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Author Topic: Agreed Statement on Filioque  (Read 5373 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: October 28, 2003, 10:09:25 PM »

http://www.goarch.org/en/news/NewsDetail.asp?id=1003

Agreed Statement On Filioque Adopted By North American Orthodox-Catholic Consultation

October 28, 2003


The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation concluded a four-year study of the Filioque on October 25, when it unanimously adopted an agreed text on this difficult question that has divided the two communions for many centuries. This important development took place at the 65th meeting of the Consultation, held at St. Paul’s College in Washington, DC, under the joint chairmanship of Metropolitan Maximos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh and Archbishop Pilarczyk of Cincinnati.

The original version of the Creed most Christian churches accept as the standard expression of their faith dates from the First Council of Constantinople, in 381, and has been used by Orthodox Christians since that time. Towards the end, this Creed states that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father.” The word Filioque (“and the Son”) was later added to the Latin version of this Creed used in the West, so that the phrase as most western Christians know it reads that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” This modification appeared in some areas of Western Europe as early as the 6th century but was accepted in Rome only in the 11th century. This change in the wording of the Creed and the underlying variations in understanding the origin and procession of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity have long been considered a church-dividing issue between Catholics and Orthodox. The Consultation had been studying this question since 1999 in the hope of eventually releasing an agreed statement.

Entitled “The Filioque: A Church-Dividing Issue?”, the ten-thousand word text has three major sections. The first, “The Holy Spirit in the Scriptures,” summarizes references to the Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments. The more lengthy second section, “Historical Considerations,” provides an overview of the origins of the two traditions concerning the eternal procession of the Spirit and the slow process by which the Filioque was added to the Creed in the West. It also shows how this question concerning Trinitarian theology became entwined with disputes regarding papal jurisdiction and primacy, and reviews recent developments in the Catholic Church which point to a greater awareness of the unique and normative character of the original Greek version of the Creed as an expression of the faith that unites the Orthodox East and Catholic West. The third section, “Theological Reflections,” emphasizes our limited ability to speak of the inner life of God, points out that both sides of the debate have often caricatured the positions of the other, and lists areas in which the traditions agree. It then explores the differences that have developed regarding terminology, and identifies both theological and ecclesiological divergences that have arisen over the centuries.

In a final section, the Consultation makes eight recommendations to the members and bishops of the two churches. It recommends that they “enter into a new and earnest dialogue concerning the origin and person of the Holy Spirit.” It also proposes that in the future both Catholics and Orthodox “refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side” on this subject, and that the theologians of both traditions make a clearer distinction between the divinity of the Spirit, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, “which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution.” The text also urges theologians to distinguish, as far as possible, the theological issues concerning the origin of the Holy Spirit from ecclesiological issues, and suggests that attention be paid in the future to the status of councils of both our churches that took place after the seven ecumenical councils of the first millennium. And finally, in view of the fact that the Vatican has affirmed the “normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381” in its original Greek version, the Consultation recommends that the Catholic Church use the same text (without the Filioque) “in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use,” and declare that the anathema pronounced by the Second Council of Lyons against those who deny that the Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son is no longer applicable.

At this meeting the members also took time to review major developments in the lives of their churches. Among the items discussed were the seminar on Petrine Ministry that was held in the Vatican in May; the granting of autonomous status to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; the Orientale Lumen Conference held in Washington, DC, last June; the recent Patriarchal Assembly of the Maronite Catholic Church; the presence of a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Rome in late June for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul headed by Archbishop Demetrios of America; the seminar sponsored by Pro Oriente on the union of Transylvanian Orthodox with Rome in Cluj, Romania, last July; the Faith and Order response to Ut Unum Sint; statements by the two churches on same-sex marriages; and the recent meeting of the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

The 66th meeting of the Consultation is scheduled to take place from June 1 to 3, 2004, at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and the 67th meeting from October 21 to 23, 2004.

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is sponsored jointly by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Americas (SCOBA), the Bishops* Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in 1965, the Consultation has now issued 22 agreed statements on various topics. All these texts are now available on the
website of the US Catholic Conference at:

http://www.usccb.org/seia/dialogues.htm

In addition to the two co-chairmen, the Orthodox members of the Consultation include Father Thomas FitzGerald (Secretary), Archbishop Peter of New York, Father Nicholas Apostola, Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Father James Dutko, Prof. Paul Meyendorff, Father Alexander Golitzin, Father Emmanuel Gratsias, Dr. Robert Haddad, Father Paul Schnierla, Father Robert Stephanopoulos, and Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA (staff). The additional Catholic members are Father Brian Daley, SJ (secretary), Msgr. Frederick McManus, Prof. Thomas Bird, Father Peter Galadza, Msgr. John D. Faris, Father John Galvin, Sister Jean Goulet, CSC, Father Sidney Griffith, ST, Father John Long, SJ, Father David Petras, Prof. Robin Darling Young, and Father Ronald Roberson, CSP (staff).


