PM »

To say we don't have the fullness of the faith but valid sacraments is like saying "Christ is there, but not fully there."  Jesus did not say "I'm only 'fully' there for Roman Catholics."   His words were " Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of time."  To say God gives himself only halfway is to make the words of Christ a lie, and that is why I am continually frustrated by that very caustic and confusing explanation. 

Just a century ago, we were calling eachother heretics, separated from eachother by divergent views of salvation, sacrament, and eclesial structure.  As far as I can tell, nothing has changed between us save dialogue. 

Well, I would suggest another thing that has not changed is the Catholic position of recognizing non-Catholic baptisms. One thing that HAS changed since Vatican II is that this ancient position is now universally practiced. There are no more extremist outliers who attempt to "rebaptize" Orthodox converts against a principle of the Catholic Church that goes back to St. Augustine and Pope St. Stephen I and earlier.

So in some sense we've long held that sacraments can exist outside the visible boundaries of the one Church (though, of course, those sacraments exist because of the Church).
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2007, 05:08:08 AM »

Huh
What a strange thing for a Roman Catholic to say. The argument that Christ is fully present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in each of the Species of the Eucharist is the RC argument for the administration of the Species of Bread alone- now you are telling us that this is only a partial Presence since "the fullness of Jesus Christ is contained nowhere".......
This doesn't seem very consistent.

The key word is contained God is contained nowhere on earth. He is fully present in His Sacraments and He is at the same time fully present in Heaven. Heaven and earth are not big enough to contain His fullness.
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2007, 05:13:17 AM »

To say we don't have the fullness of the faith but valid sacraments is like saying "Christ is there, but not fully there." 

Its more like saying that humans are imperfect and sinners and that sin is present among the children of the Church. The disunity and bitterness that exist within and between our Churches is not a fruit of the Spirit but of the work of Satan. God does not will that Satan have a total victory, He has not abandoned His Orthodox children but He longs that they return to the fullness of union with His body.


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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2007, 06:47:22 AM »

The key word is contained God is contained nowhere on earth. He is fully present in His Sacraments and He is at the same time fully present in Heaven. Heaven and earth are not big enough to contain His fullness.

So do Roman Catholics think that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God or the Mother of a part of God?
Was God contained within the womb of the Theotokos and within the manger of Bethlehem, or was Christ simply a projection of part of God, and therefore not fully God? Do Catholics think that the Fullness of God was not contained in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth?
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2007, 08:45:33 AM »

So do Roman Catholics think that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God or the Mother of a part of God?
Was God contained within the womb of the Theotokos and within the manger of Bethlehem, or was Christ simply a projection of part of God, and therefore not fully God? Do Catholics think that the Fullness of God was not contained in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth?

What do you mean by "contained"? If God was fully contained in one place then He would be absent from another place would He not? He was fully present in the womb of Our Lady and fully present in Heaven at the same time. Heaven could not so contain Him that He was absent from the Virgin's womb nor could the Virgins womb so contain Him that He was absent from Heaven. He is fully present in more than one place and more than one time. No moment of time can fully contain God since He is equally and fully present in each moment of time. The womb of the Virgin contained the Divinity and the Sacrament of the Altar contain the Divinity but the Divinity is not contained (held captive) by them.


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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2007, 09:36:08 AM »

Quote
(as a side note, this perspective was a huge influence on my choosing Rome over Constantinople. I saw so many faithful Catholics and Orthodox on both sides, and I could not imagine God entirely denying one side sacramental grace because of the sins of proud prelates from long ago; the most common EO position is that there are no sacraments outside the visible boundaries of Orthodoxy, which I never was able to find tenable).

Both sides are subject to their own varying forms of confusion.

You're probably technically right that from a Catholic perspective the Orthodox Church is in a state of schism.  The most recent document I can think of that touched on the subject did not use the word schism, but that the Orthodox Church contains a wound due to its lack of communion with Rome.  I suppose what could confuse people are various statements and documents that have come from the Catholic Church.  Pope John Paul II said something like schism was too strong of a term to use to describe the division.  The CCC says the following:

Quote
838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

The principles and norms on ecumenism encourage Catholics to participate in the life of the Eastern Church, and even receive the sacraments in certain situations.  The Melkite synod affirmed a statement that it accepted everything the Orthodox Church teaches.  I'm sure you could think of other examples, all of which I think could lead someone to wonder exactly what the relationship is between the two and what the status is of the Orthodox Church.

