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Linus7
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« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2004, 05:31:25 PM »

Quote
peterfarrington:
So the Patriarchs and bishops of the 19th century are comparable with Nestorius?

Only in the sense that I am as obligated to believe every item of every letter of theirs, or every private opinion ever expressed by any of them, as I am obligated to believe everything ever written or said by Nestorius.

Quote
peterfarrington: You still evade the question.

No I have not evaded the question.

I answered it.

But you insist on beating a dead horse because you think it can win an argument for you.

But, like a dead horse, it just lies there and stinks.

Quote
peterfarrington: If you do not accept the teaching of, not an individual bishop but ALL the EO Patriarchs and a large number of bishops then how are you not setting yourself up as a judge of what is to be believed?

The Church has not said that encyclicals are infallible.

I never said that I do not accept the teaching of the encyclical to which you refer.

I reject your interpretation of a portion of it.

I don't believe the Church has ever taught that Rome's position as the capitol of the Empire was the only reason for its primacy. It was one reason but not the only one.

Quote
peterfarrington: You condemned me as a Protestant because I study the Fathers and seek to understand what they teach. You said I should just 'accept the authority of the Church'. But it is patently obvious that you do not, since the teaching authority of the Church is vested in our bishops.

I said a post of yours sounded like Reformation theology. I did not condemn you as a Protestant.

I also said that you belong to a group which has aligned itself with a sect whose 5th-century schism from the Church was Proto-Protestant.

Quote
peterfarrington: Did the Patriarchs and bishops of the 19th century Encyclical about Roman Catholicism teach Orthodox truth or error?

Post the encyclical here please.

I doubt that it teaches error, but, as I recall, your take on it, and the use to which you put a portion of it, are erroneous.

What if it does contain some errors?

Has the Church ever asserted that all encyclicals are infallible?

Am I obligated to believe the Encyclion of the Emperor Basilicus, as well, even though it anathematized Chalcedon and legitimized the Latrocinium?

It was signed by 700 Eastern bishops.

Quote
peterfarrington: It is a simple question. You only need to answer truth or error.

What will it be, or will you continue to fail to answer any questions.

Why do you reject four out the seven ecumenical councils of the Church?

Why should you control this discussion and demand that your questions be answered when you will not answer mine?

What right does someone who rejects the chief expression of the Church's authority and her charism of infallibility - her ecumenical councils - have to question me about an obscure 19th-century encyclical?
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« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2004, 05:39:30 PM »

What right does someone who rejects the chief expression of the Church's authority and her charism of infallibility - her ecumenical councils - have to question me about an obscure 19th-century encyclical?

My, my we are getting heated.

It's not really worth going round and round with this. I think you have proved from your attitude to this encyclical - I am sure your 19th century bishops will resent it being called obscure - that you also read and study and judge. This is what I do. This is what most intelligent Christians do.

The difference is that when I say I do it you accuse me of being a Protestant, when you do it there seems to be no such Protestant spirit at work.

And do leave off going on and on about the councils. The fact that I accept all of the teachings of the 7 councils shows that it is a non-point.
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« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2004, 05:49:03 PM »

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peterfarrington:
My, my we are getting heated.

Not.

Quote
peterfarrington: It's not really worth going round and round with this. I think you have proved from your attitude to this encyclical - I am sure your 19th century bishops will resent it being called obscure - that you also read and study and judge. This is what I do. This is what most intelligent Christians do.

The difference is that when I say I do it you accuse me of being a Protestant, when you do it there seems to be no such Protestant spirit at work.


I think you missed the point of this discussion.

Everyone must make certain judgments to get to the starting point of the Christian life.

But the Church is the authority in the Christian faith, not the individual.

Quote
peterfarrington: And do leave off going on and on about the councils. The fact that I accept all of the teachings of the 7 councils shows that it is a non-point.

Why should I "leave off going on and on" about something as important as the ecumenical councils while you go on and on about an encyclical?

If you accept the teachings of the councils, then why do you reject the councils themselves and deny the Church's authority as expressed in them, especially when doing so only perpetuates a schism?



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« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2004, 05:57:25 PM »

If you accept the teachings of the councils, then why do you reject the councils themselves and deny the Church's authority as expressed in them, especially when doing so only perpetuates a schism?

Do you not know why they have been rejected? Yet you are quite willing to state that I am further from Orthodox Christian truth than a Roman Catholic even though I have the same substance of faith as you?

If the teaching of a council is accepted then how can it be said that the authority of the church is denied? Remember that the OO never accepted the Three Chapters, and didn't burn her icons. These were issues that the EO needed to deal with, we had already dealt with them.

I do not wish to discuss this further with you. You seem to only have an interest in perpetuating unnecessary division. If you do not think that the reconciliation of a vagante group with the wider Orthodox communion is something to rejoice over, if you do not think that the agreement in the substance of faith which it is obvious exists between EO and OO is something to rejoice over, then there is no point in continuing.

