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Author Topic: Thoughts on This Met. Kallistos Interview?  (Read 6514 times) Average Rating: 0
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Asteriktos
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« on: May 02, 2010, 04:30:45 AM »

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LAMBETH: Interview with the Most Rev. Kallistos Ware, Archbishop of Gt. Britain for the Ecumenical Patriarchate

GW - Bishop Kallistos, may I ask you how you understand the role of the ecumenical observers here at the Conference?

KW - Well, most obviously it signifies that we are conscious that we are all members of one Body in Christ. There are visible divisions separating Christians, but we know that on a deeper lever we do share, in a real sense, membership in one Body. Its expression is incomplete, imperfect, but it is nonetheless a genuine reality.

Therefore, I can as an Orthodox, worship with my sisters and brothers who share with me belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Saviour. But I would go further than that. I think of the words of St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, when one member of the body suffers, all the other members suffer with it; when one member rejoices, all the other members rejoice. As fellow Christians we share one another's joys and sorrows. For me, as an Orthodox, coming to the Lambeth Conference is an opportunity to do precisely that - to share in your joys and your sorrows...

I recently started a thread about the invisible and visible ties of the Church, but it didn't get much in the way of responses. And then tonight I ran across this interview (and I hope this hasn't already been covered). What do you think of the words of Met. Kallistos, especially in the first couple paragraphs of the interview?
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 04:58:20 AM »

I see that this interview was indeed covered before, but I'm still interested if anyone has some thoughts on it.
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 05:13:47 AM »

Well, I guess you can call a gangrenous member of the Body, still a member.
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 05:45:07 AM »

Instead of a gangrenous limb, would you go so far as to call it... a withering branch? angel
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 11:39:50 AM »

I could not disagree with the Metropolitan more.  This is Ecumenism at its worst, an one reason that I went over to the Old Calendar Churches to begin with.  Instead of a wolf in sheep's clothing, we have here an Protestant in Orthodox garb. While I do believe that Christ has "other sheep not in this fold", I also believe that the other religious organizations calling themselves churches are not part of the Body of Christ, but the body of the Antichrist.  If Metropolitan Kallistos want to consider himself part of that body, so be it.  The scriptures tell us that the great Apostasy must happen before Christ returns.  If other people who call themselves Christians truly share the same belief in Christ that we do, why are they not Orthodox?  It is possible, and in fact likely according to Christ's words, that there are individuals who ARE part of the body of Christ in these other religious organizations.  I know that in my life, I believed the teachings of the Fathers and of the Early Church long before it was revealed to me that there was still a Church that also believed these things.  However, as soon as I found this Church, I gave up my membership in my former heresy and joined with the Body of Christ.  As organizations, these other "churches" have rejected the Truth of the Orthodox Church.  We are not going to convert them.  As we can see by Metropolitan Kallistos' own words, they are here to convert us.   
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 11:30:02 AM »

Please tell me his books are not tainted also?
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 12:14:54 PM »

Please tell me his books are not tainted also?

I've only ever read one edition of The Orthodox Church, but what I've heard is he gets more and more "friendly" with each new edition. I've also read one edition of The Orthodox Way and nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me.
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 12:18:56 PM »

Please tell me his books are not tainted also?

I've only ever read one edition of The Orthodox Church, but what I've heard is he gets more and more "friendly" with each new edition. I've also read one edition of The Orthodox Way and nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me.
Alright, understood. First edition of Church, and I have the second edition of Way.
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 12:49:14 PM »

His statement makes me rather sad.  I converted without my spouse.  My children and I are the only Orthodox in the extended family.  It has not always been an easy road.  The message he sends me is that I didn't really need to convert.  I could have stayed a Lutheran with my husband. 
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 01:22:28 PM »

This interview destroys what Orthodoxy offers the world: the fullness of Truth; the faith that established the universe. Met. Kallistos is going to end his career in the most sorry state of memory. He might make a few Anglican buddies, but he destroys our witness.
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 01:23:05 PM »

I don't know, we can't really read into his statement, we have to take it for what it is, so it's hard to interpret.
Personally, I speak differently to non-Orthodox about their status than I do when I'm around Orthodox. I will be more open and welcoming and "ecumenical" (though not in a bad way) when speaking with non-Orthodox. However, when I'm around just Orthodox and when I'm speaking openly and honestly, I'm much less so.

Many things I've probably said IRL to non-Orthodox would probably be declared as heresy by the hardcore conservative Orthodox. However, they wouldn't find much wrong with what I would say to Orthodox.

