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Author Topic: Roman Catholicism makes more sense to me intellectually than Orthodoxy?  (Read 30455 times) Average Rating: 0
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militantsparrow
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« on: January 18, 2010, 11:23:03 PM »

It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

  • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
  • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)
  • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
  • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
  • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
  • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.

This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 11:50:07 PM »

And you are throwing down that gauntlet 'here'? What are you thinking? Do you just like to get beat up or something?
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 11:55:15 PM »

And you are throwing down that gauntlet 'here'? What are you thinking? Do you just like to get beat up or something?

 Cheesy

Regarding your post, militantsparrow, I sort of disagree with some things, but I would like to collect my thoughts before I say anything. Though I am glad you didn't give us "7097 words"... that would have made things significantly more complicated Wink
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 11:59:51 PM »

"The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy."

*raises eyebrow*
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 12:06:25 AM »

"The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy."

*raises eyebrow*

Please tell me why you are raising your eyebrow. I'm not looking to fight. I only want to have an honest dialog.
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 12:09:01 AM »

Cheesy

Regarding your post, militantsparrow, I sort of disagree with some things, but I would like to collect my thoughts before I say anything. Though I am glad you didn't give us "7097 words"... that would have made things significantly more complicated Wink

Smiley Im looking forward to hearing from you.
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 12:10:13 AM »

And you are throwing down that gauntlet 'here'? What are you thinking? Do you just like to get beat up or something?

Steel on steel.
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 12:16:43 AM »

It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

  • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
  • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)
  • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
  • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
  • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
  • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.

This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.


I'm not sure what there is to debate. If Catholicism is your decision, I wish you all the best. 
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2010, 12:25:11 AM »

Quote
I'm not sure what there is to debate. If Catholicism is your decision, I wish you all the best. 

I probably should have given more background in my OP. I "feel" the truth of Orthodoxy. If I read books by Orthodox writers or listen to podcasts by Orthodox hosts, I feel very at home. I feel very comfortable. But then there is my brain. While my heart seems attracted to Orthodoxy, my mind rests in Catholicism.

This is probably due impart to my lack of exposure to Orthodox apologetics and my saturation of Catholic apologetics. So my goal here is to get some Orthodox apologetics.
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2010, 12:51:07 AM »

    It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

    I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

    • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.

    It is also quite clear that that did not mean the supremacy the Vatican takes it to mean today, as we do not see the first millenium Church operating as the Vatican hiearchy does today.  The circumstances surrounding the Fifth Ecumenical Council (it was convened over Pope Vigilius' objection, and it struck him at one point from the diptychs), for instance, show that.

    Quote
    • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)

    That phrase comes from St. Ignatius' letter to Rome, a letter that does not refer to the bishop of Rome at all.  St. Ignatius talks a lot about the episcopacy, and he does not speak of any need of the local bishop being in submission to Rome.

    Quote
    • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
    Not at the Fifth Council.  And the Sixth Council anathematized Honorius.  And the Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council were not in communion with Rome at the time.


    Quote
    • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
    Filioque.
    It was invented by a Visigoth king in Spain and imposed on Rome by a Frankish emperor.


    Quote
    • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
    The entire Church repuked Pope St. Victor when he threatened Asia with excommunication.  That was in the 2nd century.

    Quote
    • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.
    We didn't. And why would we unite by political issues?  The emperors at Florence at Lyons tried to force the Orthodox to submit to the Vatican.  It seems the West is rather selective in its criticism of "caesaropapism."
    [/list]

    Quote
    This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.

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    « Reply #10 on: January 19, 2010, 01:22:41 AM »

    It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

    I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

    • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
    • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)
    • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
    • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
    • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
    • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.

    This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.

    The only issue you have to speak of is the papacy?
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    « Reply #11 on: January 19, 2010, 01:24:05 AM »

    I was going to sleep on it, but I doubt my answer would differ much tomorrow, so here are some shots from the hip...

    • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
    • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)
    • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
    • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
    • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
    • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.

    I have not seriously thought about these issues in depth since 2001, when I was trying to discern whether I should be Catholic or Orthodox. I sided with Orthodox at the time, and was received into the Orthodox Church. I don't think I was mistaken in that choice. However, I felt pulled both directions at the time (even at times when I was an Orthodox catechumen), and I must admit that if I had to make the choice right now I'd still feel torn. The issue just isn't as clear cut as the apologists on either side make it out to be, IMO. Nonetheless, like I said, I don't think I was wrong in the choice I made, and I still agree with the Orthodox arguments more than the Catholic ones when it comes to papal supremacy/infallibility, the schism, etc.