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Elisha
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2003, 10:18:59 PM »

potentially scary folks.  proceed with caution.
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2003, 10:34:34 PM »

There are positive statements here, especially the recommendation to use the Creed of 381 in  
catechetical and liturgical translations in RC use.

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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2003, 01:51:22 AM »

It also proposes that in the future both Catholics and Orthodox “refrain from labeling as heretical the traditions of the other side” on this subject, and that the theologians of both traditions make a clearer distinction between the divinity of the Spirit, and the manner of the Spirit’s origin, “which still awaits full and final ecumenical resolution.”

How can the Orthodox not call the filioque a heresy?! It's a trinitarian heresy- the most damaging kind. Also, wasn't this decided by the council of Nicea when the Creed itself was written? What's this talk of waiting for a "final ecumenical resolution?"
Am I over-reacting or is this thing truly ridiculous and potentially truly damaging?
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2003, 02:05:52 AM »

No, you are not over reacting, Bogoliubtsy. The filioque is heresy. Orthodox Christrians accept no resolutions of this dodgy agreement, we accept only the resolutions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils by our God-bearing holy fathers.

Four years, it seems to me, wasted. Imagine how much good this delegation could have done towards useful effort.

As one saint of our church says "the leapord cannot change his sports, neither can the heretics change their views".

And after seeing that nothing we do with the Roman Catholic church, neither in dialogue or World Council of Church activity brings us towards unification - we continue to play buddies with them. A spiritual union with dogmatic purity is what the Church needs, not a physical union with these heretics wanting to hang to their views.

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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2003, 03:56:58 AM »

I agree with Elisha, -â+¦+¦+¼--â+¦+¦+¼. The filioque is only window dressing over much more fundamental differences between our traditions, that is, it is a symptom of the divergence, not so much the cause, so patching this up does little to correct what brought about its introduction in the first place.

Having said that however, it is definitely a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.

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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2003, 08:37:59 AM »

SCOBA = Liberalism at its worst. They are a blight on the Church.

This is the organization that in the past gave awards to Orthodox politicians that SUPPORT abortion.

--

Edit: Please note Orthodocs post below. This post was incorrect - it was The Leadership 100 (a GOA organization), not SCOBA who presented the awards.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2003, 08:48:22 AM »

SCOBA = Liberalism at its worst. They are a blight on the Church.

This is the organization that in the past gave awards to Orthodox politicians that SUPPORT abortion.



I'm not sure how to take this news myself, but I tend to agree with you, TomS.
However, Orthodoxy does have an 'ace' - US. Even after that foolish attempt at imperial preservation known as the Union of Florence 1439, it was the faithful and the clergy who preserved the faith with their rejection of the false union. Don't despair!
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2003, 09:04:17 AM »

This is a concern to me as well.  The Orthodox position on the filioque can not be comprimised.  

It is encouraging to see the statement :

"And finally, in view of the fact that the Vatican has affirmed the “normative and irrevocable dogmatic value of the Creed of 381” in its original Greek version, the Consultation recommends that the Catholic Church use the same text (without the Filioque) “in making translations of that Creed for catechetical and liturgical use,” and declare that the anathema pronounced by the Second Council of Lyons against those who deny that the Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son is no longer applicable."

It is hard to see where this will go.

Demetri is correct.  Back in 1439 the population and clergy of Constantinople spoke up against Florence and it was never put into practice but ignored.  Also, back in the 6th and 7th centuries, the populace was against the attempted unions with the Monophysites.

It is not that I am against a union with Rome in the future, but Orthodoxy needs to hold firm and the Roman Church needs to shed all the non-Orthodox dogma since 1054 that have added to the level of separation.
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2003, 09:22:50 AM »

Guys, the triumphialism is getting a bit thick.
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2003, 09:41:34 AM »

[This is the organization that in the past gave awards to Orthodox politicians that SUPPORT abortion.]

This is not a correct statement.  I was not SCOBA that gave the awards to pro- abortion GREEK politicians but the GOA!

SCOBA had nothing to do with it.  It does not make layman Archons of  the Ecumenical Throne.  GOA does that.

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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2003, 09:48:05 AM »

Yep -- you are correct Orthodoc. My mistake. It was the Leadership 100 (A GOA organization) that did that.

Sorry for the incorrect post.  Embarrassed

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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2003, 11:11:54 AM »

Guys, the triumphialism is getting a bit thick.