You can't speak the same to everyone, and I think we have to consider that, especially with Metropolitan Kallistos' statement. He has to address the Anglicans differently than he would around Orthodox. It does no good to tell someone that they are outside the Church and are in no way a part of the Body of Christ or his Church. To many this would be equivalent to telling them they are "going to hell", so we have to be careful how we step and what we say.
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 01:39:12 PM »

Being tactful is different than saying "we are all members of one Body in Christ."

He's saying that we have an imperfect unity, but that we are One. They are corporately a part of the Catholic Church. This is so completely wrong on so many levels it just makes my blood boil. It especially saddens me because Met. Kallisto's The Orthodox Way is what converted me.  Undecided
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 01:48:32 PM »

Dear Punch, Alveus Lacuna and Princess Mommy,

If I were in your shoes, I would be also upset. However, please consider the following.

1. If you read Metropolitan Kallistos' interview carefully, you will see that he limits his words to non-Orthodox Christians, to individual brothers and sisters in Christ who "share with me belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Saviour."

2. There are many Fathers of the Church who reject a black-and-white approach to non-Orthodox people. They, and we, do not maintain that the non-Orthodox will go to hell and that the Orthodox will go to heaven. We only maintain that we have the "fullness of faith."

3. Yesterday after Liturgy, a young lady, who had been attending our Church as an inquirer, asked Father if he would start her catechumenate next Sunday (Glory to God!). When the answer was in the affirmative, she was elated and related to me that, more than anything else, she yearned to be in the Communion line with the rest of us, with her arms crossed across her chest. In my casual talks with converts to Holy Orthodoxy, I consistently came across with the affirmation that the one thing that they found in our Church was true worship. Some of these converts had been Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Lutheran, Methodist, and even couple of atheists and one Muslim. I guess what I am driving here is that "the fullness of faith" is indeed a treasure that has been bestowed on us, cradle and convert alike, and that it dos not matter if non-Orthodox Christians are also seen as members of the Body. No, they are not 100% wrong and no one should be sorry that they gave up a non-100% Church for the 100% Church.
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2010, 02:06:43 PM »

I would like to offer a couple of links that provide a solid and grounded critique, first of Met Kallistos' ecclesiology as presented in his book "The Orthodox Church," and second of his book "The Orthodox Church" as a whole.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch7.pdf

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_toc.aspx

The statements he made in this interview were very unfortunate indeed.  Here one can find the Anglican Branch Theory spelled out and affirmed by by a supposedly Orthodox Metropolitan of great renown.  This is the same Branch Theory that the Church in Russia referred to when they said "The so-called 'branch theory' which...asserts the normal and even providential nature of Christianity existing in the form of particular “branches”, is also totally unacceptable."  This is the same theory regarding which ROCOR in 1983 pronounced the Anathema Against Ecumenism. 

A hierarch who even suggests that the full salvific work of Christ through his Church is being fulfilled through such dens of apostasy and heresy does not serve Christ who is the Truth, but rather the Evil One who is the author of confusion and the father of lies.   
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2010, 02:13:17 PM »

I would like to offer a couple of links that provide a solid and grounded critique, first of Met Kallistos' ecclesiology as presented in his book "The Orthodox Church," and second of his book "The Orthodox Church" as a whole.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch7.pdf

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_toc.aspx

The statements he made in this interview were very unfortunate indeed.  Here one can find the Anglican Branch Theory spelled out and affirmed by by a supposedly Orthodox Metropolitan of great renown.  This is the same Branch Theory that the Church in Russia referred to when they said "The so-called 'branch theory' which...asserts the normal and even providential nature of Christianity existing in the form of particular “branches”, is also totally unacceptable."  This is the same theory regarding which ROCOR in 1983 pronounced the Anathema Against Ecumenism. 

A hierarch who even suggests that the full salvific work of Christ through his Church is being fulfilled through such dens of apostasy and heresy does not serve Christ who is the Truth, but rather the Evil One who is the author of confusion and the father of lies.   

I say "welcome to the forum" with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is wonderful to have another of the brethren join our discussion. On the other hand, your last sentence is rather severe--so much so that it does make me rather uncomfortable. But, please do not think that I am coming from a "holier than thou" perspective; I have been known to also hold extreme positions. So, please accept my words as coming from a brother rather than an opponent.
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2010, 02:20:04 PM »

Well, I guess you can call a gangrenous member of the Body, still a member.

But then you'd better get it amputated!

