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Author Topic: Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?  (Read 36861 times) Average Rating: 0
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dcointin
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« Reply #225 on: December 15, 2010, 01:07:10 PM »

Personally, I believe in the IC, though I'm not sure how common that is among Orthodox.
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« Reply #226 on: December 15, 2010, 01:19:16 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?
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Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #227 on: December 15, 2010, 02:10:40 PM »

Personally, I believe in the IC, though I'm not sure how common that is among Orthodox.
Once is too common.

I was just reading the final paragraphs of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ" and was thinking of its implications on the IC.
Quote
“There was no other way for the flesh to become life-giving, since by its own nature it is subject to the necessity of corruption, except that it became the very flesh of the Word who gives life to all things…There is nothing to surprise here. Just as fire has converse with materials that are not hot, yet renders them hot by abundantly introducing into them the inherent energy of its own power; then surely in an even greater degree, the Word who is God can introduce the life-giving power and energy of his own nature into the flesh of his own people.”
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&pg=PA40&dq=on+the+unity+of+christ+cyril+of+alexandria&hl=en&ei=ewQJTZCKJsz-nAeJi7G9Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_christ_is_one_01_text.htm
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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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #228 on: December 15, 2010, 02:27:42 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
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« Reply #229 on: December 15, 2010, 02:29:17 PM »

I was just reading the final paragraphs of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ" and was thinking of its implications on the IC.
Quote
“There was no other way for the flesh to become life-giving, since by its own nature it is subject to the necessity of corruption, except that it became the very flesh of the Word who gives life to all things…There is nothing to surprise here. Just as fire has converse with materials that are not hot, yet renders them hot by abundantly introducing into them the inherent energy of its own power; then surely in an even greater degree, the Word who is God can introduce the life-giving power and energy of his own nature into the flesh of his own people.”
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&pg=PA40&dq=on+the+unity+of+christ+cyril+of+alexandria&hl=en&ei=ewQJTZCKJsz-nAeJi7G9Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_christ_is_one_01_text.htm

Will you elaborate?
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« Reply #230 on: December 15, 2010, 02:35:35 PM »

I was just reading the final paragraphs of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ" and was thinking of its implications on the IC.
Quote
“There was no other way for the flesh to become life-giving, since by its own nature it is subject to the necessity of corruption, except that it became the very flesh of the Word who gives life to all things…There is nothing to surprise here. Just as fire has converse with materials that are not hot, yet renders them hot by abundantly introducing into them the inherent energy of its own power; then surely in an even greater degree, the Word who is God can introduce the life-giving power and energy of his own nature into the flesh of his own people.”
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&pg=PA40&dq=on+the+unity+of+christ+cyril+of+alexandria&hl=en&ei=ewQJTZCKJsz-nAeJi7G9Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_christ_is_one_01_text.htm

Will you elaborate?
He goes on at length how only by the union of divinity with humanity that humanity is rescued from corruption. That union didn't happen until Christ's conception, and was not available for His Mother's conception.
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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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #231 on: December 15, 2010, 02:53:19 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #232 on: December 15, 2010, 06:33:08 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
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« Reply #233 on: December 15, 2010, 06:53:34 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
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« Reply #234 on: December 15, 2010, 07:12:55 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?
That is their argument.
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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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Aindriú
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« Reply #235 on: December 15, 2010, 07:18:18 PM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

Not necessarily.

This is a time before God (Jesus) has come to Earth to give humanity the graces of the Church (mysteries/sacraments). Mary is sinless and filled with the Holy Spirit. No other human has put God first, like she has, accepting God's Will and accepting the Holy Spirit. Gabriel shows to her and say "Hail! Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"

Not full, as in theosis, but filled and cooperating with God Himself.
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« Reply #236 on: December 15, 2010, 07:48:33 PM »

To use the words of Archbishop Dmitri to illustrate my argument: (He is not supporting my position, don't let me try and fool you. But I find his words helpful.)

The Veneration of the Virgin Mary in the Orthodox Church
by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South
Quote
The Incarnation of God was foretold in the Old Testament.  A race was chosen for a specific purpose:  to produce a holy humanity from which God could take flesh.  Mary is the one who, in the Lord's words, "heard the word of God and kept it."  (Luke 11:28)  Through her personal sinlessness she fulfilled all the hopes and prophecies of Israel.  She figured greatly in the very prophecies, the most important of which is that of Isaiah:  "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)  The Church has always considered the following as prefigures or symbols of the role of the Theotokos in the Divine plan, and appoints them to be read on the eves of three of the feasts dedicated to her memory.  The first is the story of Jacob's ladder, which refers to her being the means by which God chose to enter into the world physically.  "He saw in his sleep a ladder standing upon the earth, and the top thereof touching heaven, the angels also of God ascending and descending by it".  (Genesis 28:12)  Then from the Prophecy of Ezekiel are the words concerning her perpetual virginity:   "And the Lord said unto me:  This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it;  because the Lord God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut."  (Ezekiel 44:2)  The same is true of the burning bush seen by Moses:  Mary contained in her womb the God-man, Jesus Christ, the God who is a consuming fire, and was not consumed.
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/dmitri_veneration_mary.htm

God had already chosen a people on the Earth to fulfill his Will. Mary was the pinnacle of this plan. If he had already chosen a people, is it odd that he chose a person? And if one "can do nothing" without God, much less remain sinless, certainly there was some involvement of God's grace in her when he chose her (and surely he chose her before that night that Gabriel came).
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« Reply #237 on: December 15, 2010, 07:53:38 PM »

To use the words of Archbishop Dmitri to illustrate my argument: (He is not supporting my position, don't let me try and fool you. But I find his words helpful.)

