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Author Topic: To convert or not to convert-Schismatic Marriage  (Read 1701 times) Average Rating: 0
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JimCBrooklyn
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« on: July 06, 2010, 08:15:23 AM »

Friends,
I'm a 25yr old married father of two...

I was raised sans religion/faith, and after a long journey of hedonism, addiction, sobriety and a foundation of faith, I joined the Catholic Church in 2004. In Her I have found much truth, life and solace, and come to know Our Lord. I love the church and its traditions, however a few things have recently been causing me some questions, ones that did not arise so much during my initial "christian" conversion, which was more of a search between RC and protestantism. I have become interested in Orthodoxy, for a variety of reasons:

My wife is Russian, and Russian Orthodox. We believed that this would present no issue for us, and it may not for the more lukewarm in faith, but for us, being married in schism, despite the similarities, is tough, particularly as her church is ambivalent about our marriage, and insistent that she is wrong in allowing our children to be raised in my church. Through my marriage, but also my interest in Russian culture/literature/language I have been exposed both directly, in the case of attending services, and indirectly, in the case of my time spent in Russia (here now) to the Liturgy and theology of the OC. I don't know much, but I am intrigued by what I perceive as a deep, mysterious kind of faith, and my explorations have stirred up some uncertainties about the schism, mostly the usual suspects.  My wife and I, agreeing that as committed followers of Christ and His church, simply saying, "that church is right for YOU, and this one is right for ME", is antithesis to the way we believe, have resolved that through deep prayer, deep thought and exploration, to try to resolve our disagreement, that is, go one way or another. Both of us are quite open to arguments from either side. The "usual suspects" that I alluded to are:
Papal primacy (probably the biggest issue of all;it seems as if the side that is right on this is probably right overall), Immaculate Conception, Filioque, unleavened bread, examining why the split occurred, how political the motivation was, and examining the current/historic state of both churches. Of course, prayer must be the end all in all of this, but guidance is always helpful, and any thoughts that anyone, Orthodox or Catholic, may have, PLEASE bring them on, respectfully, of course.

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 09:57:20 AM »

Jim Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum!

My recommendation would be that you meet with the Orthodox Priest of the Parish that your wife attends. Enter into an Inquirer's class or meet with him privately to discuss the issues that you have. If those issues are resolved then you would appropriately eneter the Orthodox Church.

Just as in the Roman Catholic Church, children of the marriage  are supposed to be raised in the Rioman Church si in th e Orthodox Church, a child born to an Orthodox parent is supposed to be raised in the Orthodox Church. So you see there is a delimma for your wife also.

The best place to get answers to your questions would be to go to the primary teaching source in an Orthodox Parish, the priest.

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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 10:35:58 AM »

JimCBrooklyn, follow the traces that the Spirit leaves behind; judge the tree by the fruit... Is it good or rotten? Are there saints? Are there mysteries? Are there true (everyone and the paramount ones) charismas of the Spirit? Then, you can say you've returned to the Father. Of course, it's the mystic sense of the heart that will guide you too; that's how Fr. Seraphim Rose decided to enter Orthodoxy "in the first place"... May you have a fruitful research... Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 04:56:34 PM »

Here's one issue that isn't as commonly addressed as the papacy, filioque, etc, (or maybe it is, and I just ain't looking hard enough Smiley) that brings up some questions for me:

Within the RCC, whether there may be liturgical variations, liberal priests, lukewarm followers, etc., and whether there be different "rites", (all things that have become big issues for me to contend with) there remains, beyond it all, a very firm definition of what is correct, or at least who to ask, at the end of the day, and that is Rome. I'm not necessarily touting this as a strength, but in some ways, it can seem so.

Within the OC, I have noticed at times a divergence of opinions on various issues, ranging from nitpicky theorizing to crucial dogma. Of course, there will always be misinformed members of any faith, but when it comes down to it, if one wants to know what the Orthodox Church officially believes about something, where does one go?

In many ways, the idea of a number of equal patriarchates is appealing, and seems sensible, in other ways it seems like it could create a lot of chaos, not only in terms of dogma, but in terms of structure, a la the whole ROC, ROCOR, OCA sort of thing.

Also, on this same theme, not having been to too many different types of OC parishes, how much of a problem, due to the various branches, is ethnocentrism? As always, no disrespect is meant, I'm just inquiring, thirsting for Truth.

I know this is a muddled post, but if anyone sees what I'm getting at, I'd love the issue to be addressed in any way.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 07:13:44 PM »

Friends,
I'm a 25yr old married father of two...

