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Author Topic: My view changed despite my efforts  (Read 5407 times) Average Rating: 0
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militantsparrow
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« on: November 29, 2009, 04:23:45 PM »

First of all I wanted to say how much I love this forum. The people are very responsive, informative, opinionated, and kind. The forum itself also has a sense of intimacy. All of these things I enjoy very much.

With that said, most of you, who know me from my posts, know me as an inquirer into Orthodoxy. I have learned a great deal about Orthodoxy from many of the people here on these forums. I have a love for the Eastern and Oriental Churches, which will be with me forever—due in large part to all of your kindness and wisdom. But I wanted to let everyone know that my Catholicism has been rekindled. I once again consider myself a very happy and content Catholic and I do not see this changing ever again.

I don’t want to offend anyone so please forgive me if this comes across that way, but I do want to be honest. I was drawn to the East—my heart yearned for it. My mind even began to enjoy the truth of the Eastern argument, but in the end my view changed despite my efforts intellectual and emotional efforts and yearning. I prayed for guidance day in and day out. One day I read a series of posts from a couple people (one from here and one from elsewhere) and I felt like the scales dropped from my eyes and my yoke was removed. Just like that my faith in the Catholic Church was renewed stronger than ever.

The Eastern and Oriental Churches offer so much to Christ’s Church. I still listen to Ancient Faith Radio and will continue to read books by Eastern writers, but I no longer want to “jump the fence.” I want to help instill into the West the many wonderful qualities of the East. And I hope that one-day Christ’s Church will once again breath with both lungs.

Finally, I hope to stay an active member of these boards and to continue dialog with everyone here. That is, of course, if you’ll still have me.  Smiley As I stated in my opening paragraph, I love the people on this forum and though I am once again a committed Catholic, I know I can continue to learn and to grow in my faith by engaging in fruitful conversations with the folks on this forum.

God bless,
Militant Sparrow
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 04:37:25 PM »

So you're an unbaptised Orthodox? Tongue Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 04:41:29 PM »

So you're an unbaptised Orthodox? Tongue Cheesy

Yeah. That's right.   Wink Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 07:56:57 PM »

Don't feel bad about it I know the feeling Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 08:16:41 PM »

One day I read a series of posts from a couple people (one from here and one from elsewhere) and I felt like the scales dropped from my eyes and my yoke was removed. Just like that my faith in the Catholic Church was renewed stronger than ever.

Care to elaborate?  I was raised in "Rome", so perhaps this is something that I need to hear.  It's the Orthodox-Catholic discussion forum, so there's no conflict of interest.
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 08:18:43 PM »

better to be Hot or Cold, I guess. God bless you.
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2009, 09:23:53 PM »

May God bless you on your journey! Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 09:26:06 PM »

One day I read a series of posts from a couple people (one from here and one from elsewhere) and I felt like the scales dropped from my eyes and my yoke was removed. Just like that my faith in the Catholic Church was renewed stronger than ever.

Care to elaborate?  I was raised in "Rome", so perhaps this is something that I need to hear.  It's the Orthodox-Catholic discussion forum, so there's no conflict of interest.

Alveus,
There wasn't a particular "silver bullet" argument. It was several posts encouraging me as well as a couple pointing out some of the beliefs of the early Church. But I truly believe it was God working through others to help me see these things in a way I hadn't before. It was like all of a sudden, all these little pieces of encouragement and guidance I gained culminated into one moment where all of them made sense together though not originally individually. It's kind of hard to explain. But anyways, here's one quote given to me which was the one which I believe I was reading when it all came together.

Quote
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" -St. Iranaeus second Century
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 09:27:05 PM »

Don't feel bad about it I know the feeling Smiley

I'd like to hear your story, Alter Server. If you don't mind sharing.
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 09:27:59 PM »

better to be Hot or Cold, I guess. God bless you.

 Smiley Thank you.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2009, 09:28:14 PM »

May God bless you on your journey! Smiley

Thank you.
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2009, 09:48:55 PM »

All the best, Sparrow. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 12:23:51 AM »

Good luck and God bless!  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 03:06:22 AM »

I do hope you will continue to post on here, MS! I've very much appreciated your respectful and well reasoned posts. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2009, 09:13:53 AM »

Yes! Don't you dare leave the forums!
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2009, 11:28:32 AM »

fwiw, I would love you to stay around.

