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Alonso_castillo
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« Reply #135 on: January 15, 2010, 06:04:02 PM »

In reading through some of these posts, my impression is that the Catholic view of the Orthodox Church is a bit softer than the Orthodox view of the Catholic Church.

Mathew 5:43-48

43  "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
48 So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

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« Reply #136 on: January 15, 2010, 06:05:34 PM »

Quote
You appear to conflate... judgment, discernment and condemnation. What do you think Judgment is? Define what you mean by it?
Judgment means to condemn somebody as sinner. Discernment, means to distinguish the good from the evil, even in the same person. Condemnation, is judgment for the wicked as inacted by God. This is my understanding, but that's linked to the fact that I translate in Italian "judgment" as "giudizio" and some words in English might sound differently in your language as it does in mine.

Good, we both agree that as Christians we are to exercise 'discernment' and that such does not 'judge' or 'condemn' but it does allow one to 'know' error in others and to avoid it in our own lives. This is good.

Far too many Christians in our own day think that when we are instructed 'not to judge' that we are actually not to exercise any discernment of other's error. Well that is clearly not the case.
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« Reply #137 on: January 15, 2010, 06:19:39 PM »


Well, it sort of makes sense. If heresy is a "choice", particularly a choice against the judgment of the Church, that choice can really only be made in the same sense if one is under the judgment of the Church in the first place.

Yes, but then even many in the Roman Catholic communion are believing heretical ideas, which means that there has to be some level of awareness when committing a heresy to formally be considered a heretic.  When combining these realities, then almost no one is ever culpable for committing heresy, at least formally.

I think it would be a better idea to refer to them as the heterodox, as such.
What is the difference between being a heretic and being heterodox?

Like I said, "heretic" refers to choosing to reject the judgment of the Church on doctrinal matters, heterodox simply refers to those who are not consistent with the Church's dogmatic definitions.
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« Reply #138 on: January 15, 2010, 06:21:14 PM »

Do you remember where Aquinas recommended killing non-Catholics?  I don't mean any disrespect by asking for sources, Father, and I know you're not the sort to say things without being able to back them up- that's just really shocking and I'd like to see where he said it.

Herre are the passges from Aquinas' Summa Theologica:

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[11] A[3] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[11] A[3] Body Para. 2/2

On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, "A little leaven," says: "Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame."


What you think Aquinas is meaning by "heretics" and what he actually meant by it are not necessarily one and the same. I had the matter explained to me once by a Trad Cath who said that only those who are actually part of the Church and then choosing to pervert its teachings are actually heretics. Thus, all denominations that have already become asunder from it are not heretics in this sense.
It has always been my understanding that when Aquinas was referring to the heretics that should be recieve capital punishment, he is talking about men like Arius who where spreading and teaching heresy among the faithful, not your average material heretic.

Yes, that is my understanding as well.
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« Reply #139 on: January 15, 2010, 06:22:51 PM »


This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?

I highly doubt all of the Saints are worthy of imitation in all respects of what they did or thought. But I also don't think that means that the values that informed their glorification are askew.
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« Reply #140 on: January 15, 2010, 06:30:08 PM »


In reading through some of these posts, my impression is that the Catholic view of the Orthodox Church is a bit softer than the Orthodox view of the Catholic Church.

That may even be a bit of a understatement.
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« Reply #141 on: January 15, 2010, 06:31:04 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?
I think Aquinas is certainly worthy of veneration.

But is he worth imitation? We don't veneration Saints other than they are worth imitation as they were imitators of Christ. Would Christ say we should kill the Pharisees? I don't think so. So we must ask ourselves if he is truly worthy of imitation. I feel the same way about many of the 'Pious' Emperors of the Eastern Empire. Eastern Imperial Culture was not necessarily 'worthy' of imitation from a Christian perspective. The acts of those Emperors were not necessarily 'worthy' of Christian imitation either. So we have the ask the question... why are they venerated as Saints? Was it simply 'cultural' pride of the times?
I think that if we were living in a Christian country with Catholicism as the state Church, and we had due process, it would be appropriate to execute men like Arius.