I was raised sans religion/faith, and after a long journey of hedonism, addiction, sobriety and a foundation of faith, I joined the Catholic Church in 2004. In Her I have found much truth, life and solace, and come to know Our Lord. I love the church and its traditions, however a few things have recently been causing me some questions, ones that did not arise so much during my initial "christian" conversion, which was more of a search between RC and protestantism. I have become interested in Orthodoxy, for a variety of reasons:

My wife is Russian, and Russian Orthodox. We believed that this would present no issue for us, and it may not for the more lukewarm in faith, but for us, being married in schism, despite the similarities, is tough, particularly as her church is ambivalent about our marriage, and insistent that she is wrong in allowing our children to be raised in my church. Through my marriage, but also my interest in Russian culture/literature/language I have been exposed both directly, in the case of attending services, and indirectly, in the case of my time spent in Russia (here now) to the Liturgy and theology of the OC. I don't know much, but I am intrigued by what I perceive as a deep, mysterious kind of faith, and my explorations have stirred up some uncertainties about the schism, mostly the usual suspects.  My wife and I, agreeing that as committed followers of Christ and His church, simply saying, "that church is right for YOU, and this one is right for ME", is antithesis to the way we believe, have resolved that through deep prayer, deep thought and exploration, to try to resolve our disagreement, that is, go one way or another. Both of us are quite open to arguments from either side. The "usual suspects" that I alluded to are:
Papal primacy (probably the biggest issue of all;it seems as if the side that is right on this is probably right overall), Immaculate Conception, Filioque, unleavened bread, examining why the split occurred, how political the motivation was, and examining the current/historic state of both churches. Of course, prayer must be the end all in all of this, but guidance is always helpful, and any thoughts that anyone, Orthodox or Catholic, may have, PLEASE bring them on, respectfully, of course.

Thank you.

Part of my love for my wife was her love for her religion - I believed in God because of her (complicated story)and I converted from Methodist to Romanian Orthodox. I wish for nothing to ever separate us in our lives and now I have changed many of the gaps and answers to my questions are now being filled in. I hope you find your answers and Loved In Christ, Mark
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2010, 10:12:11 AM »

but when it comes down to it, if one wants to know what the Orthodox Church officially believes about something, where does one go?
One's priest or spiritual father. I know this sounds simplistic but that's actually the way it works and that's generally a good thing.

Quote
In many ways, the idea of a number of equal patriarchates is appealing, and seems sensible, in other ways it seems like it could create a lot of chaos, not only in terms of dogma, but in terms of structure, a la the whole ROC, ROCOR, OCA sort of thing.
Well, I wouldn't necessarily term it chaos - since all three of those are "operating" and "cooperating."

I'm certainly no expert on Roman Catholicism, but administratively and organizationally I don't notice any particular efficiency on their part. Things seem to take their bureaucratic time, just as in the OC. My personal observation is that there are many Catholic Churches, just like Orthodox jurisdictions.

Quote
Also, on this same theme, not having been to too many different types of OC parishes, how much of a problem, due to the various branches, is ethnocentrism?
It seems to depend on what part of the country you're from, and experiences vary widely. Some people have had bad experiences with so-called "ethnic" parishes (the Greeks seem to come in for a bad rap). Without dissing other peoples' personal experiences, I have never had a problem in any Orthodox parish I've visited. I have always been warmly welcomed and received.
I know this is a muddled post, but if anyone sees what I'm getting at, I'd love the issue to be addressed in any way.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2010, 10:27:08 AM »

Katherineofdixie

Points taken, particularly in terms of overall efficiency/bureaucracy. I guess what I meant, or find particularly confusing, is (and chaos is not the right word) what happens in the case of one's priest/spiritual father/any member of clergy/laity spreading doctrinal error/heresy, who is left with the task of correcting/condemning this? I would assume his superior, but with no final head, there would seem to  be a limit.

Say, for instance, and I understand this is downright implausible, though I know that plenty of heresies have risen in both churches, Priest A at Parish X in the Antiochan Orthodox Church decides that Christ was not divine, and begins preaching this to his congregation. In turn, his bishop (metropolitan?) decides he agrees, and in turn the Patriarch of Antioch also gives in. What is Moscow, Constantinople, Serbia, etc. to do about it, or the OC as a whole?