In all honesty though, I'm disappointed in a sense. While I of course defer to the workings of the Holy Spirit in your life, as a convert to Orthodoxy myself, I don't understand where you are coming from at all.

I'll ramble.  Please note that I value very much the wisdom and insight of many of the Roman Catholics who post here (Papist and others), but alas the purpose of an Orthodox/RC forum is to discuss these issues...

To "have the scales lifted from your eyes" and embrace a church whose "supremacy", authority and leadership, in effect, hangs on the single claim of a single Bishop in a single town (so much so that to "make up" for that fact and incompleteness, the claim/authority by that one Bishop had to be reinforced and insisted upon by its own to the point where the church now proclaims infallibility) rings as hollow with me as it apparently does true to you (for now at least).  The historical evolution of the Roman see as juxtaposed with the other apostolic sees reveals, when viewed simply, a start with relative equivalency, then primacy and honor for Rome, then supremacy for Rome, then monarchy, then infallibility seems so obvious and so motivated by pride. Even if you disagree with my quick and dirty rundown, that the road to infallibility happened over time and was not the case ab initio is without question.

What in St. Peter's example reveals the inevitability of the elevation of a leader/bishop in status and authority over its brethren over time?  What in Christ's words indicate this was intended, other than a tenuous reading of a single verse spoken outside the presence of the other apostles and prior to St. Peter's ordination at Pentecost?

Of all the components of Christ's saying he was going to build his church on the rock and give the keys to Peter, the RC selects the location of St. Peter's death as THE singularly important factor?  It isn't the person of St. Peter himself, because, well, St. Peter did lots of things besides establish the church in Rome (w/ St. Paul) and be martyred.  Christ never set foot anywhere near Rome, never indicated Rome mattered at all, the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, etc. (along with the institution of all sacraments) took place thousands of miles from Rome.  St. Peter spent very little of his life in Rome, and founded churches in places other than Rome.  Even assuming Christ's words to St. Peter should be interpreted as to the person of St. Peter being "the rock" (as opposed to the actual words and faith which prompted Christ's statement), there is quite a leap to extend that to mean "and the successive bishops in the town wherever you last establish a church and die shall hereby be deemed to inherit these keys".

On such critical matters, I fail to see how Christ would be ambiguous and simply assume that centuries of strife and schism would be sufficient to work things out. Indeed, when it was time to ordain the apostles and charge them with their mission and pour the spirit upon them, He did so UNAMBIGUOUSLY to the entire group together- suggesting the unity and relative equivalency of their mission and status from the first moment of the Church.  

I'm trained as a lawyer, so I tend to analyze things in accordance with that mode of reasoning.  It has always struck me as an overlooked factor that at the time the "rock/keys" comment was made by Christ, there was no Church yet per se, and there was no see of Rome or Bishop of Rome, and even if we accept that Christ's response applied to St. Peter personally, St. Peter still was not acting in his capacity as Bishop of Rome (or a Bishop at all) when he "accepted" those keys? What to make of this? That St. Peter put the keys in his pocket so to speak, holding onto them until such time as the Church could be instituted, the Roman see founded and his own martyrdom at which time they burst forth with meaning and "vest" subsequent Pontiffs w/ supremacy as if Christ had uttered the "rock/keys" statement to them personally?

Viewed differently, pn a very basic level (and historical and theological arguments aside), for the Bishop of Rome to claim superiority and infallibility seems so patently and intuitively counter to the spirit and example of humility.  How can a church or bishop, acting in humility, deign to innovate a settled upon creed or proclaim its own supremacy/superiority?

What "benefit" have those doctrines brought anyone- even Rome? What if Rome had just left the Creed alone and NOT insisted upon its own greatness.  What would've happened? That a certain small segment of intellectuals who thought they knew trinitarian theology better would be dismayed?  That certain Spanish sees would be irritated temporarily b/c they preferred the filioque?

On the other hand, the "fruit" of these decisions are clear- Christendon is divided, Roman Catholics are forced to be apologists for this stuff, and the "ongoing revelation of the Holy Spirit through the magisterium of the throne of the Bishop of Rome" continues to provide us with additional doctrine, dogma and practices which are, in many cases, a reflection of the personality, predilections and agendas (even w/ good intentions) of the Popes who espouse them. And yes, I'm quite aware that the infallibility mechanism has been used VERY infrequently officially, but that's not really the point, is it?