Precisely.  And in modern Russia it would be quite possible to get a bill through the Duma mandating the death penalty for the Roman Catholic bishops who are promulgating heresy in the country.   Possibly for priests as well.   
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« Reply #142 on: January 15, 2010, 06:32:21 PM »

In reading through some of these posts, my impression is that the Catholic view of the Orthodox Church is a bit softer than the Orthodox view of the Catholic Church.
It seems to be true, and this thread seems to prove it. Of course, the problem lies in the Catholic church too. The ancient aggressivity towards Orthodoxy since 1000 years ago has left too much scars in the memories of the Orthodox. That's very sad, because the open attitude of Catholicism in our days is really a good occasion for dialogue and eventually reunion.

I wouldn't say so. The Romanists seem only interested in a false union of Communion amidst divergent "theological traditions".
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« Reply #143 on: January 15, 2010, 06:33:34 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?
I think Aquinas is certainly worthy of veneration.

But is he worth imitation? We don't veneration Saints other than they are worth imitation as they were imitators of Christ. Would Christ say we should kill the Pharisees? I don't think so. So we must ask ourselves if he is truly worthy of imitation. I feel the same way about many of the 'Pious' Emperors of the Eastern Empire. Eastern Imperial Culture was not necessarily 'worthy' of imitation from a Christian perspective. The acts of those Emperors were not necessarily 'worthy' of Christian imitation either. So we have the ask the question... why are they venerated as Saints? Was it simply 'cultural' pride of the times?
I think that if we were living in a Christian country with Catholicism as the state Church, and we had due process, it would be appropriate to execute men like Arius.

Precisely.  And in modern Russia it would be quite possible to get a bill through the Duma mandating the death penalty for the Roman Catholic bishops who are promulgating heresy in the country.   Possibly for priests as well.   

No, there's a moratorium on capital punishment right now.
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« Reply #144 on: January 15, 2010, 06:43:36 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?
I think Aquinas is certainly worthy of veneration.

But is he worth imitation? We don't veneration Saints other than they are worth imitation as they were imitators of Christ. Would Christ say we should kill the Pharisees? I don't think so. So we must ask ourselves if he is truly worthy of imitation. I feel the same way about many of the 'Pious' Emperors of the Eastern Empire. Eastern Imperial Culture was not necessarily 'worthy' of imitation from a Christian perspective. The acts of those Emperors were not necessarily 'worthy' of Christian imitation either. So we have the ask the question... why are they venerated as Saints? Was it simply 'cultural' pride of the times?
I think that if we were living in a Christian country with Catholicism as the state Church, and we had due process, it would be appropriate to execute men like Arius.

Precisely.  And in modern Russia it would be quite possible to get a bill through the Duma mandating the death penalty for the Roman Catholic bishops who are promulgating heresy in the country.   Possibly for priests as well.   

No, there's a moratorium on capital punishment right now.

I feel sure that the influence of the Patriarch and Holy Synod could deal with that in the specific case of the Catholic bishops and priests spreading heresy and sedition.   They are waging war upon the soul of Russia.
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« Reply #145 on: January 15, 2010, 06:57:18 PM »

It seems that you're being sarcastic anyway.
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« Reply #146 on: January 15, 2010, 07:24:17 PM »

It seems that you're being sarcastic anyway.

I am following through with the comments of Papist about the extermination of heretics which he sees as a future possibility and not something in the remote past.  If the Russian State is twitchy about imposing the death penalty becasus of the EU, I am sure the Brown Shirts could be asked to take care of removing heretics.  Putin has a good relationship with them and they are dedicated to the purity of Russia, freeing it from Western influences.
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« Reply #147 on: January 15, 2010, 07:36:45 PM »

It seems that you're being sarcastic anyway.

I am following through with the comments of Papist about the extermination of heretics which he sees as a future possibility and not something in the remote past.  If the Russian State is twitchy about imposing the death penalty becasus of the EU, I am sure the Brown Shirts could be asked to take care of removing heretics.  Putin has a good relationship with them and they are dedicated to the purity of Russia, freeing it from Western influences.

And yet I am expecting that you are doing so in a sarcastic manner, because I doubt you really have any interest in any such executions.
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« Reply #148 on: January 15, 2010, 07:49:45 PM »

And yet I am expecting that you are doing so in a sarcastic manner, because I doubt you really have any interest in any such executions.

Sarcasm is such a nasty word.  It is almost always delivered with insults and scorn which is not something I would wish to do.   I remember that previous attempts at irony have fallen flat on their faces on the Forum.  A British sense of irony doesn't translate well into America.  Not to worry.
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« Reply #149 on: January 15, 2010, 08:30:52 PM »

Grace and Peace,

This line of thinking really raises the question with regards to Saints... are 'all' our Saints truly worthy of imitation or have we allowed cultural and historical biases to enter into the values of the Church?
I think Aquinas is certainly worthy of veneration.

