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Author Topic: How would you respond to Fr. Brian W. Harrison's "silver bullet" argument?  (Read 4638 times) Average Rating: 0
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militantsparrow
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« on: September 05, 2009, 09:26:41 AM »

I am an Orthodox inquirer. As I "work out my salvation in fear and trembling" I keep bouncing back and forth from East to West in terms of a sense for who was right and who was wrong--so to speak.

Fr. Brian W. Harrison's article, Why I Didn’t Convert to Eastern Orthodoxy (http://tinyurl.com/lgydg4), makes a good point that has given me reasonable doubt about certain claims of the Easter Orthodox faith.

The gist of his argument is based around the two councils which attempted re-uniting the two churches. In both cases, the EO representatives at the councils agreed to re-unite. But in both cases, the councils were rejected by the EO at large. Therefore, the councils were rejected.

Fr. Brian's point is summed up in what he calls in his article, Proposition 4:
Quote
"Christians can come to know with certainty what is true doctrine by recognizing the solemn doctrinal decisions of those councils which are not only papally confirmed as ecumenical, but which are also subsequently accepted as such by the whole community of those Christians who adhere to true doctrine."

His point, of course, is that this is a circular proposition. As it is written I would say it is circular, but my questions are:
  • Is Proposition 4 accurate in its characterization of the EO position? Why/why not, etc.
  • How would you then respond to Fr. Brian's argument?

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 09:42:14 AM »


Fr. Brian W. Harrison's article, Why I Didn’t Convert to Eastern Orthodoxy (http://tinyurl.com/lgydg4), makes a good point that has given me reasonable doubt about certain claims of the Easter Orthodox faith.

The gist of his argument is based around the two councils which attempted re-uniting the two churches. In both cases, the EO representatives at the councils agreed to re-unite.

About the Council of Florence

<grump, grump, grump>   

The much vaunted Roman Catholic claim that a reunion was achieved at Florence and ratified by the Orthodox but then repudiated by the "perfidious Greeks" is so much balderdash, a Western propaganda item which should be laid to rest...! The acceptance of Florence was conditional upon its acceptance by an Eastern Council.

" However, after Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople died only two days later [at Florence], ] the Greeks insisted that ratification by the Eastern Church could be achieved only by the agreement of an Eastern synod.

"Upon their return, the Eastern bishops found their agreement with the West broadly rejected by the populace and by civil authorities (with the notable exception of the Emperors of the East who remained committed to union until the fall of the Byzantine Empire two decades later). The union signed at Florence, even down to the present, has never been accepted by the Eastern churches."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Florence
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 09:49:51 AM »

Irish Hermit,
Thank you for the quick response, but how would you respond to Fr. Brian's 4th proposition?
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 09:54:34 AM »

Father Harrison writes:  "This position, however, turns out to involve serious problems. Our separated Eastern brethren acknowledge that any truly ecumenical council will need to include not only their own representatives, but also those of the bishop of Rome, whose confirmation of its decrees would in due course be needed, as it was in those first seven councils of antiquity."
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2008/0810fea3.asp

Father Harrison has not grasped the Orthodox position.

At this present time the Orthodox Church is preparing for a "Great and Holy Council" which has in fact been in preparation for about 30 years but delayed because of the fall of Communism in the 1990s.  Many of the Orthodox Churches have needed to give their time and energy to re-evangelising the countries which were once Communist.

His Holiness the Pope of Rome will not be invited to participate although I imagine he will be invited to send observers.

This Council is already being spoken of as the Eighth Ecumenical Council.  But to achieve that great significance it will need the acceptance of the entire Orthodox Church in the years that follow.   The Pope will have no input in this decision as to whether it constitutes an Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 10:15:38 AM »


Is Proposition 4 accurate in its characterization of the EO position? Why/why not, etc.

No, Proposition 4 is really an inaccurate understanding of the source of Orthodox teaching and how it is known as truth.

Father Harrison's Proposition 4:

Christians can come to know with certainty what is true doctrine
by recognizing the solemn doctrinal decisions of those councils which
are not only papally confirmed as ecumenical, but which are also
subsequently accepted as such by the whole community of those
Christians who adhere to true doctrine.

OK, it is difficult to answer this except by ignoring it :-) and looking instead at matters from an Orthodox perspective.

1.  Orthodox Christians know with certainty what is true doctrine by the Tradition which has been handed down to us through the centuries.   As Saint Paul says: "Hold fast to the tradition which had been given to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."  And Saint Vincent of Lerins provides another test for true teaching with his "what is believed by everyone, at all places and at all times."

For example, the Orthodox certainty that the bread and wine transform into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is a part of the Tradition.  It has NEVER been given any "solemn doctrinal decisions" by any Ecumenical Council.  It doesn't need to have such a definition since the Tradition is accepted by all and passed on from generation to generation.