Triumphialism thick?  Grin  Maybe so.   Shocked.  Still believe to remain uncomprimising on the filioque, but not in a malicious or haughty way.   Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2003, 01:21:09 PM »

I don't believe it is triumphalism, as you call it, Keble, to be uncompromising on what we believe to be true.  We Orthodox on the world scene are hardly in a position to be triumphalistic.  Nevertheless, we cannot compromise on dogma and still call ourselves Orthodox.  

The "filioque" is a false teaching concerning the inner life of the Trinity, was not included in the original Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and does not square with Scripture.  Besides, Episcopalians follow Rome in using the erroneous "filioque" formula in the Creed.  Perhaps this is where you are coming from.

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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2003, 02:46:45 PM »

The complete agreed statement:

http://www.usccb.org/seia/filioque.htm
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2003, 05:17:15 PM »

I can understand the reservations expressed here, but from my side of the fence, I have no problems with this development though I still have to read the statement for myself.  Of course, whether overall believers' sentiments go along that same road is another matter entirely.

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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2003, 12:32:34 AM »

Simply put: The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.

Period.
Fini.
No argument.
In concrete.
What is the problem?

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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2003, 03:36:41 AM »

I have to admit that I am somewhat at a loss as to what the Spaniards and Carolingians considered was lacking in the creed.

light of light,
true God of true God,
begotten not made,
of one being with the Father, ...


This was formulated, afterall, as a defense weapon against heresy, particularly the Arian heresy, so why wasn't it sufficient for the Spaniards?

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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2003, 09:15:58 AM »

I can't remember what the heresy was called, or the priests name, but he was a popular Spanish priest who was saying something about that Jesus was not EQUAL to God.
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2003, 09:28:24 AM »

I don't believe it is triumphalism, as you call it, Keble, to be uncompromising on what we believe to be true.

But which "we"? At the moment this "we" is certain members of this forum, but the "we" should properly be your bishops. The import of what you are saying here seems to me to imply that, should the bishops come up with a position that you personally disapprove of, then you personally will forsake them and presumably seek out whichever bishops also forsake them.

This, I would submit, isn't how episcopal polity is supposed to work. If the bishops decide something, you, as a layman, are supposed to take their direction. Instead it seems to me that you are sitting in judgement over them like any Protestant.
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2003, 09:37:12 AM »

Oh, I forget to bring up ROAC in this thread. . . .   Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2003, 09:39:54 AM »

Oh, I forget to bring up ROAC in this thread. . . .   Grin Grin Grin Grin

Is outrage!
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2003, 10:46:00 AM »

But which "we"? At the moment this "we" is certain members of this forum, but the "we" should properly be your bishops. The import of what you are saying here seems to me to imply that, should the bishops come up with a position that you personally disapprove of, then you personally will forsake them and presumably seek out whichever bishops also forsake them.

Dear Keble,

I suppose ordinarily it would work this way.  I could be wrong, and will be corrected, but here's my take.  The Orthodox Church regards the whole Church as the guardian of the Orthodox faith, and not just the bishops or the monks or whomever: no one part of the Church, however high up in the ranks, holds a monopoly on this.  I think there have been times when bishops have acquiesced to something the people wouldn't, and the people won their case, not because there were more on their side, but because they were on the side of the Orthodox faith in that instance, and the bishops weren't.  I submit that this is quite different from what we see in Protestantism, even though I understand how you could come to the conclusion you came to above.

And thanks for bringing up ROAC.  Tongue
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2003, 12:08:12 PM »

Not to be funny, but I believe that there is a ROAC Church in Running Springs which is pretty much burnt up.

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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2003, 12:18:57 PM »

But which "we"? At the moment this "we" is certain members of this forum, but the "we" should properly be your bishops. The import of what you are saying here seems to me to imply that, should the bishops come up with a position that you personally disapprove of, then you personally will forsake them and presumably seek out whichever bishops also forsake them.

Dear Keble,

I suppose ordinarily it would work this way.  I could be wrong, and will be corrected, but here's my take.  The Orthodox Church regards the whole Church as the guardian of the Orthodox faith, and not just the bishops or the monks or whomever: no one part of the Church, however high up in the ranks, holds a monopoly on this.  I think there have been times when bishops have acquiesced to something the people wouldn't, and the people won their case, not because there were more on their side, but because they were on the side of the Orthodox faith in that instance, and the bishops weren't.  I submit that this is quite different from what we see in Protestantism, even though I understand how you could come to the conclusion you came to above.