But is he worth imitation? We don't veneration Saints other than they are worth imitation as they were imitators of Christ. Would Christ say we should kill the Pharisees? I don't think so. So we must ask ourselves if he is truly worthy of imitation. I feel the same way about many of the 'Pious' Emperors of the Eastern Empire. Eastern Imperial Culture was not necessarily 'worthy' of imitation from a Christian perspective. The acts of those Emperors were not necessarily 'worthy' of Christian imitation either. So we have the ask the question... why are they venerated as Saints? Was it simply 'cultural' pride of the times?
I think that if we were living in a Christian country with Catholicism as the state Church, and we had due process, it would be appropriate to execute men like Arius.

Precisely.  And in modern Russia it would be quite possible to get a bill through the Duma mandating the death penalty for the Roman Catholic bishops who are promulgating heresy in the country.   Possibly for priests as well.   

No, there's a moratorium on capital punishment right now.

I feel sure that the influence of the Patriarch and Holy Synod could deal with that in the specific case of the Catholic bishops and priests spreading heresy and sedition.   They are waging war upon the soul of Russia.

Lol, in Mexico we have a said:

La Zorra no se ve la cola (fox don't see its tail)

¿What is doing orthodoxy in America? the same that Catholics are doing in Russia.

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« Reply #150 on: January 15, 2010, 08:49:58 PM »


¿What is doing orthodoxy in America? the same that Catholics are doing in Russia.

At best they are not wholly comparable. America is not a traditionally Romanist country.
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« Reply #151 on: January 15, 2010, 10:20:08 PM »

In reading through some of these posts, my impression is that the Catholic view of the Orthodox Church is a bit softer than the Orthodox view of the Catholic Church.
It seems to be true, and this thread seems to prove it. Of course, the problem lies in the Catholic church too. The ancient aggressivity towards Orthodoxy since 1000 years ago has left too much scars in the memories of the Orthodox. That's very sad, because the open attitude of Catholicism in our days is really a good occasion for dialogue and eventually reunion.

I wouldn't say so. The Romanists seem only interested in a false union of Communion amidst divergent "theological traditions".

What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political. All apostolic churches have basically the same doctrine in a different cultural mindset. The COE agrees with this, the Vatican agrees with this. Surely you think the apostles would know how to choose their successor right? Anathematize individuals not apostolic churches. I was shocked when I heard the orthodox church considers people who take communion in the RCC as supreme heretics non-christians cultist outside the church. What a joke, you guys were the same church before 1054. "Oh I need to get re-chrismated because I went in the catholic church and saw THEIR icon instead of mine". Please...
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« Reply #152 on: January 15, 2010, 10:25:12 PM »

What a joke, you guys were the same church before 1054.

And then we became two churches, while each continued confessing a belief in ONE, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
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« Reply #153 on: January 15, 2010, 10:28:21 PM »

"Oh I need to get re-chrismated because I went in the catholic church and saw THEIR icon instead of mine". Please...

Roll Eyes
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« Reply #154 on: January 15, 2010, 11:22:23 PM »


The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.

The ACE seems almost as interested in false union. If you actually cared to look at all the theological variances, I'm sure it would become clear that it is not simply politics.


All apostolic churches have basically the same doctrine in a different cultural mindset.

Sounds like Roman ecumenist garbage to me. The variations between the Eastern churches and the ecclesia of Rome on matters of dogma are pretty obvious to me.


Surely you think the apostles would know how to choose their successor right?

Of course they did. And that's pretty much why there no huge dogmatic variation in the Church for almost the first 300 years. But that doesn't mean that their successors will all be as competent.


Anathematize individuals not apostolic churches.

Theodore of Mopsuestia is anathematized; I see no reason to regard those who follow him as outside of the Church.


What a joke, you guys were the same church before 1054.

Not I. The OO division from Rome was formalized in 451.
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« Reply #155 on: January 15, 2010, 11:31:46 PM »


All apostolic churches have basically the same doctrine in a different cultural mindset.