2.  The Ecumenical Councils are really very unique events in the life of the Church.  They have taken place only when some major beliefs of the Church have been seriously challenged by heresy and the Church is under stress from the heresy and it needs to make clear statements about the truth.    These Ecumenical Councils are brief moments in time when the entire assembly of the world's bishops gather and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, provide the Church with infallible certainty about disputed teachings.  "It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us...." as the Apostles said at the Council of Jerusalem.

So while we have found it necessary to convene major Councils to deal with disputed matters vexing the peace of the Church (seven Councils in 2000 years) the entirety of the Faith has NOT been subjected to such "magisterial" teaching from Councils.  It does not need to be.

Proposition 4 is simply far too constrictive to represent the authentic Orthodox position.

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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 10:23:31 AM »

May I make one more contribution? 

Circular Logic

Much of the logic which prevails in the Church is by necessity circular.  That is just a fact.  The reason is that it stems from an initial act of faith - in other words "I believe that this is the authentic Orthodox Church founded by God Almighty and therefore I believe its bishops are gifted with the charism of discernment of truth."   It's circular. 

Much the same as the Catholics who would say, "I believe that the Pope is chosen as the successor of Peter and has the gift of infallibility.  Therefore all that he defines on faith amd morals is true."

In neither case is this "logic" at all convincing to an outsider.  But it is convincing to a believer.

When you think about it, Catholics have no answer as to *who* is going to vouch for their "central authority"?  They are trapped in circular reasoning - our central authority is right because our central authority says it is right and it is always right and nobody can question our central authority.

In many ways Orthodoxy has more security and more certitude in such determinations because we can canvass all the ancient Patriarchates and the major Orthodox Churches and get a consensus answer.  Consensus is always more reliable than relying on *one* central authority.
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009, 10:34:21 AM »

Quote
Much of the logic which prevails in the Church is by necessity circular.  That is just a fact.  The reason is that it stems from an initial act of faith - in other words "I believe that this is the authentic Orthodox Church founded by God Almighty and therefore I believe its bishops are gifted with the charism of discernment of truth."   It's circular.

 Smiley Good point.
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 11:13:54 AM »

I am an Orthodox inquirer. As I "work out my salvation in fear and trembling" I keep bouncing back and forth from East to West in terms of a sense for who was right and who was wrong--so to speak.

Fr. Brian W. Harrison's article, Why I Didn’t Convert to Eastern Orthodoxy (http://tinyurl.com/lgydg4), makes a good point that has given me reasonable doubt about certain claims of the Easter Orthodox faith.

The gist of his argument is based around the two councils which attempted re-uniting the two churches. In both cases, the EO representatives at the councils agreed to re-unite. But in both cases, the councils were rejected by the EO at large. Therefore, the councils were rejected.

Fr. Brian's point is summed up in what he calls in his article, Proposition 4:
Quote
"Christians can come to know with certainty what is true doctrine by recognizing the solemn doctrinal decisions of those councils which are not only papally confirmed as ecumenical, but which are also subsequently accepted as such by the whole community of those Christians who adhere to true doctrine."

His point, of course, is that this is a circular proposition. As it is written I would say it is circular, but my questions are:
  • Is Proposition 4 accurate in its characterization of the EO position? Why/why not, etc.
  • How would you then respond to Fr. Brian's argument?

Thank you.

The Church is not bound by robber councils.

Of course his proposition 4 is inaccurate.  The acceptance of a Council by the Pope of Rome carries no more meaning than its acceptance by the other patriarchates.  The Second Council was held without a representative of the Pope (something impossible, according to Vatican II), and the Fifth Council was held over the Pope of Rome's explicit objection.  The Pope of Rome, along with the Orthodox, accepted Constantinople IV (879) which annulled the council of 869.  It was only after the pope of Rome got involved in his own investiture controversy that he flipped on Constantinople IV 400+ years later.

The Council of Siena was convened by the pope as the previous "ecumenical" councils required, and even led to the robber council of Florence.  Yet since it confirmed the limits on the pope's power at the Councils of Constance (still accepted by the Vatican) and Pisa (since repudiated), it was later repudiated.

Most of the Councils, except the Second, Third and Fifth perhaps, were tested by fire: St. Athanasius contra mundi was exiled by the emperors several times over Nicea. The emperors went back and forth over Chalcedon, alternating between persecussion and support. The Sixth dealt with the emperors own state enforced heresy, as did the Seventh (whose Triumph of Orthodoxy did not come until another period of persecusion after the Council).  The only representatives of the East at the "councils" of Lyons and Florence were the ones that the emperor could strong arm to be dragged to them in the West.  The delegation to Florence had St. Mark to refute it, and those who signed did so with the stipulation that their signatures would have to be validated at council specifically held in the East (i.e. not in the heartland of Ultramontanism: Pope Nicholas of Rome's came from Florence), where their Faithful (who already had announced their adamament opposition) could counter the power of the emperor.

