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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2009, 12:37:06 AM »

Thank you. The church findingfaith pointed me to, St. Paul's, is listed on SCOBA as OCA, but the churches website says Romanian. Can it be both? Can a Romanian church be under the jurisdiction of the OCA?

Yes, they have a special bishop in the Orthodox Church in America.  But even if it is all in Romanian, don't despair.  It is more than worth your time.  Listen to this Romanian Byzantine chant of the Beatitudes of our Lord:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0robK8bUVVY

You just might get to hear something so beautiful at that parish.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 12:37:18 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2009, 12:47:23 AM »

Thank you. The church findingfaith pointed me to, St. Paul's, is listed on SCOBA as OCA, but the churches website says Romanian. Can it be both? Can a Romanian church be under the jurisdiction of the OCA?

Yes, they have a special bishop in the Orthodox Church in America.  But even if it is all in Romanian, don't despair.  It is more than worth your time.  Listen to this Romanian Byzantine chant of the Beatitudes of our Lord:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0robK8bUVVY

You just might get to hear something so beautiful at that parish.

I don't know who Sunyaa is, but they have taste.  Another selection of theirs, the Pascal stichera:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLquakalcvU
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« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2009, 05:58:01 PM »

findingfaith,
Thanks for all of your help.

Shlomlokh,
I will pray for you and thank you for your prayers as well.

Ortho_cat,
Thank you. You bring up a good point about the "ripeness" of the situation in Rome for an episcopal monarchy. I'd like to read further the progression of thought (by the early church) on the primacy of Peter.

ialmisry,
Quote
Yes, it can be both OCA and Romanian, and in fact this parish is.  Don't expect much English (most of the parishioners will probably, based on other parishes I've visited).

Oh. Ok. That makes sense. Thank you for the clarification.

Quote
Btw, Holy Incarnation is Antiochian only in its bishops: if you go to an Antiochian parish near you otherwise, especially in Michigan, you are going to get an Arab Orthodox Church (not, of course, that I am against that ).

I might have to check both of them out then. Arab is no more a problem for me than Romanian. That is to say, no problem at all. Though I must admit, I wish there were an OCA that did the DL in english.

Alveus and ialmisry,
Those chants are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
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« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2009, 11:55:39 PM »

I might have to check both of them out then. Arab is no more a problem for me than Romanian. That is to say, no problem at all. Though I must admit, I wish there were an OCA that did the DL in english.

Is St. Raphael of Brooklyn by you?
http://www.straphaeldetroit.org/

have you seen this site?
http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php
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« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2009, 10:31:27 PM »

ialmisry,
Yes. Smiley I am about 20 minutes from St. Raphael's. Not super close, but close enough to visit.

Yes, I have looked at that site. Part of the issue is just understanding the various jurisidictions and what to expect. But I have learned allot already from you and the others here. Thank you.
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GammaRay
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« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2009, 11:47:19 AM »

May I also add that Orthodox theology and view of God is speaking right into my heart?
I mean, come on. Western theology?!
A man once committed a sin which has been passed down to all generations (i.e.: all people get the blame), so the One who doomed that man had to kill His Son, in order to forgive our sins (which He could also forgive before that) and prevent us from Him sending us to a burning place.
Now, that explains why there are so many atheists out there!

 angel
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« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2009, 08:27:02 PM »

GammaRay,
lol  Roll Eyes

Thank you for your help and everyone else's help as well. You've all helped me tremendously over the past few days. I want to now stew on what I've learned and then take it back to the Catholic forum. My goal is to find the true churhc and then be in it. I want to sharpen steal on steal so to speak and continue to pray for the wisdom and grace to discern the truth and the ability to live it out.

God bless.
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« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2009, 09:34:12 PM »

GammaRay,
lol  Roll Eyes

Thank you for your help and everyone else's help as well. You've all helped me tremendously over the past few days. I want to now stew on what I've learned and then take it back to the Catholic forum. My goal is to find the true churhc and then be in it. I want to sharpen steal on steal so to speak and continue to pray for the wisdom and grace to discern the truth and the ability to live it out.

God bless.

May Our Lord and Our Lady be with you! Peace to you in your spiritual journey. With Christ before you, with you, and for you, I am confident that you will find your true home.

Selam
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« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2009, 11:12:44 PM »

Have you attended the Divine Liturgy yet at an Orthodox temple?

You can also attend the Divine Liturgy in a Catholic setting (Ukrainian), but avoid the Ruthenian variant. There's an entire forum at Byzcath.org dedicated to the defects of the revised Ruthenian liturgy. IMHO the Divine Liturgy is superior to the Novus Ordo mass and on par with the old Latin. And the music will not pollute our ears. There's a pre-communion prayer where you are comparing yourself to the thief on the cross that is just beautiful, especially the Slavonic variant. And yes, on the subject of Latin, it's worth the time to hunt down an indult parish and experience that side. In any case, do take the time to acquaint yourself with the traditions of the East, and best of luck on your spiritual journey.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 11:15:32 PM by John Larocque » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #54 on: July 30, 2009, 02:29:59 AM »

Have you attended the Divine Liturgy yet at an Orthodox temple?