Thanks!
Jim
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2010, 11:01:15 AM »

There are many things that the Orthodox Church is very clear upon (diety of Christ, ever-virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Oneness of the True Church of Christ as found in the Orthodox Church). Any priest caught teaching heresy is  reported to his bishop (believe me , this happens as Orthodox Laity  feel empowered to preserve the faith of the fathers as handed down since the beginning of the Church). If a Bishop teaches heresy (note I said heresy not Theologumen---theological opinion) his brother bishops in his synod will confront him, if he does not repent, it is forwarded to his patriarch. If the Patriarch teaches Heresy (yes, like some of the popes/antipopes, Orthodox Patriarchs have been caught teaching false doctrine) the other patriarchs meet in called meetings to call him to repentance---if he does not repent, he may be taken off the dyptichs or excommunicated by the other patriarchs as a group. An Ecumenical Council of all Bishops may be called if a particular Heresy threatens the entire Church and needs to be directly confronted as in the Arians and the Gnostics.

The break between Rome and the Orthodox Church came about in just this manner--- the Patriarch of Rome  held teachings that the other Patriarchs saw as heretical, they met and his name was removed from the dyptich and he was excommunicated by the other 5 Patriarchs. In the simplest form  we now have two churches The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church as a result. Those of us who believe that the 5 Patriarchs were correct are in the Eastern Orthodox Church, those who believe the Patriarch of Rome was correct are in the Roman Catholic Church.

Now it is up to you to determine which church you agree with. To get the Orthodox Church side meet with the local Orthodox Priest to get your answers.

Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2010, 12:23:14 PM »

Katherineofdixie

Points taken, particularly in terms of overall efficiency/bureaucracy. I guess what I meant, or find particularly confusing, is (and chaos is not the right word) what happens in the case of one's priest/spiritual father/any member of clergy/laity spreading doctrinal error/heresy, who is left with the task of correcting/condemning this? I would assume his superior, but with no final head, there would seem to  be a limit.

Say, for instance, and I understand this is downright implausible, though I know that plenty of heresies have risen in both churches, Priest A at Parish X in the Antiochan Orthodox Church decides that Christ was not divine, and begins preaching this to his congregation. In turn, his bishop (metropolitan?) decides he agrees, and in turn the Patriarch of Antioch also gives in. What is Moscow, Constantinople, Serbia, etc. to do about it, or the OC as a whole?

Thanks!
Jim

The EP, PoM, Serbia etc. would strike the Patriarch of Antioch from the diptychs, as Pope Vigilius was for refusing the decree of the Fifth Ecumenical Council and Pope Honorius was post mortem by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, and Pope Benedict VIII was when he obeyed King Henry in inserting the filioque, lines would be drawn and sides taken and it would proceed from there.

I posted this on a site that gave Fr. Ambros and myself the boot:

Quote
If you go to any mass at a church under the Vatican, at mass they will commemorate the pope of Rome, and then the local bishop. This is also a change, an important one, that the Vatican has instituted in a practice called the diptychs, and the Orthodox practice is still as it was in the first millenium: when I go to Divine Liturgy, the priest has a cloth, called the antimens, with means (in Latin!, the term came about when both Old and New Rome used Latin officially) "instead of the table" i.e. the bishop's altar. It is signed by the bishop, given us permission to celebrate Divine Liturgy on it, because the bishop is the oridinary minister. As St. Ignatius writes:

Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8,

Now at Divine Liturgy the priest commemorates our bishop (Mark, a former Pentacostal, btw) and our primate (Phillip) of the Autonomous Archdiocese of North America, to show our communion with our bishop and the head of the synod to which he belongs. Where Bishop Mark celebrates, he has no antimens (as bishop, he needs no permission) but he commemorates all the bishops of the archdiocese and and the synods head, Metropolitan Philip, to show their communion. When Metropolitan Philip celebrates DL, he commemorates the heads of all the heads of all the Archdioceses/synods of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and the Patriarch, Ignatius IV (the 163rd successor of St. Peter in his first See, Antioch). Patriarch Ignatius at DL commemorates all the other patriarchs of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Orthodox Church. This practice of diptychs is meant to show the unity of the Church throughout the world, and as a sign of who is Orthodox. When someone is struck from the diptychs, it means that bishop, and all who commemorte him, are not in communion. This happened recently with the patriarch of Jerusalem, who had been mismananging Church property amongst other problems. The synod of Jerusalem, met, struck him from the diptychs, the other patriarchs, investigating the situation in a synod of their own in Constantinople supported the synod and struck him from the diptychs, and he was deposed. It also happened in Moscow, where the argument with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople reached a point that the PoM struck the EP from the diptychs. The other patriarchs, however, told both of them that they, the remaining patriarchs, were striking neither from their diptychs. So they were going to keep them in one Church so they had better come up with a solution, which they did.