The Veneration of the Virgin Mary in the Orthodox Church
by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South
Quote
The Incarnation of God was foretold in the Old Testament.  A race was chosen for a specific purpose:  to produce a holy humanity from which God could take flesh.  Mary is the one who, in the Lord's words, "heard the word of God and kept it."  (Luke 11:28)  Through her personal sinlessness she fulfilled all the hopes and prophecies of Israel.  She figured greatly in the very prophecies, the most important of which is that of Isaiah:  "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)  The Church has always considered the following as prefigures or symbols of the role of the Theotokos in the Divine plan, and appoints them to be read on the eves of three of the feasts dedicated to her memory.  The first is the story of Jacob's ladder, which refers to her being the means by which God chose to enter into the world physically.  "He saw in his sleep a ladder standing upon the earth, and the top thereof touching heaven, the angels also of God ascending and descending by it".  (Genesis 28:12)  Then from the Prophecy of Ezekiel are the words concerning her perpetual virginity:   "And the Lord said unto me:  This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it;  because the Lord God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut."  (Ezekiel 44:2)  The same is true of the burning bush seen by Moses:  Mary contained in her womb the God-man, Jesus Christ, the God who is a consuming fire, and was not consumed.
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/dmitri_veneration_mary.htm

God had already chosen a people on the Earth to fulfill his Will. Mary was the pinnacle of this plan. If he had already chosen a people, is it odd that he chose a person? And if one "can do nothing" without God, much less remain sinless, certainly there was some involvement of God's grace in her when he chose her (and surely he chose her before that night that Gabriel came).

"Some" isn't going to give you the IC.
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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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #238 on: December 15, 2010, 08:00:05 PM »

To use the words of Archbishop Dmitri to illustrate my argument: (He is not supporting my position, don't let me try and fool you. But I find his words helpful.)

The Veneration of the Virgin Mary in the Orthodox Church
by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South
Quote
The Incarnation of God was foretold in the Old Testament.  A race was chosen for a specific purpose:  to produce a holy humanity from which God could take flesh.  Mary is the one who, in the Lord's words, "heard the word of God and kept it."  (Luke 11:28)  Through her personal sinlessness she fulfilled all the hopes and prophecies of Israel.  She figured greatly in the very prophecies, the most important of which is that of Isaiah:  "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)  The Church has always considered the following as prefigures or symbols of the role of the Theotokos in the Divine plan, and appoints them to be read on the eves of three of the feasts dedicated to her memory.  The first is the story of Jacob's ladder, which refers to her being the means by which God chose to enter into the world physically.  "He saw in his sleep a ladder standing upon the earth, and the top thereof touching heaven, the angels also of God ascending and descending by it".  (Genesis 28:12)  Then from the Prophecy of Ezekiel are the words concerning her perpetual virginity:   "And the Lord said unto me:  This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it;  because the Lord God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut."  (Ezekiel 44:2)  The same is true of the burning bush seen by Moses:  Mary contained in her womb the God-man, Jesus Christ, the God who is a consuming fire, and was not consumed.
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/dmitri_veneration_mary.htm

God had already chosen a people on the Earth to fulfill his Will. Mary was the pinnacle of this plan. If he had already chosen a people, is it odd that he chose a person? And if one "can do nothing" without God, much less remain sinless, certainly there was some involvement of God's grace in her when he chose her (and surely he chose her before that night that Gabriel came).

"Some" isn't going to give you the IC.

Right, it doesn't. But, I'm not necessarily arguing for the IC, but at least an "immaculate birth" or "being graced since birth".
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« Reply #239 on: December 16, 2010, 01:52:54 AM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him. 

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.
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« Reply #240 on: December 16, 2010, 01:53:41 AM »

Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him. 

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.
Approved for the corrective it is intended to communicate...
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« Reply #241 on: December 22, 2010, 10:45:18 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

According to Bishop Ware "...the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing." (The Orthodox Church, pg. 260.)
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« Reply #242 on: December 22, 2010, 04:01:21 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?


According to Bishop Ware "...the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing." (The Orthodox Church, pg. 260.)


Bishop Kallistos has flip flopped around on this for several decades.  It seems that his current position is that the Immaculate Conception is an aberration.

See his words at message 946 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436555/topicseen.html#msg436555
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« Reply #243 on: December 23, 2010, 01:36:43 AM »

sorry wrong area for this post
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« Reply #244 on: December 23, 2010, 05:00:47 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?


According to Bishop Ware "...the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing." (The Orthodox Church, pg. 260.)



Bishop Kallistos has flip flopped around on this for several decades.  It seems that his current position is that the Immaculate Conception is an aberration.

See his words at message 946 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436555/topicseen.html#msg436555


Thanks for the update Father.
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« Reply #245 on: December 23, 2010, 06:19:17 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?


According to Bishop Ware "...the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing." (The Orthodox Church, pg. 260.)



Bishop Kallistos has flip flopped around on this for several decades.  It seems that his current position is that the Immaculate Conception is an aberration.