Just repeating '7 councils, 7 councils' says nothing. Anyone can say '7 councils' without knowing what any of them teach.
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« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2004, 05:58:39 PM »

Linus is beginning to sound like um...well, Vicki and Tom know who I mean, answering questions with questions...
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« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2004, 09:32:14 AM »

Linus is beginning to sound like um...well, Vicki and Tom know who I mean, answering questions with questions...

I don't really care whom you think I sound like.

The truth is the truth.

There are reasons why the OO are not in the Church.

Saying, "We accept the content of the councils but not the councils themselves" is bogus.

And to say that no OO were never part of iconoclasm is not exactly accurate.

Many Protestant Fundamentalists confess to believe in the "content" of the Nicene Creed while claiming the Church that authored it had been corrupted by Constantine.

The Donatists were orthodox in doctrine and organization, too, yet they were considered outside the Church.

It is one thing to exercise ordinary prudence and common sense in reading the Fathers and the Bible.

It is quite another to make private judgment and interpretation one's primary approach to the Christian faith.

And that is what we were talking about.
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« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2004, 09:34:33 AM »

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And to say that no OO were never part of iconoclasm is not exactly accurate.

Sorry for the double negative.

That should read, "And to say that no OO were ever part of iconoclasm is not exactly accurate."

I miss the edit function.
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« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2004, 09:36:43 AM »

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peterfarrington: If you do not think that the reconciliation of a vagante group with the wider Orthodox communion is something to rejoice over

If said vagante group had reconciled "with the wider Orthodox communion" I would rejoice.

That is not what the BOC did.
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« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2004, 09:40:11 AM »

It is one thing to exercise ordinary prudence and common sense in reading the Fathers and the Bible.

It is quite another to make private judgment and interpretation one's primary approach to the Christian faith.

And that is what we were talking about.


Well not really Linus7.

I wrote about exercising 'ordinary prudence and common sense' and you told me I was a Protestant.

Can I ask if you confess 7 or 8 ecumenical councils? I note that the patriarchs and bishops of the 19th century confess 8. Are they to be censured for adding to the number of councils which should be called ecumenical? Or are you to be censured for only confessing 7?

And if you really think that accepting the teaching of a council while considering it not to be an ecumenical one is bogus then I must suggest that you seem to have a very strange and polemical attitude to the faith.

Once again, why do you not confess the 8th ecumenical council when so many of your bishops have done so? Either they are heretical, because they have declared, in your terms, a council infallible when it is not, or you are because you reject an infallible council.

How many should I confess?

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2004, 09:43:32 AM »

If said vagante group had reconciled "with the wider Orthodox communion" I would rejoice.

I'm not sure you would rejoice in any case. I think that in fact there would always be some obstacle to your joy. The BOC would be using the wrong liturgy, or the wrong chant, or the wrong calendar, or the wrong vestments, because it's clear that what is believed isn't enough is it.

Sad
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« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2004, 09:57:53 AM »

So you have the info.

Here is what was confessed:

"The new doctrine, that "the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Son," ......was subjected to anathema, as a novelty and augmentation of the Creed, by the eighth Ecumenical Council, congregated at Constantinople for the pacification of the Eastern and Western Churches."

and here are the Patriarchs and Bishops who made this confession:

+ ANTHIMOS, by the Mercy of God, Archbishop of Constantinople, new Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

+ HIEROTHEUS, by the Mercy of God, Patriarch of Alexandria and of all Egypt, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

+ METHODIOS, by the Mercy of God, Patriarch of the great City of God, Antioch, and of all Anatolia, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.

+ CYRIL, by the Mercy of God, Patriarch of Jerusalem and of all Palestine, a beloved brother in Christ our God, and suppliant.
 
 

The Holy Synod in Constantinople:

+ PAISIUS OF CAESAREA

+ ANTHIMUS OF EPHESUS

+ DIONYSIUS OF HERACLEA

+ JOACHIM OF CYZICUS

+ DIONYSIUS OF NICODEMIA

+ HIEROTHEUS OF CHALCEDON

+ NEOPHYTUS OF DERCI

+ GERASIMUS OF ADRIANOPLE

+ CYRIL OF NEOCAESAREA

+ THEOCLETUS OF BEREA

+ MELETIUS OF PISIDIA

+ ATHANASIUS OF SMYRNA

+ DIONYSIUS OF MELENICUS

+ PAISIUS OF SOPHIA

+ DANIEL OF LEMNOS

+ PANTELEIMON OF DEYINOPOLIS

+ JOSEPH OF ERSECIUM

+ ANTHIMUS OF BODENI
 
 

The Holy Synod in Antioch:

+ ZACHARIAS OF ARCADIA

+ METHODIOS OF EMESA

+ JOANNICIUS OF TRIPOLIS

+ ARTEMIUS OF LAODICEA
 
 

The Holy Synod in Jerusalem:

+ MELETIUS OF PETRA

+ DIONYSIUS OF BETHLEHEM

+ PHILEMON OF GAZA

+ SAMUEL OF NEAPOLIS

+ THADDEUS OF SEBASTE

+ JOANNICIUS OF PHILADELPHIA

+ HIEROTHEUS OF TABOR


Are they all heretics because they have added to the number of infallible and ecumenical councils which are the primary and definitive authority in the Church, or are you a heretic for not confessing 8 ecumenical councils. If you say that you accept the teaching of this 8th council but do not consider it ecumenical then how is that not, to use an American word, 'bogus'.

This is a reasonable question and has a bearing on many other issues.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #56 on: February 03, 2004, 11:33:44 AM »

How many should I confess?

That's a good question.  We, at least, agree on how many Ecumenical Councils there are.  The EO, on the other hand, don't seem to have any agreement on whether it is seven, eight, or nine.  I've heard many, many EO insist on seven, from rank and file laity to clerics.  But Peter mentions EO bishops who confess eight.  Then again, I've heard and read many EO, from the rank and file laity to the bishops, confess nine.  Are those confessing nine cut off from those confessing seven?  Are those confessing seven cut off from those confessing nine?  How many Ecumenical Councils do the EO insist we Oriental Orthodox confess in order for there to be reunion with them, when even in the EO Church this question seems to be unresolved (or else the majority of people I've spoken with are all ignorant of the truth)?
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« Reply #57 on: February 03, 2004, 12:02:35 PM »

This is basically why I resurrected the "Ecumenical Council" thread in the "Faith" section below.  How does one OBJECTIVELY know how many ecumenical councils there are? Are there 2? 3? 4? 7, 8 or 9? 20+?
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« Reply #58 on: February 03, 2004, 12:12:05 PM »

I saw.  Wink
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« Reply #59 on: February 03, 2004, 12:45:11 PM »

I think that the evidence from the EO situation shows that it is not objectively straightforward, but also that it is possible to have the same faith while confessing the ecumenicity of a different number of councils, otherwise either Fr John Romanides or Linus7 are heretics because they confess a different number of ecumenical councils.

It must also be stated that to deny the ecumenicity of a council does not mean that its doctrinal content is rejected. There are hundreds of councils which have produced important and Orthodox decisions which are not considered ecumenical. Indeed every Orthodox council is surely called with the intent of hearing the Word of God and applying it to particular circumstances. This does not make every council ecumenical, but neither does it make every non-ecumenical council an heretical one.

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« Reply #60 on: February 03, 2004, 01:44:42 PM »

I was taught that there have been seven ecumenical councils.

I have heard that some Orthodox Christians acknowledge an eighth and even a ninth ecumenical council, but, as far as I know, those have not been universally accepted as ecumenical.

One thing is certain, there are no Orthodox churches that acknowledge only three ecumenical councils.


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« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2004, 01:54:25 PM »

One thing is certain, there are no Orthodox churches that acknowledge only three ecumenical councils.


Of course there are! One such Orthodox Church is the Orthodox Church of Egypt, sometimes referred to as the Coptic Orthodox Church. A church that has given more to Christianity than perhaps any other in terms of rich theological treasures and witnessed to the faith by the blood of the martyrs.

A Church that today is thriving and producing an amazing cloud of witnesses for furture generations. A Church that today, if you simply go and visit, is endowed with wonder-working saints (in our own generation), holy elders with the gifts of clairvoyance and healings, incorrupt relics, and weeping icons. A church that continues to witness to the truth of Orthodoxy against all kinds of heresies, and is still witnessing to this truth by the shedding of blood. A Church with an amazing monastic revival, like no other in our times.

Truly, the Orthodox Church of Egypt is a great light to our world.

Why not visit and see for yourself, then come back and write to us.

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2004, 01:58:13 PM »


One thing is certain, there are no Orthodox churches that acknowledge only three ecumenical councils.


I think what you meant to say is that there is no Roman Byzantine Eastern Orthodox Church that only confesses 3 councils. In this you are right.

But in all the Church History books I have read after the period of Chalcedon, the Christians of Egypt claimed for themselves the title "Orthodox". The Christians which sided with the Roman Empire and persecuted the Christians of Egypt, killing thousands of them, were called many other things.

On what basis can you claim the title "Orthodox" for yourself? This goes against history...

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #63 on: February 03, 2004, 01:58:39 PM »

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peterfarrington: I wrote about exercising 'ordinary prudence and common sense' and you told me I was a Protestant.

That is not what you wrote, and that was not what I said.