As bad as his statements can be, I'm not sure if Met. Kallistos is consciously advocating the branch theory. I suspect that if someone asked him, point blank, if he thought that the fullness of the Church resided in Orthodoxy alone, he would still say yes.
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2010, 02:53:02 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2010, 02:58:22 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.

He is very well-known in Poland.
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2010, 03:00:31 PM »

My opinion is that he is simply repeating (with swaying) ..."We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving".  




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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2010, 03:05:53 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.

He is very well-known in Poland.
Not so, in Romania
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2010, 03:09:03 PM »

From the Interview, two examples of Branch Theory:

"GW - Bishop Kallistos, may I ask you how you understand the role of the ecumenical observers here at the Conference?

"KW - Well, most obviously it signifies that we are conscious that we are all members of one Body in Christ."
---------------------------

"The Anglican Communion cannot settle this without bearing in mind its bonds with the wider communion of the Church - the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics. And that is one thing, I think, that troubles us very much as Orthodox, as it troubles the Roman Catholics. We feel that the Anglican Church, on these matters which are of basic importance, has acted alone, without catholic consensus."
--------------------------

Met Kallistos, as the link to the review of his "Orthodox Church" affirms, has many natural gifts, one of which is great deliberation and care in his manner of speech.  He is a good scholar and a better translator.  This is not to say that he always speaks truthfully, that is according to the Truth, but he certainly speaks deliberately and with full knowledge of what he is saying.  If an Orthodox person, rather than an Anglican media outlet, asked him point blank whether the "the fullness of the Church is found only in the Orthodox Church," he may indeed say yes, for such a statement does not imply that non-Orthodox are part of the Church in some "invisible" way.  In his "Orthodox Church" he is famous for his statement that we can say where the Church is, but we cannot be so certain of where the Church is not.  This phrase has been adopted quite widely as though it was the teaching of the Church, precisely because his book has become so foundational to those wanting to know more about the Orthodox Church.  One cannot find a phrase among the Fathers of the Church that implies so much as this.  

This interview was given at such a critical time in the Anglican Communion, when so many in the Anglican Communion were waking up to the falsehood, apostasy, and sanctioned debauchery that has come to characterize this sect.  If anyone in the Orthodox world would be known to Anglicans, and perhaps listened to by Anglicans, it would be Met Kallistos.  At such an opportune time, when so many Anglicans were hungry for the Truth, instead of bread they were given a stone in the form of these remarks.  If Met Kallistos is correct, then down with St. Mark of Ephesus, down with St. Cyprian of Carthage, down with the Seven Ecumenical Councils, down with our new Holy Fathers St. Ignatius Brianchaninov and St. Theophan the Recluse, down with the newly exalted St. Justin (Popovic).  Either let our Holy Fathers and saints be glorified, and the impiety of this man’s foolish intelligence be silenced, or let this man be right and the Orthodox faith be abolished, replaced by the New Religion of Antichrist.  Rather, may Orthodoxy triumph, and may our Lord be worshipped in spirit AND in truth, and may the Lord cut off all smooth tongues who speak lies to those with itching ears, eager rather to bow to the Anglican relativism than to stand for the Truth.  May this Metropolitan, the Met of the OCA, and the like-minded ones at St. Vladimir’s Seminar learn to find confidence and boldness in the Truth, rather than to be proclaimers of this falsehood.
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2010, 03:13:10 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.

I agree with you that Metropolitan Kallistos is over-rated in the Orthodox world, most of which is not English speaking. In the English-speaking part, however, he is not over-rated at all. Indeed in the blessed and glorious day that we are praying will come sooner than later, there will be many more English-speaking Orthodox than in the traditional nations and their "diaspora."
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2010, 03:13:43 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.

He is very well-known in Poland.
Not so, in Romania

Well then; this settles it.
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2010, 03:17:29 PM »

My own thoughts, as I implied in my response to the gangrenous limb comment, is that this comes very close to the branch theory. I don't think it's fair to make an assessment based on just one quotation, but I certainly think this type of stuff sends the wrong message about Orthodoxy, and it gives the old calendarist complaints about Orthodox involvement in ecumenism that much more weight. To point out that there are sincere Anglicans seeking to do the will of God is one thing, but to use terms like "body of Christ" in the way that he did seems to cross a dangerous line.
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2010, 03:18:33 PM »

From the Interview, two examples of Branch Theory:

"GW - Bishop Kallistos, may I ask you how you understand the role of the ecumenical observers here at the Conference?