The confusion on the Orthodox side is there is no worked out ecclesiology to deal with issues of sacramental validity when sacramental union is broken.  Fr. Georges Florovsky touched on this subject in this essay - http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/limits_church.htm  The official view is as he says the Cyprianic one, but it has never become "officially official" and one can see various examples throughout history that show the church acts and thinks differently than this view would purport.  The majority view right now is probably essentially agnostic (the spirit blows where it may, etc.), though you may have individual opinions that vary to one extreme or the other.

The most convincing opinion to me is the view of Fr. Afanasieff.
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2007, 10:23:55 AM »

I think it is pretty clear that schism exists, but Rome has not used the term often because she desires to be irenic with our Eastern brethren and wants to emphasize that present EO are not personally guilty of schism.
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2007, 11:04:41 AM »

I think it is pretty clear that schism exists, but Rome has not used the term often because she desires to be irenic with our Eastern brethren and wants to emphasize that present EO are not personally guilty of schism.

As opposed to corporately guilty of schism?
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2007, 11:42:01 AM »

As opposed to corporately guilty of schism?

Of course not. That would be like saying the Jews are corporately guilty of killing Christ.

The Eastern and Western Churches grew apart over a lengthy period as a result of various circumstances. Only God can judge who is guilty of what. I do not believe for a second that God in his love and mercy has cut off an entire side from access to his sacraments. Think of all the simple, humble, faithful people who were only following their bishop and (in reality) had no idea what was going on at the upper levels.

I cannot accept the idea that my entire family (or yours), going back to 1054 or 1204 or whatever date you want to come up with, has been unbaptized.
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2007, 01:01:17 PM »

Quote
Its more like saying that humans are imperfect and sinners and that sin is present among the children of the Church. The disunity and bitterness that exist within and between our Churches is not a fruit of the Spirit but of the work of Satan. God does not will that Satan have a total victory, He has not abandoned His Orthodox children but He longs that they return to the fullness of union with His body.

So, by than rationale, Satan has had some victory over the Orthodox?  That is ridiculous.  It was not the Orthodox that held pretenses held over falsified documents, like "The Donation of Constantine" which were found to be forgeries by your own scholars, that held these puffed up calims of superiority.  It was not the Orthodox who threw down a beefed up and totaly eronious bull of excommunication on the alter of the Hagia Sophia, even though they had no authority so to do.  It was not the Orthodox who in the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople, killing cleric and commoner alike, and stealing form The Church.  And it is not the Orthodox who make claims of Infallability, which no man can be save the One who hung on the cross and rose up rom the dead, being God. 

Now tell me, who separated themselves from whom?  Who has changed the most over the centuries? 
Your church , sir. 

And as I have stated before, union is a far away dream because the visions of that union are so vastly different.  You think we are stagnant and non progressive.  We see your 'progress' as gross innovation.  Your view is that we voluntarilly separate ourselves from you because of dillusion.  Ours is that you have cut yourselves off from the One Catholic Church by your actions.  You would have the Pope sitting like a dictator over the entirety of the church.  We would rather he repent and come back to being an equal and a father.  THESE are the true differenced between us. 

So before you put the devil out there, realize that from this side,  by that same rationale, you are the ones whom Satan has lead to dillusion and away from the True Church. 

Please forgive me if I have offended.  It is not my intention.  I simply want to show you where th contention lies, and why it's not so easy to heal as some have claimed it to be.

Pazi       
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2007, 01:09:07 PM »

Quote
The Eastern and Western Churches grew apart over a lengthy period as a result of various circumstances. Only God can judge who is guilty of what. I do not believe for a second that God in his love and mercy has cut off an entire side from access to his sacraments. Think of all the simple, humble, faithful people who were only following their bishop and (in reality) had no idea what was going on at the upper levels.

I cannot accept the idea that my entire family (or yours), going back to 1054 or 1204 or whatever date you want to come up with, has been unbaptized

Nor can I.  And you are right to say that.

Nor can I believe that God would not allow His Grace to come to anyone if they ask it. 

Damnation is not our cause.  Only salvation.  And our paths have shown similar things to the devout and self sacrificing. 

But, as you mentioned, complications do take their toll.  If we are to get anywhere in this debate, we must both be honest and also understanding.  Otherwise it's another 1000 years of schism, which at this rate, is the course we are on.
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2007, 02:26:06 PM »

I think it is pretty clear that schism exists, but Rome has not used the term often because she desires to be irenic with our Eastern brethren and wants to emphasize that present EO are not personally guilty of schism.

So truth is no longer important? Only reconciliation?  If we cannot reconcile because of the Truth then the reconciliation is false and should not be pursued.
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2007, 02:40:06 PM »

So truth is no longer important? Only reconciliation?  If we cannot reconcile because of the Truth then the reconciliation is false and should not be pursued.