    I would agree that Rome had a unique position in the early Church. I think it would be anachronistic to say that all the Churches saw Rome as their ecclesiastical head, having universal jurisdiction over the entire Church, but Rome certainly seemed to be considered the most important local Church. But the reason for this importance seemed to vary, depending on who you asked. For some, maybe it did have to do with Peter (and possibly Paul). For others, it was the generally consistent faithfulness that Rome had. The Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council seemed to have something entirely different in mind, however:

    "For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her" (Canon 28)

    And people generally did look to Rome for guidance, that is true. But this was not always the case, and as time passed and Constantinople matured, some responsibilities began to be transferred to the new imperial city. To again quote the Fourth Ecumenical Council:

    "And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop, let it be decided by the synod of the province. And if a bishop or clergyman should have a difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried." - (Canon 9)

    And Rome was not without controversy or moral or doctrinal lapses. The most famous--and argued over--example is probably that of Pope Honorius. However, I have already read of other disputes. St. Cyprian of Carthage, for instance, seemed to praise Rome when it suited his needs, and then publically disagreed with Rome at a later time. Then there was St. Jerome. Whether the Council of Rome of 382 dealt with the biblical canon, as some have asserted, I don't know for sure. But whatever the case, it does appear that Jerome, in favoring the Hebrew canon over the Septuagint, disagreed with Pope Damasus and the Roman Church (this in spite of St. Jerome being the secretary of Pope Damasus). The point being, the early Christians were fine with giving Rome it's due whenever it served to promote orthodoxy, but they seemed to have no issues with disagreeing with Rome when they thought it proper, even when it came to important issues.

    Regarding the fracturing of the Church... well, some of the reasons early on did seem like a bit of a stretch. In a letter from St. Photius to the Pope of Rome, which I read in an edition of the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit that I used to have, St. Photius mentions some differences between the east and west at the time. The differences were rather superficial, like whether priests should have beards and such. And if I remember correctly there were a couple practical matters. But the filioque, so far as I can remember, was the only significant doctrinal issue brought up. Now, by that time (c. 9th century) papal supremacy was starting to become an issue, if I remember correctly, but perhaps it was not a deal breaker yet. Whether you consider the filioque a major doctrinal issue or not, I don't know, but apparently some eastern theologians did.

    I guess that period is confusing. The Romans still consider an anti-Photian council Ecumenical, I think. And some Orthodox have responded by giving significant weight (or even full Ecumenical status) to a pro-Photian council. Yet in spite of that mess, the local churches still somehow came together and were in communion for a few generations after that. Of course we like to date the schism to 1054 for convenience, though Roman Pope's name struck from the diptychs in Constantinople a decade before that, and others would place the final and definitive split until the 13th century. Whatever the case, I do not think it is fair to say that it was all political. Surely politics and culture had a part to play. That crack had been growing larger for centuries. But it did go beyond that, IMO. By that time there really was a strong idea of papal supremacy in the air, and also some other issues that needed to be worked out like purgatory.

    Rather than putting the focus on political issues, I would say that there were political, cultural, and doctrinal issues that were all developing at the same time. Maybe politics played a very public and prominent part. Well, that was true in the 4th and 5th centuries as well, when you read about this or that local Church interfering in the affairs of another local Church. From the time that Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the state religion--and perhaps even from the time Emperor Constantine issued the edict of toleration--politics played a significant, and sometimes unfortunate, part. And maybe when you had Persians and Muslims and "northern barbarians" to deal with, when there were arguments over the evangelization of this or that group of people, etc., politics got the lion's share of attention. But who would deny that papal supremacy was there from fairly early on, building as the centuries passed?

    Anyway, that's my two cents. When I think of these issues, I think of the Ecumenical Councils. It didn't matter to easterners whether the Pope approved of what the East was doing at, say the 2nd or 4th Ecumenical Council. So far as I've read (despite some posts I've seen on this forum of late) it's my understanding that the presidents of the 2nd Ecumenical Council weren't even in communion with Rome at the time it took place. But the Easterners didn't say "Oh, we can't compose that canon, Rome would never approve!" or "Well we can't call a council yet, because Rome won't give it's ok to it". Rather, the eastern local Churches went about their business, doing the best they could, and if Rome wanted to wait a thousand years before they would recognize certain canons or whatever, well that wasn't any concern to the other local Churches. For a long time, Rome was generally like a wise big brother, but she was never an like a Father who had total control (ie. universal jurisdiction/supremacy).
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    « Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 01:27:58 AM »

    It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

    I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

    • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
    • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)

    Read "The Primacy of Peter" edited by Fr John Meyendorf. There are a couple of essays in there that touch on Rome's pre-schism relationship of "presiding in love" with the other churches. Basically, while there was a primacy "prima inter pares" held by Rome, there was no "supremacy" over and above every other church. The Bishop of Rome also never had the personal authority to declare something to be a dogma of the Church, to appoint or depose other patriarchs or bishops outside of his jurisdiction, or to make other declarations taht were universally binding on the entire Church. The first was never attempted, at least to my knowledge, until well after the schism with the Immaculate Conception in 1854. The second resulted in schism with the whole situation concerning St Photius and St Ignatius. The third was not the case as early as the second century when Rome tried to universally set the date for Pascha. The issue was not finally settled until the Council of Nicea in the fourth century.

    Quote
    • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.