Besides, I don't even like the term "Apostolic churches". It's quite a misnomer. It assumes the Romanist mechanical idea that if an ecclesiastical body merely continue the historic succession through the episcopate by laying on of hands through from the Apostles that this is enough to qualify Apostolic Succession and thus for the body in question to be legitimately called an "Apostolic church". I don't buy that idea though. Traditional Eastern conception of Apostolic Succession requires a greater imitation of the Apostles, such as holding to their doctrine, to maintain the substance of what it means to be their successor. As such, I don't think all the "Apostolic churches" actually have Apostolic Succession.
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« Reply #156 on: January 15, 2010, 11:44:42 PM »

What revisionism.
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« Reply #157 on: January 15, 2010, 11:47:08 PM »


What revisionism.

Oh please.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #158 on: January 15, 2010, 11:48:43 PM »

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Theodore of Mopsuestia is anathematized; I see no reason to regard those who follow him as outside of the Church.

So is Cyril and Dioscorus. Your own EO pals call Dioscorus a cursed heretic who beat a patriarch to death!
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« Reply #159 on: January 16, 2010, 12:04:56 AM »

Grace and Peace,

I honestly believe that these kinds of things need to be worked out with our Patriarchs and not necessarily those of us with biases against one another.

Personally, I've learned a great deal from my exposure to Orthodoxy and I am well pleased. I hope to one day enter Holy Orthodoxy but I will never don the 'orthodox team shirt' and sit around and blast the West or the Western Church.
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« Reply #160 on: January 16, 2010, 12:16:53 AM »


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Theodore of Mopsuestia is anathematized; I see no reason to regard those who follow him as outside of the Church.

So is Cyril and Dioscorus. Your own EO pals call Dioscorus a cursed heretic who beat a patriarch to death!

How is Cyril anathematized?

I don't recognize the EOC's decisions against Dioscorus.
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« Reply #161 on: January 16, 2010, 12:17:49 AM »


Personally, I've learned a great deal from my exposure to Orthodoxy and I am well pleased. I hope to one day enter Holy Orthodoxy but I will never don the 'orthodox team shirt' and sit around and blast the West or the Western Church.

Just as long as you understand the dogmatic divergences, there is no necessity to attack them.
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« Reply #162 on: January 16, 2010, 12:22:13 AM »

What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.
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« Reply #163 on: January 16, 2010, 12:23:02 AM »

What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.

Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.
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« Reply #164 on: January 16, 2010, 12:23:47 AM »

What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.

Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.

Who cares, my church which is older or founded at the same time and reads the New Testament in Jesus's language says its so.

Oriental Orthodox= founded by the Oriental Orthodox emperors of Byzantium. So who cares what the sees the Greeks control have to say. The true oriental Church of the East says everything is ok.
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« Reply #165 on: January 16, 2010, 12:30:18 AM »

What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.

Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.

Who cares, my church which is older or founded at the same time and reads the New Testament in Jesus's language says its so.

Oriental Orthodox= founded by the Oriental Orthodox emperors of Byzantium. So who cares what the sees the Greeks control have to say. The true oriental Church of the East says everything is ok.

You actually think anyone else here cares anywhere near as much as you what the ACE has to say?
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« Reply #166 on: January 16, 2010, 12:34:20 AM »

What sectarian garbage. The COE views orthodoxy and RCC differences as merely political.
Unfortunately, though, from what we are reading on this thread, the Orthodox do not see things that way.

Neither the EO nor the OO for that matter.

Who cares, my church which is older or founded at the same time and reads the New Testament in Jesus's language says its so.
Are you trotting out this old canard AGAIN? Huh  You keep on saying this as if it somehow proves the correctness of whatever point of view you want to advance, but you have yet to counter the evidence others have brought out to refute this.
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« Reply #167 on: January 16, 2010, 12:36:54 AM »

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You actually think anyone else here cares anywhere near as much as you what the ACE has to say?

Yes, I absolutely do since everybody on this board knows the ACE is the only Apostolic church outside the pentarchy created by Justinian "Epiphanes". The Church with the oldest liturgy, which was once called the Nazarenes (that should tell you something), the church which according to the papacy has true jurisdiction over the entire East, the church which reads Aramaic (Jesus's language), the Church which did not participate in robber synods and allow non-Chalcedonians to tamper with scripture introducing heresies, the church which has always held to a strict rules in interpretation of scripture (plain scripture first), the church which never made anybody convert using force, and the church with the most martyrs (because it never had a Constantine to save it).