Who knows where that will lead the Roman Church over the next 300 years?

I apologize for my scattered thoughts and ideas, and I know that people (like St. Iranaeus) in the quote excerpted by MS can wax eloquently and convincingly on the majesty of Rome, but the fact remains that the Roman position requires significant leaps in logic, historical and theological license, and a belief that Christ would be ambiguous about such a crucial matter and let everyone duke it out in His earthly absence (indeed THE crucial matter of ecclessiology of the last 1000 years).  OR, you could believe that the 5 patriarchs have the same theological authority, that Acts contemplates a concilliar method of dispute resolution, that Rome is to be honored but is not infallible when acting alone, and that they "got it right" regarding the Creed at Nicaea.  Seems like an easy choice, and would've avoided immeasurable grief and heartache to accept the latter.
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2009, 11:34:33 AM »

What is East and what is West? That seems to be the distinction; those who convert to Orthodoxy usually see the difference as truth versus error, Orthodoxy versus heterodoxy; those who remain Roman Catholic frame the discussion as East and West.  But the Roman Catholic Church already has its eastern varieties, so it really doesn't need the Orthodox Church if it wants to borrow some icons, Jesus prayers, Akathists, and nifty hats.  But what it does not have, and what it can never borrow, is Orthodoxy.  So if you believe in papal infallibility and papal universal jurisdiction, then fine, be a Roman Catholic, because you would not be Orthodox no matter how much you love "the East" (whatever that is...I truly don't know after having been Orthodox what that even means).  On the opposite side, no matter how much you appreciate historic Western Christianity, if you do not believe in these doctrines, then you should not be a Roman Catholic. I trust you have made your decision based on truth versus error, but it seems from the way you framed the discussion, that you want to have Roman Catholicism while adding a few Eastern trappings (again, whatever "The East" means...). I'm not sure that's really such a great idea if that is the case.

You're still welcome to post here, and I don't think any less of you, but I would be being dishonest if I did not speak plainly.

Fr Anastasios
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2009, 05:47:38 PM »

Alveus,
There wasn't a particular "silver bullet" argument. It was several posts encouraging me as well as a couple pointing out some of the beliefs of the early Church. But I truly believe it was God working through others to help me see these things in a way I hadn't before. It was like all of a sudden, all these little pieces of encouragement and guidance I gained culminated into one moment where all of them made sense together though not originally individually. It's kind of hard to explain. But anyways, here's one quote given to me which was the one which I believe I was reading when it all came together.

Quote
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" -St. Iranaeus second Century

My story was similar to yours in that I was a Protestant who became Catholic, but then started to question Rome's claims. I could not understand why the East would split from Rome and why they refused to acknowledge the Pope's supremacy and infallibility. After doing some reading, I came to learn that the modern Catholic apologists were mistaken in this view. They were imposing modern Catholic doctrine onto the early Church, similar to what the Protestants do to Catholics. There are portions of Catholic doctrine that the early Church would not recognize today. I had to read the Fathers myself, visit Orthodox churches, attend services, talk with priests (Catholic and Orthodox) and do a lot of praying.

I feel for your situation as I know that it is extremely tough to leave Rome. Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to sound offensive or even be offensive, but I think you have not given Orthodoxy a fair shake. It makes no sense to look at certain quotes and then deduce what Church has held the faith given to us by Christ our God. Things must be thoroughly read in context, as well as accompanied with prayer. The Protestants sling verses to try to convert Catholics and I see Catholics sling patristic quotes at the Orthodox. It just isn't honest. I'm not making a judgment as to whether you prayed or not, so please do not misunderstand me. I had a really tough time grappling with the decision and spent many nights laying awake for hours thinking and praying in bed. I just wish you would have given it some more thought.

The doctrinal additions of Rome just do not make sense to me. I could not be an Eastern Catholic; I tried that and could not do the spiritual and mental gymnastics necessary. How can one believe the filioque is heresy and be in union with Rome? How can one say the Theotokos was not immaculately conceived and be in union with Rome? Many Eastern Catholics I know believe almost identical to their Orthodox counterparts. Why does Rome allow this union to exist? It appears that they endorse it, IMHO, due to the fact that they recognize St. Ephrem the Syrian as a Doctor of the Church, yet he said the Theotokos was purified of sin at the Annunciation. Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairveaux expressly denied the IC. To me, this seems like spiritual schizophrenia that Rome has imposed upon itself.