This is what you wrote:

Quote
peterfarrington: I have no problem understanding what the Orthodox teaching is about the Bible and about doctrine, yet I do not believe in a 'final, decisive authority'. Nor has one seemed necessary to the Church. The ecumenical councils are not a 'final, decisive authority' either because they use human words which can be twisted to mean things that are completely at odds with what was intended.

A Muslim and an Orthodox can both confess 'One God' but what each means by those same words is very different.

It is not words that have authority but the life of Christ in His Church. Those who are within the Church are guided by the Spirit in the Church. There is authority in the priests, bishops, synods and ecumenical councils, but in the end the final, decisive authority belongs to Christ.

That is what I said sounds like Reformation theology.

And it does.

I never said that you are a Protestant.

Is the Church the authority, or is the individual the authority?

Perhaps you meant to describe your method of submitting to the authority of the Church in what you wrote.

I do not know.

But you chose arguing with me as the vehicle of that expression in any event.

Besides, you are absolutely wrong in what you wrote in that first paragraph above: "Nor has one [a final, decisive authority] seemed necessary to the Church. The ecumenical councils are not a 'final, decisive authority' either because they use human words which can be twisted to mean things that are completely at odds with what was intended."




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« Reply #64 on: February 03, 2004, 02:06:14 PM »

I think what you meant to say is that there is no Roman Byzantine Eastern Orthodox Church that only confesses 3 councils. In this you are right.

But in all the Church History books I have read after the period of Chalcedon, the Christians of Egypt claimed for themselves the title "Orthodox". The Christians which sided with the Roman Empire and persecuted the Christians of Egypt, killing thousands of them, were called many other things.

On what basis can you claim the title "Orthodox" for yourself? This goes against history...

In Christ,
Raouf

If I acknowledge the OO as Orthodox, then I must admit that the Church has "branches" or different denominations and is not one.

There is only one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Those who rejected the Council of Chalcedon separated themselves from her in the fifth century.

I realize that their spiritual descendants feel that they are the perpetuation of the Church and that the Chalcedonians are in schism.

C'est la vie.
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« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2004, 02:26:41 PM »

If I acknowledge the OO as Orthodox, then I must admit that the Church has "branches" or different denominations and is not one.

There is only one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Those who rejected the Council of Chalcedon separated themselves from her in the fifth century.

I realize that their spiritual descendants feel that they are the perpetuation of the Church and that the Chalcedonians are in schism.

C'est la vie.

Which begs the question:  Which Church is the TRUE Church and how does one know?  How can one OBJECTIVELY determine who separated from whom over Chalcedon?  How does one delineate who IS the "One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church" without resorting to circular reasoning?  Huh
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« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2004, 02:31:01 PM »

If I acknowledge the OO as Orthodox, then I must admit that the Church has "branches" or different denominations and is not one.

There is only one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Those who rejected the Council of Chalcedon separated themselves from her in the fifth century.

I realize that their spiritual descendants feel that they are the perpetuation of the Church and that the Chalcedonians are in schism.

C'est la vie.

No No No! I don't want you to admit anyone into your fold! As long as you say that your Church, the Roman Byzantine Eastern Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, that is wonderful. Just don't say you are the "Orthodox Church".  Don't call us the "Monophysite Church", that is not what we are called nor what we have ever been called, we were always known as the Orthodox Church of Egypt. All the other neat slogans came much later in history. I just want us to be consistent with history.

So we now agree: There is only one church that is THE One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and this is called the Roman Church or the Eastern Orthodox or the Byzantine Church or the Church of Constantinople or whatever.

And one church which (to some) is not part of this One Holy and Catholic and Apostolic Church is the "Orthodox Church of Egypt".

I am glad we cleared that up. Thank you.  Grin

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2004, 05:00:12 PM »

Besides, you are absolutely wrong in what you wrote in that first paragraph above: "Nor has one [a final, decisive authority] seemed necessary to the Church. The ecumenical councils are not a 'final, decisive authority' either because they use human words which can be twisted to mean things that are completely at odds with what was intended."

If the ecumenical councils are the final, decisive authority why do you reject the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church which, as I have quoted, recognises 8 or 9 ecumenical councils.

I have listed the Patriarchs and bishops who teach that there are 8 ecumenical councils.

I can add Father John Romanides,
Protopresbyter George Metallinos', (author of Divine Ascent: A Journal of Orthodox Faith),
Clark Carlton (author of two very popular introductions to Orthodoxy) confesses the 8th council,
Father George Dragas speaks of the 8th council in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review,
the official Antiochean Orthodox website for the UK recognises the 8th council,  
the Hellenic Ministry of Culture speaks of the 8th ecumenical council,
Georgi Kapriev of the Bulgarian Orthodox has an article in which he speaks of the 8th ecumenical council,

I think this is enough, although of course I could also list those who I can quickly find who speak of 9 ecumenical councils, and I note that the official ecumenical patriarchate website describes the 7th council as the 8th council.