See his words at message 946 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436555/topicseen.html#msg436555


Thanks for the update Father.

Actually, this alleged "update" is no update at all.  As far as I can tell, Met Kallistos's position has not changed one iota.  He has expressed his disagreement with the Catholic position in all of his published writings, for all the reasons usually mentioned in these threads.  He has written that he does not see the error of the Immaculate Conception  as rising to the level of heresy, and nothing in the update indicates that he has changed his mind in this respect.

It should also be noted that in this update we are NOT presented with Met Kallistos's own words; rather, we are given the correspondent's interpretation of a letter he allegedly received from the bishop.  To my knowledge, Ware has never publicly confirmed this interpretation, much less Fr Ambrose's interpretation of the interpretation.  In other words, it all amounts to hearsay.  Until provided with real documentation that proves otherwise, I'm sticking with the Ware's opinion as expressed in his book.   
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« Reply #246 on: December 23, 2010, 08:20:39 PM »

/\  Bishop Kallistos wrote to Daniel Barton:

"In sharing my thoughts with Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware,
he informed me by letter that he "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".


Taken from MY BELIEF IN THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DOCTRINE
DANIEL JOSEPH BARTON (Of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church of America)
http://mysticalrose.tripod.com/barton3.html



I suppose that you could contact Bp Kallistos and ask him, but then all we would have is what Daniel Barton has already given us - a secondhand report of what you are claiming the bishop wrote to you.

It's rather like Fr Michael's claim that Bishop Kallistos has reversed his position on the Western Rite.   All we have is a second hand report and I suppose we ought not to believe it but to stick with the Bishop's in-print disapproval.
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« Reply #247 on: December 23, 2010, 08:45:19 PM »

/\  Bishop Kallistos wrote to Daniel Barton:

"In sharing my thoughts with Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware,
he informed me by letter that he "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".


Taken from MY BELIEF IN THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DOCTRINE
DANIEL JOSEPH BARTON (Of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church of America)
http://mysticalrose.tripod.com/barton3.html



I suppose that you could contact Bp Kallistos and ask him, but then all we would have is what Daniel Barton has already given us - a secondhand report of what you are claiming the bishop wrote to you.

It's rather like Fr Michael's claim that Bishop Kallistos has reversed his position on the Western Rite.   All we have is a second hand report and I suppose we ought not to believe it but to stick with the Bishop's in-print disapproval.

I think the point Fr. Kimel is trying to make is that even if His Eminence doesn't agree with the doctrine, that doesn't mean he doesn't agree for it to be a theologoumenoun.
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« Reply #248 on: December 23, 2010, 08:53:27 PM »

/\  Bishop Kallistos wrote to Daniel Barton:

"In sharing my thoughts with Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware,
he informed me by letter that he "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".


Taken from MY BELIEF IN THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DOCTRINE
DANIEL JOSEPH BARTON (Of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church of America)
http://mysticalrose.tripod.com/barton3.html



I suppose that you could contact Bp Kallistos and ask him, but then all we would have is what Daniel Barton has already given us - a secondhand report of what you are claiming the bishop wrote to you.

It's rather like Fr Michael's claim that Bishop Kallistos has reversed his position on the Western Rite.   All we have is a second hand report and I suppose we ought not to believe it but to stick with the Bishop's in-print disapproval.

I think the point Fr. Kimel is trying to make is that even if His Eminence doesn't agree with the doctrine, that doesn't mean he doesn't agree for it to be a theologoumenoun.

As I wrote earlier, His Grace has wobbled around so much over the years on this issue ..... firstly his initial rejection, then his thinking that it could be permitted as a theologoumenon, and now his rejection of it again as a distortion.

It would seem irresponsible of a bishop to allow as a theologoumenon something which "changes all of history of mankind/"

Really he should excuse himself from any further comment on this issue since he brings confusion to the Church.
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« Reply #249 on: December 23, 2010, 09:13:53 PM »

/\  Bishop Kallistos wrote to Daniel Barton:

"In sharing my thoughts with Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware,
he informed me by letter that he "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".


Taken from MY BELIEF IN THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DOCTRINE
DANIEL JOSEPH BARTON (Of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church of America)
http://mysticalrose.tripod.com/barton3.html



I suppose that you could contact Bp Kallistos and ask him, but then all we would have is what Daniel Barton has already given us - a secondhand report of what you are claiming the bishop wrote to you.

It's rather like Fr Michael's claim that Bishop Kallistos has reversed his position on the Western Rite.   All we have is a second hand report and I suppose we ought not to believe it but to stick with the Bishop's in-print disapproval.

I think the point Fr. Kimel is trying to make is that even if His Eminence doesn't agree with the doctrine, that doesn't mean he doesn't agree for it to be a theologoumenoun.

As I wrote earlier, His Grace has wobbled around so much over the years on this issue ..... firstly his initial rejection, then his thinking that it could be permitted as a theologoumenon, and now his rejection of it again as a distortion.

It would seem irresponsible of a bishop to allow as a theologoumenon something which "changes all of history of mankind/"

Really he should excuse himself from any further comment on this issue since he brings confusion to the Church.

