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« on: August 10, 2003, 10:48:48 PM »

<surface>

Since I am known not to want to take potshots at the Catholic Church as such I think I might be the right person to post this discussion-opener.

If Byzantine Catholicism is said by some to be the 'completion' or 'fulfilment' of Eastern Orthodoxy by being in the one true church under the Pope — yes, EOs, believe it or not, some people out there really think that — then why hasn't it got the spiritual treasures in its history that the Orthodox do?

Namely...

... why no great monasteries and convents just like in tsarist Russia? (Little branches of RC orders and Johnny-come-lately Potemkin villages like Holy Resurrection Monastery in California don't count.) Where are their Optina, their Valaam, their Solovki, their Diveyevo, today and throughout their 400-year history?

... why no huge number of canonized saints over the past 400 years like St Seraphim of Sarov, St Xenia of St Petersburg, et al.? A friend observed to me to today when I asked him this that the only BC canonized saints over this whole period have been a handful of people killed by the Orthodox (Josaphat), tsarist Russian authorities or the Communists. What, nothing positive like St Seraphim? Why not? Western Catholicism has plenty of canonized saints during this period. Why not the BCs?

... why no firebrands for the orthodox faith like Fr Seraphim (Rose)?

... why no tradition of eldership?

I mean, if it is the 'completion' of EOxy, and EOxy has these things in abundance (and it does), then wouldn't this have even more of these?Huh

OK, I already know what the answer of many EOs will be — 'because it's bogus'.

I want to hear from the Catholics — where are these things? Why aren't they there historically, ever, or even today? Does this bother you? Why or why not?

Enquiring minds want to know!

</surface>
« Last Edit: August 11, 2003, 09:22:24 AM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2003, 02:04:47 AM »

It bothers me alright. It tells me where Rome's priorities are.

The things that truly bother me, however, are the Vatican 1 (1870) dogma, the decimation of the Roman Catholic liturgy, Rome's reluctance to let the Eastern Catholic Churches truly govern themselves (Vatican II said our traditions have to be restored...why they were lost i don't know) and past Papal threats (don't pray with "heretics or schismatics" or else you'll incur mortal sin).



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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2003, 02:17:17 AM »

By the way did Orthodoxy ever have the "pray with heretics and you're damned/out of Communion with the Roman Pontiff and you're damned" equivalent?
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2003, 01:32:24 PM »

Honestly, I don't have a good answer, Serge. I have a very good friend who is ByzCath, and he is a great guy and very faithful.

My impression is that the Roman Church is not very enthusiastic in its support of Byzantine Catholicism.

That makes the ByzCaths sort of the "red-headed stepchildren" of the RCC.

Maybe that's part of it.
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2003, 03:38:57 PM »

The Eastern Catholic Churches were allowed to keep thier Liturgy & traditions... but later, especially in North America where they interacted with RC's, they were seen as strange and less Catholic to the RC's, and bad stuff happened to them, for example Irish bishops who were worried about the scandle that would occur when people saw priests with wives, petitioned Rome and got a ban on married priests for Eastern Catholics in North America, which caused an entire eastern Catholic diocese to convert to Orthodoxy.  They were supposed to be Churches in Communion, but they had all authority stripped from them until they were just under the Pope like all others, except with a different rite.  They really ceased to be Eastern Catholic Churches and became Eastern Catholic Rites.  Now they're being encouraged to restore their traditions and be more self governing, now they're finally being allowed to embrace Eastern practice.  Who knows, maybe in 100 years they'll actually be Eastern Churches in Communion with Rome... but the one thing that seems like a stumbling block to that is the fact that they're required to believe that everything Rome teaches is true... so it's almost like they have thier own theological tradition, then they have to look at scholastic stuff & believe that, and then they have to come up with ways to reconcile the two sets of theology... if they're contradictory as I believe, they're in trouble in terms of really flourishing... if they're not as they believe, are they going to have time to be Orthodox in Communion with Rome after they're done trying to reconcile thier theologies with each other?
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2003, 06:13:26 PM »

which caused an entire eastern Catholic diocese to convert to Orthodoxy.

Can you name that diocese?  I have not heard of this before and I have heard the story from both sides.

Perhaps what you meant to say was that a whole Orthodox diocese (actually jurisdiction) came into existence from disgruntled BCs in the USA.  

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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2003, 10:16:05 PM »

which caused an entire eastern Catholic diocese to convert to Orthodoxy.

Can you name that diocese?  I have not heard of this before and I have heard the story from both sides.

Perhaps what you meant to say was that a whole Orthodox diocese (actually jurisdiction) came into existence from disgruntled BCs in the USA.  



I think it was right in my head until I tried to think of it and it vainished.  I'm pretty sure the story is that an Eastern Catholic bishop entered Orthodoxy, and took his whole diocese with him, not that a diocese was created to accomodate those switching.
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2003, 10:58:41 PM »

which caused an entire eastern Catholic diocese to convert to Orthodoxy.

Can you name that diocese?  I have not heard of this before and I have heard the story from both sides.

Perhaps what you meant to say was that a whole Orthodox diocese (actually jurisdiction) came into existence from disgruntled BCs in the USA.  



I could be wrong, but I believe Jonathan is referring to ACROD, which came out of Unia in the early 1930s.
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2003, 08:29:13 AM »

The first bishop of ACROD (Orestes Chornock) was never a GC bishop he was consecrated (Orthodox) bishop in Constantinople.  Further, the entire GC diocese did not leave the "Unia" it remained intact although somewhat reduced.