It never ceases to amaze me the selective condemnation by the Vatican's apologists over alleged "Caesaro-Papism" and erastianism.  State power in the service of Ultramontanism is good, in the service of Orthodoxy it's bad. Does that include Constantine and Nicea I? Theodosius I and Constantinople I? Pulcheiria and Ephesus and Chalcedon?  Justinian and Constantinople II?  Constantine IV and Constantinople III?  The Empresses Irene and Theodora over the icons?

His argument for the papacy is vitiated by the exsistence of "anti-popes," many so declared ex post facto. In the Great Western Schim, the followers of the Vatican were plunged into not knowing "Who's the pope?" for a generation.  The official list of popes at the Vatican has been "edited" a la Winston Smith: some of the more honest ones will point out that the numbering of some names is off because of the anti-pope problem.  (some Vatican apologists try to make the claim that none of these popes made ex cathedra statements, but then there is the problem that a) no one seems to agree on what ex cathedra statements were made before 1870, leading to conflicting tautologies and b) the succession of pope nullifying and voiding the papacies of his predecessors surrounding the Cadaver Synod

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod
muddles any claim that depends on a seamless chain from St. Peter to the present supreme pontiff. Then there is that problem of Pope Leo III, who forbade the recitation of the Creed with the filioque (ordering that the Nicene creed be engraved on silver tablets and put on the doors of St. Peter's and St. Paul's outside-the-walls, so that his conclusion might not be overturned in the future, inscribing underneath «HAEC LEO POSUI AMORE ET CAUTELA ORTHODOXAE FIDEI» (I, Leo, put here for love and protection of the Orthodox faith)(VITA LEONIS, LIBER PONTIFICALIS (Ed.Duchene, TII, p.26)), while Leo IX sent Umbert to impose it on the Church.  Which is right?  Btw, it was inserted by Pope Benedict VII on order of the Emperor Henry, payback for him deposing the "anti-pope" Gregory VI by force of arms.

His arguement "Not Quite Catholic" also rings hollow: the mass return of those in submission to the Vatican in this country occured because the Latin bishops could not and would not tolerate Easterners.  St. Alexis had been married, but when this canonist came to Arb. Ireland, the Father of American Orthodoxy Grin, telling him that his wife and son were deceased (and thus no occasion for "scandal"), he was still rejected.  Married priests are only for luring the Orthodox in Orthodox countries, a ban that I believe is still officially on the books.

The dear father brings up the medieval past, but skips over the frightful battles over that "font of unity" the throne of Peter, which the Great Western Schism

http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/262/268312/art/figures/KISH219.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Schism
was but one example, which led to the fragmentation of Western Christendom in the Reformation and Counterreformation.  Which brings up a point that the Vatican apologists can't answer: if we left the Church over twice as long ago as their Protestant siblings, why is the East also not so fragmented?  How is it that the divide between the Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonians, three times as old as the internal splintering of the Vatican's patriarchate, is not as deep as the chasm between the Orthodox and the Vatican, nor the Vatican and its Protestant progeny?

He also fails to explain how, since we have no "center," we all still recognize the same Councils: even those who do not recognize Constantonple IV and V as Ecumenical, still accept them as valid and Orthodox.  Constantinople IV not being ecumenical is especially problematic for his point 1: it was convened before the schism of 1054, and if V is ecumenical, it was convened after the schism.  All its decisions-on the theology of St. Gregory Palamas, memorated every Great Lent-are accepted by all Orthodox. Even the OO express approval.  Has anyone who hasn't already bought the Vatican line, expressed approval of its 'ecumenical in Rome' councils?

And all the eleborate preparations going on for the "Great and Holy Council" belie his claim that we can't hold one.  It is not our fault that the Western Patriarchate has been so mired in heresy that it has to convene so often to deal with it. Tongue

The biggest problem for Fr.'s characterization is that the Orthodox system works.  Pisa, Vienne, Siena,  Vatican II etc. show that the Vatican system does not.
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 12:28:20 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Hierarchs on both sides attempt to rationalize their hold on authority while the vast majority on both side are simply trying to deepen their union with God through the Sacraments, Prayer and the pursuit of the virtues and their struggle against their vices. The fact that both use circular reasoning is why most should not trust the authority of either side. These divisions have at this point be culturalized and through the Orthodox method will 'never' be healed. The common folk of the East will 'never' accept a union between East and West simply because they have been raised by their own Church to distrust the West as apostates and heretics. The West whom embraced tolerance as the chief and only virtue years ago can't seem to understand the deep seeded culturalize distrust found within the East and have largely forgotten that the very same thing was done in the West one hundred years ago.

Personally I don't discuss reunion between the East and West because it isn't a real possibility. Intellectually Hierarchs on both sides could reach a consensus but such conciliarity no matter how it was presented to the vast masses of Eastern common folk raised to distrust and deny the validity of the Roman Church will ever accept a united Church of the East and West. Both sides have, over the years, raised the bar on the other that it is simply not possible for either side to reconcile with the other. This idea that love conquers all is only about 50 years old, even here in the West, how can we even assume that the East would take it seriously? Love and forgiveness hasn't conquered all. We have not reconciled within the West.