You can also attend the Divine Liturgy in a Catholic setting (Ukrainian), but avoid the Ruthenian variant. There's an entire forum at Byzcath.org dedicated to the defects of the revised Ruthenian liturgy. IMHO the Divine Liturgy is superior to the Novus Ordo mass and on par with the old Latin. And the music will not pollute our ears. There's a pre-communion prayer where you are comparing yourself to the thief on the cross that is just beautiful, especially the Slavonic variant. And yes, on the subject of Latin, it's worth the time to hunt down an indult parish and experience that side. In any case, do take the time to acquaint yourself with the traditions of the East, and best of luck on your spiritual journey.

John,

You do realize that the Convert Issues board at OrthodoxChristianity.net is a discussion board devoted to issues faced by those converting or considering conversion to the Orthodox Christian faith?  In that light, do you not see how tacky it is for you to sing the praises of a [Ukrainian] Catholic liturgy and to encourage posters on this board to attend one?
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« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2009, 07:36:51 AM »

True enough, but my message was aimed solely and only at the non-Orthodox member. It's not meant to be what you think it is and it certainly wasn't meant to be tacky or taken the wrong way. I was thinking of some of my own discomforts and how to deal with them. I  should probably recuse from myself this discussion.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 07:38:39 AM by John Larocque » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2009, 09:37:44 AM »

Thank you John for recusing yourself on this topic, it speaks well of you understanding boundaries. To discuss Orthodoxy  and Byzantine Catholic Rites the correct forum is  Orthodox - Catholic Discussion Forum.

To all just a reminder of the purpose of the Copnvert Issues Forum:

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

If the moderators find that the discusions become faith or jurisdiction debates, the topic will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate. As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split so that a private discussion can be established to go into detail about the issues that you feel adamant about and wish to debate or discuss. The convert forum is not a place for combative debate or arguement. 

Thank you for your following these guidelines to the edification and spiritual growth of the forum inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted.

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ialmisry
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« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2009, 12:38:57 PM »

ialmisry,
Yes. Smiley I am about 20 minutes from St. Raphael's. Not super close, but close enough to visit.

Yes, I have looked at that site. Part of the issue is just understanding the various jurisidictions and what to expect. But I have learned allot already from you and the others here. Thank you.

Are you close enough/able to go to Rives Junction/Jackson next weekend?  It is the Feast Day and Pilgrimage to the Dormition Monastery.
http://www.dormitionmonastery.org/index.php?page_id=20
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« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2009, 03:45:11 AM »

Thank you, Alveus. I'm not looking to argue. I'm just interested in hearing the arguments. If that makes sense?

Arguments are more in the spirit of the western churches. 
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« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2009, 04:08:18 AM »

I am currently a Roman Catholic. I am Roman Catholic because I thought it was the church Jesus established 2000 years ago. But for some reason, the other night, I was moved to investigate the claim of the Orthodox Church as the true church. And I must admit, I am beginning to feel called to the Orthodox Church. I see in the Orthodox Church a better--I want to say ordering--of spirituality and reason. But I also like what I don't see--the power structure.

So, I am seeking your help and prayers. Prayers, because such a decision is obviously very huge, but I also seek intellectual help. Please, if you would be so kind, make your best case for why the Orthodox Church is the true church as opposed to the Catholic Church.

Thank you.

By "the Orthodox Church", I am assuming you are using the most common usage of that, to mean particularly the EOC, the Byzantine Church?
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« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2009, 04:16:09 AM »


I'm also a little nervous about bringing my wife into my journey before I am confident I'm on the right one.

This is a more personal issue, and its more your business than ours, but I think it would be important that you not go through with initiation into the EOC until you discuss it with your wife.
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« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2009, 04:32:32 AM »


It is also interesting to note that the Bishop of Rome wasn’t even allowed to attend the 5nd Ecumenical Council (553 AD) due to his support of the heretical Nestorianism movement.

I don't know whether it was accurate to say that he was not allowed, or perhaps if it was actually that he refused to attend.


Baptism

EO- Full immersion (original)
RC- Sprinkling (later modification)

While full immersion is certainly the standard of the EOC, it is also certainly not the exclusive practice. I know by personal experience. Also, while sprinkling is sometimes practiced in the Western rite of the RCC (there are of course Eastern rites where your generalizations do not apply), immersion is also, and pouring is probably the actual standard.


Sign of the Cross

EO- Right to left (original)
RC- left to right (later modification)

Your comments are debatable. The Oriental Orthodox cross themselves left to right, and it is not clear that both them and the Latins independently deviated, or if the Byzanto-Latin church deviated from the Orientals and later the Latins from the Byzantines, or if perhaps the Orientals and Byzanto-Latins had this difference from a significant antiquity.