Now it is not enough for you to side step this issue. Either there are 7, 8 or 9 ecumenical councils. If you cannot authoritatively tell me how many there are then your argument crumbles. Either we are obligated to recognise the ecumenicity of exactly the right number of councils or we are not. If we are not then we are left with taking account of the substance of faith instead of merely counting councils.

If there are 7 then all of these important writers and the leaders of your own EO in the 19th century are and were teaching error, or else you are.

What you cannot do is insist that I am a heretic because I only accept 3 instead of 7 as ecumenical, while accepting their substance, while either you or these other church leaders and theologians are quite within your rights to chose whether you accept 7 or 8 or 9.

How many is the truth? How many are the final and decisive authority? If you cannot tell me even this then how can you insist that the substance of my faith means nothing because I have been taught 3 instead of 7 or 8 or 9.

How many ecumenical councils are there Linus? And what of those who disagree with you in your own communion?

PT
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« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2004, 05:13:25 PM »

If I acknowledge the OO as Orthodox, then I must admit that the Church has "branches" or different denominations and is not one.

That's not necessary at all. I don't believe in branches. Either the EO is Orthodox in faith and I must therefore do all I can to work for the reconciliation of all Orthodox who are already the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church though burdened with human weakness and division between men. Or else the EO is not Orthodox in faith and is therefore not the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

As the theologians and bishops who have participated in the dialogue from both sides have come to understand, though often maligned by those who prefer polemics and division:

"we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they have used Christological terms in different ways. It is this common faith and continuous loyalty to the Apostolic Tradition that should be the basis for our unity and communion."

Does ROCOR cease to be the Church because of human divisions even though it has loyally maintained the Apostolic Tradition? Did Rome cease to be Orthodox because it seperated from the communion of the East many times? These things are the human aspect of the Church and a sign of our weakness, just like overbearing bishops, the persecution of fellow christians and centuries of misunderstanding and disunity. But if the Apostolic faith is manitained then human weakness can be overcome and the unity of the Church manifested. So I cannot say that the EO has ceased to be the Church just because of human weakness, if the faith has been preserved.

We could imagine two Orthodox missionaries setting off by boat, and a storm seperates them and they are washed up on different shores. Both are successful and their mission is blessed and their congregations flourish. But neither missionary is aware that the other has survived, nor is there any possibility of communion on the human level. Have two seperate churches been formed simply because they have no human contact, or is there a real, mystic communion since both communities maintain the same authentic Apostolic faith?

The OO believed it was necessary to wall ourselves off from heresy in the distant past, not only that, we faced severe persecution designed to exterminate our Orthodox community and which caused tens of thousands of deaths. But having walled ourselves off from what we believed was heresy we have not departed from the Orthodox faith and are pleased to have discovered that now we are able to bring the walls down which have preserved us through unremmitting persecution for 1500 years we find that those we thought had fallen into heresy and from whom we sought to preserve ourselves have also preserved that same faith.

Branches? Not at all. We are the same Church.
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« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2004, 05:42:17 PM »

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peterfarrington: those who prefer polemics and division

In which group you evidently include me.

I do not "prefer polemics and division," but I do believe in facing facts.

Those who would avoid polemics and division should confess the full Orthodox faith as expressed in her ecumenical councils. Part of that faith is in the authority of the Church and the legitimacy of those councils.

If one professes to believe the content of the councils then there should be no obstacle to the acceptance of the councils themselves, except perhaps pride and a real preference for polemics and division.

Quote
peterfarrington: The OO believed it was necessary to wall ourselves off from heresy in the distant past, not only that, we faced severe persecution designed to exterminate our Orthodox community and which caused tens of thousands of deaths. But having walled ourselves off from what we believed was heresy we have not departed from the Orthodox faith and are pleased to have discovered that now we are able to bring the walls down which have preserved us through unremmitting persecution for 1500 years we find that those we thought had fallen into heresy and from whom we sought to preserve ourselves have also preserved that same faith.

That is the OO version of events.

Quote
peterfarrington: Branches? Not at all. We are the same Church.

Wishful thinking.

You pretend there are no differences and that we are all in communion with one another.

That is not the case.

The OO left the Church in the fifth century.

They were not separated by accident.

Sorry if that sounds harsh.

One cannot remain OO as the OO stands today and be in the Church, not if the EO pov is the correct one.

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« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2004, 05:45:57 PM »

If one professes to believe the content of the councils then there should be no obstacle to the acceptance of the councils themselves, except perhaps pride and a real preference for polemics and division.That is the OO version of events.Wishful thinking.

How many ecumenical councils do you accept Linus, you still haven't answered. Why will you not accept the 8th or the 8th and 9th ecumenical council?

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« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2004, 06:05:59 PM »

Those who would avoid polemics and division should confess the full Orthodox faith as expressed in her ecumenical councils. Part of that faith is in the authority of the Church and the legitimacy of those councils.