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« Reply #168 on: January 16, 2010, 12:53:55 AM »


Thank you for the info.  That was very enlightening!  Smiley

I have two questions, which either you or anyone else who knows could answer perhaps. 

1) Is there really no conversion process necessary to go from Orthodox to Catholic?  No chrismation, confirmation, etc.?  Is there not even supposed to be?

2) What is AFAIC an acronym for?  Haha.  I've seen it many times but never bothered to ask.

Thanks again!

GregoryLA,

You're quite welcome.  AFAIC stands for "As Far As I'm Concerned".  As for the first question you asked in the post quoted above.......well let's step back a little bit.  From the point of view of the churches in union with Rome:

1. The liturgical life of those churches in the communion called Orthodox is as venerable as anyone else's, and through their ecclesial life expressed in the Holy Mysteries they authentically bring the God into the lives of their church (i.e. their sacraments "valid").

2. each local church (i.e. the bishop) in the communion called Orthodox is an "authentic" local church because they have established by and maintain unity with sees which can unambiguously trace their origin back to authentic churches.  Though there are other local churches the fullness of the Church is expressed in each union of bishop-clergy-people.   (i.e. they have "apostolic succession").   

3. those who are part of a church in the communion called Orthodox may freely come and participate in the full ecclesiastical life of a church in union with Rome. 

Given the above, what would anyone need to "covert" to?   Protestants need to be chrismated because they either deny "non-biblical" sacraments or because their ecclesial communities (note I didn't call the churches) generally deny them.  The only "defect" in Orthodox churches is, as repeated in Vatican statements, they're not in union with Rome. [I happen to disagree with that view - such a statement doesn't take into account that they have IMO reasonable doubts about Rome's orthodoxy - but that's a separate issue].   

[and sorry for this long-winded "communion called Orthodox" and "church in union with Rome" stuff.   I'm writing it out longwindedly because I hope that this will make a bit more sense to you.  I don't mean, with any of these words, to question the orthodoxy of the Orthodox Church]




To give my opinion on your other question below, it would depend on what you mean by "anti-Catholic" saints.  One example: Saint Photius died in communion with Rome and I believe he was canonized when Constantinople was in union with Rome.  If the second is true, then AFAIC there's no way anyone in union with Rome can argue against his sanctity [at the time, there was no formal centralized process to discern whether someone was a saint or not the way they do it today, and the canonization process took place in the local church.  And either way, note that God and the saint always makes the saint.  The present centralization of this process in Rome is supposed to only meant to ensure that due diligence is done during the discernment process.].

Moreover, whether one is pro- or anti-Rome has no bearing on whether or not one is a saint.  A saint is merely one who after death is among the elect (i.e. someone who has "gone to heaven").  Since one can always (privately) pray to someone who you believe is in heaven, there's nothing "wrong" with praying to "anti-Catholic" saints.  And I do know of Catholics who venerate Saint Mark of Ephesus - speaking personally, I'm open to it since again one "becomes a saint" by being faithful to one's initiation into Christianity (baptism, chrismation) and struggle to live an orthodox life.  But it's not a high priority and I would prefer to do original source research on the topic, using an academically sound edition of his complete writings, before I do so. 

[side note: I don't view St. Gregory Palamas as "anti-Catholic".  Even though Barlaam, an Italo-Greek like myself, became bishop of one or another Italo-Greek see when he returned to Italy, plenty of people who could be considered heretics or nonreligious were made bishop among those churches in union with Rome back then because of the way medieval western Church-state relations were. 

The way I understand it, Barlaam -like many other intellectuals back then - argued essentially that no one can have any experience of God beyond simple factual knowledge because God's essence is unknowable.  This implies that the sacraments are meaningless, and that God cannot/will not reveal himself to you. 

I cannot swallow that idea, and I have to stand with Saint Gregory on this: God can directly reveal himself to us, not only in this sacraments but also directly to us through his "energies", his "acts", or whatever you want to call them.  I stand with the Hagioritic Tome when I say that I couldn't have communion with someone who holds the opposite position.  The Melkite Greek Catholic Church stopped venerating him in the mid-1800s, basically because of the ultramontanist tendencies which were popping up all over the Catholic Church in response to contemporary challenges, as well as because his theology were not generally understood.   Today, he's back on the 2nd Sunday in Lent (with Vatican approval for those who are concerned about such things).  I consider that to be an essential part of "Byzantine" spiritual life, and if he was kicked out the door again I'd follow him]
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« Reply #169 on: January 16, 2010, 01:03:21 AM »

Quote
You actually think anyone else here cares anywhere near as much as you what the ACE has to say?