No . . . anybody can see what the truth is, that we are in schism. But it does not follow that ordinary Orthodox are culpable schismatics. By not throwing that word around all the time, which would only rile you EO up, Rome is trying to emphasize that.

Would you rather be called "Greek schismatics" again? Do you think that would help dialogue and mutual love and respect? I suspect it would have the same effect on you as "graceless heretics" has on us.
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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2007, 02:49:45 PM »


I cannot accept the idea that my entire family (or yours), going back to 1054 or 1204 or whatever date you want to come up with, has been unbaptized.

I feel the same way.

But this is a struggle for us. WE are all sinners. Our sins are our destruction; not just ours but sadly the destruction for eveyone around us. People we do not know as well.

This is the hard side of the true faith in God.

How many innocent children were drawned to death during the flood?

This question strikes pain for some people because untold numbers of innocent children suffered the pains of death for the sins of the world. Sin that were not from them but from those whom the children depended on for protection. The protectors failed.

Noah is the other side of the coin. From him just a micro-dot of worlds population continued.

Christ has warned us that all of us are not going to make it to heaven. The amout of us who will is stated to be very very little; only anarow pat will be needed to recieve the lot. NO large paths required.

It seems that Roman Catholics, Orthodox and whoever else is out there may not have "full" communion or "full" something or other together. But the larger portion of us undoughtedly will share "full" death together in eternety without God. NO schism to debate on that fact.

So I guess we may as well keep on debating the issues in this life. It gives us something to do.

Like war.
At  the end of the war winner buries his dead. The looser does the same.

The Lord already has it all figured out for us.
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« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2007, 02:51:42 PM »

No . . . anybody can see what the truth is, that we are in schism. But it does not follow that ordinary Orthodox are culpable schismatics. By not throwing that word around all the time, which would only rile you EO up, Rome is trying to emphasize that.

Would you rather be called "Greek schismatics" again? Do you think that would help dialogue and mutual love and respect? I suspect it would have the same effect on you as "graceless heretics" has on us.

If one were to be truthful, you and I, we both would be labeling each other as schismatics.  We believe that we belong to the One holy catholic and apostolic church and as such did not separat from anyone.  But we believe we know who did at one time in history.  We however, remain as we have in spite of what happened a milllenium ago. Some choose to refute this but it doesnt change the fact of the matter. Cover up the word schismatics with love and respect does not erase the condition we find ourselves regardless of how virtuous the quest. We see schism as a very serious condition and Im sure you do as well. The Church as we see it, is still one, and we are part of it. Im sure you have the same belief.  

However, showing love and respect in spite of this schism is most recommended.  But Schism still remains.
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« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2007, 02:55:45 PM »

If one were to be truthful, you and I, we both would be labeling each other as schismatics.  We believe that we belong to the One holy catholic and apostolic church and as such did not separat from anyone.  But we believe we know who did at one time in history.  We however, remain as we have in spite of what happened a milllenium ago. Some choose to refute this but it doesnt change the fact of the matter. Cover up the word schismatics with love and respect does not erase the condition we find ourselves regardless of how virtuous the quest. We see schism as a very serious condition and Im sure you do as well. The Church as we see it, is still one, and we are part of it. Im sure you have the same belief. 

However, showing love and respect in spite of this schism is most recommended.  But Schism still remains.

Yes, but calling someone a "schismatic" gives the impression that they are guilty of the sin of schism. I refuse to do that and reserve it only for people who have actually committed schism.
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« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2007, 03:03:36 PM »

Yes, but calling someone a "schismatic" gives the impression that they are guilty of the sin of schism. I refuse to do that and reserve it only for people who have actually committed schism.

HuhHuhHuh?? Well thats exactly what we feel is true. You are guilty of the sin of Schism. We welcome you back with open arms gladly but with conditions of course.

I am a former Roman Catholic, I guess I fall under your definition.

But, to me I was looking for the fullness of faith and I didnt see it in the RCC. I saw a fullness in the OCC I never experienced in the western church. And those who desert the OCC for Rome are in the same boat as me when it comes to schisms?

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« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2007, 03:06:07 PM »

I am a former Roman Catholic, I guess I fall under your definition.

Yes. Though I cannot judge your culpability.

But, to me I was looking for the fullness of faith and I didnt see it in the RCC. I saw a fullness in the OCC I never experienced in the western church. And those who desert the OCC for Rome are in the same boat as me when it comes to schisms?

Naturally, no. From our perspective, that person is coming into the fullness.
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« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2007, 03:07:02 PM »

No . . . anybody can see what the truth is, that we are in schism. But it does not follow that ordinary Orthodox are culpable schismatics. By not throwing that word around all the time, which would only rile you EO up, Rome is trying to emphasize that.