    This is taken from the 6th Ecumenical Council as found on a Catholic website http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/CONSTAN3.HTM:

     
    Quote
    This pious and orthodox creed of the divine favour was enough for a complete knowledge of the orthodox faith and a complete assurance therein. But since from the first, the contriver of evil did not rest, finding an accomplice in the serpent and through him bringing upon human nature the poisoned dart of death, so too now he has found instruments suited to his own purpose—namely Theodore, who was bishop of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter, who were bishops of this imperial city, and further Honorius, who was pope of elder Rome, Cyrus, who held the see of Alexandria, and Macarius, who was recently bishop of Antioch, and his disciple Stephen — and has not been idle in raising through them obstacles of error against the full body of the church sowing with novel speech among the orthodox people the heresy of a single will and a single principle of action in the two natures of the one member of the holy Trinity Christ our true God, a heresy in harmony with the evil belief, ruinous to the mind, of the impious Apollinarius, Severus and Themistius, and one intent on removing the perfection of the becoming man of the same one lord Jesus Christ our God, through a certain guileful device, leading from there to the blasphemous conclusion that his rationally animate flesh is without a will and a principle of action.

    Quote
    • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.

    There is one major liturgical issue. This is from an official document released by the Vatican.

    Quote
    That is why the Orthodox Orient has always refused the formula to ek tou Patros kai tou Uiou ekporeuomenon [an unwisely proposed translation of "who proceeds from the Father and the Son"] and the Catholic Church has refused the addition kai tou Uiou [and the Son] to the formula ek to Patros ekporeumenon in the Greek text of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Symbol, even in its liturgical use by Latins.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=1176&CFID=24965160&CFTOKEN=41888425

    Even Rome admits that "and the Son" would be heretical inserted into the Creed as it was originally written in greek.

    Quote
    This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.

    These are some of the issues I have looked at in the past. I don't take any offense and understand the importance of these issues. Growing up, any time I spent was in a Protestant church, but most of my time was not really spent in a religious envirionment. A few years ago I started asking questions about who believes what and why they're different. I then came to the conclusion that someone had to be right. I eventually came to a point where it was either Catholicism or Orthodoxy so I started looking into some of the similarities and differences between the two.
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    « Reply #13 on: January 19, 2010, 01:35:58 AM »

    It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

    I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

    • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
    • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)
    • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
    • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
    • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
    • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.

    This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.


    Let me take another approach to these questions.  Smiley

    The Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Church's sacraments are valid and that the Orthodox is the Eastern "lung" of the one true Church of Christ. This being the case, being intellectually or historically "correct" when choosing the Orthodox or Catholic Church is of little consequence (so say the Catholics). According to the RCC you're fine in either camp. So, why not go where your heart tells you to.  Wink
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    « Reply #14 on: January 19, 2010, 02:06:16 AM »

    It was suggested to me, due to some hang-ups I have, to “…express to [you] why, in [my] mind, Roman Catholicism makes more sense to [me] intellectually than Orthodoxy…” in hopes that you could “…provide [me] with [your] impression/opinions/experience on the matter.”

    I think this is great advice so I’m taking it. Here is my intellectual rational for Catholicism in 7097 words.

    • It seems clear that Rome held a place of primacy in the pre-schism Church.
    • It appears that Rome even held a place of “presidency” (i.e., “presiding in love.”)
    • Rome appeared to be the sounding board for orthodoxy.
    • The East and West had political issues with each other and even minor liturgical issues, but the separation was not a question of orthodoxy.
    • The Orthodox Church seemed to stop looking towards Rome as a sounding board for orthodoxy not because it was un-orthodox, but because of political issues.
    • If Rome presided in love, held the presidency, and was used as the litmus test for orthodoxy, why would the Eastern churches abandon it due to political issues.

    This is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone. I am seeking only to engage in a debate that will hopefully give me a foil to my intellectual embrace of Catholic apologetics.


    Let me take another approach to these questions.  Smiley

    The Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Church's sacraments are valid and that the Orthodox is the Eastern "lung" of the one true Church of Christ. This being the case, being intellectually or historically "correct" when choosing the Orthodox or Catholic Church is of little consequence (so say the Catholics). According to the RCC you're fine in either camp. So, why not go where your heart tells you to.  Wink

    I thought the other lung was a reference particularly to the Eastern Catholics?
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    « Reply #15 on: January 19, 2010, 04:41:56 AM »

    This thread- so far so good! Wink

    And to echo what Bogoliubtsy said with a slight qualification... if the Vatican says that Orthodox legit (which as I discovered in a recent thread in a bit of a contentious issue), then be Pascalian about it and go with Orthodoxy.
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    « Reply #16 on: January 19, 2010, 05:46:26 AM »

    ialmisry mentioning Pope Vigilius actually brought back to me something that I probably should have included in my post. Catholics will sometimes provide quotes from Byzantine emperors which speak in lofty, flowery language about the place of the Popes of Rome. However, the same thing that happened with theologians also happened with emperors: that is, when there was agreement then the emperors had no problem laying on the compliments, but once a disagreement came in, the emperors felt no need to treat the Popes any different than they would anyone else. Also in this whole time period we see western clergy rejecting Rome's leadership and beliefs as well. Here are a couple excerpts describing the situation:

    Quote
    "The Pope remained in Constantinople for seven years, from 547 until after the Fifth General Council of 553. During part of this time he was virtually a prisoner in the mansion in which he had been lodged. Threats and even force were used on occasion to induce him to accept Justinian's will, and during his whole sojourn Vigilius had to struggle constantly to secure a theology satisfactory in the West, where the controversy was not viewed in the same terms as in the East. The Pope alternately yielded and resisted, but never entirely pleased the Emperor.