Now, in the diptychs as modified by the Vatican, the pope of Rome's name is mentioned at every mass in every church all over the world. In the Early Church, we don't see that: no Church in Egypt, for instance, commemorated the Pope of Rome except the Church where the Pope of Alexandria was celebrating Divine Liturgy. The Vatican sends out who is in the diptychs, and he alone decides the list. In the early Church, it was not so, and Popes of Rome on occasion were struck from the diptychs: for instance the date 1054 is really not the correct date for the schism, but has been promoted in the West. For the Orthodox, the split occured when Benedict VIII inserted the filioque (at the emperor Henry II's demand) into the Creed recited at the DL. When the EP received the notice of Benedict's ascension with the filioque in his confession, the pope was struck from the diptychs. (The Universal Ecumenical Councils had forbidden altering the Creed on the pain of deposition). One of the issues of the delegation from Rome in 1054 was to insist that the other Patriarchs put the pope of Rome back into the diptychs.

Another practice that the Vatican has done away with is the metochia/titular Churches. The metochion is an "embassy" Church: each patriarchate has a parish in each of the the other patriarchates. In that Church, the patriarch of the "foreign" patriarch is commemorated, not that of the patriarch. For instance, St. Rafael Hawaaweeny (1st Orthodox bishop ordained in the New World, and Arab ordained by Russians). was attached as deacon in the metochion of Antioch in Moscow. In that Church the Patriarch and Synod of Antioch, not Moscow, were commenorated. The metochian coordiantes relations between the patriarchs and their patriarchates. The way the Vatican has it now, they have instead titular Churches: each cardinal (the college itself being an innovation that doesn't date until after the Greast Schism) gets a titular Church in Rome, although he has no function in it, its just there to justify him as being a member of the curia electing the pope of Rome, although the bishop in question may never otherwise set foot in Rome, except for his mandatory ad limina visit (an innovation of only the last 5 or 6 centuries). The major basilicas are the metochia of the other patriarchates: since they are not in communion with the Vatican, they are defunct. Ironically the Vatican, St. Peter's is technically the metochion of Constantinople.

Now this all may sound unimportant, just symbolic. But it is not symbol over substance, but the substance of the symbol.

As SS Ignatius and Clement show, the Early Church saw the bishop as the font of Catholicism and unity. And when you look into how the Church of the first milleminium wove that into the life fo the Church, you see that the Orthodox continue the same, whereas the Vatican has changed them into "all roads lead to Rome," which was not the practice of the Church
I'll just add that Bishop Mark DOES have an antimens, just because the rules of the Archdiocese requires it (because of the relics in it?).
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2010, 12:38:41 PM »

Thomas- of course I understand the Church would be quite clear on such issues, but your illustration clearly answers my question. Seems quite reasonable, and I have contacted 1 ROCOR priest and 1 OCA  priest. The message board I use as a supplement. Thank you for your help!

ialmisry-fascinating stuff. Was not aware of how diptychs operated, or of the pre-1054 removals. Every day I'm trying to piece all of this history together. I have to admit that my historical expertise comes in the West and in Russia, usually post 1350-ish, so there's plenty to digest.

To Thomas, I suppose, as moderator: would it be more appropriate, for other specific questions I have, to ask them specifically in seperate threads, or stay onthis one?
Thanks!
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2010, 01:06:46 PM »

There are many things that the Orthodox Church is very clear upon (diety of Christ, ever-virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Oneness of the True Church of Christ as found in the Orthodox Church). Any priest caught teaching heresy is  reported to his bishop (believe me , this happens as Orthodox Laity  feel empowered to preserve the faith of the fathers as handed down since the beginning of the Church). If a Bishop teaches heresy (note I said heresy not Theologumen---theological opinion) his brother bishops in his synod will confront him, if he does not repent, it is forwarded to his patriarch. If the Patriarch teaches Heresy (yes, like some of the popes/antipopes, Orthodox Patriarchs have been caught teaching false doctrine) the other patriarchs meet in called meetings to call him to repentance---if he does not repent, he may be taken off the dyptichs or excommunicated by the other patriarchs as a group. An Ecumenical Council of all Bishops may be called if a particular Heresy threatens the entire Church and needs to be directly confronted as in the Arians and the Gnostics.