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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2003, 10:02:44 PM »

... why no great monasteries and convents just like in tsarist Russia? (Little branches of RC orders and Johnny-come-lately Potemkin villages like Holy Resurrection Monastery in California don't count.) Where are their Optina, their Valaam, their Solovki, their Diveyevo, today and throughout their 400-year history?

I guess it's prety much caused by Latinization and because the Orthodox monasticism was seen as a national proud by Orthodox nations and those who became monks were sometimes close to the Orthodox monarchies and very zealous of their Orthodoxy and opposition to Western policies. Those who joined the Greek catholic Church and accepted communion with Rome were mostly secular clergy (90% of the Romanian catholic clergy in past centuries, for example, were secular non monastic clergy.) Orthodox monks always refused any atempt to join Rome or establish Uniat monasteries, like in Serbia (several Catholic monasteries of the Byzantine Rite were burned, for example).

Latinization played an important role cause the students were sent to Rome, France, etc and raised in the Roman fashion of that time.

... why no huge number of canonized saints over the past 400 years like St Seraphim of Sarov, St Xenia of St Petersburg, et al.? A friend observed to me to today when I asked him this that the only BC canonized saints over this whole period have been a handful of people killed by the Orthodox (Josaphat), tsarist Russian authorities or the Communists. What, nothing positive like St Seraphim? Why not? Western Catholicism has plenty of canonized saints during this period. Why not the BCs?

In the Catholic Communion, since Trent if I'm not mistaken, canonizations are the exclusive right of the Pope and his Holy Synod. The Pope's roles as first of all bishops, and Patriarch of the Latin Church often get mixed. As the Pope is Latin, and his Cardinals are mostly of the Latin Rite, the Romans are always given priority. Italy's saints are always canonized faster than those of other nations of the same rite. Eastern Rite Churches are seen as minorities of lower importance and not as equals, they're fully submited to Roman congregations and so on.

I mean, if it is the 'completion' of EOxy, and EOxy has these things in abundance (and it does), then wouldn't this have even more of these?Huh

Maybe this is a matter of attitude but you're definately right. The present legal status of the Eastern Catholic Churches and role in the Catholic Communion are a real turn off for many Orthodox who think it would be good to be in communion with Rome, and for Byzantine Catholics themselves. Powerful laity organizations are needed, and also Bishops that are ennough Eastern. Most Eastern Rite hierarchs are happy with their condition and do not want to change it, if they don't do it, the faithful have the right to say "no, let's show them that if we want to be a real bridge we must have some sense and legitimacy".

There are examples of how this can work, like in Antioch, when the Catholic Patriarchate has real autonomy and works fine in the eyes of Orthodox christians.
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2003, 01:19:33 PM »

I think a couple of things, at least, are at play here.

1.  ECism is very small compared with Orthodoxy and with Roman Catholicism.  There just aren't going to be the same numbers of things happening, because the scale is very different.

2.  The EC churches suffered through a long period of theological confusion after they were created, and this led to a real confusion as to what it meant to be "Eastern" and "Catholic", and to be honest this confusion persists de facto to this day, despite what the official line from Rome might be.

3.  Being under the jurisdiction of Rome has sapped the vitality out of the EC Churches.  It's a harsh thing to say, but I think it's the truth of the matter.  They are de facto subsidiaries of the Latin Church, or at least have been for most of the time since the creation of the unia, and this fact, combined with the theological confusion noted above, really sapped the EC churches of their vitality -- they lost much of their theology to the Latins, they lost many elements of theis spirituality -- liturgical and devotional -- to the Latins and they even lost many vocations to the priesthood and monastic orders to the Latins.  I think it's really a shining example of why the concept of Rome's jurisdiction *over* other churches leads to sapping those others of their own strengths ... the historical experience of the EC Churches testifies to this.  

Rome is trying to change things, a bit .... we'll see how much.  The ECs for their part are also starting to change, a bit ... but in many cases the impetus for that change comes from without (again!) -- ie from Rome, and not from within the ECCs -- and many of the champions of that development within the ECCs themselves are not cradle ECs -- something that is fine for now, I guess, but which probably isn't healthy medium-term.  

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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2003, 03:24:47 PM »

Seraphim,

You're right for the most part but didn't the Pochayiv monastery briefly turn Uniate?

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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2003, 02:52:49 PM »

This is a test -- I'm posting here for the first time.  I recently saw this www address on the 'other' forum and when I pulled it up it sure looked almost like a previous one that I thought had stopped being on the internet.

The question was asked why Eastern Catholics do not have monasteries, etc.  The fact is -- in the development of Christianity over the past 2 millenium, Christianity has split in two and part of the Orthodox split is now under the Patriarch of Rome (we used to be under the Patriarch of Constantinople).  The Pope has asked the Eastern Catholic Churches to restore traditional monastic life and there are a number of seedlings in the monastic garden.  

There is Eastern and there is Western Christianity and there are Saints on both sides.  Eastern Catholics are part of Eastern Christianity.  

Let us bloom where the Lord has planted us.  Let us be loving to both sides.  

--Now I'm going to 'test' and see  how this looks.  Please be patient with me and I learn your system.  Thank you.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2003, 02:57:01 PM »

Oh, my!

Well, I 'posted' and I can see what it looks like.

I do LIKE the 3-bar cross.

But how do I eliminate the llama?Huh  
Where on the registration page are the pics??

