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Author Topic: What is so heretical about "ecumenism"?  (Read 6744 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 07, 2010, 06:57:19 PM »

What is so heretical about "ecumenism"?

Christ is in our midst!

Explanation:
I've been pondering this for several weeks now... We all know about the growing controversy about how many Orthodox (as well as former Orthodox in schism) condemn some hierarchs for "ecumenism" and say it's heresy. However, I have yet to read anything "heretical" from any of these "heretical" hierarchs.

Let me clarify something first of all... I believe that the so-called "branch theory" is outright heresy and IMO is what was condemned as "Ecumenism". However, I believe the modern "ecumenical movement" from the Orthodox POV is not heresy.

Examples:
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has been repeatedly condemned by many for doing such things as meeting with the Pope, engaging in discussions with Roman Catholics, etc...

We even saw (or read) that Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev was shouted down in Church for being a heretic, but what did he ever say that was so "heretical"? (from what I read, he acknowledged that we aren't in communion w/ RCC and communion should never be administered except in very rare cases)

We know about the controversy of the Esphigmenou monastery, as well as other Old Calendarist Churches and "True Orthodox Churches". who are in schism because of the "ecumenical movement" as well as other controversies, esp. related to the EP.

Even the mere presence of Orthodox clergy/bishops in the WCC has called many to condemn them of heresy.

Soap Box:
So I would like to ask, what is so heretical about "ecumenism"? The heresy that was condemned as heresy was pretty much the modern view of the "branch theory". However, there is no Orthodox Christian that accepts this viewpoint, not His All-Holiness +Bartholomew, not Metropolitan Hilarion, not the Orthodox members of the WCC. So what exactly are they condemning?

In my opinion, the modern "ecumenical movement" is completely Orthodox. We are to seek communion with all Christians. We are the One Church, and it is our job to seek to bring the whole world under our wing. This cannot happen if we are an island unto ourselves.
The only way to bring people to Orthodoxy is through discussion. How can they know the way if we don't talk with them?
None of our Bishops believe that any other Church is also the true Church. None accept the "two lung theory" promoted by Pope John Paul II, and none accept the "branch theory". We recognize that the Roman Catholic Church must return to Orthodoxy and reject it's post-schism heresies and mistakes.

On the issue of ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholics... I read that the EP stated that we are looking for a return of communion between Roman Catholics and Orthodox. Yet he is surprisingly chastised for saying this. What is wrong with this?
We should be seeking the return of full communion between the RCC and our Church. Not for the mere sake of union or the ecumenical movement, but because of our call as the Church. The RCC are our brothers, but they are removed from the family. They have been in schism for over 1000 years, they have fallen into false teachings and heresies, they have lost their Apostolic Succession. So it is only right that us, as the Holy Orthodox Church, seek to lead them back home.
What is so wrong about this? I have yet to see any Orthodox bishop say that we are one in the same Church, and that we are completely equivalent and communion should be immediately restored.

As for relations with other faiths... Peace can only come about through dialogue. How can these other faiths understand us if we isolate ourselves from them? We know that every faith has a grain of the truth. However, we also recognize that we are the only ones with the fullness of the truth.

Question:
I'm sorry for dragging on, and I know I may be preaching to the choir. But I would like to know what is so wrong about all this, that leads many Orthodox, including monastics, to condemn others, and to even enter into schism with the Church that they are trying so hard to defend. Is it a simply misunderstanding, or do they truly believe that these things are heresy?

Forgive me.



Note: I'm not doing this as flamebait, and I'm not looking to start a fight. I honestly am confused about the whole situation. There is so much material out there, much that is bias to one side or the other that it is hard for me to get a good read on the situation.

Also, if this would be better off in the Politics section, please move it there. I put it here because I want the discussion to remain constructive.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 07:24:04 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 07:26:51 PM »

POST OF THE MONTH!
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 10:18:01 PM »

Patriarch Bartholomew has in fact used the phrase "two lungs," as well as "sister churches," which suggest the branch theory. Now, would he actually say "yes" if asked, point blank, if he subscribed to this theory? I'm sure he wouldn't. Nevertheless, it is sometimes suggested in his statements and actions, and he is not alone among the hierarchs in this.

In my opinion, not all ecumenism is heretical- some of it is merely counter-productive and confusing. Merely meeting and talking with high-level representatives of heretical churches is not inherently heretical- in some contexts, there may even be a good use for it- but ecumenism as it is manifested today is at best a banal and academic affair. Ecumenists often claim that they are engaged in missionary work, but I see little missionary possibility in meetings between official representatives whose purpose is merely to find "common ground" and hammer out bland compromise statements.

The average believer, whichever communion he belongs to, will hear little or nothing about these talks. Those who do will often get a distorted impression. I attended an inquirer's class run by a Greek Orthodox priest where someone brought up the filioque, and the priest stated that the whole controversy was resolved in recent meetings and that there was very little of substance that divided us from the Roman Catholics. There were actually Roman Catholics attending that class- I wonder how they felt about this! I realize this is a mere anecdote, but I wonder, if an Orthodox priest, educated at seminary, gets this impression, what is being communicated to the heterodox by these meetings? How are they being interpreted?

One might fairly respond that you can't entirely blame someone if ignorant people misinterpret him. But I have to ask if anyone on this forum knows or has heard of anyone who has converted to Orthodoxy on the basis of Orthodox involvement in the WCC, NCC, or similar ecumenical bodies.
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 10:30:46 PM »

"St. Mark of Ephesus: A True Ecumenist" 

A nice little essay from Fr Alexey Young on what it means to engage in true ecumenism, neither withdrawing into isolation from the heterodox nor comprising our holy faith in our dialogue with them.

http://www.roca.org/OA/26/26f.htm
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 12:09:12 AM »

"St. Mark of Ephesus: A True Ecumenist"  

A nice little essay from Fr Alexey Young on what it means to engage in true ecumenism, neither withdrawing into isolation from the heterodox nor comprising our holy faith in our dialogue with them.

http://www.roca.org/OA/26/26f.htm

Is Fr. Alexey Young in the canonical Church? I was looking around that ROCA website, and initially I figured it was a ROCOR website, but I don't think that is the case. From what I gather from looking at the website, it's from people that are still in schism with the Holy Orthodox Church.
I just read that Fr. Alexey Young became Hieromonk Ambrose, of whom corresponded w/ Fr. Seraphim Rose. He apparently is ROCOR, and therefore canonical. I also read he was diagnosed with AD, Lord Have Mercy!

It was an interesting article, and I would actually agree with it for the most part. But I don't think our bishops believe our Church only has a kernel of the truth, and I don't believe that they actually believe that we are equal with all other Churches as that article is claiming.

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Today I watched a video by a Romanian Monk (which I have watched in the past), and while I do believe the Romanian Monks to be Holy Men, I'm cautious about how they are accusing the Bishops of being Ecumenists. (that is, even though the Bishops haven't seemed to actually DO anything heretical)

Wise Monastics like Elder Arsenie Papacioc and others are all condemning Ecumenism. Yet I never know if they are simply condemning the Ecumenism like the False Unions & Branch Theory/Two-Lung Theory, or if they are also condemning that "Ecumenical Dialogue" as well.
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 12:30:47 AM »

Going along with what Iconodule said: I also think it is an issue of perspective, one which inherently does not hold to the Orthodox teaching that we ourselves are the one and only Church of Christ, in its fullness. There is no second church floating out there, disconnected from us and waiting for reconnection. There are other ecclesiastical bodies which call themselves the Church, but they are not, in our view. Ecumenism backs off from our traditional belief.

Rome, and all other Christians, are free to come into communion with us at any time: by conversion to Orthodoxy. Maybe this happens on a person-by-person basis, or maybe there are mass conversions. But it must be a conversion, not a mere declaration that we're friends again.

The problem is Ecumenism's apparent approach of saying we're all equal and our beliefs are equally legitimate (shown by the ongoing dialogue without preconditions, etc), and we're coming to the middle to perform horse-trading and osmosis until we're all happy with it. Instead, Catholic leaders should first declare this is all wrong, then ask us what teachings they need to change. Begin re-catechizing the clergy and laity in coordination with our bishops, and when their entire church have come back to Orthodox belief, then we can sign the piece of paper and shake hands. That kind of Ecumenism, I would rejoice in. If we actually begin re-catechizing the RCC, I'll be the first to sing Ecumenism's praises.

We cannot put the cart before the horse. Visible unity should be an outgrowth of common belief in all things. Performing joint prayers, participating in each other's functions, signing declarations, implying we are long-lost brothers, lungs, and branches is an exercise in fantasy.
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 12:45:00 AM »

The problem is Ecumenism's apparent approach of saying we're all equal and our beliefs are equally legitimate (shown by the ongoing dialogue without preconditions, etc), and we're coming to the middle to perform horse-trading and osmosis until we're all happy with it. Instead, Catholic leaders should first declare this is all wrong, then ask us what teachings they need to change. Begin re-catechizing the clergy and laity in coordination with our bishops, and when their entire church have come back to Orthodox belief, then we can sign the piece of paper and shake hands. That kind of Ecumenism, I would rejoice in. If we actually begin re-catechizing the RCC, I'll be the first to sing Ecumenism's praises.

But what exactly have our leaders done that is the heresy of Ecumenism? Where is the evidence of it?
I don't think there has been an Orthodox leader that believes we can trade our beliefs to get on a level playing field with others.

There is nothing wrong with finding common ground when it comes to beliefs with other faiths/denominations. You don't start a discussion by telling someone that they are wrong. (and you don't really convert people that way either)
Our Bishops know we aren't "equivalent" with these other Churches. They know we aren't equivalent with the Roman Catholics. But it seems that people are possibly overreacting to the dialogue being about shared-beliefs rather than our differences.

I'm still a little confused about what is being discussed/argued about Ecumenism. What is exactly wrong with finding common ground for discussion? We aren't going to get anywhere with anyone by poking their chest, telling them they are wrong and we are the only True Church. That may be the truth, but doing that certainly wouldn't be right. For example: If I'm talking with a Protestant/Roman Catholic, I focus on what we have in common. The only time I strongly emphasize our differences and separation is when they try to make it sound like we are one in the same. Yet that is never where you want to start out at.

As that article points out, St. Mark of Ephesus was willing to go all the way to the Vatican to discuss Union with the Roman Catholics. However, when push came to shove, he stood up for Orthodoxy. I have yet to see our Bishops & Patriarchs abandon Orthodoxy for the sake of Union with other Churches. Some may be flirting with the edge, but they haven't stepped over, and haven't committed any heresy. So why accuse them of it as some do?

What would you define Ecumenism (the heresy) as being? Specifically?
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 01:40:50 AM »

Where is the evidence of it?

The clear lack of admission of error on Rome's part betrays the whole thing. The Pope needs to come out and say, "Wow, did we ever screw up. We have 1000 years of stuff to sift through, can you send some bishops over to help?"

If our Church is not requiring them to admit that error exists on the dogmatic level, then why are we talking? Because everything is going perfectly and our bishops are bored to death? The silence is deafening.

I'm still a little confused about what is being discussed/argued about Ecumenism. What is exactly wrong with finding common ground for discussion? We aren't going to get anywhere with anyone by poking their chest, telling them they are wrong and we are the only True Church. That may be the truth, but doing that certainly wouldn't be right. For example: If I'm talking with a Protestant/Roman Catholic, I focus on what we have in common. The only time I strongly emphasize our differences and separation is when they try to make it sound like we are one in the same. Yet that is never where you want to start out at.

And that is good on an individual level. But the Catholic Church, the collective organization, knows what we believe, and we know what they believe. Neither is alien to the other. To make an analogy, this is a person who grew up Orthodox, who left and became Catholic, and now wants to become Orthodox again (so we are told). As our beliefs have not changed, all they must do is repent of their heresies and come back. Yet Rome does not do this. It's all talk.

If they were doing this for the purpose of reunion, it would be completely one-sided in that way. But the Pope has never declared the Catholic Church's errors in any clear and systematic way. We have never required the Catholic Church to make any changes to their dogma to continue dialogue. This lack of preconditions and clear changes certainly does not indicate we believe they are in error.

The fruitless discussion can only create familiarity, which may lead to an overlooking and explaining-away of our differences. Why take the chance? All our beliefs have been thoroughly explained in a million different ways. The only reason I can see for this kind of dialogue is to establish "understandings" about why our beliefs aren't so different after all.

As that article points out, St. Mark of Ephesus was willing to go all the way to the Vatican to discuss Union with the Roman Catholics. However, when push came to shove, he stood up for Orthodoxy. I have yet to see our Bishops & Patriarchs abandon Orthodoxy for the sake of Union with other Churches. Some may be flirting with the edge, but they haven't stepped over, and haven't committed any heresy. So why accuse them of it as some do?

Because all the bishops of the Church apostatized except for one. While the Holy Spirit will not let the Church fall into error as a whole, why even play with fire? A new Saint Mark would surely arise if needed to save the Church, but there is no need to be so rash as that. Let the Prodigal see the error of his own ways and return. There is no point rushing out to convince him; he will not listen. He must return on his own, in humility, and at that time, we must embrace him and return to him the honor he deserves.

But first he must say "Father, I have sinned."

What would you define Ecumenism (the heresy) as being? Specifically?

I cannot even pretend to be a canon lawyer. I don't know how I would define it precisely. But I would like a definition which includes an excessive familiarity in an official capacity with non-Orthodox religions, and official dialogues about dogma undertaken without the intent (or stated possibility) of conversion.

This is heresy because it implies that the non-Orthodox are on an equal footing as far as truthfulness of dogma. Why compare dogma if the other party is not willing to convert to ours? People can take a comparative religion course if they are interested in such things.

If the Catholic Church openly indicated that their church is—or even may be—in grave error, and are entering into dialogue with the Orthodox Church—which has kept the Faith wholly intact—with the goal of correcting Rome's errors and establishing communion, I would be fine with that. The lack of any admission of dogmatic error on Rome's part is my main problem with it all. If they did that, I would be much more at ease.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 07:59:45 AM »

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

Patriarch Bartholomew also used the "two lungs" phrase and similar language ("sister churches") around the time of the Balamand Agreement, which, of course, he endorsed. There are many articles quoting him as saying, in a speech, that Orthodoxy and the RCC "constitute the two lungs of the body of Christ." Unfortunately the original speech isn't available online.