Nicene-Constantinople Creed

EO - The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (original)
RC - The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father AND the Son (later addition, “the Filioque“)

This is the most significant of your list. But even more significant than the clause itself is the theology that developed around it. As it is the clause is a mere canonical violation, but when the Latins got to the point of saying things like "the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle" (as at the Council of Florence), this is where the heresy is actually clarified.
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« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2009, 04:41:15 AM »


EO - Communion under both species (cfr. Christ's words: "Take and drink all of it" in the Gospels)
RC - Communion under bread only

The issue is not so much whether both species are offered to the laity and what they partake of, as it is the fact that the participation of the Precious Blood is not regarded as fundamental or necessary, that it is allowed to pass it by, and that many go through with this practice. You cannot say that Roman Catholics in general "take Communion under bread only", because many happen to partake of both species by choice.


EO - Both secular and regular clergy  (cfr. Paul's words on married presbyters and deacons, together with his appreciation for celibacy)
RC - Regular (i.e. celibate) clergy only

That isn't true of all RC jurisdictions.


EO - Baptism, chrismation and communion always given at once even to infant (see hippolitus of Rome, Ambrose of Milan and tens of other W and E fathers)
RC - Baptism, communion and confirmation given separately at different ages and in a different order then the traditional one

Except for Eastern Catholics.


EO - Apostolic tradition of praying at DL ad Orientem (st John Chrysostom wrote that it's an apostolic tradition)
RC - Protestant-style prayers at Mass ad populum (where the priest replaces Christ at the altar)

This is only true in Vatican II generated rites.


EO - Chants without instruments at DL (agreed by all Church Fathers that dealt with this matter)
RC - Chants with instruments (organ, and recently guitars, bongos etc) and adoption of Protestant gospel music

Not all EO churches refrain from using musical instruments. Not all RC churches use instruments.
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« Reply #63 on: August 10, 2009, 02:50:10 PM »


I definately see that the Papacy (as a sort of universal authority) is clearly not biblical nor is it the norm of the early church. The letters of Pope Gregory as well as Acts clearly show this.

What I do see is that the one See existed in three places by three bishops: Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. So, what my concern is, that if the See of Peter exists as a triumvirate of those three churches/bishops, how can either the Catholic or Orthodox claim to be the true church if both are merely pieces of the church?

The problem is that you have been somewhat misled on this topic as to what is the view of the EOC. The idea expressed by Pope Gregory the Great appears to be nothing more than a private theological opinion of his, certainly not something that has achieved dogmatic status in the EOC. Certainly many in the EOC disagree with this opinion, and not without legitimacy. To suggest that any of those three sees are fundamental to the existence of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is directly contrary to the opinions of most within the EOC. The Church could continue to properly exist if it had none of those three sees. We do not adhere to a diminished papism where we view a Triumvurate as fundamental to our ecclesiology rather than a Monarchy. Thus, in our view, the fact that the RCC does not contain the historical churches of Alexandria and Antioch and that the EOC does not contain the historical church of Rome does not in any way affect their claims to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2009, 02:59:56 PM »


Many of the Church fathers clearly refer to his being the rock and so forth.

They also refer to the confession of Peter as being the rock. And they also refer to Jesus Himself being the rock.


So is the argument then that majority ruled? That because the majority of the church disagreed with Rome, that Rome was in error and the majority was correct in its assessment?

No, not exactly. It has more to do with who ultimately triumphed within the Church. And it has to do with who most closely is viewed as having been faithful to the Gospel message. At the Council of Jerusalem, Paul and his supporters were understood as having been inspired by the Holy Spirit to witness to the inclusion of the Gentiles. The fact that Peter eventually relinquished and admitted to the authority of Paul's teaching indicates that Peter was likewise becoming inspired by the Holy Spirit. The fact that he did so lends more creedance to the inclusion of Gentiles. The concern is more to do with the consensus of the Church at broad. For instance, Rome's submission to the filioque clause is viewed as the error because clearly Pope's preceeding the 11th century had already condemned the clause in unison with the Eastern Patriarchs.
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« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2009, 03:04:13 PM »


We have Romanian, Bulgarian, and a western Antiochian church nearby.

I would personally recommend the Western Rite Antiochian church. The Romanian and Bulgarian churches will both be fairly ethnic, whereas the Antiochian church will be much more close to someone with not ethnic ties to an Eastern Orthodox church.

If you would be most comfortable with retaining your own rite, Holy Incarnation is definitely a good bet.

However, I just took another look, and there appears to be far more EOC's in that area than the three you previously mentioned. If you still want to got non-ethnic Byzantine rite with the OCA, that definitely appears to be an option. Type in Dearborn, MI to this search engine and you will see all the results:

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php
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« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2009, 03:13:16 PM »


Quote
Is it your opinion then that the Church of Rome is a broken branch which "will not be able to bud?"