I know about the theologoumenon text, and now you showed us his rejection text.  Where does do you read or hear about "his initial rejection"?
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« Reply #250 on: December 23, 2010, 09:22:10 PM »


I know about the theologoumenon text,


Is there a theologoumenion text?  He does not in fact term it a theologoumenon in The Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #251 on: December 23, 2010, 09:30:19 PM »


I know about the theologoumenon text,


Is there a theologoumenion text?  He does not in fact term it a theologoumenon in The Orthodox Church.

I haven't read the book, but only those who quoted it, which said that it can be a privately held belief, I think?
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« Reply #252 on: December 23, 2010, 09:39:43 PM »

Unfortunately Bishop Kallistos allows that the Immaculate Conception may be accepted as a true doctrinal belief by the Orthodox or that the Orthodox may reject it as a doctrinal belief.


"The Immaculate Conception as a theologoumenon. What Bishop Kallistos says about the Most Holy Theotokos
in his book is generally sound. However, after outlining the Orthodox objections to the Papist dogma of the Immaculate
Conception, he opines that "if an Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he could not
be termed a heretic for so doing" (1963, p. 264; 1993, p. 260). This is a curious idea, indeed. If the Immaculate
Conception is such an erroneous doctrine, why would any Orthodox Christian in his right mind want to believe it?
His Grace observes that it has never been formally condemned by the Orthodox Church, and infers from this that it
falls within the somewhat nebulous realm of theologoumena. We must point out, however, that this term is subject
to widespread abuse in contemporary Orthodoxy. It literally means "things which are theologized" or "things stated
by theologians," that is, opinions or ideas expressed by Church Fathers which may well be true, but are not binding
on the Faithful and have not been synodally endorsed. Theologoumena are not simply personal views and they
certainly do not encompass manifest heresies.

"No Father has ever taught the Immaculate Conception, with the possible exception of St. Dimitri of Rostov;
but, as we all know, St. Dimitri, like many other Russian Churchmen of his era, was heavily influenced by Latin
ideas. Finally, let us note that Bishop Kallistos' line of thinking is inherently flawed. We might just as well argue
that because the Assembly of God Church (a Pentecostal sect) has never been specifically condemned as heretical
by an Orthodox Council or Synod, an individual Orthodox cannot, thereby, be considered a heretic or an apostate
for frequenting that body's services or speaking in tongues."

http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_toc.aspx


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« Reply #253 on: December 23, 2010, 09:43:11 PM »


I haven't read the book, but only those who quoted it, which said that it can be a privately held belief, I think?

Dear Minasoliman, The Orthodox Church is on the Web and it is simple to find what you want by using the Alphabetical Search feature at the top of the page.

http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0804.HTM
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« Reply #254 on: December 23, 2010, 10:26:39 PM »

"The Orthodox Church calls Mary ‘All-Holy;’ it calls her ‘immaculate’ or ‘spotless’ (in

Greek, achrantos); and all Orthodox are agreed in believing that Our Lady was free from actual

sin. But was she also free from original sin? In other words, does Orthodoxy agree with the Roman

Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius the

Ninth in 1854, according to which Mary, from the moment she was conceived by her mother

Saint Anne, was by God’s special decree delivered from ‘all stain of original sin?’ The Orthodox

Church has never in fact made any formal and definitive pronouncement on the matter. In the

past individual Orthodox have made statements which, if not definitely affirming the doctrine of

the Immaculate Conception, at any rate approach close to it; but since 1854 the great majority of

Orthodox have rejected the doctrine, for several reasons. They feel it to be unnecessary; they feel

that, at any rate as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, it implies a false understanding of

original sin; they suspect the doctrine because it seems to separate Mary from the rest of the descendants

of Adam, putting her in a completely different class from all the other righteous men

and women of the Old Testament. From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question

belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled

to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he could not be termed a heretic for so doing.

But Orthodoxy, while for the most part denying the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception

of Mary, firmly believes in her Bodily Assumption (Immediately after the Pope proclaimed the Assumption

as a dogma in 1950, a few Orthodox (by way of reaction against the Roman Catholic Church) began to express

doubts about the Bodily Assumption and even explicitly to deny it; but they are certainly not representative of the

Orthodox Church as a whole)."


Link provided by poster:  http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0804.HTM  -PtA
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« Reply #255 on: December 23, 2010, 10:44:02 PM »

The Orthodox

Church has never in fact made any formal and definitive pronouncement on the matter.


Sometimes one wonders as to this bishop's mindset. <sigh>

Let me deny the Dormition and the Assumption.

Let me deny the Real Presence.

Let me deny the male-only  priesthood (Bishop Kallistos is already chipping away at that!)

There are no formal and definitive pronouncements.

Quote
From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question

belongs to the realm of theological opinion;


Along with the Real Presence, the Dormition and quite a few other matters.  Just theological opinion.  Take it or leave it.
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« Reply #256 on: December 23, 2010, 11:31:40 PM »

When discusing the Immaculate Conception on forums frequented by Byzantine Catholics one can obtain a bewildering range of contradictory beliefs.

1. Some will say that it is infallibly defined truth and point to the Pope's infallible definition which he proclaimed as binding on the Universal Church.

2. Others simply deny the Immaculate Conception.  When questioned about the infallible papal definition they simply deny its infallibility.

One Byzantine Catholic, whom I rather admired for his Orthodx mindset, simply pointed to the text for the feast of the Conception of Saint Anne and said - this is what we believe, you will find no immaculate conception.