    Some of the episodes in the contest became famous in the history of Constantinople. At one point, when Pope Vigilius was making a stand against the Emperor, a rumor came to him that he was to be removed from his residence by force. Trusting in the recognized custom by which fugitives could find sanctuary at the altar of a church, the Pope, with his companion the Archbishop of Milan, took refuge in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, near the Great Palace. When the Pope's flight became known, a crowd gathered in the church; and when the report was carried to the Emperor, soldiers were sent to remove the two fugitives. When the soldiers arrived, the Pope and the Archbishop, believing that their position would be respected, clung to the altar. The soldiers, however, had orders to remove the Pope, and they seized him by his beard and his feet, and tried to drag him away. The Pope was a powerful man and he was able to keep his hold on the altar. In the struggle, the altar itself gave way and fell over on the Pope. Vigilius was not seriously hurt, but the soldiers were so frightened that they gave up their attempt and left the church." - Glanville Downey, Constantinople in the Age of Justinian, (University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), pp. 144-145

    Quote
    "So on 22 November 545 an officer of the imperial guard accompanied by a detachment of excubitors from Constantinople arrived in Rome, seized Vigilius in a church where he had just celebrated the liturgy, and put him on board a boat which immediately set sail down the Tiber for Porto. Unconfirmed tradition has it that it was Theodora who persuaded Justinian to take this radical step. The Pope was not at all displeased at being arrested. He had no desire to become a pawn in Totila's hands. And he was confident that he could sustain his position in the matter of the Three Chapters.

    For a time he was held in what amounted to honourable captivity in Sicily. On 25 January 547 he arrived in Constantinople, where Justinian came down to the harbour to welcome him. The scene as Pope and emperor met was doubtless moving. But no sooner were the celebrations of welcome over than Justinian began putting pressure on his distinguished guest to subscribe to his condemnation of the Three Chapters. Personally, Vigilius had little interest in the alleged Nestorianism of the three eastern theologians, whose works he had probably never read. But he was in a quandary. If he condemned the Three Chapters, he risked being disowned by the western clergy on whose support his strength depended. If he refused, he would fall foul of Justinian in his own capital--and, what might well be more dangerous, he would win the enmity of Theodora, whose protege he had been.

    By nature a vacillator, Vigilius soon yielded to Justinian's pressure. On 29 June 547 he was formally reconciled with his Constantinopolitan colleague Menas; and on the same day he handed to Justinian and Theodora a signed declaration of his condemnation of the Three Chapters. This document was to be kept secret until Vigilius had time to organize a formal enquiry itno the views of the three allegedly Nestorian theologians. In this way the Pope's credit in teh west was saved for the time being. But the outcome of the enquiry was evidently determined in advance. Seventy bishops, mostly westerners, who had not subscribed to Justinian's decree, were convoked to a synod. All went well until the third session when Facundus, bishop of Hermiane in Africa, a learned and subtle theologian, produced proof that the Council of Chalcedon itself had approve the very letter of Ibas of Edessa which Justinian now condemned as heretical.

    Vigilius, who was anxious to get public support for the attitude to which he had secretly committed himself, hastily brought the proceedings to a close and announced that the vote would be taken in writing some time later. Meanwhile, the imperial agents set to work to bribe or coerce those of the bishops whose support could not be counted on. They were successful. Facundus may have been the only bishop to vote in favour of the Three Chapters. On Saturday 11 April 548 Pope Vigilius issued his Judicatum, addressed to Patriarch Menas. This document roundly condemned the Three Chapters and added, to cover the Pope against the attack developed by Facundus, that he remained wholly and unshakably attached to the doctrines promulgated at the Council of Chalcedon.

    If Justinian thought that he had at last obtained the ecclesiastical unity which he had so long striven for, he was soon disillusioned. Those western bishops who were outside the immediate reach of Justinian were unwilling to accept Vigilius' Judicatum. The death a month or two later of Theodora, who had been even more zealous than her husband in bringing constraint to bear on obstinate clergy and a great deal less scrupulous, made them less hesitant to take a public stand on the matter. In Italy many sees were vacant because of the long years of war, and opposition to Vigilius there was feelbe. But clergy of Dalmatia rejected the Judicatum; those of Dacia sent a letter of Justinian defending the Three Chapeters, and deposed their own primate for accepting it; those of Gual--a region subject to the Pope in matters of religion but entirely outside the boundaries of the empire--wrote to Vigilius demanding an explanation; the general synod of African bishops broke completely from communion with the Pope until he agreed to withdraw his Judicatum.

    Throughout 549 western hostiligy to the Judicatum hardened, and in Constantinople itself underground opposition groups began to form and to disseminate their proaganda. Justinian at last realized that his manoeuvres had had no effect upon the Monophysites, but had succeeded in splitting the Chalcedonian majority into two mutually hostile camps, divided largely along ethnic and geographical lines. Reluctantly he gave up for the time being the idea of summoning an ecumenical council to condemn the Three Chapters in accordance with the papal Judicatum. In fact the original of the Judicatum was handed back to Vigilius in August 550. But at the same time the unfortunate Pope was made to swear a solemn oath, confirming in writing, that he would do all in his poewr to get the Three Chapters condemned. This oath was to remain secret...