The break between Rome and the Orthodox Church came about in just this manner--- the Patriarch of Rome  held teachings that the other Patriarchs saw as heretical, they met and his name was removed from the dyptich and he was excommunicated by the other 5 Patriarchs. In the simplest form  we now have two churches The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church as a result. Those of us who believe that the 5 Patriarchs were correct are in the Eastern Orthodox Church, those who believe the Patriarch of Rome was correct are in the Roman Catholic Church.

Now it is up to you to determine which church you agree with. To get the Orthodox Church side meet with the local Orthodox Priest to get your answers.

Thomas
Thomas, do you know when and where this meeting between the Eastern Patriarchs took place?
Thanks.
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2010, 01:43:55 PM »

Prior to answering Papists question I need to note that I was not entirely clear when I noted the 5 patriarchs in stating there were 5 eastern patriarchs ---there are four Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, the fifth Patriarchate was Rome in the west)

The Great Schism as it has came to be known, was the result of multiple political and religous issues (Papal supremacy, Filiogue, unleavened bread, married priesthood, etc) between the East and the west that culminated with a Legation from Pope Leo IX, Humbert, Frederick of Lorraine, and Peter, Archbishop of Amalfi arrived in April 1054. Their demands were not met and the legatine mission took the extreme measure of entering the church of the Hagia Sophia during the Divine Liturgy and placing a bull of excommunication on the altar excommunicating Patriarch Michael I (Cerularius)  Patriarch of Constantinople, and Leo, Metropolitan of Achrida, and John, Bishop of Tranum. Patriarch Michael I in turn excommunicated the cardinal and the Pope and subsequently removed the pope's name from the diptychs. Patriarch Michael I wrote the other remaining Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem  who subsequently agreed with Patriarch Michael and removed the Pope from the Dyptichs of their Churches. Thus we see that all the other Eastern patriarchs supported Patriarch Michael I (Cerularius) against the Pope and thus the two Churches east and west went out of communion. To the best of my knowledge and research, the meeting occurred on paper (as did many of the consultations between the patriarch (and popes) of the period due to transportation and  lack of current rapid communication models ; the copies of the corespondence may found in the archives of the various patriarchs, other  letters and correspondence of the time period,  as well as in the actual dyptichs of the Church.

Thomas
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2010, 02:14:48 PM »

Some of this I'm familiar with, some of it not, but here's a couple of questions:

Was it indeed Humbert, and not Leo, who issued the bull?
If I'm not mistaken, the excommunication were later rescinded from both sides; though I understand that it began in some ways long before 1054, and continued thereafter, at what point does the official "split" occur? I've seen the Council of Florence cited as a definitive date, but I have a wildly limited understanding of that Council;

All I've been able to surmise is that a group of Eastern Bishops, led by an aging Patriarch of Constantinople, signed some sort of a tentative reunion accord with Rome, spurred on by the threat of Islam, but some, notably Mark of Ephesus, would not sign, and the agreement was later trashed wholesale in the East. Can anyone elaborate on this base....
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2010, 03:38:48 PM »

what happens in the case of one's priest/spiritual father/any member of clergy/laity spreading doctrinal error/heresy, who is left with the task of correcting/condemning this? I would assume his superior, but with no final head, there would seem to  be a limit.
His bishop, which I imagine would be the same in the RCC.

Quote
Say, for instance, and I understand this is downright implausible, though I know that plenty of heresies have risen in both churches, Priest A at Parish X in the Antiochan Orthodox Church decides that Christ was not divine, and begins preaching this to his congregation. In turn, his bishop (metropolitan?) decides he agrees, and in turn the Patriarch of Antioch also gives in. What is Moscow, Constantinople, Serbia, etc. to do about it, or the OC as a whole?

First of all, as you agree, it wouldn't happen - second, the fact that there are many Hierarchs and no one gets to be the final authority mitigates against this scenario. The conciliar form of church governance keeps any one person from having too much power, which may be why it was the way the Church operated for the first thousand or so years.

It's my guess that Moscow, Constantinople, Serbia etc. would meet and meet with the erring bishop or Hierarch to discuss why they had all of a sudden decided to become heretics. If they persisted in their heresy, they would probably be deposed.

Also you're ignoring the role of the laity. I can't imagine that the laity in Priest A's parish would put up with this, and would be burning up the phone lines to the Bishop, Archbishop and Patriarch!

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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2010, 04:15:48 PM »

Quote
Also you're ignoring the role of the laity. I can't imagine that the laity in Priest A's parish would put up with this, and would be burning up the phone lines to the Bishop, Archbishop and Patriarch
!
It doesn't work like this.
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2010, 04:59:57 PM »

Quote
Also you're ignoring the role of the laity. I can't imagine that the laity in Priest A's parish would put up with this, and would be burning up the phone lines to the Bishop, Archbishop and Patriarch
!
It doesn't work like this.