Actually,this is fun!!
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2003, 03:51:17 PM »

The avatars can be adjusted on your profile...click on the 'Edit Profile' button at the top of the page.  Welcome to OC.net!
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2003, 05:08:08 PM »

The avatars can be adjusted on your profile...click on the 'Edit Profile' button at the top of the page.  Welcome to OC.net!

David, what's wrong with having no avatar?  I shouldn't be forced to have something just because I don't want the llama (and I know how to change my profile).
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2003, 05:18:40 PM »

It's just the way our software was written, you have to choose an avatar.  I suppose I could ask Bobby to come up with a special code to not do that but it will take time since he is busy with school and work.

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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2003, 05:43:51 PM »

Perhaps we can just make a transparent .jpg of the right size and make that the "no avatar option."
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2003, 05:53:39 PM »

Until something can be done about the llamas and what not, anyone who wants to have no avatar can check the box in their profile that says "I have my own picture" or something like that, and in place of an URL, type in "about:blank" without the quotation marks.  I hope Elisha won't mind that I did that to his profile already, as I wanted to see if it would work, and it seems like it should be acceptable for now.
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2003, 06:01:12 PM »

amb,

Quote
The question was asked why Eastern Catholics do not have monasteries, etc.  The fact is -- in the development of Christianity over the past 2 millenium, Christianity has split in two and part of the Orthodox split is now under the Patriarch of Rome (we used to be under the Patriarch of Constantinople).  The Pope has asked the Eastern Catholic Churches to restore traditional monastic life and there are a number of seedlings in the monastic garden.  

There is Eastern and there is Western Christianity and there are Saints on both sides.  Eastern Catholics are part of Eastern Christianity.  

Let us bloom where the Lord has planted us.  Let us be loving to both sides.

Nothing personal - I know you mean nothing but good and are simply trying to defend the Catholic Church including Byzantine Catholics - but objectively this sounds like condescending official churchspeak and a potentially infuriating nonanswer.

Again, the question.

EOxy has all these blessings - lots of canonized saints, lots of Eastern monks and nuns.

BCism is supposed to be EOxy++ ’cos 'we've got the Pope'.

So why has BCism got few or none of these things that virtually define EOxy, esp. if as you say it is still part of Eastern Christendom?
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2003, 07:54:30 PM »

I am hesitant to weigh in on this question, as I have never been to an Eastern rite service, be it Catholic or Orthodox.

I would say, perhaps BCism could be said to complete Orthodoxy (actually, how about just Eastern Catholicism, as they are not all Byzantine) in that the EC's have the benefit of Church Councils beyond the early medieval period.

I understand that many EO's do not agree with these councils (otherwise, they'd be EC's!) but BC's, EC's etc., have the benefit of knowing where to stand on ABC, Euthanasia, Cloning, etc.

In this, I think one could make a case for BC's having the fullness of faith, but I realize, ultimately, it is a clash of doctrines.
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« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2003, 08:53:04 PM »

Well I don't have the "benefit" of fake councils making up new doctrines, but I still know where to stand on Euthanasia, ABC, etc. etc.  The fathers spoke on those issues....  

So if BCs really have the fullness of the faith where are the monasteries and the saints?  Even in these spiritually dry times the Orthodox are over flowing with saints....

I guess I just don't get the branch theory.
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« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2003, 09:12:41 PM »

Quote
The fathers spoke on those issues....  


As I said, it is ultimately a clash of ideologies, but BC'ism could be said to complete Orthodoxy, because, in Catholicism the fathers haven't stopped speaking.
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2003, 09:34:59 PM »

Quote
As I said, it is ultimately a clash of ideologies, but BC'ism could be said to complete Orthodoxy, because, in Catholicism the fathers haven't stopped speaking.

And niether have they in Orthodoxy... But it is odd Latins are so confused on issues like aborition, euthenasia, suicide etc. when the early fathers spoke so clearly on them.  But I guess when you sell out to modernistic humanism that is to be expected.

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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2003, 09:38:08 PM »

Quote
The fathers spoke on those issues....  


As I said, it is ultimately a clash of ideologies, but BC'ism could be said to complete Orthodoxy, because, in Catholicism the fathers haven't stopped speaking.

The Orthodox Church still has Fathers!  The Latins claim that the age of the fathers ended with Isidore of Seville and the rise of "Scholasticism"

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« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2003, 11:08:09 PM »

<surface>

Quote
I would say, perhaps BCism could be said to complete Orthodoxy (actually, how about just Eastern Catholicism, as they are not all Byzantine) in that the EC's have the benefit of Church Councils beyond the early medieval period...

As I said, it is ultimately a clash of ideologies, but BC'ism could be said to complete Orthodoxy, because, in Catholicism the fathers haven't stopped speaking.

Nothing personal, but again that sounds like standard western Catholic boilerplate. I see its theoretical appeal but it doesn't answer my question. If BCism has this benefit then why did it lose so many of the blessings EOxy has in superabundance?

Quote
I understand that many EO's do not agree with these councils (otherwise, they'd be EC's!) but BC's, EC's etc., have the benefit of knowing where to stand on ABC, Euthanasia, Cloning, etc.

Most EOs are EOs and not BCs because they were born into their historical national or ethnic Church - the Church of Russia, the Church of Greece, etc. - don't know the postschism Catholic councils exist and probably don't care.