    [I'm going to cut out several pages here, in which the incident involving the Pope clinging to the altar happened, among other things, including more arguing between the Pope and Justinian]

    [Justinian] decided to take his revenge on Vigilius for the humiliations he had endured. An imperial referendary was sent ot the assembled [Fifth Ecumenical] council with a packet containing the originals of Vigilius' secret declaration anathematizing the Three Chapters and of his oath of 15 August 550 that he would do all in his power to further their condemnation. Its third item was an imperial decree declaring that Vigilius had by his conduct placed himself outside the church. Vigilius' humilation was complete." - Robert Browning, Justinian and Theodora, (Praeger Publishers, 1971), pp. 221-223, 233

    If true, I don't think this stuff puts either side in a particularly good light, though it does provide another perspective when considering the claims about the place of the Pope of Rome.
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    « Reply #17 on: January 19, 2010, 09:05:49 AM »

    Wow! I guess I asked for it.  Smiley

    I will try to respond later tonight. I also have several questions.

    Thanks everyone.
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    « Reply #18 on: January 19, 2010, 03:50:32 PM »

    Please tell me why you are raising your eyebrow. I'm not looking to fight. I only want to have an honest dialog.

    Oh, I know you want a dialogue, I'm just not sure that's the best thing...at least if you are trying to decide between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

    You see, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you trying to think your way through this. And you can't really approach Orthodoxy that way, because if you do, the end result is that it will eat you alive and spit you out...or more specifically the demons will do that. Thinking is one thing you want to avoid at all costs, because when you start to think you will rely on your mind and yourself--next thing you know you will be mired in deep trouble. You can't do a pro and cons list for Orthodoxy and for Roman Catholicism, and then make some sort of rational decision as to which one is better based on how many qualities are in each column. It's just not going to work that way. Because then your faith is based on some list of qualities...that's a pretty flimsy foundation to rest your soul on. What happens when when the first signs of spiritual trouble come, and all you have to fall back on is that list??

    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of historical facts that prove the case for Orthodoxy. But at the end of the day, I'm not Orthodox because of the Schism, or the Ecumenical Councils even, or what happened in such and such a place with a certain saint or bishop. The reason why I am Orthodox is because when I looked into the darkness of my own private Hell, I found Christ, Who had gone there to look for me. That's my reality. But I'm not sure about anyone else. Smiley
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    « Reply #19 on: January 19, 2010, 03:58:00 PM »

    Please tell me why you are raising your eyebrow. I'm not looking to fight. I only want to have an honest dialog.

    Oh, I know you want a dialogue, I'm just not sure that's the best thing...at least if you are trying to decide between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

    You see, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you trying to think your way through this. And you can't really approach Orthodoxy that way, because if you do, the end result is that it will eat you alive and spit you out...or more specifically the demons will do that. Thinking is one thing you want to avoid at all costs, because when you start to think you will rely on your mind and yourself--next thing you know you will be mired in deep trouble. You can't do a pro and cons list for Orthodoxy and for Roman Catholicism, and then make some sort of rational decision as to which one is better based on how many qualities are in each column. It's just not going to work that way. Because then your faith is based on some list of qualities...that's a pretty flimsy foundation to rest your soul on. What happens when when the first signs of spiritual trouble come, and all you have to fall back on is that list??

    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of historical facts that prove the case for Orthodoxy. But at the end of the day, I'm not Orthodox because of the Schism, or the Ecumenical Councils even, or what happened in such and such a place with a certain saint or bishop. The reason why I am Orthodox is because when I looked into the darkness of my own private Hell, I found Christ, Who had gone there to look for me. That's my reality. But I'm not sure about anyone else. Smiley

    Good answer.
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    « Reply #20 on: January 19, 2010, 04:05:31 PM »

    You see, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you trying to think your way through this. And you can't really approach Orthodoxy that way, because if you do, the end result is that it will eat you alive and spit you out...or more specifically the demons will do that.
    And Thus one of the biggest reasons that I cannot accept the Eastern Orthodox Church. If I have to throw my God-given intellect out the window, then why on earth woud I want to become Eastern Orthodox? However, I suspect that this modern attitude that I find amongst many EOs is not part of the substance of your faith, but is an innovation. When I look at docuements written by men such as St. John of Damascus or St. Justin Martyr, I don't think their view of the intellect is consistent with your faith. I mean, when I read "On the Orthodox Faith" by St. John of Damascus, I felt like I was reading the digest of the Summa Theologica.
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    « Reply #21 on: January 19, 2010, 04:31:30 PM »


    However, I suspect that this modern attitude that I find amongst many EOs is not part of the substance of your faith, but is an innovation.

    I would say that you are right about that.
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    « Reply #22 on: January 19, 2010, 09:29:14 PM »

    Thank you for all of the great responses. Instead of trying to answer each of them individually, I’m going to try and answer the questions/points in one post.

    Quote
    Primacy or Supremacy
    I agree that I don’t see any real evidence of Supremacy in the sense that the Catholic Church understands it today. But this does not seem like good proof without further support. It seems that there must also be a lack of any evolution or maturation in the Church hierarchy in the first 1000 years of Christianity.

    Quote
    Presiding in Love
    Ignatius seems to be pretty clearly referring to Rome. He refers to the Church, which presides in love as that “which also presides in the place of the region of the Romans.”