The reason I ask this is for the obvious reason, but also because one of the things I feel attached to (as far as the Catholic church) is the great saints. St. Francis and St. Dominic--even Mother Teresa are heroes of mine. They clearly seem to be "good fruit." Is it possible that Rome is not broken, but merely needs a little mending?

Keep in mind that it may possibly be simultaneously the case that Rome is a broken branch but that Francis and Dominic also happen to legitimately be Saints.

As far as I know, my godparents do venerate Francis on an individual level.
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« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2009, 03:35:26 PM »


Though I must admit, I wish there were an OCA that did the DL in english.

There appear to be a number of churches in your area with the Byzantine liturgy in English:

http://www.firebirdvideos.com/stinnocentchurch.htm This one is part of the Moscow Patriarchate rather than the OCA, but it claims its liturgy is in English and that its members are multi-ethnic.

http://sspeterpaulorthodoxcathedraldetroit.org/ Part of the OCA with English services and multi-ethnic.

http://www.straphaeldetroit.org/ This one is part of the Romanian diocese of the OCA, but they claim their services are in English.

http://orthodoxlivonia.org/ Another OCA, English, multi-ethnic.

http://www.sgroc.org/mainENG.htm This is just a little bonus, as it does not belong with the rest, but it is the archdiocesan cathedral for the Romanian church in America. You might be interested in checking it out at some point.

All of these are within 10 miles of Dearborn.



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« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2009, 05:46:05 PM »

I wouldn't mind attending an English language Divine Liturgy (Orthodox) somewhere in Toronto. I live in North York. Within days, I intend to attend Friday Vespers and Dormition Feast at the local (new Calendar) St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox parish - however it will be totally in Greek and I will be literally surrounded by all native-speaking Greeks. (Yes, I know the rules on interconfessional communion and will respect them). But this should be a real treat and I hope a great introduction. Hopefully they will have a bilingual booklet somewhere, otherwise I'll be somewhat lost (especially at Vespers).

I have studied this text for a while now - albeit it's Slavonic in origin:
http://aggreen.net/liturgics/C-R_Div_Lit.html
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« Reply #69 on: August 11, 2009, 08:33:59 PM »

deusveritasest,
I appreciate your insight.

I would certainly never make such a move without discussing the issue with my wife.

I've been spending quite a bit of time looking into this document by Pope Gregory as it was one of those "clincher" documents for me. It looks like this wasn't what I thought it to be at first. It looks more like he is being very/overly diplomatic towards his fellow bishop. He is saying (in my own words), "Yes, it is true I hold a special position, but please understand that you too hold a special position connected to St. Paul." In other words, it seems like he's trying to make the other guy feel better by intentionally downplaying his being the pope.

So at this point, I'm puting the breaks on. Some of the elements that seemed so striking to me at first, seem less striking now that I've spent a little more time and prayer on them. Even the OC's approach to spirituality which I find so intriging appears alive and well in the Eastern Catholic Churches as well.

My goal is to find and be in the truth. If the truth lies within the OC, then that is no doubt where I will one day be, but for now, I am not convinced that the truth lies outside the CC.

But please continue to pray for me and please continue to try to set me straight. I am not looking to follow the easy path. I want to follow the true path.

Thanks.
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« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2009, 02:06:17 AM »

"My goal is to find and be in the truth. If the truth lies within the OC, then that is no doubt where I will one day be, but for now, I am not convinced that the truth lies outside the CC."

As much as others focus on the understanding of the papacy a lot, I think this is probably not that great of an idea when discerning the truth claims of the two churches. And it seems that this is what you have been focusing on. The problem is that the EO historically did use this as their primary basis for denouncing the Roman Catholic Tradition as heretical. The primary issue as of the 9th century was the filioque, and it remained as such for quite a long time. Excommunications of the Pope happened because he adopted the filioque, which was understood as a heresy, with issues of his jurisdiction not really mentioned all that much. The Pope pushed the issue by claiming that he had universal jurisdiction over the Church, that he had the authority to add the clause, and that the Eastern Patriarchs must submit to this authority. Only in the RC's defending themselves against accusations of heresy did the issue of papal supremacy really enter into the fray.

Furthermore, the issue over the Essence and Energies of God became quite important starting the 14th century. Two pillars of the two respective traditions came to conclusions on this topic that are in stark contrast. Thomas Aquinas taught that the Essence of God is perceptible in Heaven after the senses of the faithful have been transformed by "the light of glory". Gregory Palamas taught that the Essence of God can in no way at all be grasped, participated in, comprehended, or perceived by humanity, and that "the light of glory" was not some created substance used to transform humanity to disposition for the beatific vision, but that it was the Uncreated Energies of God, and constituted the beatific vision itself.