If the both Churches simply focused on holiness and repentance among their own I believe both sides would be better served than attempting to 'claim' to be the 'real' Church. I say let us prove it with our miracles. We need to stop grasping for a proof of our faith and start being a proof of our faith. We that happens in the West and in the East perhaps we would be a united Church in our pursuits even if not in our institutions.
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2009, 01:19:36 PM »

The Church is not bound by robber councils.

Of course his proposition 4 is inaccurate.  The acceptance of a Council by the Pope of Rome carries no more meaning than its acceptance by the other patriarchates.  The Second Council was held without a representative of the Pope (something impossible, according to Vatican II), and the Fifth Council was held over the Pope of Rome's explicit objection.  The Pope of Rome, along with the Orthodox, accepted Constantinople IV (879) which annulled the council of 869.  It was only after the pope of Rome got involved in his own investiture controversy that he flipped on Constantinople IV 400+ years later.

The Council of Siena was convened by the pope as the previous "ecumenical" councils required, and even led to the robber council of Florence.  Yet since it confirmed the limits on the pope's power at the Councils of Constance (still accepted by the Vatican) and Pisa (since repudiated), it was later repudiated.

Most of the Councils, except the Second, Third and Fifth perhaps, were tested by fire: St. Athanasius contra mundi was exiled by the emperors several times over Nicea. The emperors went back and forth over Chalcedon, alternating between persecussion and support. The Sixth dealt with the emperors own state enforced heresy, as did the Seventh (whose Triumph of Orthodoxy did not come until another period of persecusion after the Council).  The only representatives of the East at the "councils" of Lyons and Florence were the ones that the emperor could strong arm to be dragged to them in the West.  The delegation to Florence had St. Mark to refute it, and those who signed did so with the stipulation that their signatures would have to be validated at council specifically held in the East (i.e. not in the heartland of Ultramontanism: Pope Nicholas of Rome's came from Florence), where their Faithful (who already had announced their adamament opposition) could counter the power of the emperor...

ialmisry,
This is a very good response. Both you and Irish Hermit have given me much to consider and mull over.

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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 01:30:47 PM »

ignatius,
You also raise a number of good points, but I don't like the "never" outlook.
Quote
...Orthodox method will 'never' be healed...
...reunion between the East and West because it isn't a real possibility...
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 02:15:46 PM »

ignatius,
You also raise a number of good points, but I don't like the "never" outlook.
Quote
...Orthodox method will 'never' be healed...
...reunion between the East and West because it isn't a real possibility...

East and West cannot exist together. Either the East must enter into recognition of the Western Church as 'valid' or the West must deny itself and become Eastern Orthodoxy. I don't see any other means of reconcilation. The first option would never be accepted by the common folk of the East and thus will never be accepted by 'Orthodoxy'. The second is a possiblity with the amount of self criticism found in the West about itself. Vatican II was a unique counterpoint for, what happened at Vatican I but the historical contradictions inherent in the Western position is simply untenable which is why individuals like you and me are 'here' in the first place.
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 03:27:33 PM »

East and West cannot exist together. Either the East must enter into recognition of the Western Church as 'valid' or the West must deny itself and become Eastern Orthodoxy. I don't see any other means of reconcilation. The first option would never be accepted by the common folk of the East and thus will never be accepted by 'Orthodoxy'. The second is a possiblity with the amount of self criticism found in the West about itself. Vatican II was a unique counterpoint for, what happened at Vatican I but the historical contradictions inherent in the Western position is simply untenable which is why individuals like you and me are 'here' in the first place.

I agree with most of your points--maybe all of them--but what may seem humanly impossible is certainly possible for Jesus. I will remain hopeful.
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2009, 03:35:59 PM »

 The Pope of Rome, along with the Orthodox, accepted Constantinople IV (879) which annulled the council of 869.
I am interested in this point. You say that the Pope of Rome accepted Constantinople IV (879). However, according to Warren Carroll, this is not true. According to Carroll, some of the letters of Pope John VIII were heavily edited by St. Photius.

This is an Orthodox discussion forum - you're allowed to disagree with St. Photius, but you will address him by one of his proper titles from the Orthodox POV: St. Photius, St. Photius the Great, St. Photius the Confessor, Patriarch St. Photios I, etc.  (You may notice the common element: St. Photius.)
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 04:20:38 PM »

East and West cannot exist together. Either the East must enter into recognition of the Western Church as 'valid' or the West must deny itself and become Eastern Orthodoxy. I don't see any other means of reconcilation. The first option would never be accepted by the common folk of the East and thus will never be accepted by 'Orthodoxy'. The second is a possiblity with the amount of self criticism found in the West about itself. Vatican II was a unique counterpoint for, what happened at Vatican I but the historical contradictions inherent in the Western position is simply untenable which is why individuals like you and me are 'here' in the first place.

I agree with most of your points--maybe all of them--but what may seem humanly impossible is certainly possible for Jesus. I will remain hopeful.