And there can be no question that the Balamand Agreement, signed by several Orthodox hierarchs, is heretical.
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 10:49:55 AM »


The clear lack of admission of error on Rome's part betrays the whole thing. The Pope needs to come out and say, "Wow, did we ever screw up. We have 1000 years of stuff to sift through, can you send some bishops over to help?"


I think, though, that you are jumping from step A to step D, skipping steps B and C. The point Devin is trying to make (if I understand correctly) is that we have to start somewhere.  Of course the Pope is not going to come out and say that.  How could he?  He has over a billion faithful to shepherd, and coming out and saying, "okay, the RCC has been wrong for about the past 1000 years" could throw so many of their faithful into turmoil, how could they believe a word he (or we) says?  Remember that, whether their beliefs are heretical or not, Catholics are just as devout in their faith as Orthodox are.  How would you feel if the EP came out and said, "we're all wrong.  We've got to repent and go back."  Put aside that we are the True Church, and just react as a faithful Orthodox who believes we are the True Church (as they do).  You would be devastated, angry, and might declare him corrupt and heretical!  If that happens in the RCC to the Pope, what has been accomplished?  Nothing.

Quote
If our Church is not requiring them to admit that error exists on the dogmatic level, then why are we talking? Because everything is going perfectly and our bishops are bored to death? The silence is deafening.
Respectfully, I think this is an assumption on your part.  We cannot begin the process by outwardly demanding that they admit their errors just to have a conversation.  We have a conversation, and when the opportunity arises, we state what we believe and what is required for unity.  Just because the EP or any other bishops participating in the discussions haven't outwardly said, "They must admit their errors" right now doesn't mean that the Church doesn't require it.  It just means we haven't gotten to that step yet.


Quote
And that is good on an individual level. But the Catholic Church, the collective organization, knows what we believe, and we know what they believe. Neither is alien to the other. To make an analogy, this is a person who grew up Orthodox, who left and became Catholic, and now wants to become Orthodox again (so we are told). As our beliefs have not changed, all they must do is repent of their heresies and come back. Yet Rome does not do this. It's all talk.
Rome may understand, but the billion or so faithful probably don't.  The majority of them probably don't even know we exist.  One step at a time.  We become friends with and educate Rome.  Rome educates the faithful.  They come home.  If Rome just declares it (which is one of the things that we constantly complain about-- Rome just declaring things to be true), it's a conversion on their part in name only.  We have to guide Rome, Rome has to guide their faithful. 

Quote
If they were doing this for the purpose of reunion, it would be completely one-sided in that way. But the Pope has never declared the Catholic Church's errors in any clear and systematic way. We have never required the Catholic Church to make any changes to their dogma to continue dialogue. This lack of preconditions and clear changes certainly does not indicate we believe they are in error.
I would have to disagree with that.  The fact is that the Vatican has been releasing the Creed WITHOUT the filioque for a long time now.  And in 2002, thanks to the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue here in America, the official conclusion WITH the Catholics was that, when they translate the Creed from now on, it will be ONLY from the original Greek, omitting the Filioque.  That is, I think, a HUGE admission of error on their part, and is also a huge step toward them returning.  And it would NOT have happened without the Ecumenical dialogues.  How can anyone possibly say that that is not a huge step toward them returning, and that helping them to correct their error is heretical on our part?  But now they have to educate their billion faithful.  One issue at a time.  One step at a time.

Quote
The fruitless discussion can only create familiarity, which may lead to an overlooking and explaining-away of our differences. Why take the chance? All our beliefs have been thoroughly explained in a million different ways. The only reason I can see for this kind of dialogue is to establish "understandings" about why our beliefs aren't so different after all.
Again, I'm afraid I would have to disagree.  I think there is nothing whatsoever wrong with familiarity.  Familiarity breeds understanding.  We must be familiar for them to understand us.  And we must understand them in order to minister to and lead them.  As Fr. Chris says so often, we cannot logic people into the faith.  We can only love them into it.  How can we love someone into the faith that we aren't familiar with?

I also think that saying familiarity leads to overlooking and explaining-away is slippery slope logic.  My very best friend in the whole world and I are two totally different people.  We've been best friends for twenty-two years.  She is not Orthodox.  She's agnostic.  She is quite familiar with what I believe, and I am quite familiar with what she believes.  While I pray one day God might lead her home to Orthodoxy (that is up to Him to do, not me), I have never once compromised or sugar-coated my beliefs for the sake of peace or our friendship.  I have never explained-away or overlooked.  I've never had to, because we are friends.  True friends.


Quote
Because all the bishops of the Church apostatized except for one. While the Holy Spirit will not let the Church fall into error as a whole, why even play with fire? A new Saint Mark would surely arise if needed to save the Church, but there is no need to be so rash as that. Let the Prodigal see the error of his own ways and return. There is no point rushing out to convince him; he will not listen. He must return on his own, in humility, and at that time, we must embrace him and return to him the honor he deserves.

But first he must say "Father, I have sinned."

Ah yes, but when the Father saw him on the horizon (before he admitted his error), did he not show compassion and go out to meet him?  Isn't that what the Church is doing?  Showing compassion and going out to meet them?  Guiding them and helping them to find their way home?


Quote
I cannot even pretend to be a canon lawyer. I don't know how I would define it precisely. But I would like a definition which includes an excessive familiarity in an official capacity with non-Orthodox religions, and official dialogues about dogma undertaken without the intent (or stated possibility) of conversion.
Excessive familiarity is a heresy?  Again, this is an assumption that there is something inherently wrong with being familiar with their beliefs.

I think the assumption that these dialogues are undertaken without the intent of conversion is just that... an assumption.  I think the intent is obviously for the purposes of EVENTUAL conversion of the RCC.  But EVENTUAL is the key word.  It doesn't happen over night, and it has to take place one step at a time.

Quote
This is heresy because it implies that the non-Orthodox are on an equal footing as far as truthfulness of dogma. Why compare dogma if the other party is not willing to convert to ours? People can take a comparative religion course if they are interested in such things.
Again, assumptions.  I see no implication that the non-Orthodox are on equal footing.  I see only an attempt to find common ground as the starting point of a conversation about conversion.

Quote
If the Catholic Church openly indicated that their church is—or even may be—in grave error, and are entering into dialogue with the Orthodox Church—which has kept the Faith wholly intact—with the goal of correcting Rome's errors and establishing communion, I would be fine with that. The lack of any admission of dogmatic error on Rome's part is my main problem with it all. If they did that, I would be much more at ease.
I think, again, you are getting WAY ahead of yourself.  I think that admission is beginning, but it has to be slow and steady to win the race.  One foot in front of the other. 


Also, to comment on the whole "two lung" or "branch" theory... If it's true that the EP said what Iconodule states (I have never read or heard him say that, so I can't say that it's true-- if Iconodule could produce something for us to read, I would be appreciative), I would say that there are a couple of ways that this could be interpreted.  Again, I'd have to read it in context, but I would guess and say that what the EP meant was NOT that we are "two lungs" THEOLOGICALLY, but rather practically-- that we are the two largest "denominations" (for lack of a better word-- no, I don't believe we are a denomination, but outsiders DO) of Christianity on the planet, and that in the face of what's happening in our society (like the impending Islamic takeover of the planet), we have to work together, as partners, as brothers and sisters, as "two lungs."  That, I can see merit in, and I think is true. 

Just for the record, before I get attacked, I do NOT believe in the lung or branch theories THEOLOGICALLY.  I believe that we are the True Church and that they are in error.  But I make a distinction between the theology of the thing and the practicality that we are, indeed, the two largest forms of Christianity.  Hope that's clear.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2010, 10:57:08 AM »

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.  I don't read this as a heretical statement from the Metropolitan.  But maybe that's just me...

Quote
Patriarch Bartholomew also used the "two lungs" phrase and similar language ("sister churches") around the time of the Balamand Agreement, which, of course, he endorsed. There are many articles quoting him as saying, in a speech, that Orthodoxy and the RCC "constitute the two lungs of the body of Christ." Unfortunately the original speech isn't available online.

And there can be no question that the Balamand Agreement, signed by several Orthodox hierarchs, is heretical.
I'm not familiar with that Agreement.  Is there somewhere that I can read it that you could post?  Anywhere else that His All Holiness has said that that you could post?  

I still don't see the heresy inherent in saying we are "sister churches."  Do we honestly believe that they are not Christians?  Christians in error, yes, but still Christians.  Does that not make us brothers and sisters in Christ?  Does that not make our churches sisters?  I don't understand how that is some kind of statement that we are NOT the One True Church.  I think it's just being kind, finding common ground, fostering some good will, in an attempt to open a conversation that (God willing) will eventually lead to the conversion of the RCC.
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 11:15:39 AM »

Wow, did we ever screw up!

Latin translation, please.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2010, 12:02:25 PM »

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.

I think this is a strained interpretation. He does not say "two lungs by which Christianity breathed" but "the two lungs by which the Church breathes" (present tense). He then says, and I emphasize, "their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." This means that the Church breathes with "two lungs" (Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) and that the disunity between these "two lungs" impedes the "healthy life" of the Church. The Orthodox Church cannot have a healthy life until it is united with Rome!  If this isn't a branch theory than mogzers slurm on bebbled zarks because words don't mean anything.

It should also be mentioned that Metropolitan John is the primary theorist of "baptismal theology," which operates on the premise that where there is baptism, there is the Church, and, since RC's have valid baptism, they are part of the Church.

Here is the text of the Balamand Agreement:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/balamand_txt.aspx

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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2010, 12:06:57 PM »

On the ground I have seen some things that could reflect positive shifts in some Roman Catholic circles on the local level. Or maybe not.

The example I am thinking of is a local Roman Catholic hospital, which is consecrated to St. Joseph the Betrothed. My child's pediatrician is at this hospital, and one day when I was there I saw a sign for the chapel and went in to have a look. Outside of the chapel was a large "Byzantine" icon of the saint. When I went into the church, on either side of the altar were the very Icons of Christ and the Mother of God that one finds on any Orthodox iconostasis.

There were also some other typically Latin depictions around the place, but all in all I was very impressed and happy to see this Roman Catholic hospital having such Orthodox images present. On the positive side, it seems like a step toward Truth and toward Orthodoxy. One thing at a time. Also, many of their revised positions on some issues better reflect the Orthodox truth.

But here's the potential problem: confusion and distortion. Even if Roman Catholic churches began to unilaterally accept Orthodox iconography as their standard way of depicting religious art. the problem would still remain that our fundamental ecclesiastical principles differ greatly, as well as their added dogmas. In other words, many people might assume that if things basically look the same, then it is true that our faiths are basically the same. During this posited gradual transition process that Roman Catholicism might undergo, there would have to exist some kind of intermediate period where truth and falsehood intermingle. Again, to me the main danger in this is that people will lose whatever sense of contrast might exist between Holy Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, and be even more apt to accept the lazy notion that they are "basically the same."

My other concern surrounds the aforementioned revisionism making place with many Roman Catholics. An issue is brought up, the traditional Roman Catholic position is presented by citing relevant councils and canons, and then properly refuted by the Orthodox. The response is almost always a concession that the Orthodox position is the correct one, but that it is also what the Roman Catholics have always believed and taught, followed by some tortured explanation of the cited councils and their decrees which conforms to the new view. My fear is not that the revision taking place in Roman Catholicism which conforms to Orthodox views is a bad thing, but rather that a spin will be put on this that says that the Roman Catholics indeed always held such beliefs rather than that they were corrected. If this happens, then it would betray the fundamental truth that Orthodoxy preserved and maintained the undistorted gospel of Christ. Even if the glorious day came when we could look at the Roman Catholics and say with confidence: "This is the faith we received and have always known; let us share the Eucharist"; it would be unacceptable to support the idea that the Roman Catholics were somehow "already there." If they ever come around, it will be because of their encounters with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

Is I can see potential good coming from these interactions and the adoption of Orthodox practices by them, but I also have reservations about the "gradual" model of conversion.
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2010, 12:15:50 PM »

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.

I think this is a strained interpretation. He does not say "two lungs by which Christianity breathed" but "the two lungs by which the Church breathes" (present tense). He then says, and I emphasize, "their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." This means that the Church breathes with "two lungs" (Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) and that the disunity between these "two lungs" impedes the "healthy life" of the Church. The Orthodox Church cannot have a healthy life until it is united with Rome!  If this isn't a branch theory than mogzers slurm on bebbled zarks because words don't mean anything.

Yep, you're right.  I concede.  And for the record, I don't agree with the Metropolitan on this one.  Smiley

Quote
It should also be mentioned that Metropolitan John is the primary theorist of "baptismal theology," which operates on the premise that where there is baptism, there is the Church, and, since RC's have valid baptism, they are part of the Church.

Ahhh... Didn't know that.  And I certainly don't agree with that theology, either. 


Quote
Here is the text of the Balamand Agreement:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/balamand_txt.aspx
Many thanks!

[/quote]
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 12:19:39 PM »

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.   

With all due respect, your reading is flawed.  But the "branch theory" is supposed to be read exactly as that the two churches are equal and that there is no heresy between us.  That's why the Balamand agreement was so adamantly endorsed by the Roman Catholics because it gives them exactly what they want--no condemnation for the heresy that they have embraced.

To read the Balamand Agreement or the "two lung" theory as simply stating the obvious fact that the Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church are the largest forms of Christianity is ludicrous.  Lungs are equal and take in oxygen together to supply the same body.  A different body metaphor would have to be used to promulgate the reading you suggest.  The lung metaphor was deliberately chosen.  The Balamand Agreement is not worth the paper it is written on and should be denounced by all Orthodox hierarchs!

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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 12:22:22 PM »

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.