Good point about the magisterium, which has held the fort on ABC, for example. But why, then are BCs in the shape they're in compared to the EOs? You'd think having that magisterium would shore up those wonderful Eastern things they once had but historically that didn't happen. They lost them.

Quote
In this, I think one could make a case for BC's having the fullness of faith, but I realize, ultimately, it is a clash of doctrines.


The question, once more: if they've got the fulness of faith, then why haven't they got the fulness of Orthodox expression, of Orthodox spiritual life?

Plus I don't think the Catholic Church sees it as a clash of doctrines because it accepts all the dogmatic statements of EOxy as true, basically seeing it as Catholicism in 11th-century Greek theological language.

Quote
I still know where to stand on Euthanasia, ABC, etc. etc.  The fathers spoke on those issues....  


Good to know, but a lot of EOs - in the GOA to give one example - have sold out on ABC.

Quote
So if BCs really have the fullness of the faith where are the monasteries and the saints?  Even in these spiritually dry times the Orthodox are over flowing with saints....

Exactly.

Quote
I guess I just don't get the branch theory.

It's one of the things about Anglo-Catholicism I like and that the Catholic Church believes dogmatically (and some Orthodox believe as an allowable opinion - of course other Orthodox in good standing hold the opposite!) in modified form, maintaining an exclusivity claim (which you have to, in some way - otherwise you are in effect saying there is no true church!) and acknowledging the Churchness in other groups that have a minimum of true belief, including about the Eucharist. Seems at its best both fundamentally, credally orthodox and more charitable and common-sense than damning each other over theological method and disciplinary matters not of the essence of the faith. ('Go to hell - you cross yourself with four fingers like a Frank!' Please.) The idea that maybe, just maybe, what all these groups have in common - tons - is what really matters. Which I think is why, for example, you see EOxy and Oriental Orthodoxy coming together today.

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« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2003, 11:34:24 PM »

My experience was that the Ruthenian Catholics gave me a glimpse and taste of Orthodoxy--an appetizer.  Orthodoxy gave me the whole enchilada--or pierogi.
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« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2003, 01:36:37 AM »

//Since I am known not to want to take potshots at the Catholic Church as such I think I might be the right person to post this discussion-opener.//

But in your Christian zeal, Potshot Serge, you just can’t contain yourself.

//If Byzantine Catholicism is said by some to be the 'completion' or 'fulfilment' of Eastern Orthodoxy by being in the one true church under the Pope — yes, EOs, believe it or not, some people out there really think that — //

First, reference the quote from where you got your 'completion-fulfilment' notion.   As a Byzantine Cathoic, It seems that your ass-umption is believable only by people like you - potshots.

//then why hasn't it got the spiritual treasures in its history that the Orthodox do?//

Like martyrdom?  Before the Church had towering Babels and temples filled with earthly riches, it had the blood of martyrs.

//... why no great monasteries and convents just like in tsarist Russia? (Little branches of RC orders and Johnny-come-lately Potemkin villages like Holy Resurrection Monastery in California don't count.) Where are their Optina, their Valaam, their Solovki, their Diveyevo, today and throughout their 400-year history?//

As you probably know, Serge, the “little branches of RC orders” are dying and the “Johnny-come-lately Potemkin villages” are growing.  But since you like to discount growth to make your Catholic-bashing shine, I guess we will have to ignore them for the sake of your argument.  Will the Orthodox return the St. Nicholas monastery in Mukachevo to the Greek Catholics?  Or doesn't it count?  If I must defend these folks, which include my ancestors, they were p*ss poor.  Their temple were made out of wood, not stone or brick.  Would you think it Christian enough to tell the widow that her mite is worthless?

//... why no huge number of canonized saints over the past 400 years like St Seraphim of Sarov, St Xenia of St Petersburg, et al.? A friend observed to me to today when I asked him this that the only BC canonized saints over this whole period have been a handful of people killed by the Orthodox (Josaphat), tsarist Russian authorities or the Communists. What, nothing positive like St Seraphim? Why not? Western Catholicism has plenty of canonized saints during this period. Why not the BCs?//

Gee, Serge, do you think being a ‘liquidated’ church for so many years had something to do with it?  Are you proud of the Orthodox killing someone?  And aren't the martyrs saints too?

//OK, I already know what the answer of many EOs will be — 'because it's bogus'. //

Why are you so concerned about a Church you left behind?  Your love-hate for the Catholic Church must still be an obsession of your, Serge.  Like a lost love, you just can’t get over it.

//I want to hear from the Catholics — where are these things? Why aren't they there historically, ever, or even today? Does this bother you? Why or why not?//

What bothers me, Serge, are two things: (1) stolen property from Communist coops and (2) converts who can’t get over lost loves.

//Enquiring minds want to know!//

Certainly not Christian ones.  Don’t you ever feel ashamed for asking such folly?


Joe

Joe, I feel you have crossed a few lines in making your response to Serge a very personal and unpleasant one. You are free to disagree with other forum members but please try to keep your emotions from running away on you. If you feel Serge's post was lacking in christian charity then try not to respond in kind as you end up looking the same or worse.

I'm new to the business of moderating so I'll let your post stand as it is, unless you wish to modify it yourself

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« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2003, 02:15:24 AM »

Quote
Good to know, but a lot of EOs - in the GOA to give one example - have sold out on ABC.