But if the EO Church can't even get the number of councils she herself recognises straight, then what?  If the number is settled, then what is it?  It may come across as harping on a point to some, but I think this is a legitimate question that needs to be answered.  Does anyone have any definitive information regarding how many councils the EO recognise?
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« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2004, 06:09:10 PM »

You must also take account of the statements of these various modern Patriarchs and synods. They also seem to disagree with you Linus. Are they closet heretics?

Patriarch Ignatios IV, Orthodox Church of Antioch and the OO Patriarchs of the Middle East

"While reflecting once more on the deeply-rooted inner unity of faith existing between our two families of Churches, we rejoice in realizing how much we have advanced in our rediscovery and in the growing consciousness among our people of that inner unity of Faith in the incarnate Lord.

Attempts by theologians of both families aimed at overcoming the misunderstandings inherited from the past centuries of alienation towards one another have happily reached the same conclusion that fundamentally and essentially we on both sides have preserved the same Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, in spite of diverse formulations and resulting controversies."

His Holiness Petros VII and Pope Shenouda III:

"The Holy Synods of both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa have already accepted the outcome of the official dialogue on Christology between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, including the two official agreements: the first on Christology signed in June 1989 in Egypt and the second also on Christology and on the lifting of anathemas and restoration of full communion signed in Geneva 1990, in which it is stated that "In the light of our agreed statement on Christology..., we have now clearly understood that both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of Apostolic tradition". It was agreed to have mutual recognition of the sacrament of Baptism, based on what St Paul wrote, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:5)

For those mentioned reasons, the Holy Synods of both Patriarchates have agreed to accept the sacrament of marriage which is conducted in either Church with the condition that it is conducted for two partners not belonging to the same Patriarchate of the other Church from their origin. Both the Bride and the Groom should carry a valid certificate from his/her own Patriarchate that he/she has a permit of marriage and indicating the details of his/her marriage status up to date.

Each of the two Patriarchates shall also accept to perform all of its other sacraments to that new family of Mixed Christian Marriage."

Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and his synod:

"In localities where there is only one priest, from either Church, he will celebrate services for the faithful of both Churches, including the Divine Liturgy, pastoral duties, and holy matrimony. He will keep an independent record for each Church and transmit that of the sister Church to its authorities."

"All the meetings, the fellowship, the oral and written declarations meant that we belong to One Faith even though history had manifested our division more than the aspects of our unity."

"Every endeavor and pursuit in the direction of the coming together of the two Churches is based on the conviction that this orientation is from the Holy Spirit, and it will give the Eastern Orthodox image more light and radiance, that it has lacked for centuries before.

Having recognized the efforts done in the direction of unity between the two Churches, and being convinced that this direction was inspired by the Holy Spirit and projects a radiant image of Eastern Christianity overshadowed during centuries, the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch saw the need to give a concrete expression of the close fellowship between the two Churches, the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox for the edification of their faithful."



 
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« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2004, 06:11:02 PM »

Quote
-½ Last Edit: Today at 05:06:45 PM by Mor Ephrem -+

Hey!!!! How come you get to correct your spelling?

PT
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« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2004, 07:41:38 PM »

Hey!!!! How come you get to correct your spelling?

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Dude, he's an Administrator.  He can do whatever he wants.
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« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2004, 08:19:27 AM »

How many ecumenical councils do you accept Linus, you still haven't answered. Why will you not accept the 8th or the 8th and 9th ecumenical council?

PT

You only accept three.

As I have said before and will repeat ONCE AGAIN, I was taught that there are seven ecumenical councils.

Some Orthodox recognize eight or nine, but apparently that recognition is not universal.

I do not deny that those councils are ecumenical. I just do not know whether they are or not.
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« Reply #76 on: February 04, 2004, 08:27:52 AM »

But if the EO Church can't even get the number of councils she herself recognises straight, then what?  If the number is settled, then what is it?  It may come across as harping on a point to some, but I think this is a legitimate question that needs to be answered.  Does anyone have any definitive information regarding how many councils the EO recognise?    

You may have a point.

The Orthodox doctrine on how a council becomes a council is rather vague.

As I understand it, a council is ecumenical when it is accepted as such by the whole Church.

How does that happen?

What is the process?

How long does it take?

If the whole Church must accept it, what constitutes "the whole Church"? We know Ephesus 431 and Chalcedon 451 both resulted in sizeable schisms.

If the marks of the true Church are that she is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, how does Orthodoxy measure up to the first standard, that of unity?

How does Orthodoxy measure up on that score if the OO are counted as "Orthodox"?
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« Reply #77 on: February 04, 2004, 08:37:24 AM »

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peterfarrington: You must also take account of the statements of these various modern Patriarchs and synods. They also seem to disagree with you Linus. Are they closet heretics?