These two issues play directly into the nature of God, and can possibly lead one to the conclusion that the EO and RC don't even believe in the same God. They are clearly more fundamentally important than the nature of the papacy. To discern the truthfulness of these two movements, thus, I believe you should be focusing on more fundamental topics such as these. What is God? Who is the Father? Who is the Son? Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the nature of Christ? What is salvation?

Once you discern your answers to these questions, the issue of the papacy pretty much falls into place. If the reason for the schism was the Bishop of Rome not properly upholding orthodoxy, then obviously papal infallibility is wrong. If the reason for the schism was the Eastern Patriarchs not properly upholding orthodoxy, then papal infallibility is probably right.
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« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2009, 03:59:50 PM »

deusveritasest,
Thank you again. I understand where you are coming from, but I disagree. Your following statement sums up my point of contention:

Quote
If the reason for the schism was the Bishop of Rome not properly upholding orthodoxy, then obviously papal infallibility is wrong. If the reason for the schism was the Eastern Patriarchs not properly upholding orthodoxy, then papal infallibility is probably right.

I believe Jesus established a church on earth before He ascended into heaven. The leaders of that church were given the power to bind and loose. They were given the charge to spread and protect the word they received from Jesus Himself. I look to that church to tell me what orthodoxy is, not for orthodoxy to tell me what the church is.

So I am left with determining which church is that church. Is it the Catholic Church? If so, than papal infallibility is right. If It is the Orthodox Church, then papal infallibility is probably wrong, but I wouldn't care because I would switch to the Orthodox Church.

Does that make sense?
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« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2009, 04:32:04 PM »

"I believe Jesus established a church on earth before He ascended into heaven. The leaders of that church were given the power to bind and loose. They were given the charge to spread and protect the word they received from Jesus Himself. I look to that church to tell me what orthodoxy is, not for orthodoxy to tell me what the church is.

So I am left with determining which church is that church. Is it the Catholic Church? If so, than papal infallibility is right. If It is the Orthodox Church, then papal infallibility is probably wrong, but I wouldn't care because I would switch to the Orthodox Church.

Does that make sense?
"

No, because I see determining what is orthodoxy as the very mean by which we determine which Church is the Church established by Christ which we can trust in for authoritative teaching. At least there appears to be no other way when there are a number of churches which lay possibly true claims to be the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2009, 05:48:26 PM »

Dear Militantsparrow,

I am really filled with joy seeing you are earnestly looking for the truth. I am praying that God reveals it to you and if you are ready to accept the Truth, the teaching of the Light, with your heart, you will definitely find it.

Let your heart be your guide in this search.

So, it’s true the Pope has historical authority that as proclaimed by him comes from St. Peter.

But did the scribes and pharisees have not also similar authority? They occupied Moses’ seat as mentioned by the Savior and nevertheless were overturned by the Nazerene. Christ – born without any worldly authority was preaching the Light and demanded from the Jews to abandon their formal spiritual rulers.

Why was Christ not born as the High Priest of the Jews? Why did He not show miracles of destructive and fearful nature so that all surely submit to Himself?

Because that’s not the purpose. If God wishes, He could of course make all the humanity serve Him even against their will.
The purpose that God defined for us is to search for the Truth and to love this Truth, to love the Light. This Light is revealed in our heart because our heart tells us what is right and what wrong.

Let us therefore examine the teachings carefully and pray for help from God to discern the most true teaching with our heart.

Militantsparrow, do you really believe in the teaching of Purgatory? Does really Christ not fully forgive men’s transgressions when He gives forgiveness so that they have to be cleansed by torture after their death to compensate for the excess of bad deeds before entering the Heaven?

And what about the free will? As far as I know the Roman Catholics don’t hold any particular position on this crucial subject.
Well, the orthodox position is that humans undoubtedly have a free will and a free choice. God gave them to us and decreed that our salvation depends wholly on our free will and free choice. And now a quote from St. Cyril of Alexandria, pillar of the Church:
“For where there is hearing and learning and the benefit of instruction, there is faith, to wit by persuasion and not of necessity: and the knowledge of Christ is given by the Father to them that are worthy, helpful as of love, rather than constraining. For the word of doctrine requires that free-will and free choice be preserved to the soul of man, in order that it may ask the just rewards of its good deeds, and if it have fallen from right, and from heedlessness have transgressed the Will of the Lawgiver, it may receive the doom of its transgression and that most reasonable.” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book 4)
God wants the salvation of everybody and as many protestants hold.

Wish you all the best in your searches
Cyril
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« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2009, 06:05:12 PM »

For further discussion on papal infallibility place this phrase in the search box  to the upper right  and it will provide you all the previous discussions pertaining to this on the oc.net

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« Reply #75 on: August 12, 2009, 06:36:01 PM »

Quote
And what about the free will? As far as I know the Roman Catholics don’t hold any particular position on this crucial subject.

They definitely do. The Protestant Reformers such as Calvin adopted a mutant brand of Augustinism and embraced such concepts as "irresistable grace." This concept was anathemized at the Council of Trent. Yes, Virginia, you can resist grace. As those old Baltimore catechisms might put it, God wants you to know him and love him and serve him but you can resist him and his grace if you so choose.