Here is the text he referenced

http://www.noeticspace.com/AutoIndex...file=DEC09.DOC

http://tinyurl.com/2foceb9

When we discuss this here with either Mary (a Ruthenian Catholic#) or Deacon Lance (a Byzantine Catholic#) we must remember that we are hearing only the opinions of the more Vatican-inclined Eastern Catholics.   The situation in the Eastern Catholic Churches is really rather chaotic doctrinally and there are other Eastern Catholics who would hotly dispute what Mary and Deacon Lance say.

# I believe that Ruthenian Catholic and Byzantine Cathoklic are one and the same Church in the States?
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« Reply #257 on: December 23, 2010, 11:59:01 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?


According to Bishop Ware "...the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing." (The Orthodox Church, pg. 260.)



Bishop Kallistos has flip flopped around on this for several decades.  It seems that his current position is that the Immaculate Conception is an aberration.

See his words at message 946 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436555/topicseen.html#msg436555


Thanks for the update Father.

Actually, this alleged "update" is no update at all.  As far as I can tell, Met Kallistos's position has not changed one iota.  He has expressed his disagreement with the Catholic position in all of his published writings, for all the reasons usually mentioned in these threads.  He has written that he does not see the error of the Immaculate Conception  as rising to the level of heresy, and nothing in the update indicates that he has changed his mind in this respect.

It should also be noted that in this update we are NOT presented with Met Kallistos's own words; rather, we are given the correspondent's interpretation of a letter he allegedly received from the bishop.  To my knowledge, Ware has never publicly confirmed this interpretation, much less Fr Ambrose's interpretation of the interpretation.  In other words, it all amounts to hearsay.  Until provided with real documentation that proves otherwise, I'm sticking with the Ware's opinion as expressed in his book.   

Quote
Every godly and orthodox soul, which has a sincere zeal for the glory of God, is deeply afflicted and weighed down with great pain upon seeing that he, who detests that which is good and is a murderer from the beginning, impelled by envy of man's salvation, never ceases continually to sow divers tares in the field of the Lord, in order to sift the wheat. From this source indeed, even from the earliest times, there sprang up in the Church of God heretical tares, which have in many ways made havoc, and do still make havoc, of the salvation of mankind by Christ; which moreover, as bad seeds and corrupted members, are rightly cut off from the sound body of the orthodox catholic Church of Christ. But in these last times the evil one has rent from the orthodox Church of Christ even whole nations in the West, having inflated the bishops of Rome with thoughts of excessive arrogance, which has given birth to divers lawless and anti-evangelical innovations....The one holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the seven Ecumenical Councils teaches that the supernatural incarnation of the only-begotten Son and Word of God, of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, is alone pure and immaculate; but the Papal Church scarcely forty years ago again made an innovation by laying down a novel dogma concerning the immaculate conception of the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, which was unknown to the ancient Church (and strongly opposed at different times even by the more distinguished among the papal theologians).
Passing over, then, these serious and substantial differences between the two churches respecting the faith, which differences, as has been said before, were created in the West, the Pope in his encyclical represents the question of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff as the principal and, so to speak, only cause of the dissension, and sends us to the sources, that we may make diligent search as to what our forefathers believed and what the first age of Christianity delivered to us. But having recourse to the fathers and the Ecumenical Councils of the Church of the first nine centuries, we are fully persuaded that the Bishop of Rome was never considered as the supreme authority and infallible head of the Church, and that every bishop is head and president of his own particular Church, subject only to the synodical ordinances and decisions of the Church universal as being alone infallible, the Bishop of Rome being in no wise excepted from this rule, as Church history shows.
+ ANTHIMOS of Constantinople, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ NICODEMOS of Cyzicos, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ PHILOTHEOS of Nicomedia, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ JEROME of Nicea, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ NATHANAEL of Prusa, beloved brother and intercessor of Christ our God.

+ BASIL of Smyrna, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ STEPHEN of Philadelphia, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ ATHANASIOS of Lemnos, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ BESSARION of Dyrrachium, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ DOROTHEOS of Belgrade, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ NICODEMOS of Elasson, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ SOPHRONIOS of Carpathos and Cassos, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.

+ DIONYSIOS of Eleutheropolis, beloved brother and intercessor in Christ our God.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx
Met. Kallistos is subordinate to the Holy Synod of Constantinople
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #258 on: December 24, 2010, 12:51:13 AM »

/\  Bishop Kallistos wrote to Daniel Barton:

"In sharing my thoughts with Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware,
he informed me by letter that he "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".


Taken from MY BELIEF IN THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DOCTRINE
DANIEL JOSEPH BARTON (Of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church of America)
http://mysticalrose.tripod.com/barton3.html



I suppose that you could contact Bp Kallistos and ask him, but then all we would have is what Daniel Barton has already given us - a secondhand report of what you are claiming the bishop wrote to you.

It's rather like Fr Michael's claim that Bishop Kallistos has reversed his position on the Western Rite.   All we have is a second hand report and I suppose we ought not to believe it but to stick with the Bishop's in-print disapproval.

I think the point Fr. Kimel is trying to make is that even if His Eminence doesn't agree with the doctrine, that doesn't mean he doesn't agree for it to be a theologoumenoun.

As I wrote earlier, His Grace has wobbled around so much over the years on this issue ..... firstly his initial rejection, then his thinking that it could be permitted as a theologoumenon, and now his rejection of it again as a distortion.