Thanks for the above, Mor.  That "is" indeed the Orthodox response to the "we" which Keble fails to understand.  Orthodoxy is *NOT ONLY* Catholic and Apostolic and episcopal after all: it is also conciliar, and one might even say it has congregational and presbyterian aspects to complement the episcopal to make it truly conciliar.  In Orthodoxy, WE're ALL (hierarchs, clergy, monastics and ordinarily laymen--i.e., all the LAOS) responsible in maintaining the Truth--we do not leave it to an organ exterior or superior to us.

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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2003, 12:32:13 PM »

I don't think it's an issue of whether Keble "understands" Orthodoxy. I am pretty sure he does. I think it is more along the lines that he thinks the "application" of Orthodoxy in the real world is wanting.
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2003, 12:44:51 PM »

I don't believe it is triumphalism, as you call it, Keble, to be uncompromising on what we believe to be true.

But which "we"? At the moment this "we" is certain members of this forum, but the "we" should properly be your bishops. The import of what you are saying here seems to me to imply that, should the bishops come up with a position that you personally disapprove of, then you personally will forsake them and presumably seek out whichever bishops also forsake them.

This, I would submit, isn't how episcopal polity is supposed to work. If the bishops decide something, you, as a layman, are supposed to take their direction. Instead it seems to me that you are sitting in judgement over them like any Protestant.


Keble, I respectfully submit that while the Orthodox Church is hierarchical, that's not the only kernel in it.  We're NOT Episcopalians.  The Orthodox Church is conciliar: all have their roles: bishops, priests, monastics, ordinary laymen.  We would not take our bishops's direction if he "openly preached heresy bareheaded in the church" as you would.  Most of us, I assume, would seek out another Orthodox bishop until such time as a synod dealt with the offending heretic, or at least until the heresy was publicly repented of.

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2003, 12:54:19 PM »

 We would not take our bishops's direction if he "openly preached heresy bareheaded in the church" as you would.  Most of us, I assume, would seek out another Orthodox bishop until such time as a synod dealt with the offending heretic, or at least until the heresy was publicly repented of.

Hypo-Ortho


Exactly Hypo-Ortho, but for some STRANGE reason Keble sees that as a weakness. I just don't understand it.  He seems to have this very strange idea that it is okay to be led down the "path to perdition" as long as his "church" leads the way.

The problem with this logic is that HE KNOWS that his "church" is wrong. And since he knows this and stays, he is just as culpable as the other "look the other way" members.

But Keble would never admit this. Will you Keble? Do you agree that by your staying a member of this "church" that you are supporting its "vision" of Christianity?




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« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2003, 04:03:02 PM »

It's obvious that i'm having trouble getting my point across here.

Some of the responses here are stepping too far out of the context of my comment. Clearly a single bishop (Bishop +SPONGSKII Shocked ) who by himself steps out of the church consensus is a problem with an easy answer (even for Episcopalians  Embarrassed ).

But that's not the case here. What we have going on is clearly a conciliar process, so I have to wonder a bit at the implied intent of individual laymen passing judgment on such a council, particularly a priori. It seems to me that laymen must interact with this in a way that is also conciliar; otherwise they're just Protestants. I would also point out that this whole thing works out in historical context.

My reading of the statement is that this genuinely ecumenical council is trying to work in the theological reasons behind the insertion of the filioque without actually inserting it, and at the same time trying to remove all the political baggage which has been the hallmark of the dispute from the beginning. In that context, "No Compromise!" reads to me as the opinion that the council should not be happening at all, because there is no room for conversation. This bothers me because it appears to me to express a lot of negative impulses which I see as inconsistent with what Jesus taught.
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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2003, 04:58:11 PM »

But that's not the case here. What we have going on is clearly a conciliar process, so I have to wonder a bit at the implied intent of individual laymen passing judgment on such a council, particularly a priori. It seems to me that laymen must interact with this in a way that is also conciliar; otherwise they're just Protestants. I would also point out that this whole thing works out in historical context.


But is this really a priori?  What people are reading is not an announcement of a coming meeting, but an Agreed Statement, supposedly the final product.  What is meant by "conciliar process"?  Certainly, I don't think you will find anyone, either on the Orthodox or the Catholic sides, who will call this a council in the sense that it is authoritative in some way.
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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2003, 06:21:45 PM »

But is this really a priori?  What people are reading is not an announcement of a coming meeting, but an Agreed Statement, supposedly the final product.  What is meant by "conciliar process"?  Certainly, I don't think you will find anyone, either on the Orthodox or the Catholic sides, who will call this a council in the sense that it is authoritative in some way.    