It is because of this spiritual schizophrenia that I do not see union between Rome and Orthodox happening in my lifetime. I have to agree with Fr. Anastasios's post: if you believe in these post-schism dogmas, then be Roman Catholic. I wish you the best and pray you will reconsider looking at Orthodoxy. May God bless you.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2009, 06:58:26 PM »

I think that the most important thing is to find a home where you can best live out your faith in accordance with Christian spiritual and moral truth. Although I would argue that the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches are the truest repository of authentic Christian doctrine, I nevertheless acknowledge the Holy Spirit's work and presence in EO, Catholic, and even some Protestant Churches. At some point it is important to align ourselves with a Christian community so that we can receive the accountability and encouragement we need to live the victorious Christian life. And in the Cotholic Church you will also benefit from the Sacraments. I wish you well, and I repsect your decision.

Peace to you.

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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2009, 07:38:55 PM »

Riddikulus, GabrieltheCelt, Ortho_cat and GammaRay,
Thank you very much for your kind words.
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2009, 07:56:15 PM »

I apologize for my scattered thoughts and ideas, and I know that people (like St. Iranaeus) in the quote excerpted by MS can wax eloquently and convincingly on the majesty of Rome, but the fact remains that the Roman position requires significant leaps in logic, historical and theological license, and a belief that Christ would be ambiguous about such a crucial matter and let everyone duke it out in His earthly absence (indeed THE crucial matter of ecclessiology of the last 1000 years).  OR, you could believe that the 5 patriarchs have the same theological authority, that Acts contemplates a concilliar method of dispute resolution, that Rome is to be honored but is not infallible when acting alone, and that they "got it right" regarding the Creed at Nicaea.  Seems like an easy choice, and would've avoided immeasurable grief and heartache to accept the latter.

Android,
No need to apologize. At this point I would rather not systematically address all of your arguments. The yoke that was lifted from me felt very good. I'd like to enjoy it a little while longer before I start getting too deep into an intellectual defense of my beliefs. But I will try to give you my 30,000 mile view.

If we were to look at an early church writing from the second century and compare it to one in the 11th century, it would appear that there was a "leap" from Roman primacy to papal supremacy. But what I have come to believe is that its not a leap but an organic evolution. Just as all authority started in Jerusalem and then evolved into the Triumvirate and then to the Pentarchy, I see a similiar evolution of the primacy of Rome and the supremecy of the pope. The words of St. Iranaeus and others (St. Jerome is another example) seem to show a necessity for the one visible church to maintain union with the See of Peter.

The fact that at some point some of the East disagreed with Rome and broke away (or the two split or Rome broke away depending on how you see it (pun intended)) doesn't seem much different to me than when the reformers broke away from Rome. Rome may have had problems but it was historically looked at as a source of orthodoxy and unity. I see some bad decisions and bad popes but I do not see a broken rock. Therefor, jumping from that rock seems unwise to me.
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2009, 08:10:41 PM »

What is East and what is West? That seems to be the distinction; those who convert to Orthodoxy usually see the difference as truth versus error, Orthodoxy versus heterodoxy; those who remain Roman Catholic frame the discussion as East and West.  But the Roman Catholic Church already has its eastern varieties, so it really doesn't need the Orthodox Church if it wants to borrow some icons, Jesus prayers, Akathists, and nifty hats.  But what it does not have, and what it can never borrow, is Orthodoxy.  So if you believe in papal infallibility and papal universal jurisdiction, then fine, be a Roman Catholic, because you would not be Orthodox no matter how much you love "the East" (whatever that is...I truly don't know after having been Orthodox what that even means).  On the opposite side, no matter how much you appreciate historic Western Christianity, if you do not believe in these doctrines, then you should not be a Roman Catholic. I trust you have made your decision based on truth versus error, but it seems from the way you framed the discussion, that you want to have Roman Catholicism while adding a few Eastern trappings (again, whatever "The East" means...). I'm not sure that's really such a great idea if that is the case.