It would seem irresponsible of a bishop to allow as a theologoumenon something which "changes all of history of mankind/"

Really he should excuse himself from any further comment on this issue since he brings confusion to the Church.
I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?
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« Reply #259 on: December 24, 2010, 01:01:26 AM »

"The Orthodox Church calls Mary ‘All-Holy;’ it calls her ‘immaculate’ or ‘spotless’ (in

Greek, achrantos); and all Orthodox are agreed in believing that Our Lady was free from actual

sin. But was she also free from original sin? In other words, does Orthodoxy agree with the Roman

Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius the

Ninth in 1854, according to which Mary, from the moment she was conceived by her mother

Saint Anne, was by God’s special decree delivered from ‘all stain of original sin?’ The Orthodox

Church has never in fact made any formal and definitive pronouncement on the matter. In the

past individual Orthodox have made statements which, if not definitely affirming the doctrine of

the Immaculate Conception, at any rate approach close to it; but since 1854 the great majority of

Orthodox have rejected the doctrine, for several reasons. They feel it to be unnecessary; they feel

that, at any rate as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, it implies a false understanding of

original sin; they suspect the doctrine because it seems to separate Mary from the rest of the descendants

of Adam, putting her in a completely different class from all the other righteous men

and women of the Old Testament. From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question

belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled

to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he could not be termed a heretic for so doing.

But Orthodoxy, while for the most part denying the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception

of Mary, firmly believes in her Bodily Assumption (Immediately after the Pope proclaimed the Assumption

as a dogma in 1950, a few Orthodox (by way of reaction against the Roman Catholic Church) began to express

doubts about the Bodily Assumption and even explicitly to deny it; but they are certainly not representative of the

Orthodox Church as a whole)."

Most of us know who wrote this and where he wrote it, but it's still important that you give credit to your source by posting either a link to the Web page from which you copied this or a bibliographical reference to the book from which you quoted this. Thank you. (Just PM it to me, and I'll make sure it gets appended to your post.)

-PtA
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« Reply #260 on: December 24, 2010, 02:40:25 AM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception.  You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
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« Reply #261 on: December 24, 2010, 03:33:17 AM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception. You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
Might I suggest that the confusion you blame on Metropolitan Kallistos is purely a projection of your own? There's no repudiation whatsoever in His Eminence's words to Daniel Barton. "I personally do not believe in the doctrine..." is a statement of personal belief regarding the doctrine in question. It speaks in no way of whether it is acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the doctrine, because it does not speak at all of other Orthodox.
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« Reply #262 on: December 24, 2010, 03:55:04 AM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception. You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
Might I suggest that the confusion you blame on Metropolitan Kallistos is purely a projection of your own? There's no repudiation whatsoever in His Eminence's words to Daniel Barton. "I personally do not believe in the doctrine..." is a statement of personal belief regarding the doctrine in question. It speaks in no way of whether it is acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the doctrine, because it does not speak at all of other Orthodox.

I think that you and I have hold of different parts of the elephant.

While you have focused on the first half of the sentence I am looking more at the second half

 "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".

I would see a bishop who has the charism of "rightly dividing the word of truth" as not acting responsibly towards his flock if he did not bring to their attention that pro IC members are holding a doctrine which  "changes all of history of mankind". 

If the IC adherents in Orthodoxy are right then the change has occurred in fact, in reality.  If the IC adherents are wrong then the change never in fact occurred and to believe that it did is historically bogus.


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« Reply #263 on: December 24, 2010, 05:48:17 AM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception. You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
Might I suggest that the confusion you blame on Metropolitan Kallistos is purely a projection of your own? There's no repudiation whatsoever in His Eminence's words to Daniel Barton. "I personally do not believe in the doctrine..." is a statement of personal belief regarding the doctrine in question. It speaks in no way of whether it is acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the doctrine, because it does not speak at all of other Orthodox.

I think that you and I have hold of different parts of the elephant.

While you have focused on the first half of the sentence I am looking more at the second half

 "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".

I would see a bishop who has the charism of "rightly dividing the word of truth" as not acting responsibly towards his flock if he did not bring to their attention that pro IC members are holding a doctrine which  "changes all of history of mankind".
Then you're projecting onto His Eminence your personal ideals of how he should shepherd his flock and not discerning what he actually intended to communicate. Whether you focus on the trunk of the elephant or his rump, there simply is no flip-flopping. Metropolitan Kallistos personally does not believe in the Immaculate Conception but recognizes no dogmatic authority that binds the Orthodox faithful to agree with him. That's certainly his prerogative as a bishop to make such a distinction between personal theologoumenon and the dogmatic authority of the Church and to discern when to present each.

I, for one, am very happy to see Metropolitan Kallistos exercise enough humility to not teach his personal beliefs regarding the Immaculate Conception as though they were the dogmas of the Church.
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« Reply #264 on: December 24, 2010, 06:38:44 AM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception. You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
Might I suggest that the confusion you blame on Metropolitan Kallistos is purely a projection of your own? There's no repudiation whatsoever in His Eminence's words to Daniel Barton. "I personally do not believe in the doctrine..." is a statement of personal belief regarding the doctrine in question. It speaks in no way of whether it is acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the doctrine, because it does not speak at all of other Orthodox.

I think that you and I have hold of different parts of the elephant.