I'm not defending the superiority of the Catholic position, merely stating that they have one, and it was staked out long ago in the Reformation era. Calvin, Luther and others, when they rejected the Catholic Church, sought to restore what they believed to be authentic early Christianity, and turned to Augustine and to misreadings of Paul. Thomistic theology had softened or modified much of that system and they were going right back to the source.
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« Reply #76 on: August 12, 2009, 07:09:42 PM »

May I also add that Orthodox theology and view of God is speaking right into my heart?
I mean, come on. Western theology?!
A man once committed a sin which has been passed down to all generations (i.e.: all people get the blame), so the One who doomed that man had to kill His Son, in order to forgive our sins (which He could also forgive before that) and prevent us from Him sending us to a burning place.
Now, that explains why there are so many atheists out there!

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1) about the "offense of the Nature of God"
2) about the feudalist society which was supposedly set by God Himself(!!!) and not by unjust and inhumane humen... 
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« Reply #77 on: August 13, 2009, 09:17:02 AM »

deusveritasest,
Quote
No, because I see determining what is orthodoxy as the very mean by which we determine which Church is the Church established by Christ which we can trust in for authoritative teaching. At least there appears to be no other way when there are a number of churches which lay possibly true claims to be the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Ok. Let me try to clarify. Baptists believe they are in the correct church. They believe so because of what they determine to be orthodoxy. They have illuminated what orthodoxy is (for them) by their own interpretation of the bible. There are many other denominations and faiths which lay the same claim.

I don't think such a method works. It might if everyone agreed on what orthodoxy is, but obviously we dont. So instead, I want to look toward history. I am certain that the Orthodox and Catholic churches were once one church. That one church is the church created by Jesus and built by the Apostles. That church defined orthodoxy--they had the charge by Jesus to do so. At some point, that church split. So which one still holds the charge to protect and declare orthodoxy?

To answer that question I believe I need answers to a few more questions.

  • In the areas that the two churches differ, what did the unbroken church look like? For example, if the two churches disagree on original sin, what did they unbroaken church believe about original sin?
  • If the original church agreed with the Orthodox Church, then for the Catholic Church to be orthodox, it would have to at the very least be able to prove its claim for its reason for the change. What I mean by that is that Papal authority in determining such matters would have to be evident in the early unbroaken church.
  • If the original church agrees with the Catholic Church, then I think I'm already in the right church.
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« Reply #78 on: August 13, 2009, 09:30:07 AM »

Cyril,
Thank you for your encouraging and challenging response.

Quote
But did the scribes and pharisees have not also similar authority? They occupied Moses’ seat as mentioned by the Savior and nevertheless were overturned by the Nazerene. Christ – born without any worldly authority was preaching the Light and demanded from the Jews to abandon their formal spiritual rulers.

Yes they did, but Jesus recognized the fact that they sat in the chair of Moses and therefor must be respected at least for their authority. I realize of course that all of that changed with the Resurrection, but that doesn't necessarily null any new testament claims to authority.

Quote
The purpose that God defined for us is to search for the Truth and to love this Truth, to love the Light. This Light is revealed in our heart because our heart tells us what is right and what wrong.

I agree with most of this statement, but why then do so many of us disagree on what the truth is?

Quote
do you really believe in the teaching of Purgatory? Does really Christ not fully forgive men's transgressions when He gives forgiveness so that they have to be cleansed by torture after their death to compensate for the excess of bad deeds before entering the Heaven?

Do I really believe? Well, the Catholic Church doesn't believe that Jesus does not forgive us for such transgressions. Nor does it believe we will be cleansed by torture. The concept is much simpler than that. If we die without sin, but maybe its only because we haven't had the chance to sin. In other words, we're completely forgiven, but given the opportunity we'd sin again. We are impure. And nothing impure can enter heaven. Purgatory then is simply a purification for the impure to go through before entering heaven.

Quote
And what about the free will? As far as I know the Roman Catholics don't hold any particular position on this crucial subject.

Yes, the Catholic Church is a big fan of free will.

Quote
Wish you all the best in your searches

Thank you and please feel free to challenge me more. Its the way I learn the quickest.
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« Reply #79 on: August 13, 2009, 02:21:26 PM »

Just a quick fyi: Catholics do not believe that Christ cannot forgive all sins.  That is not what Purgatory means.
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« Reply #80 on: August 13, 2009, 02:35:40 PM »

This might not pass muster, but I wouldn't mind hearing if other Catholics have come across this before. Full disclosure: I have issues with devotions (approved or not) which emanate from private revelations, and have avoided them.

Here is what I heard about what the "punishment" in purgatory consists of. Souls of people imperfectly united with God. Their desire to be united with God is tempered by the fact they are not totally in union with him. The separation therefore is what causes them pain. I strongly suspect this came from a private revelation (the kind I reject) but on an intuitive level, this made sense, because it lies outside the paradigm of a legalistic punishment-friendly sadistic God (the "Augustinian caricature" I sometimes see).