How so?

I have personally seen letters, addressed to the Bishop, Archbishop and His All-Holiness and fielded phone calls from irate parishioners complaining about things a lot less serious than heresy!  Wink (or at least I think they're trivial!)
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2010, 05:09:18 PM »

It doesn't work like this.


Patriarchal and Synodical Encyclical of 1848

"Moreover, neither Patriarchs nor Councils could then have introduced novelties amongst us, because the protector of religion is the very body of the Church, even the people themselves, who desire their religious worship to be ever unchanged and of the same kind as that of their fathers."
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2010, 05:41:03 PM »

Dixie: very interesting how you turned that on its head. I suppose, and I used such an implausible, extreme heresy purely for convenience and illustration's sake, that it in fact makes more sense that it is more of a safeguard for one person to NOT  have so much power, while in the case of Rome, should the Pope ever accept any heresy, all is lost, at least for a time.

Of course, if one is a believing Roman Catholic, which I have to this point been, one trusts in the total infallibility of the Holy Father on such matters of Faith/Morals, which makes the whole argument moot, if you believe it, but that of course is one of the major points I need to examine.

That said, objectively, sans infallibility in the discussion, it does seem that the Orthodox structure is a better safeguard against heresy/being led astray...
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2010, 10:59:57 PM »

Prior to answering Papists question I need to note that I was not entirely clear when I noted the 5 patriarchs in stating there were 5 eastern patriarchs ---there are four Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, the fifth Patriarchate was Rome in the west)

The Great Schism as it has came to be known, was the result of multiple political and religous issues (Papal supremacy, Filiogue, unleavened bread, married priesthood, etc) between the East and the west that culminated with a Legation from Pope Leo IX, Humbert, Frederick of Lorraine, and Peter, Archbishop of Amalfi arrived in April 1054. Their demands were not met and the legatine mission took the extreme measure of entering the church of the Hagia Sophia during the Divine Liturgy and placing a bull of excommunication on the altar excommunicating Patriarch Michael I (Cerularius)  Patriarch of Constantinople, and Leo, Metropolitan of Achrida, and John, Bishop of Tranum. Patriarch Michael I in turn excommunicated the cardinal and the Pope and subsequently removed the pope's name from the diptychs. Patriarch Michael I wrote the other remaining Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem  who subsequently agreed with Patriarch Michael and removed the Pope from the Dyptichs of their Churches. Thus we see that all the other Eastern patriarchs supported Patriarch Michael I (Cerularius) against the Pope and thus the two Churches east and west went out of communion. To the best of my knowledge and research, the meeting occurred on paper (as did many of the consultations between the patriarch (and popes) of the period due to transportation and  lack of current rapid communication models ; the copies of the corespondence may found in the archives of the various patriarchs, other  letters and correspondence of the time period,  as well as in the actual dyptichs of the Church.

Thomas
Perhaps you or someone else can clear this up, but I had always thought that the Pope of Rome was struck from the diptychs in 1014 (or there abouts) when he allowed for the filioque to be chanted during the Liturgy. Was he reinstated and then struck again? Thanks.

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« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2010, 09:46:28 AM »

As I understand it, there was a back and forth of negotiations with the dyptichs being involved for many years. Generally the 1054 year shows the major break that never repaired itself. It is important to note that when Patriarch Athenagoras and the Pope Paul Vi removed the Anethemas the schism did not stop because of the innovations from Roman Catholic Church that had occurred since the 1054 date. All that the removal of the Anethemas did was to start dialog between the East and the West.

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« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2010, 10:32:10 AM »

one trusts in the total infallibility of the Holy Father on such matters of Faith/Morals
No disrespect to the Pope, and I do trust our Orthodox Hierarchs, but how likely is it that any one fallible human being will be infallible on all matters of Faith and Morals all the time?

Quote
That said, objectively, sans infallibility in the discussion, it does seem that the Orthodox structure is a better safeguard against heresy/being led astray...
Which is probably why, as I said, that the conciliar form was the way of church governance for the first thousand years, give or take. Think about the Council of Jerusalem in Acts, for example.
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« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2010, 11:22:06 AM »

Quote
Also you're ignoring the role of the laity. I can't imagine that the laity in Priest A's parish would put up with this, and would be burning up the phone lines to the Bishop, Archbishop and Patriarch
!
It doesn't work like this.