I was aware that the Antiochians have been communing Non-Chalcedonians.

That is an interesting development but may represent only an aberration.

The rest of the Orthodox Church has not followed the Antiochian example.

I do not have the article before me, but didn't the Orthodox Church of Georgia recently reject some sort of dialogue with the OO?

I am at present very busy and do not have a lot of free time to spend here on anywhere else on the internet looking things up.


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« Reply #78 on: February 04, 2004, 08:43:07 AM »

But if the EO Church can't even get the number of councils she herself recognises straight, then what?  If the number is settled, then what is it?  It may come across as harping on a point to some, but I think this is a legitimate question that needs to be answered.  Does anyone have any definitive information regarding how many councils the EO recognise?    

Why does everything have to be black or white? Historically the church has changed positions on issues and acceptance of writings, cannons, etc.

We don't have a Pope, so it will always be this way.

I think this is a POSITIVE, not a negative.
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« Reply #79 on: February 04, 2004, 08:56:51 AM »

Why does everything have to be black or white? Historically the church has changed positions on issues and acceptance of writings, cannons, etc.

It's Linus who is painting things black and white. He says that unless a person calls the seven councils ecumenical he is a heretic whatever his actual faith is. But he isn't able to state how many ecumenical councils there are. This is an important matter.

If he does not call the 8th and 9th ecumenical then he is no different to an OO who does not call the 4-7th ecumenical. It doesn't matter why he doesn't accept the 8th and 9th, according to his logic Orthodoxy requires that exactly the right number of councils are called ecumenical.

Either all the people I noted are wrong or he is.

He can't have it both ways. Rigour towards the OO and laxity towards the EO.

PT
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« Reply #80 on: February 04, 2004, 09:03:02 AM »

Please understand, that I was not pointing to any specific post or opinion. I only used Mor's post as a quote because I thought it was in line with my post.

Everyone is entitled their opinion and I don't think that any of us can say that their opinion is the correct one.

Each of us has to take what the "physical" Church gives us, but then through prayer, studying of the Fathers, and Church history must reach their own "truth".

And don't call me a Protestant! This is the advice/teaching I have received from my Priest.
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« Reply #81 on: February 04, 2004, 09:03:24 AM »

Some Orthodox recognize eight or nine, but apparently that recognition is not universal.

I do not deny that those councils are ecumenical. I just do not know whether they are or not.

If you don't call them ecumenical then you do not consider them ecumenical. The EP seems to recognise at least 8 ecumenical councils, is he wrong as well? The recognition of the Chalcedon is not universal, but your position is that if a council is not recognised by some people then it is because they are outside the church. If you do not recognise the 8th and 9th then how are you not outside of the church by your own definition? Otherwise, like the RC's, these patriarchs, bishops, theologians and writers who count 8 and 9 have erroneously added to the real number of ecumenical councils.

I recognise 3, you recognise 7, but if there are 9 then how is your position OK? The RC recognise 21, does that make them better than both of us?

You can't have it both ways. If a strict number of councils must only have their teachings accepted but must be called by the word ecumenical for a person to be sure that they are Orthodox then either you are not Orthodox because there are 8 or 9, or the EP is not Orthodox because he counts at least 8.

Or maybe you are wrong on the main point, and after all it is what is believed and the substance of faith which counts and the categorisation of historical events is secondary.

PT
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« Reply #82 on: February 04, 2004, 09:05:19 AM »

Please understand, that I was not pointing to any specific post or opinion. I only used Mor's post as a quote because I thought it was in line with my post.

Everyone is entitled their opinion and I don't think that any of us can say that their opinion is the correct one.

Each of us has to take what the "physical" Church gives us, but then through prayer, studying of the Fathers, and Church history must reach their own "truth".

And don't call me a Protestant! This is the advice/teaching I have received from my Priest.

I'm not poking at you, I normally agree with most of what you say. Smiley

I believe things are rarely as black and white as people would like to make out.
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« Reply #83 on: February 04, 2004, 09:07:30 AM »

I believe things are rarely as black and white as people would like to make out.

Certainly not in the history of the Church.

The key is reading the history. Reading is always the key!
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« Reply #84 on: February 04, 2004, 09:19:37 AM »

Agreed. There are too many websites with 'potted' and biased histories based on secondary information or even just on other websites. I always find it illuminating to read primary materials and I've really made an effort with my French because many of the most useful writings from my own tradition are in Syriac or French and I'm not going to get round to learning Syriac this side of eternity.
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« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2004, 09:32:28 AM »

If you don't call them ecumenical then you do not consider them ecumenical. The EP seems to recognise at least 8 ecumenical councils, is he wrong as well? The recognition of the Chalcedon is not universal, but your position is that if a council is not recognised by some people then it is because they are outside the church. If you do not recognise the 8th and 9th then how are you not outside of the church by your own definition? Otherwise, like the RC's, these patriarchs, bishops, theologians and writers who count 8 and 9 have erroneously added to the real number of ecumenical councils.