"KW - Well, most obviously it signifies that we are conscious that we are all members of one Body in Christ."
---------------------------

"The Anglican Communion cannot settle this without bearing in mind its bonds with the wider communion of the Church - the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics. And that is one thing, I think, that troubles us very much as Orthodox, as it troubles the Roman Catholics. We feel that the Anglican Church, on these matters which are of basic importance, has acted alone, without catholic consensus."
--------------------------

Met Kallistos, as the link to the review of his "Orthodox Church" affirms, has many natural gifts, one of which is great deliberation and care in his manner of speech.  He is a good scholar and a better translator.  This is not to say that he always speaks truthfully, that is according to the Truth, but he certainly speaks deliberately and with full knowledge of what he is saying.  If an Orthodox person, rather than an Anglican media outlet, asked him point blank whether the "the fullness of the Church is found only in the Orthodox Church," he may indeed say yes, for such a statement does not imply that non-Orthodox are part of the Church in some "invisible" way.  In his "Orthodox Church" he is famous for his statement that we can say where the Church is, but we cannot be so certain of where the Church is not.  This phrase has been adopted quite widely as though it was the teaching of the Church, precisely because his book has become so foundational to those wanting to know more about the Orthodox Church.  One cannot find a phrase among the Fathers of the Church that implies so much as this.  

This interview was given at such a critical time in the Anglican Communion, when so many in the Anglican Communion were waking up to the falsehood, apostasy, and sanctioned debauchery that has come to characterize this sect.  If anyone in the Orthodox world would be known to Anglicans, and perhaps listened to by Anglicans, it would be Met Kallistos.  At such an opportune time, when so many Anglicans were hungry for the Truth, instead of bread they were given a stone in the form of these remarks.  If Met Kallistos is correct, then down with St. Mark of Ephesus, down with St. Cyprian of Carthage, down with the Seven Ecumenical Councils, down with our new Holy Fathers St. Ignatius Brianchaninov and St. Theophan the Recluse, down with the newly exalted St. Justin (Popovic).  Either let our Holy Fathers and saints be glorified, and the impiety of this man’s foolish intelligence be silenced, or let this man be right and the Orthodox faith be abolished, replaced by the New Religion of Antichrist.  Rather, may Orthodoxy triumph, and may our Lord be worshipped in spirit AND in truth, and may the Lord cut off all smooth tongues who speak lies to those with itching ears, eager rather to bow to the Anglican relativism than to stand for the Truth.  May this Metropolitan, the Met of the OCA, and the like-minded ones at St. Vladimir’s Seminar learn to find confidence and boldness in the Truth, rather than to be proclaimers of this falsehood.


You must surely be aware of the adage that honey is better than vinegar, no? Saying "May the Lord cut off all smooth tongues who speak lies to those with itching ears, eager rather to bow to the Anglican relativism than to stand for the Truth" is not merely extreme, it betrays a startling degree of lack of confidence in the Holy Orthodox Church. Calm down please, for the sake of your heart (both physically and spiritually).
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2010, 03:20:57 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.

I agree with you that Metropolitan Kallistos is over-rated in the Orthodox world, most of which is not English speaking. In the English-speaking part, however, he is not over-rated at all. Indeed in the blessed and glorious day that we are praying will come sooner than later, there will be many more English-speaking Orthodox than in the traditional nations and their "diaspora."
We'll not see tat day, my friend, I'm afraid.
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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2010, 03:22:09 PM »

...but to use terms like "body of Christ" in the way that he did seems to cross a dangerous line.

Oh, it's way past the line.
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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2010, 03:24:34 PM »

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, is, in my opinion, way over-rated in the English-speaking Orthodox world; to gain a more balanced view of his real importance, one should bear in mind that he isn't very well known, or known at all, in most old world Orthodox churches, where probably 95% of all Orthodox  are.

I agree with you that Metropolitan Kallistos is over-rated in the Orthodox world, most of which is not English speaking. In the English-speaking part, however, he is not over-rated at all. Indeed in the blessed and glorious day that we are praying will come sooner than later, there will be many more English-speaking Orthodox than in the traditional nations and their "diaspora."
We'll not see tat day, my friend, I'm afraid.

If you are right, we would have failed in our mission, no? So, why do you belong to a Church that is a failure? For me, such a thought is unbearable as I would rather go down fighting than give up the good fight.
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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2010, 03:57:03 PM »

The birth rate of traditional English speaking people is much too low to be able to overpopulate the traditional nations (sic) and their "diaspora." even if all English speakers alive today became English-speaking Orthodox.