Parts of the GOA is more precise.  The GOA crowd I hang out with hasn't sold out.  I think the difference is the faction within the GOA that is Orthodox simplely "cause that is what Greek people do" and really don't care one iota about Orthodoxy have sold out.  Whereas the crowd that is less Greek but more concerned about preserving their Orthodoxy still upholds the apostolic teaching on ABC.  It is sad that the GOA has become wishy washy, but I'd be willing to bet the numbers of Orthodox people who use ABC is similar to Catholics.  I saw a sad statistic awhile back that Catholic women have a higher rate of abortions than any other religion in the United States.  So I think what I am trying (key word here) to say is that it's not fair to judge a religion based on an Americanized (i.e secularized) semi-ethnic enclave.

Quote
It's one of the things about Anglo-Catholicism I like and that the Catholic Church believes dogmatically (and some Orthodox believe as an allowable opinion - of course other Orthodox in good standing hold the opposite!) in modified form, maintaining an exclusivity claim (which you have to, in some way - otherwise you are in effect saying there is no true church!) and acknowledging the Churchness in other groups that have a minimum of true belief, including about the Eucharist. Seems at its best both fundamentally, credally orthodox and more charitable and common-sense than damning each other over theological method and disciplinary matters not of the essence of the faith. ('Go to hell - you cross yourself with four fingers like a Frank!' Please.) The idea that maybe, just maybe, what all these groups have in common - tons - is what really matters. Which I think is why, for example, you see EOxy and Oriental Orthodoxy coming together today.

I take no issue with saying we have much in common.  I'll avoid discussing the mono(mia)physite issue for now since I don't know enough about the topic, since I have no first hand expierence... but with the RCC I know from my time there.  I feel there are major doctrinal issues that the big ecumenical functions really haven't touched.  I have no ethnic axes to grind and love the traditional Latin liturgy.  Even though I tend to take the harder line of Saint Photios, I understand and could even accept the idea of the filioque issue being  more misunderstanding (and some politics) than anything else.  Even brushing everything aside: universal jurisdiction, Papal infallibility, Filioque etc. the St. Gregory Palamas issue remains.  And I think this is why the BCs have the same externals as the Orthodox but none of the blesssings.  This is why the RCC could go from a mostly Orthodox (or if you prefer small o "orthodox) liturgy to complete liturgical devistation.  The externals are there, but the heart isn't.  I can't really describe it very well, but it is the Orthodoxy Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpatkos describes (i.e the cure of the soul ) that is missing from other branches in the branch theory tree.  While the technicalities of the distinctions may not play a large role in the average parish life, the absence of the Holy Mountain, Optina, Valaam, Sarov et al. does.
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2003, 08:58:35 AM »

//Joe, I feel you have crossed a few lines in making your response to Serge a very personal and unpleasant one.//

Why is it not personal or unpleasant when someone can make “potshots” at another church in such lack of charity, but personal and unpleasant when someone challenges that person on it?  Unless you are in the business of making and allowing potshots on your forum against others, then I can understand.  Serge can “cross the line” many times and have his forum moderators defend him.  Of course, the forum is to belittle, take potshots, and speak ill of others.  The only thing “Catholic” in his post is anti-Catholic.  Nothing of what I can say will seem to be acceptable since many view Eastern Catholics as "bogus" Christians.

//If you feel Serge's post was lacking in christian charity then try not to respond in kind as you end up looking the same or worse.//

So, you agree Serge looks like a pretty bad example of an Orthodox Christian?  At least we agree.  And you don’t think Serge was lacking in Christian charity?  Of course not.  Serge was making “potshots” at the Catholic Church, albeit an Eastern one, and this is OK.  Such a lack of charity can only come from an insecure convert.  Half of my family is cradle Orthodox and would never make such remarks.  Serge often forgets how much a family Uniates and Orthodox are in this country.  His isn’t the type of Christian charity I would want to indulge in anyway.

//I'm new to the business of moderating so I'll let your post stand as it is, unless you wish to modify it yourself//

Ask yourself, John, if Serge’s post bespeaks of the Gospel message?  Serge raises a bunch of silly questions.  It is similar to “My daddy is stronger than your daddy” or “I am more of a man than you are.”  It is both an example of insecurity and childishness.  He looks for famous monasteries, yet ignores growing ones and ones that were confiscated by the Orthodox.  Did the Orthodox give back all the Greek Catholic cathedrals, monasteries, and temples?  My ancestor’s home parish in Kojsov, Slovakia is STILL in the hands of the Orthodox.  And why the need to demonstrate riches of this life?  You can’t expect too many grand edifices with widow’s mites.  We’re talking about poor people who suffered greatly.  Serge’s hatred of Eastern Catholics is similar to the Jews’ hatred of the Samaritans.  Forget that they suffered together with many Orthodox Christians under the godless regime of Communism.  The blood of martyrs don’t mean anything to those looking for glorious and legendary histories.  I think it would be your job as moderator to confront Serge in his purposeful and relentless dig against the Catholic Church.  If you allow this to continue on your forum, then you are just as uncharitable as he.

If this is Orthodox Christianity, then forget it!

Joe


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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2003, 09:42:50 AM »

JoeT,

Having the advantage of knowing Serge personally, I can assure you that he is far from anti-Catholic. In fact he is probably one of the biggest proponents of Catholicism that I know, and that is certainly not meant in a bad way.

The fact is, Byzantine Catholicism, in all its glory is nothing more than a stepping stone to Orthodoxy. I love hearing the two lungs analogies and other comparable bunk.  