Perhaps it isn't Jesus Christ that is at the heart of these matters... Do either look like 'servants' to you? The church as institution, as opposed to the body of the faithful, is frankly a real problem to defend because one has to claim authority. In spiritual matters, authority isn't claimed it's demonstrated. Elders were not simply elected because they heard a personal calling they also demonstrated the gifts of one called. The Hierarchs are not simply leaders of the church because they are hierarches... they should demonstrate the wisdom and the gifts of one called. We should know this as one of the faithful. I know an Orthodox Priest who is a 'real' Priest. I've also known 'real' Priests in the Roman Catholic Church. The problem is that we spend far too much time grasping at who is or is not the 'real' Church that we miss the time to actually live a faith filled life. Personally I wish that the whole Ecumenical movement would have never been pursued.
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2009, 04:22:19 PM »

Warren Carroll is an apologist not a scholar.  If you want scholarship on St. Photius I suggest Fr. Francis Dvornik.
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2009, 04:34:17 PM »

Married priests are only for luring the Orthodox in Orthodox countries, a ban that I believe is still officially on the books.

The Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches  have mandatory priestly celibacy and choose to continue with it.  If they wanted to lure the Orthodox that would be done away with.  The ban on married priests in the America's and Australia was actually null 10 years after it was issued becasue it was never renewed, although sadly many Eastern Catholic bishops continued to refuse to ordain married men.  The CCEO, issued in 1990, replaced all previous legislation on Eastern Catholic Churches.  Today many Eastern Catholic bishoips ordain married men regularly.
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2009, 06:24:44 PM »

Warren Carroll is an apologist not a scholar.
Warren Carroll is not a scholar? That's funny, I thought that a scholar is one who is involved in education and learning. What is your definition of a scholar? He has a PhD in history from Columbia university has written several history books: A History of Christendom (Six Volumes when complete)
The Founding of Christendom
The Building of Christendom
The Glory of Christendom
The Cleaving of Christendom
The Revolution against Christendom
The Crisis of Christendom (forthcoming)
and more,
and he regularly  delivers public lectures on select historical topics, ranging from the history of the country of Malta, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan, the French Revolution, and topics from the twentieth century, with lectures on Emperor Karl of Austria and the Russian Revolution in 1917, etc. Further he is the founder of Christendom college.
Why would an Eastern Christian consider this to not qualify as scholarly activity? It seems to me this qualifies him as being involved in education and learning and therefore satisfies the definition of his being a scholar.
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2009, 07:59:23 PM »

Mr. Carroll  has zero objectivity when it come to the Christian East and he usually falls into polemics and apologetics for his own Rome centric view of the Church.  It was this attitude that got him dismissed from the EWTN Q&A forum, and I should know I was one of the ones who complained about him to Mr. Donovan.
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2009, 08:18:10 PM »

Mr. Carroll  has zero objectivity when it come to the Christian East and he usually falls into polemics and apologetics for his own Rome centric view of the Church.  It was this attitude that got him dismissed from the EWTN Q&A forum, and I should know I was one of the ones who complained about him to Mr. Donovan.
So you have a complaint lodged against Warren Carroll and claim that he has zero objectivity when it comes to the Christian East?  This does not answer the question as to what is your definition of a scholar. The standard definition of a scholar that I know about is one who is involved in education and learning. Since he satisfies this definition of a scholar, I don't see why anyone would slander Warren Carroll and say that he is not a scholar.
Do you agree or disagree that St. Photius altered some of  the papal letters of Pope John VIII? By the way, how many books and papers have you written in this area, and how many talks do you give regularly on these historical issues?  How do your qualifications stack up against those of Professor Carroll who you say is not a scholar?


This is an Orthodox discussion forum - you're allowed to disagree with St. Photius, but you will address him by one of his proper titles from the Orthodox POV: St. Photius, St. Photius the Great, St. Photius the Confessor, Patriarch St. Photios I, etc.  (You may notice the common element: St. Photius.)
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« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2009, 08:48:59 PM »

stanley123,
Your points would probably carry more weight if they weren't so inflammatory in tone.
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« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2009, 09:02:46 PM »

stanley123,
Your points would probably carry more weight if they weren't so inflammatory in tone.
Ok. I give up.
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« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2009, 09:26:03 PM »

stanley123,
Your points would probably carry more weight if they weren't so inflammatory in tone.
Ok. I give up.
Your raise some valid ponts.
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« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2009, 01:03:26 AM »

 The Pope of Rome, along with the Orthodox, accepted Constantinople IV (879) which annulled the council of 869.
I am interested in this point. You say that the Pope of Rome accepted Constantinople IV (879). However, according to Warren Carroll, this is not true. According to Carroll, some of the letters of Pope John VIII were heavily edited by St. Photius.