    Quote
    The Fifth Council
    I have to read more on the council before I can comment.

    Quote
    Filioque
    The Pope was told to add it, but Catholics believe he found no problem with it from an orthodoxy point of view. The Pope tried to fight against the request only because he thought it would be problematic from a PR point of view. I’m not saying this is right. I personally disagree with any church leader kneeling at the feet of a government authority, but it is different than how it’s often presented.

    Quote
    Rebuking the Pope
    Evidence of the other Bishops at large rebuking the Pope is a good rebuttal to my point. I will have to look into this further. But I think it should be mentioned that a threat is different then an action.

    Quote
    The only issue you have to speak of is the papacy?
    Yes. It’s the big one to me. It all boils down to authority. If the Pope is the Rock, then I will look to him for orthodoxy. If he is not the Rock, then I will look to Orthodoxy for orthodoxy.

    Quote
    Why Rome was Important
    I agree. It does seem like some fathers give Rome pride of place because of its temporal association with the Roman Empire. However, others give it pride of place because of its association with the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul.

    Quote
    Constantinople’s Maturation
    This is evidence to me that the authority structure did evolve. But in a way it proves both Orthodoxy’s and Catholicism’s point.

    Quote
    Jerome Favoring the Hebrew Canon
    Yes, but he still obliged the Pope nonetheless. Not everyone agreed with the Pope, but they ultimately submitted to his authority.

    Quote
    The presidents of the 2nd Ecumenical Council weren't even in communion with Rome.
    If this is true, it’s a very good point. I will have to look into it.

    Quote
    Pope did not have Universal Jurisdiction
    I agree. It doesn’t appear that such a thing existed until after the schism as near as I can tell.

    Quote
    Two Lungs
    The Catholic Church teaches that the East and West must be together, but it does not okay a Catholic to become Orthodox. Wink

    Quote
    Intellect vs. Faith
    I believe we must have both faith and reason. They are both gifts from God and a part of our very nature as humans. But I do appreciate what you’re getting at and I am trying to be less intellect and more faith.

    I tried to keep my responses short as there is much here to respond to. I suppose we could take any one of these issues and delve into it for months. So I ask that you please go ahead and respond however you feel you need to, but I think this has shown a light on what is probably the biggest issue to me. So maybe I can summarize my hangup even further.

    Rome clearly held a place of primacy. Why? Was it the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul? Or was it because Rome was the center of the Roman Empire?

    Did the Bishops at large ever disagree with the Pope in spirit and action?




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    « Reply #23 on: January 19, 2010, 09:37:37 PM »

    Quote
    The only issue you have to speak of is the papacy?
    Yes. It’s the big one to me. It all boils down to authority. If the Pope is the Rock, then I will look to him for orthodoxy. If he is not the Rock, then I will look to Orthodoxy for orthodoxy.

    So you will choose to determine your conception of all other teachings simply on the basis of whether the Bishop of Rome is supreme or not?
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    « Reply #24 on: January 19, 2010, 09:42:30 PM »

    Quote
    The only issue you have to speak of is the papacy?
    Yes. It’s the big one to me. It all boils down to authority. If the Pope is the Rock, then I will look to him for orthodoxy. If he is not the Rock, then I will look to Orthodoxy for orthodoxy.

    So you will choose to determine your conception of all other teachings simply on the basis of whether the Bishop of Rome is supreme or not?

    Not exactly. I believe without any doubt that the pre-schism Church is the true church. Its just a matter of figuring out which side maintained orthodox after the split. If the pope was part of the original church then it should be now and visa versa.
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    « Reply #25 on: January 19, 2010, 09:47:11 PM »


    Its just a matter of figuring out which side maintained orthodox after the split.

    And can't that be determined by issues other than papal supremacy?


    If the pope was part of the original church then it should be now

    Huh?
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    « Reply #26 on: January 19, 2010, 09:52:19 PM »

    If the pope was part of the original church then it should be now and visa versa.

    The Pope was part of the Church. Papal supremacy was not.
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    « Reply #27 on: January 19, 2010, 10:04:34 PM »

    If the pope was part of the original church then it should be now and visa versa.

    The Pope was part of the Church. Papal supremacy was not.

    Sorry. Papal supremecy is what I meant.
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    « Reply #28 on: January 19, 2010, 10:11:29 PM »

    And can't that be determined by issues other than papal supremacy?

    deusveritasest,
    I think I'm wise to your game. You simply ask questions. You don't actually give your thoughts. Wink

    What do you think? Can it be figured out some other way?
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    « Reply #29 on: January 19, 2010, 10:38:29 PM »

    Quote
    The only issue you have to speak of is the papacy?
    Yes. It’s the big one to me. It all boils down to authority. If the Pope is the Rock, then I will look to him for orthodoxy. If he is not the Rock, then I will look to Orthodoxy for orthodoxy.

    So you will choose to determine your conception of all other teachings simply on the basis of whether the Bishop of Rome is supreme or not?