I think this is a strained interpretation. He does not say "two lungs by which Christianity breathed" but "the two lungs by which the Church breathes" (present tense). He then says, and I emphasize, "their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." This means that the Church breathes with "two lungs" (Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) and that the disunity between these "two lungs" impedes the "healthy life" of the Church. The Orthodox Church cannot have a healthy life until it is united with Rome!  If this isn't a branch theory than mogzers slurm on bebbled zarks because words don't mean anything.

It should also be mentioned that Metropolitan John is the primary theorist of "baptismal theology," which operates on the premise that where there is baptism, there is the Church, and, since RC's have valid baptism, they are part of the Church.

Here is the text of the Balamand Agreement:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/balamand_txt.aspx
I think we have to recognize that it is most likely that the speeches weren't given in English. We would have to see the original text in the original languages. The term "Church" in the English languages has many different meanings and associations with it. But in other languages, he may have used a specific term that someone just translated into this generic English term.

Again, we can't judge their statements based on English translations of those statements. We have to be able to take their statements from their original language and judge whether they are heretical or not. English isn't a very specific language and I don't believe we should treat it as such.

Also, I just read the Balamand Agreement, and I only found a few points that could be considered to be in error... What exactly do you think is wrong with it? I didn't see a place in there that literally suggests we are the same Church. As I read it, it appears to be a call for mutual cooperation and tolerance. Not one of subjection, or abandonment of one Churches traditions in favor of the other. (Which, as pointed out, is NOT the way to start dialogue with the Roman Catholics, who would have the same reaction as us)
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 12:33:52 PM »

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.   

With all due respect, your reading is flawed.  But the "branch theory" is supposed to be read exactly as that the two churches are equal and that there is no heresy between us.  That's why the Balamand agreement was so adamantly endorsed by the Roman Catholics because it gives them exactly what they want--no condemnation for the heresy that they have embraced.

To read the Balamand Agreement or the "two lung" theory as simply stating the obvious fact that the Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church are the largest forms of Christianity is ludicrous.  Lungs are equal and take in oxygen together to supply the same body.  A different body metaphor would have to be used to promulgate the reading you suggest.  The lung metaphor was deliberately chosen.  The Balamand Agreement is not worth the paper it is written on and should be denounced by all Orthodox hierarchs!

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Hmmm... I didn't realize that the "branch theory" or the "lung theory" was really that spelled out, that specific.  If that is the case, then I certainly agree with you, I stand corrected.

As I said, I'm not familiar with the Balamand Agreement.  I'll have to read it.

Really, my point was just that I don't think Ecumenism per se should be condemned as heretical.  If some bishops have gone too far, then we should lovingly correct them and bring them back.  But to throw the whole thing out altogether is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Wouldn't you agree?
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2010, 12:48:27 PM »

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Thanks, Father.  I was having problems with that for some reason!  Grin

Hmmm... I didn't realize that the "branch theory" or the "lung theory" was really that spelled out, that specific.  If that is the case, then I certainly agree with you, I stand corrected.

As I said, I'm not familiar with the Balamand Agreement.  I'll have to read it.

Really, my point was just that I don't think Ecumenism per se should be condemned as heretical.  If some bishops have gone too far, then we should lovingly correct them and bring them back.  But to throw the whole thing out altogether is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Wouldn't you agree?

I would strongly suggest you read the Balamand agreement. It is nothing more than a triumph of Vatican diplomacy which they seem to have become adept experts at, almost in the mold of the Byzantine Emperors!  I even remember that Bishop ANTOUN of the Antiochian Archdiocese said that this agreement was a horrible assault on Orthodox ecclesiology.  The ecclesiology represented in that document is Roman ecclesiology about how unity depends solely (though they couch it in a lot of jargon and double speak) on submission to the See of Peter.

Here is the crux of the issue as I see it.  No matter how many dialogues the Orthodox engage in with other Christian confessions, all that happens is just a regurgitation of where we agree and that since we agree on x%, the parts of disagreement should be thrown into the "it doesn't matter that much since unity is more important than anything" category.  Or, a document will be signed with the right wording which is only lip service.  I remember, a few years back, where the Antiochian Orthodox were having talks with ELCA Lutherans (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and the Lutherans agreed that the filioque needed to go because of its unilateral insertion into the creed and that the creed should always be recited without it.  Nevertheless, despite stipulating to that, the Lutheran "theologians" there continued to ardently defend the filioque as the correct understanding of the procession of the Holy Spirit.  We can sign as many documents as we want with the RCs or any other group, but most of the time, the document just pays lip service.  There should be no expectation of change on behalf of these other groups because they won't. 

Like political movements, I believe that for the hierarchs of the RC to come to our side, I believe that we have to start at the grass roots level and educate our fellow heterodox Christians in every day life.  The more they know about the Orthodox now, especially when they are younger and in college and if they should become persons of authority (e.g. bishops) in their own church, then we may have a greater chance of convincing them.  Right now, there is no chance of that as I see things.
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 12:55:49 PM »

Should it be considered heresy when our Bishops/Hierarchs meet with Roman Catholic Bishops & Hierarchs? What is so heretical about things like the Popes visit to Istanbul, or his visit to Cyprus?

Is it heresy if we even attend a heterodox service if there is no con-celebration?

So if our Bishops are indeed in error, how do we deal with it?
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« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2010, 01:31:35 PM »

Yeah, I have to say, this causes me great concern:

Quote
14) It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity. According to the words of Pope John Paul II, the ecumenical endeavor of the Sister Churches of East and West, grounded in dialogue and prayer, is the search for perfect and total communion which is neither absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love (cf. Slavorum Apostoli, n. 27).
From the Balamand Agreement.
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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2010, 01:57:23 PM »

Yeah, I have to say, this causes me great concern:

Quote
14) It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity. According to the words of Pope John Paul II, the ecumenical endeavor of the Sister Churches of East and West, grounded in dialogue and prayer, is the search for perfect and total communion which is neither absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love (cf. Slavorum Apostoli, n. 27).
From the Balamand Agreement.

Same here, that is one of the statements that does bother me in the Agreement.
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2010, 01:58:25 PM »

I think, though, that you are jumping from step A to step D, skipping steps B and C. The point Devin is trying to make (if I understand correctly) is that we have to start somewhere.  Of course the Pope is not going to come out and say that.  How could he?  He has over a billion faithful to shepherd, and coming out and saying, "okay, the RCC has been wrong for about the past 1000 years" could throw so many of their faithful into turmoil, how could they believe a word he (or we) says?  Remember that, whether their beliefs are heretical or not, Catholics are just as devout in their faith as Orthodox are.  How would you feel if the EP came out and said, "we're all wrong.  We've got to repent and go back."  Put aside that we are the True Church, and just react as a faithful Orthodox who believes we are the True Church (as they do).  You would be devastated, angry, and might declare him corrupt and heretical!  If that happens in the RCC to the Pope, what has been accomplished?  Nothing.

This is why we must practice what we preach and let the RCC reach an internal consensus that they are in error before we undertake any of this. And no dialogue with us is required for this to happen. When the RCC as a whole decides it is in error and wants to come home, we will be here with open arms. But no one should force it.

Rome may understand, but the billion or so faithful probably don't.  The majority of them probably don't even know we exist.  One step at a time.  We become friends with and educate Rome.  Rome educates the faithful.  They come home.  If Rome just declares it (which is one of the things that we constantly complain about-- Rome just declaring things to be true), it's a conversion on their part in name only.  We have to guide Rome, Rome has to guide their faithful.

But how do we know they are wanting to come home? How do we know things aren't being watered down? This is why transparency is needed. Perhaps it's the political junkie in me, but back-room dealings like this do not sit well with me. If the Orthodox hadn't holed up in Rome for the Council of Florence and came out proclaiming unity, but instead had been transparent about it all and worked things out in the open, perhaps it never would have gotten as close to disaster as it did.

That is my point—we should not become friends until it is abundantly clear that they are bringing their church into sync with ours. Because if that is not what they want, we should not be wasting our time with pointless dialogue.

And surely there are Catholics who would not want to unite with us, and they are similarly in the dark. I think there needs to be a debate within Catholicism first, and if they as a Church decide they are in error and we are not, then by all means let us begin teaching them. But we should heed King Solomon when he tells us to beware of those who grin and wink.

Again, I'm afraid I would have to disagree.  I think there is nothing whatsoever wrong with familiarity.  Familiarity breeds understanding.  We must be familiar for them to understand us.  And we must understand them in order to minister to and lead them.  As Fr. Chris says so often, we cannot logic people into the faith.  We can only love them into it.  How can we love someone into the faith that we aren't familiar with?

That is precisely the problem. We should not be reaching understandings with others, because when we get tied up into dissecting their flawed logic or misunderstandings, it is easier to excuse people's errors. For communion to happen, EO theology must be accepted, using EO words in the way EO understand them.

Understandings tend toward word games like "We say it differently but we mean the same thing." If we mean the same thing, then say the same thing! There is no other way to be certain.

I also think that saying familiarity leads to overlooking and explaining-away is slippery slope logic.  My very best friend in the whole world and I are two totally different people.  We've been best friends for twenty-two years.  She is not Orthodox.  She's agnostic.  She is quite familiar with what I believe, and I am quite familiar with what she believes.  While I pray one day God might lead her home to Orthodoxy (that is up to Him to do, not me), I have never once compromised or sugar-coated my beliefs for the sake of peace or our friendship.  I have never explained-away or overlooked.  I've never had to, because we are friends.  True friends.

But the difference is that the Church as an organization has compromised its beliefs in the past by not treating error with the level of seriousness it requires. Not completely, by Christ's promise, but far too close for comfort. We cannot be too cautious.

Ah yes, but when the Father saw him on the horizon (before he admitted his error), did he not show compassion and go out to meet him?  Isn't that what the Church is doing?  Showing compassion and going out to meet them?  Guiding them and helping them to find their way home?

His father did not go looking for him, however. In my view, he is just starting to realize he is sitting in a pigpen. But he has a long way to go before he gets to the horizon, and he must do that work on his own. I'd be all for rushing to greet him when the day comes of Rome's appearing off in the distance, but not a moment before.

Excessive familiarity is a heresy?  Again, this is an assumption that there is something inherently wrong with being familiar with their beliefs.

I mean familiarity in the negative, sinful sense. Familiarity that leads to comfort, and understanding and overlooking of error. The familiarity that leads to things like the Balamand Agreement.

I don't think this should happen overnight either. I think it will take a very, very long time: I think the RCC as a whole should openly be desiring Orthodoxy before we undertake any more of this dialogue. Maybe that's so conservative that it is unrealistic, I don't know.

I think, again, you are getting WAY ahead of yourself.  I think that admission is beginning, but it has to be slow and steady to win the race.  One foot in front of the other. 

The RCC as a whole should reach the point of admission. I agree that it would not be helpful for Pope Benedict to come out and say "We're wrong" tomorrow. That would indeed throw everyone into turmoil. But if the RCC as a collective comes to that, and the Pope as spokesman declares the consensus of their church (dogmatically and ex cathedra), then the official dialogue can begin. If that takes another 500 years, so be it.
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2010, 04:02:50 PM »

So if our Bishops are indeed in error, how do we deal with it?

We deal with it as the Orthodox faithful have in the past.  They rise up and demand the bishops recant.  If not, then the faithful lead the effort to depose and defrock the bishops and run them out of town (but at least pay for their bus fare).  That is what happened to the bishops who signed the decrees of the Council of Florence and Ferrara.  The laity are not powerless.
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2010, 05:43:16 PM »

"As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

Ack.  Angry
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2010, 05:52:00 PM »

Is there any actual evidence of our Bishops entering into the heresy of Ecumenism (which means essentially, two-lung/branch-theory) other than speculation and accusations that are made by those in schism with the Church?

Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't read this as an admission that we are somehow NOT the True Church, or that they are equal, or not heretical.  I read this as an admission of the practicality of the situation-- that we are the two largest forms of Christianity on the planet, that we used to be one Church, and that we must strive toward unity.  I don't read this as a heretical statement from the Metropolitan.  But maybe that's just me...

Well, let's think about it. What is the "West" that he is referring to? I think it's clear that it couldn't be anything within the EOC as WRO is quite a newly restored phenomenon. "West" is thus not in anyway inherently part of the Church, and "East" really only is by accident. So, my guess is by "West", he is referring to the Patriarchate of the West which has fallen away from the Church. However, he says that the "West" is one of two lungs by which the Church breathes. The logical implication of this statement is that Rome is part of the Church (some invisible Church that constitutes both the EOC and Rome). Finally, he says that the West is necessary for the Church to have a healthy life, implying that the Church cannot really live without Rome, and thus the EOC in and of itself is not the Church.

I still don't see the heresy inherent in saying we are "sister churches."

Ah, I don't know that it is necessarily heretical. It is problematic and potentially heretical. It seems to imply that they are a church in the same sense as the one Church. But they are not.

Do we honestly believe that they are not Christians?

Not in the same sense as the members of the One Church.

Does that not make us brothers and sisters in Christ?

They are not "in Christ" in the same sense that those of the One Church are, and they are thus not our brothers and sisters in the same sense that those of the One Church are.
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2010, 05:54:13 PM »

It should also be mentioned that Metropolitan John is the primary theorist of "baptismal theology," which operates on the premise that where there is baptism, there is the Church, and, since RC's have valid baptism, they are part of the Church.

Double ack!  Angry Angry
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2010, 05:57:17 PM »

In other words, many people might assume that if things basically look the same, then it is true that our faiths are basically the same. During this posited gradual transition process that Roman Catholicism might undergo, there would have to exist some kind of intermediate period where truth and falsehood intermingle. Again, to me the main danger in this is that people will lose whatever sense of contrast might exist between Holy Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, and be even more apt to accept the lazy notion that they are "basically the same."