This is an Orthodox discussion forum - you're allowed to disagree with St. Photius, but you will address him by one of his proper titles from the Orthodox POV: St. Photius, St. Photius the Great, St. Photius the Confessor, Patriarch St. Photios I, etc.  (You may notice the common element: St. Photius.)
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What does Dvornik say?
The Photian Schism: History and Legend‎
by Francis Dvornik
http://books.google.com/books?id=X_A8AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=forge&f=false
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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2009, 01:15:10 AM »

Married priests are only for luring the Orthodox in Orthodox countries, a ban that I believe is still officially on the books.

The Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches  have mandatory priestly celibacy and choose to continue with it.  If they wanted to lure the Orthodox that would be done away with.  The ban on married priests in the America's and Australia was actually null 10 years after it was issued becasue it was never renewed, although sadly many Eastern Catholic bishops continued to refuse to ordain married men.  The CCEO, issued in 1990, replaced all previous legislation on Eastern Catholic Churches.  Today many Eastern Catholic bishoips ordain married men regularly.

Well into the nineties I was told by those in submission that their priests had to go back to Ukraine to be ordained, because they wouldn't do it here.  What good is a supposed ban if those empowered here continue to follow it?

The Maronites voted to have married clergy, but because one bishop disagreed (or was it two?) the pope of Rome insisted the change had to be unanimous and it didn't come to be.

For the OO, having celibate clergy is somewhat more common than for the EO, especially for parishes.  Somewhere here (or was it CAF) there was a thread specifically on the Indians, who are different to begin with because they observe the Gregorian paschalion, a relic of the Portuguese Inquisition.
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« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2009, 12:02:04 PM »

stanley123,
Your points would probably carry more weight if they weren't so inflammatory in tone.
Ok. I give up.
Your raise some valid ponts.

I agree. You raise some good points, stanley123. I just think your tone was a little combative. I'm not trying to discourage you.
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2009, 04:16:29 PM »

Married priests are only for luring the Orthodox in Orthodox countries, a ban that I believe is still officially on the books.

The Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches  have mandatory priestly celibacy and choose to continue with it.  If they wanted to lure the Orthodox that would be done away with.  The ban on married priests in the America's and Australia was actually null 10 years after it was issued becasue it was never renewed, although sadly many Eastern Catholic bishops continued to refuse to ordain married men.  The CCEO, issued in 1990, replaced all previous legislation on Eastern Catholic Churches.  Today many Eastern Catholic bishoips ordain married men regularly.

Well into the nineties I was told by those in submission that their priests had to go back to Ukraine to be ordained, because they wouldn't do it here.  What good is a supposed suppressed ban if those empowered here continue to follow it?

The Maronites voted to have married clergy, but because one bishop disagreed (or was it two?) the pope of Rome insisted the change had to be unanimous and it didn't come to be.

For the OO, having celibate clergy is somewhat more common than for the EO, especially for parishes.  Somewhere here (or was it CAF) there was a thread specifically on the Indians, who are different to begin with because they observe the Gregorian paschalion, a relic of the Portuguese Inquisition.

Fixed.
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« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2009, 04:25:39 PM »

Warren Carroll is an apologist not a scholar.
Warren Carroll is not a scholar? That's funny, I thought that a scholar is one who is involved in education and learning. What is your definition of a scholar? He has a PhD in history from Columbia university has written several history books: A History of Christendom (Six Volumes when complete)
The Founding of Christendom
The Building of Christendom
The Glory of Christendom
The Cleaving of Christendom
The Revolution against Christendom
The Crisis of Christendom (forthcoming)
and more,
and he regularly  delivers public lectures on select historical topics, ranging from the history of the country of Malta, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan, the French Revolution, and topics from the twentieth century, with lectures on Emperor Karl of Austria and the Russian Revolution in 1917, etc. Further he is the founder of Christendom college.
Why would an Eastern Christian consider this to not qualify as scholarly activity? It seems to me this qualifies him as being involved in education and learning and therefore satisfies the definition of his being a scholar.

OK he's a scholar: by that criteria so are Bishop Spong and John Dominique Crossan, and just as objective.
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« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2009, 07:05:13 PM »

 The Pope of Rome, along with the Orthodox, accepted Constantinople IV (879) which annulled the council of 869.
I am interested in this point. You say that the Pope of Rome accepted Constantinople IV (879). However, according to Warren Carroll, this is not true. According to Carroll, some of the letters of Pope John VIII were heavily edited by St. Photius.

This is an Orthodox discussion forum - you're allowed to disagree with St. Photius, but you will address him by one of his proper titles from the Orthodox POV: St. Photius, St. Photius the Great, St. Photius the Confessor, Patriarch St. Photios I, etc.  (You may notice the common element: St. Photius.)
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What does Dvornik say?
The Photian Schism: History and Legend‎
by Francis Dvornik
http://books.google.com/books?id=X_A8AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=forge&f=false

Fr. Dvornik disproves the post-schism slander of St. Photios by the West and proves he died in communion with Rome.
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« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2009, 07:26:07 PM »

Married priests are only for luring the Orthodox in Orthodox countries, a ban that I believe is still officially on the books.

The Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches  have mandatory priestly celibacy and choose to continue with it.  If they wanted to lure the Orthodox that would be done away with.  The ban on married priests in the America's and Australia was actually null 10 years after it was issued becasue it was never renewed, although sadly many Eastern Catholic bishops continued to refuse to ordain married men.  The CCEO, issued in 1990, replaced all previous legislation on Eastern Catholic Churches.  Today many Eastern Catholic bishoips ordain married men regularly.

Well into the nineties I was told by those in submission that their priests had to go back to Ukraine to be ordained, because they wouldn't do it here.  What good is a supposed ban if those empowered here continue to follow it?

The Maronites voted to have married clergy, but because one bishop disagreed (or was it two?) the pope of Rome insisted the change had to be unanimous and it didn't come to be.

For the OO, having celibate clergy is somewhat more common than for the EO, especially for parishes.  Somewhere here (or was it CAF) there was a thread specifically on the Indians, who are different to begin with because they observe the Gregorian paschalion, a relic of the Portuguese Inquisition.

The first married men ordained were in Canada in the late eighties.  It was the nineties before Greek Catholic bishops started ordaining married men in the US and not all have done so.  In my own Metropolia only one bishop has done so although there are married priests serving in other Eparchies. 

The Maronites are a kind of an odd case.  Unlike the Greek Catholic Churches were the married/celibate ratio is 90%/10%, the Maronites have historically had a 50%/50% ratio so requiring only celibate clergy in the US was not the hardship it was for the Greek Catholics.  They did propose allowing married priest in the diaspora but as you say Pope John Paul II required unanimity, and a couple dissented.  I loved Pope John Paul II, but when it came to married priests he was very contradictor, promulagting the CCEO which abolished the ban, but doing nothing to encourage the return of married priests to places they had formerly been banned.  I think this was because he feared enciting the demand for married priests among the Latins. 
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2009, 11:10:41 PM »

Looking through Dvornik, I came across this:
Quote
At all events, Formosus upheld the legitimacy of Photius' rehabilitation by John VIII and by the Council of 879-80, so that the ordinations made by Photius under his patriarchate were not only valid, but also licit and there was no reason for reconsidering them.
p. 254
http://books.google.com/books?id=X_A8AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=john%20viii&f=false

This has major implications.



Formosus was dug up and deposed by his successor, who was deposed by his successor and Formosus exonerated, but then his successor dug Formosus up again and deposed him etc.

With all the alternating depositions post mortem, a major question was that they considered the deposed's ordinations and other acts void.

Now the problem is that the Vatican now considers Constantinople IV 869 an Ecumenical Council.  But Formosus evidently (with John VIII) considered Constantinople IV 879, valid, which voided 869.  With Formus' acts voided, 869 would be valid; whenever Formosus was exonerated, 879 was valid. Hence we have a string of pope contradicting themselves ex cathedra on who sat on the cathedra, and hence which was an Ecumenicl Council, and hence a matter of faith and morals which Vatican I claims the pope can never deviate.

Btw, it's been discussed before.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,3699.msg48962.html#msg48962
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14726.msg212667.html#msg212667



« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 11:11:35 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2009, 01:23:05 AM »

This Council is already being spoken of as the Eighth Ecumenical Council.  But to achieve that great significance it will need the acceptance of the entire Orthodox Church in the years that follow.   The Pope will have no input in this decision as to whether it constitutes an Ecumenical Council.

If the anathemas are nullified then the Pope is still a bishop, is he not?  Why wouldn't he at least be invited to observe?  Huh


And can I make the observation that the reasons for the schism's continuation have more to do with nationalist pride than they do with carrying out the will of Christ? 
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2009, 12:04:31 PM »

Here's a reply to Harrison's book from an OCA priest:
http://orthodoxanswers.org/catholicorthodoxdebate2.asp

Harrison is apparently a convert from Protestantism, and the above link notes that he is a supporter of "Feeneyist" ideas, which does put him out of the mainstream (by accepting Florence, he rejects Vatican II).
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2009, 12:59:06 PM »

If the anathemas are nullified then the Pope is still a bishop, is he not?

Who knows?  Since we sometimes re-ordain Catholic clergy, who knows if the Pope is an authentic bishop?   He may be just like the Roman Catholics see the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, simply a layman.

Quote
   Why wouldn't he at least be invited to observe?  Huh

I do not think he would accept,  Neither Pope John XXIII nor Pope Paul VI attended Vatican II, except for the opening and closing ceremonies.  Other than that they preferred not to be there but had closed circuit television so they could watch the council if they wished.  A bit odd when they were only a few yards away!
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2009, 01:42:47 PM »

This Council is already being spoken of as the Eighth Ecumenical Council.  But to achieve that great significance it will need the acceptance of the entire Orthodox Church in the years that follow.   The Pope will have no input in this decision as to whether it constitutes an Ecumenical Council.

If the anathemas are nullified then the Pope is still a bishop, is he not?  Why wouldn't he at least be invited to observe?  Huh

He isn't a bishop because (a) he's not in communion with the Church, and (b) he wasn't ordained by an Orthodox bishop from the Orthodox POV (the whole succession has taken place outside the Church since the schism).  He continues to remain outside the Church.