You're still welcome to post here, and I don't think any less of you, but I would be being dishonest if I did not speak plainly.

Fr Anastasios

Fr. Anastasios,
I apologize if I gave the impression I wanted to borrow "a few Eastern trappings." This is certainly not true.  The Orthodoxy I fell in love with was not the simple trappings, but the people. I fell in love with the writings of Metropolitan Kalistos Ware, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, many of the AFR programs, the folks on this board, and much more. In so many things Orthodox I find great wisdom and the work of the Holy Spirit. But I also do not see an absence of these things in Catholicism.

In both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism I see Christ's mark. But I believe the unifying factor of the ancient church--Christ's Church--was not orthodoxy it was the papacy. And not the strawman figure often painted or even lived out by a few bad popes. I am speaking of a papacy which was exemplified by Pope John Paul II.

Thank you for post and wisdom Father. I've learned a great deal from your posts and hope to continue to do so.
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2009, 08:32:39 PM »

After doing some reading, I came to learn that the modern Catholic apologists were mistaken in this view. They were imposing modern Catholic doctrine onto the early Church, similar to what the Protestants do to Catholics. There are portions of Catholic doctrine that the early Church would not recognize today. I had to read the Fathers myself, visit Orthodox churches, attend services, talk with priests (Catholic and Orthodox) and do a lot of praying.

Yes. I think you are correct in your assessment that "[t]here are portions of Catholic doctrine that the early Church would not recognize today." But I would say this same lack of recognition would be experienced by the 2nd century church looking at the 10th century church.

Quote
It makes no sense to look at certain quotes and then deduce what Church has held the faith given to us by Christ our God. Things must be thoroughly read in context, as well as accompanied with prayer...I just wish you would have given it some more thought.

No offense taken. I have inquired into Orthodoxy several times over the past several years. But each time I would get scared and run back to Rome (figuratively speaking) at the first pro-Catholic argument. This time, however, I went all the way in. I continually prayed and continually thought. I read books, posts, articles, listened to podcasts, and etc. In the end I did not make my decision on a simple out of context quote. I made my decision based on lots of information from many sources, but only with the movement of the Holy Spirit. I will continue to pray for guidance. If the Orthodox church is the true Church, then God willing I will be in it one day. But as long as I believe the true Church is the Catholic church, this is were I will stay.

Quote
The doctrinal additions of Rome just do not make sense to me. I could not be an Eastern Catholic; I tried that and could not do the spiritual and mental gymnastics necessary. How can one believe the filioque is heresy and be in union with Rome? How can one say the Theotokos was not immaculately conceived and be in union with Rome? Many Eastern Catholics I know believe almost identical to their Orthodox counterparts. Why does Rome allow this union to exist? It appears that they endorse it, IMHO, due to the fact that they recognize St. Ephrem the Syrian as a Doctor of the Church, yet he said the Theotokos was purified of sin at the Annunciation. Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairveaux expressly denied the IC. To me, this seems like spiritual schizophrenia that Rome has imposed upon itself.

As you probably know, the Doctor's of the Church are not considered infallible. Neither are the early Church Fathers. Not everything every one of them wrote or said was correct. But as far as the doctrinal additions of Rome not making sense, which in particular don't make sense? Metropolitan Kalistos Ware has stated that the argument over the language of the filioque is more a matter of semantics and not as large of a hurdle to unification as he once thought.

Quote
f you believe in these post-schism dogmas, then be Roman Catholic. I wish you the best and pray you will reconsider looking at Orthodoxy.

To me this is not the real question, but I know many Orthodox will disagree. I believe in the post-schism dogmas because I believe the Roman Catholic Church has a special place of supremacy in holding together the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. What I mean is that it is the Magisterium's authority to define a dogma that helps me believe the dogma and not the other way around.

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May God bless you.

Thank you. And may He bless you as well.
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2009, 09:00:37 PM »

I think that the most important thing is to find a home where you can best live out your faith in accordance with Christian spiritual and moral truth. Although I would argue that the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches are the truest repository of authentic Christian doctrine, I nevertheless acknowledge the Holy Spirit's work and presence in EO, Catholic, and even some Protestant Churches. At some point it is important to align ourselves with a Christian community so that we can receive the accountability and encouragement we need to live the victorious Christian life. And in the Cotholic Church you will also benefit from the Sacraments. I wish you well, and I repsect your decision.