My other concern surrounds the aforementioned revisionism making place with many Roman Catholics. An issue is brought up, the traditional Roman Catholic position is presented by citing relevant councils and canons, and then properly refuted by the Orthodox. The response is almost always a concession that the Orthodox position is the correct one, but that it is also what the Roman Catholics have always believed and taught, followed by some tortured explanation of the cited councils and their decrees which conforms to the new view. My fear is not that the revision taking place in Roman Catholicism which conforms to Orthodox views is a bad thing, but rather that a spin will be put on this that says that the Roman Catholics indeed always held such beliefs rather than that they were corrected. If this happens, then it would betray the fundamental truth that Orthodoxy preserved and maintained the undistorted gospel of Christ. Even if the glorious day came when we could look at the Roman Catholics and say with confidence: "This is the faith we received and have always known; let us share the Eucharist"; it would be unacceptable to support the idea that the Roman Catholics were somehow "already there." If they ever come around, it will be because of their encounters with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

Totally agreed. Very well expressed, thank you.
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« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2010, 05:59:44 PM »

Really, my point was just that I don't think Ecumenism per se should be condemned as heretical.  If some bishops have gone too far, then we should lovingly correct them and bring them back.  But to throw the whole thing out altogether is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Wouldn't you agree?

I agree.

However, I think that abusive, false ecumenism may be more common than you are imagining.
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« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2010, 06:02:36 PM »

So if our Bishops are indeed in error, how do we deal with it?

We deal with it as the Orthodox faithful have in the past.  They rise up and demand the bishops recant.  If not, then the faithful lead the effort to depose and defrock the bishops and run them out of town (but at least pay for their bus fare).  That is what happened to the bishops who signed the decrees of the Council of Florence and Ferrara.  The laity are not powerless.

Would such bishops have to be re-initiated into to the Church because of their submission to heterodoxy?
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« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2010, 06:15:12 PM »


Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."


Well, for those Orthodox who believe that there can be no healthy life in their Churches without union with Rome this may be true.  It is certainly disarmingly honest of Metropolitan John Zizioulas to be so candid about the lack of health of the Church of Constantinople.   Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.
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« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2010, 07:05:04 PM »

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.  But no matter: the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church - not in Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, New York, or anywhere else.
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« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2010, 07:26:42 PM »

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.

Are you familiar with what the Metropolitan Chief Canonist has said?  Are you justified in what to my feeble brain appears to be an instance of sacerdotal rudeness? 

I would be happy to entertain your interpretation of Met. Rodopoulos' words.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19437.msg289472/topicseen.html#msg289472
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« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2010, 07:42:27 PM »

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.

Are you familiar with what the Metropolitan Chief Canonist has said?  Are you justified in what to my feeble brain appears to be an instance of sacerdotal rudeness? 

I would be happy to entertain your interpretation of Met. Rodopoulos' words.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19437.msg289472/topicseen.html#msg289472
You fail to notice that Fr. George already commented on the Metropolitan's statement the last time you brought it up?
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« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2010, 07:45:56 PM »

But no matter: the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church - not in Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, New York, or anywhere else.

The Church is the union of each of its particular churches; its indefectibility thus does not require the indefectibility of any one of its particular churches.
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« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2010, 07:58:48 PM »

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.

Are you familiar with what the Metropolitan Chief Canonist has said?  Are you justified in what to my feeble brain appears to be an instance of sacerdotal rudeness? 

I would be happy to entertain your interpretation of Met. Rodopoulos' words.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19437.msg289472/topicseen.html#msg289472
You fail to notice that Fr. George already commented on the Metropolitan's statement the last time you brought it up?

I would be happy to peruse his comments if you can please point to them.  Whether his comments justify saying that my favourite dance is the twist and I seem to twist a lot of quotes - that is moot.

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« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2010, 08:03:39 PM »

But no matter: the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church - not in Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, New York, or anywhere else.

The Church is the union of each of its particular churches; its indefectibility thus does not require the indefectibility of any one of its particular churches.

The Church is also the church that you worship and pray in week in and week out.  The little "c" church has the fullness of the faith as the big "c" Church.  "Where the Bishop is, there is the church."--St. Ignatius.
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« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2010, 08:16:25 PM »

But no matter: the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church - not in Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, New York, or anywhere else.

The Church is the union of each of its particular churches; its indefectibility thus does not require the indefectibility of any one of its particular churches.

The Church is also the church that you worship and pray in week in and week out.  The little "c" church has the fullness of the faith as the big "c" Church.  "Where the Bishop is, there is the church."--St. Ignatius.

I'm certainly aware of St. Ignatius work on this matter. Actually, that quote would designate that it is the diocese that has the fullness of the faith, rather than each parish within it. The difference is that back in his time the distinction is not so clear, as originally there was a bishop to every congregation.

However, my point still stands that any one parish, diocese, jurisdiction, metropolis, exarchate, patriarchate, etc. is subject to defection, whereas the Church abroad is not.
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« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2010, 08:20:54 PM »

Whether his comments justify saying that my favourite dance is the twist and I seem to twist a lot of quotes - that is moot. 

I apologize.  I assumed an ulterior motive where there likely was none.  Please accept my repentance and forgive me.

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   

Here is the quote you provided earlier:
I see that Rodopoulos quotes Zonaras in his "Ecclesiological Review of the Thirty-Fourth Apostolic Canon" and the implication seems to be that at the present time the Ecumenical Patriarchate is ailing in some way and acting aberrantly:

""Just as bodies, if the head does not maintain its activity in good health, function faultily or are completely useless, so also the body of the Church, if its preeminent member, who occupies the position of head, is not maintained in his proper honor, functions in a disorderly and faulty manner." 

The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

I do not believe so, and I fail to see the logic in your implication considering the text of the Metropolitan's comments above.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.

This was quite rude of me.

Are you familiar with what the Metropolitan Chief Canonist has said?  Are you justified in what to my feeble brain appears to be an instance of sacerdotal rudeness? 

I would be happy to entertain your interpretation of Met. Rodopoulos' words.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19437.msg289472/topicseen.html#msg289472

My comment from those days:
I don't really want to enter the debate, just a syntactical note about how the above quote from the Metropolitan should be interpreted, based on the sentence structure and comma usage:

""Just as bodies, if the head does not maintain its activity in good health, function faultily or are completely useless, so also the body of the Church, if its preeminent member, who occupies the position of head, is not maintained in his proper honor, functions in a disorderly and faulty manner."

EQUALS - "If the body does not maintain the position of the head, the body functions in a faulty or useless way; so too if the body of the Church does not maintain the proper honor of its preeminent member who occupies the position of head, then the Body of the Church will also function in a disorderly and faulty manner."

NOT - "If the body does not maintain the position of the head, the head functions in a faulty or useless way; so too if the body of the Church does not maintain the proper honor of its preeminent member who occupies the position of head, then the head will also function in a disorderly and faulty manner."

I would be happy to peruse his comments if you can please point to them. 

They are further down in the thread you have already linked.  I will not add more material to an already long post.
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« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2010, 08:26:47 PM »


I'm certainly aware of St. Ignatius work on this matter. Actually, that quote would designate that it is the diocese that has the fullness of the faith, rather than each parish within it. The difference is that back in his time the distinction is not so clear, as originally there was a bishop to every congregation.

Yeah, how dare St. Ignatius not write down an ecclesiology that takes into account modern trends.   He should have been omniscient, like every other church father!
 
Then you say that it is the diocese headed by a bishop that has the fullness of the faith rather than each parish, but then you reely admit that there was a bishop to every congregation.  Little bit of a non sequitur in your reasoning.

However, my point still stands that any one parish, diocese, jurisdiction, metropolis, exarchate, patriarchate, etc. is subject to defection, whereas the Church abroad is not.

What precisely do you mean by defection?  That needs some clarification as does "Church abroad."
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« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2010, 08:30:39 PM »

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.  But no matter: the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church - not in Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, New York, or anywhere else.

No, it will not, Fr George. I have faith in that promise. But if we start going off on every tangential adventure that some of our bishops want, isn't that like putting the Lord to the test?

I am not afraid that the Church herself will fall; I am afraid that some of our leaders will shift the Church right out from under us. Christ never promised that would not happen. The Church can remain intact with one faithful bishop. But if the other 10,000 bishops and their flocks (unwittingly) are in schism, what is to become of those people who are being taught wrongly?

I know: The bishop will be responsible to God for his flock. But that is not comforting. I would rather just get it right and not test the Lord's mercy needlessly.
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« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2010, 08:46:06 PM »

But if we start going off on every tangential adventure that some of our bishops want, isn't that like putting the Lord to the test?

I don't believe so, not unless we want to admit that everything sinful that an Orthodox Christian does in the world is putting the Lord to the test, since He Himself tells us to "go, and sin no more."

I am not afraid that the Church herself will fall; I am afraid that some of our leaders will shift the Church right out from under us. Christ never promised that would not happen. The Church can remain intact with one faithful bishop. But if the other 10,000 bishops and their flocks (unwittingly) are in schism, what is to become of those people who are being taught wrongly?

I am a bit of a pessimist when it comes to the subject - council or no, if there are people who are susceptible to being tempted into schism by the Devil, he will tempt them.  The flocks may be unwitting, but the hierarchs will not be; however, either way, if they are weak in their adherence to the directions of the Spirit, the temptation will come, and they will be tested strongly.

I know: The bishop will be responsible to God for his flock. But that is not comforting. I would rather just get it right and not test the Lord's mercy needlessly.

We should test this process (the council) consistently & constantly - that we can agree upon.  If this council is from God, then it will happen regardless of our feelings.  And if it is not of God, then it will crumble under the weight of the faithful hierarchs, priests, deacons, and laity.
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« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2010, 08:54:35 PM »

Somewhere on the forum there is a statement from the Chief Canonist of the Throne, Metropolitan Rodopoulos (sp?) that because the Church of Constantinople is ailing and aberrant its chief hierarch is consequently ailing and aberrant.  In other words, a sick body brings about a sick head.   The statements from the two metropolitans corroborate one another in a way.

Your favorite dance must be the twist, since you seem to do that a lot with quotes and the like.

Are you familiar with what the Metropolitan Chief Canonist has said?  Are you justified in what to my feeble brain appears to be an instance of sacerdotal rudeness? 

I would be happy to entertain your interpretation of Met. Rodopoulos' words.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19437.msg289472/topicseen.html#msg289472
You fail to notice that Fr. George already commented on the Metropolitan's statement the last time you brought it up?

I would be happy to peruse his comments if you can please point to them.  Whether his comments justify saying that my favourite dance is the twist and I seem to twist a lot of quotes - that is moot.

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« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2010, 09:15:44 PM »

Yeah, how dare St. Ignatius not write down an ecclesiology that takes into account modern trends.   He should have been omniscient, like every other church father!

Huh? Where did I suggest that I had a problem with what St. Ignatius wrote? You're interpreting it such a way, but I don't see how.
 
Then you say that it is the diocese headed by a bishop that has the fullness of the faith rather than each parish, but then you reely admit that there was a bishop to every congregation.  Little bit of a non sequitur in your reasoning.

It was always the unit of organization of the bishop that had the fullness. Back in that time it was the parish, so the parish had the fullness. Now that it is the diocese, it is the diocese that has the fullness. It is simply whatever the basic episcopal unit is, as is supported by his statement that it is "wherever the bishop is". Not "wherever the priest is", but "wherever the bishop is".

What precisely do you mean by defection?  That needs some clarification as does "Church abroad."

Defection is when a thing violates its fundamental nature and thus becomes something else. If a congregation were to get rid of the Sacraments, it would be a defection and it would no longer be part of the Church. The "Church abroad" means the universal Church throughout the world. What I am saying, as such, is that any particular church is liable to somehow betraying the faith, but the universal Church is not.
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« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2010, 09:29:22 PM »

It was always the unit of organization of the bishop that had the fullness. Back in that time it was the parish, so the parish had the fullness. Now that it is the diocese, it is the diocese that has the fullness. It is simply whatever the basic episcopal unit is, as is supported by his statement that it is "wherever the bishop is". Not "wherever the priest is", but "wherever the bishop is".

Well, yes and no.  By virtue of the ordination & assignment of the priest, the permission to serve (on the antimitsion), and the commemoration of the hierarch in services, wherever the presbyter is, there is the bishop.  In the Communion of the Holy Gifts, all levels (the parish, diocese, eparchy, autocephaly, and world) are complete.
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« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2010, 12:58:54 AM »

It was always the unit of organization of the bishop that had the fullness. Back in that time it was the parish, so the parish had the fullness. Now that it is the diocese, it is the diocese that has the fullness. It is simply whatever the basic episcopal unit is, as is supported by his statement that it is "wherever the bishop is". Not "wherever the priest is", but "wherever the bishop is".

Well, yes and no.  By virtue of the ordination & assignment of the priest, the permission to serve (on the antimitsion), and the commemoration of the hierarch in services, wherever the presbyter is, there is the bishop.  In the Communion of the Holy Gifts, all levels (the parish, diocese, eparchy, autocephaly, and world) are complete.

But the priest cannot convey Holy Orders and that faculty is clearly necessary to the fullness of the Church.
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« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2010, 02:11:24 AM »

It was always the unit of organization of the bishop that had the fullness. Back in that time it was the parish, so the parish had the fullness. Now that it is the diocese, it is the diocese that has the fullness. It is simply whatever the basic episcopal unit is, as is supported by his statement that it is "wherever the bishop is". Not "wherever the priest is", but "wherever the bishop is".

Well, yes and no.  By virtue of the ordination & assignment of the priest, the permission to serve (on the antimitsion), and the commemoration of the hierarch in services, wherever the presbyter is, there is the bishop.  In the Communion of the Holy Gifts, all levels (the parish, diocese, eparchy, autocephaly, and world) are complete.

But the priest cannot convey Holy Orders and that faculty is clearly necessary to the fullness of the Church.
But would you not say that the function of Holy Orders is to support the celebration of the Eucharist?
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« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2010, 01:33:59 PM »

What about ecumenical relations with the Oriental Orthodox? Is that just as bad/heretical or it is actually beneficial?
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« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2010, 01:45:37 PM »

^The Oriental Churches are so much more aligned with us than the Catholics.  The breaks with us in history (Ephesus and Chalcedon) were due more to difficulties with language than with theological problems (I mean how many people can really understand those loaded Greek terms who aren't native Greek speakers?).  But with the Catholics, the difficulties is not borne out of language (though that was a problem too) but because of the many heresies they took up after being repeatedly warned that such practices were innovative and were outside what the church has always believed and maintained.  Thus, I believe that dialogue with the Oriental Churches would yield a much more constructive outcome.