Would you rather be called "Greek schismatics" again? Do you think that would help dialogue and mutual love and respect? I suspect it would have the same effect on you as "graceless heretics" has on us.

See, that's what makes no sense about Latin theology.  If we're not schismatics, how are we then in schism?  Being a schismatic is to be one who is in schism; conversely, being in schism makes one a schismatic.  It's like trying to tell my priest that I might sin, but I'm not a sinner.  It's not possible to both commit an act and then not be one who committed that act.  Latin theology is so riddled with these hypertechnical distinctions and exceptions that it's virtually pointless to try to figure out what it means.  
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« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2007, 03:13:32 PM »

Yes. Though I cannot judge your culpability.

Naturally, no. From our perspective, that person is coming into the fullness.

Ahhh, you see, now you think as I do.

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« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2007, 03:17:30 PM »

Canon 751 sort of outlines it in the Code of Canon Law.

"Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

So, since you are not submitting to the Pope of Rome, and not in communion with the RCC, you are in schism.  But since you did not withdraw submission, you did not actively perform a schismatic act.

Since I have withdrawn submission to the Pope of Rome, technically, I am a schismatic and subject to a latae sententiae excommunication under Canon 1364.

Or well, that is how I think it works, lubeltri will correct me if I am off.
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2007, 03:38:42 PM »

See, that's what makes no sense about Latin theology.  If we're not schismatics, how are we then in schism?  Being a schismatic is to be one who is in schism; conversely, being in schism makes one a schismatic.  It's like trying to tell my priest that I might sin, but I'm not a sinner.  It's not possible to both commit an act and then not be one who committed that act.  Latin theology is so riddled with these hypertechnical distinctions and exceptions that it's virtually pointless to try to figure out what it means. 

Well, you haven't tried hard enough. It's quite simple. EO are material schismatics but not necessarily formal schismatics. Loosely throwing around the term "schismatic" does not take into account this absolutely crucial distinction.

A good example in the Catholic Church is a time when there are competing claimants to the papacy. Obviously only one of the claimants is the true Pope, but sometimes there was doubt until the controversy was settled. The people who in good faith supported the wrong claimant were materially schismatic but were not culpable for it, meaning they were not formally schismatic.

The same mitigating factors apply to formal schism as they do for mortal sins in general. A mortal sin is a sin of grave matter committed with full knowledge and deliberate and complete consent.

Ordinary cradle EO are not considered guilty of schism, though in fact they are in a materially schismatic state. So God in his love and mercy has not cut off the sacramental tap of grace.

A better discussion of Catholic theology surrounding this distinction is found here:

http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/heresy_schism_apostasy.htm
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2007, 03:42:10 PM »

Well, you haven't tried hard enough. It's quite simple. EO are material schismatics but not necessarily formal schismatics. Loosely throwing around the term "schismatic" does not take into account this absolutely crucial distinction.

Ahh, scholasticism, ya gotta love it. Material vs. Formal, is this a western explanation because we in the east just look at Schism as quite simply schism.

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« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2007, 03:45:31 PM »

Well, you haven't tried hard enough. It's quite simple. EO are material schismatics but not necessarily formal schismatics. Loosely throwing around the term "schismatic" does not take into account this absolutely crucial distinction.

That's odd.  I seem to recall you loosely throwing around the term earlier in this thread.  If you're going to jump on us for not making the distinction, you'd better be certain that you've clearly made the distinction.

However, this does nothing to address my earlier point about hypertechnical distinctions (and in fact supports it).  Will Latin canon law next purport to tell us what the meaning of "is" is?
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« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2007, 03:54:10 PM »

 
I think it is pretty clear that schism exists, but Rome has not used the term often because she desires to be irenic with our Eastern brethren and wants to emphasize that present EO are not personally guilty of schism.

Yes, from an objective standpoint the schism exists.  The grey area I pointed to I think is what do people make of the schism, or what is the nature of the schism itself.  In Catholicism I think there has been a re-assessment of this.  The old model was there is no schism within the church, only schism from it.  I think there is and has been a struggle to make sense of a mutual estrangement in light of the old model.  Bishop Zoghby I think addressed this directly, as did the growing view of Orthodoxy as a "sister church".  I think there have been conflicting messages on this front.  My own personal opinion is that sparing individuals the personal guilt of "schism", or material vs. formal schism, has absolutely nothing to do with this whatsoever.  I would say those are actually now meaningless categorizations.