Peace to you.

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Gebre Menfes Kidus,
Thank you very much. You have been very encouraging to me all along the way. I truly appreciate it.
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2009, 10:10:46 AM »

After doing some reading, I came to learn that the modern Catholic apologists were mistaken in this view. They were imposing modern Catholic doctrine onto the early Church, similar to what the Protestants do to Catholics. There are portions of Catholic doctrine that the early Church would not recognize today. I had to read the Fathers myself, visit Orthodox churches, attend services, talk with priests (Catholic and Orthodox) and do a lot of praying.

Yes. I think you are correct in your assessment that "[t]here are portions of Catholic doctrine that the early Church would not recognize today." But I would say this same lack of recognition would be experienced by the 2nd century church looking at the 10th century church.

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It makes no sense to look at certain quotes and then deduce what Church has held the faith given to us by Christ our God. Things must be thoroughly read in context, as well as accompanied with prayer...I just wish you would have given it some more thought.

No offense taken. I have inquired into Orthodoxy several times over the past several years. But each time I would get scared and run back to Rome (figuratively speaking) at the first pro-Catholic argument. This time, however, I went all the way in. I continually prayed and continually thought. I read books, posts, articles, listened to podcasts, and etc. In the end I did not make my decision on a simple out of context quote. I made my decision based on lots of information from many sources, but only with the movement of the Holy Spirit. I will continue to pray for guidance. If the Orthodox church is the true Church, then God willing I will be in it one day. But as long as I believe the true Church is the Catholic church, this is were I will stay.

Quote
The doctrinal additions of Rome just do not make sense to me. I could not be an Eastern Catholic; I tried that and could not do the spiritual and mental gymnastics necessary. How can one believe the filioque is heresy and be in union with Rome? How can one say the Theotokos was not immaculately conceived and be in union with Rome? Many Eastern Catholics I know believe almost identical to their Orthodox counterparts. Why does Rome allow this union to exist? It appears that they endorse it, IMHO, due to the fact that they recognize St. Ephrem the Syrian as a Doctor of the Church, yet he said the Theotokos was purified of sin at the Annunciation. Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairveaux expressly denied the IC. To me, this seems like spiritual schizophrenia that Rome has imposed upon itself.

As you probably know, the Doctor's of the Church are not considered infallible. Neither are the early Church Fathers. Not everything every one of them wrote or said was correct. But as far as the doctrinal additions of Rome not making sense, which in particular don't make sense? Metropolitan Kalistos Ware has stated that the argument over the language of the filioque is more a matter of semantics and not as large of a hurdle to unification as he once thought.

Quote
f you believe in these post-schism dogmas, then be Roman Catholic. I wish you the best and pray you will reconsider looking at Orthodoxy.

To me this is not the real question, but I know many Orthodox will disagree. I believe in the post-schism dogmas because I believe the Roman Catholic Church has a special place of supremacy in holding together the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. What I mean is that it is the Magisterium's authority to define a dogma that helps me believe the dogma and not the other way around.

Quote
May God bless you.

Thank you. And may He bless you as well.

The bolded part is circular reasoning at its most basic. Rome didn't even claim that for itself for hundreds of years; but allow it to grab for power in a particular political/cultural context, give the mechanism of "do whatever a Pope wants to" a neat Latin name, and you have created a whole new thing, unchecked and unimpeachable. If you don't like it or it is in complete conflict with orthodoxy, reference an "organic evolution and continuous revelation" and 90% of people will swallow it.  And even if Rome did have the special task of holding the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" together, it certainly did a piss poor job of it and blew out apostolic sees purely in the name of its own authority- that is the tail wagging the dog.

Sorry, but it pains me.
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2009, 04:33:46 PM »

^ Its circular reasoning unless you believe that there is good evidence that Papal Infallibility (properly defined) was established by Christ.
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2009, 04:47:52 PM »

^ Its circular reasoning unless you believe that there is good evidence that Papal Infallibility (properly defined) was established by Christ.