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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2010, 04:24:01 PM »

...but to use terms like "body of Christ" in the way that he did seems to cross a dangerous line.

Oh, it's way past the line.

I'm trying to be nice and... um... ecumenical (?) irenic Wink
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« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2010, 04:53:36 PM »

KW - Well, most obviously it signifies that we are conscious that we are all members of one Body in Christ. There are visible divisions separating Christians, but we know that on a deeper lever we do share, in a real sense, membership in one Body. Its expression is incomplete, imperfect, but it is nonetheless a genuine reality.
-------------------------------

Why most obvious and if so, why not always obvious to everyone everywhere at all times?
Is there a deeper level than that one foundation whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus and if so are they the footers?
Why did He not say "I" know that on a deeper lever(sic) we do share, for that is what he seems to be saying to me, unless he was made Pope?
How are these consiously seperated Christians members of the ONE BODY IN CHRIST if they do not partake of that ONE LOAF AND ONE CUP?
The last line of the quoted paragraph seems to me to imply that the Orthodox Church is an inviliad, crippled, withered and impotent; is that the genuine reality which the Met. sees?

Sorry to offend, but it seems that this form of Uniatism may more dangerous than other forms.
John



Edit: minor change in syntax to conform to board rules regarding the "U" word.
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« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2010, 06:11:58 PM »

The birth rate of traditional English speaking people is much too low to be able to overpopulate the traditional nations (sic) and their "diaspora." even if all English speakers alive today became English-speaking Orthodox.

John

You could not be more wrong. (And, I have not even factored in the abysmally lower church attendance rates in the traditionally Orthodox nations)

Using the CIA World fact Book as my source, I used the 2009 estimated population numbers and the population growth percentages (multiplied for 10 years) to arrive at projected population figures for 2019. I calculated these projections for the following traditional Orthodox countries (Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Georgia) and for the largely English speaking countries of United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

The 2009 population total for the traditionally Orthodox countries was roughly 248 Million folks, the total for the English-speaking countries was roughly 402 Million people. Because of much lower population growth rates, by 2019 the traditional Orthodox populations are projected to decline to 238 million people, while the robust growth percentages of the English speakers will increase their population to 436 million souls. By the way, the United States by itself had 307 million people in 2009 and expected to reach 337 million bu 2019, while the entire group of Orthodox countries had fewer people at both data points.

Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/rankorderguide.html
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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2010, 06:37:05 PM »

KW - Well, most obviously it signifies that we are conscious that we are all members of one Body in Christ. There are visible divisions separating Christians, but we know that on a deeper lever we do share, in a real sense, membership in one Body. Its expression is incomplete, imperfect, but it is nonetheless a genuine reality.
-------------------------------

Why most obvious and if so, why not always obvious to everyone everywhere at all times?
Is there a deeper level than that one foundation whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus and if so are they the footers?
Why did He not say "I" know that on a deeper lever(sic) we do share, for that is what he seems to be saying to me, unless he was made Pope?
How are these consiously seperated Christians members of the ONE BODY IN CHRIST if they do not partake of that ONE LOAF AND ONE CUP?
The last line of the quoted paragraph seems to me to imply that the Orthodox Church is an inviliad, crippled, withered and impotent; is that the genuine reality which the Met. sees?

Sorry to offend, but it seems that this UNIATISM may more dangerous than other UNIATISM.
John


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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2010, 07:38:33 PM »

My own thoughts, as I implied in my response to the gangrenous limb comment, is that this comes very close to the branch theory. I don't think it's fair to make an assessment based on just one quotation, but I certainly think this type of stuff sends the wrong message about Orthodoxy, and it gives the old calendarist complaints about Orthodox involvement in ecumenism that much more weight. To point out that there are sincere Anglicans seeking to do the will of God is one thing, but to use terms like "body of Christ" in the way that he did seems to cross a dangerous line.

I agree with this assessment.

HE Metropolitan Kallistos once wrote "We know where the Church is, we don't know where it isn't."

Makes me wonder, if the Church is the body of Christ, why then does he speak as if he knows other non-Orthodox Christians are part of the Church in clearly contradicts his earlier statement?
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« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2010, 10:01:15 AM »

...but to use terms like "body of Christ" in the way that he did seems to cross a dangerous line.

Oh, it's way past the line.