    Not exactly. I believe without any doubt that the pre-schism Church is the true church. Its just a matter of figuring out which side maintained orthodox after the split. If the pope was part of the original church then it should be now and visa versa.
    That's the problem:Honorios, Vigilius, etc. show that the Pope of Rome was NOT the sine qua non of the Church.  If the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch were part of the original Church then they should be now. and they are.
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    « Reply #30 on: January 19, 2010, 10:39:54 PM »

    You see, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you trying to think your way through this. And you can't really approach Orthodoxy that way, because if you do, the end result is that it will eat you alive and spit you out...or more specifically the demons will do that.
    And Thus one of the biggest reasons that I cannot accept the Eastern Orthodox Church. If I have to throw my God-given intellect out the window, then why on earth woud I want to become Eastern Orthodox? However, I suspect that this modern attitude that I find amongst many EOs is not part of the substance of your faith, but is an innovation. When I look at docuements written by men such as St. John of Damascus or St. Justin Martyr, I don't think their view of the intellect is consistent with your faith. I mean, when I read "On the Orthodox Faith" by St. John of Damascus, I felt like I was reading the digest of the Summa Theologica.
    I was converted at the University of Chicago, from the encyclopedia britannica.
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    « Reply #31 on: January 19, 2010, 10:56:19 PM »

    And can't that be determined by issues other than papal supremacy?

    deusveritasest,
    I think I'm wise to your game. You simply ask questions. You don't actually give your thoughts. Wink

    What do you think? Can it be figured out some other way?

    I think it becomes rather clear with the issue of the filioque.
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    « Reply #32 on: January 19, 2010, 11:15:27 PM »

    That's the problem:Honorios, Vigilius, etc. show that the Pope of Rome was NOT the sine qua non of the Church.  If the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch were part of the original Church then they should be now. and they are.

    Can you explain how Honorios and etc proved that the Pope was not the "sine qua non?" I want to understan in particular where you are coming from.

    I'm sorry for my incorrect statement. I did not mean the popes existance is necessary. I meant if his supremecy was part of the churches litmus test for what was orthodox then it shoul be now as well.
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    « Reply #33 on: January 19, 2010, 11:19:39 PM »

    Quote
    I think it becomes rather clear with the issue of the filioque.

    First I hope I didn't offend you with my joke.

    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.
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    « Reply #34 on: January 19, 2010, 11:22:29 PM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
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    « Reply #35 on: January 20, 2010, 02:04:54 AM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.


    I quote deusveritasest here for emphasis. In fact, I might argue that an underlying heterdox interpration of the Trinity is what eventually led to the implementation of the Filioque. MS, I would suggest that you investigate the issue of the filioque more in depth: find out when, where and how it was developed. I believe this will provide you with valuable information regarding your investigation of faith.

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    « Reply #36 on: January 20, 2010, 11:32:23 AM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
    I just don't see a cannonical violation. I don't thin that the Filioque adds or subtracts anything from the Nicene faith but only further discusses a particular point.
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    « Reply #37 on: January 20, 2010, 11:56:31 AM »

    That's the problem:Honorios, Vigilius, etc. show that the Pope of Rome was NOT the sine qua non of the Church.  If the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch were part of the original Church then they should be now. and they are.

    Can you explain how Honorios and etc proved that the Pope was not the "sine qua non?" I want to understan in particular where you are coming from.

    I'm sorry for my incorrect statement. I did not mean the popes existance is necessary. I meant if his supremecy was part of the churches litmus test for what was orthodox then it shoul be now as well.


    The idea of supremacy is only as strong as its weakest link.  One of the prooftexting of the Vatican's supremacy is the "strengthening the breathren," which is why all the hair splitting over Honorius' whether he actually taught heresy or just was silent in the face of it blah blah blah, carry no weight: he contributed directly to the spread of heresy, and the Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (and every Pope until the 11th century) anathematized Honorius for it.  Some "strengthening the breathren." If we cannot depend on it all the time (the argument of the necessity of the papal infallibility, etc), then we have to sort through when we can and when we can't, which defeats the purpose.  And the reason why we can't get a definitve list of when popes have spoken "ex cathedra."

    Look at the rules under Vatican II for an Ecumenical Council: under them the Fifth Council would never have taken place.

    And you are right, it the pope's supremacy was the litmus test for Orthodoxy, then it should be now, because Orthodoxy does not change.  But from the rebuking of Pope St. Victor by the whole Church until the striking of the pope of Rome from the diptychs in 1009 and the adoption (at the Frankish ruler's demand) of the filioque at Rome in 1014, we see that such was not the case.
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    « Reply #38 on: January 20, 2010, 11:57:13 AM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
    I just don't see a cannonical violation. I don't thin that the Filioque adds or subtracts anything from the Nicene faith but only further discusses a particular point.
    Heresy always further discusses a particular point.
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    « Reply #39 on: January 20, 2010, 11:59:02 AM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
    I just don't see a cannonical violation. I don't thin that the Filioque adds or subtracts anything from the Nicene faith but only further discusses a particular point.
    Heresy always further discusses a particular point.
    So does dogma.
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    « Reply #40 on: January 20, 2010, 12:02:08 PM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
    I just don't see a cannonical violation. I don't thin that the Filioque adds or subtracts anything from the Nicene faith but only further discusses a particular point.
    Heresy always further discusses a particular point.
    So does dogma.
    No, it clarifies a particular point.  Filioque clarifies nothing, and muddles much.
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    « Reply #41 on: January 20, 2010, 12:11:39 PM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
    I just don't see a cannonical violation. I don't thin that the Filioque adds or subtracts anything from the Nicene faith but only further discusses a particular point.

