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Author Topic: Holy Spirit in OO tradition  (Read 1130 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantino
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« on: January 30, 2004, 01:22:05 AM »

Guess this is my first post in the OO forum. I'm becoming more and more appreciative of the Alexandrian tradition, and was curious to know if the theology of the Holy Spirit differs from other Orthodox traditions. I think the following quote from Arch. Eusebius Stephanou is at odds with modern-day RC Pneumatology because the RCC teaches that mortal sin drives out the Spirit...is the OO tradition in line with it?

"The most heinous of sins cannot banish the Spirit in all His totality. A spermatic vestige of the Spirit must always abide to remind man of his origin and render him capable of repentance. Were the Spirit to leave the sinner totally, then God could not expect an account from him and the penalty of damnation could have no real significance. Hence, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is man’s persistence in sin or unbelief, despite the ever-abiding presence of God’s Spirit within him."

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Father Peter
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2004, 12:57:16 PM »

I have never come across an OO father who categorises sin as mortal and venial in the manner of the Roman Catholic tradition. I have not come across EO fathers making that categorisation either. My understanding is along the lines of the writer you quote from. If by our sin we lose completely the presence of the Spirit then surely we would need to be baptised again and again. We would not only cease to be living as Christians but we would cease to be Christians, we would no longer be part of the Church in any sense and no longer recipients of grace.

Where is your quote from...I'd like to read more.

In most things the EO and OO positions are substantially identical.

PT
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The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2004, 04:53:11 PM »

I have little to add to what Deacon Peter pointed out. EO and OO are basically holding almost the same believes. We believe that the holy spirit never depart from the person after baptism and anointment in the sacrament of confirmation, even if he denies Christ. Therefore, apostates who want to come back to the Christian faith are not baptized again, in line with the Church Fathers teachings after the persecution period under Pagan emperors.
No sin can cast out the Holy Spirit, we believe it is just extinguished slowly. Repenting, Confession and Communion will make the Holy Spirit glow again.

To read more about the Holy Spirit in the OO Tradition, I advise to read the books by His Holiness Pope Shenouda, Pope of Alexandria, His Grace The Late Bishop Youaness about the Holy Spirit. Problem is that these books are in Arabic and I doubt that they are translated. The generation who immigrated to the US and the first generation born in North America are working on translating our heritage to English so we can contribute to the growth of the Orthodox faith in the West.

One quick question:
Quote
I think the following quote from Arch. Eusebius Stephanou is at odds with modern-day RC Pneumatology because the RCC teaches that mortal sin drives out the Spirit
Do RC really believe that the Holy Spirit can be driven out by sin ? I am just surprised and I find it hard to believe and therefore wanted to confirm that I understood the mentioned phrase right. If so, what is a mortal sin ?

Peace,
Stavro
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" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
Byzantino
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2004, 01:20:45 AM »

Peter & Stavro,

Can't thank you enough for your responses, which have put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Stavro,

The RCC categorizes sins in terms of their degree of severity. There are 2 classes of sins, venial and mortal. Venial sins are the lighter variety, such as letting a curse word slip, while mortal sins are those serious sins which according to the RCC cause the loss of sanctifying grace and require immediate Confession. Of course there are conditions which need to be met for a sin to be mortal. I specifically recall reading in the diary of Sr. Faustina Kowalska's (a recently canonized Polish nun of the RCC) of an account of one of her alleged visions of Christ in which He said that He is driven out of a soul only by "mortal sin". Her diary and her message of "Divine Mercy" are approved by the RCC as containing nothing that contradicts RC teaching.

Thanks also for the book suggestions. I'm thinking of getting in touch with the Coptic Church here to get some reading material.

Regards in Christ,

Byz
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Byzantino
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2004, 01:21:55 AM »

Peter,

The quote comes from here:

http://www.stsymeon.org/CangracereplaceHolySpirit.htm

Regards,

Byz
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