While you have focused on the first half of the sentence I am looking more at the second half

 "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".

I would see a bishop who has the charism of "rightly dividing the word of truth" as not acting responsibly towards his flock if he did not bring to their attention that pro IC members are holding a doctrine which  "changes all of history of mankind".
Then you're projecting onto His Eminence your personal ideals of how he should shepherd his flock and not discerning what he actually intended to communicate. Whether you focus on the trunk of the elephant or his rump, there simply is no flip-flopping. Metropolitan Kallistos personally does not believe in the Immaculate Conception but recognizes no dogmatic authority that binds the Orthodox faithful to agree with him. That's certainly his prerogative as a bishop to make such a distinction between personal theologoumenon and the dogmatic authority of the Church and to discern when to present each.

I, for one, am very happy to see Metropolitan Kallistos exercise enough humility to not teach his personal beliefs regarding the Immaculate Conception as though they were the dogmas of the Church.

This bishop can be, to me, alarming in his personal views and his insistence that the Orthodox are entitled to hold them.

Another alteration of his beliefs has taken place on the question of the ordination of women.

"As regards this present piece, it represents an extensive revision of something that I originally
wrote in 1978. Since then my views on the issue have altered. In 1978 I considered the ordination
of women priests to be an impossibility. Now I am much more hesitant. I am far from convinced by
many of the current arguments advanced in favor of women priests; but at the same time a number
of the arguments urged on the other side now appear to me a great lead less conclusive than they
did twenty years ago. What I would plead is that we Orthodox should regard the matter as essentially
an open question. Let us not imagine that in this area everything is clarified and finally settled; for
manifestly it is not, either for us Orthodox or for other Christians.'

One assumes that the bishop may present another alteration of his beliefs at some future date.

In this doctrinal matter he also makes use of the very idiosyncratic argument that there has been no definitive and authoritative Orthodox statement on women priests.

One point deserves to be underlined at the outset. On the subject of women and the priesthood,
there exists as yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive Ecumenical authority." (Emphasis his)
- Bishop Kallistos, Women And the Priesthood, (Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999)


http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=H0omnUfYJj8C&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=%22As+regards+this+present+piece,+it+represents+an+extensive+revision%22&source=bl&ots=eXDniaSzTk&sig=m-3qpQrjgxGUMmjAKn53Stl6FIY&hl=en&ei=_3IUTfixL4zksQPO8OXJCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22As%20regards%20this%20present%20piece%2C%20it%20represents%20an%20extensive%20revision%22&f=false
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« Reply #265 on: December 24, 2010, 02:24:29 PM »

Has Metropolitan Kallistos waffled or changed his views on the Immaculate Conception?  I don't think so.  I happen not only to have read his discussion of this issue in his book The Orthodox Church, but I have also read several of his articles on Marian themes.  He has been involved in the Ecumenical Society for the Blessed Virgin Mary for several decades.  His strong disagreement with the IC dogma has been consistent.  When Ware states in his private communication to Barton that he does not "believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind," there is nothing new here.  This is a typical Orthodox objection that he has expressed on multiple occasions (see, e.g., his dialogue with Fr Yarnold on the Immaculate Conception back in the mid-80s).  What I have never seen him say is that Orthodoxy is dogmatically committed to regarding any and all formulations of the Immaculate Conception as church-dividing heresy; I have never seen him say that Orthodox believers are dogmatically prohibited from believing in the Immaculate Conception.  Can anyone provide even one citation that would support the claim that Metropolitan Kallistos has changed his mind since he last wrote "From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing" (The Orthodox Church [1997], p. 260)?  If someone is going to accuse the good bishop of waffling, it would be nice for that someone to provide evidence of his waffling.         
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« Reply #266 on: December 24, 2010, 02:28:01 PM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception. You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
Might I suggest that the confusion you blame on Metropolitan Kallistos is purely a projection of your own? There's no repudiation whatsoever in His Eminence's words to Daniel Barton. "I personally do not believe in the doctrine..." is a statement of personal belief regarding the doctrine in question. It speaks in no way of whether it is acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the doctrine, because it does not speak at all of other Orthodox.

I think that you and I have hold of different parts of the elephant.

While you have focused on the first half of the sentence I am looking more at the second half

 "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".

I would see a bishop who has the charism of "rightly dividing the word of truth" as not acting responsibly towards his flock if he did not bring to their attention that pro IC members are holding a doctrine which  "changes all of history of mankind".
Then you're projecting onto His Eminence your personal ideals of how he should shepherd his flock and not discerning what he actually intended to communicate. Whether you focus on the trunk of the elephant or his rump, there simply is no flip-flopping. Metropolitan Kallistos personally does not believe in the Immaculate Conception but recognizes no dogmatic authority that binds the Orthodox faithful to agree with him. That's certainly his prerogative as a bishop to make such a distinction between personal theologoumenon and the dogmatic authority of the Church and to discern when to present each.

I, for one, am very happy to see Metropolitan Kallistos exercise enough humility to not teach his personal beliefs regarding the Immaculate Conception as though they were the dogmas of the Church.

This bishop can be, to me, alarming in his personal views and his insistence that the Orthodox are entitled to hold them.

Another alteration of his beliefs has taken place on the question of the ordination of women.