Yes, I absolutely do since everybody on this board knows the ACE is the only Apostolic church outside the pentarchy created by Justinian "Epiphanes". The Church with the oldest liturgy, which was once called the Nazarenes (that should tell you something), the church which according to the papacy has true jurisdiction over the entire East, the church which reads Aramaic (Jesus's language), the Church which did not participate in robber synods and allow non-Chalcedonians to tamper with scripture introducing heresies, the church which has always held to a strict rules in interpretation of scripture (plain scripture first), the church which never made anybody convert using force, and the church with the most martyrs (because it never had a Constantine to save it).


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That didn't really answer my question.
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« Reply #170 on: January 16, 2010, 06:27:53 AM »

Dear deusveritasest,
the attitude you show on this thread proves what I wrote before: that Roman Catholics are more disposed to dialogue then many Easteners (except for minor cases--- Papist shows to be more vehement then many other Catholics on this thread, but I forgive him as too zealous, as st. Peter and the Boanerges were in life). You also show too much hatred for too many Christians of different apostolic confessions. We should battle the true heresies with that zeal - and by that I mean Protestantism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, and all forms of cafeteria religion and new-age relativistic hyppie pseudoreligions. Don't you see the similarities between Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church? don't you see that your reasonings are boomerangs against you? You attack our brother Rafa999 for his belief in the supremacy of the Aramaic language in faith, yet you do the same in discriminating Latin in favour of Greek. God speaks to the hearts of men, and not to our ears - the barriers of language don't mean anything to God! All of us are tempted to do EXACTLY what happened at the Tower of Babel: building a common empire under one language - ours. No, God wants us to share the same faith and to proclaim it according to our languages and cultures, agreeing on what is common. We all believe in the Trinity; we all preserve the sacraments and male-only priesthood; we all acknowledge Tradition as our guide in reading the Bible; we all pray for the dead in hope for their delivery from the prison of hades (whatever we might mean by that word); we all hope in our sanctification and theosis; we all know God is our creator and bless His name even in the glory of the saints, and especially the Most Blessed Mother of our Lord, God in the flesh; we all battle in defence of life against abortion and euthanasia; we all struggle for a world purified of sexual immorality based on the sanctified Mystery of Matrimony!!! Our reciprocal battles won't help in solving the problems of this world. The more we battle each other, the more the Gospel is suffocated by the power of Satan. We should be lamps shining in darkness, but we behave like Satan in an egotistic fashion. All this destructive hatred makes me feel disgusted.

I'm sorry for this assault. You aren't the only one this critic is addressed. I have so often been a victim of this hatred myself in the past (and even now, at times, but I manage to calm myself) that I can't stand this anymore.

Forgive me for my attack, I didn't mean to offend anybody. Pray for me, the king of sinners.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #171 on: January 16, 2010, 06:36:14 AM »

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You appear to conflate... judgment, discernment and condemnation. What do you think Judgment is? Define what you mean by it?
Judgment means to condemn somebody as sinner. Discernment, means to distinguish the good from the evil, even in the same person. Condemnation, is judgment for the wicked as inacted by God. This is my understanding, but that's linked to the fact that I translate in Italian "judgment" as "giudizio" and some words in English might sound differently in your language as it does in mine.

Good, we both agree that as Christians we are to exercise 'discernment' and that such does not 'judge' or 'condemn' but it does allow one to 'know' error in others and to avoid it in our own lives. This is good.

Far too many Christians in our own day think that when we are instructed 'not to judge' that we are actually not to exercise any discernment of other's error. Well that is clearly not the case.

I entirely agree with you. Your right. Well, we were both right XD
Anyway, in case you don't know, I've stepped back in the Roman Catholic Church, but as I made it clear, I'm the greatest appreciator of Orthodoxy and Oriental Christianity the Latin church has ever found. I don't feel both sides are so different... they should just look for a common theological language - not Greek, not Latin, not Aramaic, not Copt, not Ethiopian, not Hebrew, not any modern language, but the language of heart!

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #172 on: January 16, 2010, 09:20:31 AM »

It seems that you're being sarcastic anyway.