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« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2003, 10:53:55 AM »

Dear Joe,

While I think you make some valid points that should be discussed, I tend to agree with John that your post could've been less personal.  

//Joe, I feel you have crossed a few lines in making your response to Serge a very personal and unpleasant one.//

Why is it not personal or unpleasant when someone can make “potshots” at another church in such lack of charity, but personal and unpleasant when someone challenges that person on it?  Unless you are in the business of making and allowing potshots on your forum against others, then I can understand.  Serge can “cross the line” many times and have his forum moderators defend him.

Serge's original posting did not specifically target you, and so for you to target him, as well as his ideas, in your post is wrong.  He asked a question which essentially compared the two Churches.  You could've responded in kind, but statements like:

But in your Christian zeal, Potshot Serge, you just can’t contain yourself.

First, reference the quote from where you got your 'completion-fulfilment' notion.  As a Byzantine Cathoic, It seems that your ass-umption is believable only by people like you - potshots.

Why are you so concerned about a Church you left behind?  Your love-hate for the Catholic Church must still be an obsession of your, Serge.  Like a lost love, you just can’t get over it.


don't fight the ideas, they ridicule the person.  That is not acceptable, even in your Church.  

Quote
Of course, the forum is to belittle, take potshots, and speak ill of others.  The only thing “Catholic” in his post is anti-Catholic.  Nothing of what I can say will seem to be acceptable since many view Eastern Catholics as "bogus" Christians.

This forum is for none of the things you say it is for.  If one is to judge fora by looking at certain individuals on it, you could condemn every one of them based on what one--the individual--feels is acceptable or not.

Quote
//If you feel Serge's post was lacking in christian charity then try not to respond in kind as you end up looking the same or worse.//

So, you agree Serge looks like a pretty bad example of an Orthodox Christian?  At least we agree.  And you don’t think Serge was lacking in Christian charity?  Of course not.  Serge was making “potshots” at the Catholic Church, albeit an Eastern one, and this is OK.  Such a lack of charity can only come from an insecure convert.  Half of my family is cradle Orthodox and would never make such remarks.  Serge often forgets how much a family Uniates and Orthodox are in this country.  His isn’t the type of Christian charity I would want to indulge in anyway.

Neither is yours, if you ask me.  

Maybe we're defining "potshot" differently.  If someone were to ask me what an anti-Catholic potshot is, I would say something like "All Catholic priests are child molesters", "The Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon", or something like that.  Because this is my perception of what a potshot is, I did not think Serge's original post was a potshot at all, and still don't.  He asked a question which compared the two Churches, and asked Catholics for their input.  You gave it, and that's fine, but you had to go after the person as well, and some of the remarks you made were not brimming over with charity, but indicate, IMO, some of the very insecurity and childishness you spoke of.  Your points should be able to stand on their own merit, and not because they are both a) good points AND b) you made the other guy look bad.
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« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2003, 12:07:48 PM »

Bobby writes:

Quote
The fact is, Byzantine Catholicism, in all its glory is nothing more than a stepping stone to Orthodoxy. I love hearing the two lungs analogies and other comparable bunk.  


This is an odd thing for a byzcath to say! Or has there been a change since you last contacted me?

The simple truth is, in answer to Serge's question, the reason the ByzCath's don't have the full EO expression, aside from having the fullness of faith, is because Churches are made up of fallen human creatures, who sometimes sin against other more vulnerable fallen creatures. This is as true of EOxy as it is of Western Christianity. The ByzCath's are victims of history. (and humanity). But I do not believe this refutes my earlier argument on how they could be said to "complete" EOxy.
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« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2003, 01:00:52 PM »

<surface>

Silly questions don't result in long, heated replies.

Quote
But in your Christian zeal, Potshot Serge, you just can’t contain yourself.

No, I really am confused by the historical and current situation of the BCs and want to know the answer.

And IIRC, some BCs online ask the same kind of questions.

Quote
First, reference the quote from where you got your 'completion-fulfilment' notion.

'The fulfilment or completion of EOxy' is my understanding, in my words, of what the Catholic Church has claimed about BCs - balanced out somewhat today by Vatican II and Balamand. Sources: some people online, such as Diane Kamer; writers such as Josyp Terelya (not a theologian but he's been published) and any number of tracts, etc. written about the subject until about 40 years ago.

Quote
Gee, Serge, do you think being a ‘liquidated’ church for so many years had something to do with it?

You just acknowledged the 'it', the problem, to which the question refers - obviously not the product of my febrile, fecund, obsessed imagination! Cheesy  No, it doesn't, because the BCs weren't 'liquidated' throughout the 400 years of their history, and even when they were oppressed, it was local, not worldwide.

You don't need to be rich to have an Orthodox-type monastery. AFAIK there were plenty of monasteries in Russia that weren't. (And in spite of occasional harassment by the tsars.) In Austria-Hungary? (No big bad Orthodox to blame there.) No rich ones, no poor ones. Again, why not?

A church doesn't have to be rich to canonize lots of saints either.

Quote
...the St. Gregory Palamas issue remains.  And I think this is why the BCs have the same externals as the Orthodox but none of the blesssings.  This is why the RCC could go from a mostly Orthodox (or if you prefer small o "orthodox) liturgy to complete liturgical devastation.  The externals are there, but the heart isn't.

A little harsh but impressive. I'm not saying it's the answer but it's a good try at actually answering the question. Thanks.

But the Catholic Church today accepts Palamism as a theological way and St Gregory Palamas as a saint.