I'm trying to be nice and... um... ecumenical (?) irenic Wink

Bravo!!! In the West, Orthodox leaders often find themselves in situations where they have a choice between using honey (being "irenic"), using vinegar (be gone ye heretics and scum of the earth!), or silence (which usually is understood to be  criticism or non-acceptance). Of course, if they are "irenic," polite or encouraging, they run the risk of being labeled ecumenical, Protestant masquerading as an Orthodox, Uniates and heretics, by self-appointed guardians of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2010, 11:25:26 AM »

Met. Kallistos may be using a very specific meaning when he says 'us' that we think of as 'Orthodox' versus 'Anglican,' whereas he may very well be speaking of individuals or 'Orthodox' and 'all of humanity.'

If all mankind can be saved, and all mankind can only be saved through Christ Jesus, then even individual members of the Anglicans are, potentially, members of the Body of Christ.  Let's not forget all those recent discussions we had about 'post-mortem repentance' and the possibility that many will not repent until after their encounter with the Truth at death.

Without a doubt, there is a further warning in Met. Kallistos, one that I think should be seriously considered: do the Anglicans have the right to define 'their truth' in the face of God?  Do they have the right to devise theology without consulting all Christians in an orthodox and appropriate manner?  In a sly way, Met. Kallistos could be seen as reminding the Anglicans that they do not have the right to devise interpretations of the Gospel without consulting the greater Body of Christ, namely, the Orthodox and Apostolic and Catholic Church.

We as Orthodox people are lousy at being 'Catholic' in the sense of the Creed.  we like the 'us versus them' mentality and willingly grant the heterodox their own space to devise folly and heresy.  I think it is about time we start crowding the field.  We need to start claiming the Truth: all Christians are under the jurisdiction of the Church, and no one group has the right to proclaim dogmas without consulting the rest of the Church.

Anglicans can be Christians and part of the Body of Christ, but the Anglican Communion as an institution, as it now stands, fails the test.
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« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2010, 12:51:24 PM »

The birth rate of traditional English speaking people is much too low to be able to overpopulate the traditional nations (sic) and their "diaspora." even if all English speakers alive today became English-speaking Orthodox.

John

You could not be more wrong. (And, I have not even factored in the abysmally lower church attendance rates in the traditionally Orthodox nations)

Using the CIA World fact Book as my source, I used the 2009 estimated population numbers and the population growth percentages (multiplied for 10 years) to arrive at projected population figures for 2019. I calculated these projections for the following traditional Orthodox countries (Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Georgia) and for the largely English speaking countries of United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

The 2009 population total for the traditionally Orthodox countries was roughly 248 Million folks, the total for the English-speaking countries was roughly 402 Million people. Because of much lower population growth rates, by 2019 the traditional Orthodox populations are projected to decline to 238 million people, while the robust growth percentages of the English speakers will increase their population to 436 million souls. By the way, the United States by itself had 307 million people in 2009 and expected to reach 337 million bu 2019, while the entire group of Orthodox countries had fewer people at both data points.

Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/rankorderguide.html

I hope to examine your words more closely over the next few weeks.  Thanks for your input.


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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2010, 12:58:33 PM »

Met. Kallistos may be using a very specific meaning when he says 'us' that we think of as 'Orthodox' versus 'Anglican,' whereas he may very well be speaking of individuals or 'Orthodox' and 'all of humanity.'

If all mankind can be saved, and all mankind can only be saved through Christ Jesus, then even individual members of the Anglicans are, potentially, members of the Body of Christ.  Let's not forget all those recent discussions we had about 'post-mortem repentance' and the possibility that many will not repent until after their encounter with the Truth at death.

Without a doubt, there is a further warning in Met. Kallistos, one that I think should be seriously considered: do the Anglicans have the right to define 'their truth' in the face of God?  Do they have the right to devise theology without consulting all Christians in an orthodox and appropriate manner?  In a sly way, Met. Kallistos could be seen as reminding the Anglicans that they do not have the right to devise interpretations of the Gospel without consulting the greater Body of Christ, namely, the Orthodox and Apostolic and Catholic Church.

We as Orthodox people are lousy at being 'Catholic' in the sense of the Creed.  we like the 'us versus them' mentality and willingly grant the heterodox their own space to devise folly and heresy.  I think it is about time we start crowding the field.  We need to start claiming the Truth: all Christians are under the jurisdiction of the Church, and no one group has the right to proclaim dogmas without consulting the rest of the Church.

Anglicans can be Christians and part of the Body of Christ, but the Anglican Communion as an institution, as it now stands, fails the test.