I am following through with the comments of Papist about the extermination of heretics which he sees as a future possibility and not something in the remote past.  If the Russian State is twitchy about imposing the death penalty becasus of the EU, I am sure the Brown Shirts could be asked to take care of removing heretics.  Putin has a good relationship with them and they are dedicated to the purity of Russia, freeing it from Western influences.


Hello Fr.Ambrose  are you by any chance referring to the organization called Nashi in Russia....Id love to see a chapter of it in Serbia God willing....
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« Reply #173 on: January 16, 2010, 04:22:53 PM »


side note: I don't view St. Gregory Palamas as "anti-Catholic".  Even though Barlaam, an Italo-Greek like myself, became bishop of one or another Italo-Greek see when he returned to Italy, plenty of people who could be considered heretics or nonreligious were made bishop among those churches in union with Rome back then because of the way medieval western Church-state relations were. 

The way I understand it, Barlaam -like many other intellectuals back then - argued essentially that no one can have any experience of God beyond simple factual knowledge because God's essence is unknowable.  This implies that the sacraments are meaningless, and that God cannot/will not reveal himself to you. 

I cannot swallow that idea, and I have to stand with Saint Gregory on this: God can directly reveal himself to us, not only in this sacraments but also directly to us through his "energies", his "acts", or whatever you want to call them.  I stand with the Hagioritic Tome when I say that I couldn't have communion with someone who holds the opposite position.  The Melkite Greek Catholic Church stopped venerating him in the mid-1800s, basically because of the ultramontanist tendencies which were popping up all over the Catholic Church in response to contemporary challenges, as well as because his theology were not generally understood.   Today, he's back on the 2nd Sunday in Lent (with Vatican approval for those who are concerned about such things).  I consider that to be an essential part of "Byzantine" spiritual life, and if he was kicked out the door again I'd follow him]

Barlaam isn't that significant.

Palamas' theology contradicts Thomas Aquinas'. That fact more so establishes him as anti-Romanist.
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« Reply #174 on: January 16, 2010, 04:34:33 PM »


You also show too much hatred for too many Christians of different apostolic confessions.

Where have I showed hatred towards anyone?


We should battle the true heresies with that zeal - and by that I mean Protestantism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, and all forms of cafeteria religion and new-age relativistic hyppie pseudoreligions.

Romanism/Thomism and Theodoreanism are true heresies. All of these should be battled.


Don't you see the similarities between Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church?

Yes, I do. But apparently my understanding of the similarities and their weight in comparison to their divergences is different from most Romanists.


don't you see that your reasonings are boomerangs against you?

I don't understand your figure of speech.


You attack our brother Rafa999 for his belief in the supremacy of the Aramaic language in faith, yet you do the same in discriminating Latin in favour of Greek.

No, I'm not a Hellenic supremacist. That reasoning doesn't even really work all that well for someone disposed to OOy rather than EOy.


God speaks to the hearts of men, and not to our ears - the barriers of language don't mean anything to God!

I don't think language creates any inherent barrier to theosis. But certain heresies appear to have developed in connection to a certain language. It's sort of a given that people of the same language group will be inclined to believe the teachings of their prominent leaders.


We all believe in the Trinity;

I don't know that I would go that far. The filioque has perverted the doctrine of the Trinity.


we all preserve the sacraments

Just because you preserve the same form of ordinance as in the original church doesn't necessarily mean that you have them as Sacraments/Sacred Mysteries.


and male-only priesthood;

Some EO/OO are not so convinced that the priesthood absolutely should be male-only. I'm among them.
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« Reply #175 on: January 17, 2010, 05:59:11 AM »