It's still circular in the same sense that Orthodox understanding of Concilliar authority (which we also believe was established by Christ) is. If everything the Pope said was infallible, it wouldn't be. But since only certain pronouncements are, how do you know which are infallible and which aren't--only the infallible Pope can infallibly identify which pronouncements are infallible.
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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2009, 04:50:40 PM »

^ Its circular reasoning unless you believe that there is good evidence that Papal Infallibility (properly defined) was established by Christ.

It's still circular in the same sense that Orthodox understanding of Concilliar authority (which we also believe was established by Christ) is. If everything the Pope said was infallible, it wouldn't be. But since only certain pronouncements are, how do you know which are infallible and which aren't--only the infallible Pope can infallibly identify which pronouncements are infallible.
Its not circular reasoning because we think that there is good objective evidence to accept the authority of the Pope outside of Ecumenical Councils and the Pope himself.
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« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2009, 06:01:35 PM »

^ Its circular reasoning unless you believe that there is good evidence that Papal Infallibility (properly defined) was established by Christ.

then the reasoning is specious, rather than circular.

i know nothing will be resolved on a message board, but that someone (esp. someone as brilliant and well-read as you) can believe that the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, the Magisterium, etc. was actually "established by Christ" is just beyond the pale.

i mean, the most one can say is that by sewing together a patchwork collection of scriptural verses and making leaps based on that regarding Peter's later connection to Rome (while disregarding other scripture, instances of Peter's own fallibility and non-supremacy in Galatians, Acts and elsewhere), and conflating Peter's role as an apostle to that of his short-lived episcopacy in Rome, and extending those tenuous conclusions which applied to the person of Peter to one of his offices (bishop of rome), an INFERENCE to something approaching that effect "could" be made, but the reality is that there are many, many links in the intellectual, theological, logical, political and historical chain that have to be connected to get to the RC position as it is today.

christ was NOT ambiguous when it came to critical matters, the institution of sacraments, the 2 great commandments, the great commission, the establishment of his church at Pentecost, etc.

IF he intended to have ONE supreme vicar to act on his behalf infallibly, he would've done more than make a veiled play on words regarding petras/cephas and keys.

it also stands to reason that the fact that there were 12 disciples, not one "right hand man" reveals something of Christ's opinion about who (and how many) leaders his church would need.

i also suppose that we should interpret Christ's making an example of Peter as having "personal" and prospective dimensions of import to his later episcopacy when it suits the Roman agenda, but not other times, to wit: Christ wasn't merely making a point about the article of faith uttered by Peter when he made the comment about the "keys of the kingdom" but was speaking to Peter personally, BUT, the episodes where Christ predicted Peter's thrice denial of Christ, or Peter sinking into the sea when his faith waivered, those are purely.....what?  What of those instances? NOPE, nothing to conclude regarding Petrine authority, supremacy, infallibility based on that- just illustrative examples of no import to the discussion. I can only imagine if Peter hadn't sunk into the water or hadn't denied Christ when the rubber was meeting the road? Rome would be trotting out those chestnuts left and right, but since they don't reinforce the agenda, they are ignored.

I really hate being "put into the position" of having to sound like I'm denigrating St. Peter. I believe he was "chief of the apostles", a great leader, great bishop, great Saint, etc., and I believe that the See of Rome could be prime among the patriarchates....but, supremacy, universal jurisdiction, infallibility? No. Instituted by Christ? Come on.
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« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2009, 06:10:24 PM »

^ not to mention, that if he is satisfied with Rome, he must also be satisfied with the filioque... Roll Eyes Huh
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« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2009, 07:12:45 PM »

^ not to mention, that if he is satisfied with Rome, he must also be satisfied with the filioque... Roll Eyes Huh
I'm satisfied with the filioque. Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2009, 07:15:32 PM »

^ may God grant you ears that hear.  angel
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« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2009, 07:36:21 PM »

^ may God grant you ears that hear.  angel
They are wide open man.
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« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2009, 07:36:44 PM »

Do RC's teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from both the Father and the Son, or that He proceeds eternally from the Father, rests in the Son, and then proceeds from the Son?
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« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2009, 07:41:25 PM »

Do RC's teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from both the Father and the Son, or that He proceeds eternally from the Father, rests in the Son, and then proceeds from the Son?
If you look at our councils our "from" means "through". Thus we believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father through the Son.
Its a "from" in the following sense. Imagine a kings vicar is sent to deliver a message from the king. The message is ultimately from the king. But the message was recieved from the vicar. Its is from both but in a different sense. It could also be said that the message was from the king and recieved through the messanger. It could be said both ways and be true.