Interesting view  Father. I have to say that I appreciate your well thought out posts and the wisdom you bring to this forum. Thank you for sharing your insight.
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« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2010, 01:23:59 PM »

We as Orthodox people are lousy at being 'Catholic' in the sense of the Creed.  we like the 'us versus them' mentality and willingly grant the heterodox their own space to devise folly and heresy.  I think it is about time we start crowding the field.  We need to start claiming the Truth: all Christians are under the jurisdiction of the Church, and no one group has the right to proclaim dogmas without consulting the rest of the Church.


FatherGiryus Please forgive me;  Yes, I understand the sentiment of the first, I like the second, I attempt the third, I believe the fourth, but the fifth is troublesome.  I find it too broad and essentially very Vatican 2ish.   Who is proclaiming doctrine?  Is it not those who teach that we need to merge our confession and its experience with non-Orthodox Christians in order to better understand what is the Church?

Personally, I think the Church is always doing these things and has always done them within the contexts of the many various eras of her historical existence.  The ability of the Church to bind and loose (which belongs to the whole Church, but which is culmitive in her Bishops) is not only applicable within the doors of the Church, but outside where Hell is being delivered of its captives.

St. Paul was not oppossed to preach in the synagogues for they have the potential to become members of the Church  If my arm falls off it is still proper to call it my arm, but I am not going to carry it around so others can shake hands with it and then tell them tha they have shaken hands with me.  

 Certainly  NO Protestant confession is what it was when it began, no not one!  


It must be shown that the Chuch has always everywhere and at all times understood her relationship between us and them as being members of that ONE BODY?  No?  If not, we seem to be moving in the direction of the Cosmic Christ of Matthew Fox; I can't abide with that, sorry!  but you are probably not meaning or saying that, correct?
John
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« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2010, 01:51:34 PM »

We as Orthodox people are lousy at being 'Catholic' in the sense of the Creed.  we like the 'us versus them' mentality and willingly grant the heterodox their own space to devise folly and heresy.  I think it is about time we start crowding the field.  We need to start claiming the Truth: all Christians are under the jurisdiction of the Church, and no one group has the right to proclaim dogmas without consulting the rest of the Church.


FatherGiryus Please forgive me;  Yes, I understand the sentiment of the first, I like the second, I attempt the third, I believe the fourth, but the fifth is troublesome.  I find it too broad and essentially very Vatican 2ish.   Who is proclaiming doctrine?  Is it not those who teach that we need to merge our confession and its experience with non-Orthodox Christians in order to better understand what is the Church?

Personally, I think the Church is always doing these things and has always done them within the contexts of the many various eras of her historical existence.  The ability of the Church to bind and loose (which belongs to the whole Church, but which is culmitive in her Bishops) is not only applicable within the doors of the Church, but outside where Hell is being delivered of its captives.

St. Paul was not oppossed to preach in the synagogues for they have the potential to become members of the Church  If my arm falls off it is still proper to call it my arm, but I am not going to carry it around so others can shake hands with it and then tell them tha they have shaken hands with me.  

 Certainly  NO Protestant confession is what it was when it began, no not one!  


It must be shown that the Chuch has always everywhere and at all times understood her relationship between us and them as being members of that ONE BODY?  No?  If not, we seem to be moving in the direction of the Cosmic Christ of Matthew Fox; I can't abide with that, sorry!  but you are probably not meaning or saying that, correct?
John

Dear John,

Yes, you are quite right, I forgot to put the "" "" around that phrase.  My apologies.

What I meant to communicate is that if the Anglicans see themselves as part of the Body of Christ in a non-exclusive manner (let's call it the 'Branch  Theory' without getting too particular), then the problem is that if one branch starts creating doctrine it needs to consult the other branches for the theory to work, simply because one branch cannot define itself (i.e. the whole Body) without consulting the 'other branches.'

I certainly don't confess a 'Cosmic Christ' as you mention: there is only One Body, and that is the Orthodox Church, though we have some parts in schism (we can debate on the definition of the Copts and the Romans, but the prayers of the Church make it plain that some parts of the Body are in schism and we pray for that to end).  What I am saying is that Christians outside the bounds of the Church will be brought into the Body at death, when the veil of this life is peeled back and they see the Truth that the Orthodox Church embodies.  In essence, what I am saying is that everyone who is saved becomes Orthodox in the end unless they hate God in a permanent and irredeemable manner.

Sorry for not making that clearer.