"As regards this present piece, it represents an extensive revision of something that I originally
wrote in 1978. Since then my views on the issue have altered. In 1978 I considered the ordination
of women priests to be an impossibility. Now I am much more hesitant. I am far from convinced by
many of the current arguments advanced in favor of women priests; but at the same time a number
of the arguments urged on the other side now appear to me a great lead less conclusive than they
did twenty years ago. What I would plead is that we Orthodox should regard the matter as essentially
an open question. Let us not imagine that in this area everything is clarified and finally settled; for
manifestly it is not, either for us Orthodox or for other Christians.'

One assumes that the bishop may present another alteration of his beliefs at some future date.
So a bishop has the humility to recognize that he doesn't know everything and tweaks his views a bit after researching the matter more closely. How is that bad? I honestly wish more Orthodox were like that.

In this doctrinal matter he also makes use of the very idiosyncratic argument that there has been no definitive and authoritative Orthodox statement on women priests.

One point deserves to be underlined at the outset. On the subject of women and the priesthood,
there exists as yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive Ecumenical authority." (Emphasis his)
- Bishop Kallistos, Women And the Priesthood, (Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999)
Well, he's right. Just because you disagree with him doesn't make him wrong.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #267 on: December 24, 2010, 02:53:36 PM »

I also find it interesting that you will lambaste the Roman papacy for proclaiming that his teachings on faith and morals--which in your mind are often nothing more than theological opinions--have infallible authority yet at the same time complain that a bishop of our own Church refuses to grant any dogmatic authority to his theological opinions. Don't you find this double standard rather hypocritical? You can't have it both ways, Fr. Ambrose.
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« Reply #268 on: December 24, 2010, 07:36:06 PM »

I also find it interesting that you will lambaste the Roman papacy for proclaiming that his teachings on faith and morals--which in your mind are often nothing more than theological opinions--have infallible authority yet at the same time complain that a bishop of our own Church refuses to grant any dogmatic authority to his theological opinions. Don't you find this double standard rather hypocritical? You can't have it both ways, Fr. Ambrose.

I find your reasoning too contrived.

Please allow me to have my view of things without asking whether or not I am hypocritical.  The fact that you phrase it as a question does not disguise the ad hominem.
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« Reply #269 on: December 24, 2010, 07:44:34 PM »


I don't see any confusion whatsoever in what His Eminence has stated. He personally doesn't believe in the Immaculate Conception for specific theological reasons, but he sees it possible for other Orthodox to disagree with him and still remain Orthodox. What's so confusing or wishy-washy about that? What's so wrong with the fact that Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) is not as rigidly dogmatic as you would like him to be on this particular issue?

In my mind there is confusion because I see his written words to Daniel Barton as a repudiation of his previous allowance that Orthodox may believe or not believe in the Immaculate Conception. You and others do not so interpret them.  Hence there is confusion.
Might I suggest that the confusion you blame on Metropolitan Kallistos is purely a projection of your own? There's no repudiation whatsoever in His Eminence's words to Daniel Barton. "I personally do not believe in the doctrine..." is a statement of personal belief regarding the doctrine in question. It speaks in no way of whether it is acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the doctrine, because it does not speak at all of other Orthodox.

I think that you and I have hold of different parts of the elephant.

While you have focused on the first half of the sentence I am looking more at the second half

 "personally does not believe the doctrine as it changes all of history of mankind".

I would see a bishop who has the charism of "rightly dividing the word of truth" as not acting responsibly towards his flock if he did not bring to their attention that pro IC members are holding a doctrine which  "changes all of history of mankind".
Then you're projecting onto His Eminence your personal ideals of how he should shepherd his flock and not discerning what he actually intended to communicate. Whether you focus on the trunk of the elephant or his rump, there simply is no flip-flopping. Metropolitan Kallistos personally does not believe in the Immaculate Conception but recognizes no dogmatic authority that binds the Orthodox faithful to agree with him. That's certainly his prerogative as a bishop to make such a distinction between personal theologoumenon and the dogmatic authority of the Church and to discern when to present each.

I, for one, am very happy to see Metropolitan Kallistos exercise enough humility to not teach his personal beliefs regarding the Immaculate Conception as though they were the dogmas of the Church.

This bishop can be, to me, alarming in his personal views and his insistence that the Orthodox are entitled to hold them.

Another alteration of his beliefs has taken place on the question of the ordination of women.

"As regards this present piece, it represents an extensive revision of something that I originally
wrote in 1978. Since then my views on the issue have altered. In 1978 I considered the ordination
of women priests to be an impossibility. Now I am much more hesitant. I am far from convinced by
many of the current arguments advanced in favor of women priests; but at the same time a number
of the arguments urged on the other side now appear to me a great lead less conclusive than they
did twenty years ago. What I would plead is that we Orthodox should regard the matter as essentially
an open question. Let us not imagine that in this area everything is clarified and finally settled; for
manifestly it is not, either for us Orthodox or for other Christians.'

One assumes that the bishop may present another alteration of his beliefs at some future date.

So a bishop has the humility to recognize that he doesn't know everything and tweaks his views a bit after researching the matter more closely. How is that bad? I honestly wish more Orthodox were like that.


Going from "women priests are an impossibility" to "we must be open to women priests in Orthodoxy" is not simply "tweaking" his views.  You seem to be saying that you agree with him that we should be open to the idea of Orthodox women priests (although I admit it is very often impossible to discern your beliefs.)



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