Finally, Mr Thur's rage towards me just has me puzzled. He's Catholic. I like the Catholic Church. He's BC, proud of his ethnicity and against latinization. I know the Byzantine Rite and Slavonic, and agree that latinization was wrong. (Hence my question here.) I ask questions a lot like the online BC advance guard do. From what I can see he's not a theological liberal. I support conservative Catholics in the conservative vs. liberal war in the CC. I'd think a logical reaction would be 'Thanks'. Instead, I read this.

It's a puzzlement.

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« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2003, 01:25:14 PM »

I am personal friends with both Serge and Joe so I stopped getting in the middle of this debate a long time ago--it came from the days of byzcath.org. But since there is a public debate going on I feel I need to step in.

Joe, calling Serge anti-Catholic just doesn't make sense.  Read the content of his 1000+ posts on this forum and you will see that he has spent considerable time defending the Catholic Church on this forum and been accused of not being Orthodox because of it.  Just because he asks a few questions that are of a critical nature doesn't make him anti-Catholic.  Go to the Indiana list and THERE you will see anti-Catholics in action.

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« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2003, 01:38:33 PM »

As a Roman Catholic and an online friend of Serge, I'd have to agree. He's asking these questions because he wants to know, not to deconstruct our faith.
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« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2003, 02:42:34 PM »

I cannot condone Joe's post but I also wonder why Reader Serge asks the questions he asks because those of us who have any familiarity with him know he knows the answers or at least he should.  So it seems like a baiting question even though I don't think Reader Serge intended it that way.

But to answer his question: I don't think it can be said we don't have those things.  

Who says we don't have monasteries?  The Melkites have plenty of them.  The Ukrainians are recovering from the Communist liquidation. In America we are returning to traditional Eastern monasticism.  Let us not forget even Mt. Athos went through a low point last century.  And if we include the other Eastern Catholic Churches it was they alone and not their Orthodox counterpart that better preserved monasticism.  The Syrians and Chaldeans are prime examples.  The Catholic Churches had  strong monasteries where they almost disappeared among the Syrians and dissappeared completely among the Assyrians.  The Mechitarists (An Armenian Catholic order modeled on St. Benedict's rule) were in great part responsible for providing Armenian educational materials and literature helping that people maintain their identity.  

Who says we don't have saints?  Whether it is right or not, the Roman Curia handles canonizations and they move slowly.  But I have no doubt Metropolitan Andrew, Patriarch Josif, Patriarch Maximox IV and others will be canonized.  If we could canonize our own saints I am sure we would have at least proportionaly as many as the Orthodox.

If you don't think the Eastern Catholic Churches have spiritual treasures you have not looked, at least with an unbiased eye.  We may have failings, but do not judge us on our failings alone.  

For some maybe we are a stepping stone, but for many others we are a home.

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« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2003, 03:13:04 PM »

<surface>

Quote
I cannot condone Joe's post but I also wonder why Reader Serge asks the questions he asks because those of us who have any familiarity with him know he knows the answers or at least he should.  So it seems like a baiting question even though I don't think Reader Serge intended it that way.

I think I know the proximate causes historically for the situation, as I said before in this thread, but what I was trying to get an answer to is the ultimate reason for the difference. I knew the basic EO answer and summarized it but was trying to be fair and get a good Catholic answer, maybe even a rebuttal.

I don't post as a reader or representing any church, just myself as a 'private citizen'.

Quote
But to answer his question: I don't think it can be said we don't have those things.
 

It can in that you don't to the degree the Orthodox do. That's the essence of the question.

Quote
Who says we don't have saints?  Whether it is right or not, the Roman Curia handles canonizations and they move slowly.  But I have no doubt Metropolitan Andrew, Patriarch Josif, Patriarch Maximox IV and others will be canonized.  If we could canonize our own saints I am sure we would have at least proportionaly as many as the Orthodox.

One doesn't see the proliferation of monastic and locally canonized saints (by the diocese) one sees among the Orthodox.

Ruthenian church wall calendars seem to have history stop around 800 - no new saints after that except Josaphat Kuncevich, killed by the 'schizmatics' (sic).

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« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2003, 03:14:31 PM »

And if we include the other Eastern Catholic Churches it was they alone and not their Orthodox counterpart that better preserved monasticism.  The Syrians and Chaldeans are prime examples.  The Catholic Churches had  strong monasteries where they almost disappeared among the Syrians and dissappeared completely among the Assyrians.

I don't want to drag the thread off topic too much, but I'd like to ask Sdn. Lance about the Syrian Catholic monasteries that he is talking about.  What kind of monasteries were they?  Did they follow traditional Syriac monasticism?  Were they based on Western orders?  Were they a mix of the two?
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« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2003, 03:34:16 PM »

Its been a while since I last visited this forum.  The first thread I read on the Catholic-Orthodox forum was by Serge asking antagonistic questions.  What exactly was Serge trying to get at?  For someone well versed in matters Catholic/Uniate/Orthodox, one would wonder what the questions were all about.  What was he driving at?

Why don't we have more saints?  Because we allow Rome to decide who should be our living icons.   Thats why.  We also don't have a good lobbyist organization in Rome pushing for new saints like all those rreligious orders do.

Why don't we have big huge monasteries with 40+ golden onion domes and 12+ chapels?  Because many are small.  Many are in Orthodox hands.  So, I guess we don't have an brag album to share.  We do have new shoots of Eastern monastic communities, those P-villages Serge speaks about.  They are growing and multiplying.  Don't we get at least one Atta-Boy for learning a lesson?

