Curious. What is the Catholic atmosphere like at your school?
Perhaps, "harass" was too strong a word. But I did not want them to get suspicious and then bug me about it. But tonight they all pounced on me and told me I'd be becoming a schismatic and were grilling me on reasons why. I'll admit I'm not as versed in Orthodoxy, yet and did not have many good arguments, but I don't feel the need to really argue about it because the truth can stand on its own. But I need to learn to defend it better while being charitable at the same time. I could not adequately state why I no longer believed in the Immaculate Conception nor why the Filioque was heretical. Just me saying the Filioque was heretical in light of Orthodox theology (and the first several centuries of the Church) was enough to make them scream, which I can understand why.
At this point, what Fathers should I be reading in order to bolster my faith. I want to avoid confrontations as much as possible henceforth until I get a better grasp and understanding. Please continue to pray for me all of you.
The Apostolic Fathers. In Particular St. Ignatius (he talks about the need of a bishop a lot, and the need of his approval in all things, but nothing about a supreme pontiff in Rome, nor papal approval of anything, even when he writes to Rome).
John of Damascus. The Post-Nicene Fathers is good, but perhaps a more readable one is the Church Fathers series (they have red covers, and AM library should have a copy). The latter has his whole font of knowledge, which gets very technical (its on philosophy).
St. Athanasius "On the Incarnation." Gives a background of why the IC is unnecessary and confusing.
On the IC, a few things: It is a very late dogma. It appears in the 10th century at the earliest, and several saints recognized by the Vatican condemned it as an innovation (on another forum
I posted at length excerpts from Bernard of Clairveaux condemning it). It is also unnecessary: the "logic" of potuit decuit ergo fecit, that, as it is often put (I've just heard Marc Meravalle on this yesterday. He's at the head of the pack of the Mariolatrists, and on the flacky fringe of respectable traditionalism) God needed a sinless vessel, how could God suffer to have his mother subject to Satan, blah, blah, blah. "God made the One Who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that God's righteousness might come about in us." (II Cor. 5:21). If God the Son became sin, what need of the IC? It defeats the purpose of the Incarnation. I"ve been told by a professor of patristics at a major Jesuit university that St. Maximus talks on this very verse. IC is also founded (per Ineffabilis Deus
), in part (as is Dr. Meravalle's other pet dogma, the co-redemtrix: when he speaks about it it makes me want to retch) on a mistranslation by Jerome (who abandoned the Church's tradition, a translated from a Hebrew text, not the LXX) of Genesis 3:15, the Vulgate saying "she will crush your head," whereas the LXX (and the Hebrew, but Jews translate it "they") reads "HE will crush your head."
As for filioque, again, Rome resisted it for CENTURIES. Pope Leo III Leo forbade the addition of "filioque" to the Nicene Creed which was added by Franks in Aachen in 809. He also ordered that the Nicene creed be engraved on silver tablets so that his conclusion might not be overturned in the future. He wrote «HAEC LEO POSUI AMORE ET CAUTELA ORTHODOXAE FIDEI» (I, Leo, put here for love and protection of the Orthodox Faith)(VITA LEONIS, LIBER PONTIFICALIS (Ed.Duchene, TII, p.26). But the Franks didn't give up, and by order of the emperor
Henry at his coronation, it was inserted at Rome in 1014. That it is heretical is shown by the present day Vatican prohibition of reciting it in the original Greek, as it results in what even the Vatican condemns (at least now) as heresy. Another thing to remember: the Fathers of the Council who wrote the Creed were not in communion with Rome when they did so. They had sided with St. Meletios of Antioch (who opened the council), whom Rome (and St. Jerome) had opposed and against whom they set up a rival patriarch. All 4 of the Vatican's modern patriarchs of Antioch all claim descent from St. Meletios. The line set up by Rome (and who ordained St. Jerome) died out. Btw, Patriarch Meletios ordained St. John Chrysostom.
The filioque is heretical, as it makes two sources in the Holy Trinity. The Creed (by use a specific Greek word, the one used by St. John in reporting Christ's words on the matter) makes clear that the Spirit's hypostatic procession is from the Father, eternally, alone.