I'd be interested in knowing official statements by the Oriental Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Church where it is said that priesthood should be female-inclusive. The fact that you, and some theologians, think of a possible inclusion of female priesthood, doesn't mean that this is the doctrine of your Church (considering that there are no women priests, and that the Church Fathers and Councils technically ruled out the possibility for 2000 years as a part of our Tradition).
When you say that filioque perverts the meaning of the Trinity, you support Hellenism implicitly. "to proceed" and "ekpourenai" are entirely different word. Would you excommunicate Ambrose of Milan or Cyril of Alexandria for using it? Considering that in two subsequent chapters Thomas Aquinas defends both visions ("and" the Son and "through" the Son) I don't see how filioque and Thomism could be equated as heresies. Also, Thomism is NOT an official part of the Catholic doctrines, I mean that the category of created grace has found no place in the Councils of the Roman Church, and the fact that Eastern Catholics are free to venerate Gregory Palamas as a saint is a symptome of this openness. Now, the fact that some Catholics, such as Papist, regard Thomism as the only reading of the Catholic doctrine of grace DOESN'T mean that he is expressing infallible doctrine. Go and look to the recent thread on grace where a wonderful webpage discussing this topic will fade away all doubts: Palamism stresses on the origin of grace (grace as divine energy!) while Thomism stresses on the destination of grace (grace as a transformation of the habitus). If you have a bridge linking city A with city B, you could say "the bridge belongs to city A" and I could say "No, it belongs to city B", yet it is de facto of both. The intelligent observer would look from far enough to see the entire bridge and acknowledge it belongs to both, but divided as we are by our egotism, we tend to see only half of the bridge...
Unknowingly Thomas Aquinas might be saying that we see that part of God's Essence which is His energies. In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity; in Palamite theology, the risk of mingling God with the inferior created world implies the necessity to distinguish between the transcendental "core" of God (His essence) and His immanent "wrapping" (His energies). This is the same kind of dispute as for the two natures of Christ which has divided Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians... don't repeat the same error!

In Christ,   Alex

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« Reply #176 on: January 17, 2010, 06:25:34 AM »

In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity

I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.
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« Reply #177 on: January 17, 2010, 06:30:26 AM »

In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity

I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.
As I've stepped backwards to Roman Catholicism for the very same reason (i.e. the idea that I feel both Latin and Greek theology to be partial theories and not definitive solutions, at least on the matter of Grace) I don't see how that could affect me personally. Exactly for this reason, I don't feel fool when I consider myself a person devoted specifically both to st. Thomas Aquinas and st. Gregory Palamas!

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #178 on: January 17, 2010, 07:04:38 AM »

Some EO/OO are not so convinced that the priesthood absolutely should be male-only. I'm among them.

Dear Deus,

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) has expressed a wish to explore the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood.   I think he stands alone in this among Eastern Orthodox bishops, very much the odd man out?

I see you are an enquirer into the Oriental Orthodox and about them I know very little.   Could you say something about them and how their bishops view a female priesthood and, presumably, episcopate?
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« Reply #179 on: January 17, 2010, 07:33:01 AM »

In Latin theology, the risk of separating the simplicity of God's nature implies the necessity to strengthen its unity

I just heard a recent Orthodox speaker talk about how divine simplicity is an import from Greek philosophy into Latin theology and not a part of Orthodoxy.  He also said this gave rise to the Latin heresy of created grace.

The writings of Fr Adrian Fortescue, some of which are scattered through the Catholic Encyclopedia reject the idea of uncreated grace because the West sees it as introducing  distortion into the divine simplicity.  He speaks of this briefly in his article on hesychasm in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The "rediscovery" of uncreated grace in the West commenced in the late 1930s and the 1940s with the writings of the eminent Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian who died about 20 years ago.  He moved Catholicism away from its scholastic approach and closer to the patristic approach of earlier centuries. Rahner was the most noteworthy and influential Roman Catholic theologian of the 20th century. His theology and his approach to theology had a decisive effect on the Second Vatican Council.

However as far as I am aware his ideas on uncreated grace remain a matter of opinion within theological circles and have not been proclaimed as official Roman Catholic doctrine.

More recently we have the writings of the erstwhile Jesuit George Maloney in which he shows that uncreated grace is compatible with Latin theology.

Hesychasm only 'works' if we accept the distinction between God's Essence and God's Energies and the teaching that grace is uncreated. In the past Catholic theologians have not been willing to do this and have termed us heretical on this point. I am not sure if they now accept Orthodox theology on this point but without the theology hesychasm is a dead thing.

George Maloney has written a lot on this, and I think that his writings may be having an effect on Roman Catholic acceptance of the theology underpinning hesychasm but to be honest, I am not sure how 'mainstream' he is or if he is more like Anthony de Mello and his writings.Fr Maloney puts aside the Catholic vs. Orthodox polemics of past centuries and presents a better understanding of Orthodox theology.  (Fr Maloney died a few years back, having been received into the Orthodox Church..)


"Uncreated Energy: A Journey into the Authentic Sources of Christian Faith"
by George A. Maloney S.J.
ISBN: 0916349209

"Theology of Uncreated Energies of God"
(Pere Marquette Lecture Ser.)
by George S. Maloney S.J.
ISBN: 0874625165
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