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« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2010, 02:29:39 PM »

^The Oriental Churches are so much more aligned with us than the Catholics.  The breaks with us in history (Ephesus and Chalcedon) were due more to difficulties with language than with theological problems (I mean how many people can really understand those loaded Greek terms who aren't native Greek speakers?).  But with the Catholics, the difficulties is not borne out of language (though that was a problem too) but because of the many heresies they took up after being repeatedly warned that such practices were innovative and were outside what the church has always believed and maintained.  Thus, I believe that dialogue with the Oriental Churches would yield a much more constructive outcome.




Use of a term deemed derogatory by many Catholics removed from post and replaced with more acceptable alternative  -PtA

Agreed but only if folks become less doctrinal on both sides, agree to a common credal formula and lift the anethemas that are in the books (we have had Councils that complemented or expounded on previous ones). Both sides will have to swallow some pride and come up with a compromise that affects the future, while changing the past as little as possible.
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« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2010, 03:08:38 PM »

^The Oriental Churches are so much more aligned with us than the Papists.  The breaks with us in history (Ephesus and Chalcedon) were due more to difficulties with language than with theological problems (I mean how many people can really understand those loaded Greek terms who aren't native Greek speakers?).  But with the papists, the difficulties is not borne out of language (though that was a problem too) but because of the many heresies they took up after being repeatedly warned that such practices were innovative and were outside what the church has always believed and maintained.  Thus, I believe that dialogue with the Oriental Churches would yield a much more constructive outcome.

Agreed but only if folks become less doctrinal on both sides, agree to a common credal formula and lift the anethemas that are in the books (we have had Councils that complemented or expounded on previous ones). Both sides will have to swallow some pride and come up with a compromise that affects the future, while changing the past as little as possible.

What does it mean to become "less doctrinal"?  Also, the Nicene Creed is fine and compromise is often used as a cloak and dagger term for "dilute the faith."  Your suggested means to unity are not unity at all.
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« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2010, 03:34:24 PM »



There were also some other typically Latin depictions around the place, but all in all I was very impressed and happy to see this Roman Catholic hospital having such Orthodox images present. On the positive side, it seems like a step toward Truth and toward Orthodoxy. One thing at a time. Also, many of their revised positions on some issues better reflect the Orthodox truth.


We consider them Catholic images. Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2010, 03:55:38 PM »

What about ecumenical relations with the Oriental Orthodox? Is that just as bad/heretical or it is actually beneficial?

The claim that "both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition" (from the Second Agreed Statement) is just as bad as anything in the Balamand Agreement.

As for the bogus claim that the anti-Chalcedonians rejected Chalcedon on the basis on some semantic misunderstanding, well, I'll let the OO's who post here answer that one.
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« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2010, 03:57:40 PM »



As for the bogus claim that the anti-Chalcedonians rejected Chalcedon on the basis on some semantic misunderstanding, well, I'll let the OO's who post here answer that one.

That's not a bogus claim.  It is one I've often read from OO hierarchs.
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« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2010, 04:38:28 PM »

Ecumenism is not heresy, regardless of what some Orthodox jurisdictions try to proclaim.  It is part of the great outpouring and working of the Holy Spirit in our time ("For where sin abounds, grace abounds much more"...). 

There are those who may try and oppose this great work of God to heal the divisions among separated Christians, but they will fail miserably at their aims of keeping Christ little flock separate. 
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« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2010, 04:52:13 PM »

^The Oriental Churches are so much more aligned with us than the Papists.  The breaks with us in history (Ephesus and Chalcedon) were due more to difficulties with language than with theological problems (I mean how many people can really understand those loaded Greek terms who aren't native Greek speakers?).  But with the papists, the difficulties is not borne out of language (though that was a problem too) but because of the many heresies they took up after being repeatedly warned that such practices were innovative and were outside what the church has always believed and maintained.  Thus, I believe that dialogue with the Oriental Churches would yield a much more constructive outcome.

Agreed but only if folks become less doctrinal on both sides, agree to a common credal formula and lift the anethemas that are in the books (we have had Councils that complemented or expounded on previous ones). Both sides will have to swallow some pride and come up with a compromise that affects the future, while changing the past as little as possible.

What does it mean to become "less doctrinal"?  Also, the Nicene Creed is fine and compromise is often used as a cloak and dagger term for "dilute the faith."  Your suggested means to unity are not unity at all.

Oops! We cannot be less doctrinal; I should have used "doctrinaire."

I meant less rigid, less insistence on having been right in the past. I also think that the Creed as we have it now is fine. If a third iteration is put together, but is essentially the same, both sides can claim victory, with neither side having had to renounce their previous positions (except some of the anathemas, of course). This is a diplomatic solution that saves faces all around without having to change anything.
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« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2010, 06:50:41 PM »

[
Yes. For example, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, in this article, gives a speech to the Pope where he says: "As Your Holiness has aptly put it some years ago, East and West are the two lungs by which the Church breaths; their unity is essential to the healthy life of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."


Nobody has addressed this point made by the Metropolitan of Pergamon.

Howe many of the Orthodox Churches see themselves as unhealthy or defective (as the Pope has termed us officially) because they are not in union with the Catholic Church?  Do we know of Orthodox Churches which see the two-lung theory as an viable expression of our ecclesiology?  Any references to Orthodox scholars would be welcomed.  Has the Metropolitan indicated in what way the unhealthiness from lack of union with Rome is manifested in his Church and in other Orthodox Churches?

Personally, I think we (and perhaps especially the clergy) should be at pains to counter this attitude of the Metropolitan and prevent it taking root among our faithful.  The Orthodox Church lacks nothing by not being in union with Rome.   The Orthodox Church is NOT in any way unhealthy because Rome departed in the 11th century nor because of earlier departures in earlier centuries.  

The question of this thread is "What is so heretical about "ecumenism"?  Well, one answer is the heretical belief that the Church is "unhealthy" because various church bodies have left it over doctrinal disputes.
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« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2010, 07:12:35 PM »

^Well said FR.

I for one do not see "Union" between the RCC and the Orthodox Church as being necessary, imminent, or even possible at this point in time. The Orthodox Church is whole and complete and not lacking in any way. I don't see evidence that any of our theological differences have been overcome. I think that the phrase "union" is also unnecessarily ambiguous. We are not looking for union between two similar and equal units but rather the joining of the RC, which has fallen away along time ago, to the True Church of Christ.
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« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2010, 08:40:57 PM »

It was always the unit of organization of the bishop that had the fullness. Back in that time it was the parish, so the parish had the fullness. Now that it is the diocese, it is the diocese that has the fullness. It is simply whatever the basic episcopal unit is, as is supported by his statement that it is "wherever the bishop is". Not "wherever the priest is", but "wherever the bishop is".

Well, yes and no.  By virtue of the ordination & assignment of the priest, the permission to serve (on the antimitsion), and the commemoration of the hierarch in services, wherever the presbyter is, there is the bishop.  In the Communion of the Holy Gifts, all levels (the parish, diocese, eparchy, autocephaly, and world) are complete.

But the priest cannot convey Holy Orders and that faculty is clearly necessary to the fullness of the Church.
But would you not say that the function of Holy Orders is to support the celebration of the Eucharist?

Not exclusively.
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« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2010, 08:43:23 PM »

What about ecumenical relations with the Oriental Orthodox?

I was just thinking about that and was going to bring it up yesterday, but I forgot to.

This thread so far has almost exclusively focused on ecumenical relations with the Romanists and somewhat with the Protestants, but not at all between EO and OO. However, I think this is a mistake, because I think that those relations are likewise being carried out in a less than ideal fashion that is compromising too much.

Is that just as bad/heretical or it is actually beneficial?

It's both. It's beneficial that we have both realized that the faith that both groups are currently espousing is essentially orthodox. However, unfortunately the Joint Commission has gone too far beyond that core realization.
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« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2010, 08:43:54 PM »

*personally removed a hasty challenge to a moderatorial decision that doesn't belong in the public discussion*
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« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2010, 08:46:21 PM »

The claim that "both families have always loyally maintained the same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition" (from the Second Agreed Statement) is just as bad as anything in the Balamand Agreement.

Not quite. But certainly close.

As for the bogus claim that the anti-Chalcedonians rejected Chalcedon on the basis on some semantic misunderstanding, well, I'll let the OO's who post here answer that one.

Yeah, it's bogus.
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« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2010, 08:58:37 PM »

^Well said FR.

I for one do not see "Union" between the RCC and the Orthodox Church as being necessary, imminent, or even possible at this point in time. The Orthodox Church is whole and complete and not lacking in any way. I don't see evidence that any of our theological differences have been overcome. I think that the phrase "union" is also unnecessarily ambiguous. We are not looking for union between two similar and equal units but rather the joining of the RC, which has fallen away along time ago, to the True Church of Christ.

Agreed.  I also can see no use for continued dialogue with the Roman church.  They know what we believe already, and reject it.  If we (and the Holy Spirit) have not succeeded in getting them to see the light in 1000 years, I doubt that it will happen.  At an individual level, I believe that contact should continue.  But at an official level, Rome has apostatized and should be left alone until she repents.
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« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2010, 09:01:22 PM »

Nobody has addressed this point made by the Metropolitan of Pergamon.

I think a few people have already commented on it.

Howe many of the Orthodox Churches see themselves as unhealthy or defective (as the Pope has termed us officially) because they are not in union with the Catholic Church?

I don't know about the official positions of particular churches. However, I could say a few things as to my own view in response. First of all, the (Oriental) Orthodox Church is the Catholic Church. The Roman ecclesia is not the Catholic Church. No, I don't think the Catholic Church is unhealthy or defective because of not being in union with Rome. Rather only Rome is unhealthy and defective because of not being in union with the Catholic Church.

Do we know of Orthodox Churches which see the two-lung theory as an viable expression of our ecclesiology?

I believe that Iconodule made the claim that Patriarch Bartholomew has used "two lungs" language.

Personally, I think we (and perhaps especially the clergy) should be at pains to counter this attitude of the Metropolitan and prevent it taking root among our faithful.

Agreed.

The Orthodox Church lacks nothing by not being in union with Rome.   The Orthodox Church is NOT in any way unhealthy because Rome departed in the 11th century nor because of earlier departures in earlier centuries.

I basically agree with the sentiment here, but would rather apply it to the Oriental Orthodox Church and the 5th century.
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« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2010, 09:04:06 PM »

I think that the phrase "union" is also unnecessarily ambiguous. We are not looking for union between two similar and equal units but rather the joining of the RC, which has fallen away along time ago, to the True Church of Christ.

I think if Rome were to convert it could still be understood as essentially a form of union. However, you are right about the ambiguity, and the possible danger of it resulting in the conceiving of two churches coming together to become one, rather than one which is not the Church being grafted into the other which is the Church.
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« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2010, 10:41:21 PM »

Nobody has addressed this point made by the Metropolitan of Pergamon.

I think a few people have already commented on it.


Perhaps the messages have slipped by me but I have not seen any message agreeing with Metropolitan Zizioulas that their Church is unhealthy because it is not in union with Rome.

If people have written in and agreed with the Metropolitan I think we would like to know what form this unhealthiness takes in their Church.
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« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2010, 10:42:39 PM »

^ Would a post from another thread be useful?

I am constantly surprised that "Union" is purported to be imminent or necessary or even possible.

Your surprise lacks imagination.  Union is imminent, in that Christ is imminent; actual theological Union is not.  Union is necessary, but not for us - for them.  Union is possible, if they "come to the knowledge of the Truth" and become Orthodox.

The Orthodox Church is Whole and Complete.

Of course.  You had doubts?

Absolutely none of our theological differences have been overcome in decades of so called dialogue.

I honestly believe that 99% of RC theologians do not actually understand how greatly our Churches differ from ecclesiology all the way to phronema.

I also wonder what is the point of holding these talks on a national level when there are already international Catholic-Orthodox consultations already going on.

Maybe we've got better theologians participating locally, that don't get international recognition or "face time."

No Orthodox Church is going to unilaterally join or enter into communion with another ecclesiastical entity.   

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« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2010, 10:44:57 PM »


^ Would a post from another thread be useful?


Could not say at all without seeing what you have in mind.

I now see that what you have in mind is the message below your question. laugh

Another addendum- having read your post and tying it in with what the Metropolitan has said, it seems that he is seen as speaking erroneously?  Would that be the opinion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate generally?

There are some who are questioning whether Metropolitan Zizioulas speaks reliably when he speaks for Orthodoxy.  See message No. 255

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13577.msg289499/topicseen.html#msg289499
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« Reply #68 on: June 09, 2010, 11:05:23 PM »

Nobody has addressed this point made by the Metropolitan of Pergamon.

I think a few people have already commented on it.


Perhaps the messages have slipped by me but I have not seen any message agreeing with Metropolitan Zizioulas that their Church is unhealthy because it is not in union with Rome.

If people have written in and agreed with the Metropolitan I think we would like to know what form this unhealthiness takes in their Church.

"Addressing" does not necessarily mean "agreeing". It often means "disagreeing". A few have already addressed it in the form of disagreeing with it.
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« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2010, 11:13:09 PM »

Nobody has addressed this point made by the Metropolitan of Pergamon.

I think a few people have already commented on it.


Perhaps the messages have slipped by me but I have not seen any message agreeing with Metropolitan Zizioulas that their Church is unhealthy because it is not in union with Rome.

If people have written in and agreed with the Metropolitan I think we would like to know what form this unhealthiness takes in their Church.

"Addressing" does not necessarily mean "agreeing". It often means "disagreeing". A few have already addressed it in the form of disagreeing with it.