I have notebooks showing photos of at least 600+ Greek Catholic temples.  They were small, mostly wooden, chapel-size, and typically stuck up on a hill near the village.  What exactly was Serge looking for in those tiny little villages under the shadows of the Carpathians?  Having temples built by hand with local materials is different than magnificent Hagia Sophias funded by the State (and many only to be torn down or burned by the State later).  Just ask the monks of Athos today.  I know a priest who has a Russian icon of Christ that was sprayed by gun shot (c. 1917ish).  The face wasn't touched.  Religion suffered greatly under such an ungodly regime.

I guess I didn't take too kindly to Serge's questions.  I found them akin to calling a poor person stupid and backward because they don't enjoy the luxury of a private yacht.  They were potshots.

Joe
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« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2003, 04:06:46 PM »

The Monasteries of Sharfeh and Chebanie follow Syriac tradition.  I am not aware that the Syriac Catholic Church created any Orders in imitation of the Latin Church like many other Eastern Churches did.  There are some Jesuits I think, however.
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« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2003, 07:22:59 PM »

Quote
 A little harsh but impressive. I'm not saying it's the answer but it's a good try at actually answering the question. Thanks.

But the Catholic Church today accepts Palamism as a theological way and St Gregory Palamas as a saint.

This is a quote that sort of describes what I was trying to say.  It comes from page xxiii of the introduction of the Ladder of Divine Ascent published by HTM:
Quote
Thomas Merton read the Ladder and even wrote a review of it.  He read other books of the sayings of the Fathers and wrote many books himself.  Yet what was the outcome?  They did not fill the void within.  As a Trappist, he had exterior hesychia to the full, but not having found interior hesychia he left his exterior one and travelled to the Far East, there to seek from the worshippers of demons new insights and techniques for finding God.  And it is there that this hapless man, instead of finding God, found only his own tragic death.  

I was aware of the Eastern Catholics accepting (and thus RCs de facto) the sainthood of Gregory Palamas and other Orthodox saints, but I think it has an artificial feeling to it.  You can't go back post factum and insert saints or their teachings into a calendar and expect to gain much.  It's similar to putting on vestments, finding some wacko semi-vagante "bishop" with "apostolic succesion" and then expecting to be a real priest.  Most of these people probably mean well and all but it is fakery.  That is why strict Benedictine Monasticism (which is externally Orthodox monasticism as St. Benedict drew from many Eastern Orthodox sources) hasn't produced in the west anything like the Russian monasteries or the Holy Mountain.  

It's hard to describe because it is so ineffable, but I have felt this difference.  When I was first looking into Orthodoxy, I was convinced from a scholastic standpoint that it was the True Church (i.e. I saw there was no historic justifications for Vatican I etc.) but I didn't love Orthodoxy nor was I sure about converting.  Then I read The Way of a Pilgrim and started to realize that there was something more here than just a set of dogmas, doctrines and disciplines.  But it was still very lofty and out of reach for me to grasp.  Then I visisted an Orthodox Monastery for the first time and me life and instantly realized this was it.  There is something there that is truly undescribable, but it comes from the monastic tradition and is deeply grounded in the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas.  That is why I am Orthodox today.  The best modern author on this topic is IMO Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpatkos and really recomend his books on the subject.  

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« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2003, 10:15:37 PM »


I was aware of the Eastern Catholics accepting (and
fakery.  That is why strict Benedictine Monasticism (which is externally Orthodox monasticism as St. Benedict drew from many Eastern Orthodox sources) hasn't produced in the west anything like the Russian monasteries or the Holy Mountain.  





         Well, I don't know if this is quite fair.  Certainly the history in the West of the Benedictines and those of similar traditions (Cistercians, Carthusians, Camaldolese) do certainly come up to the standard of the monastic life of the Russian monasteries and Athos.  It is an impressive history and tradition as is that of the East.
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« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2003, 11:30:09 PM »

Quote
Well, I don't know if this is quite fair.  Certainly the history in the West of the Benedictines and those of similar traditions (Cistercians, Carthusians, Camaldolese) do certainly come up to the standard of the monastic life of the Russian monasteries and Athos.  It is an impressive history and tradition as is that of the East.

The strict observance Benedictines really don't even come close to the spirituality of Orthodox Monasticism.  There was nothing similar to the way in which eldership prospered in Orthodoxy.  There was no Valaam, Athos or Optina in the post schism west.  Just look at the plethora of Saints produced by the above three monasteries and thier writtings....(which is just hte tip of the iceburg) and you'll find nothing like it anywhere else.
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« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2003, 11:59:43 PM »

Nektarios,

I have to disagree.  There may have been nothing comparable to Orthodox saints in the postschism West, but that is because the entire backdrop of the post-schism west was different from East Rome.

In substance, however, there were many post-schism Western saints who in their context lived an extraordinary life of piety and holiness: St Theresa of Avila and St John of the Cross are two examples that come to my mind.

You're right: there was nothing like Optina.  But there were plenty of things that were good and holy in their own right.  Just because the postschism Latin West's spritituality was different doesn't mean it was "less."  Sure we can argue all day about whether the doctrines of the Latins are heresies but the Latins had monasteries, spirituality, and transformation in Christ.  I think it would behoove you to examine the tradition of spirituality in the West to get an idea of it so that you don't live in false impressions.

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