As for Purgatory in the Catholic Church in 2009, it has been completely ignored and is never taught from the pulpit. There are prayer masses for the dead but you never see indulgences being promoted any more. If you adhere to the notion of "lex orendi, lex credendi", they are in practice de-emphasizing this. There are particular promises associated with the Divine Mercy devotion (again... a private revelation) but that's likely the only time you'll see anything related to indulgences.

I certainly have my fair share of issues with the RCC (mostly liturgical, plus private revelations), but I've rarely given much thought to purgatory. "Live a good Christian life, die in grace, eventually you will be united with God." I really don't think about purgatory, so it's never been a deal-breaker with me. Liturgy, BTW is the trump card in the Orthodox deck...
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« Reply #81 on: August 13, 2009, 05:09:09 PM »

John Larocque,
Could you elaborate on your statement that, "Liturgy, BTW is the trump card in the Orthodox deck..."
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« Reply #82 on: August 13, 2009, 05:30:19 PM »

So, it’s true the Pope has historical authority that as proclaimed by him comes from St. Peter.

Forgive me if I am chiming in here without having read much of the thread, but.....

I don't know what you mean.  Certainly from the Orthodox perspective, the primacy of honour that the Pope would enjoy if he were Orthodox would have very little to do with any connection to St. Peter, since the Orthodox believe that all bishops are the successors of Peter.  His primacy would rather come from being the bishop of the first city of the empire, no matter what any other flowery rhetoric of ancient times or this day and age would proclaim to the contrary.
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« Reply #83 on: August 13, 2009, 06:08:20 PM »

Could you elaborate on your statement that, "Liturgy, BTW is the trump card in the Orthodox deck..."

How should I put it... the Eastern liturgy has been less compromised over the centuries. It is one of its greatest strengths and has protected it from heresy. I think there's a John Hardon essay to that effect elsewhere in some thread.

The Liturgy is the vehicle by which you encounter Christ in the sacraments (or sacred mysteries). For me, as an inquirer, this is the first place you should look when compare confessions. Because at  the end of the day, no matter which confession you belong to, this is how you practice your faith. I've admired the Eastern liturgical traditions from afar for a long time, and am now taking a closer view of them.

There's much to admire in the Western liturgical traditions, but they have been almost irretrievably demolished in the wake of Vatican II and I don't think that will be fixed in my lifetime. I have great respect for Benedict XVI and hope he succeeds in "reforming the reform" but I have lost patience that the day will come. Will we get the altar rails back? Will the practice of the priest facing the altar be restored? Will the indult permitting communion in the hand be lifted? Will we see suitable music (including chant) become part of the Latin rite? What about suitable vernacular texts? There has been so much damage and this could take generations for the Catholic Church to get its liturgical house in order.

I never used to be this pessimistic...
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« Reply #84 on: August 13, 2009, 06:18:13 PM »

"Ok. Let me try to clarify. Baptists believe they are in the correct church. They believe so because of what they determine to be orthodoxy. They have illuminated what orthodoxy is (for them) by their own interpretation of the bible. There are many other denominations and faiths which lay the same claim.

I don't think such a method works. It might if everyone agreed on what orthodoxy is, but obviously we dont. So instead, I want to look toward history. I am certain that the Orthodox and Catholic churches were once one church. That one church is the church created by Jesus and built by the Apostles. That church defined orthodoxy--they had the charge by Jesus to do so. At some point, that church split. So which one still holds the charge to protect and declare orthodoxy?

To answer that question I believe I need answers to a few more questions.

    * In the areas that the two churches differ, what did the unbroken church look like? For example, if the two churches disagree on original sin, what did they unbroaken church believe about original sin?
    * If the original church agreed with the Orthodox Church, then for the Catholic Church to be orthodox, it would have to at the very least be able to prove its claim for its reason for the change. What I mean by that is that Papal authority in determining such matters would have to be evident in the early unbroaken church.
    * If the original church agrees with the Catholic Church, then I think I'm already in the right church.
"

You are right that there is only a certain number of churches that have any basis for claiming to be the historical Church. If we understand Apostolic Succession as the basis of historic continuity, then a church obviously has to be episcopal in church governance to have any ability to claim to have this Apostolic Succession. On this basis, most Protestant churches would immediately be ruled out.

However, I do not think that leaves only the RCC or the EOC. The Oriental Orthodox churches maintain the form of Apostolic Succession and also have a possibly legitimate claim to constitute the Apostolic Church. And the same goes for the Assyrian Church of the East. The Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht also potentially fits this form, but they do not even claim to exclusively be the Apostolic Church, and they do not have a terribly cohesive system of belief, so I think they can be ruled out off the bat. So, they way I see it, there really are 4 (not 2) different Communion that have to be considered at this point: the RCC, EOC, OOC, and ACE.