I may well have missed those posts but I am delighted that you have read people disagreeing with the error in such ecclesiology as contained in the words of the Metropolitan addressed to the Pope  (See message 8.)
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« Reply #70 on: June 10, 2010, 09:10:57 AM »

Nobody has addressed this point made by the Metropolitan of Pergamon.

I think a few people have already commented on it.


Perhaps the messages have slipped by me but I have not seen any message agreeing with Metropolitan Zizioulas that their Church is unhealthy because it is not in union with Rome.

If people have written in and agreed with the Metropolitan I think we would like to know what form this unhealthiness takes in their Church.

"Addressing" does not necessarily mean "agreeing". It often means "disagreeing". A few have already addressed it in the form of disagreeing with it.

I may well have missed those posts but I am delighted that you have read people disagreeing with the error in such ecclesiology as contained in the words of the Metropolitan addressed to the Pope  (See message 8.)

I was the one who wrote message 8 and I think I made it abundantly clear that I disagreed with these words. Others, such as GreekChef, also took exception to this concept. See messages 12, 14, etc.
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« Reply #71 on: June 10, 2010, 09:25:49 AM »


I was the one who wrote message 8 and I think I made it abundantly clear that I disagreed with these words. Others, such as GreekChef, also took exception to this concept. See messages 12, 14, etc.

Thank you for drawing my attention to messages 12 and 14.  It is heartening to see someone from the OCA and also a  Greek matushka state their disagreement with the ecclesiology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas.
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« Reply #72 on: June 10, 2010, 11:02:48 AM »

What is interesting (and dismaying) is the intense discussion regarding who said what, rather than a common Christological understanding. Aside from historians, why should we care about the blame game that is being played? Indeed, let us concentrate on what is important. Is it not true that a joint EO-OO Commission has determined a common ground?
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« Reply #73 on: June 10, 2010, 11:09:40 AM »

What is interesting (and dismaying) is the intense discussion regarding who said what, rather than a common Christological understanding. Aside from historians, why should we care about the blame game that is being played? Indeed, let us concentrate on what is important. Is it not true that a joint EO-OO Commission has determined a common ground?

Second Chance,

I don't know why you are so consumed with "putting aside" history as if it doesn't matter as I've seen with many of your posts.  You don't just brush it aside and start tabula rasa.  Without understanding and caring about the history that has caused unfortunate division, there is no way you can arrive at confessional unity. History is more than a date; it embraces the reality.
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« Reply #74 on: June 10, 2010, 11:36:55 AM »

What is interesting (and dismaying) is the intense discussion regarding who said what, rather than a common Christological understanding. Aside from historians, why should we care about the blame game that is being played? Indeed, let us concentrate on what is important. Is it not true that a joint EO-OO Commission has determined a common ground?

Second Chance,

I don't know why you are so consumed with "putting aside" history as if it doesn't matter as I've seen with many of your posts.  You don't just brush it aside and start tabula rasa.  Without understanding and caring about the history that has caused unfortunate division, there is no way you can arrive at confessional unity. History is more than a date; it embraces the reality.

I am consumed with lessening the impact of history, not putting it aside. I am more interested at solving problems than in continuing ancient arguments. I am more interested in the substantive issue than its history. Does this makes sense?

Regarding the tabula rasa approach, I am not in favor of it; however, my approach may be too subtle to those warring in the historical realm. To be blunt, the starting point is not a blank slate but the Creed as it exists today. I just do not want to be distracted by who said what centuries ago. Informed by history? Yes. Distracted and obstructed by history? No.
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« Reply #75 on: June 10, 2010, 05:27:22 PM »

^Well said FR.

I for one do not see "Union" between the RCC and the Orthodox Church as being necessary, imminent, or even possible at this point in time. The Orthodox Church is whole and complete and not lacking in any way. I don't see evidence that any of our theological differences have been overcome. I think that the phrase "union" is also unnecessarily ambiguous. We are not looking for union between two similar and equal units but rather the joining of the RC, which has fallen away along time ago, to the True Church of Christ.

Agreed.  I also can see no use for continued dialogue with the Roman church.  They know what we believe already, and reject it.  If we (and the Holy Spirit) have not succeeded in getting them to see the light in 1000 years, I doubt that it will happen.  At an individual level, I believe that contact should continue.  But at an official level, Rome has apostatized and should be left alone until she repents.

When, the past 1,000 years have the Orthodox ever tried to have the Catholic west "see the light"?  I am aware of no historical attempts in the last millennium to either convert or dialogue with RC's to accept the principles of the EO faith (The present day ecumenical movement not withstanding).  For the most part, EO's have lived in a sate of virtual isolation from the West and, until recently there was very little contact, especially on an ecclesiastical level with Western Europeans. 

Isn't there a verse in the Bible which states "How shall they hear without a preacher"?  Where, in the Catholic west anyway was the preachers of EO views to be found (Until the recent ethnic Diaspora's were created)?  It's somewhat unfair to judge the Catholic and Protestant Christians of rejecting the message of Orthodox when there was, until recent times almost no one to preach it to them.

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« Reply #76 on: June 11, 2010, 12:07:59 AM »


When, the past 1,000 years have the Orthodox ever tried to have the Catholic west "see the light"?  I am aware of no historical attempts in the last millennium to either convert or dialogue with RC's to accept the principles of the EO faith (The present day ecumenical movement not withstanding).  For the most part, EO's have lived in a sate of virtual isolation from the West and, until recently there was very little contact, especially on an ecclesiastical level with Western Europeans. 

Isn't there a verse in the Bible which states "How shall they hear without a preacher"?  Where, in the Catholic west anyway was the preachers of EO views to be found (Until the recent ethnic Diaspora's were created)?  It's somewhat unfair to judge the Catholic and Protestant Christians of rejecting the message of Orthodox when there was, until recent times almost no one to preach it to them.



When in the past 1000 years?  Maybe if the Latins could have stopped burning, raping and killing long enough to look around them during their many invasions of the East, they could have learned plenty.  As as to Protestants, Phillip Melanchthon was reported to have a Greek Priest with him as he wrote some of his works, leading to the correspondence between Tutlingen and Constantinople.  The Patriarch tried to explain the faith to the Lutherans, they just rejected it.  You probably need to increase your awareness a bit.
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« Reply #77 on: June 11, 2010, 12:48:19 AM »

What is interesting (and dismaying) is the intense discussion regarding who said what, rather than a common Christological understanding. Aside from historians, why should we care about the blame game that is being played? Indeed, let us concentrate on what is important. Is it not true that a joint EO-OO Commission has determined a common ground?

It is important that we come to a common Christology. And we essentially have. However, it is also highly problematic if one party continues to confess a council that was essentially heretical, as that leaves the Church open and liable to revival of its heresy. The confession of Chalcedon must be expunged before union can happen.
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« Reply #78 on: June 11, 2010, 08:44:12 AM »

Stolen from Holy Canons Related to the Pan-Heresy of Ecumenism

On Praying with Heretics

Canon XLV of the Holy Apostles:

"Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed."

Canon LXV Of the Holy Apostles:

"If any clergymen, or laymen, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated."

Canon IX of Laodicia (Also approved by the Ecumenical Synods):

"Concerning the fact that those belonging to the Church must not be allowed to go visiting the cemeteries or the so called martyria of any heretics, for the purpose of prayer or of cure, but, on the contrary, those who do so, if they be among the faithful, shall be excluded from communion for a time until they repent and confess their having made a mistake, when they may be readmitted to communion."

Canon XXXIII of Laodicia:

"One must not join in prayer with heretics or schismatics."

The Extraordinary Joint Conference of the Sacred Community on Mount Athos:

April 9/22, 1980 Full Text

3. Theological dialogue must not in any way be linked with prayer in common, or by joint participation in any liturgical or worship services whatsoever; or in other activities which might create the impression that our Orthodox Church accepts, on the one hand, Roman Catholics as part of the fulness of the Church, or, on the other hand, the Pope as the canonical bishop of Rome. Activities such as these mislead both the fulness of the Orthodox people and the Roman Catholics themselves, fostering among them a mistaken notion as to what Orthodoxy thinks of their teaching.

On the Date for Celebrating Pascha

Canon VII of the Holy Apostles:

If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deposed.

Canon I of Antioch:

As for all persons who dare to violate the definition of the holy and great Synod convened in Nicaea in the presence of Eusebeia, the consort of the most God-beloved Emperor Constantine, concerning the holy festival of the soterial Pascha, we decree that they be excluded from Communion and be outcasts from the Church if they persist more captiously in objecting to the decisions that have been made as most fitting in regard thereto; and let these things be said with reference to laymen. But if any of the person occupying prominent positions in the Church, such as a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, after the adoption of this definition, should dare to insist upon having his own way, to the perversion of the laity, and to the disturbance of the church, and upon celebrating Pascha along with the Jews, the holy Synod has hence judged that person to be an alien to the Church, on the ground that he has not only become guilty of sin by himself, but has also been the cause of corruption and perversion among the multitude. Accordingly, it not only deposes such persons from the liturgy, but also those who dare to commune with them after their deposition. Moreover, those who have been deposed are to be deprived of the external honor too of which the holy Canon and God's priesthood have partaken.

See also the Sigillon of 1583 which anathematized the Gregorian and Papal Calendar.

On Separating from Heretical Hierarchs

From St. Basil's first canon:

Schisms is the name applied to those who on account of ecclesiastical causes and remediable questions have developed a quarrel amongst themselves. Parasynagogues is the name applied to gatherings held by insubordinate presbyters or bishops, and those held by uneducated laities. As, for instance, when one has been arraigned for a misdemeanor held aloof from liturgy and refused to submit to the Canons, but laid claim to the presidency and liturgy for himself, and some other persons departed with him, leaving the catholic Church—that is a parasynagogue.

Apostolic Canon XXXI:

"If any Presbyter, condemning his own bishop, draw people aside and set up another altar, without finding anything wrong with the Bishop in point of piety and righteousness, let him be deposed, on the ground that he is an office-seeker. For he is a tyrant. Let the rest of clergymen be treated likewise, and all those who abet him. But let the laymen be excommunicated. Let these things be done after one, and a second, and a third request of the Bishop."

Interpretation (of Ss. Nikodemos and Agapios):

"Order sustains the coherence of both heavenly things and earthly things, according to St. Gregory the Theologian. So good order ought to be kept everywhere as helping coherence and preserving the established system, and especially among ecclesiastics, who need to know their own standards, and to avoid exceeding the limits and bounds of their own class. But as for Presbyters, and Deacons, and all clergymen they ought to submit to their own Bishop; the Bishops, in turn, to their own Metropolitan; the Metropolitans, to their own Patriarch. On this account the present Apostolical Canon ordains as follows: Any presbyter that scorns his own bishop, and without knowing that the latter is manifestly at fault either in point of piety or in point of righteousness—that is to say, without knowing him to be manifestly either heretical or unjust—proceeds to gather the Christians into a distinct group and to build another church, and should hold services seperately, without the permission and approval of his bishop in so doing, on the ground of his being an office-seeker he is to be deposed; since like a tyrant with violence and tyranny he is trying to wrest away the authority which belongs to his bishop. But also any other clergymen that agree with him in such apostasy must be deposed from office too just as he must; but as for those who are laymen, let them be excommunicated. These things, however, are to be done after the bishop three times gently and blandly urges those who have seperated from him to forgo such a movement, and they obstinately refuse to do so. As for those, however, who seperate from their bishop before a synodical investigation because he himself is preaching some misbelief and heresy publicly, not only are not subject to the above penances, but have a right to claim the honor due to Orthodox Christians according to c. XV of the 1st & 2nd.

Canon XV of the 1st & 2nd:

"The rules laid down with reference to Presbyters and Bishops and Metropolitans are still more applicable to Patriarchs. So that in case any Presbyter or Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter's name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgement against him, creates a schism, the holy Synod has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Synods, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it bareheaded in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodical verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions."

Comments on the First-Second Synod found in the Life of St. Photios the Great by the eminent Serbian scholar and Saint, Hieromonk Justin (Popovich) of Chelije (From Saint Photios, On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Studion Publishers, 1983):

Maintaining his meekness, his love for order, and the canons of the Church, St. Photios called a second Council to convene in the Church of the Holy Apostles in the spring of 861* with the approval of Emperor Michael. This assembly later came to be known as the First-Second Council. Many bishops, including the representatives of Pope Nicholas, were in attendance. All confirmed the determinations of the holy Seventh Ecumenical Council, once more condemning the iconoclast heresy, and accepted Photios as the lawful and canonical patriarch. At this Council, seventeen holy canons were promulgated with the purpose of bringing disobedient monks and bishops into harmony with ecclesiastical order and tradition. The disobedient monks were expressly forbidden to desert their lawful bishop under the excuse of the bishop's supposed sinfulness, for such brings disorder and schism to the Church. The holy Council added that only by a conciliar decision could the clergy reject a bishop whom they thought to be sinful. This rule was adopted in direct response to those unreasonably strict monks who had separated themselves from their new Patriarch and his bishops. The holy Council, however, did distinguish between unreasonable rebellion and laudable resistance for the defense of the faith, which it encouraged. In regard to this matter it decreed that should a bishop publicly confess some heresy already condemned by the Holy Fathers and previous councils, one who ceases to commemorate such a bishop even before conciliar condemnation not only is not to be censured, but should be praised as condemning a false bishop. In so doing, moreover, he is not dividing the Church, but struggling for the unity of the Faith (Canon Fifteen).

* The footnote reads: "This Council together with that of 869 are considered the First-Second Council, whose canons are accepted by the Orthodox Church."

On Obedience to the Canons

Canon I of the Second Ecumenical Synod:

"Let not the Symbol of Faith be set aside…but let it remain unchanged: and let every heresy be given over to anathema…"

Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Synod:

"Let no one be permitted to bring forward, or write or compose a different faith besides that defined by the holy Fathers who assembled with the Holy Spirit in the city of Nicaea. And whoever dares to compose a different faith, or present, or offer [one] to those wishing to turn to the knowledge of the truth…let such, if they be bishops or belong to the clergy, be alien-bishops from the episcopate, and clerics from the clergy—and if they be laymen, let them be given over to anathema."