The same struggle doesn't really happen in Orthodoxy, because there is no settled method of recognizing sacramental validity outside of canonical boundaries.  There are just the varying, largely unofficial ways this happens.
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« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2007, 04:01:48 PM »

Ahh, scholasticism, ya gotta love it. Material vs. Formal, is this a western explanation because we in the east just look at Schism as quite simply schism.

Well, that's very simplistic. So my family has been morally guilty of schism for how many years now? 800? 1000? Depends on what date you arbitrarily want to set for the schism.

Forgive me, but I have this sense (from your tone and repetition of tired cliches) that you are attempting to bait me. I spent some time in the Catholic Answers Eastern Christianity forum last year but quickly abandoned it because I did not like the constant polemic. So if you will excuse me, I will step out.

I hope I was at least of some help in clarifying any misunderstandings.

[Sorry Friul. Didn't notice your new post. Please move this message. Thanks.]
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« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2007, 04:05:20 PM »

Canon 751 sort of outlines it in the Code of Canon Law.

"Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

So, since you are not submitting to the Pope of Rome, and not in communion with the RCC, you are in schism.  But since you did not withdraw submission, you did not actively perform a schismatic act.

Since I have withdrawn submission to the Pope of Rome, technically, I am a schismatic and subject to a latae sententiae excommunication under Canon 1364.

Or well, that is how I think it works, lubeltri will correct me if I am off.

Good explanation, Friul.
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« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2007, 04:15:46 PM »

Well, that's very simplistic. So my family has been morally guilty of schism for how many years now? 800? 1000? Depends on what date you arbitrarily want to set for the schism.

Forgive me, but I have this sense (from your tone and repetition of tired cliches) that you are attempting to bait me. I spent some time in the Catholic Answers Eastern Christianity forum last year but quickly abandoned it because I did not like the constant polemic. So if you will excuse me, I will step out.

I hope I was at least of some help in clarifying any misunderstandings.

But we Orthodox are very simple people, we are not complicated. And if I can be as polite as humanly possible state and with all due respect, that yes your family knowingly or unknowingly have been in schism for what ever time frame you state.

Cliches?  These are good substantial points which are made to counter the western arguments of who split from who.  Cliches are instruments of explanation in some cases. Cliches happen to be repetative answers to repetative cliche'd questions.  Given the time spent on CAF EC forum these questions and answers were always a bone of contention. There was the proverbial "polemics" term used when points were taken personally but not intended to be so.   
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« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2007, 04:19:05 PM »

That's odd.  I seem to recall you loosely throwing around the term earlier in this thread.  If you're going to jump on us for not making the distinction, you'd better be certain that you've clearly made the distinction.

However, this does nothing to address my earlier point about hypertechnical distinctions (and in fact supports it).  Will Latin canon law next purport to tell us what the meaning of "is" is?

It's only your opinion that it is hypertechnical. Tossing out your opinon as fact is not exactly a "point" I can much respond to.

The distinction is quite simple and makes perfect sense, unless you believe distinguishing moral culpability is unnecessary.

I was not loosely throwing around the term earlier in this thread. I said EO as a church is in schism but that individual EO are not "culpably schismatic."

However, this does nothing to address my earlier point about hypertechnical distinctions (and in fact supports it).  Will Latin canon law next purport to tell us what the meaning of "is" is?

You also seem only interested in polemical digs and jibes and not honest discussion. So I am finished here.

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« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2007, 04:25:36 PM »

Canon 751 sort of outlines it in the Code of Canon Law.

"Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

So, since you are not submitting to the Pope of Rome, and not in communion with the RCC, you are in schism.  But since you did not withdraw submission, you did not actively perform a schismatic act.

Since I have withdrawn submission to the Pope of Rome, technically, I am a schismatic and subject to a latae sententiae excommunication under Canon 1364.

Or well, that is how I think it works, lubeltri will correct me if I am off.

Yes, in Roman Catholic Think, we are schismatics. They are obligated to think this way.

"Canon 751" Roman Catholic Theology and Biblical Studies.

Roman Catholic Canon is it not?



   
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« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2007, 04:27:07 PM »

You also seem only interested in polemical digs and jibes and not honest discussion.

Well, I'll concede that point.  I'm not terribly interested in discussion with an organization whose stance towards us is utter malice.  Of course, I doubt Rome is interested in discussion either; it seems they're simply trying to negotiate the terms of our subjugation.
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« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2007, 04:32:15 PM »

Sigh, God knows why I even bothered. I'm the bogeyman no matter what I say or do.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2007, 04:34:28 PM »

I'm the bogeyman no matter what I say or do.  Roll Eyes

Nah, more of a practice dummy.  We have to hone our skills at refuting Latin arguments somewhere, after all.
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