However, he will likely be given an invitation to observe or send an observer, just as they had Orthodox observers at Vatican I and II.

And can I make the observation that the reasons for the schism's continuation have more to do with nationalist pride than they do with carrying out the will of Christ?  

Really?
Filioque, Papal Authority, Papal Supremacy, Petrine Primacy, Conciliarity, azymes, usurping the Authority of the Church (4th Crusade), Palamism... The list is long enough without Nationalism included.
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2009, 02:15:28 PM »

If the anathemas are nullified then the Pope is still a bishop, is he not?  Why wouldn't he at least be invited to observe?  Huh

Rome is in schism and has been for a very long time. While it's become common in modern era to invite 'observers' from other churches to major councils (not only for Orthodox--Rome had Orthodox observers at Vatican II, the Anglicans and Episcopalian have had Orthodox and Roman observers at several of their important councils in the last century, etc), the schismatic bishop of Rome has no more role in a council of the Orthodox Church than a Nestorian bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or Billy Graham.

Quote
And can I make the observation that the reasons for the schism's continuation have more to do with nationalist pride than they do with carrying out the will of Christ? 

You can make it, but you'd be wrong. The Orthdodox Church has been pretty clear about what innovations Rome has to set aside (Papal infallibility, Papal super-jurisdiction, the filioque--particularly in the heretical definitions of it codified at Lateran IV) and they are all theological not 'nationalist' in nature. On its part, Rome is not a particularly 'nationalist' organization and hasn't been for a very long time--there's nothing nationalist about their commitment to their own doctrines, however incorrect those doctrines might be.

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« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2009, 03:09:23 PM »

Personally as a Roman Catholic making my way to Eastern Orthodoxy I would like to see an Orthodox Council address the Western Church once and for all. If there is no 'real' Bishop in Rome then the Orthodox Church should have one ordained for the West. If they want to allow the Western Church to work out it's issues then they should allow observers to address their errors 'to their face' and hope that the Spirit descends and creates an atmosphere of repentance and reconcillation.
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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2009, 09:01:04 PM »

Here's a reply to Harrison's book from an OCA priest:
http://orthodoxanswers.org/catholicorthodoxdebate2.asp

Harrison is apparently a convert from Protestantism, and the above link notes that he is a supporter of "Feeneyist" ideas, which does put him out of the mainstream (by accepting Florence, he rejects Vatican II).


John Larocque,
Thank you for sharing this article. It's outstanding! Just what I was looking for.
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« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2009, 08:55:26 AM »

John Larocque,
Thank you for sharing this article. It's outstanding! Just what I was looking for.
That was something like "I so want to become an Orthodox, but I keep on stumbling upon challenging questions."...or not?
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« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2009, 09:01:45 AM »

John Larocque,
Thank you for sharing this article. It's outstanding! Just what I was looking for.
That was something like "I so want to become an Orthodox, but I keep on stumbling upon challenging questions."...or not?

 Wink Maybe.
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« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2009, 05:45:00 PM »

This Council is already being spoken of as the Eighth Ecumenical Council.  But to achieve that great significance it will need the acceptance of the entire Orthodox Church in the years that follow.   The Pope will have no input in this decision as to whether it constitutes an Ecumenical Council.

If the anathemas are nullified then the Pope is still a bishop, is he not?  Why wouldn't he at least be invited to observe?  Huh


And can I make the observation that the reasons for the schism's continuation have more to do with nationalist pride than they do with carrying out the will of Christ? 


As one who has consistently criticized nationalistic or ethnic tendencies of some Orthodox, I must say that I agree with Irish Hermit and Cleveland: the Orthodox position vis-a-vis Rome is strictly theological and ecclesiastical at this point in time.
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« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2009, 09:55:56 PM »


As one who has consistently criticized nationalistic or ethnic tendencies of some Orthodox, I must say that I agree with Irish Hermit and Cleveland: the Orthodox position vis-a-vis Rome is strictly theological and ecclesiastical at this point in time.

Grace and Peace,

I would agree but if you understood the Western Church view of Eastern Ecclesiology then you might understand the point made that it is political. Personally, I'm not completely sold on Eastern Ecclesiology primarily because of Western Critics of it's tendancy to regard a concrete human community, a political system that actually exists - even if it is the universal Roman Empire - as the People of God, pure and simple. It reminds me of the Old Believer's idea of the orthodoxy anchored in the people's consciousness, of the 'popular church' that is alive in the community. "The Raskolniki's concept of Church", Ivanka declares, "was now reinterpreted so as to become the characteristic concept of Church for Orthodoxy as a whole." I think this is the Western Criticism of Eastern Ecclesiology that Fr. Brian is expressing in his 'silver buillet argument'. I understand it to a degree but I doubt that most honestly grasp it because it has a pretty deep historical/critical foundation. Most of us are simply not learned enough to appreciate it.
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