I've seen it work plenty a time exactly like that. It is, for instance, one reason why the redefinition of bishops didn't fly in the Antiochian Archdiocese for instance.
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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2010, 12:37:25 PM »

OK, so based on everyone's replies, a very kind message of explanation sent to me by a board member, and research, the who and the whens of the split have been pretty well established in my head...

My next question would be, what issues most intensely precipitated the split in 1054/the problems between Michael I and Rome? I tend to hear Filioque from the Orthodox side, but then the RC's tell me that Filioque was only rehashed in 1054 for posturing, having previously been a dead issue. and that the major issues were A)Leavened/unleavened bread (which to me seems, no disrespect intended, relatively minor, as long as bread is used) or B)Political/cultural

I imagine this is a complex question, as I've found varying answers myself. Just trying to piece it all together... Undecided
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« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2010, 02:25:58 PM »

My next question would be, what issues most intensely precipitated the split in 1054/the problems between Michael I and Rome? I tend to hear Filioque from the Orthodox side, but then the RC's tell me that Filioque was only rehashed in 1054 for posturing, having previously been a dead issue. and that the major issues were A)Leavened/unleavened bread (which to me seems, no disrespect intended, relatively minor, as long as bread is used) or B)Political/cultural


Nothing happens in a vacuum, and there are often multiple reasons, including cultural and political. The primary reason was the unilateral decision by the Bishop of Rome to change the Nicene Creed.
"Many still seek the cause of this most unfortunate division. Actually, it can be found in the difference concerning the Primacy of the Pope of Rome.

      Until the Fifth Century A.D. there was not even a single instance of dissension or antagonism between the two Churches. The Bishop of Rome had always been considered the First in the order of hierarchy. This was a natural consequence of the position of Rome as the capital of the Roman Empire. When Constantinople became the new capital of the Byzantine State its Bishop assumed the second position in the ranks of the hierarchy. The third canon of the Second Ecumenical Council (381) designates the position of honor of the Bishop of Constantinople as second only to that of the Bishop of Rome. This decision of the Council is based on the premise that Constantinople is new Rome, and, incidentally, it has been retained among the titles of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

      This indicates, as was brought out at the Council, that the political importance of the city defined the honorary status of its hierarchy. The same fact was repeated with emphasis by the now renown 28th Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council held at Chalcedon in 451. At that time, the Bishop of Constantinople was acclaimed as equal in honor to the Bishop of Rome.

      In the meantime, erroneous beliefs began to circulate in the Church of the West. Of these, the most serious was an addition to the Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople concerning the Holy Spirit. The Church of Rome wanted to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds and from the Son. In Latin, this addition was accomplished by the word, “filioque.”
      It should be made clear at this point that the Creed was compiled and authorized as the Christian Confessions of faith by the First and Second Ecumenical Councils. The first seven articles of the Creed were approved at the First Council and the remaining five were composed at the Second Council which was held in Constantinople. The Eighth article states “and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped...” This addition of “filioque” (“and from the Son”) was first heard in Spain during the middle of the Sixth Century. From there, this innovation spread to other western countries. It is most noteworthy however, that during the early part of the Ninth Century, Pope Leo III protested against this addition to the Creed. Convinced that it should remain as it has been written and proclaimed by the first two Ecumenical Councils, he ordered that the Creed be inscribed without any change upon two silver plaques. These were placed in St. Peter’s at Rome for all to see...

      The first to object strongly to this addition to the Creed, and to other errors of the Western Church, was Photios, the great Patriarch of Constantinople, who flourished in the middle of the Ninth Century. Photios was a brilliant scholar and theologian who held a high position in the Imperial Byzantine Court...On Christmas Day of 857, he was enthroned as Patriarch of Constantinople.

      The discord between the Eastern and the Western Church continued on a livelier vein after Patriarch Photios. The Eastern Church, with the Patriarch of Constantinople at its head, protested against the errors in dogma taught by the Western Church. Constant appeals were made to Rome to renounce all error and conform with the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the first eight centuries. Simultaneously, the Western Church, with the Pope as its head, maintained that the entire Christian Church was obliged to adhere without discussion to the pronouncements of the Roman See. They maintained that the primate of the Church of Rome was the vicar of Christ on earth, because he was supposedly the heir to the primacy of St. Peter whom Christ our Lord had installed as head of the universal Church, and who had founded the Christian Church of Rome."
Archbishop Michael
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/church_history/michael_theschism.htm
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« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2010, 02:52:13 PM »