Thank you, Papist, for your kind words as well.
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« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2010, 12:09:56 PM »

While I find the Metropolitan's comments unfortunate and rather ill-informed, I have trouble ascribing malice  to them. Statements and sentiments such as his are wide-spread today. I've stopped being shocked. However, the truth is not well served by vitriol and hyperbole. The only way I see to deal with it is to ignore the lies, and do one's best to hold to the truth. His Eminence should know better, but, really, until a common understanding is reached amongst the Orthodox on ecumenism, there's little one can expect to be done. Nowadays, bishops are very seldom deposed for heresy or gross canonical infractions. It's too bad, in a way, but look at the other side of the coin--how many of the laity are even interested in matters of faith? Not the majority. Of course, there have been lukewarm Christians since the beginning. But that is our challenge always, not to be lukewarm. (I suppose a caveat is necessary. The warmth and fervor of the Holy Spirit is not what motivates hot-heads.)
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« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2010, 12:50:14 PM »

I, (and this is just me writing) find the use of the metaphor "Body of Christ" to be problematic when being used to describe the present relationship of those outside of the Church to Christ as if they are mystically united to the Mystical Cup of which those who partake are the members of the Body of Christ by some invisible means other than the visible means which The Church unites us, i.e., "The servant/handmaiden of God receives..."

I do not have any problem with using the metaphor which I see the Apostle Paul using to describe those who are apart from the Church but may be striving within their souls to be united with Christ.  That metaphor does employ the use of Branch(s) when referring to the Romans (Gentiles/Jews) Rom. 11:17, but as wild branches which need grafting onto the one root, correct?

Continuing with that metaphor and expanding it further; I can actually see and have myself tasted the fruitsnourishment within the plant's fruitfulness making the edible portion minimalistic and not wholly satisfying to those who have eaten the cultured fruit of salvation.

I don't have any problem with the idea of watering or feeding those wild plants when we have opportunity and when it is seasonable, even pruning them is acceptable (I can understand your rendering of the Met. words " In a sly way, Met. Kallistos could be seen as reminding the Anglicans that they do not have the right to devise interpretations of the Gospel without consulting the greater Body of Christ, namely, the Orthodox and Apostolic and Catholic Church.) in order to produce in the future a good branch (not the whole tree)from it to be grafted onto that One Tree.   But telling the children that these trees are members of that One Tree when obviously they are separate trees (albeit having their origin somewhere from that One Tree) seems to mix the metaphors and produces an indistinct sound confusing the children about which tree they are to eat and receive healing.  

Using such metaphors are not always sufficient and can themselves result in wild ideas which may not be easily manageable because they take up so much time when the inside of the hedge Garden itself needs so much attending.  But I see by your reply that you instinctively know this and are capable of expressing much more than I can articulate.

Thanks for the "Dear John" letter, I haven't had one since I was in basic training.  (big grin)

John





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« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2010, 01:00:16 PM »

Tongues of Fire! what then set the Apostles heads on fire?

The Apostle Paul explained that the spirit of a Prophet is subject to the Prophet.  Zeal is never wrong, zeal without knowlege frequently starts wild fires which are difficult to manage and control without having a wet blanket.

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« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2010, 08:44:55 AM »

I asked His Grace this morning what he had meant by what he said in the interview. He told me that while the Orthodox Church alone is the true Church and while the Orthodox alone are members of the Body of Christ in the full sense, we can still acknowledge that grace is in some way present in the heterodox churches. Therefore, they can in some way be said to have some kind of connection to the Body of Christ, but certainly not in the same way we are.

While even this is a more liberal view than the one I would ascribe to, he is certainly not the rabid ecumenist depicted by certain posters above, nor is he advocating some kind of branch theory.
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« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2010, 09:18:01 AM »

I asked His Grace this morning what he had meant by what he said in the interview. He told me that while the Orthodox Church alone is the true Church and while the Orthodox alone are members of the Body of Christ in the full sense, we can still acknowledge that grace is in some way present in the heterodox churches. Therefore, they can in some way be said to have some kind of connection to the Body of Christ, but certainly not in the same way we are.

While even this is a more liberal view than the one I would ascribe to, he is certainly not the rabid ecumenist depicted by certain posters above, nor is he advocating some kind of branch theory.

One problem I have with the "graceless" view is that just to exist, grace must be present.  If the atheist did not have God's grace shining on him (which he rejects), he would cease to exist.

I like the Coptic view of things: God takes care of His own (i.e. the Orthodox Church), and will judge all others accordingly.
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