I recognise 3, you recognise 7, but if there are 9 then how is your position OK? The RC recognise 21, does that make them better than both of us?

You can't have it both ways. If a strict number of councils must only have their teachings accepted but must be called by the word ecumenical for a person to be sure that they are Orthodox then either you are not Orthodox because there are 8 or 9, or the EP is not Orthodox because he counts at least 8.

Or maybe you are wrong on the main point, and after all it is what is believed and the substance of faith which counts and the categorisation of historical events is secondary.

PT

I am EO. You are not.

The Church has NOT declared that there are eight or nine ecumenical councils. The Church recognizes seven.

That there are some very highly-placed prelates and others who believe there are eight or nine does not make for EO dogma.

The fact that I said I do not know whether those two additional councils are ecumenical or not does not amount to a denial of their ecumenicity. It is rather an admission of ignorance on that subject.

The Church has not yet declared that we must recognize eight or nine ecumenical councils. When she does, I will defer to her wisdom and her teaching charism.

In the meantime, various patriarchs, bishops, priests, and others are free to hold their private opinions.
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« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2004, 10:34:34 AM »

The Church has not yet declared that we must recognize eight or nine ecumenical councils. When she does, I will defer to her wisdom and her teaching charism.

In the meantime, various patriarchs, bishops, priests, and others are free to hold their private opinions.

This is where your position falls to pieces.

If the 'opinions' of your patriarchs and bishops is not the teaching of the church then what is.

How do you know there are 7 councils? It cannot be because it has been confirmed by an ecumenical  councils since you do not accept an 8th council which could have confirmed it, or a 9th which would have been necessary to confirm that the 8th was ecumenical. But of course that would require a 10th and and 11th and an nth into infinity to confirm the previous one which would be needed to confirm the previous one.

What Orthodoxy does rely on is the teaching authority of her patriarchs and bishops.

Yet you deny this and say that when this authority teaches something you are free to consider it an opinion.

What you are describing is not Orthodoxy, it is only your understanding of Orthodoxy. You have got them confysed and you reject even the teaching of your own patriarchs and bishops when it disagrees with the description of Orthodoxy you have created. In your understanding you seem free to ignore the teaching of your bishops and make up your own mind how many ecumenical councils there are.

If you cannot tell me why there is a freedom in Eastern Orthodoxy to confess a variable number of ecumenical councils but there can be no freedom for anyone else then you will not persuade me that your position - not Eastern Orthodoxy which is completely different - does not have many holes in it.

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« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2004, 12:10:19 PM »

Well, I don't think you have demonstrated that all of the Church's patriarchs and bishops acknowledge eight or nine ecumenical councils, have you?

Bishop Ware's book, The Orthodox Church, acknowledges only seven. In fact, Chapter Two is entitled, "The Church of the Seven Councils," and begins with the following quote from John II, Metropolitan of Russia (1080-89):

"All profess that there are seven holy and Ecumenical Councils, and these are the seven pillars of the faith of the Divine Word on which He erected His holy mansion, the Catholic and Ecumenical Church" (p.18).

In the widely respected Russian Orthodox catechism entitled, The Law of God, the author, Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy, writes:

"There have been seven Ecumenical Councils in the true Orthodox Christian Church . . ." (p. 426).

Stanley Harakas, in his book, The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers, begins an answer to a question regarding the possibility of a new ecumenical council as follows:

"As you may know, the last recognized Ecumenical Council of the Church was held in 787, though other councils have been called, have taken place, and have a measure of authority" (p.110).

There a couple of other citations I could make, but I have run out of time. I will make them later, when I have time.

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« Reply #88 on: February 04, 2004, 12:41:10 PM »

This just adds to the difficulty. It is clear that the 8th and 9th have been received as ecumenical by many of your patriarchs, bishops and theologians. The fact that you can add voices who count only 7 illustrates the problem of your apporach. You have insisted that the exact number of councils must not only be believed as to their substance but also categorised using the word ecumenical. Yet the EO cannot agree.

This should show that your apporach is defective. Either 9 councils are ecumenical and you must call the latter two ecumenical or not be Orthodox (according to your position) or else there are 7 councils and 2 others have been erroneously, and indeed heretical declared which are not in fact ecumenical.

Or maybe it is not as you say it is at all and patriarchs and bishops and theologians are able to distinguish the content of a council from its categorisation.

PT
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« Reply #89 on: February 04, 2004, 01:53:09 PM »

The point is that the Church has not yet declared that there are eight or nine ecumenical councils, but she has declared that there are seven of them.

You accept only three and belong to a sect which separated itself from the Church in the middle of the fifth century.
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