But this meeting itself is simply a step in a larger conciliar process, in the ordinary sense, not the "Official Doctrinal Statement" sense. In the long run it might well lead to a Conciliar Statement. So this "final statement" isn't really that final; it's simply the outcome of one step.
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« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2003, 09:22:53 PM »

But is this really a priori?  What people are reading is not an announcement of a coming meeting, but an Agreed Statement, supposedly the final product.  What is meant by "conciliar process"?  Certainly, I don't think you will find anyone, either on the Orthodox or the Catholic sides, who will call this a council in the sense that it is authoritative in some way.    

But this meeting itself is simply a step in a larger conciliar process, in the ordinary sense, not the "Official Doctrinal Statement" sense. In the long run it might well lead to a Conciliar Statement. So this "final statement" isn't really that final; it's simply the outcome of one step.


I think you are now sounding now like a politician. Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2003, 09:59:46 PM »

But this meeting itself is simply a step in a larger conciliar process, in the ordinary sense, not the "Official Doctrinal Statement" sense. In the long run it might well lead to a Conciliar Statement. So this "final statement" isn't really that final; it's simply the outcome of one step.


I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.  I understand that this is the outcome of one step in what may end up being a larger process.  What is at issue here is that there are things in this that, if we are interpreting them correctly, seem unacceptable, even at this "one step".  And it is not only Orthodox who feel this way.  Although there doesn't seem to be the same volume of response, I am reading responses from Catholics (and not just fringe groups on the RC periphery, but "regular" Catholics) who seem just as disturbed by this.
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« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2003, 10:40:40 PM »

Hey Mor,

I did'nt know I was disturbed   Shocked.

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« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2003, 11:04:35 PM »

Dear James,

Your disturbedness is a topic for another thread, preferably in Free For All.  Tongue Tongue
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« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2003, 03:56:26 PM »

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.  I understand that this is the outcome of one step in what may end up being a larger process.  What is at issue here is that there are things in this that, if we are interpreting them correctly, seem unacceptable, even at this "one step".  And it is not only Orthodox who feel this way.  Although there doesn't seem to be the same volume of response, I am reading responses from Catholics (and not just fringe groups on the RC periphery, but "regular" Catholics) who seem just as disturbed by this.  

The thing is, though, that "No compromise!" isn't just a theological statement, but also a political statement. And this is an issue which has always been tied up in church politics. So we should not think ourselves so pure as to think that we say "No compromise!" solely out of theological reflection.

Also, not that I want to be specifically critical of anyone in particular, but it seems to me that when a council of bishops and professional theologians labors on a difficult issue for four years, there's a certain lack of humility in a bunch of laymen jumping up right away to object. At the very least, conversation between these laymen and their bishops is in order. It's all well and good to say that we have to constantly fight for Christ, but light of the Sermon on the Mount I'd have to say that, most of the time, this "fighting" doesn't look like what the World sees as fighting-- even in terms of intellectual battle. That's a big part of the problem I have with ROAC (well, I had to bring it up, didn't I? Grin ) : they are intensely focused on this issue of ecumenism, as though it were the most crucial issue in the life of their parishioners. But in reality most of the people in OCA or GOA or even ROCOR wouldn't even know it was going on unless someone beat them about the head and ears with it. It seems to me that the filioque falls to a large degree in the same category; a neutral observer would be hard pressed to find this theological difference expressed in any other differences.

I don't want to accuse everyone of self-righteousness, tempting though it is. But the strength of the reaction seems premature.
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« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2003, 06:39:11 PM »

Now, Keble, don't fall over in a dead faint here, but I am sympathetic to your stance.  :cwm12:

Although I have been known to argue with my friends (friends, mind you) that their acceptance of the filioque is a dangerous thing, nonetheless, when I read the Agreed Statement, I had to think, "What?  Rome willing to give up the  filioque?  No way!  Cool."

Now, clearly, this is not the final most perfect agreement that could be reached.  (That, after all, would be reunification with the Pope as a member of the college of Patriarchs and Bishops and not the head.)  But this sort of concession is a step in the right direction.

Further, given the general charges of heresy, I'm not sure I understand the reaction of my esteemed Orthodox brothers to the Statement.  What specifically is unacceptable to them?

I realize there are problems, and Fr Reardon at Touchstone magazine has highlighted some of them (see his remarks http://www.touchstonemag.com/blogarchive/2003_10_26_editors.html#106755068768940323).  But I fail to see what the source of the passionate rejection is in this case.

And by the way: If we grant that ecumenism with non-Orthodox is a chancy thing at best, why is there all this passion about various Orthodox jurisdictions restoring communion with one another?http://
« Last Edit: October 31, 2003, 06:40:22 PM by CDHealy » Logged

Clifton D. Healy
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