    My understanding of the filioque, is that it doesn't discuss any particular point in the creed. It takes the point of the procession and literally changes the meaning of the word "proceed" to represent a completely different action within the Trinity.
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    « Reply #42 on: January 20, 2010, 01:35:45 PM »

    No, it clarifies a particular point.  Filioque clarifies nothing, and muddles much.

    As I understand it, it clarified the equality of the Son and the Father. I remember the very first time I encountered a Orthodox explanation of the Trinity, I recall thinking that the Father was the only non-contingent 'person' of the Godhead. I use that term specifically because it seems to fit early heresies criticisms of the Trinitarian doctrine.

    Throughout the West, Arianism continued to thrive due in part to Arian Goths being given approval by the Eastern Emperor to rule over Italy as well as Arian missionaries in Spain etc. The fact is that the Western Church had to fight Arianism. As I understand it and I don't see how can question the necessity since none of us were present the Synod in Spain at the time felt the need to emphasize the Son's role in the procession of the Holy Spirit. I don't know exactly 'why' this was emphasized but I do know that Arianism was effectively put down. Under the circumstances at the time, I don't believe it was reasonable to think that a Pan-Orthodox Synod was possible or even advisable. Leave it to be said that it happened and the practice grew till even the Pope in Rome was moved to embrace it. That said, I don't think there was ever an intention to teach or profess anything that was not in continuity with the mind of the Church Father's Greek or Latin.

    If God condemns men for such a profession... I think men should have 'never' been shown such a mystery which who cause so much confusion. Very very few of us will ever reach a state of perfection to glimpse clearly such mysteries. I don't see why Hierarchs on the East or the West would use such forensic articulations of our deepest mysteries as a means of division.

    To me this is hubris for many who simply only know of such mysteries second hand and thus lack the clarity to know them first hand. Silence seems to be the best advice.
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    « Reply #43 on: January 20, 2010, 01:57:39 PM »

    No, it clarifies a particular point.  Filioque clarifies nothing, and muddles much.

    As I understand it, it clarified the equality of the Son and the Father. I remember the very first time I encountered a Orthodox explanation of the Trinity, I recall thinking that the Father was the only non-contingent 'person' of the Godhead. I use that term specifically because it seems to fit early heresies criticisms of the Trinitarian doctrine.
    There has to be a Son for there to be a Father. So much for non-contingent.

    How do you handle the Subordinationism?


    Quote
    Throughout the West, Arianism continued to thrive due in part to Arian Goths being given approval by the Eastern Emperor to rule over Italy as well as Arian missionaries in Spain etc.

    Toledo inserted it in 589, at Arianism's deaththroe.  The Emperor from New Rome liberated Italy, at great expense, from the Arian Goths in 554, and forced the Arian king Athanagild to reconcile with the Catholics in by 567.


    Quote
    The fact is that the Western Church had to fight Arianism.

    While the Eastern Church defeated it.

    Quote
    As I understand it and I don't see how can question the necessity since none of us were present the Synod in Spain at the time felt the need to emphasize the Son's role in the procession of the Holy Spirit. I don't know exactly 'why' this was emphasized but I do know that Arianism was effectively put down.

    Before said "synod."

    Quote
    Under the circumstances at the time, I don't believe it was reasonable to think that a Pan-Orthodox Synod was possible or even advisable.

    The Emperor and Church that defeated the Arian Goths in the West just had one thirty years before.  An Ecumenical one.

    Quote
    Leave it to be said that it happened and the practice grew till even the Pope in Rome was moved to embrace it. That said, I don't think there was ever an intention to teach or profess anything that was not in continuity with the mind of the Church Father's Greek or Latin.

    So they wandered off the path rather than taking a wrong turn. The fact remains, they still are lost.

    Quote
    If God condemns men for such a profession... I think men should have 'never' been shown such a mystery which who cause so much confusion.
    Why?  We are quite fine in the East (and the West now).

    Quote
    Very very few of us will ever reach a state of perfection to glimpse clearly such mysteries. I don't see why Hierarchs on the East or the West would use such forensic articulations of our deepest mysteries as a means of division.

    If that is such a problem, then the Spanish bishops should have shut up, and in particularly Cardnial Umbert and his boss should have minded their own house.

    Quote
    To me this is hubris for many who simply only know of such mysteries second hand and thus lack the clarity to know them first hand. Silence seems to be the best advice.
    Too bad Leo IX didn't follow it.
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    « Reply #44 on: January 20, 2010, 02:11:03 PM »


    Could you tell me why the Filioque makes it clear to you.

    Because it seems clear to me that the clause was a canonical violation and that the theology behind it quickly developed into a heterodox conception of the Trinity.
    I just don't see a cannonical violation. I don't thin that the Filioque adds or subtracts anything from the Nicene faith but only further discusses a particular point.
    Heresy always further discusses a particular point.
    So does dogma.
    No, it clarifies a particular point.  Filioque clarifies nothing, and muddles much.
    Actually the lack of the Filioque confuses the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    BTW, some would say that definition of Christ as one Hypostatis with two natures confuses the issue. I don't agree with them but the same charge can be leveled against any dogma.
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