Example two, imagine a water tower springs a leak and water starts gushing out and forms a little stream. If I drink water from the spring, I am recieving the water from the water tower or the spring? In a certain sense it is from both. The water tower is the ultimate source and the spring a secondary one. I could say either "from" the water tower and the spring or "from" the water tower "through" the spring.

This is what I believe is an acceptable understanding of the filioque given Catholic documents on the matter and the words of some of the Fathers. We can say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in the sense demonstrated above by examples or we can say he proceeeds from the Father through the Son as described above.
Keep in mind that we believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from a single source so I think the water tower example is a better image.
However, ulitimately all earthly examples are just shadows of the ulitmate mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
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« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2009, 07:45:27 PM »

Ok, that's what I thought but I wasn't sure. Thanks.
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2009, 07:50:37 PM »

Ok, that's what I thought but I wasn't sure. Thanks.
I just revised my post.
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« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2009, 07:53:05 PM »

Do RC's teach that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from both the Father and the Son, or that He proceeds eternally from the Father, rests in the Son, and then proceeds from the Son?
Depends on who you ask.
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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2009, 07:57:05 PM »

^A better way to formulate the question is:
"Do RC's believe that the Holy Spirit the love between the Father and the Son?"
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« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2009, 07:57:36 PM »

^A better way to formulate the question is:
"Do RC's believe that the Holy Spirit the love between the Father and the Son?"
Why is that a better way to word it?
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« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2009, 08:01:29 PM »

^A better way to formulate the question is:
"Do RC's believe that the Holy Spirit the love between the Father and the Son?"
Why is that a better way to word it?
Answer the question and I'll show you. Wink
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« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2009, 08:03:11 PM »

From the official definition of the Council of Florence (which the RC's still claim as Ecumenical):
Quote
In the name of the holy Trinity, Father, Son and holy Spirit, we define, with the approval of this holy universal council of Florence, that the following truth of faith shall be believed and accepted by all Christians and thus shall all profess it: that the holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son, and has his essence and his subsistent being from the Father together with the Son, and proceeds from both eternally as from one principle and a single spiration. We declare that when holy doctors and fathers say that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, this bears the sense that thereby also the Son should be signified, according to the Greeks indeed as cause, and according to the Latins as principle of the subsistence of the holy Spirit, just like the Father.

And since the Father gave to his only-begotten Son in begetting him everything the Father has, except to be the Father, so the Son has eternally from the Father, by whom he was eternally begotten, this also, namely that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.
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« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2009, 08:14:50 PM »

^A better way to formulate the question is:
"Do RC's believe that the Holy Spirit the love between the Father and the Son?"
Why is that a better way to word it?
Answer the question and I'll show you. Wink
I guess I will take the bait. I am not aware of any Church documents that describe the Holy Spirit as the love between the Father and the Son. The only place that comes near to being official on this matter is Thomas Aquinas' discussion of the Holy Spirit being God's will/love as Christ is his Word. But even in this case the most I can come up with is the Holy Spirit being the Father's Love for the Word.
Perhaps the Catechism speaks of this. I will have to look it up.
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« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2009, 08:15:59 PM »

From the official definition of the Council of Florence (which the RC's still claim as Ecumenical):
Quote
In the name of the holy Trinity, Father, Son and holy Spirit, we define, with the approval of this holy universal council of Florence, that the following truth of faith shall be believed and accepted by all Christians and thus shall all profess it: that the holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son, and has his essence and his subsistent being from the Father together with the Son, and proceeds from both eternally as from one principle and a single spiration. We declare that when holy doctors and fathers say that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, this bears the sense that thereby also the Son should be signified, according to the Greeks indeed as cause, and according to the Latins as principle of the subsistence of the holy Spirit, just like the Father.

And since the Father gave to his only-begotten Son in begetting him everything the Father has, except to be the Father, so the Son has eternally from the Father, by whom he was eternally begotten, this also, namely that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Son.
Yup
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« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2009, 08:38:05 PM »

Blatant subordinationism.

And blasphemous to claim such knowledge.
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