Given this, the period of time which can be clearly identified as the undivided church is significantly smaller. If we were to look only at the RCC and EOC, this period of time would be ~1,000 years. Now that we add in the OOC and ACE, it's really only ~400 years.

I agree with you that looking at the undivided church is the basis upon which we can judge which of these 4 current groups is the actual continuation of the undivided church.

However, the difference I am trying to point out that leads to the mentality I have, is that at this point in discerning, we have not identified a body of doctrinal authority upon which to be judging these churches teaching against those of the undivided Church. Thus, the only basis we can have at this point to judge what the teaching of the undivided Church is is our own reasoning, communication with God, and dialogue with others. There is no one yet that we know for sure who can tell us with authority what the orthodoxy of the undivided Church was. We can only determine that once we have already decided what the teachings of the undivided Church were. So yes, I do think on a certain level we do have to judge what orthodoxy is, that is judge what we find to have been the teachings of the undivided Church.

Does that make sense now?

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« Reply #85 on: August 13, 2009, 06:20:07 PM »

"There's much to admire in the Western liturgical traditions, but they have been almost irretrievably demolished in the wake of Vatican II"

How can that be the case when we have Western Christian liturgical texts predating Vatican II?
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« Reply #86 on: August 13, 2009, 06:36:13 PM »

How can that be the case when we have Western Christian liturgical texts predating Vatican II?

I'm speaking from the standpoint of someone going into Latin-rite Catholic parishes today. Traditional latin masses are very much a minority thing. I think it is good now that there are few impediments to it being celebrated, but this is 40 years too late. The "new" vernacular ordinary form of the Latin rite is the prevalent form under which most Catholics are familiar, and as I said, it will take much much longer to undo the damage, correct the rituals, and restore a sense of mystery. I mentioned the Altar Rails. This was in the Western tradition, a parallel to the royal doors or the curtains in the Armenian rite. But the reformers wanted to blur the distinction between the ordained and the non-ordained, so they were torn down, so now almost all Latin-rite churches lack altar rails. Also, if you took down the stations of the cross from most of these churches, there would be little difference with their Protestant counterparts. It's sad.
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« Reply #87 on: August 13, 2009, 10:50:21 PM »

deusveritasest,
Yes. That makes much more sense to me now. And you bring up a good point. I don't want to make the same mistake again (that I did when coming back to the Catholic Church). I don't want to ignore the OOC or ACE.

Why though, do you think it not possible to examine the orthodoxy of the undivided church--even if its only 400 years worth of information. That's almost as much history as the protestant church and more than the history of the United States.

Is that something we could hash out in this thread? Or has it been done already. What is the orthodoxy of the undivided church?
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« Reply #88 on: August 13, 2009, 11:14:11 PM »

deusveritasest,
Yes. That makes much more sense to me now. And you bring up a good point. I don't want to make the same mistake again (that I did when coming back to the Catholic Church). I don't want to ignore the OOC or ACE.

Why though, do you think it not possible to examine the orthodoxy of the undivided church--even if its only 400 years worth of information. That's almost as much history as the protestant church and more than the history of the United States.

Is that something we could hash out in this thread? Or has it been done already. What is the orthodoxy of the undivided church?

We say the EO, but the OO's milage varies a little, and the ACE and RCC quite a lot on this question.
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« Reply #89 on: August 13, 2009, 11:54:30 PM »

"Why though, do you think it not possible to examine the orthodoxy of the undivided church--even if its only 400 years worth of information. That's almost as much history as the protestant church and more than the history of the United States.

Is that something we could hash out in this thread? Or has it been done already. What is the orthodoxy of the undivided church?
"

OK, another clarification needs to be made. I wasn't trying to say that it's not possible to examine the faith of the undivided Church to determine what was orthodoxy. The point I was trying to make is that before determining which of these 4 churches is the orthodox church of the first four centuries, you cannot look to any one of them to authoritatively define and tell you what was the orthodoxy of the first four centuries. Rather, you have to discern that on a rational, spiritual, and dialectical level because you have not yet established the ecclesia which you're supposed to be looking to for the answer. Once you establish the core defining issue that shows you the identity of the Church, then you can look to one of these churches for further definitions of what is orthodoxy. But not before that time.

So yes, I do think it is (to some limitation) possible to determine what was the orthodoxy of the undivided Church. And yes, it would be possible to discuss that here. I have a couple of ways in my mind that one could do that. First, you could start with the base and foundation of the Church and work your way up determining what the Church taught until you get to the point where you have enough to compare to these 4 groups. You could also, however, try to figure out what are the core distinguishing issues between these churches, and then try to figure out which way the undivided Church "sided" so to speak. I tend towards the latter approach.

Just to inform you ahead of time, I am biased towards Oriental Orthodoxy being the faith of the undivided Church.
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Tags: Papal Infallibility 
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