As I noted before the Great Schism was a result of both political and religious issues---the key issues for the Orthodox Christians have been cited down through the year as:
1. Papal supremacy and infallibility
2. Filiogue addition
3. the new innovational use of unleavened bread by the West that was seen as judaizing by the East
4. The West's condemnation of the married priesthood

The primary cause is the claim of Papal supremacy, all other issues are traced to this one point. A good discussion of the differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church by Father Michael Azkool may be found here http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html

Father Serfes notes that What separates the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church is not only the Primacy of the Pope also known as the Infallibility, but also the following innovations of the Roman Catholic Church: The Procession of the Holy Spirit. Purgatory and indulgences. The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Invocation of the epiclesis. Unleavened Bread. Holy Communion. Divorce. Clergy's Marital Status." see http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/inceptionoforthodoxchurch.html

Over the many years, even to the present time the Roman Catholic Church has heard only what it wished to hear, that is--- agreement with their stand or their interpretation  of agreement with their stand. See their interpretation of the various attempts at reunion in seekingto get Eastern Orthodox agreement with the clearly non-scriptural procession of the Holy Spirit (Filioque). Recently this had led to the breakdown of dialog  between the two Churches, the Roman Catholic Church expecting compromise and the Orthodox Church refusing to change the faith received from the Holy Fathers and Scripture. It is noteable that when you ask Orthodox Theologians, even today, what are the true points of separation between the two churches,  they will point to the same list above as what separates the East from the West.

Thomas
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« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2010, 02:55:48 PM »

And so the unleavened bread issue was not a major factor? If it was, can someone break that one down for me, because it seems woefully unimportant, and probably impossible to know which sort Christ used, even if we assume that the Last Supper came just before Passover.

Also, what say the EO about the claim that the whole Filioque issue is solely a matter of mis-translation, as in, that the way it sounds in Greek makes it heretical, whereas the way it sounds on Latin does not? I've also heard this....
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« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2010, 03:37:41 PM »

And so the unleavened bread issue was not a major factor? If it was, can someone break that one down for me, because it seems woefully unimportant, and probably impossible to know which sort Christ used, even if we assume that the Last Supper came just before Passover.
Again, as Thomas and others have pointed out, it is not this one issue. It is papal supremacy/infallibility from which all the decisions came. All of the points he mentioned were unilateral decisions by the Bishop of Rome, thus introducing a new method of church governance to replace the conciliar method which had been the way the Church operated for centuries.
IOW, the Bishop of Rome did not ask his brother bishops in an Ecumenical Council what they thought about changing to leavened bread or changing the Nicene Creed. He did it on his own.

Quote
Also, what say the EO about the claim that the whole Filioque issue is solely a matter of mis-translation, as in, that the way it sounds in Greek makes it heretical, whereas the way it sounds on Latin does not? I've also heard this....
Who knows? I'm not enough of a Latin or Greek scholar to say. Again, the point of the whole matter is not whether the filioque is a mis-translation, the point is that the Bishop of Rome decided unilaterally to change the Nicene Creed.
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« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2010, 04:10:32 PM »

Dixie, I must confess I don't know how to quote on a forum!

But I think you've gotten to, and helped me get to what is the real meat of this whole thing, at least on the theological/intellectual end of it: (of course prayer is probably a bigger part...)

That is that whatever disputes there may be over doctrine/dogma/theology, be it IC, bread, filioque, purgatory, indulgences, etc., it all come right back to A) Development of doctrine and B) Papal Infallibility, which is probably part of DofD

If the Bishop of Rome is infallible, then all the rest falls into place for the RC church, and if he is not, it does now, hence if the RC view on development of doctrine is wrong, then She is in schism, at least that's how it seems to me...
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« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2010, 04:38:21 PM »

Dixie, I must confess I don't know how to quote on a forum!
You just click the little "quote" thingy at the top right. Grin

Quote
That is that whatever disputes there may be over doctrine/dogma/theology, be it IC, bread, filioque, purgatory, indulgences, etc., it all come right back to A) Development of doctrine and B) Papal Infallibility, which is probably part of DofD

If the Bishop of Rome is infallible, then all the rest falls into place for the RC church, and if he is not, it does now, hence if the RC view on development of doctrine is wrong, then She is in schism, at least that's how it seems to me...

The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is that the Bishop of Rome claims supremacy and infallibility - that he is entitled and empowered to change both doctrine and praxis without consultation with the other Hierarchs, without an Ecumenical Council. This is not the way the Council of Jerusalem functioned in Acts, nor is it the way the Church operated before the schism.
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