Canon I of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:

"We have acknowledged it as just to keep the canons of the holy Fathers set forth at each synod till now."

Excerpt from Divine Prayers and Services of the Catholic Orthodox Church of Christ, compiled and arranged by the Late Reverend Seraphim Nassar (Englewood, NJ: Antiochian Archdiocese of N. America, 1979), p. 1031.:

Now since the Church is one, and that oneness consists primarily and universally of perfect agreement in Orthodox doctrines, it necessarily follows that all those who do not conform to those Orthodox doctrines, whether by addition or omission, or by any innovation of their own, thus changing the truth, are outside this one Holy Church, as one may also ascertain from a review of the sixth and seventh canons of the Second Ecumenical Council, and the first canon of St. Basil the Great.

Canon I of the Sixth Ecumenical Synod, in Trullo:

"…we decree that the faith handed down to us by the eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, the divinely chosen Apostles, and, further, by the three hundred and eighteen holy and blessed Fathers…who assembled in Nicaea, be preserved inviolate from innovations and changes… Likewise, we also maintain the confession of faith proclaimed by the one hundred and fifty holy Fathers, who assembled in this reigning city under the great Theodosius, our emperor…Likewise, we also seal…the teaching set forth by the two hundred Godbearing Fathers, who assembled the first time in the city of Ephesus under Theodosius, our emperor, the son of Arcadius…

"Likewise, we also confirm in Orthodox manner the confession of faith inscribed by the six hundred and thirty divinelychosen Fathers in the provincial city of Chalcedon under Marcian, our emperor… And further, we also recognize as uttered by the Holy Spirit the pious utterances of the one hundred and sixtyfive Godbearing Fathers, who assembled in this reigning city under Justinian, our emperor of blessed memory, and we teach them to our posterity… And we bind ourselves anew to preserve inviolably…the confession of faith of the Sixth Synod that came together recently under our emperor, Constantine of blessed memory, in this reigning city... Speaking briefly, we enact that the faith of all of the men who have been glorified in the Church of God...be kept steadfastly, and that it abide until the end of the age unshaken, together with their divinely handed down writings and dogmas... If anyone at all does not maintain and accept the aforementioned dogmas of piety, and does not think and preach so, but attempts to go against them: let him be anathema, according to the decree previously enacted by the aforementioned holy and blessed Fathers, and let him be excluded and expelled from the Christian estate as an alien."

Canon I of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod:

"For those who have received the priestly dignity, the inscribed canons and enactments serve as testimonies and directions, which we, gladly receiving, sing together with the divinely inspired David unto the Lord, saying: In the way of Thy testimonies have I found delight, as much as in all riches (Psalm 118:14). Likewise, Thou hast ordained as Thy testimonies... righteousness for ever; give me understanding and I shall live (Psalm 118:138, 144). And if the prophetic voice commands us to preserve the testimonies of God forever, and to live in them, then it is manifest that they abide indestructible and unshakeable. For Moses the Godseer also speaks thus: It is not fitting to add to them, nor is it fitting to take away from them (Deuteronomy 12:32). And the divine Apostle Peter, boasting in them, cries: which things the angels desire to look into (I Peter 1:12). Likewise the Apostle Paul also says: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed [literally, let him be anathema] (Galatians 1:8). Inasmuch as this is true, and attested unto us, rejoicing over this, as one that has found great spoil, we receive the divine canons with delight, and we maintain wholly and unshakably the enactment of these canons set forth by the allpraised Apostles, the holy trumpets of the Spirit, and by the six holy Ecumenical Synods, and those assembled locally to issue such commandments, and by our holy Fathers. For they all, being enlightened by one and the same Spirit, ordained what is beneficial. And whomever they give over to anathema, those we also anathematize; and whomever to expulsion, those we also expel, and whomever to excommunication, those we also excommunicate; and whomever they subject to penances, those we likewise subject."

Eighth Proceeding of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod:

Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova et Amplissima Collectio [1960], vol. 3, p. 416). Quoted by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos in Orthodox Tradition and Modernism, p. 37.

"If anyone breaks any ecclesiastical tradition, written or unwritten, let him be anathema"

From the Synodicon of the Holy Spirit:

Note: This is subtitled, "A confession and proclamation of the Orthodox piety of the Christians, in which all the impieties of the heretics are overthrown and the definitions of the Catholic Church of Christ are sustained. Through which the enemies of the Holy Spirit are severed from the Church of Christ." This Synodicon (a decision, statement, or tome either originating from a synod possessing conciliar authority) is attributed to Patriarch Germanos the New (1222-1240).

"To those who scorn the venerable and holy ecumenical Synods, and who despise even more their dogmatic and canonical traditions; and to those who say that all things were not perfectly defined and delivered by the synods, but that they left the greater part mysterious, unclear, and untaught, ANATHEMA."

"To those who hold in contempt the sacred and divine canons of our blessed fathers, which, by sustaining the holy Church of God and adorning the whole Christian Church, guide to divine reverence, ANATHEMA."

"To all things innovated and enacted contrary to the Church tradition, teaching, and institution of the holy and ever-memorable fathers, or to anything henceforth so enacted, ANATHEMA."

The Example of St. Maximus the Confessor

From The Life of Our Holy Father St. Maximus the Confessor:

The life of Saint Maximus is also instructive for us. Saint Maximus, though only a simple monk, resisted and cut off communion with every patriarch, metropolitan, archbishop and bishop in the East because of their having been infected with the heresy of Monothelitism. During the first imprisonment of the Saint, the messengers from the Ecumenical Patriarch asked him,

"To which church do you belong? To that of Byzantium, of Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, or Jerusalem? For all these churches, together with the provinces in subjection to them, are in unity. Therefore, if you also belong to the Catholic Church, enter into communion with us at once, lest fashioning for yourself some new and strange pathway, you fall into that which you do not even expect!"

To this the righteous man wisely replied, "Christ the Lord called that Church the Catholic Church which maintains the true and saving confession of the Faith. It was for this confession that He called Peter blessed, and He declared that He would found His Church upon this confession. However, I wish to know the contents of your confession, on the basis of which all churches, as you say, have entered into communion. If it is not opposed to the truth, then neither will I be separated from it."

The confession which they were proposing to the Saint was not Orthodox, of course, and so he refused to comply with their coercions. Furthermore, they were lying about the See of Rome which, in fact, had remained Orthodox. Some time later, at his last interrogation by the Byzantine authorities, the following dialogue took place:

The Saint said, "They [the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria and all the other heretical bishops of the East] have been deposed and deprived of the priesthood at the local synod which took place recently in Rome. What Mysteries, then, can they perform? Or what spirit will descend upon those who are ordained by them?"

"Then you alone will be saved, and all others will perish?" they objected.

To this the Saint replied, "When all the people in Babylon were worshipping the golden idol, the Three Holy Children did not condemn anyone to perdition. They did not concern themselves with the doings of others, but took care only for themselves, lest they should fall away from true piety. In precisely the same way, when Daniel was cast into the lion's den, he did not condemn any of those who, fulfilling the law of Darius, did not wish to pray to God, but he kept in mind his own duty, and desired rather to die than to sin against his conscience by transgressing the Law of God. God forbid that I should condemn anyone or say that I alone am being saved! However, I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience."

"But what will you do," inquired the envoys, "when the Romans are united to the Byzantines? Yesterday, indeed, two delegates arrived from Rome and tomorrow, the Lord's day, they will communicate the Holy Mysteries with the Patriarch. "

The Saint replied, "Even if the whole universe holds communion with the Patriarch, I will not communicate with him. For I know from the writings of the holy Apostle Paul: the Holy Spirit declares that even the angels would be anathema if they should begin to preach another Gospel, introducing some new teaching."

As history has demonstrated, Saint Maximus—who was only a simple monk and not even ordained—and his two disciples were the ones who were Orthodox, and all those illustrious, famous and influential Patriarchs and Metropolitans whom the Saint had written against were the ones who were in heresy. When the Sixth Ecumenical Synod was finally convened, among those condemned for heresy were four Patriarchs of Constantinople, one Pope of Rome, one Patriarch of Alexandria, two Patriarchs of Antioch and a multitude of other Metropolitans, Archbishops and Bishops. During all those years, that one simple monk was right, and all those notable bishops were wrong. (pp. 60-62)

Other quotes from The Life:

Those who first defended and dissmeninated the heresy of the Monothelites were Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria (630-643), and Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople (610-638), and even the Emperor Heraclius himself, who was drawn into this heresy by them. Summoning local synods—Cyrus in Alexandria and Sergius in Constantinople—they confirmed this heresy, distributed their decrees everywhere, and corrupted the entire East. Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, alone opposed this heresy and did not accept the false teaching. Saint Maximus, seeing that the heresy had penetrated even into the royal palace and had corrupted the Emperor himself, began to fear lest he also should be corrupted, following the example of the many... He set out for Rome, preferring to live with Orthodox men who firmly preserved the Faith. (p. 2, 4, emphases mine).

[At the urging of Saint Maximus the] Pope convened his bishops, one hundred and five in number, with Abba Maximus in their midst. This was the Lateran Council (A.D. 649): it reviewed the errors of Cyrus, Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul, and also the Emperor's heretical confession. The false teachings were anathematized, and the Pope wrote to the faithful in all places, confirming them in their Orthodoxy, explaining the errors of the heretics and warning them in every way to be on their guard against them. (p. 7)

Then Theodosius began to speak, "The Emperor and the Patriarch wish first of all to find out from you why you withdraw yourself from communion with the Throne of Constantinople."

Saint Maximus replied, "You know the innovations which were introduced twenty-one years ago in Alexandria, when Cyrus, the former Patriarch of that city, made public the ‘Nine Chapters’ which had been approved and confirmed by the Throne of Constantinople. There have also been other alterations and additions—the Ekthesis and the Typos—distorting the definitions of the Synods. These innovations were made by the foremost representatives of the Church of Byzantium, Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul, and they are known to all the churches. This is the reason why I, your servant, will not enter into communion with the Church of Constantinople. Let these offenses, introduced by the aforementioned men into the Church, be removed; let those who have introduced them be deposed; and then the path to salvation will be cleared of all barriers, and you will walk on the smooth path of the Gospel, cleansed of all heresy! When I see the Church of Constantinople as she was formerly, then I will enter into communion with her without any exhortation on the part of men. But while there are heretical temptations in her, and while heretics are her bishops, no word or deed will convince me ever to enter into communion with her." (19-20, emphases mine)

To this Abba Maximus replied, "To keep silence about a word means to deny it, as the Holy Spirit says through the Prophet, 'There are no tongues nor words in which their voices are not heard' (Ps. 18:3). Therefore, if some word is not said, then it is not a word at all4."

Then Troilus said, "Have whatever faith you please in your heart; nobody forbids you."

Saint Maximus objected: "But complete salvation depends not on the faith of the heart alone, but also upon confessing it, for the Lord said, 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven' (Matt. 10:33). Also, the divine Apostle teaches: 'For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation' (Rom. 10:10). If, then, God and the divine Prophets and Apostles command that they mystery of faith be confessed in words and with the tongue, and this mystery of faith brings salvation to the whole world, then people must not be forced to keep silence with regard to confession, lest the salvation of people be hindered." (p. 29)

The Example of St. Mark of Ephesus

He addressed the faithful on the day of his repose. This is an excerpt:

Concerning the Patriarch I shall say this, lest it should perhaps occur to him to show me a certain respect at the burial of this my humble body, or to send to my grave any of his hierarchs or clergy or in general any of those in communion with him in order to take part in prayer or to join the priests invited to it from amongst us, thinking that at some time, or perhaps secretly, I had allowed communion with him. And lest my silence give occasion to those who do not know my views well and fully to suspect some kind of conciliation, I hereby state and testify before the many worthy men here present that I do not desire, in any manner and absolutely, and do not accept communion with him or with those who are with him, not in this life nor after my death, just as (I accept) neither the Union nor Latin dogmas, which he and his adherents have accepted, and for the enforcement of which he has occupied this presiding place, with the aim of overturning the true dogmas of the Church. I am absolutely convinced that the farther I stand from him and those like him, the nearer I am to God and all the saints, and to the degree that I separate myself from them am in union with the Truth and with the Holy Fathers, the Theologians of the Church; and I am likewise convinced that those who count themselves with them stand far away from the Truth and from the blessed Teachers of the Church. And for this reason I say: just as in the course of my whole life I was separated from them, so at the time of my departure, yea and after my death, I turn away from intercourse and communion with them and vow and command that none (of them) shall approach either my burial or my grave, and likewise anyone else from our side, with the aim of attempting to join and concelebrate in our Divine services; for this would be to mix what cannot be mixed. But it befits them to be absolutely separated from us until such time as God shall grant correction and peace to His Church. [as quoted in The Orthodox Word, June-July, 1967, pp. 103ff.]
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« Reply #79 on: June 16, 2010, 04:09:34 PM »

So if our Bishops are indeed in error, how do we deal with it?

We deal with it as the Orthodox faithful have in the past.  They rise up and demand the bishops recant.  If not, then the faithful lead the effort to depose and defrock the bishops and run them out of town (but at least pay for their bus fare).  That is what happened to the bishops who signed the decrees of the Council of Florence and Ferrara.  The laity are not powerless.

Would such bishops have to be re-initiated into to the Church because of their submission to heterodoxy?

Still very curious about this question...
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Spre marea biruință legionară...


« Reply #80 on: June 22, 2010, 05:10:21 AM »

In order to better understand ecumenism, I am going to write a translation for this article: http://apologeticum.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/reinvierea-babilonului-si-paganismul-contemporan-ecumenismul-miscarea-ecumenica/

The rebirth of Babylon and contemporary paganism: Ecumenism (Ecumenical Movement)


It is believed by a lot of people, even Orthodox, that popeism/catholicism is "a form" of Christianity (as if the Truth can have multiple forms, as if there were multiple true "christs"). This is owed to the propaganda power (political and financial) of the popeists and especially to the fact that the popeism / catholicism is the "easiest" faith around, as it fully suits the decadent mentality of this world, a world eagerly awaiting "dispensations", "indulgences" and the "Purgatory".
But - if we search the God inspired Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the God inspired teachings of the Holy Fathers of the Church, the God inspired Holy Canons - we see the numerous mismatches between the roman heresy and the true Christian Orthodox Church of Jesus Christ.
These differences reveal popeism as being nothing else but the old paganism dressed in Christian clothes, as it has showed us numerous times.

Thus, we understand why the Vatican is the pan-ecumenist capital, why the High Priest of Rome spreads the "spiritual values" of all pagans and the union with them.


Let us remember the meeting at Assisi in the year 1986, planned by the pope himself. At that prayer meeting, the representatives of 160 "religions" have met in order to pray to the "Lord" for world peace. Among them, there were fire worshippers, snake worshippers, buddhists, muslims, spiritists, hinduists and animists.
Pope John Paul II said: "Now we all pray 'to the God'", even though each one believed, you could say, in a different god, not Christ - our God. Actually, all of them worshipped the same ruler of this fallen world, namely the devil (satan), that has appeared to them in different ways in order to influence them.



But the papal "omnipotence" was seen when John Paul II has received that mass of "religious leaders from around the world" at the Vatican: everyone saluted him as their grand representative (a roman hierarch even gave his ring to be kissed, even if protocol stated that they should shake hands, this being the masonic sign for "sympathy"). The meeting ended with a large spectacle of sounds and light, nothing else but a "liturgy" in honor of fallen mankind and of their long-awaited antichrist, sanctioning the union of all against our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not our place here to say more about the union between the popes and the "great wizards" of the world. For example, John Paul II has met with all of them: he blessed and has been blessed in turn by them (from the African ones to the priestesses of Shiva). One of his close friends was the Dalai Lama, a "god" himself and representative of all buddhists in the world. And buddhism is a swore enemy of Christianity and has vowed to see its destruction and its erradication from the face of the earth.


In this photo, we see the pope shaking hands with a voodoo chief. Voodoo is a form of African shamanism (witchcraft), which is based on satanic dances which can last even days. While dancing, unclean spirits are called and are asked to demonize the "faithful".
In Haiti, this satanic belief is "united" with the roman "christianity". It is said that Haiti is a country which is 85% catholic and 11% voodoo! But for the pagan pope, this is nothing! As he was visiting Africa, while crazy young maidens were dancing in front of him in order to bring him into a state of "trance", the pope said to the voodoo followers that they will not betray their ancestors if they convert to popeism! And that is so, because popeism is itself a form of idolatry. Those Africans would betray their "ancestral faith" only if they were to truly become Christians.



Just so we don't stretch it, is it enough to say that, in the name of Christ's "peace", the pope (for example John Paul II) will do anything: kiss the earth goddess in a ritual manner, kiss the qu'ran, pray at the Wall of Crying (Jerusalem) and so on.
The papal system encourages all New Age practices, occultism and "mystic" faiths. Thus, "Catholic World" (the official publication of the Vatican) contains a lot of articles that spread the word about New Age. Thousands of priests and nuns practice yoga and other forms of buddhist mysticism. In the entire world, catholic schools allow and use occult and New Age methods (from the publication "A Woman Rides the Beast").

Because of this, we can say that ecumenism is the rebirth of Babylon, namely the "spiritual" one, just as United Europe, United States of America, North American Union (the future federation comprised of the USA, Mexico and Canada), which precede the New World Order (United States of the World), form the "political, economical and social" Babylon. The papal contribution and influence in this antichristic movement is obvious.
Standing in front of the World Council of Churches, the pope said: "From the beginning of my work as bishop of Rome, I have insisted upon the fact that the implication of the catholic church in the ecumenical movement is irreversible" ("The Fresnoe Bee", June 13th, 1984).

Matthew 10:
34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.


Based on this, Saint Teofilact says:
"Union is not always good, sometimes separation is the right way. "Sword" means the word of faith, which separates us from the love of friends and relatives, if they prevent us from praising God. It does not encourage us to split without a reason, but only when they do not unite with us in faith, or worse, when they prevent us from doing what is righteous.[/size]
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 05:22:00 AM by colaps » Logged
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« Reply #81 on: June 22, 2010, 11:07:36 AM »

In order to better understand ecumenism, I am going to write a translation for this article: http://apologeticum.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/reinvierea-babilonului-si-paganismul-contemporan-ecumenismul-miscarea-ecumenica/

The rebirth of Babylon and contemporary paganism: Ecumenism (Ecumenical Movement)


It is believed by a lot of people, even Orthodox, that popeism/catholicism is "a form" of Christianity (as if the Truth can have multiple forms, as if there were multiple true "christs"). This is owed to the propaganda power (political and financial) of the popeists and especially to the fact that the popeism / catholicism is the "easiest" faith around, as it fully suits the decadent mentality of this world, a world eagerly awaiting "dispensations", "indulgences" and the "Purgatory".
But - if we search the God inspired Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the God inspired teachings of the Holy Fathers of the Church, the God inspired Holy Canons - we see the numerous mismatches between the roman heresy and the true Christian Orthodox Church of Jesus Christ.
These differences reveal popeism as being nothing else but the old paganism dressed in Christian clothes, as it has showed us numerous times.

Thus, we understand why the Vatican is the pan-ecumenist capital, why the High Priest of Rome spreads the "spiritual values" of all pagans and the union with them.


Let us remember the meeting at Assisi in the year 1986, planned by the pope himself. At that prayer meeting, the representatives of 160 "religions" have met in order to pray to the "Lord" for world peace. Among them, there were fire worshippers, snake worshippers, buddhists, muslims, spiritists, hinduists and animists.
Pope John Paul II said: "Now we all pray 'to the God'", even though each one believed, you could say, in a different god, not Christ - our God. Actually, all of them worshipped the same ruler of this fallen world, namely the devil (satan), that has appeared to them in different ways in order to influence them.



But the papal "omnipotence" was seen when John Paul II has received that mass of "religious leaders from around the world" at the Vatican: everyone saluted him as their grand representative (a roman hierarch even gave his ring to be kissed, even if protocol stated that they should shake hands, this being the masonic sign for "sympathy"). The meeting ended with a large spectacle of sounds and light, nothing else but a "liturgy" in honor of fallen mankind and of their long-awaited antichrist, sanctioning the union of all against our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not our place here to say more about the union between the popes and the "great wizards" of the world. For example, John Paul II has met with all of them: he blessed and has been blessed in turn by them (from the African ones to the priestesses of Shiva). One of his close friends was the Dalai Lama, a "god" himself and representative of all buddhists in the world. And buddhism is a swore enemy of Christianity and has vowed to see its destruction and its erradication from the face of the earth.


In this photo, we see the pope shaking hands with a voodoo chief. Voodoo is a form of African shamanism (witchcraft), which is based on satanic dances which can last even days. While dancing, unclean spirits are called and are asked to demonize the "faithful".
In Haiti, this satanic belief is "united" with the roman "christianity". It is said that Haiti is a country which is 85% catholic and 11% voodoo! But for the pagan pope, this is nothing! As he was visiting Africa, while crazy young maidens were dancing in front of him in order to bring him into a state of "trance", the pope said to the voodoo followers that they will not betray their ancestors if they convert to popeism! And that is so, because popeism is itself a form of idolatry. Those Africans would betray their "ancestral faith" only if they were to truly become Christians.



Just so we don't stretch it, is it enough to say that, in the name of Christ's "peace", the pope (for example John Paul II) will do anything: kiss the earth goddess in a ritual manner, kiss the qu'ran, pray at the Wall of Crying (Jerusalem) and so on.
The papal system encourages all New Age practices, occultism and "mystic" faiths. Thus, "Catholic World" (the official publication of the Vatican) contains a lot of articles that spread the word about New Age. Thousands of priests and nuns practice yoga and other forms of buddhist mysticism. In the entire world, catholic schools allow and use occult and New Age methods (from the publication "A Woman Rides the Beast").

Because of this, we can say that ecumenism is the rebirth of Babylon, namely the "spiritual" one, just as United Europe, United States of America, North American Union (the future federation comprised of the USA, Mexico and Canada), which precede the New World Order (United States of the World), form the "political, economical and social" Babylon. The papal contribution and influence in this antichristic movement is obvious.
Standing in front of the World Council of Churches, the pope said: "From the beginning of my work as bishop of Rome, I have insisted upon the fact that the implication of the catholic church in the ecumenical movement is irreversible" ("The Fresnoe Bee", June 13th, 1984).

Matthew 10:
34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.


Based on this, Saint Teofilact says:
"Union is not always good, sometimes separation is the right way. "Sword" means the word of faith, which separates us from the love of friends and relatives, if they prevent us from praising God. It does not encourage us to split without a reason, but only when they do not unite with us in faith, or worse, when they prevent us from doing what is righteous.[/size]

Goodness! I had no idea that I was a pagan.  Roll Eyes
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #82 on: June 22, 2010, 12:14:18 PM »

Wow, did we ever screw up!

Latin translation, please.

Nostra culpa magna?
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Τῷ μεγάλῳ χρίεται μύρῳ καὶ χειρονεῖται βασιλεὺς καὶ αὐτοκράτωρ τῶν Ῥωμαίων, πάντων δηλαδὴ τῶν χριστιανῶν...οὐδὲν οὖν ἔνι καλὸν, υἱέ μου, ἵνα λέγῃς, ὅτι ἐκκλησίαν ἔχομεν, οὐχὶ βασιλέα, οὐκ ἔνι δυνατὸν εἰς τοὺς χριστιανοὺς, ἔκκλησίαν ἔχειν καὶ βασιλέα οὐκ ἔχειν. – EP Anthony to Basil of Moscow c. 1395
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« Reply #83 on: June 22, 2010, 12:43:37 PM »

^Well said FR.

I for one do not see "Union" between the RCC and the Orthodox Church as being necessary, imminent, or even possible at this point in time. The Orthodox Church is whole and complete and not lacking in any way. I don't see evidence that any of our theological differences have been overcome. I think that the phrase "union" is also unnecessarily ambiguous. We are not looking for union between two similar and equal units but rather the joining of the RC, which has fallen away along time ago, to the True Church of Christ.

Agreed.  I also can see no use for continued dialogue with the Roman church.  They know what we believe already, and reject it.  If we (and the Holy Spirit) have not succeeded in getting them to see the light in 1000 years, I doubt that it will happen.  At an individual level, I believe that contact should continue.  But at an official level, Rome has apostatized and should be left alone until she repents.

When, the past 1,000 years have the Orthodox ever tried to have the Catholic west "see the light"?  I am aware of no historical attempts in the last millennium to either convert or dialogue with RC's to accept the principles of the EO faith (The present day ecumenical movement not withstanding).  For the most part, EO's have lived in a sate of virtual isolation from the West and, until recently there was very little contact, especially on an ecclesiastical level with Western Europeans. 

Isn't there a verse in the Bible which states "How shall they hear without a preacher"?  Where, in the Catholic west anyway was the preachers of EO views to be found (Until the recent ethnic Diaspora's were created)?  It's somewhat unfair to judge the Catholic and Protestant Christians of rejecting the message of Orthodox when there was, until recent times almost no one to preach it to them.



Off the top of my head:
There was an attempt at a reunion council in 1093. There were various moments of dialogue, cooperation and confrontation during the Crusades. A schism at Antioch in 1100, but Greek clergy accepting a Latin patriarch in Jerusalem as an Orthodox bishop in 1099, and until the Latins started making things difficult. The attempt at Lyons in 1274 (if my date's right), but that was not much of a dialogue, but a dictation from the pope, which the Orthodox had to accept without question. (For more information on these events, read Aristedis Papadapoulos' fine book "The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy") Then, there were the Palamite councils where attempts were made to articulate positions. Then the council of Ferrara-Florence in the 1430s. During the Ottoman period there was something of a lull in discussions with the Roman Catholics, but there was a vigorous discussion with the Lutherans under Patriarch Jeremias II, and with the Calvinists under Patriarch Cyril Loukaris, both of blessed memory. There was the Confession of Dositheus and the Council of Iassi. There were the studies on Latin baptism under Patriarch Cyril V, but the Church was at this time under pressure from within and without--it was the era of unionism. Then came the Melkite Schism in Antioch. In the 19th century, the Eastern Patriarchs sent two very important letters to the pope, one on papal infallibility and the other in response to Pope Leo XIII's overtures in 1893. Both outlined the Orthodox position and were informative to the papacy. (I forgot, in the 16th century, there was a council that sent a letter to the pope on the Orthodox view of the calendar change.) All these episodes can be seen as attempts by the Orthodox to enlighten Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders. Besides them are the missionary labors in the Russian Empire, and also the work amongst the Non-Jurors of the 17th and 18th centuries, and the handful of conversions that came with it. There was even at least one Orthodoxy family in pre-revolutionary colonial America, the offspring of the English converts. So, I hardly think that anyone can rightly accuse the Orthodox of having been lazy or remiss in trying to articulate the Orthodox faith in response to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism and attempt to enlighten them. All this was done in the face of Catholic and Protestant opposition and prosyletism, as well as pressure from hostile, non-Christian overlords.
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« Reply #84 on: June 22, 2010, 01:56:09 PM »

Goodness! I had no idea that I was a pagan.  Roll Eyes
The post blew my mind.  We have personal opinion, stock photographs, and then a citation of Dave Hunt (whose knowledge of Catholicism is on par with Jack Chick and the web-master of jesus-is-savior).  Then there is the blog, with its noteworthy sections about the evils of biometrics/RFIDs, vaccinations, and masons.  laugh  Far too much laughing today, first France losing, and now this.  My stomach hurts.   Sad Tongue
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« Reply #85 on: June 22, 2010, 02:04:25 PM »

Quote
Goodness! I had no idea that I was a pagan.  


Don't worry about it. Consider it an honour: most of the evangelicals I know are convinced that Eastern Orthodoxy is nothing but a form of paganism!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 02:04:50 PM by Rosehip » Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
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